Ellen (EBT1002) counts books, months, & adventures in 2020 - Stave 9

Converses75 Books Challenge for 2020

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

Ellen (EBT1002) counts books, months, & adventures in 2020 - Stave 9

Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 9:07 pm

Frank Johnston (Group of Seven)

Lawren Harris (Group of Seven)

Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 8:45 pm

Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 8:45 pm


Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 8:46 pm

.. ..

Still posting my photos of Abby, aka "The Bean," whom I miss every single day

Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 8:47 pm

= Masterpiece
= Stunning.
= Excellent.
= Very good.
= Good.
= Average.
= Bad.
= Very bad.
= Don't bother.

Of course, it still holds true that I'm rarely going to complete a book earning fewer than two stars but I reserve the right to rate them based on my experience.

Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 8:49 pm


1. Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver 4.5 stars
2. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell 4 stars
3. Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe 4 stars
4. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood 4.5 stars
5. Commute: An Illustrated Memoir of Female Shame by Erin Williams 3 stars
6. Grand Union: Stories by Zadie Smith 3.5 stars
7. The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths 3.5 stars
8. Little Gods: A Novel by Meng Jin 3.5 stars ~ Early Reviewers
9. Sudden Traveler by Sarah Hall 3.5 stars


10. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman 4.5 stars
11. Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner 3.5 stars
12. The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas 3.5 stars
13. Still Waters by Viveca Sten 3 stars
14. Red Bones by Ann Cleeves 3.5 stars
15. Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles 4 stars ~ Early Reviewers
16. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb 4.5 stars
17. Dear Life by Alice Munro 3.5 stars


18. Spring by Ali Smith 4.5 stars
19. Copperhead by Alexi Zentner 3 stars
20. Tracks by Louise Erdrich 4 stars
21. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson 3.5 stars
22. We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin 3 stars
23. So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell 4.5 stars
24. Girl by Edna O'Brien 4 stars
25. The Cold, Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty 4 stars

Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 8:51 pm


26. Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz 3.5 stars
27. The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke 3.5 stars
28. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling 4 stars
29. Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner 3 stars
30. The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss 4.5 stars
31. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara 4 stars
32. Dominicana by Angie Cruz 4 stars
33. High Rising by Angela Thirkell 3.5 stars


34. Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke 4.5 stars
35. Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell, illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks 4 stars
36. Possession by AS Byatt 4 stars
37. Blue Lightning by Ann Cleeves 3 stars
38. The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy 4 stars
39. Lockdown by Peter May 4 stars
40. Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine 4.5 stars


41. Telling Tales by Ann Cleeves 3 stars
42. The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson 4 stars
43. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa 4 stars
44. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger 4.5 stars

Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 8:53 pm


45. The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich 4.5 stars
46. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell 5 stars
47. The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui 4 stars
48. The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths 3 stars
49. Weather: a Novel by Jenny Offill 4.5 stars
50. City of Thieves by David Benioff 5 stars
51. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy 4 stars
52. A Burning by Megha Majumdar 4 stars


53. Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton 3.5 stars
54. Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor 2.5 stars audiobook
55. Dead Water by Ann Cleeves 3 stars
56. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas 4 stars
57. This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga 3 stars
58. Redhead By the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler 4 stars
59. These Women by Ivy Pochoda 4.5 stars
60. Writers & Lovers by Lily King 4 stars


61. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado 2 stars
62. Long Bright River by Liz Moore 4 stars
63. The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste 3.5 stars
64. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield 4 stars
65. Thin Air: A Shetland Mystery by Ann Cleeves 4 stars
66. Apeirogon by Colum McCann 4.5 stars
67. Weeping Waters by Karin Brynard 3.5 stars

Editat: des. 28, 2020, 9:09 pm


68. Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell 4.5 stars
69. Broken Harbor by Tana French 4 stars
70. Murder in Ancient China: Two Judge Dee Mysteries by Robert van Gulik 3.5 stars
71. Tooth and Nail by Ian Rankin 4 stars
72. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart 5 stars
73. The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths 4 stars
74. Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi 4.5 stars


75. IQ by Joe Ide 4 stars
76. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid 3.5 stars
77. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien 4.5 stars
78. Real Life by Brandon Taylor 4 stars
79. All Adults Here by Emma Straub 4 stars
80. Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington 3.5 stars
81. Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline 4 stars
82. I Hear Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty 4 stars


83. The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths 3 stars
84. Righteous by Joe Ide 3 stars
85. The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu no rating
86. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 5 stars
87. Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon 4.5 stars
88. Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books by Wendy Lesser 4 stars
89. The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi 4 stars

Editat: des. 26, 2020, 9:56 pm


✅ January: New Years Resolutions ~ Oryx and Crake and The Bone Clocks
✅ February: Still LEAPing into the new year! Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner (1984)
✅ March: Seasons of Love ~ Spring by Ali Smith
✅ April: Showers and Flowers ~ The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke
✅ May: Believe in Your Shelf ~ Possession: A Romance by A.S. Byatt
❌ June: Head to the Sea ~
✅ July: Picture this! ~ The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
✅ August: Get Your Groove On ~ On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
✅ September: Reccies! ~ Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado ~ recommended by Mark and others
❌ October: Healthcare Heroes ~
✅ November: Lest We Forget ~ The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

December Goodbye 2020 (Pick six)

1. a book with a color in the title: The Yellow House by Sarah Broom

✅ 2. a book with a number in the title: The Three-Body Problem

✅ 3. a book with title starting with "D": The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths

4. a book I have been meaning and planning to read all year: Tin Man by Sarah Winman (also for W)

✅ 5. a book with a character named Joseph or Donald -- OR authored by a Joseph, Donald, etc.: Righteous by Joe Ide

✅ ✅ 6. a book published during the Obama years (2009 - 2016): The Three-Body Problem and Why I Read by Wendy Lesser

Editat: des. 26, 2020, 9:55 pm


A & U January
-- U: Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
-- A: Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

F & B February
-- F: The Chalk Circle Man by Fred Vargas
-- B: Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner

G & C March
-- C: Copperhead by Alexi Zentner
-- G: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson and Girl by Edna O'Brien
-- C and G: The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty

S & T April
-- S: The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss
-- T: Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

L & P May
-- L: Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke
-- P: Possession: A Romance by A.S. Byatt /// Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell

K & Y June
-- K: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
-- Y: Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

J & R July
-- J: Weather by Jenny Offill
-- R: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

O & H August
-- O: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
-- H: Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

M & E September
-- M: Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
-- E: The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia)

D & V October
-- D: Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
-- V: Murder in Ancient China: Two Judge Dee Mysteries by Robert van Gulik

I & Q November
-- I & Q: IQ by Joe Ide

W & N December
-- W: Why I Read by Wendy Lesser
-- N: Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon

Yearlong letters: X and Z
-- Z: Grand Union by Zadie Smith
-- X: Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz

Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 9:01 pm

Personal Reading Challenge: Every winner of the Booker Prize since its inception in 1969

1969: P. H. Newby, Something to Answer For
1970: Bernice Rubens, The Elected Member
1970: J. G. Farrell, Troubles (awarded in 2010 as the Lost Man Booker Prize)
1971: V. S. Naipaul, In a Free State
1972: John Berger, G. -- DNF
1973: J. G. Farrell, The Siege of Krishnapur
1974: Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist ... and Stanley Middleton, Holiday
1975: Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Heat and Dust
1976: David Storey, Saville
1977: Paul Scott, Staying On
1978: Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea
1979: Penelope Fitzgerald, Offshore
1980: William Golding, Rites of Passage
1981: Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
1982: Thomas Keneally, Schindler's Ark
1983: J. M. Coetzee, Life & Times of Michael K
1984: Anita Brookner, Hotel du Lac
1985: Keri Hulme, The Bone People
1986: Kingsley Amis, The Old Devils
1987: Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger
1988: Peter Carey, Oscar and Lucinda
1989: Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
1990: A. S. Byatt, Possession: A Romance***
1991: Ben Okri, The Famished Road
1992: Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient ... and Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger
1993: Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
1994: James Kelman, How late it was, how late***
1995: Pat Barker, The Ghost Road
1996: Graham Swift, Last Orders
1997: Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
1998: Ian McEwan, Amsterdam
1999: J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace***
2000: Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
2001: Peter Carey, True History of the Kelly Gang
2002: Yann Martel, Life of Pi
2003: DBC Pierre, Vernon God Little
2004: Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty
2005: John Banville, The Sea
2006: Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss
2007: Anne Enright, The Gathering
2008: Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger
2009: Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
2010: Howard Jacobson, The Finkler Question
2011: Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending
2012: Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies
2013: Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries
2014: Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
2015: Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings
2016: Paul Beatty, The Sellout
2017: George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
2018: Anna Burns, Milkman
2019: Margaret Atwood, The Testaments, and Bernardine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other
2020: Douglas Stuart, Shuggie Bain

***On my shelves

Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 9:03 pm

2020 Booker Prize Longlist

Diane Cook (USA), The New Wilderness

✔️ Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), This Mournable Body

Avni Doshi (USA), Burnt Sugar

Gabriel Krauze (UK), Who They Was

Hilary Mantel (UK), The Mirror & The Light

✔️ Colum McCann (Ireland/USA), Apeirogon

✔️ Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA), The Shadow King

✔️ Kiley Reid (USA), Such a Fun Age

✔️ Douglas Stuart (Scotland/USA), Shuggie Bain

✔️ Brandon Taylor (USA), Real Life

✔️ Anne Tyler (USA), Redhead by The Side of The Road

Sophie Ward (UK), Love and Other Thought Experiments

C Pam Zhang (USA), How Much of These Hills is Gold


2020 Booker Prize Short List

Diane Cook (USA), The New Wilderness

✔️ Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), This Mournable Body

Avni Doshi (USA), Burnt Sugar

✔️ Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA), The Shadow King

✔️ Douglas Stuart (Scotland/USA), Shuggie Bain

✔️ Brandon Taylor (USA), Real Life

Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 9:04 pm

December plans:

1. a book with a color in the title: The Yellow House by Sarah Broom

2. a book with a number in the title: The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin

3. a book with title starting with "D": The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths

4. a book I have been meaning and planning to read all year: Tin Man by Sarah Winman (also for W in AlphaKIT)

5. a book with a character named Joseph or Donald (or Joe, Joey, Don, Donny) -- OR authored by a Joseph, Donald, etc.: Righteous by Joe Ide

6. a book published during the Obama years (2009 - 2016): The Three-Body Problem or Why I Read by Wendy Lesser (also for W in AlphaKIT)

Editat: nov. 28, 2020, 8:44 pm

nov. 28, 2020, 8:55 pm

Happy new thread!

nov. 28, 2020, 9:01 pm

Happy new thread, Ellen. Love your toppers! Please tell me that it isn't true that ginger tabbies are ALWAYS energetic. That they do calm down eventually.

nov. 28, 2020, 9:15 pm

Happy new thread, Ellen! I love the toppers, but really love seeing the pics of Carson again. Yay for the ginger!

nov. 28, 2020, 9:46 pm

Currently reading:

I Hear the Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty

What an excellent series this is!

nov. 28, 2020, 9:48 pm

>16 figsfromthistle: Thanks Anita!

>17 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley. Carson is not always energetic. He is 4.5 years old and certainly wants his play time, but he is also determined to get his 20 hours or so of beauty sleep each day. On the other hand, he is a bottomless pit of love -- he wants attention whenever he can get it!

>18 karenmarie: Thanks Karen. Our little ginger cat has really become a centerpiece of the family. ❤️

nov. 28, 2020, 9:52 pm

Prudence and I spent Thanksgiving in a little AirBnB studio on Hayden Lake in northern Idaho. P did an amazing job of creating T-giving dinner for us. The weather was chilly but we did a couple of hikes, tried zoom calls with her family and mine (the internet connection was NOT good), read, played some dominoes, read some more, slept, and drove around the area a bit. We saw too many Trump flags -- as my cousin said during our zoom call, "this is Tennessee; there is no pandemic and Trump won the election." Same with most of Idaho. But it is lovely country with clear cold lakes, beautiful mountains, and mixed fir and pine forests.

We came home today to a ginger cat desperate for attention. He was well taken care of by a local teenager but nothing is as good as the two moms.

nov. 28, 2020, 10:19 pm

What does a thesaurus eat for breakfast?

nov. 28, 2020, 10:30 pm

>22 EBT1002: Are you telling DAD JOKES now? a synonym roll, of course!

nov. 28, 2020, 10:45 pm

Happy new thread, Ellen. Love the toppers including the literal ones.

>22 EBT1002: Very droll and thanks for making me hungry. xx

nov. 28, 2020, 10:51 pm

>23 laytonwoman3rd: I don't know about DAD jokes, but the meme on FB was so cute! And yes, of course.

>24 PaulCranswick: xo Holding off for a bit.

nov. 28, 2020, 11:12 pm

Happy new thread, Ellen. I LOVE the paintings at the top.

>22 EBT1002: That sounds like a Scout joke. :)

It sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving, even if you couldn't be with the rest of the family. Ours, too, was small.

nov. 29, 2020, 12:22 am

Happy new thread, Ellen!

nov. 29, 2020, 5:25 am

Happy new thread, Ellen!

>1 EBT1002: Such a different feel in those two paintings, the first more icy and cold, while in the second the low sun gives the snow an almost warm feeling.

nov. 29, 2020, 6:25 am

Happy new thread. I like the wood / forest paintings very much. I recently saw something about the psychological benefits of seeing trees: I wonder if the same thing (or a similar thing) happens with paintings of them.

nov. 29, 2020, 6:51 am

>21 EBT1002: sounds like a very pleasant Thanksgiving break Ellen.

>1 EBT1002: I too love the toppers.

nov. 29, 2020, 8:02 am

I'm glad you had a nice Thanksgiving break, Ellen, and are now reunited with sweet Carson. It sounds like rural Idaho's culture is a lot like rural anywhere-in-America these days. I'd love to have a rural retreat to escape to from time to time, but am not sure I could truly relax in that environment.

Anyway, it's great to have you back!

nov. 29, 2020, 8:40 am

Hi Ellen! Happy Sunday to you. So glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving away with P. I hope Carson realizes that his Moms are back and is calm again.

>21 EBT1002: We saw too many Trump flags -- as my cousin said during our zoom call, "this is Tennessee; there is no pandemic and Trump won the election." Same with most of Idaho. Scary. There were lots of Trump flags in my part of the county, but with the exception of one of the two Congressional districts that's carved Republican (mine, the other one, is carved Democratic), every Democrat and one unaffiliated beat the Republicans. 84% of eligible voters voted.

nov. 29, 2020, 10:23 am

Happy new thread, Ellen!

I also love the Adrian McKinty series. I think I'm due for #4 (maybe #3).

Glad you and P had a nice Thanksgiving and that you were able to get a change of scenery. I could already use another one, despite going away for a week at the end of October :-P

>31 lauralkeet: - Same, Laura. Part of our October trip was to see if it was an area we might like to look for a getaway place in, but we decided it was (a) too far and (b) too Trump-y (but I think you're right that most rural places will be similar).

nov. 29, 2020, 11:01 am

>33 katiekrug: exactly, Katie. We felt similarly about Seneca Lake, as beautiful as it is. We also ventured into central PA on a recon mission, but quickly turned around and fled. I know lots of nice people live up that way (laytonwoman3rd for instance), but ...

nov. 29, 2020, 11:12 am

Happy Sunday, Ellen. Happy New Thread. LOVE the toppers! I have been featuring Group of 7 artists too.

I also just finished Shuggie Bain. Thank you so much for this. If it isn't the best novel I have read this year, then it might be tied with Hamnet as my favorite. A pair of absolute gems.

Editat: nov. 29, 2020, 11:37 am

>34 lauralkeet: Aw, shucks!

>31 lauralkeet:, >33 katiekrug: Imagine having that uneasy feeling in the places that should feel like home. On the other hand, There is this going on in the town where my mother lived out the last 15+ years of her life, just a half hour away from where she and I both grew up.

Editat: nov. 29, 2020, 12:04 pm

>34 lauralkeet:, >36 laytonwoman3rd: - I also realize that if we got a place, we'd mostly spend weekends there to relax and rejuvenate, probably venturing out very little, so it might not matter so much... I guess we'll see.

Thanks for sharing that article, Linda. I grew up in the Hudson Valley, slightly closer to Albany than to NYC, and similar things happened to some of those little towns. It's definitely a double-edge sword. And now I want to visit Honesdale!

ETA: Sorry for the thread hijack, Ellen!

nov. 29, 2020, 12:34 pm

>36 laytonwoman3rd:, >37 katiekrug: nodding along. Katie, I also wonder about how much we'd venture out, and so maybe it would be okay. Who knows. Linda, I actually read about Honesdale in some Philly-centric publication or other. Interesting. Have you seen or felt a difference when you visited the town?

nov. 29, 2020, 12:55 pm

>3 EBT1002: I agree 100%. Better yet -- a cat on your head, one on your torso, and one snuggled right beside you!

nov. 29, 2020, 2:02 pm

>38 lauralkeet: I think that article came from a Philadelphia magazine, Laura. The town certainly has more to offer than it did when my parents moved there in 2003, shortly before my dad died. They moved from the family homestead into town to be closer to medical care, banking and grocery shopping, all of which they had pretty much done in Honesdale for years anyway. At that time Main Street was dying. It had been a really nice town in my childhood and youth---a lovely department store; a ski shop; a hardware/home supply store that would put today's big box chain stores to shame; multiple specialty stores including a bakery (Day's), women's, children's, and men's clothing stores (Newman's, The Young Folks' Shop, Art's Apparel), a beautiful gift shop that sold books (Kretchmer's), a nice restaurant (Kreitner's) and a classic diner (The Towne House), a family owned drugstore with lunch counter (Scureman's), a butcher shop (Mr. Conner always gave me samples of bologna!), a dedicated lingerie shop where you could actually get properly fitted for "support garments", a business supply and stationery store where you could also take a typing course; you know...the kind of shopping that gradually disappeared from most small towns in the last century. Many of those storefronts are now occupied again, although not by such practical enterprises. I'm not sure how long craft breweries and coffee shops can sustain a Main Street. The diner is still there, and the bakery just closed a couple years ago. I think Art's is still is business, but trendy little shops have come and gone and there's a new CVS at the far end of Main Street.

nov. 29, 2020, 2:19 pm

Happy new thread, Ellen, and I'm so pleased that y'all got to be somewhere so physically, if not psychically, beautiful for the holiday.

nov. 29, 2020, 2:44 pm

Happy new one, Ellen! I love your thread toppers and all the photos - especially the one with the cat on your head. Your Thanksgiving sounds lovely - I know you had to be missing going to Asheville. We had Thanksgiving at home with just us, but that is what we always do.

Hoping your Sunday is full of happy.

nov. 29, 2020, 3:31 pm

>40 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks Linda! Sorry I didn't notice your article's source -- yes, it's the same one I read before. Our neighborhood in Philadelphia (Fishtown, mentioned in the article) has gone through a similar revitalization, and even before the pandemic there were real questions about commercial survival (plenty of craft breweries and coffee shops, but also not enough things people need day-to-day, and too much vacant commercial space on the main arteries.

Sorry to hijack your thread, Ellen!

nov. 29, 2020, 4:00 pm

Happy new thread!

nov. 29, 2020, 6:03 pm

>43 lauralkeet: Oh, is this Ellen's thread? *waves innocently*

nov. 29, 2020, 10:12 pm

>26 BLBera: Yep, the answer to >22 EBT1002: is a good Scout joke: A synonym bun!

>27 ronincats: Thanks Roni!

>28 FAMeulstee: Nice observation about the two winter paintings, Anita. I really love the artwork of the Group of Seven.

>29 charl08: Hi Charlotte. I'm going to choose to believe that there is some positive mental health benefit to viewing art depicting trees or other natural settings. It certainly can't hurt, right??

nov. 29, 2020, 10:21 pm

>30 Caroline_McElwee: Hi Caroline. I'm glad you like the toppers!

>31 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. Sitting in our little studio AirBnB, we could certainly relax. It was only driving around that brought the reminder that there are lots of Trumplicans in that rural area.

>32 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Carson is exquisitely aware that his moms are back and he's certainly glad about it. He is sitting on my lap right now, making typing on the laptop rather challenging. I've got it sort of balanced on the arm of my chair, typing with my right hand only while my left holds the laptop in balance. It makes for slow typing but Carson's needs do come first, after all.

I think Idaho is one of the states they mark red the second the polls close. Latah County, where the U of Idaho is located, may go blue but the rest of the state is pretty conservative. I'm not sure about the county where Boise is located. Northern Idaho is BEAUTIFUL, though!!!

nov. 29, 2020, 10:30 pm

>33 katiekrug: Hi Katie. Since our time was spent in our little studio (I'll try to upload a couple pics of our view) or out hiking, it was okay. At a trailhead, there was a guy saddling a horse, waiting on friends to go do some trail maintenance. With our Biden-Harris and "864511320" bumper stickers, I still went up to him, admired his horse, and was generally friendly. I like to violate the opposition's expectations. :-)

>34 lauralkeet: I guess I figure I'm as entitled to enjoy the beauty of the mountains and lakes as the next person, so I'm willing to spend a few days in territory where I know I'm not, in some ways, very welcome. Still, it's why we'll probably be retiring to the west side of the Cascades, close to those beautiful mountains but safe in our blue bubble!!

>35 msf59: Hi Mark. I'm so glad you enjoyed Shuggie Bain. I agree that it's up there with Hamnet as one of the best books of the year!

Editat: nov. 29, 2020, 10:40 pm

>36 laytonwoman3rd: xo, Linda. And I love that story about the town where your mom lived. Except the part about another beautiful and hip place being discovered and getting really, really expensive.... It happens a lot. I always wish I were one of the ones to discover those locations before they get pricey!!!

>37 katiekrug: Yep, that's the ticket, Katie: get a place with a lovely view, take plenty of reading material, and enjoy! We also took a set of dominoes.

And you know I love it when y'all hijack my thread. :-)

>38 lauralkeet: All I need is a nice view, plenty to read, and some nearby hiking trails. It's only getting there, driving up to Sand Point (a resort town that caters to winter sports enthusiasts) to explore, and getting back out that the flags were so intrusive. In Sand Point, by the way, we saw lots of "Love Lives Here" yard signs with rainbow flags.

nov. 29, 2020, 10:46 pm

>39 thornton37814: Yes indeed, Lori!

>40 laytonwoman3rd: It sounds like so many towns that have gone through the changes over the years, Linda. Of course, we'd all say that it needs a good indie bookstore to go with the craft breweries and coffee shops! :-D

>41 richardderus: Perfectly put, Richard. Luckily, a lovely lake- and Mountain View is good for my soul! Still, it's good to be home.

>42 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! So nice to see you. Yes, it's killing me not to be able to visit family in NC or Tennessee. This damn pandemic.

nov. 29, 2020, 10:48 pm

>43 lauralkeet: No worries about hijacking, Laura! I have enjoyed the discussion.

>44 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

>45 laytonwoman3rd: As Richard would say, *smooch*. You all know I love you and I love the company.

nov. 30, 2020, 10:21 am

Hi Ellen! How did the knee feel while you were hiking?

I also just finished I Hear the Sirens in the Street and thought it was terrific - one of the best series I'm reading right now. I'm debating whether to rush through all of them or take my time!

I just finished Deacon King Kong which was really good.

nov. 30, 2020, 11:11 am

Hi, Ellen! Happy new thread.

Good news about P., although of course it would be good to find why the anemia happened in the first place.

Your little vacation sounds very cosy, and with the opportunity to hike around.

And I too love the McKinty series.

nov. 30, 2020, 1:58 pm

>50 EBT1002: A good bookstore is one thing Honesdale has never had. Someone tried a few years ago, but it didn't take off. It did have an excellent USED bookstore for many years, and I was a frequent browser when I had occasion to work in our firm's satellite office there.

nov. 30, 2020, 4:41 pm

I am really enjoying another story collection F*ckface: And Other Stories. These are mostly set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which we both adore. I think you would really like this collection. Lastly, I am reading a solid poetry collection called That Was Now This is Then: Poems. I think you would also appreciate it.

nov. 30, 2020, 9:13 pm

Hi, Ellen.

Happy Newish Thread. I love the photo of Carson helping you read.

I'll join the question on how your knee is doing, and how it was for hiking.

des. 4, 2020, 11:45 pm

Hi, TwinE! I have a new laptop and can finally sit in bed and have some LT time, so here I am! Glad you got a little mini VK with P. So nice to get out and so hard to do right now. : ) Wishing you a happy weekend. Hoping ot finish The Queen's Gambit -- loving it!

des. 5, 2020, 6:53 am

Just dropping by to wish you a lovely weekend, Ellen.

des. 6, 2020, 1:26 am

Happy newish thread, Ellen. Great topper pic. I'm rather fond of the Group of Seven myself. I hope you enjoy I Hear the Sirens on the Street. You reminded me that I need to get back to the McKinty series.

des. 6, 2020, 11:50 am

I've finished a couple books since last checking in: I Hear Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty (4 stars) and The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths (3 stars).

This morning I started reading Why I Read: The Serious Pleasure of Books by Wendy Lesser (thank you, Beth!).

We bought a new television yesterday and had it delivered and set up. Oh my, this is life-changing. Our old tv was not very smart and this one is. P has reserved a cabin on the Metolius River for next week - a little getaway of her own while I stay here, work, take care of Carson, and have some alone time. While she is away, I am looking forward to watching Hamilton (again) all by myself on a large (55") screen and with amazing color and texture. The best part is how easy it is to navigate between Netflix, BritBox, regular tv, etc.

des. 6, 2020, 11:56 am

>60 EBT1002: Yay for new TVs (more processing power than our 1980s desktops!) and alone time and good reads and so on and so forth...and a big, happy *smooch* to share with P. (NOT Carson.)

des. 6, 2020, 12:42 pm

Here at last, Ellen! Your thread is always a treat.

As to the toppers, I love the Johnston and am less enthusiastic about the Harris. I think I don't respond well to those colors in the snow. Oh well.

I'm glad that things are mostly good with you all and happy that Carson won't lose both of you at the same time so soon. I wish you all a happy Sunday and a non-stressful new week.

des. 7, 2020, 7:39 am

Happy Monday!

I always try to shop at local, independent bookstores. My favourite used bookstore closed down. I have yet to find one to replace it.

des. 7, 2020, 9:41 am

Hi Ellen!

>60 EBT1002: Smart TVs are quite wonderful. So glad you’ve graduated to a large smart TV. I hope you and P each enjoy your alone time, too.

Bill's always kept up with technology, and our smart TV and now our high-speed wifi make streaming easy and really enjoyable.

des. 9, 2020, 9:39 pm

Hi Ellen, I keep going back and forth about getting a new tv. On the one hand, the one I have is 13 years old. (I know.) On the other hand there's nothing wrong with it. Oh sure, my kids come over and make fun of the picture quality and the size but that's just because theirs takes up an entire wall and was manufactured in the last half hour. I really give myself a reason to get one.

I've wanted to start the McKinty series and you may have given me a reason.

des. 19, 2020, 3:53 pm

Hm. Ten days of hibernation? Everything ok?

des. 21, 2020, 3:25 am

Hurray for the new TV!!! Has it completely sucked you in? Come back! : )

des. 21, 2020, 11:05 am

I have figured out what is keeping me from LT. It's two things, actually:

1. I am spending so many hours each week, every day, on my work computer. I'm often in zoom meetings for 7-8 hours each day and when I'm not, I'm on the computer doing email or messaging in Teams or working on a document. By the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is get on another screen.

2. When I do sit down to check in here, it's usually in a comfy chair with my laptop. Well, Carson thinks HE is my laptop and usually wastes no time settling in to sleep there. This makes it a bit difficult so I tend to set the laptop aside and pick up a book. Reading with a cat on one's lap is not a bad thing, but it does set me even further behind on my LT time.

So, one good thing, one not so good thing. But at least I know what is going on with me.

I'm doing okay. I work only three days this week and then I get a 4-day holiday weekend. We got a cute, skinny tree over the weekend and have no plans other than making cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.

des. 21, 2020, 11:09 am

I finished reading The Three-Body Problem last night. I can see what is special about it (I read it because Obama recommended it back in 2019) but lord, that is a week of reading time I will never get back. I like some science fiction but the slog through this author's long detailed explanations of mathematical stuff just left me bored. Am I glad I read it? Well, I'm glad I'm finished reading it.

P responded to my relief with "you didn't have to finish it!" True enough but for some reason I just really wanted to complete this one. Done. Into the giveaway pile it goes.

I'm also reading and LOVING Why I Read by Wendy Lesser. I'm also slowly listening to Memorial Drive which is magnificent. If I spent more time on my stationary bike, which is of course very good for my knee, I would be moving through this audiobook more quickly.

Not sure what else I will read next.

des. 21, 2020, 11:31 am

I felt the same way about The Three Body Problem!!! So glad to have finished it, so frustrated by the long-winded physics stuff! I'm not planning on reading the sequel, heaven forbid, but at least now I can talk about it with younger family members who were very enthused.

Glad to see you back on LT but totally understand about computer overexposure. Stay healthy!

des. 21, 2020, 12:18 pm

😀 The long-winded physics stuff and the math were some of my favorite parts of The Three Body Problem, but then, I suppose I'm primed to love that stuff... 😂

des. 21, 2020, 12:20 pm

I'm glad that you're enjoying Memorial Drive, Ellen. It was one of my favorite books of 2020, as I gave it 5 stars.

des. 21, 2020, 12:25 pm

>69 EBT1002:
That is the same way I feel about plenty of "popular" books. It is OK to think that about books. not every book is for everyone. Books are personal and it is a good thing that we don't all like the same thing. How boring that would be.

des. 21, 2020, 2:09 pm

>68 EBT1002: Two solid reasons there Ellen. I haven't downloaded Zoom because of too much screen time when working. I will give in next year to join my reading group which is on Zoom now.

>69 EBT1002: I have Wendy Lesser's Nothing Remains the same: Rereading and Remembering, which I was sure Zi had read, but not according to my catalogue. I need to track it down.

Enjoy the festive season.

des. 21, 2020, 2:13 pm

Reading with a sleeping cat on your lap is wonderful therapy or just plain goodness, Ellen. Glad to see you here and wishing you and P and Carson a very Merry Christmas in case you don't get back until after the day. Enjoy your break!!!!!
I was going to say that Darryl loved Memorial Drive too (and I wished-listed it from seeing it on his fb post), but Darryl spoke for himself.

des. 21, 2020, 2:28 pm

Tachyon Publications, an SFF house, posted this on Twitter. Says it all, no?

des. 21, 2020, 5:09 pm

I'm glad you're enjoying the Lesser book, Ellen. I recently finished Ex Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread, and that is another one you will love. I got it from the library, but it's the kind of book one might want to own...

I love Trethewey's poetry and essays, so I knew about what happened to her mom, but I still found Memorial Drive incredibly moving.

Take care and enjoy your long weekend. (I'm working on finishing the grading).

des. 22, 2020, 9:03 am

Hi Ellen!

>69 EBT1002: I have the trilogy on my shelves but it hasn’t called out to me. Sometimes we just have to finish things, don’t we?

... and here's to a better 2021!

des. 22, 2020, 4:42 pm

Happy everything, Ellen. Here's to good health, above all, and of course, good books.

des. 22, 2020, 5:28 pm

des. 23, 2020, 3:58 pm

>69 EBT1002: "you didn't have to finish it!" True enough but for some reason I just really wanted to complete this one
I always feel the need to finish books, but, I am getting better at abandonment! It's a process :)

des. 24, 2020, 8:31 am

Or in other words, Happy Christmas! And have a great New Year as well. Here’s hoping 2021 is better than 2020.

des. 24, 2020, 8:42 am

Wishing you and P a lovely holiday season and a joyous 2021!

des. 24, 2020, 5:06 pm

I hope there are some treats, some relaxation, and some reading over the festive season, and that 2021 is a kinder year to everyone.

Hoping there will be some fine reads among your parcels Ellen.

des. 24, 2020, 5:20 pm

>69 EBT1002: Yeah, I stalled out on that one. You get points for finishing!!

Ellen--Wishing you and P a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May 2021 bring you less need for masks, loads of peace and joy, good health and, of course, books!

des. 24, 2020, 11:45 pm

des. 25, 2020, 3:10 am

I hope you get some of those at least, Ellen, as we all look forward to a better 2021.

des. 25, 2020, 7:59 am

Merry Christmas, Ellen. Hoping for a much better 2021! I hope you got to open some bookish gifts.

des. 25, 2020, 10:34 pm

Thank you for the holiday greetings, everyone!

Editat: des. 25, 2020, 10:37 pm

I finished Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsberg -- and the touchstone is just not working.

This was a wonderful book and I gave it 4.5 stars. I learned about Justice Ginsberg but I also learned about SCOTUS, especially in the past couple of decades. It will be interesting to see what comes of the current court in all its conservative glory.

des. 26, 2020, 10:19 am

Wanna help me kick 202 to the curb? 2021 group is here

des. 26, 2020, 10:43 am

Happy holidays, Ellen. I hope you get some relaxation in.

des. 26, 2020, 9:57 pm

>91 drneutron: YAY! Thank you, Jim!!!!!

Editat: des. 26, 2020, 10:16 pm

88. Why I Read: The Serious Pleasures of Books by Wendy Lesser

Thank you, Beth, for this wonderful gift. It was a delightful book about books and reading, one to savor and relish.

In the last chapter, about "The Book as Physical Object," one of my favorite passages appears:
I am not going to natter on here about the distractibility of the high-tech generation and the youthful inability to focus. That is not my point. We are all distractible. And reading has its own kind of distraction already built into it, as I learned (or was reminded) when I went to buy my first iPad.

I was having the new device set up for me at the store, which took more than an hour of intensive consultation. About halfway through this process, the smart young Apple-woman who was helping me with the setup wondered what I might want to do with the iPad besides the obvious functions of checking email and surfing the web. Read newspapers and magazines, I suggested. Write short things when I'm away from my computer. Listen to all the music I have stored up on my iPod. And read books. "In fact," I added enthusiastically, "I guess now I can listen to my music and read a digital book at the same time, when I'm on a long airplane flight or something."

She nodded in a friendly way, and then told me that she actually preferred to use her ow iPad to listen to audio books. "It's easier for me to concentrate if I'm listening," she explained. "When I read with my eyes, sometimes I find that my mind drifts and I have to reread the same sentence over again to find out what it means."

I looked at her for a second in silence. "That's how reading works," I said.

This wonderful little book is a reminder of the pleasures of reading. I can get so caught up in getting things read that I forget to slow down and enjoy the process of reading. Rereading sentences and all.

des. 26, 2020, 10:23 pm

I'm still listening to Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey, which is magnificent.

I've also started reading The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi which is a clever and delightful and surprising read so far.

des. 27, 2020, 10:52 am

I loved the The Eighth Detective which stays "clever and delightful and surprising" to the last page. It's definitely the most original mystery novel that I've read in a very long time.

I think it's one I need to add to my collection since I had borrowed it from the library.

I think in your search for a retirement town, you'll need to check out University towns which have a better diversity of ideas and people. You might check out both Bozeman and Missoula, although both are far from your beloved coast and real estate prices are skyrocketing in Montana as people are fleeing from Covid.

des. 27, 2020, 11:06 am


Happy 2021 to you and P, in a few days yes yes yes, but good goddesses we need it now!

des. 27, 2020, 11:49 am

>94 EBT1002: I thought you might like it. :) Great quote.

I also thought The Eighth Detective was very clever and original. You have some wonderful reading happening.

Do you have work on Monday?

des. 27, 2020, 4:54 pm

>96 streamsong: I'm glad to hear that The Eighth Detective stays clever and delightful and surprising to the end. I'm a wee bit more than halfway through and I'm so enjoying it!

I think Corvallis is very similar to Bozeman and Missoula in its character, Janet. It's a college town with a liberal sensibility. It's less diverse than I would like but it's more diverse than Pullman. I'm so glad we had that decade of urban living in Seattle (although as cities go, it's pretty white).

>97 richardderus: Thank you, Richard. We all know that the world won't be different on January 1; it will take more time than that. But I am among those millions ready to see 2020 in the rearview mirror!!!

>98 BLBera: Hi Beth. I am working on Monday and Tuesday and part of Wednesday this week. But NO zoom meetings on Monday and only one or two on the other two days. The university is closed and most employees take vacation this whole week. I need to go through my email inbox and get it cleared out. I normally do that over the summer but this summer was too crazy. I also have two documents I need to work on -- one that is a proposal for system-wide health care for students (meaning all 6 campuses) and one for my annual review for 2020. I'm tempted to turn in something that just says "2020: I survived." Ha. Anyway, the days shouldn't be too stressful. Then I have Wednesday afternoon and the rest of the week off. I'll start my first thread of 2021 next weekend.

des. 27, 2020, 4:56 pm

I'm watching the Seahawks play the Rams and trying to manage my anxiety. I want the Seahawks to win!

Editat: des. 27, 2020, 9:04 pm

A few notes about January reading. I'm planning to do the AlphaKIT again in 2021. I'll also follow the RandomCAT but I'm not committing; I won't even track what I read for it (when I do). So, in January I'll "need" to read for P and for M (P's last name starts with M, so that is kind of fun) and I'll choose to read something that gets tagged "humor."

Less by Andrew Sean Greer will count for humor.

I'll probably finish listening to Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey in the first few days of the new year so that will count for M.

I have lots of options for P: The Polish Officer by Alan Furst or Persuasion by Jane Austen or Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or The Belly of Paris by Émile Zola....

These are just notes. Who knows what I will really do?

ETA: For X I will read The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.
For Z I will probably read something by Zadie Smith.

des. 27, 2020, 5:31 pm

The Belly of Paris sounds like an excellent choice as does The Polish Officer!!

des. 27, 2020, 5:36 pm

^ *smile*

des. 27, 2020, 9:55 pm

I just realized as I was mentioning the book My Stroke of Insight that my own stroke occurred five years ago today. Wow. Thank goodness for these five years of no adverse effects and relatively good health even in the face of tremendous stress. Also another reminder of why early retirement is still a good idea.

des. 27, 2020, 11:50 pm

>104 EBT1002: wow, it has been five years? Congratulations on all the health-enhancing changes that you have made.

des. 28, 2020, 9:31 am

Wow, five years have flown by, Ellen!

des. 28, 2020, 9:48 am

Hi Ellen!

I didn't realize you'd had a stroke, and it looks like you first posted to my thread 2018, so I guess it makes sense I wouldn't have known.

Early retirement is always a good idea when you can afford it and aren't passionate about the job. Had my company not gone to the dark side and gotten infested by people and systems from our parent company, I would have stayed at least another 3 years and perhaps might even still be there at 67. But on January 29, 2021 I'll celebrate my 5th year of retirement. Haven't looked back, haven't missed work for one minute.

des. 28, 2020, 12:45 pm

>104 EBT1002: That's an event to be grateful is in the increasing distance and not echoing to today! Yay for good results!

des. 28, 2020, 3:51 pm

>104 EBT1002: 5 years! Wow, I remember it. Since then we have had advertising here to publicise what the signs of a stroke are, and the importance of getting medical attention quickly. I think of you when I see the ads...seeing as you are a success story :)

des. 28, 2020, 10:31 pm

>104 EBT1002: Okay, actually, it was five years ago today. I was off by one day.

Still, it's a momentous anniversary for me.

des. 28, 2020, 10:33 pm

>105 banjo123: Thanks, Rhonda. I feel like I have slipped in 2020, my cholesterol intake has sneaked back up. But I'm still attentive and trying to take good care.

>106 BLBera: Indeed, Beth. Now I need the next 7 months to fly by. LOL

des. 28, 2020, 10:37 pm

>107 karenmarie: Hi Karen. I was very lucky -- it was a real stroke (not a TIA) but I was only in hospital for one night and made a full recovery in about 36 hours. I was doing two big jobs at the time and eating perhaps too many dinners of burgers and fries, so that is part of why the stress of the current job (and especially the 18 months for which I was doing two big jobs -- again) has made me so edgy. Seven months and counting. I feel like we can afford it (with some minor lifestyle adjustments) and I am certainly no longer passionate about the work. I feel lucky to be able to retire early.

des. 28, 2020, 10:40 pm

>108 richardderus: Thanks Richard. My mom died of stroke at age 61, a milestone I will greet in August 2021 and part of why I'm targeting that month for retirement. Life is short and can be even shorter than it should be!

>109 LovingLit: Thanks Megan. For a while I was advertising those signs far and wide. I have slacked off and perhaps I should take it up again. FAST, I remember. Face, Arms, Speech, TIME to call 911!

des. 28, 2020, 10:51 pm

Congrats on the 5 year anniversary, Ellen! And I think it would be a great idea for Carson to have a little sister!!

des. 29, 2020, 3:09 am

I had forgotten about your stroke, and thatit occurred five years ago. I'm glad that you haven't had any additional ones, and that your well deserved retirement is just around the corner.

Happy New Year to you and P! See you in 2021...and hopefully in person in the near future.

des. 29, 2020, 4:53 am

Ellen--Wow, I can hardly believe it has been 5 years already! So glad you continue to do well. : ) And I am glad that your retirement countdown is now single digits. AND that you are moving back to Oregon!!!! Hurry up 2021!

des. 29, 2020, 6:11 am

Congratulations on your five year anniversary Ellen. Early retirement is well deserved too.

des. 29, 2020, 7:10 am

Congrats on that anniversary, Ellen. What an experience. So glad for the quick recovery and I think retirement is the best idea, both as a goal to work toward now, and a good step in a healthy direction for ever after.

des. 29, 2020, 10:09 am

We need an Ellen Retirement Countdown Clock!

des. 29, 2020, 6:04 pm

I didn't know your mother died from a stroke, Ellen. I am so glad you are retiring. Well deserved.

des. 29, 2020, 6:22 pm

Five years! I do remember the posts from that time, and my sense of alarm. I'm so glad you haven't had any recurrence!

Have a fine New Year's Eve with P. and Carson. Forward to 2021!

des. 30, 2020, 7:55 pm

Given your family's history, retirement at 61 sounds like a good plan, Ellen. August will be here before you know it. Have a great New Year!

Editat: des. 31, 2020, 4:10 pm

>114 ronincats: Yes, Roni, I remember that you were an early advocate for (at least) two cats. Turns out you were right -- Carson is doing fine but he would like a little playmate.

>115 kidzdoc: Thanks Darryl. I feel quite lucky to have had this five years with no recurrences. I know my careful eating habits have slid significantly, and the knee thing has altered my exercise patterns, but I'm at least somewhat attentive to what I can control.

And YES to a better 2021 and an in-person meet-up one of these days. You are one of the best positive reading influences (for me) in this group; the group has expanded my reading horizons so much over the past decade and you have been a big part of that. I'd love to share a meal and conversation with you sometime (and go book shopping!).

des. 31, 2020, 4:13 pm

>116 Berly: Thanks Kim. It does seem like 2021 has some good things in store. We all know that tomorrow, the first day of the new year, won't suddenly be different, but I remain optimistic! Excited to think about moving back to Oregon, too. xo

>117 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline!

>118 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. I agree. I think retirement will be a good move toward better self care for the coming years, how ever many of them I'm lucky enough to have.

>119 drneutron: I agree, Jim! I have a countdown app on my phone and since I feel like I'm a little bit more adept at posting photos than I was for a while there, I might top my 2021 threads with screenshots from that app. In facts, that is exactly what I will do! 😀

des. 31, 2020, 4:18 pm

>120 BLBera: Thanks Beth. Yes, she died young, having struggled with major depression for most of my life. She didn't take care of herself, largely due to that depression, but I also know stroke-related things run in that side of the family. So, here's to early retirement filled with less stress, more reading, and healthy eating and exercise!

>121 ffortsa: Thanks Judy. It was a scary time. Poor Prudence was really terrified, as was I. I was so obsessive about avoiding fat, cholesterol, and sodium for the several months following it, that the weight kind of melted off me. I've put most of it back on since the pandemic started so it's time to get refocused on my health. I won't focus on my weight because that is a losing approach for me, but I will start paying closer attention to the fat and cholesterol. I've actually done pretty well with the sodium for the past half-decade. It's a bit easier than the other two. *smile*

>122 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. I know 7 months can seem like it's a long way off, but I know you're right that it will fly by. I don't want to wish away my days on Earth, but I am sure excited about retirement!

des. 31, 2020, 4:31 pm

It's the last day of 2020 and I am hunkered down for the long weekend. We got about 7" of beautiful fluffy snow yesterday -- it was beautiful!! but today it is 36F and raining lightly. SLUSH. Prudence and I took our glass stash to the recycling place, ran a couple errands, and we're in for the rest of the day. We're planning to enjoy French 75s and pizza this evening and -- wait for it -- we're doing Dry January. We did it once before, probably a decade ago. The pandemic has frankly led to looser principles of self-care when it comes to eating and drinking, so this is a restart. I don't do New Year's Resolutions but a month-long clear-out just feels right. Less red meat, no alcohol.... and as much reading as I can fit in!

I am currently in the middle of The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell and quite enjoying it. Set in 1913, it's an interesting juxtaposition with our current era and the tension between those who are angling for the return of an oligarchy and those who wish for a more equitable society.

I'm also listening to Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey which is painful, honest, and beautiful. Narrated by the author, it is an unflinching memoir about Natasha's relationship with her mother, growing up and living as a biracial person in America, and her mother's murder by Natasha's stepfather.

But for now, Carson is letting me have my laptop on my lap, so I'm off to start my first 75ers thread for the new year. January 20 will be my ten-year Thingaversary. It's a day to celebrate, most especially this year.

des. 31, 2020, 5:01 pm

Happy New Year and happy thingaversary!

des. 31, 2020, 9:35 pm


As the year turns, friendship continues

gen. 1, 2021, 12:57 am

Dry January is a thing? Here it is Dry July....I guess it is winter dependent! (Our is usually associated with fundraising for cancer, you get people to sponsor you etc.).

gen. 5, 2021, 10:04 am

I hope your first days back are good ones, Ellen. And you still have that retirement day in front of you...

gen. 5, 2021, 10:05 am

Thoughts about Golden Grey and Wild? This seems like a huge variation from the theme.

gen. 8, 2021, 1:10 pm

Popping up on your old thread to say I love your post >60 EBT1002:. I love the Sean Duffy and Ruth Galloway series, and I love the idea of your re-watching Hamilton on your big new tv. Plus you'll likely, from the sounds of it, persuade me to read Wendy Lesser's Why Read. I know her from her very well done Threepenny Review.