jessibud2 WILL read off her own shelves in 2020! - Chapter 1

Talk75 Books Challenge for 2020

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jessibud2 WILL read off her own shelves in 2020! - Chapter 1

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Edited: Dec 30, 2019, 5:32pm

1 - Welcome to my first 2020 thread. 2020 sounds so sci-fi, doesn't it?

Because I failed so spectacularly last year to follow my own promise of reading off my own shelves, I am determined to do so this year. I will be hit by BBs; that goes without saying but I will read ONLY books from my own shelves (unless there is an emergency exception that forces me to cruise on over to the library, or a bookstore). Goodness knows I have enough books, and enough shelves, to find something for every challenge and every mood or whim that might hit me throughout the year. 2020 will be my year of MY books! You are all witnesses to this declaration. Please hold me to it!

I am Shelley, a retired teacher and I have more books in my house than I probably have years left to read them. But that doesn't bother me one bit, nor does it seem to prevent me from adding more. I can't remember not reading and not being surrounded by books and I wouldn't have it any other way. Some people think I am obsessive about reading but, well, I don't think I'll find that criticism/opinion here, will I?

I am a member of a local documentary movie theatre called Hot Docs. When I first moved to Toronto in 1980, it was a repertory theatre that showed old films and film festivals. I remember one of the first shows I went to there was the Rocky and Bullwinkle film festival. Let me just say, I loved it as a kid, when it was a tv program, but I really understood it as an adult, the political satire, the literary satire (think, the Fractured Fairy Tales segments). About 10 years ago or so, it was converted to a dedicated Doc cinema and I've been going to this theatre ever since. I love documentaries, as, to me, they are an extension of my love of non-fiction storytelling. So, on my thread you will find reviews of some of the great films I see as well as the books I read.


Edited: Dec 30, 2019, 5:40pm

Edited: Dec 30, 2019, 5:48pm

Some favourite (among many) book quotes that speak to me:

Reading is breathing in, writing is breathing out - Pam Allyn

There are books in which the footnotes or comments scrawled by some reader's hand in the margin are more interesting that the text. The world is one of these books - George Santayana

Books are such private experiences to read but then create such bonds afterwards through sharing and discussion.

Reading is the bread of life: it feeds my brain and nourishes my soul.

When I have a little money, I buy books. And if any is left, I buy food and clothing - Desiderius Erasmus

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all of the miseries of life
- W. Somerset Maugham


I wish I knew the source of all of these quotes so I could properly credit them but I don't. If anyone recognizes a legit source, please let me know and I will edit it in.

Edited: Feb 21, 2020, 10:47am

Edited: Dec 30, 2019, 5:37pm

I will participate, as I can, in the Non-Fiction challenge, and will dip in and out of the AAC if I can find books on my shelves to read for it. Other than that, no commitments. I am such a *whim* reader, that it's just as well not to commit too much. I also avoid guilt that way.

Edited: Dec 30, 2019, 5:42pm

Open for business!

Dec 30, 2019, 5:35pm

Welcome back!

Dec 30, 2019, 5:39pm

Hi Shelley! Happy 2020 reading, which clearly needs to include a lot more sci fi. Cuz it's a sci fi year.

Dec 30, 2019, 5:43pm

>7 drneutron: - Thanks, Jim!

>8 richardderus: - Well, we shall see. Don't hold your breath, though... ;-)

Dec 30, 2019, 8:14pm

Hi Shelley! Happy new year and happy new thread!

Dec 30, 2019, 9:42pm

Thanks, Katie!

Dec 30, 2019, 11:02pm

I see that determination, Shelley. I hope we can support you in reading off those shelves in 2020!

Dec 31, 2019, 1:02am

Wonderful new thread Shelley. All the best in 2020 to meet your reading goals. Look forward too to your movie reviews.

Dec 31, 2019, 1:19am

Good luck with your plan of reading from your own shelves in 2020, Shelley.

Dec 31, 2019, 5:42am

Best wishes for 2020!

Dec 31, 2019, 7:46am

>12 EBT1002:, >13 mdoris:, >14 Familyhistorian:, >15 DianaNL: - Thanks, Ellen, Mary, Meg and Diana!

Dec 31, 2019, 8:56am

Another resolution is to keep up in 2020 with all my friends on LT. Happy New Year!

Dec 31, 2019, 11:46am

>17 PaulCranswick: - Thanks, Paul! And the same right back atcha!

And, apropos to absolutely nothing, this is a fun interview! Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield speak to xkcd cartoonist Randall Munroe:

Dec 31, 2019, 12:45pm

Happy New Year, and happy new thread, Shelley.

Yes to those Doc reviews...

Dec 31, 2019, 5:46pm

Yes, Shelley, 2020 does sound sci-fi :-)
Happy reading!

Dec 31, 2019, 6:13pm

Hi Shelley my dear, wishing you a very Happy New Year from both of us dear friend.

Dec 31, 2019, 6:15pm

I like the determination in your topper name and your lack of challenges, which should make it easier to read a shelf book on a whim. Good luck!!

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!!

Dec 31, 2019, 6:46pm

Thank you, Ella, Anita, John and Ki. Happy new year to you all!

Dec 31, 2019, 6:53pm

Happy New Year, Shelley!

Wishing you a wonderful year of reading.

Edited: Dec 31, 2019, 8:19pm

And Happy New Thread, Shelley! Looking forward to spending another bookish year with you!

"Because I failed so spectacularly last year to follow my own promise of reading off my own shelves, I am determined to do so this year." Me and you both. This will be my main objective in 2020. Lets dodge those BBs together.

Jan 1, 2020, 2:05am

Hi Shelley.
Dropping a star, so I can fiollow you!

My 2020 75-book challenge thread is here

Jan 1, 2020, 4:49pm

Happy New Year, Shelley.

Jan 1, 2020, 5:19pm

Hi and thanks, Anita, Mark, Sandy, and Beth.

Jan 1, 2020, 5:45pm

Happy New Year, Shelley! 2020 sounds so sci-fi, doesn't it? Yes! I'm a bit surprised that I'm alive in this sci-fi year. It seemed impossibly far away when I was a kid.

Documentaries: have you seen the Fred Rogers one? Way better than we expected. We haven't seen the Tom Hanks movie yet.

Good luck with your reading-from-your-shelves project. It's tough when so many good new ones come out during the year!

Jan 1, 2020, 6:21pm

>29 jnwelch: - I saw the original documentary on Fred Rogers when it came out last year. I thought it was excellent. I saw the Tom Hanks bio pic a couple of weeks ago and it was good. not what I expected but then, I am not sure what I expected. I did not know the story of the journalist and this film is more about that than anything. Still, Hanks was, as expected, really good.

The last doc I saw was last week, 63 Up and I wrote about it and dropped some links on my last thread, as you know. I can't recommend that series enough. Next week, I am going to see a doc about Golda Meir.

So far, I am one for one in the reading off my shelves, lol. I should finish it tonight or tomorrow and will post it then. It's a book from the *Last Interview* series, this one with MLK. It's a good series.

Edited: Jan 2, 2020, 9:46am

Did anyone watch Jeopardy tonight? There was a category on graphic Novels and I knew the answer to who wrote They Called Us Enemy (though not to the other 4 in that category). I also knew, in the other Literary category, that it was George Eliot who wrote Middlemarch.

Edited: Jan 2, 2020, 1:01pm

First book done: The Last Interview Martin Luther King Jr. This is the fifth book in this excellent Last Interview series that I have read. What the series does is publish transcripts from interviews done from various times during the subject's life, usually 4 or 5, with the last one being the actual final interview conducted in his or her life. In this book, the final interview took place on March 25, 1968, less than 2 weeks before King was murdered. The other interviews were one from 1957, 2 from 1958, one of which was an unpublished interview with Mike Wallace before he moved to 60 Minutes, one from 1964 with Robert Penn Warren and the final one at the 68th Annual Convention of the Rabbinical Assembly.

What strikes me as so tragic, apart from his murder, of course, is that so much of what he dedicated his life to, and spoke so eloquently of in these interviews, is still so current and relevant today. Yes, slavery and segregation are now outlawed, but racism is alive and well. Poverty and access to basic dignity and human rights (food, education, housing, jobs) are still huge issues, and yes, governments move far too slowly and are far too apathetic to the plights of their own citizens. He spoke of the millions spent on space, Vietnam, and technology but how little if any, spent on addressing the domestic problem of poverty.

A sobering first book of this new decade. I wonder if these issues will still persist into the 2030s...

Edited to add the other books in this Last Interview series I have read so far: Nora Ephron, David Bowie, Oliver Sacks, and Jane Jacobs. I thought there was another but apparently not. The one I am looking for next is James Baldwin

Jan 2, 2020, 10:36am

Jan 2, 2020, 11:08am

Hope 2020 is kind to you, Shelley

Jan 2, 2020, 11:11am

>32 jessibud2: Interesting series and nice review of the books and concept.

Jan 2, 2020, 1:03pm

>Thank you, Paul and Chelle.
>35 Berly: - Thanks, Kim. I edited in some other titles in the series and corrected a number. This is my 5th, not 6th, that I've read. >32 jessibud2:

Jan 2, 2020, 9:40pm

Hi Shelley, and happy New Year!

Brava for being a ‘whim’ reader. I’m one too, except for my RL book club’s 11 books/year and the occasional personal challenge.

>32 jessibud2: Congrats on your first book of the new year.

Jan 2, 2020, 10:24pm

>32 jessibud2: That series sounds very interesting. Yay for a good first read!

Jan 3, 2020, 11:05am

>32 jessibud2: OMG you finished a book already, maybe even more by now.
I haven't opened a single thing this past week, except some recipe books... to consult. Old favourites, already in my LT catalogue.

I feel so "far behind" as so many 75-ers are already listing books-read for 2020. Sheesh!

Jan 3, 2020, 12:38pm

Hi Shelley! Happy New Year! I too am surrounded by books I haven't yet read. I hope to get to them this year, but you know, BBs happen.

Jan 3, 2020, 12:44pm

>32 jessibud2: Sounds really interesting, Shelley. Wouldn't it be nice if this book was a documentary and we could also listen to him speak?

Jan 3, 2020, 2:36pm

>37 karenmarie: - I am most definitely a whim reader, Karen, though sometimes I get obsessed by a topic or author and spend a god deal of time googling after a book, and following that thread to wherever it leads. I am nothing if not a tangent-follower...;-)

>38 richardderus: - I stumbled onto it by accident, which is always a fun thing when it turns out good. There are some good ones in the series, too. They are slim volumes and I find them rather pricey for their size so I tend to seek them out at used books stores or sales tables.

>39 SandyAMcPherson: - To be fair, it's such a slim volume (115 pages( and I had started it and hoped to finish it the night before so instead, I finished it yesterday. But it's nice to have that first done and under my belt. The book I am currently reading is a hold from the library that came in (with 4 more on the way, heaven help me), and is a good deal bigger.

>40 ffortsa: - Hi Judy. Thanks for visiting. I see you everywhere on other threads and have lurked on yours but I will head over shortly and drop a star. BBs. Yes, well, they haven't yet invented a vest bullet proof for around here, have they? ;-)

>41 EllaTim: - Wow, that's a great idea. I think some of the interviews in this series of books were originally print interviews for publication, rather than tv or radio interviews, but that would be very cool if there was some video or audio component to them. Just today, I went to a wonderful museum exhibit of Nelson Mandela and there were exactly what you have proposed: lots of visuals and reading but also audio and video clips of him. I will write more on that shortly.

Edited: Jan 3, 2020, 3:04pm

Re: Book Hangover:

AAC Frazier book choices have been a challenge because I'm still living
with Alessandro Giuliani, his horse, Enrico, and his father in A SOLDIER OF THE GREAT WAR.

For MLK, the Taylor Branch Pulitzer Prize PARTING THE WATERS
is off to an amazing start with King's early years.

Jan 3, 2020, 10:01pm

That Last Interview series looks so good, Shelley. I am going to look for those. Are you finding them at your library?

Jan 3, 2020, 11:20pm

Happy New Year, Shelley!

Jan 4, 2020, 8:12am

>43 m.belljackson: - Parting the Waters looks good, Marianne!

>44 EBT1002: - The first one was given to me by a friend and the rest that I've read I've found at used book stores. They seem scarce but I'm always on the lookout for them.

Thanks, Roni, and to you too!

Jan 4, 2020, 8:20am

Since a few days ago, I have been binge-watching Mad About You on tv. I found a channel that seems to be showing it 24/7. 25 years ago I adored that show. Silly, funny, clever and sweet. I also just found out that there is a brand new season, in real time, so to speak. But it will apparently only be on streaming networks! NO FAIR! The series ended when they had a baby and now, 20 some years alter, she is off to college so this is where it picks up.

I love that they always seem to have someone famous on each episode. Since last night, I saw episodes with Yoko Ono, Lyle Lovett, Eric Stoltz, Carl Reiner, to name a few. Such fun!

Jan 4, 2020, 10:42am

I liked Mad About You, too, way back when. I was a teenager when it was on; I'd like to see how it strikes me now. I'd probably find it even better.

Jan 4, 2020, 11:02am

>47 jessibud2: Never saw that one, but now I have to take a peek. Sounds like fun! Book Bullets, TV arrows....

Jan 4, 2020, 11:06am

>47 jessibud2: Ah, It was one of the shows we used to watch as a pair of newly weds who thought that there was little better than cuddling up next to the TV and smiling incessantly before bedtime when the belly-laughs would begin.

Jan 4, 2020, 5:46pm

Hi Shelley, sorry to be so late finding your thread! Happy 2020.

>32 jessibud2: These sound fascinating, I've not heard of this series before. Thanks for the review.

Jan 4, 2020, 6:55pm

Folly fun on the year's first weekend. I stacked all the books I read in 2019 (except for six) and the stack is taller than me. It's at least 6' 8"; the six missing books would push it above 7". I posted a pic.

Jan 5, 2020, 12:42am

>47 jessibud2: I didn't watch the show when it was first out but I've been seeing the previews for it. I'm not sure if it was just aging but she looks like she maybe had some poorly done plastic surgery. I think my mom will really like the new season as she was big into it back then.

Jan 5, 2020, 7:21pm

I was a huge fan of Mad About You way back when, as well. It would be fun to go back and watch some of them.

Jan 5, 2020, 7:41pm

Ok, I have finished binge-watching Mad About You. It ended this afternoon when the station switched over to Golden Globe coverage. Part of me was sad because I adored that show (though, admittedly, it was annoying that they weren't being aired necessarily in sequence, which makes no sense to me). But part of me was glad because my neck hurt and my bum hurt from so much sitting. I am not used to sitting on the couch for so many hours. I am generally not a big tv watcher. It was totally worth it, mind you, but still. I don't think I read more than 3 pages of my book in the last few days!

The new revived season of Mad About You is said to air this Tuesday at 10 pm. When I googled, it seemed to say that it would only be on streaming (pay) channels but I was watching on a regular station and saw the commercial promos for it so maybe I will be able to see it after all. I had forgotten how fun it was to see famous people have guest roles or even recurring roles in this show. Carol Burnett and Carroll O'Connor played Jamie's parents. Mel Brooks played Paul's Uncle Phil. I never watched Friends but the airhead waitress from that show played that same airhead waitress on M.A.Y. I had turned off the tv to do some laundry and some cleaning this afternoon and kicked myself when I turned it back on to see the ending credits of an episode I had just missed where Alex Trebek played himself. Anyhow, just a whole lot of fun.

Back to the books this week! I need to focus because 3 more are waiting for me to pick up at the library, with a fourth on its way.

Jan 5, 2020, 7:49pm

>48 katiekrug: - I was surprised at how good it was, even now, after not seeing it for at least 20 year, Katie. The writing is so clever. Sometimes silly, but clever.

>49 Berly: - Ha! You are probably too young! I bet you'd love it, though, Kim.

>50 PaulCranswick: - :-). Did the American humour translate well over there, Paul?

>51 charl08: - I stumbled on this book series by accident, Charlotte. A friend gave me the first one I read, the Last Interview with Nora Ephron. Then I found one in the used bookstore and after that, I just always have my eyes open for them. They seem pricey to me, (around $22 Canadian) for a slim (under 200 pages) paperback volume so I have been seeking them out at used bookstores. The fact that they seem difficult to find, I guess, makes the *hunt* more like a treasure hunt! ;-)

>52 weird_O: - Saw it and responded! Fantastic!

>53 ChelleBearss: - You, for sure, Chelle, would have been too young, first time around! ;-)

>54 EBT1002: - I stumbled upon this bingefest last Thursday, Ellen. It is one of those stations that shows all old nostalgia tv and although I always see it in the listings, I never bothered to watch anything there. Until this time. Completely worth it.

Jan 5, 2020, 8:35pm

Hope you have a great year of reading.

Jan 6, 2020, 9:45pm

Hi Shelley.
I'm finally off the mark and have finished 2 books.

I thought I was going to be in a reading-funk at first because the initial 2 books were DNFers. Bleagh!

Anyway, I had a fine old time, and the next two were great fun, both mysteries.

Jan 7, 2020, 12:22am

Happy new year of reading!

Jan 7, 2020, 9:11am

>57 thornton37814:, >58 SandyAMcPherson:, >59 banjo123: - Thanks, Lori, Sandy, Rhonda. Well, I finished that first book nice and quickly, but have been slacking a bit on the second one, a library book, and I will blame that on my recent tv bingefest. I have to pick up 3 more from there today, though 2 are kids' books so that should help my numbers. And another library book is in transit which means it might even be there today. Next week, I have another trip to Montreal, so I may have to renew a book or two if I can't finish ahead of the trip. But a 5-hour train ride bodes well for reading so you know there will be books in my suitcase!

Jan 7, 2020, 10:49am

Dropping a star, Shelley. Happy New Year to you! I am also wanting to read from my own shelves this year, and so far, so good. Ha! I am hoping to just make a note of book bullets for future reference and mainly concentrate on my own stacks. I failed miserably at this last year, so...

So funny about that last interview series because I was going to comment that I thought I had heard about them on Charlotte's thread but apparently not. Heh. I am really wanting to read the PKD one.

Jan 7, 2020, 12:43pm

>61 Crazymamie: - Hi Mamie. Yep, he's in there. At the back of each book is a list of others in the series. Here is the list at the back of my most recent one: Kurt Vonnegut, Jacques Derrida, Roberto Bolano, David Foster Wallace, Jorge Luis Borges, Hannah Arendt, Ray Bradbury, James Baldwin, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Lou Reed, Ernest Hemingway, Philip K. Dick, Nora Ephron, Jane Jacobs, JD Salinger, Davie Bowie, Oliver Sacks, MLK. As mentioned, I have read 5 so far of this series.

Edited: Jan 7, 2020, 9:33pm

Toronto writer/illustrator, Teva Harrison, has died at the far too young age of 42. She had lived with cancer for the last 5 years of her life and wrote a graphic comic book about her journey called In-Between Days. I read and reviewed it a few years ago. This morning, her husband was on the radio, talking about her new book of poetry, which is being released today.

Jan 7, 2020, 10:03pm

>63 jessibud2: Thanks for this link. I've never heard of Teva Harrison, but I will be sure to read In-Between Day. Thanks for the recommendation! And thanks for your frequent visits to my thread.

Jan 8, 2020, 2:43pm

>63 jessibud2: Bummer that Teva H didn't make it past 42. Cancer is a cruel disease for the young. So challenging medically when this disease has strong genetic links. Just saying... having lost young relatives too soon. Her husband was brave (strong) to be interviewed about her poetry. I couldn't manage the raw emotion in her In-Between Days, so didn't read more than a synopsis.

Jan 8, 2020, 7:23pm

>64 Whisper1:, >65 SandyAMcPherson: - Yes, I read her first book a couple of years ago. She was certainly a brave soul.

The Canada Reads longlist just came out:

I haven't read any of them but I did hear a terrific interview with Jesse Thistle about his book. Not sure I will actually read any of these but as always, I will certainly follow the competition when it airs. I know that one of the books, Small Game Hunting was a finalist for the Giller Prize

Jan 8, 2020, 9:00pm

Speaking of women dying of cancer too young, Elizabeth Wurtzel was only 52 when she died this week. Metastatic breast cancer. Very sad.

Jan 8, 2020, 9:05pm

>66 jessibud2: Thanks for the list. I always look forward to Canada reads.

BTW Did you see the Jeopardy champion game today? Soo good :)

Jan 8, 2020, 9:13pm

>67 richardderus: - I did see that in the news, Richard, and though I had heard of her book, I will admit that I didn't know her name. Still, anyone dying young is a terrible thing.

Yes, Anita, I have been glued to the tv. I am absolutely LOVING this tournament. I actually really like all three contestants a lot and can't decide who to root for. I am just a bit surprised that Brad hasn't been quicker and more active. Still, it's a nail-biter and I love it that way! I am even impressed at how many (not that many) I am guessing right! I expected that this tournament would be harder than the regular games and that I would know nothing but surprisingly, I am actually getting about as many as I usually do. Which is often easier from the comfort of my couch ;-)

Jan 8, 2020, 11:15pm

Shelley thanks for the info over on Mark's thread. We are here for another week and then back to reality. Puppy (Loki) has had her first taste of the kennel so we shall see how that goes. Here's some info about the java finch/java sparrow.

The Java sparrow, also known as Java finch, Java rice sparrow or Java rice bird, is a small passerine bird. This estrildid finch is a resident breeding bird in Java, Bali and Bawean in Indonesia. It is a popular cage bird, and has been introduced into many other countries. (Wikipedia)

Jan 10, 2020, 11:55am

Hi Shelley!

I'd never heard of Mad About You. It's not on Prime or Netflix, more's the pity.

Jan 11, 2020, 12:59pm

Hi Shelley. I've been too-much reading the Talk threads and occasionally posting, BUT not getting on with *reading*. Looks like they're hopefully slowing to a simmer now. Or maybe that's because it is Saturday.

Snowing to beat the band here, but those teensy-tiny flakes that take no time to sweep off the walk. I was sorry to see the Toronto and Vancouver weather - slushy rainy snow or freezing rain. Yuck. Only the unknowing say "my" weather is unbearable. Yeah, now I'm going to ensure a weather critique, cause I was posting some -30's and worse comments a few days ago. Ha ha.

Hope your premises are not flooded or leaking in the basement this year.

Jan 11, 2020, 1:12pm

>72 SandyAMcPherson: - Well, it's pouring rain here right now, Sandy and will remain so for the weekend. It's also insanely warm for January - we have been above zero for what feels like ages. It will dip below, tomorrow, thus the mess of ice or freezing rain. But there is no snow on my lawn at all.

As for my basement, it was exactly last January that I first noticed the water. It took my condo board till October to finally get the ball rolling to begin the backyard work: digging down, repairing the foundation, waterproofing the foundation, removal of the massive tree which caused the roots to crack the foundation, regrading the yard. My handyman is finally set to begin to repair and rebuild the basement this Monday. I have ordered the vinyl plank flooring and we should have it within a week. Meantime, he will repair the wall that had to be broken to find the source of the water. Then he will paint, and then do the floor. I can't wait to move all the basement furniture back down there from where it has been sitting for a year, in my tiny living room and upstairs bedroom.

I guess the timing of this rain is good. I hope it proves the foundation repair and waterproofing to be solid. It had better be, that's all I can say!

Jan 11, 2020, 1:45pm

Fingers crossed Shelley that the repairs are all done correctly and you have no more leakage. it will be nice to get the flooring and painting done soon as I know you have been putting up with this for ages.

Jan 11, 2020, 11:24pm

I hope you are able to get the new production of Mad About You, Shelley. I should see if I can find the old series to watch while I walk on the treadmill. I usually listen to an audiobook but they aren't always distracting enough.

We got about 5" of beautiful snow on Friday but today it warmed up to 35F and we got a fair amount of wintry mix, as they call it. It's supposed to start snowing again around midnight but I think the earlier predictions of 8 inches or so have been downgraded. We'll see. The Palouse needs snow as the winter wheat depends on it in this relatively arid climate. And honestly, snow is one of the three things I like about my current "home town." The other two are my 7-minute commute and that we have a Dairy Queen. *rolls eyes at self*

I have been surprised and a little disappointed by Brad's performance on the Jeopardy! GOAT tournament, but no more than he, I am sure. I wouldn't mind seeing him win the next match so the tournament can continue. Ultimately, I want Ken to win but not just yet.

Jan 12, 2020, 1:18am

>66 jessibud2: I read Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club and it was really good. I also have Son of a Trickster in the stacks. I just had to get that one after seeing Eden Robinson, if she writes as well as she talks it has to be a winner.

>72 SandyAMcPherson: Well they were predicting snow or rain in Vancouver and it looks like it came out as rain, at least so far.

Jan 12, 2020, 9:03am

>73 jessibud2: Keeping my thumbs crossed, but it's better to find out now if they have repaired everything, or there is still some leaking patch somewhere.

Have a nice Sunday, Shelley!

Jan 12, 2020, 9:07am

Happy Sunday, Shelley. I have not stopped by in awhile. I hope you are doing well. We got some winter weather here, yesterday and my bird feeders are hopping. I need to get out there and freshen everything up. How are the books treating you?

Jan 12, 2020, 9:08am

Oh yes, fingers crossed is right.
Cracked foundations are a total nightmare. This heavy rain in your neck of the woods is a timely testing *before* the floor and painting work.

Jan 12, 2020, 10:41am

>63 jessibud2: I've added this to the wishlist. I wondered if you'd thought about adding your review to the work page - there are only two very short ones there at the moment. They do influence people (well, this person, anyway) to pick up books.

I had an ARC of We have always been here. Fascinating look at a culture I knew nothing about, and a relatively quick read.

Jan 12, 2020, 11:25am

>80 charl08: - Done, now, Charlotte. Thanks for the nudge. I often forget to add my reviews to the work page. Bad Shelley. And in going back through my threads to look for it, I am a bit startled at how many more reviews I did back then than I seem to do now. Not sure what that says about me, other than laziness on my part... I will try to remedy that this year. I am off to a slow start...

Edited: Jan 12, 2020, 11:35am

>74 mdoris:, >77 EllaTim:, >79 SandyAMcPherson: - Thanks, Mary, Ella and Sandy. I checked this morning and all is dry downstairs. WHEW! So Gen, my handyman, will be here at 8 a.m. tomorrow to begin! I can't wait!

>75 EBT1002: - Somewhere in my googling, Ellen, I saw that all 7 seasons of Mad About You is available in dvd as a box set. I imagine it would be pricey so I checked at our local used bookstore because they often have such things in their downstairs ( section. In fact, not long ago, I bought the entire 7 disc box set of Ken Burns' Baseball there for $35, which I consider to be very reasonable. But they didn't have M.A.Y. I will keep checking. ;-)

We had a ton of rain all day yesterday and when I woke up this morning, I see that it had turned to snow/ice overnight, leaving a white (shiny) coating on everything. I am hoping that by the time I go out later, the roads will have been salted or melted sufficiently so I won't have to worry.

Jan 12, 2020, 11:35am

>76 Familyhistorian: - Yes Meg, I thought I remembered you saying you had read that one.

>78 msf59: - Hi Mark. I topped up my feeder yesterday and the goldfinches were by to thank me. I think I counted 9 of them fighting for turns at the 4 ports of my feeder! I am not seeing much more than these guys, a few die-hard mourning doves, the good old Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal and the occasional downy woodpeckers. I haven't seen a single junco so far this winter and that makes me sad.

I will report on books shortly. I have 2 going at the moment and 4 on the table that have all come in at once from the library. Of course they have. So much for reading only my own books this year. Once the library ones are done though, I will try hard not to request more and return to my own shelves!

Jan 13, 2020, 10:32am

>83 jessibud2: Me too ("So much for reading only my own books this year").

Hope they are all 4- and 5-star reads!

Jan 13, 2020, 7:41pm

I hope that your roads were passable when you went out, Shelley. We got snow here overnight, about 5 to 6 inches I think and the city didn't plow the roads in our area so it is tricky to get around even when walking. Good to hear that your foundation is acting like it should finally.

Jan 13, 2020, 8:22pm

>85 Familyhistorian: Snow? Thus far in my area of Pennsylvania, we had a dusting one day..that's all. In fact, the temperatures over the weekend were 69!!!

Jan 13, 2020, 9:03pm

>84 SandyAMcPherson: - Well, I finished another one tonight but will post it up tomorrow as I want to try to add some pics to it. I feel as if I've cheated a bit as all 4 so far have been really small books. Oh well, they are books, I read them, they count!

>85 Familyhistorian: - Wow, you have more than we have had so far this winter, I think! At least in my part of the city, I have more grass showing on my lawn than anything. We have had a dusting the other night but it rained non-stop on Saturday. I think our temps are rising though we may get more snow toward the weekend. I can't say I am missing it, if I am honest...;-)

Jan 13, 2020, 9:09pm

>1 jessibud2: I am trying to figure out what defines "an emergency exception that forces me to cruise on over to the library, or a bookstore." There is a lot of leeway in there! :)

I am not doing any kind of challenges this year regarding my reading. I think it will take the pressure off me. Sounds like you are kind of in the same boat, except for the reading off your own shelf thing. Good luck, Shelley!

Jan 13, 2020, 9:10pm

In other news, my basement restoration has begun! I first noticed the water downstairs last January 25, so it's nearly a year. I have a small basement so it shouldn't take too long. Glen, my handyman, was here at 8am this morning. He drywalled and did the first coat of plastering the chunk of wall that had been removed when they were looking for the source of the water. After the next coat or so, he will paint 2 of the 4 walls that will need painting. I have decided against ordering new carpets. Instead, I have ordered what's called vinyl plank flooring. It looks good and is waterproof. Ha. That had better not be a feature I need, that's all I have to say. The flooring should arrive by the end of the week and Glen will install it and after that, replace the baseboards and finally - I can't wait!!! - bring the furniture back down from where it has been sitting for a year, half in my tiny living room and half in one of the upstairs bedrooms!

Jan 13, 2020, 10:21pm

>56 jessibud2: I'm not sure with most Malaysians, Shelley, but Hani and I enjoyed the show.

Good luck with the Basement.

Edited: Jan 14, 2020, 7:35am

Such an interesting article on how one New York Public Library librarian tried to ban Goodnight Moon from the library!

(it also links back to an article by Jill Lepore)

Jan 14, 2020, 2:36pm

>91 jessibud2: Shelley, that was a very interesting article. Imagine the power! Imagine not liking Goodnight Moon with its wonderful colours and rhythm. Ridiculous!

Edited: Jan 14, 2020, 2:43pm

Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky.

I wouldn't call this a graphic novel, exactly, more like an illustrated book. And it's NF, not a novel, either. Still, it was a quick read and I really love the author's style of art.

Author/illustrator Rachel Ignotofsy first came onto my radar after I received a few postcards from this Women in Science series (I belong to, a global postcard exchange group). I really loved them and found out the author's name after some googling. When I saw that she had a book, I requested it immediately from the library.

Ignotofsky is an artist who loves science and her mission is to encourage girls to become more involved in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) disciplines. To this end, she began this series highlighting the contributions women have made to the sciences over the years. And I mean YEARS. She starts with Hypatia, who was an astronomer, mathematician and philosopher who lived around 350 CE and the books ends with mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, from Iran, born in 1977. Also included in this collection are, among others, Katherine Johnson (who was celebrated in the film Hidden Figures), Rachel Carson, Hedy Lamarr, Jane Goodall, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Grace Hopper, Elizabeth Blackwell, Mae Jemison, Mamie Phipps Clark, Jane Cooke Wright, Valentina Tereshkova.

Here are 2 of the postcards:

I love how Ignotofsky organized this book. The left side of each double page spread shows a stylized illustration of the women being profiled and the right side gives a one-page bio of her life and accomplishments. Here is the double page spread on Marjory Stoneman Douglas:

Interspersed between the profiles are statistical and info pages. I was particularly taken with this one:

I aplogize for the sideways images. I don't know why that happens. They are not sideways on my computer. However, I have exhausted my tech knowledge so am leaving well enough alone! ;-)

Jan 14, 2020, 6:03pm

Can't wait for the Jeopardy GOAT (greatest of all time) tournament to resume tonight. I hope James or Brad can pull off a win so it can be extended a bit. If Ken wins, that's it, it's over. It's been a great match so far! Any other watchers?

Jan 14, 2020, 9:20pm

>89 jessibud2: Wishing you all the best with your renovation! Very exciting :)

Also just finished watching Jeopardy. What did you think of James joke toward Brad?

Jan 14, 2020, 9:24pm

>95 figsfromthistle: - OUCH! I was disappointed in him. I thought it was unnecessarily mean and seemed a bit out of character for him. I was really rooting for him to win tonight if only to keep the tournament going. Oh well. It was a great tournament.

I ran the category of *Great Canadians*, myself! ;-)

Jan 14, 2020, 9:24pm

>93 jessibud2: You hit me with that BB! Thanks for the recommendation.

I hope your basement renovation goes smoothly, Shelley!

Jan 14, 2020, 9:28pm

>93 jessibud2: It's odd to me that non-fiction can readily be presented to today's readers in the graphic format and nary a curled lip or lifted brow is to be found. Good?

Happy Humpday.

Jan 14, 2020, 9:35pm

>95 figsfromthistle:, >97 alcottacre: - Thanks, re the basement. All I want is for it to look exactly as it did before the water. Hopefully, that will happen very soon.

>98 richardderus: - All good. If that's what it takes for (any) people to access NF, and for them to WANT to read it, why not? And this one in particular, is lovely.

Jan 14, 2020, 10:09pm

>93 jessibud2:. Oh, Women in Science looks like a good one, Shelley. Adding it to the WL.

Jan 14, 2020, 10:46pm

>91 jessibud2: Whaaat?!! Ban Goodnight Moon?
No way. Massive favourite. Teaches children the rhythm of the English language and so beautifully illustrated (>92 mdoris: said...). *Grump*

And the Snowy Day, another wonderfully composed classic. What a strange approach that Moore person took in mandating what children might like.

Thanks so much for that interesting link, Shelley.

Jan 14, 2020, 11:32pm

Shelley, I'm watching the Tuesday match in Jeopardy! GOAT tournament. The first game of the match is over and it made me laugh out loud -- and I thought of you. WOW!! It's just so entertaining so far.

Edited: Jan 14, 2020, 11:54pm

I just have one thing to say: CHAD ---- it was such a great moment after the excitement of the first game!!

*spoiler topic is Jeopardy! tournament.

Edited: Jan 15, 2020, 6:00pm

HA! Coincidence or karma? Today's *Delancey Place* newsletter was this:

She is one of the women highlighted in Women in Science and indeed, that is the book they are excerpting!

Delancey Place is an online book newsletter I subscribe to.

(edited to correct my lousy sentence structure)

Jan 15, 2020, 5:54pm

>104 jessibud2: Ha! I read that today as well, and was peeved that yet another woman was eclipsed by a less-competent man in the credit-grabbing derby. Damn breast cancer all to hell and gone.

Jan 15, 2020, 6:08pm

>102 EBT1002:, >103 EBT1002: - So, who were you rooting for, Ellen? I got quite a few answers correct, certainly more than I expected to, given the level of this tournament. But I am blanking on *CHAD*. What did I miss?

I worry about Alex. Who will ever replace him? I doubt it can be done.

>105 richardderus: - So many, Richard, never got the credit they were due. And more than a few died young (though, not all! Marjory Stoneman Douglas lived to 108,, I think!)

Jan 15, 2020, 6:38pm

>93 jessibud2: Lovely Shelley. The illustrations make me want to read the book, or maybe just have it;-) They give an immediate impression of the kind of person this particular scientist is. So, yes, for me it works.

Jan 15, 2020, 8:48pm

>107 EllaTim: - Yes, Ella, it is that kind of book that I'd want on my shelf. I was more than half way through before I began to notice some of the artistic elements and then, of course, I had to go back and check out each page again. For example, on the right hand pages, where the bios were, the author/illustrator puts something in the 4 corners of the page that is relevant to the woman being profiled. It's hard to see on the pic I posted here, but I remember that I first noticed it on the page for jane Goodall; each corner showed a banana! Ignotofsky is clever that way. The visual art is subtle and not mentioned in the text but there are lots of little things like that that you can discover, over and over.

Jan 16, 2020, 12:16am

>93 jessibud2: This looks like a good one, Shelley. I'll have a look for it. I like gifting books like this.

>108 jessibud2: Love this, so clever.

Jan 16, 2020, 12:34pm

>91 jessibud2: Interesting article! I don't agree with banning books, obviously, but I also dislike Goodnight Moon greatly!
Chloe wanted it often when she was younger and it became the book that Nate always read to her at bedtime. I was found better books to read and managed to avoid that one often

Jan 18, 2020, 12:12pm

It's snowing here today. I had planned to go downtown to see a documentary film about Malcolm X. It's only playing this one day but I have decided not to go out in the storm so unless they bring it back another time, I will miss it. It looks good (scroll once to the right for a trailer):

Seven Songs For Malcolm X

I filled my bird feeder this morning so the birds could stock up for the storm. I looked out a little while ago and counted at least 25 to 30 goldfinches on the feeder and on the ground! I have never seen so many here at one time. I also saw a couple of juncos for the first time this winter, really late for them. Also a downy woodpecker and a few sparrows and mourning doves. I don't know how wildlife survives in such climates. Obviously, the ones who overwinter here must survive but I have no idea how!

I woke up with a brutal migraine today, no doubt thanks to the weather changes. I will never understand how the weather outside can so affect me inside. I just know that it does. I will try to read and watch a dvd today, if I don't nap. I have an avalanche of library holds sitting on my table. I've already renewed one and will hopefully finish that one this weekend. It's Volume Control, recommended by Madeline and I know Darryl is also reading it right now. It's about hearing in this noisy world of ours and while there is, of necessity, some medicalese, the author, David Owen, of The New Yorker magazine, is a great writer and has an light, easy anecdotal style that not only makes for good reading but has me laughing out loud at times.

Jan 19, 2020, 11:07am

>93 jessibud2: I love this book, Shelley.

Jan 19, 2020, 8:14pm

There was an episode of 60 Minutes tonight which was a repeat of a piece done about 2 years ago. I saw it when it first aired and was happy to see it again. I am linking to it here because it was so spectacular. It profiled a National Geographic photographer named Joel Sartore, who, 14 years ago or so, set for himself a project and goal to photograph every species in the world, for posterity in case they go extinct. a real possibility as this century goes on. His work is amazing. His project is called The Photo Ark

I hope the link works.

Jan 19, 2020, 8:15pm

>112 BLBera: - Thanks, Beth. It was really nicely done and a delight to go through.

Jan 20, 2020, 1:03pm

>93 jessibud2: Whoa! Those are some stats.

Happy Monday!

Jan 20, 2020, 10:09pm

>106 jessibud2: Re: Jeopardy! GOAT Tournament ~~ I was rooting for Ken although James grew on me. "Chad" was a reference to the wonderful moment in the second game of the last match - which Ken won - when James went all in on his Daily Double, wagering 20,200 points - and the right answer was Chad and it was obscure. I knew a few answers along the way but that one I did not have any idea about. It was the landlocked African country that was surprised to find itself on the U.S. travel ban list (or something like that) but was removed from the list a year later. Even though the successful risk didn't win the match for James in the end, it was such a dramatic moment.

No one will ever replace Alex. I mean, someone will, but it will never be the same.

Jan 21, 2020, 3:11am

I wholeheartedly agree about no one ever replacing Alex. He is synonymous with the show for me!

Jan 21, 2020, 12:35pm

>115 banjo123: - I know, Rhonda! And that was 2011. Somehow, I'd be surprised if they have changed much since then.

>116 EBT1002: - Oh, now I remember. I read somewhere that Ken Jennings did not tell his kids or his parents that he had won and let them find out when they watched it all together. He told his wife, though; said he didn't want a divorce! ;-)

>116 EBT1002:, >117 alcottacre: -I continue to hold out hope, and firmly believe, that Alex will live forever....

Jan 22, 2020, 9:08pm

Hi Shelley. Just waving from here in the west. I wondered what you're reading right now that is perhaps worthy of a BB? I'm trying to skim lots of threads to see book talk. Is this normally how fast they expand at the beginning of a new year???

Jan 22, 2020, 9:13pm

I must say that Alex is doing a great job holding everything together while he is fighting for his life. Whenever he decides that he can no longer host the show, I think it would be great to see Ken take over that role.

Jan 22, 2020, 9:37pm

>119 SandyAMcPherson: - Hi Sandy. I just finished (but haven't yet reviewed) Volume Control, which was very good. Hope to get that review up here tomorrow so I can bring it back to the library. Last night I started Another Country, which was published 20 years ago. After reading just the intro and part of chapter one, I decided to order a used copy from Better World Books because even this early on, there are things I want to highlight and this is a library copy.

I am also reading Notorious RBG and, for fiction, Dear Evelyn.

In other news, did you hear the news yesterday that the Ten Thousand Villages stores across Canada are closing? I was shocked and very very sad. There are only 2 in Toronto and I was in one of them today. Staff are also very sad.

>120 figsfromthistle: - He really is, Anita. It's rather amazing, isn't it? As for Ken, I don't think he would have the patience to be a long-time host. He is a bit too hyper and restless. I got that impression after reading his book, Maphead.

Jan 22, 2020, 10:19pm

>121 jessibud2: I didn't know about the Ten Thousand Villages stores! Sorry to hear that they are closing.

Jan 25, 2020, 11:39am

My 20-year-old Lexi got an almost clean bill of health from the vet yesterday. She told me she had to check 3 times to make sure it was the right report for the right cat. Only her thyroid is close to borderline so a special food diet will begin next week and if that doesn't work, then perhaps pills. Everything else was normal and healthy. She (the vet) was astounded. I had given Lexi gabapentin, 3 hours before the appointment, as per the instructions, to calm her down as she gets very stressed when we go there. Still, for a 20-year old, she has a lot of fight left in her. It took the vet AND her assistant together to draw blood and they had to resort to their *Hannibal Lecter* mask (their words, not mine) to get the deed done.

Lexi, happy at home with her fox pillow:

Lexi, at the vet's office. I will be punished later:

Jan 25, 2020, 11:59am

Amazing! She's older than any of us and has far better health.

Life's so unfair.

Edited: Jan 25, 2020, 12:18pm

She has been looked after so well by you and been loved greatly. That is a very good combinaton. Love the pictures! Lexi has beautiful colouring.

Jan 25, 2020, 3:17pm

>124 richardderus: - :-)

>125 mdoris: - Thanks, Mary. She's a tortoiseshell cat, not as classically *pretty* as Mia was but she is quite the personality. I was bracing for the worst, given that she has lost a bit of weight recently (but she was also a bit on the porky side so maybe that's a good thing), so was pleasantly surprised at the test results.

Jan 25, 2020, 3:18pm

A friend just sent me this article. I can SOOOO relate! If author Michael Redhill can declutter books, so can I! Right?

Jan 25, 2020, 7:37pm

>123 jessibud2: A 20 year old cat, with that much fighting spirit can only be admired. Glad she had such a good bill of health.

Have a nice weekend, Shelley.

Jan 25, 2020, 7:44pm

>123 jessibud2: Very cute! Glad she got a clear bill of health.

Jan 25, 2020, 8:04pm

Volume Control subtitled Hearing in a Deafening World,
by David Owens. Published in 2019

Recommended by Madeline (SqueakyChu)

I quite enjoyed this book. Owens is staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. There was, of necessity, enough medical-ese to have warranted some skimming but in fact, his writing style is very anecdotal and this made for easy reading and I didn't skim at all. I enjoyed the way he was able to make the complex process of hearing understandable for the lay person and some of his analogies had me chuckling out loud.

"For most everyone else, the most common causes of earwax problems are ill-considered attempts to solve or prevent earwax problems. Major culprits are Q-tips, which, when they're used the way most of us use them, function like the long-handled rammers that artillery men in the olden days used to shove gunpowder and cannonballs down the barrels of cannons."

Owens has done an extensive amount of homework and covers many aspects of hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants, research into new technologies, the controversy that still exists in the Deaf community between oralists and those using ASL (American Sign Language), among other aspects of hearing as a culture and an industry. He cites a book written about a community in Massachusetts from around a hundred or so years ago, where nearly all members of this community were deaf and everyone on that little island signed. The book was written by a graduate student as her doctoral thesis and is called Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language. I am going to see if I can get hold of this as it greatly interests me. Apparently, even the hearing members of that community moved easily back and forth between ASL and speaking English. I'll copy and paste here a little anecdote of my own, that I originally posted on Madeline's thread after she reviewed Owens' book.

I used to teach at a school for physically and developmentally disabled kids.
We used sign language (ASL) with some of our deaf students but I learned quickly and surprisingly that sign language also worked amazingly well with some of our hearing but non-verbal students. I had one little girl, for example, who had severe CP (cerebral palsy) whose speech was extremely difficult to understand. She had picked up on the ASL we were using for a deaf student in our class and when she saw how difficult it was for me to sometimes know what she was trying to say to me, she would use signs! I was stunned when I realized what was going on but once I did, we continued to use both sign and speech with her and it made a HUGE difference for us all. What a happy discovery.

I think Owens began this book when he wanted to explore his own tinnitus, that constant ringing in the ears, a condition I also have. From there, the book developed as a very comprehensive look at something probably every one of us will have to deal with, to some extent, in our lifetimes. I can't find the quote right now but somewhere he says that if we have ever been a teenager who listened to loud rock music, then our exposure to loud noise has already impacted our hearing even if it isn't evident till later in life. He also says that "Hearing problems are often aggravated by the human tendency to do nothing and hope for the best, usually while pretending that everything is fine. This is the way we treat many health problems, although it's not the way we typically treat threats to our other senses. For example, people who need glasses almost always get them and wear them"

Hearing aids aren't always that easy and plenty of people get them and put them way in the drawer after awhile (my mother being one of them).

Another quote from the book: "Sound is deeply tied to our emotions in a way that vision is not. It's also a sense that we have comparatively little control over. You can look away from something you don't want to see more easily than you can "hear away" from something you don't want to hear: you can't squinch your ears."

Owens has a lot of really good insights into the problem of hearing loss and this was a very good read.

Jan 26, 2020, 12:30am

>130 jessibud2: I'm so glad you enjoyed Volume Control. I thought it was an excellent book. Your review was great!

With hearing loss, every day presents a new problem. Just this week, I told my friend Barbara's cousin Laurel that I no longer am going to the uke jams with her when she comes to visit. This past uke jam was particularly hard with many people in attendance, and a humidifier going (for the wooden instruments they sell in the store, I guess). Everything sounded like white noise. People would talk to me, and I would have no idea what they were saying so I could not hold any conversation or even respond to anyone. It made me feel like an absolute fool. One thing I've decided to do as a person with moderate hearing loss is to limit my exposure to such situations while trying not to isolate myself completely. It's going to be hard, but I'm determined to live gracefully with my hearing loss. I have faith in future technology to help me along in my endeavors.

Jan 26, 2020, 8:29am

>131 SqueakyChu: - Owens mentioned something that might be worth looking into. They are *noise-cancelling* headphones that allow for reasonable conversation in situations such as restaurants or parties while cancelling out background noise. I can't really imagine how that works, though he did explain, but he said that he, himself, has some and that they work. My own tinnitus is only noticeable to me at night or when I'm in a very quiet place but I have always (as far back as I can remember) had difficulty understanding conversation in situations with background noise. I should probably skim back through the book before I return it to the library tomorrow, and see if I can find out what those headphones are called.

Jan 26, 2020, 8:40am

-NMP, but the black-capped chickadee is one of my favorite winter visitors.

Happy Sunday, Shelley. Glad to hear the positive report on Lexi and I love her fox pillow.

Jan 26, 2020, 8:51am

>128 EllaTim:, >129 figsfromthistle: - Sorry I missed you two up there, Ella and Anita! Thanks!

>133 msf59: - Oddly, I haven't seen any chickadees at my feeder so far this winter, Mark. I usually do have them. But I have seen TONS of goldfinches, and I mean tons! I have no idea where they are coming from. Can't be babies at this time of year! They completely emptied out my feeder yesterday, with only a tiny bit of help from the cardinals and downy woodpecker. They are even keeping the sparrows away, lol! Last weekend, at the height of our big snowstorm, I counted around 30! At one time! Crazy

Jan 26, 2020, 11:21am

Congrats on Lexi's good results at the vet. 20 years old and still able to confound a vet and a tech. Good for her.

I've had tinnitus since my 20s. Sometimes it bothers me, sometimes not. The worst is loud restaurants.

Jan 26, 2020, 11:32am

>132 jessibud2: I saw the information about those noise-canceling headphones (which are expensive). I had my audiologist add a restaurant program to my hearing aids. These cancel the "surround sound" and point the microphone forward. What I've found to be the problem is that the receiver is in back of my ears. So they don't REALLY point forwards. I do best by asking to be seated in a quiet area of a restaurant or in a place where my back is to a wall. That keeps the number of echoing sounds down. Eventually I'll get new hearing aids with better technology. I'm still nursing these old, tremendously expensive hearing aids along for as long as I can. I'm also not sure I want to wear headphones in a restaurant. Maybe, though. It's food for thought.

Jan 26, 2020, 4:00pm

For me, tinnitus has been a life-long thing...since I was four...and white noise is the only effective mitigation of it. It means I do better in city noise than most, which is the polar opposite of so many.

Jan 26, 2020, 4:07pm

>137 richardderus: - Mine started at age 9, after surgery on my ears. I don't ever remember having it before that. I remember being told that there was nothing to be done and that I'd get used to it, when I reported it to my mother and the doctor. At first, I was stunned and panicked but, I guess I did get used to it. Thankfully, it has never got to the point of driving me crazy, it's just annoying. Sometimes, it *clicks* louder and stronger, but mostly, it's just *there*. Believe me, I know there are plenty worse things that can happen to a person, so in a strange way, I am grateful it's *only* this....

Jan 26, 2020, 10:00pm

>123 jessibud2: Wow, I am amazed. I've never been able to get one of my cats past 17 years of age. Yay for you and Lexi!

Edited: Jan 27, 2020, 7:26am

>139 ronincats: - Thanks, Roni. I had to laugh at this cartoon, this morning. Rather apropos:

My previous 2 cats lived to 17 and 18, and my beloved Mia died last August, at 18 and a half. All rescue cats. I won't bring in new cats until Lexi is gone but there will be 2 more then.

Jan 27, 2020, 7:31am

>140 jessibud2: Wow Shelley what are you feeding them with?

Jan 27, 2020, 8:06am

>141 PaulCranswick: - Hi Paul. Ha! Believe it or not, I am rather strict with food, especially for her. She has always been rather *round* so I limit the quantity and never give her treats. I guess she just has good genes.

Edited: Jan 27, 2020, 8:18am

As I have mentioned here on occasion I subscribe to a fun online newsletter called A Word A Day (AWAD). Each Monday, the host, Anu Garg, introduces a theme for the week. This week's theme is words about books so I have decided to post them here this week because, well, you know! Enjoy!

with Anu Garg

An idea is a textually-transmitted disease. A great idea puts one out of their comfort zone -- makes them feel dis-eased. Never underestimate the power of a single solitary idea. It may be a Magna Carta, limiting powers of a king; theses nailed to a door, pointing out that godliness doesn’t necessarily means goodness.

And what’s a book but a collection of ideas. The medium may change -- rock face, tree bark, animal hide, papyrus, magnetic tape, or a Kindle -- but what doesn’t change is the purpose. A piece of writing takes an idea from one mind to another.

Or as a cartoonist said: You can use books to install new software into your brain. This week we’re all about books. We’ll feature words about books.



noun: The love of books.

From Greek biblio- (book) + -philia (love).

“If you’ve ever flirted with bibliophilia, ever dabbled in recreational sniffing and fondling of books, be advised: this magnificent volume Winter Papers 5 might push you over the edge.”
Kevin Barry and Olivia Smith; A winter wonderland; Sunday Times (London, UK); Dec 22, 2019.

A fellow of mediocre talent will remain a mediocrity, whether he travels or not; but one of superior talent (which without impiety I cannot deny that I possess) will go to seed if he always remains in the same place. -Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer and musician (27 Jan 1756-1791)

Jan 27, 2020, 8:13am

>134 jessibud2: Love the bird feeder report, Shelley. We have been getting a lot of finches too, both gold and house. Do you get the latter too? I will have to get out there and freshen things up, alter this morning.

Jan 27, 2020, 8:16am

I usually have a good number of house finches, Mark, but haven't seen any this winter. It's been odd that way. I have only seen ONE junco and there are usually lots.

Jan 27, 2020, 8:51am

>130 jessibud2: Outstanding review. I particularly liked that final quote Sound is deeply tied to our emotions....

Many instantaneous memories are evoked (for me) when I hear the call of certain birds. I'm suddenly that 5 year-old, in my rural home. These are very poignant memories that seem so vivid and responsive to sound.
Maybe I should note the title on my NF list of TBRs!

Jan 27, 2020, 9:05am

>143 jessibud2: Snagged this cartoon! It is *great*!

Jan 27, 2020, 9:07am

>146 SandyAMcPherson: - Thanks, Sandy. I tend to read a lot of non-fiction.

>147 SandyAMcPherson: - I know! isn't it!

Jan 27, 2020, 12:09pm

>143 jessibud2: I particularly love the Mozart quote. We're far too afraid to call the mediocre by its proper name in this feelingsy passage of time. I think there's nothing wrong with mediocrity...after all, it's the natural condition of almost all of humanity ad its outputs...unless one insists on elevating it beyond its place.

Jan 27, 2020, 1:14pm

>130 jessibud2: "Sounds good." Hahaha. I should get a copy and read it. I'm increasingly conscious of hearing issues, just as you and others have noted. Tinnitus? Yep. Difficulty hearing conversation in noisy venues? Yep.

I have trouble concentrating if the venue is even moderately noisy. I can't read if the TV is on, for example. In waiting rooms, for instance, especially if I'm the only person in there and the TV is blaring. (I've been known to turn it off.) I use foam ear plugs a lot (even at home), and I wish I could try noise-cancelling headphones to see how hear how they work. They are expensive.

Edited: Jan 28, 2020, 7:57am

>150 weird_O: -Hi Bill. It's a very readable book and worth a read. I am another who can't listen to anything, not music, not radio, tv, nuthin', when I am reading. That probably says more about me than I can to explore.....

In my ongoing project to watch as many of Ken Burns' documentary films as I can, I picked up 2 from the library today and another is *in transit*. The 2 I have now are Defying the Nazis, which I will watch tonight. It seems appropriate given that today is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. This isn't about that place but it's a story of that time. The other dvd is called The Address and that one sounds good, too. I will report back after I watch them. So far, I have seen 9 so far and there are plenty more before I am done.

Jan 27, 2020, 5:07pm

>150 weird_O: >151 jessibud2: Oh yes, same here. It's worse when I'm tired. And I'm bound to get tired in those places, it takes an effort to separate background noises out. So I would love those noise cancelling headphones. They wouldn't have to be huge would they? Lots of people wear headphones all the time nowadays;-)

Jan 28, 2020, 7:56am

>149 richardderus: - Very true. I also like today's quote!

And now, for the Tuesday entry. I will admit, I have never heard this word before:

with Anu Garg



1. A volume of selected literary passages, usually by one author.
2. A selection of literary passages from a foreign language, especially one assembled for studying a language.

From Greek chrestomatheia, from chrestos (useful) + manthanein (to learn). These two parts of the word ultimately derive from Indo-European gher- (to like or want) which gave us yearn, charisma, greedy, exhort; and mendh- (to learn) that resulted in the terms mathematics and polymath. Earliest documented use: 1832.

“In a word, they think Ted Cruz is a supremely self-absorbed show pony. Perhaps relevant: The Ted Cruz 2016 pocket Constitution that his volunteers distribute features a Ted Cruz introduction and a Ted Cruz chrestomathy before the document’s text.”
Joseph Rago; Ted Cruz Likes Being Hated; The Wall Street Journal (New York); Jan 23, 2016.

See more usage examples of chrestomathy in’s dictionary.

Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. -Colette, author (28 Jan 1873-1954)

Edited: Jan 28, 2020, 4:07pm

Sad news. The last of the original folk group, The Kingston Trio, Bob Shane, has died.

They were among the soundtrack of my growing up years, as my dad played their records on his *stereo* a lot, often as I was going to sleep. I now own several of those vinyl records of my dad's. A couple of years go I read a terrific book about this group, Greenback Dollar. Shane was 85 and still performing when he could, oxygen and all! If I can find it, I will repost my thread about that book which include my binging on youtube and linking to so many of their terrific songs.

Jan 28, 2020, 8:43pm

In other news, one year and three days after I first noticed water in my basement, today the rebuild was finally completed. It now looks like it used to, except the paint is fresh and I have lovely floors instead of a soggy and ruined carpet. The massive tree in the backyard was removed (its roots had caused the crack in the foundation of the house that allowed water to seep in and make a holy mess) and the grade of the yard itself has been raised and levelled so that (hopefully) this won't happen again. I spent much of this afternoon putting things back downstairs and now my living room and upstairs room feel wonderful clear. Those 2 spaces are where the contents of my basement have been for the past year and to say it didn't make me crazy would be a lie. I feel like I can breathe again.

I should finish my current book, Notorious RBG tonight and if so, will review it tomorrow. I have been reading a lot about this remarkable woman lately, it seems, but I always learn something new. I leave for Montreal on Saturday so I have been mulling over what books to take. So far, I have 3 but I may change my mind before then.

Jan 28, 2020, 9:21pm

I’m soooo glad your home is back to normal. It took forever, but it sounds like a job well done. Safe travels and happy reading on your trip to Montreal. Enjoy your visit with your mom.

Jan 28, 2020, 9:32pm

>153 jessibud2: About chrestomathy ...a word I didn't know was "real" because,
I associate the sound of it with The Chronicles of Chrestomanci (Diana Wynne Jones). I wonder if DWJ chose the name because of its Greek etymology?

>154 jessibud2: My folk heroes when I was 14 or 15 y.o. I may still have a KT album along with the other vinyl that's stored! Thanks for the nostalgic trip. (NO! no pun intended. KT predated that era).

>155 jessibud2: basement repair done! Fabulous. So pleased this stress is resolved!

Happy travels to Montréal. Hope your Mother is in fine fettle.

Jan 29, 2020, 1:09am

It must feel like such a relief to have the basement done at last, Shelley, and to have your living room back. Have a safe trip to Montreal.

Jan 29, 2020, 1:14am

Wonderful to have things put back in their proper places. It's like the folk tale It Could Always Be Worse. Do you know this book? I often think about it and its wonderful message.

Jan 29, 2020, 8:33am

>156 SqueakyChu: - Thanks, Madeline. It feels good. Next up in the restoration project is my back yard garden. Now that the tree and its stump are no longer there, I think I'd like to put up a privacy fence across the back. Then, I'll see how many - if any - of my plants survived in my friend's garage over the winter. And then the work begins. But I look forward to that.

>157 SandyAMcPherson: - Yes, Sandy, I also loved the Kingston Trio and the book I read really gave a good background at each of them (and even at some of their replacements over the years).

>158 Familyhistorian: - Thanks, Meg. It feels good.

>159 mdoris: - Thanks, Mary. I hadn't read that one and just requested it from the library! Sounds like a message I need to keep in mind!

Jan 29, 2020, 8:34am


with Anu Garg



noun: One who destroys or mutilates books.

From Greek biblio- (book) + -clast (breaker). Earliest documented use: 1880.

“Mr Raving was none too subtle a blend of born-again Christian, mini-arsonist and my computer studies master. Once during a lesson, I had to retrieve a text-book from my bag necessitating the removal of everything else. Raving went, well, raving when he saw a copy of Eric Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods appear. He grabbed the book almost before it landed on my desk and, with a zeal that would have made a Nazi biblioclast proud, set it alight and threw it into the bin while crossing himself with a ruler. A week later I was summoned to the office of the school library to explain why I hadn’t returned said book. I said: ‘Because Mr Raving destroyed it, sir.’ Aghast he replied: ‘Another one?!’”
Spike Breakwell; Disabled: Joe Egg’s School Days; The Independent on Sunday (London, UK); Feb 29, 2004.

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against its government. -Edward Abbey, naturalist and author (29 Jan 1927-1989)

Jan 29, 2020, 9:59am

>161 jessibud2: - EEK! indeed, Shelley.

Glad your basement has been taken care of!

Jan 29, 2020, 10:40am

>162 katiekrug: - Thanks, Katie. My next task is trying to find someone who will come clean the floors in my house. I have never had a cleaning person and am not really looking for anything beyond a one-time visit. But I haven't done much more than Swiffer for the last year because of the dust and work people who don't always remove their shoes or boots when they traipse through. Now that the bulk is done, I want clean floors and I want them NOW! I will ask around and do a bit of homework. Of course, I could do it all myself, but I know me and it will take me days. No thanks.

Jan 29, 2020, 11:21am

>160 jessibud2: Shelley, you'll love having sunshine there instead of shade from the tree. Think of how many new varieties of plants you can grow...and even vegetables! I can't wait to hear about your gardening plans.

Jan 29, 2020, 9:32pm

>163 jessibud2: Glad that the bulk is done. Boo hiss to those workers who don't care to remove their shoes!

Here is a link that you may find useful for your cleaning woes.

Now the backyard reno sounds really fun!

Jan 30, 2020, 8:23am

>164 SqueakyChu: - Yes, I had thought of that but I will have to wait and see before I make any drastic changes to what I plant. The backyard faces east so I am not sure if that will be enough sun to grow the veggies I like, like tomatoes, and if truth be told, knowing our local squirrels as I do, I am not sure I want to spend time and money growing a new restaurant for them, but we shall see.

>165 figsfromthistle: - Thanks for those links, Anita! I will start my homework when I get back next Tuesday.

Jan 30, 2020, 8:29am

>140 jessibud2: I laughed at that cartoon, too.

>143 jessibud2: I get that newsletter, too. I’m definitely a bibliophile, but I’m also a bibliomaniac. *smile*

>150 weird_O: and >151 jessibud2: I can’t be in a room with a TV or radio playing when I read. If Bill’s home and not asleep, the TV is on, but it is 2 rooms away and I consider it white noise when I’m in the Sunroom reading.

Bill and I just finished watching Ken Burns The West, which is actually a film by Stephen Ives but co-produced by Burns. Have you seen this one?

>153 jessibud2: I am currently reading a chrestomathy – A Year with G. K. Chesterton.

>155 jessibud2: Congrats!

Jan 30, 2020, 8:43am

Notorious RBG. I finished this book last night. I have been reading a fair bit about this wondrous lady lately and I learn new things with each book. I liked how this one was laid out; a combination of straight text, photos, illustrations, and some document-type pages, showing excerpts from some of her dissents, with commentary. Overall, it was a light-hearted but enjoyable look into Ruth Bader-Ginsburg's life and times. I noticed that it was published in 2015, before the presidential fiasco that was to follow soon after. If Donald trump has done anything positive at all, it is likely to give RBG a reason to carry on and hang in there, even at age 86. Hers is a voice of calm and reason in a place and at a time when it is needed more than ever before.

Jan 30, 2020, 8:47am

>154 jessibud2: I love the song Tom Dooley. Used to sing it regularly back in the day.

Jan 30, 2020, 8:48am

>167 karenmarie: - Hi, Karen. No, I haven't seen The West yet. I will watch The Address tonight and return it tomorrow, when I pick up The National Parks: America's Best Idea.

And thanks for reminding me to post today's AWAD entry. I meant to, earlier, but got distracted.... ;-)

Jan 30, 2020, 8:52am

I have to say, I do agree with the thought for the day ;-) (these thoughts for the day are chosen by the date, often by a person born or died on this date, rather than having any connection to the word of the day)

with Anu Garg


the final syllable is nasal

1. The part of a European newspaper devoted to light literature, criticism, and the like; also something printed in this section.
2. A novel published in installments.
3. A short literary piece

From French, from feuillet (sheet of paper), diminutive of feuille (leaf), from Old French foille, from Latin folium (leaf). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhel- (to thrive or bloom), which also gave us flower, bleed, bless, foliage, blossom, and blade. Earliest documented use: 1845.

“Finally, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung offers tongue-in-cheek reading of the situation on the front page of its feuilleton section, saying, ‘Germany is a world champion -- at least in exporting goods. We even offer up our students to study abroad, especially when they are talented.’”
Germans Stew Over Joblessness; Der Spiegel (Hamburg, Germany); Mar 15,

2005. “He’s to run my next as a feuilleton. This -- this venture is to be rather more serious in tone than any that he’s done hitherto.”
Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford; The Inheritors; William Heinemann; 1901.

The power to command frequently causes failure to think. -Barbara Tuchman, author and historian (30 Jan 1912-1989)

Jan 30, 2020, 8:57am

>169 PaulCranswick: - Paul, my friend's husband, also a Kingston Trio afficionado, sent me a link to a PBS special. It's over 2 hours long and I haven't had time yet to view it but it is sure to be good and I will. Here is the link, if you are interested:

Jan 30, 2020, 3:23pm

"Chrestomathy" made me think of the Diane Wynne Jones Chrestomanci books, too. Fun fantasy. I understand that "mancy" means divination, so it can mean useful divination, I guess.

Jan 30, 2020, 6:05pm

It's sad to say goodbye to those youthful sounds. I realized that Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, and Dolly Parton are all closer to 80 than 70, so we can expect them to depart soon. It's not avoidable, but it's also not overly pleasant.

Dee-lighted about the basement!


Jan 30, 2020, 6:13pm

>173 jnwelch:. I was glad to see someone else had a similar reaction to my thought (>157 SandyAMcPherson:).
Sometimes brains are remarkably wired in how ideas connect. It felt a bit risky to throw that idea 'out there' on LT. Thanks!

Jan 30, 2020, 6:31pm

>157 SandyAMcPherson:, >173 jnwelch: - Hi, Joe. I don't read fantasy so that connection by you and Sandy was lost on me. ;-)

>174 richardderus: - Very true, Richard. Linda Ronstadt will likely be the first of those 3, given that she has Parkinson's and the other 2 are (as far as I know) still healthy and going strong. There was a recent bio documentary about Ronstadt called The Sound of My Voice. I know I posted about it after I saw it last year but I don't know how to find that thread. Anyhow, if you ever have an opportunity to see it, do so. It was great.

Thanks, re the basement. I smile every time I go downstairs. Yeah, I am easily amused...;-)

Jan 30, 2020, 10:12pm

>176 jessibud2: Well, there's nothing like the feeling of having an constant aggravation removed. Enjoy!

Edited: Jan 30, 2020, 10:23pm

>153 jessibud2: Like Sandy and Joe, my first reaction to "chrestomathy" was the link to DWJ's Chrestomanci!
>154 jessibud2: I was a big fan, too--all of the folk music of that time, like the Weavers, Burl Ives, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger on his own, Arlo Guthrie, and my heroes, Peter, Paul and Mary! I'll definitely check out that documentary.

>176 jessibud2: If you go to your profile page, it will show YOur Groups, find the group for last year, and then look for your thread. Or, much easier, go to the top of this page, see option in the left column Started by You, and click.

I saw Ronstadt receive the Kennedy Award this year on PBS.

Oh yes!! Congratulations on finally getting your basement back, and your living area as a result as well!!!

Edited: Jan 31, 2020, 7:29am

with Anu Garg



noun: One who loves to read books; a bookworm.

From Greek biblio- (book) + -phage (one who eats).

“An author and publisher himself, Karl Lagerfeld was a bibliophile of epic appetite. (Practically a bibliophage, he is said to have torn the pages out of thick paperbacks as he read them.) He bought French books, English books, books of poetry, signed books, first editions, monographs, everything he could find.”
Lauren Collins; The Lagerfeld Economy; The New Yorker; Dec 2, 2019.

Also see, “I Am the “Book Murderer”, But I Tear Them Apart Out of Love.”
Bibliophage or biblioclast? You decide.

To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there's more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged. -Norman Mailer, author (31 Jan 1923-2007)

Jan 31, 2020, 10:00am

>178 ronincats: - Thanks, Roni! I did find it! Here it is, post #13:

Feb 2, 2020, 11:14am

>179 jessibud2: Love that image! My dog would have chewed the books (when she was a puppy).

Also ~ I've got a question you might be able to answer. On my thread...

I hope you might know what I am doing wrong!

Feb 2, 2020, 11:39am

>181 SandyAMcPherson: - Well, my friend, you are asking the wrong person. I only just recently learned how to put a picture in my thread! I am probably the least techy person on LT! Sorry. :-)

Feb 2, 2020, 12:37pm

>182 jessibud2:, Thanks. I think you are so well read that I extend techie stuff to your knowledge base.

I mostly fake it and fool around a whole lot to see if I can google-info my way to solving a problem, but it was no good this time.

Hope your basement stays dry if you get rain along with the snow!

Feb 2, 2020, 1:08pm

I am so glad your basement is ready now! Have fun putting everything back in order. And a bit of sunny garden on the east side should be really nice.

I like your quotes. I think I have read several chrestomancies (is that the right plural?) in school for foreign languages studies. The feuilleton sounds familiar as wel.

Feb 2, 2020, 1:50pm

>183 SandyAMcPherson: - Ha! Faking my way sounds like me! That, plus asking a lot of questions. And giving up when it just won't work. C'est la vie. What I know, I know well, but it ain't much! ;-)

We had one full day of rain a couple of weeks ago and everything stayed dry. We truly don't have much snow and the forecast calls for a high tomorrow of plus 6C! And above zero the rest of the week just not that high. No complaints. Except that I am in Montreal where it is colder but not too much. I just went for a walk and it is lovely out.

>184 EllaTim: - Hi, Ella. I hope your back is on the mend and also, that Marc is feeling a bit better these days.

Feb 5, 2020, 8:58am

Well, I am back from Montreal and in spite of taking 3 books with me, I only completed one. And it was a rather disappointing read, if I am honest. I had high hopes for Dear Evelyn. I am trying to read off my own shelves, so the three I took were all from that category. I am also trying to read more Canadian writers and though this writer, Kathy Page, was born in the UK, she lives and writes here in Canada. The title led me to think this was an epistolary novel. It wasn't really.

The main protagonists, Harry and Evelyn Miles, met as young adults, just as he was about to go off to war (WWII). He wrote letters while posted in North Africa and those letters form the beginning of the book. Page's writing is often lovely, lyrical. She delves into the backgrounds of both Harry and Evelyn, and that gives them dimension and depth. However, once home from war, that's it. No more letters. They married and had a child right before he left and that was fine. Where the story began to lose me, was the utter lack of a sense of time. Well, that's not exactly accurate as the novel spans those early years, through to the final years, in their 90s. But there are no dates to indicate when in time we are as the story progresses. The letters are never dated, the chapter headings give no indication of what year it is. Lily, their first child is a baby when Harry is at war, then suddenly, she is grade one. Another chapter suddenly mentions Valerie, and only after a bit do you realize that she is the second child. On more than once occasion, the author makes an obscure reference to something that will happen in the future, then barely mentions it again. Only the third child, Louise, is mentioned in some detail as hers is a surprise pregnancy and a troubled childhood. Then, all of a sudden, without any preamble, all three daughters are adults, married with children. Only one line, near the end, mentions that Evelyn had had 2 miscarriages in her married life. One might think, if chronicling the life of a married couple, that milestones such as miscarriages, weddings of children, birth of grandchildren, might merit *some* mention, but it never happened.

The writing was lovely, and I loved Harry, a sensitive, hard-working and devoted man. But by the middle and certainly by the end of the book , I truly began to despise Evelyn. She treated her devoted husband so badly, with such disrespect and disdain. She is a control freak extraordinaire and not at all a likeable character, in my opinion. She had not an ounce of kindness or compassion in her. She began to remind me of my mother's husband and maybe that coloured my enjoyment of this book. I was rather dismayed, and surprised, when I saw that of the 5 reviews this book has on LT, all gave it between 4 and a half and 5 stars!

Oh well, win some, lose some. This was not a winner for me. Let's leave it at that. I am probably just marching to my own music, given the other reviews but what can ya do.... It will be easy to cull this one.

Feb 5, 2020, 9:00am

Good to see you safely home, Shelley.

Feb 5, 2020, 9:03am

>186 jessibud2: - Hmm. I had that one on my library WL. Maybe I can open up a spot for something better...

Welcome home, Shelley!

Edited: Feb 5, 2020, 9:25am

Thanks, Paul and Katie. Katie, if you judge by reviews, don't let mine colour your choice. The other 5 reviews were all glowing. Seriously glowing. The time thing bugged me but maybe that's just me being anal. Anyhow, as I always say, there is always a next book!

I saw a preview on tv last night of this upcoming exhibit here in Toronto and I can't wait. Van Gogh 5 stories tall?! Wow:

Feb 5, 2020, 9:59am

>186 jessibud2: Re: Dear Evelyn. I say good for you. Rate the book as you found it.

One of the best things about LT is finding like-minded readers who rate books according to their own preferences and then say on Talk what they prefer. That's how I find books for me.

Books can be over-hyped and given misleading good ratings, sometimes because it was an ARC. So I was glad to see you were entirely candid and explained what was weird. I like Susan's (quondame) pithy comments, for example. I mostly don't read sci-fi so it's good to know exactly the kind of book she's reviewing.

Feb 6, 2020, 1:43am

>185 jessibud2: We had one full day of rain a couple of weeks ago. You have to go back a week to reference a whole day of rain. Here we have to go back about a month to reference a whole day of sun.

Good to see you are back home again, Shelley.

Feb 6, 2020, 2:16pm

Welcome back!

Too bad Dear Evelyn was a bad read.

>189 jessibud2: I saw that on the news the other day. Looks to be fantastic!

Edited: Feb 7, 2020, 8:58pm

>190 SandyAMcPherson: - Thanks, Sandy

>191 Familyhistorian: - Hi, Meg. We are having a snowy/slushy icky mess here today. I went out this morning to go to yoga but am happy to be in this afternoon doing other things!

>192 figsfromthistle: - It was not a good read *for me*. C'est la vie. And yes, I thought this exhibit sounded and looked to be quite brilliant. I also heard an interview yesterday with one of the guys who is responsible for bringing it here. I really can't wait!

Feb 6, 2020, 3:53pm

>186 jessibud2: *erasure*

Nope. You're far too attentive and intelligent a reader for me to say, "...but the critics say..." in contravention. I'll end up agreeing with you and annoyed by having slogged through hours of becoming acquainted with someone I'd cross the street to avoid (Evelyn).

Feb 7, 2020, 9:08pm

>194 richardderus: - Thanks Richard. That's how it goes sometimes, right?

I got home from Montreal Tuesday, and today, I had a call from the hospital to let me know that the CT scan scheduled for early March for my mother can be changed. They had a cancellation and so, next Tuesday, I head back, returning home on Saturday. Exhausting, but I am happy she doesn't have to wait so long. I am also happy not to be travelling today! Snowy mess here, though nothing compared to Montreal. They got socked with a blizzard today, nearly 40 cm of snow. But they are a city which is prepared and equipped. All will be fine by Tuesday. The real craziness on the rails today were some protesters who blocked the rails. All train travel between Toronto and Montreal was cancelled. Can you imagine the chaos?! It took hours to get through on the phone to change my tickets but it's done and all is good. I sure hope their protest is over by Tuesday, though! As Gilda Radner used to say, it's always something!

I have begun another book from my shelf. It's been languishing there for ages. Has anyone here read Martin Dressler by Steven Millhauser? It apparently won a Pulitzer Prize. So far so good.... I am starting to feel restless with my reading. I need a good one to really grab me. This one is ok so far, if a bit slow. I just hope it picks up a bit soon.

Feb 9, 2020, 7:34pm

I got back from Montreal last Tuesday. My mum was scheduled to have a CT scan and follow-up appointment in the first week of March. I suspect her lymphoma is returning, after a really nice long period of stability. Then, on Friday I had a phone call from the hospital informing me that they had a cancellation and could I bring her in next week. I changed my train tickets so I could go back on this Tuesday. A bit exhausting but we were both happy about the new date.

However. There is wrench thrown into the plans now. There are a lot of protests in western Canada, in British Columbia, over the building of a pipeline through Indigenous lands. I am not sure I know or understand all the details but I certainly understand their objections and I respect their rights to protest. What I don't get - and am, if I am honest, rather aggravated and pissed off - is why that needs to affect me here in Ontario and Quebec. See, last Friday, protesters blocked the rail tracks and all trains between Toronto and Montreal had to be cancelled. It is now Sunday and not one train has moved between those 2 cities since. I called the train company and they said to just phone on Tuesday morning and that's when they would know if the trains will be moving.

Sure, the protesters want to stand in solidarity with their brothers in BC. Fair enough. But surely there is another way to do so? How disrupting and stopping commuter trains on the other side of the country is supposed to achieve anything for them in BC, is beyond any logic I can see. I will have to cancel my mother's CT scan appointment and reschedule it. And hope we won't have to wait weeks for it. I will, of course, be refunded for the train ticket but changing a ticket is the least of it. I truly don't want to be sitting for 6 hours on a bus to get there and flying is a pain in the ass (for me). I will not drive my car there again, especially not in winter so really, the train is my only option.

Ok, end of rant. I am just grumpy right now.


In other news I watched another Ken Burns documentary last night. The Address was excellent. It focussed on a special boys school in Putney, Vermont (USA), a school for boys who have had a lot of difficulties in learning, whether in academics or socially, often in combination. This school is a kind of last resort for them. The school focusses their curriculum around the Gettysburg Address, and each boy is expected to learn the Address by heart, and recite it in front of an audience. Sounds grim, if you ask me, but it was a wonderful film, told by the students and educators themselves. You (I) couldn't help but shed a few tears by the end. This brings to 11, the number of Ken Burns docs I have seen so far, in my ongoing project to watch as many as I possibly can. The next one I have here (and will likely have to renew tomorrow), is The National Parks.

Feb 9, 2020, 10:13pm

Fingers crossed for you Shelley that you can get to Montreal for your Mom's app't.

Feb 9, 2020, 10:18pm

>196 jessibud2: That is awful, Shelley, that the pipeline protestors are creating such a difficulty for you at a time when you need to be with your mum.

I hope it gets settled and that your mum will be fine.

Feb 10, 2020, 8:34am

>197 mdoris:, >198 PaulCranswick: - Thanks, Mary and Paul. No trains again today. I suppose I will still pack and be ready to go tomorrow morning but I am not hopeful. Thankfully, my train doesn't (usually) leave until 11:30 a.m. and I usually leave my house around 10 so I will know early on if it's a go or not. The news isn't sounding hopeful this morning, though. I won't bother calling my mum until I know for sure. No use both of us being stressed. In fact, I will call the hospital and try to reschedule before I call her. She wouldn't be expecting my arrival until late afternoon anyhow.

Feb 10, 2020, 8:51pm

Well, damn. I just had an email from VIA Rail a little while ago and they informed me that my train tomorrow is definitely cancelled. This just messes up so much. I will likely spend half the day on the phone tomorrow rescheduling my mother's CT scan and then, hoping the protesters are done with their idiotic mischief so the next appointments won't be messed up, too. Normally, I would be more sympathetic to protesters and their cause but not this time. No sympathy from me. Let them take their grievances to the government, not to people who can't possibly help them in any way.

Damn. >:(

Feb 10, 2020, 9:05pm

I hope The National Parks will make up for the intense annoyance surrounding the protests. {{{Shelley}}}

Feb 10, 2020, 11:20pm

Sorry to hear that trains and plans are messed up because of the protests here, Shelley. Strange that it is affecting travel between Toronto and Montreal but I guess that is where it will actually affect the most people. Perhaps that is because the over two years of protest in BC haven't had much affect. I hope that you are able to reschedule your mothers appointment to a not too far distant date.

Feb 11, 2020, 5:23am

>143 jessibud2: late comment to the cartoon (due to slow processes in brain):
' It's a rather inefficient and slow process and the resulting install base is prone to corruption.'

Feb 11, 2020, 11:51am

I know your pain- I had to cancel plans to take the train to Ottawa and reschedule with the bus!

Feb 11, 2020, 12:07pm

>201 richardderus: - It's on the agenda for today, a little treat for myself.

>202 Familyhistorian: - I actually really feel for what they are protesting. But it makes no sense to me to target people who have no power to do anything to help them or change anything. That is what is bothering e most. Well, that and the fact that it is causing so much stress and inconvenience for me, personally. Yeah, I'm selfish that way.

>203 paulstalder: - Hi, Paul, welcome to my thread!

>204 torontoc: - Hi, Cyrel. I don't think I could sit on a bus for 6 hours. At least on the train, the seats are comfy and it's easy to get up and walk around. I don't think I have been on the bus to Mtl since I moved here in the '80s!

It only took me three calls this morning to get through to a human and achieve some small victory. I got my mum's appointments switched back to their original date in early March. Now, if I could only get through to VIA Rail, maybe I could get my original train reservations back. But the lines are totally blocked now and the recording says to just call back later. This could take awhile...

Feb 12, 2020, 7:50am

Happy Wednesday!

Sorry to hear about all the train cancellations. Annoying indeed!

Feb 12, 2020, 8:41pm

Sigh. It's been one of those days. I was up at 4 am with a migraine and had taken my prescript drugs by 7. Thanks goodness they kicked in.

I had to bail on the Ken Burns dvd of The National Parks because it was damaged. It's a 6-disc (12.5 hours!) series and by the half hour mark in the first disc, it had frozen, stopped and started at least 5 times. I phoned the library and they are requesting another copy (4 copies in the system) and I will return this copy tomorrow.

I also bailed on a book and I fear I am sliding into another reading slump. I am just not being grabbed by anything I pick up at the moment- like I have nothing in my house to read. Geez.

I spent half an hour on the phone yesterday with my mother, explaining why I was not going to arrive at dinner time and making sure she had a pencil and her calendar when I was telling her what to cross out (appointments-wise) and what to write in for the rescheduling of them. I had her read back everything and she seemed to understand and said it was ok. Then, this morning, she phoned to ask me what day it was, and what date. She then said, oh no, I think I missed an appointment. So, I explained it all over again. As of tonight, trains still aren't running. I fear that, when I have to leave in 3 weeks' time, I may end up having to go by bus. Yuck.

I did go out today for a little retail therapy. I bought a couple of planter pots for my back garden, whenever that happens... and a completely unnecessary jigsaw puzzle of a room full of books. I was also looking for a new birdbath but didn't find one. The one I had snapped in 2 a few months ago and that rendered it rather useless.

Thank goodness tomorrow is yoga. I need to get a grip and just breathe!

Feb 12, 2020, 11:40pm

Oh, man! So sorry for your troubles with your train to Montreal. It must be quite perplexing for your mom as well. I hope the March appointment will go well.

I wish I were up there with you to do the jigsaw puzzle. I love doing them. We used to do them every summer at the beach. I don't do them at home because I don't have a large enough surface under a good enough light with good enough eyesight and away from two-year-old granddaughter's itchy fingers! :D

On a pretty cool note, I found out the other day when Jose and I were babysitting, that my six-year-old grandson can now play chess! I was really impressed. I'm terrible at that game but agreed to play with him because he is only a beginner. I won two games, but was most impressed that he lost with good grace. I hope we can play some more chess in the future. Maybe he can teach me a thing or two about improving my game. I cannot strategize...therefore I always expect to lose. :D

Feb 13, 2020, 9:36am

I'm sorry about the cancelled/rescheduled train to Montreal and the cancelled/rescheduled CT scan for your mom. Hang in there.

Feb 13, 2020, 1:37pm

Maddening how hard it is to accomplish these necessary tasks!

Feb 13, 2020, 2:15pm

>143 jessibud2: I love that cartoon!

>155 jessibud2: Yay on finishing the rebuild!

>207 jessibud2: When I feel myself going into a reading slump, I start on one of my comfort reads. Sometimes just doing that helps me avoid the slump. Maybe that would work?

Feb 13, 2020, 3:53pm

No wonder you woke up with a migraine with all the hassle of rebooking travel and appointments and patiently explaining it all to your Mum. I think that the jigsaw purchase was quite necessary.

Feb 13, 2020, 4:34pm

>206 figsfromthistle: - Hi Anita

>208 SqueakyChu: - Madeline, my pea brain does not (and will likely never) understand chess. Good for you and even better for your grandson!! I am impressed!

As for the puzzle, we used to do them as a family when I was growing up. I LOVE jigsaw puzzles. I subscribe to the daily puzzle over at I love it. You can change the number and shape of the pieces. You can upload your own photos and turn them into puzzles and even send them through email. I discovered this site when I stopped doing physical puzzles, thanks to the cats, who liked to *help* ("Here - swipe - that piece goes THERE!". You get my drift).

I am suddenly having difficulty transferring photos from my phone to my computer. It just isn't working. I have already put in a call to my computer guy. Once it's fixed, I will edit in here some pics of the last 3 puzzles I have bought. I can't resist. Now that Mia is gone (she was the agile jumper so no way to leave a puzzle on the table), and Lexi is too arthritic to jump, I am actually itching to crack one open and get into it again.

Edited: Feb 13, 2020, 4:43pm

>209 karenmarie:, >210 richardderus: - Thanks, Karen and Richard. Still no trains, at least until the end of tomorrow. I have to believe that things will have been sorted out by the time I have to go again on March 3. At least, I have time to plan ahead for then, unlike this week.

>211 alcottacre: - Hi Stasia. To be honest, I am not a re-reader. Rarely, anyhow. Just too many books in the house, not enough time, and all that jazz, which is hardly a problem, except when I get into a funk and can't make a decision. I did just start another one last night that I am hoping will be the one to hold my interest. I have some transit commuting tomorrow, when I head downtown to meet a friend so I will have captive reading time on the subway. The book is Harriet and Isabella, a fictionalized accounting of the 2 sisters of Henry Ward Beecher. So far, so good. I am only on chapter 2.

>212 Familyhistorian: - Yep, Meg. Sometimes, retail therapy hits the mark. And I think the puzzle was a good choice. I was at Winners and certainly wasn't looking for a puzzle but when I upload the pic of it, you will see why I didn't hesitate. :-)

Feb 13, 2020, 4:43pm

>214 jessibud2: I also rarely re-read, Shelley. Of Mice and Men probably leads the way as I have read it three times. LOTR too, I think.

Edited: Feb 13, 2020, 4:49pm

>214 jessibud2: - I have reread a few, the ones that come to mind include 84 Charing Cross Road, and Time and Again. There may be others but I can't think of them at the moment.

Feb 13, 2020, 5:19pm

This is the puzzle I bought yesterday:

It's a pic by Rebecca Campbell and is titled *Do Not Disturb*. Apropos for an LTer, I thought! Apologies for the poor quality of the photo.

Feb 13, 2020, 5:21pm

Another I bought several months ago, at one of my favourite bookstores, is a reproduction of a pic from Jane Mount's Bibliophile:

Feb 13, 2020, 5:23pm

This is a puzzle of gorgeous glass pieces in a sunny window. I had done this puzzle years and years ago, glued it and hung it on my wall. When I moved to this house, in 2001, it somehow went missing. This past summer, I found the same puzzle at a garage sale! I was over the moon! (I sure hope no pieces are missing!)

Edited: Feb 13, 2020, 10:49pm

>217 jessibud2: Too cool! Looks like fun!

I would never glue a puzzle together! You can't do it again then. :(

i would always write on the bottom of the box where I bought it, where we put each puzzle together and who helped. I still have most of the puzzles. We usually did 2.000 piece puzzles and tried to finish one during each week at the beach. Sometimes we succeeded. Other times not.

Feb 14, 2020, 3:28am

>217 jessibud2: Love the puzzle! I love Pomegranate stuff (calendars, puzzles, notecards)...their website is VERY dangerous....

Feb 15, 2020, 10:19am

Thanks, Madeline and Kathy.

So, I started the puzzle in >219 jessibud2: last night, while watching Jeopardy (7:30 pm). Next thing I knew I looked up and it was after 11 pm! I know the lady I bought this one from (I go to her garage sales every year). She assures me that no pieces are missing. But for the life of me, I could not find 3 of the 4 corner pieces. Unless they are not simple right angle pieces, which is possible. My legs were killing because I was standing the whole time I worked on it. On the right side on the table, those are 3 layers of cardboard where I sorted pieces by colour and design. It's harder than I remember from the last time I did it. I am now a bit intimidated about trying the puzzle in >217 jessibud2:. I think that one may do me in.

Feb 15, 2020, 11:26am

>222 jessibud2: Whoa! you've got a lot done...I usually have a puzzle out for weeks, and do a small amount every day. But that would be VERY annoying to be missing the corner pieces!

Feb 15, 2020, 11:32am

>223 kac522: - I did find one more of the corner pieces, and, as I suspected, it is not a straight right angle one. Thank goodness. There is hope now for the rest! It's a nice day today and our sub-arctic temps of yesterday have gone (it was in the minus 20s C). I should go for a walk and do a bit of grocery shopping. But I have already done another 15 minutes or so on the puzzle...…;-)

Feb 15, 2020, 11:33am

>214 jessibud2: I own Harriet and Isabella but have not yet read it. You will have to let me know how it is.

I love the puzzles!! I love doing them too, but between books and board games, I do not have the time.

Feb 15, 2020, 11:39am

Well, considering I hadn't cracked open a puzzle in probably 20 or more years, it was time. And I figured, being in something of a reading lull, it was as good a time as any. Also, before new kitties is always a good time. Lexi is too arthritic to jump up so I can leave everything out and open on the table. I will get 2 more cats once she is gone, but in the meantime, even though she is 20, she seems to be doing fine, so it's just her and me for now. Perfect puzzle time.

I am about 50 pages into Harriet and Isabella. Not the most stellar writing but I am curious about them as people and know almost nothing, really, about them. I'll give it another week or so. If I'm not caught up in it (or finished) by then, I'll move it along and find something else. My mantra is: there is ALWAYS a next book! :-)

Feb 15, 2020, 11:45am

>226 jessibud2: there is ALWAYS a next book! Oh so very true!

Edited: Feb 15, 2020, 12:11pm

>223 kac522: I am obsessive about having all puzzle pieces. If i find a puzzle missing even one piece, out it goes!

One time I did a puzzle and found an extra piece!

Feb 15, 2020, 12:11pm

>226 jessibud2: One of my favorite quotes:

“We are always looking for the book it is necessary to read next.”
― Saul Bellow

Feb 15, 2020, 12:28pm

>228 SqueakyChu: - LOL! Now, that's a new one on me!

>229 kac522: - That's a good one, Kathy! So true!

Feb 15, 2020, 3:00pm

You've now gotten me into the jigsaw puzzle groove. I think I want to buy and set up a 500-piece puzzle on our kitchen table to do during the week. I can take it down Friday noon before the kids come for Shabbat dinner. I really do miss puzzle-doing. All of my current puzzles are either 1,500 or 2,000 piece puzzles whihc our whole family used to work on together.

Do you have a preferred puzzle brand? I always liked Springbok the best, and then I added Ravnesburger to my favorites list.

Feb 15, 2020, 3:08pm

I'll be honest, I rarely if ever notice the brand. I am always attracted first and foremost by the picture.

I grew up with puzzles. I remember the first one I ever completed on my own. It was a picture of kids sledding down a hill on a late winter afternoon. The shadows on the snow were in shades of blues and purples. I loved it. I also have a beautiful photo (one of my favourites) of my grandmother sitting at the very dining room table I now own, with a partially completed puzzle in front of her. That was before she lost her eyesight. We always did puzzles as a family. I hadn't realized how much I missed it. I may have to figure out a way of covering or storing unfinished puzzles after I get new cats (which I hope isn't for a long while yet!). I don't want to have to wait another 20 years to break them out again! :-)

Feb 15, 2020, 3:53pm

We loved Springbok the best as they seemed the sturdiest and you could easily pick up the whole puzzle when finished and the pieces would stay together. Springbok has some great scenes too (birds, cats, yarns jams and many more in the 500 piece category)

Feb 15, 2020, 3:59pm

>229 kac522: Perfect quote, Kathy, one I need to have tattooed somewhere prominent for fuzzy-funks.

I could never do a jigsaw puzzle. Too easily distracted by all the shiny pretty books.

Feb 15, 2020, 4:43pm

Hi Shelley my dear, I hope you are having a great start to the weekend and enjoy the rest of the weekend, sadly we are in the way of Storm Dennis a week after Storm Ciara. Luckily for us we are in no threat of flooding unlike the poor folks in the Calder Valley who really suffered last weekend and look like they are going to suffer again.

Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Feb 15, 2020, 4:59pm

>222 jessibud2: Hope that you find the other corners! That looks like a long term project to me.

Feb 15, 2020, 5:24pm

>233 mdoris: - Oh, I have done a few of those, Mary! Yes, they are sturdy and so much fun.

>234 richardderus: - Well, Richard, they are a time suck, that's for sure. But for me, the timing is good right now. And I can listen to music or the radio or a podcast at the same time as I work on a puzzle, something I am unable to do when reading. There's that, at least until I get my reading mojo back!

>235 johnsimpson: - Oh, John, how awful! Severe weather *events* are becoming more and more common as climate change punishes our species for messing up the planet. They scare the bejeebers out of me! Stay safe!

>236 charl08: - More progress today, Charlotte. I now have 3 of the 4 corners in place and though nowhere near done yet, I am definitely getting closer to the end. I am down to only 2 cardboard trays of pieces left instead of my original 3.

Feb 15, 2020, 5:49pm

Shelley, you inspired me to dig out a jigsaw puzzle this afternoon. It was a relatively easy 500-piecer, but it took a couple (maybe more? hard to keep track!) hours and allowed me to finally finish my audio book. So thanks!

Feb 15, 2020, 5:56pm

>238 katiekrug: - Most welcome! Are you gonna share the pic? ;-)

Feb 15, 2020, 6:21pm

Took a quick snap, just for you -

Feb 15, 2020, 6:51pm

>240 katiekrug: - Pretty! It looks like a quilt! :-)

Feb 15, 2020, 8:36pm

This is a picture of our favorite puzzle. I can't take a picture of it because it won't show up well. Here is a picture of it online. It's now priced between $100 and $129. That is CRAZY!

It has tons of detailed people all travelling on this space station. We loved doing it!

I looked on the bottom of the box of our own puzzle where I wrote that I bought it on Valentine's Day in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in 1991. Our kids were 5, 9 and 11 years old at that time. Our oldest will be 40 years old this year. We still have that puzzle!

Years ago, one could only buy Springbok puzzles from Hallmark...and that used to drive me up a wall. It was the best domestic puzzle manufacturer, but had such a limited market because only Hallmark stores could sell it. I used to go from Hallmark to Hallmark to see which one had the best puzzle to take to the beach for that summer. It was a great tradition over the years.

Edited: Feb 17, 2020, 8:52pm

By the way, >231 SqueakyChu: and >233 mdoris:, I just checked. The puzzle I am working on now is by Springbok.

>242 SqueakyChu:- OMG! That one would make me blind, for sure! lol

Edited: Feb 15, 2020, 9:29pm

>243 jessibud2: It's not as bad as it looks online. The pieces are large, and the picture is clear.

Well. goodbye books and reading! I just went to Springbok online and ordered two puzzles! :D I ordered a bookstore picture and a home-canned vegetables picture. :D

Thanks for the inspiration, Shelley! I was missing doing jigsaw puzzles, and now I'll do them again.

Feb 16, 2020, 8:49am

Happy Sunday, Shelley. Somehow your thread got lost in the shuffle. What the heck? Well, I have found you now. Does Canada participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count? Or is that just a U.S. thing?

Edited: Feb 16, 2020, 9:00am

Hi, Mark. Yes, we have it here too. I am not officially participating because I participate in the Feeder Watch program and record and report what I see once a week from November to April. Which, of course, doesn't mean I *can't* do the GBB Count. It just means I usually don't. But I do read up on it.

The action at my feeders is pretty good this year (last year was insane, hardly ANYTHING at all. No idea what that was all about). I am seeing TONS of goldfinches, more than usual. I have no idea where they are coming from. As well as the other usuals: cardinals, downy woodpeckers, sparrows, red-breasted nuthatches, mourning doves, etc. Oddly, not a single chickadee or junco this year. :-(

Did you know there is a bird forum here on LT. Not too active but yesterday, I chatted there with some folks. I love the *exotic* reports, from places I will never see!

(last year's thread had many posting beautiful photos, too)

Feb 16, 2020, 9:24am

>222 jessibud2: I am going to buy a jigsaw puzzle this week. You guys have inspired me.

Feb 16, 2020, 10:42am

What Paul said. I have been wondering what gift to take family. I am hoping they will appreciate something with English scenery on.

Feb 16, 2020, 11:08am

>244 SqueakyChu:, >247 PaulCranswick:, >248 charl08: - :-D. Glad to be such an influence!

Progress, and I will likely finish this today but I am surprised that finishing is proving harder than all that has gone before. Isn't the last bit supposed to be easier, not harder?

Feb 16, 2020, 11:14am

>242 SqueakyChu: What a COOL puzzle! I'll be dead under a ditch before I ever try a puzzle now (hands) but that one's fascinating. And the home-canned stuff one is exceptionally pretty.

Hi Shelley! I can listen to stuff or I can do stuff. I can't do both at the same time...and listening lasts ~15-20 minutes before it shades into sleeping. This can happen with films and TV as well, though I watched The Aeronauts on Prime and was utterly enrapt from giddy-up to whoa. Even re-watched it because the last third was so pulse-pounding I hadda take breaks.

Feb 16, 2020, 11:45am

>250 richardderus: - I know what you mean, Richard. I absolutely can't listen to music or radio when I read. But when I am doing relatively mindless things like shredding (or puzzles), listening to radio, podcasts, music (or audiobooks!) is not hard for me. For reading, I prefer to read with total concentration.

Edited: Feb 16, 2020, 1:30pm

Thanks for the inspiration, Shelley...I bought this Frank Lloyd Wright puzzle:

It's two-sided--one side with the photograph of his "Falling Water" home and the other side with the architectural drawing of the home.

>231 SqueakyChu:, yes I like Ravensburger puzzles, too--very good quality and their kids' games are good, too.

>250 richardderus:, >251 jessibud2: Yep, no listening to music while reading...I get distracted by the music. However, during the last puzzle I did, I listened to an audiobook, and that worked out really well. Now I'll always associate that puzzle with the book.

Feb 16, 2020, 3:44pm

wish you a good new week

Feb 16, 2020, 4:18pm

>252 kac522: - I finished! Maybe back to the books now ;-)

Kathy, that is a beauty! Do you do one side then take it apart and do it again, on the other side? Cool idea!

>253 paulstalder: - Thank you, Paul. So pretty. It will be quite some time before we start seeing anything live and colourful emerging from the garden around here! It was relatively warm here today, 0 degrees C and will get a bit warmer during the week before temps drop way down again. Spring is a long way off...

Feb 16, 2020, 10:32pm

>254 jessibud2: Yep, that's how it works--fortunately (or unfortunately!) the "architectural drawing" side is all blue & white, so at least you can tell which side of each piece should be "up." Solving the all blue & white side, however, is another matter entirely...I'll keep you posted.

Feb 17, 2020, 7:26pm

Sorry to hear that your spring is a long way off, Shelley. We are seeing signs of it here. I just hope we don't have any later snow like we did last year in February and even March. (Odd for here and I love saying that since I grew up with snow in April.)

Interesting that you are into puzzles right now. I got one out for the first time when my son was over for his birthday at the end of January. It was a 500 piecer and he found that one of the pieces was a duplicate. It turns out that there was a piece that was missing from the puzzle and the duplicate that was left over. So it was a 500 piece puzzle, just not all the pieces were correct. It was a Croxley puzzle.

Edited: Feb 17, 2020, 9:12pm

>256 Familyhistorian: - It was a gorgeous day here today, Meg. Does BC celebrate today as Family Day? It's a statutory holiday here and in some, but not all, provinces. I should have gone for a walk because it was so nice out but I never got around to it. Now, we are expecting snow overnight, a few cm, and into tomorrow but it will turn to rain as the temps go up. Yuck. Not walking weather for me.

I heard on the news that your Port Coquitlam area is plugging for Terry Fox to be on the new $5 bill. I have to check and find the website so I can vote for him! I think it's well past time to get rid of the old founding fathers (and queen, if I'm honest) and replace them with more modern Canadians. We certainly don't lack for worthy candidates! I think Viola Desmond was a brilliant choice and Terry Fox would be a terrific next one.

Feb 17, 2020, 9:11pm

I did something today that I didn't expect to be doing. I booked flight tickets to and from Montreal for the beginning of March. The issues with the trains is into its second week and doesn't look like a resolution is going to be happening any time soon. I have my train tickets but those can be easily changed for another time. I didn't want to wait to the last minute and be stuck without a way to get there. And I just can't bear the idea of sitting on a bus for 6 hours. I most certainly do no want to postpone my mother's CT scan yet again.

The thing is, over the years I have developed a real aversion (ok, anxiety) to flying. I don't think I have even stepped foot inside an airport in a decade. The whole process of flying (paying for checked baggage, items you can and cannot take, insane security, etc) has changed so drastically since I last flew (around 2009, I think). I went over to my friend's house this afternoon and together we searched and found and booked. Eek.

It is easily going to take me as long just getting downtown, getting the airport express train, being there 2 hours before the flight, for security checks, all for a 60-minute flight. Geez. This better be the last time I need to do this.

Of course, the weird thing is, in my 20s, 30s and even 40s and 50s, I always flew and it never bothered me. I never *loved* it but it certainly never held me back from going anywhere. I can't even remember what caused this anxiety but I would be quite happy if I never had to fly again. Oh well. If my mother didn't have dementia, she would appreciate to what lengths I am going for her!

Edited: Feb 19, 2020, 11:08pm

>258 jessibud2: Such a disgrace, these pipeline protests ant the PM is completely useless. I'm really cross about the national economy and citizenry being so ill-treated.

OK /rant.

About getting to Pearson, my Toronto family have always booked an airport service for my trip out to the airport. Well worth the reasonable cost (I think cheaper than a taxi and reliably clean!). This airport limo picked me up at the house, looked after my luggage and delivered me in very good time. My family actually engages them for the round trip. The service generally arrives a little before the time you book, I think they are very conscious of potential traffic snarls.

I was looking for the card so I could tell you the name / phone number. But must have thrown it away. I'll e-mail and ask what is the right limo service.

I found the link in my travel folder (duuuh), so that must have been why I ditched the card. I should head for bed... fuzzy thinking.

Edited: Feb 20, 2020, 5:31am

Shelley, I am so sorry to read about your mom and your problems getting there. I am flying phobic, so I realize how much you are doing for your mom. And ironically my dad was a pilot for Canadian Airlines, and my two brothers are both pilots with Air Canada. I tease them that I " know too much ." Actually, I'm not sure how I developed the phobia. I flew plenty in childhood and my teens. Then we took a family trip to the East Coast - Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Cape Breton , PEI etc. I was fine initially, but I think traveling with 3 of my sibs plus my parents turned into a very stressful holiday. I enjoyed it, but my sisters hated this and that, and my brother was not feeling well. Then on the flight from Halifax to Toronto, we encountered turbulence that scared me a lot. Then on the final leg home from Winnipeg to Vancouver, the flight was fine, but my dad sneaked us onto an empty plane, that had a leaking fuel tank , so just our family was aboard the DC8 or whatever it was. It was scary , at least to me. Of course the flight had the crew aboard, but they just left me and my family in the back. It was kind of weird and creepy. I scare easily. I'm sure you'll do great . Thinking of you. Sorry if I scared you more. If I think about it , of course it is much safer than driving etc, but there is no reasoning with a phobia.

Feb 20, 2020, 7:43am

>259 SandyAMcPherson: - Hi, Sandy. Welcome back. I did look into airport taxis and limos and it all seemed rather pricey. I live in the east end of the city and the airport is in the west end. But I purchased 2 tickets on the UP Express (Union Pearson, the train and airport names respectively) for only $6.20 each and I have heard that is a good and reliable way to get there. I plan to go downtown tomorrow and figure out exactly where the UP Express train is located in the always-under-construction/renovation Union Station. Even when I go to Mtl by regular train, it looks different every time I go down there. I told this story somewhere else to some friends but it's the honest truth: when I was going to Mtl a few weeks ago (beginning of Feb), I was making my way to the platform and had to ask someone where the Departures was as I seem to have become disoriented (!). He pointed to a sign that said Arrivals. I asked again, saying Departures. He said yes, through the doors under that sign for arrivals. Of course, I thought. Perfectly logical. I may have sworn (to myself, not out loud). I definitely rolled my eyes. I really ought to write someone and make a formal complaint about how AWFUL the signage is at Union Station. It's ridiculous. So, I will make a leisurely excursion down there tomorrow to navigate my way around in order that I will not have to do so on my travel day, under a time constraint and lugging my suitcase around with me. It's worth the cost of 2 subway tickets to try to eliminate what is sure to be an otherwise stressful day on March 3

>260 vancouverdeb: -DEB!! Sooo good to see you back! I hope all is well with you. Will you be starting a thread this year? Even if not, please don't disappear. Thanks for sharing your experiences. You are so right about phobias/anxieties. I have quite a few and have mostly managed well to avoid or just live with them. I am grateful that I did all the travelling in my younger years because now, I truly don't have a travel bug. Anywhere I can't get to by train or car just doesn't call to me and so, for the most part, it isn't really a problem. Except now, of course. But this too shall pass. And I hope soon! I agree with Sandy, Trudeau has been a real disappointment in dealing with this. I believe that this is his test and he has failed. Jody Wilson-Raybauld said it best the other day when she said a leader should lead and if he wanted to show his leadership, he should have got on a plane, picked up the BC premier and gone to meet the hereditary chiefs in their territory instead of talking to media.

Feb 20, 2020, 7:56am

Morning, Shelley. Good luck with the upcoming flight. I hope you overcome your flying anxieties. Isn't it nice to see Deb posting again? At least temporarily? We have missed her.

I am enjoying Fifteen Dogs and should finish it today. Odd little book, but very well-written. I can see why not everyone likes it.

Edited: Feb 20, 2020, 8:32pm

I have been part of a 5-year trial for a new type of mammogram, and for these past 5 years, I have had 2 mammograms once a year, regular and 3D. This was my last year of participating.

So, once a year I go to Sunnybrook Hospital for the mammogram and I always visit the gift shop after. They always have cool things there. A sort of reward to myself for doing this.

Yesterday was that day. I bought 2 things, one, rather unnecessary, and one that was probably very timely and I hope will be useful. The first was a purse. A rather large one but it's gorgeous, if a bit more pricey than I would normally spend on a purse (as the old cliché goes, because I am worth it, lol).

The other was a book (are you surprised? ). It's called The Cow in the Parking Lot - A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger by Leonard Scheff and Susan Edmiston. I just hope it won't be too *woowoo* for me or too religious. But I have begun to feel (again) that I am filled with too much anger, much like I was last year, before and after moving my mother away from that disgraceful husband of hers. I am not as weepy now as I was then, but I am feeling close to the edge. And the next few weeks don't bode well for alleviating any of it. As Kathy said so well in >229 kac522:, maybe this is a book I need now. Goodness knows I am not reading much else at the moment. I am in another reading slump.

And in other news, I picked up a book from the library yesterday, too, a BB from someone here. It's called Here and is a (chunky!) graphic novel type book. I also grabbed a couple of kids' books about Sojourner Truth, because the library's display of books for Black History month was right there and I just couldn't walk by it without browsing and picking something. Also, I didn't know too much about her and figured this was a good way to slide into wanting to know more. I was right. Also, though, I borrowed a dvd from that display about Barack Obama. It almost made me cry but in a good way (sort of). Here is my review of it. He has set a very high bar, this man.

The Obama Years; The Power of Words

This dvd, less than one hour long, highlights the gift of Obama. Watching it last night, it also highlights to me what has been lost. It is a tragedy that from such heights, America has chosen to go to such depths. There is no overlap, nothing at all shared between this man and the one who followed. Not intelligence, not dignity, not integrity, not values, not vision. I am not American and maybe have no right to say this but I will, anyhow, mainly because I know I am preaching to the converted, as they say. But it seems to me that every American who voted for trump, and every one who will vote for him again, should be deeply ashamed of themselves. trump is a disgrace, not just to Americans, but to humanity.

If you can find this dvd at your library, watch it. I can't rate it highly enough. Except maybe it should have been longer. It could have been 3 hours long and I would have been as rivetted.

Surely he is writing another book by now? I can't wait.

Edited: Feb 20, 2020, 10:56pm

Hi Shelley,
That The Cow in the Parking Lot is a BB for me. Not that I spend much time being angry but I do struggle with over anxiousness. And anger often is a secondary emotion to anxiety. So thanks. I put in a hold request!

I am in *complete* agreement with your comments in >263 jessibud2:. I feel that in different ways, Trudeau is just as self-centred and lacking in the qualities that Obama demonstrated (as is Trump). The pair of 'em (T & T) are disgraceful charlatans. Grump.

Feb 20, 2020, 1:07pm

>257 jessibud2: BC does celebrate Family Day on the same day as Ontario, Shelley. We used to do it the Monday before everybody else but changed it to be in step with the rest of Canada a couple of years ago. Not that we are very good at staying in step, mind you.

I can't say that I like flying but I have been doing it since I was 2 so it is a part of my life. My father and uncle worked for Air Canada and I actually worked a brief stint for PWA before an offer from the Post Office came through. I short flight between TO and Mtl may just overcome your dislike of air travel or at least show that it is not so bad but hopefully trains will be running sometime again soon.

I saw a news flash that VIA Rail is going to start laying off staff. The protests keep disrupting traffic at rush hour in downtown Vancouver. It makes me wonder how this will end.

Edited: Feb 20, 2020, 5:54pm

(duplicate message)

Edited: Feb 20, 2020, 5:54pm

>249 jessibud2: Our two 500-piece puzzles arrived today, Shelley. We started the home canning one immediately! :D Thanks for reminding us how much fun puzzling is. I really missed doing them.

>250 richardderus: Richard, I prefer puzzles that have bright colors, but sometimes the theme is what attracts me to them.

Feb 20, 2020, 7:18pm

Sorry that you have had to fold Shelley and get a flight instead of waiting for the train service. Like you I don't enjoy the experience of flying but I really have little choice being where I am!

I wanted to say a big well done on being active in promoting mammogram programmes as I really think early detection of cancer is so vitally important in not letting it beat us. I caught my prostate one very early and it caused me only minor discomfort. I know so many ladies find the procedure uncomfortable and a little embarrassing but it can be such a life saver.

My mind boggled for a while as to what they would sell at a gift shop in the Mammogram Centre, but purses and books put my mind at ease!!

Feb 20, 2020, 7:19pm

>267 SqueakyChu: I am jealous because I haven't found the time to buy my own puzzle yet!

Feb 20, 2020, 7:20pm

*waving* at Shelley

Edited: Feb 21, 2020, 7:31am

>264 SandyAMcPherson: - I am hoping to start the book maybe tomorrow, Sandy. I am trying to finish a current book before the weekend so I can pass it back to the friend I borrowed it from when we have our bookcrossing meetup on Sunday.

>265 Familyhistorian: - There are so many sides to the rail dispute, Meg. So much discord and division everywhere, even within the Indigenous communities. I have no idea when or how it will end but I hope it doesn't descend into violence. It is being compared to the Oka Crisis and Ipperwash, of so many years ago and those sure didn't end well. Geez.

>267 SqueakyChu: - It's a beauty, Madeline! Wow! I haven't been able to take my completed one apart yet. I may, this weekend so I can start another one.

>268 PaulCranswick: - The Imaging Centre is inside a large hospital, Paul. This hospital has centres for Cancer, Heart and trauma, among other areas. So the gift shop is there to service many visitors (and patients, too, I suppose). Since I only go once a year, it is always a *reward* to myself. Yes, I am happy to endure the discomfort for a little while if it might help research. There have been a few cases of cancer in my family (mother's side) so it is not beyond the realm of possibility that it might hit me at some point in my life.

>270 alcottacre: - Hi, Stasia! :-)

I suppose I should start a new thread soon. Maybe tomorrow...

Feb 20, 2020, 8:47pm

>271 jessibud2: Looking forward to your new thread, Shelley!

Edited: Feb 21, 2020, 1:05am

Shelley, like you, while in my book funk I did several jig saw puzzles. I loved the image so much on this one, that I actually attempted a 1500 piece puzzle.( And I finished it ) . Here is link to it. Like you, I love lots of bright colours.

I agree, so many sides to the rail dispute. No easy answers. I am sorry that you have to take a plane. Best wishes on your journey. I answered a bit about A Single Thread on my thread. It's the first I've read by Tracey Chevalier, so I cannot compare it to her other books. It's character driven , much more that plot driven. A so called surplus woman, a single woman after WW1 lives with her mom, who is quite a sour , unhappy person. So she moves out on her own, goes to a boarding home and tries to eke out a life with other surplus women. It was quite a quiet and lovely read. I think you'd enjoy it, depending on your mood.

Feb 23, 2020, 9:41pm

>273 vancouverdeb: Nice puzzle!