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richardderus's fifth 2020 thread

This is a continuation of the topic richardderus's fourth 2020 thread.

This topic was continued by richardderus's fifth 2020 thread.

75 Books Challenge for 2020

Join LibraryThing to post.

Edited: Mar 18, 10:22am Top

Octavia E. Butler, MacArthur "Genius" Grantee and multiple Nebula and Hugo winner, via Open Road Media

By now, y'all're aware of how deeply enamored I am of ear-reading as a means of taking in my story addiction fodder. Why, it's just the best! NOT As a sleep aid, ear-reading can't be beat. Like being read a bedtime story, it's a soothing and enjoyable way to drop right off. But the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast, episode/issue/hell I dunno #346 is a 2019 overview of a young woman writer's dawning understanding of just how much the gender-related history of science fiction was distorted by two old sexist men. Follow the link to learn more about this rage-inducing erasure of femfandom.

The news that Library of America is expanding its Ursula K. Le Guin line to a total of seven (!) volumes from its present three, and even more excitingly will now publish the works of Octavia E. Butler, should be cause for street parties and hotly discussed on Trevor Noah's show! This is overdue, it's deeply merited, and it's about goddamned time "we" pulled our collective heads out and acknowledged the longstanding role that women have played in all aspects of culture.

Many sad little men with mommy issues are against the trend towards acknowledging and honoring women's...well, actual separate existence if we're accurate, but the tide of history is the irresistible force and their objects, like their minds, are too small and light-weight to be immovable. Library of America is catching up and the rest of us are catching on. This is a wonderful development, and it makes me personally very happy.

Edited: Mar 30, 8:32pm Top

In 2020, I will post 10 book reviews a month on my blog. I already read a book every other day, as this year's total of 155 (a lot of individual stories don't have entries in the LT database so I didn't post them here; guess I should do more to sync the data this year) reads shows; so it's doable, and I've done better than that in the past.

I will Pearl Rule books I'm not enjoying with notes on Goodreads & LibraryThing about why I'm abandoning the read.

My Last Thread of 2018 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.

My Last Thread of 2019 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.

Reviews 1 through 3 are thataway.

Reviews 4 through 8 reside thitherward.

Reviews 9 through 11 are back here.

Reviews 12 through 20 exist allá.

21 Exit Strategy: Murderbot Diaries was fan-flippin-tastic, post 90.

22 Nevertheless, She Persisted was a delight, post 183.

23 A Justified State blew. me. away!, see post 209.

24 Exit Strategy: The Murderbot Diaries is scrumptious, post 229.


Edited: Mar 18, 9:40am Top

I really hadn't considered doing this until recently...tracking my Pulitzer Prize in Fiction winners read, and Booker Prize winners read might actually prove useful to me in planning my reading.

1918 HIS FAMILY - Ernest Poole **
1919 THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS - Booth Tarkington *
1921 THE AGE OF INNOCENCE - Edith Wharton *
1922 ALICE ADAMS - Booth Tarkington **
1923 ONE OF OURS - Willa Cather **
1924 THE ABLE MCLAUGHLINS - Margaret Wilson
1925 SO BIG - Edna Ferber *
1926 ARROWSMITH - Sinclair Lewis (Declined) *
1927 EARLY AUTUMN - Louis Bromfield
1928 THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY - Thornton Wilder *
1929 SCARLET SISTER MARY - Julia Peterkin
1930 LAUGHING BOY - Oliver Lafarge
1931 YEARS OF GRACE - Margaret Ayer Barnes
1932 THE GOOD EARTH - Pearl Buck *
1933 THE STORE - Thomas Sigismund Stribling
1934 LAMB IN HIS BOSOM - Caroline Miller
1935 NOW IN NOVEMBER - Josephine Winslow Johnson
1936 HONEY IN THE HORN - Harold L Davis
1937 GONE WITH THE WIND - Margaret Mitchell *
1938 THE LATE GEORGE APLEY - John Phillips Marquand
1939 THE YEARLING - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings *
1940 THE GRAPES OF WRATH - John Steinbeck *
1942 IN THIS OUR LIFE - Ellen Glasgow *
1943 DRAGON'S TEETH - Upton Sinclair
1944 JOURNEY IN THE DARK - Martin Flavin
1945 A BELL FOR ADANO - John Hersey *
1947 ALL THE KING'S MEN - Robert Penn Warren *
1948 TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC - James Michener
1949 GUARD OF HONOR - James Gould Cozzens
1950 THE WAY WEST - A.B. Guthrie
1951 THE TOWN - Conrad Richter
1952 THE CAINE MUTINY - Herman Wouk
1953 THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA - Ernest Hemingway *
1955 A FABLE - William Faulkner *
1956 ANDERSONVILLE - McKinlay Kantor *
1958 A DEATH IN THE FAMILY - James Agee *
1960 ADVISE AND CONSENT - Allen Drury *
1961 TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - Harper Lee *
1962 THE EDGE OF SADNESS - Edwin O'Connor
1963 THE REIVERS - William Faulkner *
1965 THE KEEPERS OF THE HOUSE - Shirley Ann Grau
1967 THE FIXER - Bernard Malamud
1969 HOUSE MADE OF DAWN - N Scott Momaday
1972 ANGLE OF REPOSE - Wallace Stegner *
1973 THE OPTIMIST'S DAUGHTER - Eudora Welty *
1975 THE KILLER ANGELS - Jeff Shaara *
1976 HUMBOLDT'S GIFT - Saul Bellow *
1978 ELBOW ROOM - James Alan McPherson
1980 THE EXECUTIONER'S SONG - Norman Mailer *
1981 A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES - John Kennedy Toole *
1982 RABBIT IS RICH - John Updike *
1983 THE COLOR PURPLE - Alice Walker *
1984 IRONWEED - William Kennedy *
1985 FOREIGN AFFAIRS - Alison Lurie
1986 LONESOME DOVE - Larry McMurtry *
1987 A SUMMONS TO MEMPHIS - Peter Taylor
1988 BELOVED - Toni Morrison *
1991 RABBIT AT REST - John Updike *
1992 A THOUSAND ACRES - Jane Smiley *
1994 THE SHIPPING NEWS - E Annie Proulx *
1995 THE STONE DIARIES - Carol Shields
1996 INDEPENDENCE DAY - Richard Ford
1997 MARTIN DRESSLER - Steven Millhauser
1998 AMERICAN PASTORAL - Philip Roth
1999 THE HOURS - Michael Cunningham
2002 EMPIRE FALLS - Richard Russo
2003 MIDDLESEX - Jeffrey Eugenides *
2004 THE KNOWN WORLD - Edward P. Jones
2005 GILEAD - Marilynne Robinson
2006 MARCH - Geraldine Brooks
2007 THE ROAD - Cormac McCarthy
2009 OLIVE KITTERIDGE - Elizabeth Strout
2010 TINKERS - Paul Harding
2011 A VISIT FROM THE GOOD SQUAD - Jennifer Egan
2013 ORPHAN MASTER'S SON - Adam Johnson
2014 THE GOLDFINCH - Donna Tartt
2015 ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE - Anthony Doerr **
2016 THE SYMPATHIZER - Viet Thanh Nguyen **
2017 THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD - Colson Whitehead **
2018 LESS - Andrew Sean Greer *
2019 THE OVERSTORY - Richard Powers *

Links are to my reviews
* Read, but not reviewed
** Owned, but not read

Every winner of the Booker Prize since its inception in 1969

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

Links are to my reviews
* Read, but not reviewed
** Owned, but not read

Edited: Mar 18, 9:34am Top

2019 was a *stellar* reading year! For the first time ever, I had two six-stars-of-five reads: Black Light: Stories, a debut story collection that gave me so much pleasure I read it twice (ever rarer occurence that), and the wrenching, gutting agony of Heart Berries, a memoir of such honesty and such vulnerability that I was a wreck after I finished it. I went back and forth a dozen times, first Author Parsons was the sixer, then Author Mailhot; neither book could possibly "win" for long because I couldn't get either book out of my mind.
I handed out 34 5- or damn-near-5-star reviews out of 155 reviewed books; that's 22% and that is a LOT. Many, even most of these (10+) were for short stories, for end-of-beloved-series novels, or for story collections. But hold on to something heavy: TWO, yes that's t-w-o dos due deux zwei два were...POETRY COLLECTIONS. Sarah Tolmie's The Art of Dying and the late Frank Stanford's collected poems, What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford. Both were peak reading experiences. Another was cultural monadnock George Takei's graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy, which could not be more important for young people today to absorb.

What a beautiful year it was, to bring so many delights to my door. I hope, greedy thing that I am, that 2020 will repeat this performance. For all of us, really...honest! I didn't just add that on the end of this summing-up to make it sound less solipsistic.

In 2020, I wanted to post 10 book reviews a month on my blog. As of 21 February, I haven't posted a-one! There are a few mitigating factors, but I need to get this train rollin' or the deficit will become daunting quickly. Even so, I still read a story every other day, as this year's total of 155 (a lot of individual stories don't have entries in the LT database so I didn't post them here; guess I should do more to sync the data this year) reads shows; so it's doable, and I've done better than that in the past.

I will Pearl Rule books I'm not enjoying with notes on Goodreads & LibraryThing about why I'm abandoning the read.

...and that's me done. My reports will continue to be quarterly, the day after the end of the quarter.

Mar 18, 9:29am Top

Okay, now you.

Mar 18, 9:40am Top

Hi Richard. Happy new one. Stay well, wash your hands! :-) Thank goodness for books and internet!

Mar 18, 9:47am Top

Happy new one, RD!

Mar 18, 9:53am Top

Happy new thread!
I'd like to say that if your thread slowed down I could possibly stay caught up, but I feel like that would be a lie as I am constantly behind!
Oh well. Stay isolated and healthy, mmkay.

Edited: Mar 18, 10:25am Top

>6 jessibud2: Hiya Shelley! You're first, and since we can't go outside anymore, here's a virtual trophy:

Mar 18, 10:26am Top

>7 katiekrug: Hi Katie, thanks for the well-wishes!

>8 ChelleBearss: Hiya Chelle...keeping up? That's an illusion! Just visit when you can, you're always welcome.

Mar 18, 10:28am Top

Happy new'un, RD.

Mar 18, 10:34am Top

Happy new one, BigDaddy!

Mar 18, 10:40am Top

>11 karenmarie: Thanks, Horrible!

>12 Crazymamie: Smoochling! So good to see you!

Mar 18, 11:36am Top

Happy new thread! Butler's always been a fave of mine. Good choice for topper!

Mar 18, 11:45am Top

>14 drneutron: Thanks, Jim, her inclusion in LoA is one of the good things I'm using as emotional ballast at the moment.

Mar 18, 2:08pm Top

Ooo, fun! A book I wasn't expecting for at least two more weeks arrived.

Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard is my latest Thingaversary purchase. I think it leaves me with four physical books to procure by 13 August's anniversary date.

Mar 18, 3:39pm Top

Happy new thread!

I should re-read Octavia Butler's books, really I should, but she is so good at disturbing me, and I like feeling in control when I read, at least most of the time.

Mar 18, 3:41pm Top

>17 quondame: Thank you, Susan. Maybe now isn't the most opportune moment to challenge that control thing....

Mar 18, 5:56pm Top

Happy new thread, Richard. Great write-up in post #1 about women's place in sci-fi and other writing. It reminds me of Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, explained.

Mar 18, 6:35pm Top

Happy New thread Richard!

And course: everlasting admiration punctuated by fanboy squee for Octavia Butler.

Mar 18, 6:47pm Top

>19 Familyhistorian: Hi Susan, and thanks...I'm as bumfuzzled as ever that real people who lived real lives decided that other people's gender performances made them unworthy of their rightful place in history.

>20 swynn: Hi Steve, I'm with ya on the *squee*

Mar 18, 7:07pm Top

Happy New Thread, Richard. I hope you had a great day. I am really enjoying a story-collection set in Chicago and Florida, called The Ice Cream Man and Other Stories. If you can track it down, for a reasonable price give it a go. Do you do NetGalley? I think that is where I snagged it.

Mar 18, 7:29pm Top

>22 msf59: Thanks, Mark, and yes I do NetGalley but I missed the window on that collection. Darn!

It's been a day....

Mar 18, 7:31pm Top

More squee for Octavia Butler! Also hope you like Servant of the Underworld as much as I did.

Happy New Thread, Richard dear!

Mar 18, 7:45pm Top

>24 ronincats: Hi Roni! I'm hoping it's the hit that it feels like it will be, too.

I love the Butler luuuv from all corners! I know that Ava duVernay has been working on adapting Dawn for Ammy since 2017, without any currently reported progress pre-COVID-19. The Viola Davis-led JuVee Productions was also working on a television adaptation of Wild Seed last year, but again we can assume progress is halted now.


Mar 18, 9:06pm Top

HAppy new one!

Mar 18, 9:20pm Top

Happy new thread, RD.

>1 richardderus: it's about goddamned time "we" pulled our collective heads out and acknowledged the longstanding role that women have played in all aspects of culture.

Couldn't agree more.

Mar 18, 11:38pm Top

>26 figsfromthistle: Thank you, Anita!

>27 PaulCranswick: Thanks, PC, and let's hope Belle doesn't have to shout at anyone to get her due.

Mar 19, 6:59am Top

>28 richardderus: She won't have to shout, RD, she is one of those ladies who can convey so much by a certain stare.

Mar 19, 11:29am Top

Glad to see your new thread.
LT seems to be loading slowly (and I have a normally lightening quick internet speed). I guess many, many members are holed up at home and comforting themselves with seeing how the rest of the bibliophile world is managing.

I just finished posting a review of Hotel du Lac. It was the perfect book for me at this time. Not to everyone's taste in writing style, but I'm sure glad I heard about it (a BB from Ellen's thread {EBT1002}, way back).

Mar 19, 11:47am Top

>29 PaulCranswick: :-)

>30 SandyAMcPherson: I love that feeling of "fit" among book, moment, and reader. I'm not surprised that it was a Brookner that turned the trick, her flensing-knife eye fits this moment well.

Pro tip: If you scroll ALL the way to the bottom of any LT page, there's a line of agate-type hyperlinks. All the way over on the right is a little tiny ticker that says "XXX members online now." That's the logged-in membership on the site as of the microsecond that you opened that particular page.

Mar 19, 12:25pm Top

Afternoon, BigDaddy! I did not know that about how many members were online currently. Look at me learning stuff!

Mar 19, 1:21pm Top

'Morning, RichardDear!

I knew but had forgotten about the # of members online tip, thanks for reminding me.


Mar 19, 2:00pm Top

Happy new thread Richard!

Mar 19, 2:11pm Top

>31 richardderus: There's a *really* handy tip! Who knew?! Thank you.

Mar 19, 2:27pm Top

>31 richardderus: 182 right now...that seems low. What are all the rest of the home-bound people doing?

Mar 19, 2:50pm Top

>31 richardderus: Wow, learn something new every day. Now I'm going to obsessively look at that number. :p

Mar 19, 3:14pm Top

>32 Crazymamie: Hey, Mamie! I'm sure sometime in the past that factoid whizzed past you, like it did >33 karenmarie:, but failed to stick. I think I relearn it every 3 or 4 years. There's even a thread in Talk About LT on the subject of largest number of members logged on at any one time.

>33 karenmarie: Hi Horrible! *smooch*

>34 humouress: Hi Nina, thanks for the good wishes!

Mar 19, 3:16pm Top

>35 SandyAMcPherson: I am a *fountain* of trivial knowledge, which shockingly frequently comes in handy.

>36 laytonwoman3rd:, >37 mahsdad: Go take a look! *smooch*

Mar 19, 4:49pm Top

Happy new thread dear friend.

Mar 19, 5:06pm Top

Thank you, John, and I hope y'all're safe there in BoJoLand.

Mar 19, 5:28pm Top

>41 richardderus:, Hi Richard, we are both fine but Karen is worried about going back into work tomorrow, it looks like she will be re-deployed within the store as people are not really buying clothes at the moment. She will do whatever in the store but she doesn't really want to go on the checkouts.

All our schools close tomorrow and they could stay shut until September, the only kids going into school will be children of essential workers although BoJo has not revealed the list of essential workers yet, duh. I think more financial measures are to be announced tomorrow as all the businesses that have had to close, a lot of staff are on zero hours contracts but all the supermarkets are taking on temporary staff to help stock shelves and try and increase online shopping deliveries.

This is a major shake-up for the whole world, with the financial markets in a spin and jobs being lost hand over fist. Look after yourself dear friend and keep safe, our reading should increase if we are all to stay indoors for many months. Love and hugs from both me and Karen and hugs from a poorly Hannah.

Mar 19, 6:41pm Top

>42 johnsimpson: Oh FFS!! The entire world's laughing at BoJo and Cheeto Benito as they bumble around costing people their actual lives with greed, incompetence, and soul-chilling indifference to the suffering they're exacerbating.

I'm crossing all my crossable parts that Karen won't be affected, and that darling little Hannah (still little to me!) will be healthy soon.
As of 9am, my facility's locked down. No in, no out, except smokers who must stay in a prescribed area. No grocery runs...that's gonna hurt!...but I totally get it. The ~200 people in here are largely enfeebled, almost all oxygen-dependent, and mostly quite old. It's extremely unlikely that I, with Old Stuff the smoking lung-cookie-hawker as my roommate, will escape the virus. The good news is I'm not and never was a smoker, have no lung problems, and have screamed at Old Stuff so loudly and for so long that he's actually using tissues to leave his hawkings-up in, flushing them down.

But skate free? Not likely. I'll let y'all know if the damn stuff bites me.

Mar 19, 6:46pm Top

Checking in on the new thread, RD. ((Hugs)) and *smooches*

Mar 19, 6:50pm Top

>43 richardderus: Much as I hate to wish anyone so awesome to be wrong, well, I hope you do escape the virus!

Mar 19, 7:42pm Top

Happy new thread, Richard! Among all the other things affected by the virus, BookPage sent me an email today to let me know they're delaying shipment of their April issue. So there will be a delay in sending it along, if I can tear one away from rabid patrons who will be mobbing us when we reopen.

*smooches* and best wishes that you don't get the virus, or if so only mildly.

Mar 19, 7:46pm Top

Sweet Thursday, Richard. I hope you had a good one. A wet one here, with a chilly weekend ahead. Looking forward to turning that corner.

How are you handling the virus intrusion?

Mar 19, 7:57pm Top

>44 alcottacre: Hey Stasia! *smooch*

>45 quondame: Heh...silver-tongued succubus sez "be well" bewitchingly.

>46 bell7: I'm amazed that they're contemplating making one! I'm in no rush, and deeply grateful for the thought.

>47 msf59: I don't have to handle diddly out-of-doors, Mark, there's no going outside for me. So for all of me it can snow!

Mar 19, 11:35pm Top

Happy newish thread and happy Friday, as far as that‘s possible. I‘m very sorry about the lockdown. It‘s the sensible thing to do, but... sigh
(((((lots of hugs)))))

Mar 20, 12:38am Top

>1 richardderus: I LOVE Octavia Butler!! I even took a course on her writings, two years ago I think.

>16 richardderus: Oooh! Another Thingaversary purchase. Nice.

>43 richardderus: And for once, I hope you are wrong -- don't get it!!

And happy new thread, BTW. ; ) *Smooch*

Mar 20, 8:38am Top

Hi RDear.

I’m glad your facility’s locked down, sorry it has to be, glad OS is at least using tissues. I hope so very much the damn stuff does not bite you.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Mar 20, 8:40am Top

Morning, Richard. Happy New Thread, buddy.

Good topper comments; I agree. I recently read a bit about what N.K. Jemison went through just to get published. It's gotten better, but there's still a long ways to go.

For me, Octavia Butler is a "respect, not love" author, but she has a legion of fans, including one of my sisters.

I still love Fridays. I hope you have a good weekend.

Mar 20, 8:48am Top

Drive-by morning wave!

Mar 20, 8:50am Top

Hang in there, my friend. Stay well!

Mar 20, 9:49am Top

>43 richardderus: As Shelley says, RD, hang in there.

Your place sounds like the ideal setting for a sit-com.

Mar 20, 12:21pm Top

>49 Deern: Thanks, Nathalie! We're a week behind Italy's curve, but catching up fast. *sigh* None of this had to happen.

>50 Berly: Hey Berly-boo, happy to see you, and a big YAY for the Octavia luuv. Realistically, if this virus is anything close to as contagious as they say it is, I'm doomed...but the upside is that I won't get as sick as most here, the downside is I won't be able to control it. Stay tuned....

>51 karenmarie: *smooch*

Mar 20, 12:27pm Top

>52 jnwelch: Hi Joe! Happy Friday, then. I know Butler isn't your go-to pool of glory in which to immerse yourself, but it's an impossibility for any bookish sort not to appreciate what she represents. The African American female success rate needs goal-setters, so the NK Jemisins can do their blessèd work.

Be well!

>53 katiekrug: Hiya Katie! Stay safe out there. Well, in there. Hm, that's the safe zone...well, you know what I mean.

>54 jessibud2: Hi Shelley! Thanks for the good wishes. *smooch*

>55 PaulCranswick: There was one. A good one, too. *I* liked it, anyway...so that pathway's already trod. Darn it.

Mar 20, 12:52pm Top

Richard, a little music to uplift:


Mar 20, 2:05pm Top

>58 jessibud2: That was a lovely break from the bleakness, thanks Shelley.

Mar 20, 7:05pm Top

Belated happy new thread, Richard dear!
Sorry your facility is in lockdown, and you are stuck with your roommate. Of course it is the most sensible thing to do with so many vulnerable people living there.

Mar 21, 7:29am Top

'Morning, RD.


Mar 21, 9:56am Top

>60 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! I'm safe, I'm fed, Old Stuff's apparently in the hospital (he ain't here, anyway, which Works For Me), so I'll relax about the travel restrictions.

>61 karenmarie: Hey Horrible, it is indeed morning...there are nutty surfers out in the freezing-cold North Atlantic! I skyped with Rob earlier, he was So. Annoyed. not to be able to come and surf! I pointed out how foolish it was for these guys to do it, he looked at me like he'd never seen me before and said, "but it's PERFECT out there!"

I'm glad he's not stupid and selfish about his hobby, so I praised him to the skies for being responsible.

Time to read!

Mar 21, 3:20pm Top

Well, I fell down the rabbit-hole that is Jeopardy! over on Netflix. I've had my dirty-rice-and-beans with sour cream...I prepared to dive back in and finish Exit Strategy: Murderbot Diaries...and couldn't focus for anything. Part of it is being restricted. Normally I can leave the facility to do whatever I like, for example take a walk on the boardwalk or grocery shop.

Now they asked me, very politely!, to stay in my room. The dearly beloathèd roommate is in the hospital, so I don't have to put up with him, and it's extra time to skype with my Young Gentleman Caller (a designation that still works!), but this crud is just barely begun. The upswing is *just* getting momentum; the probability is, absent a vaccine, we're looking at multiple waves of infection over the course of months!

Everyone should read The Machine Stops as soon as possible.

Edited: Mar 21, 3:26pm Top

>63 richardderus: Here's another rabbit hole to fall into (at #113), should you be short of ideas.

:D You're welcome... hope it works.

Mar 21, 3:44pm Top

>64 SandyAMcPherson: Oh, hey, no thanks on the new rabbit hole, I'm trying to give it up for Lent.

Mar 21, 3:48pm Top

>62 richardderus: I don't wish your roommate any harm (why would I?) but I am pleased for you anyway.

Mar 21, 4:02pm Top

>66 PaulCranswick: No worries, I'll wish him harm enough to make up the deficit.

Mar 21, 8:42pm Top

Mmmmm... dirty rice and beans... 😂

Mar 21, 10:22pm Top

>65 richardderus: But Geocities, man!

Mar 21, 10:52pm Top

>68 drneutron: Yeah...and it was so so good, too.

>69 SandyAMcPherson: I ain't there, durn it anyway. I was ExpendableMudge there, and I'm just gone.

It's not the end of the world but it is disheartening.

Mar 21, 10:56pm Top

I've done zilch! Bubkes! Rien! It was a rough day, Rob is extremely worried because my roommate's in the hospital and that could mean I'll get this rotten plague...nope. No pages read. More books, freebies from Smashwords, downloaded though!

Mar 22, 8:05am Top

Morning, Richard. Any word about your roommate? Are they able to do any testing at the hospital there? I hope you can focus again on the printed word and try not to go nuts, being stuck inside. Good luck, my friend.

Mar 22, 8:19am Top

'Morning, RDear.

I am very sorry about the lock down. Hang in there.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Mar 22, 8:31am Top

>72 msf59: Thank you, Mark, it's really just the psychological effect of "can't go out" instead of my usual "don't feel like going out." Can't is always harder on me, I'm just built to break rules.

I won't die of boredom, that's for sure!

>73 karenmarie: *smooch* Thanks, Horrible, sympathy is always welcome.
No news, not that they'd tell me anyway, about Old Stuff. They're a bit on the crazy side about HIPAA problems and will rebuff any and all queries regarding other residents for fear they might get sued.


Anyway, it's a lot colder today, in the low 40s for our highs, so I pretty much don't wanna go outside anyway. Perverse, or lucky? I suspect a bit of both.

So my my first cafetière is steadily dwindling. This is good.

Mar 22, 9:44am Top

Morning, RD. I hope you have a cozy, read-filled day indoors today. xx

Mar 22, 9:48am Top

>75 katiekrug: May all your hopes come true for you, too.

Trying to read but keep falling asleep!

Mar 22, 10:35am Top

"Everyone should read The Machine Stops as soon as possible." I just heard about this last year when I had started reading The Ministry of Truth: the biography of George Orwell's 1984, and it was mentioned in there. Had no idea E. M. Forster had written anything like that, so I tracked it down and read it late last year.

Sorry about having to stay in your room, dearest, but happy that you don't have to stay in your room with Old Stuff also present. Small miracles - these are what make life better one small moment at a time. Thinking of you. *smooch*

Mar 22, 10:44am Top

RD, I know that you do not want to be locked down, but I feel better that you are :) Keep safe and healthy! You are needed here.

((Hugs)) and *smooches* - happiness that your roommate is gone, even if only temporarily.

Edited: Mar 22, 10:48am Top

>77 Crazymamie: Thanks for the well-wishes, Mamie me lurve, and I could not possibly agree with your assessment of the small miracles I'm surrounded by every day. Like having you as a friend: 20 years ago, I'd've been stuck in here with precisely no way of knowing my pal Mamie even existed! I judder like Jell-o on a jumping jack at the idea of that awfulness!

It just doesn't compute that A Room with a View and The Machine Stops came out of the same pen. The glory of knowing that they did is the forceful reminder not to limit others by compelling them to fulfill our vision of them. Much more satisfying to have them be their full freak-flag-flyin' selves!

>78 alcottacre: Heh, thank you Stasia, though I'm being bottled up because They don't want me to make others sick, not to keep me safe.

The happiness I feel at his absence is worth the mild downer of knowing that, sooner or later, back he'll come...*sigh*

Mar 22, 11:18am Top

>74 richardderus: First cafetière? Good grief boyo, how many cups do you get through in a day?

Nice that you have your room to yourself but I hope it’s not due to Covid19.

Mar 22, 12:08pm Top

>80 humouress: I am quite moderate in my coffee-downing. I limit myself to 48oz. That's, what? 1400mL? Why, I'm practically off the stuff!

Edited: Mar 22, 1:18pm Top

Ashes and Entropy, the anthology of short horror fiction, will be free on Kindle from the 23rd to the 26th!

Mar 22, 1:21pm Top

Hello Ricardo!! Sorry that you are limited to your own room, but happy that it is roommate free (although I do not want to wish harm to anyone). Enjoy the books and the caffeine and the company.

Thank God for LT!!!

Mar 22, 1:49pm Top

>83 Berly: Thank you, Kimmers! Yep, no LT and I'd be a gibbering heap of neuroses by now.

...oh wait...


Mar 22, 2:23pm Top

Nah, you're sane and just pretending to be not. ; ) Smooch.

Mar 22, 3:09pm Top

>85 Berly: *chuckle* got her snowed

Mar 22, 3:43pm Top

Finished book 2, I didn't want to, but I was "forced" to go to Libby and borrow book 3. :) All Hail the Murderbot!

Mar 22, 4:00pm Top

>87 mahsdad: Ha! Yes, poor poor lad. *FORCED* to read the Murderbot's story of going outside the Corporation Rim!

They're even better second time round, aren't they.

Mar 22, 5:01pm Top

Except for ASR, they are new to me. First time thru.

Mar 22, 7:20pm Top

21 Exit Strategy: Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Rating: 5* of five

Murderbot comes in from the cold. The cold that, at the end of Rogue Protocol, was so freakin' cold that Murderbot was in as much danger as the humans it can't stop itself from protecting.

Nothing about this read is easy because Murderbot is so confused. Until the organic memories can be fully integrated into its systems, emotions will keep flooring it. Author Wells gets all five stars because that integration is not an easy thing for Murderbot or the organic being reading its diary.


Mar 22, 7:28pm Top

>89 mahsdad: OIC



Mar 22, 7:32pm Top

>90 richardderus: I need to read that one, but my local library does not have it yet. Rats.

Mar 23, 7:09am Top

Morning, BigDaddy! I NEED to get to a reread of those Murderbot books.

Mar 23, 11:51am Top

>92 alcottacre: Oh, that's a bummer! I hope it goes on sale soon. *smooch*

>93 Crazymamie: Oh yes, Mamie me lurve, yes indeed and soon! Network Effect, the full novel, comes out in May.
Something weird just happened: while I was in the shower this morning, I heard some loud galumphing about in the hall. As I headed upstairs to request a refill on a maintenance med, I smacked into Old Stuff's walker, complete with jacket, in front of the door!

He's nowhere to be seen. He surely hasn't stopped using it; no one has said anything to me about him coming back...a mystery.

Mar 23, 12:51pm Top

>94 richardderus: *cue Twilight Zone theme*

Mar 23, 1:27pm Top

>95 laytonwoman3rd: I'll go with that; so long as it isn't Welcome Back, Kotter, I'm good.

Mar 23, 3:21pm Top

Hey, Richard, I see on Goodreads you've put Waves by M. A. Foster on your want-to-read list. What stimulated that? I've been considering a reread of my 8 book collection, or at least some of them--it's been years and years since I've read them, although I read them several times in the 80s.

Mar 23, 4:06pm Top

On the Life's Library Discord (a social media platform that is topic specific that the young whippersnappers are using), did a Q&A with Martha Wells today (ASR is this month's book).

Did you know she wrote a sort of prequel to ASR that was published in Wired? If not, here you go..


Edited: Mar 23, 4:13pm Top

>97 ronincats: Joachim Boaz, whose blog I follow, wrote a quick'n'dirty review of it that reminded me I haven't read it in 40 years & I remembered it fondly, so...well...Mike Foster wasn't inept as a writer, though not very advanced as a feminist thinker. Time to look back into it.

>98 mahsdad: I didn't know that! I'm off to read it, thanks.

Edited: Mar 23, 5:01pm Top

>98 mahsdad: Cool!

>99 richardderus: A few years back I re-read some of the M.A. Foster books, but not Waves. Is that the one with the breathable swimming pool? I can't stop wanting that.

Mar 24, 12:56pm Top

>100 quondame: I can't say that concept has the least, smallest appeal to me, so I wouldn't have noticed it; if I see it, I'll make a note to mention it, though.

Edited: Mar 24, 2:04pm Top

OK, I give up... what the dickens is a breathable swimming pool?

Mar 24, 2:31pm Top

Hi RD!

I hope you're having a good Tuesday, given these pandemic-y times.

Mar 24, 2:43pm Top

>102 SandyAMcPherson: I hope Susan will enlighten you, as I can't. Sounds like a hellish thing to me.

>103 karenmarie: Hi Horrible! Not at all bad since I'm utterly free of Old Stuff. I'v spent most of each day skyping with Rob, so they all feel absolutely wonderful to me.

Mar 24, 2:45pm Top

'Cause why not? : )

Mar 24, 2:49pm Top

>105 Berly: Hi Berly!

Absolutely no reason why not. *smooch*

Mar 24, 3:14pm Top

Hi, RD. Loving the Murderbot re-reads. Happy Tuesday!

Mar 24, 3:44pm Top

>107 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! One of my big surprises was a tweet about Exit Strategy going big...over 200 retweets is big for me...and Author Wells commenting her thanks for it.

Mar 24, 4:05pm Top

So this is making the rounds...

1. Who are you named after? My father's first name, my mother's maiden name as middles, St. Charles Borromeo confirmation
2. Last time you cried? Earlier today when Rob broke down & begged me not to die of COVID-19...still leaking a bit
3. Do you like your handwriting? can't write anymore
4. What is your favorite lunch meat? pig or cow products, keep yer birds outta my bread
5. Longest relationship? five years
6. Do you still have your tonsils? Yep
7. Would you bungee jump? oh HELL no!!!!!
8. What is your favorite kind of cereal? Cream of Rice with butter & brown sugar
9. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? haven't worn lace-up shoes in decades
10. Do you think you're strong willed? As easy-going as the summer dew. What? Stop laughing.
11. Favorite ice cream? the much-lamented Wedding Cake Blue Bell
12. What is the first thing you notice about a person? Men: butts. Women: Eyes.
13. Football or baseball? Baseball
14. What color pants are you wearing? Black. Both kinds.
15. Last thing you ate? hot dog on ciabatta with creamy caesar and parmesan
16. What are you listening to? Rain sounds on YouTube
17. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? gamboge
18. What is your favorite smell? freshly showered boyfriend
19. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? Rob
20. Married? No.
21. Hair color? Head: red-brown. Beard: gray.
22. Eye color? subject to change...either bluey-green or greeny-blue
23. Favorite food? Whatever Rob makes me
24. Scary movies or happy endings? sure, why not
25. Last movie you watched In a theater? Can't remember
26. What color shirt are you wearing? white t-shirt with a suggestive silkscreen on it
27. Favorite holiday? Holi
28. Beer or Wine? None for me, thanks, too painful
29. Night owl or morning person? Morning person, to Rob's disgust
30. Favorite day of the week? Monday
31. Favorite animal? Okapi
32. Do you have a pet? Nooooooo *sobbing*
33. Where would you like travel to? The timeline where 45 lost

Your turn!

Edited: Mar 24, 4:38pm Top

>101 richardderus: >102 SandyAMcPherson: >104 richardderus: It's been almost 40 years, so the memory is quite blurred, and I've read 2 M.A. Foster series Ler & Metamorph, quite recently without encountering it again. but the description of a luminous basement pool, skin temperature, in which one could comfortably submerge oneself or float indefinitely appealed deeply to my slothful decadent nature. The liquid of the pool was not water, but carried as much oxygen as air.

Mar 24, 4:42pm Top

((Hugs)) and *smooches* for today, RD.

>109 richardderus: I love the answer to question 33!

Mar 24, 5:46pm Top

>110 quondame: That liquid is a real thing, perfluorocarbon. There was some talk of using it to help burn patients back in the 1970s.

>111 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia, and that answer is simply the gawds' honest truth.

Mar 24, 5:51pm Top

>112 richardderus: Cool. The Wikipedia page doesn't include a fictional reference I recognize, so maybe some other reader of M. A. Foster can fill in that blank.

Mar 24, 6:27pm Top

Hey, Richard! Happy new(ish) thread.

I LOVE Octavia Butler! There isn't one of her SSF novels I've read that I haven't found exceptional.

Two more books to finish before I jump back into Murderbot's world. Really looking forward to it!

Stay happy, healthy & safe, my friend. I still have that bag of books to bring you when this nightmare is ended.

Mar 24, 6:32pm Top

>109 richardderus: Done.
How cool you thought of okapi's :-)

Edited: Mar 24, 6:35pm Top

>113 quondame: I will be one of those again here shortly, so permaybehaps it'll be me.

>114 Storeetllr: Hiya Mary! Happy to know you'll be Murderbotting soon. Such a terrific world!

I'm looking forward to meeting at last!

>115 FAMeulstee: Oh cool! I'll wander by soon to see what's what.

Mar 24, 6:54pm Top

Hey, Rd! How are things going? Is Old Stuff still out of the picture? Fingers crossed. At least that makes up, for you not being able to wander about. Is that still the law?

Mar 24, 7:16pm Top

>117 msf59: Ho there, Markiemark! I'm okay and yes, Old Stuff's out; so is walking around; and please dear goddesses this asshole in the Oval Office will be shouted down if it tries to restart the economy before this thing's really, truly dead.

Edited: Mar 24, 8:45pm Top

>118 richardderus: - Why are people so afraid of him? Why doesn't someone turn around and tell him to his face, you are out of your mind and your actions are and will kill people? It can't possibly be out of respect; t-Rump wouldn't know respect if it bit him in the bum. It can't be respect for the Office. He himself has no respect for the Office. By not calling him out in plain English, they are condoning and allowing him to run amok with people's lives. I just don't get it.

At least, there is this. If only everyone would listen to him:


Mar 24, 9:00pm Top

Dog. I went grocery shopping this morning. Got there about 5 minutes after the doors opened. (I hope I didn't bring home a nasty stowaway.) I was planning to order on-line and pick it up, but after failing to get the order placed, I called the chain's help number and was informed the service is on hold due to the health situation. I guess it's because of manpower shortages, since it does cost extra. And now is when it would be a benefit. I figured the store won't be any cleaner than when it first opens. Wasn't crowded at all.

Got out of bed at 6 a.m. to do this; haven't been up that early in eons. Even the pooch slept through my departure.

Mar 24, 10:27pm Top

>119 jessibud2: It was the fact that so many people *wouldn't* listen to him that landed us here in the first place.

>120 weird_O: Hiya Bill, I expect you're ready to get back to bed if you got up at 6! Yech.

But the good news is that you now know the early-risers club is you and the cashiers, so yay for that!

Mar 24, 10:42pm Top

>101 richardderus: : >102 SandyAMcPherson: : >104 richardderus: , >112 richardderus: Okay, could not resist, so I pulled down my first edition DAW paperback of Waves (1980) and skimmed. There it is, Susan, on pages 121-123. "A light, scented oil, heated and constantly filtered...I do not know what kind of oil it is, except that it has a marvelous effect on you, and that it is lighter than water, so that you will not float, and it is shallow." So there.

Mar 24, 11:11pm Top

>122 ronincats: Thanks. Like most memories, wildly inaccurate!

Mar 25, 1:31am Top

>109 richardderus: Yes to: " Where would you like travel to? The timeline where 45 lost" !!!

Mar 25, 2:14am Top

>81 richardderus: Oh, is that all? I just hope your path to the bathroom is clear.

>86 richardderus: Yup. But that’s because she’s nice.

>119 jessibud2: I suspect it would be a waste of time and energy. As you say, he has no respect.

Mar 25, 6:47am Top

Happy Hump day, Richard!

Mar 25, 7:32am Top

Good morning, RichardDear!

>109 richardderus: ‘keep yer birds outta my bread’ - *smile*. ‘Black. Both kinds.’ I never thought about reporting both kinds. Huh. Gamboge – Ah! The Brownian Motion color. Of course. Monday – of course. And your absolute best answer - The timeline where 45 lost.

There are very few times I come to your thread, RD, when I don’t have to go off to find the meaning of a word. Today’s effort, gamboge, led to Brownian motion, which is depressing because it seems to be what’s happening with the coronavirus.

Mar 25, 8:37am Top

>122 ronincats:, >123 quondame: The mystery is solved!

>124 Berly: I cherish the dream....

>125 humouress: He doesn't comprehend respect as a reciprocal social bond, so the rest flows from that.

>126 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita! Be safe and well.

>127 karenmarie: Morning Horrible! That is indeed where I want to be, so where else to travel to?

I like gamboge. Just sayin'

Mar 26, 6:57am Top

^I want to thank you for bringing Imperial Dreams: Tracking the Imperial Woodpecker Through the Wild Sierra Madre to my attention. I was able to snag a nice used copy. Love that cover. Hope to bookhorn it in, over the next couple of months.

Sweet Thursday, RD! I hope you are doing well.

Mar 26, 9:10am Top

Just checking in X

And reminding self that I must read some Octavia Butler.

Mar 26, 10:56am Top


Mar 26, 1:15pm Top

>129 msf59: Hi Mark! I hope it fits you like a glove.

Sweet Thursday back, and a light bag to carry.

>130 BekkaJo: Hi Bekka! Glad to see you, and get on that Butlerian read! Dawn is an excellent place to start.

>131 karenmarie: *smooch*
I got to go outside briefly today, the day's so beautiful that after lunch the manager led a party onto the boardwalk. It was lovely.

Mar 26, 4:28pm Top

My respite is over. Old Stuff is even now hawking a loogey into the toilet.

I am SO VERY NOT glad to see his withered old self. Especially since he has to wear an isolation mask. Christ on a crutch.

Edited: Mar 26, 4:33pm Top

>133 richardderus:

I am so sorry. Can't you change roommates?

Edited: Mar 26, 6:47pm Top

>133 richardderus: - That is just not ok. Why was he allowed out? Can you ask for a partition, at least, in the room?

Mar 26, 5:07pm Top

>134 Berly: I can, but the pool is shallow and there are (astonishingly) worse to be had. The risk outweighs the reward.

>135 jessibud2: I've built my own partition, Shelley. I put up a wall of books in crates so I really only catch glimpses of him, and the physical barrier to sputum is in place. It's nauseating to have to consider suchlike.

Mar 26, 6:45pm Top

Ugh. I'm not going to complain ever again about being isolated down here in the basement. It's a gazillion times better than what you are putting up with.

Also, yes, why WAS he allowed out?

Mar 26, 6:57pm Top

>137 Storeetllr: I wish you didn't have to, Mary. I do not know why they didn't keep him until time to bury him, which was what I was rooting for.


Mar 26, 8:16pm Top

Sorry to hear your time of peace is over, Richard.

Mar 26, 10:09pm Top

>139 bell7: Thanks, Mary, me too! *heavy sigh*

Mar 27, 6:38am Top

Mar 27, 7:52am Top

Alrighty Richard, I wrote the story. Drop by my thread and have a look.

Of course, it won’t be the story you were thinking of - so let’s see your version.

Mar 27, 9:05am Top

'Morning, RD!

I'm sorry Old Stuff's back.

Mar 27, 9:17am Top

Morning, Richard. What Karen said. May your next roommate be a non-hacking charming librarian.

I'm guessing you must have tried the Liaden books and not liked them? I'm fully hooked and reading a new one.

Mar 27, 9:29am Top

>141 humouress: Yes, I suppose I should pretend to follow social norms of hiding my dislike from others' eyes because...
...why should I do that again?

>142 humouress: I'll coddiwomple thitherward anon.

>143 karenmarie: Hiya Horrible, thanks. I don't like the probabilities inherent in his return from a hospital stay re: infection.

>144 jnwelch: Liaden Universe has yet to cross my eyestalks. I take it your devouring of same indicates approbation and not desperation?

Be safe and healthy.

Mar 27, 9:48am Top

>145 richardderus: (>141 humouress:) Well I can see that’s going to nullify anything I can come up with.

I’m surprised Roni hasn’t got you with a Liaden bullet yet. I plan to read them soon, if I can find the beginning of the skein. I have actually read a couple already; if memory serves, Agent of Change is free somewhere on the internet.

Coddiwomple away! It’s your fault I wrote it after all. Something to do while other avenues of entertainment are shutting down.

Mar 27, 10:17am Top

>146 humouress: Well, to be fair, I've resisted series book-bullets in the main because it gets expensive and frequently annoying as one awaits the next installment. The Cogman series sucked me in from the off by being about a badass librarian with a hunky dragon lover. I mean, go fight those odds.

I read the Cleanbot Diaries with great amusement!

Mar 27, 11:08am Top

>147 richardderus: Well, according to LT there are currently more than 40 works in the Liaden series. I think you could manage for a while.

Thankee good sir. Glad to provide amusement.

Mar 27, 2:50pm Top

>146 humouress: I'm an ambivalent Liaden™️ fan. They fall into the comfort read class. Two of them Local Custom and Conflict of Honors stand out for me as being weighted much more towards the things I prefer vs the things that exasperate me. But they are competently written, and though a few are missing parts collections, pretty reliable story telling.

Mar 27, 3:15pm Top

>148 humouress: Tee hee!

>148 humouress:, >149 quondame: That's what's always held me back from committing to read them: the startlingly large number of 'yeah, I read those, they're fine' responses. Anyway, one day I no doubt will give 'em a whirl.

Mar 27, 5:49pm Top

22 The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman

Rating: yep, the Full Five

Glory be. This is an *epic* tale, taking us mere humanses out to the Deep End, tilting the deck, and saying, "whoopsie-daisy, hope y'all can swim!"

More thoughts after I can remove the oxygen mask and IV fluids the paramedics put on me.

Edited: Mar 27, 7:09pm Top

>133 richardderus: So very sorry for you, Richard, I wish you could have enjoyed your solitude a bit longer...

>151 richardderus: What?? Oxygen mask, IV fluids??

Mar 27, 7:12pm Top

>151 richardderus: Oh, that's the new one, isn't it? Glad to hear it is good, but my library copy is in transit from another branch to the Central Library before being sent to me--and that is on hold while the library is closed.

I am irritated, though, that the library won't let us go ahead and put books on hold through the computer during this closure. I have had to resort to keeping a notepad on hand to record all the book bullets these days.

Mar 27, 7:16pm Top

>152 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita, it couldn't last long enough to suit me!

And don't worry...I'll be fine once the adrenaline dumped into my system by reading the last 20% of the book metabolizes. I'll be fine.

Just fine.


>153 ronincats: What?! You can't place holds?! What earthly sense does that make? Oh well, libraries are run by mere humans after all.

Best get another pad ready, if you're smart.

Mar 27, 7:43pm Top

>153 ronincats: >154 richardderus: I understand about freezing holds, since they can't keep sending books to other branches and probably half of the holds will be unwanted by the time the libraries re-open. At least LA added "Available NOW" e-books, so from today on (my first loan is due at 4 today) there will be returned titles popping up fairly regularly.

Edited: Mar 27, 11:26pm Top

I LOVE that photo of Octavia Butler at the top. What a beautiful woman.

Ugh, he's back. I am so very sorry. Ugh doesn't even come close to it.

I can't believe I'm doing this, but....

Took the response to >109 richardderus: down, moving it to my thread. xo

Mar 27, 11:44pm Top

>151 richardderus: Have you been hit by the lergy, Richard?

Mar 28, 12:24am Top

>156 EBT1002: She was a Force of Nature, no?

Let's focus on happier things. I'm pleased you're going on the tour we're getting together in #33.

>157 humouress: No, not yet, and not at all if I can help it; given where I live, my odds are poor of escaping entirely. Last year I had viral pneumonia, so was ready to pack it in; this year maybe that nasty old queen Gawd will let me off?

Mar 28, 5:31am Top

>158 richardderus: Thank goodness. You worried me when you started burbling on about drips. All good then, or was that a slight case of hyperbole?

I shall continue to visit then, since there’s no risk of infection. ;0)

Mar 28, 8:35am Top

RDear. Oxygen mask and drips? Are you okay?

extra *smooches* from your own Horrible

Edited: Mar 28, 9:57am Top

>159 humouress: Hyperbole? Moi? Why, I am as restrained and stiffly upper-lipped as the late Prince Charles! The cheek, my good woman!

>160 karenmarie: I suffered from a tidge of anxiety during the ending of the story.


Mar 28, 2:39pm Top

Happy Saturday, Richard. The Secret Chapter is going right on my TBR and will be searching for a copy to borrow from the library as soon as I get off LT. Unless it's part of a series, in which case I'll be searching out the first book in said series. *sigh* It never ends. It just never ends.

I enjoy the Liaden series, though, like most series, the individual books varied in how enjoyable they were to me. Most are 4 stars, though there have been a couple of 3-1/2 stars and 4-1/2 stars. I personally enjoyed Agent of Change, the first of the series that I read, a lot. It's space opera, so not great literature, but if you enjoyed the Vorkosigan saga, you'll probably enjoy the Liaden universe, imo.

Mar 28, 2:41pm Top

You’re in lockdown. The only items you have to survive on start with the letters of your name. What's keeping you alive?

R: rice
I: ice cream
C: cakes
H: ham
A: apples
R: ricotta
D: disinfectant wipes

Mar 28, 3:46pm Top

>163 richardderus: - oh, this looks like fun. But, but, ...I don't have a c or an i in my name. How will I survive without chocolate, or ice cream? I will have to think about it....

Mar 28, 4:08pm Top

S: sandwiches, ice cream
H: Hershey's bars
E: Eat-Mores, too
L: Laura Secord entire catalog
L: Labatt's
E: Excellence sea-salt bars
Y: yes, I'll have more chocolate.

Mar 28, 4:37pm Top

One poor twitter-user had to order this pasta:

She called it "pasta bollocknaise" and I. am. DYING.

In the same tweet she said she ordered this, um, unusual comestible because "Covidiots" already ran the shelves dry of other shapes. Perfect: Covidiots.

Mar 28, 4:40pm Top

Since the post said "name," I'm interpreting it to mean more than given name and am including surname.

L: Lobster
O: Oranges
R: Risotto
I: Ice cream

T: Toilet Paper
H: Hamburgers
O: Okra
R: Ice
N: Nuts
T: Three-way (from Skyline Chili)
O: Orange Crush Drink
N: Nutella

Mar 28, 4:44pm Top

>167 thornton37814: Heh, since you only get four items in your first name, I can see why.

Mar 28, 5:04pm Top

>166 richardderus: Oooookay. That shape is one I never would have considered for pasta, tho it's kinda fun.

>167 thornton37814: Jealous you get lobster. :) But I'm copying your idea for first and last names because, like you, my first name is so short. Though I probably could survive on just my first name. Maybe.

M Music
A Art
R Really dark chocolate
Y Year of Wonders & other good books

K Krispy Kreme Donuts
I Iced Caffe Lattes
P Pesto pasta with ground turkey and kale (hahahahaha)

Mar 28, 5:12pm Top

>169 Storeetllr: "Pesto pasta with..." and then some sort of word salad follows...everything okay, Mary? Usually you make sense but those aren't words that should ever follow a foodstuff.

Edited: Mar 28, 5:57pm Top

>165 richardderus: - LOL! Except for Labatt's. I don't like beer. But that's ok. How about *Lots of books*? That will work for survival.

Mar 28, 7:00pm Top

>170 richardderus: I agree, pesto pasta is at it's bests served with breaded veal cutlets and prosciutto lemon sauce. With enough pesto, it counts as a vegitable.

Mar 28, 7:08pm Top

Sorry to hear that your roomie has come back. Ah well good things can't last forever ;)

Happy weekend!

Mar 28, 7:38pm Top

>162 Storeetllr: it’s book 6 in the series. My empathies. But I’ve read the first one and it’s good.

>163 richardderus: I might borrow my husband’ name since he has 36 letters altogether. But still no Cs so there’s not much point. Can’t survive without chocolate; in fact, since Singapore is recommending stay at home for a month, I sent him out on a mercy mission for emergency chocolate supplies.

Mar 28, 8:16pm Top

Hey Richard, the NaNoWriMo people are doing a #StayHomeWriMo!


Mar 28, 8:18pm Top

>133 richardderus: That sucks, RD, really. He shouldn't be put back in with a roommate wearing a mask FFS.

>163 richardderus: I'll take my full name to have a decent stockpile of food

P - PASTA (fettucine and linguine)
U - UBER BRAU premium German beer

A - APPLES (Fuji)
R - RICE (basmati)
I - ICE CREAM (Haagen Dazs Coffee)
A - ANCHOVIES (the dried kind which we call ikan bilis in Malaysia

W - WHISKY (Balvenie Single Malt)

Mar 28, 8:32pm Top

S - Salami
U - Udon
S - Sushi
A - Avacados
N - Nuts

Edited: Mar 28, 9:38pm Top

Too many E's! But lots of fun. I almost included my middle name for 7 more foods, but that seemed a tad greedy.

K: kielbasa
A: albacore, canned
R: rice (Basmati, like Paul)
E: eggs
N: nuts

H: Hellman’s mayonnaise to go with the albacore
N: Neese’s hot sausage
G: gingersnaps
E: egg noodles
V: veal
E: espresso, since I have no Cs
L: lobster
D: devil’s food cake

Mar 28, 9:49pm Top

>170 richardderus: I knew you'd just love that, Richard. lol

>174 humouress: Oh, well - that's kinda great! Six books to look forward to. (I'm assuming books 2-5 are similarly enjoyable?)

Mar 28, 10:24pm Top

>163 richardderus: Okay, I am using my full name for this one!!

K--kielbasa (Thanks Karen! I couldn't think of anything. I included my middle name. LOL)
i--ice cream

n--nuggets (chicken)

e--egg noodles
e--everything else!! (is that cheating?)

Mar 29, 5:24am Top

>176 PaulCranswick: Two Cs and no chocolate? It’s waisted ;0) on you, Paul.

Mar 29, 7:35am Top

>180 Berly: Yay Kim! My middle name is my maiden name. I decided to do it that way because when I moved here prior to getting married that's how the women in Bill's family did it. So. I'm back in...

P: Pastitso
O: Olives. Any and all.
M: mandarins
E: escarole
R: raisins
O: onion rings
Y: yams

Mar 29, 10:01am Top

22 Nevertheless, She Persisted: Flash Fiction Project edited by Charlie Jane Anders

Rating: 4* of five

"She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."

Eleven women meditate on these pernicious, oppressive words, with grace and rage. They set their stories within imagination's deepest crevices to explain or ponder, but always to protest, the stupidity of being limited, disallowed from fully Being Yourself. Being unique, each voice will appeal to some more than others. I don't want you to think I am ungrateful for all the stories in this anthology, but the chef d'oeuvre is Nisi Shawl's perfect and timeless story of the wife's unloved twin sister...the "two mints in one" as she puts it...finding fear and freedom in the same escape.

There is no reason y'all should wait another minute to get and absorb these perfectly sized, beautifully written petits fours.

Mar 29, 10:05am Top

Happy Sunday!

That penis pasta made my morning!

Mar 29, 10:15am Top

>171 jessibud2: Heh...yes, lots of books are necessary for survival. I don't think I fully understood the power of addiction until my therapist said, "but you're addicted to books, how would you feel if someone took them away from you?!" during a rant about smokers.

Empathy sucks.

>172 quondame: O. M. G!! That menu sounds scrumptious, and how could basil not be a vegetable?! It's a leafy green. Problem solved.

>173 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita! I'm sad he's back, but you're certainly correct that all good things must come to an end. *sigh* But whyyyyy wails my inner spoiled brat.

Commenters snarking about "inner?" will be deleted.

Mar 29, 10:22am Top

>174 humouress: Such an enjoyable series! I wasn't all the way sure about the Kai/Vale/Winters triumvirate, it seems that Vale's place is somewhat forced, but that's a quibble at best.

Nina dear, don't forget the brand names of chocolate....

>175 ronincats: That makes me sad. I hope by November there will be a handle on the plague that will allow people to meet F2F again, but in the meantime it's a great time to promote the technique to trapped people.

>176 PaulCranswick: Nougat! Really. It seems the sweet tooth is powerful in you. I've always had an umami tooth, which before they recognized the existence of umami left me without an identity.

Dragon fruit have to taste different closer to their home. I can't find any flavor at all in them, but they sure look cool.

Mar 29, 10:26am Top

'Morning, RD!

Dratted therapist, being logical about addictions...

*smooch* from your own Horrible

H: Honeydew melon
O: orzo
R: raspberries
R: rye bread
I: ice cream
B: bacon
L: lamb
E: enchiladas

I promise to stop now...

Mar 29, 10:29am Top

>177 quondame: Oh yes, Avocadoes!! I do so love them. I even eat, with gusto may I add, the shrink-wrapped ones. They're cheaper than the $4 an avocado costs here, so far away from their homeland, and considering the easily-bruised nature of the darling things.

>178 karenmarie: Hellman's. Life without. Oh HELL no. And I see you managed to get your chocolate fix in!

>179 Storeetllr: *shudder*

Books one through six are deeply pleasurable reads for me. I have given only book two, The Masked City, less than four stars. That was an aberration, though, a book with a few series teething troubles like all series have. Nevertheless, I persisted.

Mar 29, 10:36am Top

>180 Berly: What, no *retch* kale for you, Kimmers? *urp* But you live in Hipsterland!

Yeah, "everything else" is a lot like wishing for a million wishes when Robin Williams pops out of the thrift-store tchotchke.

>181 humouress: Heh. Neither me, La Overkill, no brown glop with too much sugar, though if I'd used my middle name I'd've made the M stand for "mole" as in the sauce not the lawn-killer.

>182 karenmarie: Not "pastry"? Who *are* you?!

Mar 29, 10:37am Top

>184 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! Happy to see you around and about.

>187 karenmarie: Heh...it's a boon to have so many names, isn't it? Happy Sunday! *smooch*

Mar 29, 10:42am Top

>186 richardderus: Quite nutritious and good in salads too. I have a client who keeps a dragon-fruit farm as a hobby. Reckons he makes more money from that than the company he runs.

Mar 29, 10:42am Top

Ok, I have been giving this some thought (probably too much). In >163 richardderus:, what you actually said was The only items you have to survive on. You never specifically said just food. Of course, that's what we all think about but your *D* item was not a food. You, of course, helped me out when I couldn't think past being deprived of chocolate and ice cream (>165 richardderus:) and for that, of course, I am grateful :-)

But I have finally come up with my own list (with slight cheats):

S - Supply of Snacks (and other food and essentials, of course)
H - Hot chocolate
E - Enough books!
L - Lexi (my sweet cat, truly don't know what I'd do without her companionship)
L - Laughter and Love
E - Electronic connections to Everyone
Y - Yogurt and Yummy snacks

Mar 29, 10:52am Top

>191 PaulCranswick: They're miraculously nutritious, indeed, touted as a miracle food and present in their spiky glory as far away as Long Island...but I just can't find anything like a distinctive *taste* that's uniquely "dragon fruit." I think their texture's a little bit like a denser passion fruit (weeds in the part of Texas I come from, like poinsettias), without the tang.

But I freely stipulate their nutritional excellence. And economic potency to make up for their savorlessness. (And Fairport Convention was an inspired choice, from your thread.)

>192 jessibud2: My mind lept to food as well, Shelley, since it's a sine qua non...the first letter of my last name would be "drinking water" for that same sine qua non reason.

Mar 29, 10:52am Top

>163 richardderus: That lockdown list with your name is *fun*.
But wait! Isn't C for coffee??

Mar 29, 11:00am Top

>194 SandyAMcPherson: There are other "C"s in my name, fear not. My caffeiniferous dote won't be missing!

Happy Sunday, Sandy!

Mar 29, 11:03am Top

>193 richardderus: There isn't a very strong taste granted but it is pleasant, I think.

>181 humouress: & >194 SandyAMcPherson: Oh my God I got two goes at "C" and didn't go with either coffee or chocolate. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. I will go and edit at some stage but I guess the groceries are already packed.

Fairport Convention are an institution, RD. Sandy Denny was such an expressive vocalist and the whole ensemble despite numerous line-up changes oozes quality.

Mar 29, 11:24am Top

>196 PaulCranswick: *chuckle* You're not too swift on the uptake, eh what? Too long since you've had Erni's last cup!

Sandy Denny's vocals were always ethereal and sweetly evocative. Those are always the generation-defining voices, the ones that mark the before-and-after of cultural moments.

Mar 29, 11:26am Top

Bekka is too awkward...

R - Rice
E - Eggs
B - Bran flakes. Keep you regular etc. Plus yummy.
E - Eclairs (read ALL the patisserie)
C - Carrots. Except I just pulled a bag out of the veg drawer and it was slime. Slime. Everywhere. FFS...
C - Carbs. All the carbs.
A - Alcohol. All the alcohol.

It's not been an easy weekend.

Mar 29, 11:29am Top

>198 BekkaJo: Slimy carrots are, no exaggeration, Life's Little Emetic. Ew. So sorry...and the "alcohol" is now explained perfectly.


Mar 29, 2:23pm Top

Happy Sunday, Richard. I hope you are having a good weekend. I am absolutely loving a story collection called, Deceit and Other Possibilities. Please, keep this one in mind. It keeps blowing my mind, how much great short fiction keeps rolling out.

Mar 29, 2:53pm Top

>185 richardderus: I don't think I fully understood the power of addiction until my therapist said, "but you're addicted to books, how would you feel if someone took them away from you?!" But such a benign addiction compared to many, Richard, at least, that's what I always told myself during my years living with an alcoholic.

Sorry to see that your unloved roommate is back and that you are sharing lock down together. Fingers crossed that you are allowed your freedom sooner rather than later.

Mar 29, 3:28pm Top

>200 msf59: Thanks, Mark, and I've marked (!) that collection for procurement. Spend a splendid Sunday!

>201 Familyhistorian: Heh...well, if you ask Old Stuff, books are a horrible wasteful annoying addiction. (I need not belabor the point to explain why he is my beloathèd roommate.) Living with an alcoholic is an unending misery. The problem doesn't go away, mutates and metastasizes into different and progressively more destructive areas of life...dear gawd. There is no surcease. I'm so sorry that happened in your life, Meg.

I had no trouble giving up chemicals when the need to do so became pressing, and haven't bothered myself about their "lack" in my life. If someone attempts to take away my books, there will be a fight, and not just shouting. Physical damage will be meted out.

Mar 29, 4:40pm Top

>198 BekkaJo: Ah, there is now a huge bag of carrot nuggets in the veg drawer. I must fetch a bowl to prevent the evils of carotteness.

Mar 29, 4:45pm Top

>185 richardderus: >201 Familyhistorian: The book addiction does involve some expense, and is very good as an insulator from life's real problems, the side effect on the health one of reduced activity. It also makes my prone to spouting out character and plot developments when other are expecting rational social discourse. I haven't picked up poison from the pages, yet, I hope. Some day the stacks at the head will tumble down to finish me off, mayhaps.

Mar 29, 4:53pm Top

>203 quondame:, >204 quondame: Expense! Compared to booze, it's free! Literally free if one is careful and sharp-eyed; purchasing used books is always a wise strategy; and then there's the library, those publicly-funded crack merchants.

Mar 29, 7:44pm Top

>205 richardderus: Compared to almost any other addiction, the expense is, I agree, piddling. Although I've a number of $100+ and even $200+ volumes about the place, so I'm not the one to speak to that. In the early 70s almost all my disposable income went to Change of Hobbit bookstore.

Mar 29, 8:56pm Top

>202 richardderus: Physical damage will be meted out.

As it should

Mar 29, 9:32pm Top

>198 BekkaJo: Damn! I should have chosen Alcohol over Apples!!! What was I thinking? Clearly not.

Edited: Mar 30, 5:58pm Top

23 A Justified State by Iain Kelly

Rating: 4.5* of five, rounded up because I'll be reading the next one in the series

This is what Philip K. Dick would've done had he been asked to write Enemy of the State. It's a deep and twisty thing, power, and grabbing it makes enemies.

Sometimes very, very angry ones.

I have more to say on my blog. It gave Author Iain Kelly the happy:
I love this review of my novel, A JUSTIFIED STATE - one of the best and most satisfying yet, give it a read

So don't listen to me, listen to the Author Himself!

Mar 30, 1:49am Top

>185 richardderus: Snark? Never!

Mar 30, 7:21am Top

‘Morning, RD!

>188 richardderus: Mayonnaise and chocolate, two indispensibles for sure. I also like Miracle Whip and keep both in the house for different things. Bill hates both…

>202 richardderus: Alcoholism is vicious – my mom was an alcoholic although I missed most of the worst of it by being off at college and then living anywhere else but home. It affected my younger siblings more than me, sad to say. Because of Mom's alcoholism I broke up with an otherwise perfectly good boyfriend in 1977 because of his incipient alcoholism. I'm so sorry you're stuck with OS.

>205 richardderus: publicly-funded crack merchants Yup.

*smooches* for a Monday from your own Horrible

Mar 30, 9:35am Top

>145 richardderus: Approbation for the Liaden books. The writing is a bit rough-hewn, but the stories are great. Start like this:

Conflict of Honors
Agent of Change
Carpe Diem
Plan B

If the first one doesn't appeal, deep-six the idea, and it was someone else's suggestion.

Mar 30, 11:55am Top

>206 quondame: The key word there being "disposable"...

>207 The_Hibernator: A-women, Sister Lady.

>208 Berly: "W" could be for Wine, you know, not the far-less-sustaining "Waffles."

Mar 30, 11:59am Top

>210 humouress: *snicker* Suuuure. Mmm hmmmm. Riiiiiight.

>211 karenmarie: Well, I'd say "incipient alcoholism" militates against his being "perfectly good," but as he isn't your current husband, let's pass gaily forth into

*MOnday smooches*


Have a lovely Monday, Joe! Be well.

Mar 30, 2:03pm Top

>213 richardderus: Yeah, well, I was raised with a make-a-penny squeal, but buy the best you can afford, always put something by, sort of ethic, and never blew the food or rent money to feed an addiction. That's probably why my life has been boring and uneventful, even if I haven't always followed it and have, in fact, touched capital.

Mar 30, 2:06pm Top

>214 richardderus: Or you could read Local Custom and Pilot's Choice which deal with the previous generation and in which the quirks are less on display.

Edited: Mar 30, 2:11pm Top

>212 jnwelch: Isn't Agent of Change first in that story arc, Joe? At any rate, it was my first, and my suggestion of where to start. Otherwise, I agree that it's not great literature, but it is great fun.

Hi, Richard. Monday smooch. 💋

Mar 30, 2:16pm Top

>217 Storeetllr: It was the first written, but there are several in at least 3 timelines that take place earlier.

Mar 30, 2:35pm Top

>218 quondame: Right. I meant first in that particular arc.

Mar 30, 2:40pm Top

>219 Storeetllr: But Conflict of Honors is earlier than Agent of Change even though it was written later.

Mar 30, 3:19pm Top

Huh. I didnt realize that. Guess a reread is in order. Comfort rereading seems to be all I'm up for just now, anyway.

Mar 30, 6:25pm Top

>215 quondame: I can see that as a side-effect of a sensible, practical lifestyle. Worth the cost, says I.

>216 quondame:, >217 Storeetllr:, >218 quondame:, >219 Storeetllr:, >220 quondame:, >221 Storeetllr: Thanks, y'all!

>217 Storeetllr: *smooch*

Mar 30, 6:29pm Top

Erm, sorry for hijacking your thread like that. *slinks away*

Mar 30, 6:59pm Top

>223 Storeetllr: No, no, it's a pleasure to see the funny little things that exercise fans. And if y'all're so very excited by that series, I'll give the thing a try.

Mar 30, 7:11pm Top

Checking in on you, RD! Terrible news about the roommate being back!

((Hugs)) and *smooches*

Mar 30, 7:21pm Top

>225 alcottacre: Heh, it is indeed. But dig we must. *smooch* Be safe!

Mar 30, 7:34pm Top

Been planning to read that series about a decade now... 😀

Just never seem to get to it.

Mar 30, 8:29pm Top

24 Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

How did I not post this last thread?! Well, I tarted it up for my blog anyway, so here it is:

5* of five, there's a beautiful glow about this read, like polished sterling

This is the point in the series when Murderbot comes in from the cold. Nothing about this read is emotionally easy because Murderbot is so confused. Until the organic memories can be fully integrated into its systems, emotions will keep flooring it. Author Wells gets all five stars for this entry in the series because that integration is not an easy thing for Murderbot, or in fact for the organic being reading its diary.
(Possibly I was overthinking this. I do that; it’s the anxiety that comes with being a part-organic murderbot. The upside was paranoid attention to detail. The downside was also paranoid attention to detail.)
I was having an emotion, and I hate that. I’d rather have nice safe emotions about shows on the entertainment media; having them about things real-life humans said and did just led to stupid decisions like {the one Murderbot is telling us about}.
Huh, why did I like Sanctuary Moon so much? I had to pull the memory from my archive, and what I saw there startled me. “It’s the first one I saw. When I hacked my governor module and picked up the entertainment feed. It made me feel like a person.” Yeah, that last part shouldn’t have come out, but with all the security-feed monitoring I was doing, I was losing control of my output. I closed my archive. I really needed to get around to setting that one-second delay on my mouth.

Wonderful. Truly, and simply, wonderful prose, wonderful plotting, wonderful world-building, and a wonderful, satisfying character arc.

Mar 30, 8:33pm Top

>227 drneutron: It's time. It's even past time. But there's a plague on so there's no time like the present!

Mar 30, 9:19pm Top

Catching up a little, Richard, and glad to see you've been reading some good books

Mar 30, 9:27pm Top

>230 bell7: Hiya Mary! Glad to see you out and about. I hope this means you're hale and hearty.

I've been enjoying some very good reading luck indeed. I'm almost done with The Aosawa Murders and it's been waaay trippy but very good.

Mar 30, 11:18pm Top

>212 jnwelch: Ooh, Joe - it’s not like you to pass the blame.

>214 richardderus: See? I never actually said.

>215 quondame: But you still have a book addiction, right? ;0)

>212 jnwelch: >216 quondame: (et al) I’ve collected some of the books but I’m confused as to where to start. I usually prefer chronological order but Roni suggests published order and so I’ve been dithering about starting to read.

>227 drneutron: Me too, Doc.

>223 Storeetllr: No you’re not :0)

>229 richardderus: So now you’re promoting the series Richard?

Mar 30, 11:25pm Top

>232 humouress: re: >229 richardderus: Oh my heck, yes! I'm a giant Murderbotter! Perfect plague-reads. Long enough and involving enough to wile an afternoon away; enough of them to form a real attachment to the world Author Wells has built; a longer book in the near term; and still can fit the reads into a schedule without busting it!

Mar 31, 12:20am Top

I am sad but completely unsurprised to learn that GBBO filming (normally April to July) is delayed this year. Matt Lucas will replace the retired Sandi Toksvig, but Noel Fielding's coming back. *sigh*

Edited: Mar 31, 12:57am Top

>232 humouress: I can see doing published order, because by the time you'd get to Agent of Change doing chronological it might very well seem out of step in some ways. Still, I'd start with either Conflict of Honors, Balance of Trade, or Local Custom which all provide good entry points and good solid stories in which the Liaden™️-isms, and other quirks, enhance the story more than they burden it. The prequel volumes in The Crystal Variations can be left for when you've decided you want all the Liaden™️ you can get. Please note, I have all the originally printed chapbooks that have been collected into the Companion volumes.

Edited: Mar 31, 8:11am Top

Hallo RDear.

Coffee and books. Perhaps clean out a closet.

I might make the beer bread you posted on somebody's thread - can't remember whose.

I got nothing else except a *smooch* from your own Horrible

Mar 31, 8:12am Top

>199 richardderus: They were too slimy even for the guinea pigs. *shudder*

>203 quondame: Run! Avoid the slime!

>208 Berly: It's all mine. All of it. Mine. Not sharing. Well... maybe a little bit. Guinness and Sambuca are up for grabs if anyone wants them...

Just realised there are another the As in my full name. I many need all of them.

*smoochies from lockdown*

Mar 31, 9:21am Top

Morning, RD!

Mar 31, 10:33am Top

>235 quondame: :-)

>236 karenmarie: Coffee, books, tweeting about blog reviews. I can't make the beer bread because no beer or I certainly would!


>237 BekkaJo: Hiya Bekka, happy to know where I can apply for all future booze-o-hol deliveries. *smooch* from transAtlantic lockdown

>238 katiekrug: Hi Katie, happy to see you here on our slightly blah, grey day.

Mar 31, 10:36am Top

Morning, RD. I hope you are safe and well. I am continuing to be essential, but I knew that before this crisis blew in. Grins...

Cool and overcast today. I want some spring weather.

Mar 31, 11:07am Top

>240 msf59: I could use a wild, windy sunshiney day, too, Mark. This blah dankness is sapping my already low Will To Live reservoir!

Be essential out there.

Mar 31, 8:23pm Top

Looks like you are well ❣️

Mar 31, 9:46pm Top

>242 mckait: I am very well in body, blessèd be, if annoyed, alarmed, anxious, and all-around outraged mentally. *smooch*

Mar 31, 9:52pm Top

Just peeking in as I roam the threads.
Lots of bookish ideas here, should I need a new direction.
I'm leaving messages here and there, to let folks know we're okay, The Man and I.
I definitely needed a break from the barrage of info shooting into my eyeballs off this website as well as the news feeds.

My equanimity has started on some recovery, but I need to be more mindful how susceptible I am in reacting to emerging viral news.

Mar 31, 11:36pm Top

E - eggs
L - lemons (to go with the gin)
L - L'ecole 41 wine (ha)
E - everything else (copying Kim)
N - noodles (really pasta which I love love love)

This is when having a name with repeat letters is less than ideal.

Mar 31, 11:58pm Top

>244 SandyAMcPherson: You take care of your equanimity. It's really hard to claw back once it slips away.

>245 EBT1002: oh, really?

Underground-grown foods
Edamame snacks

Apr 1, 3:23am Top


Apr 1, 10:09am Top

'Morning, RDear!

>243 richardderus: I am very well in body, blessèd be, if annoyed, alarmed, anxious, and all-around outraged mentally.

You nailed it.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Edited: Apr 1, 10:14am Top

>247 Berly: Smooches back, Berly-boo!

>248 karenmarie: Thanks, Horrible, and I am unsurprised you agree with my assessment. Happy Humpday!
So it's the end of the first quarter, and these are my thoughts about my reading to date:
1Q20. Twenty-six reads done (two reviews TK), three posted on my blog, or 10% of the goal I set myself. Bad performance. Really bad.

I re-read the four Murderbot novellas by Martha Wells, and loved them just as much as when I first read them. Because Network Effect is coming in May, YAY!!, it felt like time at last to put down some thoughts about them on my poor, neglected blog. Murderbot is a delightfully antisocial being and I am honestly more impressed by Author Wells's beautiful and deft worldbuilding than I am by the lit'ry stylings of many a crowed-over Next Big Thing.

But this quarter's surprise and joy is reserved for a Smashwords COVID-19 sale find, a freebie I completely accidentally stumbled upon: A Justified State by Iain Kelly, a Scottish television editor about whom I had not heard a peep and from whom I expected not a lot.

He overdelivered on my expectations. This could be a six-stars-of-five read; I have a long way to go, so no decisions yet, but this medium-term futuristic dystopian thriller set in a nightmarish Soylent Green-ish Glasgow is $2.99 and cheap at twice the price. Do your distracted self a favor and get sucked in to Author Kelly's hellish world...ours seems paradisical!

Apr 1, 11:17am Top

When Joe R. Lansdale notices your tweet and THANKS YOU FOR IT:

Apr 1, 11:27am Top

Food choices based on your name. *snerk*

Well, back to reading.

Apr 1, 11:34am Top

>163 richardderus:

L -- leftovers

I -- iced tea

N -- nectarines

D -- deli ham

A -- air

Edited: Apr 1, 11:35am Top

>251 weird_O: Heh, well it's a plague, hadn't you heard? Have to use some means of winnowing down the choices!

Read hearty.

>252 laytonwoman3rd: Ha! "Air" is a really good one. *smooch*

Apr 1, 3:40pm Top

>254 richardderus: - I'm not even clicking that link! My momma didn't raise no dummy :D

Apr 1, 4:15pm Top

>255 laytonwoman3rd:, >256 katiekrug: ...y'all didn't look at the date...

(but yeah, it's a real link to my real blog, promise)

Apr 1, 4:19pm Top

>257 richardderus: - It's precisely because I knew the date that I didn't bother :)

Apr 1, 4:19pm Top

>258 katiekrug: *chuckle*

Edited: Apr 1, 5:54pm Top

Oh, I noted the date, and I checked the blog....and I had a great chuckle (you should pardon the reference), which is what the YAY! was for. But I was disappointed that you didn't mention pussy cat pomes.

Apr 1, 6:36pm Top

>260 FAMeulstee: I KNOW, RIGHT?!

>261 laytonwoman3rd: OIC

Well then. Carry on! (Addressin' the itch of curiousness, as Mal said, why in Satan's name would I mention p****-c** pomes? Or...THEM...at all?)

Apr 1, 6:47pm Top

>250 richardderus: Woot!

((Hugs)) and *smooches* for today, RD!

Apr 1, 6:53pm Top

>263 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia!

Apr 1, 7:09pm Top

>249 richardderus: I was intrigued by your thoughts on Iain Kelly, that and I had never heard of Smashwords. Signed up and looked for A Justified State and noticed that it, and I'm assuming its sequel State of Denial, are both free right now. So score for me. :) Thanks!

Apr 1, 7:26pm Top

You've probably already checked this out, but just in case...

Apr 1, 8:34pm Top

>265 mahsdad: Major multiple wins! Excellent news. Book three is set to come out later this year.

>266 ronincats: Heh! I came over here to tell you about the portal-fantasies article Davis put out but saw you'd already commented on it. Great minds....

Apr 2, 7:38am Top

>266 ronincats: that was fun!

Apr 2, 9:55am Top

Yikes, RD! I just saw your post on Ellen's thread, Five inmates died here this week....

*smooch* from your own Very Concerned Horrible

Apr 2, 10:40am Top

>266 ronincats: I agree with Jim, that was fun!

Apr 2, 1:44pm Top

>268 drneutron:, >270 alcottacre: I agree.

>269 karenmarie: Luckily, Horrible, no symptoms for me yet. It seems wildly improbable that I'm uninfected, but at least I don't have a fever, or a cough, or anything like the troubles that're sending so many to the hospital.


Apr 2, 3:26pm Top

Oh, Richard. That's so effed up. Crossing my fingers (eyes, toes) that you are not infected or, if you are, that you don't get sick from it.

Apr 2, 9:14pm Top

Glad to hear you're physically still well, and crossing all crossables that it stays that way.

Apr 2, 9:34pm Top

Welllll...new development, not too happy. I've got a little fever and a tickle in my throat, starting this afternoon. Not awful, but with Old Stuff whining about EV*ER*EY*THING making me homicidal, and the number of ppl here who've died, it's not making me feel upbeat or excited about...well, anything.

Tomorrow I'm up to the nurse to see if I meet the criteria or am just a bit under the weather. (Option 2, for preference.)

Apr 2, 9:48pm Top

Is your sense of smell still working? Keeping fingers crossed that it's just a touch of something NOT COVID-19.

Yesterday, 6:28am Top

>274 richardderus: Sending good thoughts, Richard dear, and keeping my fingers crossed that it is something minor.

Yesterday, 7:19am Top

>274 richardderus: - Richard, is there an option for them to isolate you, regardless of whether you test positive or negative? Because even if you are negative, isolating might help keep it that way? Surely there must be that option, to prevent having to go to the hospital unless absolutely necessary. Everything crossed for you, my friend!

Yesterday, 7:42am Top

'Morning, RDear!

>274 richardderus: My vote, and I'll be stuffing the ballot box, is option 2.

>275 ronincats: First time in my life I've ever been grateful for the smell of cat poop, Roni.....

*smooches* and *socially-distancing hugs*

Yesterday, 10:05am Top

>274 richardderus: Well dang it, Richard, sorry to hear that. Hoping for Option 2 as well.

Yesterday, 10:25am Top

>274 richardderus: Sending a lot of good thoughts and positive energy your way, Richard.

Yesterday, 10:51am Top

Yikes! Hoping for Option 2...

Yesterday, 11:03am Top

My vote it's also for Option 2. Sending hugs and hoping to hear from you soon that all is well with you.

Yesterday, 11:26am Top

Option #2 please...

Yesterday, 12:11pm Top



Seasonal allergies, take a benadryl and sleep it off.

Edited: Yesterday, 12:33pm Top

Wild applause!!! A sigh of relief and sweet dreams!

Yesterday, 12:59pm Top

>284 richardderus: Ah...may it ever be so ...

Yesterday, 1:17pm Top

Yesterday, 1:36pm Top

I'd hoped to feel up to writing responses...but this is not the moment. I'm almost as weirdly sleepy as when the thyroid meds were out of whack. But benadryl does that, so off to dreamland I go.

Yesterday, 1:37pm Top

I knew it! When you could still smell...Sweet dreams!

Yesterday, 2:00pm Top

>288 richardderus: Hurray for Option #2 and Benadryl! Sleep well. : )

Yesterday, 2:13pm Top

Good news, RD! *smooch*

Yesterday, 2:18pm Top

Oh, thank all the gods above and below!

Yesterday, 2:27pm Top

>284 richardderus: Well, good for that! Now, keep sane and keep safe!

Yesterday, 2:48pm Top

>284 richardderus: Great news. Thanks for letting us know.
Now to keep well! Easier said than done, perhaps. All best wishes...

Yesterday, 3:28pm Top

Phew! Thanks for making it through the Benadryl fog to let us know it's just allergies. Rest up, friend!

Yesterday, 4:50pm Top

Hi Richard, hope the allergies are OK mate and hope you can have as good a weekend as you can during this trying time. Sending Yorkshire love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

Yesterday, 4:51pm Top

Glad to see it's just allergies! Enjoy your rest and try to tune out Old Stuff

Edited: Yesterday, 5:59pm Top

>232 humouress: There are several different suggestions you can find for reading order for the Liaden series, Nina, but mine's the best. :-)

I only pass the blame if I've recommended a book to Richard and he doesn't like the book at all.

But that may be tough to pull off this time, since he's yelled all over creation that it's my recommendation.

Hi, Richard. The Liaden books also can help with bad allergies. There's a good chance you'll forget you have them, even while working through the Kleenex box with the book in the other hand.

Yesterday, 6:03pm Top

Good news that it's Option 2. The alternative would have been a rotten way to spend a pandemic.

Yesterday, 8:02pm Top

>224 richardderus: My job here is done.

>232 humouress: Heh heh

Yesterday, 8:09pm Top

Glad that it's option #2!

This topic was continued by richardderus's fifth 2020 thread.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2020

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46,996 messages


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