Ruth catches up in 2021

This is a continuation of the topic Ruth records her reading in 2020.

This topic was continued by Ruth continues in 2022.

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Ruth catches up in 2021

12wonderY
Jan 1, 2021, 7:53am

Salute to the new year and once again giving thanks for this LT community. You’ve been a lifeline to sanity in 2020.

2YouKneeK
Jan 1, 2021, 8:12am

>1 2wonderY: I hope you have a wonderful 2021!

3quondame
Jan 1, 2021, 1:53pm

Happy new year!

4fuzzi
Jan 1, 2021, 2:05pm

I appreciate you, and am looking forward to more adventures from WV & KY in 2021. :)

52wonderY
Jan 1, 2021, 6:16pm

Thanks you guys - glad you’ve stopped by.

I’m already dissatisfied with most of the audio downloads from the library. And they seem to be limiting me to six books at a time now. That’s not enough! I need reserves. What if I run out?!

Returned Mythos by Stephen Fry. Just not that interesting.
Will probably toss a few others soon - Who Moved My Goat Cheese? is beginning to annoy and The Darkest Evening of the Year is pretty grim.

62wonderY
Jan 1, 2021, 6:24pm

Ah. I see I’ve got ebooks borrowed and can’t download them. I think I meant to request them in audio but the system doesn’t own them. And I’ve reached my limit of recommendations till the middle of the month. So I’ll list them here for reference.

Aunty Lee’s Delights
Heavenly Pleasures
Calamity Town

I need a gold card at the liberry!

7fuzzi
Jan 2, 2021, 6:41pm

>6 2wonderY: how about a frequent reader's card?

82wonderY
Jan 2, 2021, 6:46pm

I’ve been asking for that for a couple of decades. The local staff says I was a huge part of their inter library loan program before the pandemic. I had my own shelf there.

9libraryperilous
Jan 3, 2021, 10:56am

I so miss concocting my monthly ILL lists. Here's hoping that marvelous library feature returns sometime in 2021.

Happy reading!

102wonderY
Jan 4, 2021, 8:36pm

Well! My first book finished this year is Peace Talks - 1 in the Harry Dresden series; and the finish left me hanging on the edge of a cliff! No wonder someone else had bought it in print along with the next title. Now I have to wait for the resolution till my hold comes up at the library.

11lesmel
Jan 4, 2021, 9:39pm

>10 2wonderY: I feel like I'd have to speed re-read most of the series to catch up with the new titles. Butcher left it too long. Now I don't want to know more about the whiny, smart-mouthed Wizard of Chicago. Just when the story was just getting good, too.

122wonderY
Jan 4, 2021, 9:42pm

I like his smart mouth, and his once in a while nuggets of wisdom.

132wonderY
Edited: Jan 11, 2021, 4:23am

It’s been quite a remarkable year so far and no room in my head for reading. But trying to start up again, I began the audio of The Midnight Library. Abandoning it with prejudice. First I was struck by the mediocre phrasing’s and then the uncertainty of the word pictures. The cat appears to be galloping; Nora smiles at bad news ... Okay... No, I’m not willing to spend further time here.

Oh, I see I’ve attempted another of the author's book and was repulsed by The Radleys. I’ll know now to ignore all his other titles.

142wonderY
Jan 16, 2021, 8:01pm

Tales from the Folly - 2. I’m glad these are finally collected and on audio. Peter Grant is not as alive without Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s reading. There were just a few stories I hadn’t yet found in print. Loved hearing more from Abby. Aaronovitch talks about how unruly and insistent some characters become once introduced.

152wonderY
Edited: Jan 24, 2021, 2:25am

I Had Seen Castles - 3. Disjointed, but moving.

162wonderY
Jan 24, 2021, 3:47am

Dropped
Set My Heart to Five - main character is an AI dentist who begins having some sort of inner countdown problem. Not nearly as appealing as I’d hoped.
Redwall - just didn’t hold my interest.
Life Among the Savages - ditto. Is this biography? Couldn’t care about her oldest son’s first grade social problems. Even the adults seem terribly immature.

172wonderY
Jan 24, 2021, 3:54am

Gumption - 4 by Nick Offerman is like listening to an old friend expound on his most recent passion. Want to get the print version to take notes from chapter 6.

182wonderY
Feb 2, 2021, 7:13am

Did not finish
The Darkest Evening - too, way too dark
Year of Wonders
Space Opera - didn’t give it much of a sample; may try another time.
Release

Perhaps I should just count the titles I sample this year. There is a pile growing near the bed.

19fuzzi
Feb 2, 2021, 7:16am

>18 2wonderY: I have created a "2021 Rehomed" category this year, for books read or unread, or tossed at the wall...

202wonderY
Edited: Feb 27, 2021, 8:56am

This message has been deleted by its author.

212wonderY
Edited: Feb 27, 2021, 8:56am

This message has been deleted by its author.

22AnnaBarber
Feb 2, 2021, 8:01am

This user has been removed as spam.

232wonderY
Feb 3, 2021, 1:10am

This Present Darkness - 5. I’ve been collecting images of strong, no nonsense angels for my home since I read this the first time. Still good.

242wonderY
Feb 4, 2021, 1:30pm

Ha! I do have the sequel, Piercing the Darkness. I thought I might, but had to hunt it down because of the move, y’know. Good thing. The library only had the first of the series.

25fuzzi
Feb 4, 2021, 8:15pm

>23 2wonderY: I read that one, never got around to the sequel though.

262wonderY
Feb 11, 2021, 8:08am

Discarding Diamond Star and Release. It seems it gets harder to interest me. Clearing space to borrow other audio books tho.

272wonderY
Feb 11, 2021, 8:17am

Also giving up halfway through Assassin’s Apprentice, because again I don’t care about the main character. Sheesh.

The Great Influenza is a re-read from decades ago; and I’m finding it deeply disappointing. I will listen just a bit longer and return it too. It contains such florid prose; it make my tummy ache. And it’s understanding of medicine and the philosophy of medicine is strangely outdated already.

I have finished Network Effect - 6 and re-started from the beginning to enjoy once more.

28libraryperilous
Feb 11, 2021, 11:27am

>27 2wonderY: Network Effect really felt like a brilliant ramp-up of some of the background threads. I need to reread that whole series soon.

29quondame
Edited: Feb 11, 2021, 5:30pm

>27 2wonderY: Fitz can be a trial. He never quite gets over being his own worst enemy and that's saying something, but he sure does keep interesting company. I didn't get to the Assassin series until after the The Liveship Traders so I had an idea about how the world would widen out.

30YouKneeK
Feb 11, 2021, 5:36pm

>27 2wonderY: Sacrilege! ;) No, really, I’ve seen enough complaints about Assassin’s Apprentice and Fitz to understand why people might not enjoy reading about him. Fitz even drove me crazy sometimes, and I loved that series.

312wonderY
Feb 11, 2021, 6:17pm

Wellll.... Maybe I’ll give it another try. I got to the point where he was escorting an old lady somewhere. He was just about to meet her. Is she special?

I do value your advices.

32quondame
Feb 11, 2021, 6:42pm

>31 2wonderY: Oh yes. She's very unusual!

33YouKneeK
Feb 11, 2021, 7:56pm

>31 2wonderY: I found Lady Thyme quite memorable, myself! The book does start off a bit slow, or at least the plot takes a while to get going. I think the pace starts picking up a little ways past the part you’re at, but don’t torture yourself too much if you can’t get into it. That series definitely isn’t for everyone!

The Liveship Traders trilogy that quondame mentioned is quite a bit different and some people prefer it. It’s a third-person, multi-POV story so you get a little more variety as far as whose heads you’re stuck in. Fitz’s head can be pretty frustrating at times!

34fuzzi
Feb 11, 2021, 9:28pm

>29 quondame: sometimes I want to shake Fitz, but not enough to stop reading.

Right now I'm more than halfway into the second book, and I am dreading what I think is going to happen shortly...sort of like when you're watching a horror movie and you start yelling at the screen "No! Don't do that! Don't open that door...!!"

352wonderY
Feb 13, 2021, 5:01pm

Sorting my mountains of TBR in WV. I gave Rudder Grange - 7 enough of a chance to count it as read. Its unnamed narrator and his wife, Euphemia, trot about setting up housekeeping in various situations. The first is in a canal-boat. The pacing and incidents feel a bit like Three Men in A Boat, except that it’s boring.

362wonderY
Edited: Feb 14, 2021, 8:24am

Clearing the audio shelf.
Gave up on three titles:

Blood on the River is marketed to youth. Not finding it engaging enough to keep going.
Separated, about the Trump migrant family policy, was too painful. Calls for more prayer, not more reading.
I neglected The Question of God too long, and it expired. The first couple of chapters prove that Freud continued to be bothered his entire life by his unbelief. I protest the theory that our concept of God is based on our own fathers. I may return to this one.

372wonderY
Feb 16, 2021, 11:02am

It may be time to re-visit the Enderverse. Didn’t realize I had A War of Gifts - 8, but I do; and it was just as excellent as expected. Exhibits a good grasp of human psychology and needs. And how generosity is essential.

382wonderY
Feb 18, 2021, 9:07pm

I’ve been looking forward to listening to Winter Solstice - 9, and I must have missed recording my previous read. That’s okay; enjoyed it again.

39lesmel
Feb 19, 2021, 1:02pm

>37 2wonderY: Too bad Card doesn't know how to be generous with people of different sexual orientations.

402wonderY
Feb 19, 2021, 5:45pm

>39 lesmel: Yes, I know. When he started making clear his political persuasions, I tossed most of my collection of his other writings. But the Enderverse can’t be discarded.

412wonderY
Edited: Feb 20, 2021, 5:04am

I bought this one online because the cover promised so much. I am not disappointed. Water is Water - 10 is beautiful and the text is very simple yet fun.
One family and their friends experience all the forms of water through the year. Their homestead is stunningly gorgeous and I hope it really exists. It is idyllic.

https://pics.cdn.librarything.com/picsizes/53/f2/53f282343254d53596b32726e674345...

422wonderY
Edited: Feb 21, 2021, 4:40pm

A Doctor of the Old School - 11

I cried my eyes out. I sobbed. Although it’s mostly in heavy Scottish dialect, it’s just the littlest bit hard to follow. But oh man! It packs a powerful emotion and at the same time has you snorting with laughter.

432wonderY
Edited: Feb 21, 2021, 8:55pm

Children of the Fleet - 12 went on and on about the main character’s personality defects and uncertainties and not being able to figure things out. It also had a satisfying ending and a feel good resolution about friendships. So I didn’t like it, but I liked it.

442wonderY
Feb 21, 2021, 9:24pm

Probably quitting Razor’s Edge, a Star Wars story. I tried it because Martha Wells wrote it; but it’s no better than others in that universe; which means it kinda sucks. The audio production didn’t try to get the voices right either.

I did enjoy revisiting Verily, A New Hope, but didn’t get to finish it before the borrow expired. It is very clever and well done and I see there are sequels and branching out beyond the Star Wars theme.

45fuzzi
Feb 21, 2021, 9:31pm

>44 2wonderY: sorry to hear that you didn't like the Martha Wells' Star Wars story. I think the only book I've read in that genre was Splinter of the Mind's Eye. I remember liking it when it was published, not sure if I would now.

462wonderY
Feb 23, 2021, 7:45pm

Wayward Son - 13 was fun. Baz, Simon and Penny take a road trip across the US west, picking up odd acquaintances along the way. They finally find Agatha and the chaos crescendos. Will probably go back and read Carry On again.

472wonderY
Feb 24, 2021, 8:30pm

Sarah’s Cottage - 14 was a satisfying read. Stevenson has the knack of crafting real people and real circumstances, not forcing them for a dramatic arc. The muddiness of life is appealing.

482wonderY
Feb 25, 2021, 8:57am

It won’t show in touchstones yet, as I’m the first to add it. When I went to the library last week, stacks were closed, but there was a table displaying new materials, and I browsed while the librarians hunted down several versions of the three little pigs for me.

Father Christmas - 15 is a quiet story of a family in a coal town, pre-union times. It was written and read by Rowdy Herrington. Quite a departure from his other body of work as a film director. Have to assume it’s the same person, with a name like that.
Two discs. Very good. Heartwarming.

49MarthaJeanne
Edited: Feb 25, 2021, 9:09am

502wonderY
Feb 25, 2021, 10:52am

>49 MarthaJeanne: You clever girl! Thanks

512wonderY
Feb 25, 2021, 11:39am

I’m about half way through The Question of God - 16, and am assured I will finish it, but want to make a couple of notes on it now.
Nicholi attempts to be non-judgmental, but he’s not very good at it. Though author can be believer or non-believer (he points out there are no other positions) the fact he is a believer weakens his choice of material and his argument. He paints Freud as sad and struggling with the question his entire life; but that may be prejudiced. It’s hard to say.
As a believer myself, I recognize a greater affinity to Lewis and my own prejudice.

The discussion of happiness shows there is much confusion as to what it entails, just comparing various dictionary definitions; and Freud’s view that sexual satisfaction is the peak of happiness. Can that interpretation be correct? Did Freud so undervalue the satisfactions of work and right living so much?

More on this later, probably.

52MarthaJeanne
Feb 25, 2021, 12:37pm

>51 2wonderY: Re sex as the peak of happiness, I suspect that men would be more likely to agree with that than women.

532wonderY
Feb 25, 2021, 2:11pm

>52 MarthaJeanne: I’m very glad not to know that kind of man.

I may never learn not to bite at the titles that the library dangles on their search page. But I should. It took just a couple minutes to toss getting Schooled. Who chooses this dreck?

54MarthaJeanne
Feb 25, 2021, 2:27pm

Freud, of course, thought most things were about sex.

552wonderY
Feb 25, 2021, 8:01pm

Another quit after just a short sample - Best Made Plans is a romance with a very annoying premise and characters.

562wonderY
Edited: Feb 28, 2021, 8:30am

My neighbor has recommended several history/bios that I do want to get through, but it feels like an obligation and thus less enjoyable.

I’ve read enough of The Man With Three Faces - 17 to claim it’s done. It’s about Richard Sorge, a counter spy who worked in Tokyo during WW2. A German, he subscribed to communism and was loyal to Moscow, yet got nazi credentials and trust. I think the third face was his businessman/playboy aspect that the Japanese knew.
The author rubbed elbows with him personally and also wrote other biographies of the time. But his style is bland and factual; though you can tell he aspires to more. It’s just not very well executed.
And it’s possibly a translation, though nowhere does it say so in the book I have.

572wonderY
Feb 28, 2021, 1:45pm

Blech! Gideon the Ninth was recommended somewhere, either in a thread or automatically and I gave it a good try. Quitting at chapter 9, as it never lightens or exposits. Done and moving on!

582wonderY
Feb 28, 2021, 11:29pm

Lovey Mary - 18 meets Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch. Everyone benefits.

592wonderY
Mar 2, 2021, 5:34am

I bought it sight unseen because Homeplace is such a nice book.
Let’s Go Home - 19 explores the spaces of a house in living detail. Rylant puts in details like kisses on the head in the kitchen. Halperin litters all the spaces with toys, in particular. The front porch is claimed by the girls on a summer day; and that reflects my childhood to a T. (We had a wraparound porch, and the side part was permanently ours.). There are few rooms, no dining room and no basement, but what there are serve multiple purposes. Mama sets up her sewing machine in the living room; the attic stores paint buckets and basement-y things besides attic-y things. There is a bit of a Mary Englebreit feel to the place.
I will be exploring more of this illustrator’s work in the next month or so.

602wonderY
Mar 6, 2021, 8:53pm

>59 2wonderY:. I did order some Halperin books from the library. They are nice enough, but not nearly as great as Let’s Go Home. My exploration is probably done and I’ve read 4 of the six Cobble Street Cousins - 20.

I did read Let’s Go Home to Theia the evening I kept her late. She cuddled up and looked at all the pictures and interacted with the story. And later, she talked about the elements of whatever room we were in.

612wonderY
Edited: Mar 11, 2021, 12:18pm

Deal with the Devil - 21 is a mildly entertaining post-apocalypse action adventure/steamy romance. But the audio producer should be fired. When the reader hits a word she’s unfamiliar with, she does her best, but it’s become irritating. ‘Sluicing’ is two syllables, not three.
I borrowed the book because it promised librarians. It doesn’t deliver there.

62fuzzi
Mar 7, 2021, 12:31pm

>61 2wonderY: ouch.

I recall my son's third grade teacher reading out loud a book about a chameleon...she pronounced it "Sham-EE-lion". That made me cringe. I guess she'd never heard it pronounced before.

632wonderY
Mar 8, 2021, 3:27am

Insomnia here; not improved by Bab: A Sub-Deb. Bab is too obviously and permanently immature; and I have lost patience with her.

642wonderY
Mar 9, 2021, 7:58am

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower - 22. Very entertaining! Might have to go back and listen to the last few chapters again, as listening while doing anything but driving is not so good.

I located Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush and expect to love it. See >42 2wonderY:

Finished the Freud/Lewis book (see >51 2wonderY:) and my impression of Freud is he was personally small souled, mean and sad. Further sections talked about pessimism, sexuality, pain, friendship, death. It seems a decent overview of these men’s outlooks assuming the author is shooting straight about Freud. He accompanied his remarks with plenty of quotes.

65MarthaJeanne
Mar 9, 2021, 8:02am

>64 2wonderY: I love Hornblower! Maybe it's time to reread the series.

662wonderY
Mar 9, 2021, 8:11am

I’ve had one of the later books on my shelf for ages, but thought I should start at the beginning. I’m glad I did.

672wonderY
Mar 9, 2021, 8:14am

Wait! Why is the series here so jumbled?

68MarthaJeanne
Mar 9, 2021, 11:23am

Well, it used to be right in old series.

69MarthaJeanne
Mar 9, 2021, 11:47am

I've fixed the story order for the series, but not the numbers in the anthologies. The story order seems to have been based on the publication order old series.

702wonderY
Mar 9, 2021, 12:28pm

Bless you! It seems I listened to the second book in 2010, but I don’t recall it. It’s on order.

712wonderY
Edited: Mar 9, 2021, 12:56pm

T and I enjoyed looking at The Street Beneath My Feet - 23. I may as well count it. It’s a book. A very long book. It folds out almost the entire length of the living room. It takes you down down down to the center of the planet. And the reverse then guides you back out again.

722wonderY
Mar 11, 2021, 12:11pm

Sampled Greenlights, Matthew McConaughey’s bio, and determined it was not for me. Sent it back to the library.

732wonderY
Mar 13, 2021, 10:04am

Unless someone encourages me with good reasons, I intend to quit Evelina at volume 1, letter 13. There is humor, but the title character’s flusters and the parade of cads she encounters are already wearying me. Everyone seems so silly. Her older female hostess is unarmed as well to deal with said cads. Exasperating.

742wonderY
Mar 15, 2021, 10:21am

I’ve been picking up the sequel >23 2wonderY: for just a few pages before sleep, for over a month now. I’m picking up speed and am now 3/5ths of the way through, and want to make a note or two. I read this several decades ago; am pulling new insights from it.

Piercing the Darkness - 24 features the humans more than the angels, and is a complex plot. So, harder to get through. Sally has a long history with the New Age organization at the Omega Center, dedicated to freeing children, in particular, from the constraints of religion and pairing with spirit guides. This is described as world changing. But they teach that there is no right or wrong. Sally finally starts grappling with her past actions; she accepts the terrible wrongs she has committed and feels relief, recognizing she is standing on rock finally and has a compass.

752wonderY
Mar 19, 2021, 6:38pm

Does anyone have an opinion on Like Water for Chocolate? I’m barely into February and Mama’s abuse and determination to destroy Tita’s life are making me ill. Is there a swift change to the dynamic?

762wonderY
Mar 24, 2021, 4:15pm

Counting the Harry Dresden book, Battle Ground - 25, though not sure I will finish it. Stopped abruptly when Harry breaks because of a loss and acts counter to all his convictions. Not sure I want to see that through. It’s very ugly in the midst of it.

772wonderY
Edited: Mar 27, 2021, 5:59am

I did finish Battle Ground. It was world changing in its own universe, but I wasn’t impressed. I kept thinking that Thomas would be very unhappy to have missed such a battle.

Uprooted - 26 Has to go back to the library, so I’m trying to finish it. Will probably order it again; I’m so enjoying my time there. Very nice photos. They direct you to just where you’d want to look yourself.

782wonderY
Mar 27, 2021, 10:04pm

Found in the garage and read before discarding: The Downtown Fairy Godmother - 27. Cute, but not worth keeping.

792wonderY
Mar 28, 2021, 5:52am

Skim-read The Big Eye - 28 and glad I didn’t devote any more time to it. There’s an awful lot of junk being self-published nowadays and this would fit right in. A preposterous plot, with no logic to any of it. Astronomers discover a rogue planet on trajectory to meet the earth. Two years out, New York City is wrenched by an earthquake and causes a Russian scare. No other planetary damage is noted in the interim and the planet comes this II close and veers past.
For some reason never explained, NYC is emptying prior to the earthquake; and a guest has to walk up 10 flights because the building elevator operator has left town. In 1960, does no one else know how to operate an elevator? That’s the detail that gave me a heads up not to bother with a full read. As I dipped in periodically, it was just more nonsense. The astronomers knew the collision would not occur, but conspired to keep that part quiet in order for it to appear a miracle and renew religious faith. Uh. That’s just stupid.

802wonderY
Mar 28, 2021, 6:33am

Sampled Utopia for Realists and sent it back.

Didn’t quite finish Nathan Coulter - 29, but gave it a good try. Just never found character or plot very interesting.

812wonderY
Mar 28, 2021, 7:26am

One more observation about Battle Ground. Harry’s repeated destruction of trees, during the battle, cries out as an abomination. Hasn’t he ever read The Lord of the Rings or the Young Wizards series?

822wonderY
Mar 28, 2021, 1:56pm

It took me some searching, but I finally found Home: Habitat, Range, Niche, Territory - 30 online. Yay!! Nice cameo showing Dr. Mensah’s trust of SecUnit. Lovely.

83quondame
Mar 28, 2021, 4:20pm

>82 2wonderY: Please ma'am, where?

842wonderY
Mar 28, 2021, 5:36pm

>83 quondame: 😏 I’ll PM you, as I don’t want to break any rules.

852wonderY
Mar 28, 2021, 5:50pm

The Choir Invisible - 31. I’m glad I finally read it; and glad to be able to release it. Published in 1897, and referring back to the post-Revolutionary period, it’s a strange bit of romance writing. Set in Lexington KY, Allen has some bits of wisdom throughout, but it’s a frustrating story. Nobody ends up happy. Character is examined and universal truths are suggested. The flow of people through the town is interestingly described; from rough settlers to the mercantile class to the new gentility. Settlers forging West and failed settlers flowing back East. There is a fight to the death with a panther thrown in.

862wonderY
Mar 28, 2021, 8:25pm

A Gathering of Days - 31. The author uses the journal device to imagine the family life of the house she now lives in from when it was first built. I say she is successful. The entries are sometimes very brief but always convey the story and the flavor of this loving family. Some old fashioned, but worthwhile reflections on the essence of obedience (pgs. 123 and 139)

872wonderY
Mar 28, 2021, 9:18pm

Habit - 32 Is a slim volume and published in 1890. Still, it has some rudiments to contribute. The author was a preeminent writer in psychology and similar subjects. He starts with physics and moves gradually up to ethics. Thoughtful discussion.

882wonderY
Mar 30, 2021, 8:17pm

Longbourn - 33 was supposed to be a parallel story from belowstairs of Pride and Prejudice. It was just okay in that capacity; but the last quarter of the book veered way off course; and I ditched it.

89MarthaJeanne
Mar 31, 2021, 1:47am

I read that in 2015 and commented then : I really liked Longbourn. I don't think it would work if you don't know Pride and Predudice, and you shouldn't expect anything like Austen. This is a modern novel.

I think I'll add that to reviews.

90fuzzi
Mar 31, 2021, 7:08am

>88 2wonderY: >89 MarthaJeanne: I actually liked Longbourn quite a bit, and I've read all the Austen novels. I didn't expect it to be Austen, and it wasn't, but it was well-written and entertaining.

912wonderY
Edited: Apr 2, 2021, 4:30pm

Delighted with Nothing to See Here - 34. It’s low key coverage of a freaky phenomenon and the circumstances which allow the main character to find meaning in her life are well done. Captures the genteel South of Tennessee nicely. Going to look for more by this author.

Second eye doctor visit today; I need more audio books to tide me over.

922wonderY
Apr 3, 2021, 7:33pm

I have the urge to re-read Stray Souls, but don’t feel my eyes are up for it. I thought I listened to an audio version first time; but I guess not. Why is this book so obscure? I loved it enough to buy a copy after reading it from the library. And that’s saying something.

932wonderY
Apr 6, 2021, 7:14am

I like romances that counter the stereotypes. Stately Pursuits - 35 does this. Nothing like perfection here. Awkwardness and mistakes are sincerely portrayed. I might have to listen again to the last chapter, as I might have dozed a bit. Not sure how they ended up in bed, as they quarreled before and after. Perfect imperfection.

942wonderY
Apr 10, 2021, 9:06am

Giving up on David Chang’s memoir Eat a Peach. Perhaps if he’d had someone else narrate it, it would sound less whiny.

Also not finishing Evil Geniuses. The introduction went on for chapters it seemed; and a sampling of later chapters was also fairly dull.

952wonderY
Apr 11, 2021, 5:46pm

I read the 2nd Hornblower book several years ago, and ordered it from the library on CD, but haven’t been back to pick it up. So I went on to Hornblower and the Hotspur - 36. Wow! What a lot of physics presented while telling a bracing adventure story. How the ship handles in various conditions and how the officers and crew adjust the dynamics in weight placement and sails is fascinating. Oh and how Hornblower outsmarts the enemy too.

962wonderY
Edited: Apr 14, 2021, 7:10am

I see that I read Operation Arcana in 2017, and I don’t recall any of the stories. I did appreciate the night witches story, ‘Blood, Ash, Braids’ more now, but the others aren’t even enjoyable. Discontinuing it.

972wonderY
Apr 14, 2021, 5:00pm

I liked Nothing to See Here very much, so I tried another of Wilson’s titles. Quitting Perfect Little World at chapter six. Too much intro! Too much set up. I suppose it’s necessary; but one of the charms of the first book was how it pretty much plunged right into the center of things. And Izzie is just not as beguiling as Lillian.

982wonderY
Apr 14, 2021, 11:36pm

Again, because I liked Winter Solstice so much, I borrowed the only other audio by Pilcher - Flowers in the Rain and other stories. Not satisfying at all. They are all vignettes where something interesting might evolve, but then ends. It’s like smelling a wonderful meal, but not invited to stay for dinner.

99Sakerfalcon
Apr 15, 2021, 6:03am

>97 2wonderY: I loved The family Fang by Wilson but was disappointed by Perfect little world. I never felt engaged with the characters or their situation. I'm looking forward to Nothing to see here and am glad to see that you enjoyed it.

1002wonderY
Apr 17, 2021, 10:52pm

I’m about half-way through Sapphira and the Slave Girl - 37; listing it now so I can comment. Sapphira’s widowed daughter, Rachel Blake, is a pleasure to spend time with. And then she has a particular appreciation of one of the rough hill women, Mandy Ringer. “Mrs. Ringer was born interested.”

I happen to have met the woman myself. I spent an afternoon with her a few decades ago. She changed my understanding of what is needed for intelligence. I’d been prejudiced toward the need for formal education; but she taught me that wasn’t so.

1012wonderY
Apr 20, 2021, 9:00pm

The Midnight Bargain - 38 is only marginally interesting; and now, in the last stretch is giving me a headache. Instead of growing the plot or the characters, they all continue to argue the same points. It’s supposed to build tension; and it is. But not in a good or productive way. I may abandon it.

102fuzzi
Apr 21, 2021, 8:46am

>101 2wonderY: hmm. I'd ditch it.

1032wonderY
Apr 23, 2021, 7:31pm

I finished it.

I’ve also listened to You Lucky Dog - 39 and should take my own advice. Again, advertised on the Overdrive front page; again, more mediocre than most. London is a prolific romance writer. Not recommended.

MarthaJeanne made a pleased reference to the series, so I decided to sample Maisie Dobbs - 40. Nice complex story and characters. I liked Billy the most, I think.

104lesmel
Apr 25, 2021, 6:58pm

>103 2wonderY: People keep recommending Maisie Dobbs to me. I keep resisting because I'm _extremely_ finicky about mystery.

1052wonderY
Apr 25, 2021, 11:27pm

I love, love, love fantasies by Barbara Hambly, so I’ve been plodding through Dog Wizard, hoping it would light up. Nah. Giving up on it. The wizards all sit around finding excuses not to act or scratching their heads about a serious issue. No more patience.

106MarthaJeanne
Apr 26, 2021, 1:10am

>104 lesmel: I almost never read mysteries. But I love Maisie.

1072wonderY
Apr 26, 2021, 6:41pm

On the drive back to KY, I loaded up from Overdrive. Finished The Left-Handed Booksellers of London - 41. There were a couple of quirks that didn’t make sense; but overall satisfying.

1082wonderY
May 4, 2021, 11:01am

Looks like I’m not going to finish Robin, the biography of Robin Williams, at least this go ‘round. I’m at part 6 of 21, and it expires tomorrow. It’s good, just detailed; and gardening season for me.

I am finishing Angels and Saints - 42, read by the author. He’s a college professor, and his lecture style is fine, but the first sections are very heavy in scriptural references. The last parts cover the Church Fathers; and make me want to read their writings again.

Lots of great fantasy titles loaded on my Overdrive. Riches!

1092wonderY
Edited: May 5, 2021, 7:53am

Willy Whyner, Cloud Designer - 43 is a visual feast. The story in words is simple; it’s the illustrations that add riches. The author blurbs on the dust jacket are very modest. Michael and Esther wrote the story for their own children. Michael is an attorney, but he once had an outstanding drawing of a turkey prominently exhibited on his first grade classroom wall. Esther is a data processing systems analyst, but she did get several marks well over 90 on spelling tests.
Willy’s parents are the couple from American Gothic.

It’s an obscure book, but it shouldn’t be. Oh, and the publisher is Four Winds Press.

1102wonderY
May 8, 2021, 12:19pm

Preparing to read the sequel, I re-read Peeps - 44.

111kac522
Edited: May 10, 2021, 10:11pm

>73 2wonderY: Very late, but if you still have Evelina around, you might get incentive from Liz's group read in 2015:
https://www.librarything.com/topic/192838
Haven't read it myself, but I participated in the group reads of Camilla, Cecilia, and The Wanderer, and Liz kept them interesting and enjoyable.

1122wonderY
May 15, 2021, 10:18am

>111 kac522: I’ll check it out.

It looks like I read or sampled The Wrong Stars in print last year and ordered the audio; which finally came available. It is not at all gripping in this form, so I’m sending it back.
If I read it, it’s not memorable.

1132wonderY
May 15, 2021, 5:29pm

Tossed back an NPR audio that consisted of guests reading various short stories. The uniting theme seemed to be family. Probably borrowed it to sample Amy Tan.

Listened again to All Systems Red - 45. Just because.

1142wonderY
May 15, 2021, 9:52pm

Urban Enemies is an anthology of villain stories by 17 fantasy writers. Butcher’s story is ‘Even Hand’ about Marcone and Justine. I’ve read it elsewhere. The other stories melt together and are unremittingly boring, even the one by Kevin Hearne.

1152wonderY
May 16, 2021, 5:33pm

Perhaps hoping for book 9 in the Peter Grant series, I re-read #8, False Value - 46. The plot is complicated by a back and forth timeline; which feels a tad awkward. But it’s good to visit with the crew again. Still looking for a few of the short stories, I believe.

1162wonderY
May 17, 2021, 11:49am

I’ve read it out of order once again, but it makes much more sense having read #1 and #3 of the series as well. Lieutenant Hornblower - 47 is written from the viewpoint of another officer through the entire story. Other books are limited omniscient, if I recall lit class correctly. Lieutenant Bush is assigned to the same ship, and has to figure the lay of the land independently; as no one is talking. Turns out the Captain is batshit crazy and looking for conspiracy and mutiny; and everyone’s lives are in jeopardy. We see how subtle, sharp and strategic Hornblower can be. At the last, we also meet Mariah Mason and her mother. They start out book #3’s storyline. Well executed. Might take a break before going on to #4.

1172wonderY
May 19, 2021, 10:29am

Tales of the City sounded interesting at first glance. But the characters are morally unsavory and also are way too free with vulgar language. Yuck.

1182wonderY
May 23, 2021, 4:10am

Taking a point for Ink & Sigil - 48, though I’ve only listened with half attention and it expired before I got to the end. Interesting premise, but Hearne doesn’t really deliver here.

1192wonderY
May 24, 2021, 5:38am

Deadly Education - 49. This YA book does not have the warmth of her Temeraire series. Of course, the main character is abrasive to everyone. But I warmed up to her by the end of the book. And the ending definitely primes for the next book. I don’t at all like the depiction and premise of the school. There are no teachers, just a faceless tutorial system.

120quondame
May 24, 2021, 2:06pm

>119 2wonderY: I rather liked Deadly Education. Its title is a warning label.

1212wonderY
May 28, 2021, 9:35pm

I’m going to be reading some children’s books.

What Do You Want to Know About Earthworms - 50. I’ve had this on the shelf for decades and never bothered to read it. It’s actually got some fascinating facts; but also suggests experiments that approach torture.
Earthworms prefer fresh leaves in this order: beech, maple, oak, horse chestnut, lime, willow. Decaying leaves are preferred in this order: willow, oak, lime, beech, maple, horse chestnut.

I was particularly interested in their senses, having recently read the poem ‘Feeding the Worms’ by Danusha Lameris -

http://poetrytreeonthecharles.net/2020/09/feeding-the-worms-by-danusha-lameris/

and I researched her premise. It is strictly true.

1222wonderY
May 29, 2021, 10:13pm

The Light Princess - 51. I’ve read and loved a couple of Macdonald’s other books and have every intention of reading them all. This was annoying and delightful by turns. The best line is the description of the king’s sister:

“ The wrinkles of contempt crossed
the wrinkles of peevishness, and made her face as full of wrinkles
as a pat of butter. If ever a king could be justified in forgetting
anybody, this king was justified in forgetting his sister, even at
a christening. She looked very odd, too. Her forehead was as large
as all the rest of her face, and projected over it like a
precipice. When she was angry, her little eyes flashed blue. When
she hated anybody, they shone yellow and green. What they looked
like when she loved anybody, I do not know...”

1232wonderY
May 30, 2021, 6:27pm

I’ve been meaning to read some more Heyer. I listened to Arabella - 52. At first, I was unimpressed by the main character. Her impetuosity was mentioned as a fault; but it was not visible... until it exploded out of her. Then the fun began. Still, not one of the better ones.

124MarthaJeanne
Edited: May 30, 2021, 6:35pm

I think The Grand Sophie and Frederica are my favourites, although I do have a soft spot for Arabella as well. I'm currently reading The Nonesuch.

1252wonderY
May 30, 2021, 6:49pm

So far, I like Sylvester and Venetia best. There is a natural flow of conversation and relationship that most romance writers lack.

1262wonderY
May 30, 2021, 9:37pm

Read the bulk of these.

Red Army Resurgent - 53
The Soviet Juggernaut - 54


Sickening.

1272wonderY
Edited: May 31, 2021, 12:21pm

Italy at War - 55. I may keep this one for a bit. It’s a part of the WW2 story I wasn’t familiar with. The first third is all about Mussolini and then dives into a survey of all the large war equipment. Then it goes back to Mussolini for the rest of the book. He was very much a hands-on manager; going ahead with campaigns that all of his generals thought ill-advised. His stranglehold on government turned out to be a weakness.
By the time the British were invading Pantelleria and Sicily, both civilians and the military were ready to call it quits and just wanted protection from their German allies.

I’ve gotten to the part where his own Grand Council votes him out of office and he is under arrest. The new government swiftly offered to surrender, but were backing out until Eisenhower announced it. Germany disarmed the Italian troops and fought the Italian campaign themselves.

128fuzzi
May 31, 2021, 3:21pm

>123 2wonderY: I read Arabella, and agree with your report.

1292wonderY
May 31, 2021, 5:48pm

Raiding the shelves in the garage for examination and possible disposal. I find a small stash of 70s-80s feminist books. I know I can toss a couple, but may browse the others first.

Sex and the New Single Girl
The Second Stage
Eve’s Rib
Eve’s New Rib
Man’s World, Woman’s Place
The Creation of Feminist Consciousness
The last is a historical perspective from the Middle Ages on.

130handshakes
Edited: Jun 1, 2021, 2:38am

Nice!! Always great to find books lying around that you didn't know you have.

1312wonderY
Jun 2, 2021, 10:12am

Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race - 56. We are poisoning ourselves and the rest of creation with the chemical products of the last hundred years. And it’s not even a direct assault always. We are diminishing our reproductive capacities and those of all other species. Plastics is one of the big culprits. Stop using plastics!

1322wonderY
Jun 2, 2021, 2:43pm

I don’t remember why I deleted >20 2wonderY: and >21 2wonderY:. It may be where I recorded A Gathering of Days - 57, because it’s been referenced in this thread; but now I can’t find the post. It’s an epistolary novel. It was okay. Not sure why I decided to keep it.

1332wonderY
Jun 3, 2021, 1:29pm

Just finished listening to Soldier, Sailor, Frogman, Spy, Airman, Gangster, Kill or Die: How the Allies Won on D-Day - 58. I had to pause several times when the author and emphatically, the narrator, seemed to be relishing the descriptions of actual blood and guts. I’m not sure of the point of this book. It has been told by many others. Milton tells each part of June 6th from the POV of the participants from both sides. So there is a massive amount of research; and I suppose every person’s story has value. There is also an ongoing summary of successes and failures of the day, so there is that too.

I need something easy and happy to clear my head.

134karenb
Jun 3, 2021, 4:35pm

>129 2wonderY: Gerda Lerner's books are usually keepers for me. (YMMV of course)

1352wonderY
Jun 3, 2021, 4:55pm

>134 karenb: That is the one I kept.

1362wonderY
Jun 5, 2021, 6:21pm

Tops & Bottoms - 59 is a gardening book and a trickster story. Rabbit is an impoverished neighbor to lazy but rich Bear. Rabbit proposes a crop share arrangement and does all the work and reaps all the rewards.

1372wonderY
Jun 13, 2021, 10:16pm

1382wonderY
Jun 17, 2021, 2:47pm

Housekeeping - 61. Some nice phrasing and a couple of pages where I liked Sylvie. But, on the whole, disturbing.

1392wonderY
Jun 18, 2021, 4:39pm

What Abigail Did That Summer - 62. Peter doesn’t appear at all in this one; merely referenced a couple of times. Intruiging new facet introduced in the last chapter.

1402wonderY
Jun 18, 2021, 7:32pm

I finally found a stash of Discworld stories in audio at the Cincinnati library. Mort - 63 is the first in the set. Loved it!

1412wonderY
Jun 19, 2021, 12:37pm

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing - 64. Well, that was interesting! Let me try to process the ending.

1422wonderY
Jun 19, 2021, 3:20pm

Wyrd Sisters - 65. Lovely.

1432wonderY
Jun 19, 2021, 5:35pm

Had supper at daughter's house earlier in the week and we watched The Last Black Man in San Francisco. Some of it was incomprehensible to me, but the cinematography is stunning! There seemed to be just a touch of magical realism too.

144fuzzi
Jun 20, 2021, 7:27am

Just delurking to say "hi" 😊

1452wonderY
Jun 20, 2021, 12:54pm

A Way Through the Sea - 66 is Christian children’s literature. The author has a few issues with silly details. Like, can two 11 year olds haul a wooden rowboat silently in the dark out of a shed and down a steep ramp and into the water without gaining the notice of the attentive night watchman?
This is a fictional story of the Danish rescue of Jewish neighbors in 1943. The actual events fascinate and hearten me on humanity. This is just a mediocre rendition.

1462wonderY
Jun 20, 2021, 9:26pm

The God Equation - 67 is a bit pretentious and reductionist. Still, I’m glad I listened and got caught up on the theories.

1472wonderY
Jun 21, 2021, 7:19pm

Picked up The Sheikh’s Secret - 68 at the laundromat yesterday instead of reading the book I had brought. Very modern, no burkas, no thobes or ghutra. The question is never about heritage; just money.

148Sakerfalcon
Jun 22, 2021, 7:39am

>141 2wonderY: I just read An absolutely remarkable thing and enjoyed it a lot. There is a sequel which helps with the ending ...

1492wonderY
Jun 22, 2021, 7:53am

>148 Sakerfalcon: The sequel certainly has a killer first line! I will dip into it soon. The first book barely qualifies as SF, but the characters were all well done and I’m glad to see the second book has split the POVs. I look forward to narration from Carl. (On the audio, I always thought it was Karl.)

1502wonderY
Jun 22, 2021, 8:31am

Abandoning Veins of Gold. It’s fairly dull.

1512wonderY
Edited: Jun 24, 2021, 12:24pm

Finally able to watch films again. Watched Rogue One in only three sittings. That was obviously a CGI Princess Leia at the end; and it was awful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Yj31YCa3Xw

1522wonderY
Jun 25, 2021, 12:18am

Behind the Throne - 69 suffers from a plodding plot, but makes up for it with a very plucky and likable protagonist.

I gave Death in Hyde Park a decent try; decided it’s not worth pursuing. Especially with the introduction of Inspector Ashcraft - yuck.

1532wonderY
Edited: Jun 27, 2021, 11:23am

Listened to most of Guards! Guards! - 70, but the audiobook expired. I do have the print book upstairs, so I promise to finish it.

I will be having cataract surgery in the fall, and I’m hoping it makes reading print easier.

154MarthaJeanne
Jun 26, 2021, 7:40am

Jerry was very happy after his. The doctor wanted to do me, too, but the eye he wanted to operate on is the more reliable one, so I said no.

1552wonderY
Jun 27, 2021, 11:22am

They Both Die at the End - 71. Whew! Not bad for YA.

9/5/17

1562wonderY
Jun 27, 2021, 4:07pm

Well, I have obviously failed to do a decent job of cataloging my library. And here I thought I was being so methodical and I could rely on my list here as to whether I actually own a title.
I’ve read a lot of Kurt Vonnegut over the decades, but not always owned the copy. So when I found four of his books at a yard sale, I hopped on my phone and checked. Nope. Not cataloged. Brought them home and knew exactly where he is shelved. Well, I had three of the four already. Durn!

157fuzzi
Jun 28, 2021, 7:42pm

>156 2wonderY: oops. I've done that, too...

1582wonderY
Jun 29, 2021, 7:40pm

I’ve listened to Fugitive Telemetry - 72 twice in a row. Since I’m not in the car, I lose track of even such a good story. I may even listen once more before it expires. I need a printout of the sub-main characters. Still haven’t set some of them correctly in my head.

1592wonderY
Jul 3, 2021, 8:19pm

Watched Ender’s Game and was not at all impressed. Didn’t like how Ender and Graff were portrayed. Subtle distortions of the story were irritating. Ender’s troops were fine. Bean stood out without having more than a bit part.

1602wonderY
Jul 4, 2021, 7:32pm

Sorcery and Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot is a tiresome regency romance with a dash of magical references. Discontinued.

161quondame
Jul 4, 2021, 7:36pm

>160 2wonderY: I guess you missed my guest appearance. I found S&C lively and fun, but it is epistolary and that can spoil the flow.

1622wonderY
Jul 5, 2021, 10:21am

>161 quondame: I just kept waiting for the magic to make a real appearance. Did I not read far enough along AGAIN? And where are you in the story?

163quondame
Jul 5, 2021, 7:20pm

>162 2wonderY: There is a mention of Lady Haseltine's Drum. For 30 years I put on a monthly dance called Miss Haseltine's Drum that was known in the F&SF community where the late 20th century Regency dance community arose from a group of Georgette Heyer fans. There really isn't anything particular to me in the mention, but it is cute.

It's a subtle magic, and I enjoyed it, but I'm a Regency/Heyer fan as well as a fantasy fan.

1642wonderY
Jul 7, 2021, 6:41pm

I watched the first season of PBS Home Fires, set in small town England during WW2. Parts were painful. Well done.

165lesmel
Jul 8, 2021, 12:47pm

>158 2wonderY: I found Fugitive Telemetry harder to follow than the rest of the stories. Also, I found myself annoyed that it's out of the timeline of the rest of the stories. Still, Murderbot!!

1662wonderY
Jul 8, 2021, 9:34pm

>165 lesmel: No sense of the danger that Murderbot excels in dealing with. But it was fun listening to its negativity.

Lovina A Story of the Pennsylvania Country - 73. Interesting illustrations, but kind of a lame story. Discovered that Lovina is a common name in Amish country.

167ebeeb
Jul 16, 2021, 2:00am

Hi there! I just wanted to say thanks for leaving me a message on my profile encouraging me to make a thread here -- I had a thread elsewhere which I was really active on for a while; then I got distracted, and life rolled on. Your message (which got emailed to me directly) reminded me of this little corner here and got me back to Librarything. My reading has really slowed down lately, but I look forward to cataloguing it here, and following everyone else's reads. :)

1682wonderY
Edited: Jul 24, 2021, 10:01am

I’ve been reading, but slowly.
I’m interested in the post-mortem I Alone Can Fix It, but it’s not available yet. So I started their older book, A Very Stable Genius. It was too stale already; but the library pointed me to Everything Trump Touches Dies - 74. I enjoyed Rick Wilson’s Twitter commentary, and think he is an intelligent and well-spoken Republican, not quite on the level of George F. Will, who became a non-entity in this past few years in my eyes. So I was curious and listened to him read his book. He seems to despise almost everyone. Late in the book, he mentioned three people he admires. The only name I recognized was Nikki Haley. He did write a funny future history bit where he and Bill Kristol die in mysterious circumstances, and Trump Jr. is the president. He expressed some admirable basic patriotism in his afterward.

1692wonderY
Jul 24, 2021, 10:11am

Also listened to The Goblin Emperor - 75. This is first in a series, and basically an introduction to the emperor and his world. Interesting characters all the way around. Liked spending time with them and enjoyed watching Maia in his brand new circumstances going with his excellent gut instincts and finding strengths and friends and allies.

1702wonderY
Edited: Jul 29, 2021, 11:36am

Because I so enjoyed her book about decluttering (and listened to it twice already) I thought I’d give her other, first book a listen. How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind - 76. Surprisingly, I didn’t really need the advice on simple cleaning routines. I’ll give all credit to my mother for that. We washed and dried and put away dishes after every meal. There was no alternative possible with a dozen people in the household. We cleaned the entire house on Saturday mornings and then went across the street and helped friend Carrie do the same. (She was the only girl, with 4 brothers. Guess whether they were expected to help.)
Oddly, it’s both my daughters who could benefit from this book. Their kitchens especially seem to be out of their control. Choosing mates who refuse to contribute in that area and not establishing a routine with the kids…. But I don’t need to get critical. Y’know what - it might be my fault after all. I like an orderly kitchen (the main thrust of this book) so much that I will wash dishes at other peoples homes. It was a routine in college, I tell you, when I visited certain communal homes. A household of three was not even a challenge for me and I may have just done it myself without asking them to help me. Hmmm. Must ask them for their memories.

Anyway, I will assuredly return again to her clutter book. It has helped a lot.

1712wonderY
Edited: Aug 2, 2021, 11:23am

Listening to The Trials of Morrigan Crow - 77, the first in a fantasy series. It is winding along too long. I’m getting tired of it. Question: would you ever describe meringue as fluffy when eaten?

172lesmel
Aug 2, 2021, 11:23am

>171 2wonderY: If they mean the meringue on pie? Yes.

1732wonderY
Aug 2, 2021, 11:27am

On the drive yesterday, I listened to The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - 78. The characters are just vehicles for Adams’ wit. The best bits are at the restaurant itself. I will go back and read that in print and then discard both book and audio. But I will go on with the next part of the story.

174MarthaJeanne
Aug 2, 2021, 11:59am

>171 2wonderY: Depends on the meringue. It has lots of different variations.

1752wonderY
Aug 2, 2021, 12:52pm

Hmm. The meringue my mother made, even on top of pie, was baked and was light but crunchy.

1762wonderY
Aug 4, 2021, 12:30pm

Returning mostly unread The Library of the Unwritten. Clumsy and disappointing.

1772wonderY
Aug 5, 2021, 1:15pm

Listened to The Windsor Knot - 79; probably prompted by someone here. It started slow, but I’m glad I stuck with it! Delightful! Nice wrap up; especially the private audience with Ben, and the Victoria Cross.

1782wonderY
Aug 7, 2021, 9:45am

I’m finding The Last Wish impenetrable. Tossing it for something else.

I read the first A House For the Season back in 2013(?) and liked it; so decided to visit the place again.
Plain Jane - 80 isn’t as well done. I did like the added focus on the below stairs crew; but wasn’t particularly taken with the upstairs story. The interactions between Jane and the butler, Rainbird, didn’t ring true for the time period.

1792wonderY
Aug 8, 2021, 5:44pm

Honor Among Thieves - 81 is the first in a science fiction series. Reading the reviews, it seems the younger crowd are very enthusiastic. I thought it was middling good. Zara, the main character was plenty interesting; and the relationships she built were well described. But I was most taken by the Leviathan, Typhon, who seemed cruel and heartless. It appears Zara may have a crossover presence in another series by one of the authors of this one.

1802wonderY
Aug 8, 2021, 5:45pm

I go for my pre-op visit tomorrow. Surgery is in a couple of weeks. I hope hope hope it clears my vision.!!!!

181quondame
Aug 8, 2021, 5:56pm

>180 2wonderY: Hope that goes well! Clear vision is such a precious gift.

1822wonderY
Aug 10, 2021, 11:11am

I like Libby only because she tells me I’m precisely 77% through Field Notes on a Catastrophe - 82. It’s hard going because the numbers are so grim. And this book was published in 2006; with the numbers even worse in the meanwhile. I will finish it, but May break it up with something lighter.

>181 quondame: I like this guy. He gave me clear and logical answers to all my questions. Even as to why he doesn’t use some of the newest tech options that I’ve read about.

1832wonderY
Aug 11, 2021, 10:50am

I’m 10% into There Before the Chaos, and I may move on, unless someone encourages me. So far it’s all talk and exposition. I do prefer an action start.
I like the narrator’s voice. The characters are west Asian, all wearing saris. (Do I have the correct geographical term?)

184lesmel
Aug 11, 2021, 4:42pm

>183 2wonderY: I'm a fan-ish girl of Hailimi; but the second book just about ruined the entire series for me. https://www.librarything.com/topic/328179#7492554

1852wonderY
Aug 11, 2021, 4:55pm

>184 lesmel: Oh, yuck! I think I’ll pass.

I’m still getting used to Libby because Overdrive no longer works for me. I finally added all my library cards (5 systems) and discovered All Systems Red is on my shelf. Purrrr.

186lesmel
Aug 11, 2021, 5:09pm

>185 2wonderY: It took me a looooooong time to accept Libby. I still find the app ridiculously complicated b/c of the icons instead of words; there's no way to change the library you are searching w/o 2 extra taps; and there's not obvious way to stop the app from tracking your history until it's tracked your history.

1872wonderY
Aug 11, 2021, 5:13pm

I hate that I can’t download the content to my phone. That means I can’t listen when I don’t have service on the road and even in my basement.

188MarthaJeanne
Aug 11, 2021, 5:50pm

If overdrive stops working for me I will stop reading their books.

Just the symbol for Libby makes me cringe.

189lesmel
Edited: Aug 11, 2021, 9:21pm

>187 2wonderY: You should be able to download with Libby.

Download settings -- again, you don't see these until you have something to download or already downloaded.


Murderbot #1 already downloading b/c my usual settings are automatic, no wi-fi required


Murderbot #2 waiting for download (and settings option) because I changed my settings to nothing for these screenshots.




>188 MarthaJeanne: You don't need the app to read the books. You can still read from the browser (or Kindle) from phone, tablet, or computer.

Huh. I just discovered how to switch the libraries from the search screen. Learned something new! Yay, Libby is just a little less annoying.

1902wonderY
Aug 11, 2021, 6:59pm

>189 lesmel: Thank you!!

1912wonderY
Aug 14, 2021, 9:00pm

Well, appears you have to be connected to wi-fi to download with Libby. That’s an inconvenience. I guess I could go park near the library or McDonald’s.

Daughter let’s me use her card for the Cincinnati library for audio checkouts. When I registered it on Libby, All Systems Red - 83 was there waiting. I listened and returned it before remembering I had recently recommended it to my daughter. It was her checkout!! Now she has to wait again.

Quick & Easy Curb Appeal - 84 has some thoughtful ideas for improving front yard, entrance and facade.

I know there’s another, but I’ve lost track. Busy day. Time for bed.

192lesmel
Aug 15, 2021, 9:10am

You can turn the wif-fi feature off -- under change download rules, toggle the button for download only on wi-fi. I do this b/c I have unlimited data on my cell phone plan.

Ha! That's a problem with sharing cards.

1932wonderY
Aug 20, 2021, 9:02pm

I didn’t get any reading done this week; but I’m home alone again.

I’ve been meaning to record Field Notes from a Catastrophe - 85, which was seriously depressing. This was the original version, too; not the 2014 updated edition.

1942wonderY
Aug 24, 2021, 8:35am

>184 lesmel: I’ve still been listening to There Before the Chaos, and I’m at 17% (one of Libby’s good features), but can’t renew it. Still no action, and I’m liking the characters more.

I’m clearing the feed, so returning
No Fixed Address, which suffers from a long-winded exposition.
We’re Going to Need More Wine, by Gabrielle Union. It was a good enough story about her varying experiences being a black adolescent in LA versus Oklahoma; but she tries to insist that her friends that went the gang/drugs/guns route hadn’t changed; it was the world around them that changed. She can apologize for them all she wants; but it was curiosity and adolescent hunger for adventure, not existential need, that drove the changes.

1952wonderY
Edited: Aug 25, 2021, 5:56pm

I’m half way through I Alone Can Fix It - 86 and counting it now, because I will probably just skim the remainder. It’s almost boring, because the stories are so recent (only 2020) and covered so thoroughly by the press already.

196lesmel
Aug 25, 2021, 11:24pm

>194 2wonderY: I love the first book. It's mostly a slow burn, I guess. I generally listen to everything at 1.5 or 1.75. That about matches my visual reading speed.

1972wonderY
Aug 28, 2021, 4:42am

The House in the Cerulean Sea - 87 caught me at the first presentation of Lucy, the spawn of Satan, but still only a mischievous 6 year old boy. There are five other children with sweet quirks as well. Oddly, they are more ruled by their natures. Still, nurture wins in this story. The romance between Linus and Arthur begins stiffly and awkwardly. Their conversations taste of cardboard. Overall, a good troop to spend time with.

1982wonderY
Sep 4, 2021, 7:13am

Tossing Born with Teeth at 13% read. Attracted by the title, but it wasn’t particularly interesting. Apparently Mulgrew is an actor; but I don’t know her work.

199lesmel
Sep 4, 2021, 3:40pm

>198 2wonderY: Kate Mulgrew is Captain Janeway!

2002wonderY
Sep 4, 2021, 4:59pm

>199 lesmel: Oh. I didn’t have TV and cable (still don’t) for decades. I barely know Captain Picard and Data; and just from absorbing the knowledge from pop culture.

201MarthaJeanne
Sep 5, 2021, 7:45am

Who?

2022wonderY
Sep 5, 2021, 11:04am

Star Trek personnel.

203karenb
Sep 6, 2021, 5:17am

>201 MarthaJeanne: Not Who, Trek.

204MarthaJeanne
Edited: Sep 6, 2021, 5:26am

2052wonderY
Sep 7, 2021, 10:33am

Sampled Burglars Can’t Be Choosers,
(4%) and it didn’t catch.

Listened to Animal, Vegetable, Junk - 89. It’s excellent, though depressing. I may borrow it again and re-listen to sections.

2062wonderY
Sep 8, 2021, 1:30pm

I’ve not paid a lot of attention to paper books this year, but I’ve got two from the library that must be returned.

Romantic Irish Homes - 90 is a lovely compilation. It’s actually less of a home decor book, and more Irish history. The pictures are great, but the text tells family and local history and traces the rot and rehabilitation sagas of the properties. The author records what he finds and doesn’t try to hide serious imperfections.
I may have to borrow this again.

Quick & Easy Curb Appeal - 91 by Better Homes and Gardens. It’s a surprisingly useful survey of facades, porches, landscaping and gardens.

2072wonderY
Edited: Sep 10, 2021, 9:16am

A Symphony of Echoes - 92. I liked this better than the first book in the series. Mostly because I was able to concentrate a bit better and catch details and clever reparte. Still missed some of the middle. Audio anywhere but in the car affects me that way. Might redo it, but not yet. I’ve got good stuff in the queue.

2082wonderY
Sep 11, 2021, 7:22am

I suspect it is a good idea to find official guides to action films before one actually watches the movie anymore. There is a modern tendency to sweep the viewer into the rapid action and never explain anything. Marvel, Star Wars, etc.
I’m glad to have found Solo: A Star Wars story - 93 for that reason. It gives background on all of the characters, even the most minor ones.
I’ve been buying 6” action figures for the dollhouse; picking them up secondhand, without the packaging for identification. So Google has been my friend IDing them. A black woman named Val is a minor character here, but rated action figure status. I guess the industry and the hobby aficionados crave ever more figures. It’s cute.

2092wonderY
Sep 11, 2021, 7:53am

I will only browse Star Wars Character Encyclopedia - 94 because it’s not truly a “read it” book. But it’s a fascinating collection of 217 characters, from 2-1B, a surgical droid, to Zuckuss, a Gand bounty hunter. I confess to not having seen a good portion of the newer films. I will probably repair that gap eventually.

2102wonderY
Edited: Sep 11, 2021, 2:34pm

>207 2wonderY: What the heck. I’m going through the book again and glad, because I missed some terribly important plot points the first time.

Notes
1. Victorian London - Jack the Ripper
2. Future St. Mary’s to rescue Leon from kidnappers. (temporary director)
3. Dodo hunt (future SM historians)
4. The Red House Center (Dr. John Knox)
5. The play
6. Knox’s trial
7. Dave’s death
8. Nineveh with Peterson
9. 16th century Scotland - Queen Mary

Found and read the short, short story giving background on Mrs. (Cleo) Partridge - The Muse of History

A nearly complete list:

https://www.headline.co.uk/series-guide/2019/10/11/the-chronicles-of-st-marys-se...

211fuzzi
Sep 11, 2021, 9:54pm

>208 2wonderY: I bought our son Star Wars figures from the time he was toddling around, as the third movie (1983) left a glut of the things at the toy stores in the mid 1980's, and I could buy them cheap. He's been a big Star Wars fan since, and could probably ID all your characters.

2122wonderY
Sep 11, 2021, 10:27pm

>211 fuzzi: Thanks. I will ask him if I get stuck. So far, I’ve been able to identify each of them, even beyond Star Wars.

2132wonderY
Sep 13, 2021, 12:09pm

Listened to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - 95 just for the heck of it.

2142wonderY
Sep 13, 2021, 3:18pm

Abandoning Crazy is My Superpower. It is told with much verve and spirit; but the scenes are all too familiar. I don’t need to be there.

2152wonderY
Sep 15, 2021, 3:34pm

I kinda binge watched a Netflix series, Raising Dion. It was interesting if you like SFF. Good music and a dance studio side aspect too. Adequate and pretty characters and special effects.

2162wonderY
Sep 23, 2021, 11:30am

Cross-ordered another book with daughter on Libby, but both showed up on the shelf, so was able to read my copy. Long Way to a Small Angry Planet - 96.

It was a welcome re-read and necessary to recall a minor character, Mas, who is featured in the short story Heretic - 97, found in Infinite Stars Dark Frontiers. I’m reading some of the other short stories in it, but it has to be returned very soon.

217fuzzi
Sep 23, 2021, 1:19pm

>216 2wonderY: that's one that keeps coming across my bow. I finally put it in my Wishlist.

2182wonderY
Sep 24, 2021, 11:12pm

I scanned the shelves at the library and then checked to see whether I could borrow the audio version. Not that my audio shelves are bare…

Having enjoyed a couple of Ben Macintyre’s other WW2 espionage books, I listened to Rogue Heroes - 98. This is about the formation and operations of the SAS units. Special Air Service. They’re the ones who operated behind enemy lines in uniform. Brave and daring. I’ll need to borrow the paper book and read the last chapter again

2192wonderY
Sep 25, 2021, 1:00pm

At 52%, I am quitting Rage - 99, but taking credit. I already know how it goes; but I am so tired of the interview transcripts. What an incoherent blowhard.

I think I’m going to discontinue a couple more.
The Librarian of Auschwitz is just poorly written. Well, not poorly, but inferior.

One Second After has an interesting premise; but the writing recalls the awful bestsellers I read as a teen. My eyes are already rolling at chapter 2.

2202wonderY
Sep 25, 2021, 7:25pm

Visiting Richard Peck, after fuzzi reminded me of him, I read The Best Man - 100. The other books of his I’ve read are historical novels. This one is modern, and yet retains a goodness of spirit and simplicity that takes you back to grandma’s days. I’m tagging it “right living.”

2212wonderY
Sep 26, 2021, 1:07pm

Looking for something else in the audio catalog, I decided to try What Is It All but Luminous, by Art Garfunkel and read by him. Nope, no thanks. Philosopher poet; but I don’t appreciate most poetry. So it’s probably just me.

2222wonderY
Edited: Sep 26, 2021, 5:15pm

Sending it back; four hours is enough. This might be easier as a physical book, to browse what’s interesting. Harry Potter: a history of magic.

2232wonderY
Sep 26, 2021, 11:15pm

The Tao of Bill Murray - 101 was a pleasure. The first section was a collection of both authenticated and unauthenticated ‘Bill sightings.’ The man floats through life just having fun and gathering others around to share in it. The second section seemed to record some of his celebrity antics (particularly involving golf) with the same essence. It’s not till the last section that his films are discussed. Each one chronologically mentioned, but probably no more than in a page or two. It seems to have a healthy spin on who the man really is.

2242wonderY
Sep 27, 2021, 11:18am

The Ohio library sent me a reminder on a book I thought I had returned already. So, though they could be wrong or it might be sitting in the West Virginia house, I’m taking the opportunity to clean my bedroom. I’ve been dumping unexamined bins in corners there, so they have been re-located to a more prominent spot. My eyesight on paperwork still pretty much sucks, so it will be tedious.
But the floor is clear and swept and looking very nice. There are random book piles that need sorted and tucked somewhere more permanent.

I brought 3 or 4 small boxes of books from WV last week. I haven’t managed to shelve quite all of them yet.

The sun is out. Maybe I need a gardening break.

225fuzzi
Edited: Sep 28, 2021, 12:46pm

>224 2wonderY: did you find the book?

>221 2wonderY: I am not a poetry aficionado, either. It's not just you.

>220 2wonderY: I found a couple more Richard Peck books at the used book store in town, where I still have credit.

And I started reading book #2 in the Penderwick series a couple days ago, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street...love it!

2262wonderY
Sep 28, 2021, 9:53am

Not yet.

2272wonderY
Sep 28, 2021, 8:30pm

An interesting mockumentary from the library - No Men Beyond This Point. In the mid-1950s, women begin having babies by parthenogenesis and male sperm is no longer fertile. The story focuses on the adult last male born, and his circumstances employed as a domestic. Women create a world government and there is peace.

2282wonderY
Oct 3, 2021, 7:05am

The Galaxy and the Ground Within - 102. Love it. Though I’m in the middle of a couple of other titles, I may just turn back to the beginning and start all over. I hope Chambers continues in this universe. Her aliens in this story, with all their oddnesses, turn out to be just plain folks.

2292wonderY
Edited: Oct 7, 2021, 7:32pm

The Witness for the Dead - 103 was as pleasing as the first book in the series. Like it, the main character, this time Thara Celehar, grows into his position in a new city and is surprised at the end that he has earned respect and made some friends. The ending was a bit abrupt.

Well, rats! That’s all that’s been written?!

2302wonderY
Oct 9, 2021, 10:19pm

There was a group read on LT so I thought I’d grab another Willa Cather notch. O Pioneers! - 104 wasn't what I expected. Cather skips a dozen or more years of the scraping hard work times; which I consider more interesting than the after, prosperous time.

2312wonderY
Oct 16, 2021, 5:23pm

For the season, listened to Neil Gaimen read his The Ocean at the End of the Lane - 105. Loved the Hempstock women.

2322wonderY
Oct 17, 2021, 5:30am

Discontinuing The Book of Lost Names at chapter 4, 10%. The protagonist just annoys me. I’m sure she improves, but I have other books to read.

233MarthaJeanne
Oct 17, 2021, 5:35am

>232 2wonderY: I really enjoyed this one. Yes, I think there is real character development during the book.

2342wonderY
Oct 18, 2021, 12:52pm

I’m half way through Such a Fun Age, and I think I’m going to quit. It’s petty, pretentious and long winded. Don’t like any of the characters except little Briar, and sometimes Kelly.

I listened to A Psalm for the Wild-Built - 106, and plan to listen all over again to catch more detail. I’m in the car today, and that helps me to focus.

2352wonderY
Oct 19, 2021, 5:21pm

>225 fuzzi: Found the lost library book. It was near the bottom of a 30” pile next to my seat on the couch.

236quondame
Oct 19, 2021, 6:37pm

>234 2wonderY: Once again in waiting for Becky Chambers new book mode. Not a bad place to be and I am time sharing....

237fuzzi
Oct 20, 2021, 6:40am

>235 2wonderY: woo!

Hope the fines aren't steep...

2382wonderY
Oct 20, 2021, 7:03am

No fines anymore; and two or three renewals are automatic unless someone is waiting for it. The only danger is replacement costs and fees if it’s finally not returned.

2392wonderY
Oct 20, 2021, 11:08am

Though I’ve only poked around in it, I’ve read several fun stories, so it counts. The first volume of Infinite Stars - 107. Most fun was How to be a Barbarian in the Late 25th Century, by Jean Johnson.

2402wonderY
Oct 25, 2021, 5:11pm

The Life of a Bowerbird - 108 is disappointing. It is supposedly about collections in the mode of a natural history museum, though it doesn’t limit itself to that category. Avant guarde but without any context to dwellings. So more a photography exercise, and boring, at that.

2412wonderY
Edited: Dec 6, 2021, 7:25am

I’m glad I went back and listened again to A Psalm for the Wild-Built. I had missed most of the detail of the first half.

I pulled up a Harry Dresden title on the road and listened again to Peace Talks - 109.

I’m at over half-way on Finlay Donovan is Killing It - 110 and struggling with suspension of belief. I may toss it aside if something better comes in. It’s just a filler type of book.
ETA - The print book was on display at the Berea library and I brought it home to browse the last quarter. Geez! Really not worth my time. Ridiculous. Especially the nasty bits in the field at night. Finlay and Vero shouldn’t have gotten away with all they did. Not a bad premise to begin with, but execution very subpar. Not at all impressed.

2422wonderY
Oct 26, 2021, 9:26am

Oh, and I’ve decided to dc Michael J. Fox’s No Time Like the Future at 33% listened. I so enjoyed his other memoir, but this is kinda boring. His speech has deteriorated too; and while I admire his tenacity, it makes it hard to understand if there is any other background noise in my environment.

243lesmel
Oct 26, 2021, 4:29pm

>241 2wonderY: I have A Psalm for the Wild-Built on my to read list. It's worth it then?

Finlay Donovan is Killing It is ridiculously unbelievable; but it is hilarious, too. I like short mad-cap situational comedy like this. I'm worried the second book will be trying too hard; but I'm going to give it a go when it's released.

244quondame
Oct 26, 2021, 6:36pm

>243 lesmel: I enjoyed it and am looking forward to more.

2452wonderY
Oct 26, 2021, 6:45pm

>243 lesmel: I’ve realized that Becky Chambers’ worlds are populated and ruled by rational and thoughtful people (for the most part). So it’s a dream universe and one I love to spend time in. Yes, worth it!

As for Finlay, it must have been you that pointed me to it. What is with her nanny/accountant/conspirator?

246lesmel
Oct 30, 2021, 12:05pm

>245 2wonderY: That woman is crazy. Crazier than the book even! She gets things done, though!

2472wonderY
Nov 5, 2021, 7:48pm

I have sampled The Huntress and The Song of Achilles. The first is not at all what I expected, with an angry and vicious protagonist. The second is lovely and well written, but it hasn’t really captured me.

Unbroken - 111 did grab me. Wow! What a story! The only part I didn’t appreciate was the follow-up to the sadistic prison guard nicknamed ‘the Bird.’ Could have done without his unrepentant strutting.

Also did a return listen to The Galaxy and the Ground Within - 112, because it showed up in my queue again.

248fuzzi
Nov 6, 2021, 6:20pm

>247 2wonderY: I loved Unbroken. Laura Hillenbrand is two for two with me, Seabiscuit being the other.

2492wonderY
Nov 11, 2021, 7:09am

Gave The Song of Achilles another try and got a quarter through, but really not interested.

The Poppy War got a 5% sampling. Ugh!

And A Brief History of Vice got 1%.

Did tear through the latest Rainbow Rowell, Any Way the Wind Blows - 113 with satisfaction. The goats are rescued by an unlikely team. And Shepherd is a nice developing character. Snow learns about family and relationship. He gets another sword.

250quondame
Nov 11, 2021, 3:07pm

>249 2wonderY: The Poppy War was a real disappointment. I did finish it and one sequel, but the level of stupidity stopped me there.

2512wonderY
Nov 13, 2021, 2:06pm

I picked up a couple of audio books while at the library yesterday. On the way to daughter’s house, I tried to pop in the first CD, and had to remove a stray disc from a book I had already returned. Oops!!

I’m already enchanted by Alix Harrow’s short fiction; and I’m hoping she’s gotten control of her novel length works. Her writing is lyrical, and reminds me of an impressionist painting. Form, color, beauty and a bit of unexpectedness.
Daughter, who knows her, says she doesn’t speak as colorfully and poetically as she writes. So there is great scholarship and work behind her writing. I wish I’d met her before she moved out of the area.
I’m reading The Once and Future Witches and the theme of feminine power is richly treated.

2522wonderY
Nov 16, 2021, 7:51pm

I finally got my iPad fixed so I could download and read ebooks. Only downloading never completes; so I have to use my phone as a hot spot. Well, at least I can sample and discard one or several.

I Will Judge You by your Bookshelf - 114 is a terrible disappointment. I expected essays. Instead it’s just more than 100 pages of doodles/cartoons about reading. Nothing of substance at all! Sheesh. Not worth being published.

2532wonderY
Edited: Nov 16, 2021, 9:23pm

I might change my mind about ebooks. I have been able to race through another book and absorb the greatest part of it while sloughing off what is not essential.

I’m nearly through The Brainwashing of My Dad - 115. I was interested because the same thing happened to my own father. He became a nasty person, always picking political fights with his family, after developing a Fox News habit. Well, more than a habit. It was on 24 hours a day, and he slept on the couch, absorbing the vitriol even through the night.
Senko’s father was rehabbed by his wife helping to change his media access, and they had peace and happiness in their last years.

The history of conservative media and its deliberate development is presented in early chapters. My fascination is with chapter 12, which presents the neuroscience of belief systems. I’ve read a little bit about the different personality traits that seem to define conservatives and liberals. Senko mentions Dr. Bobby Azarian and George Lakoff
She also writes of John Ehrenreich who wrote this article:

https://slate.com/technology/2017/11/why-conservatives-are-more-susceptible-to-b...

“ But, the gullibility of many on the right seems to have deeper roots even than this. That may be because at the most basic level, conservatives and liberals seem to hold different beliefs about what constitutes “truth.” Finding facts and pursuing evidence and trusting science is part of liberal ideology itself. For many conservatives, faith and intuition and trust in revealed truth appear as equally valid sources of truth.”

The last chapter is a sampling of other peoples stories, including from those who managed to de-program themselves.

My favorite is Melissa: “My question to myself was, How could someone fully engaged in politics and who watches four to five hours of news daily not know that Sarah Palin couldn’t form a coherent thought? My conclusion: Fox had to be making a concerted effort to hide it from me.”

2542wonderY
Edited: Nov 21, 2021, 11:21am

I listened to Betrayal: The Final Act of the Trump Show - 116. It is timely, but only adds a slight bit of a framework for what is being revealed on the daily news. Nothing surprising.

On the way home, I listened to The Once and Future Witches - 117, and it just kept getting better. I’m not quite done, and may bring the discs inside and finish today. Harrow manages to convey the desperate powerlessness of females in this fiction and does not throw the story away on an easy solution. Her characters here are wonderful, particularly Agnes Amaranth, the Mother.

2552wonderY
Edited: Nov 25, 2021, 7:08am

Light romance with admirable characters, If the Shoe Fits - 118.

Someone on LT recommended Private - Keep Out! - 119 as a very funny lost classic children’s book. So I found a copy, expecting something delightful. Peoples’ ideas of humor are so different. I guess that as a child this might have seemed funny; but for me, it was just sad and hard to get through. Alice is the youngest of six in a coal miner’s home; and she gets into scrapes all the time. She also has an abrasive attitude, but that seems fed by her older siblings actions and attitudes towards her, which are generally dismissive and hostile. The father seems gentle, the mother just always exasperated and short tempered. I object to this as humor. The book was published in 1978, which was at the start of TV humor turning mean, I think. And I am from a large family. Yes, there were always scraps and fights, but much more solidarity and fun with each other. I just feel sorry for this child. It’s an outsider, her dance teacher and future sister-in-law, who finally connects with her.

The author admits there is an autobiographical basis for the story, except that she imagines the two sisters in addition to the three brothers. I just think she gets it wrong.

256quondame
Nov 25, 2021, 5:25pm

>255 2wonderY: Each family is it's own universe. I wouldn't think she was so much wrong as listening to a different drummer and you were lucky in your family, whereas dismissive and hostile, while not the only notes I'm familiar with, weren't the harshest either.

2572wonderY
Nov 25, 2021, 6:06pm

>256 quondame: True. But this is billed as a comedy. I just felt sorry for her.

2582wonderY
Nov 25, 2021, 6:55pm

Geniuses at War - 120 has only six chapters. It is about the code-breaking efforts at Bletchley Park during WW2.

The GC&CS team of codebreakers included Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, Hugh Alexander, Bill Tutte, and Stuart Milner-Barry.

I may have missed some of the story (audio and in the house), but it seemed to focus most on Turing and Max Newman. Gosh, I’d love to see video of them creating the machines.

2592wonderY
Nov 29, 2021, 10:22pm

I might not have tried the audio if I’d known it was a Harlequin, but it had a bit more substance than I would have supposed. Radar Girls - 121 is set in Hawaii, but not the main island, during WW2.

2602wonderY
Dec 3, 2021, 11:55am

You Can’t Be Serious - 122, by Kal Penn. (Don’t know why it isn’t touchstoning.) Entertaining enough that I will check out his film work. I didn’t know who he was, as I don’t watch TV or follow current films.
It contrasts greatly with another Hollywood memoir I’m also listening to. Will Smith’s book is much heavier, as he digs deep into the people and forces that molded him.

261MarthaJeanne
Edited: Dec 3, 2021, 12:11pm

You Can’t Be Serious No idea why it isn't working properly, but I used the work around.

2622wonderY
Dec 3, 2021, 12:52pm

>261 MarthaJeanne: Thanks! I’m just lazy on the phone.

2632wonderY
Dec 3, 2021, 11:56pm

The Last Days - 123 Is the sequel to Peeps, which I thought was a good and interesting story. Peeps refers to a medical pathogen that infects in waves throughout history, creating vampires. Not happy vampires, really sick ones. The Last Days introduces a group of young musicians, half of them infected. Turns out their fever influenced music is just what the world needs.
Odd to read about a fictional pandemic that nearly takes down civilization this year. I hear the absolute craziness on the news every day.
I had to force myself to finish it, and it goes on the discard pile.

2642wonderY
Edited: Dec 6, 2021, 11:44am

A Man With One of Those Faces - 124 is brilliant. Not the plot, but the characters. Until the last chapter or so, each person we meet is a character you’d be willing to follow off to their own stories. Unique, well rounded, interesting, usually quirky. The last Irish storyteller I found this compelling is Donn Byrne. Oh, and is Diane Duane Irish? I know she lives there.

All vivid character makers.

265fuzzi
Dec 6, 2021, 7:38am

Delurking to let you know I'm still here, and reading :)

2662wonderY
Edited: Dec 10, 2021, 9:33am

I’m about half way through Will Smith’s memoir, Will - 125. Some reviewers say it’s self-serving and timed to launch another project. But I’m finding it particularly honest and thoughtful and it’s not a quick write. It makes me like the person more, though I’d like to slap him upside the head several times already. He will probably read it in a couple of decades and be embarrassed by his blindness in several areas. His complex ties to his father and the pure relationship with his GiGi stand out.
He narrates the audiobook. Always have loved his voice.

2672wonderY
Dec 12, 2021, 7:36pm

Perfect timing for the season, Lady Osbaldestone’s Plum Puddings - 126 arrived in my queue. Sadly, the story focus has shifted subtly away from the children in this episode. There is a mystery to solve, but they literally just end up falling into the solution. The romance is not as satisfying as in the first two books. Despite those criticisms, it’s nice to spend some of the holiday in their company.

2682wonderY
Dec 23, 2021, 12:10pm

This has not been a week for any reading. Playing with T, doing laundry, washing dishes and being a sounding board for daughter whenever we’re not wretched with the intestinal flu.
I got Rose out the door today with a gentle coax. She’s got to organize for next semester and will feel better this coming week, knowing that it’s done.

2692wonderY
Dec 24, 2021, 9:00am

I’m going to let The Book of the Dun Cow expire from my audio books list. I read it decades ago and recall it with fondness, but I’m in a different place now and don’t need to revisit it.

2702wonderY
Dec 27, 2021, 1:46am

Quickly abandoned The Guncle and The Beauty in Breaking. Couldn’t stand either’s tone or attitude. Also quit Fairest, possibly for the same reasons, but that was last week and I can’t remember.

Tried again with Assassin’s Apprentice, and got beyond 80% and acknowledging defeat.

Moving quickly through A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor - 127. Cringing at about 85% where they try to take down the corporation with no real tools. We shall see….

2712wonderY
Dec 27, 2021, 11:46am

>270 2wonderY: Well! That was interesting; and a good twist. Green uses a fictional virtual reality platform to talk about the issues of social media, it’s monopoly, intent, uses, addictions, algorithms, etc. The resolution was unexpected. I will have to gather up the few titles I have read concerning virtual reality.
I especially appreciated the recorded conversation between the author and Cory Doctorow. Worth listening to about the state of social media, even if you haven’t read the book.

2722wonderY
Dec 27, 2021, 2:09pm

>33 YouKneeK: Thirty-five hours! That’s the investment for Ship of Magic. Listening to a sample…

2732wonderY
Dec 28, 2021, 2:35pm

I’m reading a book! No, a real book, not an audiobook. Words on the page. Well, okay, words on a screen. But I have to pause. The iPad keeps dropping charge even while plugged in and showing that it is charging.
I like the screen size and resultant print size.

It’s been a while.

274fuzzi
Dec 28, 2021, 9:15pm

>273 2wonderY: woo!

I took off from work this week, but instead of reading I've been doing chores that my dh can't any longer. I reattached an outside closet door's lower hinge, stained half of our shed (ran out of stain, oops!), installed hardware to hang gardening tools inside the shed, and dismantled two wooden gates that were rotting away. Whew.

I cannot tell a lie, I did most of the work with my handy dandy Milwaukee cordless drill! 😁

2752wonderY
Dec 28, 2021, 9:18pm

>274 fuzzi: Did you find that drill under the Christmas tree?

276fuzzi
Dec 28, 2021, 9:21pm

>275 2wonderY: nope, it was a gift to myself earlier this year. I got tired of needing a drill but discovering that my dh's was misplaced or its battery was dead.

277quondame
Dec 29, 2021, 1:11am

>276 fuzzi: Shortly before we moved into this house I purchased a distinctive set of screwdrivers and told my husband he was absolutely not allowed to use them. It didn't last, but was good for a few years.

278MarthaJeanne
Edited: Dec 29, 2021, 3:59am

Humpf. I bought a drill years ago because my husband's was too heavy for me. 'Why are you wasting money on a drill when we already have a better, heavy duty one?' Somehow it has ended up in the general tool area. Guess which one he usually uses.

And guess who can't find the bits she needs if she wants to use it.

I have to admit, he is home a lot more, so I usually let him do any drilling that comes up now.

2792wonderY
Dec 29, 2021, 7:26pm

Persistence is rewarded. I’ve been holding on to Wen Spencer’s Tinker - 128 for the better part of a year, ordering the ebook from the library every so often. I’m sure I heard about it from the Green Dragon crew. I finally mastered the iPad enough to read the dang thing. It’s such a fun tale, I went ahead and bought the paperback too; even though I’m reading less print books nowadays. It is set in Pittsburgh, with an overlay of Elfhome. I grew up in the Pittsburgh area. Tinker is my kind of heroine, in grease and steel toed boots. Loved it.

280quondame
Dec 29, 2021, 8:39pm

>279 2wonderY: I've been enjoying Wen Spencer for over a decade. Tinker is so much fun and must be more so for someone who knows the Pittsburgh area. The Pittsburgh Backyard and Garden (PB&G) antics are hilarious.

2812wonderY
Dec 29, 2021, 9:22pm

I thought you were referring to the oni chase in this book; but I see I must order several more books!
Done!

I love SFF with heroes in unlikely careers. Have you read the Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse series?

2822wonderY
Dec 29, 2021, 9:27pm

Tossing back The Adventures of Isabel. Does not appeal.

283quondame
Dec 30, 2021, 1:33am

>281 2wonderY: No to Janitors. But I might if you recommend it, particularly if you vouch for its humor. Post-apocalypse is usually an auto-avoid for me without an author I trust or other recommending aspects.

2842wonderY
Dec 30, 2021, 6:58am

>283 quondame: These are ship-board janitors working for alien species. The post-apocalypse angle comes home in book 3, but then there are librarians! Yes, I vouch for its humor and it’s creativity.

285fuzzi
Dec 30, 2021, 6:57pm

>277 quondame: love it. My dh is better at not taking my tools, but still forgets sometimes.

2862wonderY
Edited: Dec 31, 2021, 5:08pm

I might as well reach for a round number. By the end of the day, I will finish Honor Bound -129 and Letters to a Young Writer. I borrowed the second because I really wanted to read a different Irish writer, but the libraries are deficient. Huh? Which Irish writer? Caimh McDonnell.

2872wonderY
Dec 31, 2021, 5:13pm

I see that as far as numbers go, this has been my average for the last several years. I’m surprised I have maintained that, what with switching mostly to audio books.
I’ve already listed my 5 best reads in the general thread in Talk.

288lesmel
Jan 5, 2022, 11:20pm

>286 2wonderY: How did you like Honor Bound?

289Sakerfalcon
Jan 6, 2022, 7:55am

>271 2wonderY: I really enjoyed A beautifully foolish endeavor too. It was clever but not obnoxiously so.

2902wonderY
Jan 6, 2022, 10:32am

>288 lesmel: I gave up at about 85%. I do like the characters and the situations, but she could use a more vigorous editor. The emotions scenes got really repetitive. If I had the print book, I’d probably have skimmed through those, but that’s hard to do in audio.

Listening to a real winner at present - Andy Weir’s new book.
This topic was continued by Ruth continues in 2022.