Roni Reads in 2020
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San Diego Skyline
Hi, I'm Roni. I live in San Diego with one husband, one small dog and way too many cats in a small bungalow with a garden and lots of books. I'm retired these days, after a long career as a school psychologist. Since retiring, I've made time for throwing pottery, wirework, crochet, and sewing in addition to reading and share photos of my work on my threads.
I've been a member of LT since 2008 and an active member of the 75 Book Challenge groups for that long as well. I read mostly in genre, science fiction and fantasy, but also try to read some nonfiction, mystery, and regency romance.
Welcome to my thread. I love visitors and promise to visit you back.
My final thread of 2019 is here:https://www.librarything.com/topic/313220
My Goals for 2019:
1. Read 150 books and 50,000 pages.. Goal Met: 175 books and 57,
2. Read at least 40 books off my own bookshelves (BOMBs). NOT Met: 22 books
3. Acquire no more than 80 books. Goal Met: 78 books acquired, 43 read! Close one.
4. 50 books out the door once more. Goal Met: 115 books, exceeded expectations!
That does mean that I read 65 of my own books, just that 43 of them were acquired this calendar year.
Goals for 2020
Read 150 books and 50,000 pages.
Read at least 30 books off my own bookshelves.
Acquire no more than 80 books.
Send 50 books out the door.
Read at least 12 nonfiction books--I usually do this, but it's important to me and I want to be sure I prioritize it.
Best Books of 2019 tbd
The majority of my five-star books are rereads of favorites. Some of the others are 4.5 star reads here on LT. This wasn't an outstanding year for new reads, but here are my best:
Nonfiction: Factfulness by Hans Rosling
Runner-ups: These Truths by Jill Lepore, De-cluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana White
SF: The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal, Alliance Rising by C. J. Cherryh
Fantasy: Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear, Bryony and Roses by T. Kingfisher
Children's: Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Books Acquired in 2020
1. Flame Bringer by Elle Katharine White
2. Arkad's World by James Cambias
Hi Roni! Dropping off my star. I'll be back to spend a bit more time after I wrap up 2020.
So! The new theme is up! Y'all got plenty interested when I asked which of the two themes, the Ladies of Science Fiction or the year 1960 in the world's doings, so I'm happy to announce the decision:
It's the Ladies of Science Fiction...AND 1960 in Kulcher. Each month I'll alternate between the themes. This thread, it's Andre Norton, and I focus on her 1960 book Storm Over Warlock. January's thread(s) will all be Ladies. February's will be the year 1960 in some way or shape or form...whatever is bright and shiny and catches my eye. A lot happened that year in politics and film and business, so...well...it's fertile ground.
Come take a look!
Looking forward to following your reading and crafting and stuff in 2020, Roni!
Hi Roni. I can't wait to see what you're going to be reading in 2020 .. and also what new creations you'll be making.
Hi, Roni! - best wishes for a productive 2020, both reading-wise and craft-wise. :)
Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!
Got you starred! I love your San Diego new year's topper.
Happy New Year, Roni, and happy first thread of the year! Looking forward to hanging with you in 2020!
Well, there are still 9 hours of 2019 to go here in San Diego, but so many of you are already into 2020 that I am going ahead with posting this now. Richard, you get a free pass.
Well, I'm in your time zone, so if you can, I can!!
Wishing you 12 months of success
52 weeks of laughter
366 days of fun (leap year!)
8,784 hours of joy
527,040 minutes of good luck
and 31,622,400 seconds of happiness!!
Happy New year to you and the cats.
Dropping a star, so I can follow you!
My 2020 75-book challenge thread is here
Happy New Year! Dropping my star off. Hope you have a great year of reading and crafting.
Happy New Year, Roni. I look forward to following your adventures again in 2020.
Happy New Year, Roni. I've placed my star and I am looking forward to following you in 2020.
Happy New Year, everyone!!!
I've watched the Rose Parade on TV--we have a local channel that shows it without ANY commercials, and we are getting ready to go to the Mysterious Galaxy New Year's Day Sale, so celebrating appropriately.
First world problem. I sat down with The Wizards of Once last night to give it another try because of Stephen's recommendation, and FINISHED it. Do I redo all my December and 2019 stats, or just pretend that because it was already 2020 everywhere except the Mountain and Pacific time zones and Hawaii that it is my first book of the new year? Well?
>44 ronincats: What channel is that? I ended up watching it twice, once on NBC and once on FOX and think I saw it all that way but once through without commercials would have been better.
Ah, I'm back and ready to welcome all of my visitors into the new year!!
Thanks for dropping in, Ellen, Steve, Diana, Richard, Katie, Meg, Jim, Caro (CARO!! I can't believe you are back! We've all missed you!), Liz, Chelle, Paul, Reba, Mary (And welcome back to you as well! Love that granddaughter!), foggi, Barbara, Rhian, Jess, Anita, Kim, Shelley, Charlotte (with you as my secret Santa, how could I not?), Sandy, Calm, Ella, Kathy, Paula, Beth, Judy, Rhonda, Anita, Joe, Karen and Cassie!!
>48 RebaRelishesReading: On the local Fox station, Reba, they carry KTLA's coverage of the parade. (KTLA is an independent LA station that has been doing this for YEARS!)
Thanks for the feedback on >44 ronincats:, Kim, Joe and Karen. I will happily comply with your opinion!
So, I now have a first book of 2020 to report.
Book #1 The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell (379 pp.)
I tried this just before Christmas and could not stomach the arch cuteness of it all. But Stephen (sirfurboy) liked it and we usually like similar things so I pulled it down last night from the library shelf and sped right through it (ha! Large font, lots of illustrations, wide margins). Still nearly unbearably cutesy, but I can see the 8 to 10 year-old set loving it, as they have demonstrably loved the How to Train Your Dragon series by the same author. It's a fantasy world, a forest where there are the magical Wizards and the matter-of-fact Warriors who are blood enemies, and the extinct (maybe?) Witches who threaten them all, and an unbearable 13-year-old son of the head Wizard and the similar-aged disappointingly unWarriorlike 7th daughter of the Warrior Queen encounter each other and all sorts of havoc break loose. First in a series, of course...
And purchases from Mysterious Galaxy, which had its 20% off sale today.
Flamebringer by Elle Katharine White: I really enjoyed her first book Heartstone, which was a fantasy retelling of Pride and Prejudice so I picked this up when I saw it, but now that I am home, I see that this is the third book of the series and I have missed the second one (now requested from the library).
Arkad's World by James L. Cambias: science fiction adventure tale on a distant world.
Typical, Roni! You have set up shop and are roaring along when I finally stumble in. Happy New Year! I look forward to seeing the places you go between covers and what you think of them and what your clever hands make too.
Hi, Peggy. Just tryin' to be timely. ;-)
Book #2 Christmas Revels VI by Hannah Meredith (300 pp.)
I traditionally read some Regency Romance novellas at Christmas time and, although latish, this is one of two books of such that I picked up this year, and I finished up the last three of the four novellas yesterday. What can I say? These novellas at least have either original settings or premises, but of course must comply with the requirement that true love emerges in the course of a short story. An average collection for what it is, which is actually better than average for this type of book.
And now off to the pottery for a morning's work!
>54 ronincats: Formulas are reused because they work, after all. Have fun potting!
>51 ronincats: That's the channel I watched second and there were commercials in that airing. I'll try to remember to go there first next year.
>55 richardderus: Right! And I did.
>56 RebaRelishesReading: It didn't occur to me that they would add the commercials in the replay!
>57 curioussquared: Hi, Natalie.
Here's what I brought home from the pottery as well as some roses from the front yard. Unfortunately, my bisqueware wasn't out of the kiln yet so I didn't have anything to glaze for next week, but I did throw a bunch of cup bodies.
>59 RBeffa: *groan*
I need to park this image so I can find it later. It's the Kansas Flint Hills:
>58 ronincats: Beautiful! Oh, your roses are still blooming? How wonderful to have roses in the garden for the whole year.
Happy New Year and happy reading for 2020, Roni!
A good start into the year - beautiful pottery and books.
>58 ronincats: I lichen the green glaze to your roses' leaves.
🌟Happy New Year, Roni. Such beauty on your thread: the San Diego skyline, roses, your latest pottery, and that magnificent bird’s-eye view of the Flint Hills. They are my favorite part of my road trips to Colorado. Here’s wishing you another great year of reading!
Happy New Year, Roni! Looking forward to seeing more of your wonderful creations (like the beautiful bowls in >58 ronincats:!) and following your reading.
Hi Roni! You're off to a good start with two finishes already. And a book sale!
Hi Roni...this review in Strange Horizons sounds like the book will be your cuppa: Patricia A. McKillip and the Art of Fantasy World-Building offers a corrective to the largely Tolkien-centered studies of the phenomenon.
I listened to The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner on the first leg of the trip back to Alabama. I grabbed this from the shelves at the public library because I took a BB from you on this novel a couple of years ago. This YA novel has been on the shelves of the library since 1996 and I have never read it. Thanks to that BB from Ronnie that called my attention to it, and the serendipitous find of the recorded version on the YA shelves at the public library I listened to it on this trip back to Alabama. It was good stuff.
This is a very well written novel. It is much better quality than many of the adult fantasies that I have read in the past two months. It has an exciting plot that had at least one twist I never saw coming. It is full of action and adventure that would appeal to boys. It would make a great read aloud.
I can’t wait to listen to the rest of the books in the series.
Just drove through the Flint Hills on Thursday. Then watched for a Great Horned Owl in Kansas City suburb of Overland Park. Kansas is full of great things.
>61 Ameise1: It is a benefit of our climate, Barbara!
Thanks, Anita and Thomas.
I love the Flint Hills with a passion, Donna, so I'm glad you appreciate them too.
Thanks, Judy and Lori.
Yes, there are some similarities, Ellen, even as they are distinct.
>71The book is two years old and there are no reviews of it either on Ammy or LT, my library doesn't have it, it looks very academic, and it's $9.99 for kindle or $25 for paperback. Looks interesting and I've put it on my Amazon wishlist.
>72 benitastrnad: Glad you liked The Thief, Benita. I'm not the only one who has warbled about this series here on LT and we are all looking forward (and regretting) the sixth and final book of the series due out this spring. The next two just get better and better, by the way. And yes, Kansas IS full of great things, mostly natural.
So, I had some free time after finishing up a walker caddy this afternoon and watching a KU basketball game (we won), so I thought maybe I should go unstar some of the old threads from last year that I'm sure are done with. Evidently not something that has occurred to me before. I've spent the last hour or so unstarring old threads from 2008 through 2011. Still working on the other years.
Interesting to see how many names have dropped off, but also to see how many of us have been there throughout that time! I did note a couple of things that have really dropped off in recent years--readathons and monthly themes. Common monthly themes back then were Fantasy February, Murder and Mayhem March, and September Series & Sequels, among others. I'd love to see us revive these.
>75 ronincats: interesting observations, Roni. I've never unstarred the old ones but maybe I should.
>75 ronincats: I've missed the monthly themes too, Roni. It was always fun to see what others were reading in the theme. I found some good reads that way!
>75 ronincats: What an interesting exercise, especially seeing names of folks who have dropped off over the years. I go back and un-star old threads as soon as the new year gets going, otherwise I would get so overwhelmed. I still have to fight the compulsion to get "all caught up" with all threads I have starred. I'm working on letting go of that element of stressing myself out! lol
I'm so behind on threads this year! Found you and have you starred so I can follow along with the pottery, cats, and books!
>75 ronincats: The monthly themes were great - even if I wasn't in the mood for that genre at the time, I loved seeing the discussion and getting ideas for what to read the next time I was in the right mood. And readathons! I loved doing those! It gave me an excuse to spend a whole day buried in books :D Without that, I start feeling guilty about all the things I "should" be doing after half an hour of reading ::eyeroll::
Hi Roni, I was sure I posted when I starred your thread!
I've said this on other threads, too. January is a wild month here!
I just finished/reviewed a Connie Berry book (and another mystery, Smoke and Mirrors). I think it was you that suggested back in November (?) that the new CB mysteries looked good.
Happy New Year, Roni! Dropping my star here, and hope to be here more often than I was in 2019!
Hi Roni and a somewhat tardy Happy 2020!
Oh, to have roses in January! And the pottery is gorgeous, too.
I'm finally finishing the Broken Earth trilogy. I had visions of curling up with The Stone Sky on Christmas eve, but it didn't happen. Now it's overdue from the library, so I will have to Seriously Get It Done. I'll be curling up with it after I finish the morning chores.
I have started reading The Lies of Locke Lamora due to the warbling about it here on your thread. So far, I am finding it much akin to Anubis Gates in style and substance. I am going to have to shove Lies aside for a bit while I concentrate on reading my book for my real life book group discussion that I will participate in next Sunday. But I will get back to it.
Hi Roni - belated Happy New Year! You are off to a productive start as always. I love the sound of monthly themes, and would enjoy the decadence of a read-a-thon, although I'm pretty sure I know a certain little guy that will NOT tolerate his mum spending all day with her nose in a book! Worth a go though.
Morning, Roni! I loved the monthly themes - I had forgotten about those. As always, your pottery is gorgeous.
Well, it's been interesting since Saturday when I last posted, or NOT! I'd had some severe abdominal cramps in the early hours which I put down to the fried fish and ice cream I'd had the night before. Usually they work their way out and that's the end of it, so to speak. But after I posted Saturday afternoon, they came back and persisted through the night, leading to a very unrestful night. So I spent Sunday on the couch in front of the football games and unable to concentrate on a book, on my puzzle books or even on my computer games, which are totally mindless! As long as I was flat on my back (and dozing for much of the morning), it wasn't too bad until about two hours into the Golden Globes, when I was so uncomfortable and nauseous that I couldn't continue watching. I don't THINK I can blame the programming... Anyhow, the night was surprisingly more comfortable that the night before and I was able to get in to see my doctor yesterday (to my amazement, but she told me they'd had a 1400 case spike in the flu the week before and so they had reserved more spaces for same day appointments. I just got lucky.) Turns out once again I'd self-diagnosed correctly--it was a diverticulitis flare-up and I got put on a strong antibiotic. Feeling some better today and think I'll be able to read tonight. Good thing about spending so much time lying down--haven't aggravated my knee at all so it's doing okay. But I had to spend time on the phone today to figure out why the clothes were coming out of the brand new washing machine (delivered Saturday) hot--Doh! Water hoses were reversed when intalling--and then calling the Home Depot people to come out and fix it. I'd do it myself if I were 10 years younger, but I don't need to be crawling over appliances at my age.
>76 RebaRelishesReading: Obviously I've never done it either, Reba, but I'm sure my Talk (starred) should load faster if there are fewer threads. We'll see. I did get 2012 unstarred since then.
>77 Storeetllr: I'm going to go back to old threads to figure out what themes we used, Mary; I think we should revive at least some of them.
>78 Whisper1: Thank you, dear Linda!
>79 EBT1002: Names you don't even realize slipped away, Ellen, like allthosedarnedbooks and Dorsvenabili and Piyush (India) and Iftyzaidi (Pakistan) and Landshark5 and leahbird, as well as those we know have left like joycepa (moved from Panama to Italy), Fliss and Flossie who Darryl still sees in England, along with Bianca, and many more.
>80 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori.
>81 archerygirl: As I told Mary, I'm going to research those old themes and see if we can revivify some of them. A demanding husband meant I never got to participate as fully in the readathons as I would have liked.
>82 SandyAMcPherson: Not me, Sandy, but I'm glad you liked it!
>83 katiekrug: Yeah.
>84 AMQS: Hope to see you more too, Anne.
>85 streamsong: I'm hoping to complete the final book of the trilogy for the 2020 Category Challenge : SFF-KIT 2020 - January Challenge "I Meant To Read It In 2019...", but then I intended to read it for the same challenge last year, so we'll have to see.
>86 benitastrnad: I've bounced off that book twice, Benita, but still hope to get through it one of these days. Lots of LTers love it though.
>87 HanGerg: Yeah, those little guys can be even MORE demanding than husbands, Hannah!
>88 Dejah_Thoris: Thank you, Princess.
>89 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie. SO good to have you back with us.
All caught up now? Yep!
Sending you lots of sympathy, Roni. My Mom suffers from a version of diverticulitis so I know how painful it can be. Luckily my Mom hasn't had a flare up in a very long time - hopefully, once you get this controlled you will be the same. Take care of yourself.
>86 benitastrnad:, >90 ronincats: Me too. Not been able to immerse in that book (The Lies of Locke Lamora). Didn't even add it to my 2019 DNF list. I think it was where my head was at for the type of reading I wanted.
Roni, such a crummy thing that diverticulitis flare-up. All the best. Hope some good reading lifts your spirits.
I hope you feel better!
I think my son may like The Wizards of Once. He has yet to get into the HTTYD series by he has gobbled up The Dragon Masters series and really likes the Harry Potter read alouds.
It has been challenging to find books he is excited to read independently- he is just starting this journey at 8 so we keep exposing him to different things.
Hope you are feeling better.
Glad that the problem with your new appliance was easily fixed
Have a great Wednesday!
Sorry to see you haven't been feeling well! Hope your meds work quickly!
It's good to hear that you were able to be seen quickly and are on the right drugs! Better living through chemistry, lol.
Feel better soon.
Thank you to all my visitors! It is so nice to know you all care. I woke up early with some discomfort this morning, but hopefully that is just a small glitch.
Thank you, Judy and Stasia (hope your surgery went well!) and Sandy!
Rachel, I think you and maybe M will like The Wizards of Once.
>95 Whisper1: Hope you enjoy it, Linda. I'm just not that into heist books, generally.
Thank you, Susan and Barbara and Diana!
>99 jayde1599: Jess, a similar book/series that also has illustrations and short chapters but is really good imho is The Magic Thief series by Sarah Prineas. A little longer but maybe not too challenging would be the Magyk series by Angie Sage and the Jinx books by Sage Blackwood and the Tuesdays at the Castle series by Jessica Day George. But definitely the Prineas books!
Thank you, Laura and Anita and Chelle and Cassie and Dejah!
Still not much reading, though. I'm working on the second book of The Science of Discworld series, but that's nonfiction technically and so expected to be read slowly chapter by chapter. Haven't gotten back into a good story yet, although I've lots of books volunteering themselves around here.
>90 ronincats: OMG Roni, that sounds awful. I hope this mornings' discomfort is indeed a small glitch and has passed by now and that you're completely fine very soon.
I have read all of the Septimus Heap (Magyk) series and really liked them. They are perfect for middle graders to read and make great read-alouds. The recorded versions of the series is excellent and they are even interesting for adults to listen to. If you are planning a road trip this series would make a great listen together on the road trip kind of recorded book. There are seven books in the series (no surprise) with a title like that and they are well plotted with interesting characters that grow and change throughout the series.
I have not read or listened to any of the How to Train Your Dragon books, but plan on getting to them someday.
I am currently listening to Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and find myself being a bit critical about this series. This series is classed as YA and the books are full of sex and violence. We are not talking about just references to sex and violence - this is full out descriptions of both. I find myself wondering about the placement of these as YA. When I checked with my local library, they had the first book in the series in the YA section and the second book in the series in the Adult SciFi/Fantasy section. I can understand why.
Don't get me wrong - I am liking this first book and plan to finish the trilogy, but I don't think I would put this series in a high school library. I think it would be the kind of book that parents would have fit over - if they found it in a high school library.
Roni, I'm hoping that you continue to feel better each day. I am excited you are going to research the old themes and bring some of them back - fun!
>105 ronincats: & >107 benitastrnad:: Thank you for the recommendations. I will have to check out the Prineas series. He still likes illustrations and books that are not “too” long. I read the first Magyk book a couple of years ago. I think if I read it to him or we listen to the audio version he will enjoy it. We do have a road trip planned in April so that will be a good idea!
>106 RebaRelishesReading: I think it's the side effect of the strong antibiotic that they warned me would play havoc with my digestive system, Reba.
>107 benitastrnad: I haven't forgiven the Post Office for losing the 7 book set of first edition hardbacks that I mailed off to my great-nephew last year when I was finally ready to give them up and off of my shelves, Benita.
>108 benitastrnad: Sounds like a no-go for me.
>109 Crazymamie: Thank you, Mamie. See below!
>110 richardderus: Thank you, Richard, and I have a similar wish for you for your own particular constitution of pains!
>111 jayde1599: Added a couple on your thread too.
>112 sibylline: Welcome, Lucy. I thought so and I'm glad too.
Okay. Here's what the 2011 group had, and that was the first year of the wiki and that they were mentioned on the group page:
Monthly Themes Main Thread - http://www.librarything.com/topic/120644
Fantasy February - 1 Current
Mystery March - Part 1 Part 2
Autism Awareness April - http://www.librarything.com/topic/112194
May: Murder & Mayhem - http://www.librarything.com/topic/114691
July: Juvenile & Young Adult - Part 1 Current
September: Series & Sequels - Part1 Part 2
October - The Halloween Thread - http://www.librarything.com/topic/123169
Nobel Prize Month - http://www.librarything.com/topic/124174
Neil in November - http://www.librarything.com/topic/125930
1012 was pretty similar:
Autism Awareness April
Murder and Mayhem May
Hot Author August
September Series & Sequels Part 2
October's Halloween Read
New Novels November
January Heritage Month
Fantasy February 2
Social Justice Theme Read (February)
Spring Training (Feb/March)
March Mystery Month
April Is Autism Awareness Month
May Murder and Mayhem
May Mars, Myth and Makebelieve
September Series and Sequels
2014: starting to shrink a bit
April Autism Awareness
May Murder and Mayhem
September Series and Sequels
Annual Halloween Reading List
Suicide And Mental Illness Theme September and October
2015: shrinking a bit more
Autism Awareness April
May Murder and Mayhem
September Series and Sequels
The Annual Halloween Horror Read
Monthly Themes (no more planning threads after 2015)
April is Autism Awareness Month
May: Murder & Mayhem
Mental Health Awareness May
September Series & Sequels
Autism Awareness April
May Murder and Mayhem
May Martians and Magic
September Series & Sequels
September Series & Sequels
Halloween Themed Read
Halloween Theme Read
Different people had a hand in suggesting and organizing the themes.
I'm thinking it may be time to rejuvenate this idea. I always loved Fantasy February. What do you all think? Set up a thread and come up with a calendar of themes?
I liked and participated in some of the theme months, Roni, but my itch for such things is now scratched by the various ones in the Category Challenge (am I a bad 75er?).
Happy reading this year! I hope you're feeling better.
I'm not sure that I read planned books enough for the monthly themes but I might pop in here and there.
Whew! I hope that tonight sees you feeling appreciably and reliably better, Roni. What a crumby way to have to spend a weekend!
"We" don't do Read-a-Thons anymore? I miss them even if I wouldn't have participated last year or even the year before that. I don't think I participated in theme months either, but I like the idea and lurked to see what people were reading.
Wow, Roni you are so organized in your reading. That's what I have tried but then am distracted with BBs!
Hope you continue to mend.
Fried fish and ice cream??? What did you do, mix them? I'm sorry you were under the weather and wish you all the best.
Now, what's this about a fantasy retelling of Pride and Prejudice? This I must seek out!
I am all for themed monthly reads! I had a blast last year participating in events I found on Booktube: Jam Jar January, Fantasy February, March Mystery Madness, the O.W.L.s Readathon in April and the N.E.W.T.S Readathon in August, and Space Opera September. Month-long events are really my jam; week-long ones just make me feel like I'm taking a test. I'm definitely interested.
Hi Roni! Yes, I will try to get M to read Wizards of Once if I enjoy it. Thanks for the suggestion. He is in a book club, and I will make it as a suggestion for next time we meet. Our first meeting is this month, so we'll see if he actually enjoys being in a book club first!
Ow! - very sorry for your troubles, Roni.
I always had good intentions around the monthly themes that rarely came to fruition, but I miss them anyway. I think they are a valuable and fun group project, though of course they require someone being willing to do the heavy lifting.
I would be interested in a few monthly challenges, and I’d would join Fantasy February if someone was willing to run it.
Hi, everybody. My energy level is low, affected by this really strong antibiotic that is compromising my digestive system. Not too bad, really, but my concentration is also affected and I've not been able to settle down to a book over the last few days. I'll be back soon and pick up the idea of monthly themes then. I agree, Chelle, Fantasy February would be my top pick and I will commit to doing that, regardless of what else develops!
Fantasy February would be a great one and the one I'd definitely participate in.
I also like the idea of May Murder and Mayhem, if we're all still in the mood for themes by then :D
If I'm feeling really organised, I'll try to do a thread for reading the Hugos again this year.
What I'm going to do first is talk to Jim and then set up a Monthly Themes Planning Thread. Katie, I know what you mean about the CAT and KIT challenges, but they are often more specific than I like--what if I don't want to read any dystopia in March for the SFF-KIT? I think it sounds like enough people are interested to give it a whirl, anyway.
Finally finished another book, my latest ER selection:
Book #3 Spoilers: Things Get Worse by Galen Surlak-Ramsey (300 pp.)
And since it is an ER book, I wrote a formal review.
I received an ebook of this for the Early Reviewers, without reading the first book in the series.
That said, enough is said about the events of the last book in this one for me to have a pretty good idea of what went on and, since there isn't any character development, it doesn't really matter anyway. This is a non-stop sequence of crises, all action mostly avoiding whatever aliens are trying to kill the group at any given moment, with highly improbable escapes. The author attempts a light hand with some humor, but it mostly thunks and throws the reader out of the story, not that we're really invited into it as more than an audience anyhow. I have no sense that Dakota has any depth to her (or even that she is a woman) any more than any other of the characters, although it is clear the author is attempting to create a "kick-ass heroine". And I would refuse to be an AI in this story categorically!
If the author would stop trying to do so many things at once and concentrate on a story that one could care about, as opposed to mindless action entertainment, I think he could develop some potential.
Okay, Jim. I have the planning thread up here!
Will put up the Fantasy February thread midmonth.
Yours is always a wonderful and dangerous thread for me to follow, Roni :) Looking forward to hopefully doing so a bit more regularly than in years past, happy reading!
>129 ronincats: I like the idea of theme months. It will be interesting to see what we can come up with. So thanks for setting it up.
Yes, antibiotics can make you feel crummy. Have you thought of taking some probiotics? It's supposed to help your system gain the right bacteria, or get them back.
Thanks for starting the planning thread. I'll follow along and join in when I can. I'm in for February
Hope you feel better soon, Roni. I'm laid low myself with what looks to be the flu so a gentle fist bump with you on the low energy levels. I mustered enough to make myself a giant mug of tea and then collapsed on the couch, determined to sweat this thing out.
>132 ChelleBearss: What she said.
Happy Saturday, Roni! Sorry you are feeling poorly. Hoping that is short lived.
Roni, did you wing me with this book bullet? The Splendid Freedom by Arsen Darnay? It arrived chez moi today and I remember literally nothing about it, even down to ordering it. I tried Steve Wynn's thread, no joy; Joachim Boaz's site, ditto; James Harris, Tor.com, absolutely nowhere is this mentioned that I can find, and usually when you get me I remember it.
Not Ron, not Susan...*aaarrrgh*
I left my YGC a message to see if he got it for me for some reason. ...?!...
Hi Roni. I used to love the theme months! I now participate in the all the Category Challenge Cats and Kits but I would certainly love to see Fantasy February brought back.
Oof - sorry to hear about the diverticulitis and antibiotic issues Roni. Hope you feel 100% soon. I'll go add my thoughts on the monthly reads planning threads - thank you for kickstarting that again.
Sorry to hear you're feeling gross, but hopefully everything will clear up soon.
>127 ronincats: Ugh, that sounds like a good book to miss.
Thanks for setting up the monthly themes planning thread!
Sorry you're not feeling great Roni. I've not been 100% myself so sympathise!
I miss the monthly themes too, especially the mystery and series ones. It's nice to see the roses on your thread, especially as we are covered in white stuff right now - we don't do that well in the Vancouver area. I hope you are doing better and get your concentration back soon, Roni.
Sorry to hear about the diverticulitis flare up and antibiotic reaction. I hope you are on the mend.
I'm trying very hard to NOT commit myself to reads - I've got one informal one with Mark this month that we need to start soon Spying on the South, and the BAC for January for a book I wanted to read anyway, Frankissstein. I'm impressed with the monthy theme plans although will most likely lurk just to keep up with what friends are reading.
>144 karenmarie: I’ll also be lurking only; there’s a part of me that would like to join but I think I’ll wait to add that challenge on top of my general challenge of 75 for another year. Good luck with the themes for those of you who are planning to participate!
Today was last day of antibiotics, but still feel that knot when there's pressure--have an email in to my dr. Still having trouble concentrating on books so reread a comfort read.
Book #4 The Clairvoyant Countess by Dorothy Gilman (224 pp.)
This book just scratches an itch for me, I'm not sure why. I love it, though. Kind of a series of episodes about a Russian countess now poor New Yorker clairvoyant and her interaction with a police detective.
And time for a kitty picture!
>130 kgriffith: Hi, Kirsten. Good to see you here.
>131 EllaTim: Ella, my doctor recommended that I take probiotics along with the antibiotic so I have been. Good idea!
>132 ChelleBearss: Hi, Chelle!
>133 cameling: I hope you are feeling better, Caro. It's so nice to have you back!
>134 Crazymamie: And the same for you, Mamie! Thanks!
>138 AMQS: Thank you, Anne.
>139 DeltaQueen50: Judy, that one is definitely going to happen!
>140 souloftherose: Thank you, Heather. I hope you can get some good news about Erica.
>141 archerygirl: Hi, Kathy!
>142 SandDune: Hope you are feeling better, Rhian.
>143 Familyhistorian: Concentration is still poor, Meg, but all else is better, thanks!
>144 karenmarie:, >145 CassieBash: The nice thing about the monthly themes, Karen and Cassie, is it is more a case of when you read something that fits into the theme, you comment about it on the thread, rather than deliberately planning something to fit in. Of course, if you want to up your reads in a category, it helps to motivated you. That always happens to me with the Mystery March theme--I let my few series languish and this reminds me to pick them up again at least once a year.
Hoping to find a really good new read that pulls me in, but so far I've dipped my toe into half a dozen that just aren't doing it for me.
Hi Friend. I am so sorry you are not feeling well. Let's hope you are better soon.
Thanks for the photo of the cats (above). I am thinking of obtaining a kitten. I'll know when the time is right. I had dinner at a neighbors house last Friday. She had the most loving orange, male cat. He communicates with her via a series of meow sounds. She always knows just what he wants.
Take care, get better soon!
>146 ronincats: Let's hear it for comfort reads! I hope you're feeling well soon.
>146 ronincats: It's always time, in my book, for kitty pictures! :D Hope you're better soon.
>147 ronincats: Perhaps another year. My to-read piles aren't really organized so I have to work from the top down. I've been choosing titles from whatever happens to be handy in the top few books. I haven't really re-organized them since mom's been sick.
>146 ronincats: Your babies are beautiful! I hope continuing the antibiotics get you the results you need. I'm a big fan of comfort reads....
Sorry you still aren't feeling well, Roni. Hope the doc gets back to you soon and can fix things.
And the doctor has ordered a CT Scan and bloodwork instead of another round of antibiotics...which won't happen until the end of the week at the earliest.
I may have to cancel again, Reba.
>153 ronincats: Such delays are a real drag. I hope your health improves absent of expert assistance in the mean time.
>146 ronincats: Ha! Great kitty picture, Roni.
I hope you get some answers and eventual relief from the additional testing. It must be frustrating.
>146 ronincats: Yup, onto my TBR list.
I'm a Dorothy Gilman fan from way back. I loved the Mrs. Pollifax series.
I also read a lot of Margaret Binton adventures (Richard Barth) in the early 70's too.
Hadn't thought of those novels in years and years. I sold all of the sets I'd accumulated in having to downsize for a move from a very large 4-bedroom house to a 2 bedroom place. I wonder if I'd like those stories now? Probably pretty dated, but I'm going to see if I can find The Clairvoyant Countess. I'm ready for a nice cosy read soon.
>153 ronincats: These days I'd be the size of a Zeppelin no matter what, but most times I'd be rail-thin. I hope the CAT scan goes off without a hitch and discovers something benign and easy to fix is causing the issues.
>127 ronincats: Sounds like one I can safely avoid!
>146 ronincats: I have read all of Gilman's Mrs Pollifax books, but do not think I have ever read that one. I will have to give it a try!
>153 ronincats: I am sorry to hear about your continued problems, Roni! I do hope the medicals can get down to what the issue is so that you can get back on track.
>113 ronincats: I would definitely participate, Roni. You are a great help in broadening my reading horizons.
Hope you are fully recovered or at least very soon will be.
>153 ronincats: I was afraid of that, Roni. Don't worry, third time will be charm :) Meanwhile, I hope you get this sorted out and over with quickly. Please me know if there's anything I can do.
I'm so sorry you are still under the weather.
Oh I love Dorothy Gilman! Mrs. Pollifax!
Hi Roni! Returning your visit. I’m happy to dip a toe into Fantasy February and September sequels again. I hope your health issues are sorted out soon.
I do really appreciate everyone coming by with their good wishes! Thank you, Linda, Susan, Cassie, Dejah, Reba, foggi, Anita, Joe, Sandy, Richard, Stasia, Lori, Paul, Rachel, Lucy, Thomas, Nina and Beth.
I know my health issues are not much compared to some of you like Linda, Richard, and Stasia, but the abdominal discomfort continues. My doctor, rather than repeating the antibiotic, ordered a CT Scan and lab tests. The scan will be next Thursday, and I did the blood work necessary for it today.
>148 Whisper1: Linda, kittens are wonderfully active little people. If Lilly isn't interested in nonstop play, it may be a good idea to get a pair, but you can't really go wrong.
>159 SandyAMcPherson: I didn't find out until many years later that Gilman wrote a sequel--but that mainly because she didn't write it until over 25 years after the first.
>160 richardderus: Ugh, the prep is onerous!
Meantime, I will try to get our monthly themes organized here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/315449
and I finished a library book.
Book #5 The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle (230 pp.)
THIS is the book I intended to request when I got Hollow Kingdom last month, a very different work! This is another retelling of young women being kidnapped under Hill by the fae, but with some nice original variations and a good development of character. It will join The Perilous Gard and An Enchantment of Ravens as a favorite of this type of tale.
ETA: Spinning Silver is actually a related tale as well, but of a slightly different folk tale.
>170 ronincats: Sorry you're still feeling unwell Roni - hoping the blood tests and scan results give some answers (and something easily treatable).
>171 bell7: I didn't even realize it was a trilogy until I went to enter this book after I finished it. Now I have the other two requested from the library.
>172 souloftherose: Thanks, Heather. (((((Heather)))))
So I've had a delightfully idle day parked in front of the tv in the living room with college basketball on. KU won and a lot of other top 10 teams lost. And I've finished two more books.
Book #6 The Science of Discworld: The Globe by Terry Pratchett, Ian Stewart, Jack Cohen (345 pp.)
This is the second of four books which intersperse wizard's antics with chapters discussing major and significant scientific concepts, such antics illustrating them. I found the first one very intelligent, though-provoking and entertaining, and this one is more of the same. My sister got me this and the last two for my birthday in November, so I am sure I will be working my way through the last two at some point this year.
Book #7 Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer (304 pp.)
I became aware of this book due to Joe's review of it in December, and ordered it from the library. I would never have picked up a Naomi Kritzer book on my own because I read the first one she ever wrote and it was one of those bloody religious persecution fantasies--well, here's a synopsis:
For sixteen-year-old Eliana, life at her conservatory of music is a pleasant interlude between youth and adulthood, with the hope of a prestigious Imperial Court appointment at the end. But beyond the conservatory walls is a land blighted by war and inexplicable famine and dominated by a fearsome religious order known as the Fedeli, who are systematically stamping out all traces of the land's old beliefs. Soon not even the conservatory walls can hold out reality. When one classmate is brutally killed by the Fedeli for clinging to the forbidden ways and another is kidnapped by the Circle--the mysterious and powerful mages who rule the land--Eliana can take no more. Especially not after she learns one of the Circle's most closely guarded secrets. Now, determined to escape the Circle's power, burning with rage at the Fedeli, and drawn herself to the beliefs of the Old Way, Eliana embarks on a treacherous journey to spread the truth. And what she finds shakes her to her core: a past destroyed, a future in doubt, and a desperate people in need of a leader--no matter how young or inexperienced. . . .
But--this one sounded completely different, and it is! Definitely YA, it's set in a very near-future setting where a 16 year old girl has accompanied her mother constantly on the run to keep her father from finding them for the last 11 years. Her only stable community is an internet group on Catnet. But as they settle into the newest community, something happens that puts her father on their trail and put Steph into immediate danger. Can her friends and the network admin (who just happens to be an AI--which isn't possible?) help her resolve the situation? I loved this. It had really good characterization, authentic settings, very serious considerations of the issues of domestic abuse and of the issue of aware artificial intelligence and of gender issues, all embedded in a really entertaining story. Highly recommended.
>170 ronincats: I went to put that one into the BlackHole only to discover it was already there. Sounds like it is time to pull it out!
I hope the tests Thursday help to narrow down what the issue is and get it resolved for you.
>173 ronincats: Adding the Kritzer book to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation, Roni!
>174 alcottacre: Hope your arm continues to improve after your surgery, Stasia! Thanks.
Oh, and I missed a book I read yesterday. Yes, I HAD to go back and reread the sequel to The Clairvoyant Countess.
Book #8 Kaleidoscope by Dorothy Gilman (241 pp.)
This book, written 25 years after the first, continues the interwoven episodic stories of those who consult Madame Karitska for "readings" and is just as charming as the first.
>175 ronincats: You just HAD to read it, did you? Now you know I HAVE to add it to the BlackHole, right? You enabler, you!
O.R. Melling also wrote an enjoyable YA version of faerie kidnapping, The Hunter's Moon. I really enjoyed re-reading that a couple years ago. Clare Dunkle's book sounds good (she says, hoping to dodge a book bullet).
Hi Roni - sorry to hear about your health problems. I've had to add Catfishing on CatNet to my list and will visit your monthly theme reads thread, I used to enjoy those.
I hope things go well with the CAT scan this week, Roni. Waiting is always rough, isn't it?
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