Amber's (scaifea's) Thread #19

This is a continuation of the topic Amber's (scaifea's) Thread #18.

Talk75 Books Challenge for 2022

Join LibraryThing to post.

Amber's (scaifea's) Thread #19

Dec 1, 2022, 5:01pm

Hey, everybody!

I'm Amber, a one-time Classics professor, turned stay-at-home parent/lady of leisure, turned part-time library assistant, turned once again Classics professor, and turned librarian again. I spend my free time sewing, writing, knitting, baking, and, of course, reading.

My reading life is happily governed by lists, which means that I read a healthy variety of things across various genres.

I'm 47 going on 12 and live in Ohio with my husband, Tomm; our son, Charlie; Mario, the Golden Retriever; and the newest addition to the family: Agent Fitzsimmons, the Border Collie.

The haircut isn't all that new anymore, but, well, here I am:

Favorite Books from 2021
Spinning Silver
Far Away Across the Sea
The Book Thief
Return of the Thief
Mister Impossible
Something Wicked This Way Comes
The House in the Cerulean Sea
Under the Whispering Door

Edited: Jan 2, 1:01pm

What I'm Reading Now:
-Les Miserables (books by year - 1862)
-The Secret Life of Bees (books I'm reading with my friend, Rob)
-When He Was Wicked (romance)
-Killer Research (mystery)
-Jacquard's Web (wishlist book)
-A Court of Silver Flames (a Beauty & the Beast retelling)
-My Hero Academia vol 7 (manga)
-The Devotion of Suspect X (audiobook)
-A Face for Picasso (Schneider Award)
-Metamorphoses (family bedtime read-aloud)

Dec 1, 2022, 5:01pm

The five-ish or so books I have going at once and the On Deck books nearly all come from the following categories and lists:

1. A book from the 100 Banned Books book (at least currently. As soon as I finish this list, I'll replace it with another, and oh, I've got tons of lists).

2. 13 years ago I started working my way through a handful of awards lists for children's books. I've finished a fair few of those, but I'm still working through the 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Die list, and I try to stay up to date with several of the YALSA awards each year.

3. A book from the Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List, in chronological order.

4. A list I'm working through together with my best friend, Rob: The Hugo/Nebula/WFA/Bram Stoker (and other) lists (combined, in chronological order)

5. For this category, I cycle through 9 different stacks:
a. Agatha Christie's bibliography (in chronological order)
b. Stephen Fry's bibliography (in chronological order)
c. John Boyne bibliography (in chronological order, sort of)
d. Neil Gaiman's bibliography (in some order other than chronological (don't
e. Christopher Moore's bibliography (in chronological order)
f. Maggie Stiefvater's bibliography (in chronological order)
g. The NEH Timeless Classics list
h. The National Book Award list (in alpha order by title)
i. The Pulitzer list (in alpha order by author)

6. An unread book from my shelves.

7. A book from my Read Soon! shelves.

8. A book on Buddhism or from the Dalai Lama's bibliography.

9. Book-a-year challenge: A few years ago, along with a few others in this group (*cough* Paul *cough*), I made a year-by-year list to see how far I could go back with consecutive reads. I've since been trying to fill in the gap years.

10. A cozy mystery.

11. A full-on re-read through Shakespeare's stuff.

12. A read-aloud-to-Charlie-at-bedtime book (or two).

13. An audio book, which I listen to as I knit/sew/otherwise craft/drive.

14. A romance novel.

15. A book from my wishlist (it's *so* long).

16. This slot is reserved for books that just grab me and shout that they need to be read Right Now.

Edited: Jan 2, 1:02pm

Books Read

1. The Cave Children (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10
2. Conan the Barbarian (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 7/10
3. Beauties, Beasts, and Enchantment (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 8/10
4. The Paradise War (audiobook/Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 7/10
5. What Fresh Hell Is This? (impulse read) - 8/10
6. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (I reread this one with Charlie, who's reading it for his ELA class) - 8/10
7. The Hidden Face of Eve (100 Banned Books) - 7/10
8. Guilty Pleasures (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 7/10
9. Cue for Treason (1001 Children's Books) - 9/10
10. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (books I'm reading with my friend, Rob) - 9/10
11. Metropolis (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10
12. Timescape (Nebula Award) - 6/10
13. A Fatal Grace (mysteries) - 9/10
14. A Loyal Character Dancer (mysteries) - 8/10

15. Beetle and the Hollowbones (Stonewall Honor Book) - 8/10
16. More Fool Me (Fry bibliography) - 8/10
17. The Ghost Writer (wishlist book) - 9/10
18. Chimera (National Book Award) - 8/10
19. Cat's Cradle (unread book from my shelves) - 9/10
20. Mockingjay (reread with Charlie) - 10/10
21. Solutions and Other Problems (Alex Award) - 10/10
22. Heartsong (audiobook) - 9/10
23. Beat the Reaper (an unread book from my shelves) - 10/10
24. One More Thing (a book from my Read Soon! shelves) - 8/10
25. Darius the Great Deserves Better (Stonewall Honor Book) - 9/10
26. In the Woods (mysteries) - 9/10
27. The Cloven Viscount (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10
28. Hyperbole and a Half (just because) - 10/10

29. This Book Is Gay (impulse read) - 9/10
30. Brothersong (audiobook) - 9/10
31. Into the Land of the Unicorns (audiobook) - 7/10
32. We Ride Upon Sticks (Alex Award) - 10/10
33. Hitting the Books (mystery) - 8/10
34. Beyond the Pawpaw Trees (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 7/10
35. A Court of Thorns and Roses (B&B retelling) - 9/10
36. The Black Gryphon (audiobook) - 9/10
37. Stradivari's Genius (wishlist) - 7/10
38. The Last Unicorn (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 8/10
39. The Prestige (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 10/10
40. The Portrait of a Lady (books I'm reading with my friend, Rob) - 7/10

41. The Last Cuentista (Newbery Medal) - 9/10
42. Grendel (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 6/10
43. First Test (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 8/10
44. Fahrenheit 451 (audiobook) - 10/10
45. Changing Planes (audiobook) - 7/10
46. Gifts (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 9/10
47. Escape from Warsaw (1001 Children's Books) - 9/10
48. Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio (Alex Award) - 8/10
49. Peeps (audiobook) - 9/10
50. Red, White, and Whole (Newbery Honor Book) - 8/10
51. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (mysteries) - 9/10
52. Waiting for the Flood (Read Soon! shelves) - 9/10
53. Moon Called (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List/audiobook) - 9/10
54. The World of Tibetan Buddhism (Buddhist reading list) - 8/10

55. The Raven Boys (family bedtime read-aloud) - 10/10
56. Wicked Lovely (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books/audiobook) - 9/10
57. The Shape of Water (mystery) - 6/10
58. Ink Exchange (audiobook/series read) - 9/10
59. The Kids Are Gonna Ask (Alex Award) - 8/10
60. A Snake Falls to Earth (Newbery Honor Book) - 6/10
61. My Hero Academia Vol. 1 (manga) - 9/10
62. The Junior Officers' Reading Club (unread book from my shelves) - 7/10
63. Fragile Eternity (audiobook) - 7/10
64. The Book of the Dun Cow (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 4/10

65. Murder Is Easy (Christie bibliography/audiobook) - 8/10
66. The Ogress and the Orphans (impulse library shelf grab) - 10/10
67. They Do It with Mirrors (Christie bibliography/audiobook) - 8/10
68. A Caribbean Mystery (Christie bibliography/audiobook) - 8/10
69. Friedrich (1001 Children's Books list) - 7/10
70. A Night to Remember (NEH list) - 8/10
71. My Hero Academia Volume 2 (manga) - 9/10
72. The Member of the Wedding (NEH list) - 8/10
73. Love in Focus (manga) - 9/10
74. Up from Slavery (NEH list/audiobook) - 8/10
75. Ethan Frome (NEH list/audiobook) - 8/10
76. A Court of Mist and Fury (B&B retelling series) - 9/10
77. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (mystery) - 9/10
78. The Awakening (NEH list/audiobook) - 8/10
79. Veil of Lies (mystery) - 8/10
80. Fathers and Sons (NEH list/audiobook) - 8/10

81. The Greek Coffin Mystery (mysteries) - 9/10
82. A Handful of Dust (NEH list/audiobook) - 9/10
83. An Offer from a Gentleman (romance) - 9/10
84. A Kind of Spark (Schneider Honor Book/audiobook) - 9/10
85. A Brief History of TIme (books I'm reading with my friend, Rob) - 9/10
86. Kepler's Witch (wishlist) - 6/10
87. Titan (Locus SF Award) - 8/10
88. For Real (romance) - 9/10
89. Word to the Wise (mystery) - 9/10
90. A Court of Wings and Ruin (B&B retelling series) - 9/10
91. Too Bright to See (Newbery Honor Book) - 6/10
92. Dumb Witness (Christie Bibliography) - 8/10
93. Timaeus (a reread for a summer library challenge bingo category) - 7/10
94. Paco's Story (NBA list + audiobook) - 9/10
95. Atonement (audiobook) - 9/10
96. Deathnote 1 (manga) - 9/10

97. Sing, Unburied, Sing (NBA list + audiobook) - 9/10
98. My Hero Academia Vol. 3 (manga) - 9/10
99. Trust Exercise (NBA list + audiobook) - 9/10
100. Flambards (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10
101. Heathen vol 1 (impulse library checkout) - 9/10
102. The Keepers of the House (Pulitzer list + audiobook) - 9/10
103. Amal Unbound (audiobook) - 9/10
104. Clean Getaway (audiobook) - 8/10
105. Neuromancer (Nebula Award) - 6/10
106. Magician Apprentice (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books list) - 8/10
107. Three Bags Full (wishlist) - 6/10
108. Death Note vol 2 (manga) - 9/10
109. Mansfield Park (an unread book from my shelves) - 7/10
110. The Magic Mountain (books I'm reading with my friend, Rob) - 7/10
111. A Good Kind of Trouble (audiobook) - 8/10
112. Women: The National Geographic Image Collection (impulse library checkout) - 9/10

113. Lalani of the Distant Sea (audiobook) - 8/10
114. A Court of Frost and Starlight (B&B retelling) - 9/10
115. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10
116. Romancing Mister Bridgerton (romance) - 9/10
117. Dragon Hoops (Printz Honor Book) - 8/10
118. The Line Tender (audiobook) - 8/10
119. Heathen vol 2 (graphic novel) - 9/10
120. Heartstopper vol 1 (graphic novel) - 9/10
121. My Hero Academia vol 4 (manga) - 9/10
122. The Parker Inheritance (audiobook) - 8/10
123. Heartstoppers vol. 2 (graphic novel) - 9/10
124. Vanished Smile (audiobook) - 8/10
125. The First Books of Swords (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 8/10
126. Proxy (audiobook) - 8/10
127. The Edge of the Cloud (1001 Children's Books) - 7/10
128. Life As We Knew It (audiobook) - 8/10
129. Killing Trail (mystery) - 8/10

130. Death Note volume 3 (manga) - 9/10
131. Under the Never Sky (audiobook) - 8/10
132. Legend (audiobook) - 8/10
133. Heartstopper vol. 3 (graphic novel) - 9/10
134. Hollow (graphic novel) - 9/10
135. The Belles (audiobook) - 8/10
136. My Hero Academia vol 5 (manga) - 9/10
137. Assaulted Caramel (mystery) - 8/10
138. Hot British Boyfriend (romance) - 7/10
139. Gearbreakers (audiobook) - 8/10
140. The Tea Dragon Society (impulse library checkout) - 9/10
141. The Infinity Concerto (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 7/10
142. The Summer Prince (audiobook) - 8/10
143. V for Vendetta (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 9/10
144. Blasphemy (audiobook) - 8/10
145. The Serpent (audiobook) - 9/10
146. Assassination Classroom vol 1 (manga) - 8/10
147. Go Ask Alice (100 Banned Books/audiobook) - 4/10
148. Lost Horizon (NEH list/audiobook) - 7/10

149. Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness (Read Soon! Shelves/audiobook) - 8/10
150. To Sir Phillip, with Love (romance) - 9/10
151. Graceling (audiobook) - 8/10
152. The Words in My Hands (Schneider Award) - 9/10
153. Alice I Have Been (audiobook) - 9/10
154. The Unspoken Name (audiobook) - 7/10
155. Four Ways to Forgiveness (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 6/10
156. To Love Jason Thorne (audiobook) - 8/10
157. Date Me, Bryson Keller (audiobook) - 9/10
158. A Christmas Memory, One Christmas, The Thanksgiving Visitor (holiday read) - 10/10
159. Crooked Letter Crooked Letter (audiobook) - 9/10
160. The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden (impulse library checkout) - 8/10

161. Stay Gold (audiobook) - 9/10
162. The Little Stranger (mystery) - 9/10
163. The Linguist and the Emperor (wishlist) - 7/10
164. Spycatcher (100 Banned Books) - 7/10
165. 100 Banned Books (100 Banned Books) - 8/10
166. Last Christmas in Paris (audiobook) - 9/10
167. My Hero Academia 6 (manga) - 9/10
168. Hercule Poirot's Christmas (audiobook) - 8/10
169. If You Come Softly (audiobook) - 9/10
170. Lethal Licorice (mystery) - 8/10
171. Cemetery Boys (Read Soon! shelves) - 9/10
172. After the First Death (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10
173. One for the Books (mystery) - 8/10
174. The Sound of Stars (audiobook) - 7/10
175. Assassination Classroom vol 2 (manga) - 8/10
176. New York (audiobook) - 9/10
177. The Plot (audiobook) - 9/10

Edited: Dec 1, 2022, 5:11pm

Mario with a holiday treat:

Simmons with her BFF:

And the coolest sax player in town:

Dec 1, 2022, 5:03pm

Dec 1, 2022, 5:06pm

Happy new thread, Amber!

>5 scaifea: I will be back tomorrow, to see the pictures!

Dec 1, 2022, 5:12pm

>6 scaifea: You're so fast, Anita! And thanks!

Dec 1, 2022, 5:37pm

Happy new one, Amber.

Your cool saxophonist is growing up so fast. How time flies doesn't it?

Dec 1, 2022, 6:13pm

Happy new one, Amber. Love the photos as ever!

Dec 1, 2022, 6:44pm

>9 PaulCranswick: Hi, Paul - it's *so* fast, isn't it? It's a lot of fun watching them grow up, though.

Dec 1, 2022, 6:44pm

>10 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky!

Dec 1, 2022, 7:04pm

>11 scaifea: Kyran is studying in London and Belle & Yasmyne are here with me. We always take dinner out together on Sunday and I remember thinking on Sunday whilst we were enjoying a Korean feast, "you always love your kids but isn't it a real privilege when you really like them as individuals too?" I am sure you have the same relationship with Charlie and it is a blessing indeed.

Edited: Dec 1, 2022, 7:06pm

Welp, I had reviews all typed up for these and then Word went Bloop. Gah.

159. Crooked Letter Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (audiobook) - 9/10
A little darker than my usual fare, but I *loved* it. Great characters and excellent pacing.

160. The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden by Emma Trevayne (impulse library checkout) - 8/10
Cute and fun middle grade novel about family-style grave robbers, fairies in Victorianesque London, and a boy caught in the middle.

Dec 1, 2022, 7:06pm

>13 PaulCranswick: Oh, I absolutely agree with that: I feel so lucky that we actually *like* each other and have tons of fun together!

Dec 1, 2022, 8:24pm

Happy new thread, Amber! Love the photo toppers, as always, and glad to see your latest reads were good ones.

Dec 1, 2022, 8:27pm

Happy new thread Amber!

Dec 1, 2022, 8:54pm

happy new one!

Dec 2, 2022, 2:43am

>5 scaifea: I love how Mario looks, like she is telling she won't give that treat back to you :-)
Simmons enthousiasm is clear, even with one visible eye.

And you are completely right about Charlie.

>8 scaifea: I was making my last round before bedtime, and noticed your new thread.

Dec 2, 2022, 3:38am

Happy new thread.
I really dislike it when all that work vanishes into the ether, never to be seen again. Sorry your reviews did that vanishing trick.

Dec 2, 2022, 7:11am

>19 FAMeulstee: Mario was being hilarious with that treat, just sitting there holding it in her mouth and staring at me for the longest time. So silly, that one. And yes! Simmons just never stops wanting to play with the ball.

I may be a little biased, but I think Charlie looks so cool in that uniform!

Dec 2, 2022, 7:12am

>20 Helenliz: Well, I mean, it's my own fault for not saving it. Lesson (probably not) learned.

Dec 2, 2022, 7:15am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working 9:30-3 and then maybe I'll do some crafting. We'll see. Frozen Friday dinner!

On the Reading Front:
The Little Stranger is coming along nicely, and I started After the First Death yesterday, plus listened to more Stay Gold.

The Crafting Report:
I made some progress on Charlie's present, but I didn't try restarting the niece's doll just yet.

What We're Watching:
Some West Wing and then we finished up Bee & Puppycat.

Dec 2, 2022, 7:18am

This user has been removed as spam.

Dec 2, 2022, 8:07am

Happy Friday, Amber! Happy New Thread! Have a great weekend, my friend.

Dec 2, 2022, 8:26am

Happy new thread, Amber.

Dec 2, 2022, 8:42am

>26 msf59: >27 katiekrug: Thanks, folks!!

Dec 2, 2022, 8:43am

>5 scaifea: At first glance, I thought Mario was doing her Groucho Marx impression!

Dec 2, 2022, 11:31am

>29 rosalita: *snork!* We do sometimes put her shed hair on her eyes for eyebrows...

Dec 2, 2022, 12:06pm

Happy new one, Amber.

Dec 2, 2022, 3:31pm

Dec 3, 2022, 12:34am

Happy new thread Amber.

Dec 3, 2022, 10:58am

Happy new thread!

Dec 3, 2022, 11:44am

Happy new thread, Amber! Love your doggo photos as always.

Dec 3, 2022, 5:03pm

Happy new thread!

Dec 4, 2022, 9:07am

Thanks, all!!

Dec 4, 2022, 9:12am

Yesterday was bananas. Charlie had Honor Band rehearsal for most of the day, then the concert at 3:30, then we had to hustle in the car to get back here for the Santa Parade. Both were fantastic, though!

On the Agenda for Today:
Laundry, baking (pumpkin pie), brushing the dogs (Mario in particular is a hot mess right now), Christmas crafting. A bbq beef and rice casserole for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I started listening to Atlantic yesterday in the car, but no time for any print reading.

The Crafting Report:
Charlie's gift is coming along nicely! Today I'll work on finishing up the gifts for my colleagues, I think.

What We're Watching:
The latest My Hero Academia, and then Shaun the Sheep Christmas episodes. Friday night we watched Spirited (the new Reynolds & Ferrell movie) and it was really good! Recommended.

Dec 4, 2022, 9:24am

I've been wondering if 'Spirited' was any good. I'll check it out!

Have a good Sunday, Amber.

Dec 4, 2022, 9:36am

I haven't posted on your thread in ages, but I've been lurking so just thought I'd say hi.

Hi. 😃

Dec 4, 2022, 3:53pm

>39 katiekrug: It's a fun riff on A Christmas Carol, and it's a musical. The lyrics are a little dopey, but they go all out on the choreography, and Ryan and Will are great together. It's not high cinema, but it's a hoot.

Dec 4, 2022, 3:53pm

>40 lauralkeet: Hi, Laura! I mostly lurk over on your thread, too, these days, so no worries!

Dec 5, 2022, 6:41am

On the Agenda for Today:
It's a Parton shift day and it'll be a busy one as we get the library decorated and ready for the Holiday Bash this evening. I won't be working during the actual party, but I think we'll probably walk back up to the library after dinner because there will be actual like reindeer and Tomm loves 'em. Corn Chowder for dinner tonight, I think.

On the Reading Front:
Still no print reading accomplished (I am SO far behind on my challenges), but I did listen to more Atlantic, which is good.

The Crafting Report:
I also didn't get much done in this category yesterday, either. Just a little work on the niece's doll. Gah.

What We're Watching:
We finished Death Note, which is intense but so, so good. Then we watched Down with Love, which is for some reason a holiday movie for us. Charlie loves it, too.

Dec 5, 2022, 6:43am

This user has been removed as spam.

Dec 5, 2022, 12:13pm

>43 scaifea: Yay for Down with Love!

Dec 5, 2022, 4:44pm

Hi Amber my dear, Happy New Thread dear friend.

Dec 6, 2022, 5:58am

Dec 6, 2022, 5:58am

>46 johnsimpson: Thanks, John!!

Dec 6, 2022, 6:08am

On the Agenda for Today:

I'm working 12-8 today, and this morning I'll try to do some crafting.

Yesterday at work was busy getting everything ready for the holiday party. I created some obstacle courses in the children's section stacks, and I think they turned out pretty nicely (I made the giant candy canes and the xmas lights with colored masking tape):

We even had real live reindeer! Forget the kiddos, we were all *so* excited when they pulled up and started unloading. I mean - REINDEER! So cool:

On the Reading Front:
Finally I found a bit of reading time yesterday and managed a few pages in The Little Stranger. Still working on Atlantic as my audio.

The Crafting Report:
I'm counting those obstacle courses as my crafting for the day...

What We're Watching:
A Very Merry Muppet Christmas

Dec 6, 2022, 6:11am

So I don't usually share my Wordle results, but I had to today because it *really* shouldn't have taken me all 6 tries to get this one...

Wordle 535 6/6


Dec 6, 2022, 7:11am

Real live reindeer?! How fun is that? I love your obstacle course too.

Dec 6, 2022, 7:12am

This user has been removed as spam.

Dec 6, 2022, 7:33am

>50 scaifea: LOLOL now I know why you said that!

Dec 6, 2022, 7:54am

>51 lauralkeet: Yes! My boss knows how to throw a party. And thanks - my candy canes are a bit wonky, but overall I'm happy with how they turned out.

>53 lauralkeet: *snork!*

Edited: Dec 6, 2022, 9:13am

161. Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith (audiobook) - 9/10
Pony is starting a new school this year in an attempt at a clean slate - a place where no one knows he's trans and he can be more than just the Trans Kid, and hopefully avoid the bullying that comes with that label. Georgia is one of the most popular girls in school and a member of the cheerleading squad, but after a bad breakup over the summer, she's ready to reevaluate what's important, even though the thought of leaving cheerleading to be a journalist for the school paper scares her. On the first day of school, these two lock eyes, feel a spark, and both lives start to change.

A loose (but clever and interesting) take on The Outsiders, with an excellent treatment of what it's like to be trans in a Texas high school, how it's great to feel ready to come out but also how it's absolutely valid not to be ready, and how even the most unlikely people can change their views. Highly recommended.

Dec 6, 2022, 9:23am

>50 scaifea: I've not wordled in a while, so had to look at Richard's thread for today's word. At which point HAhahahaha!!! Oh my, yes.

Your candy canes & lights are excellently creative. love them both.
And who can resist a reindeer.

I assume library tidying can wait until approaching 12th night.

Dec 6, 2022, 9:30am

>55 scaifea: - That one sounds excellent. I have a high school age cousin who is trans and currently having to navigate life in Texas.

Dec 6, 2022, 10:40am

>50 scaifea: LOL! I got it in 3.

Dec 6, 2022, 11:14am

>56 Helenliz: Thanks for the decoration love! I'll keep those going until they get too messy with traffic to look good anymore or until whenever the tree comes down.

Dec 6, 2022, 11:16am

>57 katiekrug: Yes! I've ordered a copy for Charlie. I've already told him about the book and I think he'll likely loan it to his BFF, who is a trans boy in his grade. The Outsiders is a common assignment in middle school ELA classes these days; I'd LOVE to see this one assigned as a companion novel. I suspect there's fat chance of that catching on is the current climate, though.

Dec 6, 2022, 11:16am

>58 laytonwoman3rd: That's just not right. *huffs*

Dec 6, 2022, 12:15pm

>50 scaifea: Lol, I had to laugh!

>55 scaifea: Ooh, I'm intrigued by this one.

Happy Tuesday, Amber!

Dec 6, 2022, 1:07pm

It was also a 6 for me today and I definitely thought of you when I got there!

So cool that you got to see real reindeer!

Dec 6, 2022, 2:57pm

Hi Amber :)
I'm sad I was gone for a bit and missed when you finished up Death Note. I'm dying to know what you thought of the ending.
I'll be honest, I thought it was genius that it was Matsuda of all people that shot Light; and all because of the comments he made about Light's late father. The joke of the series turned into it's final kill and all.
Also, I generally felt like Mellow and Near were not so great in comparison to L, your thoughts?

I def. wanna see pictures of the mini Sandman when done; I'm terrible at Amigurumi but they're so cute. Hope you had a fantastic thanksgiving!
(P.S: The decorations in the kids section are also to die for.)

Dec 6, 2022, 3:51pm

Ok, the reindeer were definitely cool!

Dec 6, 2022, 4:39pm

>62 curioussquared: Ooh, definitely give Stay Gold a shot - it's really good!

Dec 6, 2022, 4:41pm

>63 MickyFine: Yeah, I don't think it's fair that it took me 6. Rude.

And yes to the reindeer! They were a huge hit.

Dec 6, 2022, 4:44pm

>64 Ravenwoodwitch: Death Note! AAAAAHHH!!

I LOVED the ending even while still wishing L had lived and won (and then waited for Light to serve out his prison sentence so they could then be together and open a B&B). I agree that M & N weren't nearly as good, but I still enjoyed where the story went. That last episode was BANANAS. Intense, but the art was so gorgeous.

I'll share photos of little Dream when I'm done with him - and thanks for the library decoration love!

Dec 6, 2022, 4:44pm

>65 drneutron: Right?! So cool.

Dec 7, 2022, 5:47am

>50 scaifea: Of course I thought of you when I solved it, Amber.
I think you took so long because it isn't just "a word" to you.

Dec 7, 2022, 6:33am

>70 FAMeulstee: Very true, Anita! It's hard for me to remember that it's not always a proper name!

Dec 7, 2022, 6:37am

On the Agenda for Today:
I have the day off work, so I am crafting, crafting, crafting. Panic is starting to set in for real now about getting everything finished. Gah! Dahl soup for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
Another day of not cracking a print book. Yoicks. Atlantic is coming along nicely, though.

The Crafting Report:
I finished up the mug cozies for my library colleagues and made good progress on Charlie's Sandman yesterday. Here are the mugs (including some color-coordinated treats as well):

What We're Watching:
The Best of SNL Christmas Skits. Too funny.

Dec 7, 2022, 7:35am

>72 scaifea: I've already commented that I love the cozies, but I just have to mention that I absolutely love the colour coordination!

Dec 7, 2022, 8:24am

>73 PawsforThought: Thanks! I'm kind of proud of myself for also thinking to buy color-coordinating chocolates, too...

Dec 7, 2022, 12:23pm

Live reindeer? Wow!

I love the mug cozies, too.

Dec 7, 2022, 12:43pm

Very fun (and useful) gifts!!

Dec 7, 2022, 1:36pm

>72 scaifea: I feel your panic; the Christmas crafting crunch is real.

But those cozies are the absolute best. I'm gonna look up a pattern for one, I could make a bunch from my scrap yarns.

Dec 7, 2022, 3:03pm

Hiya, Amber.

Happy Newish Thread, Amber.

Mug cozies. What a fun idea. That’s new to me.

Good review of Stay Gold. I’ll add it to the wishlist. Right now I’m enjoying Trust, on Mark’s recommendation.

Dec 7, 2022, 3:07pm

>75 foggidawn: Yes! Clearly you need to order some reindeer for your new library...

And thanks!

Dec 7, 2022, 3:07pm

Dec 7, 2022, 3:08pm

>77 Ravenwoodwitch: It's *so* real. I've spent a good part of today crafting, but I'm still worried...

Here's the link to the free pattern I used, if you're interested, and yes, it's a great way to use up yarn!:

Dec 7, 2022, 3:08pm

>78 jnwelch: Hi, Joe! I think you'd love Stay Gold!

Dec 8, 2022, 6:00am

On the Agenda for Today:
More of the same as yesterday: as much holiday crafting as I can do. I also need to do the menu planning and prep my grocery list for tomorrow's shopping. Leftovers for dinner.

On the Reading Front:
I switched over to audio for The Little Stranger so I can maybe finish it while working on the craft projects. I may finish it today. I also read a bit of After the First Death, which I may or may not abandon. It's awfully dark.

The Crafting Report:
Good progress was made yesterday both on Charlie's present and on one of the niece's dolls. Slowly but slowly...

What We're Watching:
The first half of Arthur Christmas.

Dec 8, 2022, 10:55am

Sending all the good mojo for getting through all those holiday projects!

Also, yay for Arthur Christmas!

Dec 9, 2022, 6:11am

>84 MickyFine: It's one of our favorites! (Although last night as we were watching more of it, I noticed a slip up - when Arthur is mistaken for an alien he says he can't pay the farmer for the sign because where he comes from they don't have money, but then later when Santa has Mrs. Claus wrap his presents he says it's just checks for the boys and cash for his father. Come on, writers. That's a howler.)

Dec 9, 2022, 6:15am

On the Agenda for Today:
Grocery Shopping this morning, then more frantic crafting. I did make more good progress yesterday, so maybe I will get it all done? Maybe? Frozen Friday dinner - woot!

On the Reading Front:
I finished up The Little Stranger and The Linguist and the Emperor, and I started listening to Last Christmas in Paris. I also read a bit more of After the First Death - I'm sticking with it for now.

The Crafting Report:
I just have half of the head and the hair to finish for Charlie's Dream amigurumi, and I've almost got the body of one of the dolls for the nieces done, too. Progress is being made.

What We're Watching:
Some West Wing and more Arthur Christmas.

Dec 9, 2022, 9:37am

162. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (mystery) - 9/10
An English village doctor is called out to Hundreds Hall, a once-glamorous, now crumbling estate where his mother used to be employed as a nursemaid, to tend to a young servant girl. From that moment he becomes entangled in the affairs of the diminishing manor and its inhabitants: the widowed older mother, the spry, spinster daughter, and the son who suffers from physical and emotional trauma after the war. But there seems that there may be another resident of Hundreds, and unseen and potentially not-that-friendly one...

Very heavy gothic vibes here, and I loved it! Somewhere between mystery and horror, the story moves along at a perfect pace, and all the characters - including the estate itself - are drawn with wonderful detail.

163. The Linguist and the Emperor by Daniel Meyerson (wishlist) - 7/10
This microhistory follows the lives of Napoleon and Jean-Francois Champollion as they converge at the deciphering of the Rosetta Stone.

Sounds interesting? It did to me, too, but it sadly falls short of expectations. Poorly organized, the narrative seems to flit here and there, giving random details of both lives and often seeming to forget its purpose, since the Rosetta Stone barely makes an appearance. I mean, you'd think it would at least end with some treatment of how Napoleon and Champollion are explicitly tied to one another through the discovery of the Stone, but we don't really even get a treatment of Napoleon's men *finding* the Stone at all! Champollion's life seems interesting from what I can cobble together here, but the structure and the needed details are badly lacking. Also, points off for not understanding what a hapax legomenon is (he doesn't just use it incorrectly, he actually gives an incorrect definition). So, overall, disappointing.

164. Spycatcher by Peter Wright (100 Banned Books) - 7/10
An account of Wright's time working for MI5.

Another one that sounds interesting but wasn't. This one could be on me, though, since I just couldn't keep my thoughts on what I was reading, and not necessarily because the writing was dry (I just have trouble following spy stuff). Anyway, YMMV.

165. 100 Banned Books by Nicholas J. Karolides (100 Banned Books) - 8/10
And with Spycatcher done, I have finally finished the 100 Banned Books list!! I've been working on it for *years* and it feels really good to cross the final book off the list! WOOT!

Dec 9, 2022, 9:44am

>87 scaifea: I thought I had read The Little Stranger and I was right. I read it back in 2015 and liked it enough to look for more books by Sarah Waters, though I haven't actually read any more yet. Someday ...

Dec 9, 2022, 9:47am

>88 rosalita: I've read The Night Watch and really liked it, so I definitely want to read more of her stuff.

Dec 9, 2022, 12:06pm

I've only read Fingersmith by Waters, which I loved. I have The Little Stranger on my shelf.

Congrats on finishing the Banned Books list!

Dec 9, 2022, 12:10pm

>87 scaifea: Congratulations on finishing your banned books project! That’s a lot of reading, but slow and steady wins the race, right?!

I’ve put the book on my TBR.

Karen O

Dec 9, 2022, 12:13pm

Congrats on making it through the Banned Books list! That's awesome.

Was the West Wing Christmas episodes or just in sequence viewing for where you are in the show?

Dec 9, 2022, 12:46pm

>87 scaifea: That's pretty impressive! Any stand out good ones on the list?

I find Sarah Waters variable. I thought The Little Stranger really good, but found Fingersmith poor.

Dec 9, 2022, 12:49pm

>90 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie! It was years in the making, that one. Like, YEARS. (I think I started it in, maybe, 1998?)

I think you'd like The Little Stranger.

Dec 9, 2022, 12:49pm

>91 klobrien2: Thanks, Karen! Yes, extremely slow and perhaps not so steady, but still a win!

Dec 9, 2022, 12:50pm

>92 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky! Nope, no xmas eps last night, but just making our way through the series for the umpteenth time.

Dec 9, 2022, 1:00pm

>87 scaifea: Congrats on finishing the banned books list!!

Dec 9, 2022, 1:03pm

>97 curioussquared: Thanks, Natalie! It feels really good to have finished it finally!

Dec 9, 2022, 1:42pm

Congrats on finishing the banned books, Amber!

On the lists in >98 scaifea: I wholeheartedly agree with all the ones I’ve read (about half). All Quiet on the Western Front and Johnny Got His Gun both moved me more than books normally do. Really excellent reads.

Dec 9, 2022, 1:53pm

Nice job on getting through the banned books list :)
I'm kinda surprised to see Cujo on that list instead of Rage, when it comes to Stephen King. I haven't read it yet so I could just be missing the point, but maybe I'm missing something really bad with it.

Dec 9, 2022, 4:19pm

>100 PawsforThought: Thanks! And I agree that both of those book are incredibly moving.

Dec 9, 2022, 4:21pm

>101 Ravenwoodwitch: The mention in the blurb about Cujo that several of King's works have been banned for various reasons, so I wonder if Cujo isn't just a sort of stand-in for all of them.

Dec 9, 2022, 5:34pm

>103 scaifea: I seem to recall reading that Cujo was banned because of the "adult language" but if that was the case you'd think pretty much all of King's books would be on the list! I bet you're right that Cujo is a stand-in for the rest.

Dec 9, 2022, 7:12pm

It was very facinorious of you to make me go quetrist to locate the definition of hapax legomenon.

I rather thought it sounded like a Hogwart's spell that was a minor version of Legilimens. But instead of allowing the caster to invade the mind of the target, it allows a person to force the target to step on the nearest Lego barefooted. (Ouch!)

Thankfully, it was nothing of the sort and I could go back to Googlewhacking.

Dec 10, 2022, 6:58am

>104 rosalita: Yeah, the language and some sexual situations, I think. So, yeah, pretty much all King books.

Dec 10, 2022, 6:59am

Dec 10, 2022, 7:02am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working 9:30-3, then I'll be crafting more. Progress is still being made... Tomm's in charge of dinner, which will be brats, I think.

On the Reading Front:
I finished My Hero Academia vol 6 yesterday, read a bit of A Court of Silver Flames, finished Last Christmas in Paris, and started listening to Hercule Poirot's Christmas.

The Crafting Report:
I just have the facial details and the hair left to make for Charlie's Dream, and I'm nearly done with the body of the first niece doll.

What We're Watching:
We finished Arthur Christmas and watched The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.

Dec 11, 2022, 8:52am

On the Agenda for Today:
Crafting, crafting, crafting. And then I'll run out to pick up pizza for our traditional watching of the Mouse Christmas episode and eating of the Pizza Hut pizza.

On the Reading Front:
I made some progress with A Court of Silver Flames, After the First Death, and Hercule Poirot's Christmas.

The Crafting Report:
Not much progress yesterday because I was busy the entire time at work.

What We're Watching:
Some West Wing, the latest My Hero Academia episode, and the Christmas episode of Penguins of Madagascar.

Dec 11, 2022, 12:02pm

166. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor (audiobook) - 9/10
A novel in letters between a brother and sister, the sister and the brother's best friend, the sister and her best friend, among others. It tells the story of how their lives and relationships changed during the first world war.

I *love* epistolary novels, and this one doesn't disappoint. The romance is nicely balanced and interwoven with the background of the war and also the happenings at home in and around London. I can also say that the audio version is wonderfully done.

167. My Hero Academia 6 by kohei Horikoshi (manga) - 9/10
Another excellent installment in the manga. I adore it.

Dec 11, 2022, 5:22pm

>110 scaifea: Yeah, but academia?! 😂

Edited: Dec 11, 2022, 7:58pm

>110 scaifea: This is your fault.

Dec 12, 2022, 5:49am

>111 drneutron: They keep using that word. I don't think it means what they think it means.

Dec 12, 2022, 5:49am

>112 Morphidae: You're welcome!! Tell me what you think when you finish it!

Dec 12, 2022, 5:56am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working 12-8, and before I go I'll - you guessed it - Christmas craft.

On the Reading Front:
I finished Hercule Poirot's Christmas and started listening to If You Come Softly. I also read a bit of One for the Books and some After the First Death.

The Crafting Report:
I worked on Niece #1's crocheted doll and started on the hat/scarf/mittens sets for both nieces. I *need* to get Charlie's Dream finished SOON, so I'll be focussing on that today.

What We're Watching:
More West Wing and then If You Give a Mouse a Christmas Cookie.

Dec 12, 2022, 9:01am

I didn't realize there's a Christmas version of Mouse-Cookie. I will have to check it out!

Dec 12, 2022, 11:11am

>116 lauralkeet: There's an entire series on Amazon, including Halloween and Valentine's Day episodes, and the series is excellent!

Dec 12, 2022, 3:48pm

>113 scaifea: *snort* Gotta love a Princess Bride reference

Annnnd now I may also have to check out the manga series and figure out how they're using it hahaha. Good luck with all the crafting and such!

Edited: Dec 13, 2022, 6:10am

>118 bell7: Ha! It honestly makes sense, mostly - the main characters go to a high school for heroes. So, I assume academia = high school here.

Dec 13, 2022, 6:13am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working the Dolly shift, so not much else will get done. Beef Vegetable Soup for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I listened to some If you Come Softly and read a bit of After the First Death. Not a lot of reading time yesterday.

The Crafting Report:
I did manage to work some on Charlie's present - only the hair left to crochet and attach.

What We're Watching:
We finished up our rewatch (first time for Charlie) of Ted Lasso last night.

Dec 14, 2022, 6:08am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working 3-8 today and crafting like crazy before I go in. Only 3 days until we leave for Florida and I've done *nothing* to get ready for that. YOICKS.

On the Reading Front:
I read a bit of When He Was Wicked, a bit of After the First Death, finished listening to If You Come Softly, and started listening to Lethal Licorice.

The Crafting Report:
Not a thing got done yesterday. Ugh.

What We're Watching:

Dec 14, 2022, 6:50am

Morning Amber! I completely missed that you're going to Florida. Is this a family thing or a band thing? Will you be spending Christmas there?

Dec 14, 2022, 7:40am

Happy Mid week!

Congrats on finishing the banned book list.

Dec 14, 2022, 8:39am

>122 lauralkeet: Morning, Laura! The band is performing at Disney World and Cocoa Beach, and Tomm and I are going too (but not a chaperones!). We'll be gone Saturday through the 23rd, so we'll be back home for Christmas.

Dec 14, 2022, 8:39am

>123 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita!

Dec 14, 2022, 8:39am

>124 scaifea: Thanks Amber. That should be a lot of fun. Good call to go as spectators not chaperones!

Dec 14, 2022, 9:21am

Wow, Florida! I had missed that, too! Sounds like fun, but I can see how you'd be feeling a little rushed.

Dec 14, 2022, 9:43am

>126 lauralkeet: Right? I am not up to the challenge of being responsible for a group of teens in an amusement park. Nope. And this will be a chance for Tomm and I to have a vacation together just the two of us, something we've not done in *years.*

Dec 14, 2022, 9:43am

>127 foggidawn: Yeah, losing that entire week of crafting time is stressful.

Dec 14, 2022, 9:52am

>129 scaifea: Are there any projects, like crochet ones you can take with you?

I grew up in Florida and spent a lot of time in Orlando/Kissimmee. Might I suggest taking the morning or afternoon off from "touristing" every other day or so to relax in your room or under a tree (with well applied SPF 50?) Your body and mind will thank you.

Some crochet or hand work could be done then?

Dec 14, 2022, 10:13am

>130 Morphidae: We did the resting-in-the-afternoon thing when we took Charlie as a wee thing, and it was a tremendous help to everyone's sanity. I don't want to have to keep track of all the bits and bobs and odds and ends that go with crafting projects while we're there, so I'm leaving it all at home and just taking books for the trip. Besides, this is our vacation and I don't want to be stressing over crafts but relaxing with a book!

Dec 14, 2022, 10:18am

Have a great time in Florida! Are you driving or flying?

Dec 14, 2022, 10:24am

168. Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie (audiobook) - 8/10
A nasty old invalid codger with an English country estate and lots of money calls all of his children home for Christmas, not to reconcile with them before his death, but to antagonize them for his own glee. So it's no huge surprise when he winds up murdered on Christmas Eve. Poirot is on the case, and Christie fools me again. I loved it.

169. If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson (audiobook) - 9/10
A gut punch of a YA interracial love story. Woodson writes beautifully, as always, and knows how to wallop you right in the feels.

Dec 14, 2022, 10:25am

>131 scaifea: Oh, driving. I don't fly. And the kiddos are going by coach bus.

And thanks! I'm actually really looking forward to having some vacation time with Tomm. I don't think anyone here would argue that I'm not crazy about the kid, but it's been a long time since Tomm and I have had time for just the two of us like this.

Dec 14, 2022, 11:06am

>133 scaifea: I really enjoyed that Poirot, too!

>134 scaifea: I don't think I'll ever get on a plane again, honestly, for a variety of reasons. And two thumbs up for some adults-only time!

Dec 14, 2022, 11:23am

Have fun in Florida! Sounds like a great trip.

Dec 14, 2022, 1:12pm

>124 scaifea: Cocoa Beach! One of my favorite places. If you're a seafood person, there are some really great restaurants there in Port Canaveral - Fishlips or Grills are favorites of mine. Also, for the beach dive bar experience, there's the Sandbar - right on the beach, definitely not fancy. 😀

I might have spent some time there over the years... 😂

Dec 14, 2022, 1:23pm

>133 scaifea: Hercule and Christmas -- perfect for our drive south!! I ran right over and added it to my library. thanks!

Dec 14, 2022, 2:46pm

Have a fabulous time in Florida. I envy you the sunshine, but not the distance to drive to get to it.
And home in time to do Christmas.

Dec 14, 2022, 3:14pm

The trip to Florida sounds like it will be lovely. I hope the weather is good both for your drive there and back as well as for soaking up some extra vitamin D while you're there.

Dec 15, 2022, 6:33am

>137 drneutron: I'm so excited to Cocoa Beach! I've never been, and this will be Charlie's first experience of the ocean! Thanks for the recommendations!

Dec 15, 2022, 6:33am

Dec 15, 2022, 6:33am

>139 Helenliz: Thanks, Helen! Yeah, the drive isn't going to be my favorite part, but that's okay.

Dec 15, 2022, 6:34am

>140 MickyFine: Yes, fingers crossed that the weather cooperates for the drive!

Dec 15, 2022, 6:37am

On the Agenda for Today:
I need to prep my list of stuff we need for the trip and then head out to Target this morning, and then I'll be crafting. Neeeearly there with Charlie's present. Nearly.

On the Reading Front:
I read bits of Cemetery Boys and After the First Death, and listened to more Lethal Licorice.

The Crafting Report:
Sandman's hair is coming along. I'm really hoping to finish it today, but we'll see.

What We're Watching:
A Very Supernatural Christmas! I think Charlie is starting to lean toward wanting to watch SPN!! Tomm is a lost cause. Bah.

Dec 16, 2022, 6:10am

On the Agenda for Today:
Packing for Florida, making a desperate attempt at finishing up Charlie's present before we leave, and taking a break in the middle to go watch the 8th grade band give a last-day-before-break Christmas concert. Lots to do...

On the Reading Front:
I'm still working on Cemetery Boys, I finished Lethal Licorice and started listening to The Sound of Stars.

The Crafting Report:
Still frantically working on Dream's hair...

What We're Watching:
The Christmas episode of My Hero Academia and the Die Hard ep of Brooklyn 99.

Edited: Dec 16, 2022, 8:05am

>146 scaifea: Still frantically working on Dream's hair...

This is one of those lines that taken out of context is both confusing and hilarious. :-)

Congratulations on your new career as an esthetician, Amber!

Dec 16, 2022, 9:50am

>146 scaifea: Sending all the good crafting mojo!

Dec 16, 2022, 11:01am

>147 rosalita: *SNORK!* I love it.

Dec 16, 2022, 11:01am

>148 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky!

Dec 17, 2022, 8:15am

Not much time for an update this morning as we're all hurrying to get ready to go. We'll be back on the 23rd, in time to wish you all a happy Christmas. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a fantastic week!!

Dec 17, 2022, 8:20am

Safe travels!

Dec 17, 2022, 8:54am

>153 thornton37814: I hope snow doesn't delay your return.

Dec 17, 2022, 9:43am

Safe travels and have a great time in the sun!

Dec 17, 2022, 2:02pm

Have a great time!

Dec 17, 2022, 2:12pm

Have a wonderful trip!

Dec 17, 2022, 3:11pm

Have a great trip!

Dec 20, 2022, 2:48pm

Hey Amber!
I'm a bit late so I imagine you've left already (opps) but safe travel all the same! Enjoy that Florida sunshine!

Dec 23, 2022, 7:38am

Happy holidays to you and yours, Amber! Please bring back some Floridian sunshine. Safe travels!!

Dec 23, 2022, 7:38am

Hope you're having a wonderful trip, Amber!

Dec 23, 2022, 11:00am

Dec 23, 2022, 11:19am

Happy Christmas from my Christmas gnome!

Dec 23, 2022, 2:12pm

Hey everyone!

Tomm and I got in last night, but Charlie and the band are still on the road. Ugh. We're getting hourly updates and everyone's okay, but the going is really slow for them and poor Charlie is just ready to be home. Please everyone keep your fingers crossed that they get home safely through this weather!

We had a great time and excellent weather while in Florida, at least, and the band gave excellent performances on Cocoa beach and Disney World! Now, I've got some reviews to catch up on...

Dec 23, 2022, 2:31pm

Welcome home! I'm surprised the weather didn't make you turn around and immediately head south again. :)

Dec 23, 2022, 2:49pm

>164 rosalita: Ha! I love cold and snow, but I sure wish Charlie were home. Gah.

Dec 23, 2022, 3:08pm

Glad you and Tomm made it back safely and sending all the good thoughts that Charlie's bus is home quickly and safely!

Edited: Dec 23, 2022, 3:21pm

170. Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower (mystery) - 8/10
The second installment in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series, and a nice follow-up to the first one. Bailey has moved from NYC to her grandmother's small Amish town in Ohio to help with the fudge shop now that her grandfather has died, but not everyone is happy with a non-Amish woman competing in the local Amish candy competition. When one particularly vocal opponent is found dead and stuffed in the church organ, Bailey finds herself once again a murder suspect.
We meet some new characters and get to know the original crew a bit better here. I'll likely keep going with the series.

171. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas (Read Soon! shelves) - 9/10
A teen trans boy in a family of brujx who are keepers of the cemetery they live in (and its spirits) is fighting for his right to be a brujo when his cousin ends up dead and missing and Yadriel bumps into the spirit of a dead boy who also doesn't know where his body is, things get complicated...
This book is so good! Very cool storyline with a nice twist, fantastic characters, nicely spooky setting,... I LOVED it.

172. After the First Death by Robert Cormier (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10
Terrorists take over a school bus full of 5 year olds on their way to a summer camp and make demands.
Cormier is a master storyteller, but his stuff is pretty dark. This one is no exception and if you even remotely think you may be troubled by it, I'd stay clear. Excellently written, but ooof, it's not full of unicorns and rainbows.

173. One for the Books by Jenn McKinlay (mystery) - 8/10
(Spoilers ahead for the series)

Lindsay and Sully are finally getting married, but when a body is found on Sully's parents' island (where the ceremony is supposed to take place), it looks like they may have the change their nuptial plans...
Another solid entry in the series.

174. The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow (audiobook) - 7/10
Post-apocalyptic US wherein aliens have taken over and are working on a vaccine that will render humans into unthinking shells to be rented out and inhabited by the aliens'
Meh. I had trouble focusing on this one. There's a teen ace girl and an ace humanoid alien cyborg-like person, and they like each other and run off together to save the planet, I think. *shrug* I do like the ace representation, though, even if I didn't love the pacing and the plot.

Dec 23, 2022, 3:21pm

>166 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky!

Dec 23, 2022, 5:48pm

>167 scaifea: I'm actually pleased to have your spoiler for book 173. I was worried it was going to be will they? won't they? forever!

Dec 23, 2022, 6:37pm

>169 MickyFine: Oh, agreed! But now I wonder where she'll take it from here...

Dec 23, 2022, 6:49pm

Welcome back! Have fun in Cocoa Beach? I did see the Ron Jon pic on FB!

Dec 23, 2022, 9:02pm

>167 scaifea: Cemetery Boys sound interesting in so many ways!

Season's Greetings to you and yours, Amber!

Edited: Dec 24, 2022, 5:36am

Glad you had a great time, that the band played well, and that you are home. Hoping Charlie & the bus arrive safely soon.

Dec 24, 2022, 7:16am

Hi Amber! One of my New Year's Resolutions is to keep in better touch with my LT friends.

Dec 24, 2022, 8:19am

>171 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! Cocoa Beach was a blast! I posted that photo because my brother, Jim, is a huge fan of Ron Jon's and I knew he'd be jealous, and you can see by the response that he is...

>172 quondame: Thanks! You should absolutely give Cemetery Boys a go. It's fantastic. Charlie recently finished it, too, loved it, and is loaning it to his bff next!

>173 Helenliz: Thanks, Helen!

>174 karenmarie: Thanks, Karen! I've been awful at keeping up with people this year, too. We'll see how next year goes.

Dec 24, 2022, 8:20am

Welp, the band directors decided (rightly so, I think) to stay overnight in a hotel and give the road crews time to clean things up a bit. So Charlie's still not home and he's super homesick, but I'm glad they're all safe, and hopefully they'll be home this afternoon. Keep those fingers crossed for him, please!

Dec 24, 2022, 8:28am

Glad to hear Charlie and the band are safe, Amber. Fingers crossed for a safe trip home today!

Dec 24, 2022, 8:30am

Keep us updated on Charlie's return. Fingers crossed. Have a great holiday with the Boys, Amber.

Dec 24, 2022, 9:29am

>177 bell7: >178 msf59: Thanks, folks. The latest update is that they're back on the road, as of about 30 minutes ago!

Dec 24, 2022, 11:44am

Merry Christmas

Dec 24, 2022, 3:37pm

Welcome back, Amber! I hope Charlie arrives soon (if he hasn't already!).

Dec 24, 2022, 6:26pm

>180 johnsimpson: >181 curioussquared: Thanks!

The kiddo is home!!!

Happy Christmas, all!

Dec 24, 2022, 10:42pm

>182 scaifea: So glad Charlie made it back before we had to re-route Santa and the reindeer to pick him up. Merry Christmas to all at Scaife Manor.

Dec 25, 2022, 7:49am

>183 rosalita: Thanks, Julia - me, too!! Happy Christmas to you, friend!

Dec 25, 2022, 7:52am

We've opened our presents and had some breakfast (cereal for me in my new Had Hatter Tea Cups bowl!), and now we have a quiet day ahead of us and I love it. I'll probably spend some time puttering over getting my new-year reading challenges set up, and my new 75er thread put together. I hope you all have a fantastic day!

Dec 25, 2022, 4:23pm

175. Assassination Classroom vol 2 by Yusei Matsui (manga) - 8/10
The second volume in this manga series is just as hilariously weird as the first. I'm not sure where the story is going, but I can't wait to find out.

Dec 25, 2022, 8:15pm

Dec 26, 2022, 9:00am

Ah, it's that weird week of the year in which I can't ever remember which thread I'm actually on, the old one or the new-year one. Ha! Anyway.

On the Agenda for Today:
Christmas crafting. Still. I've decided not to panic, though, because I can at least get *something* done for everyone, even if it's not everything I originally wanted. So today I'll work on getting the hat/scarf/glove combos sewn for the nieces, and then if I get the dolls done too, great, but if not I'll tell them they're coming soon. *decisive head nod*

Because we got back home so close to Christmas, we had pre-ordered a full holiday meal from Bob Evans and it was amazing! They even send a container of whipped cream for the pie! And we have tons of leftovers! I'm very pleased.

Opening presents was kind of hilarious since Tomm and I didn't get each other anything before we went to Florida but instead agreed just to buy what we wanted in souvenirs to our hearts' contents and then wrap them for each other. Charlie, though, had a nice pile of surprises and he seemed pleased with what he got - lots of anime merch. All in all, a lovely day.

I'm going to make some Cinnamon Fried Chicken for dinner tonight so that, along with the xmas leftovers, we'll have plenty to eat for the rest of the week.

On the Reading Front:
I gave myself the day off crafting yesterday to enjoy setting up my new year threads and figuring out my challenge books and such - one of my favorite things! - and then I settled in for an afternoon of reading. I made good headway on Les Miserables, which I hadn't picked up in ages, and also read a bit of A Face for Picasso, which is really interesting so far. I'm still listening to New York, which is fascinating and has convinced me to read more Rutherford, for sure.

The Crafting Report:
Yeah, nothing for yesterday, but hopefully I'll have progress to report tomorrow. Did I ever share the finished Dream photos? I don't think I did. Charlie loved it and that made me very happy since it was an absolute bear to finish (the hair was ridiculous):

What We're Watching:
The Muppets' Christmas Carol. The definite version of the story, hands down.

Dec 26, 2022, 9:04am

>188 scaifea: Glad you had a good day.

What We're Watching:
The Muppets' Christmas Carol. The definite version of the story, hands down.

It completely is the best of all the adaptations, no arguments from me on that score. I hope you enjoy it.


This might be the first Christmas in years where I've not watched it. Only on Disney+ here this year so I am as miffed as a very very miffed thing.

Dec 26, 2022, 9:17am

Welcome home Amber, and a belated Merry Christmas! I'm glad you had a nice trip, that Charlie made it home safely, and you enjoyed the holiday.

We are in complete agreement re: The Muppets Christmas Carol. We had to futz around with Disney+ which didn't remember our password (and we weren't so sure either), but we got there in the end. Michael Caine is the best.

Dec 26, 2022, 9:21am

>188 scaifea: oh Dream came out great! Though I can imagine how fiddly the hair was. And agreed re: Muppet Christmas Carol.

Dec 26, 2022, 9:37am

I'm so glad you all are on the right side of history with the Muppets here! So, so good, that one.

>189 Helenliz: I'm so sorry that you missed it this year! We have Disney+ and watched it there, but we also have it on DVD.

Dec 26, 2022, 9:39am

>190 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura! Getting home before Charlie did was a good thing in a lot of ways - we were able to run out for staple groceries and such so we'd be fully supplied before he got back, for example - but it was complete agony to know that we were safe and comfortable at home and he was miserable on a bus stuck at a rest stop! *sigh*

Michael Caine is amazing. He's cast as the lead in a Muppet movie, probably told to, you know, have fun with it because it's a, um, Muppet movie, and what does he do? He plays it as serious as a heart attack and gives the greatest performance of his career. Unbelievable. Fantastic!

Dec 26, 2022, 9:40am

>191 bell7: Thanks, Mary! I'm pretty proud of him. That hair, though. To chain all those individual strands, and then coat them each with a mixture of glue and water, straighten them, let them dry, and then sew them on. Just...well, I must love that kid.

Dec 26, 2022, 11:18am

>188 scaifea: Awwww he's so adorable *puppy eyes*

Glad you made it home safe. My folks usually watch two versions of Christmas Carol every year and the muppets are always included.

Dec 26, 2022, 12:02pm

I am among the many who agree about Muppet Christmas Carol, Amber. Glad you enjoyed your rewatch. Although I have to watch it on DVD as the streaming version (last time I checked) doesn't have Belle's song and the movie is just wrong without it.

Gorgeous work on Dream. He looks fantastic. I'm considering purchasing patterns for my first amigurumi project (although when I'll tackle it, I'm not sure).

Dec 26, 2022, 12:24pm

>195 Ravenwoodwitch: Thanks! He's pretty cute, isn't he? The etsy shop had more patterns for other characters. I may make myself a Delirium since she's a favorite (I'm a huge Tori Amos fan).

And thanks for the home safe vibes - we're relieved to all be home!

Woot for MCC!!

Dec 26, 2022, 12:26pm

>196 MickyFine: I get that without the song the movie has a big of a lurch at that point, but I also am happy that it's not in there in our version. Soooo long and slow. It was always my bathroom break as a kid/teen.

Thanks for the Dream love! Ooh, what are you thinking about making?! (There are also TONS of good amigurumi pattern books out there to check out of the building you work in with, you know, all the books.)

Dec 26, 2022, 12:40pm

Adding to the Muppet Christmas Carol love :) I also watched Muppet Family Christmas for the first time this year and loved it.

>196 MickyFine: Not sure if it's the same in Canada, but here on Disney+ they added the full length version of the movie with Belle's song as part of the extras!

Dec 26, 2022, 3:29pm

>199 curioussquared: Yay for Muppets! I've never seen the family one but we do watch A Very Merry Muppet Christmas every year, too.

Dec 27, 2022, 11:05am

On the Agenda for Today:
We all went out first thing for breakfast at one of our favorite places, The Northstar Cafe, and then we poked around the shops for just a bit before coming back home. I work a weird 2.5-hour shift today (5:30-8), and until then I'll mostly be puttering, I think. I'm still feeling wrung out from the drive home, so there may be a nap in there, too. And I need to make the gloves to go with the hats and scarves for the nieces.

On the Reading Front:
I read bits of When He Was Wicked and A Face for Picasso yesterday, plus listened to more of New York.

The Crafting Report:
No photos yet, but I did finish up the hats and scarves. Photos (if I remember) once I've made the mittens, too.

What We're Watching:
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Dec 27, 2022, 6:34pm

>198 scaifea: I did end up buying the patterns (3 sets of them, technically). They're for a Nativity set and they're pretty darn cute. Because I never tackle small projects, apparently. 😆

>201 scaifea: I hope the short shift flew by!

Dec 28, 2022, 6:31am

>202 MickyFine: Cute! You'll show us when you get them finished, right?

Dec 28, 2022, 6:35am

On the Agenda for Today:
I work the 9-2 shift today and then I'll be crafting, probably. Leftovers, still, for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
Not much time for reading yesterday, but I did manage a bit of A Face for Picasso and some New York, which I'll probably finished today while packing up cargo.

The Crafting Report:
I felt kind of lousy yesterday (I may be catching Tomm's cold), so I didn't attempt any sewing (it's always a disaster when I sew while not feeling well). Instead I worked a bit more on the crochet dolls. Crocheting little fingers is The Worst.

What We're Watching:
We started watching Seinfeld with Charlie and so far he likes it. We also watched the first episode of Galavant, which I've been wanting to check out for ages, and we all really enjoyed it.

Dec 28, 2022, 11:44am

>203 scaifea: I absolutely will.

>204 scaifea: I hope you don't end up starting the new year with a cold. That would be lousy.

Also yay for Galavant! 😍

Dec 29, 2022, 8:09am

>205 MickyFine: Welp, the jury is still out on the cold; yesterday, weirdly, I felt completely fine, but I woke up this morning pretty stuffy. So, we'll see how it goes...

I've been wanting to watch Galavant for ages, and that first episode did not disappoint!

Dec 29, 2022, 8:16am

On the Agenda for Today:
Charlie wants to go to The Hot Topical for some last-minute shopping for his friends, who are all coming here on Saturday for a holiday get-together. So we'll go do that and get lunch somewhere, probably. And then this afternoon I'll keep crafting away. I also need to do the menu planning for Sunday (when the Scaife family descend upon us for our holiday gathering) and for the next week, and get my grocery list ready for tomorrow. Still with the leftovers for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I started Jacquard's Web yesterday, which seems really interesting so far, finished up New York, and started listening to The Plot.

The Crafting Report:
Two crocheted arms done, two more to go. Fingers are THE WORST.

What We're Watching:
An episode of The Rings of Power.

Edited: Dec 29, 2022, 4:27pm

176. New York by Edward Rutherfurd (audiobook) - 9/10
An historical novel that follows the life of NYC - and a handful of families living there down the generations - from the 1600s through the fall of the Twin Towers.

This is my first Rutherford novel, but it won't be my last. I loved it! The fictional families and their stories were great, and I love how he wove into their lives all kinds of historical details. The audio is wonderful, too.

Dec 29, 2022, 4:33pm

>208 scaifea: I have several on the shelf. In know I read both London & Sarum as a teenager. I remember liking both, but they were rather looong.

Dec 29, 2022, 5:06pm

>208 scaifea:, Hi Amber my dear, I love Rutherfurd's novels, i started with Sarum then London, then Russka and the last one read was New York. I am looking forward to Paris and China.

Dec 29, 2022, 5:54pm

>209 Helenliz: Yep, I think all of his stuff is pretty long.

Dec 29, 2022, 5:54pm

>210 johnsimpson: Tomm has been a big fan for years and is chuckling a little that it has taken me so long to read one of Rutherfurd's books!

Dec 30, 2022, 8:20am

Hi Amber!

Alas, it's line in the sand and onward to next year's threads, I'm afraid. One of my new year’s resolutions is to be a better LT friend.

Dec 30, 2022, 8:20am

This user has been removed as spam.

Dec 30, 2022, 8:38am

On the Agenda for Today:
Grocery shopping this morning and then cleaning this afternoon, since we have two gatherings this weekend. Blech. Frozen Friday dinner.

On the Reading Front:
I read bits of A Court of Silver Flames and A Face for Picasso, and I listened to more of The Plot.

The Crafting Report:
Nothing! I was too zonked after the shopping outing to do anything crafty yesterday. *sigh*

What We're Watching:
Some West Wing, the first episode of Schitt's Creek (I'm giving it another go), and another ep of Sandman.

Jan 2, 1:03pm

177. The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz (audiobook) - 9/10

A struggling author is teaching a creative writing seminar to stay afloat while trying to come up with a viable third novel, when an overly arrogant student waltzes into his office claiming to need no help with his project since he has a plot that can't fail to become a bestseller. Jake (the struggling writer/teacher) is annoyed and skeptical until the student tells him the plot, at which point Jake bitterly admits to himself that it does indeed seem foolproof. A few years pass and Jake has forgotten about the encounter when he finds out the student died just a couple of months after the class was over. It doesn't take him long to decide to write his own book using the plot that can't fail. And it works - he skyrockets to authorial fame with a bestseller and movie options and everything. But will he get away with it?

Ooooh, this one was so good! Multiple layers of twists here, and I didn't see any of them coming until just before they were revealed. A fun ride all the way and a great way to finish up my reading year.

Jan 2, 1:03pm

And with that, I'm all finished up here! See you over on the new year's threads!

Jan 2, 4:15pm

>216 scaifea: That sounds really good — I've put it on hold at the library.

Jan 2, 4:20pm

>218 rosalita: Woot! I hope you like it as much as I did!