karenmarie: a new normal with lots of books - III

Això és la continuació del tema karenmarie: a new normal with lots of books - II.

En/na karenmarie: a new normal with lots of books - IV ha continuat aquest tema.

Converses75 Books Challenge for 2021

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

karenmarie: a new normal with lots of books - III

Editat: feb. 26, 12:46pm

Welcome to my third thread of Twenty Twenty-one.

Things are still tough. Covid-19, masks, social distancing, lockdowns. Coronaphobia. Scary right-wing beliefs and actions that threaten our democracy.

Things are looking up. Biden is President. We have a female Vice President. There is decency in the White House again. Vaccines are being more widely distributed. There are books and family and friends and kitties.

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’ve paid my dues.

I read and am a charter member of the Redbud and Beyond Book Club, started in 1997. We haven’t met since March of last year, 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 donation sorting meetings are still on hold, the Library is still closed, and we’ve now had to cancel three book sales because of Covid-19.

I have been married to Bill for almost 30 years and am mother to Jenna, 27. Bill and I 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. Because of the Pandemic, it’s now been over a year since we’ve seen her.

We have three kitties. February pictures of all three. L to R: Zoe, Wash, Inara.

No theme for pictures although I do like posting ones of family members. This picture is of my brother Doug and me, in Hawthorne, California, circa 1965.

My goal last year was 100 books and I exceeded it by 24. This year’s goal will be 100 again. It’s a good goal, not too stressful and not too comfortable. No page goal, just tracking. I seem to read around 30000 pages per year and surpassed that too, last year, by 3,869 pages.



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. I started last April and will finish when it makes sense. I’ve currently read 29 of them.

New this year: With Julia’s blessing, I’ve taken over the Dick Francis Shared Read, now in its 3rd year. Here’s the link: Third Race at the LT Racetrack: A Dick Francis SHARED Read

Every year I buy a new Lett’s Week to View Desk Diary. The first thing I do when I get it is to put in my name, address, phone number, and email address in case it needs to be returned to me, although it hasn’t gone out of the house since a meeting at the Library in February. Next, I transfer my voter registration card from last year’s to this year’s diary. I then write “God does not make bargains, but She does dispense grace.” across the top of the left inside front cover. Finally, I print out and tape in the two following quotes. The first I think I found in an old Ann Landers column and I don’t remember where I found the second one. But I’ve had both for decades and read them often.
On This Day

Mend a quarrel.
Search out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss a suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a letter to someone who misses you.
Encourage a youth who has lost faith.
Keep a promise.
Forget an old grudge.
Examine your demands on others and vow to reduce them.
Fight for a principle.
Express your gratitude.
Overcome an old fear.
Take two minutes to appreciate the beauty of nature.
Tell someone you love them.
Tell them again,
And again,
And again.


Whatever you do, death occurs. But if you have lived with a sense of reality and gratitude towards life, then you can leave the dignity of your life behind you, so that your relatives, your friends, and your children can appreciate who you were.

2021 – a new normal with lots of books.

Editat: març 12, 5:14pm

books read

1. Washington's Farewell Address and Webster's Bunker Hill Orations, Introduction and Notes by William T. Peck 1/8/21 1/9/21 172 pages hardcover
2. Banker by Dick Francis 1/3/21 1/12/21 303 pages mass market paperback
3. Christmas Beau by Mary Balogh 1/16/21 1/18/21 224 pages mass market paperback
4. If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout 1/22/21 1/25/21186 pages hardcover
5. The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths 1/25/21 1/28/21 342 pages hardcover
6. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn 1/29/21 1/30/21 438 pages trade paperback
7. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths 1/28/21 2/2/21 352 pages hardcover, Kindle
8. The Distant Echo by Val McDermid 2/5/21 2/10/21 450 pages mass market paperback
9. Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo 2/11/21 2/12/21 353 pages trade paperback
10. Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn 1/15/21 2/15/21 373 pages hardcover
11. And Four to Go by Rex Stout 2/13/21 2/16/21 150 pages mass market paperback
12. A Promised Land by Barack Obama 11/20/20 2/17/2021 701 pages hardcover
13. Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo 2/17/21 2/19/21 322 pages trade paperback
14. We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper 2/19/21 2/23/21 433 pages trade paperback
15. The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths 2/23/21 2/26/21 359 pages hardcover
16. A Wealth of Pigeons by Harry Bliss and Steve Martin 11/25/20 2/28/21 272 pages hardcover
17. A Darker Domain by Val McDermid 2/26/21 3/4/21 404 pages mass market paperback
18. Prodigal Son by Gregg Hurwitz 3/4/21 3/7/21 417 pages hardcover
19. The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly 3/7/2021 3/9/21 421 pages hardcover
20. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman 3/9/21 3/9/21 59 pages hardcover
21. Little Black Sambo and the Baby Elephant by Frank Ver Beck 3/9/21 3/9/21 57 pages hardcover
22. Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo 3/9/21 3/12/21 302 pages trade paperback

Currently Reading:
The Skeleton Road 3/12/21 404 pages hardcover 2014
Deacon King Kong by James McBride 3/10/21 370 pages trade paperback 2020
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell 1/1/21 305 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: març 15, 3:30pm

books added - 2020 was the great conjunction of adds and culls, both at 128. Keeping the adds down will probably be as easy as it was last year because of the pandemic - no Friends of the Library book sales and no trips to used book stores and thrift shops.

**I spoke too soon - a FoL book donation with me getting first dibs has put me in the hole already.**

00. Friend Jessica - Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein. Given in December, but it offsets the first cull, below, so they're in the 00. black hole.
1. Amazon - Twice Shy by Dick Francis
2. ER - Sergeant Salinger by Jerone Charyn
3. Amazon - The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer
4. Amazon - A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders
5. FoL member Marian - In the Morning I'll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty
6. FoL member Marian - The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty
7. FoL member Marian - I Hear the Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty
8. FoL member Marian - Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty
9. FoL member Marian - Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty
10. FoL member Marian - Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty
11. FoL member Marian - The Death of a Joyce Scholar by Bartholomew Gill
12. FoL member Marian - Counterparts by Gonzalo Lira
13. FoL member Marian - The Hellfire Club by Jake Tapper
14. FoL member Marian - Lost Light by Michael Connelly
15. FoL member Marian - Echo Park by Michael Connelly
16. FoL member Marian - The Overlook by Michael Connelly
17. FoL member Marian - The Reversal by Michael Connelly
18. FoL member Marian - Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly
19. FoL member Marian - City of Bones by Michael Connelly
20. FoL member Marian - All Saints by Karen Palmer
21. FoL member Marian - Ripley Under Water by Patricia Highsmith
22. FoL member Marian - The Drop by Michael Connelly
23. FoL member Marian - The Dark Winter by David Mark
24. FoL member Marian - The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey
25. FoL member Marian - Fair Warning by Michael Connelly
26. FoL member Marian - Reversible Errors by Scott Turow
27. FoL member Marian - Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly
28. FoL member Marian - The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
29. FoL member Marian - Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
30. FoL member Marian - Death Descends on Saturn Villa by M.R.C. Kasasian
31. FoL member Marian - The naive & Sentimental Lover by John Le Carre
32. FoL member Marian - The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen
33. FoL member Marian - The Widow by Fiona Barton
34. FoL member Marian - The Looking Glass War by John Le Carre
35. FoL member Marian - The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John Le Carre
36. FoL member Marian - Dead I Well May Be by Adrian McKinty
37. FoL member Marian - The Chain by Adrian McKinty
38. FoL member Marian - The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais
39. Amazon - The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
40. Kindle - The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
40. Kindle - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos
41. Kindle - Legion by Brandon Sanderson
42. Mark - We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper
43. Kindle - Medieval People by Eileen Edna Power - saw it on Mamie's thread
44. Amazon - Prodigal Son by Gregg Hurwitz
45. Kindle - The Chronicles of Barsetshire by Anthony Trollope - recommended by lauralkeet
46. Amazon - The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis
47. Kindle - Theresa Marchmont or, the Maid of Honour by Mrs. Gore

48. Amazon - Deacon King Kong by James McBride
49. friend Karen - the President's Shadow by Brad Meltzer
50. friend Louise - Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo
51. FoL member Marian - Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo
52. FoL member Marian - Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo
53. FoL member Marian - Gone Missing by Linda Castillo
54. FoL member Marian - Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo
55. FoL member Marian - The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo
56. FoL member Marian - After the Storm by Linda Castillo
57. FoL member Marian - Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo
58. FoL member Marian - Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo
59. FoL member Marian - Shamed by Linda Castillo
60. Amazon - Cumin, Camels, and Carabans by Gary Paul Nabhan
61. Amazon - Drive Your Plows Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
62. Amazon - A Darker Domain by Val McDermid
63. Kindle - My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due

64. friend Jan - Remains of Innocence by J.A. Jance
65. friend Jan - Dead Wrong by J.A. Jance
66. Kindle - The Decameron by Giovanni Boccacio
67. Circle City Books - Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron
68. Amazon - The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid
69. Amazon - The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Editat: març 1, 11:30am

books culled - there are still quite a few books on my shelves, lurking in corners and 3 deep on the shelves, that need new homes.

00. Mi's Day by Mira Vest. Cousin Mira, published in 1947. I had two copies and gave one to my sister. I actually culled this one in December but won't go back and update 2020 statistics.

1. Lost Light by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
2. The Overlook by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
3. Echo Park by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
4. Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
5. City of Bones by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
6. The Drop by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
7. The Reversal by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
8. The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
9. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn - won't read any more of the series
10. Field Gray by Philip Kerr - won't read the series - for Peggy
11. For the Time Being by Annie Dillard - for Richard
12. I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming
13. The Brass Go-Between by Ross Thomas
14. Voss by Patrick White
15. The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais
16. Straight On Till Morning by Mary S. Lovell

Editat: feb. 15, 2:30pm

Statistics Through January 31

6 books read
2 of them on my shelves before 01/01/2021 and not rereads
0 books abandoned, 0 pages abandoned
1665 pages read
0 audiobook hours
Avg pages read per day, YTD = 54
Avg pages read per book, YTD = 278

Best book of the month: The Washington's Farewell Address portion of Washington's Farewell Address and Webster's Bunker Hill Orations

Books Read By Month
January 6

Male 50%
Female 50%

Living 50%
Dead 50%

US Born 50%
Foreign Born 50%

Hardcover 50%
Trade Pback 17%
Mass Market 33%
Audiobook 0%
e-Book 0%

My Library 83%
Library 0%
Other 17%

Re-read 33%
Series 33%

Fiction 83%
NonFiction 17%

New to Me Authors 1

Author Birth Country
England 33%
US 50%
Wales 17%

Original Decade Published
1910-1919 17%
1950-1959 17%
1980-1989 17%
1990-1999 17%
2000-2009 17%
2020-2029 17%

Biography 0%
Chrestomathy 0%
Contemporary Fiction 0%
Fantasy 0%
Historical Fiction 33%
Humor 0%
Informational Nonfiction 17%
Memoir 0%
Mystery 50%
Poetry 0%
Science Fiction 0%
Suspense 0%
Thriller 0%

Editat: feb. 15, 2:30pm

January’s Lightning Round

The Christmas Beau by Mary Balogh 1/16/21 1/18/21 mass market paperback
I haven’t read Balogh for quite a while. This one was very disappointing, all the way from clumsy anachronisms to erratic behavior by both the heroine and the hero. Even the secondary romance between Amy and Spencer is rather ridiculous.

If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout 1/21/21 1/25/21 hardcover
Similar to several earlier books but interesting nonetheless. Archie and Wolfe finesse each other into the position of Archie having to go under cover at a rich man’s house on a fool’s errand. Even though not on the premises, murder rears its ugly head. Wolfe sees a glimmer in a suspect’s timetable and sends out Archie, Saul, Orrie, Fred, Dol Bonner and her employee Sally Colt on various errands. The murderer is denounced in Wolfe’s office with everybody present.

Editat: feb. 15, 2:31pm

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

Top five overall for the LT Top Five Books of 2020 list:

Mrs. Caliban
How to Be an Antiracist
In the Heart of the Sea
The Standing Chandelier
Dr. Seuss Goes to War

Editat: feb. 15, 2:32pm

feb. 15, 2:28pm


feb. 15, 2:30pm

Happy new one!

feb. 15, 2:35pm

Happy new thread, Karen!

feb. 15, 2:36pm

Thank you, Anita, and Katie!

feb. 15, 2:36pm

10. Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn
1/15/21 to 2/15/21

From Amazon:

In 1995 Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, on a rare family vacation, seven-year-old Nainoa Flores falls overboard a cruise ship into the Pacific Ocean. When a shiver of sharks appears in the water, everyone fears for the worst. But instead, Noa is gingerly delivered to his mother in the jaws of a shark, marking his story as the stuff of legends.

Nainoa’s family, struggling amidst the collapse of the sugarcane industry, hails his rescue as a sign of favor from ancient Hawaiian gods―a belief that appears validated after he exhibits puzzling new abilities. But as time passes, this supposed divine favor begins to drive the family apart: Nainoa, working now as a paramedic on the streets of Portland, struggles to fathom the full measure of his expanding abilities; further north in Washington, his older brother Dean hurtles into the world of elite college athletics, obsessed with wealth and fame; while in California, risk-obsessed younger sister Kaui navigates an unforgiving academic workload in an attempt to forge her independence from the family’s legacy.

When supernatural events revisit the Flores family in Hawai’i―with tragic consequences―they are all forced to reckon with the bonds of family, the meaning of heritage, and the cost of survival.

Why I wanted to read it: The title intrigued me and the Amazon blurb pushed me over the edge. Someone on LT must have mentioned it, but I forget who. Whoever you are, thank you!

The story of the Flores family is told by mother Malia and children Dean, Kaui, and Nainoa. Each voice is distinct, yet each voice is clearly of this family. There are sad times and desperate times. Mother Malia and father Augie work feverishly to pay for their children to get to the mainland so that they can ‘better’ themselves, yet this outside influence breaks apart the bonds of the family and each of the children are broken by it.

Hawaiian gods, plants, culture, land, and mysticism flow freely. The lyricism of the writing comes from the non-haole outlook on life that this poor haole loved getting a glimpse of.
”I never thought I’d be the type of person who would do that to someone,” I say. “Now it’s exactly what I am. Forever.”
Mom nods. “It’s always like that.”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“Whenever I’ve made a choice in my life, a real choice…” She leans back from my head. Touches my shoulder just for a second. “I can always feel the change, after I choose. The better version of myself, moving just out of reach.”
The broader truths of humanity, family, love, and introspection underlie the admittedly deep veneer of being Hawaiian.

I was moved by this book, liking some parts more than others, and seeing how my upbringing and life goals are not the end all and be all in this world. It is eye-opening and a strong reminder that there are many ways to look at the world and be raised in this world, all equally valid.

Six word review: Family whole, family broken, family whole.

feb. 15, 2:41pm

Happy new thread, Karen. I enjoyed your summary of current state of affairs.

feb. 15, 3:03pm

Happy new thread, Karen!

feb. 15, 3:20pm

Happy new thread, Karen.
>8 karenmarie: Love it!

>13 karenmarie: This sounds so good. I don't think I've seen any negative comments about it here on LT.

feb. 15, 3:59pm

>14 RebaRelishesReading: Thank you, Reba! I am always 'taking my temperature' and seeing what percolates to the top. This is today's version. *smile*

>15 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley.

>16 BLBera: Thank you, Beth. My daughter sent >8 karenmarie: to me and I absolutely love it. Glad you do, too.

Apologies to Mamie for not replying on my last thread to her message this morning. Her message snuck in while I was researching the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition book cover. No excuse, but I am sorry.

Morning, Karen! I'm finally all caught up with you, and I had fun doing it. Loved the discussions on love of reading and learning to read. I can remember doing those color coded reading tests in the third and fourth grade.

I could have sworn that I read that Kate Burkholder book and it was too detailed with the violence for me, but I must be mixing it up wit something else as it isn't in my LT catalogue. Now I am wondering what series I am confusing it with.

Happy day after Sunday to you! So many of us learned to read, and read precociously at a young age.

That first Kate Burkholder book was very violent. Torture and rape, with lots of details. I am hardened to most book violence these days, but there's a fine line between details necessary to move the action forward, as I felt in the case of Sworn to Silence, and prurient/sadistic details, which gross me out. I've got the second Kate Burkholder out, Pray for Silence and I'm interested in what kinds of murders/details will unfold. Haven't cracked it yet, though.

feb. 15, 4:01pm

Happy new thread!

>1 karenmarie: The link to the Third Race at the LT Racetrack: A Dick Francis SHARED Read needs adjustment.

>13 karenmarie: I found it had some great stuff on offer, but didn't quite work well enough as a whole to move it past pretty good.

feb. 15, 4:20pm

Thanks, Susan.

Link fixed, thank you.

Pretty good for me would be 3-3.5 stars, but I gave Sharks in the Time of Saviors 4.5 stars because when I finished it I got the shivers. My word for 4.5 is 'stunning' and based on the last 40 or so pages, I felt it was stunning.

feb. 15, 4:45pm

Hi Karen my dear, happy new thread. I hope that you and Bill had a good weekend and wishing you a good week ahead, sending love and hugs to both of you and Kitty Skritches from both of us dear friend.

feb. 15, 6:35pm

>8 karenmarie: Ha! So so true.

>13 karenmarie:/297 Permaybehaps it was me? Back during the Plague? But yay, you liked it!

feb. 15, 6:49pm

Happy new one, Karen.

feb. 15, 6:55pm

Happy new thread, Karen.

>13 karenmarie: Interesting review. Even if not perfect it sounds very worthwhile. (I'd never heard of 'A Shiver of Sharks' but it's a very fitting expression!)

feb. 15, 6:57pm

Happy New Thread, Karen! Hooray for #3! Good review of Sharks in the Time of Saviors. You got me with a BB on that one.

feb. 15, 6:58pm

Happy new thread, Karen!

feb. 15, 9:08pm

>20 johnsimpson: Thank you, John. We had a good weekend. It’s a rather busy week between us, and Bill’s birthday is on Saturday, so there’s that, too. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

>21 richardderus: I cracked up when she sent that to me. It may have been you – if I buy a book right away I tend to forget to note who got with the BB. I need to change that.

>22 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul!

>23 EllaTim: Thank you, Ella. It took me a month to read this book, so it was a gradual build up of affection for it, and I must say that the last part was what pushed it to 4.5 stars.

>24 msf59: Thanks, Mark. Oh my. Me giving the Warbler a BB. Makes me proud!

>25 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita.

feb. 16, 1:18am

Happy new thread, Karen. Just finished skimming the long end of your last thread. Heyer and McDermid, some fine writers in there. I saw Val McDermid in a crime writing festival and the Edinburgh Book Festival last year. All virtual, of course. It's amazing the things that are available these days. I also saw Kawai Strong Washburn at the Vancouver Writers Festival and his description and yours of Sharks in the Time of Saviors make it sound very interesting.

feb. 16, 2:46am

Happy New Thread, Karen!

feb. 16, 7:51am

Morning, Karen. A fresh 5 or 6 inches of snow out there. What a time for my crappy snowblower to break down. I will be out shoveling again. This should put us over 40 inches for the year so far. Sighs...

feb. 16, 8:11am

Happy new one, Karen.

Editat: feb. 16, 8:24am

>27 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg, and thank you. Looks like there quite a few interviews with Kawai Strong Washburn on youtube. I'll just watch one now that I've read the book.

>28 connie53: Thank you, Connie.

>29 msf59: 'Morning, Mark. Oh no. I'm sorry your crappy snowblower broke down. 40 inches this year so far. Whew.

I cannot believe the snow and ice and bad weather we're experiencing in the US this winter. There was a tornado last night, one county away from Jenna, and 3 people died and apparently some missing. It destroyed 50 homes. We had torrential rain for a while last night.

>30 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara!

The joys of coffee, especially that first sip. Bill works from home today but had to go to his doctor's office for a "Medicare interview". Mine was combined with my annual exam in 2018.

feb. 16, 8:38am

I just heard that about the NC tornado. Wow! I saw that it was in the southeast corner. Glad Jenna missed it.

feb. 16, 9:04am

Thanks, Mark. Bill scared me with his "tornado near Wilmington" report when I first came downstairs, but I quickly determined that it wasn't anywhere near her. She's experienced much worse in some of the hurricanes down there.

feb. 16, 9:34am

Morning, Karen! No worries about missing me on the previous thread - I was just letting you know because I like when people tell me.

I figured out what book I was confusing with the Kate Burkholder series - Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter. I love murder mysteries and thrillers, and so rape and violence and forensic details are part of that. What doesn't work for me these days is when I feel like I am living through the rape/torture scene with the character experiencing it.

Glad that the tornado missed Jenna. We were under a warning/watch, too, but all we got was lots of rain.

feb. 16, 11:19am

>8 karenmarie: I love that graphic and have used it often to express my "not sleeping" both here on LT and in reply to my family's queries about how we're doing. It certainly epitomizes the past year's effects, no?

>13 karenmarie: An incisive review. I think the graphic at >8 karenmarie: is my current reaction, but a title to think on for the future.

feb. 16, 11:30am

Hey Horrible. Hope you'll stay out of climatological trouble in this wild winter of our surprising content.

feb. 16, 11:50am

Happy new thread!

feb. 16, 12:39pm

Good afternoon, Karen! You are whizzing through threads, m'dear! I look forward to this one.
I just stopped by to tell you that my newest fantasy queen, T. Kingfisher, is actually Ursula Vernon, who was born in '77 in Pittsboro, for goodness sake! Heather and Tui sicced me on Clockwork Boys, and I'm sold, nearly finished, and chafing to get on with The Wonder Engine. Wooo! Hoooo!

feb. 16, 1:54pm

I'm in! I'm trying to slot my runs to Lynchburg the day after a snowstorm and before the next snow storm. I really, really hope that March 3rd and 4th are warm and sunny.

>31 karenmarie: Wow! That must have been terrifying. I'm glad Jenna's okay. I don't have much experience with tornadoes other than driving into one once. I take in the morning off for my annual physical and wanted to get to work quickly and started driving through the suburbs knowing that there were tornado warnings for my immediate area. After about a quarter of a mile I realized how stupid this all was so I pulled over to wait it out events. Before I started driving again WTOP reported the tornado touched down about a mile away and right where I'd have been driving. Bought a lottery ticket that day I assure you.

feb. 16, 3:13pm

>1 karenmarie: Looks like your cats are guarding the books!

feb. 16, 9:38pm

>34 Crazymamie: Hi Mamie! I appreciated knowing that I’d missed your message. Thanks for the info – I have 3 by Slaughter on my shelves, as yet unread. None are the first in a series, so I may jettison them.

I didn’t realize that tornadoes were even in the forecast, which kept me from worrying. Ignorance can be bliss.

>35 SandyAMcPherson: It’s a wonderful meme and works at many levels, Shelley. As an extremely analytical person, my first thought was “Wow, that’s cool and correct.” Only after that did I realize that it was the kind of thing to keep one awake at night.

I personally think that Sharks in the Time of Saviors is the perfect book to check out from the Library, but I bought it and hope that Jenna will appreciate it one of these days.

>36 richardderus: Today turned into a gorgeous day, RD. Blue skies with puffy white clouds, a nice bit of wind, and the temperature soared to 60F. I even opened the door so the kitties could get some fresh air. Zoe will go outside, but so far Wash is a bit more timid and will only go out onto a step of just a few feet out onto a porch.

>37 drneutron: Thank you, Jim!

>38 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. Yes, this is the new thread speed in the era of Covid. Alas, I think it will be this way for quite a while longer.

I’ve just checked out Ursula Vernon/T. Kingfisher. I seriously want her book A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, among others, and any one of a number of her paintings. Yay for the Pitt.

>39 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hiya, dear one. Hang in there, stay safe, keep Tinykin Skywalker happy and unstressed. I bet you’ll be very happy on March 5, even if there are boxes and things everywhere. Your new home looks Amazing.

I’m glad you finally pulled over. Your guardian angels were taking good care of you.

We’ve been under tornado watch any one of a dozen or more times here, but only one tornado warning. I was home alone except for Kitty William and Inara. We decamped to a bathroom with no outside walls, with pillows, blankets, etc. and hung out for about 45 minutes. It missed us, thank goodness.

>40 thornton37814: Hi Lori! The kitties hang out on my books, walk over my books, and love bags of books. They are bibliocats.

feb. 17, 3:06am

Trying to jump back into the flow, but I can't deal with threads of 250 posts. I'll join in when someone launches a new thread. Like this. I'll say hello, and I'll say, thanks for the supportive vibes.


Hello, Karen. Thanks for the supportive vibes. I'm feeling them.

feb. 17, 3:13am

Happy Wednesday, Karen. Your freak weather will keep you on your toes. Good to know Jenna is fine.

feb. 17, 8:18am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. I feel surprisingly good after that marathon of shoveling yesterday. Nothing in the forecast today. Just cold. I have some quick errands to run, but no birding plans. I am sure most of the trails are snowed in. I will watch the birding reports through the day. Our weather improves next week. I am itchin' to get out.

feb. 17, 9:01am

>42 weird_O: Hi Bill! I'm glad you've decided to jump in here. Glad you're feeling the vibes.

>43 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara. We're now looking at .1 - .25 inches of ice starting 2 a.m. tomorrow morning, possibly going through the day tomorrow. I was going to go to the store tomorrow, but looks like today's the day instead.

>44 msf59: Hiya, Mark, and happy Wednesday to you. Glad you feel good after the shoveling marathon.

I was going to be in an outside meeting with the FoL Treasurer and a potential Treasurer candidate for next year but the idea of sitting outside in 33F weather didn't appeal; and although I didn't mention it to our Treasurer when I spoke with him this morning, I didn't want him, at age 90, to be sitting out in it.

So after a quick run to the grocery store, I can revel in having just finished A Promised Land and consider what kind of review I can write about it.

feb. 17, 9:26am

Horrible! You complete wuss! It's 33° not -33°, so bundle up and sit in that healthful, life-giving breeze. The very *idea* of not wanting to be a wee bit chilly if it means getting a good treasurer.


feb. 17, 9:56am

Happy New Thread, Karen!

And congrats on finishing A Promised Land. That's in my future.

>8 karenmarie: LOL! I love her humor.

How hard not to have seen Jenna for more than a year. It would bother me, and my bride would be distraught. We've got one kid in town and one close enough to have seen a couple of times, in Chicago and in Pittsburgh. And we Facetime with both a lot, but that's not the same.

Great photos of Zoe, Wash and Inara up there.

feb. 17, 11:55am

>46 richardderus: Yup, color me wuss. I'm very happy to not sit shivering outside the Library for what either have been a long and cold session or an abbreviated and cold session. We'll meet the week of March 1st. *smooch*

>47 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! Thanks re the photos of the fur kids. Yes, not seeing Jenna is not fun at all. It is what it is, however. We're very philosophical about it. We're also very stubborn and strong-willed and are all doing what we feel is right for our family.

I hope you'll love A Promised Land as much as I did. I'm posting my review as soon as I finish this message.

feb. 17, 11:58am

12. A Promised Land by Barack H. Obama
1/15/21 to 2/15/21

From Amazon:

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

Why I wanted to read it: I was intrigued with the One LibraryThing, One Book group/shared read started by our beloved founder, Tim. The group/shared read petered out and I couldn’t keep up with the aggressive schedule, but I knew I’d finish it. It’s taken 3 months.

Here’s what I wrote after reading the Preface and Part 1.
First Impressions - I found Part 1 to be a very good summary of the first 46 years, mostly his philosophical growth and political aspirations. I was not surprised to read about Michelle’s unhappiness at his time spent in politics from the earliest days of their marriage and her initial No to his running for President; however, it is only because of what he’s said since he left office. He makes a compelling argument for the outside support/pressures to run and his internal drive and acknowledgement that he ran at the right time for himself and the country.

It’s always a pleasure to read a book that’s interesting from the start, holds my attention, and is intelligent and forward moving. He needed to put to rest his biracial, abandoned-as-a-child-by-his-father, and insecure emotional sense of self. Michelle and the girls were and are a huge and positive part of who/what he is, but all of her wanting him to not be in politics didn’t override his listening to the people who told him he should be in politics along with his personal desire to be in politics. I wonder how early he truly thought about running for President?

Favorite passages - way too many. However, I see the following passage as one which highlights the family dynamic, one of the first times he was recognized and mobbed, page 60.
”I think you need an alias,” Malia declared from the backseat.
“What’s an alias?” Sasha asked.
“It’s a fake name you use when you don’t want people to know who you are,” Malia explained. “Like “Johnny McJohn John.”
Sasha giggled. “Year, Daddy… you should be Johnny McJohn John.”
“And you need to disguise your voice,” Malia added. “People recognize it. You have to talk with a higher voice. And faster.”
“Daddy talks so slow,” Sasha said.
“Come on, Daddy,” Malia said. “Try it.” She shifted into the highest-pitched, fastest voice she could muster saying, “Hi, I’m Johnny McJohn John!”
Unable to contain himself, Mike burst out laughing. Later, when we got home, Malia proudly explained her scheme to Michelle, who patted her on the head.
“That’s a great idea, honey,” she said, “but the only way for Daddy to disguise himself is if he has an operation to pin back his ears.”
Events I remember - It’s a sad thing to have to admit, but I remember Obama in light of a happy background to my busy-ness working/wifing/mothering. I don’t watch the Conventions so didn’t see his 2004 speech and watched the inaugurations on YouTube after the fact. Things were going ‘my way’ politically, the world was safe for democracy, and I rarely followed politics in detail.

There are so many eloquent passages, interesting thoughts, and insights into how a real government works. To sum it up, here are the types of things I learned from this book.

1. A marvelous history lesson. Incidents/policies/actions of past administrations and pretty much all of Obama’s political career, up to and including Operation Neptune Spear, the operation to kill Osama Bin Laden.
2. Perspective on past and current political players.
3. Obama’s interpretation of political trends and how the government works.
4. The first mention of the disastrous 45th President of the United States on page 672 of 701, with mere hints at his toxicity and the personality traits that have landed us in so much hot water.
5. Insights into the sacrifices his family has made – time away from them, the relentless intrusion into their personal lives to protect them.
6. Insights into the wonderful experiences the family had by Obama being President.
7. Moments of patting himself on the back, moments of self criticism. I realize that he cannot be honest about everything done in and by his administration, but I truly got the sense that he told us as much as he could, positive and negative.

Obama is an introspective and intelligent man. This volume reflects the person I think I know from his time on the public stage.

Six word review: Eloquently written Apologia, warts and all.

feb. 17, 12:23pm

Thank you for that great review, Karen. I'd thumb it if it were thumbable, and now you again have me wanting to read it.

Cheers for the wuss sense! Stay warm when you get back from your errands!

feb. 17, 1:49pm

Hi Peggy! Thanks. I've just put most of the review where it's thumbable.

I'm home, safe, warm, groceries up, and homemade hot and sour soup made. There are a few teensy things I'd do differently, but having never made it before I followed the seasonings and proportions pretty much as written. I did add some slivered pork and wood ear mushrooms, and omitted the red peppers. Yum.

feb. 17, 3:40pm

What Peggy said, Karen. Great review of A Promised Land, and you've got me looking forward to reading it after Michelle's.

feb. 17, 5:37pm

>49 karenmarie: - Glad you enjoyed A Promised Land, Karen. I did, too, very much

feb. 17, 6:02pm

>52 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I have Becoming on my shelves, and have had it since 11/26/2018. I do not know why I haven't read it yet.

>53 jessibud2: Hi Shelley. I would have liked to finish it in less than 3 months, but oh well. I'll move it upstairs to my Retreat, where almost all the books have been read at least once.

feb. 18, 7:42am

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. Great review of A Promised Land. I plan on getting to that one, via audiobook, sometime this year. I hope you can find time to start Becoming. It is wonderful.

feb. 18, 8:55am

'Morning, Mark! Thank you. I listened to Obama read Dreams of My Father and he is a beautiful reader. It should be a joy to listen to!

So far no ice, thank goodness, just rain. it's 34F so perhaps we'll escape the ice.

feb. 18, 2:54pm

I'm hoping tomorrow will be better & I can come do visits.

feb. 19, 7:53am

*smooch* RD. I hope today is better too.

Editat: feb. 19, 8:02am

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday! I went birding with my birding buddies yesterday, visiting mostly places with active feeders. The highlight was a Carolina Wren. I couldn't get a usable photo but I am sure my friend did. We also got a titmouse and a white-throated sparrow, at our second location. Only in the teens here today, so I may hang tight at home.

feb. 19, 8:39am

Hi Mark! Happy Friday to you, too. I saw the pic you posted from yesterday. So much snow! 16 species of birds is nice.

I've got the usual suspects at my feeders and am really enjoying Downy and Red-Bellied Woodpeckers eating from the suet feeder. I'm happily surprised at how many other birds are enjoying the suet too - Finches, Carolina Wrens, Carolina Chickadees.

feb. 20, 8:49am

Happy new thread! Hope you have a great weekend!

feb. 20, 8:54am

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday! I am not getting out birding today. We have plans for early afternoon, with family. A nice warm up begins here tomorrow and through next week. It could hit 40F on Tuesday. I am hoping it reduces this snowpack. I want to get out every day. Birdies callin'...

feb. 20, 9:17am

>61 ChelleBearss: Thank you, Chelle!

>62 msf59: Hiya Mark, and thank you. Have fun with your family. I hope the anticipated warm up occurs - I know you're itching to be out more than you have been.

Today's my husband's 65th birthday. Cards and presents, special requested dinner of steak and baked potatoes (I might try to slip in a bit of salad...), and homemade cheesecake for dessert. He's talking with our daughter on the phone right now. The cream cheese is getting to room temp, as is the egg needed for cheesecake.

feb. 20, 11:44am

>63 karenmarie: Sounds like a party to me! Steak, potato, salad (yes), cheesecake (yes, yes). Have fun!

feb. 20, 12:20pm

Sending birthday good wishes to your husband! What a lovely dinner to look forward to!!

>13 karenmarie: I have Sharks in the Time on my Kindle. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'm looking forward to it.

feb. 20, 1:39pm

Happy birthday to your husband!! The dinner sounds wonderful.

feb. 20, 1:44pm

>64 ffortsa: Hi Judy! It is. Cheesecake just came out of the oven. Once it cools to room temperature I'll put it in the refrigerator until dessert time, around 7:30 or so. Thanks.

>65 Copperskye: Thank you Joanne. The last time we had 'real' beef, as opposed to hamburger cooked a variety of ways, was Christmas Day. Ribeye steaks, medium for Bill, medium rare for me. Yum. I do hope you enjoy Sharks in the Time of Saviors.

I'm reading We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper, kindly given to me by our own warbler Mark. Thank you, Mark!!

I am absolutely thrilled with it, and from the first page until now, about 1/3 of the way in, am fascinated with her writing style and the mystery.

One thing I frequently do as I'm reading a book is go online to check out people, places, and/or things as they get mentioned. I'm afraid to do that with this book as I think she solved the mystery and I do not want to know from an unintentional spoiler before I find out in the book!

feb. 20, 3:34pm

>49 karenmarie: Awesome man, awesome review. Already on my TBR list. : )

>63 karenmarie: My Hubby's bday is today and mine is tomorrow. I haven't even thought about what I am going to make. We are having the kids over tomorrow in the spacially-distanced garage (with the doors open for ventilation) just for a bite of cake. Less time with our masks off than dinner. Hope you get to see Jenna sometime soon. It's so hard to be apart.

feb. 20, 3:51pm

Happy natal days wishes!

Editat: feb. 20, 5:06pm

>68 Berly: Hi Kim! Thanks re my review. Happy Birthday to your husband, happy early birthday to you! Birthdays in our family are what the birthday person wants. Every year the meal may be different, but dessert is cast in concrete - cheesecake for Bill, German chocolate cake for me, and pumpkin pie for Jenna. Enjoy your ventilated cake extravaganza. It's very hard to be apart. Sigh.

>69 quondame: Hi Susan! Thanks on Bill's half.

feb. 20, 5:32pm

Hi Karen my dear, glad that Jenna is ok after the tornado and a very happy birthday to Bill from both of us. Your choice of desserts for Bill's birthday sound mighty fine to me.

We are both fine, as i type Karen has just got home from work and is now off until the 1st of March, hopefully the weather will match the forecast and although we can't go off on one of our date days we hope to get out locally to enjoy a good walk.

Sending love and hugs to you all and kitty skritches for your fur babies from both of us dear friend.

feb. 20, 8:09pm

Happy Birthday to Bill, Karen!
Traditions can be so good, can't they?

feb. 20, 8:17pm

Hi Karen, great review of the Obama. Very comprehensive. I listened to him read it and I really enjoyed it.it brought back memories of competence. Just like we're seeing now with Biden. I didn't enjoy Michelle's book as much although I did like it a lot. But Hearing Obama seemed like a balm to the soul.

By the way, 33 degrees is pretty balmy here lol.

feb. 20, 9:30pm

>71 johnsimpson: Hi John! The tornado wasn’t close enough for us to have to worry, thank goodness. The cheesecake was good, even if I do say so myself.

It’s so nice that Karen has all that time off. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen, skritches for Felix.

>72 EllaTim: Thank you, Ella. Oh yes, they are comforting at all times, but especially now.

>73 brenzi: Thank you, Bonnie. I love his voice, although I read this book. Once I retired it seriously cut into my audio book time since I only listen to audio books in the car. Ah yes, memories of competence. And yes, Biden is bringing competence back to federal government. Looks like the next time you’ll hit 33F will be in combination with snow, according to the NWS. We’ll be down to 23F tonight but tomorrow it will be more than balmy at 49F.

I think Bill’s enjoyed his birthday. I’m whupped from making it a good day for him… all in a good cause, right?

And now off to visit a couple of threads, then read and sleep.

feb. 21, 9:17am

Happy Sunday, Karen!

>49 karenmarie: Excellent review! I've had that one on my WL for a while now.

feb. 21, 11:01am

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday! I have a lazy day planned and this will include a lot of reading time. Enjoy your day.

Editat: feb. 21, 11:09am

>75 figsfromthistle: And the same to you, Anita. Thank you re the A Promised Land review.

>76 msf59: 'Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you, too. Yay for the reading and lazy. It will be mostly the same around here, although I'll be watching DVRd stuff with Bill.

BTW, I'm totally loving We Keep the Dead Close. Thank you so much for sending it to me last month.

feb. 21, 11:20am

>68 Berly: "Less time with our masks off than dinner"
Very wise. I hope you both enjoy the birthday feeling.

feb. 21, 11:23am

Belated Happy Birthday to Bill! He's a happy man, and you are a good wife!

I wish you a restful, reinvigorating Sunday with lots of good reading if that's what you have planned. I think I may give up and go over to my own house to my own bed for a nap this afternoon. Wow!

feb. 21, 11:24am

What a great review of A Promised Land! If you post it, I will thumb it.

I'm waiting my turn for the audio through the library.

I loved Becoming. You won't regret moving it up your tbr list.

And happy birthday to Bill ( a bit late).

I'm heading for a lazy Sunday, too. Feed the horses, then curl up with a book.

feb. 21, 11:46am

Here I am.

feb. 21, 3:49pm

>78 SandyAMcPherson: Hi Sandy!

>79 LizzieD: Thanks, Peggy. It’s been a nice day so far, not too taxing, reading, TV with Bill, now back to reading for a while. Phone call with Jenna, leftover meatloaf for dinner, leftover cheesecake for dessert.

Yay for a nap in your own bed at your house – your mama must be doing lots better, so good to hear.

>80 streamsong: Thank you, Janet. I posted my review the other day – it’s currently 4th one down on the work page. I’ve listened to Obama reading Dreams From My Father and his voice is as good as any professional audio book reader’s IMO.

Yay for lazy Sunday after taking care of the horses, of course. Enjoy your book.

>81 richardderus: LOL. Honestly, RD, that’s wonderfully lewd.

feb. 22, 8:05am

Morning, Karen. Let the warm up begin. Good temps all week. I am so glad to hear you are enjoying We Keep the Dead Close. A solid true crime book. I have errands to run but not sure if this will include birding.

Editat: feb. 22, 10:02am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Monday to you. Yay for the warmup. Hope your errands go quickly so you can get to reading and possibly birding.

First sips of coffee, reading, puttering, some housework.

edited to add: Wash has come into his own recently - stronger, more agile, jumping up on things that he couldn't get up on previously. Two nights ago he jumped up onto the bathroom sink. Last night he jumped up again and while I was flossing my teeth he decided to hang out in the sink. Fortunately he left on his own so I wasn't the bad guy.

feb. 22, 10:41am

>84 karenmarie: - How old is Wash, Karen? I can't imagine Theo not being able to jump up onto anything. I got him at 9 months old and he was a year old last month. I hope he is done *learning* new things because I may not live through more *learning*...

feb. 22, 11:19am

Good week's reads ahead, Horrible dear.

(I don't know if you noticed but the hair in your sink-trap is out of control...)

Editat: feb. 22, 3:49pm

>85 jessibud2: Hi Shelley. Wash is 1 year and 5 months old. He weighs 11.4 lbs. His paws are huge so I imagine he'll get bigger. You've definitely had your hands full with Theo and Owen.

>86 richardderus: Thanks, RD. I'm devouring We Keep the Dead Close. I can't imagine reading anything else 'til I know who-dunnit.

Ha. Yes. Out of control hair. *smile*

Much rain. I wasn't expecting it, but don't have to go out today so no problem.

Bill called the vaccine scheduling line through UNC Healthcare and was told he is 200th in the queue. He's been on hold for 40 minutes so far. I was 150th in queue and spent 1.5 hours on hold in early February. Bill got through and is scheduled for his first vaccine shot on Thursday morning. It took about 2 hours to get through.

Editat: feb. 23, 7:59am

Morning, Karen. Things were too icy out there yesterday, but today looks better. I am meeting my birder buddies shortly. Hoping that the trails are clear and accessible enough. There was a rabbit under my feeders, when I came down to turn on the coffee maker. They seem to be more nocturnal during the winter.

ETA- 44F today?? Yahoo!!

Editat: feb. 23, 10:45am

'Morning, Mark! Happy birding with your buddies. 44F. Yay. It's 36F here, going to a high of 64F.

We see rabbits out and about, but they seem to be finding enough food in the woods to not come close to the house. Today I have to fill the bird feeders.

Just had my first sip of coffee. Read an article about T****'s tax returns about 6 a.m., was happy, and decided to go back to sleep and slept until 8:30.

feb. 23, 10:17am

>84 karenmarie: What a cute kitty photo. The sink must have felt warm, eh?

feb. 23, 10:48am

Horrible darling! You haven't hooted and hollered about this, so I'm supposing you didn't know about it either:
From their press release:
Look what’s happening this Thursday 25 February (UK time)! It’s the launch of Georgette Heyer, History, and Historical Fiction, and features an astonishing lineup of live and pre-recorded events, including Lois McMaster Bujold and Stephen Fry (!!!).
I heard about it on Lois McMaster Bujold's blog and skedaddled right over to tell you. I mean! Stephen Fry *TOO*!!

Editat: feb. 23, 10:50am

>90 SandyAMcPherson: Hi Sandy. Thanks. The upstairs is kept at 64F, 17.8C, so I don't think it felt warm. I don't pretend to understand his tiny kitty mind. He isn't a lap kitty. He's mostly standoffish, but occasionally seems to need a cuddle. And he mostly likes being in the same room as one of us.

>91 richardderus: Thank you, RD, for thinking of me! Right up my alley.

feb. 23, 11:11am

>92 karenmarie: and >91 richardderus:, Right up my alley, too.
Huge gratitude because I follow hardly any writerly blogs.

feb. 23, 11:15am

Georgette Heyer is absolutely one of my favorite authors and has been for over 55 years. I revel in the Heyer love here on LT.

feb. 23, 11:21am

14. We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper
2/19/21 to 2/23/21

From Amazon:

You have to remember, he reminded me, that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn't let you forget.

1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious twenty-three-year-old graduate student in Harvard's Anthropology Department and daughter of Radcliffe Vice President J. Boyd Britton, would be found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment.

Forty years later, Becky Cooper a curious undergrad, will hear the first whispers of the story. In the first telling the body was nameless. The story was this: a Harvard student had had an affair with her professor, and the professor had murdered her in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology because she'd threatened to talk about the affair. Though the rumor proves false, the story that unfolds, one that Cooper will follow for ten years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, a 'cowboy culture' among empowered male elites, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims.

We Keep the Dead Close is a memoir of mirrors, misogyny, and murder. It is at once a rumination on the violence and oppression that rules our revered institutions, a ghost story reflecting one young woman's past onto another's present, and a love story for a girl who was lost to history.

Why I wanted to read it: Mark warbled about it, I expressed interest in it, and he sent me the ARC. Last week seemed like the time to start it for some reason.

A beautifully written, detailed, intricate, personal odyssey by Becky Cooper to finally discover the identity of the murderer of Jane Britton at Harvard in January of 1969.

Murder cases are never closed until the killer is presumed to be found, even if decades go by. The interesting thing about this case is the power and authority of Harvard and the potential for a cover up by Harvard and the local police. It was presumed that she knew her killer from several ‘clues’ at the murder scene, not the least of which was red ochre seemingly deliberately put on her body. Red ochre was used in funerary rites all over the world thousands of years ago and is studied by archaeologists.

Jane Britton’s life is exhaustively covered. I think I would have admired her but not necessarily have liked her.

What amazed me was Becky Cooper’s being able to speak with so many of the people who were a part of Jane’s life at the time she died so many decades later. Professors, old boyfriends, her brother, friends, all had vivid memories of Jane and strong opinions of who killed her.

And now for the tricky part. The writing completely entranced me, spoke to me personally, brought Jane alive. I wanted to know who killed her in the worst way. And I was extremely disappointed to learn who killed her. DNA advances and a lucky hit in CODIS proved that her killer was actually someone completely unknown to her, a serial rapist. Every time he was let out of prison for whatever reason, he raped and/or killed another woman. A miserable and evil man. The way Becky Cooper frames it, almost unworthy of being Jane’s murderer. It needed to be someone associated with Harvard, one of the three most likely candidates whose lives were tainted to a degree by the murder never being solved.

Six word review: Vivid recreation of a lost life.

feb. 23, 4:28pm

feb. 23, 7:12pm

>95 karenmarie: I'm usually not attracted to true crime, but you make this one sound fascinating, Karen. Great comments.

feb. 23, 7:30pm

>95 karenmarie: How interesting Karen! Good review. Reading it I was thinking of all the modern techniques, because every once in a while you read in the papers that an old murder gets solved that way. Also interesting, because it's so human that we want there to be a good story;-)

feb. 23, 8:07pm

>95 karenmarie: Sounds coolio, I just put a copy on hold at the lie-berry. I've been reading The Wicked Boy, and even though it won an Edgar the narrative has that flat quality that plagues so much true crime writing.

Have you ever listen to the Slightly Foxed podcast? It's a small publishing house in London and I think you might like them. I'm a subscriber and their letters to me about my subscription, and change of address, and all routine matters are so charming, and the writing is so clear, that I'll study them to see what makes them work.

Happy belated birfdee to Bill!

>91 richardderus: Ermahgerd! Stephen Fry! Do you think that he and Hugh Laurie ever... you know. I mean, outside of my head? I've had the hots for Hugh Laurie ever since I saw him on Blackadder when I was just a kid staying up late and sneaking an hour watching TV.

feb. 23, 8:29pm

>95 karenmarie: Re: spoiler, y.e.s.

>96 quondame:, >99 SomeGuyInVirginia: I know, right?!

Yeah, I have to think not, Larry, Fry's one of those not-really-down-with-his-own-body guys. I'd bet substantial fractions of the planet's wealth that House'd do it...*he* seems like a "hell yeah and twice on Sunday" guys!

feb. 24, 8:00am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. Excellent review of We Keep the Dead Close. I am so glad you liked it. I plan on getting out this A.M. but have not decided on what location.

feb. 24, 8:48am

>96 quondame: I need to remember to actually check it out tomorrow.

>97 BLBera: Thanks, Beth.

>98 EllaTim: Hi Ella! Thank you. I agree about wanting good stories. The techniques keep getting better and better and smaller and smaller bits of some types of evidence are needed, too.

Bill and I have been watching a series called Forensic Files. It ran 1996-2011. It’s fun to watch a “new” technology put someone bad away.

>99 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hiya Larry, hope you enjoy it. It’s definitely not flat.

I have not heard of Slightly Foxed but have just signed up for the free newsletter. And I might start listening to their podcasts. Thanks for the recommendation! And thanks for Bill’s birthday wish.

>100 richardderus: ‘Morning, RD! Glad you agree with my spoiler.

I’m not really familiar with Stephen Fry. I do know he narrated the UK versions of the Harry Potter novels, but after listening to examples of Jim Dale compared with his, I prefer Jim Dale's. Probably only because they're the ones I've listened to at least 4 times, but there you go. I’ve looked Fry up on IMDB and the Trivia bits are wonderful.

>101 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark, and a very happy Wednesday to you, too. Thank you re the review and thank you, once more, for sending it to me! Have fun choosing and going out on a birding adventure.

Today’s the big day – my second vaccine dose. I have to be at a clinic 45 minutes away by 3:30 for a 3:45 appointment.

Other than that I’m going to do a bit of FoL business, read a bit, and perhaps even do a bit of cleaning.

feb. 24, 8:55am

Yay for your second dose! May you be blessed with few side effects...

Editat: feb. 24, 9:08am

>95 karenmarie: Very interesting review. I went and looked at the Wikipedia page, too.
Of course I clicked the spoiler!

feb. 24, 9:07am

>99 SomeGuyInVirginia: I love Slightly Foxed too.
I usually just read their monthly "From the Editors" newsletter. I agree that they write about routine matters in a way that is rare ~ so charming and I think gentling to my anxious soul.

What do you receive for a subscription? Do you buy the books they publish?

feb. 24, 9:19am

>103 katiekrug: Thank you, Katie. I must admit that I'm just a tad leery...

>104 SandyAMcPherson: Thanks, Sandy. The spoiler function is wonderful. Click if you want, don't click if you don't want. I just looked up the Wikipedia article.

>105 SandyAMcPherson: 'gentling to my anxious soul' - probably good in normal times and especially needed now.

feb. 24, 9:37am

>91 richardderus: Oh, thank you for posting that, Richard. I'll try to attend.

Happy Wednesday, Karen. Good review of Keep the Dead Close. I'd never heard that story before.

feb. 24, 1:15pm

I'm delighted to know your second vaccine is coming today. Like >103 katiekrug:, I hope it's boring. I'm sending "I-paid-for-her" side-effectlessness vibes.

Say, I saw a 99¢ sale on Clouds of Witness by some Sayre woman...was it Sayer? anyway...writing a mystery series set in Denver or something. Didn't you mention that series here a while back?


Stephen Fry was, IMO, at his peak when he did the oh-so-English quiz show QI. It's a bit like cricket (only fun!) in that one needs to approach it without the need to control it by grasping its rules, or it is a dismal affair. Oh, and I'm delighted so many are getting good mileage out of the Heyer thing!

feb. 24, 4:40pm

>70 karenmarie: Definitely a fun bday celebration. I love that you have set birthday cakes / person. We tend to change things ups a bit and wound up with a tiramisu and chocolate cherry cakes. They were delicious!

>78 SandyAMcPherson: Thanks! We had fun. : )

>91 richardderus: Heyer!! Love her. Hope I can remember to tune in. Thanks for the link. Smooch.

>102 karenmarie: Hurray for the second dose!! I think I am still months away....

feb. 24, 5:04pm

>107 jnwelch: Happy Wednesday to you, too, Joe! Thank you re my review.

>108 richardderus: I'm back, all dosed up. The shot wasn't painful at all, I waited 10 minutes, then came home. So far so good, but we'll see if I have any side effects. I don't have anything I have to do the next several days. Thank you for taking the hit on side effects so I don't have them.

I've vaguely heard of that woman writer, heard she's good if you like British Golden Age stuff. :)


I'll check out Stephen Fry on YouTube tonight. Two things from the Trivia that I really liked:

Fry fervently supports the return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece.

On an episode of QI, a panelist, with reference to the topic at hand, he questioned Jo Brand about her previous work as a psychiatric nurse, asking "If someone had said to you they were God, what would you have done?" Jo Brand laughed and said "I probably would have punched him to the floor!" At which point Fry quipped "What a loss to the profession you were!".

feb. 24, 9:35pm

>84 karenmarie: Oh my! Absolutely adorable. It's amazing where cat's find comfortable places, isn't it?

Glad you received your second dose. I had mine on Monday and no side effects. Glad you are side effect free as well.

feb. 25, 6:33am

>84 karenmarie: How adorable! He looks a little like our Bob

feb. 25, 7:29am

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. How did the second vaccine go? I hope there are no side-effects with this one. We are going on a birding road-trip today and heading to MI for a few hours to see if we can drum up any action on that side of the lake. It is about 2 hours, so not terribly far. It looks like our targets will be waterfowl rarities.

feb. 25, 8:06am

>111 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita. He's like a child getting into any and everything he can.

So far so good - no side effects from the second dose. I hope it stays that way! I'm glad you aren't experiencing side effects either.

>112 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. It's amazing to me how many ginger kitties there are in our group - your Bob, Ellen's Carson, Shelley's Theo and others I can't think of offhand.

>113 msf59: 'Morning, Mark, and sweet Thursday to you, too. Both times the check-in line had nobody waiting, but this second vaccine was even easier than the first in that when I got to the actual line waiting for a nurse/room there was nobody in the line waiting as opposed to my waiting behind 6 people 3 weeks ago. I even got a parking spot closer to the building!

And so far so good this morning. Coffee is coursing through my veins along with the mRNA of the vaccine.

Have fun on your birding road trip today.

As I mentioned, Bill's off to get his first dose of vaccine in about an hour. It's not where I went, but it still about 45 minutes away in Chapel Hill instead of Holly Springs.

feb. 25, 8:36am

I. LOVE. Stephen Fry. He is the absolute best. QI is great, and he's a marvel as Jeeves in the BBC Jeeves and Wooster series. His novels are completely brilliant, as are his nonfiction works. Here are a couple of my favorite nuggets from him:

His take on the pedantry of correcting other people's (mis)use of language:

His take on the nature of God:

Editat: feb. 25, 9:18am

Hi Amber! Welcome. I need to start reading and watching Stephen Fry.

Those YouTube videos are marvelous, thank you. I just forwarded them to my 27-year old daughter, who is interested in language and is an atheist.

feb. 25, 9:09am

Ha! I didn't realize that I hadn't posted here before - I've been lurking the whole time. Sorry!

I'm glad you like the clips. I adore him (clearly) and agree 100% with both of those views. (I like your daughter already!)

feb. 25, 10:13am

Thursday orisons, Horrible! Happy there are no side effects from the jab. *smooch*

Editat: feb. 25, 2:28pm

>117 scaifea: I just posted on your 7th thread, Amber. A long-time overdue visit, for sure.

I'm not Christian, but I am a liberal theist, so it's always a shock when my daughter says she doesn't believe in "God".

>118 richardderus: Hiya, RD! No side effects so far.

In my role as President of the FoL I did a phone interview today, and I was so f***ing stressed after I could hardly stand it. I didn't share budget info and I didn't tell him how much money we have/don't have and actually, now that I'm remembering some of my answers, don't think I did too bad. But when I hung up... whew.

feb. 25, 2:35pm

>119 karenmarie: For a long time I considered myself a liberal theist, too, and then somewhere along the way I just slipped into being a plain liberal, unaffiliated. I also identify as a secular Buddhist and love the Dalai Lama's answer to questions about his religion, "Kindness is my religion." I can't say that I always manage to carry that out, but I generally try my best.

feb. 25, 3:13pm

>81 richardderus: I always feign shock when I see our cat cleaning herself this way, usually it if followed by me averting my eyes, encouraging the kids to do the same, and suggesting the maybe she would like some privacy :)

>102 karenmarie: Go the second dose! I am sure it will go swimmingly. It is so good to hear how effective it seems to be.

feb. 25, 5:12pm

>49 karenmarie: What a wonderful review of Obama's book. I am on a long list at the local library.

feb. 25, 8:57pm

>120 scaifea: Interesting - I just dipped a toe into the definition of secular Buddhism but am all of a sudden feeling a bit feverish and achy. Not the time to give this the thought it deserves.

>121 LovingLit: I always try to remember to not let the cat lick me after this particular grooming task... and now I know why my dad was so adamant about telling us "Don't kiss the cat."

The dose is, hopefully, creating more antibodies to the spike protein of Covid-19. It's very effective and I'm glad I've gotten my second dose.

>122 Whisper1: Thank you, Linda. I hope you ... enjoy... isn't the right word. Appreciate, learn from, gain understanding, rather.

Off to read a bit then hit the sheets. I'll probably take some ibuprophen, too. My temperature, taken 3 times just now, was 100.9F, 100.3F, and 100.7F. My hands were cold all afternoon, and now I have a fever. However, I have nothing on tap for tomorrow in case I wake up not feeling the thing.

feb. 25, 9:23pm

>123 karenmarie: Sorry to hear you’re feeling it now, Karen. Good that you have an empty calendar tomorrow. Rest, and know that as quickly as it came on, it will go away.

feb. 25, 10:52pm

>121 LovingLit: This is why werewolves (canines have grooming habits similar to those of cats) will never have the glamour of vampires.

feb. 26, 12:22am

Hello Karen! I hope you are feeling better.

>3 karenmarie: I see that you have Prodigal Son at the bottom of your hole. I also noted your comment on Amber's page about whom you would have come to your rescue. Evan is the man. That said, does this mean that you are caught up on the series, except for the new one? I am just wrapping up the latest and would love to hear what you think on the series. I could also go diving into your past threads. Lol.

feb. 26, 4:37am

Hi Karen. so sorry you feel ill and achy. I hope it will pass soon.

feb. 26, 7:39am

I'm sorry you're feeling the side effects of the vaccine - here's hoping they pass quickly!

Editat: feb. 26, 8:04am

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday! I hope you are feeling better. Details on our successful bird outing yesterday, are on my thread. I am going back out with my birding buddies this A.M. but for a local trip. I need to get back home and make up for a lack of reading yesterday.

feb. 26, 8:14am

Hi Karen, hope you're feeling a bit better this morning. It's worth it but that doesn't make it easier.

feb. 26, 9:00am

>124 Copperskye: Thank you, Joanne! Woke up this morning, no temperature, no aches, and my hands don’t feel like I’ve stuck them in a freezer.

>125 quondame: I never thought about that before. Good point, Susan.

>126 brodiew2: Hi Brodie! Except for the usual morning pre-coffee fog I feel good, thank you.

I'm glad you're finishing up #5. I hope you can get hold of Prodigal Son soon, if you don't already have it on standby. I am all caught up on the series except for Prodigal Son. I had pre-ordered it, and it was delivered exactly one month ago. I read two chapters a while back, but got diverted. I need to start over, and after reading what I wrote about each book below, am primed. I wrote a full review for the first, then just a few comments about each subsequent book in my Lightning Rounds.
Orphan X in March of last year: My first thought is a technological Jack Reacher on steroids. Gadgetry abounds, moral rightness is Evan’s raison d'être, and the action is absolutely nonstop. However, in the midst of that Evan becomes a tad more human, a tad more vulnerable.

Chapters are short and have punchy titles, sometimes from the action of the previous chapter, sometimes from action within the chapter. I enjoyed seeing why they were what they were.

There were several times when I didn’t think Evan would make it and loved how Hurwitz got him out. It was an absolute page turner for me. The ending’s stunning – that’s all I’ll say.

The Nowhere Man in September: Wow, what a roller-coaster ride. Every time I thought things would settle down a bit, the tension and sheer CF nature of what Evan got into ratcheted up and I wondered how he’d get out of each situation. I’m very glad that Hurwitz didn’t draw out the suspense of Jack actually still being alive beyond this second book. I was also especially pleased with the way Evan took out the bad guys at the end although one tantalizing enemy is still out there and the last phone call sets up the next book.

Hellbent in October: As much a story of how Evan grows as a human being as a story of rescuing Jack’s last protégé and recruit. At one point I actually had tears in my eyes. Evan gets a 1-855-2-NOWHERE call, is protecting the protégé, and sets up the next book nicely with the last chapter of this one. The best of the three so far, but they are all fantastic.

Out of the Dark in October: Evan meets a client who further stuns him into empathy. The set up from the end of the last book materializes – Evan is going after the President of the United States. He acquires an interesting ally and I’m glad to see his protégé Joey in this book, too. Easily the most memorable conversation of this book:

If we don’t have trust, Evan, we don’t have anything.”

“I’m trustworthy,”, he said. “I just have limits on disclosure.”

Into the Fire in October: Evan’s newest client has a problem that Evan solves. But people are still after Max Merriweather, and Evan keeps going and going until the hydra is finally killed. Easily the best in an extremely good series.

>127 connie53: Thank you, Connie! Back to normal aches and pains today, no fever, no other side effects.

>128 scaifea: Thank you, Amber. It was nice to wake up feeling fine.

>129 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you. Thank you, I am. Yay for your successful birding outing, and good luck for today. But the books do call, don’t they?

>130 lauralkeet: I’m feeling quite chipper, Laura. If what I went through late yesterday is it, then I’m blessed. Thank you.

Nothing on tap for today, Bill’s at work, my little corner of the universe is peaceful and harmonious.

feb. 26, 9:15am

Enjoy your peaceful, side effect-free day, Karen!

feb. 26, 9:25am

Thank you, Katie! So far, so good. Happy Friday to you.

feb. 26, 9:35am

I'm glad you're feeling better! I guess it depends on the person. Do you know which brand vaccination you got? My parents old nurse just got her second shot and I need to call her and see how she's doing. A lot of people had problems with the second shingle shot, but the worst I got was a bruise.

I'm in Lynchburg today and tomorrow, and I'm going to stop by Target and pick up a big bag of bird food. Maybe I should go to Lowe's for that? I was sitting on the steps to the deck yesterday because it was sunny and 60 here, and a cardinal landed on the bird bath and gave me the stink eye because there was no food and no water and he was pissed.

feb. 26, 9:50am

Glad your side affects are easing!

feb. 26, 10:03am

>134 SomeGuyInVirginia: 'Morning, Larry I got the Pfizer vaccine. I have this handy-dandy nifty little CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card that has the dates of the doses given, the initials of the person who gave me the doses, and the Lot Number of each dose. I'm keeping it in my wallet. I've also got records of my vaccinations on the NC Covid Vaccine Portal website.

My doctor recommended getting the shingle shots but specifically said to wait when I had my annual exam last fall. i think it's because he gave me a cortisone shot in my right knee. However, I did have the original 1-dose shingle vaccine when it first came out. I do not want to confuse my body any time soon by getting another vaccine. Glad you've gotten the much more effective 2-dose shingles shot.

A friend of ours recently got the first of the 2-dose pneumonia vaccine. I think his doctor was ill-advised to give it to him, since he qualifies to get his covid vaccine. He had to wait 2 weeks after the pneumonia vaccine, and I'm not sure if that time's up yet or not.

You can price them out, I suppose. I get 50-lb bags of black oil sunflower seeds and 40-lb bags of wild bird seed and combined I pay less than $50. We keep each seed in its own metal trash can in the garage.

>135 ChelleBearss: Thanks, Chelle. I feel good so far.

feb. 26, 1:14pm

15. The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths
2/23/21 to 2/26/21

From Amazon:

There’s nothing Ruth Galloway hates more than amateur archaeologists, but when a group of them stumble upon Bronze Age artifacts alongside a dead body, she finds herself thrust into their midst—and into the crosshairs of a string of murders circling ever closer.

Ruth is back as head of archaeology at the University of North Norfolk when a group of local metal detectorists—the so-called Night Hawks—uncovers Bronze Age artifacts on the beach, alongside a recently deceased body, just washed ashore. Not long after, the same detectorists uncover a murder-suicide—a scientist and his wife found at their farmhouse, long thought to be haunted by the Black Shuck, a humongous black dog, a harbinger of death. The further DCI Nelson probes into both cases, the more intertwined they become, and the closer they circle to David Brown, the new lecturer Ruth has recently hired, who seems always to turn up wherever Ruth goes.

Why I wanted to read it: Newest in the Ruth Galloway series, loaned to me by my friend Rhoda, who had it sent to her from her favorite book shop in London. Not even due to be published in the US until June 29th, I’m now in for a very long wait for the next one.

Ruth’s back in Norfolk after making a momentous decision at the end of the 12th book, The Lantern Men.

This was a comforting read. Ruth, Nelson, Judy, Cathbad, Katie, even Michelle and George.

The bodies start dropping like flies, there are some tantalizing bits about Beaker man in Britain, even mention about viruses. Amateur archaeologists get their share of criticism. There’s a new lecturer in the archaeology department who is puzzling, intrusive, and irritating to Ruth.

I do admit that I’m getting quite tired of hearing Ruth still whinging after all this time about Nelson calling Kate ‘Katie’ and Cathbad calling Kate ‘Hecate’. She just needs to give it a rest. Griffiths just needs to give it a rest.

Otherwise it’s a solid thriller, with a mysterious house and some very unpleasant people. Well written, well paced, with just enough interesting bits about the personal lives of Judy, Cathbad, and Tonya to flesh the book out.

As is usual with this series, at least the most recent entries, there’s a bombshell near or at the end that has one panting for the next installment. In this case at least a year or so, more’s the pity.

feb. 26, 1:16pm

Oh, so jealous you've read the new Ruth already!

feb. 26, 1:19pm

Wow, y'all got fancy schmancy stuff like cards? I got swabbed, jabbed, bandaged, and a desultory wave on her way out. Took ~45sec.

And I don't care!! I'm Pfizered up, suffered enough to Pay My Cosmic Dues, and now feel entirely entitled to go to the grocery store tomorrow.


feb. 26, 1:33pm

>139 richardderus: - I got a card, too, with the same info as Karen's, plus the date and time for my 2nd jab on the back. I would guess that since you got yours on-site, the card was deemed unnecessary?

feb. 26, 2:11pm

>138 katiekrug: Only because of my friend Rhoda.

>139 richardderus: Fancy schmancy for sure. However, there's a trade-off. You didn't have to drive 70 miles round trip. I'd take the lack of card any day to have had someone come here and do the deed.

We're both Pfizered up. You suffered more paying cosmic dues, but even with the bit of feeling like crap yesterday I feel like I've paid an eensy bit of dues. I'll probably go grocery shopping tomorrow or Monday and might, just might, include a trip to the PTA Thrift Store to look at books in person for the first time since last March.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

>140 katiekrug: Yay for our cards. I think that perhaps they put RD's in his records rather than let the cards float all over the assisted living facility.


I've washed a few pans that were collecting in the sink, emptied the dishwasher, and am doing a load of laundry. What a difference a day makes.

feb. 26, 8:40pm

Glad to hear you're vaccinated. Dad is vaccinated, and I'm about to get my second Moderna vaccine on Thursday!

feb. 26, 9:12pm

Hi Rachel. Yay for your dad, and glad you're getting dose #2 next week.

feb. 26, 9:33pm

I am also jealous that you've already read the new Ruth. Oh well, you DO have to wait longer for the next one. :)

feb. 26, 9:52pm

I haven't received the Covid vaccines. The area where I live in PA, is limited in supply. I received an email saying the supply will be available in the next two weeks. My daughter is a nurse and was required to take both vaccines. She had a terrible reaction from the second one.

She had a wicked headache, was tired, and the area of the injection site was swollen and red. This only lasted a few days and then she was fine.

Have a great weekend!

feb. 27, 1:27am

You got me with We Keep the Dead Close, Karen. I read quite a bit of true crime. Fictional crime too, good to know there is another Ruth out which reminds me I have a few left to read in that series.

feb. 27, 4:24am

>131 karenmarie: Good to hear, Karen. Glad you're feeling better.

feb. 27, 7:55am

I zoomed right past your review of the new Ruth. I noticed you considered it a "solid mystery" and that's all I want to know right now! Plus, I'm jealous.

feb. 27, 9:13am

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. My feeders have been slow lately but I can always count on the cardinals to visit, including this male beauty, keeping an eye on Mama, as she feeds. No birding plans yet for the weekend. I am really hoping that these trails clear up, with this warm-up. Walking can still be difficult.

feb. 27, 9:29am

Good morning, Karen. Glad to hear the reaction was only a day and then you were fine. My second shot is next Friday, also Pfizer.

Editat: feb. 27, 10:26am

>144 BLBera: My friend takes good care of me, Beth. And, there are bookish advantages from being on the Board of the Friends of the Library and being on the book-donation sort/book sale team, too. Not why I joined, but lovely side effects. I've got an entire library filled with book donations that if I want I can paw through and borrow. Brown bags are donations, books on sofa are mine being donated.

>145 Whisper1: I’m sorry, Linda. I do hope it changes soon for you. Who did you receive your email from? Medical practice? County? Other?

I’m lucky that my reaction (so far, although by now I don’t think I’ll have any more side effects) was so mild.

Thanks re the weekend – I got up late and have only just taken my first sips of coffee.

>146 Familyhistorian: Hi Meg. I love reading true crime. The first one I read, I think, was Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi. Part of the reason it interested me was that I was living in LA, a 16-year old scared to death of what I was seeing in the headlines but feeling safe in our suburban home about 30 miles east of LA. Reading mysteries and ‘living’ with the Manson family kick-started my interest in true crime.

I’ve also read 3 others by Bugliosi that were great – Til Death Us Do Part, And the Sea Will Tell, and Outrage. I have his doorstop books Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and The Betrayal of America: How the Supreme Court Undermined the Constitution and Chose Our President still in Mt. TBR.

I’m very fortunate that my friend Rhoda gets the books early. She’s usually in London in February and brings the books home. She’s taken to having them sent to her by her favorite book shop.

I can’t believe how lucky I was last February-early March. Rhoda and her husband had just come back from an extended trip in Europe, last stop London. She could so easily have been exposed to Covid. Our Tuesday-morning book sorting time for the FoL is in a small room where 7 or 8 of us are constantly dodging each other. Plus I distinctly remember hugging her at least one of the 2 times we met before the Library closed and all our book sorting activities ceased.

>147 connie53: Thank you, Connie!

>148 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. I’ve started a series that you might like or perhaps have already read – the Kate Burkholder series by Linda Castillo. I’ve read #1 and #2, and there are 12 in the series. Chief of Police Kate Burkholder, banned Amish, in her home town. I don't see them in your catalog, but that doesn't mean you haven't read them, right?

>149 msf59: Hi Mark! What a great photo. Thanks for sharing. Happy Saturday to you, too. Yesterday I had the joy of watching a male Downy and a female Downy on my two-sided suet feeder AND a male Red-Bellied Woodpecker on the wild birdseed feeder about 3 feet from the suet feeder. Right now It’s all LGBs (little gray birds), but the male Downy did visit a while ago.

>150 ronincats: I feel lucky, Roni. Yay for next Friday for your second dose.

Quiet weekend. Normal routine. Bill runs errands and brings back take out. This will be twice this week, but we didn’t have any takeout last weekend because it was Bill’s birthday weekend. (I cooked a lot).

Depending on the state of the pantry and refrigerator I may go grocery shopping tomorrow since this week was busy with vaccine taking and reaction.

Editat: feb. 27, 11:42am

>148 lauralkeet: I haven't read the Kate Burkholder books, Karen. And you're right, they sound like something I'd like. Not that I need another series! But trusted recommendations are not to be ignored. I've added it to my series spreadsheet so I don't lose sight of it.

LT's series shows both publication and story order. It looks like Sworn to Silence was the first book published, but Her Last Breath would be the first in story order. Any thoughts on where to start?

feb. 27, 12:35pm

Well, damn. I read series in publication order so cannot answer you. Anybody else read this series and want to chime in?

I haven't gotten to the 5th book yet, having the 3rd one out waiting to be read. (I've gotten diverted with the 2nd in the Karen Pirie series by Val McDermid).

feb. 27, 4:11pm

I'm curious, Karen, because the description of Sworn to Silence says, "Now, a wealth of experience later, Kate has been asked to return to Painters Mill as chief of police." That sounds like an introduction to a character and her world. I read descriptions of the first two books in "story order" and one also refers to Kate as the police chief in Painters Mill.

It's worth noting that the order of a series can be edited by LTers. Publication order is pretty obvious and probably accurate; story order may be more subjective. I went to the Series page and see that the reordering is a recent change by karenpetch on Feb. 21. Depending on how curious you are, you could PM them ...

feb. 27, 6:19pm

*sigh* Saturday was so nice until Rob had to leave and then Old Stuff rolled in drunk.

Yours was better, he grumbled jealously.

feb. 27, 9:56pm

>154 lauralkeet: I can't see anything from the book descriptions of books 1 and 5 that makes me think there should be a different story order from publication order. Her Last Breath, #5 in karenpetch's story order, starts two years after Kate's returned to Painters Mill. A relationship and a few sentences mentioned on page 6 of my mass market paperback refers to the case in the first book and the relationship that started in the first book. I cannot see how book 5 is first in story order since it mentions book 1. I may be wrong, of course, but I'm going to read the books in chronological order. Unless I could see something on Linda Castillo's website, or Goodreads, or MacMillans, which I can't, chronological order would appear to be story order. I don't know who karenpetch is and am not curious about why they reordered them for story order.

>155 richardderus: I always hesitate to mention OS because I know he is ... well. You rarely mention him either, and I'm so sorry he rolls in drunk and disorderly and everything awful you've ever mentioned about him. At least he didn't interrupt your time with Rob.

Yes, mine's been pretty good. Pizza, Forensic Files and Perry Mason mostly, with calls with friend Karen and daughter Jenna.

Time to go read.

feb. 27, 10:00pm

>156 karenmarie: I'm inclined to agree with you about the reading order, Karen, especially given what you shared about book 5. Thanks for that!

feb. 28, 7:44am

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. Looks to be another nice day but no birding plans. Another book day. I did see a robin foraging around the feeders yesterday. Actually, Sue spotted it and called me upstairs. This is a FOY, for my backyard and a sure sign of an impending spring.

feb. 28, 8:24am

>157 lauralkeet: You're welcome, Laura!

>158 msf59: Good morning and happy Sunday to you, too, Mark! A book day is not a bad thing at all. Congrats on the FoY Robin.

So far this morning I've seen I've seen a Blue Jay, a Red-Bellied Woodpecker and, although I'm not 100% sure, a Red-Winged Blackbird. This would not be a lifer, but definitely a first in several years. I saw a female Goldfinch yesterday, too.

feb. 28, 11:11am

I also find it annoying when Ruth goes on about Kate's names. Kids get nicknames. Other than that I loved the book too and am sad that the wait is on again.

feb. 28, 11:22am

Statistics Through February 28

16 books read
8 of them on my shelves before 01/01/2020 and not rereads
0 books abandoned, 0 pages abandoned
5455 pages read
0 audiobook hours 0
Avg pages read per day, YTD = 92
Avg pages read per book, YTD = 341

Book of the month: A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Books Read By Month
January 6
February 10

Male 44%
Female 56%

Living 75%
Dead 25%

US Born 62%
Foreign Born 38%

Hardcover 44%
Trade Pback 25%
Mass Market 25%
Audiobook 0%
e-Book 6%

My Library 75%
Library 0%
Other 25%

Re-read 13%
Series 50%

Fiction 81%
NonFiction 19%

New to Me Authors 5

Author Birth Country
England 25%
Scotland 6%
US 63%
Wales 6%

Original Decade Published
1910-1919 6%
1950-1959 13%
1980-1989 6%
1990-1999 6%
2000-2009 19%
2010-2019 12%
2020-2029 38%

Biography 0%
Chrestomathy 0%
Contemporary Fiction 0%
Fantasy 6%
Historical Fiction 13%
Humor 6%
Informational Nonfiction 13%
Memoir 6%
Mystery 6%
Poetry 0%
Science Fiction 0%
Suspense 0%
Thriller 50%

Editat: feb. 28, 12:03pm

February’s Lightning Round

And Four to Go by Rex Stout 2/13/21 02/16/21
Four novellas:

1. Christmas Party. Archie delivers a shocker to Wolfe, who decides to investigate. Who played Santa? Fun concept, interesting solution.
2. Easter Parade. Wolfe sends Archie out on a mission to steal a spray of orchid blooms, and they are involved in a murder. Quite clever, actually.
3. Fourth of July Picnic. Wolfe and Archie solve a murder by tricking the murderer – they frequently do this but this one was particularly satisfying. Also, we get some biographical information on Wolfe and Archie. Here’s Archie’s:”Born in Ohio. Public high school, pretty good at geometry and football, graduated with honor but no honors. Went to college two weeks, decided it was childish, came to New York and got a job guarding a pier, shot and killed two men and was fired, was recommended to Nero Wolfe for a chore he wanted done, did it, was offered a full-time job by Mr. Wolfe, took it, still have it."
4. Murder is No Joke. One of the oldest motives for murder with an interesting twist based on technology widely used in the 1950s. Not particularly memorable, but clever.

Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo 2/17/21 2/19/21 322 pages trade paperback
Second in the Kate Burkholder series. A brutal and vicious annihilation of an entire Amish family has Chief of Police Burkholder and her department looking for any possible motive. Clues slowly accumulate. Once again Kate lets her background influence her decision making, which is disappointing; however, the story ratchets up as horror upon horror are revealed. Kate’s personal life with Tomaselli moves forward, and we gain more understanding about the Amish way of life.

A Wealth of Pigeons by Harry Bliss and Steve Martin 11/25/20 to 2/28/21 272 pages hardcover
I saw an interview with Bliss and Martin on TV somehow and figured that I needed this book. Strangely, I started it a week or so after I got it and only finished it up today. It’s clever but not particularly memorable, although I did like the cartoons of their collaboration.

feb. 28, 11:32am

Hoo boy, was February a weird one. I'm glad I held off on the Bliss-and-Steve book, sounds like one I won't be glad I read.

Happy March-to-come! *smooch*

feb. 28, 12:03pm

>160 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle! We tried to pick a name for Jenna that wouldn’t be nickname-able, but Bill has a nickname for her – Jenn-Jenn. I even call her Jenika-Marika occasionally. Karen isn’t easily nickname-able, but I have two within the family – Kairfa and Kenner – and Bill calls me KP because my surname before I married Bill begins with a P. Nicknames are usually out of affection, so I don't mind them. The only thing Jenna doesn't like is any nickname of Jennifer because her name isn't Jennifer, it's Jenna. So Jenn and Jenny are absolutely out. Jenn-Jenn's cutting it close, but it's her dad, after all.

>163 richardderus: It ended up being a good reading month for me, actually. Surprisingly, I reviewed 5 of the 8 read and only had 3 on the Lightning Round. The ratio usually swings the other way.

Here’s to March – a dentist appointment, a possible visit with Peggy (depending on if her ma gets her second dose of the vaccine next Friday and we wait two weeks after that and are all comfortable with a visit), an online FoL board meeting, and much-desired visits to the 2 thrift shops in town FINALLY, after not going since last February. Plus the relief of knowing that even double masked, I can feel almost safe going other places, although not frequently.

feb. 28, 12:06pm

Wow, your March plans sound amazing Karen! I can't wait to be able to visit people and places that have been off limits.

feb. 28, 3:56pm

>164 karenmarie: My cousin Karen was always called Kari. In fact I had to stop and think of what her official name was as I have not once heard her called anything else. Now Knute her brother, is more nickname proof.

feb. 28, 5:36pm

>165 lauralkeet: I still plan on staying in more than going out, and will try to wait the 2 weeks after my second dose for really expanding my repertoire. I'm debating on a hair cut - all it means is paying $50 every 5 weeks again for hair that looks good for about 2 - 2.5 of the weeks before not looking good. I forgot to say that I want to drive to Zaxby's, about 30 miles away, too, for a to-go chicken salad.

>166 quondame: I've never heard of the nickname Kari for Karen, but I guess I've lived a sheltered life. 😊 I agree about Knute.

Oven fries are in the oven, chicken is prepped. Dinner will be six-ish.

feb. 28, 6:21pm

>161 karenmarie: Excellent stats!

Editat: feb. 28, 11:25pm

>161 karenmarie: I am always interested in the proportion of books by living:dead authors. I would assume that (this year) I have read more dead than alive, but now I want to go and check!

Alive: 7
Dead: 6
Huh Who'd a thought?

març 1, 7:57am

Morning, Karen. The snow is gradually melting away here but I am especially hoping for the trails to be cleared. I will be finding out shortly, as I am meeting my birding buddies. Congrats on seeing the red-winged blackbird. Of course, we get plenty of them in the Midwest and they have been all ready spotted, as they are migrating north.

març 1, 8:43am

>169 LovingLit: Hi Megan! Interesting. I wonder where you'll be at the end of the year? In 2020 I read 59% living and 41% dead, but the year before was 64% living and 36% dead.

>170 msf59: 'Morning, Mark! Happy ...day... to you. Have fun with your birding buddies, hope the trails are coming out of the deep freeze. The range map show Red-Winged Blackbirds here year round, but I rarely see them.

Coffee, books. I'm going to do a bit of book re-arranging today, always a fun thing. I'm glad I went grocery shopping yesterday so I don't have to go out today.

març 1, 3:54pm

>148 lauralkeet: Me too. It will be even longer before the book is released in Canada! *pout*

març 2, 8:49am

>148 lauralkeet: and >172 SandyAMcPherson: I'm lucky that my friend Rhoda is willing to mail books to me. I was going to mail The Night Hawks back to her, but instead I'm going to be driving by the retirement community on my way back from the dentist this afternoon and offered to take 3 bags of donated books of her hands. She jumped on that one right away and given that I've got 60+ bags of donated books in my Library already, what's another three?

There aren't that many series I'm in a frenzy to get the newest book over anymore, frankly. Ruth Galloway, Harbinder Haur by the same author, possibly Kate Burkholder. I've given up on Ian Rutledge, Armand Gamache, possibly Jack Reacher (I'll give Childs x 2 a second chance).

As Eustacia Vye says in The Return of the Native, Pleasure not known beforehand is half wasted; to anticipate it is to double it.

Book anticipation is a lot of fun, whether series or standalone.

març 2, 9:05am

Morning, Karen. No birding plans today but I am getting out for a long walk. In regards to the red-winged blackbirds, they are also rare feeder visitors. I just saw a white-breasted nuthatch taking a drink at the birdbath.

març 2, 9:14am

'Morning, Mark! I hope you enjoy your walk - do you walk around the neighborhood or drive somewhere to get on a walking path? Yay for the White-Breasted Nuthatch. I watched a male finch take a bath in my birdbath yesterday.

I'm watching two Carolina Wrens compete for the suet. One chased the other off and now both are gone, but I've never seen two at the same time before. Also saw a male Red-Bellied Woodpecker on the same suet feeder earlier. I filled it with "Woodpecker Blend", whatever that is, yesterday. And now one of the Wrens is back. It is so much fun to just look out and see birds close up.

març 2, 12:50pm

Hey there Horrible, happy Book Publication Day!

març 2, 7:33pm

Yay for the addle-pated nutjob! And you have to tell those Finches to stop taking baths in your bird bath. Just because they've got two bathrooms and seven kids isn't an excuse.

This is the last night in my apartment, and tomorrow the movers will be here and I'll head to Lynchburg in the afternoon. I'll miss living way up in the sky and with a view of the river. I've always really loved the water.

març 2, 9:14pm

>176 richardderus: Hiya, RDear, thank you!

>177 SomeGuyInVirginia: Larry! Such an exciting change. Your new house is wonderful and I know you'll be happy there. Bye to the Traveling Library because you'll soon have the Complete Library on site. Congrats to you and Tinykin Skywalker. Much love.

març 3, 8:01am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. Yesterday, I walked around the neighborhood. Still some snow and ice on a few sidewalks. This is kind of boring, so I am going to venture out and walk at different locations. I have never had a wren at my feeders.

març 3, 8:26am

Hi Mark, and happy Wednesday to you, too.

I've started seeing all kinds of birds at the suet feeder. In fact, the only ones that don't seem to land on them are the Bluejays and the Cardinals. Just now it was two finches.

març 3, 10:47am

Hey Horrible, happy Humpday.

març 3, 12:58pm

Hey, RDear. Same-same.

I just got back from what used to be a normal day of running errands but seems fraught with angst now, even though I've gotten my second Pfizer vaccine shot. Met with 2 people, masked and outside the Library, to discuss Friends Board stuff, then went to the PO, the pharmacy, and the bank.

març 3, 1:39pm

Hi, Karen.

I love all the Orphan X talk up there! Good mini-reviews. I agree, Into the Fire is the best so far. I liked Prodigal Son more than Brodie; can't wait to hear what you think. It's another page-turner.

I have A Wealth of Pigeons waiting at the library. Good to hear it's a bit of fun.

març 3, 7:08pm

In Lynchburg full time. Parker's upset and hiding under the covers on my bed. Hopefully he'll snap out of it tomorrow when the furniture arrives and it's got his stank on it.

Hey! I forgot to mention that the kindle version of We Keep Our Dead Close was on sale for just a few bucks a couple days ago. I bought a copy and was able to remove the hold at the library.

Man, I hope I never lose access to the Fairfax county lie-de-brie. My card was due to expire in November but I spoke to one of the librarians and she said she'd fix it. Fingers crossed.

When you come to visit I'm going to take you to a bakery called Mrs Joy's Absolutely Fabulous Treats. I know, I hate the name too. What's the opposite of damnation? Whatever it is her cinnamon rolls are it.

març 3, 8:42pm

Dropping in to say hello.

I saw the first Robin of the season here so it is a sure sign that spring is just around the corner!

març 3, 9:03pm

>168 figsfromthistle: Anita! Sorry I didn’t respond up there. Thank you.

>183 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe. I just have to find the right emotional time to read Prodigal Son. So far it’s a no go, but I’m sure I’ll devour it when it’s the right time.

I enjoyed A Wealth of Pigeons. There were a couple of laugh-out-louds.

>184 SomeGuyInVirginia: Yay, Larry! Poor Parker D., give him smooches from me and tell him it’s going to be okay. Yes, when his stuff arrives it will help.

Glad you were able to snag We Keep The Dead Close and glad you have a major connection at the Fairfax Co. library to keep you on the books – for the books. *smile*

The name is a bit dicey for sure, but I’m a sucker for good cinnamon rolls.

Enjoy your new home! Enjoy settling in. I’m very happy for you.

>185 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita. Spring seems to be just around the corner, with lots of hints.

Of course I didn’t have the vicious winter so many of our group had, so I’m feeling a bit nostalgic for cold and being inside nice and warm and NOT having to start thinking about summer yet. Autumn and winter are my two favorite seasons.

We had new garage door openers installed yesterday - one for each of us. These are pretty high tech and so quiet. Here's the kicker - in addition to having the remote control devices for each of us we downloaded an app that uses our cell phones to open and close the doors. Bill opened his today from half a mile away - I opened mine from about 100 feet away.

març 3, 11:31pm

Hi Karen. I read a review of Sharks in the Time of Saviors so I have it on hold via the library. Your 4.5-star review is encouraging!

Wash in the sink is pretty darn adorable.

Our garage door has been acting finicky lately....

març 4, 5:57am

>186 karenmarie: New garage door openers sound good, Karen. I can't imagine opening the garage with a cell-phone from half a mile, that would be a few blocks away here.

març 4, 7:35am

>186 karenmarie: cool new garage door openers! Being able to open/close from a distance would be great for those times when you leave and forget to close it. But my problem isn't forgetting to close it, it's worrying I might have done so. There's no magic button for that! Both my husband and I are prone to this so we always double-check before driving away.

març 4, 8:00am

>186 karenmarie: Ha! Well of course you didn't open the garage door from a half a mile away! That just gives zombies extra time to get in. Do the cats freak out when they hear the garage door?

març 4, 8:03am

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. I have enjoyed getting out for my walks. I might do a solo birding trip this A.M. I am having a good time with Restless. Have you read William Boyd?

març 4, 9:06am

Birds are plentiful here, Karen, but somehow I never seem to notice them enough in the city.

Editat: març 4, 10:28am

>187 EBT1002: Hi Ellen. I hope I didn’t jinx you about the garage door opener. Wash is a walking photo op. I take pics of him pretty much every day. I hope you enjoy Sharks in the Time of Saviors when you get it.

>188 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. Bill only did it from that far away because he could. That distance happens to be from our mailboxes at the entrance to our 15-house subdivision. In fact, we could open the garage doors from anywhere in the world because the app uses the internet. I imagine that he’ll be closer to home before using it today. Another nifty feature is that the app checks to see if the garages are closed at a time you pick – if not, it will close them. We’ve been known to forget to close them. Not often, but it’s a feature so Bill implemented it to check at midnight. That's to make sure I'm in from partying. *smile*

>189 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. The app tells you the current status of the door. Mine’s currently been closed for 20 hours, so if I was somewhere and was worrying about it I’d have peace of mind knowing it was closed or be able to close it.

>190 SomeGuyInVirginia: When I told Bill about the zombies, Larry, he said we have protection zombies and not to worry. Unless a kitty is on the concrete pad in front of the garage doors they can’t hear the garage doors being opened or closed. We can’t hear them either unless we’re in the Media Room, which is over the garage. Otherwise they’re at the end of a hall behind a solid wood door and an exterior metal door.

>191 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark, and a sweet Thursday to you, too. Enjoy your time out today.

I read Restless in April of 2013 but don’t remember a single thing about it or why I read it, other than it was NOT for my RL book club. I rated it 3.5 stars – ‘very good’ in my rating system.

>192 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. I would imagine you have very colorful birds in Malaysia. I guess it's just a matter of what interests you!

Back problems, quite possibly from being in the dentist's chair. I knew it was putting pressure on my lower back when I was there, and I've been waking up in the night with pain in my right hip for two nights now. Being vertical is fine, it's just horizontal. My chiropractor doesn't have anything available until next Tuesday in a town 30 miles away, so that's out. I might see if a massage will work - a week and a day after my second Pfizer vaccine shot I'm feeling comfortable with the idea of seeing Sherry, especially with the pain. I've texted her and will see how that goes.

març 4, 11:32am

Good morning, Karen!

We just had a new garage door opener installed, too, just a week or so ago. Sounds like we have the same or similar. Nice and quiet and the app will come in handy whenever we go somewhere again. More then once, when I was working, I circled around back home to be sure I had closed the door.

Sorry to hear of your back pain. Hope the massage gets scheduled. My hips are still sore from shoveling snow last week. CBD/thc helps me a lot with that when I don't want to take more Advil.

març 4, 11:48am

I'm sorry that you're hurting, Karen - I hope the massage helps!

Editat: març 4, 12:55pm

Bak-pān-B-Gon *whammy*


març 4, 1:16pm

>194 Copperskye: Hi Joanne. Ah the joys of new garage door openers. Unfortunately, my massage therapist hurt herself in December and is still not recovered. However, she gave me a good recommendation for another chiropractor in town, and I will call during their office hours today, 2 - 6 p.m.

>195 scaifea: Thanks, Amber. Looks like it's going to be chiropractic instead, which was actually my first choice. I'd been going to a chiropractor in town since 2009, regularly while I had good insurance, and sporadically since I went on Medicare and either had to be injured to get it covered or pay for it out of pocket. I was disappointed when my chiropractor sold her business 3 years ago but went to the new one, but since they can't get me in I'm going to see how this new one will work if I can get an appointment. I'll most likely be paying for this out of pocket, but it will be worth it.

>196 richardderus: Thanks, RD! *smooch*

març 4, 2:43pm

>193 karenmarie: The app tells you the current status of the door.
Oh that's brilliant; an innovation long overdue!

març 4, 4:02pm

Holy Moley! I haven't been here in 90 posts!?!?!?!!!!! Good grief!

I'm tickled that you are thoroughly Pfizered and done with everything except great safety. Mama gets Moderna #2 tomorrow, and I will be SO GLAD when her two more weeks are done. Meanwhile, I have gotten us into our fast food guilty pleasures twice now. I was hoping that things wouldn't taste as good as they used to since we've been eating real food for a year. Nope. Mama and I are both thrilled to have our old favorites again.

Oh, add me to the envious. I do look forward to Night Hawks even if it's on a far horizon. *sigh*

març 4, 4:26pm

>198 lauralkeet: The app probably does a lot of other things, too, Laura. I can't even begin to imagine anything that would benefit us. I'm not anti-tech, but some things just seem ridiculous.

>199 LizzieD: So glad you're visiting, Peggy. I'm Pfizered and have 6 days go to on the 2 weeks after to be safe. I'll still be masked, of course, for quite a while. Yay for your mama's Moderna #2 tomorrow.

Congrats on 'graduating' back to fast food! Bill and I had fast food today since he got cabin fever and just HAD to go out. Hot chicken/mushroom/provolone sub with crispy onion rings, one of my favs.

I couldn't reach anybody by phone, but sent an e-mail to the chiropractor and got a reply within an hour. I've got an appointment for 10:40 tomorrow.

And I finished up the second in the Karen Pirie series by Val McDermid. It was excellent and I've ordered the third, The Skeleton Road. In the meantime, I've re-started Prodigal Son, 6th in the Orphan X series and it seems to be sticking this time.

març 4, 4:30pm

Hi Karen, i like the sound of your Garage doors my dear, mine could do with changing but the back garden being finished off this year is the priority outside with some decorating inside to be done.

Sending love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

març 4, 6:41pm

Hi Karen! Congrats on getting some super high tech garage doors. I got mine installed last year and am super happy because I can check to see if the door is closed or open after I have long left the house. On more than one occasion, I saw that the garage door was almost closed so I sped out of the laneway only to discover upon returning home, that the garage door went back up. Enjoy the peace of mind!

març 4, 7:51pm

>151 karenmarie: It sounds like you like your role regarding the Friends of the Library. It must take a lot of energy, but it is a great way to meet people and surround yourself with books
lots of books!

març 4, 9:26pm

>201 johnsimpson: Hi John. The garage door openers were almost 23 years old, loud, and mine wouldn't close except via the wall button in the garage, making it difficult to push the button, walk fast, and hope to not trip the sensor on the way out. No more risk of falling for moi. Love and hugs to you and Karen!

>202 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita. Thanks. I'd never heard of this technology before, but it seems to be common and liked. I'm glad we took the plunge.

>203 Whisper1: Hi Linda. I do like my role and have agreed to serve as President another year. Sigh. I'd actually rather go back to Treasurer, truthfully, but that's not going to happen. I've been given feedback that people think I'm doing a good job. It takes quite a bit of energy, and I'm feeling stymied by the pandemic and lack of in-person Board meetings, cancelled sales, and financial pressures because of those cancelled sales. We're out $55-60K in revenue. We have had two donation letters that have brought in revenue, but memberships are down, too, because quite a few people join or renew at the book sales. Ah well.

I do love surrounding myself with books - my own and pawing through about 70 bags of donated books if I want to borrow any.

Editat: març 4, 10:53pm

Hi Karen.
I wasn't away from LT for more than a couple days and then it has taken all evening trying to skim through a few of the ones I'm most behind on. So not a lot to remark, noted your garage door excitement and that you need to get your back sorted. Good luck.

I understand about abandoning a series. I long ago left Louise Penny's Gamache alone. And for some reason, I couldn't stay engaged with Iona Whishaw's British Columbia mysteries. Her Lane Winslow character was good and I loved the setting, but I tired of the theme by the time I finished Book 4.

març 4, 11:21pm

Your garage door opener app sounds pretty cool.

Sorry to hear about the back! I hope you're able to figure something out for getting some relief.

I'm reading the first in the Easy Rawlins series and quite enjoying it. Val McDermid is one to whom I want to return.

març 5, 7:38am

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday! How is you back today? Any improvement? Sorry, you are suffering.

març 5, 8:46am

>205 SandyAMcPherson: Hi Sandy. I'm so far behind on threads too - but I follow 35 75ers threads and a few elsewhere. It took me longer to abandon Louise Penny. Sometimes it takes time between books so I don't burn out. Theme isn't what usually causes me to abandon a series. It's usually some form of poor writing or shallow character development or both.

>206 EBT1002: I'm going to a new chiropractor today at 10:40, just about 2 hours from now. I still have a 6-page new patient intake form to fill out, but fortunately the chiropractor's less than 15 minutes away although I'll allow an extra 10 minutes today just in case.

>207 msf59: Hi Mark, and happy Friday to you. My back hardly hurts at all right now, but when I'm horizontal it is very painful and I can't get comfortable in any position. Last night I took one of Bill's Tramadol pain pills, which let me sleep without tossing and turning 'til 3. I was up the for about half an hour and decided to tough it out without any more meds. Woke up at 8, in pain, but not as much as I was in when I went to bed last night.

I definitely love and need chiropractic and only wish Medicare paid for it as a preventative. I would go as often as they'd pay for. I honestly can't claim this was caused by an injury so will just gulp and pay for today and probably one more follow up visit.

Coffee. Filling out forms, more of Prodigal Son. I'm on page 67 out of 417 and caught up in Evan's adventures again. If I had to live in a city, I'd want to do it Evan's way - 7000 square feet, secret rooms, living wall of herbs, and now, a special freezer for his specialty vodkas.

març 5, 12:56pm

>193 karenmarie: Protection zombies?! Tell that to everyone who's left in Delta quadrant! Of course the only way you'll get through to anybody left in Delta quadrant is if you stumble around in a circle looking for fresh brains to eat.

Parker's still jumpy but he is hanging around, and sometimes even lounging. I pretty quickly came to accept that he's a special needs kitty, and special needs kitty got special needs.

març 5, 3:29pm

Hope the chiropractor was able to offer you some lasting relief, Karen! Be very kind to yourself!!!!! Meanwhile, Moderna #2 has been trotting around my ma's body for 2+ hours now. WHEW!

març 5, 4:37pm

>209 SomeGuyInVirginia: My husband has dark brown eyes, so I told him that he was full of it when he mentioned protection zombies. *smile*

It will be a while, I'm sure, but soon Parker's tiny little kitty brain won't remember anything but living the life of Riley in your new house. Even now, a year and 2.5 months after we got Zoe and Wash, Zoe exhibits semi-feral behavior, but she's also occasionally sleeping in my lap and sleeping on the bed. And today was a biggie - Wash followed her outside through the kitty door without hesitation. Of course, they both came back in within 5 minutes... but baby steps are still steps.

>210 LizzieD: So far the chiropractor visit has made my right hip feel really good. The test will be tonight because it's when I'm horizontal that the pain ratchets up. I have a follow-up appointment with her next Tuesday. She was thorough and knowledgeable and surprisingly gentle compared to some chiropractors I've gone to, yet I felt that she made some major adjustments.

Yay for Moderna #2 trotting around your dear mother's body for 3+ hours now. On the countdown to expanding your repertoire...

And Jenna's in phase III to get the vaccine, so we're tentatively talking about her coming home for my birthday weekend in late June. Callooh! Callay!

març 5, 5:54pm

>208 karenmarie: I don't care where it's located, that sounds excellent.

>211 karenmarie: Yay for lessened hip pain! May it continue into your later hours.

març 5, 6:37pm

>211 karenmarie: Thorough and gentle sounds like a good recommendation. I've had therapists who were too rough, with usually bad results.

I went to a dentist some years ago, who had an awful dentist chair, impossible to get comfortable in any way. I told her so, and she changed something but it didn't help. I had to change dentists, because I didn't want to go home every time with a dentist caused back injury. The combination of bad chair mechanics, and stress from treatment. Yuck. Glad you are feeling better!

març 6, 8:22am

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. I hope you got a good night's sleep and the pain levels are tolerable. We had a good bird walk yesterday. The temps were still chilly but all the sunshine, really made for a pleasant outing. I saw a pair of starlings at the feeders yesterday. This is a FOY, for the backyard, although I have seen them in other places.

març 6, 9:23am

>212 richardderus: ‘Morning, RD! 7000 square feet would allow for more books…

I felt great ‘til I got into bed last night when my hip twinged a bit. And this morning my hip and lower back hurt. That will ease when I’m up and about. I hadn’t been to a chiropractor in a year, so my body’s adjusting to being adjusted.

>213 EllaTim: Hi Ella! I’ve never had bad results from a chiropractor, but some are more … exuberant … than others.

I’m not glad to hear that you had a dentist with an awful chair. I thought it was just me being extra sensitive.

I just made a note in my desk calendar to mention how the chair hurts my back for my dentist appointment on September 7th.

>214 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark! Happy Saturday to you, too. The pain’s tolerable. I’m debating whether to take something or not.

Yay for weather warm enough for a pleasant outing.

Not much going on. I really had to resist going to the thrift shop to look for books yesterday but will wait the full two weeks after my second dose of vaccine. That will be this coming Wednesday. I’ve also got a friend coming up from Florida to visit her adult children next week and might be able to sneak a visit in with her.

març 6, 11:43am

>215 karenmarie: Taking a cushion into the dentist's chair is an option, surely? And, since you don't want your cushion to bring home Trouble, take it there in double pillowcases. Then put the pillowcases into the laundry before going back into the house.

The reason I ***NEVER*** throw away a pillowcase is this, and if I feel skeevy about the place I used the cushion in, I throw away the outermost pillowcase. Hence the never-toss-one habit.

març 6, 11:49am

I think it's the angle that they tilt me back to, RD. There's enough cushiony depth in the upholstery, but perhaps a pillow/cushion double-slipcased (all Bill's female relatives called them slipcases, and I like using the word in its various forms occasionally) is not a bad idea to see if I can get my back in a tolerable position.

I've got dozens of slipcases. I'd most likely bring them into the house inside-out and immediately throw them in the washing machine and run the load with hot water. I've been using hot water to wash things since early Covid days so that wouldn't be a change.

març 6, 12:45pm

Don't know what's going here. Absence breeds ignorance, I guess. I'll never catch up, of course, but I'm going to make an effort to merge into the flow.

Passed the halfway point in The Splendid and the Vile. So there's that.

març 6, 1:04pm

I'm glad you've stopped in, Bill. I love Larson but haven't read that one and don't own it. But I have two other unread Larsons on my shelves - Thunderstruck and In the Garden of Beasts. Perhaps one of them will call out to me this year.

març 6, 1:20pm

Hi, Karen.

I loved Bil's book The Splendid and the Vile. I'm fascinated by Churchill and WWII, so I'm sure that contributed.

I'm reading the second Harbinder Kaur book from Elly Griffiths, The Postscript Murders, and can't wait for the new Ruth Galloway.

març 6, 1:55pm

Well, m'dear, I hope that by now your hip has settled down and that tonight will be easier than last night.

FYI, hereabouts "slipcases" = "pillow slips." (That was Mama's Mama born in 1885.)

març 6, 3:36pm

>220 jnwelch: Hi Joe! I think that perhaps because it's WWII that I'm resisting the urge to read The Splendid and the Vile and In the Garden of the Beasts. I honestly don't know why I resist books about WWII so much.

Yay for Harbinder Kaur, patience for The Night Hawks.

>221 LizzieD: My hip has settled down, as has my lower back. Right now it's nice to be mostly pain free.

Pillow cases, slipcases, pillow slips. *smile*

Editat: març 6, 3:44pm

>222 karenmarie: Some of us grew up surrounded by the shards of WWII, movies, men telling war stories, books, attitudes. I feel permanently overdosed.


març 6, 6:17pm

Hi Karen!

>222 karenmarie: Glad to hear that you are mostly pain free. Sorry to hear about the uncomfortable dentist chair.

Have a great weekend :)

març 6, 9:10pm

>223 quondame: Susan, my dad was in WWII. He never spoke about the war except for two funny stories, both related to food, except for one time in 1990 when I asked him if he killed anybody in the war. He said he did and didn't elaborate. He carried shrapnel in his right leg until the day he died. He didn't keep his ribbons or medals. I watched lots of movies about WWII, read books, probably internalized Dad's attitudes. I didn't hear it at home, but I feel permanently overdosed, too. And, in hindsight, I know my dad had PTSD.

My sister got Dad's ribbons and made this display:

I grew up with 'pillowcases' but occasionally go Southern.

>224 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita! My back and hip feel much better, thank you. I love chiropractic!

So far the weekend's been good. I hope your weekend's going well, too.

març 6, 11:18pm

>225 karenmarie: My dad didn't ship out, he was working co-coordinating supplies from the states west of the Mississippi. When he burnt out it took 5 guys to replace him. He didn't have stories, but the rest of the men did and we seemed to have people over 2-3 times a month. I lived on a naval base that was a weapons center with most of the men in the social circle scientists and engineers who had degrees via the GI bill, though my dad, older than most by about 15 years, had his Ph.D before the war. But living withing a gated fenced off area, with marines at the gate, seeing uniforms daily and all the movies and TV, though to be fair 40% were westerns, and the books taught in school pretty much did it for me. Or maybe it was the nightly dreams where I hid from invaders and I should blame it on the cold war.

març 7, 8:21am

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. Looks to be another beautiful day in the Midwest and it looks like we will hit the 60s tomorrow. Yah! No birding plans for today. I have laundry and food shopping but maybe I can get a walk in.

In regards to Mr. Larson, I wasn't a big fan of In the Garden of the Beasts, (his weakest, IMHO) but I remember really enjoying Thunderstruck.

març 7, 8:26am

>225 karenmarie: & >226 quondame: My uncle's stories of his time in the Navy during the war always made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. He was sunk and hated the "enemy" until his dying breath. He mentioned that he would have sooner have been eaten by the sharks as taken prisoner as he was.

març 7, 9:02am

>226 quondame: I’m sorry your dad got burnt out. Imagine it taking 5 guys replace him, too. Your living on a naval base brought it all home, as it were, and having people over only reinforced it, it seems. Your experience is vastly different than mine. My dad became a loner. We rarely had people over to the house, rarely went to other peoples houses although as kids we were very active in Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, tap/ballet for a while, etc. Only one of my dad’s first cousins lived in SoCal and we saw him and his family perhaps twice a year since we lived in Hawthorne and they lived in Anaheim – major outing! Later in life, like when my Dad was in his 70s, he got back together with some of his war-time buddies and there were quite a few social events with them and their wives. Several pictures from those times show my dad looking happy with cigarette and drink in hand and my mother looking vastly uncomfortable. Part of it, I'm sure, was that she was 11 years younger than my dad and probably didn't relate to the wives at all.

Regardless of which war it was, your dreams of hiding from invaders had to have been stressful.

>227 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you, too. Your weather does look good for the next several days and I hope birding plays a part soon, if not today.

I found that reading Larson’s books too close together diminished my appreciation. I read 3 in 3 months in 2018 and haven’t had the urge to go back to him. Yet. The time will come, however.

>228 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul. POW stories are hair raising. Your poor uncle.

març 7, 11:52am

Hey Horrible, have a painless and pain-free Sunday.


març 7, 1:20pm

Hooray for the hip and back!!!!! Hope they're good for a long while now.

I grew up with the few stories my daddy and his brothers told about their WWII experiences in my hearing. My father told only the funny stuff, but some of his crew who stayed in touch, augmented the stories. (Poor Grandmother had three sons overseas at the same time and a fourth badly injured from an accident in a training flight.) I think I just lately quoted a hometown friend, who said to me the morning after Daddy gave a program to the local Hi-Y, "Hmph. A man like that should have SONS!"

març 7, 1:56pm

>230 richardderus: Hi RDear! The day's going well - reading Prodigal Son, 6th in the Orphan X series, 2 episodes of Major Crimes, leftover pizza for lunch. I filled the bird feeders and etc. Normal stuff for a relatively normal day.

And on Wednesday I'll be 2 weeks after my 2nd dose of Pfizer vaccine, and will cautiously open up to doing a few things.

>231 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. My back and hip feel back in synch, with a bit of residual tenderness. I did feel my hip a bit last night but took some ibuprophen which helped. Before the chiropractic visit on Friday ibuprophen hadn't dented the pain. Tuesday's followup visit will be to make sure the adjustment takes and pure self-indulgence.

Yup, my dad only told the funny stuff. I had no one come to the house to augment the stories but didn't know enough about life to understand that was unusual.

Your poor grandmother. I absolutely cannot imagine. And your hometown friend. Hmph.

març 7, 5:22pm

>229 karenmarie: My mom was the social force in the family, though my dad never seemed to object to an opportunity for drinking and going on about whatever. It was a pretty small social group with mostly men on one side of the room and women on the other by the time I was old enough to join in - about 13 or so, and my mother loved showing off her cooking skills and used me as kitchen help.
Is it possible that your mom just wasn't comfortable in social situations or that a bunch of older men of the period were just a pain to be around. And if she wasn't a smoker that would have been another unpleasantness.

març 8, 1:46am

It is kind of sad reading about people's dads and relatives who were in the war. My dad was born during WWII, his father and uncles all ended up as POWs (enduring 1-7 years incarceration), and he ended up a refugee in NZ with his mother (who thought she was a war widow but ended up not being one in the end...). Whichever 'side' people are on, the whole thing stinks of trauma for the people whose governments were supposed to be looking out for them.

març 8, 7:32am

Morning, Karen. 62F today! Yippee! Of course, I will be meeting my birding buddies in a just a bit. I saw and heard at least 200 hundred Sandhill Cranes fly over the house yesterday. Always a joy to see and hear. I am also wrapping up Red-Tails in Love, which has been a lot of fun. Yep, I am immersed in birds.

Editat: març 8, 7:52am

>233 quondame: It sounds like you have some good memories of those visitors, your mom's cooking skills, and your ability to interact.

My mom and dad both smoked until about I was about 10. Dad was diagnosed with bronchiectasis. As kids we were told this was a pre-cancerous lung condition, but in looking at the literature, now, as an adult, I don't see that. Anyway, dad quit because he pretty much had to and mom did it to support him. Several years later dad took up cigars, ugh, and mom started complaining about the smoke in the house. Dad eventually took up smoking again but mom never did. Dad finally quit when he had bypass surgery.

I swore at the age of 6 I would never smoke and never have. Thank goodness I married a man who's never smoked, and our daughter is also a nonsmoker. Bill's mama smoked in our house early in my marriage, but as we were building our first house I was trying to figure out how to keep the peace but still not let her smoke in the house. She had a stroke and finally had to quit, which solved that potential problem. When Mom and Dad visited us in 1993 when Jenna was 3 months old, Dad smoked outside.

So when Mom went to those reunions, I'm sure part of it was that she didn't smoke. She was also a non-drinking alcoholic by that time, so, in thinking about it,I see that she was surrounded by people who had two habits she used to have and used to love.

>234 LovingLit: Megan, how awful about your grandfather and uncles being POWs. War is always ugly - it seems to be either for territory or religion, and the fallout is always terrible.

>235 msf59: 'Morning, Mark, and happy birding day to you. I am still sad that I only saw one juvenile Sandhill Crane when I was in Montana in 2018, not the flocks that had been promised to me. *smile* But I saw Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles galore, wild turkeys, ring-necked pheasants, and etc.

62F is actually one degree warmer than our projected high for the day, and right now it's a hard freeze at 25F.

Estimating business is slow at Bill's work and he literally doesn't have any estimates to work on today; so he's home. The TV's on, and Bill's talkative in the morning, whereas I am not talkative but have to respond to be polite. I don't particularly care about Cuomo's chances of resigning before I've had some coffee.

I'm not exactly hiding out in the Sunroom, because this is my normal hangout room, but I am a bit grumpy.

març 8, 8:05am

>225 karenmarie: Your father must have gone through a lot, those medals are quite impressive. You can't often say it of war, but people here are still grateful for what was done. I am sorry he suffered with PTSD because of it.

març 8, 8:49am

>236 karenmarie: Oh, why do the chatty ones infest the furniture of normal, silent-until-coffee-hits humanity. It simply is not fair.

As to Cuomo, he's out in November 2022. Surely that's soon enough?

març 8, 9:40am

>236 karenmarie: >238 richardderus: I'm glad it's not just me. I prefer to sit around in a stunned stupor until my coffee kicks in.

Dad was in Vietnam and he never spoke about his experiences there, either. He did suffer from PTSD although I would never have known unless Mom told me. Plus, once when I was a kid the family went to see a war movie and Dad became so upset that we left early.

Parker, after some really ugly episodes, is finally becoming acclimated to the new place. He'll even explore the basement on his own. The first time I opened the basement door and went downstairs, Parker looked at me like I had just entered a portal to another dimension, and the closest he would come down was to sit on the third step and hiss at me. I'm really glad, I was worried about him there for a while.

It's going to be lovely and warm today!

Editat: març 8, 9:49am

>237 EllaTim: Hi Ella. Seeing those ribbons made me more curious about my dad's service years, but, sadly, unless my sister knows any stories I don't, I'll never know more than I do.

I know that people in Europe still acknowledge the US contribution to the war effort and honor those remaining alive who served. It touches me and I thank you.

>238 richardderus: I'm a bit more coherent now that I've been up for 2 hours. I get as coherent as early in the day as is required, no sooner. One of the joys and perks of retirement. Even this morning, 5 years, 1 month, and 8 days after I retired, I woke up, realized that I could get up or fall back asleep if I wanted, and did a mental happy dance.

For me that's soon enough. Oh, how I hate it when Democrats f*** up! I expect it of the Gang of Psychos, but I hold my party to a high standard. I was going to say higher standard, but the GoP has sunk so low that their standard is barely recognizable as a standard.

>239 SomeGuyInVirginia: As I was writing answers to Ella and RD, you snuck in a nice post, Larry.

When I worked, I took a thermos of coffee to work, which meant that I didn’t get my first hit of coffee until about 2 hours after I woke up. Now, because of my Bunn coffee maker, I have a cup of coffee within 6 or 7 minutes of starting the process.

I’m sorry about your Dad’s PTSD. I’m glad your mom clued you in.

Parker D, you sweet little kitten! You do give your human dad a run for his money, don’t you? Hissing at him from the third step down is bad manners. But I’m glad you’re settling in and not causing as much worry.

Yay for warmth and loveliness. It’s cold and lovely here, now up to 47F. I had to add some water to the bird bath earlier and really appreciate a warm house.

març 8, 12:07pm

Sorry you're grumpy today Karen! Hopefully things get better.

març 8, 1:03pm

>236 karenmarie: Bill's talkative in the morning, whereas I am not talkative but have to respond to be polite. I don't particularly care about ...

I had a dose of that this morning myself. Our topic du jour was Harry & Megan's interview with Oprah. We didn't watch it and haven't read any press coverage, but that doesn't stop a certain someone from having opinions before I've had my coffee. I'm the morning person so this particular shoe is usually on the other foot but not today. I'm not sure I've recovered yet LOL.

I hope your grumpiness fades away ...

març 8, 1:03pm

>222 karenmarie: I had totally forgotten the word "pillow slip" . I always call them "pillow cases" but now I remember that my mother used to call them "pillow slips" -- made me smile and think of my sweet mama :)

Editat: març 9, 7:48am

>241 The_Hibernator: Grumpies are over, Rachel, thanks for the good wishes.

>242 lauralkeet: I hope that you're recovered, Laura. I've seen a couple of clips, and read a few quotes. Bill doesn't have any sympathy for Meagan Meghan and Harry and I do. I wish them a long life away from The Firm, filled with happiness, their children, and their escape from an intolerable situation.

>243 RebaRelishesReading: I'm happy to have jogged your memory and given you smiles for your sweet mama, Reba.

març 8, 3:47pm

>244 karenmarie: Bill doesn't have any sympathy for Meagan and Harry and I do.
Yep, similar situation here, Karen!

març 8, 4:14pm

>240 karenmarie:
Sympathy for Meghan and Harry, yes. DH says, "Meghan and Harry Who?"

Oh! The current Republican party has standards? How interesting.

març 8, 4:58pm

>239 SomeGuyInVirginia:, >240 karenmarie: My father was in Korea, and like everything else he experienced, talked about it. I was only vaguely interested, and have no memories of my sisters being any more so. Sad to say, most of what I remember was his intense homophobic vituperation of a c.o. of his, the horrors of being married to someone an ocean away leading to brothel visits, etc etc ad nauseam.

He just wasn't my kind of people. Crude, loud, and hateful.

març 8, 7:19pm

>236 karenmarie: Somehow in my late teens I started viewing the "grown ups" around me as people with histories, problems, and weaknesses and got impatient when contemporaries complained about how details of their families problems made them feel they had it bad when I could see the families they envied were dealing with alcoholism, debt, infidelity and a host of other issues. Not to say I knew, but I guessed from what I did know and saw. It's amazing that as adults so many people look back and see their own problems as unique against a background of other families that were happy and well adjusted when any re-evaluation of their own memories and judgement should inform them differently.

març 8, 9:28pm

>245 lauralkeet: Great minds, Laura…

>246 LizzieD: Peggy, I can see your DH saying “Meghan and Harry Who?” and I realize I misspelled Meghan upstream. I’m lazy and don’t think I’ll change it, at least not tonight.

Huh. GoP standard. I’ll cede that they don’t have standards any more. I was being generous, I guess.

>247 richardderus: Sorry about your father’s verbal diarrhea about everything he experienced. A little reticence never hurt anybody, especially to children who shouldn’t have to hear their parent’s homophobic rants and their sexual peccadillos. *shudder*

>248 quondame: Although I don’t always remember to adhere to it, I try to remember to not judge my insides against other peoples’ outsides. Everybody has problems, everybody’s problems are as important to them as mine are to me, and I need to be mindful that just because someone doesn’t show their problems doesn’t mean they don’t have them. This helps a lot with reducing envy and jealousy.

març 9, 7:15am

Morning, Karen. Getting ready to head out on a long day trip with my birding buddies. A near 3 hour drive. Crazy, I know but I am retired, right? Reportedly, there will be large flocks of waterfowl down there. Oh yeah, I had my first Eastern Bluebirds of the year yesterday. Yah!

març 9, 7:50am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Retired Day. Enjoy your time with your birding buddies and with the birds.

I've got a follow-up appointment with the chiropractor today. My right hip got me out of bed this morning, but I did sleep a solid 6 hours without moving. Woke up sandwiched between my two girl kitties.

març 9, 10:40am

Hope your hip isn't bugging you too bad and that the chiropractor helps!

març 9, 12:14pm

Hi Chelle! I can feel it, but just got home from the adjustment and will use some ice, which I hate. 🙁

I should have married a chiropractor.

març 9, 1:06pm

Happy Nouvelle Adjustment! It turns out "delayed" meant one day, so Annie'n'me are settling down and in.

març 9, 1:15pm

Hi RD! Thank you. 20 minutes of ice done, now for a bit of lunch. I'm glad Annie showed up. 😊

Editat: març 10, 7:39am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. You will have to stop by my thread and see the details from yesterday's outing. It was quite a day, despite the ridiculous amount of driving. We left at 630 and I got home at 6. As of now, no birding plans for this A.M. Maybe something later? Enjoy your day.

març 10, 9:07am

Hi Mark! Happy Wednesday to you, too. You're always my first visit after I check my own thread, so I'll be visiting pretty quickly. I'm glad you had a good, if long, day.

Today's just me and the kitties. So far it's just been coffee and writing an email to my Aunt Joyce.

març 10, 3:10pm

Well. Wasn't this a lovely one. More sunshine, warm-enough temps, and I gave up on the window-sill guys and put all my books back in place. I love having milk crates to keep them in! If something needs to move, *whammo* it moves.

I'm officially recovering from the (genuinely hard for me) labors, but really I'm just a giant person-sized nudibranch of laziness and basking in the UV rays.


març 10, 6:54pm

Horrible! You Birdbrain you! You need to go watch Xavi Bou's bird-flight photos! His Catalan accent is a little heavy but the images are stunning.

març 10, 9:17pm

>258 richardderus: It was a lovely one here, too, RD. I thought about reading in the hammock but took a nap inside instead.

Yay for milk crate flexibility.

Elegant and ruffly, or spiky and alien looking?

Chika Watanabe from Los Altos, USA - Flickr

Parent Géry, own work, cropped

>259 richardderus: Yes, sir! Probably tomorrow - time to read and go to bed.


març 11, 7:58am

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. It was very windy yesterday but it looks much quieter out there right now. I am heading out on a solo jaunt. I will see if I can drum up any FOY birds. My feeders have been moderately busy too.

març 11, 8:20am

>261 msf59: 'Morning, Mark, and a very sweet Thursday to you, too. Enjoy your solo time, good luck on FoYs!

I just put out a new suet cake. the feeders have been busy here, too.

Today will be the first errand run since I'm fully vaccinated, including the two weeks after my second dose. I plan on celebrating by going into the thrift shop and Habitat for Humanity and look for books. Masked, of course, but still, this will be the first time since February 2020.

març 11, 12:14pm

>262 karenmarie: ...waiting for book news...

març 11, 1:24pm

Enjoy your errand day! Yay for new(ish) books!

març 11, 3:03pm

>248 quondame: you were a very perceptive teen, it sounds. I am sure it took me a little longer to clue in to the reality of adults lives around me. Even now in my family a certain relative seems to be unable to have any empathy for my dad and his trying upbringing, and how this might explain his emotional reticence.

>251 karenmarie: was it the solid 6 hours sleep without moving that got your right hip talking to you?? I used to find that stiffness from stillness was an issue.

març 11, 4:40pm

>265 LovingLit: When your back yard is full of landmines you are alert to clues where the safe paths might be.

març 11, 6:10pm

>260 karenmarie: Beautiful, the both of them. So surprising.

març 11, 8:47pm

>263 richardderus: Okay. Book news. One book. I was surprised at the sameness of the books 13 months after I last went to the thrift shop and the Habitat for Humanity store. I didn't even see any of the books published last year that I bought on Amazon... I bought nothing at either store and was Very Disappointed. I then went and bought suet for the birds and stopped at the used book store in town. Nothing was calling out to me. I remembered that Margaret Maron died recently and bought the first in her Deborah Knott series, Bootlegger’s Daughter. Went to my appointment with the chiropractor, then came on home. Only one book seems sacrilegious, but I won’t buy books that I don’t even remotely think I’ll read.

>264 ChelleBearss: I had fun looking at books and just being out on non-essential errands.

>265 LovingLit: I have a relative who has never been able to forgive another family member. Forgiveness is hard, so I don't hold it against them. It’s hard to accept that someone might have different feelings towards someone we love.

“Stiffness from stillness” – A good way of putting it. It might have been the 6 hours of solid sleep, yet last night I woke up twice in the night and woke up with my right hip complaining vigorously. So not always but perhaps some times?

>266 quondame: I’ve stepped on a few family landmines over the years.

>267 EllaTim: Just look at images of nudibranchs, Ella. You’ll be amazed and awestruck.

març 11, 11:05pm

Oh NO! Margaret Maron died? I had no idea. I have been a great fan, especially after hearing her read, meeting her, and arranging for her to chat at my Readers' Vine site years ago. The Deborah Knott books were good, but Sigrid Harold had my heart.
So now I'm off to investigate.
Hope the hip says "Yippee" to the new treatment by morning and that you feel really well.

març 12, 2:49am

>268 karenmarie: So sorry to read you only found one book you liked, Karen. I can imagine you being disappointed.

I hope your hip is doing better this morning.

març 12, 7:12am

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. Heading out early with my birder buddy, Mike. I had a very nice solo jaunt yesterday with a respectable number of birds seen but no FOYs. Maybe today?

Bummer about the dearth of books yesterday.

març 12, 7:42am

>269 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. I don't know why I remembered that she died - it was less than a month ago. I must have heard it on NPR.

I'm feeling pretty good this morning. I slept well last night, too.

>270 connie53: Hi Connie. It's not that I need books, it's just that I need books. Because of the donation to the Friends in January and the donor's saying I could take books for myself that I have added so many books to my catalog already this year.

My hip is doing a low-level ping every once in a while.

>271 msf59: 'Morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you. Yay for a birding adventure with Mike. Good luck on seeing FOYs.

Frankly I had visions of a higher caliber of book because books that would normally have been donated to the Friends have probably been ending up at the thrift shop. Oh well. Now I can go more regularly, which is always the best way to score at thrift shops.

First sips of coffee taken, kitties and fish fed. So far a good start.

març 12, 1:14pm

I'm glad that the hip is merely pinging since that's a better choice than playing a concerto. I'm also delighted that you're back into your thrift shop mode for books. I am happily more into take-out. Friend Barbara is coming by tonight with my favorite green curry from Thai Chili, which she'll pick up on a run for her favorite red. For Mama and DH, it's salmon patty night. I don't have to cook, and I don't have to eat salmon patty - BIG WIN!

març 12, 1:34pm

Pinging is an improvement; the disappointment of coming home with Bootlegger's Daughter must've stung nastily! Then again, who's giving books away right now? No one will take 'em!


març 12, 6:14pm

>273 LizzieD: I don't have to cook, and I don't have to eat salmon patty - BIG WIN!

That made me laugh, Peggy. I can't say I blame you. I like salmon but prefer it fresh, and grilled or broiled. I hope you enjoyed your curry!

març 12, 9:15pm

>273 LizzieD: Yay for your green curry. I'm so glad you have been able to expand your repertoire.

However, I personally like what we call salmon croquettes, but I don't add anything extraneous - nothing more than canned salmon minus the skin and bloodline - I even keep in the juice and the itty bitty bones but crush them. Add an egg, mix it all up, make patties, dip them in crushed saltines and fry in a generous amount of oil. No salt, no pepper, absolutely no onion, capers, or anything else. Also one of Jenna's and Bill's favorites.

>274 richardderus: Only having one book come home was a disappointment - I had visions of a bag or two of books, frankly.

The thrift shops in town are accepting books. It's just that the types of books being donated aren't ones I want. The types of books I want are the ones that people are saving to donate to the FoL, I think. The thrift shops in town are frequently disappointing, it's just that I thought I might get lucky this time, the first time in 13 months. *smooch*

>275 lauralkeet: I love fresh salmon, but can only get farm salmon where I live unless I drive about 30 miles one way and am willing to pay exorbitant prices for wild-caught salmon.

Editat: març 13, 12:04am

I got the second shot today. The jab site is slightly tender now, almost eight hours later. I hit two Goodwills to celebrate. At the first, I only found four worthies, including a Jane Smiley bio of Chas. Dickens. So I took a slightly circuitous route home and gave a look at another GW. Bought my first Joe Hill. A Nesbo, an Oliver Sacks, The Maltese Falcon, which I've read but until now didn't own, and Martin Dressler, a Pulitzer winner I haven't read.

After supper and a nap, I finished The Phantom Tollbooth. It's author, Norton Juster, died this week.

març 13, 7:10am

Good to hear the hip is only pinging, Karen.

març 13, 7:43am

>277 weird_O: Hi Bill! Congrats on getting your second shot. Your thrift shop book forays are much more successful than mine were. I've had The Phantom Tollbooth on my shelves for more than 13 years - it's amongst the first wave of books I added when I joined LT in 2007.

>278 connie53: Hi Connie. It's much, much better for 3 chiropractic treatments.

I've got a meeting with the FoL Treasurer this morning. A tree service that we've used forever is coming out to give us a quote on early spring pruning and cleanup. A busier Saturday than usual.

març 13, 8:07am

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. I was planning on heading out early for a solo jaunt but decided to sleep in a bit and take a little break. I was out of the house early most of last week. I finally got a FOY yesterday, an American Woodcock. This was last night. They are doing their mating display which is pretty cool to witness. We also heard a pack of coyotes howling and yapping. It is an eerie sound.

Editat: març 13, 7:29pm

I read The Phantom Tollbooth when I was a kid but don't remember anything about the story. I do remember that something about the book really disturbed me, but I don't remember what.

The Lynchburg Library may, or may not, except donations in the future. There's just a world of difference between the Fairfax Library system and the City of Lynchburg and/or Campbell County Library system. I think I got spoiled. still, I need to see the place before I make any decisions. I found excellent libraries in Podunk tiny little old Southern towns.

>266 quondame: Hello Thanksgiving!

març 13, 9:09pm

>280 msf59: Hi Mark, and happy last-few-hours-of-Saturday to you, too. I've seen videos of American Woodcocks, and they are a riot to watch strutting along. Their courtship displays are amazing. Never seen one in nature, alas.

We have packs of coyotes out by us, probably no closer than about a mile. Every once in a while they get all excited and start yipping. It is an eerie sound and I'm glad they're no closer than they are, what with my indoor-outdoor kitties.

>281 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hmmm. Something disturbing. Maybe, just maybe, I'll read it one of these fine days.

I just looked at the Lynchburg Public Library online. I also see that they have a Friends of the Library. And the Library's been open since October? Wow. Our Library isn't open and isn't saying when they will be open.

Our Podunk tiny little old southern town has an excellent Library, supported by a fantastic FoL. *smile*

Zoe Rose loves being outdoors and snuck out for an evening stroll just when Bill was going to close the kitty door. She only just came in, 3 hours after she went out. She left a present for us just outside the kitty door. The kitty door is now locked for the night.

març 14, 8:14am

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. I am getting ready to scoot out on a solo jaunt. I do not like these time changes. The rest of the day will be reserved for the books. Enjoy your day.

març 14, 9:06am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you, too. Enjoy your solo jaunt. I don't particularly like the time changes, although they don't bother me as much as they did when Jenna was little and before I retired.

Yesterday busy-ness translates into today lazy-ness. Coffee in hand, watching the birds. Yesterday I saw a Junco, a Carolina Wren, Red-Bellied and Downy Woodpeckers, Carolina Chickadees, Cardinals, and lots of finches.

març 14, 9:12am

Time changes when the kids were babies was a form of hell for me! Now that they are a little bit older it doesn't seem to be as bad. Although bedtime tonight everyone will be very cranky and ready for bed early!

març 14, 9:17am

Hi Chelle! Yes, schedules get jerked around twice a year for what I can't see as a valid reason. Glad it's easier on you now that the girls are a bit older.

març 14, 12:49pm

...time change...? Does that happen sometime soon? *blink*

març 14, 2:54pm

Ignorance is bliss, RD...

març 15, 8:10am

Morning, Karen. We are going to have a wintery mix out there today. Cold, wind and some snow. I have a couple of errands to run but no birding plans. I liked your feeder report from yesterday. Mine were hopping yesterday too.

març 15, 8:27am

'Morning, Mark! Brrrr. It looks like you're going to get remnants of that storm that smacked Colorado, Wyoming, etc. Enjoy your day.

I still want snow, but realize that it's less and less likely.

Friends of the Library Board meeting this morning. Since I'm President, I will chair it. I don't expect much news. As of last Monday, the Librarian confirmed that there are no plans to re-open the Library soon, and that means no Friends Book Sale any time soon. It's the county's decision, and one I'm personally not distraught about. We're getting close to containing Covid and I think that too much is being opened too early, here in NC and around the country.

març 15, 9:28am

That's too bad that your library is still closed, but better safe I guess. Ours is open for pickup only, no browsing.

març 15, 9:34am

We've been enjoying having the two vaccine shots, too, Karen. Yesterday I got a Starbucks drink for our double-vaccinated teacher daughter, and she excitedly texted her best friend that "I'm inside a Starbucks!" It had been a year for her, too. We're still wearing our masks, too, since it's recommended and may protect others. I'm wondering whether at some point we're going to start wearing pins or something that say, "I'm Fully Vaccinated", to let others know.

How is it going with Prodigal Son? I had a good time with it; Brodie was less than thrilled with the mother storyline and the drones.

març 15, 11:49am

I won't budge outdoors without a mask, and to my relief, neither will Rob. Fully vaccinated and more than two weeks on, you're 100% not going to die of it, but it's still possible to catch a variant, even though the vaccine works to protect you...IF you act the fool.

Plus, even getting sick with this damn plague was miserable, and my life was never in danger. Bad enough, thanks. So a-maskèd I do go.

Editat: març 15, 12:06pm

>291 ChelleBearss: Hi Chelle. I just finished chairing our Friends of the Library Board meeting, at which the County Librarian emphasized to us that although the pandemic would change how the Library operated, it's the fact that there was a cyber incident on October 28, 2020 that shut down everything in the county and things are still not back to normal. The Library doesn't have all the online resources it needs to re-open yet, believe it or not. I do know that the county has (finally) taken the opportunity to completely redo the county website, finally getting a .gov designation rather than the .org one they had.

I don't know how they would control the number of people that could be in the Library at once, once the Library reopens. Fortunately, not my problem.

>292 jnwelch: It's freeing, isn't it Joe? It's also not changed anything I've done yet with the exception of going to 3 book stores and not wearing a mask around my friend Louise, who isn't quite at 2 weeks past her second dose but is close. Masks in public for sure. We're still quarantining pantry items, but I'm beginning to think we can abandon that one.

I finished Prodigal Son on March 7th. Here's what i wrote for my March Lightning Round:
6th in the Orphan X series, very satisfying. Evan discovers more about his past after he gets a call purporting to be from his birth mother. She asks him to help someone from his past life. Evan starts re-evaluating what’s important to him. Bad guys get killed, good guys are saved. There’s some very interesting and scary AI. Once again there’s a shocker at the end of the book, set up for the next book.
Now it's a long wait for book #7!

>293 richardderus: Hiya, RD! Great minds, constant vigilance, masks for the foreseeable future. It's the responsible thing to do, and I never even had Covid, to my best knowledge.

març 15, 5:36pm

Karen, at our library, when we were in lockdown, they never totally shut. No patrons were allowed inside to browse but you could request books through their website and pick them up curbside. The way they handled that was to have people line up outside, and only one inside the door at a time. A couple of tables were set up barring entry, and a staff member asked you to place your library card in a little plastic basket, number side up. They went to collect your books, used the card to check it out (touchless), and you picked up your own card from the basket and they handed you the books. They also had a terrific display of *surprise bundles*, that we could choose from. There was a board that told what was in each bundle, according to topic (kids, cooking, mystery, fitness, fiction, etc), 3 books to a bundle or 3 dvds to a bundle and they checked out what you borrowed. It was a fun and creative touch to walk out with more than you came for!

I think the library is open now (as of last week, we are no longer in stay-at-home lockdown but they are still strictly controlling the number of people inside at a time. I haven't been inside yet, myself. Drop-off for books is still at the outside drop box and they quarantine the books for 2 weeks, I think, before they are back in circulation.

Such times we live in!

març 15, 11:54pm

>260 karenmarie: Gorgeous Nudibranchs.
These are here on your thread to delight us no doubt, but I wondered what reference to the sea creatures I was missing?

març 16, 2:14am

Hi Karen,

The two libraries I use are both open. Our town library has someone posted at the doors who keeps track of how many people enter and leave. The county library, which just recently reopened, also keeps track plus they scan your library card at the door to use for contact tracing, just in case. It was so nice to be able to go inside.

Ugh, coyotes and kitties. Our coyotes here are active most of the day, especially in the late afternoon. I hope yours move further away.

Editat: març 16, 7:54am

Morning, Karen. Yesterday was a mess, so I did not get out for a walk. We may see some sun today, and it may creep up to 50F, so I will be heading out in an hour or so, for a solo jaunt. Feeders have been hopping. Housefinch, goldfinch, juncos, sparrows, downys, ect...And we had our favorite pair of mallards drop by too, FOY for the backyard.

març 16, 9:16am

>295 jessibud2: Your Library sounds like it is taking excellent steps to keep the staff and card-carrying public safe, Shelley. Our Library has had the additional burden of the October 28, 2020 cyber attack to contend with. They’re not open, but they got the computerized catalog back recently, updated checkouts/returns from a 125-page list, and performed a 4-wall inventory. Stunning effort. Last I heard, they had a 3 or 4 day quarantine on returned materials.

>296 SandyAMcPherson: It was from Richard’s post at >258 richardderus:, Sandy - but really I'm just a giant person-sized nudibranch of laziness and basking in the UV rays. I usually try to look up things mentioned on threads that seem interesting or that I want more information for. I’d heard of nudibranchs but didn’t have a vision of them in my mind. Once I saw the wide variety of colors and shapes, I got a bit playful.

>297 Copperskye: Hi Joanne. More Libraries being responsible and proactive. It places a huge burden on Libraries, because most don’t have extra staff.

I have no idea when our coyotes are active, since they are so far away. I only hear them. We’ve lived in this house for almost 23 years. We’ve heard the coyotes for almost 23 years. So far so good, kitty-wise. 🤞

>298 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark. Sorry about yesterday’s weather mess. You must have been chomping at the bit. Yay for today’s solo jaunt. Thanks for the feeder report AND the mallards.

I’m looking at my feeders and there are perhaps 215 birds in the Crepe Myrtle. It appears to be mostly finches right now, with a few Cardinals. I saw a male Downy Woodpecker when I first walked in this morning, and a female Red-Bellied Woodpecker also ate at the suet bar soon after.

Off to create a new thread!

març 17, 12:16pm

Good morning, Karen!

Big sigh of relief to have my second vaccination, even though the two week mark will be next week for me.

I'm glad I had a chance to catch up with all your good reading and all, before you started your new thread! So far behind!

març 17, 12:21pm

Congrats, Janet. Even getting the appointment for my first dose was cause for relief. Each dose taken and now finally hitting the 2-weeks-after-second-dose-milestone last week, have helped a great deal mentally. Bill's second dose is tomorrow and Jenna's signed up with her county and is working through the college she tutors at to keep informed and available for the vaccine.

Huh. Behind is my middle name. I occasionally sort by New/total and trying to pick off the threads with the most messages first, always excepting the few I post to every day.
En/na karenmarie: a new normal with lots of books - IV ha continuat aquest tema.