mstrust's little yet fierce challenge- #2

Això és la continuació del tema mstrust's little yet fierce challenge.

Converses2021 Category Challenge

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

mstrust's little yet fierce challenge- #2

1mstrust
Editat: feb. 11, 3:56pm



Welcome to my second thread! This is Earl and he's watching you and judging.
I've been away from the Category Challenge for a few years but I'm back with a smallish challenge for myself. Five categories, five books each. One category is finished already but I'll keep adding finished reads. This challenge may finish early but I'll keep introducing us to small businesses.

Hi, I'm Jennifer and I live in Phoenix with my husband, Mike, and our boxer, Coral. I have thousands of books in the house, write short stories, love tiki, come up with baking and cocktail recipes, and we travel a lot. Well, we did. This March will mark my 13th Thingaversary. I've hit LT puberty.

My theme is based around small businesses and the industries that are struggling right now. Sounds fun, huh? I've matched an industry to a book genre and each book finished will include a link to a small business that is probably holding on by the skin of their teeth through online sales. I think we'll find some cool stuff.
With the "Live Entertainment" reads I'll provide a link to a play or concert, something that we can "attend" while so many performers are out of work.

If you order something from one of these businesses or watch a performance, come back and tell us what you think. Feedback is welcome.
My threads are politics-free and tend to dip into weirdness from time to time. Can't help it.

2mstrust
Editat: març 2, 9:32am


1. Restaurants- Cooking and Foodie books

1. Veg: Easy and Delicious Meals for Everyone
2. The Little Paris Kitchen
3. Essential Herbs
4. Fairytale Baking

5mstrust
Editat: març 7, 5:08pm


4. The Travel Industry- Armchair Travel and Essays

1. California Hotel and Casino
2. A Walk Around the Block
3. Action Park
4. Oh, The Places You'll Go!

6mstrust
Editat: març 18, 5:03pm


5. Live Entertainment- Plays, Autobiographies & Bios of Entertainers

1. Lady Windermere's Fan
2. Bowie's Bookshelf
3. Rez Metal
4. Confess
5. Grateful American
Done!

7mstrust
Editat: abr. 12, 5:55pm


The Rest of 'Em
"Ya never know whatcha gonna git."

1. The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag
2. Animal Behavior: A Very Short Introduction
3. The Factory Witches of Lowell

8mstrust
Editat: feb. 23, 11:49am



Welcome! Come, look, spend.

Businesses We've Visited So Far:
1. Economy Candy, NYC- https://www.economycandy.com/
2. Cerreta's Candy, Phoenix- http://cerreta.com/
3. The Fudge Pot, Chicago- https://thefudgepotchicago.com/
4. Black Rifle Coffee, Utah & Tennessee- https://www.blackriflecoffee.com/
5. The Mysterious Bookshop, NYC- https://www.mysteriousbookshop.com/
6. The Civil War Tails Diorama Museum, Gettysburg, Pa.- https://civilwartails.com/
7. Dog Mountain, Vermont- https://www.dogmt.com/home.php
8. Cherry Republic, Glen Arbor, MI.- https://cherryrepublic.com/
9. Memphis Rock & Soul Museum, TN- https://www.memphisrocknsoul.org/
10. The Vermont Country Store- https://www.vermontcountrystore.com/
11. The Jackson Hole Book Trader, WY.- https://www.jhbooktrader.com/
12. The Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum, Gatlinburg, TN- https://thesaltandpeppershakermuseum.com/
13. Millican Pecan Company, San Saba, TX- https://millicanpecan.com/
14. Hemingway Birthplace Museum, Oak Park, IL: https://www.hemingwaybirthplace.com/
15. The Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West, FL: https://www.hemingwayhome.com/
16. Slow Jams, Detroit: https://www.smallbatchdetroit.com/products/slow-jams
17. The Golden Bear Trading Company, Racine, WI: https://www.goldbeartrading.com/
18. Argosy Bookstore, NYC: https://www.argosybooks.com/
19. The Writer's Black, Las Vegas: https://www.thewritersblock.org/
20. Pen and Pink Vintage Bookshop, Indianapolis: https://penandpinkvintage.square.site/
21. Kasama Chocolate Bars, Vancouver, BC: https://kasamachocolate.com/
22. Yardi Gras, New Orleans: https://www.neworleans.com/blog/post/yardi-gras-houses-new-orleans/
23. Acme Books, Savannah, Ga.: http://www.acmesalesandbooks.com/index.php
24. I Don't Konform performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR1rr9boFQg
25. Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC: https://www.quailridgebooks.com/
26. Zeb's General Store, N. Conway, NH: https://www.zebs.com/
27. ShakaTime, Honolulu: https://www.shakatime.com/
28. Intrabang Books, Dallas: https://www.interabangbooks.com/
29. Zeus Comics, Dallas: https://www.zeuscomics.com/
30. Rockin' AB, McKinney: https://rockinab.com/
31. Paws on Chicon, Austin: https://www.pawsonchicon.com/
32. Collin Street Bakery, Corsicano, Tx: https://collinstreet.com/
33. Texas Sweet Heat Salsas, Denison: https://texas-sweetheat.com/
34. Cooley Bay Winery, Van Alstyne: https://www.cooleybay.com/
35. Alamo Candy Co., San Antonio: https://www.alamocandy.com/
36. Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, Lubbock: http://lhuca.org/
37. Texas Highways Mercantile, Big Sandy: https://shop.texashighways.com/
38. Fredricksburg Farms: https://www.fbgfarms.com/

9DeltaQueen50
feb. 11, 3:31pm

OMG - is the opening picture of Coral? What a priceless expression. Happy new thread, Jennifer.

10mstrust
feb. 11, 3:36pm

So glad to see you here, Judy!
No, that isn't my Coral, that's Earl, who is known for his rather disgruntled expression. I thought he's the very picture of small but unwilling to be ignored. I wish I could hug him and give him a treat :-D

11DeltaQueen50
feb. 11, 3:39pm

He definitely looks like he needs a hug and a treat!

12quondame
feb. 11, 3:43pm

Happy new challenges!

13mstrust
feb. 11, 3:53pm

>11 DeltaQueen50: Not easily impressed, is he? Maybe we'll see Earl smile at some point.

>12 quondame: Thanks, Susan!

14MissWatson
feb. 12, 3:25am

Happy new thread and congrats on filling your first category!

15mstrust
feb. 12, 9:28am

Thanks! Good to see you!

16mstrust
Editat: feb. 12, 9:46am



19. Rez Metal by Ashkan Soltani Stone and Natale A. Zappia. A slender book focusing mostly on the popularity of metal on the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni reservations, and on the rise of Native metal bands. Musicians and club owners are featured, along with photos of performances.
I didn't really like the format of the book, which was primarily transcripts of musicians from different bands speaking without the context of a conversation, so I sometimes felt like it was the middle of the conversation, and it would have benefited from editing out filler words and phrases. 3 stars

This goes in my Entertainment category.

Here's a song by I Don't Konform, a band featured heavily in this book as one of the most popular Navajo metal bands. You'll note that their drummer is a bit older than the rest of the band. He's Ed Yazzie, who sits on the Navajo Council representing a big chunk of the tribal lands. His son is one of the guitarists. Their songs are available through Amazon streaming.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NR1rr9boFQg

17VivienneR
feb. 12, 10:53am

Just dropping in to say hello. I'm very far behind on reading threads so can't comment on all the fascinating books and topics you've posted so far, but I'm delighted that you've discovered Flavia. I loved the entire series but I Am Half-Sick of Shadows was my favourite.

18mstrust
feb. 12, 1:58pm

Hi, Vivienne!
I'm glad I discovered Flavia too! I've had two other people name different titles of the series as their favorites, so I think that's a good sign.

***
Mike gave me my Valentine's present yesterday, a year of Sirius. I've uploaded the app to the tv and have been adding my favorites. I've had it before so I know my favorite channel is The Underground Garage.
I'm off to order a few Bibliomysteries from The Mysterious Bookshop for Mom's upcoming birthday.

19rabbitprincess
feb. 12, 7:18pm

>16 mstrust: I read a book about the Toronto music scene, Any Night of the Week, that also had transcripts of conversations. As the book went on I found it harder to muster up interest in those, but the narrative bits were good.

>18 mstrust: Enjoy your Sirius subscription!

20mstrust
Editat: feb. 13, 12:07pm

I think the more focused a theme is, such as a music genre that is also about a specific area, the more likely that the interviewees will be saying essentially the same thing. So it becomes rather monotonous, and this is when a good editor is needed.
But I enjoyed seeing Ed Yazzie's drumming, he's really good. And for anyone familiar with the Navajo tribe, the name Yazzie is so well known, as it's an extensive family that has produced lots of artists. I know I have one or two Yazzie-made kachinas.
We've got Sirius playing right now, the limited run Miles Davis channel. I 'll be getting so much more use of it in the house than the car as I don't have a commute.
Have a good weekend!

21mstrust
Editat: feb. 13, 12:07pm

I made an order with The Mysterious Bookshop, having three of their bibliomysteries sent to Mom for her birthday.
Mystery, Inc. by Joyce Carol Oates- I liked this one so much and I think she will too.
Seven Years by Peter Robinson
The Pretty Little Box by Charles Todd.

https://www.mysteriousbookshop.com/

22mstrust
Editat: feb. 13, 6:51pm

Wishing you all a Happy Valentines Day!

23justchris
feb. 13, 9:56pm

Congrats on second thread with great but disapproving topper.

24mstrust
feb. 15, 9:45am

Thanks, Chris!

25mstrust
Editat: feb. 15, 9:47am


20. Hoodoo Harry by Joe R. Lansdale. Driving back from a day of fishing, Hap and Leonard collide with a bus driven by a terrified twelve year-old. The boy is killed on impact and the bus turns out to be a bookmobile that serviced the tiny towns along a backroads route, bringing books to impoverished kids. Why the boy was driving the bus is a mystery, but so is the fact that the bus and its proper driver, Hoodoo Harry, have been missing for fifteen years.
Number 38 of the Bibliomysteries. This is a really good one. 5 stars

26mstrust
Editat: feb. 15, 10:05am


The Lansdale was a ROOT, so here's a great indie bookstore. Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC was founded in 1984. They have a good selection of signed books, they're doing virtual author events and they have a podcast. In addition, they have mystery box subscriptions, and they adhere to a free speech policy that is stated on their site.
https://www.quailridgebooks.com/

27christina_reads
feb. 15, 11:20am

>26 mstrust: I grew up in Raleigh and have very fond memories of Quail Ridge Books! Thanks for the reminder -- I'll have to check out their website!

28mstrust
feb. 15, 11:42am

That's great to hear! I'm happy to remind you of home.

29mstrust
Editat: feb. 15, 2:30pm

I'm amazed! The books I ordered from The Mysterious Bookstore in Manhattan on Friday for Mom's birthday (>21 mstrust:) arrived on her doorstep today. Were they delivered by The Six Million Dollar Man?


Deliver those books, Steve.

30mstrust
Editat: feb. 16, 9:10am


21. Bibliotheca Classica by Simon Brett. Unbearable snob Derrick is pulled away from his research on the Pre-Raphaelites when his wife, young Harriet, who had been a graduate student when Derrick was a professor, gifts him with a copy of an eighteenth century encyclopedia. Derrick is intrigued by the fact that the whole book has been bowdlerized and sees researching it as a good way to keep Harriet busy while he does his own important work.
Brett has created a fun story about academia and researching obscurities. I wish the very ending had been drawn out a little more but I still recommend this. 4.5 stars
This series is like popcorn.

31mstrust
Editat: feb. 16, 9:21am

This seems to be my first Simon Brett, so it goes in my Retail (New To Me) category.


Zeb's General Store is located in North Conway, NH. They carry everything New England, like jams, bar soap, and maple syrup, but they also have their own spicy Bloody Mary mix. And if you're a fan of Moxie soda, this is your place, as they carry the soda and more Moxie merch than anyone.
https://www.zebs.com/

32Tess_W
feb. 16, 10:21am

>30 mstrust: goes on my WL!

33thornton37814
feb. 16, 10:31am

>26 mstrust: I've been there!

34mstrust
feb. 16, 1:02pm

>32 Tess_W: I hope you get a chance to read it, I really liked it!
>33 thornton37814: Oh, yay! Did you enjoy your visit?

35thornton37814
feb. 16, 5:27pm

>34 mstrust: Yes. It was back when I was dating someone who lived in Raleigh. I'd searched out bookstores because I knew I was going to have some time to myself on weekends, so I made trips to different ones.

36mstrust
feb. 17, 12:57pm

Thanks for the feedback. It looks like a good store, and I think I'll make an order in a month or so. I hold off on ordering when I'm within weeks of being away from home. I don't want a box sitting on my porch while I'm gone.

37mstrust
Editat: feb. 19, 10:28am


22. Selected Poems of W.H. Auden, selected and edited by Edward Mendelson.
Keep in mind that I haven't studied any poetry since high school, where my teacher was into Shakespeare and the Cavalier Poets, very different from Auden. And I think he needs to be studied to fully grasp his work. There are some, like "Stop the Clocks" that can be appreciated from the first read, but so much of his poetry is dense and personal with meaning, with each line needing to be picked through, that the reader would benefit from having some instruction along the way.
I guess that's all I feel qualified to say, because I know there are people who spend their lives studying Auden, and he left plenty of work to study if this book of selected poems is any indication of how much he wrote. 3.5 stars

This has sat on my shelf for more years than I can say, so it's a ROOT, but as this is the first I've read of Auden, I'm putting it in the "New To Me" category, which finishes off that category.

38mstrust
Editat: feb. 19, 10:44am


For anyone who's freezing right now, I hope this gives you a little hope.
ShakaTime's storefront is located in Honolulu, but you can shop for Hawaiian clothes and accessories right from your snowbound home. They carry men's, women's, children's, and even Hawaiian-style wedding clothes. Their merch includes Hawaiian-made face masks starting at $6.95, so you can get a little of the tropics for a low price.
https://www.shakatime.com/

39christina_reads
feb. 19, 3:33pm

>37 mstrust: I don't always (or even often) understand Auden -- I agree that he's someone who benefits from having a lot of context and a lot of literary knowledge. But I consider him my favorite poet anyway!

40mstrust
feb. 19, 6:31pm

I have no doubt that I would have gotten much more out of this book if I'd had someone who knew his work well enough to decipher some of it. So many of his poems are intensely personal.

41mstrust
Editat: feb. 20, 11:31am


23. Confess: The Autobiography by Rob Halford. Halford, the singer and lead lyricist for Judas Priest, doesn't do an autobiography halfway, and the title is spot on. Would we have ever known that he's been banned from Camp Pendleton for lewd behavior?
He tells the reader all about it.
He has chapters about growing up in an industrial Northern town with loving parents whose arguments sometimes included his father slapping his mother. He remembers the exact moment in school, when asked to sing on his own, that the music teachers realized he had talent, and that his family was always behind him as he first pursued an acting career before returning to music.
And he recounts how he joined a band called Judas Priest that needed a singer, and their long career together. He discusses the making of each album and gives his honest opinion of any shortcomings, even with his own performances. He also discusses the dynamics within the band, such as the decades long friction between guitarists K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton, and the reasons why they've gone through as many drummers as Spinal Tap. He also explains how he accidentally quit Priest and why his absence from a band he loved dragged on for so long.
Throughout the book is Halford's stress in hiding his homosexuality. First from his family, then from bandmates and the fans, Halford describes the intense loneliness in being unable to openly pursue romance, and he speaks very intimately of how gay men in the 70's and 80's found each other, and of how often he pursued relationships with straight men, which always ended in unhappiness.
The book concludes right now in the pandemic, with plans for what fans can expect from the band once this is over. 4.5 stars

This goes in my Live Entertainment category.

42mstrust
Editat: feb. 20, 11:31am


Here's Judas Priest, early 80's, performing "Diamonds and Rust". In his book, Halford recounts meeting Joan Baez backstage and being apprehensive about how she'd react to a metal band covering her song, but she loved their version.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se9-HI_VjwE

43mstrust
Editat: feb. 23, 11:13am


Gonna buy from any of the small businesses I feature? The small Texas businesses could really use some help right now. As some will state on their sites, snow and ice are a factor right now so your package may be delayed a bit, but it'll get to you.
Today we're traveling all over the state to feature all kinds of Texas-made products and businesses that are awesome. As always, I'd love to have anyone who makes a purchase to tell us about it.

Intrabang Books in Dallas is located on Lovers Lane. They have a virtual book club and many signed first editions.
https://www.interabangbooks.com/
Zeus Comics and Collectibles, also in Dallas, has all the graphics novels, along with a comic book club exclusively for women. https://www.zeuscomics.com/

Have a little kid in your life? Rockin' AB in McKinney is the cutest friggin' store ever, and they have toys, clothing, books and shoes that you'll have fun picking out. https://rockinab.com/

Paws on Chicon in Austin is a store for cats and dogs that sells healthy food, has grooming and products, and their site has a pet health blog. https://www.pawsonchicon.com/



44mstrust
Editat: feb. 23, 11:34am


Collin Street Bakery is located in Corsicano, TX. They opened in 1896 and have fed people such as Will Rogers and the opera singer Caruso. They make and ship their famous fruitcake, along with Texas Cake, cheesecake, fudge pie, coffee, pickles and dog treats. https://collinstreet.com/

Practically unknown outside of the state is Texas Sweet Heat Salsas from Denison. They've won lots of awards and come in many varieties and heat levels.

If you didn't know, Texas has a wine region now. Cooley Bay Winery in Van Alstyne has a tasting facility, and they produce many varieties, including fruit wines (Herb Erlinger!). https://www.cooleybay.com/

The Alamo Candy Company in San Antonio has been around for decades. Still run by its founding family, they specialize in Mexican candy, with many products being homemade. If you're unfamiliar with Mexican candy, you'll have an enormous choice of sweet & spicy, like chili coated mango flavors (delicious!), or sweet & salty. https://www.alamocandy.com/

45mstrust
Editat: feb. 23, 11:54am

You need some new art, don't you? Check out the offerings at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts in Lubbock. Click on the "art Market" tab and see all the paintings, sculptures, leatherwork, pottery and jewelry for sale.
http://lhuca.org/

For merch that screams Texas, there's the Texas Highways Mercantile, based in Big Sandy. It's a cooperative put together by Texas Highways Magazine of artists producing lots of unusual and cool stuff. https://shop.texashighways.com/


Finally, to a Texan, nothing says home than the bluebonnet flower. Drive around the Hill Country in Spring and you'll see fields of waving bluebonnets. They have a fresh scent too.
Fredricksburg Farms has scented soaps, lotions, candles, plus more. You can find bluebonnet products and bbq sauce too, along with recipes. https://www.fbgfarms.com/

I hope you'll check out these or any other small Texan business. Fun road trip, huh?

46quondame
Editat: feb. 24, 8:27pm

>43 mstrust: At the beginning of February I ordered my usual fibers from Lone Star Loom Room. They have a yearly linen sale. Other sales too, but they've the best prices and selection for my linen stash.

47mstrust
feb. 24, 11:11am

Thanks for letting us know about that shop, Susan!

48mstrust
feb. 28, 7:36pm

I was able to visit The Writer's Block while I was in Vegas this weekend. It's wonderful! Lots of greenery, a real bunny, unusual stock and a coffee bar staffed by really nice people. Oh, and they have a huge series of books called "A Very Short History of... that covers topics both big and little. I brought home:

The Bird's Nest
Elizabeth by Ken Greenhall
Crime Fiction: A Very Short Introduction
Animal Behavior: A Very Short Introduction.

49Tess_W
març 1, 5:25am

>48 mstrust: I love Shirley Jackson!

50mstrust
març 1, 9:00am

Me too!

51mstrust
Editat: març 1, 9:02am


24. The Murder of Dr. Chapman by Linda Wolfe.
Dr. Chapman worked to cure stammering, creating a method lost to time as he made patients promise to never reveal how he treated them. His wife, Lucretia, was a self-made successful businesswoman, a teacher who founded the first boarding school for girls in Philadelphia. Eventually the Chapmans moved miles outside the city to a large house in order to give the students and their own five children a healthier environment. They had a reputation for giving people in need a place to stay for a night or two. It was because a young man named Lino Espos y Mina was directed to their home for free shelter in 1831 that the following events occurred.
Mina was a fraud, a thief and compulsive liar, and likely a sociopath. He was from Cuba, and at twenty-one, had already served more than a year in prison for taking part in robberies with a gang. When he arrived at the Chapmans he had nothing but told them he was the son of a famous Mexican general in San Francisco, he just needed to get in contact with his father in order to get money. This was a story, with many variations, that he told throughout the States, always that he was the son of a rich, powerful man and that anyone who was nice to him now would be rewarded with riches once his father was around. Plenty of trusting people fell for it, but only Lucretia went this far in her gullibility.
Others in the household recognized that Lucretia was increasingly frustrated with her husband, likely bored and angry that the bigger responsibility of their income fell to her while her husband became less ambitious. When the stranger with an exotic appearance and promises of a wealthy family arrived, Lucretia seems to have lost all propriety, fawning over the stranger who was half her age, and a servant reported that she soon was seeing signs that her mistress and the stranger were sleeping together. Lucretia paid for Lino to have new suits, openly doting on him and spending afternoons away from home with him. Within weeks of his arrival, Dr. Chapman was dead and Lucretia and Lino were married just days later. Was the death natural or was Dr. Chapman poisoned? The resulting trials were infamous. 4 stars

52mstrust
Editat: març 1, 10:20am


25. The Pretty Little Box by Charles Todd.
A bibliomystery published by The Mysterious Bookshop. This is the story of a small 14th Century jeweled and illustrated prayer book and the many hand it passes through, usually bringing terrible luck to the current owner. 4 stars

53Tess_W
març 1, 3:14pm

>51 mstrust:
>52 mstrust:

A couple of BB's for me!

54mstrust
març 1, 4:59pm

Happy to hit you with two good books!

55mstrust
Editat: març 2, 9:32am


26. Fairytale Baking by Christin Geweke. My sister gave me this very pretty German-made baking book. Its chapters are headed by tellings of famous fairytales, like Snow White and Hansel and Gretel, and includes many recipes accompanied by gorgeous Old World-styled photography. The recipes are for modern bakers though, with chocolate and espresso biscotti, white chocolate caramel cake, blackberry ganache tartlets and a berry marbled cheesecake. There are spins on traditional German desserts, such as mini marbled kugelhopfs that have dark chocolate swirled into the batter.
Though many of the recipes call for ingredients I don't keep on hand, like gelatin sheets, others are made with things I always have and I'll give them a try. 5 stars

56MissWatson
març 3, 4:19am

>55 mstrust: Oh, this sounds interesting! I need to ask my sister if she knows this, she's the family baker.

57mstrust
març 3, 9:24am

It's well worth seeking out!

58mstrust
març 3, 9:34am



27. Seven Years by Peter Robinson. A bibliomystery from TMB.
A retired Cambridge classics professor enjoys his days driving to small villages to see the historical sites and rummage through old bookshops. In one such shop he purchases a few books, then later when going through the Browning book of poetry, he finds an inscription he hadn't seen before buying, a rather sinister and threatening inscription to someone named "Miss Scott".
His concern for this woman's safety, and his interest in knowing what that inscription was all about, leads the professor into sleuthing. 4 stars
And now I have to read Browning's "Porphyria's Lover", as it figures prominently in this story.

59Tess_W
Editat: març 4, 12:33am

>55 mstrust: Sounds delightful!

60mstrust
març 4, 12:35pm

It really is!
I've tried one recipe so far, the Quick Nut Cake. Now I know that the "ground hazelnuts" that I took to mean finely chopped nuts, would have been written as "nut flour" in an American book. The result still tasted delicious but didn't have enough body to release from the pan as a cake should. It came out more as a very buttery crumble.

61charl08
març 4, 12:47pm

>51 mstrust: Sounds intriguing, what a story! Were there ever any hints on how he cured the speech problems?

62mstrust
març 4, 1:04pm

No, as he did make the patients promise not to reveal exactly what they were taught but I believe there were mentions of the type of practice of repetitive sentences used today. The book actually made him seem somewhat sketchy about his methods, as he had testimonials from patients but not concrete results, other than curing his own stammering.

63mstrust
Editat: març 6, 2:46pm


28. The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth. In 300 pages of iambic pentameter, this is the story of John, who is desperately lonely and calls up a former girlfriend, Jan, to help him figure out how he can find love. Jan jumps right in and places an ad, then sorts through to find good matches for John, which ends with him meeting and falling for attorney Liz. They're very happy together, but their relationship angers Liz's old cat, Charlemagne, who takes great pleasure in destroying John's things and peeing on his pillow.
This is also the story of John's best friend, Phil. His wife left him and their young son a while ago, something they are still dealing with, but Phil finds an unexpected love in Ed, Liz's brother. Keeping their relationship hidden to their family and friends, there is also the issue of Ed's Catholic guilt, which seems to come up when Phil believes they should be at their happiest.
Remarkably fleshed out, these are characters that have hidden sides and the ability to evolve. They deal with parenthood, illness, government and corporate pollution, and religion. Yes, it's hard to read a poem this long, yet it's filled with humor. 4.5 stars

This is a ROOT, as I bought it two years ago.

64Tess_W
març 6, 7:36pm

>63 mstrust: I love that author, but the 300+ pages of poetry scares me. I've read Gilgamesh and loved it, so maybe I will put this one on my wish list!

65mstrust
març 7, 11:07am

I've read Gilgamesh too and I think you'll find this one a lot funnier.
The hard part I mentioned is just keeping up the beat of the verses for that long, but it's enjoyable throughout. Well, I thought the speeches about environmental causes to be quite preachy, but I really liked Charlemagne the angry cat and John's reactions.

66mstrust
Editat: març 7, 5:07pm


29. Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss. A fantastical reassurance to children that they will be successful as long as they have the courage to try new things. I like that Seuss doesn't just speak about winning. He points out that life is also about failing and sometimes being left behind, but everyone can find their own path. His prose is simple but remarkably profound. 5 stars

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

67mstrust
Editat: març 12, 9:44am


30. A Likely Story by Jenn McKinlay.
Part of Library Director Lindsay Norris's job is to deliver books to the residents scattered across the Thumb Islands, off the coast of Connecticut. She does this every two weeks, the boat captained by her ex- boyfriend Sully.
Star Island is inhabited by two elderly brothers who never leave, with one brother being in a wheelchair and the other his caretaker. When Lindsay and Sully arrive and Stewart isn't waiting for them at the dock, they have no choice but to make their way to the grand old house, which isn't easy because the paranoid brothers are known to have booby trapped the whole island. Once inside the hoarder home, they find what they were afraid of, one of the brothers is dead, and the other is missing.

This wasn't so great for me. It turns out to be the sixth in a series, so the references to past experiences crop up, especially the past relationship between the main characters Lindsay and Sully.
What really didn't work for me was the character of the library employee who does the toddler story time. The whole town, including this employee, knows that Lindsay discovered a dead body that day, but Beth comes up to Lindsay and sobs because her regulars aren't coming in to listen to her read. Then they put on disguises to check out the competition. After finding a murdered man. 2.5 stars
I liked the author's bakery series.

68thornton37814
març 12, 4:04pm

>67 mstrust: I need to read On Borrowed Time before I get to that one. It's not my favorite series, and I'm sad this one doesn't measure up very well.

69mstrust
març 12, 5:47pm

I just wasn't into the dumb problems of Beth, which I felt took away from the murder part of the book. But I wasn't very interested in the romance of the main characters either, even though that's a given for a cozy of this nature. I thought the most interesting part was the dangerous booby-trapped house. Maybe I'm not being as kind as I could be because I'm sick, but I think this series just wasn't for me.

70mstrust
Editat: març 14, 2:10pm


31. Animal Behavior- A Very Short Introduction by Tristram D. Wyatt.
Wyatt is a member of an animal behavior research group at Oxford. This book was written for the layman to understand why animals, birds and insects do what they do, whether this is hunting, nesting, protecting the group or choosing a mate. There are discussions of how honeybees find and direct their hivemates to the best flowers, how young vervet monkeys learn when to give alarm calls through trial and error, and that both paper wasps and Harris's sparrows will attack low-standing individuals who attempt to pass themselves off as high-ranking. There is a discussion of tool usage, how songbirds learn their songs and how parenting skills are acquired.
There are many really interesting, meaty passages of information in this book, but as it is a short introduction to animal behavior, it covers too many types of behavior to satisfy the reader who is familiar with the subject. This is a jumping-off point though, and the novice would be able to come away with the names of researchers and studies to further explore. 4 stars

71charl08
març 14, 3:12pm

>63 mstrust: I loved this book, I was a bit wary of a long poem (school memories of Beowulf), but found it wonderful. I am tempted to pick it up again, so thank you for reminding me of a favourite.

72mstrust
març 15, 1:34pm

I'm hosting April's ScaredyKit. The theme is "possessed". Join us: https://www.librarything.com/topic/330597#unread

73mstrust
març 15, 1:35pm

>71 charl08: You're very welcome! It's worth re-reading.

74mstrust
Editat: març 18, 5:03pm


32. Grateful American by Gary Sinise. An autobiography by the actor/director, best known as Lt. Dan from the film Forrest Gump. Most of this book is his personal life and career, childhood and family, how he started acting, and then how he co-founded the famous Steppenwolf Troupe of Chicago. There are anecdotes about the famous actors he's worked with and about the making of Forrest Gump. He also discusses his wife's alcoholism and treatments.
Bookending this are discussions of Sinise's work with the USO and veteran's groups, which has taken him to performing in war zones, visiting wounded soldiers and acting as an ambassador for Vietnam Vets groups. He speaks of his gratitude to the people who have fought for America. 3.5 stars

This finishes my Live Entertainment Category!

75mstrust
març 19, 12:24pm

The Mysterious Bookshop in NYC sent out an e-mail to their customers a few days ago listing books they had bought from an estate, so first come, first served and just one copy of each. To make it even better, they were doing a buy two, get one free deal on them. So I have a box of nine books on their way to me. I missed out on the signed, limited edition of Lawrence Block's The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons, and the 1939 edition of The Big Sleep by Chandler.

76Tess_W
març 19, 1:17pm

>75 mstrust: Sounds so awesome!

77mstrust
març 19, 5:27pm

I'm calling these my "official" Thingaversary purchases. Never mind all the books I've been buying lately.

78rabbitprincess
març 19, 10:38pm

>75 mstrust: Sweet! Looking forward to the list when they arrive :)

79mstrust
març 21, 12:04pm

I'll post the titles when they arrive. I've been happy with TMB's friendly service but they don't ship every day and they don't notify me when my order ships.

80mstrust
Editat: març 23, 1:24pm


33. Haunted Nights edited by Ellen Datlow and Lisa Morton.
A collection of short stories published by Blumhouse Books, part of Blumhouse Productions.
Here are stories that feature traditional horror tropes, such as the haunted house or secluded cabin, but each story has an unexpected twist that brings a freshness and true creepiness. These are character driven stories rather than gory, in fact there's little blood. All the stories have at least a part that takes place on Halloween.
In "We're Never Inviting Amber Again" by S.P. Miskowski, a jerk who hates his sister-in-law is given proof that she isn't just an attention-seeking weirdo. In "The Seventeen Year Itch" by Garth Nix, the long-time employees of a psych ward try to convince a new doctor that they need to take special precautions on Halloween with a certain patient.
Well-chosen, well-written and highly recommended. 4.5 stars
I've had this one my shelf for two years so it's a ROOT. I read it for the March ScaredyKit.

81thornton37814
març 24, 8:26am

>77 mstrust: I've purchased the first book for my Thingaversary which comes in less than a week, but it cost a lot. I'll tell more about it when I report on my haul (when I've gotten most or all of it).

82mstrust
març 24, 1:17pm

Hooray for Thingaversaries, they give us permission to splurge! Mine is tomorrow and I hope my box arrives by then.

83mstrust
Editat: març 24, 5:47pm


34. Miao Doa by Joyce Carol Oates.
Thirteen year-old Mia doesn't know how to handle her situation. The boys at school seem to have formed a club dedicated to touching and body-checking the girls who are developing, and right now, that means Mia is being harassed daily. Things get worse when her parents divorce and her mother marries a creepy guy who is clearly watching Mia.
Her one bit of happiness is the feral cat who Mia sneaks into the house, a cat that grows big and still maintains the ability to hunt prey. 4 stars

A novelette available on Kindle.

84DeltaQueen50
març 25, 2:13pm

>83 mstrust: That one sounds good!

85mstrust
març 25, 2:59pm

Hi, Judy! It's Oates, so you know it's good.

86RidgewayGirl
març 25, 5:25pm

>85 mstrust: JCO does creepy uncomfortable so well!

87mstrust
març 26, 1:09pm

She does. She's adept at building a tense atmosphere.

88mstrust
març 27, 10:42am

My box of books from The Mysterious Bookshop arrived. These are my official Thingaversary purchases. The store e-mailed with a list of recently acquired purchases, must have been an estate sale, and they were Buy 2, Get 1 Free. So I jumped. There weren't any pics and now I see that most of them aren't in a condition that would have tempted me. I need to slow down and really read the descriptions, but I was in a snatchy mood.
Cocktail Time by P.G. Wodehouse. 1958 First printing. But ex-library and very used.
Nightshades by Bill Pronzini. 1984 First Edition, good condition.
Blowback by Pronzini. 1977, discolored cover, not bad condition.
The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott. 2013, good condition.
The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling by Lawrence Block- this was supposed to be the First Edition but it's not.
Burglars Can't be Choosers by Block. 1977. Cover is pretty worn, pages good.
And the three Bibliomysteries that I ordered at the same time weren't included, but I wasn't charged for them either. I'd had to call the store to place my order because these books were "first come, first served" so the stock was constantly changing. I guess the employee didn't note the additional books I wanted.

89mstrust
Editat: març 31, 12:23pm


35. Welcome to the United States of Anxiety by Jen Lancaster. Based on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Lancaster explores the needs of the modern American and why these are making us unhappy. Topics are personal appearance, parenting, crime and police, politics and division, and the internet, which figures prominently in many of the other topics. The author looks at the differences between what used to be a situation that only a few people would know about and would be forgotten, versus now, when a stranger can take a pic or video, post it, and your mistake will live forever.
Most surprising to me, as this is the first I've read by the author so knew nothing about her personal life, was the author's discussion about cutting her parents out of her life because of her mother's outlandish and manipulative behavior, which included contacting the author's publisher to make claims of libel.
An interesting and often humorous look at modern life, and sometimes she has advice for lessening stress. 3.5 stars

90thornton37814
abr. 2, 9:19pm

>88 mstrust: Nice haul there!

91RidgewayGirl
abr. 3, 12:32pm

>88 mstrust: Haha, a "snatchy mood" describes me at the moment of many a large book purchase!

92mstrust
abr. 3, 3:42pm

>90 thornton37814: Thank you!
>91 RidgewayGirl: I definitely didn't need them!

93mstrust
abr. 3, 3:42pm

Happy Easter to you!

94mstrust
Editat: abr. 5, 10:54am


36. Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman. Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police, are working the homicides of a couple of older men on the reservation, men who didn't seem to know each other and had few acquaintances, so the officers can't find a connection, especially when they might have to include in the death count a young health services woman who was so disliked that there could be any number of people who would be glad she was dead. When Chee turns out to be an intended victim and he finds indications of Navajo witchcraft, the officers are even more confused.

This was my first Hillerman, and I believe it's something like the seventh of the series, so it's interesting to find that Leaphorn and Chee aren't partners or even friends. The relationship is very much boss and subordinate, and they don't even work at the same station, so an unusual investigative team situation. The location covers the vast Navajo Nation, with the characters going to remote villages and Gallup. I'm familiar with some of these places and that makes it enjoyable, being able to picture the locales. I figured out whodunnit early on but that didn't stop it from being a good read. 4 stars
I read this for the April ScaredyKit group, this month's theme being "Possession", but there's no possession in this story, it's witchcraft.

95thornton37814
abr. 6, 7:06pm

>94 mstrust: It's been a long time since I read any of the ones written by Tony. It's one of the series I would consider re-reading at some point in the future.

96mstrust
abr. 6, 9:01pm

The Hillerman series is so ubiquitous, at least here in Arizona, that I'd pretty much stopped registering them when I saw them, even though I like finding books that are set here. I was surprised to find this one on my shelf.

97NinieB
abr. 6, 10:19pm

>88 mstrust: Nameless and the Burglar! Even if the condition wasn't what you hoped, those are all great books!

98mstrust
abr. 7, 11:03am

Great reads, for sure. I'm looking forward to the Blocks especially. I believe these will be the most recent I'll have read of his work, as I've been going for his 1960's stuff.

99NinieB
abr. 7, 11:08am

>98 mstrust: I really like Block's 70s and 80s work. Bernie the burglar is a delight. The Matthew Scudder books are much, much darker and heavier, but I found them fascinating, intense, and powerful. I could see doing a reread of both series for this time period--Bernie for light reading and Scudder for the power.

100mstrust
abr. 7, 11:17am

Very high praise! Thanks for that!
I sort of ignored Block for years because he seemed to be in the grouping of what I call "airport reading", but I just happened to acquire A Diet of Treacle, and then Grifter's Game and really liked his style.

101NinieB
abr. 7, 11:47am

>100 mstrust: I haven't read either of those so I'll have to check them out!

102mstrust
abr. 7, 2:21pm

A Diet of Treacle is especially early and deals with beatnik culture. Jazzy.

103mstrust
Editat: abr. 8, 5:53pm


37. Miss Marple's Final Cases by Agatha Christie. A collection of short stories, some of which don't feature Miss Marple at all. There are some good ones though, like "The Case of the Caretaker", in which a local bad boy who had to leave the village due to his behavior returns years later with a new, wealthy bride. The couple is relentlessly harassed by an old woman but no one can figure out why.
My least favorite was "Strange Jest", which features one of Christie's rich old uncles who enjoys playing games with his will. There are two stories in the collection that involve the supernatural rather than criminals, and one story in which Miss Marple is the narrator, which I don't remember her doing elsewhere. I was worried by the title of this book that she'd be killed off here but it didn't happen. I read this for the MysteryKit and it's a ROOT. 3 stars

104mstrust
Editat: abr. 12, 5:53pm


38. The Factory Witches of Lowell by C.S. Malerich. Set in the 19th Century, this is the story of a group of teenage girls, all cotton mill workers living at a mill boardinghouse. All the girls living in Mrs. Hanson's house agree to take part in witchcraft to protest their low wages and unsafe conditions. The leaders, Judith and Hannah, who possesses the gift of being a Seer, are in charge of making sure each girl is loyal, and they do this by braiding a lock of the girl's hair into wristbands. Their goal is to control the capitalists who run the corporation.
Meh. Started off promising, then it seemed like all our current social issues were thrown in, stirred around and dressed in ringlets. 2.8 stars