karenmarie's Comfort Zone Quandary - Don't Wanna vs Should - XVI

Converses75 Books Challenge for 2020

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

karenmarie's Comfort Zone Quandary - Don't Wanna vs Should - XVI

des. 19, 2020, 1:58 pm

Welcome to my first-time ever sixteenth thread in the 75ers, and my sixteenth thread of Twenty Twenty.

Head down, pretending we’re still in lockdown, and trying to stay safe. I looked back on old threads and am amazed that it was only on March 3rd that I mentioned Covid-19 for the first time. Two days before, March 1, I was happily planning for and executing book club for 12 at our house. It’s been nine months of shockingly different social and shopping/essential services behaviors. Thanksgiving and Christmas with the family were both cancelled, including Jenna not coming home for either. Looks like things might start picking up late spring/early summer next year.

I still love being retired, and am beyond grateful that I don’t have to venture out to work to earn a living ever again. I’m grateful for being able to stay at home during these dangerous times.

I read and am a charter member of the Redbud and Beyond Book Club, started in 1997. We haven’t met since March, and I’m not at all certain when we’ll be able to meet again. I am President for our local Friends of the Library (henceforth abbreviated FoL), and am sad that our Tuesday morning FoL book sale donations sorting meetings are still on hold, the Library is still closed, and we’ve now had to cancel two book sales because of Covid-19. It’s not official, but I’m sure the Spring book sale will be cancelled, too. Heck, the Library isn’t even open.

I have been married to Bill for 29 years and am mother to Jenna, who turned 27 in August. We live in our own little corner of paradise on 8 acres in central North Carolina USA. Jenna is currently working as a tutor for her community college and as she settles into that will try to find other work to cover her expenses. We have three kitties. Wash and Zoe were being sort-of outdoor kitties, and our senior girl, Inara, was just being cute.

The theme for this year’s pictures is no theme. The first photo is from 1941, left to right: Aunt Joyce (6), Mom (9), Uncle Doug (3). The second is our family photo from last Christmas: Jenna, Bill, me.


My goal was 100 books again this year. It’s a good goal, not too stressful and not too comfortable. Without Covid I’d still be working on it; as it is, I’ve read 118 books so far this year, 12% nonfiction. No page goal, just tracking. I seem to read around 30000 pages per year and have surpassed that too.

My personal challenge for the year was a re-read of Jane Austen’s 6 novels. The last time I read them was BLT - Before LibraryThing – and to be perfectly honest I never even finished Emma. Bill bought lovely Easton Press Editions for me for Christmas 2008 which have never been opened. I think it’s time to crack’em. I’m now officially Very Far Behind. I've started Emma but it's slow going. I will also read Sanditon, the Watsons, Lady Susan & other Miscellanea and one biography, to be decided upon later. I've already decided to cut myself some slack and carry this challenge into 2021.

In response to the pandemic and in need of comfort reading, I’m reading/re-reading the Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout, all 47 of them. This, too, may carry into 2021. I’m currently at book 28 of 47.

A second personal challenge for the year was to have been of an archaeological nature – I wanted to dig through each year of book acquisitions and read 2 as-yet-unread books from each year. 13 years, 26 books. My ROOT goal was 30 books, none of them re-reads, so there was bit of wiggle room for 4 additional ROOTs. I failed miserably at this goal, but I’ll use the pandemic as my excuse. I have, however, read 30 ROOTs, so while the content is not how I wanted it, the number is.

During my high school and early college years, 1967-1973, I kept a notebook, which included some quotes I liked. Here are a few of them:
There is not much to be said for the business of the male having to be superior except that it’s a terrible strain. For men to be superior, women have to be inferior, which requires a lot of play-acting for both parties and never seems to work. And an awful lot of men would likely trade their male supremacy for a chance to be accepted as they actually are. – Merle Shain Some Men are More Perfect Than Others

I’m quite sure that one never makes fundamental mistakes about the thing one really wants to do. Fundamental mistakes arise out of lack of genuine interest. Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

Any man who thinks civilization has advanced is an egotist. Will Rogers

…And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

He was so congenitally conceited that he appeared modest. J.D. Salinger

Pleasure not known beforehand is half wasted; to anticipate it is to double it. Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
And, finally, Comfort Zone Quandary – how do I balance reading for sheer pleasure in genres/authors I love with Book Bullets acquired from fellow LTers and Real Life Book Club? It is a never-ending battle between Don’t Wanna and Should. Don’t Wanna stray from what I love, Should expand my horizons.

Editat: des. 31, 2020, 12:20 pm

books read

1. A Divided Loyalty by Charles Todd 12/27/19 1/2/20 326 pages trade paperback, Advance Reader's Edition...
*abandoned* A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens 20 pages
2. Abraham Lincoln: Mystic Chords of Memory edited by Larry Shapiro 1/8/20 1/9/20 **** trade paperback, 79 pages...
3. Why Don't Woodpeckers Get Headaches? by Mike O'Connor 11/24/19 1/12/20 211 pages trade paperback
4. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith 11/17/19 1/14/20 audiobook 18 hours
5. So Many Steps to Death by Agatha Christie 1/12/20 1/14/20 200 pages
6. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton 1/3/20 1/18/20 458 pages trade paperback
7. Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly 1/18/20 1/20/20 433 pages hardcover
8. The Night Fire by Michael Connelly 1/20/20 1/20/20 405 pages hardcover
*abandoned* Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding, 14 pages
9. Cecily by Clare Darcy 1/22/20 1/23/20 285 pages mass market paperback
10. The Second Sleep by Robert Harris 1/23/20 1/27/20 298 pages hardcover
11. Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz 1/13/20 1/27/20 417 pages hardcover

12. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood 1/28/20 2/4/20 374 pages trade paperback
13. Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel by Richard H. Minear 1/18/20 2/5/20 267 pages hardcover
14. Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb 2/4/20 2/6/20 343 pages mass market paperback
15. In the Frame by Dick Francis 2/7/20 2/8/20 206 pages mass market paperback
*abandoned* The Cold Last Swim by Junior Burke 131 pages
16. The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson 2/8/20 2/11/20 292 pages hardcover
17. The Last Basselope: One Ferocious Story by Berkeley Breathed 2/12/20 2/1/20 30 pages hardcover
18. Slay Ride by Dick Francis 2/12/20 2/13/20 279 pages mass market paperback
19. Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher 2/9/20 2/14/20 180 pages trade paperback
20. The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker 2/13/20 2/16/20 299 pages hardcover
21. The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths 2/18/20 2/20/20 370 pages hardcover
22. River of Darkness by Rennie Airth 2/16/20 2/24/20 435 pages trade paperback
23. Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb 2/25/20 2/27/20 371 pages hardcover
24. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen 1/23/20 2/28/20 22 pages of introduction, 381 pages hardcover

25. Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz 2/27/20 3/2/20 354 pages hardcover
26. Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb 3/3/20 3/4/20 370 pages hardcover
27. Dark in Death by J.D. Robb 3/4/20 3/7/20 372 pages hardcover
28. Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift 3/7/20 3/8/20 177 pages hardcover
29. Leverage in Death by J.D. Robb 3/8/20 3/12/20 385 pages hardcover
30. Connections in Death by J.D. Robb 3/13/20 3/18/20 371 pages hardcover
31. Vendetta in Death by J.D. Robb 3/20/20 3/21/20 356 pages hardcover
32. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith 1/16/20 3/24/20 22.5 hours audiobook
33. Golden in Death by J.D. Robb 3/22/20 3/27/20 387 pages hardcover
34. Blood Sport by Dick Francis 3/28/20 3/29/20 309 pages mass market paperback

35. The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz 3/27/20 4/3/20 373 pages hardcover
36. A Small Book of Grave Humour edited by Fritz Spiegl 4/5/20 4/5/20 192 pages paperback
37. Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout 4/6/20 4/10/20 199 pages mass market paperback
38. The League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout 4/10/20 4/14/20 207 pages mass market paperback
39. The Rubber Band by Rex Stout 4/14/20 4/18/20 189 pages mass market paperback
40. True Fiction by Lee Goldberg 4/18/20 4/20/20 248 pages hardcover, Kindle
41. Beastly Tales From Here to There by Vikram Seth 4/5/20 4/19/20 152 pages hardcover
42. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick 4/22/20 4/26/20 245 pages trade paperback
43. Killer Thriller by Lee Goldberg 4/19/20 4/27/20 287 pages hardcover, Kindle
44. Foucault for Beginners by Lydia Alix Fillingham 4/28/20 4/29/20 150 pages trade paperback
*abandoned* Left to Die by Lisa Jackson 4/27/20 496 pages mass market paperback, 2008, 86 pages

45. The Danger by Dick Francis 4/29/20 5/5/20 370 pages mass market paperback
46. The Red Box by Rex Stout 5/6/20 5/7/2020 264 pages trade paperback
47. Too Many Cooks by Rex Stout 5/8/20 5/14/20 179 pages mass market paperback
48. Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout 5/14/20 5/16/20 278 pages hardcover
49. Over My Dead Body by Rex Stout 5/16/20 5/19/20 191 pages mass market paperback
50. Where There's a Will by Rex Stout 5/19/20 5/23/20 255 pages, Kindle
51. Black Orchids by Rex Stout 5/23/20 5/24/20 105 pages mass market paperback
52. Cordially Invited to Meet Death by Rex Stout 5/24/20 5/24/20 99 pages mass market paperback
53. Not Quite Dead Enough by Rex Stout 5/24/20 5/26/20 102 pages hardcover
54. Booby Trap by Rex Stout 5/26/20 5/26/20 116 pages hardcover
55. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling 3/25/20 5/26/20 audiobook
56. The Silent Speaker by Rex Stout 5/26/20 5/30/20 271 pages Kindle
57. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 3/18/20 5/30/20 415 pages hardcover

58. Too Many Women by Rex Stout 5/31/20 6/5/20 355 pages, Kindle
*abandoned* Stacey in the Hands of an Angry God by Thomas Keech 60 pages
*abandoned* A New God in Town by Thomas Keech 20 pages
59. And Be a Villain by Rex Stout 6/6/20 6/8/20 247 pages mass market paperback
60. The Second Confession by Rex Stout 6/9/20 6/11/20 168 pages hardcover
61. In the Best Families by Rex Stout 6/11/20 6/12/20 170 pages hardcover
62. That Affair Next Door by Anna Katharine Green 6/12/20 6/19/20 350 pages trade paperback
63. Trouble in Triplicate by Rex Stout 6/20/20 6/23/20 228 pages mass market paperback

64. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry 6/23/20 7/2/20 462 pages trade paperback
65. Smokescreen by Dick Francis 7/2/20 7/5/20 212 pages mass market paperback
66. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow 7/5/20 7/12/20 381 pages trade paperback
67. In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming 7/12/20 7/15/20 308 pages hardcover
68. The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope by C.W. Grafton 7/15/20 7/16/20 284 pages trade paperback
69. Wild Dog by Serge Joncour 7/17/20 7/24/20 351 pages trade paperback 2018
70. Curtains for Three by Rex Stout 7/22/20 7/25/20 222 pages paperback
71. Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump, PhD. 7/21/20 7/26/20 215 pages hardcover
72. A Fountain Filled With Blood by Julia Spencer-Fleming 7/25/20 7/29/20 314 pages trade paperback
*abandoned* A is for Arsenic by Katherine Harkup
73. Little Wonder: The Fabulous Story of Lottie Dod the World's First Female Sports superstar by Sasha Abramsky 7/30/20 7/31/20 232 pages hardcover

74. Out of the Deep I Cry by Julia Spencer-Fleming 7/29/20 8/4/20 325 pages hardcover
75. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling 5/29/20 8/5/20 audiobook
76. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen 5/31/20 8/9/20 494 pages hardcover
77. To Darkness and to Death by Julia Spencer-Fleming 8/9/20 8/14/20 311 pages hardcover
78. All Mortal Flesh by Julia Spencer-Fleming 8/15/20 8/17/20 322 pages hardcover
79. I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming 8/17/20 8/21/20 414 pages hardcover
*abandoned* In the Last Analysis by Amanda Cross
80. #Sad! More Doonesbury in the Time of Trump by GB Trudeau 8/3/20 8/24/20 128 pages trade paperback
81. One Was a Soldier by Julia Spencer-Fleming 8/26/20 8/29/20 327 pages hardcover 2011
82. Lewser! More Doonesbury in the Time of Trump by GB Trudeau 7/17/20 8/30/20 127 pages trade paperback

83. Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming 8/30/20 9/1/20 355 pages hardcover
84. Coraline by Neil Gaiman 9/2/20 9/3/20 163 pages hardcover
85. Murder by the Book by Rex Stout 9/3/20 9/4/20 199 pages mass market paperback
86. Triple Jeopardy by Rex Stout 9/5/20 9/7/20 148 pages hardcover
87. Prisoner's Base by Rex Stout 9/7/20 9/8/20 286 pages mass market paperback
88. The Edge by Dick Francis 9/9/20 9/11/20 324 pages hardcover
89. Shadows in Death by J.D. Robb 9/11/20 9/15/20 355 pages hardcover
90. Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith 9/15/20 9/19/20 927 pages hardcover
91. The Book of Eels by Patrik Svensson 9/1/20 9/21/20 235 pages hardcover
92. Hid From Our Eyes by Julia Spencer-Fleming 9/21/20 9/24/20 339 pages hardcover
93. IQ by Joe Ide 9/24/20 9/26/20 321 pages trade paperback
94. The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware 9/26/20 9/28/20 368 pages trade paperback
95. The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz 9/29/20 9/30/20 356 pages hardcover

96. The Golden Spiders by Rex Stout 10/3/20 10/4/20 208 pages hardcover
97. Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz 10/5/20 10/7/20 404 pages hardcover
98. 2020 Democratic Party Platform by the Democratic National Committee 9/1/20 10/8/20 91 pages PDF
99. Three Men Out by Rex Stout 10/8/20 10/10/20 150 pages mass market paperback
100. How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi 9/28/20 286 pages hardcover
101. Out of the Dark by Gregg Hurwitz 10/13/20 10/16/20 385 pages hardcover
102. Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz 10/17/20 10/19/20 385 pages hardcover
103. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 8/6/20 10/17/20 audiobook
104. The Black Mountain by Rex Stout 10/20/20 10/22/20 Kindle
105. The Motion of the Body Through Space by Lionel Shriver 10/11/20 10/23/20 338 pages hardcover
106. Before Midnight by Rex Stout 10/23/20 10/26/20 208 pages Kindle
107. Bangkok 8 by John Burdett 10/26/20 10/29/20 338 pages Kindle
108. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff 10/30/20 10/30/20 trade paperback

109. The Fifth Season by N K Jemisin 9/28/20 11/3/20 449 pages trade paperback
110. Glacial Lake Missoula and Its Humongous Floods by David Alt 9/15/20 11/4/20 trade paperback, 186 pages
111. The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child 11/5/20 11/8/20 351 pages hardcover
112. Three Witnesses by Rex Stout 11/8/20 11/11/20 179 pages mass market paperback
113. Second Wind by Dick Francis 11/12/20 11/16/20 383 pages hardcover
114. My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber 11/11/20 11/16/20 106 pages trade paperback
115. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan 11/17/20 11/24/20 288 pages trade paperback

116. Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson 11/25/20 12/1/20 316 pages mass market paperback
117. Might As Well Be Dead by Rex Stout 12/1/20 12/11/20 208 pages mass market paperback
118. A Year with G.K. Chesterton edited by Kevin Belmonte 1/1/20 12/18/20 402 pages trade paperback
119. Camino Island by John Grisham 12/12/20 12/20/20 290 pages trade paperback
120. Trial Run by Dick Francis 12/20/20 12/26/20 290 pages mass market paperback
**abandoned** The Bible and the Common Reader by Mary Ellen Chase 47 pages
**abandoned** What the Bible Says by Manfred Barthel 62 pages
121. Three for the Chair by Rex Stout 12/26/20 12/28/20 183 pages hardcover
122. The Standing Chandelier by Lionel Shriver 12/29/20 12/29/20 122 pages hardcover
123. Elevation by Stephen King 12/30/20 12/30/20 146 pages hardcover Elevation by Stephen King 12/30/20 146 pages hardcover
124. Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls 12/30/20 12/31/20 119 pages trade paperback
**abandoned** The Princess Bride by William Goldman 31 pages

Currently Reading:
A Promised Land by Barack Obama 11/20/20 709 pages hardcover 2020
White Trash by Nancy Isenberg 11/9/20 321 pages trade paperback 2016
The Source by James Michener 10/1/20 909 pages hardcover 1965
Emma by Jane Austen 8/18/20 xxx pages, 1816
Moby Dick 5/1/20 517 pages trade paperback 1851

Editat: feb. 2, 2021, 5:07 pm

books added - 341 added in 2019 - goal is to reduce that by 20% or more. This should actually be an easy goal given the pandemic and the fact that we've already missed one book sale and will probably miss a second one.

1. book sort team reject - Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Strout
2. Amazon - The Second Sleep by Robert Harris
3. friend Karen - Christmas - A Higher Loyalty by James Comey
4. friend Karen - Christmas - The New English Bible
5. friend Karen - Christmas - A Beginner's Guide to The Books of the Bible by Diane L. Jacobson and Robert Kysar
6. friend Karen - Christmas - The Bible and the Common Reader by Mary Ellen Chase, first printing, 1944
7. friend Karen - Christmas - What the Bible Really Says by Manfred Barthel
8. Amazon - River of Darkness by Rennie Airth

9. McKays - The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois
10. McKays - The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
11. Jenn - The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
12. McKays - Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
13. McKays - Kiss the Dead by Laurell K. Hamilton
14. McKays - Leverage in Death by J.D. Robb
15. McKays - Dark in Death by J.D. Robb
16. ER - The Cold Last Swim by Junior Burke
17. Amazon - Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher
18. Amazon - Religous Literacy by Stephen Prothero
19. Amazon - The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
20. Amazon - Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood
21. Thrift Shop - The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope
22. Thrift Shop - Connections in Death by J.D. Robb
23. Amazon - The Lantern Men by Elly Griffiths
24. Amazon - An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim
25. Amazon - Miss Buncle's Book by D. E. Stevenson
26. Amazon - The Blood-Dimmed Tide by Rennie Airth
27. book sort team reject - Ishi Last of His Tribe by Theodora Kroeber

28. BookMooch - Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
29. Amazon - The Benefit of Hindsight by Susan Hill
30. Amaon - The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz
31. book sort team reject - the Epic of Man by Time-Life Editors
32. book sort team reject - Golden A Guide to Field Identification Trees of North America by C. Frank Brockman
33. ER - Wild Dog by Serge Joncour
34. Amazon - Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
35. Bookmooch - Recursion by Blake Crouch
36. Amazon - Vendetta in Death by J.D. Robb
37. Amazon - Golden in Death by J.D. Robb
38. BookMooch - Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay

00. Amazon Kindle - True Fiction by Lee Goldberg, March 1, 2018
39. Amazon Kindle - The Names of the Dead by Kevin Wignall 1-5-20
40. Amazon Kindle - The Complete Novels of Fanny Burney 2-15-20
41. Amazon Kindle - Killer Thriller by Ian Ludlow
42. Amazon Kindle - Moby Dick by Herman Melville
43. Amazon Kindle - Fidelity by Susan Glaspell
00. Amazon Kindle - Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace 8/26/2018

44. Amazon Kindle - The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
45. Amazon Kindle - A Man by Keiichiro Hirano
46. Amazon - An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
47. Amazon - Belgravia by Julian Fellowes
48. Amazon Kindle - Where There's a Will by Rex Stout
49. Amazon Kindle - Too Many Women by Rex Stout
50. Amazon Kindle - Guardians of Ga'Hoole #1: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky
51. Amazon Kindle - The Silent Speaker by Rex Stout
52. Amazon Kindle - Stacey in the Hands of an Angry God by Thomas Keech
53. ER - A New God in Town by Thomas Keech

54. Amazon Kindle - Double for Death by Rex Stout - first in the Tecumseh Fox series
55. Amazon - Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
56. Amazon - That Affair Next Door by Anna Katharine Green
57. Amazon - The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope by C.W. Grafton
58. Amazon - Trouble in Triplicate by Rex Stout
59. Amazon Kindle - Curtains for Three by Rex Stout
60. Amazon Kindle - In the Last Analysis by Amanda Cross
61. Amazon Kindle - Delphi Complete Works of Anna Katharine Green by Anna Katharine Green
62. Bill - birthday - The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
63. Amazon Kindle - Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant
64. Amazon Kindle - The Devil in America by Kai Ashante Wilson

65. Amazon Kindle - Tomboyland: Essays by Melissa Faliveno
66. Amazon - Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
67. Amazon - A Fountain Filled with Blood by Julia spencer-Fleming
68. ER - Little Wonder: The Fabulous Story of Lottie Dod the World's First Female Sports Superstar by Sasha Abramsky

69. Amazon - #Sad: Moore Doonesbury in the Time of Trump by GB Trudeau
70. Amazon - Inside Job by Connie Willis
71. Amazon Kindle - Attack of the 50 Foot Indian by Stephen Graham Jones - Richard
72. Amazon - Or What You Will by Jo Walton - Susan
73. Amazon Kindle - I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming

74. Amazon Kindle - Speedy Death by Gladys Mitchell
75. Amazon Kindle - The Saltmarsh Murders by Gladys Mitchell
76. Friend Karen - The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump by Bandy Lee
77. Amazon Kindle - It's a Bird by Christian Cooper
78. Amazon - Shadows in Death by J.D. Robb
79. Amazon - Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith
80. Amazon - The Fifth Season by N K Jemisin
81. Amazon - The Obelisk Gate by N K Jemisin
82. Amazon - The Stone Sky by J K Jemisin

83. Friend Jan - Instant Pot For Two Cookbook by Alice Newman
84. Friend Jan - The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook by Simon Rush
85. Amazon - Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Cookbook by Jennifer Smith
86. Amazon - The Motion of the Body Through Space by Lionel Shriver
87. Judy - 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
88. Amazon - Final Proof by Rodrigues Ottolengui
89. Amazon Kindle - The Black Mountain by Rex Stout
90. Amazon Kindle - Before Midnight
91. Amazon Kindle - Bangkok 8 by John Burdett
92. Amazon Kindle - Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
93. Amazon - The Sentinel by Lee Child and Andrew Child
94. Amazon Kindle - Bangkok Tattoo by John Burdett

95. Amazon - Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn
96. Amazon - A Wealth of Pigeons by Harry Bliss and Steve Martin
97. Amazon - A Promised Land by Barack Obama
98. Amazon - The Standing Chandelier by Lionel Shriver
99. Amazon - Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
100. Amazon - Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith, audio CDs
101. Amazon - Hope Rides Again by Andrew Shaffer
102. Amazon - Might As Well Be Dead by Rex Stout

103. FoL Book Donation - The Source of Life and Other Stories by Beth Bosworth
104. FoL Book Donation - Off the Map: Selected Poems by Gloria Fuertes
105. FoL Book Donation - The Rushdie File by Lisa Appignanesi
106. FoL Book Donation - The Vision of the Void: Theological Reflections on the Works of Elie Wiesel by Michael Berenbaum
107. FoL Book Donation - Fall Color Finder: A Pocket Guide to Autumn Leaves by Ritchie C. Bell
108. FoL Book Donation - A Word or Two Before You Go . . . . by Jacques Barzun
109. FoL Book Donation - The Regional Arts of the Early South by John Bivins
110. FoL Book Donation - 1599 Geneva Bible: Patriot's Edition by Reformers
111. FoL Book Donation - Handbook for William: A Carolingian Woman's Counsel for Her Son by Dhouda
112. FoL Book Donation - Chakra Healing by Margarita Alcantara
113. FoL Book Donation - Epistolary Histories: Letters, Fiction, Culture by Amanda Gilroy
114. Sister Laura - Finding My Way by our cousin Lenita McCallum Witherspoon
115. Friend Karen - Taking on the World: Joseph and Stewart Alsop, Guardians of the American Century by Robert W. Merry
116. Friend Karen - Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in Americaby Ibram X. Kendi
117. Friend Karen - The Bitter Road to Freedom: A New History of the Liberation of Europe by William Hitchcock
118. Friend Karen - A Seer Out of Season: The Life Of Edgar Cayce by Harmon H. Bro
119. Friend Karen - Seafurrers: The Ships’ Cats Who Lapped and Mapped the World by Philippa Sandall
120. Friend Karen - The Bible: New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs: Contemporary English Version by Cev Abs
121. Friend Karen - Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays by Candace Savage
122. Amazon - A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey - bought as gift but will keep to upgrade my collection from mass market paperback to trade paperback. I realized that I'd already given this particular book to the friend I bought this copy for 5 years ago.
00. Amazon Kindle - The Complete Father Brown Mysteries (Annotated, With Introduction, Rare Additional Material) by G.K. Chesterton (Author), G.A. Fisher (Editor), Gary Fisher (Foreword), 11/22/19
123. Amazon Kindle - A Phantom Lover by Vernon Lee
124. Amazon Kindle - Human Kind by Brad Aronson
125. Christmas - Cousin Rebecca - Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell
126. Christmas - sister Laura - Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah
127. Christmas - friend Karen - Knit Your Own Cat by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne
128. Christmas - friend Karen - Frederick Douglass by William S. McFeely

Editat: des. 22, 2020, 3:23 pm

books culled - 255 culled in 2019 - goal is to maintain or increase by 10%

1. A Cold Treachery by Charles Todd
2. A Test of Wills by Charles Todd
3. A Matter of Justice by Charles Todd
4. Legacy of the Dead by Charles Todd
5. A Fearsome Doubt by Charles Todd
6. Wings of Fire by Charles Todd
7. Search the Dark by Charles Todd
8. A Pale Horse by Charles Todd
9. Watchers of Time by Charles Todd
10. A Long Shadow by Charles Todd
11. A False Mirror by Charles Todd
12. The Red Door by Charles Todd
13. A Lonely Death by Charles Todd
14. The Confession by Charles Todd
15. Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd
16. Hunting Shadows by Charles Todd
17. A Fine Summer's Day by Charles Todd
18. No Shred of Evidence by Charles Todd
19. Racing the Devil by Charles Todd
20. The Gate Keeper by Charles Todd
21. A Divided Loyalty by Charles Todd
22. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling - duplicate
23. Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney
24. The Book of Merlyn by T.H. White - duplicate
25. Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding - abandoned
26. Cecily by Clare Darcy - read and culled
27. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro - thornton37814's review made me realize I'd never read it
28. Life with Maxie by Diane Rehm - dogs, not me, plus I need .3 points on bookmooch
29. Rise to Rebellion by Jeff Shaara - ditto the .3 points, plus novels about the revolutionary war ... meh
30. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen - ditto the .3 points and I'll never read it - contemporary fiction
31. Left to Die by Lisa Jackson
32. Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout - duplicate
33. Some Buried Caesar by Rex Stout - triplicate
34. The Partner by John Grisham
35. The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths
36. Black Orchids by Rex Stout - duplicate
37. Not Quite Dead Enough - duplicate
38. Hawaii by James Michener - when I looked at it the other day, I realized that several of the pages were misprinted and even if I wanted to re-read it RIGHT NOW, it would be a terrible reading experience. I'll have to look for another copy. I actually threw this one into the recycle bin!
39. Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout - duplicate
40. And Be a Villain by Rex Stout - duplicate
41. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
42. Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson
43. Still Life by Louise Penny - won't read any more of the series and won't re-read this one
44. China Road by Rob Gifford - dated
45. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
46. Glass Houses by Louise Penny - won't read any more of the series and won't re-read this one
47. A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny - won't read any more of the series and won't re-read this one
48. A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny - won't read any more of the series and won't re-read this one
49. The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny - won't read any more of the series and won't re-read this one
50. The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny - won't read any more of the series and won't re-read this one
51. Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny - won't read any more of the series and won't re-read this one
52. A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny - won't read any more of the series and won't re-read this one
53. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
54. Midwife of the Blue Ridge by Christina Blevins
55. No Instructions Needed by Robert G. Hewitt
56. The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew
57. The Long Way Home by Louise Penny - won't read any more of the series and won't re-read this one
58. How the Light Gets in by Louise Penny - won't read any more of the series and won't re-read this one
59. The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny - won't read any more of the series and won't re-read this one
60. The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny - won't read any more of the series and won't re-read this one
61. Wild Dog by Serge Joncour - ER book I don't want to keep
62. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter - won't read
63. Walden and On The Duty of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
64. As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann
65. The Timetables of History by Bernard Grun
66. Pruning Made Easy by Lewis Hill
67. Random House Word Menu by Stephen Glazier
68. Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Gardening
69. Shagging in the Carolinas by 'Fessa John Hook
70. A Reporter's Life by Walter Cronkite
71. The Majors by John Feinstein
72. Stupid White Men by Michael Moore
73. Better Homes and Gardens Step by Step Landscaping
74. Needlepoint by Hope Hanley
75. Britannica Book of English Usage by Christine Timmons
76. The Golden Spiders by Rex Stout - duplicate
77. Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler - won't read it
78. The Life of Amelia Earhart by Mary S. Lovell
79. Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1) by Jim Butcher
80. Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2) by Jim Butcher
81. Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3) by Jim Butcher
82. Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, Book 4) by Jim Butcher
83. Death Masks (The Dresden Files, Book 5) by Jim Butcher
84. Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, Book 6) by Jim Butcher
85. Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, Book 7) by Jim Butcher
86. Proven Guilty (The Dresden Files, Book 8) by Jim Butcher
87. White Night (The Dresden Files, Book 9) by Jim Butcher
88. Small Favor (The Dresden Files, Book 10) by Jim Butcher
89. Turn Coat (The Dresden Files, Book 11) by Jim Butcher
90. Forrest Gump by Winston Groom
91. Gump & Co. by Winston Groom
92. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Brashares, Ann
93. The Cat Who Blew the Whistle by Braun, Lilian Jackson
94. The Cat Who Moved a Mountain by Braun, Lilian Jackson
95. The Cat Who Played Brahms by Braun, Lilian Jackson
96. The Cat Who Played Post Office by Braun, Lilian Jackson
97. The Cat Who Said Cheese by Braun, Lilian Jackson
98. The Cat Who Sniffed Glue by Braun, Lilian Jackson
99. The Cat Who Tailed a Thief by Braun, Lilian Jackson
100. The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts by Braun, Lilian Jackson
101. The Cat Who Turned On and Off by Braun, Lilian Jackson
102. The Cat Who Went into the Closet by Braun, Lilian Jackson
103. Full Cry by Brown, Rita Mae
104. Murder on the Prowl by Brown, Rita Mae
105. Murder, She Meowed by Brown, Rita Mae
106. Nine Lives to Die by Brown, Rita Mae
107. Outfoxed by Brown, Rita Mae
108. Riding Shotgun by Brown, Rita Mae
109. Brain Droppings by Carlin, George
110. Mason & Dixon by Pynchon, Thomas
111. Warning Signs by White, Stephen
112. A Flame in Byzantium by Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn
113. Better in the Dark: A Novel of Saint-Germain by Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn
114. Blood Games: A Historical Horror Novel Set in Nero's Rome by Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn
115. Crusaders' Torch by Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn
116. Darker Jewels: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain by Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn
117. Out of the House of Life: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain by Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn
118. Path of the Eclipse A Historical Horror Novel Set in the Far East by Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn
119. Writ In Blood: A Novel of the Count Saint-Germain by Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn
120. Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson - good but not good enough to keep
121. A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey - upgraded to trade paperback
122. A Year with G. K. Chesterton edited by Kevin Belmonte - will never read it again
123. Camino Island by John Grisham
124. Void Moon by Michael Connelly
125. Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen
126. Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen
127. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King
128. Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler

Editat: des. 19, 2020, 2:02 pm

Statistics Through November 30

115 books read
28 of them on my shelves before 1/1/20 and not rereads
10 books abandoned, 553 pages abandoned
31653 pages read
68.8 audiobook hours
Avg pages read per day, YTD = 94
Avg pages read per book, YTD = 275

Best book of the month: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

Male 63%
Female 37%

Living 59%
Dead 41%

US Born 71%
Foreign Born 29%

Hardcover 46%
Trade Pback 23%
Mass Market 17%
Audiobook 4%
e-Book 10%

My Library 77%
Library 16%
Other 7%

Re-read 23%
Series 63%

Fiction 87%
NonFiction 13%

Author Birth Country
Austria 1%
Canada 1%
England 22%
France 1%
Iceland 1%
India 1%
New Zealand 1%
South Africa 1%
Sweden 1%
US 71%

Original Decade Published
1810-1819 3%
1890-1899 1%
1930-1939 6%
1940-1949 10%
1950-1959 10%
1960-1969 1%
1970-1979 5%
1980-1989 3%
1990-1999 8%
2000-2009 10%
2010-2019 33%
2020-2029 10%

Biography 3%
Chrestomathy 1%
Contemporary Fiction 2%
Fantasy 7%
Historical Fiction 4%
Humor 3%
Informational Nonfiction 7%
Memoir 2%
Mystery 59%
Poetry 1%
Science Fiction 3%
Suspense 1%
Thriller 8%

Editat: des. 19, 2020, 2:03 pm

November’s Lightning Round

Glacial Lake Missoula and Its Humongous Floods by David Alt 9/15/20 to 11/4/20
A geologist’s dream book, harder for this non-geologist to follow. The premise is that much of the geology of western Montana, northern Idaho, and eastern Washington is explained by multiple catastrophic failures of glacier ice dams. An abundance of wonderful maps and photos helped explain what Dr. Alt was talking about. Also, the background of theories on this region were helpful.
Three Witnesses by Rex Stout 11/9/20 to 11/11/20
Three novellas:

1. The Next Witness. Excellent! Wolfe is in the courtroom preparing to testify for the prosecution in a murder case, when he abruptly leaves, incurring contempt of court, to pursue a theory that the plaintiff is innocent. He and Archie interview some people, hide in Saul’s apartment overnight, and devise a clever ruse to allow Wolfe to present his case that the plaintiff is innocent on the witness stand by manipulating the DA into asking a question he shouldn't have.

2. When a Man Murders. A presumed-dead Korean War soldier returns home after his estate has been divided between his wife and other heirs. His presumed widow has married again, which complicates things, along with a cryptic message in the last letter he wrote home before being presumed dead. Very well done.

3. Die Like a Dog. Archie tries to return a raincoat and get his back, has a dog follow him home, and he and Wolfe get a sweet little murder case out of it. Very well done, just like the one above it.
Second Wind by Dick Francis 11/12/20 11/16/20
This book took forever to get off the ground – I didn’t get engaged until page 125 of 283. Meterologist Perry Stuart gets involved in an errand with a friend while flying through a hurricane – it sort of goes downhill from there except for eventually finding out that there are bad guys, there’s true love for Perry, and some interesting shenanigans revolving around a herd of cattle. I’m not sure I actually liked it very much. Way too many coincidences and machina ex deus.
My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber 11/11/20 11/16/20
Stylized and humor-filled memoir of Thurber up to the age of 18, includes The Night the Bed Fell, The Night the Ghost Got in, and, probably my favorite, The Dog That Bit People. Introduction, Preface to a Life, Afterword, About James Thurber, and a summary of the book. The illustrations are as fantastic as the stories, quintessential Thurber ink drawings of stylized people, These are strange people that Mr. Thurber has turned loose upon us. They seem to fall into three classes – the playful, the defeated, and the ferocious. All of them have the outer semblance of unbaked cookies… Preface by Dorothy Parker to The Seal in the Bedroom from About James Thurber after the book. Fantastic, immensely cheering stories.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan 11/17/20 11/24/20
Ultimately a bit disappointing, perhaps because the magic and immortality were a different kind than anticipated. Clever, but the characterizations were flimsy and shadowy. The right characters won in the end, however, the quest and victory just weren't that interesting.

des. 19, 2020, 1:59 pm

Welcome one and all!

des. 19, 2020, 2:07 pm

Happy new thread, Karen!

>6 karenmarie: Completely agree on Second Wind.

des. 19, 2020, 2:12 pm

Hey there Horrible, happy new thread!

des. 19, 2020, 3:00 pm

You won't be able to transition to 2021 until this new thread is filled up. You know that, don't you?

des. 19, 2020, 3:23 pm

Happy new thread, Karen!

des. 19, 2020, 3:37 pm

Hi Karen! I enjoyed the recent kitty photos on your previous thread, celebrating their anniversary chez Karen. I didn't realize they were such young kitties. Lots of good times ahead!

I also quite like the family photo in >1 karenmarie: but why did I think you were a redhead?

des. 19, 2020, 3:38 pm

Hi Karen my dear, Happy New Thread and i love the thread topper photos, lovely to put faces to names my dear.

I hope all is well with you all and that you are having a good start to the weekend, sending love and hugs to you all and Kitty Skritches from both of us dear friend.

des. 19, 2020, 3:56 pm

Happy new thread!

des. 19, 2020, 4:14 pm

Happy new one , Karen!

des. 19, 2020, 4:19 pm

16!!! Holy Moly!!

Congratulations and have at it! I'll be watching.

des. 19, 2020, 4:30 pm

Happy new one, Karen!

des. 19, 2020, 5:54 pm

Hi Karen! I am taking advantage of a very dreary afternoon to see if I can visit a couple of threads, so basically doing a rapid skim-read to catch up. took a BB for Shriver's The Motion of the Body Through Space. Your review of 84, Charing Cross Road makes me want to re-watch the movie starring Anne Bancroft and (Sir) Anthony Hopkins. I do enjoy that movie.

All caught up! Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season and best wishes for the New Year!

des. 19, 2020, 6:00 pm

Happy new one!

des. 19, 2020, 6:18 pm

>6 karenmarie: Great reviews. I like these lightening rounds.
I agree with your evaluation of Robin Sloan's "Mr. Penumbra's..." novel. The first half of the book was the best reading, in my opinion.

I haven't read any of the other books you reviewed although back in the day, I was a big Dick Francis fan.

des. 19, 2020, 6:20 pm

Happy new thread, dear Karen and congratulations on sweet sixteen.

It has been a tumultuous year in many ways but we go into it with hope:
1) Several vaccines have been developed
2) Our doctors and nurses the world over have made all of us proud
3) Biden/Harris gives hope to bring your communities together and set a better example to the world
4) Our little group has survived stresses and strains, lost a few friends, but largely stayed together to support each other through this difficult year and I, for one, am proud to be a member of it.

des. 19, 2020, 8:05 pm

Happy new thread!

des. 19, 2020, 8:53 pm

Happy new thread, Karen!

des. 20, 2020, 7:27 am

Happy Sunday, Karen. Happy New Thread! I had a great time on the Christmas Bird Count. More details on my thread. Lots of walking though. Probably six miles or so. I am hanging tight at home today and catch up on some reading I neglected yesterday. And of course football later.

des. 20, 2020, 10:19 am

>8 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! Have you read Trial Run yet? It’s the only one of the Shared Read books I haven’t read this year yet. I was doing some shelf reorganizing upstairs yesterday and brought my copy down, a Fawcett Crest mass market paperback printed in 1991. It’s in really good shape, though.

>>9 richardderus: Heya RD, thank you.

>10 weird_O: Hi Bill! *smile* this one might not reach 300, but if you visit a lot it might get to a respectable number!

>11 DianaNL: thank you, Diana.

>12 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. Thanks re the kitty anniversary photos. All of our kitties have lived to be at least 15, which isn’t bad for indoor/outdoor kitties. I hope to be cleaning up cat poop for another decade and a half with these guys.

I am a faded strawberry blonde. My hair looks more reddish than that photo indicates, and now that I look at it I can see that my daughter’s hair doesn’t look the rich, deep auburn that it really is.

>13 johnsimpson: Hi John. Glad you like the toppers. We’re doing well. Yesterday was a bit of this and a bit of that. My Panthers (gridiron football team) lost, 16-24, but we gave up after the first half when they were down 3-21. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen and kitty skritches for Felix.

Thank you >14 quondame: Susan and >15 jessibud2: Shelley.

>16 LizzieD: I know, 16. A sign of the times, Peggy.

>17 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie.

>18 lkernagh: Hi Lori! I’ve given that book to two friends now and have loaned my copy to a local friend. It was a marvelous read and I hope you like it as much as I did. I’ve never seen the movie 84, Charing Cross Road. I have a real problem with Anthony Hopkins, unfortunately, because of Hannibal Lechter. Poor man, I should have never watched Silence of the Lambs. I read the book and knew what was coming, but once I put a real face to a name it has bothered me ever since.

Thank you for the holiday wishes.

>19 figsfromthistle: Thank you, Anita.

>20 SandyAMcPherson: Thanks re the Lightning Round, Sandy. I must give credit to Mark for inspiring me. Every book I read either gets an in-depth review all on its own, or gets included in the Lightning Round. I started it this year, and it takes the pressure off from feeling like I have to write reviews for every book I read. Yes, I was curiously let down by Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Shop. Fortunately, I borrowed it from the Book Sort Room before we shut down in March, so will return it when we’re able to get in again – sometime in late winter or early spring, I hope.

We’ve had two shared read threads for Dick Francis, one last year and one this year, run by Rosalita. They are no-stress threads, with a schedule of one book every two months. This year she had 2 bonus books and I’ll be starting that last book, Trial Run, after I finish the fiction book I’m reading now, Camino Island. I’ve got about 80 pages and should be able to finish it today, what with no football game and all.

>21 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul. I know. 16. Unprecedented for me, but I’m not complaining at all.

Your four points are worthy and give me hope, too. There were a few hiccups in our group this year, but you’re right. We’ve largely stayed together to support each other. I love the 75ers and am happily waiting for Jim to set up the 2021 group although I won’t post to it until January 1. I’ve already got my first thread started and am working on a theme and some quotes.

>22 drneutron: Speak of the devil! Thank you, Jim. This is an appropriate place to once again thank you for taking on the monumental task of setting up each year’s 75 Books Challenge group with its Welcome New Friends, Wiki, and Threadbook. We’re the most active and talkative group on LT, so I know it always keeps you hopping and I appreciate keeping up on each of us and our threads.

>23 EllaTim: Thank you, Ella.

>24 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you. Thanks re my new thread. Wow. Six miles of walking for the CBC. Better you than me. 😊 I've got perhaps a dozen birds in the Crepe Myrtle, taking turns emptying the Sunflower Seed feeder. Enjoy the books and Bears. As I wrote above, my Panthers lost last night so I’ll have a chance to do a bit more reading today when I would normally be watching football.

And thank you to all my visitors! I got up late. It’s raining, gloomy, and 38F, only getting to a high of 47F with rain until early afternoon. I'm glad we don’t have to go out today.

Coffee, threads, and some reading are on tap for the rest of the morning.

des. 20, 2020, 10:22 am

I just noticed a post on my previous thread by John, and thought I should put this here again.

des. 20, 2020, 10:24 am

>26 karenmarie: Love it!

Happy 16th Karen.

des. 20, 2020, 10:29 am

Thank you, Beth! I've now seen several variations on the syringe for the 1 in 2021 and also like the masks for zeroes.

Sixteen threads seems rather amazing to me.

des. 20, 2020, 10:44 am

Hi Karen! We were hit with a 12 inch snow storm. My grand daughter usually spends -3 days a week with me. Even though she is in her bedroom most of the time, it is so good to have someone with me in the house.

After she left in the morning, lo and behold, she came back in the afternoon. My daughter told her that I should not be alone with a storm approaching. So, I was glad to have her again for three days!

It looks like you read and purchased a lot of great books this year. Surprisingly, I read more this year and most other years.

I am sorry that your daughter Jenna will not be with you this Christmas. I purchased an airline ticket in the fall for my traditional Christmas holiday with my daughter and grandchildren in Ohio.

We talked a few weeks ago, and as the numbers regarding Covid nation wide, and in particular Ohio, we agreed that it is best if I stay home this year. I went into a self pitying mode thinking that this year my youngest daughter, who lives nearby, will be spending time with my son in law's mother and father.

This is the second Christmas since Will's passing and I dreaded spending it alone. Then, a wonderful high school friend who lives about 45 minutes away, called and invited me to dinner with her and her husband. I'm going, mask and all!

des. 20, 2020, 11:32 am

>26 karenmarie: Perfect graphic for the essential difference between the years.

May the Grand Conjunction foretell a big, swift change for the better!

des. 20, 2020, 12:11 pm

Hi Linda!

>29 Whisper1: Wow. 12 inches of snow. It’s good of your granddaughter to stay with you, especially with a snowstorm approaching.

This year has been more books read, less books acquired (no FoL sales, no used book store visits), more culls as I’ve decided on removing series from my catalog that I know I’ll never re-read or even read.

I’m sorry you’re not going to Ohio, glad that you’ll be spending Christmas with a dear friend and her husband. Mask on! Much cheer!

>30 richardderus: I’m glad John Simpson reminded me of it on my last thread after I’d started this one.

Bill looked at the Grand Conjunction two nights ago but we’ve been overcast and rainy ever since. I don’t know if he’ll be able to see it tonight or tomorrow night. We have a friend who lives in the NC mountains, a professional photographer, who’s been taking photos and sending them out in emails. They are stunning.

des. 20, 2020, 1:44 pm

>25 karenmarie: No, Karen, I skipped Trial Run.
It was one of the Francis books that wasn't available in the e-library and neither in any of the libraries in my province.

des. 21, 2020, 7:55 am

>26 karenmarie: I love this!

Morning, Karen. I had a perfectly lazy Sunday with books and football. My Bears delivered another solid win. I plan on going out owling early this afternoon with a couple of birder buddies, while the weather is still decent.

des. 21, 2020, 8:38 am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Monday to you. Glad you enjoyed your books and Bears. Good luck with the owling.

Just got up, haven't even poured my first cup of coffee yet, but that's next on the list.

des. 21, 2020, 9:05 am

Morning, Karen! Happy new one, and hooray for 16!

des. 21, 2020, 11:11 am

'Morning to you, too, Mamie! Thank you.

Grocery list made, optometrist appointment made for February. PO and grocery store, then unless something strange pops up, no need to go out for either of us until the 26th or 27th.

des. 21, 2020, 1:49 pm

Perfect Yule...inside out of the cold. Although going out to look at the Great Conjunction tonight (better look at it, you won't be alive for the next on in 7531) seems indicated. We can't, clouded over darn it, but there will be videos.

des. 21, 2020, 1:59 pm

Bill's already mentioned the Great Conjunction, and I told him that if it's clear tonight I'll go outside with him to see it.

des. 21, 2020, 2:09 pm

Good grief, Cousin Karen! I was looking at my grandmother's family online because I wasn't sure of her birthday and found this half-brother: Burton Pomeroy Ferguson (1867-1917). Your dad have any kin in Granite Falls, NC?????

des. 21, 2020, 2:25 pm

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

des. 21, 2020, 5:21 pm

>39 LizzieD: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were cousins, Peggy? However, I don’t know of any Pomeroy kin in North Carolina at all. The closest to the South is G-Grandfather Francis Marion (F.M.) Pomeroy who lived in Emory, Rains, TX in the early 1900s. On the Bohemian side of the family, I had a Great-Uncle Burton…

>40 richardderus: Yes, 2020 can be gone sooner than later. The only nice thing left about 2020 is presents and cooked/baked foods on Friday and my Aunt Joyce’s 85th birthday on the 26th. *smooch*

Editat: des. 22, 2020, 7:38 am

Morning, Karen. Despite the milder temps, we struck out a bit on the owling yesterday afternoon. I did get a couple of very brief looks at a couple of Short-Eared Owls but nothing like we expected. To make matters more uncomfortable, the winds were gusting on these open prairies, chilling us to the bone. We did get a pair of Bald Eagles and since this is a bison reserve too, we saw a small herd of these hulking beasts, accompanied by a flock of starlings. I plan on getting out today, just not sure when or where.

des. 22, 2020, 7:52 am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Tuesday to you. Sorry about the lack of owls, but a pair of Bald Eagles and a herd of bison w/starlings must have made up for it a bit. Good luck on your birding adventure today, whenever and wherever it is.

I just had my first sip of coffee. Nothing on tap for today except a bit of vacuuming and straightening.

Reading too, of course - A Promised Land and Trial Run.

Editat: des. 22, 2020, 9:12 am

Just making a return visit Karen. We are about to have a tsunami of extreme winter storms upwelling from the southwest. So lots of errands to get done and dusted. I didn't want to go anywhere but it seems inevitable because I strongly dislike the whiteout from blizzards.

The politicians in our various provinces have been making business decisions instead of adhering to a health strategy, so I'm anticipating a logarithmic infection rate. A time to stay out of circulation. I envy your semi-rural seclusion!

I hope you have a peaceful Yuletide. And a quiet new year. Good reading!

des. 22, 2020, 1:42 pm

Hello dear, hoping the rest of this stressful week will be smooth and tranquil instead. *smooch*

Editat: des. 22, 2020, 3:34 pm

>44 SandyAMcPherson: Hi Sandy, and thanks! It's always good to make sure you're prepared and inside before nasty weather.

I've been seeing bits and pieces about the Canadian covid-19 response - it seems to be like most other countries except the US. Good initially, then fatigue and rebellion, now potentially huge increase in number of positive tests. The US was never good, fatigue and rebellion started right away, and then the covidiot in chief made wearing masks and other preventative measures political.

My semi-rural isolation does make it easy for me to pull roll up the sidewalks and turn off the lights, so to speak. I've literally seen one neighbor in a week or more, and that's because I took over her card/Christmas Pecan Puffs last Friday. Not even anybody walking in our easy-to-maintain social distancing 15-house cul-de-sac road. My county had an initially high rate of illness and deaths because of a senior care center and a chicken processing plant but we're among the counties with the lowest number of cases per 100,000 residents - last 14 days is 349.

Our yuletide will be peaceful and stay-at-home-y. All food is bought, all presents sent or given. We're waiting for one box of presents from some cousins in the western side of the state and some See's Chocolates that I ordered. Bill will work 3 days next week but have off New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

I'm hoping to finish the Obama book. I'm about halfway through. I'd like to read Trial Run, the last of the Dick Francis Shared Read alternates, so 8 total for the year. I'm hoping to get Hamnet for Christmas and friend Karen has sent two books that I'll also open on Christmas Day.

>45 richardderus: Hello, RDear! Smooth and tranquil, aye. I vacuumed most of the downstairs and inventoried one of my bookshelves. I've got 5 books I'm going to cull. Callooh callay! And I found book #28 of 47 in my ongoing Nero Wolfe chronological read.

des. 22, 2020, 3:26 pm

happy new thread!

des. 22, 2020, 3:40 pm

>46 karenmarie: And I found book #28 of 47 in my ongoing Nero Wolfe chronological read.

That's such a telling milestone for 2020...and a darn good thing, no duplicate shall re-appear!

des. 22, 2020, 4:05 pm

des. 22, 2020, 4:39 pm

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

des. 22, 2020, 5:34 pm


des. 22, 2020, 7:30 pm

Merry Christmas Karen! Peaceful sounds good. Wishing for happy times with lots of good health, family and friends next year.

des. 23, 2020, 7:52 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. Is your daughter coming in for Christmas? Sorry, if I missed it up there. How is A Promised Land coming along?

des. 23, 2020, 9:02 am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Christmas Eve Eve. No, Jenna isn't coming home. We simply feel that it's best to not mix households. It makes me very sad but we know we're doing the right thing for us.

I'm on page 357 of 706 and will be reading more today. I'd really love to finish it by the new year and 'get credit' for it in 2020, but we'll see.

des. 23, 2020, 12:41 pm


Happy Humpday!

des. 23, 2020, 3:59 pm

Hey Karen, it's already Christmas Eve here! :)

I still have jobs to do and kids in tow (eeeeek). Ah well, tomorrow there will be bubbles! Happy Christmas!

des. 23, 2020, 9:39 pm

Wow. I hadn’t had enough coffee this morning – I didn’t reply to a whole lot of people and got ahead of myself. I apologize.

>47 ChelleBearss: Thank you, Chelle!

>48 richardderus: No Nero Wolfe duplicates this year, although 14 of them are re-reads from other years.

>49 johnsimpson: Thank you, John!

>50 jessibud2: Thank you, Shelley. Health and books are right up there, always, but even more so this year.

>51 figsfromthistle: Thank you Anita. Smiles and hope. Oh yes.

>52 EllaTim: Thank you, Ella. I hope we can all have all those good things next year.

… and caught up to

>55 richardderus: *smooch* right back’atcha, RDear.

>56 LovingLit: Happy Christmas Eve, Megan! We’re not quite there yet. I hope all your jobs with kids in tow go well and that you get a chance to relax on Christmas Day.

When we were kids we always opened presents on Christmas Eve, and got the 'present' of getting to choose a present to open on the night before Christmas Eve - Christmas Eve Eve. When I married Bill I married into the tradition of opening presents on Christmas morning. 29 years of opening presents on Christmas Day. Now it would feel strange to do anything differently.

des. 24, 2020, 3:18 am

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

Editat: des. 24, 2020, 8:15 am

Morning, Karen. Sorry to hear Jenna can't join you but I hope you have a wonderful holiday. A cold front blew in over night. Only 19F today. Looks like I will be hanging tight for the next few days. I did have 12 mourning doves at and around my feeders yesterday. They must be roosting nearby.

des. 24, 2020, 9:01 am

>58 SandDune: Hi Rhian, and thank you. I just learned how to pronounce Nadolig Llawen thanks to a YouTube video...

>59 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark, and happy Thursday/Christmas Eve to you. Bill and I are going through the motions right now. It’s definitely not the same. But Jenna seems perky enough and we’ll all have presents to open tomorrow morning. No Zoom or Facetime or Skype for us – it just isn’t our thing – but we’ll be speaking on the phone and perhaps sharing a photo or two with each other.

Brrr. What a difference a mere 790 miles makes. *smile* You’re at 19F and we’re at 53F going to a high of 65F with rain and possible tornadoes this afternoon/early evening.

Yay for the Mourning Doves, especially such a crowd. Let’s see… I’ve got upwards of a dozen birds jockeying for position on the feeders, going from Crepe Myrtle to porch railing to feeders and suet feeder pole although nobody’s on the suet feeder yet. I did see a Carolina Wren on it yesterday. Mostly Cardinals and House Finches right now.

I woke up to heavy rain and it’s been raining off and on ever since. I also woke up to three kitties on the bed, which explained why I could hardly move. *smile*

Onward! Upward! Reading and some prep for tomorrow’s muted festivities.

des. 24, 2020, 11:16 am

Merry Christmas Eve! And holy cow Jenna it's turning into quite the beauty!

I forgot to wear a mask Monday when I went in to CVS, and only made it past the front door before someone pointed out that I wasn't wearing a mask. I was mortified because I had been wearing masks on all my other errands that morning, but this time it was my last stop before home and I just forgot. I remember thinking 'man I hope nobody thinks that I'm one of those people who just won't wear a mask or doesn't like wearing a mask or is trying to make some sort of statement'. I told the guy that I had left it on the front seat of my car and went out and got it and ran back into him when I was going back in the store and waved at him.

des. 24, 2020, 11:46 am

Hi Larry! Merry Christmas Eve to you, too. Thanks re Jenna.

I'm glad the guy in CVS pointed it out to you and glad that you went back and got your mask! I forgot to wear a mask when I was dropping books off at the Library drop box a while back. I saw a guy in his car wearing a mask but not getting out until I got into my car and realized that I wasn't wearing my mask only after I drove away. I mentally apologized to him and like you hoped he didn't think I was one of those idiots who won't wear a mask.

Still raining, the creek's out of its banks again - it never threatens the house - and the day is sort of dragging, frankly.

des. 24, 2020, 12:18 pm

Hi Karen. Wishing you peace, joy and happiness this holiday season and best wishes for a wonderful New Year! I am really looking forward to saying goodbye to 2020. ;-)

des. 24, 2020, 12:40 pm

des. 24, 2020, 12:44 pm

Hoping this was a good if slightly more solitary than usual holiday.


des. 24, 2020, 12:52 pm

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
May next year bring you greater peace and joy, good health and many books.

des. 24, 2020, 3:13 pm

>63 lkernagh: Hi Lori. Thank you. Yes, I can hardly wait for it to be 2021.

>64 witchyrichy: Thank you, Karen!

>65 richardderus: Solitary for sure. Our See’ Candy custom boxes arrived today, so some chocolate-y goodness for sure. Jenna will call in a while, my sister might call from CA. *smooch*

>66 nittnut: Thank you, Jenn, and the same to you.

des. 24, 2020, 5:00 pm

Wishing you and yours 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, 10:13 pm

I like Kim's wishes:
May 2021 bring you less need for masks, loads of peace and joy, good health and, of course, books!
So nothing to add other than to say good readings!

des. 24, 2020, 11:13 pm

Hope you have a Merry Christmas!

des. 24, 2020, 11:49 pm

des. 25, 2020, 12:55 am

Happy Holidays Karen!

des. 25, 2020, 8:21 am

Morning, Karen. Merry Christmas! We had a good time last night with our kids and their significant others. Sue made a great dinner and we played games afterwards. Perfect. It may just be Sue and I hanging out today, which would be fine.

des. 25, 2020, 11:16 am

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

des. 25, 2020, 12:13 pm

>68 Berly: Thank you Kim! Definitely less need for masks, but everything else all the good things we always want and need.

>69 SandyAMcPherson: Thank you, Sandy!

>70 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle!

>71 Copperskye: I love Charlie Brown Christmas, thank you Joanne!

>72 quondame: A world of books. Beautiful. Thank you, Susan.

>73 msf59: Merry Christmas to you, too, Mark! I’m glad you got to get together with your kids/significant others. A quiet Christmas will at least be restful, right? Hope you and Sue have a good day.

>74 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul!

A Jenna-less Christmas present opening, but she sent selfies with each of her presents after she opened them, some while wearing ribbon, some while adorned with wrapping paper. She’s a hoot. The three of us chatted on speaker phone for about 45 minutes or so. Breakfast pizza made and consumed, leftovers wrapped and in the refrigerator. It’s very cold here today, 32F, clear and very, very windy. We’ve already had a power glitch but fortunately haven’t lost power. We might get one degree warmer, but then it’s going to drop the rest of the day, down to a low of 21F tonight. Brrr!

I got four books – Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell, Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah, Frederick Douglass by William S. McFeely, and Knit Your OwnCat by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne. Since I am SOOOO not a knitter, I might see if I can commission my friend Tamsie to make me the Tabby. I got some other thoughtful and wonderful presents, too.

des. 25, 2020, 2:10 pm

Rain and yuck outside; tamales, chili, and dirty rice inside. Yeah, it'll do!

des. 25, 2020, 11:05 pm

>75 karenmarie: Love that pic of Jenna. Especially her shirt. Takes after her ma I see.

While Christmas 2020 wasn't exactly what we're used to, I'll take it. We missed Becky bringing coffee to us in bed; she never left Quincy and her cat had her for Christmas, probably for the first time ever. Our older son's family visited for more than a hour on Christmas eve. Brought us a prepared but uncooked Christmas dinner from a restaurant they like. Some gifts (including the first volume of The Life of William Faulkner by Carl Rollyson, published this year) were exchanged. Masked and distanced, but we did exchange cautious hugs—yipee!—when they left. Zoomed with the family branches in Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Editat: des. 26, 2020, 6:21 am

How in the hell did I not wish you a Merry Christmas yesterday??!! That's the kind of thing that gets one's Southern card revoked.

I hope you had the merriest of Christmases yesterday, but more than that I hope your dreams all come true in 2021.

Much love- Larry

des. 26, 2020, 7:55 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. Sue and I had a perfectly relaxing Christmas Day. I got a nice chunk of reading in and we watched Blazing Saddles and a few TV shows, mainly Yellowstone. I haven't birded in a few days, so I am starting to get a itch to get out. Maybe later this A.M.? I hope you and Bill had a good day.

des. 26, 2020, 9:03 am

>76 richardderus: Hiya, RD! Good food inside and not having to be outside are things to be grateful for. *smooch*

>77 weird_O: Well, Bill, her ma got that sweatshirt for her – attitude explained. *smile*

You did what you had to do, saw who you could, and zoomed with the rest. Yay for new books.

>78 SomeGuyInVirginia: Your Southern Card will never be revoked, Larry – the Crane Christmas card proves it. I’d never heard of Crane’s ‘til I moved here.

We had a quieter day than usual but we watched Tee Bee (a History Channel documentary into whether Johnny Booth survived the fire after assassinating Lincoln being the highlight – he probably didn’t after 4 different descendants of a man being claimed to have been his son were not a DNA match for a descendent of Booth’s older brother), and had a nice dinner and dessert.

It was 16F at 7:30 this morning, is barely 20F now. Brrrr.

>79 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark, and happy Saturday to you. Glad you had a relaxing Christmas day, yay for books and movies/TV shows. I watched a bit of Yellowstone while in Montana with friend Karen in 2018 and Bill and I tried it earlier this year, but I think the characters are pretty despicable and neither of us has suggested watching any more of it. I hope you can get out today and see some of our feathered friends. I’ve got one Cardinal, one Titmouse, and one House Finch right now. Everybody else is tucked away waiting for it to warm up.

Here’s a dirty little secret – I’m glad we didn’t decorate for Christmas because now we won’t have to take it all down. 😂

des. 26, 2020, 10:20 am

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

des. 26, 2020, 10:31 am

Hi Jim.

Yay! Thank you for all the work you did for the 2020 group and thank you for setting up 2021.

2020 begone!!!

des. 26, 2020, 11:36 am

Merry After Christmas, Karen. Loved the Jenna picture. I think you did the right thing. We had an abbreviated immediate family only Christmas here. I pray nobody ends up sick. My son and family are in our “bubble” and the Kansas City crew all work or attend school online so the risk was minimal. They spent 6 hours on the road to be with us for seven wonderful hours of food, presents, crafts, and games.

I am so looking forward to the new year and getting vaccinated. Thanks for your cheery 2020 thread and all the book bombs!

des. 26, 2020, 11:52 am

Christmas 2020 is past, but we're still here. Good to read that you are too.

des. 26, 2020, 12:52 pm

Happy Holidays, Karen!

Sorry you couldn't have Jenna with you. Nice photo of her up there - my wife has a mug with that "underestimate me" saying on it. People do so at their peril.

Thanks for reminding me about Bird Brains on your last thread. I'd like to fit that one in in the coming year.

I'm impressed that you're reading Moby Dick as one of many books you've got going. I had to put all others aside and plow through MD. Not one of my favorite reads ever, but I know a lot more about whales now. :-)

des. 26, 2020, 1:53 pm

>83 Donna828: Thank you, Donna, times 3. I hope you all stay healthy and the ‘minimal risk’ becomes ‘Whew! Nobody got sick.’ I’m looking forward to a vaccine in the new year, too. We’ll just have to see when that is. I’m not getting my hopes up for anything before late spring, frankly, and staying diligent and stubborn in the meantime.

Yay for book bombs, right?

>84 weird_O: Yes, still here, Bill. It’s very cold out, so I’m happy to be inside with wool sox, warm slippers, and etc.

>85 jnwelch: Thank you, Joe. I just got off the phone with Jenna – she went grocery shopping (she goes every two weeks), picked up a prescription, and also went to get her also-every-two-weeks Zaxby’s chicken salad.

I’d love to meet Debbi – she sounds like the kind of woman I could really get along with. Yay for her Underestimate Me mug.

Sigh. I’m in a bit of a reading rut, frankly, and happy right now to finish the last Dick Francis shared read book, Trial Run before the end of the year, possibly also start/finish #28 of 47 in my Nero Wolfe personal challenge. It’s taken me a bit to warm up to Trial Run, like perhaps the first 125 pages or so, but am now intrigued with the mystery and our intrepid hero.

A Promised Land will have to carry over into the new year, and most likely Moby Dick, too. I started reading Moby Dick because I loved In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick.

Editat: des. 28, 2020, 7:41 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. I was hoping for a better photo of this cute & chunky, Carolina Wren, while on the Christmas Count. He was hopping around in the open for a little bit but just a tad to quick for me. The others were blurry.

I agree there are many unpleasant characters in Yellowstone, but I think it keeps it interesting. We will continue with the second season.

des. 27, 2020, 8:40 am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Sunday to you. You saw a Carolina Chickadee not a Black-Capped Chickadee? I didn't think you got them that far north although the range map shows them in southern Illinois. Nice picture, regardless.

First sip of coffee, aaaahhh!

des. 27, 2020, 10:35 am

It has been a great year for Carolina Wrens here, Karen. I have seen more in our area, since I started birding and it looks like they winter here as well. House Wrens seem to be our most common, through spring and summer but we rarely see them now.

des. 27, 2020, 10:39 am

Ah, Carolina Wren, not Chickadee. *smile*

des. 27, 2020, 11:34 am

Sunday orisons, Horrible. It seems that Chris in the 2021 group has an InstantPot that needs ideas for filling...have you got any good ideas to share? *batbat*

I've got a full french press and a store-bought cinnamon bun, so I'd say Sunday's got the right idea for me.


des. 27, 2020, 11:58 am

I love Jenna's sweatshirt!

Happy Holidays, Karen. Nice book haul. Hamnet is one of my favorite reads this year.

des. 27, 2020, 12:03 pm

Richard's comment about his french press (>91 richardderus:) reminds me, my wife got me a french press for Christmas. I was doing that last minute trek in search of the last minute presents, and the fp hopped into my cart. I had a choice but to buy it, take it home, and wrap it. I've got to go put it to use. Right now.

See you later.

des. 27, 2020, 12:36 pm

A bright happy Sunday to you, Karen! If I haven't said I love Jenna's attitude, I do!
Love my fp too.......... I use an old plastic mesh filter on my cup as the elixir flows in and like the result. What a dandy invention!

des. 27, 2020, 2:25 pm

>91 richardderus: You’re determined to get me busy on the 2021 thread, aren’t you, RD? Okay, I’ll go visit Chris.

I would need to do a taste test comparison between my BUNN BX Speed Brew Classic 10-Cup Coffee Brewer and a French Press – I’ve never had coffee from one to my knowledge. However, never having to boil water, not wanting to wait longer than the three minutes it takes for my coffee to brew, and being leery of super strong coffee, I’m probably better off where I am. I like a strong cup of medium roast coffee.

Cinnamon rolls, sigh. If I’m not lazy tomorrow, I might make some, put them in the fridge overnight, let rise for 1 ½ - 2 hours in the morning, and then have fresh homemade cinnamon rolls on Tuesday morning. IF I’m not lazy.

>92 BLBera: Thanks, Beth. All the LT chatter has been making me excited to start Hamnet for months and months, but I think I’m going to wait until the new year so I don’t push to finish it for my year-end totals and rush through it. Happy Holidays to you, too.

>93 weird_O: And have you always used a French Press or will this be the first venture for you, Bill? Enquiring minds and all that. ‘Later, gator!

>94 LizzieD: Thank you, dear Peggy! Sunday’s going pretty well so far.

Somehow we’re going to have to see if you can meet my baby girl in 2021. I think you would get along superbly. Safety, vaccines, and etc., of course.

Another FP aficionado.

des. 27, 2020, 2:29 pm

I don't think a french press would work well for you, smoochling. The coffee's much stronger than a drip, it takes more time, and it's on the messy side for non-composters. The Keurig is pretty much the same idea only it's all done automatically and is *titanically* wasteful.

So again, not a You thing.

Editat: des. 27, 2020, 5:37 pm

Agreed pretty much before the FP discussion began, but certainly wouldn't pass up a cup of FP coffee!

Keurig is *titanically* wasteful and I personally can't imagine owning one. I also have no fond memories of the few cups of Keurig coffee I've had - too weak. I must say, however, that while waiting at Duke Hospitalswith a friend for her husband to come out of heart surgery 5 or so years ago I used their Tassimo single-serving coffee maker all day long to make marvelous cups of coffee.

Being the stubborn thing I am, I just posted a private message to Chris re the IP recipes. No way was I going to start posting in the 2021 group after being so vocal about not doing so until January 1!

des. 27, 2020, 4:24 pm

>97 karenmarie: Never change, dear Horrible. Please promise you'll never change.

des. 27, 2020, 4:24 pm

Hi Karen my dear, i hope you had a good Christmas Day despite not being able to have Jenna with you. I love the photo of Jenna opening presents and it is nice to put a face to a name my dear. I will post more tomorrow but for now, sending love and hugs to you, Bill and Jenna from both of us dear friend.

des. 27, 2020, 5:39 pm

>98 richardderus: Okay, RD. *smooch*

>99 johnsimpson: Hi John! We did have a good Christmas, thank you. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen too.

des. 27, 2020, 8:32 pm

Hi Karen. I'm slowly making my way around, wishing folx an early Happy New Year. I have enjoyed this past four days of leisure. Prudence and I made cinnamon rolls on Christmas Day and had Tuscan Beef Stew for our dinner. I read A Christmas Carol aloud and we read and relaxed. I'm working tomorrow and Tuesday but NO zoom meetings (I may have one on Tuesday) so it won't be so bad. I will spend a lot of time going through my email inbox. It's out of control.

I'm listening to Memorial Drive and reading The Eighth Detective. Both are excellent (and could not be more different) so that is a good way to be wrapping up my year of reading.

Here's to better things in 2021!

des. 28, 2020, 5:39 am

Morning, Karen! Love the photo of Jenna - what a great sweatshirt!

des. 28, 2020, 7:44 am

>90 karenmarie: I just caught this now. LOL. Must have still be working on my first cup of coffee. It was a wren and it is corrected.

Morning, Karen. I got out for a short walk yesterday but I am getting out this A.M. with a couple of my birding buddies. I have been gaining some weight, so I need to increase these strolls. There might even be a LIFER in the works, for today.

des. 28, 2020, 9:25 am

>101 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! So nice to see you here. Happy early New Year to you, too. Yay for leisure, cinnamon rolls, and Tuscan Beef Stew. I’m toying with the idea of getting or borrowing The eighth Detective from the Library.

Oh yes, here’s to better things in 2021.

>102 Crazymamie: ‘Morning, Mamie! Thanks re the photo of Jenna.

>103 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark! Enjoy your BB adventure, hope you get the LIFER you’re looking for.

Coffee. Bill went to work today but there was only one car in the parking lot and the owner of the car, Michael the Project Manager, was coming out as Bill was going in. He said 6 of the shop floor guys – fabricators and installers –are quarantined ‘til next Monday, so Bill didn’t even go into the building. He just got back in his car and came home. The boss is supposed to get to work around 9:30 and Bill will talk with him then about the situation. Bill doesn’t even know if they’re sick or just tested positive. I’m really pissed off on Bill’s behalf that his boss didn’t call him before he spent 1.5 hours on the road and might have exposed himself to COVID by going into the building if Michael hadn’t been there.

On a brighter note, I’m reading along and plan on creating my 2021 reading spreadsheet. I’ve looked over the one RD shared but will stick to mine.

Editat: des. 28, 2020, 9:48 am

Coffee...gasp...I feel like I've been in an auto accident. I've pretty much stopped sleeping since I signed the contract on the house. My Halo tracker says I got just over two hours of sleep last night.

Busy day today, and I need to set up my 75 challenge!

ETA: Holy cow, I'm pissed off too! That's just very bad management.

Editat: des. 28, 2020, 1:39 pm

'Morning, dearest Larry! Don't burn out in the 5 weeks before the closing... you'll want and need the energy for moving and settling.

Have fun setting up your 75 challenge. Stubborn me always waits 'til the first, when there are literally dozens of threads to star and hundreds of messages to catch up on!

Hugs and love to you and Tinykin Skywalker.

des. 28, 2020, 12:34 pm

>104 karenmarie: Oh FFS!!

The amount of dumbfuckery in that is truly next-level stupid. Poor Bill. To know how little your puny little existence matters to Them being made obvious in such a way....

des. 28, 2020, 1:49 pm

>107 richardderus: Yes, FFS.

Bill just spoke with his boss and let him know that it was totally unacceptable that Bill wasn't notified. Stupid excuses between who was supposed to tell Bill. As it turns out, one shop guy showed symptoms on the 19th, 2 days after the last day Bill was in the office. Bill was at the other end of a huge room, didn't mingle with the shop guys at all at a Christmas luncheon on the 17th. Frankly, it didn't even occur to us that Bill shouldn't go to the luncheon - stupid. Based on what Tom told Bill, we think we're okay. I won't go out again 'til next week now. I'm a tad scared and the more I think about it the more pissed off I get. So grateful Jenna didn't come home.

I've spent 9+ months being super cautious and it probably isn't but could have easily been undone.

Editat: des. 28, 2020, 1:51 pm

Will Bill get tested now? Probably not a bad idea, if for no other reason than to put your minds at ease.

des. 28, 2020, 2:22 pm

I haven't broached the subject. He's distraught right now.

des. 28, 2020, 3:05 pm

>104 karenmarie: that bites. I hate poor communication, even when it 'only' leads to major inconvenience, but when health is at stake...well, that is crappy.

des. 28, 2020, 5:40 pm

>108 karenmarie: So sorry, Karen, miscommunication shouldn't happen with someting like this.
I hope you and Bill both stay uninfected.

Editat: des. 28, 2020, 8:54 pm

>111 LovingLit: It does bite, Megan, big time. I'm extremely angry at his boss.

>112 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita. Bill's done some research and based on CDC website information we don't think we need to be tested.

des. 28, 2020, 10:14 pm

I've got nothing productive to contribute to the virus and the work situation, so I'll say no more about that.

French press coffee is all new to me. It's not difficult, just a bit niggly. Foot tapping. Drumming on the counter. But I like the brew, but my wife likes the more mechanized brew.. Current plan: Use the fp for myself when I want a full cup, and the relatively low-rent espresso machine for the routine coffees.

des. 28, 2020, 10:57 pm

>106 karenmarie: "Stubborn me always waits 'til the first, when there are literally dozens of threads to star and hundreds of messages to catch up on!" Yep, me too.

So sorry about the miscommunication and so relieved Bill did not end up being exposed. As you discovered when you researched, the current wisdom is 15 minutes of close contact (within 6 feet) within a span of 24 hours. I remember when it shifted from 15 consecutive minutes to any 15 minutes in a 24-hour period. Anyway, I'm glad you and Bill have determined that you don't need to get tested. This pandemic! You can do everything right and one weird fluke situation could throw it all off.

Take care, Karen.

des. 29, 2020, 7:42 am

I've been lurking, not commenting, but was astonished at Bill's experience with his workplace. Chris and I have had a couple of situations where we've thought "wow, we've been sooo careful and then THIS happens" and I completely understand the anxiety that provokes. I'm glad you and Bill don't need to get tested, and I hope you're both feeling a bit less stressed this morning.

Editat: des. 29, 2020, 8:25 am

Morning, Karen. Keep us updated on Bill and I hope you are both okay. How frustrating. I had a 2 Lifer day yesterday. More detail on my thread. I plan on getting out later but we have snow arriving later, with expected accumulation. Oh, joy!

Editat: des. 29, 2020, 9:36 am

>114 weird_O: ‘Morning, Bill! Coffee is so important – I’m glad you have tested the FP, like the brew, and have a plan for your coffee consumption. At our house we have two coffee makers and have ALWAYS had 2 coffee makers, the entire almost-30 years of our marriage. I prefer stronger coffee than Bill does and until about 5 years ago drank decaf. Bill drank Folger’s, I drank Gevalia and always ground the beans fresh. Well, I now am back to caf and Bill likes freshly ground beans, too. Still two coffee makers, though. *smile*

>115 EBT1002: Hi Ellen. Ah! Another January Firster.

Both of us are a tad calmer this morning, but it’s a Very Serious Reminder to remain diligent, wear masks, socially distance, and only go out when necessary. Bill’s supposed to go back to work next Monday – we’ll see how that goes.

>116 lauralkeet: We’re lots better emotionally about it, thank you, Laura. See above. Yes – it’s the sudden feelings of vulnerability and loss of control that made me sick with stress yesterday.

>117 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark! Thank you. We’re both okay, satisfied with our decision to not get tested. Neither of us has felt ill – there’s always a stray cough or sneeze or headache, of course – but I’m grateful that I can still smell the coffee (and cat poop, unfortunately!). Our county is only one of the seven of 100 counties of NC being reported as 'yellow'. Ours is the check-marked yellow county, Jenna's is the orange-checked county, and the x is in the county Bill works in.

Congrats on two Lifers yesterday. You’re really racking up your total bird count.

Thank you all for your support, yesterday and today, as I've flailed around and been so upset.

I finished book 121 last night, will read more of A Promised Land and pick one more fiction to finish the year.

First sips of coffee taken, doTERRA Lavender essential oil on my temples.

des. 29, 2020, 9:28 am

Hooray for being "Yellow"! Hopefully, I fixed my European Goldfinch pics. I should have known better, from the last time it didn't work.

des. 29, 2020, 10:34 am

I can imagine the shock Karen. Glad you are feeling better now. Yes, to keeping vigilant, in spite of vaccinating having started, I think we still have a couple of difficult months ahead.

Editat: des. 29, 2020, 12:01 pm

The bastards. I'm livid that Bill's boss is so careless of his people but relieved that you both feel that he wasn't exposed. Sounds reasonable to me.
You make my complaint not worth the saying, but I will. After praising my fp yesterday, I started to pour the hot water in this morning and saw a pretty good crack at the top of the glass container. After a couple of very unsatisfactory cups this morning made in a Pyrex container, I'm set on ordering a stainless steel model from Amazon. I want to stay in the less than $30 range if anybody has a recommendation. I'm mostly considering a 34 oz. Secura. I can also order a book so I won't have to pay shipping. Win Grin!
Oh - and there at the bottom of the NC map is my county (the large one directly south of Karen's on the SC border) in critical red as usual.

des. 29, 2020, 12:15 pm

It's a better, brighter day! That's wonderful to hear.

Caffeinate thoroughly, Horrible. *smooch*

des. 29, 2020, 12:41 pm

>104 karenmarie: Better tracking is on my intention list this year. Can you share your spreadsheet?

Glad to hear things are looking up but it is frustrating when people don't take this seriously. I had hoped to escape to Hatteras for some birding in January but cancelled the reservation today. I think I can make a good case to the insurance company. Thanks for sharing the map.

des. 29, 2020, 12:46 pm

>121 LizzieD: Bill's boss apologized at least 4 times but that doesn't really make it better, does it? It shows a reckless disregard for Bill. Bill said he was the red-headed stepchild. Sad, and true in this case. All the good will from a 5% raise and a reasonable bonus check earlier this month have at least temporarily evaporated.

Any interference with the Perfect Cup of Coffee is a valid and important complaint, Peggy! Sorry about the crack and unsatisfactory cups.

Yes, I'm afraid I've been following your county with worry - Jenn's, too - and my friend Dawna's in western NC.

>122 richardderus: Yes, I'm feeling much, much better. I put 6 thank yous into our mailbox for the postal worker to take today and stopped off at Louise's go give her Camino Island, which I read, liked well enough but don't need back, and Murder at the Library of Congress, which she was excited to get as neither of us has read anything by Truman. I also gave her a late Christmas present of Peter Pan Creamy Honey Roast Peanut Butter. It's hard to find at the supermarket but Amazon has it even if it's a tad more expensive than the grocery store would charge if they did have it.

I've started The Standing Chandelier by Lionel Shriver. I have loved everything by her I've read, bought this one a while ago, and at 122 pages can easily finish it by year's end. Here's a great quote from page 5:
Tall and slender, with a thick thatch of kinked henna hair that tumbled to her elbows, Jillian had trouble being inconspicuous, and that wasn't her fault. She supposed she was pretty, though that adjective seemed to have a statue of limitations attached. At forty-three, she'd probably been downgraded to attractive - in preparation, since postmenopausal flattery went unisex, for handsome; gosh, she could hardly wait for well-preserved.

des. 29, 2020, 12:50 pm

>123 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! Just asked you in a PM for your email address. I'm sorry about your January trip, you're welcome re the map.

des. 29, 2020, 1:31 pm

Karen! OMG, a luncheon in these times!? and Bill ?... and I am way behind the threads. I gather you've eliminated any genuine exposure concerns. I am so glad to hear that.

I popped over because of your comment about ticking top reads on your book lists here (in this Talk thread, yes?). But didn't see anything ticked.

I can understand that fave book titles are not a priority for you just now, though. Sending wishes for best health outcomes.

des. 29, 2020, 1:31 pm

>124 karenmarie: Heh...well-preserved..."what am I, peach jam?!" an upset mother of my acquaintance once groused when referred to in that fashion.

des. 29, 2020, 1:59 pm

>126 SandyAMcPherson: It's amazing that the bosses still did it, isn't it, Sandy? Honestly, I didn't worry about it because I know they all wear masks all the time upstairs, didn't think about eating, but am glad the hourly/shop folks stayed together but only because they are rather clannish and standoffish to the office folks. We're satisfied that we're fine, but I'm recommitting to "Constant Vigilance", as Mad-Eye Moody says in Harry Potter.

I have flagged 9 faves of the year so far. I'm going to be able to finish one more book before year's end and post the top 10 and my Favorite Book of the Year very soon. I'll probably transfer the top 10 and Favorite as a message to my 2021 thread too.

>127 richardderus: That reminds me of when Jenna was born. There was a possibility that she'd have blue eyes, genetics being what they are, and with those blue eyes would have probably come my strawberry blonde lashes and eyebrows. However, she got Bill's and his mama's deep brown eyes AND Bill's Mama's auburn hair, lashes, and brows. Bill's Mama being who she was, pretty much the first time she saw Jenna she said "I'm so glad she got brown eyes and dark lashes, not blue eyes and pale lashes". I didn't say it to her, but later on to Bill, I said "What am I, chopped liver? What's wrong with blue eyes and strawberry blonde lashes?"

des. 29, 2020, 2:23 pm

>128 karenmarie: Her bad breeding did not, one is pleased to note, transfer to other generations. *snort*

des. 29, 2020, 8:52 pm

>121 LizzieD: If there's a stainless steel pot that fits the plunger on your current FP that's the one I'd go for - my ss pots are fine, but the plastic holding the plungers has broken on both though they are usable, just fiddly.

des. 29, 2020, 8:58 pm

>75 karenmarie: Love that photo of Jenna!!! She is a hoot. : )

Hope the needless exposure comes to naught. How very frustrating. Love the books you got for Christmas, and, no, don't rush through Hamnet.

des. 29, 2020, 9:34 pm

>129 richardderus: *smooch*

>130 quondame: French Press foreign language words.....

>131 Berly: Thank you, Kim. My daughter has a wry sense of humor and a knack for knowing what makes her dad and me happy.

I feel we're safe, thank you. Hamnet will be there on the first for me.

Well. *blink* I thought The Standing Chandelier would take several days even though it's only 122 pages, but as I write in the review below, once picked up it was pretty much impossible to put down. It will definitely will require a re-read down the road, as I probably caught about 70-80% of the nuanced relationships that are at the heart of every book by Lionel Shriver.

des. 29, 2020, 9:36 pm

122. The Standing Chandelier by Lionel Shriver
12/29/20 to 12/29/20

From Natasha Tripney in The Guardian, November 2017:

Jillian Frisk and Weston Babansky have been friends since university. They were lovers once but their relationship has evolved into one of intimate friendship. They play tennis together regularly, discuss each other’s love lives or lack thereof, and even have cutesy pet names for each other. Their bond is seen as a threat by Weston’s new girlfriend, Paige. She finds Jillian’s vivid personality problematic and takes an instant dislike to her. When Weston proposes to Paige, she makes it clear that if they are to marry, Jillian has to go.

Why I wanted to read it: Lionel Shriver is a marvelous author. Her books pull you in immediately with a truth about human emotions and situations that is staggering.

This is short and not sweet. Conversations are brilliant and ruthless, the Standing Chandelier of the title a beautifully described object, a paean to Jillian’s life. The complete understanding between friends is brutally broken by the introduction of Paige although Jillian does not realize it until one complex and painfully disconnected discussion between Jillian and Baba after tennis one day. Three people are a dynamic that rarely, if ever, works, and Jillian’s tragic misunderstanding of how a friendship can survive in the face of Baba and Paige’s romantic relationship devolves to the point where I could hardly finish the book yet was unable to put it down. Nobody dies, nothing physical gets destroyed. Jillian gets the last word in, but by then Baba doesn’t care.

des. 29, 2020, 10:40 pm

Oooh! That one sounds really good. Book bullet!

Editat: des. 30, 2020, 7:50 am

I only feel a little bad about your taking a BB on The Standing Chandelier because I see that it's already in your catalog with the tag "Megan's Fault". *smile* So I don't have to take all the blame!

Up at the crack o'dawn, couldn't sleep for some reason. So I worked on the Dick Francis Shared Read for 2021 book choices and thread. I also counted 17 threads in the 2021 group that I normally star with 447 messages. I'll be pretty busy on the first of January, that's for sure!

I watched the moon set.

des. 30, 2020, 8:23 am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. I see you were up early. I was working on a review and downloading a few photos, so I am finally stopping by. I had a nice hike with Bree and her two dogs yesterday and I ended up seeing a nice amount of birds too, including 8 beautiful Trumpeter Swans. Bree got to see them too, with my new scope. She was impressed.
We have 2 or 3 inches of snow of the ground, so I will probably stay in today and hang with the books.

des. 30, 2020, 8:39 am

Hi Mark! Happy Wednesday back'atcha. Glad you got in a good walk with Bree and the dogs yesterday since you've got snow on the ground today.

Enjoy the birds at the feeders and your books.

des. 30, 2020, 8:45 am

Morning, Karen! I am so sorry about what happened to Bill - so angry making. Honestly, the current lack of respect and decency is mind boggling.

>118 karenmarie: I love that you have two coffee makers! Clever woman.

>124 karenmarie: Great quote. I have not read anything by this author - recommendations?

>132 karenmarie: "French Press foreign language words....." Your response to Susan made me laugh out loud.

>133 karenmarie: Book bullet - excellent review. Did you post that? If so, I shall add my thumb.

>135 karenmarie: Oh, that photo is framed so well. And the subtle pink stripes are so gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

Hoping today is kind to you.

des. 30, 2020, 9:18 am

Hi Mamie!

Thank you re Bill. We're both a bit deflated today - Monday was fear, anger, and paranoia. Yesterday was relief when we decided we didn't need to be tested and were most likely not infected. Today Bill said he's got the blues (definitely related to his boss being such an a**hole).

Re Lionel Shriver. She's quite prolific, having written 16 novels. I've read the following:

We Need to Talk About Kevin 4.5 stars
The Post-Birthday World 4 stars
Big Brother 4 stars
The Motion of the Body Through Space 4.5 stars
The Standing Chandelier 4.5 stars

I'm stingy with stars, so this says a lot about what I think of her as an author. I would recommend any and all of them, although We Need to Talk About Kevin is the toughest to get through, frankly.

I've posted my review, available 👍. Thank you.

Thank you re my photo, and you're welcome.

des. 30, 2020, 11:00 am

>135 karenmarie: That shot reminds me of a Rousseau painting!


des. 30, 2020, 2:00 pm

>140 richardderus: I can see it - *smooch*

des. 30, 2020, 3:19 pm

>135 karenmarie: Yup. Now I can blame both of you! LOL. But I can't get my hands on the book. My library doesn't have it; neither does Powell's, and it says Amazon will take a MONTH to get here! Sigh.

des. 30, 2020, 4:02 pm

Happy New Year Karen, Bill, Jenna and the Kitties.

Editat: des. 30, 2020, 9:17 pm

Reading in bed and Parker just jumped up and plopped himself smack dab in the middle. Am I going to shift him aside? Of course no.

I'll start packing up the Traveling Lie-berry in the next few days. March 4 I'll combine the Traveling Library and the Lost Library and then I shall be invincible! cue organ cord, flash of lightning. Mwaha!

ETA I just agreed to a moving estimate. Telling the rep it would be cheaper to leave everything and just buy new stuff fell on deaf ears. Srsly.

des. 30, 2020, 9:24 pm

>142 Berly: you might try abebooks.com or bibliofinder.com, Kim.

>143 johnsimpson: Thank you, John! The very same to you and Karen, with love.

>144 SomeGuyInVirginia: Of course Parker has to have your attention while you're reading in bed.

I'm excited about you combining the Traveling Library and the Lost Library and having your books reunited in your new awesome House Library (or whatever you're going to call it!).

When I moved to NC I gulped and just paid it - it turns out that there were more books and records and stuff than they estimated and I actually paid less than I should have. Bill gave the guys a good tip, though.

I'm going to try to power through Mrs. Caliban tonight and tomorrow, a mere 100 pages more.

des. 31, 2020, 1:33 am

Time to take out the trash!

des. 31, 2020, 8:02 am

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. It is only in the teens out there, along with snow and ice. it looks like I will be staying put, once again. At least I am getting in some prime reading time. Now, I think I will get my 2021 thread up and running.

des. 31, 2020, 8:04 am

^This was my feeders from yesterday. The usual suspects.

des. 31, 2020, 10:03 am

>146 weird_O: Bill, that’s perfect. And on January 20th, the country will be dumping the Trump Trash too.

>147 msf59: Hi Mark, and happy Last Day of 2020! Yay for books and setting up your new thread. I'm tweaking my new thread in Word and will be out there tomorrow morning to post and start catching up on all the new year activity.

Warm and safe, warm and safe…

Nice feeders shot. I notice the heater cord to the bird bath, too, unobtrusive as it is. You’re a good bird daddy.

Unfortunately, I have to snake an extension cord out to my birdbath. I don’t think the birds mind, though.

Coffee and the last 55 pages of Mrs. Caliban, a delightfully wry and odd novella. When I've finished that I'll continue with A Promised Land.

des. 31, 2020, 10:20 am

Oh, I did so love Mrs. Caliban. I'm pretty much an Ingalls fan in general, though.

Farebadly, 2020, we need a fresh year.

des. 31, 2020, 11:30 am

Hi RD!

I just finished Mrs. Caliban and thought it absolutely stunning. 4.5 stars. This is my first Ingalls, but it won't be my last. I might even write a review...

And bad cess to 2020.

Editat: des. 31, 2020, 12:13 pm

124. Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls
12/30/20 to 12/31/20

From Amazon:

In the quiet suburbs, while Dorothy is doing chores and waiting for her husband to come home from work, not in the least anticipating romance, she hears a strange radio announcement about a monster who has just escaped from the Institute for Oceanographic Research… Reviewers have compared Rachel Ingalls’s Mrs. Caliban to King Kong, Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, the films of David Lynch, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, E.T., Richard Yates’s domestic realism, B-horror movies, and the fairy tales of Angela Carter―how such a short novel could contain all of these disparate elements is a testament to its startling and singular charm.

Why I wanted to read it: It was my book club choice for the 2020-2021 year. We only met one month before the pandemic put everything on hold. I thought that while on a 2-novella roll I might as well make it 3 and finish up 2020 with the book I’d chosen for book club.

It’s amazing how much truth and insight can be captured when a human woman is explaining things to Larry, described as a monster in the description above and in the newspapers as the book progresses.

Dorothy is in a currently-stagnant marriage with Fred after the twin horrors of losing their son and unborn child in quick succession. Dorothy knows Fred is having an affair. Dorothy is detached from this knowledge. Larry walks into the kitchen soon after killing two researchers and escaping from The Institute and Dorothy and Larry bond over a stalk of celery.

It’s short and sweet and bitter and shocking. It’s lyrical and complex and flows like honey. From another LibraryThing review by MaximusStripus (which I read after writing everything but this sentence), “The prose is spare and robust.”

If you can get your hands on it, please read it.

edited to add: I'd meant to look up the reference to Caliban, knowing it was from Shakespeare yet not knowing the specifics. It's from The Tempest. Ingalls chose her title well:
Caliban is half human, half monster. After his island becomes occupied by Prospero and his daughter Miranda, Caliban is forced into slavery. While he is referred to as a calvaluna or mooncalf, a freckled monster, he is the only human inhabitant of the island that is otherwise "not honour'd with a human shape" (Prospero, I.2.283). In some traditions he is depicted as a wild man, or a deformed man, or a beast man, or sometimes a mix of fish and man, a dwarf or even a tortoise.

From Wikipedia

Editat: des. 31, 2020, 12:10 pm

And, finally, I’ve appropriated the graphic first seen on Mark’s thread, although seen elsewhere since then. Thank you, Mark!

I’ll let the stats speak for me.

124 books read

1 Masterpiece
19 Stunning
67 Excellent
20 Very Good
12 Good
4 Average
1 Bad
0 Very Bad
0 Don't Bother
0 Anathema

Best Fiction
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Beastly Tales From Here and There by Vikram Seth
The Standing Chandelier by Lionel Shriver
Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls

Best Nonfiction
Abraham Lincoln: Mystic Chords of Memory edited by Larry Shapiro
Dr. Seuss Goes to War by Richard H. Minear
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

des. 31, 2020, 12:25 pm

>153 karenmarie: Looks like a great reading year to me, Karen, with only one bad one.

des. 31, 2020, 12:42 pm

It was, Anita, a very good year. The 2* book was an old Regency Romance that I'd never read and read as a ROOT. It's long gone...

des. 31, 2020, 12:44 pm

Statistics Through December 31

124 books read
28 of them on my shelves before 1/1/20 and not rereads
13 books abandoned, 846 pages abandoned
33869 pages read
68.8 audiobook hours
Avg pages read per day, YTD = 93
Avg pages read per book, YTD = 273

Best book of the month: Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls

Male 64%
Female 36%

Living 59%
Dead 41%

US Born 73%
Foreign Born 27%

Hardcover 45%
Trade Pback 23%
Mass Market 19%
Audiobook 4%
e-Book 9%

My Library 79%
Library 15%
Other 6%

Re-read 22%
Series 61%

Fiction 87%
NonFiction 13%

Author Birth Country
Austria 1%
Canada 1%
England 21%
France 1%
Iceland 1%
India 1%
New Zealand 1%
South Africa 1%
Sweden 1%
US 73%

Original Decade Published
1810-1819 2%
1890-1899 1%
1930-1939 6%
1940-1949 10%
1950-1959 10%
1960-1969 1%
1970-1979 6%
1980-1989 3%
1990-1999 7%
2000-2009 10%
2010-2019 34%
2020-2029 10%

Biography 2%
Chrestomathy 2%
Contemporary Fiction 2%
Fantasy 8%
Historical Fiction 4%
Humor 3%
Informational Nonfiction 6%
Memoir 2%
Mystery 57%
Poetry 1%
Science Fiction 2%
Suspense 1%
Thriller 9%

des. 31, 2020, 12:47 pm

December’s Lightning Round

Rules for Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson 11/25/20 12/1/20 316 pages mass market paperback
Surprisingly wooden and two-dimensional, a first-person narrator who is less and more than he appears. It sounded better as a blurb than an actual book.

Might As Well Be Dead by Rex Stout 12/1/20 to 12/11/20 208 pages mass market paperback Excellent from start to finish, Nero Wolfe is hired to find a man who ran away to NYC when his father accused him of theft 10 years earlier. One thing leads to another, one murder leads to another and another. I found this one riveting. The only thing that I didn’t like was that during the denouement part of the seating arrangement gave away, at least to me, who the murderer was.

Camino Island by John Grisham 12/12/20 12/20/20
Friend Karen in Montana recommended this one because of all the book store, book, and author references, but it was a poorly written effort with a ridiculously banal ending. Shallow characters, bad dialog, and telegraphed plot points made me wish I’d not wasted my time. Friend Louise really liked Camino Wind, the sequel, but hasn’t read this book and I’m going to just give it to her since I deaccessioned it after finishing it.
Trial Run by Dick Francis 12/20/20 12/26/20
This book felt … muffled… to me. Nobody seemed clear, and the main strength of the book is that Francis spent more time portraying the gray, controlled, miserable existence of Russians in 1978 than he portrayed any real action. Yes, Moscow in the winter is bitterly cold. Yes, our protagonist has poor eyesight and is subject to asthma and bronchitis. Lots of stereotypes and all in all probably my least favorite of the 8 book 2020 Shared Read.
Three for the Chair by Rex Stout 12/26/20 12/28/20
Three novellas:

1. A Window for Death. Interesting pretty only much because I vaguely remembered a critical component of what helped Wolfe solve the mystery and even more vaguely thought I had the murderer pegged – correctly, as it turns out. Okay but not stunning.

2. Immune to Murder. Wolfe is requested to cook freshly-caught trout to a foreign ambassador at a private lodge. Archie catches one of the largest trout ever taken from the river, but it’s not even a blip on the radar as he discovers the body of a career diplomat just as ‘Grandpa’ strikes. Archie manages to reel both of them in. By then the meal has been served minus the career diplomat. Wolfe discovers something of notable incident but in a fit of pique against the District Attorney who was insufferable rude to Wolfe doesn’t mention it until after the denouement and he and Archie are ready to leave. Excellent.

3. Too Many Detectives. Once again Wolfe is away from home and compelled to solve a murder so he can go home. He and Archie have been called to Albany to give statements on wiretapping activities, along with several other detectives. A man is murdered in another room and Wolfe joins forces with the other detectives to employee dozens of operatives looking for a link between the murdered man and Wolfe’s suspect. Quite well done, another one where sheer logic wins the day.
Elevation by Stephen King 12/30/20 12/30/20
A sweet little undemanding novella. From Amazon: “Written in masterly Stephen King’s signature translucent…this uncharacteristically glimmering fairy tale calls unabashedly for us to rise above our differences” (Booklist, starred review). Elevation is an antidote to our divisive culture, an “elegant whisper of a story” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), “perfect for any fan of small towns, magic, and the joys and challenges of doing the right thing” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

des. 31, 2020, 12:49 pm

>152 karenmarie: Nothing could delight me more than you falling for Rachel Ingalls's always-deft, often-superb prose. Best start to a new year ever.

Now, about 2021: “Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.”
— Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, 1987

des. 31, 2020, 12:50 pm

At least you had great reading in 2020, Karen. GOOD for you for finishing one more, and that a good one!
---- so what are you doing with your reading time for the rest of the day?

Editat: des. 31, 2020, 12:55 pm

>158 richardderus: Thank you, RD. She's got a respectable bibliography, and I might try to pick one or two to read in 2021.

I don't have great hopes for much in 2021, a la Adams, but I hope to be proven wrong.

>159 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! Oh yes, lots of very good stuff. I feel great about my reading year.

Hmmm. The rest of the day. A Promised Land. I do need to spend some time with Bill - he worked the morning but has no more quotes to work on and is sitting in the living room watching TV. I think we'll watch some Angel and perhaps a documentary or two.

Then it'll be time to make Vegetable Beef Soup and biscuits or cornbread. I may cheat and make Sister Schubert's Rolls since I have one tin left in the freezer in the garage...

des. 31, 2020, 1:21 pm

Nice end of the year round up, Karen. How lovely to end the year with two great reads back to back. I liked Elevation more than you did. And you hit me with a book bullet for Mrs. Caliban.

des. 31, 2020, 2:03 pm

Thanks, Mamie! Perhaps novellas are the way to go at year end. It wasn't intentional until I picked Mrs. Caliban, realizing it was a trend.

Editat: des. 31, 2020, 4:01 pm

>157 karenmarie: Hi Karen. I enjoyed reading over your reviews.

I'm assuming (correctly?) that Rules for Perfect Murders is the same novel which I read (and reviewed) as Eight Perfect Murders. Isn't it crazy-strange how titles are altered depending on whether the publisher has the rights for Canada versus England versus USA?

I hadn't read any Peter Swanson until now. It was a quick read and I gave it 4-stars.
My friend who suggested it would suit my preferences has apparently enjoyed most (if not all) of Swanson's novels. I liked his twisty-sneaky plot.

Edited to add ~
I'm going through to star some 2021 threads, like many others.

I started a new thread ~ for 2020 *giggle*.
My 8th thread was going to be my final one of 2020, then I thought why not use the 'continue' function? It announces my intentions for 2021.

Just saying, in case you wonder if I did join the 75-ers on the 2021 tour.
I just don't plan to overwhelm my brain this coming year.
Happy immunizable 2021!

des. 31, 2020, 4:02 pm

Nice year-end wrap-up, Karen.


des. 31, 2020, 5:10 pm

>163 SandyAMcPherson: Hi Sandy!

Thanks re my reviews.

Well, no, Eight Perfect Murders is not the same book as Rules for Perfect Murders. I didn’t even realize he had another book with the phrase ‘perfect murders’ in it, so live and learn.

I responded on your last thread of 2020… I’m sorry your brain is full. Visit us if and when you want. There have been times when I’ve literally written “I’ve drawn a line in the sand. There’s no way I can catch up, so I’ll move forward from here.”

>164 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie! Onward indeed.

des. 31, 2020, 9:34 pm


As the year turns, friendship continues

des. 31, 2020, 9:44 pm

Absolutely! I cherish my LT friends.

And with that, I'm done with the 2020 threads.

I'll have a strange few hours of not having an active 75ers thread but will see you all on the 2021 group threads tomorrow.

des. 31, 2020, 10:22 pm

gen. 1, 2021, 9:52 am

Morning, Karen. Happy New Year. I was waiting for your new thread to pop up but haven't seen it yet. In regards to my birdbath. I also have to run an extension from the house. You just can't see it in the photo. Lots of activity at my feeders, this A.M.

gen. 1, 2021, 10:11 am

Hi Mark!

I got up late and have been busy getting the Dick Francis Shared Read thread posted so I could put that link in my personal thread - I'm hoping to have my personal one up within 10 minutes or so!

Thanks for checking in.