Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 17

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Talk75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 17

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Edited: Dec 3, 2019, 10:42am

"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: Dec 3, 2019, 10:42am

(Print) (Audio)

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

Edited: Dec 3, 2019, 10:43am


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: Dec 3, 2019, 10:43am


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: Dec 3, 2019, 10:43am

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, 2019, 10:42am


Oct 31, 2019, 10:47am

Oct 31, 2019, 10:55am

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

Oct 31, 2019, 11:01am

Ooo, that topper...wow.

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

Oct 31, 2019, 11:08am

Happy Halloween, Bill, Mark, and RD!

Oct 31, 2019, 11:12am

Happy new thread, Katie!

Which house will you be handing out candy from?

Oct 31, 2019, 11:16am

>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, 2019, 11:25am

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

Oct 31, 2019, 11:30am

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

Happy New Thread, Katie! What a lovely topper.

Oct 31, 2019, 11:52am

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

>14 jnwelch: - Thanks, Joe!

Edited: Oct 31, 2019, 12:57pm

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

Oct 31, 2019, 1:05pm

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

Oct 31, 2019, 3:13pm

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

Oct 31, 2019, 3:53pm

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

Oct 31, 2019, 4:00pm

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, 2019, 4:03pm

Happy new thread, Katie!

Oct 31, 2019, 4:09pm

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

Oct 31, 2019, 4:55pm

>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, 2019, 5:38pm

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

Happy new thread.

Oct 31, 2019, 6:10pm

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

Oct 31, 2019, 8:06pm

Happy new thread!

Oct 31, 2019, 8:16pm

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

Oct 31, 2019, 8:17pm

Happy new one!

Nov 1, 2019, 5:33am

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

Nov 1, 2019, 8:22am

>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, 2019, 8:24am

>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, 2019, 8:27am

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, 2019, 8:54am

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, 2019, 9:30am

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

Nov 1, 2019, 9:58am

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, 2019, 11:51am

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, 2019, 12:15pm

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, 2019, 12:20pm

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

Nov 1, 2019, 1:18pm

>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, 2019, 1:24pm

>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, 2019, 1:34pm

>40 laytonwoman3rd: Unseen Uncle Mike, huh?

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

Nov 1, 2019, 1:49pm

>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, 2019, 1:54pm

>41 norabelle414: Could be....

Nov 1, 2019, 3:01pm

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, 2019, 4:20pm

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

Nov 1, 2019, 4:47pm

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, 2019, 8:59pm

>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, 2019, 9:00pm

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, 2019, 9:01pm

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

Nov 2, 2019, 9:27am

>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, 2019, 10:00am

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, 2019, 10:03am

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, 2019, 10:09am

>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, 2019, 10:40am

>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, 2019, 11:15am

>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, 2019, 12:00pm

>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, 2019, 11:48pm

>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, 2019, 1:25am

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, 2019, 4:05pm

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

Nov 4, 2019, 10:48am

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, 2019, 2:49pm

>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, 2019, 2:55pm

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, 2019, 3:00pm

One of the pics I took at Prospect Park.

Nov 4, 2019, 3:10pm

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

Nov 4, 2019, 3:13pm

>64 richardderus: - Seriously!

Nov 4, 2019, 6:14pm

Prospect Park is beautiful

Nov 4, 2019, 7:22pm

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, 2019, 8:19pm

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

Nov 4, 2019, 11:46pm

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

Nov 5, 2019, 5:39am

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

Nov 5, 2019, 6:55am

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

Nov 5, 2019, 9:03am

>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, 2019, 9:07am

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, 2019, 9:09am

Now reading:

On my shelf since 2012!

Nov 5, 2019, 3:53pm

>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, 2019, 9:55pm

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

Nov 5, 2019, 10:55pm

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

Nov 6, 2019, 10:34am

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

Nov 6, 2019, 12:30pm

>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, 2019, 12:34pm

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, 2019, 1:48pm

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

Nov 6, 2019, 1:50pm

>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, 2019, 2:20pm

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

Edited: Nov 6, 2019, 2:21pm

>82 katiekrug: Double post! Sorry.

Nov 6, 2019, 2:29pm

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

Nov 6, 2019, 3:00pm

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, 2019, 3:06pm

>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, 2019, 3:45pm

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

Nov 7, 2019, 6:56am

Morning, Katie!

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

Nov 7, 2019, 9:11am

>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, 2019, 9:12am

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, 2019, 9:50am

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

Edited: Nov 7, 2019, 9:58am

>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, 2019, 10:39am

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

Nov 7, 2019, 11:34am

>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, 2019, 11:36am

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, 2019, 12:36pm

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

Heh. I slay me.

Nov 7, 2019, 12:57pm

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, 2019, 1:39pm

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

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

Nov 7, 2019, 8:43pm

>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, 2019, 8:49pm

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

Nov 8, 2019, 2:59am

>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, 2019, 5:24am

>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, 2019, 5:33am

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

Nov 8, 2019, 8:20am

>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, 2019, 9:07am

>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, 2019, 9:10am

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, 2019, 5:28pm

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, 2019, 6:42pm

>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, 2019, 8:33pm

>108 richardderus: - Have a good weekend yourself!

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

Nov 8, 2019, 9:17pm

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, 2019, 10:19am

>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, 2019, 10:22am

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, 2019, 11:31am

>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, 2019, 3:43pm

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

Nov 11, 2019, 8:15am

>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, 2019, 8:26am

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, 2019, 8:32am

>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, 2019, 8:53am

>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, 2019, 3:53pm

>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, 2019, 9:46am

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, 2019, 9:58am

>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, 2019, 10:08am

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, 2019, 10:15am

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, 2019, 11:12am

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, 2019, 11:28am

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

Nov 11, 2019, 12:05pm

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, 2019, 1:26pm

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, 2019, 2:14pm

>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, 2019, 3:12pm

>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, 2019, 11:52am

>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, 2019, 12:04pm

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

Nov 12, 2019, 1:17pm

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, 2019, 2:23pm

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, 2019, 10:47pm

>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.

Nov 13, 2019, 6:57am

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

Nov 13, 2019, 8:31am

>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!

Nov 13, 2019, 8:46am

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.

Nov 13, 2019, 9:48am

>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!

Nov 13, 2019, 10:20am

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

Nov 13, 2019, 12:56pm

>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.

Nov 13, 2019, 12:58pm

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

Nov 13, 2019, 1:04pm

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.

Nov 13, 2019, 3:44pm

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

Nov 13, 2019, 9:37pm

>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.

Nov 14, 2019, 6:33am

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".

Nov 14, 2019, 8:26am

>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"...

Nov 14, 2019, 8:56am

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

Nov 15, 2019, 12:02am

Hi Katie, my No!vember is going fairly well. I have had to go and purchase about 4 books from Amazon but they were all for my husband. I got him hooked on C. J. Box's mystery series and he's reading faster than me these days! We group our Kindle's together so we can share our reads but in actuality our reading tastes are fairly different so we rarely share.

Nov 15, 2019, 8:57am

>149 DeltaQueen50: - Buying books for others is definitely allowed, Judy. My month is also going well. I'm having fun reading off my shelves. I think I will do at least two months next year of avoiding the library...

Nov 15, 2019, 8:58am

I finished American War by Omar El Akkan last night and was in need of something a bit lighter and less grim, so I picked up My Dog Tulip by J.R. Ackerley. Dogs make everything better :)

Nov 15, 2019, 12:02pm

Hi Katie! I admire your restraint but I’m not sure I could completely avoid the library since I use it for book club picks and new releases. That said, I try to set a goal each year for books read from my shelves, and track it on my trusty spreadsheet. That helps.

Edited: Nov 15, 2019, 12:12pm

>152 lauralkeet: - Hi Laura! It is making me a little itchy on occasion when I remember something on my library WL that I really want to read *right now* but there are just SO MANY books in this house... It feels like a public service to read some and try to clear a little space :)

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.

Nov 15, 2019, 6:33pm

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.

4.5 stars

(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."

Edited: Nov 15, 2019, 6:49pm

>154 katiekrug: This sounds good, Katie. Maybe next year?

Oh, and happy Friday.

Nov 15, 2019, 6:50pm

>154 katiekrug: I've had this one on my list since it came out Katie, but for whatever reason I haven't read it yet. Reading your review I can see I will have to read it soonish. It sounds incredible.

Nov 16, 2019, 8:42pm

The impeachment trial is oddly fascinating, Katie, but I try to avoid it because I just don't understand the rules and tend to leave the room when 45 is on anyway. I also read somewhere that it doesn't get rid of him even if he is impeached. Is that right?

Edited: Nov 16, 2019, 10:24pm

>157 Familyhistorian: This phase of the process in the House of Representatives is called impeachment, Meg. It is not the trial, and will not determine whether 45 is removed from office. It is somewhat similar to grand jury proceedings in criminal matters. These hearings will determine whether formal charges (called Articles of Impeachment) will be presented against the President. If they are, then a trial in the Senate will follow. For reference, Bill Clinton was impeached by the House, but was not found guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors" in the Senate trial; therefore he was not removed from office. Much of the American public does not understand this distinction at all.

Nov 17, 2019, 7:31am

>157 Familyhistorian:, >158 laytonwoman3rd: - We had a bit of this discussion on my thread, too as I was saying that I don't see the point of the whole thing if he is going to be allowed to remain, and therefore continue to do whatever it is he is doing. And though Madeline (SqueakyChu) also explained it well enough, I am still not sure I will ever understand. Either he is guilty (in which case, "lock him up"!) or not.

Nov 17, 2019, 7:55am

>155 BLBera: - Hi Beth! Happy Sunday :)

>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.

Nov 17, 2019, 7:58am

Ugh. It's Sunday and I woke up at 5:30. WTH?

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....

Nov 17, 2019, 8:09am

Morning, Katie. Happy Sunday! Good review of American War. I remember enjoying this one too and I look forward to seeing what this author does next.

Nov 17, 2019, 8:17am

>161 katiekrug: Hi Katie! Sorry you've been up for hours. I hope that at least you can get some reading in. You're doing really well with your own books!

Nov 17, 2019, 9:09am

Happy new week! The Hearings resume Tuesday...I'm not sure what to expect from Vindman, but it could be interesting. The NSC's role in this unwinding disaster film is, well, pivotal.

Nov 17, 2019, 12:24pm

>159 jessibud2: I think you have to view these hearings as preliminary, fact-finding endeavors. The outcome of a trial (if it comes to that) is always going to be uncertain. "Locking him up" is not one of the options, however. The only thing an impeachment trial can do is remove the President from office and prevent him from holding US office again. If that happened, however, he might then be subject to many indictments in both Federal and State criminal courts. THOSE could result in imprisonment.

Nov 17, 2019, 3:07pm

>165 laytonwoman3rd: - Thanks, Linda. We'll keep our fingers crossed....

Nov 17, 2019, 8:48pm

>154 katiekrug:
Interview w/ Omar El Akkad & Adam Mckay. I haven't read the book yet.

Nov 18, 2019, 8:54am

>162 msf59: - Mark, I will definitely keep an eye out for his next book!

>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.

Nov 18, 2019, 8:58am

Monday, Monday....

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.

Nov 18, 2019, 10:00am

>168 katiekrug: If Twitler isn't having chest pains now, it's only because he's so far gone that he doesn't understand what's going on around him. I don't see that this problem has gotten worse, so it's gotta be anxiety angina.

>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.

Nov 18, 2019, 10:27am

>170 richardderus: - I'm a bit surprised how much I've been able to read during the upheaval. It's a nice surprise :)

Nov 18, 2019, 1:25pm

When I remember to, I casually follow the Tournament of Books each year. Usually I don't remember to, despite the stellar line-up they put together.

Here is the "long list" for the 2020 tournament. A lot of familiar titles but some new-to-me ones that have me intrigued...


Nov 18, 2019, 2:03pm

Thanks for sharing the list - I love the way they come up with new names that I haven't seen elsewhere. I just wish I could find a printable list of the titles - any ideas? The NY Times top 10 drops this weekend. That's my sign we've reached the end of the year!

Nov 18, 2019, 2:25pm

>172 katiekrug: Thanks for the ToB reminder. I'm always interested to browse the list they come up with, even though I don't follow the tournament closely. Definitely added some books to the wish list that I hadn't heard of.

Nov 18, 2019, 2:26pm

>172 katiekrug: Ooh! A shiny new list! Thanks Katie.

Nov 18, 2019, 2:41pm

>173 vivians: - Vivian, there is a link to a spreadsheet of all the titles at the very bottom in very small type. This should get you there: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/12cOFJY63w0A1pmUpz7QlbbiIMIMpjKFPL03CFeR_....

>174 japaul22: and >175 charl08: - Happy to share, ladies! I love this time of the year and All the Lists!

Nov 18, 2019, 3:20pm

>172 katiekrug: thanks for sharing the list, Katie, and for pointing out the spreadsheet at the very bottom. There are some great books on that list! And so many that I know nothing about, as well.

>173 vivians: The NY Times top 10 drops this weekend
Squeeee! I didn't know that and now I am super excited.

Nov 18, 2019, 3:46pm

>172 katiekrug: FOUR books I loved on that list!
Black Light: Stories
Lot: Stories
Red Leopard, Black Wolf
Ducks, Newburyport

What a great year it's been for readers. Well, this reader anyway.

Nov 19, 2019, 10:44am

Nov 19, 2019, 11:28am

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.

3 stars

Nov 19, 2019, 11:29am

>177 lauralkeet: - Glad you liked the list, too, Laura!

>178 richardderus: - Yay!

>179 vivians: - You're welcome :)

Nov 19, 2019, 11:50am

>180 katiekrug: All the stars, it sounds to me like, are for the writing! Deeply disturbing read. I shall pass, though to me it brings to mind a classy, literary version of the disturbing, and mega-best-selling Flowers in the Attic.

Nov 19, 2019, 3:05pm

Vindman's slap-down of that craptastic fuckwad Nunes made my day.

Nov 19, 2019, 3:07pm

>182 richardderus: - Minus the creepy grandmother ;-)

>183 richardderus: - I missed it while listening, but saw it on Twitter.

Nov 20, 2019, 8:47am

Not much going on here at the moment. I am reading At Bertram's Hotel, which is keeping me pleasantly occupied. My audio is a not-very-good romance, but I only have about two hours left in it.

I'm meeting a friend for dinner tonight.

Work is work.

Have a good day, y'all!

Nov 20, 2019, 9:24am

Hi Katie! When I saw there were 14 unread messages I thought y'all might have been talking about hot guys again. I should have known it would be a spreadsheet :-) I am not ready for All The Lists. Particularly while No!vember is still going on. Oh yes, it is :-) Someone told me there's a PRIZE so I am going to win it. I wonder what it is? *excited*

Nov 20, 2019, 9:56am

>186 susanj67: - LOL, Susan. There *should* be a prize. Everything should have a prize :)

Nov 20, 2019, 10:25am

>187 katiekrug: There completely should I think the organiser of No!vember should have thought of that in advance. It's like when I was running, I would seriously consider not entering a race that didn't have a medal at the end. I mean, why put yourself though that for no medal? Where's the bragging rights of a poxy t-shirt?

Nov 20, 2019, 10:32am

>188 Helenliz: - I always liked the races that had special food or drink connections. Friends and I enjoyed doing 5Ks at a winery where there was a free glass at the end, and one in February where you got hot chocolate and s'more at the finish :)

Nov 20, 2019, 10:34am

I had to share this photo of my adorable little cousins, Abby (5) and Ben (2.5). I'll be seeing them next week for Thanksgiving!

Nov 20, 2019, 10:41am

Sweet photo, Katie!

Someone spent a lot of time making that beautiful dress for Abby. Family member?

Nov 20, 2019, 10:42am

What sweethearts! He looks like a bundle of trouble, with that cheeky grin.

Evidence of my love of a good medal. I give them a stir every now & then to change the colours.

Nov 20, 2019, 10:47am

>191 karenmarie: - I am 99% certain the dress was purchased, Karen. We don't have any knitters in the family :)

>192 Helenliz: - Helen, Ben is actually very sweet and laid back. Abby, on the other hand, is a terror!

Nice medals!

Nov 20, 2019, 10:59am

>190 katiekrug: Very cute, Katie! You'll be having a lively Thanksgiving, I bet :-)

Nov 20, 2019, 11:24am

>190 katiekrug: They're adorable, and lively-looking, and I bet money Cuzauntie Katie is surreptitiously influencing them to be as rebellious as possible.

Sondland...what a tool...but it looks like he's gonna give the Committee the goods in spades.

Nov 20, 2019, 2:45pm

>190 katiekrug: Ah....what a couple of cuties! Thanks for introducing us.

Nov 20, 2019, 5:00pm

Adorable kids!! Hope you're having a pleasant day.

Nov 20, 2019, 6:08pm

>190 katiekrug: oh how sweet Katie❤️

Nov 20, 2019, 9:37pm

>190 katiekrug: Oh my gosh, aren't they cute? Have a wonderful Thanksgiving seeing them (& the rest of your family of course). I'll be down at my sister's with the niece and nephew and looking forward to that too :)

Nov 21, 2019, 1:52am

Lovely picture Katie. Enjoy your time with them and the family.

Nov 21, 2019, 9:44am

I'm glad y'all liked those smiling faces!

PSA: Black Water Rising, an excellent crime novel by Attica Locke, is on sale for $1.99 on Kindle today.

Nov 21, 2019, 9:48am

I had a nice dinner out with my friend, Rebecca, last night. I had seared scallops and she had butternut squash and apple bisque. And chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes to top the evening off :)

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.

Nov 21, 2019, 11:37am

>190 katiekrug: Totes adorbs!

At Bertram's Hotel remains a favorite among her books for me. Something about the atmosphere . . .

Nov 21, 2019, 1:09pm

>202 katiekrug: At Bertram's Hotel was one of the paperbacks that died in the water event, and you know? I don't miss it...it was a good read once, but I don't think I'd've been able to do a second read without being impatient.

I did like the ITV Agatha Christie's Marple series adaptation of it just fine.

Happy Thursday!

Nov 21, 2019, 1:58pm

>203 jnwelch: - Joe, I enjoyed the atmosphere and the ruminations on aging and time passing...

>204 richardderus: - I really need to find some of the Christie TV adaptations.

Nov 21, 2019, 2:02pm

>205 katiekrug: Some public libraries subscribe to AcornTV and all the good Christie TV adaptations are on there. :)

Nov 21, 2019, 2:05pm

>205 katiekrug: I prefer the old Miss Marple series, but Jim thinks it's too stuffy. The newer one is ok.

Nov 21, 2019, 2:11pm

Having grown up in a village full of busybody types, I like Bertrams for its not being set in St Mary Mead. It feels like Miss Marple is a bit out of her comfort zone, in some ways. I know she is never ac tually out of her comfort zone, of course.

Nov 21, 2019, 4:04pm

>206 MickyFine: - I looked at mine and they don't offer Acorn :(

>207 ffortsa: - I don't think I knew there was a newer one, Judy!

>208 Helenliz: - I know what you mean, Helen.

Nov 21, 2019, 6:21pm

>209 katiekrug: I think Judy's referring to the 1980s Miss Marple starring Joan Plowright, from the BBC; the "newer" is the ITV Agatha Christie's Marple one. And even that's fifteen years old. Crikey, I'm old and feelin' it today.

Nov 21, 2019, 11:12pm

>158 laytonwoman3rd: >160 katiekrug: Oh, now I get it. It's kind of like your process for an election. It goes through several steps before anything really happens.

>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.

Nov 22, 2019, 8:14am

>210 richardderus: - OIC!

>211 Familyhistorian: - Hi Meg! Yes, indeed, why make something easy when it could be complicated? :-P

Nov 22, 2019, 8:23am

We had a quiet evening last night, and I watched the first two episodes of the new season of 'The Crown.' I enjoyed them both - especially Princess Margaret at the White House - but I miss the original Margaret actress. Helena Bonham Carter (whom I love) isn't really working for me in the role - maybe because she is so familiar to me, I can't not see *her* if that makes sense. Oh well, a minor quibble.

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.

Nov 22, 2019, 9:34am

Happy Friday, Katie. I hope you have a nice weekend planned. I enjoyed the first ep of The Crown. I miss the old cast but I am sure I will get used to the new ones.

Nov 22, 2019, 10:01am

We have multiple copies of At Bertram's Hotel. I should read one of 'em; pretty sure they're all the same. Except for typeface, binding, etc.

Things seem to be going well for you (don't spoil it by getting into the gritty details). I'm content also.

Nov 22, 2019, 10:41am

>214 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! The Crown is good stuff. And speaking of, I just saw an article (from a UK paper which may or may not be accurate), that Colman will only do this season and next, and that Imelda Staunton is likely to take over the role. It makes sense that they have to plan ahead, but I was still surprised to see it.

>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 :)

Nov 22, 2019, 10:57am

>216 katiekrug: I saw that last night too. And if you have some dissonance with Helena Bonham Carter playing Margaret, I would think that having Professor Umbridge play the Queen would be twice as bad, regardless of the fact that both are superb actors!

Nov 22, 2019, 11:15am

>213 katiekrug: I’m also only 2 episodes in but I’m with you on HBC as Princess Margaret. It doesn’t help that when this season opens, she’s playing someone 20 years younger. That might be less of an issue by the end of the season.

>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.

Nov 22, 2019, 11:43am

Hope tonight is great! I heard Jodi Kantor last year and she was terrific. I haven't yet read She Said but plan to.

Nov 22, 2019, 11:45am

>213 katiekrug: Katie, enjoy the event tonight! That book is "in transit" to the library for me (reserved before this month, obvs :-) ) I also saw the article about Imelda Staunton, so it must be true :-)

Nov 22, 2019, 11:50am

>217 ronincats: - Roni, I actually remember her more from the Emma Thompson S&S where she played a secondary character. I guess that shows my lack of Harry Potter fandom - oops!

>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

Nov 22, 2019, 12:00pm

>221 katiekrug: Katie, The Times/Sunday Times, the Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph and the Guardian/Observer are the most reliable. Don't trust the Daily Mail for anything, ever :-)

Nov 22, 2019, 2:31pm

>190 katiekrug: Supercute, Katie.

Nov 22, 2019, 3:29pm

>210 richardderus: It wasn't Jane Plowright, but Joan Hickson. Jim thought she was a little too grim, I guess, but I enjoyed the various episodes, which were very faithful to the original stories.

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.

Nov 22, 2019, 4:05pm

>222 susanj67: - Thanks, Susan! The Daily "Fail"'s reputation is well known even on this side of the Atlantic :)

>223 BLBera: - Thanks, Beth! FYI - I finally got that book into the mail to you. Sorry for the delay!

>224 ffortsa: - I'll have a look, Judy, thanks!

Nov 22, 2019, 4:11pm

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.

3.5 stars

Nov 22, 2019, 6:33pm

Imelda Staunton? Wasn't she in the Downton Abby movie? And she and Maggie Smith had an adversarial relationship? And isn't she tiny? How do they go from Olivia Colman to Imelda Staunton? Hmmm (googling).....Claire Foy is 5'4" and Olivia Colman is 5'7" then they go to Staunton at 5'0".

Hi Katie, don't know why I'm asking these questions.

Edited: Nov 22, 2019, 7:59pm

>216 katiekrug: Gram 'n' Gramps get to stay at home for Thanksgiving, and our offspring drive/fly to us. And now that Gram can't cook the feast we all look forward to, we get a couple or three visitors on Tuesday/Wednesday to prepare. So we do a lot of extra giving of thanks.

Gramps does do a lot of the cleanup. Honest.

Nov 23, 2019, 3:25am

>222 susanj67: In fact the Daily Mail is so untrustworthy that I read wikipedia is now not accepting it as a reference source. >;-) How untrustworthy do you need to be before t'internet thinks you're rubbish!

>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.

Nov 23, 2019, 9:14am

>227 brenzi: - Well, to be fair, the Queen is pretty tiny now (at least as far as I can tell from pictures)!

>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!

Nov 23, 2019, 9:19am

The event last night with Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey was excellent. They were interviewed by Matt Purdy, the Deputy Managing Editor of the NY Times, and most of it focused on how they built the story and got past all the impediments that exist to protect a man like Harvey Weinstein. Really fasinating stuff about endless phone calls, knocking on doors, and just doing the real, hard work of investigative reporting.

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 :)

Nov 23, 2019, 9:39am

Aw that’s cute, and a totally valid reason to see the remake. Perhaps the only reason LOL.

Nov 23, 2019, 9:39am

>231 katiekrug: The last paragraph of your post is lovely, Katie.

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.

Nov 23, 2019, 12:16pm

Hi, Katie.

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.

Nov 23, 2019, 12:27pm

>234 jnwelch: I wouldn't class myself as a Royalist by any stretch of the imagination but I am rather enjoying the Crown. I have watched the first 8 episodes of the first series. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are very good and convincing in their roles. Not so sure about Jon Lithgow in the role of Winston. The actors playing Queen Mary and Princess Margaret really looked the part.

Nov 23, 2019, 5:21pm

>231 katiekrug: It is a wonder how that investigation was able to continue with all the forces against it. The book has been added to my library holds.

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.

Nov 24, 2019, 8:40am

>232 lauralkeet: - Well, things didn't quite work out as planned....

>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'!

Nov 24, 2019, 8:45am

Yesterday didn't go quite as planned - we had a leisurely late lunch once we got into the city and then walked up to Bryant Park where the Christmas Village is already open and packed. We got a few small gifts for family and then walked up to the Church of Sweden for that Christmas fair but it was kind of lame. Very small and not much interesting on offer. The Wayne bought some gingersnaps for his mom and then we got a drink at a nearby restaurant. By that time, the times for the movie were kind of inconvenient and we'd have to wait about 3 hours for the next one. We thought about waiting, but knew we'd end up just eating and drinking to pass the time, and my now-healthy husband didn't want to (and I didn't really, either, especially with Thanksgiving coming up). So we decided to forego the movie and came home. It was still a nice afternoon, free of unpacking :)

Nov 24, 2019, 11:24am

Movies are wonderfully consumable these here days. If it's a pain to theatre it, wait a week and it'll be on some TV channel; if it isn't, the DVD will come out next month.

Happy Sogday, I mean Sunday. It's not sunny, that is for sure. *squelches off*

Nov 24, 2019, 5:16pm

At Bertram's Hotel. I salute you, Kaite. Your comments on the book, plus its presence atop the Agatha Christie box o' books, right where I was seeing it day after day, tipped the scale. Read it, and glad I did. Thanx.

Nov 24, 2019, 6:20pm

>238 katiekrug: well, it still sounds like a nice day out. And, like you said, a welcome and much-needed break from unpacking. So it's all good!

Nov 24, 2019, 9:53pm

Jut skimming through without much to say, Katie. Your two little cousins are darn cute and it sounds like you're making your way through the unpacking -- and managing to get out and enjoy the city now and then!

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

Nov 24, 2019, 10:31pm

Katie - Thanks so much. I just got The Rhetoric of Death. It looks good.

Nov 25, 2019, 9:19am

>239 richardderus: - Very true about getting movies at home, RD. Hope you stayed warm and dry yesterday!

>240 weird_O: - Glad you liked it, Bill!

>241 lauralkeet: - Exactly, Laura :)

>242 EBT1002: - Thanks, Ellen!

>243 BLBera: - Oh, good, thanks for letting me know it arrived, Beth. Hope you like it!

Nov 25, 2019, 9:29am

Today is my only work day this week - hooray! The Wayne is working from home, so we are cozy in our double office... at least for now :)

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!

Nov 25, 2019, 10:13am

Hi Katie!

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.

Nov 25, 2019, 10:35am

>246 karenmarie: - I watched two more episodes of season 3 last night, Karen, and enjoyed both. You have good viewing ahead :)

Thanks for the T-giving wishes!

Nov 25, 2019, 10:35am

PSA: Hollow Kingdom is on sale for $3.99 on Kindle today. I've been intrigued by it since Mark and others warbled, so I snapped it up!

Nov 25, 2019, 11:41am

>248 katiekrug: You will not be sorry you snapped, I promise you!

I have offered some extra-super-de-dooper sage guidance for your Yule gifting's direction in my thread.

Nov 25, 2019, 5:27pm

>249 richardderus: - Thank you, sir!

Nov 26, 2019, 6:36am

Hooray for Hollow Kingdom! I hope a few of our LT pals take advantage of that. And hooray for having the rest of the week off. Sadly, I am only off Thursday, but I will persevere. How is Housebreaking coming along?

Nov 26, 2019, 5:33pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Katie!

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

Nov 27, 2019, 8:14am

Hi Katie! I definitely want to visit the town with 30 bajillion Italian bakeries.

I am no longer in the running for the No!vember prize, btw...

Nov 27, 2019, 5:38pm

Happy Turkey Day! Rob's working, so I'll see him Friday. He's requested green goddess seafood rice for our dinner. Carrot cake with pineapple cream cheese frosting *drool* and whatever he brings to drink. And no effin' Old Stuff!! Yay!!

Nov 28, 2019, 7:46am

Happy Thanksgiving, Katie

Nov 30, 2019, 12:25am

Happy Day After!! Hope you are having fun with the kiddos (That picture is sooo cute!).

Nov 30, 2019, 3:06pm

I thoroughly enjoyed Later, at the Bar, Katie, and recommended it to Mark. Thanks again. I hope to do a mini-review in the next few days.

Nov 30, 2019, 9:24pm

>251 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! Housebreaking started off really well, but ended up being disappointing. Not actively bad, but a bit too cliched for my taste.

>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 :)

Nov 30, 2019, 9:32pm

The less said about this Thanksgiving the better. The "lowlight" was probably spending most of Friday in the hotel room with The Wayne while he battled a stomach bug that had him in its nasty grip on both ends...

Suffice it to say, I am very happy to be home!

Edited: Nov 30, 2019, 10:41pm

>213 katiekrug:, >218 lauralkeet: HA! I knew it. Haven't watched any of Season 3 of The Crown yet, but when I saw the promos, I was very skeptical about HBC as Margaret. Wrong body type. And my daughter has a problem with Menzies as Philip, since he is such a different character in Outlander. That won't bother me, as I haven't seen him before. Let's hope superb acting will overcome these little prejudices of ours!

>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.

Nov 30, 2019, 11:17pm

>259 katiekrug: Noooooo! Glad you are both home. Now stay there. : )

Dec 1, 2019, 8:55am

>259 katiekrug: Oh that's no fun. Glad you're home safe & sound.

Dec 1, 2019, 10:35am

Oh, I hope the Wayne is feeling better, Katie. It's awful being sick 1. away from home and 2. for a holiday.

Dec 1, 2019, 10:42am

Hope he's feeling better and you have another break to look forward to, Katie!

Dec 1, 2019, 10:50am

Thanks, everybody. He's recovered from the stomach/GI bug but seems to have acquired a cold. I blame Texas. Stupid state ;-)

For all you challenge addicts, here is a 'Master List of 2020 Reading Challenges,' updated regularly.


Dec 1, 2019, 11:21am

>265 katiekrug: I don't see the 2020 AAC on there. Oh, wait....it isn't set up yet. Pffooey. Well, here's a link to the December 2019 thread for Marilynne Robinson.

Dec 1, 2019, 11:44am

So sorry to hear about your Thanksgiving! That sounds awful -- for both of you!

Dec 1, 2019, 11:53am

>266 laytonwoman3rd: - LOL, Linda! I think the AAC will need a bit more marketing to make it onto that list :)

Looking forward to finally reading Gilead this month.

>267 RebaRelishesReading: - It was less than fun, Reba :)

Dec 1, 2019, 1:17pm

Katie, sorry to hear about your Thanksgiving. Maybe it's one to forget about very quickly.

But congratulations on winning No!vember! Happy gloating :-)

Dec 1, 2019, 1:34pm

>265 katiekrug: Wow, that's a lot of challenges!

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)

Dec 1, 2019, 2:34pm

Happy Sunday, Katie. Sorry, to hear about The Wayne and the dreaded stomach flu. Is he doing better? And speaking of The Wayne- ask him if he has had Singlecut, a New York brewery. I tried their hazy IPA and it was really good.

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.

Dec 1, 2019, 5:04pm

>268 katiekrug: Oh, good....Gilead is excellent.

Dec 1, 2019, 6:45pm

>265 katiekrug: Challenges! *pff* I snort at your challenges, list! I shall enter 2020 without hated external goads to rebel against!

Dec 1, 2019, 8:52pm

I'm sorry the Wayne has been laid low by the bug and the cold. What a bummer of a Thanksgiving for you guys!

Gilead is sooo good. Enjoy.

Dec 1, 2019, 10:15pm

Glad you are safely home. I hope the Wayne's cold is short-lived and that you don't catch it.

Dec 2, 2019, 3:31am

>265 katiekrug: I am ignoring your list of lists. I have enough going on without you making it worse. >:-)

Dec 2, 2019, 4:47am

>265 katiekrug: Ooh, a challenge list! I see they still don't have pirate romances with extra points for narratives involving Hispaniola, though. That's a shame.

Dec 2, 2019, 8:51am

>269 susanj67: - We agreed this was the worst Thanksgiving ever, Susan. But it's done with and next year we plan to take a trip somewhere instead of schlepping to see family :)

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.

Dec 2, 2019, 8:54am

>273 richardderus: - Well, okay then! I am undecided about attempting any. If I do, it will be because I found a fairly easy one :)

>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?

Dec 2, 2019, 9:04am

Snowing here! Yesterday we got some freezing rain and snow and then just rain. It looks like it might snow most of the day. I'm supposed to go get a (routine) mammogram this evening, but I might call and reschedule. I don't really want to be out in the weather, in the dark, during the evening commute...

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.

Dec 2, 2019, 7:00pm

Oh no on Thanksgiving woes! We all got the dreaded stomach bug here, but at least it was on Saturday after the crowds left. Enjoy the snow!

Dec 2, 2019, 7:23pm

Robyn Carr isn't a deft wordsmith...but the Virgin River series of stories is twenty or so books deep now. She's on to something, I'd have to say.

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.

Dec 2, 2019, 7:45pm

Hi Katie!

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...

Dec 2, 2019, 7:57pm

So sorry to hear your Thanksgiving was plagued by illness, Katie. I picked up a one of the nastiest colds I've had in a long time a couple of weeks ago and I just cannot shake it. I was grateful to have a four-day weekend to do nothing but sleep, cough and hack up unmentionable goop. I was also glad not to have to try to answer any Learned League questions while my head was stuffed with snot and cotton wool!

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!

Dec 2, 2019, 9:08pm

>280 katiekrug: Sorry to see Thanksgiving impaired by illness and Texas.

Hope full recoveries are the order of the day (for Julia too).

Dec 2, 2019, 10:14pm

Hi Katie, sorry to read that Thanksgiving was a little bumpy for you this year. I hope The Wayne has fully recovered. I loved your comments about The Cement Garden. Such a well written book and yet so icky. I am looking forward to reading more by Ian McEwan.

Dec 3, 2019, 3:50am

>265 katiekrug: Oooh! Some great ideas for next year here. Decisions, decisions....

Dec 3, 2019, 6:48am

>285 PaulCranswick: Thanksgiving impaired by illness and Texas.
That made me laugh, Paul.

Hi Katie! I'm glad to see you sorted out the jury duty situation.

Dec 3, 2019, 8:56am

>281 vivians: - Hi Vivian! I'm sorry you all got The Bug. Hope it didn't last long. The Wayne's seemed to be a 24-hour thing.

>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. I agree about LL - one needs a clear head and sharp mind!

Dec 3, 2019, 8:58am

>285 PaulCranswick: - Thanks, Paul. Nothing good ever happens in Texas. Except meeting The Wayne. And our wedding.... Heh.

>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.

Dec 3, 2019, 9:00am

Here's a picture I took off the back deck at twilight. The snow had mostly stopped, though we got maybe a dusting more between that time and this morning...

Dec 3, 2019, 9:03am

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.

3 stars

Dec 4, 2019, 7:12am

>291 katiekrug: Oooh, very pretty!
This topic was continued by Katie Commits to Nothing in 2019, Part 18.