scaifea's thread #5
This is a continuation of the topic scaifea's thread #4.
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How I plan on spending a goodly chunk of my social distance time.
From the Introductions Thread:
I'm Amber, a one-time Classics professor, turned stay-at-home parent/lady of leisure, turned part-time library assistant. I spend my time sewing, writing, knitting, baking, and, of course, reading. Oh, and I run an Etsy shop and I'm co-writing a Latin textbook with a former colleague. So I keep busy.
My reading life is happily governed by lists, which means that I read a healthy variety of things across various genres.
I'm 44 going on 12 and live in Ohio with my husband, Tomm; our 11-year-old son, Charlie; and our two dogs, Tuppence the Border Collie and Mario the Golden Retriever.
Favorite Books from 2019
Next of Kin
The Book of Boy
The Name of the Wind
A Monster Calls
Check, Please! Book 1
The Heart's Invisible Furies
What I'm Reading Now:
-Pride and Prejudice (Read Soon! Shelves)
-(awaiting library holds) (Newbery Honor Book)
-The Shepherd's Crown (Discworld series)
-(awaiting library) (romance genre list)
-Bleak House (audiobook)
-The Graveyard Book (Charlie's bedtime book)
Books on Deck:
-Uncle Silas (books by year - 1864)
-Read It and Weep (series read with my mom)
-The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare re-read)
-Peyton Place (Banned Books)
-The House on the Borderland (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy list)
-Lord Foul's Bane (BSF Award)
-Secondhand Souls (Moore bibliography)
-(unread book from my shelves)
-(a book from my Read Soon! shelves)
-The Experience of Insight (Buddhist reading list)
The five-ish or so books I have going at once and the On Deck books nearly all come from the following categories and lists:
1. A book from the 100 Banned Books book (at least currently. As soon as I finish this list, I'll replace it with another, and oh, I've got tons of lists).
2. A children's book, for Charlie's library. I'm trying to collect books from various award lists, and I like reading them before reading them to Charlie or deciding to add them to Charlie's shelves. For this category, I’m currently working through three lists:
a. 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Die
b. The Newbery Honor books
c. Cooperative Children's Book Center list
3. A book from the Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List, in chronological order.
4. A list I'm working through together with my best friend, Rob: The Hugo/Nebula/WFA/Bram Stoker (and other) lists (combined, in chronological order)
5. For this category, I cycle through 9 different stacks:
a. Agatha Christie's bibliography (in chronological order)
b. Stephen Fry's bibliography (in chronological order)
c. John Boyne bibliography (in chronological order, sort of)
d. Neil Gaiman's bibliography (in some order other than chronological (don't
e. Christopher Moore's bibliography (in chronological order)
f. Maggie Stiefvater's bibliography (in chronological order)
g. The NEH Timeless Classics list
h. The National Book Award list (in alpha order by title)
i. The Pulitzer list (in alpha order by author)
6. An unread book from my shelves.
7. A book from my Read Soon! shelves.
8. A book on Buddhism or from the Dalai Lama's bibliography.
9. Book-a-year challenge: Three years ago, along with a few others in this group (*cough* Paul *cough*), I made a year-by-year list to see how far I could go back with consecutive reads. I've since been trying to fill in the gap years.
10. A book from the couple of series that I'm reading together with my mom.
11. A full-on re-read through Shakespeare's stuff.
12. A read-aloud-to-Charlie-at-bedtime book (or two).
13. An audio book, which I listen to as I knit/sew/otherwise craft/drive.
14. A Discworld book (so many of these are coming up soon on various lists, so I'm just diving into it)
15. A romance novel, using as a guideline an excellent list of authors and works curated by lycomaflower (I know virtually nothing about this genre, but I now work in a library where many, many lovely people come through to check out books of this genre, and I want to know something about it).
16. This slot is reserved for books that just grab me and shout that they need to be read Right Now.
1. Still Life (Read Soon! Shelves) - 9/10 = A
2. Breaking Stalin's Nose (Newbery Honor Book, audiobook) - 8/10 = B-
3. The Golden Name Day (Newbery Honor Book) - 7/10 = C
4. Lumberjanes #2: Friendship to the Max (series read) - 10/10 = A+
5. Lumberjanes #3: A Terrible Plan (series read) - 10/10 = A+
6. Lumberjanes #4: Out of Time (series read) - 10/10 = A+
7. Lumberjanes #5: Band Together (series read) - 10/10 = A+
8. Lumberjanes #6: Sink or Swim (series read) - 10/10 = A+
9. Lumberjanes #7: A Bird's-Eye View (series read) - 10/10 = A+
10. Lumberjanes #8: Stone Cold (series read) - 10/10 = A+
11. Lumberjanes #9: On a Roll (series read) - 10/10 = A+
12. Lumberjanes #10: Parents' Day! (series read) - 10/10 = A+
13. Lumberjanes #11: Time After Crime (series read) - 10/10 = A+
14. The Adventurous Eaters Club (Read Soon! Shelves/Christmas gift from Charlie) - 9/10 = A
15. The Black God's Drums (Alex Award) - 9/10 = A
16. Call Down the Hawk (Read Soon! Shelves) - 10/10 = A+
17. Mr. Justice Holmes (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B
18. I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld) - 9/10 = A
19. The White Stone (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B-
20. The Corn Grows Ripe (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B-
21. The Book of Essie (Alex Awards) - 9/10 = A
22. Lumberjanes 12: Jackalope Springs Eternal (series read) - 10/10 A+
23. Lumberjanes 13: Indoor Recess (series read) - 10/10 = A+
24. Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks (series read) - 10/10 = A+
25. Lumberjanes: The Infernal Compass (series read) - 10/10 = A+
26. Lumberjanes: The Shape of Friendship (series read) - 10/10 = A+
27. Mooncakes (recommended by Laura (lycomayflower)) - 9/10 = A
28. Vanity Fair (audiobook) - 7/10 = C
29. They Called Us Enemy (Read Soon! Shelves) - 9/10 = A
30. The Rattle Bag (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B
31. Queen of the Sea (impulse library checkout) - 8/10 = B-
32. Pumpkinheads (impulse library checkout) - 9/10 = A
33. Snuff (Discworld) - 9/10 = A
34. Agnes Grey (audiobook) - 8/10 = B+
35. New Kid (Newbery Medal) - 10/10 = A+
36. Telephone Tales (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C
37. Pawn of Prophecy (Charlie's bedtime read) - 10/10 = A+
38. The Girl Who Smiled Beads (Alex Award) - 7/10 = C
39. Cranford (audiobook) - 8/10 = B+
40. Best Friends (impulse library checkout) - 9/10 = A
41. Old Ramon (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B-
42. Bloodlust & Bonnets (impulse library checkout) - 9/10 = A
43. Raising Steam (Discworld) - 8/10 = B
44. The Terrible Two Go Wild (Charlie's nightly read-aloud) - 8/10 = B
45. If You're Reading This, It's Too Late (Charlie recommendation) - 8/10 = B
46. Me in the Middle (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10 = C
47. The King of the Copper Mountains (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10 = B
48. The Specter in the Magician's Museum (Charlie's bedtime read) - 9/10 = A
49. Green (Alex Award) - 9/10 = A
50. Thistle and Thyme (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
51. The Fearsome Inn (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10 = B+
52. These Old Shades (romance list) - 8/10 = B
53. The Wise Man's Fear (Read Soon! Shelves) - 10/10 = A+
54. Mary Barton (audiobook) - 8/10 = B
55. The Slow Regard of Silent Things (Read Soon! Shelves) - 10/10 = A+
Happy new thread, Amber. Love the photos of Charlie and the puppies!
I might have missed a thread. Or two...
Hola! Hope the lack of school is going okay (or is he still in till Monday? I may have lost track).
Happy new thread! The topper reminded me of a gift my son got for us this year that's been incredibly useful as I'm working from home: a 10 ounce mug with battery that keeps your hot drink at just the right temperature for about 1.5 hours (or indefinitely if you set it on the charger between sips). Best part, there's an app you can put your cell phone that connects up to the mug through bluetooth to let you set and read the temperature of your drink!
You need one of these Ember mugs!
45. If You're Reading This, It's Too Late by Pseudonymous Bosch (Charlie recommendation, 385 pages) - 8/10 = B
Cas and Max-Ernest are still fighting the evil Midnight Sun forces while now trying to get themselves initiated into the Terces Society. And track down a homunculus.
A fun-enough sequel to the first book. I think I would have thought the series immensely clever as a kid (as does Charlie, who insisted I read them).
>18 drneutron: Thanks for the link, Jim! I'll be sure to nudge the proper people when it comes to the next Amber's Awesome Day...
Amber, I figured things were heading in that direction, but I know you are well-equipped, as so many of us, for an extended stay at home.
>15 drneutron: Jim, I NEED one of those!! I am forever letting my coffee or tea cool down too much.
Happy new thread, Amber!!
We just went for a (*very* brisk - 45 degrees) bike ride round the neighborhood, and we encountered three other families out doing the same thing. Smiles and nods of solidarity were exchanged as we all rode past. It was kind of lovely, actually.
46. Me in the Middle by Ana Maria Machado (1001 Children's Books, 110 pages) - 7/10 = C
A girl finds a photo of her great-grandmother as a child and makes an invisible friend out of it.
This one was strange, and not in a good way, really. It unintentionally read like a sad story about a girl with some form of schizophrenia, and the writing was clunky at best.
Happy New Thread, Amber!
I finished Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and it was very good. Thanks for the recommendation. Among other things, I liked how the parents were portrayed as open-minded, thoughtful and wanting most of all for their kids to be happy - even while dealing with their own adult issues.
I need to go into Charlie's school to pick up his stuff. I have a thirty minute window for his particular class, a certain door I'm supposed to enter and exit by, and have been told to get in, grab the bag of his pre-packed stuff, and leave as quickly as possible. To all of which I say, Good for them! Let's keep this social nonsense to the most distant we can! (Seriously, I'm not kidding, I'm glad they're taking the precautions they are.)
I spent some time in the sewing room yesterday trying to tidy up and get organized. I'll finish that up today and get ready to start on a new project. I'll also be doing some workbooks and such with Charlie, just to keep him happy until his real school work starts on Friday (and yes, I did say to keep him happy, as he's missing school stuff already and is antsy to get back to work). And then I'll be reading, I think.
On the reading front:
After finishing up those couple of books yesterday I started The King of the Copper Mountain, which is what I'll be focusing on today, too.
Happy new thread!
Glad that you and Charlie will have some home time together now that your library has closed.
Chloe is also missing school and Nate did a mock school day with them yesterday while I was working. He did work sheets, then some outdoor Ed time walking around the neighbourhood counting shapes they see, back home for more work sheets and lunch before "gym time", aka workout in our home gym. I though that was very adorable of Nate to think up and the girls really liked it!
>39 ChelleBearss: Chelle: Aw, that's so sweet! And smart! I bet they had a great time.
>35 scaifea: Lin-Manuel Miranda narrating Aristotle and Dante - what a great choice.
We just saw him in Mary Poppins Returns on tv - he was good, and so was Emily Blunt. The movie was fine, but the music generally didn't have the oomph of the first Mary Poppins movie with Julie Andrews. It was fun to see Dick Van Dyke again.
>41 jnwelch: Joe: We watched that one, too, and liked it. I feel just as you do about the performances and the music.
>36 scaifea: I know this isn't the first time you've heard, or even the first time I've said, this: Charlie is so very much like you!
Oh yeah, happy new thread.
47. The King of the Copper Mountains by Paul Biegel (1001 Children's Books, 176 pages) - 8/10 = B
Scheherazade for kids with a Dutch twist: a 1000-year old king is dying, so a magic doctor races to find a key ingredient for a potion that will save him, while the king's only servant and best friend, a hare, tries to keep him alive by inviting a new animal into the castle every night to tell a story.
A lovely book, with all sorts of good stories from the animals and a good overarching story to tie them all together.
Hi Amber. I note that you added A Monster Calls to your 2019 favorites. I read this shortly after it was published, and I very much liked it!
Morning, Amber! Sweet Thursday. I hope everyone is doing well there and not going stir crazy. Both Sue and I are continuing to go to work.
Treadmilling (I *need* to keep this up so that I don't turn into a potato), prepping a grocery list for tomorrow (yoicks), possibly cookie baking, sewing room time (I'm starting a quilt that I've had planned for a few years), our daily family bike ride, and some reading time.
On the reading front:
I started Scary Stories for Young Foxes yesterday, but after a couple of chapters I've decided to DNF it - it's just a little too dark for me right now. I will probably start Green, one of last year's Alex Award winners, today.
>15 drneutron: OK I was right with up all the way up to the cell phone part. So can the phone put the tea and water in and get the whole thing ready for you when you get up or get home? lol
I need to sort through the weekly bill pile, hop on the treadmill, figure out what we're going to have for dinner, try to stay away from the cookies I made yesterday. I've started a quilt project, so I have lots of fabric cutting to do. Charlie and I have started playing ping pong using my sewing table, so we'll probably do some more of that today, too. No family bike ride yesterday because of the rain, but hopefully that will ease up this afternoon so we can get out for a bit. Tomm and I decided to try the pick-up option for groceries, which we've never done before; I did the ordering last night and the first available pick-up time was tomorrow at 4, which is no problem for us and I'm relieved that we don't have to go into a public space. Before now I thought I wouldn't like someone else picking out my groceries, but the online part was very easy and allows you to be pretty specific, so we'll see what we end up with; I told Tomm that I may just be a convert!
On the reading front:
I've started Green and it's really pretty good so far. I'll stick with it for my reading time today.
>58 scaifea: I've been using online grocery ordering and pickup for a few years now and it's a lifesaver. The grocery chain has refined the app over time so that you can now specify specific substitutions for items, let the staff choose a substitute, or say you don't want anything if your specific item isn't available. And they just added an option to request paper bags instead of plastic, which is nice as those plastic bags were really piling up! When I did my shopping in person I used reusable bags, but those have now been forbidden for the duration by the local chain for hygiene reasons.
Amber me ole lurve, forgive me if you've seen this before, but your familiarity with them ole white dudes in short dresses made me think this could be of use to y'all's local library:
Accordingly, in the spirit of James Loeb’s original vision “to make the beauty and learning, the philosophy and wit of the great writers of ancient Greece and Rome once more accessible” at a time when they are sorely needed, the Trustees of the Loeb Classical Library and Harvard University Press announce that subscriptions to the digital Loeb Classical Library are made free to schools and universities impacted by COVID-19 until June 30, 2020.
Please encourage your local librarian to send an inquiry to email@example.com.
Running to get my head shunk. See yinz.
>61 rosalita: That's great, Julia! I very well may just be a convert after this. I did wonder about using my own bags - how would that be possible for pick-up?
>62 richardderus: Richard: I did see that HUP is doing this, but I think it's only for schools and not individuals. Also, our library system wouldn't have the patron interest, I think. And I have physical copies of all the Loebs I'm interested in. Thanks for thinking of me!
>63 scaifea: Yeah, there isn't any way for us to use our own bags for pickup even before the COVID-19 situation. That is probably the biggest flaw for me, though I'm happy they now offer the option to get paper bags.
>64 rosalita: Yes! to the paper bags at least. Maybe eventually they'll put in place cloth bags that you can just bring back for a deposit, like glass bottles used to be?
>65 scaifea: That would be a great system! I'll have to suggest that once the crisis has passed.
>65 scaifea: I don't think the stores will be offering re-usable bags for delivery or pick-up. There's some concern about them not being sanitary under current circumstances.
>58 scaifea: We are going to start using the online ordering more during this time as well. My friend told me today that our local store has a 48 hours response to orders though, So I may make one tonight for pickup on Sunday.
I spent an hour or so picking groceries to pickup last night and then, when I got to the end, found there were no slots open to sign up to get them -- they only offer three days ahead apparently -- anyway I had to go and get my own today but at least the stores are offering "senior shopping" before the store opens to everyone so I had to get up way way way...way...earlier than I usually do but the store was freshly cleaned and they only let 50 people in at a time so it wasn't the mob scene it might be later in the day.
>70 ChelleBearss: >71 RebaRelishesReading: Chelle & Reba: Yeah, I ordered ours Thursday night and our pickup time is this evening, but we've made due in the meantime, although we're out of milk now (I made French Toast with some leftover buttermilk this morning. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great, either).
>72 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia! You, too!
We've decided to do a Big Old House Cleaning today. Gross. One of my least favorite things. But it'll feel really nice to have it done. Other than that and picking up groceries this evening, I've got nothing but reading planned, really.
On the reading front:
I've decided to focus on one book at a time for now, so I spent yesterday with Green and will hopefully finish it up today.
48. The Specter in the Magician's Museum by Brad Strickland (Charlie's bedtime read, 149 pages) - 9/10 = A
Lewis and Rose Rita visit a museum of magic and accidentally let loose a spector in spider form (because of course they do). It targets Rose Rita and it's up to Lewis and his uncle and their witchy neighbor to figure out how to save her.
Another fun entry in the series, and Charlie loved it, so I call that a chicken dinner.
>65 scaifea:: I like this idea for when the COVID 19 craziness has died down. The governor of New Hampshire just put a ban on reusable bags yesterday. There are so many impacts of this virus - social, environmental, educational ...
I wonder what the world will think of this time years from now?
>76 jayde1599: I've just read an article that has me fighting the panic spiral but also hoping that folks take the smart path:
Essentially it says that if this thing follows the path of the 1918 epidemic, it will lighten up through the summer and folks will relax, but will come back stronger than before in the fall and winter and cause so much more damage. If we shelter in place for as long as it needs (18+ months), our economy may shatter, but if we give the right folks the proper resources to find a vaccine or, short of that, build up the equipment needed (respirators and beds and testing for Every. Single. Person.) then we could both fight the thing *and* start getting back to normal.
49. Green by Sam Graham-Felsen (Alex Award, 318 pages) - 9/10 = A
David is starting sixth grade at a rough school in Boston, and spends the year trying to negotiate race issues as a white, Jewish kid in a sea of non-white students while he and his friends try to test into the Latin school as a ticket out of where they are.
A fantastic and (what feels like) authentic look at the struggles of starting puberty while trying to figure out how to live in a racist world. You'll love David and his friend, Mar, instantly.
>77 scaifea: Right on, with the funding of a vaccine, Amber. Wy to go for sure.
>80 PaulCranswick: Paul: Here's hoping the people in places to make the decisions make the right ones.
Charlie starts his official school work today. He has written up an hourly schedule and we worked out one for what he needs to do for each class each day. I feel so grateful that I've got a kiddo who won't need much oversight: he's self-motivated because he loves schoolwork, and he does well enough at it that we'll just need to look over his work before he turns it in, for the most part.
So I'll be keeping one eye on Charlie's work today, helping him figure out the online business if he needs it (doubtful, to be honest), and also treadmilling, laundry, reading, and possibly some sewing.
On the reading front:
I finished up two books yesterday and will report on those at some point today. Any reading time I get today will be spent with Heyer's These Old Shades, I think.
>85 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: He was finished with *all* of his school work for the day by 8:30 this morning. Eight. Thirty. I mean, honestly.
>71 RebaRelishesReading: I had the same trouble with ordering pickup groceries. Sigh.
>82 scaifea: Amber, poppin' in to say Hi! I know you will find plenty of things to do during this down time. You never lack for projects!!! (Which I admire.)
I do hope we get a vaccine sooner than later and I worry about the fall/winter comeback. I just can't imagine isolating for 18 months straight!! Holy cow. We already told my son's girlfriend she could essentially move in with us, because we didn't want them going back and forth between households. I am happy with time on my own and then I have my Hubby when he is home. But my daughter doesn't have a buddy in-house and it's tough. She is very social and I worry for her.
>86 scaifea: Charlie is amazing. : )
>87 Berly: Hi, Kim! Oh, I would be completely fine for 18 weeks holed up in my house, but I think the economy wouldn't fare so well. None of the three of us are very social people, so we're doing okay; it helps, though, that Charlie can video chat with his couple of close friends. They were using it to play Magic the Gathering together the other day and it was so adorkable.
Hi Amber, good luck to Charlie doing online schooling. We had a week of it and now we're on spring break, with more remote learning awaiting us at the end of it. Like you, we're pretty happily ensconced at home, but Marina is mourning her senior year milestones.
>89 AMQS: Thanks, Anne. I think the challenge will be keeping him from going stir crazy after 8:30am every day. I'm sorry that Marina will miss out on her senior stuff; maybe they'll be able to recreate some of it in a couple of months?
A stressful one today: right before all this started, we ordered a new bed. It will be delivered today. And I'm freaking out about having two strangers in our house. They called yesterday and assured us that they will stay 6 feet away, check their temps before coming in, and be in and out as quickly as they can, but I'm still anxious about it. *sigh*
Otherwise, Charlie has school work this morning, and I have treadmilling and laundry. Charlie and I have started a daily ping pong session and a daily card game, and we'll also try to go on our Daily Family Bike Ride if it's not raining this afternoon. I think I'll divide my remaining time between reading and knitting today.
On the reading front:
I spent time with These Old Shades yesterday and hope to finish that one up today.
>91 scaifea: I really need a new mattress, but I'm not about to order one in this climate. I probably should just take my cushioned topper to a laundromat (which also freaks me out a bit at this time) to wash and dry/fluff up in the dryer. It might help. It's too bulky for the one at home.
>92 thornton37814: Yeah, I sort of wish that we had waited, but we did this just before things got nuts. Oh well. Lots of wiping down surfaces (including the new mattress) will happen later today.
Good luck with the mattress delivery. I know what you mean about not wanting outsiders in your house. My pedicurist offered to come to the house and even though I think she's healthy and even though my feet really need her I'm just not comfortable with her coming to me when she's been "out there" (and in other people's houses) so I'm going to decline for now at least.
>90 scaifea: I'm sure they will get creative with prom (already"canceled") and graduation, etc.
Oh boy, do we need a new mattress! But nope, not right now. Hope yours is wonderful.
>94 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, Reba. They've been and gone and we've wiped down *everything* already. And they were really nice and good about staying distant and getting in and out as quickly as possible. So I'm okay and really relieved that it's over.
>95 AMQS: Here's hoping they can maybe have a prom in the summer sometime?
Now that the delivery business is over, I'm really excited about the new mattress. We went with a Sleep Number and I have high hopes that it will help with my back issues.
>101 alcottacre: I'm sorry you don't have a good selection at your library, Stasia.
I'm glad the delivery went well and I am eager to hear about your experience with the Sleep Number bed. We are not in the market, having just bought a bed a couple years ago, but I've always been curious.
>103 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura! I'm excited to see how it goes tonight, and I'm eager to try out the adjustable part for reading in bed, too!
I'm hoping These Old Shades will hit the soothing-fun spot for you.
Treadmilling, looking over Charlie's schoolwork, a quick trip to pick up our curbside groceries, ping pong and card games, a Family Bike Ride, possibly some writing, definitely some reading. I may also bake some brownies.
On the reading front:
I finished up These Old Shades last night and will post my mini-review later today. Next up is to polish off The Wise Man's Fear.
Morning, Amber! I hope you guys are doing fine and dealing with the disruptions, this pandemic is causing. Glad you survived the "bed" incident.
52. These Old Shades by Georgetter Heyer (romance list, 378 pages) - 8/10 = B
Historical romance about a rascal of a duke who rescues a young girl from a low, cross-dressing fate, Pygmalions her to get revenge on an old foe, then falls in love with her.
I wanted to love this, but instead I just kind of liked it. The writing - especially the dialogue - was clunky, the characters promising but ultimately cardboard cutouts, and the story was good but the telling of it could have been more interesting by at least half. I'm chalking it up to this being Heyer's first novel, though, and am very much willing to give her another try at some point.
>112 katiekrug: Katie: Oh, good. I know that tons of folks here like Heyer, so I assumed that she gets better. I'll definitely give her stuff another go at some point.
>114 rosalita: Hi, Julia!! Noted. You're one of the reasons I know I need to keep going with Heyer - I remembered that you loved her stuff and I trust your judgement!
Re: Heyer, permaybehaps Faro's Daughter would amuse? It did me!
Happy Humpday, Amber, and a good slide into the weekend.
Too bad about These Old Shades, Amber. It sounds like you are all staying busy in your isolatedness. Hope it stays doable for however long this plays out.
>116 laytonwoman3rd: These Old Shades was my introduction to Heyer, and I was not impressed. Amber, watching you devour these makes me realize I might have started off on the wrong foot. Maybe someday I'll try another.
>121 lauralkeet: Laura: I have high hopes that if I try again it'll be better...
>111 scaifea: The Black Moth was Heyer's first novel. These Old Shades is a sequel, sort of. Neither are favorites with me. I could never stomach Leonie nor a connection between such a young woman and such an experienced man. I like her novels set in the Regency much better, though older man teenage bride is still all over the place.
>125 scaifea: I read my daughter's copies of that glittery vampire series while she was into it and before she consigned them to BBQ tinder. I found them a tour-de-force of teenage girl wish fulfillment. That's not to say I liked them.
Hi Amber - catching up now I have some time on my hands and I saw on your last thread that you didn't super like The Girl Who Smiled Beads. I immediately thought of Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You which is another YA Rwanda memoir. It won several awards including the Buxtehuder Bulle (2002) which is one of the awards I like to follow. Anyway it's one I recommend. The girl ended up in a German family, so the book was a big hit in Germany before being translated into English.
Another good read is Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan, a short story collection for adults. Strongly recommended this one too.
Anyway I hope you and yours are settling down to the stay at home. I'm also a Heyer fan courtesy of my mother's Heyer collection. She has most of them and they make lovely comfort reads.
More of the the same: treadmilling, checking over Charlie's school work, our daily ping pong and card games and Family Bike Ride (if it's not raining), and reading. I think I may read some Latin today, too (it's been a little while).
Yesterday's drive to the grocery pickup was the first time I'd left the house (beyond the bike rides) since a week from Monday. Felt weird. We are only leaving for grocery pickup and pharmacy drive thrus now and I can't say that I dislike it...
On the reading front:
I spent my reading time with The Wise Man's Fear yesterday, and I'll be sticking with this one until I finish it. (600+ pages in, 500 or so pages to go).
Hi Amber, I've finally caught up on the happenings in your neck of the woods. Belated happy new thread.
Glad things are going so well for you during these trying times. Over here they are not closing schools, we have a week to go before our two week Easter break. Parents have been told if they can keep their kids at home to please do so and we have noticed numbers dwindle this week, but there are still kids coming to school who could be kept at home. The unions have fought hard for us and the government has finally agreed that next week will be five days of pupil free days, so the teachers can plan for next term and move things online. But pupil free only means people who aren't essential workers need to keep their kids at home. So we will effectively be babysitters next week. My son's University has moved lectures and tutorials to online this week.
>131 fairywings: Adrienne: Ooof, I'm sorry they're not closing you down sooner over there. Stay safe and healthy!
>132 scaifea: Thanks Amber, with the weather cooling down over here I think the slow spread we've had is going to speed up. I'm concerned not enough is in place to head it off.
>133 fairywings: Yep, that's sadly the state of things everywhere, it seems.
>104 scaifea: Hope Charlie is doing ok with being away from his friends!
And I hope you are loving The Wise Man's Fears
>135 ChelleBearss: Chelle: He's going okay. He's been video chatting with friends, and even playing Magic the Gathering via video chat. And I am *loving* the Rothfuss. So. Good.
>1356 Reba: I'm avoiding tough and heart-wrenching right now, for, well, reasons. Maybe someday.
Treadmilling, laundry, looking over Charlie's schoolwork, weekly bills, some reading, ping pong (we're getting pretty good at it already!), our daily card game (we're working through our complete stash of games), the Family Bike Ride (if it's not raining and if it doesn't seem to crowded on the streets - it seemed like *everyone* was out biking or walking yesterday and I started to get uncomfortable about being out among them, even though we stayed clear). We've polished off our leftovers, so it's time to cook again today, too. I haven't been able to get all the ingredients I need for what I had planned to make this week, so there will be some improvising. Here's hoping folks calm the heck down and stop buying everything off the shelves next week. I would like some protein again at some point...
On the reading front:
I'm still chugging along with The Wise Man's Fear and it's so excellent. Just really long.
What We're Watching:
We rotate through the three of us for picking what we watch in the evenings, and yesterday was Charlie's turn. He's been choosing our collection of Strong Bad Emails on dvd and it's been great rewatching them.
I have no idea what Strong Bad Emails are, but now I need to find out.
I join Julia on her Heyer comments up in >114 rosalita:, and Katie before that. Cotillion, The Grand Sophy and Frederica are some of my favorites. The Grand Sophy was my intro to Heyer's historical romances; I'd read a couple of her less satisfying mysteries before that.
>139 jnwelch: Oh, Joe! Strong Bad is so, so good. Not sure how to explain it, really; you should maybe just explore for yourself:
Strong Bad's emails are just a small (but the best, IMO) part of the site.
And thanks for chiming in on Heyer! I appreciate all the advice on where to go next with her.
Cleaning the house, laundry, baking (chocolate cake), reading.
On the reading front:
Still with The Wise Man's Fear. (It's a long book.)
>141 scaifea: It's a whole pandemic's-worth of a read at 10³ pages. Enjoy and savor!
Treadmilling, looking over Charlie's school work, ordering groceries, the daily ping pong practice, card game, and Family Bike Ride, a bit of sewing, a bit of reading.
On the reading front:
I made good progress with The Wise Man's Fear over the weekend. Hopefully I'll have it finished in a couple more days.
What We're Watching:
Last night was my pick, so we watched a couple of episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is Charlie's first time through the show and he's loving it and I'm loving watching it with him. We only have the very last two episodes left...
Morning, Amber! I hope you had a nice weekend at the Scaife manor. I had a quiet day yesterday, with the books. We are still continuing to work, but we will have to see what happens. Scary times.
>144 msf59: Morning, Mark! How are you feeling about work these days? At least you're not in close contact with people during your route, right?
I don't run into people much on the route, even at the businesses, that I deliver. They are either closed or nearly empty. Little contact. More worries, in the office, where there are 20 of us or so. We are only inside about 90 minutes and try to keep our distance.
So I'll have a go at these, then:
1. Who(m) are you named after? Not a who(m), but a what: My mom, while pregnant, was fixing breakfast and glanced out the kitchen window at what was, she claims, a particularly lovely sunrise and decided that if I turned out to be a girl I'd be Amber Dawn.
2. Last time you cried? Two nights ago. We were watching a TV show in which a dog gets shot. I can't handle that sort of thing.
3. Do you like your handwriting? Sometimes, when I try hard enough at it.
4. What is your favorite lunch meat? Applewood smoked ham
5. Longest relationship? My friend, Rob, for 30 years
6. Do you still have your tonsils? Nope
7. Would you bungee jump? Absolutely not
8. What is your favorite kind of cereal? Cracklin' Oat Bran
9. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Depends. Tennis shoes? No, but I have some boots that will *not* come off unless completely untied and string-loosened. Sort of annoying, actually.
10. Do you think you're strong willed? Depends. I can be pretty darned stubborn sometimes.
11. Favorite ice cream? Butter Pecan
12. What is the first thing you notice about a person? I think it depends on the person
13. Football or baseball? Ballet
14. What color pants are you wearing? black
15. Last thing you ate? buttered toast and coffee with Cinnamon Toast Crunch creamer
16. What are you listening to? Mary Barton
17. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Silver (my favorite)
18. What is your favorite smell? a wood fire
19. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? My mom
20. Married? Yes
21. Hair color? brownish blond with, *ahem,* silver highlights
22. Eye color? Sometimes green, sometimes blue
23. Favorite food? Chicken Tikka Masala
24. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings
25. Last movie you watched In a theater? Spirited Away
26. What color shirt are you wearing? grey
27. Favorite holiday? Halloween
28. Beer or Wine? fruity drinks with minimal actual alcohol
29. Night owl or morning person? morning person (but still slightly grumbly about it)
30. Favorite day of the week? Saturday
31. Favorite animal? dogs
32. Do you have a pet? yes: Mario the golden retriever and Tuppence the border collie
33. Where would you like to travel? I'm a homebody
>146 msf59: Mark: Hopefully work is the only place your co-workers are going, too, so you're all keeping safe!
Morning, Amber! Our day sounds a lot similar to yours. I need to get back into my workouts today, been slacking off since we got sick like a month ago. School work and tv time too as it's a rainy day and we are all feeling lazy
>147 scaifea: I'm really enjoying these getting-to-know-you questions. Love the source of your name (your mom must be poetic). You're the first morning person I've come across -- sorry, I soooo can't relate there.
>149 ChelleBearss: Chelle: Oooh, TV time sounds amazing right now! Enjoy!
>150 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: My mom would chortle at your description of her as poetic, but she is quite cleverly craft-y. I'm a morning person by habit (I'm still pretty grumbly for a couple of hours in the morning) and by force of Charlie being very much a morning person. He's up by 5:30am Every. Single. Day. Weekends included.
Treadmilling, laundry, Charlie school stuff, sewing (I didn't get round to it yesterday), ping pong, Daily Card Game (TM), possibly a family bike ride.
Dinner is becoming a bit of a challenge, because we can't find meat at the grocery store. *sigh* Selfish and stupid is such a fantastic combination for people, don't you think? I also spent pretty much the entire morning yesterday trying to get my grocery order submitted for pick-up. There aren't any times available until Friday and it won't even let me add ground beef to my cart because they're so very much out of it, apparently. I've been allowed to order other meats, but I'm not holding out much hope that it will actually be available and am fully expecting an email the day before telling me so.
On the reading front:
Still working on The Wise Man's Fear but the end is in sight, which is sad because it is so amazing.
>152 scaifea: ugh, I feel your grocery shopping pain. It's much more difficult and stressful. You never know what will be in stock, or when you'll be able to pick it up. Also, at least here in Philly today, the shoppers are on strike (and rightly so).
>152 scaifea: - The Wayne was able to snag a 5 lb package of ground beef on Sunday. I wish I could send you some :(
One thought - do you have a Mexican grocery store, like La Michoacana nearby? They are generally smaller and less-used, and I've seen posts on Facebook from people in my town that the one near us is well-stocked with plenty of meat and produce and paper goods. They don't typically do delivery or curbside pick-up, but when we've gone, they are so much less busy than the big chains. Just a thought. We are lucky here in that we have several local butchers, too, so meat hasn't really been an issue. Good luck!
>153 lauralkeet: Laura: Right?! And for this ever-planner, not being about to predict what I can cook is very stressful.
>154 katiekrug: Katie: I wish we did, but we're in a very small town here. Columbus is only about a 20-minute drive away, but we're definitely not venturing out that far, especially C-bus way right now. Excellent thought, though!
>152 scaifea: That's frustrating that people are hoarding meat. We have done a couple meatless nights to preserve what little meat we have in our freezer. Burrito night was surprisingly a hit as I didn't think Chloe would eat the beans, glad I was wrong :)
>156 ChelleBearss: Chelle: Right?! I mean, calm down and think, folks. Yoicks.
And yay for Chloe loving the burritos!! When we have taco/burrito bar for dinner, Charlie always makes salsa & lettuce burritos. *eye roll*
>147 scaifea: #23 Really! That one's new to me, as a favorite food. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't like it, mind you, but absolute all-time favorite status is interesting for that dish.
>152 scaifea: Our facility's director went grocery-shopping for me! They **really** don't want any preventable communication of the virus since so many of the inmates have oodles of underlying nightmare conditions.
The downside is that I can't Do A Shop. And Pantry won't allow me to order more than one each of the items I need to stock up on. Of course it makes sense, in that people have gone mental and are hoarding like crazy; but really?! ONE can of soup? ONE bag of rice? Who buys like that?
>147 scaifea: Our mothers had similar ideas about the naming of daughters, apparently.
>159 richardderus: Richard: I think my favorite food choice stems from grad school days, when I couldn't afford to go to my favorite Indian restaurant very often, so I'd save and save just for one night out there. I always ordered the CTM.
Ooof. Sorry about the shopping woes. I do with that our grocery store would limit how much of each thing people could get right now. It would help tons, I suspect.
>160 foggidawn: *snork!*
>161 scaifea: I don't know about your area, but around here it's not always a matter of people over-buying but also a matter of the supply chains are a bit bottled up because workers at the various stages along the way are sick and unable to work. Grocery stores are getting only half of what they order of some items and none of others. Hopefully all of that will eventually work itself out.
53. The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (Read Soon! Shelves, 1107 pages) - 10/10 = A+
Holy buckets, this series is good. The characters are fantastic, the scope of the world and the story
epic and amazing, and the backstory mythologies phenomenal. Kvothe (despite being just a smidge too precocious for his years *Adem hand sign for huge understatement*) is one of those characters who, once introduced into your mind and heart, will take up fond residence for all and good. I both can't wait and also sadly dread the third installment of the trilogy: I need to know how this all ends, but so very much don't want it to ever.
>164 scaifea: I agree with your thoughts on Kvothe :-)
Also waiting for the next book since 2016. I'll need a reread when it finally comes.
>164 scaifea: Lori: Won't know until Friday, when my pickup time is scheduled.
>165 thornton37814: Anita: Right? He's just too...something...for his age. But I still love him to bits, and the story itself and the telling of it are so very good that I can overlook that tiny bit.
I think I'll probably just find a plot summary on wikipedia for the first two books when the time comes.
Treadmilling, laundry, looking over Charlie's school stuff, daily ping ponging and card gaming, possibly a Family Bike Ride if it warms up a bit, maybe some work on my current cross stitch project, and some reading.
What We're Watching: More Agents of Shield, since it was Tomm's pick last night. It took me a good 3/4 of the first season, but I'm finally engaged with it. Sort of. Still not my favorite show in the world.
On the reading front:
Welp, I miss Kvothe already. But I'm moving on to The Body: A Guide for Occupants.
>164 scaifea: Yay!! I believe the release date of the third is supposed to be the end of this year, but I'll believe that once it's finally in stores
54. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskill (audiobook) - 8/10 = B
Set in mid-1800s industrial Manchester, the story is both a romance and a political commentary on the working classes vs. the wealthy owners of industry. Where the two parts of the tale meet, the potential for tragedy lives.
So much bleaker than Cranford, and therefore not quite as enjoyable for me, but still an interesting and groundbreaking novel.
Treadmilling, laundry, looking over Charlie's school stuff, possibly some cookie baking, some reading, and I think I'll work on the pair of socks I'm knitting. No idea what we'll have for dinner; I'll have to cobble something together since groceries aren't until tomorrow.
On the reading front:
I got about a third of the way through The Body: A Guide for Occupants before deciding yesterday to quit. The writing is great - Bryson is always a hoot - but I just can't take the subject matter right now. I've always had massive amounts of anxiety over the thought of mortality, and a book that delights in talking about all the ways our bodies can go wrong is not good for my normal fretful state, not to mention right now. So, I'm giving up on the Bryson. Next up I think will be The Slow Regard of Silent Things. I will also likely start listening to Bleak House today if I do get round to the knitting.
What We're Watching:
Last night we introduced Charlie to the original Ghostbusters, and he loved it, of course, because how could you not.
>172 scaifea: Hum, I have The Body: A Guide for Occupants in Mt. TBR and keep thinking it might be interesting however the scariest book I've ever read was his A Short History of Nearly Every Thing which left me permanently uncomfortable being within 1000 miles of Yellowstone -- and several other things. The Body is definitely going to the bottom of the mountain.
>173 RebaRelishesReading: Reba: Yeah. Right now is for comfort reads only, pretty much.
Treadmilling, laundry (always with the laundry), Charlie's school stuff, ping pong (we're up to 57 returns!) and card games, the Family Bike Ride, and it's finally grocery pickup day. Apparently the order for masks being required accessories will be coming soon, so I'd better get sewing on those for us. The need for masks is making Charlie anxious, so I'm going to have him help me make them and I'll let him choose the fabrics for all of them. Maybe making his Dad wear a pink-with-flowers one will help...
On the reading front:
I'm really enjoying The Slow Regard of Silent Things and hopefully I'll finish it up today.
What We're Watching:
Charlie's pick last night and we watched more Strong Bad emails. Just the kind of silliness we need right now.
>175 scaifea: I would like to see Tomm in his pink mask when you're finished!
My aunt made us some masks but they aren't required yet and we don't go outside.
>176 ChelleBearss: Chelle: Ha! He ended up picking a plain blue for Tomm. Missed opportunity, as it seems to me. I wore mine today while going to pick up groceries, but I think for that it was more of a security blanket than anything else.
Well, I got my groceries and I am ecstatic to report that Scaife Manor now has a variety of meats! And Tomm is grilling tonight!! WOOT!!
>178 scaifea: - NOICE!
Please let me know if you are accepting commissions to make masks. We are soon to be told we have to wear them when going out and I have zero sewing supplies, much less any know-how.
>179 katiekrug: Katie: I'm happy to make you and The Wayne some masks! I have plenty of cotton fabric, so that's not an issue. I don't have the proper elastic, but I prefer to make them with fabric ties, anyway. PM me your address and color preferences for the fabric.
That goes for all of you: if you would like a mask or two, just let me know. Here's what mine looks like:
ETA: No reimbursement needed here, folks. I have tons of fabric and am happy to do it.
>180 scaifea: That's so kind of you! One of the good things to come out of this whole nonsense is seeing how kind some people can be!
Someone on our street has been leaving painted rocks outside our house and all over the street. Chloe and Ellie get so excited when they see another one at our telephone pole!
>182 ChelleBearss: Chelle: Honestly, I helps me so much to be doing something potentially helpful. And how cool about the painted rocks! People in our neighborhood are putting stuffed animals in their windows for the kiddos to find when families go out on walks. I love it.
>183 scaifea:, Hi Amber my dear, last night we all stood on our doorsteps or front garden and clapped for all those working to save us and keep us safe and feed us and we all put a teddy bear in the front window for children walking by with their parents to see.
Hope you, Tomm, Charlie and the dogs are all fine as we are and send Yorkshire love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.
>184 johnsimpson: Hi, John! Aw, I love the clapping! Those folks are astounding and deserve all the praise (and a HUGE raise). And yay for teddy bears!
We're doing well here. Charlie's starting to get a little stir crazy, but I kind of love being cooped up with the Scaife Men and The Gals.
Hugs right back, friend. And give one to Karen, please!
>185 scaifea:, Will do Amber my dear, it is strange times we are living in at the moment and who knows how long it is going to go on for. We may be in lockdown until the end of June the way things are at the moment and as for sport and entertainment i think 2020 can be written off for most.
We are keeping as occupied as we can and as part of the Working For Walton Covid support group we are the Co-ordinators for our estate, The village has been split into 22 sections and each has two or three Co-ordinators with other volunteers, at last check there were 200 volunteers and Co-ordinators, here to help any resident who is self-isolating or over 70 years old and cannot get out. we will collect shopping and prescriptions, talk to them if they want a chat or to deliver things to relatives nearby such as birthday cards and presents.
Hope you have as good a weekend as you can in these difficult times and we keep you all in our thoughts as we do with all my LT friends around the globe.
>186 johnsimpson: John: Oh, I LOVE how organizing you all are! Very smart and wonderful.
Mrsdrneutron made some masks for us that look like the same design. She says she’s willing to make some as well, though she’s short on elastic and may have to use ties.
>188 drneutron: Jim: I prefer the ties, anyway; the elastic would be too uncomfortable, I think. And yay for Mrsdrneutron!
Laundry, weekly bills, daily ping pong, card game, Family Bike Ride, working on masks, and hopefully some reading.
On the reading front:
I finished up The Slow Regard of Silent Things yesterday, so I'll post a mini-review at some point today.
What We're Watching:
It was Tomm's pick last night after our Family Game Night fun, so we watched a couple of episodes of Agents of Shield.
Morning, Amber! Happy Saturday. Sounds like all is well at the Scaife Manor. I know I am outdoors nearly every day but I do miss socializing with friends, especially over a few beers.
55. The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss (Read Soon! Shelves, 158 pages) - 10/10 = A+
A slim addition to the Kingkiller Chronicles, this short novel gives us a few days in the life of Auri, and it's just as strange and sweet and mysterious as you'd expect. I loved it. Definitely recommended if you've read the first two books of the Chronicles, but ill-advised if you haven't yet.
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