LauraBrook Reads - Part 1

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LauraBrook Reads - Part 1

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1LauraBrook
Editat: des. 5, 2015, 11:07pm

Hello to friends old and new! Welcome!

I'm back again for another year in the warmest group filled with the loveliest people. :) Since last year was both a bust (life-wise) and a success (reading-wise), I'm shooting for a middle of the road goal of a double 75. 150 books should be a bit of a challenge for me, but not too much that I can't reach it.





"Reading Lady" by Niels Frederik Schiottz-Jensen, image found on wikipedia

I have a few minor bookish goals for myself this year. In no particular order:
1. No renewing library books that I haven't touched since I checked them out 3 weeks ago.
2. Read more from my own books and less from the library.
3. Get rid of as many from my shelves as comfortably possible.
4. Purchase far fewer books than I read. (This may be very tricky indeed.)

2LauraBrook
Editat: juny 3, 2015, 8:12pm

Books Read

January
1. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast, Jan 1, 240 pgs
2. The Mystery of the Blue Jar by Agatha Christie, Jan 7, ebook = 33 pgs
3. Sorcery & Cecelia by Patricia C. Wrede, Jan ?, 336 pgs
4. As You Wish by Cary Elwes, Jan ?, 272 pgs
5. Laura Ingalls Wilder: Author of the Little House books by Carol Greene, Jan ?, 46 pgs
6. Realms of the Earth Angels by Doreen Virtue, Jan ?, 176 pgs
7. An Illustrated Life by Danny Gregory, Jan ?, 272 pgs
8. Through Time Into Healing by Brian L. Weiss, Jan ?, 202 pgs
9. The World of PostSecret by Frank Warren, Jan ?, 288 pgs
10. The Five Dharma Types by Simon Chokoisky, Jan ?, 416 pgs
11. Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust by Ruth Thomson, Jan ?, 64 pgs
12. The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins, Jan 29, 240 pgs
13. Laura's Album: A Remembrance Scrapbook of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson, Jan 29, 80 pgs
14. Less Doing, More Living by Ari Meisel, Jan 29, 144 pgs
15. The Little House Guidebook by William Anderson, Jan 29, 96 pgs
16. The Anne Frank Case by Susan Goldman Rubin, Jan 29, 40 pgs

February
17. Slow Love by Dominique Browning, Feb 1, 250 pgs
18. The Angel Therapy Handbook by Doreen Virtue, Feb 1, 272 pgs
19. Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan, Feb 4, 352 pgs
20. Island Bride by Danica Winters, Feb ?, ebook=43 pgs
21. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, Feb ?, 14hrs 57min
22. Partners In Crime by Agatha Christie, Feb ?, ebbok=224 pgs
23. The Secret Lives of Men & Women: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren, Feb ?, 144 pgs
24. A Year With Six Sister's Stuff by Six Sisters, Feb ?, 256 pgs
25. Ristorante Paradiso by Natsume Ono, Feb 16, 176 pgs
26. A Bride's Story, Vol. 6 by Kaoru Mori, Feb 18, 196 pgs
27. Tita by Marie Houzelle, Feb ?, ebook=312 pgs
28. Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn, Feb ?, 160 pgs
29. An Age of License by Lucy Knisley, Feb ?, 208 pgs
30. Locke & Key, Volume 6 by Joe Hill, Feb ?, 212 pgs
31. The Case of the Caretaker by Agatha Christie, Feb ?, ebook= 27 pgs
32. The Case of the Perfect Maid by Agatha Christie, Feb ?, ebook= 27 pgs
33. Xingu, 1916 by Edith Wharton, Feb ?, ebook = 26 pgs
34. The Ghost Bride by Yangtze Choo, Feb 24, 384 pgs
35. Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughn, Feb 24, 144 pgs
36. Saga, Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn, Feb 24, 144 pgs
37. PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives by Frank Warren, Feb 27, 288 pgs
38. Collected: Living With the Things You Love by Fritz Karsch, Feb 27, 352 pgs
39. Strange Fruit, Volume 1 by 176 pgs
40. Ellen Middleton by Lady Georgianan Fuller, Feb 28, 368 pgs
41. The Pioneer Detectives: Did A Distant Spacecraft Prove Einstein and Newton Wrong? by Konstantin Kakaes, Feb 27, 65 pgs
42. A Symphony Of Echoes by Jodi Taylor, Feb 28, ebook = 334 pgs

March
43. When A Child Is Born by Jodi Taylor, March 1, ebook = 60 pgs
44. Clubbing by Andi Watson, March 3, 176 pgs
45. Y: The Last Man Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn, March 8, 128 pgs
46. Billy Boyle by James R. Benn, March 8, 304 pgs
47. The Sculptor by Scott McCloud, March 9, 496 pgs
48. Criminal Macabre by Steve Niles, March 11, 160 pgs
49. The Spiderwick Chronicles Movie: The Movie Storybook by Tracey West, March 11, 32 pgs
50. Mystery Society by Steve Niles, March 13, 156 pgs

mid-March through June 3
51. Moab Is My Washpot by Stephen Fry
52. They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie
53. Slow News Day by Andi Watson
54. Never Stop to Think...Do I Have A Place for This? by Mary Randolph Carter
55. Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
56. Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula by Andi Watson
57. Displacement by Lucy Knisley
58. The Grand Tour by Agatha Christie
59. The Adventurous Simplicissimuss... by Hans von Grimmelshausen
60. Imagist Poetry an Anthology
61. The Public Library: A Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson
62. Calamity-Free Crochet by Catherine Hirst
63. Seduction by Velvet
64. Bared to You by Sylvia day
65. Grammar Girl's 101 Most Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again by Mignon Fogerty
66. The Granny Square Book by Margaret Hubert
67. The Face of A Stranger by Anne Perry
68. Spiderwick Chronicles book 1 by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi
69. Book 2 of same, by "" and ""
70. S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline
71. Reflected In You by Sylvia day
72. The Martian by Andy Weir
73. A Second Chance by Jodi taylor
74. The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie
75. The Real Life Downton Abbey by Jacky Hyams
76. Naked in Death by JD Robb
77. The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullmann
78. The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank
79. The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
80. Roman Holiday by Jodi Taylor
81. A Trail Through Time by Jodi Taylor
82. Christmas Present by Jodi Taylor
83. Beautiful Beloved by Christina Lauren
84. Goblins Attack by Holly Black
85. Doctor Who: The Forgotten by Tony Lee
86. Doctor Who: Series 3 Volume 1 by Andy Diggle
87. Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren
88. Unusual Suspects ed. by Dana Stabenow

3LauraBrook
Editat: abr. 1, 2015, 12:17pm

Books Purchased This does not include books I purchase as gifts - if I don't get to read and keep them, it doesn't count!

January
1. The Miser of Mayfair by M. C. Beaton (Kindle) $2.10
2. Ellen Middleton by Lady Georgiana Fullerton (K) for book club, free
3. Tesla: The Life and Times of an Electric Messiah by Nigel Cawthorne (Barnes & Noble) $9
4. The Incident at Fives Castle by Clara Benson (K), $1
5. Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie (K), $8

February
6. Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by EL James (A), $27 - I have too many friends asking me to borrow a copy and there's a huge wait list at the library, so...essentially I purchased this to lend out. *sigh*
7. N or M? by Agatha Christie (K), $4
8. The Unpredictable Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell (A), $5
9. Mixed Doubles by Jill Mansell (A), $6
10. A Little House Traveler by Laura Ingalls Wilder (A), $8
11. Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan (A), $16
12. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley (A), $14
13. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Doyle (A), $9
14. Emma: Cozy Classics by (A), $8
15. Robinson Crusoe by Stevenson (A), $9
16. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Wilde (A), $10
17. Healing Walks for Hard Times by Carolyn Scott Kourge (A), $8
18. Edward Gorey's Dracula by Edward Gorey (A), $20
19. Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod (A), $11
20. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (A), $6
21. Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen (A), $15

March
22. Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler (PaperBackSwap), free
23. Mademoiselle Chanel by C. W. Gortner (Book Club Girl), free
eta: It's halfway through the month now, and I haven't purchased anything - here's hoping I can go this whole month without spending a penny on books!
24. Nora Roberts Land by Ava Miles (K), free
25. The Galapagos Incident by Felix R. Savage (K), free
26. FIERCE: Sixteen Authors of Fantasy by Mercedes Lackey (K), $1
well, $1 is pretty good, so I'm still shooting for spending as little as possible this month.

April (in which I make up for lost time)
27.Henry James by Sheldon Novice (Daedalus Books) $4
28. Light of the Bhagawata (DB) $2
29. The Saddest Music Ever Written by Thomas Larson (DB) $5
30. The Barracks by John McGahern (DB) $4
31. Virginia Woolf by Mary Ann Caws (DB) $4
32. The Best American Travel Writing 2013 by Elizabeth Gilbert, et. al. (DB) $6
33. Bright Young Things by Alison Maloney (DB) $5
34. Agatha Christie: An Autobiography (DB) $6
35. The Story of a Lie by Robert Louis Stevenson (DB) $4
36. and 37. Saga, Volumes 1 and 4 by Brian K. Vaughan (A) $6 and $12
38. Among the Janeites by Deborah Yaffe (Hamilton Books) $5
39. The Devil's Cave and (HB) $6
40. The Crowded Grave by Martin Walker (HB) $5
41. and 42. two different copies of Sense & Sensibility since I've decided to collect versions of this book now (HB) $2 and $7
43. Crochet-opedia by Julie Oparka (HB) $3
44. Doctor Who: Wooden Heart on audiobook (HB) $3
45. Doctor Who: Dead of Winter by James Goss (HB) $4
46. The Memory of Blood by Christopher Fowler (HB) $5
47. Bryant & May Off the Rails by Christopher Fowler (HB) $5
48. The Map of Time by Felix J Palma (HB) $3
49. The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne (HB) $3
50. The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey (HB) $5
51. a year-long subscription to the new Archie comics (ArchieComics.com) $28
52. the new 9th Doctor Who #1 comic (BBCDoctorWhoShop.com) $4

4LauraBrook
Editat: març 13, 2015, 9:33pm

Totals Books / Pages / Time for audiobooks

January: 16 / 2,945 / 0

February: 26 / 5,140 / 14 hrs 57 min

March:

Alright, this thread is officially open!

5LibraryLover23
gen. 1, 2015, 4:55pm

Happy New Year Laura, and good luck with your reading goals!

6Ameise1
gen. 1, 2015, 5:27pm

What a wonderful painting, Laura. Drop my and wishing you a fabulous reading 2015.

7tloeffler
gen. 1, 2015, 6:13pm

Aww, sad face about last year being a bust. But thank goodness we get another year and another chance! Looking forward to spending it reading with you!

8scaifea
gen. 1, 2015, 7:44pm

Happy New Year, Laura! Wishing you a much better, happier year this time around...

9ronincats
gen. 1, 2015, 8:24pm

10drneutron
gen. 1, 2015, 9:58pm

Welcome back!

11msf59
gen. 1, 2015, 10:12pm



^And Happy New Thread, Laura! Hope to see you around more this year. I am always interested in what you are reading. Big hugs to my pal!

12lkernagh
gen. 1, 2015, 11:15pm

Happy New Year, Laura! Wishing you a wonderful year of happiness, health and hope in 2015. I also love your thread topper.... my kind of reader and I would love to own her hat! ;-)

13LauraBrook
gen. 2, 2015, 12:41pm

Hello, lovely people! I wish a wonderfully bookish year for each and every one of you. I'm planning on being around a lot more this year than I was last year - heck, it'd be hard not to beat last year, post-wise!

Book 1 Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast

Wow. A wonderfully powerful way to start out the new year! A recommendation by a few LT friends, and what really pushed me to read it was my favorite high school teacher, Mr. Bear (nickname, but everyone calls him that). I see him fairly frequently at work (my local library), and I've always run into him over the last 20 years since he was my teacher. (English teacher, of course.) He's been the main caregiver for his mother (currently 104 years old, I believe) for longer than I've known him. She's a wonderful woman, I'm pleased to know her, and he read this book in November. When I saw him in December he said "Laura, if you've been caregiver for a parent, or had to deal with a loss, you have GOT TO read this book. It's right up your alley, and so wonderful." Okay!

While my relationship with my parents isn't like Roz's, I can certainly relate to the feelings about all of the various aspects of caring for her elderly parents. Like Roz, I'm also an only child, and that certainly changes the dynamic of caring for aging parents. My Dad had cancer three previous times before his final illness/passing, and while my Mom did most of the heavy lifting previously, simply because she lived with Dad and I didn't, I was still a large part of his care. And this last time too, there were thousands of moments ranging the emotional spectrum that Roz covers here so eloquently and precisely. A heartbreaking, honest, funny and loving memoir, this is one that will stay with me for a very long time. 5 stars!

14lindapanzo
gen. 2, 2015, 12:43pm

Yay, Laura's back!! So good to see you here, my friend. Happy New Year!!

15LauraBrook
gen. 2, 2015, 12:44pm

Thanks, Linda, and Happy New Year to you too!

16calm
gen. 2, 2015, 12:50pm

Happy New Year Laura wishing you a happy, healthy and book-filled 2015

17drachenbraut23
gen. 2, 2015, 12:53pm

Hello Laura, just stopping by to wish you a wonderful 2015!

18jnwelch
gen. 2, 2015, 4:30pm

Happy New Year, Laura!

So glad the Roz Chast worked so well for you. Me, too. It was the GN of the year, IMO.

19sandykaypax
gen. 2, 2015, 8:50pm

Hello! I've been toying with buying the Roz Chast book. I've been a fan of hers since the 1980's. I was my mother's caregiver for the last 6 years, until she passed away in August. I have been hesitant to read the Chast book, but I think I may give it a whirl based on your post about it.

Sandy K

20Crazymamie
gen. 2, 2015, 11:13pm

Dropping my star, Laura! Wishing you only good things in 2015. That was a lovely review up there.

21Ameise1
gen. 3, 2015, 7:43am

Laura, I wish you a fabulous weekend full of reading.

22tjblue
gen. 3, 2015, 12:11pm

Hi Laura,

Though my presence on LT last year was less than usual, you were often in my thoughts. Sending you Best Wishes for 2015!!! Happy Reading!!!

23norabelle414
gen. 3, 2015, 12:31pm

Hi Laura!

24lindapanzo
gen. 3, 2015, 11:01pm

Hi Laura, happy new year. Looking forward to following along with your reading again this year.

25mckait
gen. 4, 2015, 12:00pm

starred

26LauraBrook
gen. 4, 2015, 12:25pm

Hello, Ladies and Gent, and welcome!

After a 12 hour day yesterday, wherein I got zero reading and zero shoveling done. That means that I'm getting geared up to go out and clear my walks and part of my driveway. We got about 2 inches yesterday, and it was a lot of wet stuff, and we're supposed to get up to 4 inches throughout the next day, so I'd better do something before it hits and the temp drops to below zero. Winter is here, that's for sure!

Last night one of my bookclubs met for our first Christmas dinner. We did a book swap where I got Swamplandia!, and afterwards we all went to Barnes and Noble, where I bought a book for mother's day, and Tesla: The Life and Times of an Electric Messiah for myself. Not a bad evening, but after working all day I was pooped! I'm trying to keep my bookish goals in mind today, and perhaps finish up one of the books that I started last year. My biggest distraction so far has been watching "QI" and taking notes of the quite interesting ;) things that pop up. (Mini-rant: I find it annoying that I can only stream seasons 1-2, and 10-12. What about seasons 3-9?) Aside from watching more of QI, my plans for the day are laundry, sorting through the weekly mail, reading a magazine or two, and figuring out what in the world to eat for meals this week.

What are you planning on doing today?

27lindapanzo
gen. 4, 2015, 12:29pm

>26 LauraBrook: Hi Laura, my plans for today shoveling, reading, watching football playoffs, more shoveling, watching Downton Abbey, and maybe more reading.

My 6th Thingaversary is in about a week so I'm planning for my 7 books, too.

28evilmoose
gen. 4, 2015, 3:37pm

Heya Laura - swinging by the leave a star. I love the idea of a double 75... hmmm... but I did only just manage 82 books in 2014, so perhaps 150 is a wee bit overly optimistic for me. I shall happily cheer you on though!

29BLBera
gen. 4, 2015, 3:58pm

Hi Laura - What a great start to your year. I loved Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?. Happy reading in 2015.

30lit_chick
gen. 4, 2015, 3:59pm

Hi Laura, Happy New Year. Checked out your profile page: we have a LOT of books in common!

31LauraBrook
gen. 4, 2015, 4:22pm

Just saw this on lunacat's thread and I'm happily stealing it:



Linda, our plans are similar, only sub in "football" for "British shows" and you've got it. Will you be buying physical books for your Thingaversary, ebooks, or a combo?

>28 evilmoose: Aw, come on, you can surely nearly double your reading this year! ;) Just kidding, of course. It's a lot of books, but I'm hopeful that I can crack it this year.

>29 BLBera: So glad to see more Roz Chast love! It was a more powerful books than I expected. Happy reading to you too!

>30 lit_chick: We do? Hmmm, haven't looked at that feature in a while.... holy cow, we do! Happy New Year back'atcha!

32Berly
gen. 4, 2015, 4:36pm

Hi Laura--Tracked you down and starred ya! My reading goals are very similar to yours although I will humbly be trying to actually reach 75 this year, not doubling it! LOL. I hope 2015 turns out to be a spectacular year for year (to compensate for the bust last year). Best wishes and I'll be seeing you.

33arubabookwoman
gen. 4, 2015, 4:45pm

Hi Laura--I read Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, last year and agree what a great book it is. I don't usually read graphic books, but I'll probably try to seek something else by Roz Chast--any recommendations?

What is QI? A tv show?

34LauraBrook
gen. 4, 2015, 5:00pm

Hi Berly - welcome!

I haven't read any other Chast (aside from the odd New Yorker cartoon or two), aruba, so I'll be on the same hunt you are. QI is a half-hour British game show, hosted by Stephen Fry. QI stands for quite interesting. Stephen is always the host, with 4 rotating celebs that play along - well, technically, 3, as Alan Davies is on every one. It's a trivia show with a weekly theme, and you earn points for correct answers and/or quite interesting answers, and you lose points for the most obvious, typically considered "right" answer. It's a lot of fun! I'm so glad that it's streaming on Acorn and Hulu so I don't have to sit at my computer and watch them on youtube. :)

35lindapanzo
gen. 4, 2015, 5:33pm

>31 LauraBrook: Laura, I'll probably be getting a mix of physical books and e-books for my Thingaversary. Mom has gotten me hooked on the Vera Stanhope mysteries from Ann Cleeves so I ordered the first one from the Book Depository. She loves Call the Midwife as much as I do so I'll probably get the first of the Jennifer Worth books in physical form, too.

Besides those two, I need 5 more. Probably a few mysteries and maybe a couple of the American Authors books, too.

btw, not sure if you've ever seen the Vera Stanhope mysteries but I think we were watching them on the Milwaukee PBS channel the other night. I don't think our WTTW has them so, in this case, I'm glad we get both the Milwaukee and the Chicago PBS channels.

After shoveling twice, there was less football watching and more napping involved than I'd expected today.

36katiekrug
gen. 4, 2015, 5:41pm

Hi Laura! Sorry it's taken me so long to get over here. But I'm here now and have dropped off a star, so I can easily find my way back :)

37jnwelch
gen. 4, 2015, 5:48pm

>31 LauraBrook: I love that idea, Laura! My wife and I met working in a bookstore, so we didn't get to implement that idea, but we did begin our relationship with a shared love of books.

38mahsdad
gen. 4, 2015, 6:03pm

Happy New Year, Laura. Turnabout is fair play. You stopped by my thread, so I'm stopping by yours. I'm not always the most verbose on other people's threads (nor mine for that matter), but I will lurk by from time to time.

39msf59
gen. 4, 2015, 6:19pm

Happy Sunday, Laura! I hope you are finding some down-time today. You deserve it. I am glad you LOVED the Chast memoir. It is a keeper!!

40Donna828
gen. 4, 2015, 6:40pm

Found you, Laura!

>13 LauraBrook: Yet another enthusiastic recommendation makes me eager for my library number to come up on this one. I don't generally read graphic books but I can't let this one slip by. I've done the care taking bit and I am approaching the age when my kids will start getting nervous about it! Ha…who gets Mom and Dad this week?…that sort of thing. Can't wait. ;-(

>31 LauraBrook: I actually did have someone buy me a book at a library book sale. I struck up a conversation with a man my age and asked him advice on crime fiction for my husband. Pretty soon he came back with a Steve Martini in hand and gave it to me. Sure, it only cost 50 cents but it was a kind gesture…and my husband loved it!

41MickyFine
Editat: gen. 4, 2015, 7:14pm

I can't believe I'm so late to your thread, Laura. But star is firmly planted now. :)

When I was in London on vacation (almost two years ago now - wah!) I watched a lot of QI in the evenings. Also Top Gear.

42cammykitty
gen. 4, 2015, 10:10pm

Hi Laura, I would totally fall for a guy who bought me books. Beats any lame pick up line. :)

43Whisper1
gen. 4, 2015, 10:29pm

Happy New Year Dear One!

44The_Hibernator
gen. 4, 2015, 10:38pm

Happy New Year Laura! Today I was preparing for the Polar Vortex as well, though we didn't have any snow last night. Too cold, I think. Today I spent some time with my bf, and now I'm at a call center for a crisis hotline, so a good day all around. :)

45tututhefirst
gen. 4, 2015, 11:44pm

Hi Laura, thanks for the good words on the Ghast book. I've seen lots of buzz about it, and suspect it will be one that somehow manages to jump onto my shelves in one format or another before the year is over.

46SandDune
gen. 5, 2015, 2:38am

<13 Can't we Talk about Something More Pleasant? sounds like something I have to read. I'm not a caregiver as such (my 93 year old mother lives independently 200 miles away) but I am having to come to terms with her ageing and not making a brilliant job of it, at times.

47lunacat
gen. 5, 2015, 7:25am

That's very strange about not being able to watch series 3-9 of QI. There are some brilliant episodes in that lot. But limited QI is better than no QI at all. I can watch it for hours, which is good seeing as it's on a lot on various digital channels over here! It appeals to me because I only ever remember random pieces of information and very little of it is useful, which is kind of the point of the game.

Hopefully winter won't strike with a vengeance for you.

>13 LauraBrook: Looks interesting but I fear it would strike a little close to home regarding things I am burying my head in the sand about. My mum is on her own and I'm an only child in a similar situation to you, and I'm dreading having to make decisions. We clash a lot, and we've both learned to take each other in small doses, but as she reaches old age I know we'll be thrown closer together.

48PaulCranswick
gen. 5, 2015, 8:31am

Nice to see you back and your thread so buzzing Laura. Hope you manage to find that middle road in 2015.

49foggidawn
gen. 5, 2015, 10:09am

Happy new thread! Thanks for visiting mine!

50cbl_tn
gen. 5, 2015, 6:41pm

Hi Laura! Happy New Year! I lost track of a lot of people last year and I didn't realize that you had lost your dad. I've been through the caregiver thing with both parents. I'm not an only child, but my brother lives 700 miles away so almost everything fell to me. I'm not sure I want to read the Chast book. I'm afraid it would bring up too many painful memories.

51jolerie
gen. 5, 2015, 9:00pm

Hi Laura! Don't mind me as I just follow along your thread. Happy readings ahead for the coming year! :)

52Whisper1
gen. 5, 2015, 9:13pm

I'm simply stopping by to say hello and tell you I'm thinking of you today.

53Carmenere
gen. 6, 2015, 10:54am

Hi Laura, Wishing you a Happy New Year and tossing a star in your direction! Good luck mastering your goal and beyond.

54LauraBrook
gen. 8, 2015, 4:15pm

Hello to LindaP, Katie, Joe, mahsdad, Mark, Donna, Micky, Katie, LindaWhisper, Hibernator, tutu, SandDune, Jenny, Paul, foggi, Carrie, Valerie, LindaWhisper again, and Carmenere! I've been blessed with so many visitors!

>35 lindapanzo: LindaP, that sounds like a good plan, some tree and some e's. I haven't started any Vera yet, though my Mom loves the TV series. I've offered to get the books for her, and she's trying not to get into another series just yet. Eventually, she will, though. ;)

>37 jnwelch: Joe, I didn't know that's how you met your MBH! What a sweet story. Thanks for sharing!

>40 Donna828: Donna, you're so lucky to have gotten a book gifted to you at a library book sale. And, even better that your husband loved it too!

>41 MickyFine: It's been 2 years since your London trip? How is that possible? I do my fair share of Top Gear as well, I'm just currently stuck on QI. Stephen Fry is the best!

>42 cammykitty: Me too! Why don't guys understand that?!? ;)

>46 SandDune: It's not easy, that's for sure, SandDune. I've found it helps to talk about it with other people and not just keep all of the questions/worry/crazy in your head. If you every feel like chatting, PM me!

>47 lunacat: It must be some licensing BS, Jenny. With the big jump in seasons, there have been a couple of repeated bits of info (as parts of other questions) and I was shocked to have remembered them! I had to force myself to stop watching QI today as I'm almost out of DVR space. :-O Still, I've watched a few Top Gears, American Dads, Antiques Roadshows (American ones), and am currently watching this weeks' episode of The Curse of Oak Island. Does anyone else watch this show?

>48 PaulCranswick: Me too, Paul. I hope you can find a middle road yourself.

>50 cbl_tn: Carrie, I'm so sorry to hear you've lost both of your parents. And in that situation, it's like you're an only child, with your brother so far away. My Mom had a similar situation for her Dad - thankfully my Uncle/her brother was here in Wisconsin when his Mom passed away. It's not fun for anyone, but it's something everyone has to deal with at some point in some way. The immediacy of being caregiver is so difficult and exhausting in so many ways. The small moments of clarity/laughter keep you going somehow. As for reading the Chast book, it wasn't quite as sad/depressing as I was expecting, but I had a different situation than you probably did. My Dad was in the hospital for most of it, and my Mom was staying with me 70% of the time when she was recovering from breast cancer, so I did have some breaks. If and when you feel you could handle the book, I think you'd like it. It helped me to heal a little, to know that someone else had so many similar experiences that I did. (((Carrie)))

********************



Today is a self-imposed snow day for me! It's been right around 0°F this week, and it's been snowing off and on. I had a hard time starting my old car yesterday, picked up my Mom's newer car to use instead (her idea - thanks, Mom!), and even that had a hard time last night. Since the schools are closed today, I figured it was much better if I stayed at home, safe and sound, instead of taking a chance on my car not starting (which is what I told the library happened) and earning a whopping $29. So far I've watched some TV, taken care of the birds outside, cleaned up after some cans of sparkling water exploded on my porch last night, had a bunch of coffee and a late lunch, and enjoyed some time online updating bookish things. A good day! I wish I could be catching up on work laundry, but I'm too paranoid that the pipes will burst if I do 6 or more loads, so I'll "save" that for the weekend when it's supposed to warm up.

55Crazymamie
gen. 8, 2015, 5:46pm

Sounds like the perfect use of a snow day, Laura! Well done.

56MickyFine
Editat: gen. 8, 2015, 7:40pm

I may have laughed a bit after converting the Fahrenheit to Celsius. If I didn't do laundry at that temperature, laundry wouldn't happen most of the winter. Of course, we have winterized pipes and good insulation around these parts...

Anyway, sounds like a lovely day in.

57ronincats
gen. 8, 2015, 7:45pm

I agree that it sounds like a lovely day in, Laura!

58lit_chick
gen. 8, 2015, 8:08pm

A self-imposed snow day! How lovely. Sounds like a warm fireplace and a good book.

59Ameise1
gen. 10, 2015, 4:59am

Laura, I wish you a fabulous weekend.

60Berly
gen. 12, 2015, 1:36am

And a happy Monday!

61LauraBrook
gen. 13, 2015, 5:44pm

Before I respond to everyone individually...

Here's a fun meme I found on Morphy's thread:

When did you join LT? April 4, 2008

When was your first message? Feb 18, 2009 (almost a year later!)

What group was the message in? Book Talk

What was the subject line of the thread? LauraBrook's 999 Challenge

What was your first message?
I'm still in the middle of picking my categories, but I'm trying to choose them based on books I have either already read this year or books that I already own.
A. Contemplate a Classic
B. Children/Teen
C. Travel Lit
D. Unfinished Business
E. Guilty Pleasures
F. Mystery & Suspense
G. Biography & Autobiography

and, I finished actual books!

Book 2 The Mystery of the Blue Jar by Agatha Christie
If you would've told me that when I got my Kindle a year ago, I'd primarily use it to read Agatha Christie, I would've thought you were insane. But it's so true! It's the oddest thing, really, when I have such lovely physical copies, but she's my preferred e-reading author. This short story either flew over my head or I read it when I was sleepier than I realized at the time, because I have very little memory of it. Only more of a "wait, is this the ending?" kind of a thing. I'll reread it again, probably later this year, but for now I'll say that I enjoyed it and give it 3 stars.

Book 3 Sorcery and Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
What a charmer! I received this book from SantaThing in 2012, and my Santa was casvelyn - what an excellent choice she made! I love all things epistolary, British and magical, and this has 'em all in spades. Here's the summary from the inside cover. "In 1817 in England, two young cousins, Cecelia living in the country and Kate in London, write letters to keep each other informed of their exploits, which take a sinister turn when they find themselves confronted by evil wizards." What started out as a fun project for these two friend and authors to do in their spare time has taken off and not only spawned this book, but two sequels! It's really a lot of fun (even if I got occasionally confused by who was whom), and it made me smile each time I picked it up. Lots of fun, and I'm on a quest to get the next in the series right now! 4 stars

************************

>55 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie! I sort of have a snow day now! It's one of my two days off this week (it's been awhile since I've had two!), it's snowing lightly, and I'm at home and in pajamas. Still doing laundry (currently on load number 3 of at least 6), drinking lots of coffee, and not only have I finished a difficult connect-the-dots book, but I also watched several episodes of Oprah's Super Soul Sunday while doing so! I love that show and have to be awake and focused on listening to it, if not actively watching it, so it's really good for days like these.

>56 MickyFine: Micky, I know, it's ridiculous. But this house is old (built in the 1930's) and since the pipes are mostly original to the house, and I'm getting new windows in about a month, I can't afford to take any chances with having a water crises here. It's in the 20's today, so I know I'm fairly safe, but when it's around 0 with crazy-below-zero wind chills I get nervous. No insulation and no winterized pipes here! :)

>57 ronincats: Thanks Roni!

>58 lit_chick: It was, minus the fireplace. Mine is too deep to really kick heat out, so if it's too cold it just sucks all warm air out of the house and up the chimney. Brrr!

>59 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara, I hope you had one as well!

>60 Berly: And a happy Tuesday to you, Berly!

Today I've been actively putzing around the house (picking something up to put away, then grabbing something from that room to put away in another room, repeat) since lunchtime, and have just started listening to As You Wish. I started reading it late last year but had to return it when I was only halfway through it. After I returned it I put both the book and the audiobook on my hold list, and I received them both on the same day a couple of weeks ago! Right now, I'm alternating listening and reading, depending on what I'm doing, in an effort to finish it before it's due once again.

I'm also dithering over when to put my notice in at the library. At first I was thinking that I'd wait until my boss returns from maternity leave at the end of March, but that's too far away. I've told 3 people at work in confidence that I'd be leaving, and they're all sorry to see me go but are understanding and supportive of my decision. Plus, I'm hoping one of them will be willing and able to take my "position" of working partly in the back room checking in and setting up the carts and partly shelving. It's more hours, and no one really pays attention to where you are, always assuming you're at the other place. It's kind of nice, in that I don't feel bad wandering the shelves for a few minutes, looking for a book I'd like to check out. Or, you know, hiding from the literally mentally disturbed patrons who sometimes get overly attached to you. I know, it's not my place to find someone to take over, but I'd like to have someone to recommend to my interim manager. Another fellow shelver would love to have the job, and as she is universally unliked, doesn't do her job correctly or properly, and always causes problems with anyone she encounters, I would hope that E (the interim manager) wouldn't just give it to her because she asked. Literally no one at work likes her, and the more we get to know her the less we like her. It's like she's shedding these false skins and the more she talks (and the less she does) her true self is coming out. It's really unfortunate.

Anyways - aside from trying to time when I should leave, it's also partly gearing myself up to take the leap, lose that guaranteed $500/month, and put all my efforts towards massage once again. I think I'll be okay this go round, though, as when I tried before I was always in a, let's say "less than ideal" location, and I was so terrified to have anyone leave anything less than thrilled with their experience, that I did more than I should have and crossed my own boundaries. (By that I mean, I worked any and all times a client would call for an appointment, including my rare days off, and to the complete exclusion of a personal life - or sometimes personal responsibilities - of any kind.) Right now, I'm older, wiser, and I'm certainly not the person I was when I first started out. I'm in a great location (in all ways, though having to go down 10 steps to get to me is less than ideal), with a great business partner/friend, with other great massage therapists, and I not only have my own regulars, but I'm inheriting all clients from another dear friend/therapist who is unfortunately no longer physically able to do massages. It will still be a part time job, but, while I'm nervous about how I'll actually financially survive, I'm excited about it. Excited about devoting my time to doing massage, excited about having more than 1 day off a week, excited about taking continuing education classes (something I don't have time for currently), excited about having time to clean up my house, excited to clean OUT my house, excited to have some time to take care of myself. It's going to be so great, and I"m really looking forward to it. But still scared to make that final decision.

I could use your advice, friends. Have you been in a similar situation before? What you do think I should do here? What about timing? Any and all thoughts are much appreciated.

62thornton37814
gen. 13, 2015, 9:28pm

>61 LauraBrook: Agatha Christie makes for good reading on an e-reader!

63scaifea
gen. 14, 2015, 6:55am

>61 LauraBrook: I'm afraid I'm not very good at advice, but just wanted to say that I'm cheering you on, whatever your decision turns out to be...

64Berly
gen. 14, 2015, 7:39pm

>61 LauraBrook: Laura, waiting until March seems like a long time. It sounds like you are ready to go do what you love. I am excited for you! You will know when it is time to make your move. Good luck!

65MickyFine
gen. 14, 2015, 11:59pm

>61 LauraBrook: Sorry, Laura, I haven't been in a similar situation before but I can say that making the decision about when to leave a job should be entirely about you. When does it financially make sense for you to let go of that guaranteed income? How much longer can you handle the stress/strain of the job? When do you need the increased flexibility of not having to work around library shifts?

66Whisper1
gen. 15, 2015, 10:13am

Hi Laura

I'm thinking of you as you make this difficult decision, and I send much love to you.

67jolerie
gen. 15, 2015, 11:49am

I can't offer any wisdom, but I can imagine how difficult the choices are for you. Whatever the end decision may be, I hope it gives you peace and joy!

68Ameise1
gen. 17, 2015, 6:48am

Laura, I wish you a lovely weekend.

69ronincats
gen. 19, 2015, 2:00am

Like the others, no wisdom but lots of support!

70cammykitty
gen. 19, 2015, 7:54am

I love Sorcery and Cecelia! It's such a fun story of how they wrote it too. It started as a writing exercises where the collaborators sent letters to each other, never discussing where they were going with the plot.

As for the work situation, you asked for advice so here's my two cents - and I say this as someone who loves her job but can't really make ends meet. I know I should move on, decide to and then never do because I love it but... I think it's going to be hard to leave your job now or later. It sounds like your clients are lined up and you know what you are doing. You are ready. So waiting is sort of procrastinating and in the meantime some of those clients you are getting from your friend might wander away. I'd move on as soon as you reasonably can, but of course do it with all your bridges in good repair.

71LauraBrook
gen. 23, 2015, 6:21pm

>62 thornton37814: Christie is so great on an ereader - who'd'a thunk'it?!? :)

>63 scaifea: Thanks, I needed all the help and positive thinking I could get!

>64 Berly: Thanks, Berly! I would've really gone nutso having to wait 2 more months.

>65 MickyFine: Hi Micky! Financially, it makes sense to never leave and die there. How much longer can I handle the stress/strain? Zero hours. When do I need increased flexibility? A month ago. :/

>66 Whisper1: Linda, that means so much, considering how much pain/agitation/suffering you're going through. I hope things are still in place for surgery!

>67 jolerie: I'm working on the peace and joy part, jolerie!

>68 Ameise1: Thank you Barbara, and I wish you a peaceful weekend too!

>69 ronincats: Thank you, Roni!

>70 cammykitty: I just got an ebook copy of The Grand Tour from my library, but it's not in the right format for me. I never even checked! Boo! I really appreciate your two cents, Katie.

Well, friends, I pulled the plug and turned in my notice this past Monday. My last day working at the library as a page will be next Friday. I spoke to my Mom and her friend (who is like family) on Saturday, face to face over lunch. Mom is more worried about financially being okay because nothing is guaranteed, and Marsha (bless her) had to keep saying "Ann, she has unlimited earning power now - at the library she is stuck where she is!", and it's so true. Coworkers keep coming up to me, shocked that I'm leaving, and they're all saying they're really sorry to see me go and that they'll miss me. I'm thinking it's probably just something you say, though I do know a few of them meant it. And one of them teared up! It's making me feel sad, and the fear part of me thinks maybe I made a mistake, but I know I didn't. I've been so much lighter and happier since Monday morning, I've had a lot more energy all around, and I'm looking forward to this next chapter in my life. I'll still be in there at least once a week so I'll see everyone, and I have plans to get together with several people in the near future. It's all good. My interim manager is really kind and wonderful, and has said a couple of times to me "sheesh, you're the best page we've got now - we're really going to miss you!" which is very nice to hear and makes me feel good about myself. Hopefully not in a pompous way, obviously. So there - decision is made, deed is done, and I'm just putting in my time until the end.

In other news - my Uncle in Alaska is causing all sorts of problems. I don't remember if I've said anything about this earlier or not, so I'll try and keep it brief. We got a call from his dear friend and neighbor, Mary, on my Mom's birthday in November. Uncle Rob had been in the hospital for a week, was unable to walk, has dementia, some bruising, extreme cirrhosis - all from long-term effects of alcohol abuse. We knew he drank (more than we were comfortable with, but nothing too alarming - a frat boy wouldn't blink), but not at the level he has been, and for the decades he has been. The past 2 1/2 months have been filled with extreme stress and worry. He was in the hospital for about 6 weeks, and they finally found an appropriate long-term care place in his town (versus going to Juneau or Seattle or paying literally $14,000 a month). He has been and still is in this location. He has the brain of a special needs 7 year old most of the time, and he has enough lucid moments that he has come close to causing more than a few medical/personal disasters. He's treating Mary and anyone around him like crap, misbehaving, generally being a really nasty son of a bitch, and I've come close to suddenly traveling up there (that's around 3,400 miles) several times, the last of which was yesterday. I'm keeping my Mom as out of the loop as possible since this whole situation makes her so sad and angry that she gets really depressed for a couple of days, so I've been the one "in charge" down here, answering questions for Mary and trying to figure out what is going on, and what lies were told when and to whom. It's a giant mess. We were on the phone last night for over three hours, trying to piece together the newest junk, and figure out if it would be better for him to stay there in Fairbanks, or for him to move down here in a facility for the rest of his miserable life. That's still up in the air.

What I do know is that I love him dearly, and he is breaking my heart over and over again every day. It's overwhelming and infuriating and sad all at the same time. For now, the only plan I have to go up there is for this spring/summer to work on cleaning out the hoarder horror show that is his main house. I'm spending far too much time crying and worrying and not sleeping. And while I'm looking forward to this new life I'm forging for myself, there's this giant heavy cloud hanging over, threatening to flood it all.

I don't know if it's by chance (I think not), but the first week that I'm not at the library, I only work for 3 hours one morning. So I basically have a week off! That hasn't happened in probably 15 years. I am looking forward to resting and taking care of myself, and to reading and cleaning up my house, readying myself for positive things.

Somehow I've gotten a few books read, but that's going to have to wait a couple of days until I have a little more time to figure out what I read, etc.

Anyone have any fun plans for the weekend? I'll be working at the library tomorrow, and doing laundry, getting ready for another 6 day week.

72msf59
gen. 23, 2015, 6:54pm

Happy Friday, Laura! Glad to see you made the library decision. It sounds like you made the right choice. Good luck, my friend. And enjoy that time off.

Sorry, about the uncle woes! Yikes! Sending positive vibes on that one.

I work tomorrow and then I am off next week. I hope it will be an R & R vacay!

73lindapanzo
gen. 23, 2015, 6:57pm

Hi Laura, I bet it'd feel great to finally make the decision. Good luck with it.

My niece has a weekend swim meet in Kenosha so my nephew is coming over. He gets bored watching swimming all day. It'll be fun having him, as usual.

Enjoy that week off. I know I usually take a couple days. Can't remember my last full week off, either.

74MickyFine
gen. 23, 2015, 7:41pm

Today and tomorrow are my weekend (I work 6 days in row next week too). I spent today cleaning and watching HIMYM. Tomorrow will be church and in the evening I'm introducing a friend to the delight of The Vicar of Dibley.

I'm glad you've made a decision on your job and feel good about it. I'll be praying for the situation with your uncle. *great big hugs*

75lunacat
gen. 24, 2015, 7:37am

What you're going through with your Uncle sounds awful, and I really hope that something comes along that makes it easier to see what choice to make and how to deal with him.

But I'm so glad to see how positive you're feeling having handed your notice in! It must be such a relief to have taken the plunge rather than going round and round in circles. And your first week off sounds brilliant, and just what you need to recuperate and find your feet again. I hope the last periods of work go really quickly.

76AuntieClio
gen. 25, 2015, 2:16am

Hi Laura ... go you! I'll be lurking. :-)

77Berly
gen. 25, 2015, 2:52am

Laura--Good luck with the Uncle situation. Not easy. On the bright side, yay for a decision made and new opportunities!! Enjoy your R&R and please believe all the nice comments people at the library are saying to you. Best wishes.

78Ameise1
gen. 31, 2015, 4:18am

Hi Laura, I wish you a lovely weekend.

79LauraBrook
feb. 2, 2015, 7:16pm

I know I haven't been here in a week and a half (sorry), but I had to pop back in to quickly say thank you to all of you. I'm so lucky that you're all my friends!

And, before I head out to a late client, I just wanted to ask if anyone else here watches "Hart of Dixie"? I've got 2 episodes left of the first season (I've been bingeing all weekend), and OMG I need to freak out about it like a teenager for a little bit.

80norabelle414
feb. 2, 2015, 7:35pm

YES HART OF DIXIE OMG!

It only gets better!!

81MickyFine
feb. 3, 2015, 11:29am

Totally binge-watched all of Hart of Dixie last summer. Go right ahead and freak out. Nora will enjoy the expansion of our numbers. :)

82LauraBrook
Editat: feb. 4, 2015, 10:13am

YEEEEESSSSS!!!!! I had a feeling you two ladies would be all about HoD! I stopped myself after watching the finale of the first season, because I wanted to enjoy this delicious angst after Zoe FINALLY sleeps with Wade and then George comes over saying he wants her too!!! Holy crap!!!!!!!!! Wow.

The only thing keeping me from diving right into season 2 is my need to clean up some paperwork in this house and shovel some snow. Once I start watching, I can't stop, so I have to leave my TV off for a while until I get some things done. But seriously? All I want to do is watch constantly.



SQUEEEEE!!!!!

(Apologies to all adults and uninterested parties. I'd do this over on Tumblr, but I don't want to run into any spoilers!)

(Also, I have been reading books, but right now Hart of Dixie is more important in my brain. Sorry!)

83norabelle414
feb. 4, 2015, 11:43am

Squee indeed.

I've actually watched the show from the beginning. I first tuned in to see how awful it was but I ended up totally obsessed. Hart of Dixie is my Wade Kinsella.

Hurry and get caught up already so we can fangirl over season 4!

84MickyFine
feb. 4, 2015, 6:04pm

>82 LauraBrook: Yeah, my threads from last summer are full of plenty of fangirling. And swooning over Wade. Because Wade.

85LauraBrook
feb. 5, 2015, 7:48pm

>72 msf59: Mark, you're off this week too? What a coincidence! I'll have to mosey over and catch up on your thread to see what you've been up to.

>73 lindapanzo: Thanks Linda, so far, the week has been going pretty well. But it's totally flying by, so it's kind of throwing me for a loop!

>74 MickyFine: Micky, The Vicar of Dibley is one of my favorite shows! I only wish there were more episodes - at least there was a nice ending for Geri, though! Plus, hello Richard Armitage!



>75 lunacat: Luna, the last week of work at the library totally flew by. My interim boss made yummy cupcakes and I got a very nice card signed by everyone. And of course I was in this past Monday morning, so it felt like I just had the weekend off! I'll probably be going in on Saturday morning to pick up some holds and see people. It sort of doesn't feel like I'm not working there any more, as I keep telling myself that this is my vacation week.

>76 AuntieClio: Thanks, AuntieClio! I'll be lurking away on your thread as well. :)

>77 Berly: Thank you, Kim. The Uncle situation is still in the same terrible place, but I've somehow managed to (at least temporarily) emotionally distance myself from it so it doesn't consume my thoughts.

>78 Ameise1: Barbara, I hope you have a lovely weekend coming up!

So far I've managed to avoid any more Hart of Dixie-ing as my DVR is filling up quickly. I'm trying to watch and get through as much as possible so I can get back and see what Wade Zoe gets up to.

And finally, here are the books I managed to read in January and a few in February!

Book 4: As You Wish by Cary Elwes
What a load of fun, revisiting the making of one of my favorite movies by the lovely Cary and other members of the cast. I mostly read this one, but I did listen to a chunk of the audiobook too, and it was fun to listen to as well. Recommended for fans of the book and movie! 3.7 stars

Book 5: Laura Ingalls Wilder: Author of the Little House books by Carol Greene
Read surreptitiously in the children's section while I was "working", this was a quick, easy biography for kids to learn about Laura. 3 stars

Book 6: Realms of the Earth Angels by Doreen Virtue
Very interesting, especially considering that I felt I had to buy it and take it home with me, and I'd never even heard of the book before. From other reviews I've read this is essentially the same as another book by the author, but as it was unknown to me, I still enjoyed it. An 3.5 stars

Book 7: An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators, and Designers by Danny Gregory
An impulse grab at work, this was a fascinating look at how some creatives journal, and it gave me some inspiration to do the same again. I did this (minus drawing, more of a scrapbook kind of thing) when I toured Europe, and I wish I'd kept it up in regular life. Oh well. 3.3 stars

Book 8: Through Time Into Healing by Brain L. Weiss
The second book of his, I enjoyed this look at other patients that he has seen in his earlier work as a hypnotherapist (this was from the 90's), and other issues that were resolved due to past life healing. Really interesting. 4 stars

Book 9: The World of PostSecret by Frank Warren
Every time I remember PostSecret exists, I can wave goodbye to a few hours of my life. This latest book was just as much of a time-suck as I expected, and it so scratches that curiosity itch that I have. 4 stars

Book 10: The Five Dharma Types by Simon Chokoisky
Another impulse grab, this was interesting, and I could really see how it could help me improve certain aspects of my life. But, since I'm already doing the things that would be a starting point for me, I kind of lost interest after a week or so. 3 stars

Book 11: Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust by Ruth Thomson
Yet another grab at work (from when I was shelf-reading the biography section in children's), I wanted to read this because it's the one concentration camp that I've visited. Told in drawings and writings from people who were really there, it was a wonderful and heartbreaking peek into daily life in what was probably one of the "nicer" camps, not that such a thing really existed. I'll have to track down my photos from my visit and post a few. That's assuming that my scanner will decide to work, of course. 4 stars

Book 12: The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil by Stephen Collins
This is a dark, quietly creepy, beautifully illustrated, Gorey-esque tale of a gigantic beard that starts as one small hair and slowly spirals out of control. It kept me turning the pages to see both what happened next and how the gorgeous pencil illustrations would unfold. 4 stars

Book 13: Laura's Album: A Remembrance Scrapbook of Laura Ingalls Wilder by William Anderson
Yet another impulse grab at work, this was a nice visual collection of some previously unseen (by me, at least) photos both of the Ingalls and Wilder families, and their homes and objects that they made and loved. 4 stars

Book 14: Less Doing, More Living by Ari Meisel
Eh. It sounds like an interesting book/subject, but unless you want to put most of your life online/make it digital by hiring out virtual assistants, this wasn't so practical. Also, it seemed a little dated, even though it's only a couple of years old. 2 stars

Book 15: The Little House Guidebook by William Anderson
A really wonderful collection of each location Laura lived at, including directions on how to get there, lots of photographs, and other things to do, places to eat, etc, in each area. 5 stars, and it really made me want to take a trip to visit all of these places.

Book 16: Slow Love by Dominique Browning
Yes, other reviewers are right in that the author is a rich, privileged white lady who whines about some First World Problems and has an idiot married boyfriend ("cleverly" nicknamed Stroller), but aside from that, Dominique has a wonderful way with words and can really paint a picture of what an interior and exterior life can look like when you're really in touch with yourself. Only sort of recommended. 3 stars

Book 17: The Angel Therapy Handbook by Doreen Virtue
Not so much a book you can read straight through, it's rather a course book on working with angels. Interesting, and some parts were fairly skippable. Eh. 3.5 stars

Book 18: The Anne Frank Case by Susan Goldman Rubin
This is the last children's biography I snagged at the library, I swear. This is the story of Simon Wiesenthal and his search for the policemen/gestapo that arrested Anne Frank and her family. It takes decades and many countries to travel, thousands of hours of work, and incredible patience to get to where he wants to be. A great story for anyone, especially for those who didn't previously know about it before, like me. 4 stars

Book 19: Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
A funny book, with some verbatim jokes from his stand-up routines, but a good distraction nonetheless. Recommended for all fans of Jim and all fans of eating. A lot. 3.75 stars

86PensiveCat
feb. 6, 2015, 10:41am

I'm reading Food: A Love Story right now! He does use a ton of jokes from his stand-up, and I end up reading it in that voice he does...still really funny!

87LauraBrook
feb. 6, 2015, 11:05am

Hah, I did the same thing! Especially his bacon bits (hah!), and of course, the Hot Pocket chapter too.

88lunacat
feb. 6, 2015, 11:06am

>87 LauraBrook: Definitely agree. Fruitcake is a aberration that shouldn't be allowed.

89LauraBrook
feb. 6, 2015, 12:10pm

I agree. Thought part of me thinks that maybe I just haven't had a fresh one yet. Fresh ones exist, right?

90norabelle414
feb. 6, 2015, 1:12pm

I saw Jim Gaffigan live once and he was soooo funny.

91LauraBrook
feb. 6, 2015, 2:00pm

I'd love to see him. He does NYE shows here every year (his wife is from Milwaukee) and I keep meaning to get tickets but can never remember soon enough. He always sells out.

92PensiveCat
feb. 6, 2015, 2:53pm

Chip Chop Chip?

93lunacat
feb. 6, 2015, 4:34pm

I don't think 'fresh' fruit cakes exist, although I have had very moist ones before that might have been masquerading as fresh. This was before I resolved to never eat one again. I really don't get the appeal. The only cake I'll eat with fruit 'attached' is pineapple upside down cake, and that only if warm from the oven. My best friend adores fruit cake and keeps trying to get me to give it another chance. NO thank you. She had 3 cupcakes made as an addition to her wedding cake, just for me. :)

94cbl_tn
feb. 6, 2015, 5:40pm

Since you've been to Terezin, you might be interested in Dissonance by Lisa Lenard-Cook. One of the characters in the book is a Terezin survivor.

95Chatterbox
feb. 10, 2015, 11:22pm

I like fruitcake? Some kinds?

(now I'm afraid to hang around....)

Sorry to have been awol. Somehow missed your thread at the beginning of the year and am just catching up. Am a big believer in the feeling of lightness indicating that you made the RIGHT decision re the job -- I've experienced that before and have never had any regrets, regardless of how nervous I was beforehand.

I hope your uncle is doing better...

96mckait
feb. 11, 2015, 7:29am

drive by wave...

97msf59
feb. 11, 2015, 7:30am

Hi Laura! Somehow, I lost your thread but I have found you now. Hope all is well. Glad we hooked up on Trivia Crack. Linda is still beating me regularly. Sighs...

98LauraBrook
feb. 13, 2015, 8:08pm

>95 Chatterbox: Well, now, they wouldn't make them if people didn't eat them, right? I sincerely look forward to trying one that's not years-old at some point. Maybe I'll like one that isn't stale? No need to be afraid to hang around these here parts.

Uncle is not doing better, but thinks he is. It doesn't seem possible, but the shit keeps hitting the fan. He's tried to call me twice the last two nights. Left a voicemail the first and not the second, and I can't listen to my voicemails now for no real reason (they play, but there's no sound and all of my software is up to date). Just makes me anxious and unable to sleep for days. Oh well. I just keep saying "someone please take this from me - it's not mine, and I don't want it" and I feel better.

So yeah. Alaska Uncle isn't great but so far is still in the long-term care facility. Word is he might be moving home soon, but don't know how that would be possible, especially if anyone saw the pictures. Oh well, it's out of my hands.

In other, crappy news, my other Uncle, my Dad's brother, Marvin, passed away last Saturday night. He and my Dad were a lot alike, talking the same, their voices sounded really similar, how they dressed, their hobbies, sense of humor, inability to leave the house without a baseball hat, etc. He was sick for a few months with lots of odd delays in getting help (doctors on vacation, equipment backordered, missing pieces backordered, waits to see specialists, blah blah blah), and then my Mom finally told me what was going on on Friday. We planned on stopping over to see them on Sunday. Late Saturday night my Aunt and cousin called my Mom to come and stay with their pets while they ran out to the hospital - Uncle Marvin had stopped breathing and they brought him back - and he passed a couple of hours later. It's very sad, and he was a great guy too, just like my Dad. At least his passing was quicker, and I'm pretty sure my Dad stopped in at my house on the way to pick up his brother. I (and my friend who was over) smelled his pipe smoke for about 20 minutes a few hours before Marvin crossed over. That made all of us feel a little better. So yeah, more sadness.

Changing topics again, I've started my one-job life! I only had a few appointments this week, and I've got two tomorrow and even more next week, so that's good. It feels weird to only go to one place for work. And I keep getting nervous about being there on time, and checking traffic, and things. I leave at least an hour before the appointment time so the table and water can get warmed up and I"m not rushed, and my office is only a couple of miles away! I'm a cuckoo for sure, but whenever there's a job transition that's how I am for awhile. Could be worse.

Book-wise, I'm kind of stalled on all of the books I'm reading. Some of that is because I have an ER book that I'm not digging, some are on my Kindle (which I only read at night in bed), some are hardcovers and thus not conducive to hauling around daily, some are audios, etc. Oh well. They're mostly good, so that's something. And I have a stack of a bunch of GNs that are due next week and I'm hoping to pry myself away from LT soon and whip through them. Since I've been here off and on all day I don't have high hopes.

Is anyone else still woefully behind on the threads? I'm barely keeping up with the 75 group, and I haven't even gone through the Category Challenge group yet to find all of my people. I stink.

99drneutron
feb. 13, 2015, 10:00pm

Nah, you don't stink, you just have life happening!

100jolerie
feb. 13, 2015, 10:08pm

*Hugs*. Life is throwing a lot your way. Sending you some comfort and support!

101PaulCranswick
feb. 13, 2015, 11:59pm

>99 drneutron: I am sort of stalled too - possibly the result of juggling too many books at the same time - a few of which are real chunksters.

Hope your weekend helps you to catch up with life as much as with threads. The hairs on my arm stood-up reading your story of your Dad's visitation to aid his brother along. Your memories of your Dad are good ones my dear which is more than I can say for my own. You don't stink at all and I will associate you with pipe smoke now after your vivid smoke .......think I'll go and light up and ruminate.

102cbl_tn
feb. 14, 2015, 7:06am

More virtual hugs here. I'm sorry for the loss of your uncle, and I hope things improve with your other uncle so that you can feel peace about the situation.

103lunacat
feb. 14, 2015, 9:56am

So sorry to hear of your uncle's passing, but I'm really glad that your Dad visited you on the way to collect his brother. What a comfort for you.

My great-aunt and my grandfather were visited by my great-uncle when he died during WWII in the RAF. GA was only twelve at the time, and the morning he died (age 20), she was visited by him as she played and he gave her comfort, though she never revealed what he said to her. They didn't find out he'd been killed for a couple of days, but she'd already told her mother so they were devastated, but they also knew he was 'alright'.

My grandfather, who was seriously ill in hospital having broken his back in an airplane crash between two planes that killed everyone but him, was also visited. They weren't going to tell him about his brother's death as he was so unwell but he woke up the day after they'd been informed and said he'd known for a couple of days.

The night after my grandfather died, after a long and happy life, I dreamt an extremely vivid scene in a garden that contained him, my father, and a man I didn't know but who I could remember perfectly the next morning. When I tried to describe the other man, my grandmother hunted around in some old photos for a while, and before she could ask 'is that him', I picked it out from a pile of others and said 'this was him'. Of course, it was my great-uncle, whom I'd never seen, not even in a photo.

I love how much we don't know about the world.

104lkernagh
feb. 14, 2015, 7:58pm

and I haven't even gone through the Category Challenge group yet to find all of my people.

Real life happens and your 'people' can always come to your thread, instead of you coming to their thread. See, I did it right now. ;-)

I am sorry to read about your uncle's passing. Take care of yourself.

105lindapanzo
feb. 14, 2015, 8:12pm

Sorry to hear about your uncle, Laura.

I started off the year, reading wise, like a ball of fire. Slowing down lately. I can barely read all the threads.

106jnwelch
feb. 14, 2015, 9:05pm

My sympathy re your uncle, too, Laura.

I hope you're dodging some of this cold in your neck of the woods. Wind chill=ridiculous in the land of Mark and Joe.

Stymied in reading - go for easy, fun ones? When I need to lighten up, I usually go for a mystery or sci-fi. My latest mystery series is that Phryne Fisher one. The Aussie tv series based on it (available on Netflix) is awfully good, too.

107Ameise1
feb. 15, 2015, 3:42am

I'm so sorry for the loss of your uncle, Laura. Hugs xx ♥

108msf59
feb. 15, 2015, 8:49am

Morning Laura! Sorry to hear about your uncle. Gentle hug. Good luck on the one-job situation. It sounds liberating for you.

109Crazymamie
feb. 15, 2015, 2:56pm

Catching up with you, Laura, and I was sorry to read about the loss of your uncle. So hard, that. Lovely to know that your Dad stopped in, though - the pipe smoke! I have had moments like that with my Dad, who passed a few years ago, and it is so comforting and reassuring to me.

I applaud you for your big leap of faith on the job front - good for you! I think it is so empowering to trust your own judgement and just let go of everything else. We did that when we moved to Georgia, and it has been the greatest adventure - I'm so glad we didn't miss out on it because we were afraid to try.

I wouldn't worry about the reading - that happens when your mind is busy with so many things. I usually resort to rereading favorite books or binge watching tv shows. Sometimes the brain and the body just need down time.

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers and sending you hugs from all of us at the Pecan Paradisio. Hang in there - you're doing fine.

110mckait
feb. 16, 2015, 1:38pm

So sorry for your loss and added stress. Glad for one job and better times ahead!

111Berly
feb. 16, 2015, 4:41pm

Laura--I am sorry to hear about the passing of your Uncle, but I love that your Dad popped in to reassure. The discussion here of loving visits has been really interesting! Best of luck with the new one-job! It's going to be great. : )

112LauraBrook
feb. 16, 2015, 8:43pm

Thank you so much, everyone. I talked to my Aunt today, and I had a harder time than she did - pretty sure I cried throughout our 20 minute conversation, and then I couldn't stop. Oh well, better out than in. Hopefully I'll get a chance to see her this weekend.

>103 lunacat: Very cool! Thanks for sharing, Jenny. Our family gets more of the garden variety drop-ins and less specific instances. I love that there's so much we don't know about, but still sort of know about...you know?

>106 jnwelch: Joe, it's dang cold here too. :( I have some easy, fun reads on the go (including the second St Mary's, Garden Spells, and Stephen Fry's first memoir), but I can't seem to settle myself down enough to read them. Or, rather, I'm not letting myself read them for no real reason. *shrug* I'm weird. Glad you guys still like me. :)

I found this on the interwebs and couldn't think of a more appropriate place for it:



Currently listening to: Old Filth and Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived by Andrew Wilson. I think I'm confused/missed something in Old Filth so I'll have to grab a physical copy and see where I lost my way. And "Shadows" is interesting, but loooooong. It's been nearly 3 hours, and I've just started the third chapter. Oof.

Currently watching: season 2 of "Hart of Dixie", finishing the last episode of "Selfie", and later tonight will be watching the Angela Lansbury version of "The Mirror Crack'd (From Side to Side)" and the Peter Ustinov version of "Death on the Nile".

Currently reading: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor, Ellen Middleton by Lady Georgiana Fullerton, Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren (don't judge, guilty pleasure), Moab Is My Washpot by Stephen Fry (LOVE him), Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, and Tita by Marie Houzelle.

Up next: The first three Saga books, Y: The Last Man volume 1, An Age of License, Ristorante Uno, the sixth Locke & Key, Strange Fruit volume 1, Bride's Story volume 6, The Strange Library, Collected: Living With the Things You Love, The Ghost Bride, North of the Tension Line, Billy Boyle, Alec Baldwin Doesn't Love Me, The Grand Tour: Around the World with the Queen of Mystery, The Aspen Papers, Tipping the Velvet, and Going Back. Plus, there's more that I can't think of right now.

I may have a problem. ;)

113jnwelch
feb. 17, 2015, 10:23am

I just finished the new sequel to Garden Spells, Laura, which lives up to the original's quality. So if you end up liking GS, your timing is good - you can get more stories about the Waverly sisters in Bascom.

>112 LauraBrook: "I'm so glad I can talk to you . . . " Love this one!

114MickyFine
feb. 17, 2015, 7:33pm

>112 LauraBrook: I can't comprehend reading that many books at once. I'm a one at a time kind of girl and usually have no more than about 3 or 4 stacked on the nightstand waiting for their turn.

115LauraBrook
feb. 18, 2015, 10:17am

>113 jnwelch: Excellent, Joe, I'm glad you liked it! I can't imagine not loving everything she's written, and I'm glad to hear that this newest book of hers didn't disappoint. That e-card is spot-on, isn't it? Perfect for this place.

>114 MickyFine: I wish I was a one-at-a-time girl. It would make life a lot easier, and I'd be "in" my books a little more. But really, I don't think I could do it. There's always one mass market in my purse, I used my Kindle to read in bed at night, and then there would be whatever other book I was reading, so there'd always be at least three. I do need to buckle down and focus on my next book for one of my book clubs, though; we're meeting this coming Tuesday night and we're doing a Skype session with the author, so I'd better get started on it soon!

116lindapanzo
feb. 18, 2015, 12:35pm

Hi Laura, hope you're staying warm. It's unbelievable to be this cold this late in the season.

Since I've got basically 4 different categories in this year's category challenge, I've been going with about 4 books at a time, a mystery, a sports book, a book on history, and a nonmystery novel. I usually focus on the mystery but, when one of the others grabs me, I start to focus on that one. In the meantime, I try to read at least a bit of each.

117MickyFine
feb. 18, 2015, 1:46pm

>115 LauraBrook: Very awesome that the author is willing to Skype with your book club. What book is it?

118LauraBrook
feb. 18, 2015, 2:01pm

>116 lindapanzo: Just barely staying warm, Linda, how about you? It's a balmy 3°F today with a biting wind, so it's darned cold. Wish I didn't have appointments this afternoon/evening so I could stay here all cozy with a blanket. Oh well. :) 4 at a time is pretty good, I think! I'm going to work my "currently reading" pile down very soon to get down to as few as possible. I always rebound back to at least 10 at a time, but it's nice to thin the herd every once in a while.

>117 MickyFine: One of my book clubs won a Book Club Girl prize pack. We get one new release of our choosing every month for 6 months. This is a bonus book because we picked this author/book for a Skype session - it's The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. I've heard from two of the other ladies who've already read it and they both loved it (they usually don't agree on these things) so I've got a good feeling about it. I've just started reading the Saga GN series, however, so it may have to wait until tomorrow. :)

119jolerie
feb. 18, 2015, 2:12pm

I have The Ghost Bride in my TBR stack. Sounds really intriguing so looking forward to your thoughts on it!

120lindapanzo
feb. 18, 2015, 2:57pm

It's cold but I keep consulting myself with the fact that it's almost the end of February and it surely will be warming up soon. Won't it?!?

Last Saturday afternoon, I was downtown for the ballet. Took the train (had to wait outside for it on the way downtown). Had to wait for buses outside. That's nasty. Driving to work doesn't seem so bad. I'm not a speedy walker by any means but can certainly scoot from my car into the office if need be.

If it ever warms up and the weather stabilizes, maybe we can consider getting together for lunch sometime. I hate to make winter plans though.

121Berly
feb. 28, 2015, 12:57pm

I want a Book Club Girl Prize!!! Hope things are warming up a bit. : )

122LauraBrook
feb. 28, 2015, 4:07pm

>119 jolerie: I LOVED The Ghost Bride! One of the best books I've read in a long time, honestly. And, it's a stand-alone - no series! I know!!! While I'd love for there to be more of Li Lan and everyone/everything else, I so appreciate a story that stands by itself. This is the first time in nearly 3 years that all members agreed on a book. And, the author is SO nice and funny and smart and charming! I'm so happy that that was the book we chose and the author we got to chat with. :)

>120 lindapanzo: You know, I sincerely hope it does warm up soon. This is ridiculous! It's supposed to be about 28°F tomorrow - here's hoping that it's true, and that the warmth sticks around. YES, let's do lunch again! And I agree, waiting until the temps are firmly above freezing is smart. I'll put it on my Soon List. :)

>121 Berly: It's an awesome thing to win, that's for sure. I can't remember, are you in a book club? Besides this place, of course. ;) Things aren't really warming up too much, but I'll take anything with double digits at this point. Oh, and if the wind chills could stay in the positive end of the thermostat, that'd be great too. Hope things are well Chez Berly!

123lit_chick
març 5, 2015, 11:45am

Hi Laura, lovely of you to stop by my thread to comment on my discovering Nancy Drew! I LOVE the painting you've opened your thread with; beautiful!

124msf59
març 5, 2015, 1:11pm

Big Waves & Hugs to Laura! Hope all is well, my friend. I also hope you enjoy The Sculptor. It is a terrific GN.

I am currently reading & loving Find Me, (a novel), that might just be your cuppa.

And yah, a warm-up coming!!

125Ameise1
març 7, 2015, 6:33am

Laura, I wish you a lovely weekend.

126LauraBrook
març 7, 2015, 12:27pm

>123 lit_chick: Thanks! I'd like to get a print of that picture, I think.

>124 msf59: Hi Mark! It's currently 40° outside - wahoo!!! Will be nice to get some of our snow melted, and not worry about slipping on sidewalks so much. Here's hoping your back issues keep improving!

>125 Ameise1: Thanks Barbara! It's going to be a bit busy, with working both today and tomorrow afternoon, but I'm hoping to get some early spring cleaning and some reading in there too. Lots of library books are due early this coming week, so I've got to get my butt in a chair and a book (or 4!) in hand, ASAP. :)

This afternoon and tomorrow afternoon I'm doing hand massages for a Mad Hatter Tea Party hosted downtown at one of our lovely small museums, the Charles Allis. We don't get paid, and the whole 2 hours are spent with our arms streeetched across a too-wide table to give hand massages. I hadn't done this job in a few years, said yes, and am now wondering why. They're incredibly nice, lovely people there, and it's a good way to promote my business (we can have our business cards out), but it's almost not worth the effort. I hope that doesn't sound whiny or unappreciative, but after doing this 3 times and getting absolutely no clients out of it, sore back/neck/shoulders, I think this will be my last year. I'm sure it will be a nice time today and tomorrow, but still, it's not terribly worth it, I think.

In book news, I'm clipping along in pages in all 8 that I'm reading, but not really getting anywhere in any of them. I'm planning on fixing that tonight after dinner.

In movie/TV news, I'm finishing watching "The Philadelphia Story" now, and I watched a French film, "Nathalie", this morning over coffee. I'm 2/3 done with the second season of my current guilty pleasure, "Hart of Dixie", and am working my way through my DVR'd programs at a fairly steady clip. Hope I can catch up on "Sleepy Hollow", "The Blacklist", "Cougar Town", get a start on the most recent season of "Doctor Who" this week. I also received a few swapped DVDs in the last couple of weeks ("The Original Kings of Comedy", "First Knight", and "Labyrinth"), and while I've seen them all before, I'm hoping to at least put them on while I'm cleaning and run through them.

Also, in Trivia Crack, I'm losing nearly every game. I keep getting sports (my downfall), so even if I get on a small streak of 3 or 4 correct answers, as soon as I get sports I'm done. Stinks.

127mckait
març 7, 2015, 5:08pm

I am so glad that I am bad at trivia, so I'm not tempted. I am very bad at stepping away from the game :P

I don't blame you for stepping away from the hand massages.. I would probably do the same, although a hand massage does sound rather nice :)

128Chatterbox
març 7, 2015, 7:43pm

The hand massages sound painful (from your end), but in terms of branding and business building -- well, you just never know what is going to come of something like that. Some of my work has come from the most unlikely places, at the most unlikely times, in the most unlikely ways. Take LOTS of business cards, and fliers with your rates, and offer a discount if they follow up from these free sessions? A discount coupon along with the card?

I agree, you have to find a way to do it where it will pay off, so this probably isn't the right place -- if you aren't getting a single paying client after several years, time to re-evaluate. But as a strategy, it works.

I've got a cluster of ARCs to review, so that's my reading for the weekend. Two of them are hard work, for different reasons.

129LauraBrook
març 8, 2015, 10:30am

>127 mckait: Kath, I'd gotten a little better at leaving Trivia Crack alone, but all of a sudden, I feel the urge to play all the time again. Oh well. Hand massages are wonderful things on the receiving end, but with this setup it's a pain for those of us doing the giving. We got a few bags of Rishi tea out of it so far, and we'll get some more today, hopefully with some little something as a thank you. Sometimes it's $20 cash, sometimes it's a packet of blank notecards featuring artwork at the museum. Either way, it does help soften the blow, so to speak.

>128 Chatterbox: Hi Suz! You're right, sometimes jobs come out of nowhere. I just wish that something would come out of this one. I have a big ol' stack of my business cards with a $10 off offer on the back, and every adult I worked on yesterday took one. The problem, I think, is that I'm on the Western suburbs of Milwaukee County (a 20-30 minute drive) and this is on the far East side, a few blocks from Lake Michigan. Not a day trip, certainly, but farther than most people want to travel. *sigh* Oh well. I spoke with my co-worker, Lisa, yesterday, and this is her last year for it too. She works about a mile from this place and still hasn't gotten one client after 3 straight years, so I know location isn't everything. Will just have to work on things closer to my business from now on.

Sometimes it seems like ARCs keep multiplying when I'm not looking. I've got 2 LTERs to catch up on, and hundreds more that I liberated from the recycling bins at the library before I left. In light of the crochet circle I'mhosting in a week, I should probably move them all to a less obvious location than the main rooms and put them in my bedroom or something. I don't want the librarians who're coming to see how many I've amassed over the years!



This is both a reminder for myself to change ALL of my clocks this morning, and also to finally stinking read The Princess Bride! I've yet to manage a re-watch of the film since I read Cary Elwes's memoir, so maybe this will work? Probably not, but it doesn't hurt to try.

Today is Day Two of working for free doing hand massages. I"m hoping that Lisa and I can have dinner afterwards and discuss marketing strategies together. Since we've been working apart for almost 3 years, goodness knows that we've both run into some things the other probably hasn't. Plus, I could really use a professional self-esteem boost, and Lisa is one of the most supportive people I know. Being "gone" from massage for the last year and a half has really thrown me for a loop in every single way. (I say "gone" because I was still working a little while caring for my parents, but my mind was totally elsewhere.) I'm finally in a good location with reasonable rent so now's the time to strike while the iron's hot.

Last night I actually got some reading done, and a few books finished! Granted, they're mostly GNs, but still! And, it's actually above freezing, temp-wise, so ideally I'll go out and take a walk before breakfast and then start reading again, but really I'll probably just play some phone games and watch an episode of "Pie in the Sky".

130jolerie
març 13, 2015, 5:08pm

Daylight savings is only appreciated during the fall when we supposedly gain the hour..ha! Now with young kids in the house, whether we are gaining or losing, it doesn't matter. Still the bane of my existence. ;)

131LauraBrook
març 13, 2015, 10:06pm

I agree with you - the only one that's okay is the one in the fall!

I've slowed way down on the Trivia Crack. It does help when I get a streak of answers I actually know, and then it comes to a screeching halt. That usually lasts through the next 4 people. ;)

So glad to be done with that hand massage event. Both of us (Lisa and I) decided this was our last year. They did end up paying us $20 each for each day, a grand total of $40 for about 6 hours total of work, including commute time. Glad it's over with. Haven't had many clients this week, but I've been running around for at least an hour or two every day, running errands. It's exhausting! Plus, I've fallen into a bad pattern again of having 1 thing to do each day for the next week or so. I'm trying to rearrange some things onto other days if I can, but it's not looking so great. I can get things done much better (at home, that is) if I can have a whole day to do things as opposed to watching the clock every 10-15 minutes to make sure I'm not going to leave late - for literally hours before I'm due to leave. It's some weird anxious habit that I don't know how to work around, and it leads to a lot of nervousness and wasted time. Here's hoping I can work on that tomorrow morning for awhile before going to work, though, and will then have less to do once I get back home.

Sunday is the first meeting of a crochet circle! There are about 5 of us, myself included, in this circle. It started with two former co-workers at the library, one of whom used to teach crochet, and the two of us that are relative newbies. Then another librarian wanted to join, and the "teacher"'s daughter-in-law too. This Sunday I'm hosting, and it will just be the "core" three of us. I'm looking forward to it, and it's good motivation to get my house cleaned up and in better order. I'll try and post a picture or two if I can, but not promises. Of crochet stuff, not necessarily my house.

I just finished book #50 for the year (yay!) and realize that I have to come back and write each one up since it's been too long. I've started a few different crochet projects but have to keep pulling them out because I keep doing things that seem fine until I've done a bit more and then I see that it actually was a mistake. I'm down to only 8 books checked out from the library, and I'm on a streak of reading more of my own. (That streak has just started this week, and I'm hoping it lasts as long as possible so I can get some shelves/stacks thinned out around here.) At the end of April I'll be getting all new windows on my house, and I can't wait! They were supposed to come the last week in February, but it was too bitterly cold, so we got rescheduled. I've been Netflix bingeing on The Dead Files, Bob's Burgers, and I just started Wings last night. Wings is making me nostalgic for my childhood.

What are all of you up to these days?

132cbl_tn
març 13, 2015, 10:47pm

Hi Laura! I'm not doing a whole lot of reading here. My cable & Internet was finally fixed on Wednesday evening after more than a month's wait, and I've spent the last two evenings catching up on the episodes I've missed of my favorite TV series while they're still free through the On Demand service. I'm nearly done with my February ER book, That's Not English, but I probably won't finish it tonight.

133MickyFine
març 14, 2015, 8:51pm

Work, sleep, repeat. ;)

134msf59
març 15, 2015, 11:13am

Happy Sunday, Laura! I've enjoyed swapping GN ideas. I am reading Snow-Piercer Vol. 2. These are interesting books. I am going to pick up Stumptown for a reread. Joe was reading the 2nd volume and loving it and I don't remember the first one very well.

In regards to TC, I think I created a monster. LOL. It's been a lot of fun playing all these LT pals. I just wish I could win more than I lose. It can get a little frustrating.

I hope you have a great day.

135msf59
març 15, 2015, 11:14am

Were you a Breaking Bad fan? I've been watching Better Call Saul and it is really good.

136LauraBrook
març 15, 2015, 11:30am

>132 cbl_tn: That sounds like torture to be without TV and the internet for so long! I say you take a day or two off of work to catch up on all of the things you missed. How's the ER book coming along? I've got two that need reading yet, and I'm feeling a little bad that they've been here for so many months.

>133 MickyFine: Wish the "work" part wasn't in there, but I know it's inevitable. Hope you can squeeze in some book and kitty time too!

>134 msf59: Happy Sunday, Mark! I've enjoyed swapping GNs too, and my read list for this year is certainly full of them. Not that I'm complaining, of course. :) Should I hunt down a copy of the first Snow-Piercer? You know, I totally forgot that I haven't played TC in almost 2 days - yikes! I need to see if I still have games waiting for me, or if I missed everything! I hear you, it does get frustrating at losing most of the time. I suppose someone has to, I just wish it wasn't so consistently me.

No Breaking Bad here, and really it's just an issue of remembering and time. Once I get caught up on series a little better (or maybe over the summer) I can binge-watch the whole show. I hope you have a great day too, Mark!

Currently catching up on my LT threads as I haven't been to some of them in over a month. Ooops. Plus, I hardly slept at all last night, so I'm hoping I can let myself take a nap today, guilt be damned!

137msf59
març 15, 2015, 11:41am

I definitely would recommend the first Snow Piercer and seeing the film too, even though it is much different.

Breaking Bad would be a perfect binge show. It is one of the great TV experiences.

138jolerie
març 16, 2015, 2:53pm

Naps are wonderful and should absolutely be guilt free!

139lkernagh
març 17, 2015, 9:41am

I love naps..... wish I could have one every afternoon. ;-)

140Ameise1
març 21, 2015, 6:35am

Hi Laura, I wish you a lovely weekend.

141msf59
març 21, 2015, 8:22am



Morning Laura! I wanted to let you know I picked up Mystery Society, Criminal Macabre & Sex Criminals: Volume 2 yesterday. B.A.G.

142Berly
març 23, 2015, 12:54am

Hi Laura--Sorry you haven't had more response from your hand massage donations. I do think the strategy works, but perhaps at another venue closer to your work place. I can't believe you have already read 50 books! Dang. I am still in my teens. Crochet? Not so much. I used to knit. But I can appreciate the effort and the outcome! Where are the pictures? : )

143LauraBrook
abr. 1, 2015, 12:06pm

Wow, where has the time gone?!??? Sheesh, it's been an age since I've been back.

Thanks to everyone for stopping. Naps are the best thing ever, and should be required in every workplace. We haven't had a crochet circle meeting yet - the day before, 2 people couldn't do it, one person's grandma was sick and in the hospital which required a Sunday visit, and the "instructor" came down with a stomach bug. So we cancelled. Talks are in the works for a week from this coming Sunday, so we'll see what happens. It may end up just the instructor and myself, which would be okay with me!

That particular hand massage job (which sounds kind of bad) is just how that one is. There's a companion one that we also do that meets at a beautiful companion mansion/museum overlooking Lake Michigan, and it's the same there - people show up for the freebies but don't actually turn into clients for anyone. Oh well. This past Saturday I worked at a vendor fair for one of the libraries in my county, and I did pretty well! People paid per minute for chair massage, and I was busy nearly all of the time. Plus, of course I ordered a few things from other vendors too. :) I'd do that again.

When I got home from the fair Saturday afternoon, one of my cats, Sweetpea, was acting funny and throwing up. I took her in to the emergency vet, where they couldn't find anything wrong, but gave her some medication and fluids and I took her home. Of course I barely slept and watched her like a hawk all day and night on Sunday. On Monday she was acting better but still a little off, so my Mom came in to confirm I wasn't just losing my mind (I wasn't, unfortunately), so we took her back to the emergency vet for some bloodwork and an X-ray to make sure there wasn't something wrong internally. After 3 hours (!!!), they still didn't find anything - all bloodwork was excellent (especially given her "advanced age" - she's 11), and there was nothing wrong internally and she looked really healthy. So, a total of $800 later, we know she's fine, and probably just a slower cat to recover. This is the first time she's ever been sick, and while I'm not excited about the cost, it was reasonable enough, and my Mom and I are both glad that we did everything we did to at least ease our minds that Pea is good and healthy. Phew!

That came at the end of my busy massage week (there's one every month where most people seem to show up), and I barely had time to return phone calls, let alone play any phone games or read anything. Sorry, Trivia Crack-ers! Today finally feels like a normal day, so I'm back into the swing of things. I've come to realize that I'll always be behind here on LT, which make me a little sad. I realized that this coming Saturday is my 7th Thingaversary, and suddenly I went into overdrive buying books for myself. After spending only a couple of dollars on books in March, I went bonkers late last night and this morning buying books. Here's my list.

Henry James by Sheldon Novice
Light of the Bhagawata
The Saddest Music Ever Written by Thomas Larson
The Barracks by John McGahern
Virginia Woolf by Mary Ann Caws
The Best American Travel Writing 2013 by Elizabeth Gilbert, et. al.
Bright Young Things by Alison Maloney
Agatha Christie: An Autobiography
The Story of a Lie by Robert Louis Stevenson
Saga, Volumes 1 and 4 by Brian K. Vaughan
Among the Janeites by Deborah Yaffe
The Devil's Cave and
The Crowded Grave by Martin Walker
two different copies of Sense & Sensibility since I've decided to collect versions of this book now
Crochet-opedia by Julie Oparka
Doctor Who: Wooden Heart on audiobook
Doctor Who: Dead of Winter by James Goss
The Memory of Blood by
Bryant & May Off the Rails by Christopher Fowler
The Map of Time by Felix J Palma
The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne
The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey
a year-long subscription to the new Archie comics
the new 9th Doctor Who #1 comic that comes out today

In my defense, they were all on sale/cheap (except for the 4th volume of Saga), and I'd been stressed by a long work-week and worrying about my baby girl. (Because, yes, my cats are my children.) Plus, it's books! Books help anything and everything.

And now I need to haul myself into the shower so I can go to the library and pick up a CD that FINALLY came in, get some gas in my car, home for lunch, and then off to work for 1 appointment this afternoon. Hope you're all having a good Wednesday!

144Ameise1
abr. 4, 2015, 4:20am

Hi Laura, I wish you Happy Easter.

145LauraBrook
abr. 4, 2015, 11:22am

Thank you, Barbara, and the same to you!

146msf59
abr. 4, 2015, 11:44am

Happy Saturday, Laura! And Happy Easter!

That is a mighty book haul! Nice to have those Saga issues. I am considering it too.

147LauraBrook
abr. 4, 2015, 12:21pm

Mark, I just visited your thread! Great minds....

I know, I kind of went overboard after a very good, $2 spent on books March. Oh well! Plus, it's my Thingaversary today, so I HAD to buy 8 books anyways. I just got a few more, you know, in case that dreaded Worldwide Book Famine actually occurs. ;) I think you should totally buy Saga for yourself. The first one was on sale and I was already buying it for a friends' birthday, and I was sick of waiting for the 4th one at the library (hold list was too long!), so into my cart they went. :)

What's up with no more Stone Levitation? I haven't had it yet (and now, probably, won't ever), but that seems like a crazy decision on the brewers' part. WTH?

148lindapanzo
abr. 4, 2015, 4:06pm

Happy Thingaversary, Laura. Happy Easter.

149jolerie
abr. 4, 2015, 10:36pm

Awesome book haul. Those are the best.

Wishing you a wonderful Easter!

150Berly
abr. 4, 2015, 11:38pm

Happy Easter tomorrow and Happy Thingaversary today! Nice haul woman!!

151lindapanzo
abr. 5, 2015, 12:33am

Hurray for Wisconsin!! Not sure if you're a fan.

I got wrapped up in my astronaut book and forgot the game was on. Glad the Badgers won.

152cbl_tn
abr. 5, 2015, 6:24am

Happy Thingaversary! Great book haul! That looks like about 8 books to me. ;-) Agatha Christie's autobiography is one of my favorite books ever, and a must-read for Christie fans.

153PaulCranswick
abr. 5, 2015, 11:31am

>143 LauraBrook: Way to go with 20 plus books.

Have a lovely Easter weekend, Laura

154LauraBrook
Editat: abr. 5, 2015, 9:08pm

Thanks, everyone! I can't wait until my big beautiful boxes of books finally arrive. :)

>148 lindapanzo: Thank you twice, Linda!

>149 jolerie: Thanks, Valerie! Book hauls are the best, aren't they? :)

>150 Berly: Kim, thanks! I do my best to support the book industry.

>151 lindapanzo: Hurray for Wisconsin, indeed! Not necessarily a fan, mostly just because it's where I'm from, but I'm glad they did so well. Oooh, what astronaut book are you reading?

>152 cbl_tn: Carrie, I like the way you do math. ;) I'm especially looking forward to the Christie biography because it includes an audio CD of Agatha reading some of the book. Can't wait!

>153 PaulCranswick: Paul! Thanks, it felt positively WhisperWickian (is that the right form of the word?) to order that many books at once. I hope you had a lovely weekend as well, kind sir. :)

We had a nice Easter lunch today. Mom and I walked over to her neighbor's house and had a late lunch with her and her cousin who was in town from Madison. It was a really lovely few hours spent with them, eating yummy food and having a lot of laughs. And now I'm home again, having a mini-marathon of laundry.

Tomorrow I have the day off, and Mom and I are going over to my friend Annie's new house for an early afternoon tea. Well, and so my Mom can meet Annie's cat and see her dog, and see her house out in the country. It'll be a nice day, and I'll be doing, you guessed it, LAUNDRY for the rest of the day. The rest of the house could use a cleaning too, but I'd rather try and finish up an audiobook instead.

I hope everyone had a nice Easter today, and a good weekend!

155scaifea
abr. 6, 2015, 7:17am

Hi, Laura!

WhisperWickian - I love it!

156jnwelch
abr. 6, 2015, 9:36am

Love the WhisperWickian book haul, Laura. Hope it was a good Easter weekend for you.

157MickyFine
abr. 7, 2015, 6:39pm

Sounds like a lovely couple days off.

158Ameise1
abr. 11, 2015, 6:18am

Hi Laura, I wish you a fabulous weekend.

159Whisper1
maig 3, 2015, 9:45pm

Hi Dear One

In reading your thread, I feel so sorry for all you went through this winter. I sure do hope spring is bringing sunshine. I'm sorry for the loss of your Uncle. Good for you for your bravery in quitting a stable job and risking and depending upon yourself. I admire you more than words can say.

I am so darn conservative. I stayed in a social-work type job for ten years of my young life. I loved my co-workers, but knew it was time to leave long before I did.

I find that I hang on to what I think is secure, even though it might not be the best thing for me.

Again, I admire you!!!!

As my energy improves, I'll be visiting more often. The pain is still severe, but each month I can do more.

You are a very special lady. Take good care!

160Berly
maig 18, 2015, 1:36am

Hi Laura--what's up? : )

161LauraBrook
maig 31, 2015, 10:36am

Hello, friends! I am alive, despite my lack of evidence at this fine place on the interwebs. :)

I think I just hit a wall as to what I could handle and checked out of nearly everywhere online (except to update goodreads since it's so easy and it's the now the only way I can keep track of what I read) and in writing/sending letters and anything that didn't absolutely have to get done. The mental space and effort it took just to keep my head on regarding the latest escapades of my Uncle in Alaska, and what I could and couldn't/shouldn't tell my Mom, was enough to handle. Plus working and doing the basics to keep my house not Red Cross-level-insane, that was it. To sum the last month or so: I've had all windows replaced in my house (a 4 day job), almost moved my business but ended up staying where I am, one of my cats had two emergency vet visits in 3 days (she's fine and apparently ate a bug - something only her brother has done so far in their 11 years), spent a few 12 hours days watching my friend's adorable 1 1/2 year old son, went with a friend to one of her last chemo treatments, cleaned out over half of my shoes (a more enormous task than I thought it would be at the start), and had daily phone calls from my Uncle's friend/neighbor/power of attorney regarding his latest. (He is still currently alive, and after falling and being in the hospital again - essentially a mini version of his first fall this past November - he is now in the only facility in the state that will take him. Thankfully, it's just outside of his city, so the potential for the few friends he hasn't alienated to visit is there. His liver is totally gone and is disintegrating, his kidneys are failing, his dementia is constant, his torso and lungs are filling with fluid at the rate of about a liter a day, and his organs are now starting to fail, and he can barely walk. But, he is cleaner than he's been in his adult life, very well-cared for, and seems fairly happy to spend his days there. And, thankfully, they will be declaring his house as condemned at some point soon, with the allowance for myself/whomever to go in for short periods of time in a hazmat suit to sort through what's left and remove paperwork as needed, and they will most likely be burning his house and whatever is left once we're done.)

So yeah. I'm wiped out, and using books for an escape and coping mechanism in between visits with my therapist. Even thinking of and typing all of that above tires me out all over again. The one good thing that's come out of this is that I do actually relax for at least half of the time that I'm not working, which I never used to do. Sure, it's because I'm exhausted to the point of near-narcoleptic levels, but I do feel better after I've slept a couple of hours, and I'm able to handle sorting through some paperwork or something for a little while before picking up a book or turning on the TV. I'll do a big list of what I've read since my last update, but after I've had something to eat and some more coffee. Uffda!

I hope you've all been doing well, and I'll start doing rounds at some point soon. I really missed you guys!!!!!

162MickyFine
juny 1, 2015, 7:02pm

*great big hugs*

I'm sorry to hear about all the stressful things going on in your life lately, Laura. As always, I'm happy to see you whenever you make it to these parts. :)

163ronincats
juny 1, 2015, 8:45pm

Good to see you here and thanks for the update, Laura. I'm also sorry to hear you are going through such a stressful period, but hopefully things are getting under control.

More hugs--{{{{{Laura}}}}}

164jnwelch
juny 2, 2015, 9:57am

Good to see you back, Laura! Sending positive thoughts for a peaceful stretch.

165LauraBrook
Editat: juny 3, 2015, 7:51pm

Hello, you lovelies! I keep hoping/praying/yelling "I can take a break ANY TIME NOW, thanks!" but it's not seeming to do much good. Oh well, I'll keep at it. And while this is a lighter work week, it's not so great for me financially. Still, I have a bunch of stuff that I can put on Craigslist/eBay so that should help, and I'm still searching for a career counselor to help me develop/find some freelance writing/editing work. I figured that would be the easiest and best fit for me to do in between doing massages, and it doesn't require a commute, which is just about perfect.

One of my dear friends stopped by this afternoon with a belated birthday present for me - part of it were two English newspapers, Metro and The Times, so I'm looking forward to cracking those open in a little bit. Even though they're a few weeks old, it doesn't matter, I'm just so happy to have them. Plus, one of them covers the BAFTAs, so that's even better!

Monday night I did something fun! I know! My high school choir director is retiring at the end of this year after teaching for 38 years. One of my friends who is a musician and still works for the school accompanying the choir set up a secret surprise for our director. It took months of planning, and it was totally worth it. As a surprise, for the last song she'd ever direct in concert, about 60 of us (graduates from the 80's through 2014) learned, rehearsed, and joined the students on stage to sing "Corner of the Sky" from the musical Pippin. It was great to see old friends, and she was so surprised and really touched, it made it all worth it. Afterwards, about 20 of us went to our old after-concert haunt, an Italian restaurant (which was newer in the early/mid 90's when we were in school), for a few drinks and pizza, and our director joined us for some G&T's! It was really nice to see Jo outside of the classroom and enjoying herself, looking forward to her retirement. After a couple of hours, 5 of us went to a George Webb's and stayed there talking until 3 in the morning! I'll try and post a picture if I can figure out how to snag it from Facebook. It's two days later, and I'm still not totally recovered. How sad is that?!?!?! But it was a lot of fun to see everyone, see my old school, and sing again. I really miss doing something musical, and since I haven't had luck finding a viola teacher for adults (or someone who would take me on to refresh me), maybe singing is the way for me to go right now. Oh well, it's not like I've got lots of time on my hands right now, but it is something to think about.

I snagged a group shot from the restaurant! I'm the one on the right in the middle with the blue shirt.

166MickyFine
juny 4, 2015, 1:13am

Looks like a fun night out and you look lovely, Laura. :)

167Ameise1
juny 4, 2015, 1:30am

You look so lovely. Thanks so muchfor sharing it.

168cbl_tn
juny 4, 2015, 5:56am

It's good to see you back! It sounds like your surprise choir reunion was just what you needed after all that stress. Some of my happiest memories are from my high school choir days. I spent half of my day in the choir room my senior year.

169Ameise1
juny 5, 2015, 11:38am

Hi Laura, I wish you a fabulous weekend.

170Berly
juny 8, 2015, 2:59am

Laura--Thanks for the update! Who knew you were dealing with so much? I am glad you had the choir reunion and thank you for the picture--you look very happy! Good luck with everything. I am sending good mojo your way. ;)

171msf59
juny 8, 2015, 7:22am

Hi Laura! Love the group photo. Looks like a happy bunch.

I hope you had a nice weekend and I hope things have been going better and smoother for you. Hugs to my pal.

172lkernagh
juny 14, 2015, 1:55pm

Stopping by with hugs and hellos for you, Laura!

173LauraBrook
jul. 4, 2015, 6:55pm

Hi everyone! Hugs and smooches all around!

I've got a very lazy Fourth of July weekend in progress here - the only things on my plate are reading, laundry, and cleaning up the house as the spirit moves me. (Here's hoping it moves just a little. It's getting a little clutter-tastic around here.) Earlier this week I went thrifting for the first time in years with a friend. I got a few nice little serving/snack bowls, a set of sheets for my massage table, some 8x10 picture frames, and few other random things. We agreed to find something ridiculous for under $5 that the other would buy for themselves - Susie chose a pair of gold and silver glitter hooker heels for me. They crack me up - and if walk more than a few yards in them, I may crack a bone. This is the closest image I can find online - mine are like these, only open-toed and with a thicker criss-cross X strap instead of ribbon.

Classy, hey?!? ;)

Other than that, I've just been keeping busy! My Mom had excellent check-ups with her doctors and mammogram over the last few weeks. She's going back to PT to help with arm swelling (it's not noticeable if you're not starting at her arms) and getting re-fitted for a sleeve some time soon. I'm still shopping for a new-to-me car. Uncle Rob is still alive, and I hope he feels as good as possible until he crosses over, whenever that may be. My massage partner gave me her 2 months notice that she's leaving. But then she thought she'd come back. And then not. Either way, as of September 1st I'll have to cover the rent for our room on my own. *gulp* I'm looking online for some reputable part-time work. I need something that's flexible enough so I can leave to work on my massage clients when I have appointments, and I can work on this mystery job in betwixt and between.

Reading is still coming along nicely, though I seem to have slowed-down over all. I keep starting books and then never really getting around to finishing them. (Doing a quick mental count, I think I'm currently reading around 15 books.) Hopefully the weekend RAT here will help get me to finish some of them up!

174cbl_tn
jul. 4, 2015, 7:25pm

Hi Laura! Your Fourth sounds a lot like mine, except for the cleaning. My house needs it, but I decided that I'd give myself a holiday. I hope things work out with your part-time job hunt. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Oh, and just looking at those shoes makes my feet hurt! I would probably injure myself on the first step...

175MickyFine
jul. 4, 2015, 9:05pm

>173 LauraBrook: I want a foot selfie with the shoes!

Glad things are relatively good in your neck of the woods. *hugs* Now if only we could get more frequent visits. *puppy dog eyes*

176msf59
jul. 4, 2015, 9:23pm

Happy 4th, Laura! Nice to see you checking in. Glad your Mom is doing fine.

Now, finish some books, will ya!!

177lkernagh
jul. 5, 2015, 9:24am

Wow, those shoes are post-worthy! I love heels but even I find those to be rather high and definitely 'blingie'. ;-)

Glad to read that all is going well with you.

178Berly
jul. 22, 2015, 2:42am

Nice shoes Laura!!! Good luck with finding a new massage partner, or the flexible job. Fifteen books is a lot to handle--I only have two going, but it is slow on my end, too. Oh well. I refuse to worry about it. Reading is supposed to be my fun! : )

179LauraBrook
ag. 19, 2015, 4:45pm

Thanks for the shoe-love! I nearly crippled myself walking around my house trying to take a picture, and they've been sitting on my closet shelf ever since. Maybe if I lose over 100 pounds, I could try wearing them for real. Until then, they're a sparkly shoe to look at. :)

I have NO IDEA how it's been over a month since I was here last. What in the world is happening to time?!? And to my life?!? Sheesh. Things are still pretty much the same. My Uncle called me just after I last updated here, and it was an upsetting half hour "conversation" with him, which ulitmately resulted in me crying for a while afterwards.

And then, a few days later (to console myself), I rearranged my books. That was wonderful and therapeutic and fun and all of the excellent things that it always is for me. I did a quick pull of some books that I wanted to read and get rid of - the couple of hundred of them are still sitting in small stacks on the floor in my living room. No idea where they'll live until I can get to them all, but that's okay. What surprised me most about doing this was that I only had 2 duplicates! Pretty impressive for someone who's been slacking on updating my library here. I made some new groupings of my books, and got all of my shelves/drawers in alpha order so theoretically I can find things easier. All in all, it still makes me happy to have that fun task done with.

Otherwise, I've just been working and trying to help my Mom take care of herself emotionally. And doing tons of laundry, of course.

Reading books is still being done, though I've been in a stalled mode lately, reading only a few pages at a time, not really getting anywhere in any of them. And then last night I finished up two books I've been reading for months, and I'm suddenly in a zone where I want to finish all the books right away. Finally! All I have to do is finish up the ones I want to finish, plus start and finish two book club books in the next week. Theoretically, this is possible, but I doubt it will happen. Oh well! I'll do my best.

I'm going to (honestly, seriously) update the books I've read so far this year. I'm over a hundred books right now, but I haven't updated here since number 19. Here goes nothing!

180lindapanzo
ag. 19, 2015, 4:52pm

Hi Laura, thanks for the update.

At some point, maybe things'll settle down and we can meet up for lunch. My boss informed me that I'd better get cracking on scheduling some days off or else I'll be losing them. I sure don't want that. (I'm not used to being in that position but, with the new job responsibilities, it's been tough taking much time.)

I haven't been doing much with my physical books but have been trying to get a handle on the series I'm reading. I created my own spreadsheet and a few people told me about Fictfact so I'm giving that a try, too.

181LauraBrook
ag. 19, 2015, 5:26pm

20. Island Bride by Danica Winters
21. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
22. Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie
23. The Secret Lives of Men and Women: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren
24. A Year With Six Sisters' Stuff by Six Sisters' Stuff
25. Ristorante Paradiso by Netsuke Ono
26. Tita by Marie Houzelle
27. A Bride's Story Volume 6 by Kaoru Mori
28. Saga #1 by Brian K. Vaughan
29. An Age of License by Lucy Knisley
30. Locke & Key, Volume 6 by Joe Hill
31. The Case of the Caretaker by Agatha Christie
32. The Case of the Perfect Maid by Agatha Christie
33. Xingu by Edith Wharton
34. The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
35. Saga #2 by Brian K. Vaughan
36. Saga #3 by Brian K. Vaughan
37. PostSecret by Frank Warren
38. Collected: Living With the Things You Love by Fritz Karch
39. Strange Fruit, Volume 1 by Joel Christian Gill
40. Ellen Middleton by Lady Georgian Fullerton
41. The Pioneer Detectives by Konstantin Kakaes
42. A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor
43. When A Child Is Born by Jodi Taylor
44. Clubbing by Andi Watson
45. Y: The Last Man, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
46. Billy Boyle by James R. Benn
47. The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
48. Criminal Macabre by Steve Niles
49. The Spiderwick Chronicles Movie Storybook by Tracey West
50. Mystery Society by Steve Niles
51. Moab Is My Washpot by Stephen Fry
52. They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie
53. Slow News Day by Andi Watson
54. Never Stop to Think...Do I Have A Place For This? by Mary Randolph Carter
55. Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
56. Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula by Andi Watson
57. Displacement by Lucy Knisley
58. The Grand Tour by Agatha Christie
59. The Adventurous Simplicissimus by Hans Jakob von Grimmelshausen
60. Imagist Poetry: An Anthology by Bob Blaisdell
61. The Public Library: A Photographic Essay by Robert Dawson
62. Calamity-Free Crochet by Catherine Hirst
63. Seduction by Velvet
64. Bared to You by Sylvia Day
65. Grammar Girl's 101 Misused Words You'll Never Confuse Again by Mignon Fogerty
66. The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry
67. The Spiderwick Chronicles Book 1 by Tony DiTerlizzi
68. S.E.C.R.E.T. a Novel by L. Marie Adeline
69. Reflected in You by Sylvia Day
70. The Martian by Andy Weir
71. The Spiderwick Chronicles #2 by Tony DiTerlizzi
72. A Second Chance by Jodi Taylor
73. The Sittaford Mystery by Agatha Christie
74. The Real Life Downton Abbey by Jacky Hyams
75. Naked In Death by J.D. Robb
76. The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
77. The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank
78. The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
79. Roman Holiday by Jodi Taylor
80. Christmas Present by Jodi Taylor
81. Beautiful Beloved by Christina Lauren
82. Goblins Attack by Tony DiTerlizzi

182LauraBrook
ag. 19, 2015, 5:27pm

83. Doctor Who The Forgotten by Tony Lee
84. Doctor Who Series 3 Volume 1 The Hypothetical Gentleman by Andy Diggle
85. Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren
86. Unusual Suspects by Dana Stabenow
87. By The Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie
88. Sense & Sensibility A BabyLit Opposites Primer by Jennifer Adams
89. The Queen Is Dead by Kate Locke
90. Storm Front by Jim Butcher
91. Glory in Death by J.D. Robb
92. Night's Edge by Barbara Hambly
93. The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton
94. The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
95. Domestic Manners of the Americans by Frances Milton Trollope
96. Minding the Manor by Mollie Moran
97. Masters of Midnight by Michael Thomas Ford
98. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
99. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
100. Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
101. A Spirited Tail by Leighann Dobbs
102. The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah
103. Fodor's Escape to Provence by Nancy Coons
104. Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich
105. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
106. Handwritten Recipes by Michael Popek
107. Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie
108. Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes
109. Let's Bring Back by Leslie M. M. Blume
110. Malice at the Palace by Rhys Bowen
111. The Miser of Mayfair by Marion Chesney
112. The Granny Square Book by Margaret Hubert

I seem to missing one book, but I can't find it right now. Hmm...

183LauraBrook
ag. 19, 2015, 5:31pm

Linda, lunch sounds good! Let me know, I've got more flexibility than you do, for sure. I hope work is going well!

I use FictFact ALL THE TIME! It's the only way to keep track of all of my series since I don't know how to use Excel. It's awesome!

184BLBera
ag. 19, 2015, 8:17pm

Hi Laura - What a lot you have going on -- and you still manage to read! Impressive.

185lit_chick
ag. 19, 2015, 10:53pm

Oh, who doesn't need a pair of glitter hooker heels? How fabulous! Make me smile out loud : ).

I also love your thread topper, Laura. Have saved this picture.

186jnwelch
Editat: ag. 20, 2015, 10:24am

Hi, Laura! Good to have you back!

Wow, you've been reading a ton. Lots of ones I've enjoyed in there, including the Agatha Christies and the Jodi Taylor series.

Our son persuaded me to put our books in alpha order, and it has really helped, both in finding ones we're looking for (!) and realizing what, for some reason, we're missing among our favorites.

187MickyFine
ag. 21, 2015, 1:50pm

*waves enthusiastically at Laura* Every time I tackle hug you, you disappear for weeks on end so I'm going to restrain myself. This time.

188Ameise1
ag. 22, 2015, 9:39am

Happy Weekend, Laura.

189LauraBrook
ag. 30, 2015, 5:07pm

>184 BLBera: It may seem impressive, but the ever increasing stack of current reads on my coffee table begs to differ.

>185 lit_chick: I just looked at those glittery hooker heels this morning and thought "some day I may get the courage and grace to wear these in public...". ;)

>186 jnwelch: Hi Joe! I fear your thread may be one of the last ones I get to, simply because it's always such a hopping place, and there's a lot to read through! I envy your whole-house alphabetizing, and wish I could accomplish it here. With the shelving situation at home and a space issue in each room (not just for book cases but also each individual shelf) I don't know how I'd accomplish it without losing some adjustable-shelves. And I've just got a large amount of books that I can't afford to do that! Oh well, it sure is fun to see the gaps in series I still "need" to buy, and to look at all of the potentially wonderful books out there. *sigh*

>187 MickyFine: Micky, no need for restraint! *tackle hugs Micky instead* I'm doing better about actually being here and enjoying something I have dearly missed. :)

>188 Ameise1: Barbara, thank you, and I hope you have a happy weekend yourself!

I've been working on facing my fears and letting go of some stuff that no longer serves me. Or rather, some things I'd rather not serve me any longer. One of those is writing. I grew up writing and drawing all the time, playing with paper dolls and reading books and creating stories. Once my teen years hit, I still journaled regularly, and a couple of different friends and I would draw and write our own books on occasion. In college, once I realized I was unhappy, stopped being afraid of disappointing someone (no one in particular, mind you, just a general, looming "someone") I changed my major (from Elementary Education to English) and was happier. And in my last semester of college while touring Europe with the choir I did an independent study course on travel writing. My emphasis on graduation was to go to graduate school and get a Masters degree in writing/editing/something of that nature. But then I got back from Europe and graduated and was filled with youthful glee and hopefulness, and didn't want to go to school any more. I wanted my own personal gap year, and I worked several different jobs, trying out a lot of things, but really not sticking with anything. Not much writing of any kind happened, I was too "busy" figuring things out, trying to find a different ground to stand on and where I could launch my future awesome life. Then student loans started up. And I found myself temping and wanting to avoid the soul-crushing job I was being offered daily where I worked. Doubt started to creep in (not necessarily a bad thing), and I started to spiral-panic and did the "reasonable, adult" thing and took the job. Shortly after that, my Grandmother got sick and passed away, and suddenly it's 13 years later and I don't think I've journalled or written much outside of a letter since then.

So - all of this to safely announce that I am challenging myself to write something every day. It doesn't have to be much, a grocery list, part of a story that came to me, a letter, whatever. Just writing something is the goal. I'd like to get my old, neglected blog up and running again, breathe some life into it. And not freak out over potential internet trolls or someone possibly vehemently disagreeing with my opinion on anything. All of the Maybes of Life are what terrifies me into a petrified state. I spoke about this with my therapist this week and said that I need someone to give me permission to enjoy my life and do whatever I'd like. Truthfully, I was hoping she'd do just that, but she's smarter than me. Smiling, she said "I know" and just looked at me. So you're not going to give me permission, I hopefully asked? "Nope." Dangit. Okay, then, I'll work on it. So I'm outing myself to you all, my dearest LT friends.

(Also, I realize this is a First World Problem sort of thing, and it may be navel-gazing, or whatever, but I don't care.)

190cbl_tn
ag. 30, 2015, 6:47pm

>189 LauraBrook: Best wishes with your writing! This is a good place to find encouragement. Readers need writers!

191scaifea
ag. 31, 2015, 7:43am

Good luck with the writing, Laura! You can do it!

192MickyFine
ag. 31, 2015, 1:32pm

>189 LauraBrook: Way to go for not letting go of writing entirely. If you do get a blog back up and running let me know and I'll give you positive comments.

Also, if you want a pen pal let me know. I love sending (and receiving) letters.

193Berly
set. 14, 2015, 1:59am

Yay for writing!!! Perhaps you could try a little bit out on us? (Translation: I am back on LT and you should be too!) : )

194msf59
set. 14, 2015, 9:31am

Hi, Laura! Just checking in with my pal. Hope all is well. I see you are getting plenty of reading in, so that is a good thing. I've been busy knocking out my Booktopia books. It kicks off next Monday in Petoskey. Getting pumped.

Good luck with your writing. You know you'll get a lot of support over here. Keep us updated. Hugs!

195Whisper1
set. 14, 2015, 10:12am

Hello Dear Friend.

I read messages you posted regarding all the happenings in your life. Whew! What a wild roller coaster ridge. I am so sorry that all of these major life events are hitting you concurrently. I hold you in my thoughts and prayers.

Good luck with your writing. I previously kept a journal, even attended a workshop way back when on how to tap into your inner most feelings via journaling. Alas, I no loner journal. Sadly, it seems that people, my mother, my former husband, a person I had a deep relationship with, all found my journals and read them. It was not a positive thing to have my feelings misinterpreted and used against me.

I hope things calm down for you soon. You are indeed a loving, caring, wonderful soul. I hope the best for you in all endeavors.

196Ameise1
set. 19, 2015, 7:45am

Happy weekend, Laura.

197PaulCranswick
oct. 24, 2015, 10:33am

No word from you for a couple of months Laura. Hope all is well, my dear. xx

198LauraBrook
nov. 21, 2015, 9:05pm

I'm alive! Despite my apparent non-existence, I am still around. Real life has simply gotten too distracting of late (or rather, I let it distract me from having fun here), and I've been too dang tired to get off of the couch when I get home from work. Things are mostly the same in my life, with the addition of my dear aunt in the ICU for almost a week, as she's unable to get enough oxygen into her lungs and system.

The second anniversary of my Dad's passing was a week ago, and it was an okay day. It's been officially one year since my Alaskan Uncle started all of his crap - he's still alive, and even though State Troopers and visiting nurses have been to his house and fought with him to go back into hospital, he's refusing, so I think almost everyone now knows to just leave him be and drink himself to death. It's what he wants. He is so far beyond saving it's not funny. We all pray that he passes in his sleep and that it's soon so he's out of pain and done being tortured as are the rest of us who love him. Mom's birthday was on Monday (72!) and she just wanted to be left alone at home to read and watch movies. You can tell I don't fall far from the tree! And despite Christmas being over a month away, I've been feeling real panic about getting things done on time. Work is okay, but I'm still not earning enough, so my temporary plan is to sell stuff on eBay to help. It's at least something that will help get stuff out of my house, hopefully earn a little extra money for me, and most importantly, be a job that isn't so physically exhausting to me and that doesn't require me spending my day off doing 8 loads of laundry.

So! I've read a bunch of books, some good, some not, some great. I've been wasting time on Instagram, and a few other apps, and I've suddenly decided to teach myself how to cross stitch by making Christmas presents for people. Not to mention the crochet projects that need doing too. Ack! Oh well.

Just wanted to drop a couple of lines here and say hello. I've missed you all, and thought of you guys nearly every day. May this be a harbinger of more visits for 2015!

199lindapanzo
nov. 21, 2015, 9:53pm

Hi Laura, good to see you here. I haven't been around that much lately either and am trying, but not succeeding, at catching up.

I can certainly understand the "get stuff out of the house" angle. I need to do more of that. People ask me what I want for Christmas and I definitely don't want more stuff.

200LauraBrook
nov. 22, 2015, 5:16pm

Hi Linda! There's so much stuff here, it's crazy. And to think of everything that we've gotten rid of over the last 13 years, it's kind of unbelievable. I've got a friend coming over in a couple of weeks who's going to help me in the basement - it's 75% stuff from my grandfather (who died before I was born), there should be big heaps of things heading into the trash can or to the recycling center, and I'll start a few boxes of things to be put either online to sell or at a rummage sale in the summer. As long as it gets shifted, I'll be happy!

And at least we know each other is alive through Trivia Crack! ;)

201MickyFine
nov. 25, 2015, 10:28pm

So happy to see you, Laura! As always!

202Berly
nov. 30, 2015, 1:24am

Hi Laura! Thanks for the post. Nice to hear from you and I totally sympathize on the Christmas mini panic. Hang in there and I do hope to "see" more of you in 2016. : ) Good luck with the cross-stitching.

203Ameise1
des. 5, 2015, 6:32am

Wishing you a lovely weekend, Laura.

204ronincats
des. 7, 2015, 11:48pm

Hang in there, Laura! It will all get done and be resolved. {{{{Laura}}}}

205lkernagh
des. 20, 2015, 4:31pm

Stopping by with Hellos and Hugs for you, Laura!

206ronincats
des. 23, 2015, 3:41pm



For my Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/Holiday image this year (we are so diverse!), I've chosen this photograph by local photographer Mark Lenoce of the pier at Pacific Beach to express my holiday wishes to you: Peace on Earth and Good Will toward All!

207Berly
des. 26, 2015, 3:42pm


208Ape
des. 26, 2015, 3:44pm

*Hugs*

209LauraBrook
des. 26, 2015, 5:15pm

Hello everyone, and a belated Merry Christmas!



This is the first year in my entire life that I spent both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home! It's all I wanted, really, and I was (and am) so happy that I got to spend some time enjoying this time instead of rushing around and checking stops off of a list, trying to make sure everyone else was happy instead of myself. It's a small thing, but an important one. And it's something that I'm trying to make more of a priority in my life, putting myself first and realizing that the things I want or hope for are just as valid an anyone else's. At heart I am a People Pleaser, to the point that the mere thought of someone potentially disliking me or something I'd done or thought or said was enough to make me visibly cringe. V. bad! Life is life, and not everyone is going to like everyone else. No one is perfect, and that very much includes me. Adopting this new "screw it" mentality has been nothing short of a revelation, honestly. I still buy thoughtful presents for my friends and clients, talk to my Mom several times a day, hold doors for strangers, let other cars merge in traffic, blah blah blah. But there's an internal shift, and I find myself saying "I matter", instead of my knee-jerk reaction (or whatever you call it) of the belief that I don't exist or count. It only took 37 years, the last two of which have been the worst, most exhausting and eye-opening of my life, to get here. And I'm thankful for all of it!

Okay, enough navel-gazing. What did everyone get for Christmas? I got a few gift cards for book stores (yessss!), a few books from friends (of whom I'll see more this coming week), and 8 books from my Mom! Plus a DVD and printer ink. ;) Are you all participating in the 75ers next year? Any other groups? I'm trying to figure out what my 16 categories could be, and work in bookclub books, and any other non-LT reading challenges too. And I know I say it every year, but lordy, I NEED to read my own books! Over 1,300 physical TBR books is a bit too much for the current state of things in my house. *gulp* I know it's a lot, and I do absolutely love it, but I'd like to see at least part of a flat surface again without having to shift dozens of books first.

Anyone have any plans for the coming week before the New Year?

210lindapanzo
Editat: des. 26, 2015, 5:31pm

Hi Laura, so glad to see you. Good for you for taking care of yourself first.

I've stopped playing Trivia Crack for awhile because the Christmas one is freezing up my phone. I'll start up again when they get rid of the Christmas one.

I didn't get a single Christmas gift card this year but I took some of my Christmas money and got myself one. Got some great books from both Santa Thing and the LT Christmas Swap, though.

I'm back in the 75ers next year and have a thread up already, though I'm not talking there. Also back in the 2016 category challenge but I have only 4 categories, simplified again, similar to my 2015 categories.

211Berly
des. 26, 2015, 5:37pm

Laura, good for you for claiming some time for yourself!! And isn't it nice to say "I matter"? Hooray for YOU!! I am enjoying a stay-in-you-pajamas day after hosting all the hoopla for everyone at my house yesterday. Lots of yummy leftovers for today so no need to cook. I have spent the morning on LT getting caught up and starting y new 2016 thread, so I can start the new year off ahead and not behind. LOL. And I have to refill my alone-time bank, because I have a friend coming for the New Year and she is a hoot, but vivacious and LOUD! : )

212Whisper1
des. 26, 2015, 8:07pm

Hello Dear Laura. Good for you for taking time to do what you eant. When I read your post about being a people pleaser, it was.like looking in a mirror. Like you. I am trying to make a sea change and worry less about others. It took a lot of time , and pain for me to shut the door on two very selfish, narrsisstic relatives of Will' s. Bit. It really is freeing to set boundaries and refuse to see them.

Take care of yourself because you are worth it. Much love to you.

213ronincats
des. 26, 2015, 10:13pm

Way to go, girl!!

214LauraBrook
des. 26, 2015, 10:17pm

>210 lindapanzo: Hi Linda! Thanks. No problem, I look forward to that version being gone too. It's eating up tons of space on my phone for no real reason. This is the first year I've gotten gift cards from people, so I'm excited! Will have to head over to your thread and see what books you got! I'm having a hard time deciding what to do with the 16 challenge. Do i make 16 different categories? some multiple of it? What goal should I shoot for? Ack!

>211 Berly: Hi Kim! Thanks! It IS nice to say "I matter". And I'm so glad you're having a PJ Day today! God bless leftovers. I like that, "alone-time bank", I've got one too! I think between being an only child, living alone, having a caring job, and being an introvert all add up to needing a lot of time to myself. It's so nice! Sounds like you have a very fun New Years Eve planned! Enjoy it all (and the quiet afterwards)!

>212 Whisper1: Hello there, Linda! It's so hard to make the change to not be such a people pleaser, isn't it? I feel like I've been working on this in thin layers for years now, and I'm finally ready to just start working on bigger hunks. (This sounds like a kind of gross analogy now, sorry.) I'm so proud of you for setting those limits on two selfish and awful people - no one needs that in their life, least of all you! You keep taking care of yourself too, and lots of love to Will and Lily too!

215jnwelch
des. 28, 2015, 4:17pm

Happy Holidays, Laura!

My wife would heartily join you in that "screw it" philosophy. So would I, but she talks about it in exactly those terms. Life is too short not to give yourself that gift, IMO.

Hope you continue having a great holiday break.

216LauraBrook
des. 28, 2015, 10:09pm

>215 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! Me too, and I hope your break continues to be both quiet and excellent! *smooch*

217LauraBrook
des. 28, 2015, 10:57pm

Only 25 threads to go before I'm caught up! (Please ignore panting and wheezing.) ;)

218Berly
des. 29, 2015, 3:38am

25 to go! LOL. Take your time. Breath in , breath out. That's it. Nice and slow. Have fun! : )

219evilmoose
des. 29, 2015, 1:13pm

Merry Christmas and solstice and may you have happy books in the new year!

220MickyFine
des. 29, 2015, 4:26pm

Hi Laura. Glad to hear you had such a lovely Christmas. My gifts were kind and thoughtful. I'm particularly excited for New Year's Eve as I'm going to a swing dance that's themed as the Savoy in the 1930s. Should be great fun. :)

221Ameise1
des. 31, 2015, 3:32pm