The Hibernator tries one more thread

Talk75 Books Challenge for 2019

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The Hibernator tries one more thread

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Edited: Dec 2, 2019, 7:50am

Hi! I'm Rachel, 40yo mother, stepmother, and caretaker of aging parents. I have 2 step-kids: D (10yo) and M (7yo), one biological son IL (12 months old on December 7). I have three cats: Myra, Puck, Hero. I read all sorts of books, from fluff to literature and nonfiction. I am not getting as much read right now as I would like due to all that is going on in my life, but I hope to squeeze in some time here or there.

Edited: Dec 2, 2019, 7:45am

2019 books read The books that aren't in bold are children's picture books.

1. Grave Peril, by Jim Butcher
2. The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
3. Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
4. Vote Loki, by Christopher Hastings
5. The Overstory, by Richard Powers
6. The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare
7. Summer Knight, by Jim Butcher
8. Ruins of Gorlan, by John Flanagan
9. Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift
10. Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
11. Now I Rise, by Kiersten White
12. The Tale of Emily Windsnap, by Liz Kessler
13. Rise of the Earth Dragon, by Tracey West
14. Citizen: An American Lyric, by Claudia Rankine
15. Saving the Sun Dragon, by Tracey West
16. Bright We Burn, by Kiersten White
17. Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare
18. Secret of the Water Dragon, by Tracey West
19. The Burning Bridge, by John Flanagan
20. Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep, by Liz Kessler
21. American Overdose, by Chris McGreal
22. Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan
23. Power of the Fire Dragon, by Tracey West
24. Song of the Poison Dragon, by Tracey West
25. Flight of the Moon Dragon, by Tracey West

Edited: Dec 2, 2019, 7:48am

2019 books read
26. Search for the Lightning Dragon, by Tracey West
27. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
28. Roar of the Thunder Dragon, by Tracey West
29. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
30. Foundation, by Isaac Asimov
31. Death Masks, by Jim Butcher
32. Icebound Land, by John Flanagan
33. The Apothecary's Daughter, by Julie Klassen
34. Radium Girls, by Kate Moore
35. Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
36. Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
37. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
38. Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson
39. Infidel, by Pronsak Pichetshote
40. Room, by Emma Donoghue
41. They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei
42. Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
43. Walking Dead: Volume 1 Days Gone Bye, by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore
44. The Battle for Skandia, by John Flanagan
45. Dark Fantastic, by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas
46. Invisible Women, Caroline Criado Perez

Edited: Dec 2, 2019, 7:46am

2019 Books Read

Edited: Dec 2, 2019, 7:49am

In order to increase the variety of fiction books I've read, I modified a list of genres and subgenres off of Wikipedia, and hope to read one of each. (Of course, I will read many of some.) This project started in October 2018.

Adventure novel

Romance - Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare

Historical romance - The Witch of Willow Hall, by Hester Fox
Contemporary romance

Historical fiction - The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Historical Mystery
Holocaust Novels
Prehistoric fiction

Literary fiction - Room

Mathematical fiction


Slave narrative - Washington Black, by Esi Edugyan

Occupational Fiction

Political fiction - Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

Pulp fiction

Christian fiction

Christian science fiction / fantasy
Contemporary Christian fiction
Historical Christian Fiction - Apothecary's Daughter, byJulie Klassen

Islamic fiction

Jewish fiction

Saga - The Conqueror's Saga, by Kiersten White


Epic / high fantasy
Ancient history fantasy
Medieval fantasy - The Ranger's Apprentice, by John Flannagan (series incomplete)
Low fantasy - The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
Urban fantasy
Paranormal romance
Comic fantasy - Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift
Contemporary fantasy - The Tale of Emily Windsnap, by Liz Kessler (series incomplete)
Dark fantasy
Magic realism
Retelling myth/fairy tale
Superhero fantasy - Black Panther: Nation Under Our Feet, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Horror The Wasp Factory, by Iain Banks

Supernatural / paranormal
Ghost story
Monster literature
Vampire fiction
Werewolf fiction
Occult detective - Dresden Files (series incomplete)

Science fiction - Foundation, by Isaac Asimov
Alien invasion
Post-apocalyptic – The Passage (series incomplete), by Justin Cronin
Hard science fiction
Military science fiction
Parallel universe, aka alternative universe
Alternative history
Space opera

Speculative cross-genre fiction
Climate fiction (cli-fi) - The Overstory, by Richard Powers
Weird fiction

Suspense fiction
Crime fiction
Detective fiction
Mystery fiction

Legal thriller
Medical thriller
Political thriller
Spy fiction
Psychological thriller

Urban fiction


Women’s fiction

LGBT fiction

Dec 2, 2019, 7:45am

Decided to start one more thread for the year! It'll probably be pretty short, but it's fun to start fresh.

Thread is open for comments after this post. :)

Dec 2, 2019, 7:52am

Well, my week went well. D loved her birthday slumber party, despite the fact that only one guest was able to come.

I think IL had a stomach ache after all that cake.

I also took IL to see a very special Santa – the stepfather of a life-long friend. He didn’t appreciate it very much. (Pictured in my topper.)

I met up with an old friend that I hadn’t seen in 5 years, and I watched all three Hobbit movies with Aaron, who hadn’t seen them before.

I had Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and Aaron. It was a small feast, but the turkey was delicious. Unfortunately, my car wouldn’t start on Thursday, and I had to have it towed today, thus missing my doctor appointment for my hip. I’ve had a hip problem ever since my pregnancy, and it seems to be getting much worse lately, so I was hoping I could get some physical therapy. I took a 2 mile walk on Thursday morning, and that loosened up the hip for a while, but made it hurt more in the evening. I will try taking walks more often and see if the exercise helps.

I wasn’t a productive reader this week, having difficulty concentrating. But I’m hoping next week as well as readathon weekend will be much more helpful.

Cheers! And I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.

Dec 2, 2019, 8:25am

Happy new thread, Rachel! Sorry to hear about your hip. I hope the walking helps. I'm glad to hear that D loved her slumber birthday party.

>1 The_Hibernator: Poor IL!

>7 The_Hibernator: Cute and happy IL!

Dec 2, 2019, 8:55am

Happy new thread!

I hope your hip poses less problems for you. Have you tried yoga? My friend swears that it is very effective for limbering and loosening.

Dec 2, 2019, 10:01am

Love the topper photo, Rachel! Happy new one. Hope the hip improves.

Dec 2, 2019, 12:28pm

Happy new thread!

Edited: Dec 2, 2019, 1:36pm

That topper photo is a classic, Rachel!!

From your last thread re: people of color in speculative fiction, Ursula le Guin wrote Ged (primary protagonist) as a person of color in her Earthsea trilogy many, many years ago. Now there are a goodly number of authors of color such as N. K. Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor writing fantasies with disparate characters. That's just off the top of my head at the moment, but I know there are more examples.

Dec 2, 2019, 3:43pm

Happy new thread, Rachel!

>1 The_Hibernator: Aww, poor IL, the picture reminds me of times long ago when I was a wee one and wholeheartly disliked St Nicholas!
>7 The_Hibernator: Than is better, a happy IL!

Sorrt to read about your hip problem, can you make a new appointment at your doctor soon?

Dec 2, 2019, 4:46pm

Happy New Thread, Rachel!

I'm you had a good Thanksgiving. Sorry to hear about the trouble from your car and your hip. I hope the exercise helps the latter.

Dec 2, 2019, 9:21pm

Happy new thread, Rachel. I love the photos!

Dec 2, 2019, 10:57pm

Happy new thread, Rachel.

Dec 3, 2019, 2:42am

>1 The_Hibernator: LOVE that photo!! LOL

Sorry to hear about the hip. Hope the car is fixed soon and you get in to the doc.

Happy new thread!!

Dec 3, 2019, 6:58am

Happy New Thread, Rachel! Love the IL topper! Priceless!

Dec 3, 2019, 9:26am

Happy new thread!

Dec 4, 2019, 12:22am

Happy new thread Rachel!

Re the topper - oh dear! But it's good to see that it's mostly good news.

Dec 4, 2019, 12:44pm

Hi Charlotte, still catching up on The New Jim Crow, but I've finished Chapter 1 and am back in my groove.

Struck by missed opportunities- the populist movement alliance after reconstruction which might have avoided segregation. Civil rights shifting to challenging poverty, but being derailed by rhetoric on violent cities.

Yes, I totally agree. There were so many missed opportunities for avoiding racism and segregation - a book like this makes me wonder if racism is just natural, despite Alexander's insistence that the idea of racism was created to avoid the poor whites (indentured servants) from working together with the black slaves for better conditions. It would be nice to think that this was the cause of racism, and if only it could have been avoided, all would be well. But there is racism elsewhere, too - places that were not impacted by the slavery system in the US.

Always depressing to read about the "deserving vs "undeserving " poor (a big theme in any British social history too).

Indeed. Though I think that the idea of a Welfare Queen has been shifted to poor whites as well as poor blacks. But those are the whites that are from the areas most affected by opioid use (those from the Appalachians).

Did not realise there was a difference between crack and cocaine.

I became aware of this concept (and the unfair targeting of crack over cocaine until recently) when I went to a speech by the author of High Price, by Carl Hart. He escaped the ghetto to become a very successful neuroscientist who studies the effects of drugs on users.

The stuff about housing budgets being diverted to prisons is tough reading, I didn't realise Clinton was so bound up in the ramping up of drug punishments and bars to federal support.

I didn't realize Clinton was so tough on crime, either. I thought his legacy was the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Overall, I think that all the information in this chapter is quite tragic.

Dec 4, 2019, 12:57pm

>8 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Turns out the hip problems are bursitis, which means I ought to have been resting and relaxing rather than exercising it! At least, that's what my primary doctor thinks. I will go in to see an orthopedic specialist today and see if there is anything that can be done. Most of the time, my walking is kept to a limp, but the mornings are a horror, and it is difficult carrying IL and all his baby stuff around.

>9 figsfromthistle: Hi Figs! I looked into yoga, but it seems that hip problems can actually be caused by the incorrect positioning of yoga, and I'm afraid of making the hip worse. Anyway, as said above to Karen, it turns out I'm supposed to rest, not exercise it. Though I really should try yoga sometime. I've heard it's fantastic.

>10 charl08: Thanks Charlotte, no improvement on the hip yet, but update is in my message to Karen above.

>11 foggidawn: Thanks Foggi!

>12 ronincats: Hi Roni! The Dark Fantastic did mention that some white authors would write in colored characters, but that the colored readers wouldn't necessarily relate to them as much because they still seemed to have white culture. I agree about the onsurge of popular authors of color, including Octavia E Butler, who you didn't mention. Thomas mentioned the new wave of colored authors, but said that she wasn't going to include a discussion of them in her book, as they deserved a book of their own.

>13 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! IL is usually such a happy baby. lol. I went to the primary care doctor yesterday about the hip, and he said he thought it was bursitis, and suggested I go to a walk-in orthopedic clinic whenever I could. I plan on going today, right after IL wakes from his nap. (Which should be any time, now, as he's been down for two hours.)

>14 jnwelch: Hi Joe! I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving too. Like I have been saying above, it turns out I'm not supposed to be pushing through the pain, I'm supposed to be resting it!

>15 BLBera: Thanks Beth!

>16 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul!

>17 Berly: Hey Kim, the car is fixed...though they didn't find anything wrong with it. It started just fine for them, after we'd tried about 5 times over three days. Something must have been jiggled into place when it was towed.

>18 msf59: Thanks Mark!

>19 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

>20 humouress: Thanks Nina! Yes, I'm glad it's mostly good news too! :)

Dec 4, 2019, 3:54pm

>21 The_Hibernator: I agree re tragedy - hard reading. I've just finished chapter 3. Do you want to lead on chapter two?

To pick up on one small part of your comment- I don't think racism is ever natural. The author here, I think, makes a strong case for the cynical use of racism as a tool to maintain elite status, rather than any authentically held belief in inferiority or difference of another "race".

Dec 5, 2019, 11:41pm

Happy new thread, Rachael. IL looks much happier in >7 The_Hibernator: than in the photo with Santa.

Dec 6, 2019, 11:35pm

Happy Birthday (tomorrow) to your son!

Dec 7, 2019, 9:52am

Happy Birthday to Ian Loki! It is my grandson Griffin’s 12th birthday today. If he had been a girl I was hoping for the name Pearl. Have a wonderful weekend with your lovely family, Rachel. I love it when you share pictures with us.

Dec 9, 2019, 12:10pm

>23 charl08: Hi Charlotte! I know you're finishing so much more quickly than I am, hopefully you remember by the time I get around to finishing. :)

>24 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! Yes, IL is usually a fantastically happy baby. :)

>25 EBT1002: Thanks Ellen! He had a lovely birthday. I'll post pictures this weekend when I write my update.

>26 Donna828: Hi Donna! Pearl is a lovely name. Aaron and I don't think we'll end up having another child because my hip is so bothersome right now, but we'd already decided that if we had another, and it was a girl, we'd name her Serenity. And a boy would be Raphael. Named after the archangel, not the ninja turtle. :)

Edited: Dec 9, 2019, 12:13pm

Invisible Women is about how women are missing from data collected and used to, say, create crash test dummies for cars, plan bus routes, design cell phones, etc. She points out that disparity in collecting data about women leads to dangerous situations for women. For instance, women are more likely to die in a car accident because seat-belts are designed to safely hold a man in place, and does not account for the difference in body composition and fat / lean mass location. The bus routes are planned around where men go to work, and not so much around shopping trips, which are more often performed by women. This creates very inconvenient travel for women.

The thoughts in this book were well-expressed, and interesting. I did feel at times that she was over-stating her case, but that is often true of books with a strong bias (in this case feminism). Not that I’m saying feminism is a bad bias, only that it IS a direction that can be leaned too heavily upon at times (like every other social issue). Overall, a highly suggested book for those interested in feminism.

Edited: Dec 11, 2019, 3:44pm

Hi all! I didn’t update you last Friday because I just didn’t feel like it. 🙂 But now I feel like it. It’s been a good week. D had her first big concert of the season (they have two big ones and several minor ones in which they’re singing with the women’s choir). Here she is:

IL had his first birthday, and we have a lovely video of him NOT smashing his smash cake. 🙂

I’ve been using my new membership at a gym once per day to go swimming and sit in the sauna as a way to heat my painful hip. Either it’s helping, or the hip was just meant to feel better, because it’s not as bad as it was. I might even cancel the physical therapy (which doesn’t start till December 30th) if it continues to improve.

Both kids and I are now in three separate book clubs that meet every other month starting in January. M is reading BFG, by Roald Dahl, and enjoying it immensely. D finished The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate in two days. I am reading Simon vs. the Homo sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli. I’m hoping the kids will enjoy the book clubs. It took a bit of setting up to do for me.

I’ve gotten back into my reading groove, but have not finished any books this week. Currently working on:

Listening to The Age of Henry VIII as preparation for my read of the Wolf Hall\ trilogy next year. Buddy reading The New Jim Crow Charlotte. Wives and Daughters is my Serial Reader book. The Unspeakable Mind was an Edelweiss book a while back that I STILL haven’t finished (though I plan on catching up on my Netgalley and Edelweiss books next year). Maelstrom is a book by a friend of mine.

Dec 11, 2019, 3:51pm

>29 The_Hibernator: Gosh! A year old already! Happy birthday IL!

Yay for book clubs!

D looks like she’s enjoying singing. I’m jealous of their tops :0)

Edited: Dec 18, 2019, 1:32pm

I know, Nina! The time has passed so quickly! And the tops are quite nice. 😁

Dec 18, 2019, 2:18pm

Hi Rachel - thinking about you

Dec 21, 2019, 6:44pm

Nice choir picture and a belated Happy Birthday to IL. Good review of Invisible Women. She did go a bit overboard in places but brought up a lot of valid points and info I hadn’t been aware of.

Dec 21, 2019, 9:41pm

Soviet Santa says "Happy Yule!" Solstice Greetings to all. Read more here:

Dec 23, 2019, 12:51pm

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Dec 24, 2019, 12:59am

Rachel--Concerts and 3 book clubs!! And an unused smash cake, LOL. You have been very busy.

I am still up for getting together while you are in town, but after Christmas definitely works better. I will PM you my phone number and maybe we can text to find a time. It looks like the rest of the crew is unavailable/out of town. If it's too much hassle we can always wait until summer. Let me know. : )

Dec 24, 2019, 2:00am

Wow, you've packed a lot in (of course). Love the choir's purple outfits.

I hope the book club continues to be a success.

Dec 24, 2019, 2:49am

Or in other words, Happy Christmas! And have a great New Year as well.

Edited: Dec 25, 2019, 8:10am

Have a great holiday, with the family, Rachel. Enjoy your time in OR!

Dec 24, 2019, 10:54am

Hi, Rachel - I can't believe it's been almost a year since I've stopped by. How time flies! Your baby is already a year old, and, if I may say so, absolutely adorable! Love that you, D and M are all in book clubs! It's great when kids discover the joy of reading.

Anyway, here's wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and

Dec 24, 2019, 1:02pm

Hi Rachel! I hope you and your family have a

Dec 25, 2019, 2:09am

Merry Christmas from stormy Kauai!

Dec 25, 2019, 12:18pm

I love the photos of the kids that you've been sharing.

Merry Oregon Christmas!

And from me - Merry Christmas from Montana!

Dec 25, 2019, 3:51pm

Merry Christmas from North Carolina!

Dec 25, 2019, 6:33pm

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, some other tradition or none at all, this is what I wish for you!

Dec 25, 2019, 9:53pm

Thank you for keeping me company in 2019.......onward to 2020.

Edited: Dec 29, 2019, 3:22pm

calm and I could use some friends over here in this new joint...

The 2020 Group is up!

Dec 26, 2019, 12:45pm

>32 magicians_nephew: Thanks Jim!

>33 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg! Yes, I really enjoyed Invisible Women despite its flaws. It was an eye-opener.

>34 richardderus: Thanks for the education Richard! Always nice to learn about something new.

>35 ChelleBearss: You too Chelle!

>36 Berly: Hi Kim! Unfortunately, I am still not feeling 100%, though I'm feeling much better than I was. I guess we'll just have to see each other the next time I'm in town. Sorry about that! It's such a disappointment. I HAVE been very busy. I think I was a little hypomanic when I chose to make three book clubs. Now I have a lot more to do that I didn't have to do before!

>37 charl08: Hi Charlotte! I hope things go well with the book clubs too. I guess we'll see! It'll certainly give me a reason to keep my house more clean than I have been. Lol.

>38 SandDune: >39 msf59: Thanks Rhian and Mark! Hopefully you are having a wonderful holiday season as well!

Dec 26, 2019, 12:56pm

>40 Storeetllr: Hi Mary! Yes, time flies, and I don't get around to as many threads as I should, either. I'm looking forward to the book clubs, though I'm a little apprehensive about the amount of time I have to invest in them! We'll see how well they work.

Thanks Karen, Ellen, Janet, Jenn, Roni, and Paul. Hope you all had a great holiday season as well!

Dec 26, 2019, 1:15pm

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season. My two weeks since my last update have gone well. My family is currently in Oregon celebrating Christmas / Hanukkah with my in-laws. It has been a wonderful holiday season for us.

We had a scare two days before we flew out, when IL spiked a temp of 103. We took him into Urgent Care, and found that he had tonsillitis, though we got the ok to fly. He was a bit grumpy for the first few days of of his trip, and so was I, as I have had a nasty virus as well. Luckily, I’m feeling better, though not 100%.

The kids had a sneaky way of providing evidence of whether Santa existed or not. They put out both cookies and milk AND pizza and cider. They put out a coded note saying that Santa could only choose one snack. The code was the numerical alphabet backwards. Santa ate whatever he wanted, and left a coded message saying “I eat what I choose, young mortals.” It’s still up in the air whether Santa exists.

Here’s a few pictures:

I am working on reading Maelstrom, by D. J. Schuette right now. But will soon move on to one of the books that Mark sent me for a Christmas Swap.

Dec 26, 2019, 1:27pm

>50 The_Hibernator: Okay, the coded message to Santa is hysterical!! Such smart kids.

Sorry you are still not up to snuff, but no worries--I look forward to seeing you the next time you are out this way. Take care and enjoy the books! Happy Holidays!!

Dec 26, 2019, 3:20pm

To see Christmas through the eyes of a child

Dec 29, 2019, 9:47pm

Hi Kim! Yes, we missed out on seeing each other. :( I was feeling better by Friday, and am now going downhill again. I think I've developed a sinus infection, but we'll see. I've never had one before so am not certain I know how to recognize it.

I know, Jim! They were so excited!

Dec 30, 2019, 8:31am

That coded message is a hoot, and Santa's reply perfect.

I'm sorry about IL's tonsilitis and your virus, potential sinus infection. I distinctly remember my first sinus infection - warning, TMI to folllow - I blew orange into a Kleenex. Only the first one, but the biggest clue to a sinus infection for me now is that when I gently tap around my eyes the pain is noticable. For relief I get a washcloth more than damp but less than soaking, microwave it for a minute or two, then fold it into a hand towel, then lie down with it over my face. The heat and moisture can help break it up.

Edited: Dec 31, 2019, 9:40am

>54 karenmarie: My snot is only milky green, not orange. And my sinus pressure is on and off, but not too bad at the moment. I'll go to Urgent Care if things get worse, but I am still partly skeptical that I need antibiotics or medical treatment.

Dec 30, 2019, 12:38pm

Sorry to hear you've been feeling unwell, Rachel. Sinus problems are pretty grim from my (luckily) limited experience - hope you feel better soon.