Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 17
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"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.
2019 BOOKS COMPLETED
Off my shelf (pre-2019): 27
Off my Kindle (pre-2019): 19
111. Virgin River by Robyn Carr (3 stars)
110. Housebreaking by Dan Pope (3.5 stars)
109. A Mercy by Toni Morrison (3.5 stars)
108. Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills (audio) (2.5 stars)
107. At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie (3.5 stars)
106. The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (3 stars)
105. My Dog Tulip by J.R. Ackerley (3.5 stars)
104. American War by Omar El Akkad (4.5 stars)
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
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)
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)
I'll leave this one to ring in the Thinning Time with appropriate gravity:
Which house will you be handing out candy from?
Happy New Thread, Katie! What a lovely topper.
I have suspended all the holds I currently have at my 3 library systems, so I won't be tempted by anything coming in :)
Happy new thread.
>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!
Your first Halloween in your new house. Did you get any trick-or-treaters?
(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!)
Although why I am encouraging this, with the ever-increasing wait times on eMaterials, I do not know.
But ..... Uncle Mike's been dead for FIFTY YEARS!
>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!
>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?
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!
(I will be avoiding the city and sticking to my section of Brooklyn, although the marathon clears our borough fairly early.)
>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...
You are getting very close to the century mark!
Still, a terrific day to be in the city - the marathon atmosphere was so uplifting.
>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.
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!
>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.
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.
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.
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).
I'd be happy to send you my copy of the book, if you'd like.
Thanks for the offer on Later, at the Bar. Too late! I snarfled it up. But I appreciate the thought.
Heh. I slay me.
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?
>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...
Spend a lovely weekend!
My show was stopped three separate times over the six bakes.
Apparently, this year's holiday episodes will include one with the cast of Derry Girls and I. Am. Here. For. It.
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!
>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.
>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!
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.
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.
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!
Yep, it is snowing again in Chicagoland. WTH??
Hope it doesn't snow too much and make your errands tomorrow difficult.
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...
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.
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
>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!
Also, I think The Wayne got promoted this season, too? Congrats to him as well!
I just can't. I watched the media burn Nixon at the stake. There's my partisan bloodlust slaked for good.
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.
ETA: I am only going to my book club sporadically at the moment, so that's not a concern, and new releases I'm interested in tend to already have crazy long hold queues by the time I get around to looking for them in Overdrive so I just put them on the WL and wait it out. I don't check out a lot of physical books because my local library has a terrible parking situation and since we moved, I can't walk to it from home anymore.
American War by Omar El Akkad
This would have been a 5 star read for me if I could have liked the protagonist more. But I think her distance, her *unreachability* was part of the point El Akkan was trying to make about the dehumanizing effects of war.
This is a really smart novel set in a near-future United States where the South once again finds itself on the losing end of a conflict with the rest of the country. This time the fight is over the use of fossil fuels, and we see the ravages of climate change on the environment.
Sarat, the protagonist, suffers badly in the war and becomes a kind of vigilante to avenge her mother's death, her brother's near-fatal injury, and all the wrongs done to her. My favorite part of the book was the beginning, when Sarat is still a child and the world, though bleak and full of hardship, is still full of wonder and discovery. I loved El Akkan's world building - there's not a lot explained but each touch makes sense and is a natural evolution from the present day.
It's a brutal read, full of violence and hardness and animosity, but it's incredibly compelling and really fascinating.
(My thanks to Suzanne for gifting me the ARC way back when.)
"And what she understood... was that the misery of war represented the world's only truly universal language. Its native speakers occupied different ends of the world, and the prayers they recited were not the same and the empty superstitions to which they clung so dearly were not the same - and yet they were. War broke them the same way, made them scared and angry and vengeful the same way. In times of peace and good fortune they were nothing alike but stripped of these things they were kin."
Oh, and happy Friday.
>156 brenzi: - I don't know why it took me so long to get to it, Bonnie, but I'm glad I finally did!
>157 Familyhistorian: and >158 laytonwoman3rd: - Linda summed it up pretty well, Meg. This isn't the trial phase, and indeed, it might never get to that (though I think it will). It is a bit convoluted, but as a political junkie, I find all of it fascinating.
>159 jessibud2: - I guess I would say, Shelley, that it is important to have these hearings reagrdless of the eventual outcome so that there is a public record. It is one of the few mechanisms for holding a President accountable, and I think it's important, too, that Congress assert its authority and try to restore some semblance of checks and balances. They are supposed to be co-equal branches of government.
I finished My Dog Tulip yesterday and was not blown away by it. I really expected to love it, but I just found it kind of boring after a while.
I think my next read will be The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan. Guess I can't get enough of the dark and disturbing....
Interview w/ Omar El Akkad & Adam Mckay. I haven't read the book yet.
>163 susanj67: - Thanks, Susan! I did get some reading done yesterday, but I was soooo tired, I'm not sure I absorbed much :-P Had a much better sleep last night and am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed now :)
>164 richardderus: - Did you see how Pence's office tried to distance itself from his advisor on Russia and Eurasian Affairs? Released a statement that she was a "State Department employee" - well, yeah. But she was detailed to YOU.
Also, what do you think was up with Cheeto Benito's surprise trip to Walter Reed? I saw something last night that a source said it was "chest discomfort"....
>165 laytonwoman3rd: - Another good explanation, Linda!
>166 jessibud2: - Indeed we will!
>167 qebo: - Ooh, thanks for that, Katharine! I clicked on it to see what it was and have bookmarked it to listen to.
At least I got a good night's sleep last night. I feel much better :) It's rainy and grey here so it was hard to get out of bed this morning, but here I am.
I think I might finished The Cement Garden after work tonight - depends how distracted I get by other things. We have *finally* gotten everything out of the rental house and moved over here (most of what was left was The Wayne's random crap in the basement), so there is still lots to be organized and put away.
After I finish my current read, I was going to read A Mercy by Toni Morrison but I think I need a break from the heavy stuff. I might commit the rest of the month to mysteries and romance. We'll see... It would work well since we will be going away for Thanksgiving, and any reading I am able to get done will be pretty fragmented.
>169 katiekrug: Good luck with the organization and even the book-finishing, quite an achievement in the midst of finishing your move. And working. And traveling for work. Yikes, I'm worn down thinking about it.
Here is the "long list" for the 2020 tournament. A lot of familiar titles but some new-to-me ones that have me intrigued...
>174 japaul22: and >175 charl08: - Happy to share, ladies! I love this time of the year and All the Lists!
>173 vivians: The NY Times top 10 drops this weekend
Squeeee! I didn't know that and now I am super excited.
The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan
An exceedingly well-written novel with major "ick" factor. I might not have finished it if it had been longer. I am not easily put off by disturbing material, and I think my issue with this one was the sense of unease it created, making me uncomfortable all through the read. The dead mother encased in cement, the incest, the little brother reverting to a baby, the squalor of the house... all of that would have been fine. But McEwan's writing is so good in painting this hellish portrait that I just didn't want to spend a lot of time with it.
I'm meeting a friend for dinner tonight.
Work is work.
Have a good day, y'all!
Someone spent a lot of time making that beautiful dress for Abby. Family member?
Evidence of my love of a good medal. I give them a stir every now & then to change the colours.
Sondland...what a tool...but it looks like he's gonna give the Committee the goods in spades.
PSA: Black Water Rising, an excellent crime novel by Attica Locke, is on sale for $1.99 on Kindle today.
I finished up At Bertram's Hotel this morning - I enjoyed it, even if some bits were very obvious. I'll be moving on to A Mercy by Toni Morrison after work today.
Nothing other than work on the agenda for today. I don't even have any meetings scheduled so hopefully I can get a bunch of stuff done and be in good shape to leave next week.
I did like the ITV Agatha Christie's Marple series adaptation of it just fine.
>165 laytonwoman3rd: The only thing an impeachment trial can do is remove the President from office and prevent him from holding US office again.That seems like a great outcome!
Your little cousins are cute, Katie!
At Bertram's Hotel is one of my favourites. It reminds me of London in the '60s.
I finally finished the crappy audio I was listening to and am 2/3 finished with A Mercy.
Tonight, I am going to see Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein story. They've written a book about the investigation - She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement. Should be a good event.
Things seem to be going well for you (don't spoil it by getting into the gritty details). I'm content also.
>215 weird_O: - Hi Bill! All's good here. Looking forward to seeing my family next week. Not looking forward to holiday travel though!
ABH was a nice, quick read :)
>216 katiekrug: Imelda Staunton huh? I need to process that one. Helen Mirren does the older Queen so well it’s hard to imagine anyone else.
>218 lauralkeet: - I will probably get more used to HBC, it was just kind of jarring because I didn't have similar issues with the change in actors for Elizabeth and Philip.
I bet they'd love to have Mirren, but her asking price is probably too high!
>219 vivians: - Thanks, Vivian. I will report back :)
>220 susanj67: - Thanks, Susan! I have a hard time knowing which UK papers aren't tabloids and so more trustworthy... I think the article I saw was from the Telegraph, so at least it wasn't the Daily Mail :-P
Katie, you might check Amazon Prime's subsidiary IMDB. That's where I'm watching Midsomer Murders. It might cost you some commercials. It's also on portable media such as Blu-Ray, so your library might have them.
A Mercy by Toni Morrison
Unsurprisingly, Morrison's use of language is exquisite and her themes are pointed and important. Once I got into the rhythm of the story and was able to start making connections, it was a pretty decent read. But it took me too long to get to that point. Much of the beginning was ambiguous and, to me, inscrutable. I was confused and unsure of what was going on, and while I usually love novels involving changing POVs and narrators, it didn't really work for me here because so much was unknown that the characters remained indistinct for too long.
All that said, I am not disappointed I read it, as any time spent with the late, great Ms. Morrison is worthwhile.
Hi Katie, don't know why I'm asking these questions.
Gramps does do a lot of the cleanup. Honest.
>227 brenzi: Well in that case the first and last heights are about right and Colman is the outlier. The queen is not very tall and she's shorter now than she was (little old lady syndrome).
As someone who has not watched The Crown, I feel I'm learning a lot. Hope you're have a good weekend lined up Katie.
>228 weird_O: - We are flying to Dallas on Tuesday and back Saturday. Dinner is cooked by Aunt Liz and cleaned up by Uncle Bill, with an assist from the rest of us. The children will be underfoot, likely making nuisances of themselves ;-) Ah, the holidays....
>229 Helenliz: - You know it's no good when Wikipedia finds you less than credible for sure!
I can't wait to start the book. I may rearrange my plans a bit and bring it with me on our Thanksgiving trip.
Today is house stuff and then into the city to go to a Swedish Christmas fair. I am against doing Christmas-y things before Thanksgiving but my one-quarter Swede husband loves Christmas and I love him, so off we go :) We'll probably get dinner and might see a showing of 'Midway'. In our early dating history, we bonded over our shared love of the original film and watched it at my apartment on our 4th "date." I don't expect much of this re-make but it seems like we should go see it, for old times sake :)
Enjoy a weekend walking down memory lane somewhat. Hani and I don't really have a film but Van Morrison's Crazy Love is definitely our song.
I understand your problem with Helen Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret in the Crown; I worry about not being able to see past knowing her from so much else rather than seeing her as the Princess. Plus the first actor playing PM is so good! We're only near the end of the first season. I guess it's a tribute to Olivia Coleman's skill that I don't have any similar concern about her playing the Queen, even though Claire Foy is so wonderful in the younger role.
Have fun a fun trip down memory lane, Katie. I went to see a movie with a friend last night and "Midway" was one of our choices but we opted for "The Good Liar" instead. Mirren is very good in it.
>233 PaulCranswick: - Great song, Paul. Ours is This Year's Love by David Gray.
>234 jnwelch: - Hi Joe! I'm hoping I will "settle in" to HBC as Margaret. We'll see...
>235 PaulCranswick: - I kind of miss Matt Smith in the new season. But the new guy isn't too bad.
>236 Familyhistorian: - Ooh, I want to see 'The Good Liar'!
Happy Sogday, I mean Sunday. It's not sunny, that is for sure. *squelches off*
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!
We were woken up around 4:00am by a scrabbling sound - I think some sort of critter found it's way under the roof, maybe into the attic. Not sure how and it seemed to finally find an escape hatch because the noise finally stopped around an hour later. I'm going to make The Wayne check the attic in a little bit, since I don't really want to have to worry about it while we are gone.
I need to sneak out later and buy some Italian cookies and black-and-whites to bring to the fam in Dallas. Conveniently, there are about thirty bajillion Italian bakeries around here...
In books, I don't have an audio going at the moment, but I'm enjoying Housebreaking by Dan Pope on my Kindle.
Okay, back to work now!
We are on season 2 of The Crown and loving it. I wasn't interested in it until I heard that Olivia Colman would play the queen in season 3, so finally gave in since Bill has been wanting to watch it for a long time. He's gotten to say "I told you so" many times.
>237 katiekrug: "the other guy" is Tobias Menzies, who I absolutely adore from Outlander.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving in Texas.
Thanks for the T-giving wishes!
I have offered some extra-super-de-dooper sage guidance for your Yule gifting's direction in my thread.
Here's another for your book lists, if you haven't seen it already:
Slate's 50 best nonfiction books of the last 25 years
I am no longer in the running for the No!vember prize, btw...
>252 rosalita: - Hi Julia and thanks for sharing that list! It's a good one - lots I'm not familiar with, some on my to read list, and some I've really liked.
>253 susanj67: - Hi Susan! You know you are welcome anytime :) I will graciously accept my No!vember prize with little to no gloating.... Heh.
>254 richardderus: - Sounds like a great holiday, Richard. I'm glad for you.
>255 jessibud2: - Thanks, Shelley.
>256 Berly: - Hi Kim - it was great to see the kids and we had fun, despite the angelic Abby's cheating at Uno ;-)
>257 jnwelch: - Oh, I'm so glad you liked it, Joe! And I think it's right up Mark's alley, too. It was a random choice at a used bookstore several years ago - I'm glad I finally got around to it :)
Suffice it to say, I am very happy to be home!
>259 katiekrug: Oh, crikey...nothing worse than being sick away from home...and on a holiday. Hope The Wayne is all better now, and that he hasn't shared his little invaders with you.
For all you challenge addicts, here is a 'Master List of 2020 Reading Challenges,' updated regularly.
But congratulations on winning No!vember! Happy gloating :-)
I particularly liked this one:
♦ NEW ♦ + Medical Examiner’s Mystery Reading Challenge. You are the Medical Examiner, and your goal is to issue as many Toe Tags as you can during 2020, by reading murder mysteries and determining the cause of death of the unfortunate victim(s)
I am watching your Giants. It would sure be nice if they could the Packers. Come on NY!
I am so glad you will be finally reading Gilead. I think I will be doing a revisit for the AAC.
Gilead is sooo good. Enjoy.
No gloating here! I am magnanimous in victory...
>270 charl08: - I need to take a closer look at the different challenges, Charlotte, and see if there is one that is particularly intriguing... I liked the one I did this year.
>271 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! The Wayne is doing better - just has a little cold. If he hadn't gotten over the stomach bug before we were due to fly home, I'm not sure what we would have done!
I'll try to remember to ask him about the Singlecut.
Hope you weren't counting on the Giants. They suck. Ha!
I'm looking forward to finally getting to Gilead. I think it will be my next book.
>272 laytonwoman3rd: - I can't believe it's taken me so long to get to it, Linda! It may be the only 'serious' book I read this month. I tend to like lighter stuff in December.
>274 lauralkeet: - Thanks, Laura. His cold doesn't seem too bad, thank goodness. But I am definitely glad to put Thanksgiving behind us!
>275 ronincats: - Thanks, Roni. I also hope I don't catch it!
>276 Helenliz: - It's a list of challenges, Helen, not a list of lists :) Sure you don't want to check it out? Heh...
>277 susanj67: - A shame indeed, Susan. Perhaps you could create such a challenge?
I am currently reading Virgin River, a contemporary romance that I picked up because I saw that Netflix has made a series of it, coming out this month. It looks like just the kind of cheesy thing I like, so I decided to read the book first. It is not very well written. Hopefully the show will be better.
I also need to decide on a new audio - it'll probably be something holiday related, because 'tis the season!
Work is a bit crazy. I didn't bring my laptop with me to Texas (*proud*) so I have a lot of email to catch up on, and this week is the deadline for one of my projects, so I'll be working mostly on that.
Oh, and I did get my jury duty postponed, so I don't need to worry about that before my trip next month, thank goodness.
Good on ya for leaving the laptop, he said with a rictus in place of his smile and clutching his laptop with all twenty digits. More of us should follow your example, said a hollow mockery of his voice in a deeply insincere attempt to sound supportive of what sounds disturbingly like a return to the 1990s.
Sorry about The Wayne's stomach bug and now cold. Sorry that Thanksgiving was the worst Thanksgiving ever,.
I'd like a bit of snow...
I'm not sure what's going around this year but it seems as though a lot of people I know have had more severe cold symptoms than usual. Some sort of superbug? Most vexing!
Hope full recoveries are the order of the day (for Julia too).
That made me laugh, Paul.
Hi Katie! I'm glad to see you sorted out the jury duty situation.
>282 richardderus: - While the writing was less than stellar, I kind of liked the community she created, and there wasn't too much romantic angst, which I appreciated. I might give the 2nd one a try sometime.
I didn't bring my work laptop, but had my phone, Paperwhite, and Fire tablet with me, so I was well connected. And The Wayne brought both his laptops, so.....
>283 karenmarie: - Hi Karen - his cold isn't too terrible, and he's pretty stoic anyway, so I just hope I don't catch it, because I am a big baby when sick. We ended up with about 4" of snow, I think. I had to shovel twice, so I got some exercise in :)
>284 rosalita: - I'm sorry about your cold, Julia. That is the pits. I hope the 4-day weekend helped you and you saw some improvement.
>286 DeltaQueen50: - Thanks, Judy. Hopefully next year's holiday will be better! And thanks for your positive comments about my 'review' of The Cement Garden. Even when I don't like what he's writing about, I love McEwan's writing.
>287 Berly: - I think I've decided against doing a challenge next year, Kim. But I reserve the right to change my mind!
>288 lauralkeet: - Yes, I was glad to get that dealt with, Laura. One less thing to worry about during a busy time.
Virgin River by Robyn Carr
A pretty standard contemporary romance but with sub-standard writing. Still, I liked (most of) the story (some bits were extraneous or just silly), and I'm interested to watch the Netflix series. Carr has now written about 20 novels set in this community, and I might give the next one a try to see if this could be a good comfort read series for me. We'll see.