Ellen seeks balance in 2019 - Thread 9

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Talk75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Ellen seeks balance in 2019 - Thread 9

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Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 5:08am

Autumn Of Rolling Hills Photograph by Eunice Kim

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 5:11am

Neill Public Library, Pullman, WA

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 4:40am

My Rating Scale:

= Breathtaking. Maybe a masterpiece.
= Excellent! Among my favorites of the year.
= Particularly enjoyable, kept me reading.
= So good. I'm glad I read this.
= A solid read. Generally recommended.
= This was an okay read.
= Meh. Pretty much a waste of time.
= Nearly no redeeming qualities. Really rather bad.
= Among the worst books I've ever read.

Honestly, I'm rarely going to complete any book earning fewer than two stars but I reserve the right to rate them based on my experience.

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 3:55am


January: Your name in print ~ The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
February: We need a break! ~ Hotel Brasil by Frei Betto
March: Brexit Madness ~ Faithful Place by Tana French
April: Greetings from the Rooster! ~ The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
May = I Could Have Danced All Night... ~ Dancing Fish and Ammonites by Penelope Lively
June = Pick a card, any card...Q♠️ ~ The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett and Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
July = All about birds ~ Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Life and Writing by Anne Lamont
August = Back to School ~ An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
September = Equinox ~ Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss
October = Knock-offs, Follow-ups, Tributes, Parodies ~ Longbourn by Jo Baker
November = Childhood Memories ~ poetry and my dad ~ The Long Take by Robin Robertson
December = Season's Readings ~ The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 3:56am

SeriesCAT ~ Hoping to whittle away on my TBR shelves

January: Series in translation ~ Blessed Are Those Who Thirst by Anne Holt, Anne Bruce (Translator)
February: YA/Children's ~ The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
March: Series by a favorite author ~ Faithful Place by Tana French
April: Series You've Been Meaning to Get Back To ~ Dark Fire 2nd in series by C. J. Sansom
May: Newest book in a favorite series ~ Benediction by Kent Haruf
June: Series that are definitely complete ~ The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
July: Genre: fantasy ~ Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
August: Series set in a country/region where you do not live ~ A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths
September: Genre: Mystery (cozy and seaside) ~ A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths
October: Historical Series ~ Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
November: Series with a female protagonist ~ Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear
December: Series that's new to you ~ The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves

Edited: Nov 12, 2019, 4:55am

1. Author uses middle name or middle initial ~ Dark Fire by C.J. Sansom
2. Debut novel ~ The Marauders by Tom Cooper
3. Book about/featuring siblings ~ True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
4. Read a book bullet (meaning another LT member inspired you to read it) - House of Broken Angels (Joe)
5. Book mentioned in another book you have read ~ Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid in Well-Read Black Girl by Glory Edim
6. Topic or character related to medicine/health ~ The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
7. Animal on cover/in title/plays a significant role ~ The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
8. Book with an artistic character ~ Auschwitz Violin by Maria Angels Anglada ~ violin maker and musician(s)
9. Eastern European author or setting ~ The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
10. Children’s/YA book ~ The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
11. Alliterative title ~ Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont
12. Part of a series ~ Death in a Darkening Mist by Iona Whishaw
13. Read a CAT ~ The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (January RandomCAT)
14. Prize-winning book ~ The Elected Member by Bernice Rubens ~ 1970 Booker Prize winner
15. Weather (title contains a weather word, or book involves/centers around a weather event) ~ Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Frances Strachey
16. Short stories or essays ~ Well-Read Black Girl by Glory Edim
17. Book made into a movie ~ Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
18. Fairy tale (classic or reworked) ~ Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
19. Graphic novel ~ The Initiates: A Comic Artist and a Wine Artisan Exchange Jobs by Étienne Davodeau
20. Main title has 6 or more words ~ A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
21. Cover has at least two human figures ~ Last Friends by Jane Gardam
22. Book in translation ~ Blessed are Those Who Thirst by Anne Holt
23. Food-related title or topic ~ The Proof of the Honey by Salwa Al Neimi
24. Book has an LT rating of 4.0 or more ~ Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
25. Title contains a homophone word ~ Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 4:39am

Personal Reading Challenge: Every winner of the Booker Prize since its inception in 1969

1969: P. H. Newby, Something to Answer For
1970: Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member
1970: J. G. Farrell, Troubles (awarded in 2010 as the Lost Man Booker Prize)
1971: V. S. Naipaul, In a Free State
1972: John Berger, G.
1973: J. G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
1974: Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist ... and Stanley Middleton, Holiday
1975: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust
1976: David Storey, Saville
1977: Paul Scott, Staying On
1978: Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea
1979: Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore
1980: William Golding, Rites of Passage
1981: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
1982: Thomas Keneally, Schindler's Ark
1983: J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K
1984: Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
1985: Keri Hulme, The Bone People
1986: Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils
1987: Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
1988: Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda
1989: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
1990: A. S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance
1991: Ben Okri, The Famished Road
1992: Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient ... and Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger
1993: Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
1994: James Kelman, How late it was, how late
1995: Pat Barker, The Ghost Road
1996: Graham Swift, Last Orders
1997: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
1998: Ian McEwan, Amsterdam
1999: J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace
2000: Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
2001: Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang
2002: Yann Martel, Life of Pi
2003: DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
2004: Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
2005: John Banville, The Sea
2006: Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
2007: Anne Enright, The Gathering
2008: Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger
2009: Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
2010: Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question
2011: Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
2012: Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies
2013: Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
2014: Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
2015: Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings
2016: Paul Beatty, The Sellout
2017: George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
2018: Anna Burns, Milkman
2019: Margaret Atwood, The Testaments, and Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 4:39am

.. ..

Abby, whom I miss every single day

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 4:58am

Currently reading:

The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan


An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson audio

Nov 3, 2019, 4:38am

Nov 3, 2019, 5:03am

Happy new thread, Ellen, and congrats on reading 75!

Nov 3, 2019, 5:09am

Thanks Meg! You are FIRST to visit my new thread!

Nov 3, 2019, 5:10am

Happy New thread, Ellen!

Nov 3, 2019, 9:14am

Loving the topper Ellen.

Nov 3, 2019, 12:42pm

Happy new thread!

Nov 3, 2019, 12:45pm

Wow, gorgeous topper! Happy new thread, Ellen.

Nov 3, 2019, 1:52pm

Happy new thread, Ellen.

>12 EBT1002: Love all the kitties.

The topper is lovely.

Enjoy San Diego!

Nov 3, 2019, 3:27pm

*waves* Glad to hear you enjoyed Harriet. I'm looking forward to seeing that.

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 6:06pm

76. The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan

As mysteries go, the Cormac Reilly series is a good one so far. Set in Galway, Scotland, the series features Detective Cormac Reilly and his (life, not work) partner Emma Sweeney. They left Dublin under something of a cloud and are working to establish credibility and happiness in Galway despite a trail of trauma and skepticism on the part of Cormac's new colleagues. As is true of all mysteries, there is a bit of formula emerging in these first two but the characters are interesting and the mysteries new. Definitely recommended for mystery lovers.

Nov 3, 2019, 5:59pm

>17 ronincats: Hi Roni!

>18 Caroline_McElwee: Isn't that a lovely photo of the Palouse in autumn, Caroline?

>19 figsfromthistle: Thank you!

>20 jessibud2: Hi Shelley and thanks for visiting.

>21 BLBera: Thanks Beth. I'm SO looking forward to a few days in San Diego. Saturday will be a LONG day at the conference but Sunday will be light and Monday is free day! Yay! It's looking like a meet-up with Roni and a trip to the zoo are shaping up for that day. And sunshine and warmth!

Nov 3, 2019, 6:00pm

From my prior thread:

I highly recommend the film Harriet. We saw it yesterday and it was truly wonderful. Stay for the song at the end.

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 6:02pm

I'm still slowly listening to An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson.

I also started The Long Take by Robin Robertson this morning and I'll be reading Messenger of Truth, fourth in the Maisie Dobbs series, on my kindle.

Nov 3, 2019, 8:58pm

That topper is awe-inspiring!

Nov 3, 2019, 9:38pm

I'm a late arriver - Happy New Thread, Ellen!

Great topper, and it looks like Pullman has a nice public library.

I've made a mental note about "Harriet". I'm glad it turned out to be good. What a story.

Nov 3, 2019, 9:41pm

Happy new thread Ellen.

Nov 3, 2019, 10:27pm

Happy New Thread Ellen!

Nov 3, 2019, 10:56pm

>25 EBT1002: Harriet goes on my list!

Safe travels.

>23 EBT1002: I just picked up the first book in the series from the library! So much for reading from my shelves in November. Oh well.

Nov 3, 2019, 2:45am

>1 EBT1002: Not really sure that the topper is Autumnal, Ellen, but it sure is striking.

Looks more like a desert-scape but I love the colours.

Happy new thread. xx

Edited: Nov 3, 2019, 2:48am

I'm taking Ellen and P to the zoo a week from tomorrow! So exciting! I'll be exhausted after my three day show over the weekend, but what better way to spend a day (other than reading). But really, the San Diego Zoo! And no rain in sight!

ETA Truth to tell, they would have gone without me...but why?

Nov 4, 2019, 6:11am

By the way I think your addition on your books read is wrong my dear.
>5 EBT1002: Finishes with your 44th book
>6 EBT1002: Starts with your 44th book

By my reckoning you have read 77 books not 76.

Well done belatedly on reaching 75 by the way.

Nov 4, 2019, 7:40am

Happy new (ish) thread. Lovely pottery figure in your topper, a beautiful tribute.

Hope you have fun at the zoo. I really enjoyed spending time with Roni and Reba in SD last year.

Nov 4, 2019, 2:48pm

Hi Ellen! Happy new thread.

From your previous thread I didn't get to see Judy last Friday, may go this week.

>33 ronincats: Being from SoCal, the San Diego Zoo was a highlight of my childhood. We went several times over the years, always by train.

Nov 4, 2019, 7:26pm

>25 EBT1002: Looking forward to this, it opens in the U.K. at the end of the month Ellen.

Nov 4, 2019, 8:04pm

>23 EBT1002: ooh - someone in my office just recommended this series to me. Apparently there was an Audible freebie (possibly already expired?) which is a short story prequel to the series and is also supposed to be great.

Nov 4, 2019, 8:09pm

We loved the San Diego zoo. Have fun with Roni!

Nov 4, 2019, 9:43pm

Happy new thread!

Nov 4, 2019, 10:02pm

Happy New Thread, Ellen. LOVE the Kim topper! Ooh, The Long Take. What a treat that book is. Enjoy! Glad you enjoyed "Harriet". I will have to see that. I am starting The Man Who Saw Everything tomorrow. Another Booker long list title.

Nov 4, 2019, 11:55pm

>27 ffortsa: and >28 jnwelch: and >29 johnsimpson: and >30 SandDune:
Thank you Judy, Joe, John, and Rhian!

>31 BLBera: I have to get through four (now three) days at work first, Beth. Today was really tough. I'm experiencing some pain related to some skin treatment I'm doing on my forehead and I was just grumpy and did not want to be there. I left about 90 minutes early and I'm home now. The week should get better and then Friday we're San Diego bound! Yay!

I think you'll enjoy The Ruin. It took a couple of chapters for me to get into it but I enjoyed it.

"So much for reading from my shelves in November." LOL - story of our lives!

Nov 4, 2019, 11:59pm

>32 PaulCranswick: The topper really is autumnal, Paul. Those are wheat fields. Whitman County is the top wheat producing county in the U.S. In the fall the stubble from the last crop takes on a golden hue. The small green shoots (we grow mostly "winter wheat" in these parts) aren't visible yet but when they start to show, the gold and green is a beautiful blend.

>33 ronincats: YAY!!!!!

>34 PaulCranswick: Paul! I think you are correct! Cool beans. I will go back and change the numbers. Thanks for seeing that!

Nov 4, 2019, 12:07am

>35 charl08: Roni actually made that little ceramic cat for me, Charlotte. It sits on the buffet in our living room next to the little jade cat we picked up in Taipei last spring. I absolutely love it.

Yay Zoo! Yay LT MeetUp! Yay San Diego!

>36 karenmarie: I hope you can squeeze in both Judy and Harriet, Karen. Both are excellent.

I've heard great things about the SD Zoo so we're pretty excited to see it! And to meet up with Roni! :-)

>37 Caroline_McElwee: Enjoy, Caroline!

>38 vivians: A bit in the Seattle Times turned me on to Dervla McTiernan's series, Vivian. I did not know about the short story but I've enjoyed both The Ruin and The Scholar.

>39 jnwelch: Thanks Joe! I'm looking forward to both the zoo and meeting Roni! And some good Mexican food. And some warm weather. As our friend Mark would say, *BAG*

>40 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

>41 msf59: Hi Mark! "LOVE the Kim topper!" ???

I'm really enjoying The Long Take. I remember you (and Joe, too, I think) warbling about it. I read more this morning with my coffee and had to force myself to put it down and get ready for work. I do hope you see Harriet; it is so good. And I've been eyeing The Man Who Saw Everything and will be interested in your thoughts.

Nov 4, 2019, 2:33am

I also loved The Long Take Ellen. So good. And the San Diego Zoo was a memorable experience for me. And together with an LT meet up you can't go wrong. Have a great time.

Nov 4, 2019, 3:36am

>45 brenzi: Thanks Bonnie. I am very much enjoying The Long Take. Part poetry, part novel, and so far a wonderful character sketch.

Nov 4, 2019, 4:54am

I hope tomorrow is better, Ellen. I've heard lots of good things about The Long Take.

Edited: Nov 5, 2019, 6:28am

Enjoy your trip to San Diego, Ellen. A trip to the San Diego Zoo with Roni at the end sounds really good!

Edited: Nov 5, 2019, 10:49pm

Yes, I was a warbler for The Long Take, maybe the first. Loved it! It is such an amazing piece of work. I'm still dumbfounded at what he has done.

Edited: Nov 5, 2019, 1:11am

This NPR review of The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern makes me want to read the book! I enjoyed The Night Circus back in 2012.

Nov 6, 2019, 3:12am

>50 EBT1002: When I read the description a month ago, I wanted to read it. The order for it was placed this week so hopefully it will arrive soon. I may need to fight another librarian over the book during Thanksgiving. She loved the description too.

Nov 6, 2019, 4:30am

Hi, Ellen! Late to the party, but oh my goodness - your topper! It looks more like painting than photo to my eye. No matter which, it is striking.
I just had a happy time looking at your list of Booker winners, of which I have read 14. I say, "Go for Possession as soon as you can!"
I'm glad for your trip to San Diego, and I don't even envy your meeting with Roni - much....
(I haven't read *Night Circus* yet, so I can't desire *Starless S* yet in good faith.)

Nov 7, 2019, 7:49pm

Hi Ellen, I am also a little late in wishing you a Happy New Thread, but I am very happy that I stopped by - that topper picture is amazing! Are you still in San Diego? Lucky you, getting to meet and spend some time with Roni. You are doing well with your Booker project, I am still reading books from the "1,001 List of Books to Read Before You Die" but it is going slowly.

Nov 7, 2019, 1:24am

Hi! Said with much love.

>10 EBT1002: Only one more for Bingo!!!

And belated congrats on reaching 75!! (I am two away....)

>41 msf59: >44 EBT1002: I love "the Kim topper," too! Even though I don't get it. LOL

>50 EBT1002: Ooooh. I really liked The Night Circus. Might have to get The Starless Sea....

Count down to San Diego--I'm jealous. : )

Nov 7, 2019, 1:30am

Hope you got my weather bulletin, Ellen! Going to be 80 at the waterfront on Saturday, then a little cooler on Sunday and Monday, thank goodness! I'm at my three-day show starting tomorrow; hope your flight down goes smoothly.

Nov 7, 2019, 1:51am

>50 EBT1002: Guess what I just picked up from the library today? Now, whether I'll have time to read it before it's due is a whole other story. It is quite a chunkster.

Have fun in San Diego. I hope the conference is a good one and that you enjoy the sun.

Nov 8, 2019, 7:05am

78. The Long Take by Robin Robertson

A story told in poetic form, not poetry exactly but with poetic rhythms and images and form. Walker returns from war but his home on Nova Scotia feels alien. He settles first in New York and then makes his way to Los Angeles where he finds friends, a sense of place, a job. His PTSD is palpable and his tenuous balance between Skid Row and the press room is beautifully illuminated. This is a love poem to the city, a eulogy for the city's past, and a tribute to both the fragility and the resilience of the human spirit. Memorable and worthwhile.

Nov 8, 2019, 1:42pm

>57 EBT1002: Lovely comments on The Long Take, Ellen. Agreed.

Nov 8, 2019, 7:24pm

>47 BLBera: My week got better, Beth, thank you.

>48 Familyhistorian: Thank you, Meg. I'm super excited about warm weather (although today is a lovely day on the Palouse!), good Mexican food, and the zoo with Roni!

>49 jnwelch: I thought I remembered you as one of the warblers for The Long Take, Joe. I thought of you when Joe Welch was quoted -- your father? grandfather?

Edited: Nov 9, 2019, 6:51pm

>51 thornton37814: Lori, I love that you get to fight with other librarians for new books. I did put The Starless Sea on hold at the Seattle Public Library -- I'm number 117 in the queue for one of 13 e-copies. I may end up buying it before my turn comes up. Or maybe my little local library will have it in hard copy and I can obtain it that way.

>52 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. The topper is a photo which gives you an honest idea of how beautiful my new home territory is. I still don't plan to retire in this little town but I'm coming to love the Palouse.

I keep thinking I'll move Possession up on my TBR pile and I just haven't gotten to it yet. Maybe I'll fit it in before the end of 2019.

The Night Circus is a good one. I'm not always a fan of magical realism but I quite liked that on.

Nov 8, 2019, 7:33pm

>53 DeltaQueen50: Hi Judy! Nice to see you. I fly to San Diego today and return on Tuesday. We are planning to spend Veterans Day visiting the zoo with Roni. I am very excited!

>54 Berly: Love right back atcha, Kim. I miss you lots, my friend! I AM going to make my way to Portland one of these days....

I'm going to finish my Bingo card very soon; I just downloaded Annie John from the library and it will be my "book mentioned in another book."

>55 ronincats: I saw it, Roni, and we have packed accordingly! I have to protect my face and forearms from the sun as much as possible so I may be in long sleeves but the lightest weight long sleeves I own!

>56 BLBera: Wow, you got a copy of The Starless Sea very quickly, Beth. I have put it on hold but I'm waaaay down in the queue for an e-copy so we'll see if I end up just buying it. It's not like I don't have plenty of other things to read while I wait... Ha.

Edited: Nov 8, 2019, 7:35pm

>58 jnwelch: Thanks Joe! See my comment in >59 EBT1002: -- the Joe Welch who was quoted is your father or grandfather, right?

Nov 8, 2019, 7:36pm

Okay, I'm at least caught up on my own thread now. It's time to top up the bird feeders to last them until Wednesday morning (ha) and head to the airport. San Diego, here I come! Yay!

Nov 8, 2019, 8:18pm

Hi Ellen - I quite enjoyed The Night Circus and reserved The Starless Sea a while ago. I hope I can get to it before it's due. Maybe I should Fed Ex it to you!

>60 EBT1002: When are you going to read Possession again? 1029? I might be up for a reread of that one, too. I loved it!

Nov 8, 2019, 9:09pm

Have a great vaca!

Nov 8, 2019, 9:29pm

>63 EBT1002: Happy travels Ellen.

Edited: Nov 8, 2019, 3:33am

Happy Friday, Ellen. You credit Eunice Kim for the artwork in your topper. That is what I was referring to. The Starless Sea sounds really good.

Have a great trip to San Diego! Jealous...

Nov 9, 2019, 6:48pm

79. Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

This was my least favorite of the Maisie Dobbs series so far. It was okay but not as compelling as some of the others. I'll keep reading because I know every series takes dips now and then.

Nov 9, 2019, 6:51pm

>64 BLBera: LOL Beth. I will go fix that typo. I might finish Possession by the end of 2019. :-)

Nov 9, 2019, 8:43pm

>68 EBT1002: I'm watching your progress through this series with interest. I let it lapse for no good reason, other than being attracted by other series.

Edited: Nov 9, 2019, 10:05pm

>65 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley. I'm spending some of my San Diego time (all of today!) attending a working conference. It's a bit hard to be inside a conference room when the view outside is AMAZING. Blue skies, blue water, green palm trees.... But I'm happy to be adding some vacation elements to the trip. *smile*

>66 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline.

>67 msf59: Oh dear, Mark, I am a bit embarrassed. I knew that photograph was a work by Eunice Kim and my brain still just went to our dear friend (Kim)Berly. LOL.

>70 lauralkeet: It's funny that I'm making my way through the Maisie Dobbs series so steadily, Laura. I like it but there are a couple of bugaboos I have with her writing, most notably Winspear's focus on what Maisie (and other characters) is wearing on any given day. I really don't care about the wool jacket and the green scarf and the whatever-whatever shoes.... But the march through post-WWI London is interesting and I'm curious to see how Hitler's increasing presence will manifest. So far it's a background warning bell.

Nov 9, 2019, 11:42pm

Have a great time, Ellen!

Nov 9, 2019, 12:45am

>57 EBT1002: I enjoyed your review of The Long Take. Your "not quite poetry" comment made me smile as I have that feeling reading so many collections these days!

Have a lovely time in San Diego.

Nov 9, 2019, 4:31am

Hi Ellen! Sounds like you have some good reading, and what a good time to go to San Diego.

Nov 10, 2019, 5:41pm

>71 EBT1002: Hi Ellen - I've read the whole Maisie Dobbs series and I agree about the unevenness. I feel really invested in the characters and so will likely continue if she writes more, but I'm not finding them to be particularly memorable.

Hope you're having a great trip to San Diego and get some time outside the hotel!

Nov 10, 2019, 10:35pm

Hi Ellen,

I'm hijacking the most popular threads to get word out, and you are one of them...

Its 75'er Christmas Swap Time! : https://www.librarything.com/topic/312848

Nov 10, 2019, 2:31am

>62 EBT1002: Yes - I forgot! That was my grandfather he quoted. A cool surprise.

Nov 11, 2019, 6:18am

Enjoy the vacation part of your trip to San Diego, Ellen!

Nov 13, 2019, 5:06am

Whew. I'm worn out after attending closing sessions this morning and a long travel day!

Prudence and I had a terrific time with Roni who was a delightful host and tour guide! We spent a few hours together at the zoo (highlights for me were the Malayan Tigers and the Koalas although there were many beautiful animals and it's a well-maintained zoo with nice enclosures for the critters), lunched at Loma Point Seafood, and drove up onto Loma Point to see the view.

Prudence and I also managed a trip over to Coronado Island where we walked across the island and back, a total of almost 7 miles (according to P's fitbit). We saw the famous hotel, built in 1888, and soaked our feet in the ocean.

I also finished two good books on this trip.

80. Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid


81. The Body Lies by Jo Baker

Five weeks from tomorrow we fly to Lihue for ten days on Kauai. But who's counting? :-)

Nov 13, 2019, 5:27am

I need to go to bed but I'm seeing that CATs have been set up for next year. I'm thinking about doing RandomCAT again and this year doing AlphaKIT. Oh, and BingoDOG. But that's all!

Nov 13, 2019, 1:24am

>80 EBT1002: ...familiar words...

Nov 13, 2019, 2:01am

San Diego is a lovely city. Our son lived there in the early 2000s and we loved going there to visit. But we're even happier to have him, his wife, and two wonderful children back in the old hometown. I'm a wee bit jealous about your upcoming Hawaii trip. You deserve it, though, after the work and stress load you've been carrying.

I have three more books ito read n the Maisie Dobbs series. They have been comfort reads to me over the past two years. Some are less than memorable for sure yet I find the little bits of history worthwhile. I don't even mind the wardrobe details. I have listened to most of them and wonder if it's easier to gloss over those things in audio. The rest of the books will have to be physical copies. I have No. 13 waiting for me at the library.

Nov 16, 2019, 1:33pm

I had a "birthday" party at the coop yesterday, and one friend gave me a Kauai shopping bag, and a coffee cup. She is born and raised Hawaiian and cheers me on whenever I have a Kauai trip planned. So, I'll pass it along. Be sure to go to the fish store in Koala.

BTW, I'm reading Running with Sherman which is an unusual book to recommend on your thread but I do recommend it. Unusual, but interesting, and funny in many parts.

Nov 17, 2019, 1:52am

82. Sovereign by CJ Sansom

Another good installment in the Tudor England Matthew Shardlake series. I think I should be better at identifying the bad guy than I am! But I kind of enjoy the surprise at the end.

Edited: Nov 17, 2019, 1:58am

>72 maggie1944: We had a lovely time in San Diego, Karen. Now we get to keep counting the weeks until Kauai (four weeks and two days....).

>73 PaulCranswick: I'm glad the "not quite poetry" comment appealed to you, Paul. The Long Take is a worthwhile read, that is for sure.

>74 banjo123: I feel like I'm relying heavily on reading to manage my stress these days, Rhonda. I mean, I have always done that but it feels pretty intense since making this move, almost as intense as in my childhood. I think I feel the need to escape from real life more than I did back in Seattle or Corvallis. Thank goodness P likes to read, too!

>75 vivians: Thanks for the comment about Maisie Dobbs, Vivian. I will also keep making my way through the series although I'm more invested (at this moment) in Ruth Galloway and Matthew Shardlake, as long series go.

San Diego was lovely. The conference was interesting and the zoo with Roni was wonderful!!!!

Nov 17, 2019, 2:00am

>76 mahsdad: Hijack away, Jeff! I'll come check out the Xmas Swap for this year. Thanks for leading it once again!

>77 jnwelch: xoxo to you and your brave grandfather, Joe. We need more like him right now.

>78 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg! I very much enjoyed the vacation part of the San Diego trip -- and the conference turned out to be worthwhile, too. :-)

Nov 17, 2019, 2:04am

>81 richardderus: Aren't they, though? xo

>82 Donna828: I agree, Donna, that San Diego is a lovely city but I can fully appreciate being glad to have the next two generations living closer to home! We are excited that P's brother, sister-in-law, our nephew and nephew's wife are coming to eastern Washington for Thanksgiving. It will be great to see them and fun to host for a change.

Comfort reads are high on my list right now and I agree that Maisie Dobbs serves that purpose well. It's interesting that you have listened to most of the series. Walt Longmire has been my primary audio go-to although I recently downloaded the next in the Dr. Siri series by Colin Cotterill based on Mark's recommendation of the narration.

Nov 17, 2019, 2:06am

>83 maggie1944: We know that fish store in Kaloa, Karen, and will likely purchase something for our dinner several evenings while on Kauai. The place we stay has grills out on the common patio so we sit down there of an evening sipping on white wine while P grills our dinner. I'm also looking forward to shrimp from the Shrimp Station and Save Ice from JoJos. :-)

And Happy Birthday, my friend!

Oh, and I will investigate Running With Sherman. I've not heard of it before.

Nov 17, 2019, 2:08am

Next up is probably When All is Said by Anne Griffin. I have it on my kindle from the library so I need to read it in the next 16 days or so, in any case.

Did I mention here that I recently got a new kindle Oasis? I like it SO much better than the old Oasis!!!

Edited: Nov 17, 2019, 2:13am

One day of work this week, then I head to Seattle for the Northwest College and University Association conference. They are the accrediting body for our university and I'm the primary Student Affairs rep on the accreditation workgroup. I expect to be busy but also hope to sneak in a trip to one of my two favorite bookstores. Because, you know... I MISS THESE TWO SO MUCH.

Elliott Bay Book Company

University Book Store

Edited: Nov 17, 2019, 2:37am

In case folks are interested in seeing a few photos from our trip to San Diego, most notably the visit to the zoo with Roni, you can go to this post on Roni's thread. You'll see a photo of Roni, Prudence (P), and me, as well as some great shots of the magnificent Malayan Tigers and the koalas (scroll down a couple of posts for the second tiger and the koala).

Nov 17, 2019, 2:41am

Happy Sunday, Ellen. Glad to see the update and the lovely bookstore photos. I hope you enjoy the Dr. Siri, when you get to it.

Nov 17, 2019, 2:57am

>92 msf59: Thanks Mark! I have a couple more hours to go on my current Walt Longmire and then I will listen to Curse of the Pogo Stick.

Nov 17, 2019, 2:58am

We are making our way through Season 2 of The Crown (it's our second time through). Season 3 "dropped" on Netflix today. What a terrific series!

Nov 17, 2019, 4:06am

Sometimes I HATE technology. I have a new iPhone. I'm trying to connect it to this MacBook so I can download my own pictures from the zoo. I select "Trust" on the phone when it asks me to and this computer still says I don't have permission to access that phone. GRRRRRR.

Nov 17, 2019, 4:15am

>96 EBT1002: :) Yes, technology is great when it works.

>95 EBT1002: Nice WL, Ellen

>94 EBT1002: I should start watching that. I think I would like it.

>90 EBT1002: Ahhhh... Enjoy Seattle.

Nov 17, 2019, 4:41am

Restart them both. (Better still, go buy an Android phone and a Chromebook, but...)

*smooch* for a happy-reading week ahead!

Nov 17, 2019, 4:58am

>96 EBT1002: Since I work for Samsung C&T, I have little choice in the use of mobile phones! I do get a nice discount though.

Nov 18, 2019, 1:42pm

I have not gone to a book store to just browse for far too long. Christmas shopping gives me a perfect excuse to do so! I love the U. Book store. My first credit card came from them and I have spent many a happy day playing around in the section where they keep pens and notebooks galore!

Have fun in Seattle this week!

Nov 18, 2019, 1:45pm

>98 richardderus: - What Richard said!

I have an iPhone for work and I loathe it. Using my Android is so much easier in myriad ways.

Enjoy your time in Seattle!

Nov 18, 2019, 5:16pm

Love the look of the Elliott Bay Book Company. I'll have to check it out if I ever get to Seattle. Sounds like you had a wonderful time in San Diego and how good that you have another get away to look forward to. You need all of those occasions to focus on to get you through as well as reading therapy.

I am getting back into research, reading and writing now that I am at home for a while after a busy travel year. My plans don't include any trips until next September. Hmm, maybe I should do something about that.

Nov 18, 2019, 7:29pm

>90 EBT1002: Great bookshops Elle.

>91 EBT1002: Lovely to see you all over on Roni's thread, and to meet P for the first time I think.

Lovely furry companions too.

Edited: Nov 18, 2019, 3:20am

>97 BLBera: Oh yes, Beth, I do recommend The Crown on Netflix. Start at the beginning and enjoy!

Your recommendation of When All is Said is turning out to be spot on! Surprise, surprise.... I love it!

>98 richardderus: Ah, the old restart trick. I will try that, thank you, Richard.

>99 PaulCranswick: I adore my iPhone, Paul, as well as my MacBook Air. I just need them to recognize one another! :-)

>100 maggie1944: As you know, Karen, I love browsing around a bookstore and I do hope to squeeze a trip to one of those two into my Seattle trip. I'm not sure it will happen as the conference is pretty packed. I agree with you that the U Bookstore is pretty special, one of the best (and independently owned!).

Nov 18, 2019, 3:26am

>101 katiekrug: It's interesting how loyal folks are to one phone or the other, Katie. I love my iPhone. Usually.

>102 Familyhistorian: Oh Meg, if you take a trip to Seattle you simply must visit Elliott Bay Books. It's not quite as amazing as Powell's City of Books in Portland, but it has a wonderful feel and the collection is quite good. And yes, these little getaways help with the work stress management. Then next week is Thanksgiving and then it's just a couple of full weeks until winter break.

Maybe just a wee trip for you between now and next September?

>103 Caroline_McElwee: Hi Caroline. I do think that photo on Roni's thread is P's first time showing up on LT. Hopefully not the last. :-)

Nov 18, 2019, 3:27am

I started reading When All is Said by Anne Griffin last night and it is wonderful! The first couple of pages were almost off-putting but I stuck with it and I am ever so glad I did so.

Nov 18, 2019, 4:00am

I don't have to get up at 5:30 am tomorrow! Hooray! It means I can stay up a bit later watching The Crown and catching up on LT. Oh, and maybe eating some peppermint ice cream. 'Tis the season!

Nov 18, 2019, 4:10am

I've just gone romping through your thread, Ellen, and I'm happy to see you enjoying a lot of fun things and somehow working too.

Edited: Nov 20, 2019, 6:14am

>90 EBT1002: Hope you get to visit Ellen. I went to one of my old favourites last weekend only to find they had changed hands. Little else had changed though (phew!) and I came out with a respectable haul!

Nov 19, 2019, 12:01pm

>95 EBT1002: Excellent list, Ellen. I recently requested Sabrina & Corina . Sounds great. I would like to try the Alvarez collection too.

Nov 19, 2019, 1:55pm

Hi Ellen - I was pretty sure you would like When All Is Said... Enjoy. Have a great Seattle trip. Are you taking an empty suitcase for books? :)

Nov 19, 2019, 4:49pm

>96 EBT1002: I'm not a "real" IT person, but I was the in-house go-to person for our computer system when I was working (we had a contract with a local company for serious issues), so I learned quickly that the easy fix for a lot of snafus was "REBOOT". Funny how long it took me to apply that knowledge to my smart phone. It's worth a try, always.

Edited: Nov 19, 2019, 4:54pm

W00t for being able to sleep in! I hope you're enjoying The Crown. I admire Olivia Colman more and more. I discovered her in Beautiful People, the sitcom based on Simon Doonan's memoir. She plays kid-Simon's mum beautifully, as one would expect.

ETA close tag

Nov 19, 2019, 10:43pm

>112 laytonwoman3rd: As a "real IT person" (retired), I can verify this is a great place to start. Also the power button. In fact, I provided just that sort of value-adding IT consulting to my other half this afternoon. 😀

Nov 19, 2019, 4:53am

>108 LizzieD: I'm committed to blending fun with the work, Peggy! It's the only thing that will keep me sane....

>109 charl08: I did make my way to Elliott Bay Book Company this evening, Charlotte! I purchased "only" four books:

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Severance by Ling Ma
Jar City by Arnaldur Ingridason

I came back to the hotel and settled myself at the bar for a cocktail and Happy Hour salad; found myself more engaged in conversation with bar neighbors than I had hoped for; took my second Manhattan up to my room where I did some work and now I'm settling in for some reading until slumber finds me.

Nov 19, 2019, 4:57am

>110 msf59: I looked at several of those books at Elliott Bay Books this evening, Mark, but didn't purchase. Still holding off on some that are still in hard cover only.

>111 BLBera: I am so loving When All is Said, Beth. Right up my alley. :-)

I did not bring an empty suitcase, but I'm wondering why I brought a "back-up" novel to read. I bought four new books today!

>112 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks Linda. I remember some old cartoon about computers and what it would be like if our "expectations" for them were translated to automobiles. Like, who among us would be okay if our car just stopped working now and then and we had to pull over and restart it. Still, with computers it seems to be the go-to intervention. :-)

Nov 20, 2019, 5:02am

>113 richardderus: Sleeping in this morning was wonderful, Richard. Tomorrow my alarm will go off at 6:10am. That is 30 minutes later than "usual," and I will relish it. Thank goodness my hotel room has a Keurig in place; environmentally a disaster but oh so nice when waking up in a hotel room.

>114 lauralkeet: "Restart" does seem to be the go-to intervention in IT world, Laura. I restarted my computer but not yet my new phone.

Nov 20, 2019, 3:22pm

>116 EBT1002: Wasn't there some issue a couple years ago with automobile computers that did just shut things down while the vehicle was in operation? VWs, I think. Yeah, that's a whole 'nother thang, that is.

Nov 24, 2019, 2:01am

>118 laytonwoman3rd: I'm not familiar with that, Linda, but I do remember the meme.

Edited: Nov 24, 2019, 2:19am

83. When All Is Said by Anne Griffin

"The thing I miss most about Jason is not what he said or did,' she says, her hand long gone from mine, lying flat against her chest now, "it was his very breath, beside me in the room or the next room or somewhere in this place, I didn't care. It was simply knowing he was there, that meant the world to me. I didn't need him to do anything other than just be alive. Is it the same for you?"

And of course it is. Because this is the purest essence of true love expressed in the simplest of terms. These words are not those of Maurice Hannigan but they speak to him, and to the reader, of the most basic human motivation: the need for the safety and presence of those whom we deeply love.

84-year-old Maurice Hannigan raises a glass to the memories of five of the most important people in his life. But really, that vehicle almost disappears as we travel through time with the Hannigans, getting to know Maurice's beloved wife Sadie, his son Kevin, his older brother Tony.... those whose breath on earth he has treasured deeply (and mostly without letting them know). But we also get to know his enemies: the employer who treated him with contempt as a young man, and that employer's son who abused Maurice, thus planting the seed of resentment that has served as the backbone of Maurice's ambition and success. This is a story of love, greed, regret, and redemption. Maurice's voice is sterling and his heart authentic.

I LOVED this novel. Thank you, Beth.

Edited: Nov 24, 2019, 2:29am

Currently reading:

Severance by Ling Ma

My trip to Seattle was good. The conference was surprisingly interesting, informative, and even a bit inspirational. I got to spend some time with my WSU colleagues and feel like we got to know one another a bit better. We have some shared goals for the university; I hope we can make some headway in the next couple of years. I'm hopeful.

I also got to eat some great food and pick up more art supplies at Blick's. A trip to Elliott Bay Book Company provided me with four new books:

Severance (currently reading)
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason
The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Now I'm back in this little town, a town that urges shopping locally (I'm all for that!) and advertises as one of its treasures a t-shirt that says "Keep Pullman boring." Sigh.

Nov 24, 2019, 2:32am

I'm trying to think of some way to mark each month in my countdown to retirement. If I use 08/01/22 as my target date, in about a week I'll have 32 months to go. P is thinking of something she could create, some little thing that might be in a box or whatever, for me to "do" to acknowledge each passing month. But I'm also still trying to think of something a bit creative to help me through the time. I already plan to develop my threads in 2020 with countdown-related themes. But, other ideas?

Nov 24, 2019, 2:55am

I'm watching the 49ers pound the Packers (23-0 at the half). These 49ers are for real, which is not good news for my Seahawks!

On the up side, I have a short work week ahead of me. There are no classes this week but I have meetings, meetings, meetings Monday and Tuesday. I hope to get some project work done on Wednesday. BIL, SIL, nephew and niece-in-law are arriving Wednesday for Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to seeing them and probably to eating more than is good for me. :-)

Nov 24, 2019, 3:04am

>122 EBT1002: I counted your remaining Bookers but there are only 28! 2020, 2021 & 2022 would leave you with which would take you to 30 or 31. If you started in 2020 and did one a month then you'd be up to date with the Bookers by the time you retired.

Nov 24, 2019, 3:06am

At least your Seahawks won today, Ellen!

I like the idea of coming up with something creative to implement each month during the countdown to retirement. I'll think about it.

Nov 24, 2019, 3:17am

>125 PaulCranswick: That is a brilliant idea, Paul!!!

>126 ronincats: Thanks, Roni. I am taking any and all suggestions.

Nov 24, 2019, 3:35am

Nice haul, Ellen. I'll watch for your comments on Severance.

Yes, hooray for a short week! I do have class, however.

Go 49ers! Sorry, but I can't cheer for the Pack.

Edited: Nov 26, 2019, 12:29pm

>122 EBT1002: - My cousin (who is a tenured prof at a university in Alabama) has an app or something that gives him, to the minute, how much time is left. A sort-of countdown clock. I recently sent him a Jacquie Lawson online birthday card that had a puzzle/game attached to it and here was his reply to me: Thanks for the birthday wishes. I will play the card game when I do have a block of time. 498 days, 7 hours, and 46 minutes from now. In theory.


Nov 25, 2019, 3:44pm

>129 jessibud2: ha! that's too funny.

Ellen, when I was a kid and my dad would take a longer-than-usual business trip, my mom had us make paper chains out of multi-colored construction paper, one link for each day, so each morning my brother and I could tear off a link.

On the one hand, you'd have to make a lot of links. On the other hand, by the time you make and assemble the chain you would also have the satisfaction of tearing off a link or two. 😀

Nov 25, 2019, 6:14pm

>122 EBT1002: How about this? Make an Abby-themed artwork, a P-themed artwork, or a vision of y'all's future Afterwards; a frame for a photo or a drawing or a poem; for each month until retirement...then make them all into a special giftie-book to keep on y'all's coffee table.

Nov 25, 2019, 1:26am

Hi Ellen, All is Said sounds like a good one and since both you and Beth both recommend it that's good enough for me. I'm afraid I don't have any countdown ideas for you. When I was getting ready to retire though, I was sick to my stomach with excitement. Let other people worry about what they'll do with their time. I also had a very high stress job like you so getting out was a pleasure for me.

Nov 25, 2019, 4:51am

I agree with Bonnie on the *All Said* front. Thanks for the BB!
Counting down --- how about putting something useful but not crucial (like sheets or towels or non-pricey pieces of tableware) into a box for a donation to the women's shelter, thrift store, etc. of your choice on the day you finally retire?

Nov 27, 2019, 10:44pm

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 (my deeply unloved roommate, gone to visit his son in Connecticut)!! Yay!!

Nov 27, 2019, 10:48pm

Hi Ellen! Thanks for the reminder--I really need to update my Christmas WL. Hoping you have a wonderful Turkey Day tomorrow. I've missed all my LT buds!!

Nov 27, 2019, 10:57pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Ellen. How many days to Hawaii? It's getting closer...

Nov 27, 2019, 12:48am

84. Severance by Ling Ma

This delightful novel is hard to categorize. It centers around the End of Days (I'm always fascinated by the premise that there are a handful of survivors who are immune to the fungus that kills most of the human population -- if there weren't, there would be no novel, but I am still struck by our unshakable conviction that there will be survivors). Themes include the immigration experience, coming of age, an indictment of our consumerist culture, and loneliness. It's simultaneously dark and funny, satirical and somber. And Ling Ma's writing is simply compulsively readable; I had to force myself to put the book down every morning to get ready for work. Highly recommended.

Nov 27, 2019, 12:54am

>128 BLBera: I think you feel about the Pack the way I feel about the Oregon Ducks, Beth. Even when/if it's in my own team's interest, it's hard for me to root for them. Not to fear, the 49ers are the real deal this year.

>129 jessibud2: Oh my, Shelley, that is wonderful. I must find and download that app! I think mine is further out than your cousin's, though. :-)

>130 lauralkeet: Laura, that is a great idea. I suppose I could do one link for each week (rather than each day) to keep from occupying an entire room with the paper chain. Ha!

>131 richardderus: Ooh, that is interesting, Richard. It would blend the art impulse with a bit of visioning of our future.

>132 brenzi: Bonnie, I do hope you acquire and read and enjoy When All is Said. It was a true pleasure. I look forward to feeling sick and/or giddy with excitement when retirement is close enough for me to taste it. :-)

Nov 27, 2019, 12:59am

>133 LizzieD: Enjoy When All is Said, Peggy! I'm glad Beth nudged me on it.

Hmmm, another good idea. A bit of a clear-out blended with counting down. And certainly I'll need to get rid of things when we do that retirement downsize! I like it.

>134 richardderus: Richard, I am so glad Old Stuff is gone for the holiday. *That* is something to be grateful for!! :-D I'm also glad you get to see Rob on Friday. I must say that "green goddess seafood rice" sounds pretty good and of course the carrot cake with pineapple cream cheese frosting -- YUM. Enjoy!!!

>135 Berly: Hi Kim and Happy Thanksgiving! I miss you too!

>136 BLBera: We fly to Lihue in 21 days, Beth. But now I have the next four days off so I'm just going to enjoy that!

Nov 27, 2019, 1:03am

I worked today and I got so much done! No students and almost no colleagues on campus. It was so rewarding to be able to focus like that!

Now I'm heading home. Family have arrived from Seattle and we'll pop open the bottle of bubbly as soon as I walk in the door. FOUR DAYS OFF!

Up next in reading: White Nights by Ann Cleeves on my kindle and Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne in real book (thank you, Mark!).


Nov 28, 2019, 12:46pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Ellen. Enjoy the respite and the food!

Nov 28, 2019, 5:35pm

Happy Thanksgiving Ellen.

Nov 28, 2019, 8:36pm

Hi Ellen my dear, hope you have a really lovely Thanksgiving Day and send love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

Nov 29, 2019, 6:34pm

Hi Ellen, hopefully you are making the most of your 4 days off to relax and unwind and visit with family. Think of how wonderful it will be to have more times like this for longer after the countdown to retirement is done!

Nov 29, 2019, 6:43pm

Ellen--Happy Day After!! I hope you are still enjoying the company of friends and family and that you have lots of leftovers. : )

Nov 30, 2019, 6:54am

Hope you have a lovely break, Ellen. I've not read either of your current reads but am tempted.

Nov 30, 2019, 2:54pm

Happy Holiday Weekend, Ellen. I hope you and P had a lovely Thanksgiving.

Nov 30, 2019, 10:46pm

>141 jessibud2: Thank you, Shelley. It was a wonderful couple of days filled with food and family. BIL, SIL, nephew, and niece-in-law left this morning. P and I are enjoying the quiet now.

>142 Caroline_McElwee: Thank you, Caroline!

>143 johnsimpson: Thank you so much, John!

>144 Familyhistorian: We had a wonderful visit with family, Meg. The food was delicious, we talked and laughed and watched some football.

Nov 30, 2019, 10:56pm

It sounds like you're having a wonderful weekend, Ellen.

Nov 30, 2019, 11:11pm

>145 Berly: Hi Kim! We had one of the best Thanksgivings in memory. It was great to host (we have so much room!!) and it was great to spend a couple of days with family. It is definitely my favorite holiday.

>146 charl08: I'm enjoying White Nights, Charlotte, and am mostly focusing on that first. Then I will give A Ladder to the Sky my full attention. It will be my second John Boyne. Mark sent it to me and I'm looking forward to reading it!

>147 jnwelch: Hi Joe and thank you! P and I had a lovely Thanksgiving -- my favorite holiday of the year!

Nov 30, 2019, 11:13pm

>149 BLBera: Hi Beth. So far, so good. Right now P and I are watching the last two episodes of season 2 of The Crown so we are ready to start watching season 3. We went out for lunch to a little coffee shop and I had a truly delicious chicken salad sandwich. I love finding new food options in this little town.

After lunch, we went to the bike shop across the street and I dropped a chunk of money on an e-bike! Prudence got one a couple of months ago and enjoyed it until the weather got too cold. Mine is on back-order and will arrive in March. We plan to do some riding this spring and summer!

Nov 30, 2019, 12:31am

So...y'all're gonna be biker chicks in retirement...I get it now....

Nov 30, 2019, 3:00am

>151 EBT1002: You go girls!! : )

Nov 30, 2019, 4:11am

>152 richardderus: Yes!!!!
I always liked the Dykes on Bikes at Pride parades. :-)

>153 Berly: I'm excited about the new way of getting outside and getting some fresh air and exercise, Kim! I won't be excited when the visa bill comes next month but I'll focus on how this is going to be good for me and good for us. :-)

Dec 1, 2019, 3:38pm

Visas are for using, right? You will enjoy your bike. Are there paths in your town?

I've just started "The Crown" and think I will enjoy it. I'll probably watch more on break. Three more weeks of classes, so the end is near! I have a lot of work to do.

Dec 1, 2019, 3:38pm

Oh, and go Vikes! :)

Dec 1, 2019, 10:40pm

Hi Ellen! Sounds like a lovely thanksgiving. And enjoy your bike! That sounds like fun.

Dec 1, 2019, 10:55pm

If I ever do get back to the UK, Ellen, then the bike will come out of the shed finally.

Enjoy what is left of your Thanksgiving weekend.

Edited: Dec 1, 2019, 12:02am

Happy Sunday, Ellen. Good review of Severance. I have added it to my list. I hope you enjoy A Ladder to the Sky as much as I did. I am 2 stories into Sabrina & Corina and I am loving it. It deserves all the attention it has been getting.

Edited: Dec 1, 2019, 4:46am

85. White Nights by Ann Cleeves

A solid second installment in the Jimmy Perez series. I need to read the next one sooner rather than later in order to keep the characters of the community straight in my head.

Dec 1, 2019, 4:49am

>155 BLBera: Indeed visas are for using, Beth! There are paths in our town as well as lots of gravel roads we can explore. I'm excited about the new bike.

We have two weeks left in the semester: last week of classes and then finals week. My boss is supposed to be back 15 hours per week starting tomorrow, but perhaps starting by working from home. I don't know what to expect.

We watched the first two episodes of season 3 of The Crown and I am getting used to Olivia Coleman as Elizabeth (Claire Foy did such a great job as younger Elizabeth!). It's a great series, in my opinion.

I hope your last three weeks go well, Beth! As you know, we fly to Kauai December 18 and I am looking forward to this little tropical getaway!

Dec 1, 2019, 4:52am

>156 BLBera: Hmmm. You know what I have to say in response to that, right? Go Hawks! xo

>157 banjo123: Hi Rhonda! I will post stories of our biking adventures once spring arrives!

Dec 1, 2019, 4:54am

>158 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. Mt Thanksgiving weekend is winding down. Thank goodness for red wine, The Crown, and good books. :-)

>159 msf59: Hi Mark! I hope you enjoy Severance. It's an original. And Sabrina & Corina! It's on my wish list. I look forward to reading those stories.

Dec 2, 2019, 11:37am

>160 EBT1002: I haven't read the books, but absolutely loved the TV series Shetland, which is based on the books (or at least some of them).

>161 EBT1002: we've watched 6 episodes of Season 3 now, and are really enjoying it.

Dec 2, 2019, 10:19pm

I'm another one who loved the Shetland tv series, and the Jimmy Perez character. I probably should give one of the books a go.

We're just about to start Season 3 of The Crown, and are very excited to see Olivia Coleman give it a go. Claire Foy was terrific. Debbi tells me we'll still see Claire Foy on occasion, as she's filming flashbacks.

Dec 2, 2019, 11:59pm

>160 EBT1002: I'm another fan of the Shetland series, Ellen. I was sorry to see it end but Cleeves just published volume 1 of a new series so I suppose I'll console myself with that one. I've never read her Vera series either. The Shetland TV series is great, and they've just announced another two seasons will be filmed. Can't keep up!!

Dec 2, 2019, 12:33am

Hi Ellen! Happy week ahead. *smooch*

Dec 2, 2019, 2:12am

Two more seasons of Shetland?! Be still my heart!

Dec 2, 2019, 2:19am

>162 EBT1002: We can agree to disagree on this one, Ellen.

Dec 2, 2019, 2:20am

>166 vivians: Great news about two more seasons of the Shetland series! I can't wait.

Dec 2, 2019, 2:40am

Hi Ellen, I too am a huge fan of "The Crown". I've watched the first 3 episodes of Season Three and I am loving Olivia Coleman as the Queen. I am also very excited to hear they are going to film more of "Shetland", I loved that series!

Dec 4, 2019, 2:01pm

I like the Jimmy Perez series better than the Vera Stanhope one. I still have several Veras to read. I hope to read the first installment of the new series in the first quarter of the new year.

Dec 4, 2019, 12:39am

It seems to be a great act of courage for an author to end a mystery series. Most of them just continue to write more of them. For example Donna Leon is up to 24 novels in the Guido Brunetti series. I have to wonder if they eventually get to be more of the same. Ending a series must mean that the author thinks they have explored all there is to explore with that character or set of characters?

Dec 4, 2019, 1:40am

I had to look up Ann Cleeve's series when I saw that she had started a new one. I didn't realize how many series she has. Somehow I have put the first volume in her Inspector Ramsay series on my library wish list.

I hope your boss' return is working out well, Ellen.

Dec 5, 2019, 1:44am

>173 benitastrnad: The only author I know of who just plain quit on a successful series is Margaret Maron. She announced she was ending the Deborah Knott series, and did so at a happy place for her characters. It does get to be "more of the same", and I have abandoned several beloved series for that reason. And let's not even talk about the series that are taken over by another author when the original creator dies. (I'm lookin' at YOU Ace Atkins, and most especially YOU Robert Knott, both of you having taken Robert B. Parker's characters to places they never should have gone.)

Dec 6, 2019, 2:37pm

Quick update:

I finished and LOVED A Ladder to the Sky. 4.5 stars, more about that later and thank you, Mark!

I've started The Starless Sea this morning. It's early days yet but I have to remind myself that, while I don't think of myself as particularly enjoying magical realism, I quite enjoyed The Night Circus. I will persist with optimism.

Work has been very busy but not because my boss has returned; she has barely done so. She is still on very tight restrictions imposed by her medical provider and her reengagement with work will be very slow. She is only able to work 10-15 hours per week through the end of January. Like I said, very slow.

In twelve days we fly to Kauai. I am thinking about which books to take with me. Yay!

I look forward to catching up this weekend. It looks like an interesting discussion has been occurring in my absence (I love that!!).

Dec 6, 2019, 2:42pm

I have loved both the Vera and Shetland series on television. I need to see if there are episodes we have missed. While reading the Shetland series, I sometimes see Jimmy Perez in my mind as the guy on the series but less so than I would have expected.

I did just download The Crow Trap, first in the Vera Stanhope series, this morning so I'll give it a try soon (it will work for both my December SeriesCAT and RandomCAT). MY sense is that Ann Cleeves did not really find an audience, at least not here in the U.S., until those BBC series became popular. At least, I had never heard of her before that.

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 2:55pm

Oh, one more important thing:

Prudence and I went to see Knives Out this week. It was WONDERFUL!! The trailers had not particularly caught my attention but a couple of colleagues recommended it so I thought "why not?" It was SO good. It made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Even more importantly, it made me well up with glee at moments, that special glee that I experience when an author or, less often, a filmmaker delights me with a clever plot twist, an unexpected turn of phrase or double meaning, or a shift in perspective that both catches me off guard and makes me mentally cheer. You all know those moments, yes?

Dec 6, 2019, 2:57pm

>178 EBT1002: - I saw it over Thanksgiving and enjoyed it, too, Ellen.

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 3:04pm

>178 EBT1002: I enjoyed it too Ellen. I think the second half was better, but came away having chuckled some.

Dec 6, 2019, 6:12pm

I'll be interested in your comments on The Starless Sea, Ellen.

Hooray for Hawaii!

Good luck with your boss's return. Maybe she will have mellowed? One can hope, right?

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 3:02am

>164 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. We are also huge fans of the Shetland telly series as well as Vera, who calls everyone "lurve."

I'm still getting used to the older cast in season 3 of The Crown. Last night we watched the third episode, centered around the Aberfan tragedy in 1966. So well done.

>165 jnwelch: Hi Joe. I recommend giving the Shetland series a try in book form. As I think I said above, I occasionally picture Jimmy Perez as portrayed by Douglas Henshall but mostly not.

Olivia Coleman is predictably wonderful as Elizabeth II in The Crown but I am still adjusting to the new actors. I did not know that Claire Foy is filming flashbacks (I love the flashbacks to Elizabeth's and Margaret's childhood) so I will look forward to that. I agree that Foy was marvelous in the first two series.

>166 vivians: Hi Vivian. I'm excited to know that they are filming two more series of Shetland. The books are rather different, in mood if nothing else, but I appreciate both. I also quite enjoyed the Vera television series. The Crow Trap will be my first in the Vera book series so I'm interested to see how I like it.

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 3:09am

>167 richardderus: Thanks Richard! I'm pleased to have arrived at Friday and the weekend!

>168 lauralkeet: I know, Laura. I'm excited too!

>169 BLBera: Agree to disagree, indeed, Beth. It was a close game with intense momentum shifts. My Hawks squeaked out another one. I felt badly as I listened to the ragging on Cousins for yet another "big game" loss.

>170 BLBera: Yes! Me too!

>171 DeltaQueen50: Hey Judy! I just watched episode 3 of season 3 of The Crown last night. What an incredible tragedy that was at Aberfan and what an incredible acting job by Olivia Coleman.

>172 thornton37814: Hi Lori! I will be interested to see how I like the Vera Stanhope series (in books). For some reason, I expect to like it less than the Shetland/Jimmy Perez series.

Dec 6, 2019, 3:17am

>173 benitastrnad: It's true, Benita. Authors of series get on a roll and it seems hard to abandon it. I don't know whether Ann Cleeves will write more Shetland or Vera Stanhope novels. It sounds like she is staring a whole new thing. I just did some googling and it looks like she actually has two more series in addition to the ones we've been discussing: Palmer-Jones and Inspector Ramsay.

>174 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! I just did the same thing and was also surprised to see the two additional series by Cleeves. It looks like she has a book called The Long Call published in 2019, and it's noted as a "Two Rivers" book. So. We shall see.

>175 laytonwoman3rd: I remember Margaret Maron, Linda! Well, I sort of remember her. I know I read some of her works back in the, what, 1980s? And I wholly agree about the authors taking over someone else's series after they die. I have to admit I haven't given any of them a try, so I suppose I'm in no position to knock them, but I'm not even attracted to the idea.

Dec 6, 2019, 3:22am

>179 katiekrug: I'm glad you also saw and enjoyed Knives Out, Katie. I was pleasantly surprised. Very pleasantly!

>180 Caroline_McElwee: Oh, I agree about the second half of Knives Out being better, Caroline. In fact, I didn't bother to say this but in the first 15 minutes or so I was not all that impressed and even preparing to be bored. It got better and better.

>181 BLBera: Hi Beth! I hope I enjoy The Starless Sea as much as you did. You liked it, right?

YES for Hawaii! Twelve more days!

Thanks for the optimism regarding my boss. I don't know that I expect her to have mellowed but there is a strong team of folks, my peers, ready to stand up to her micromanaging. As of now, she is still barely a presence. Her medical situation continues to be quite dramatic and dodgy.

Dec 6, 2019, 4:08am

I was over on Shelley's thread and wanted to copy this wonderful cartoon by Tom Gauld.

Dec 6, 2019, 4:14am

>186 EBT1002: Haw! (And Monday.)

Dec 6, 2019, 4:16am

>186 EBT1002: That looks pretty complete to me. I'm not going to think about it.
Enjoy your weekend and get back to work with energy enough to overcome the boss's problems.

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 4:17am

>187 richardderus: :-)

>188 LizzieD: "I'm not going to think about it." Good call, Peggy. I didn't think about it much, either, but gave it a scan, enjoyed, and moved on.

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 4:25am

Some of you may remember that I'm not only a reader, but I have also been a runner. Not fast or anything, but someone who loved running and found it to be the best self-care and stress management option around. When I lived in Oregon, I ran trails and I still treasure the memories of those hours alone in the woods, always feeling safe (there was that one time I caught a quick glimpse of a cougar, but...) and occasionally stopping to watch a pileated woodpecker or a deer. I'm aging. Some things will never be the same. In Seattle I ran a marathon and enjoyed the cityscapes of early morning runs.

After moving to eastern Washington, I embraced morning runs with views of the Palouse (two things Pullman does well are sunrises and sunsets!). And sometime last spring my right heel started bothering me. It has put a real crimp in my running. Now I am not getting the regular exercise I need and that is not good. I have a history with plantar fasciitis. This is not that. Or not that in any way that I recognize. It feels like a weird blend of PF and achilles tendonitis and.... I don't know.... heel spur? Anyway, tomorrow I have an appointment for acupuncture. My first ever. Prudence tried this earlier in the year for some hand and thumb issues (aging -- it's not for the old and weak!) and it was amazingly helpful. So. We shall see.

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 4:28am

Here are a couple of images of the trails I ran in Oregon (not my pics):

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 4:33am

A couple more. All of these are in MacDonald Forest.

Dec 6, 2019, 4:36am

Wow, those look so peaceful. They also look rather narrow. Are there many people trying to run at the same time? I would think that might not work too well...

Dec 6, 2019, 4:41am

>190 EBT1002: - I have had PF and it's not fun at all! But I can say that acupuncture work s for me for many other things. My physiotherapist is certified in acupuncture and I would not hesitate to recommend it.

And speaking of aging, I did something today that I have never done in my entire life. I think I pulled a muscle in my hip by shovelling snow. I have shovelled all my life and I am one of those weird people who actually LOVES to shovel. I know to use a decent shovel and to bend my knees and lift from my knees. I have never injured myself EVER while shovelling but this morning, I just felt it and since then, well, let's just say that I'm rather uncomfortable. I have been guzzling Ibuprofen all day and tried an ice pack on the back of my hip, tucked it into the back of my sweatpants but it slid down the pant leg twice so forget it! I am about to go to bed and I sure hope I can get up in the morning.

This never would have happened if I were younger!

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 4:56am

Posting this link here, borrowed from Katie's thread. It's a great list of 2019 books to keep on my radar!

NPR Best Books

Edited: Dec 6, 2019, 4:59am

>193 jessibud2: One of the things I loved about running in Mac Forest, Shelley, was the solitude. I would see other people but not usually very many. I could run for an hour and see maybe half a dozen people. There are also some logging road that are, of course, wider but still in woods and/or along open spaces (old clear cuts, sometimes) with lovely views.

Dec 7, 2019, 5:01am

>194 jessibud2: Oh my! Pulling a muscle in your hip sounds pretty painful. I've never injured myself shoveling snow although I did slip on our steep driveway last winter...one of those moments when your feet just slip right out from under you and you end up on your back. I was glad not to have hit my head.

I hope your pulled muscle is not to bad and that it heals quickly.

Dec 7, 2019, 12:54pm

I hope you get the foot/heel issue sorted, Ellen. I did a bit of running pre-kids (yeah, a long time ago) -- like you, nothing fast or competitive. I stopped because a) kids and b) knee pain that came and went. I never got back into it to the same degree. More recently I've been dealing with a different but more severe knee issue brought on by over-enthusiastic exercise. These things take so much longer to heal now than they did way back when. Sigh.

Dec 7, 2019, 3:33pm

"I finished and LOVED A Ladder to the Sky." Yippee! Love spreading the joy.

I have The Starless Sea waiting for me on audio. Looking forward to your thoughts. I love your trail photos. My kind of jam, although I walk and I do not run.

Dec 7, 2019, 3:49pm

I'm so glad you're reading The Starless Sea, Ellen. I haven't made up my mind about reading it or not. I, too, did not expect to enjoy The Night Circus as much as I did. The TSS reviews I've read have left me unsure about reading it or not. So I'll look forward to hearing what you think.

Sorry to hear about your right heel. I hope the acupuncture helps. Debbi swears by it. I had to quit running when I got my bionic hips, but for me walking instead has worked out okay. I'm sure the situation is doubly hard for you given the beautiful areas you run in. MacDonald Forest looks lovely.

Dec 7, 2019, 4:03pm

Hi Ellen, happy Saturday to y'all two, be well and happy you Hawaii-bound fiends.

Dec 7, 2019, 5:12pm

Sorry about the heel pain. I hope it's something that can be conquered by acupuncture and/or physical therapy, and you can get back to your running. Exercise is so helpful for so many things. (After a long-ish, cranky layoff due to foot pain, I pushed myself back to the gym yesterday and it felt really good.)

Edited: Dec 7, 2019, 6:10pm

>198 lauralkeet: "These things take so much longer to heal now than they did way back when." I hear you, Laura. And, honestly, I'm a mucket about doing PT exercises, stretches, etc. I have had spells when I did the alphabet with my foot every morning before getting out of bed and I think I need to get back to that.

The running has always been so meditative for me as well as empowering and centering. I was in my 40s when friends convinced me I could trail run. Those same two women encouraged me to run shirtless (yeah, so, you're 40 -- but look at you running 5 miles on muddy trails. Who cares if your body doesn't look like a college student's?") and yet another friend encouraged me to get on some really rough trails. I loved it. I felt so T-U-F-F.

One of my favorite stories about trail running is that I was encouraging a pretty girly (I mean that is a very positive sense) friend to try running on trails. One days she asked me in all seriousness, "how do I keep my shoes from getting muddy?" I laughed and said, "you don't!" She became a great trail-running buddy.

Definition of great trail-running buddy: one who will run with you at about the same pace and is fine with long stretches of time running in companionable silence. They are a rare thing in the world.

Dec 7, 2019, 6:11pm

I seem to be in a story-telling mood. It must the the effect of reading The Starless Sea which I am quite enjoying!

Dec 7, 2019, 6:13pm

...days until we fly to Kauai.

Dec 7, 2019, 6:14pm

I've never been a runner, and I regret it, but here in NYC everyone is so competitive! and since I didn't run when i was younger, I didn't join in the craze. But I do walk. Some metatarsal pain is inhibiting me, but I'm determined to get past it before my trip to the Galapagos.

Where you have lived, the trails seem so inviting! What is your path like now? Is it all street, or are there any trails?

Edited: Dec 7, 2019, 6:22pm

>199 msf59: Mark, thank you so much for sending me the ARC of A Ladder to the Sky. I will write a bit more about it here but I want to encourage folks to give it a try. Maurice Swift is one of the most vivid and memorable antagonists I have encountered in a very long time.

I walk more these days but if I could get running back into my life next spring, I would be a very happy camper!

>200 jnwelch: Hi Joe. I'm still reserving judgment on The Starless Sea but it has managed to capture my attention so that is good. I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan and I've never been a gamer so there are moments when I feel like "I am not Erin Morgenstern's audience" but the story is kind of interesting. It is certainly an homage to readers and lovers of story.

I wish I still had access to MacDonald Forest but truly there are some beautiful vistas here on the Palouse, too. There were a couple hundred miles of trails in Mac Forest and I got to know almost all of them.

I leave for my acupuncture appointment in 8 minutes so I'll report back on how it goes!

I had a friend/massage therapist many moons ago who had an elderly labrador retriever. Sheryl had a very long driveway and the poor dog had gotten so arthritic he could not walk to the mailbox with her. After acupuncture, he could happily walk the quarter mile or so (and back!) with her. I'm hoping for similar results.

Dec 7, 2019, 6:25pm

There seems to be a new hiccup in LT functionality. When I get a PM the little yellow number in the upper right corner appears, but when I go read (and respond to!) the message, that fact doesn't seem to register. I have to delete the message to get the little yellow number to revert back to a gray zero. Hmmm.

Dec 7, 2019, 6:27pm

>201 richardderus: Thank you, Richard! I do love my weekends!

>202 ffortsa: I knew you had been having heel issues, as well, Judy. This getting older is for the birds! I'm glad you got back to the gym and I hope you are able to sustain it. As you say, it's good for so many things: one's heart, one's mood, one's joints....

Dec 7, 2019, 6:28pm

>206 ffortsa: I admit to having a bit of a competitive streak when I was younger, Judy. In my 40s I ran a couple of half-marathons and I enjoyed passing the odd younger person along the way!

There are some trails where I live now but mostly I end up running along streets. It probably has contributed to the heel issues since the surface is harder.

Dec 7, 2019, 6:30pm

>205 EBT1002: *grumble*

Dec 7, 2019, 7:03pm

>208 EBT1002: You can archive the message to get rid of it. The problem has been reported in Bug Collectors, but they haven't done anything other than suggest you archive the message. Some people say they can then unarchive it, but I get the unread notification again if I archive and then unarchive a message. I just went through and archived lots of messages this morning because I was tired of seeing "5."

Dec 7, 2019, 2:09am

>191 EBT1002: What beautiful trails! Makes running a whole lot more enjoyable and peaceful. Hopefully the acupuncture helps alleviate your heel pain!

Dec 7, 2019, 2:32am

>191 EBT1002:, >192 EBT1002: Those are beautiful places, Ellen. I hope you get relief with acupuncture.

I felt like I might have liked The Starless Sea more if I were a video gamer.? It was entertaining, not one of the year's best, at least for me.

Dec 7, 2019, 3:26am

>185 EBT1002: "Knives Out" is definitely on my movie list!! Glad you enjoyed it so much.

Sorry your heel is still troubling you. The unanticipated side benefit of all the Prednisone I have been on for my allergic reactions is that it helped with the swelling and Plantar Fasciitis--yay! Good luck with the acupuncture.

Love all the pictures of the Portland trails. Home Sweet Home. : )

Dec 7, 2019, 4:23am

Dropping by to wish you a wonderful weekend, Ellen

Dec 8, 2019, 12:18pm

Loved Knives Out too, a fun watch. I thought the way the family got Marta's home wrong each time was such a clever touch, although every time Plummer said her name I was taken back to Julie Andrews and the singing children (not really a complaint).

Your forest trails look really beautiful. I hope acupuncture works out the gremlins with your feet: I had not picked up the alphabet thing before, but am going to give it a go. I have had a couple of glitches with my feet and need to remember to do some exercises.

Edited: Dec 8, 2019, 5:24pm

...days until we fly to Kauai.

(Although today it is 35F and so foggy no plane will be flying in or out, so fingers crossed!)

Edited: Dec 8, 2019, 5:31pm

Anyone who has read The Starless Sea, I need your help:

I am on page 129 and my kindle says I've read 27% of the novel. It's not that I hate it (or I wouldn't be asking for input) but I'm not sure I want to keep reading. Is the next 73% going to be just more of the same? Is the whole novel a 493-page riff on mystery/guided adventure/role-playing games with elaborate descriptions of rooms, halls, weird elevators, doors with bee/key/sword motifs and wise owls and ginger cats and the rolling of dice with hearts and such? Oh, and lots of books. I get it: books and story and the boundaries between fantasy and reality and such. But so far I'm reading along, appreciating some of the story (stories, really) and also thinking to myself "I just don't care." But I don't want to bail too soon if it's going to be worth it.

Dec 8, 2019, 5:39pm

>211 richardderus: *smooch*

>212 thornton37814: Thanks Lori. I deleted one message to get rid of the "1." And then this morning it looked like a reply hadn't gone through. Oh well. Helpful to know they are aware of it, anyway.

>213 figsfromthistle: Thank you! Yes, running along those trails is one of my favorite period-of-my-life memories. The acupuncture was so interesting and I'll write more about that in a bit. I'm hopeful that it may address both my heel pain and my insomnia!

Edited: Dec 8, 2019, 5:48pm

>214 BLBera: Ah, perhaps I should have read your post before I posted >219 EBT1002:. I'm having exactly that experience: if I were a gamer I might love this. But I'm not. And I don't.

>215 Berly: Hi Kim! I'm glad Knives Out is on your movie list. We went to a pot luck last night and it was getting some love. It seems to be the sleeper of the year.

More about the acupuncture in a bit but I'm optimistic, hopeful, and definitely going to give it a full trial.

Um, those are not Portland trails although I know they look much the same (and I went for some wonderful runs in Forest Park!). The images above are MacDonald Forest in Corvallis. Just sayin'. xo

>216 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul! So far, so good with this weekend. Yesterday was acupuncture, reading, and a pot luck. Today is laundry, reading, a women's basketball game, and the Seahawks this evening. I plan to start a new thread while I watch the Hawks.

>217 charl08: I loved that touch about Marta's home, as well, Charlotte.

Writing the alphabet with your feet (using your big toe as a "pencil" in the air) is something I learned a long time ago and I think it's a good exercise for anyone who runs, walks, or gets out of bed every day. Our feet take a lot of abuse over the course of our lives and we don't stretch them out very much.

Dec 8, 2019, 6:17pm

>219 EBT1002: Don't bail; snail. Put it down. Read something else in ::vibrates with Day-Glo orange loathing:: Hawaii, come back refreshed, and after the New Year, pick it up again.

It *will* be worth it but it *won't* survive a mood mismatch.

Dec 8, 2019, 6:37pm

>222 richardderus: Ah, good alternative advice, Richard. Thank you.

Dec 8, 2019, 6:42pm

>223 EBT1002: I live to serve.

Dec 8, 2019, 6:44pm

Katie and Laura and others are noting the end-of-year and end-of-decade lists that are starting to come out. I'm bookmarking them, having brief fantasies of reading everything on every list that I haven't yet gotten to. Ha.

Here is LitHub's 20 Best Novels of the Decade. There are some gems in there, books I wholly agree are remarkable: A Visit from the Goon Squad, Salvage the Bones, Train Dreams, The Overstory, Milkman, The Sisters Brothers, and more.

There are also several I haven't yet read and very much want to read: A Little Life, Outline, In the Distance, Normal People, Inland (Tea Obreht made the list twice!)....

Our usual lament applies: so many books, so little time!!!

Dec 8, 2019, 6:45pm

Dec 8, 2019, 8:41pm

Hi Ellen, that's excellent advice from Richard. I find my reading mood really does dictate what books I love. Putting a book aside for now and giving it another try may totally change how you feel about it.

I can't get over how different the scenery is for you in the Palouse from the rainforests of the more coastal areas. Both so beautiful in their own way. Are you and P still planning on retiring to Oregon?

And finally, getting older is definitely not easy! I feel for you with your heel issue, I am really struggling with what has been diagnosed as a torn ligament and look forward to getting this healed and getting my mobility back!

Dec 8, 2019, 9:12pm

HI Ellen! I'm also reading The Starless Sea and enjoying it, although I'm not very far into it yet. I'm not a gamer, but both kids were, so I feel a bit of secondhand knowledge has rubbed off onto me. I love Morgenstern's magical use of language - and the description of what people do when they find a door.

Heading to Knives Out with a friend in a few minutes. Sounds like you enjoyed it quite a bit so I have high hopes for it.

May your heel heal quickly! Running in the spring sounds wonderful. I hope to back to hiking in the spring.

Hooray for Hawaii! I've never been (yet!) but it's on my bucket list. Have a great time!

Dec 9, 2019, 9:13pm

Dec 9, 2019, 9:18pm

>227 DeltaQueen50: Yes, I like Richard's advice, too, Judy. The book is a library eBook so I can't just set it aside indefinitely. So I'm sort of following Richard's advice. I started reading The Crow Trap yesterday and got well into it. Then today on my lunch break (I almost never take lunch breaks, but today I did!) I read some in The Starless Sea. I think switching back and forth will work for me.

I know, right? about the scenery. Two very different landscapes, both beautiful in their own way. We will retire in WA or OR but not in Pullman. Spokane? Maybe. Corvallis? Maybe. :-)

I'm already feeling pretty amazed by the impact of the acupuncture! Placebo? Maybe, but who cares??!! My heel feels better. I have another appointment this Wednesday.

>228 streamsong: Oh good, I like knowing there is someone else reading The Starless Sea alongside me, Janet. As I told Judy ^ I am going back and forth between that and another novel. That seems to be working so far.

I hope you enjoyed Knives Out!!

This topic was continued by Ellen seeks balance in 2019 - Thread 10.