jjmcgaffey Reading in 2020!

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jjmcgaffey Reading in 2020!

1jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: tammikuu 3, 2020, 5:31pm

My fifth year in Club Read - looking forward to discussions in my thread!

I'm Jennifer; I live in Alameda, CA, with two cats. My parents live down the street (about a mile and a half away); one sister in Mountain View, about 45 minutes away, and the other in Reno, about 4 hours' drive away. I'm a Foreign Service brat who grew up moving around the world (more or less literally); it's very strange to me to be living in the same house for the 15th year this year. I cook, garden, stitch, do ceramics (taking a ceramics class, again, from my local senior center), sew, weave, braid, program, fix computers (run a home computer repair business) - and oh yeah, read.

I read mostly genre fiction - primarily science fiction and fantasy, which get grouped together as SF (speculative fiction). Then romances, mysteries, animal books, children's books (which include examples of all the genres...). I also read a lot of non-fiction - biography, sciences, history, words, etc. And craft books and cookbooks, which don't so much get _read_ but do get used and referenced. I don't read horror, and I don't read literary fiction - in both cases, because I don't enjoy being depressed by my reading.

Two years ago I hit all my goals easily, so I upped them. Last year, while I did read more than 200 books, not many of them were BOMBs (Books Off My Bookshelf), and I didn't find many to discard either - I read a lot of ebooks. I think I'll leave my goals where they are, until I do achieve them. 200 books, 60 BOMBs, 60 discards.

I'm still working on my boxes of books, so those goals may be easy again...or not. I'm keeping the same rules - one BOMB read for each reread I want to do, and five BOMBs a month (try to actually _do_ this this year); try to match them with discards, but those are more variable. I'm not counting any other kind of book, even books for review (Early Reviewers, Netgalley, etc) - they'll count only if they're over a year old (and I have way too many of those...) and paper (ebooks never count as BOMBs or for discards).

Books Read



BOMBs Read



Books Discarded


2jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: joulukuu 29, 2019, 5:13am

Reading Rules

1 BOMB read for every reread; cannot read in arrears.

At least 5 BOMBs read every month (or read nothing but BOMBs at the beginning of the month until caught up).

3jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: toukokuu 26, 2020, 2:15am

# indicates re-read, % indicates borrowed book, @ indicates ebook, * indicates BOMB, ! indicates ER etc, ^ indicates new book

Read January-March

January
1. Bad Astronomy - @^ - by Phillip C. Plait.
2. Choices - @^ - by Mercedes Lackey ed.
3. An Heir to Thorns and Steel - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
4. Struck by Lightning - %^ - by Jeffrey S. Rosenthal.
5. Either Side of the Strand - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
6. A Spy in Williamsburg - * - by Isabelle Lawrence.
7. The Enchanted Castle - * - by E. Nesbit.
8. How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse - @^ - by K. Eason.
9. Milky Way Railroad - * - by Kenji Miyazawa.
10. Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers - @! - by Sarena Ulibarri.
11. Jane of Lantern Hill - @^ - by L.M. Montgomery.
12. The Seventh Sinner - * - by Elizabeth Peters.

February
13. Dreyer's English - @^ - by Benjamin Dreyer.
14. Anton and Cecil : Cats at Sea - * - by Lisa Martin.
15. Come Tumbling Down - @^ - by Seanan McGuire.
16. Eight Million Gods - @# - by Wen Spencer.
17. Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Winters - @! - by Sarena Ulibarri.
18. The Spirit in the Clay - @^ - by Nina Kiriki Hoffman.
19. The Silent Strength of Stones - @# - by Nina Kiriki Hoffman.
20. The Thread That Binds the Bones - @# - by Nina Kiriki Hoffman.
21. Black Wolves of Boston - @^ - by Wen Spencer.
22. Heartskein - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
23. A Tangled Web - @^ - by L.M. Montgomery.
24. Clockwork Boys - @^ - by T Kingfisher.
25. The Wonder Engine - @^ - by T Kingfisher.
26. Swordheart - @^ - by T Kingfisher.
27. Gypsy From Nowhere - * - by Sharon Wagner.
28. The Woman Who Smashed Codes - @^ - by Jason Fagone.

March
29. Gypsy and the Moonstone Stallion - * - by Sharon Wagner.
30. Anton and Cecil - Cats on Track - * - by Lisa Martin.
31. The Sign of the Beaver - * - by Elizabeth George Speare.
32. Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson - Moon Called Vol 1 - @% - by Patricia Briggs & Lawrence David.
33. The Edwardians - @^ - by Vita Sackville-West.
34. Imaginary Numbers - @^ - by Seanan McGuire.
35. By Vow and Royal Bloodshed - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
36. Spots the Space Marine - Defense of the Fiddler - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
37. The Midnight Folk - * - by John Masefield.
38. The Wish - * - by Gail Carson Levine.
39. Sweep With Me - @^ - by Ilona Andrews.
40. Hedy's Folly - @^ - by Richard Rhodes.
41. Ratpunzel - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
42. Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson - Moon Called Vol 2 - @% - by Patricia Briggs & Lawrence David.
43. Moon Called - # - by Patricia Briggs.
44. Blood Bound - # - by Patricia Briggs.
45. Iron Kissed - # - by Patricia Briggs.
46. Bone Crossed - # - by Patricia Briggs.
47. Wellspring of Magic - * - by Jan Fields.
48. The Emerald Dragon - * - by Jan Fields.

4jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 27, 2020, 2:29am

# indicates re-read, % indicates borrowed book, @ indicates ebook, * indicates BOMB, ! indicates ER etc, ^ indicates new book

Read April-June

April
49. Silver Borne - # - by Patricia Briggs.
50. River Marked - # - by Patricia Briggs.
51. Alpha & Omega - @# - by Patricia Briggs.
52. Emily Climbs - @* - by L.M. Montgomery.
53. Cry Wolf - @# - by Patricia Briggs.
54. The Dragon, The Damsel, and the Knight - * - by Bob Brown.
55. Hunting Ground - # - by Patricia Briggs.
56. Fair Game - # - by Patricia Briggs.
57. Frost Burned - # - by Patricia Briggs.
58. Night Broken - @# - by Patricia Briggs.
59. Shifting Shadows - @# - by Patricia Briggs.
60. The Westing Game - * - by Ellen Raskin.
61. Three Terrible Trins - * - by Dick King-Smith.
62. The Phantom Roan - * - by Stephen Holt.
63. The Ugly Princess and the Wise Fool - * - by Margaret Gray.
64. Bandit's Moon - * - by Sid Fleischman.
65. Dead Heat - @# - by Patricia Briggs.
66. Fire Touched - @# - by Patricia Briggs.
67. Silence Fallen - @# - by Patricia Briggs.
68. Burn Bright - @# - by Patricia Briggs.
69. Storm Cursed - @^ - by Patricia Briggs.
70. Smoke Bitten - @^ - by Patricia Briggs.
71. Quilting Techniques for Beginners - @^ - by Elizabeth Betts.
72. Code of Honor - @# - by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller.
73. Roving Gambler - @# - by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller.
74. Shout of Honor - @^ - by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller.
75. The Gate that Locks the Tree - @^ - by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller.
76. A Murder of Mages - @^ - by Marshall Ryan Maresca.
77. The Complete Fairy Tales - * - by George MacDonald.
78. Middlegame - @^ - by Seanan McGuire.
79. The Ravenmaster's Secret - * - by Elvira Woodruff.

May
80. Miss Landon and Aubranael - @^ - by Charlotte E. English.
81. The Voyage of the Basilisk - @^ - by Marie Brennan.
82. From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review - @# - by Marie Brennan.
83. In the Labyrinth of Drakes - @^ - by Marie Brennan.
84. Within the Sanctuary of Wings - @^ - by Marie Brennan.
85. Turning Darkness Into Light - @^ - by Marie Brennan.
86. Double Trouble - * - by Barthe DeClements.
87. The Physicians of Vilnoc - @^ - by Lois McMasters Bujold.
88. Featuring the Saint - * - by Leslie Charteris.
89. The Fox Busters - * - by Dick King-Smith.
90. Paladin's Grace - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
91. On Wings of Bone and Glass - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
92. A Night with the Girls - @^ - by Barbara Hambly.
93. Matilda Bone - * - by Karen Cushman.
94. Allaigna's Song: Overture - @^ - by JM Landels.
95. The Aphorisms of Kherishdar - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
96. The Farfarers - @^ - by Farley Mowat.

June
97. Faith in the Service - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
98. The Bronze Bow - * - by Elizabeth George Speare.
99. False Value - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
100. Forbidden Magic - @^ - by Stephanie Burgis.
101. Jim Ugly - * - by Sid Fleischman.
102. Spy, Spy Again - @^ - by Mercedes Lackey.
103. Maestoso Petra - * - by Jane F. Kendall.
104. The Horse-Tamer - * - by Walter Farley.
105. The Admonishments of Kherishdar - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
106. The House of Diamond - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
107. The Mountain of Iron - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
108. The Chocolatier's Ghost - @^ - by Cindy Lynn Speer.
109. Black Blossom - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
110. The Railway Children - @^ - by E. Nesbit.

5jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: joulukuu 29, 2019, 5:15am

# indicates re-read, % indicates borrowed book, @ indicates ebook, * indicates BOMB, ! indicates ER etc, ^ indicates new book

Read July-September

July
August
September

6jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: joulukuu 29, 2019, 5:15am

# indicates re-read, % indicates borrowed book, @ indicates ebook, * indicates BOMB, ! indicates ER etc, ^ indicates new book

Read October-December

October
November
December

7jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: tammikuu 2, 2020, 2:53am

Link back to last year's thread, with my final reading and stats:
https://www.librarything.com/topic/313221

8benitastrnad
tammikuu 1, 2020, 12:15pm

To continue the Kitchen-Aid mixer discussion from your previous thread. I have both a tilt head and a bowl lift and they sit on my counter all the time. I use the bowl lift for bread and heavy items. I find I need the extra horsepower. I use the tilt head for cakes. If I had to choose I would pick the bowl lift and might even go to the larger size in that style.

I love my Kitchen-Aid mixers and look back on the pre- KichenAid years a the Dark Ages.

9jjmcgaffey
tammikuu 2, 2020, 2:22am

I am a kitchen gadget freak. I have the Kitchenaid (now, or soon, Kitchenaids); a Cuisinart food processor that doesn't get much use but there are some things it's best for; a Vitamix blender, with both a wet and a dry jar (that gets a lot of use, mostly with the wet jar); and a Magic Mill Assistant, otherwise known as an Ankarsrum mixer. Theoretically, and with the proper attachments, the Ankarsrum could replace all of them - but in fact I use it primarily for mixing bread and other large doughs (prince-biscuit, most often. The recipe says "Beat for one hour"...20 minutes in the Ankarsrum does the job). I keep thinking that if I learned to use the Ankarsrum properly I could get rid of one or some of the others, but I never do...

10ronincats
tammikuu 2, 2020, 6:26pm



Happy New Year, Jenn!

11dchaikin
tammikuu 3, 2020, 1:53pm

Happy New Year, Jennifer. I don’t post much here, but I do follow and will try to keep up.

12rocketjk
tammikuu 3, 2020, 4:40pm

Greetings, and happy reading in 2020. I see you live in Alameda. I lived in San Francisco for 23 years, and my wife and I are up in Mendocino County, now. Cheers!

13jjmcgaffey
tammikuu 3, 2020, 5:17pm

Happy New Year to all!

>10 ronincats: Hi, Roni - see you here and in your thread!

>11 dchaikin: Cool, I have a lurker! Glad to hear you read my thread.

>12 rocketjk: Yep. I've now lived in Alameda longer than I've lived in any other place - since 2003, 17 years. Nice to see someone in the region.

14kidzdoc
tammikuu 4, 2020, 11:11am

Happy New Year, Jennifer! My parents bought me a KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus Mixer for Christmas, which is a nice addition to the Instant Pot and the Ninja Mega Kitchen System they got me the previous two Christmases. Do you have any of the attachments for your KitchenAid mixer, and if so, how to you like them? I'm thinking of purchasing a food processor attachment, in order to dice onions, bell peppers and other vegetables.

15jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: tammikuu 5, 2020, 1:22am

I have, but have never used, the grinder/sausage stuffer. I've made sausage, once, in an SCA setting; it was cool, and the sausage was great, but it requires too much prep for me to want to actually do it. I think the grinder can be used for other things but I've never gotten around to investigating. Yes, the food processor looks neat. The one I keep drooling over is the grain mill.

One of my Christmas gifts this year was the Precise Heat Mixing Bowl that works with the Kitchenaid - it's supposed to hold the food at whatever temperature you set it at. Right now all I can think of using it for is tempering chocolate, which doesn't really require it to be on the mixer (it also works just sitting on the counter); when I open the box, though, I suspect they'll have lots of other uses.

I haven't opened it because the one I got is for a tilt-head and I haven't decided yet which one I'm going to keep (I haven't fixed the bowl-lift yet, so can't begin to make that decision). I think if the box is unopened, if I go with the bowl-lift I can return this one and get the bowl-lift version. But I do need to get cracking - there's usually a time limit on returns...

16AlisonY
tammikuu 6, 2020, 10:40am

Dropping off my star too. Happy New Year! Look forward to your 2020 reading and more snippets of life in CA.

17jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: tammikuu 8, 2020, 3:06am

Bleah. Fighting a major cold - night before last I barely slept because every time I lay down I'd feel like I was drowning. Today it's advanced(?) to deep, painful coughs. Ugh. Still, my parents and I took down Christmas today - stripped and removed the tree, took down the creches and other decorations, and got almost all of them down to the storage unit (the tree stand is drying, and we missed the Christmas tablecloth. There's always a Christmas Last...).

Finished my first book - Bad Astronomy by Phil Plait. Not bad, but I enjoy his blog more - I think the concentrated dose of skepticism/debunking got dull after a while. Also I was reading the ebook, and the formatting job was horrible - stuff missing, scannos, images overlapping text - ugh. I think I'm going to get the paper book out of the library and skim for the stuff that wasn't in the ebook - and then I'm going to write Phil Plait and tell him about the problems, because ebooks _can_ be fixed. It may not be - depends on what his publisher thinks - but really, this reflects very badly on them (and to a lesser extent on Phil).

Books Read
1. Bad Astronomy @^ by Phillip C. Plait. Review - Not as interesting as his blog - partly too much skepticism in one go, partly rotten formatting in the ebook.

Currently Reading
Choices, edited by Mercedes Lackey - another Valdemar anthology, just previous to the one I finished late last year. Some good stories, and some that just don't make sense - even though they're explaining the setup to the stories in the later book. I'm having trouble with the logic in some of them (a kyree says she called an "animal horde" which apparently consisted mostly of kyree? Does she think of herself as an animal, then, or are just kyree without magic animals, or...???). Anyway. There are good stories in there too. Also reading A Spy in Williamsburg by Isabelle Lawrence - and that one's a BOMB. Looks pretty good so far though I haven't had time to sit down with it - paper books are harder than ebooks, I have to remember to carry them or read them in one place.

BOMBs
None yet.

Discards
None yet.

New/Reread
One new book. No rereads paid for, and no rollover this year so I have to read BOMBs to earn rereads.

18LadyoftheLodge
tammikuu 9, 2020, 12:06pm

Hi and Happy New Year! I am glad to be back from my two weeks of travel, and have been reading like crazy since we got back. I also took down all the decorations this week, and found one last creche that I overlooked! I am sorry to hear you are ill and hope you soon feel better.

19RidgewayGirl
tammikuu 9, 2020, 1:00pm

I spent a few hours taking down Christmas yesterday, too, only to realize this morning that I'd overlooked the garland, ribbon and lights threaded through the bannister rails. I look forward to following your reading this year.

20jjmcgaffey
tammikuu 11, 2020, 3:02am

Welcome all! Yeah, every year we try to get it all and end up with a Christmas Last - something hiding, often in plain sight.

I'm still coughing and stuffy and slow. Not as bad as it has been, but...and probably another week to go before this thing dies. Bah.

Mom and I have started thinking about the garden - we've bought tomato seeds (and I bought potato seeds - yeah, new thing, apparently you can grow a potato from seed. I'll try it! The question is, can I then collect seed and do it again next year?). I've started making Mom's garden net - at the beginning of last year we decided her net was too tattered to survive, so I knotted her a new one which was supposed to be a bit bigger. But it turned out her old net had bigger meshes, so the new one, with more squares, was actually smaller. So this year I'm making one with larger squares (I'm using a DVD case as a mesh stick - works pretty well), and also I measured the space in feet rather than in squares. Should work better. I need a net too, but I may take Mom's too-small one and use that. This new net is cotton (macrame cord, rather soft) rather than the polyester cord I've used the last several times. If it lasts - if it doesn't dissolve outside in wind and sun and rain - I'll be using it more, because it feels a lot nicer on my hands.

I'm also thinking about making a net, in two colors, that says NETTING - for my booth at the Alameda Mini Maker Faire. Then I'll tie samples of other crafts onto it, also saying what they are, and hang it at the back of the booth to demonstrate the sorts of stuff I can teach. We'll see if this actually happens, but it would be neat.

I've gotten Struck by Lightning back from the library; it's my table book, and I'm well into it. I'm also reading An Heir to Thorns and Steel by M.C.A. Hogarth - slow start, and a rather grim story so far, but it's a Hogarth so it's still worth reading. Haven't finished anything new yet.

21sallypursell
tammikuu 11, 2020, 11:51am

>20 jjmcgaffey: Reading a blurb for that Hogarth you mentioned made me wish that my chronic illness meant something relating to only quasi-human "people", but it would probably be more trouble than it's worth.

22jjmcgaffey
tammikuu 13, 2020, 1:51am

>21 sallypursell: Yeah...I've now finished Heir and while he's no longer crippled by his "illness", he's got much worse problems leaning on him. And then I discovered I don't have the next two books...argh! Buy them soon.

23sallypursell
tammikuu 13, 2020, 3:21am

>22 jjmcgaffey: Quel dommage!

24AlisonY
tammikuu 13, 2020, 3:25am

>20 jjmcgaffey: your focus and energy for making things from scratch amazes me. I admire how productive you are with your spare time.

25sallypursell
tammikuu 13, 2020, 3:26am

>24 AlisonY: I should second Alison's comment.

26jjmcgaffey
tammikuu 14, 2020, 2:00am

It's fun! There's a lot of things that I can buy an approximation of what I want, or for about the same cost plus some time I can create _exactly_ what I want. And for foodstuffs (or other things, for that matter) if I make it myself I can control what goes into it.

>23 sallypursell: Yeah, first world problems... Hogarth is dangerous that way - read one and you immediately want to read the next. I did, in fact, go on to another Hogarth, but a different series.

I had to go to Google Translate for your comment - my family (or maybe just me...) uses Quel horreur!, usually with the back of a hand to the brow.

27quondame
tammikuu 14, 2020, 6:13pm

>26 jjmcgaffey: Hogarth sounds familiar, yet I don't seem to have read any of her books. Cool, another author to explore....

28jjmcgaffey
tammikuu 15, 2020, 4:14am

>27 quondame: I stumbled across her last year or the year before - didn't note who or what pointed me at her, though I have a feeling it was a Talk conversation. I read the Dreamhealers series first, and I'm glad I did - it's much...softer? Gentler? than most of her books, but makes an excellent introduction to her major universe. She's got...well, multiple series (hard to tell how many, because they run into one another) set in the Pelted universe - humans made furries, furries escaped/were set free (not clear) in spaceships, humans stagnated while the Pelted zoomed ahead in tech. In the now of her serieses, the Pelted, humans, Eldritch (space elves!), and a few true alien races are all mingling and culture-clashing all over the place. Deep, rich, complex characters, settings, and plots. Aside from Dreamhealers, there's a lot of rather grim parts to her stories - war and torture and nastier stuff. But it's not casual - the characters grow and develop through everything that happens to them.

This one isn't a Pelted story - it's got "real" elves, and demons, and magic, and humans who have relegated all of the above to myth and folklore and are about to have their eyes opened. But the same sort of complex characters and events (and grim bits). She has a lot of stories and series - I know the Peltedverse best, I've read nearly all of those books (my substitute Hogarth is one, that I hadn't read before), but there are multiple very different settings she uses. Different alien races, too - some interacting with others, some just dealing with themselves.

Anyway. She's amazing, yes you should read her!

29quondame
tammikuu 15, 2020, 4:24pm

>28 jjmcgaffey: Thanks! Hogarth does sound like an author I will enjoy!

30avaland
tammikuu 15, 2020, 5:21pm

Happy new year! I'm hoping to get over here from time to time to check out your reading (I also love my Kitchenaid mixer).

31sallypursell
Muokkaaja: tammikuu 15, 2020, 6:35pm

>15 jjmcgaffey: My Kitchenaid is one of my prized possessions, also. I, too, make many things for myself, but it's not the practical things I make. I like to make original sewn or knitted or quilted or baked things like no one else's. Usually I make them more complicated than I should, but I'm really not interested in simple knitting/sewing/quilting/baking. I believe my work is more in the nature of "textile art", but that feels pretentious. Still, there are a lot of artists in our life circle, since my husband and daughter and a brother are artists, and they and their friends always seem to accept my work as "art". I think of it as sophisticated craft, rather, which is why I think we are somewhat similar.

I, too, think Hogarth sounds like an author who is up my alley.

32jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: tammikuu 15, 2020, 8:29pm

>31 sallypursell: I often make things more complicated than absolutely necessary - but the important thing, to me, is that they do what I need/want them to do. Function wins. Sometimes the decorativeness is the function (Yule log!) but I'll usually make something simple and functional first, then when I've mastered that go for more interesting variations. I do make things "like no one else's", but that's generally because I want it to be like _this_ and no-one's making one that's exactly right.

I do a lot of fingerloop braiding, for instance; if I'm doing a braid I know, I'll think hard about color patterns and how to vary it interestingly. But for a first or early attempt at a new braid, I'll do just enough color variation that I can tell where I am with the braid (one color per hand, for instance); I don't want the color to confuse my understanding of the braid. And I seldom braid without a purpose in mind for the finished work - anything from a hatband to a drawstring to suspension cord for working on something that needs to hang dry. Same thing with my ceramics class - I've made a few purely decorative items, but mostly at the behest of the teacher. The things I've made by my own decision are functional (or are supposed to be - a lovely mug of about 5 ounces capacity...), like dishes or plant markers. I enjoy my purely decorative pieces (a couple plaques and a bird-ish statue, in particular), but I wouldn't think of making them.

I think anybody who likes culture clash and deep characters will enjoy Hogarth, and I think she should be better known. So yay for people being interested! Hope you can find her books - I've been recommending them to my local libraries, in the hope that more people will come across them. They're also on Amazon, in ebook and paper form.

>30 avaland: Hi, Lois! Good to see you, drop by any time you like!

33jjmcgaffey
tammikuu 16, 2020, 2:16am

Books Read
2. Choices @^ by Mercedes Lackey ed. Review - The usual assortment of mostly serials - weird because I just finished the _next_ anthology, so I'm reading backward. Misty's story is wonderful, some of the rest are excellent, all are at least readable.
3. An Heir to Thorns and Steel @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Rich, complicated, rather grim - the first chapters are a slog, but it's worth getting through them (and there's valuable info and characterization in there, too).
3. Struck by Lightning %^ by Jeffrey S. Rosenthal. Review - An interesting treatment of probability in normal life. Most of it I'm familiar with - not much new - but worth reading. Just a little odd because it was written in 2006 - computers and the Internet are a little different now.
4. Either Side of the Strand @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Another rich, complex Hogarth. Alysha and the Stardancer encounter aliens, of multiple types - it feels rather Star Trek, in a good way.
5. A Spy in Williamsburg * by Isabelle Lawrence. Review - Ugh. Probably historically correct, but at the expense of characterization, dialog, logic…

Currently Reading
How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse - wow, so far. This is excellent, I'll be looking for more by the author. I need to pick up another BOMB.

BOMBs
A Spy in Williamsburg - got one, finally! I need to read more, of course. This one was such a slog, though...

Discards
Spy - all the others are either ebooks or library books.

New/Reread
All new, so one reread paid for.

So a little slow starting, with BOMBs and discards - but keep an eye on it and I can catch up. I finally got my BOMB done by taking it to the table; that's usually a big(gish) non-fiction book (I had just finished Struck by Lightning), but it got me into the book and I finished it afterward. I may have to do more of that, but we'll see - other BOMBs may be better (I hope!)

34jjmcgaffey
tammikuu 29, 2020, 10:31pm

Books Read
6. The Enchanted Castle * by E. Nesbit. Review - Fun story, on multiple levels - kids playing magic, magic, and deep magic. Nicely done.
7. How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse @^ by K. Eason. Review - Wow. A little wordy, and the facial expressions are weird - but this is a fantastic story, want more!
8. Milky Way Railroad * by Kenji Miyazawa. Review - I have no idea what was going on, for 90% of the story. Nor am I interested in trying to figure it out. Yawn.
9. Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers @! by Sarena Ulibarri. Review - Nice! Much more pleasant than most SF anthologies - the worst stories were uninteresting. The best were excellent.
10. Jane of Lantern Hill @^ by L.M. Montgomery. Review - Fun story - I like Jane, she's pleasantly competent as well as imaginative.

Currently Reading
Way too many. Thereby Hangs a Tale - words and word origins. Anton and Cecil : Cats at Sea - an ARC I got years ago at a BEA exhibition. Not bad, but not really catching me. Craeft - interesting discussion of what "craft" used to mean and how it's changed - from wisdom to either sly (crafty) or hand-made. Dreyer's English - it started out quite amusing, a discussion of grammar and style by a professional copy editor; it's become less interesting as he's now handing out rules, mostly without explanation. It will probably become more interesting again later (I hope!). And The Seventh Sinner by Elizabeth Peters - I really like Jacqueline Kirby, and this is the first book in her series (the other one I've read is The Murders of Richard III). I just started that tonight. All of these are mildly interesting, but none have been really absorbing, so I keep trying something else...really should finish one or two before I start more. On the other hand, three of these are BOMBs, so yay.

BOMBs
Two - The Enchanted Castle and Milky Way Railroad.

Discards
Both BOMBs - I'll likely reread The Enchanted Castle, but I got the ebook so that's covered. The rest are ebooks.

New/Reread
All new. Two BOMBs, two new-to-me ebooks, and an Early Reviewers ebook.

Not bad - three BOMBs so far, and three more in progress (though I'm not at all sure I'll hit my goal of 5 in this month. Depends on how busy I am in the next couple days - which is very).

35jjmcgaffey
tammikuu 29, 2020, 10:53pm

Between the tail end of my cold, dealing with health insurance/Medi-Cal, getting keys for my car (I paid for an extra key when I bought it - and they lost the new key and the one I left them to be a pattern. So finally, after manymany calls and complaints, they are arranging for a mobile key guy to make me two keys. Whew, and bleah), setting up for Census training (next week) and election training (also next week...sheesh), and and and. It's been busy. Every time I sit down for a while I zone out with a game on my phone - which is fun, but means things aren't getting done. Including reading, much. So - not much to report.

Oh, I'm doing ceramics class again. Mostly what I'm making is plant markers, but someone found an old piece I'd started and forgotten about. I have no idea what I meant to do with it - it's a large (6 or 7-inch diameter) cylinder pot, which is dry but unfired so far. So I decided to make it into a sub-irrigated pot - scraped a hole in the side, and made a platform with holes in it to hold the dirt above the water. The platform has three legs and a center open cone, pierced through - the idea is that dirt goes down the cone, water seeps through the holes and wets it, and as the plants draw water out of the soil above it seeps up from the wet dirt to the dryer stuff above. It should work fine. I had some fun making the platform, since it needs to fit pretty closely to the pot; made it deliberately slightly oversized (because clay shrinks), put the legs and cone on, and left it to dry, then came back another day and tested it. Waaaay too big. Trimmed it, over and over (I had to cut off half of two legs, because I'd put them right at the edge) and tried to get it into the pot. I ended up with it just barely fitting in the pot, so with a bit more shrinkage it should be able to fit into the glazed pot. I don't know if it will be dry enough to bisque this week; I was working on it on Tuesday and it was leather-hard, I doubt it will be dry enough by Thursday. So I'll bisque the pot this week and the platform week after next (next week is a glaze firing). The teacher also wants us to work on surface decoration, so I'll be doing that on the outside of the pot - depends what she has in mind, of course.

And tonight, assuming I can pry myself off the couch, I'm going to a folksing - it's monthly, I manage it about every 3-4 months. Always fun, but it's a half-hour drive away so it's a bit of a task to get myself going.

I'm growing basil in my Aerogarden - six plants, which is giving me ridiculous amounts of greens. They grow so fast! I have to harvest (prune) every week or so, or they grow into the lights and get messy. Also one spinach and one "flavoring celery" - it doesn't grow stalks like eating celery, just the leaves, with a super-celery flavor. Pow! I started six spinaches, three celerys and three "winter savory"s - but only two plants grew, and no savory at all. Hmph. They're still producing decent amounts of greens, though.

So I am doing things, but I'm feeling like I get everything done at the last minute, rather than gradually which would be more comfortable. Whatever. Get moving, Jenn, get out to the sing.

36quondame
tammikuu 29, 2020, 11:22pm

>35 jjmcgaffey: You do sound busy. I find it hard to feel I've accomplished anything when I'm feeling under the weather.

37dukedom_enough
tammikuu 30, 2020, 9:05am

>35 jjmcgaffey: Which election? Primary? Will you be a poll worker?

38jjmcgaffey
tammikuu 30, 2020, 12:13pm

Yes, the California primary - I'll be an inspector, so running a poll station. I've been doing it for years. Every election is slightly different - this time we actually will be asking first time voters for ID, I think, when most elections we're not even supposed to look at ID if they offer it (though it can be very helpful when a name is not pronounced as it's spelled!). And of course party ballots, so we have to make sure to get people the right ones (matching what they're registered as). All the little details - and I'm in a new location, so have to figure out how to arrange things. Hopefully some of the people on my team will have been there before and know how it should go.

39dukedom_enough
tammikuu 31, 2020, 9:32am

Have fun!

40sallypursell
tammikuu 31, 2020, 10:24am

>38 jjmcgaffey: I'm impressed. I thought to do some of that when I retired, but I didn't count on spinal stenosis, and my ever-present fibromyalgia. :(

41jjmcgaffey
helmikuu 1, 2020, 2:18am

>40 sallypursell: Ow. Yeah, that would limit this sort of stuff - the election is a 16-hour day (6 am to 9-10 pm), preceded by a couple hours setup the night before plus various other tasks (including a three-hour class) earlier. I keep considering whether I'm still up to this, and so far the answer has been yes - but I've taken to expecting not to be functional on the Wednesday. Hope it works out OK with the Census.

So far, I'm the healthy one in my family. I can still lift/carry/walk up and down stairs on a regular basis (and I do exercises to help me stay that way). Everyone else - well, my 80+ and 80- parents are regularly semi-functional (Mom currently has a torn rotator cuff and is essentially one-handed, Dad is having a lot of trouble with balance, both have had joint replacements etc), one sister has Ehler-Danlos Syndrome (loose ligaments) and can walk only with difficulty, and the other is highly athletic and has damaged herself in a lot of ways (mostly knees and other joints). I get hurt now and then - currently recovering from a swollen knee (wrenched?), but mostly my ailments are short-term and mild. So - yeah, the healthy one.

42markon
helmikuu 1, 2020, 11:31am

>35 jjmcgaffey: I so identify with the difficulty of getting myself out of the house once I get home at night! Accountability (someone is expecting me) or regularity/habit are my tools.

>41 jjmcgaffey: Yes, I'm developing the act/art of excercising regularly, and my body notices when I miss.

Good luck with the primary - I think about possibly doing that after I retire, but the 16 hour days intimidate me. I understand why they want one crew to do it, but jeesh! It's a long haul.

43jjmcgaffey
helmikuu 2, 2020, 11:35pm

Books Read in January
11. The Seventh Sinner * by Elizabeth Peters. Review - Well-done, pretty standard whodunit. Though the sleuth is a) not a know-it-all and b) a very complex character - I need to read more in this series.

Currently Reading
Lots - see message for February reading.

BOMBs
Yep.

Discards
Yes, because I got the ebook.

New/Reread
And new, of course. I now have 4 rereads paid for (and two planned...hmm, better get busy).

44jjmcgaffey
helmikuu 2, 2020, 11:37pm

January stats
12 books read
0 rereads
12 new books
4 rereads paid for

3530 pages read, average 294.2

4 BOMBs
1 ER books
0 Netgalley books

7 ebooks, 5 paper books

4 discards

5 SF&F
0 animal stories
4 children's
2 non-fiction
0 general fiction
0 romances
0 graphic novels
1 mysteries

9 F, 5 M authors

Almost enough BOMBs and discards - work on it and catch up in February. Actually read a mystery, it's been a while.

45jjmcgaffey
helmikuu 2, 2020, 11:44pm

Books Read
12. Dreyer's English @^ by Benjamin Dreyer. Review - Fun read. I like his snarky comments.

Currently Reading
Still Thereby Hangs a Tale, Anton and Cecil : Cats at Sea, and Craeft. I've also just started Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire, the latest Wayward Children story. Only one BOMB in that lot (A&C), so I need to collect a new pile to work on.

BOMBs
Nope.

Discards
Nope - ebook.

New/Reread
Yep.

46jjmcgaffey
helmikuu 5, 2020, 11:30pm

Ugh. So my lingering cold has now turned into a possible sinus infection - but it's now going down into my chest, so ugh more. I'm taking antibiotics, hoping this is bacterial rather than a virus. My head is utterly stuffy, I'm blowing my nose so much it's chapped, and I'm coughing hard enough to give myself a headache (and a sore throat, and everything).

And yesterday evening I went for election training, and today (all day) was the first day of census training. Which is kind of awkward because we haven't been given the manuals we're supposed to constantly refer to. Our poor trainer is just reading the entire huge binder he's been given aloud. They're requiring it to be verbatim training - everyone gets the same thing - but with the missing pieces, I think they're failing. Bah. Tomorrow and Friday are the same thing...and we learned today that we're expected to work on Saturday (and Sunday, and all next week) as well. Ghahh. Are they trying to winnow us down? They're still short of people, and the trainer keeps talking about them hoping to keep us (the first training class) for the whole process...but with this short-notice stuff, I don't know if they will.

So I'm sitting in class coughing and blowing my nose - HOPE I'm not infecting my fellow students.

I'm reading (rereading) Eight Million Gods by Wen Spencer - but I don't have the energy to read much. Or to post - I finished a book (or two, I don't remember. I wrote them down, I'll get to them later).

47dukedom_enough
helmikuu 6, 2020, 11:08am

>46 jjmcgaffey: My bug came back for a second round. Getting better now but Ive been coughing since just after Christmas. Hope yours goes away soon.

48RidgewayGirl
helmikuu 6, 2020, 11:39am

Thank you for making elections work! I'm volunteering with a campaign and will have to vote early (well, in person absentee, SC does not have early voting as we are trying to keep the numbers down), but I love the process of all of us together, standing in line to vote, and how it's a physical manifestation of what it means to be a community.

49jjmcgaffey
helmikuu 11, 2020, 12:56am

>47 dukedom_enough: Ditto - at least, I'm two pills from done with the antibiotics and still stuffy and coughing hard. Mom went on a second round of antibiotic. Ugh.

>48 RidgewayGirl: Yeah, I love it. Even when a good 70% of the people who come in are just dropping off a Vote by Mail ballot, they're still there and taking part. It's an exhausting day - but among the bits of me that are exhausted are my cheeks from grinning.

50markon
helmikuu 14, 2020, 5:14pm

>46 jjmcgaffey: & >48 RidgewayGirl: Ugh! I hate colds and sinus infections! And training with the census sounds frustrating. I would like to work with the census sometime - perhaps after I retire. My mom did it once or twice while working as a public health nurse, and I know she enjoyed meeting people.

Let me echo thanks for making the elections work - I know it's a LONG day. The library where I work was an early voting location during the 2016 midterms, and it was incredible how large the turnout was. I expect it will be similar or larger this year in November, and I'm curious to see what turnout will be like for the primaries.

51sallypursell
helmikuu 21, 2020, 2:45pm

Jennifer, would you be inclined to grant me permission for using your list from above? This one:

5 SF&F
0 animal stories
4 children's
2 non-fiction
0 general fiction
0 romances
0 graphic novels
1 mysteries


I don't generally read animal stories, but the list is admirable. I'm sure you think it is obvious, but I didn't come up with it.

52jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: helmikuu 22, 2020, 12:55am

>51 sallypursell: Sure! I just put in my reading-tracking spreadsheet (which I got from...someone...drat, I'm not remembering who. Someone on LT - and modified) the genres I read most often. You're welcome to use it and modify as suits you.

ETA - ronincats made the spreadsheet originally.

53jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: helmikuu 22, 2020, 1:12am

Books Read
14. Anton and Cecil : Cats at Sea * by Lisa Martin. Review - Cute story, too unlikely (too many coincidences) to interest me much. Got this ARC at the book conference in SF where I met up with benitastrnad (how many years ago?)
15. Come Tumbling Down @^ by Seanan McGuire. Review - Magnificent writing, too grim and gory to be a favorite but very rich (as expected, it is a McGuire).
16. Eight Million Gods @# by Wen Spencer. Review - Good, weird story. I was craving a reread for quite a while before I found a copy.
17. Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Winters @! by Sarena Ulibarri. Review - Good but not great - several enjoyable stories, too many pure romances (with mild post-apocalypse backgrounds, but not integral to the plot). Worth reading, though.
18. The Spirit in the Clay @^ by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Review - Weird and fun. Though I didn't remember the novel that's the setup for most of this.
19. The Silent Strength of Stones @# by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Review - Rereading - from multiple years ago - but I didn't remember most of this. Only the sketch of the beginning.
20. The Thread That Binds the Bones @# by Nina Kiriki Hoffman. Review - This one I remember - this one I love, it's etched in my bones. All the rest of the series are minor.
21. Black Wolves of Boston @^ by Wen Spencer. Review - Oh my. Want more of this story. Werewolves and vampires and witches - but not standard types, and rich, rich, deep characters. Love it. Plot sketch is very like Eight Million Gods.
22. Heartskein @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Glorious - if you've read the serieses that lead up to it. Soft and mild story - with deep changes in major characters. Love it.
23. A Tangled Web by L.M. Montgomery. Review - Ugh. Silly, stupid, pointless. What a waste of time.

Currently Reading
Time and Again by Jack Finney - I haven't really gotten into it. And drat, it's not a BOMB, despite my owning it in paper _twice_...sheesh. Bought twice in one year. The Dragons of Ordinary Farm by Tad Williams and Deborah Beale, also not a BOMB. Both are interesting, but I'm not getting much time to sit and read paper books - should be using it on BOMBs! And in ebook, Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher - should be excellent, I love her stuff. Lots of books I've put aside and will probably finish at some point. And no BOMBs, I don't think, so I need to get cracking on that.

BOMBs
Just one - Anton and Cecil. I have the sequel, too, but haven't picked it up. So that's my BOMBs goal for January done - need to read for this month too!

Discards
Anton and Cecil. I'd discard A Tangled Web too but it's an ebook so doesn't count.

New/Reread
Three rereads (Eight Million Gods and the latter two Hoffmans). I have 2 rereads paid for at this point, and need to stock up on BOMBs for that reason too...

Quite a few very good books. I've been reading a lot, but not posting or reviewing - barely tracking (it's a good thing tracking is more or less automatic for ebooks. Well, tracking start dates - and I concentrate on picking the next book as soon as I finish one, so that gives me the finish date). But I am again falling behind on BOMBs (and discards, but that's less important). Need to go digging in boxes.

And I just discovered, and corrected in my list at the top but not in the reading posts except this one, a number error - I had two 3s.

54jjmcgaffey
helmikuu 25, 2020, 2:29am

Books Read
24. Clockwork Boys @^ by T Kingfisher. Review - Good - interesting world, excellent characters - but not up to what I expect from Vernon.
25. The Wonder Engine @^ by T Kingfisher. Review - Second half of the book; still good but not great. Fun read, though, I'll reread.
26. Swordheart @^ by T Kingfisher. Review - Love it! Great characters and concepts, and the interactions are amazing. I was laughing hard in spots.

Currently Reading
Nothing - I've got several I've put aside, and I've dug up some BOMBs but haven't started them. Ursula Vernon dragged me in and I couldn't stop...

BOMBs
Nope. New, but ebooks.

Discards
None - again, ebooks.

New/Reread
All new, no BOMBs, 2 rereads paid for.

So I decided I'd finally start the Clocktaur War books...and having started, I couldn't stop. The two Clocktaur books are quite good - but I expect more from Vernon. The third book in that world (not the same series) is _excellent_ and just the sort of twisty I expect from her. And now I need to read BOMBs!

55benitastrnad
Muokkaaja: helmikuu 28, 2020, 11:25pm

Good on you for working the election and the census. My sister and my aunt have worked on the census in the past, but with fewer people in the county they will have to drive more than in the past so the amount of pay will be less and the hours greater. I don’t think my sister is going to do it this time.

When I retire I intend to work the elections. I think it is a very civic thing to do and more people should get involved in the election process.

I also have two Kitchenaids. One with tilt head and one without. For my bigger mixer with the bowl lift I have two mixing bowls. One glass and one metal and use them for different purposes. The glass one is for my doughs as I can set the glass bowl in a warm oven and it doesn’t “cook” the yeast like the metal bowl has a tendency to do.

I have the pasta maker attachment and use it regularly to make fresh pasta. I got the spiralizer for veggies because I thought I would use it and ended up giving it away. I wouldn’t sell my pasta maker attachment for anything but I would say that the spiralizer is superfluous so don’t waste your money on it. I would like to try the meat grinder attachment so that I could make my own ground meats, but that will have to wait awhile.

56jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 7, 2020, 1:16am

Books Read February
27. Gypsy From Nowhere * by Sharon Wagner. Review - Cute horse story - too puppety to be really interesting, but a fun read-once.
28. The Woman Who Smashed Codes @^ by Jason Fagone. Review - Great book - a subject I like, people I'd never heard of and should have. Well-written, too.

Currently Reading
See March

BOMBs
One BOMB, Gypsy.

Discards
And Gypsy is out.

New/Reread
Both new; 3 rereads paid for, now.

Started on my small pile of BOMBs - Gypsy was the first fruits.

57jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 7, 2020, 1:17am

February stats
16 books read
3 rereads
13 new books
3 rereads paid for

4731 pages read, average 295.7

2 BOMBs
1 ER books
0 Netgalley books

14 ebooks, 2 paper books

2 discards

11 SF&F
2 animal stories
0 children's
2 non-fiction
1 general fiction
0 romances
0 graphic novels
0 mysteries

14 F, 3 M authors

Well, a couple BOMBs - still behind. Progress progresses.

58jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 7, 2020, 1:23am

Books Read
29. Gypsy and the Moonstone Stallion * by Sharon Wagner. Review - More cute fluff. Gypsy is a very unreal horse.
30. Anton and Cecil - Cats on Track * by Lisa Martin. Review - Lots of luck and coincidence, again. The Power of Networking!
31. The Sign of the Beaver * by Elizabeth George Speare. Review - Pleasant story, really well-handled (I think). "Indians" who are neither to be civilized or magical Noble Savages, just people.

Currently Reading
The Edwardians, by Vita Sackville-West - not particularly enjoying it, it reads like one of the duller Regency romances. All about the politics of society. The characters aren't catching me much either. I'll finish it, though, unless it goes really bad. Several other books I've put aside to focus on BOMBs.

BOMBs
All three. This time I'm actually doing what I said and reading nothing (almost nothing) but BOMBs until I catch up. 9 for the year so far; I've finished for January and almost for February (should be 5 a month). See if I can actually hit my goal this month.

Discards
Also all three - I got The Sign of the Beaver as an ebook, but I don't need the paper book.

New/Reread
And all three new, so 6 rereads paid for.

I'm finishing each BOMB in one day - one of the advantages of reading kids' books for this. I'd like to empty or nearly empty this box - some of them I've already read but haven't decided about, but I can combine with other boxes. More space! Fewer unread books! Rah rah rah!

59jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 7, 2020, 2:33am

So I did some work for the Census - the common theme was they'd assign us work on Saturday or Sunday, tell us to hurry hurry hurry this needs to get done this week (week starting Sunday)...and we'd be done by Monday or Tuesday at the latest. Hmph. So we knocked out the last two-week job in three days last week, and they actually gave us this week off - which is very good, since it contained the election. However, starting next Monday, we're doing intensive training - first us (the field supervisors) getting trained, and then we start training our enumerators. 9-5 M-F, for possibly the next three weeks. I don't _do_ those kind of hours any more - this is going to be fun (for weird values of fun). And to top it off, for at least the first week (next week), the training is 13 miles away - 20 minutes at midnight, but I'll be driving in rush-hour traffic. 25-45 minutes, Google says. Bah.

Election was pretty normal - which is to say weird, but they always are. A _lot_ of people who discovered they were registered as Vote By Mail when they hadn't asked to be (or hadn't meant to - I suspect a form somewhere with a triple negative: "Check this box to indicate that you do not want to not be registered as VBM" or something of the sort). Which meant they had to fill out an envelope form which both identifies the ballot inside as theirs and re-registers them. When no VBM ballot comes in for them, that provisional vote will be counted - takes a little longer, is all. But that was easily a third of the voters who came in. There were a few that just voted, all "normally", and quite a few who were VBM and brought in their VBM ballots to surrender and vote normally. And a lot of VBM dropoffs (though not as many as some times - the fact that they're free postage now helps, I suspect). I had two people who'd done elections at that location before, though not recently, and four who had never worked an election before, including a student. Things worked pretty well, though, and we set it up oddly but very functionally (the roster table in the lobby and the booths and touchscreens and ballot trolleys in an open room behind us - better than trying to cram everything into the one room).

I've spent this week trying to get all my projects done or at least well-started, because I suspect I will have little time and no energy for the next week or three. Among other things, I've fixed...six computers? this week. I usually get two or three jobs in a week, not six - but I kept telling people it was now or never (or at least not this month). I have three clients' computers in my house right now; one has just been upgraded to 10, one needs its battery replaced (it's swelling) and one needs to be wiped after we transferred all the data off it onto her new computer. I'll get them done and returned (except the wiped one, that's ewaste) this weekend.

Also baked prince-biscuits, because they make good snacks to carry (that's what they're for, they're medieval trail food). Need to bake brownies, and bread. Do laundry. Sunday night make a smoothie for Monday morning.

This weekend is also the White Elephant, the biggest rummage sale I've ever heard of. It's the fundraiser for the Oakland Museum, and it's about 10 years older than the museum as currently situated - it was a fundraiser for one of the museums that combined to create the Oakland Museum, some 50 years ago. Last year was the 60th year of the sale. It's an entire, huge, warehouse, with stuff divided into departments ranging from clothes (men's, women's, children's) to jewelry to household goods (kitchen and dining room and laundry stuff) to sewing to music to...well, to books. Books are dangerous - cheap and interesting assortment, especially on Sunday when they become a bag sale. And a ton of interesting cookbooks. I don't _need_ any more cookbooks!

And just to top it off - anybody heard about the Grand Princess, the cruise ship quarantined off San Francisco? My parents are aboard. Not sick, just confined to their cabin and dead bored, but we have no idea a) when they're going to be released (possibly not for two weeks, I hope not) or b) _where_ they're going to be released. It's possible they'll be quarantined on the ship; it's possible they'll be put somewhere on SF Bay; it's possible they'll be shipped (literally) down to the Southern California quarantine camp where they put the people they flew out of the epicenter of the virus. So agggh. Medicine is the limiting factor, for my parents and others - the ship is trying to arrange to get people's prescriptions delivered there. And I'll be trying to take care of their household as well as mine - though it's only plants, there.

Oh, that's another thing that _must_ happen this weekend - I need to plant my tomato seeds so I'll have seedlings for Earth Day and for Mom and me to grow this year. It was supposed to be done at the beginning of the week. But that date was actually a little early, because I know me... I planted peas and spinach and carrots outside, earlier, and parsley was growing from reseeding. And then something came and ate all the leaves off the poor little seedlings! Not the stems, and they were trying to regrow, but the leaf-eater came back. So I hung bird netting on the outside of my balcony; hopefully that will solve it. I don't know what it was, but given the way the stems were bitten off the second time, I suspect bird or squirrel rather than an insect (the bird netting won't do anything about insects, so I _hope_ it was a bird or squirrel). I've now planted lettuce (buttercrunch) and radishes, and I have some tomatoes, a couple basils, and (finally!) some celeriac growing under lights. Those were from a seed-starting workshop my gardening group did. The celariac was very slow to sprout - the radishes and lettuce went outside, and the tomatoes had their second leaves before there was anything in the celeriac cells. But they have finally risen.

And I keep staying up too late, then I either have very short sleep or I get up late and in a rush. Go to bed, Jenn.

60quondame
maaliskuu 7, 2020, 2:51am

>59 jjmcgaffey: Wow, busy. I hope for the best outcome for your parents. No virus and early release.

61dukedom_enough
maaliskuu 7, 2020, 10:36am

>59 jjmcgaffey: Wow, hope your parents avoid the virus.

62ronincats
Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 8, 2020, 5:22pm

Of course we've heard about the Grand Princess, but I had no idea you had parents aboard. Thankfully, it sounds like they've finally determined a course of action and I hope your parents will soon be off the ship, at the least.

ETA: Looks like they'll be either at Travis AFB or down here at Miramar!

63sallypursell
maaliskuu 8, 2020, 9:49pm

>59 jjmcgaffey: Best of wishes for your parents. Thank you for working the elections. I wish I could, I planned to do that when I retired, but I'm not physically able at present.

64jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 9, 2020, 1:04am

Last word was disembarking tomorrow and going to Travis. Of course before that they were getting off _this_ afternoon, Sunday. We'll see.

65benitastrnad
maaliskuu 12, 2020, 5:47pm

What an adventure your parents must be having? Are they readers? Most cruise ships have libraries and the crew gets to do all the fetching and carrying. All that lovely time to read! Wish I was on that ship!

66jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 14, 2020, 1:33am

They're off the ship and at Travis AFB - very grateful to be able to go outside now and then.

Yes, they're big readers, and have their ebook readers with them. I don't know about the ship library - the problem with that would be that you'd have to know exactly what book you wanted, no browsing. Anyway, I don't think the crew was interacting with the passengers more than the minimum (bringing food) - since most of the people who tested positive were crew, that was kind of important. Mom said she was playing video games on her phone so much she was getting sick of them.

Things are shutting down all over the place here - most of the schools are closed, my senior center (not that I was going to be able to go to ceramics anyway), etc. And bans on large assemblies. And next week I'm conducting Census training for 70-80 people - whee!

67lisapeet
maaliskuu 15, 2020, 12:54pm

Whoa, just catching up. I'm glad your folks are OK. This is going to kill the cruise business for a good long while, I bet...

68LadyoftheLodge
maaliskuu 15, 2020, 3:39pm

>67 lisapeet: I am waiting to see what will happen with my Land + Sea Alaska trip set for June, since Canada is closing ports to cruise ships until July. I am sure this will hurt the cruise industry, as this is their busiest time during spring break. We love cruising, and the ships on which we have traveled have been ultra-clean. I bet this will hurt a lot of businesses and the hospitality and travel industry in general.

69jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 18, 2020, 12:50am

So despite the Shelter-In-Place order active here as of midnight last night, census training goes on. It is a very long day (mostly because I am incompetent at actually getting to bed on time - owl here, "just one more thing before I go to sleep" and then it's 2 am and I have to be up at 5 or 6. Ghahh). Lots of walking, too - I've gotten 11K and 12K the last two days. There are seven of us training, and just over 40 trainees; one person reads from the manual (verbatim training) and the rest of us circulate, answer questions, correct errors we see, help with finding the right form...Lots of walking, mostly up and down the room. Though today I ran up a flight of stairs...4 times? taking people to the front office for copying stuff and asking questions.

Yesterday and today, after work, I also had to shop - which meant skimming what I could from increasingly empty shelves, then standing in loooooong lines to check out. But I think I'm stocked up now, except for cat food, and that comes from Amazon...ooh, I better re-aim that shipment, my condo's office is closed which includes the package room. I'll have to send it to a locker, if I can find one with space still.

My parents are doing fine; we did our regular family video call on Sunday, and for the first time in three weeks the parents could take part (not enough internet on the ship). Very nice to actually _see_ them. We've been texting and emailing quite a bit, but there's something about visual confirmation.

And I need to go do chores so I can get to bed before midnight tonight (here's hoping!). G'nite all, stay safe.

70LadyoftheLodge
maaliskuu 18, 2020, 12:56pm

>69 jjmcgaffey: Good to know your parents are in good shape. Be sure to get some rest!

71jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 18, 2020, 8:54pm

And update - as of 4 pm today, the Census is suspended (not the online parts, keep going if you haven't already done yours). We stopped training with 3 of 4 days completed; when we come back (currently scheduled for April 1st, we'll see how things go) presumably we'll finish this training and get on with the next one before actually beginning enumeration. They're actually paying us for this suspended time - like unemployment, the amount is related to the average of our income for the past ? weeks. No idea how much it will be, but it's very nice of them.

So now I get to actually get some sleep, and do all the chores around the house that I've been putting off for lack of time (maybe even empty some of the totes filling my living room!). And cook (mostly bake) - I've been wanting to make lots of stuff. Of course there's no one but me to eat them, so that may not be a great idea...I've lost nearly 10 pounds in the last couple weeks, running around doing census stuff. I need to keep that going. Though that's rather too much, probably most of it is water weight (though I've been keeping up my 8 glasses a day). We'll see.

With the shelter-in-place order, my parents may not be released next Wednesday but held until the order is lifted. It would make sense, but they'd be a lot happier at home...again, we'll see.

72quondame
maaliskuu 19, 2020, 1:25am

>71 jjmcgaffey: I was wondering what would happen with the census, it being the law and all. I hope your parents continue to be well and get home in a timely manner. All the older quarantinees should be sent home with boxes of staples so they don't need to go out shopping as soon as they are released.

73jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 19, 2020, 9:46pm

So apparently, as of now, the release will still happen as planned. They're being taken by bus to a nearby city and left to get home on their own - Dad's arranged for a rental car to get them back here, then they need to take the car to the airport to return it and I'll collect them there. Mom thinks she's going along to the airport because it's outside! someplace that isn't their room!. They (the whole group) were notified today in order to give them time to make arrangements.

74ronincats
maaliskuu 19, 2020, 10:06pm

Hope that all that goes ahead, given the shelter-in-place the governor just placed on the whole state to take effect at midnight. Let us know!

75jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 20, 2020, 6:16am

Alameda County has been under shelter-in-place for two days already; not sure if the county Travis AFB is in also did that (not sure what county it's in). OK, it's in Solano County and they issued a shelter-in-place on Wednesday (a day after Alameda and five others). But the instructions for the release were also on Wednesday, so likely they'll go ahead. I suppose it would be safer for them to stay there - rather than protecting everyone from them, they're protected from everyone else...but I don't think the base wants a bunch of mostly elderly civilians hanging about. Home's better, for most, though getting there will be somewhat of a pain.

And yeah...we'll see what's going on next Wednesday and what they decide.

76avaland
maaliskuu 20, 2020, 6:51am

I'm glad to hear your parents are doing ok and are going to be released. You do sound a bit stressed so hopefully there is going to be some release of that when they are home and settled.

77LadyoftheLodge
maaliskuu 20, 2020, 3:03pm

I hope your parents are okay. I am sure they will be glad to get home.

78jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 20, 2020, 10:15pm

Huh. Didn't Stats/Memes use to have a chart of when books were reviewed? It's still got when entered and dates of books, but I swear I remember a similar chart of when I first reviewed a book. Did From Where replace that? If so, I'm annoyed - From Where is a lot less interesting to me. Anyone else remember?

79RidgewayGirl
maaliskuu 23, 2020, 8:16pm

I'm glad your parents are going to be able to come home soon. How stressful for everyone involved!

80jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 29, 2020, 2:04am

Books Read
32. Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson - Moon Called Vol 1 @% by Patricia Briggs & Lawrence David. Review - OK - the images don't match my mental pictures, so it doesn't work for me. It matches the story pretty well (much abridged, of course).
33. The Edwardians @^ by Vita Sackville-West. Review - Ugh. Stupid people doing stupid things. I liked All Passion Spent a lot better.
34. Imaginary Numbers @^ by Seanan McGuire. Review - Lovely as usual - Sarah's POV, a lot more about cuckoos, and a whole new world-ending threat...and a semi-cliffhanger, watch out.
35. By Vow and Royal Bloodshed @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Rich, compelling, complicated...and a middle book, not a lot happens. It's all reactions and dealing with things. Worth reading for itself as well as for the series, though.
36. Spots the Space Marine - Defense of the Fiddler @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Weird format - a screenplay, more or less - with an interesting and complex story. Familiar framework with fascinating characters.
37. The Midnight Folk * by John Masefield. Review - Another familiar framework - I do not know if I've ever read this before. The structure is utterly familiar, the events surprise me. Fun read.
38. The Wish * by Gail Carson Levine. Review - Not for me - too much teen angst, and the protagonist doesn't really learn from what happens.
39. Sweep With Me @^ by Ilona Andrews. Review - Lovely as usual, standard Innkeeper story. Strange guests, minor and major conflicts, and an apocalyptic battle for a climax.
40. Hedy's Folly @^ by Richard Rhodes. Review - Not nearly as interesting as I was expecting. Not enough info, so padded with biographies and general overviews. A waste of my time.
41. Ratpunzel @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Fun as I expected - Harriet is way too sensible to be a princess.
42. Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson - Moon Called Vol 2 @% by Patricia Briggs & Lawrence David. Review - Like the first volume - OK version of the story but the images only distract, for me.
43. Moon Called # by Patricia Briggs. Review - Third or so reread, and I'm catching different stuff this time through (each time through) - rewards rereading. Still a good story.

Currently Reading
A Murder of Mages by Marshall Ryan Maresca - interesting fantasy police procedural. Lots of secrets and lies, and a Sherlock Holmes-style detective - but he's reasonably clear about what he's observing, so I find him less annoying than Sherlock. I've also gotten hooked back into the Mercy Thompson series - I haven't read the latest, but I just reread the first and I think I'm going to go all the way through. Which means I need more BOMBs, since that's more rereads than I've got paid for. Also reading The Complete Fairy Tales by George MacDonald - that's a BOMB, but I think it's going to be a slow read so I may grab some others that will be quicker.

BOMBs
The Midnight Folk (I think...it didn't read as familiar, quite) and The Wish (even though I only skimmed it - but now I can get rid of it! So it counts).

Discards
The Midnight Folk (I got the ebook) and The Wish (just gone). The rest are ebooks and/or borrowed.

New/Reread
11 new books, 1 reread; two of the new are BOMBs.

I've actually hit my BOMBs goal for March, which means I'm only 4 BOMBs (and discards) behind at this point. Not bad, but I need to catch up.

I've been reading steadily, whenever I found a minute - but that meant I didn't have a lot of time for logging books, let alone posting. With the coronavirus shutdown, I've caught up on at least some of my chores, and finally have the time to post.

Pretty good month - and a few days to go; use them to get ahead on BOMBs (or at least reduce the behindness).

81jjmcgaffey
maaliskuu 29, 2020, 2:11am

Oh yeah - and my parents were released last Tuesday, and are very happily home again. I've been helping them with packages and shopping and so on, which kept me pretty busy the first part of this week - I drove up to Fairfield (about an hour's drive) to collect them, using their car because it has the bike rack on the back for Dad's Lifeglider (walker-ish). Not much to say except that they're very pleased to have their own bed and kitchen and projects and etc - the ship and Travis were comfortable, but not home.

My sister has nagged at them a couple times to be tested. I thought about it, and agreed with my parents that there's not much point - if you get tested and you're clear, you might catch the virus the next day; and if you get tested and you have the virus, all you can do is sit home and wait to see if symptoms develop. Which is exactly what you'd do if you didn't know you had the virus. If someone were insisting on going out and encountering people, they should get tested to make sure they're not spreading the virus, but for someone who's actually following the self-isolation rules, testing is a waste of time and materials. If/when tests (accurate and sensitive tests) become readily available, it might be worthwhile checking, but while they're in short supply there's no reason to test someone who's not showing symptoms and obeying the self-isolation rules.

82dukedom_enough
maaliskuu 29, 2020, 11:03am

>81 jjmcgaffey: Good to hear your parents are out.

83jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 3, 2020, 3:14am

Books Read
44. Blood Bound # by Patricia Briggs. Review - Vampire politics, ick. Good story, rich characters, but not one of my favorites in this series. Seeing ghosts is interesting, though.
45. Iron Kissed # by Patricia Briggs. Review - Another rich story - this one it's the fae as the center of the story. The politics are even worse than the vampire ones. But the love triangle is resolved, so good story.
46. Bone Crossed # by Patricia Briggs. Review - More vampire politics - plus someone who isn't dealing on that level, a lot nastier. Rich but unpleasant.
47. Wellspring of Magic * by Jan Fields. Review - Cute little portal-and-quest story - too young for me.
48. The Emerald Dragon * by Jan Fields. Review - Another cute litle adventure, way too easy to be interesting. No real opposition, except from nature.

Currently Reading
The next Mercy Thompson, Silver Borne. Also still reading A Murder of Mages, and George MacDonald's Complete Fairy Tales is sitting on the table - haven't actually picked it up, Mercy has me firmly in her grasp.

BOMBs
Two, the Jan Fields books; read mostly to give myself enough rereads paid for to finish Mercy's series.

Discards
The two BOMBs are out. Way too young and simplistic for me.

New/Reread
Three rereads, two BOMBs, 6 rereads paid for (which takes me up to the 10th Mercy book. There are 12, but I haven't read the last two before).

I really wanted some comfort reading, and glancing at a couple graphic novels of Mercy got me hooked back into her world. I expect that I'll reread the whole series and the two new books; if I still want more, I can read Alpha and Omega, but I'll have to read some BOMBs to pay for those first. I'm reading a BOMB and a new ebook, and I have a stack of BOMBs waiting - but none of them are quick and simple reads like these two. There wasn't enough depth to them to distract from Mercy, which was the point. So I don't think I'll read any more BOMBs until I'm done with Mercy, unless I get bored with her (doubt it).

And now I'm ahead for the month and only two BOMBs and discards behind for the year. Much better. Do the same thing in February and I'll be caught up.

84jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 1, 2020, 2:33am

March stats
20 books read
4 rereads
16 new books
6 rereads paid for

4848 pages read, average 242.4

7 BOMBs - passed my goal for the month
0 ER books
0 Netgalley books

9 ebooks, 11 paper books

7 discards - passed my goal for the month

8 SF&F
1 animal stories
7 children's
1 non-fiction
1 general fiction
0 romances
2 graphic novels
0 mysteries

18 F, 4 M authors

Sehr gut. As I said above - ahead for the month, much less behind for the year.

I'm reading Mercy in paper - I have up to #7 that way. I also have all of them as ebooks. I'm trying to decide if I want to discard the paper books - not yet, I think.

85jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 1, 2020, 2:57am

Oops. Checking - I have in fact read #11 of Mercy. So I need one more BOMB - but not right now.

And touchstones are messed up again. I don't have the energy to wait and try again - do it tomorrow, after Tim et al have hopefully kicked the server.

86LadyoftheLodge
huhtikuu 1, 2020, 2:19pm

>81 jjmcgaffey: So glad your parents are home and safe.

87jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 3, 2020, 3:22am

>86 LadyoftheLodge:, >82 dukedom_enough:, >79 RidgewayGirl: Me (us) too. They're pretty much staying home (aside from a few shopping trips) and wearing masks any time they go out, but they're so happy to be back home and in their own beds etc.

So I got to Frost Burned and discovered that there's a major gap between it and River Marked, filled with important events...that are covered in the second or third Alpha & Omega book. So I do need to read A&O, interspersed (I stopped on Frost Burned after the first chapter or so, I'll continue after I've caught up on events). Which means I need more BOMBs to finish this reread, and if I recall correctly there are several other books where events in one immediately follow on its predecessor. That would be a bad time to run out of paid-for rereads, so I'm working on building up a backlog. Scouring my boxes for quick, light, reasonably interesting reads - currently reading Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery. It's a pretty good book, I'm enjoying it somewhat, but it's very much not what I'm in the mood for right now (want my werewolves!). I'll have to read it again later, when I'm more in the mood. But I have it as an ebook, so I can discard the paper book, which is excellent. I've combined two boxes into one (rather overstuffed) box, and a pile of books to read soon. Should be good.

This reread should be very good for my BOMBs goal...

88jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 4, 2020, 8:17pm

So some excellent news, both for my family and all around - this crisis, and specifically blood shortages, has made the FDA (finally!) revisit some of their long-established eligibility requirements. The ones that basically blocked gay men from donating have been tremendously lightened - they were to protect the blood supply from AIDS, but no one looked at them once there were good tests to determine whether someone was infected. They've been out of date for decades.

And similarly, the "living in Europe" ones have been removed or lightened. Those were to protect against Mad Cow disease...and got to be utterly pointless when it was discovered in the US as well. But no one would consider removing them, until now.

So a lot of people who have been banned from donating, including my mother, are now eligible for the first time in decades. Mom used to be a regular donor (she believes it helped with her high blood pressure, in fact), but when her trips overseas finally added up to 5 years and one month in Europe, she was banned. She is delighted at this raising of the restrictions, and she and I are going to donate at the end of the month, in the first available slots - there aren't a lot available. I don't know how much of that is new people donating and how much is blood drives being cancelled and regular donors going to my usual donation spot (a Red Cross clinic about half an hour from my house).

I thought there were age restrictions at the top, as well - that Mom, who's now 81 (as of yesterday) would be blocked by that. But those apparently were removed some time ago; as long as you're healthy and not taking any of the drugs that will block you, any age (above 17) is acceptable. So excellent!

89benitastrnad
huhtikuu 4, 2020, 9:06pm

I have given over 2 gallons in the past, but in the last five years I haven't been able to donate because they say I don't have high enough iron levels to give. I never had that problem in my life but do now that I am in my 60's. I have always been healthy and in fact am on no medication for anything except arthritis pain and I just take ibuprofen for that. I can stop taking it for 2 days and then go give blood. They still call me, but I don't go because it is a waste of my time. I might try again, now that they have relaxed some restrictions. Maybe they have relaxed the iron standard as well.

90jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 4, 2020, 11:44pm

I couldn't give for a while with low iron - but I was seriously anemic (menorrhagia - my period was out of control). I discovered the problem with the Red Cross testing, actually. I took iron supplements for a while, while my doctor and I worked on getting the menorrhagia under control, and was able to give - but I did have to take that iron pill every day. I also felt a lot better - more energetic - with it. I no longer need to, though.

I think their limits are pretty low - though when they tested me, their machine said Error it couldn't detect any iron at all. You have mentioned this to your doctor? The difference between "not enough iron to give blood" and "not enough iron to be healthy" isn't all that large.

91benitastrnad
huhtikuu 5, 2020, 12:41pm

I can't take iron pills. It leads to other problems. I do eat lots of beans, kale, spinach, etc. and actively look for foods that are high in iron.

92benitastrnad
huhtikuu 6, 2020, 12:42pm

I have an LT question for you. Is it possible to link or "bud" a thread that has not reached the 150 comment limit? Who has the right to do that - if it can be done?

93jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 6, 2020, 10:28pm

Um. I don't think so - the link to continue a thread doesn't show up until it hits the mark. I believe the only one who can continue a thread is the original poster - possibly it can also be done by the administrator of the group, not sure. But as I've done it possibly twice total, I'm not really the one to ask - there are people who have 5-6-many threads a year in the challenge groups and Club Read. I managed to get my thread long enough to need continuing last year...

94ELiz_M
huhtikuu 7, 2020, 7:31am

>93 jjmcgaffey: Apparently anyone can continue a thread once the prompt appears. Another user accidentally started a new thread for a Club Read member earlier this year. :)

95benitastrnad
huhtikuu 7, 2020, 12:00pm

>93 jjmcgaffey:
So if a new thread is created before the old one hits 150 there is no way to link the old one to the new one?

96jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 8, 2020, 4:15am

>95 benitastrnad: That's right. Unless the thread is created by clicking the link in the old thread, there's no link. You can do what we've done for years and put a link to the new thread in the last post in the old thread, though - the biggest difference is that someone who's starred the first thread will not automatically have a star on the new one if it's done that way.

>94 ELiz_M: Ouch. That's...awkward.

97benitastrnad
huhtikuu 8, 2020, 10:28am

>95 benitastrnad:
seems like this is something that would be easily fixable. I wonder if there might be some privacy reason for keeping it hard to do? I understand it on a personnel thread but for the group reading threads it is more problematic. I was wanting to link the various mystery group read threads I have hosted over the years so that people trace them backwards if they wanted to do so. I will leave well enough alone.

98jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 9, 2020, 2:34am

You could always do it manually - put a link to the next thread into the last post, and put a link to the previous thread into the first post (assuming the first post is yours - but if you're hosting it should be). That option works well for linking threads that aren't strictly speaking a single thread broken up, and works no matter how long or short the thread is.

99jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 9, 2020, 3:09am

Books Read
49. Silver Borne # by Patricia Briggs. Review - A Fae enemy, but the real story was werewolf politics. Complex, but a happy ending.
50. River Marked # by Patricia Briggs. Review - Mercy's honeymoon! With complications of Fae, and Mercy discovers (more about) who and what she is.
51. Alpha & Omega @# by Patricia Briggs. Review - I love this story. Anna meets Charles and they rescue each other.
52. Emily Climbs @* by L.M. Montgomery. Review - Good book, though not what I was in the mood for - read just for a BOMB. I'll need to reread it at some point to appreciate it for what it is.
53. Cry Wolf @# by Patricia Briggs. Review - Anna comes to Montana. Lots about the Marrok's pack, particularly Asil - and an extremely dangerous enemy that Anna deals with. I love Wayne.
54. The Dragon, The Damsel, and the Knight * by Bob Brown. Review - Cute story; very standard twist on the dragon, but I liked the Constable's story. It did need another proofreading sweep, mostly punctuation errors.
55. Hunting Ground # by Patricia Briggs. Review - Rich story - another mad wolf (or two), and a good solid ending. Very interesting characters, I hope we see more of them (especially Moira and Tom). Made me go read Shifting Shadows, which has their story in it.
56. Fair Game # by Patricia Briggs. Review - Here's the one that interlinks with Mercy's series. Rather grim story, even when I remember who the villain is. And some serious changes to the world caused by events at the end of this story.
57. Frost Burned # by Patricia Briggs. Review - Mercy and her allies deal with some serious enemies - more vampire politics is only part of the story.
58. Night Broken @# by Patricia Briggs. Review - Serious werewolf politics, and more personal pack and pack-adjacent relationships. The enemy is powerful, vicious, and kind of pathetic. The...less than enemies but a long way from friends… are even more of a problem. And Mercy solves it all, with something that's going to cause a whole new set of problems…
59. Shifting Shadows @# by Patricia Briggs. Review - A collection of short stories; some of them are history (Bran's and Samuel's origin, how Samuel met Ariana, like that), some of them are during the current series. Includes Alpha & Omega. The stories are in chronological order (except for the last one, I think), which is very helpful if you're trying to read them along with the books. All good, some excellent.
60. The Westing Game * by Ellen Raskin. Review - Ugh. It ended better than it started, but by that time I disliked all the characters too much to enjoy it. But I got through it!
61. Three Terrible Trins * by Dick King-Smith. Review - Cute little story, happy ending. Not much to it but enjoyable once.

Currently Reading
The Phantom Roan by Stephen Holt, for another BOMB. Still more or less reading A Murder of Mages, mostly so that if I open my ebook reader on my phone I won't go wandering off to another Briggs, until I'm ready. There's a few others lying about, but I'm not focusing on them right now.

BOMBs
4 BOMBs - Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery; The Dragon, The Damsel, and the Knight; The Westing Game; and Three Terrible Trins.

Discards
All the BOMBs are discards; I have Emily Climbs as an ebook and the rest are uninteresting.

New/Reread
9 rereads - whoof, that's a chunk. I actually overran my paid-for rereads; Shifting Shadows should have waited until I finished The Westing Game. But I've got one paid for now, and am focusing on BOMBs until I have enough to finish the series(es).

I said this series reread would be good for my BOMBs goal! I'm one short of complete for this month (and halfway through the book that will fulfill that), and by the time I've read enough BOMBs to finish the series I'll be ahead of where I need to be to hit my year's goal.

I'm enjoying Briggs' world very much, which is why I ran over - wanted to finish this section, with all the intertwined bits. Now I've dug a bunch of short BOMBs out of boxes and will read out of that pile until I'm a bit ahead.

Right now there's another long series reread nudging at me, but I'm not going to even think about it until a) I finish Briggs and b) I read enough BOMBs that I can finish that series without worrying about it. Better than what I did here, interrupting the reread to read BOMBs.

Wow - I just realized that I've read 13 books in 8 days. That's...impressive. Of course many are rereads and others are (deliberately) short books, but still. This may end up my best month ever... (in books, if not pages).

100jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 9, 2020, 3:02am

Two very nice days, recently. On Tuesday my parents needed to get out of the house so their cleaner could come - under normal circumstances, they just move about the house to stay out of her way, but getting completely out is much better now. So we headed out on a long drive, up to Marin. The views are gorgeous up there, and usually pretty well invisible behind the crowds of cars on the road - stop-and-go traffic through most of the area we drove through. So we had a lovely bucolic drive, past (not in to, it's closed - all the parks are) Muir Woods, and Stinson Beach, and the top edge of Point Reyes...We never got out of the car, though we did stop at a few scenic overlooks and sit and look out. I brought Harvest Spice muffins (from a recipe from a site I follow), which were lovely, and other than that and water we brought with us we didn't eat. Left about 11 am, got home about 2 pm, and the car still had a bit over 100 miles of charge (this was my parents' Bolt EV). A very pleasant day.

Then today, we decided to have a guitar hangout. My family has been doing video chats approximately weekly for...years. 10 or 15 or 20 years - no, closer to 15. It started when my parents went to teach in Macedonia and we wanted to keep in touch - we'd been doing occasional video chats before that, but that's when we made it a standard weekly thing. BTW, we're currently using Daily.co - free, easy to use (in the browser, and it prefers Chrome), and quite good connections. Last Sunday I mentioned that the folk circle I usually go to on Wednesdays was (of course) cancelled, as is Mom's church choir practice - and we conceived the idea of getting together to sing and play guitars via our hangout. We did it very nicely - Mom and Dad singing, Mar and I playing. My other sister had another online get-together scheduled at the same time, so she only dropped in for a few minutes - not sure she got to hear any singing, we spent quite a bit of time working out what songs all of us knew well enough to sing and to play. I found that for several suggestions, although I know the songs quite well I didn't have chords for them, and I added some to my SongBook app. So now there's some good new songs in SongBook, extra bonus.

So a lovely day and now I'm going to bed. G'nite.

101LadyoftheLodge
huhtikuu 9, 2020, 11:10am

>100 jjmcgaffey: I watched a video yesterday of the National Orchestra of France with the members playing Bolero together, each from his or her home. I thought it was awesome. The community band in which I play has cancelled rehearsals and our spring and summer performances, so I am greatly missing my musician friends. I am not even motivated to practice.

102jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 10, 2020, 3:45am

I'm doing a challenge on Habitica (gamified to-do list site) to practice every day. I've been doing it for a bit over a year - actually, about a year and a half. It makes a real difference to me. Before this, what I'd do would be to pick up the guitar and play for about an hour, then not play because my fingers were too sore. Sometimes I'd manage to play three or four times a month...then I'd get distracted and not play for six months or a year. I've made more progress over this 18 months than I had over the past...20 years? My chord changes are a lot smoother, I can play much more rhythmically (strumming on the beat rather than on the syllables), I can play faster because I'm not pausing between chords... I've learned a few more chords, but not many - I can just play the ones I know so much better.

So I'm motivated to keep practicing - to at least pick up the guitar and play something every day. Frequently, recently, it's been pick up the guitar and play one verse of one song - that counts. But even a little tiny bit of playing, every day, is so much better than my previous binge and drop pattern...

I really noticed the difference yesterday, in the hangout. I used to limp along after my sister - play most of the chords, skipping the difficult ones and the ones I didn't get around to changing to in time. This time I was really playing. Admittedly, I don't do bar chords (yet), and I avoid songs that need them - but I did play Dm and B7, both of which are rather complicated chords, and I didn't noticeably slow down to hit them. So right now I'm even more motivated to practice (Look, progress!).

One thing I need to work on is actually singing louder than my guitar. I've gotten into the habit of basically singing to myself - I can hear me, but I don't think anyone else could. It doesn't matter for my practice, but it'll matter if/when I start playing with others (in person, not in hangout - well, it mattered in hangout too, but I could move my mike around to help).

103jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 15, 2020, 8:15pm

Books Read
62. The Phantom Roan * by Stephen Holt. Review - My, this is amazingly stupid. The kid just sits there and frets until - tadaa! luck comes and fixes everything. Ugh.
63. The Ugly Princess and the Wise Fool * by Margaret Gray. Review - Cute, rather standard twists on standard fairy tales. But a fun read, once.
64. Bandit's Moon * by Sid Fleischman. Review - Ugh - stupid. Major failures of suspension of disbelief, and floppy (not even cardboard) characters. I like a lot of Fleischmans, not this one.
65. Dead Heat @# by Patricia Briggs. Review - Kind of a side story, though it illuminates what the fae are up to - and tells us a lot about Charles. Good story, though somewhat grim.
66. Fire Touched @# by Patricia Briggs. Review - Well. A major change in situation - this is going to have serious effects down the line. Interesting new characters, too.
67. Silence Fallen @# by Patricia Briggs. Review - Possibly my favorite Mercy - she's very coyote (or Coyote) in this one. Shows up strongly how her mere presence will scramble plans in progress for centuries…
68. Burn Bright @# by Patricia Briggs. Review - Amazing - Leah has good points. Bran behaves stupidly. And it's all within character. The wildlings are fascinating - hope we see more of them. And a major enemy revealed.
69. Storm Cursed @^ by Patricia Briggs. Review - Possibly the nastiest Mercy I've read. Zombies and black witches, unexpected betrayal - and unexpected allies, too. There will be major repercussions from this, on several sides. Amusing to get a dose of human politics.
70. Smoke Bitten @^ by Patricia Briggs. Review - Whew. A very dangerous enemy...who turns out to be, in some aspects, small potatoes. Which doesn't mean it's not dangerous...Building up to some major events, though - what is Underhill up to? And some rogue wolves just to complicate things.

Currently Reading
The Root Cellar by Janet Lunn - so far mildly interesting YA, and a BOMB. And back to A Murder of Mages.

BOMBs
The first three here, read just to allow me to finish the Briggs serieses. One OK, two bad. Or, reasons why these are BOMBs...they looked interesting once but aren't enough to draw me in. Not true of all my BOMBs, but far too many, which is why I need the goals. Speaking of which, I'm currently up to speed on my goals, and it's only halfway through the month - excellent!

Discards
All three BOMBs, nothing else. I'm considering whether I still need paper copies of the Briggs - though all the books in this lot are ebooks anyway.

New/Reread
Three BOMBs, four rereads, two new books. Which brings me to...zero rereads paid for. I'll read some more BOMBs to build up my backlog before I go on to books I really want to read...though I've found a series that I've read only the first of, and the other five(?four, actually) books I have are BOMBs. Still, want to thin down my kids books before I get into that.

104jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 15, 2020, 8:20pm

And that's the end (as of now) of the Mercy Thompson series - there'll be more, but I don't think one's due this year (Smoke Bitten was the 2020 book). A very enjoyable reread, plus two new books. Other books are popping up asking for rereads, but a) I need to read BOMBs to allow that and b) there are a lot of new books (non-BOMBs) I haven't read yet. So I think I'm off the reread kick for a while.

I did discover that I have five books of the Raine Benares series, by Lisa Shearin; I read the first one and enjoyed it, (oh good lord) 11 years ago. That one would be a reread, but the other four are BOMBs - and I've found some more in the series as ebooks. So later on, I think I'll be reading that. But not right away (as I said above).

And right now, I need to do my taxes - not because taxes are due (lots of delay granted) but because I need the info for other things (unemployment, Medi-Cal).

I've also got a pick tomorrow - someone with a loaded lemon tree has asked Alameda Backyard Growers to take them. I and one other person will do a mini-pick and clear (more or less) his tree. Usually a pick is 3-6 people, and we arrange to visit three or four trees in one day. But for social distancing, two people and one tree makes things much simpler.

And two jobs - one remote, one not. A client is having trouble with her router; she got a new one from Comcast, but can't handle setting it up, so I'll go over there tomorrow and get her going. And the other is Outlook problems, which I'll be doing remotely; hopefully I can straighten out his problems. Nice to get something to do (and get paid for).

105karspeak
huhtikuu 15, 2020, 8:57pm

I love the Mercy Thompson series. What series have you found to be most similar to that one? For me, it is The Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews.

106jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 17, 2020, 10:13pm

>105 karspeak: Hmmm. I don't know that I'd think of Innkeeper as similar - as good, yes, but the flavor is different.

Actually, I'm quite annoyed about it - while I was reading, another series kept popping up and trying to cross-pollinate with Mercy. And I kept shoving it down - I'm reading _this_, go away. I finished Mercy...and the other series completely disappeared. I have no idea what it was. Grrr!

I haven't read nearly as many of them, but Annie Bellet's Twenty-Sided Sorceress has something of the same flavor - multiple kinds of magic beings co-existing, plus an apocalyptic struggle in each book. And by that description, so does Tanya Huff's Enchantment Emporium series, though it's less political - less maneuvering through rules and more...well, smashing through rules, or ignoring them completely. That one's only three books, ranging from good to excellent. I enjoyed the two or three Bellets I read, but the series goes on (and on, and on...). I haven't gotten to the later books. And yes, by that description, Innkeeper fits - maybe it's just that that one's cross-worlds (in the sense of planets). Making the magical races aliens gives it a flavor twist, for me.

107karspeak
Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 17, 2020, 10:46pm

>106 jjmcgaffey: Thanks, I will look into those series! I see your point about cross-worlds versus only this world, but I think it was mostly the tone that I found similar—clearly likable “good guys,” with other good guys cropping up not infrequently, so that there were a lot of positive character vibes overall. Plus good writing, world building, plotting, and supernatural elements. And a clever, independent female protagonist.

108jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 17, 2020, 11:56pm

Yeah. They're both excellent stories (all four, actually), with quite a few elements in common. I just didn't think of them as very similar, and I'm guessing it's because of the alien angle.

109ronincats
huhtikuu 19, 2020, 10:50am

I need to do my taxes too, and also pick my lemon tree. It's a small one so I can handle it myself. And weed the tomato bed after all the rain. Sounds like you are keeping busy, Jenn. I brought clay home to do some hand-building but haven't set up for it yet.

110jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 20, 2020, 6:09pm

Our clay teacher was allowing that - but I was already pretty much out of the class because of census stuff (which went on for a few days after the shelter-in-place order was on) so I didn't. I did have one piece that's half-glazed - I was planning to do a form of sgraffito on it that's worked on bisque, scratching through glaze with wax over it. But it takes some thought and concentration and I didn't have time to finish it. I'll get the piece when things come back and work on it then.

I did finish taxes (on the 18th, which was just in time for the Medi-Cal stuff and in plenty of time for the IRS). Oh, funny - I stayed up all night to finish them, which is about par for the course - I put it off during the day then it takes a few hours to do and I end up in the wee dark hours. I e-filed at about 3 am; and both returns (state and Federal) were accepted within four hours, on a Saturday. Weird!

I've potted up a bunch of celeriac; we'll see if they're OK with being transplanted. Root veg is sometimes unhappy with that. Still haven't finished potting up the tomatoes, though I did plant the older starts, and some lettuce-leaf basil.

And stuff, and junk. Not reading a lot at the moment, having come off the MT rails; I'm getting sewing and cooking projects done, though. Minor stuff, hemming jeans and the like - I want to make a cloth mask or two, but I'm looking at different patterns instead of just making one and seeing how it works. And making yogurt right now, and harvested sprouts, and so on.

111ronincats
huhtikuu 20, 2020, 11:15pm

Jenn, did you see the murderbot novellas are free this week?

Don't miss this! As part of the promo for the upcoming Murderbot novel, Tor.com is giving away the four novellas in their free e-book club, one each day starting today through Thursday!!!

https://ebookclub.tor.com/?utm_source=exacttarget&utm_medium=eblast&utm_...

112jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 21, 2020, 2:26am

Yep! I have the first one, I'll be getting the rest. Thanks!

I mean, I have had the first one for some time (but haven't gotten around to reading it, despite all the book warbling). Worth getting the rest, though.

113benitastrnad
huhtikuu 22, 2020, 12:15pm

Celeriac - You have celeriac? And you are growing it? How? and why? I love that stuff. Makes the BEST soup.

114jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 22, 2020, 4:50pm

I went to a seed starting workshop with ABG (my gardening group). Got a bunch of tomatoes (I meant to sell most of the starts at Earth Day...ABG is having an instead sale, so I put them there, except for two for Mom and me to grow), radishes (anybody know how to tell when a radish is ready to pick? I've never grown them and seldom eaten them, I'm highly uncertain), some lettuce that got eaten by a squirrel (d**it), and the celeriac. It sprouted, I grew it under lights in starter pots for quite a while then moved it up to Solo cups and out to the porch. I'll put it in real pots soon. I'll tell you if the growing is successful...I'm actually a little worried, celeriac roots are HUGE and I don't have a lot of spare space in pots. Maybe I'll try a couple in SmartPots (the felt ones - I have some I think I can use for this).

I have a celeriac root (purchased) sitting in my fridge...what's your soup recipe? I like it, but I've never cooked with it before and I'm going blank when I look at it.

115jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 28, 2020, 6:52am

Well, one of my radishes had grown a bulb - kind of cracked and elongated, but definitely a bulb. So I pulled it, cleaned it, tasted it and decided I hate radishes (tasteless except spice and a weird extra flavor). So I pulled the other two, too - more room for planting other stuff. I've potted up all the tomato seedlings, 25 of them - I have room for 4, maybe 5 more, and Mom has room for maybe 6. So a bunch more going to ABG, pretty soon. They're hardening off on my porch now. The celeriac is still doing OK, though I need to move it into real pots pretty soon. And the peas that were nibbled down to the ground or to bare stalks (have I mentioned I hate squirrels?) have decided to come back - after I planted tomatoes in those pots. We'll see - we're getting some hot days now (all the way up to low 70s!), and the peas may die out. One other thing - I got a container zucchini from a friend, and it's doing very well. I have had zero success with squash so far - one year I got good big plants but not one single edible fruit (that was gophers, when I was planting in the ground in the community garden). The zucchini actually has a little tiny fruit already (half the length of my little finger and about pencil-thick); we'll see if it manages to grow properly and give me some squash.

I've been reading, but not posting - partly because I overran my rereads (by two, oops!) and need to catch up on BOMBs again. Not getting a lot done on any front. Tomorrow I have to apply for unemployment - the self-employed, pandemic kind. And maybe the normal kind as well, though that's only my Census employment. The Census has decided to stop paying us, which I'm quite glad for - I'd rather they weren't calculating money remaining against the risk of putting us back to work too early. They still intend to go on, current rescheduled date is June 1, but we're on non-pay status until then (not fired, just not getting paid. Which entitles us to unemployment).

Doing quite a bit of singing, and playing my guitar - my family has added a guitar hangout mid-week to our Sunday talking hangout. Also this week the monthly folk circle I go to now and then is having a virtual meeting, and that I think I can make. And every filk con that's been canceled (filk=folk music by and for science fiction fans) is going online instead, so I can hear and (theoretically) sing/play at cons and filk circles all over the place. Most of this is still theoretical, aside from my family hangout - we've done two of those so far. We'll see how the rest shakes out. But I'm really noticing how much better I am at playing guitar now. Amazing, this playing-every-day thing really works...

116benitastrnad
huhtikuu 28, 2020, 4:31pm

The first time I cooked with celeriac it was because I found it listed in James Peterson's book on vegetables. Vegetables, Revised. In that book he has a general cream soup recipe and I purchased two bulbs of celeriac at Christmas time in the Super Saver store in Lincoln, Nebraska. I took them home and made that cream soup recipe. It was so good. It didn't taste like celery at all. Even my mother liked it and she is very picky about what she eats - or in most cases, what she doesn't eat. You can also use it in salads - like you use jicama. If the celeriac isn't cooked it can get a strong celery taste, but cooked it is smooth, creamy, and rich tasting. If I get time later today I will type the recipe up and post it.

As for those radishes. I like to have a slice of nice thick bread, butter it with a thick layer of real butter. Thinly slice some radishes and layer them on top of the butter. Sprinkle a little bit of crunchy salt (kosher will do) and eat up. This is a great breakfast open faced sandwich, or an amazing quick lunch. Crunchy, tangy, and yet smooth. Somehow the butter changes the flavor of the radishes. This is the way the French eat radishes. You can also cook them (steam them) with spring turnips and asparagus. Make a thin butter sauce and a bit of salt and they are so good.

117quondame
huhtikuu 28, 2020, 4:40pm

>115 jjmcgaffey: Too bad that radishes don't appeal. I like them added to salads or sometimes even with onions as a salad, though I will eat them whole dipped in salt.

118jjmcgaffey
huhtikuu 29, 2020, 2:30pm

I'm not too good with sharp/acid flavors in general, so I think I won't bother with the radishes. The celeriac sounds excellent, though, so I'll look for some (more) recipes for that (most of what I've found is treating it as a raw veg, and it's a bit powerful for that, for me). The cream soup sounds interesting, when you get a chance, Benita.

Today Mom and I go give blood - me for the first time this year (gave near Christmas then things got interesting), Mom for the first time in decades. Then we're doing a virtual folk circle tonight.

119ELiz_M
huhtikuu 29, 2020, 7:26pm

>114 jjmcgaffey: Do you like coriander? A simple, but time consuming recipe is to to roast it.

Pierce the root with a knife all over, rub with 3 tbsp of olive oil, 1.5 tsp of crushed coriander seeds, and 2 tsp of flaked salt (probably could be a coarse kosher salt instead). Roast at 375 for 2.5-3 hours, stopping every 30 minutes to baste it with the oil in the pan. Serve cut in wedges with a squeeze of lemon (optional).

Recipe is from Ottolenghi Simple.

120benitastrnad
Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 2020, 6:05pm

Basic Creamed Celeriac Soup
Makes 8 to 12 cups of soup, depending on the size of the vegetable

3 Tbsps unsalted butter
4 medium leeks, white parts only (I have used shallots successfully, but don't like onions here -they are to strong in flavor)
1 large Idaho Potato - peeled and cut into chunks the same size as your other vegetable
1 to 2 cups Celeriac - peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes, or the same size as your potato
6 cups milk, basic chicken broth, or a combination of both. (I usually do a combination of both)
1/4 to 1 cup heavy cream - (I usually do the smaller amount, but it depends on how strong the celeriac is in flavor)
Salt and ground pepper - the salt and pepper are important as this soup tends to be bland.

Heat the butter in a large (at least 4 quart) non-aluminum saucepan or pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring until they turn translucent, about 8 minutes. (don't cook them too fast, they shouldn't brown.). Add the potato, celeriac, and milk or broth and bring it to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potato and celeriac have completely softened and are easy to crush against the side of the pot with the back of a fork. (It may be longer than 20 minutes depending on the density of the celeriac.)

Puree in a blender, immersion blender works fine here, or a food mill. If the mixture is thicker than you like your soup, thin it with a little milk or broth before adding the cream.

Heat the soup and add as much cream as you like and season to taste with salt and pepper.

This soup can also be served cold or at room temperature. However, if you do that I would advise that you use less broth and more milk and cream as the cooler broth can make the soup taste more broth. Also, if you are serving it cold make sure that you puree it well so that it is smooth. Sometimes the potato can make it a little grainy in texture.

A pinch of ground coriander can add a boast of flavor to the soup, but don't use too much or it becomes the flavor of the soup rather than the more delicate celeriac taste.

121jjmcgaffey
toukokuu 1, 2020, 12:04am

Sounds good! I'll make it soon. Thanks!

122jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: toukokuu 1, 2020, 1:51am

Books Read
71. Quilting Techniques for Beginners @^ by Elizabeth Betts. Review - Short pamphlet - it does cover a good many techniques, but not in much detail. May be useful as an overview, not really a teaching book.
72. Code of Honor @# by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Review - A good story - I like Tommy Lee.
73. Roving Gambler @# by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Review - I could have sworn this was new to me, but apparently I just forget it. Quin and Villy meet.
74. Shout of Honor @^ by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Review - Love this - Yxtrang Ambassador is a fascinating concept.
75. The Gate that Locks the Tree @^ by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Review - Minor story with some major implications for the Tree and its relationships with several other groups.
76. A Murder of Mages @^ by Marshall Ryan Maresca. Review - Nice - complex magic police procedural. A Sherlock Holmes-ish detective, but not too bad, and an excellent female co-lead. More, please.
77. The Complete Fairy Tales * by George MacDonald. Review - Not bad set of fairy tales - but no characters, just puppets playing their role. Some of the stories lack plot and ending.
78. Middlegame @^ by Seanan McGuire. Review - Rich, complicated, complex, a bit gory, weird on many levels and _definitely_ worth reading, and rereading.
79. The Ravenmaster's Secret * by Elvira Woodruff. Review - Cute, a bit too much message and not enough story. Nice accurate historical detail, not too sanitized.

Currently Reading
Nothing, really - some BOMBs started but put down. I'll find something soon.

BOMBs
The Complete Fairy Tales and The Ravenmaster's Secret.

Discards
Two BOMBs becomes three discards because I also have a book that's one of the stories in The Complete Fairy Tales (The Golden Key).

New/Reread
I got caught up in some Liaden short works, and accidentally reread two stories I'd read before. So I had to read the two BOMBs so that I'm not negative on rereads paid for. None paid for, at the moment, but at least I'm caught up.

Nice lot of BOMBs and discards this month! Neither of the BOMBs in this group were particularly interesting, nor particularly bad. Some of the other reading was really good (the Liaden stuff and Middlegame). Very nice.

Reading The Complete Fairy Tales at the same time as Middlegame was weird. The flavor of MacDonald's stories is so precisely that...not of Middlegame itself, but of Over the Woodward Wall, the book that's "excerpted" for Middlegame's chapter headings (each nearly a page of text). I don't think the book(s) exist, which is a pity - I'd have liked to have read them. Additions to the Library of Nonexistent Books...

123jjmcgaffey
toukokuu 1, 2020, 1:46am

April stats
31 books read
15 rereads
16 new books
0 rereads paid for

7796 pages read, average 251.5

9 BOMBs - passed my goal for the month
0 ER books
0 Netgalley books

19 ebooks, 12 paper books

10 discards - passed my goal for the month

23 SF&F
2 animal stories
4 children's
1 non-fiction
0 general fiction
0 romances
0 graphic novels
1 mysteries

25 F, 10 M authors

Nice! A good lot of BOMBs and discards - up to and past where I ought to be for the year. A lot of books read, by far the most for this year so far (and decent length books, too, not short stuff). As usual, more SF than everything else put together; and more than twice as many female authors than male (with a few books with one of each). A good month for reading. Partly, of course, because there wasn't a lot else going on...

124ronincats
toukokuu 2, 2020, 9:04pm

I just bought my first ever supporting membership for WorldCon, so now I guess I need to read the three novels I haven't yet as well as the shorter fiction. Hold my hand, okay?

125jjmcgaffey
toukokuu 3, 2020, 3:46am

Have fun! There is usually a Hugo Voters Packet with a lot of the Hugo-nominated works included, that all members of WorldCon get. Which makes it a _lot_ easier to read the shorter works. It's not available yet, though (just checked).

I've never yet managed to read everything, though I do try to read at least a couple from each category so I can make a sort-of informed choice.

126jjmcgaffey
toukokuu 13, 2020, 1:20am

Books Read
80. Miss Landon and Aubranael @^ by Charlotte E. English. Review - Not bad, but not a favorite - Regency manners and elves (etc) don't match well, for me.
81. The Voyage of the Basilisk @^ by Marie Brennan. Review - Nice - annoying name changes (of nations and peoples) but an excellent story nonetheless.
82. From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review @# by Marie Brennan. Review - Amusing epistolary story...that's light enough I forgot I'd read it already. Oh well.
83. In the Labyrinth of Drakes @^ by Marie Brennan. Review - Nice! Interesting story, major changes for Isabella and a major discovery.
84. Within the Sanctuary of Wings @^ by Marie Brennan. Review - Good story, with major revelations for the world. A fitting ending to the series.
85. Turning Darkness Into Light @^ by Marie Brennan. Review - Good, not great - Lady Trent's granddaughter in her own adventures. Enjoyable, but not a favorite.

Currently Reading
Double Trouble, a not-very-interesting kids book - but it's a BOMB, and will be a discard. And The Farfarers, by Farley Mowat - looks interesting so far.

BOMBs
Nope, and I needed one...

Discards
None, all ebooks

New/Reread
Five new, one reread - and since I'd used up my paid-for rereads, I need to read a BOMB right away. I didn't remember reading it before until I found a review of Maps to Nowhere that mentioned the story was included. Bah.

127benitastrnad
Muokkaaja: toukokuu 13, 2020, 1:41pm

I am deep into the fist book in the Bobiverse and very much enjoying the ride.

I got some tomatoes planted. I think I am going to add a zucchini because I want the lime green leaves for ornamental reasons in my pot garden. I hesitate to do it because I am not a fan of zucchini and I know that if I have them I will feel obligated to use them in the kitchen. Maybe eggplant would be better?

128jjmcgaffey
toukokuu 13, 2020, 3:14pm

If you like eggplant better, go for it - no point in growing edibles you won't eat. I'll eat zucchini (as a vegetable and shredded in quickbread) but I won't (voluntarily) eat eggplant (my mom loves it and feeds it to me every once in a while).

My zucchini (that I got as a start) is actually producing fruit! They're about the size of a shortish cigar at the moment - too young, I think (besides they still have flowers on top). This will be the first time I actually got fruit off a squash plant, yay.

My tomatoes are doing well - many have buds (no flowers yet). The celeriac looks healthy, of course I have no idea what the bulbs are doing yet (hmmm, need to research when/how to harvest them, too).

I took a bunch of pictures and will put them up - but not right now, I have to run.

I haven't yet started any of the Bob books...I think I have at least the first one. I should try it. But it's an ebook so doesn't help with BOMBs.

129jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: toukokuu 26, 2020, 1:48am

Books Read
86. Double Trouble * by Barthe DeClements. Review - Nope. Failure of suspension of disbelief - way too many coincidences. The psychic stuff was not the problem, it was the situations they were in.
87. The Physicians of Vilnoc @^ by Lois McMasters Bujold. Review - Lovely. Great story, and Penric takes another step on his path. And a new sorcerer, with a new demon! Fun.
88. Featuring the Saint * by Leslie Charteris. Review - Three stories - OK, ugh, and not bad. The middle one is full of obnoxious stereotypes and gobs of Saint luck; the last one has an interesting villain. The first is formulaic Saint.
89. The Fox Busters * by Dick King-Smith. Review - Cute, highly unlikely story. Nice that it's a team effort. Glad I read it, though I don't see any reason to reread.
90. Paladin's Grace @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Lovely. Too much romance/lust and guilt and "I am not worthy", but still worth it for the rich characters and fascinating story.
91. On Wings of Bone and Glass @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Spectacular ending to the trilogy; the battle is not the end of the story, they also deal with things. Lovely.
92. A Night with the Girls @^ by Barbara Hambly. Review - Starhawk story (Sun Wolf doesn't get a look-in). Pretty horrific, but readable.
93. Matilda Bone * by Karen Cushman. Review - Interesting setting, really annoying protagonist.

Currently Reading
(Still) The Farfarers by Farley Mowat - it's much denser, longer, and less interesting than I thought at first. I'm interrupting myself with better books to keep from bogging down entirely - except I meant to pick short ones and ended up reading some that are nearly as dense (though more interesting). Allaigna's Song: Overture by JM Landels - this is _not_ an ER book, it's the first book in the series and I got the second through ER (and they sent me the first as well). I'm glad they did, this is extremely complex and dense and full of politics and I'm pretty sure I would have been entirely lost in the second book if I hadn't had this grounding. I may be anyway. I may start switching back and forth between Farfarers and Overture, or interrupt my interruption with something lighter. It's good - very rich - but not light.

BOMBs
Double Trouble, Featuring the Saint, The Fox Busters, and Matilda Bone. Didn't love any of them, but they're short and (mostly) decent reads.

Discards
All four of the BOMBs. Plus I discovered I had two Saint books twice (including Featuring) and am discarding one of each, so five discards.

New/Reread
All new. I've got three rereads paid for now - I could start the Raine Benares series now. I think I will - dig them out and read the paper books (since I'm reading two ebooks on one device already...). The first, and possibly the second, Raine Benares books are rereads; the rest of the series is new, and I have five of them in paper. So one reread and four BOMBs or two and three. Useful.

I've been reading, though not huge gobs; doing very well on BOMBs and discards. Pretty good month. And I figured out how to add my stars - I'm putting them on the lists at the beginning, I've got too much going on in these posts. I'm not going back and adding them to previous books, at least not now - but this is pretty automatic, so I'll be able to do it going forward.

130jjmcgaffey
toukokuu 26, 2020, 2:17am

OK, changed my mind. Stars on all the books, now.

131ronincats
toukokuu 30, 2020, 10:45pm

Link is up for the Sector General summer group read--check it out!

https://www.librarything.com/topic/320907

132jjmcgaffey
kesäkuu 5, 2020, 3:02am

Books Read
94. Allaigna's Song: Overture @^ by JM Landels. Review - Lies and manipulation and teenage (and earlier) angst. A rather confusing setup with three threads following different people - took me a while to figure out who and when. However, it's also very rich and well-written. Not my style but good.
95. The Aphorisms of Kherishdar @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Interesting little book - 25 very short stories, depicting an alien culture. Each story is a bit thin, but they build on one another - very nicely done.
96. The Farfarers @^ by Farley Mowat. Review - Interesting theories, but the evidence he presents is a bit thin, and the presentation is a bit too dense. No real narrative to tie it into something worth reading.

Currently Reading
See June post.

BOMBs
None.

Discards
None - all ebooks.

New/Reread
All new.

133jjmcgaffey
kesäkuu 5, 2020, 3:04am

May stats
17 books read
1 rereads
16 new books
3 rereads paid for

4179 pages read, average 245.8

4 BOMBs
0 ER books
0 Netgalley books

13 ebooks, 4 paper books

5 discards - hit my goal for the month

12 SF&F
0 animal stories
3 children's
1 non-fiction
0 general fiction
0 romances
0 graphic novels
1 mysteries

14 F, 3 M authors

Not a lot of books this month, but a decent lot. Not quite enough BOMBs but since I was ahead I'm still on track. Not a lot to say about this month...

134jjmcgaffey
kesäkuu 5, 2020, 3:21am

Books Read
97. Faith in the Service @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Great story. Nice links back to the beginning of Alysha's story, and beautiful solutions to impossible situations.
98. The Bronze Bow * by Elizabeth George Speare. Review - Excellent setting, OK story - things come up a little too conveniently for my taste.

Currently Reading
Not much. Haven't picked a new ebook or paper book - I have a bunch of stuff in Currently Reading but I'm really not. I might pick one of those just to get done with them, though.

BOMBs
The Bronze Bow.

Discards
The Bronze Bow - I have it as an ebook should I want to reread.

New/Reread
Both new. Four rereads paid for. I want to do nothing but rereads and I can't, so I'm trying to pick more BOMBs, but nothing really looks interesting...stick with the kids books and animal books, short and relatively light.

135jjmcgaffey
kesäkuu 5, 2020, 3:34am

I've been pretty busy - last weekend I helped at a garden sale fundraiser for AAUW (American Association of University Women). All social distanced, of course, but I was able to tell a lot of people stuff they didn't know about planting tomatoes. Do you know about burying a tomato up to its neck? I thought that was the first thing you learned about tomatoes...but maybe it's just that I don't remember not knowing it. Most of the people who came to the sale didn't know it, even the ones who were used to growing tomatoes.

I got a couple herbs - an oregano and a thyme. Then I had to find a place to plant them...my garden is a little thick. I have eaten zucchini, but I don't think they were pollinated (so not really fruit) - they stayed cigar-sized. Still perfectly edible, just not...not real zucchini. There's a couple larger ones on the plant now, here's hoping. Tomatoes are growing very well and all have flowers; one, Jolly, has a couple green tomatoes on it. Ripe blueberries, a few. Garlic is growing well, horseradish has settled in and sent up some leaves, mint is doing very well (and I'm going to pick a lot of it tomorrow for sekanjabin (it's a medieval drink, sharp and sweet and lovely)). Celeriac looks healthy above ground. Two of the three basil plants have taken off, the ones shaded under tomatoes etc; the one that's more exposed got bugs and even though I washed them off it's still pretty scraggly. Lovely lot of carrots, I think...though some of them are too close and it will be difficult to thin them properly. And so on.

Today I had three jobs, helping three different people - long day. I think the social distancing blocking my work is starting to fade - people are willing to have me in the house at need.

I'm making masks - haven't yet found a pattern that works for me, so I'm making various ones to test.

Also, I indulged last week and bought a Cricut Maker. It should be here late this week or early next. That'll be fun.

That's all I can think of - tired, bed now. G'nite.

136benitastrnad
kesäkuu 5, 2020, 6:50pm

I have a flower on one of my eggplants. I can't wait to see if the eggplant develops. I also have some teeny tiny green tomatoes on one of my vines and lots of blooms on a second. The third plant isn't doing much. Not growing as fast as the others, but very healthy looking, so I am not worried about it.

I planted two basil plants under the tomatoes and both are still alive - more than I can say for last year, so I have hope that I will have basil this year.

137jjmcgaffey
kesäkuu 5, 2020, 10:32pm

Nice! I'm growing lettuce leaf basil this year - because I was given some seeds for it in a seed starting class; the leaves are very large and crinkly, and the basil seems to do well in shade (which is odd for basil...). I want to start some other varieties, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I use quite a bit of basil every year, so I like to grow a lot of it.

138LadyoftheLodge
kesäkuu 6, 2020, 1:55pm

>137 jjmcgaffey: It sounds as if your garden is going along nicely. I finally got my annuals in last weekend. I grow them in containers so I can move them around, and also because they do not do well in the ground. I have raised beds with lots of perennials and the day lilies are getting buds on them now. My lilac bush got frosted in early May so the flower buds all died off, sadly.

139jjmcgaffey
kesäkuu 6, 2020, 6:52pm

Aww. My mom loves lilac, but it won't grow here (not enough chill hours, oddly enough). She does grow day lilies, though, the ones her mother had in her garden (in New Jersey). Mom grows them in containers - like me, she's in an upper-floor condo and is growing on her porch. She has a lot more porch than I do (big one downstairs, smaller one upstairs, very small one near the kitchen), but she's also on the Bay and gets the onshore wind every night. It's been tremendously windy the last couple days, I'll have to take a look and see what of her garden has survived!

Mine is much more sheltered - it's tucked into the building, has more room (a park) between it and the Bay, and faces northwest instead of WSW. We kind of alternate (I've said this before, but it's still true) - some years she grows great tomatoes etc and I get a solid crop of aphids, or everything dies of overheating; some years (like this one, it looks), I get a great crop and hers die of exposure/cold/too much wind.

140jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 12, 2020, 1:52am

Books Read
99. False Value @^ by Ben Aaronovitch. Review - Fun story; magic and high tech, as well as the usual police procedural. Slightly annoying tangled timeline at the beginning.
100. Forbidden Magic @^ by Stephanie Burgis. Review - Cute little story - what actually happened when Olivia was found out, and how she and George ended up married.
101. Jim Ugly * by Sid Fleischman. Review - OK kids' book, not exciting.
102. Spy, Spy Again @^ by Mercedes Lackey. Review - Really good fluff. I wanted something exciting that would catch me up, and I got exactly that. Mag's third child finds his place, as does one of the King's sons; the "romance" is rather unlikely, but it's not pushed too hard. I like the afriti, though the sequence is rather convenient. The only real problem is that this prequel should have had an effect in Selenay's time, and (of course) it wasn't even referred to.
103. Maestoso Petra * by Jane F. Kendall. Review - Mildly interesting, the story of a Lippazzaner "in his own words". Didn't really work for me as a story, but the information was interesting.

Currently Reading
The Chocolatier's Ghost. Good story, but not light - and a little extra difficulty because I read the first book in the series...in 2014. Trying to remember who these people are and their relationships is complex - and it's a murder mystery, so those relationships are kind of important. I probably should have reread the first book - too late now, I'm hip-deep in this story. But it has made me go find other things to read, lighter. I also have another BOMB, The Horse-Tamer by Walter Farley, sitting ready to read next.

BOMBs
Jim Ugly and Maestoso Petra. Both mildly interesting and not worth rereading.

Discards
Both BOMBs out.

New/Reread
All new; I've now got 6 rereads paid for.

Good reading. The worst book in this group was mildly interesting, and I got rid of two BOMBs. And all three of the ebooks were quite good.

141jjmcgaffey
kesäkuu 15, 2020, 9:03pm

RebaRelishesReading posted this on her thread - don't know where the list came from, but I found myself writing an essay and decided it needed to be moved over here.

1 Pride and Prejudice- Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien 👍
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte 👍
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling 👍 (the first one only)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible - The Torah (um...I've read most of the Bible (ok, not the Begats, but a good bit of it). Never read the Torah, except as far as the Old Testament is the Torah (which is somewhat but not entirely, as I understand it. So...sort of?)) 👍?
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell 👍
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman 👍 (awful)
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens 👍
11 Little Women - Louisa May Alcott 👍
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy 👍 (awfulest)
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller 👍
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare 👍(I think I've read all of them...in bits and pieces, though)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier 👍
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien 👍
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulkner
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (This may have been assigned in school, but if so I don't remember it at all)
19 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 👍 (and sequels)
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky 👍? (Huh, I think I have read this, or at least part of it)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll 👍
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame 👍
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens 👍
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis 👍 (the whole series, including #36...)
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis 👍 (but included in #33...?)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini 👍 (yuck)
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne 👍 (and sequels)
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell 👍
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (never!)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins (I...don't think so? I've read something by Collins but I think it was a short piece)
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery 👍 (and some (all?) of the sequels)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert 👍
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville 👍? (possibly an abridged version - or maybe I've just absorbed the story without actually reading (or seeing!) it)
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens 👍
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker 👍
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett 👍
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante (The Divine Comedy is what I have)
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome 👍 (and sequels)
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens 👍
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker👍 (yuck. For school)
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White 👍
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom 👍
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 👍
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton (not sure I've read this one. I have it. I've read a good many of hers)
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Eupery 👍
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams 👍
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute 👍
97 The Three Musketeers - Aleandre Dumas 👍 (and sequels)
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare 👍
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl 👍 (and sequel)
100 Gaudy Night - Dorothy Sayers 👍 (and all the other Lord Peter books and stories)

Of this list - I've read 41(43?), depending on how you count. Oddly, there is both The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Chronicles of Narnia which is a series of seven books of which TLTWatW is the second (or first, depending on how you count). The Faraway Tree Collection is an omnibus of three books. And so on. I've definitely read 41 positions on that list, and a couple others I've read part of or read and forgotten.

There are also several on that list that I will never read - Ulysses and The DaVinci Code, for two. And some that I have read and am very sorry I did so - Tess of the D'Urbervilles and The Color Purple (ok, I don't remember the latter much, only that I had to read it as part of a school year focusing on black woman writers, and I didn't like any of the books. Tess is a permanent scar on my mind, though the details are blessedly fuzzy these many years later).

I have a bunch that I haven't yet read, and I may do so eventually... that's the checkmarks. And a lot of these that I've read I've read the whole series (mostly it lists the first book in a series, sometimes the series as a whole, sometimes a random book out of it...)

I find my memory of what I have and haven't read somewhat fuzzy (for books long before I started tracking my reading in LT - which is part of why I did start tracking...). I also find this list rather fuzzy (the Bible, written by the Torah?). Between the two, this is a rather inchoate post.

142rocketjk
kesäkuu 15, 2020, 9:56pm

>141 jjmcgaffey: Does this list represent anything in particular?

143thorold
kesäkuu 16, 2020, 2:49am

>141 jjmcgaffey: >142 rocketjk: That one never goes away! I think it started out as the result of a “BBC big read” poll in 2003, but it’s got somewhat mangled in transmission as it passes from blog to blog. That’s why there’s a bunch of stuff published around 2000, then nothing more recent.

144jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 16, 2020, 7:06am

>142 rocketjk: No idea! I just took the list from Reba.

Thanks, thorold - it is a very odd mix, really (even ignoring the series/omnibuses/single books mess). Enid Blyton, tons of Austen, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Dumas, Shakespeare, various Russians...I suppose they're all classics, for one or another definition of classic.

145AlisonY
kesäkuu 17, 2020, 7:55am

>135 jjmcgaffey: Well I've obviously been planting my tomatoes wrongly. What difference does burying part of the stem make?

146jjmcgaffey
kesäkuu 17, 2020, 3:29pm

The nightshades - tomatoes and potatoes, among the edibles - will grow more roots if you bury the stem. So when you transplant a young tomato, you snip off all the leaves except the top tuft (1-3 branches), dig a deeeep hole (as deep as you can get - or if you're in a shallow wide place, dig a hole and a trench and lay the tomato mostly sideways - let the top lie on the ground, it'll turn up in a day or two) and plant it so that only that top tuft is above ground. The whole stem will produce roots in short order, and the plant will be a lot more sturdy and resilient, and will grow very fast (as soon as it's warm enough).

Since I'm in containers - neither deep nor wide - my deeeep is limited, but I still bury them as deep as possible.

The potato variant, of course, is to bury a bit of potato with an eye in it; as soon as the shoot gets 3-4 inches high, pile dirt over it all but the top tuft. Keep doing that, as it grows, until the container is full or the mound gets too high. It will grow roots, and tubers among said roots, and produce a heck of a lot more potatoes than just planting it and letting it grow.

There are actually a lot of plants where introducing a stem to the ground will produce roots - strawberries and all runner plants, anything that can be made to reproduce by "layering" (bury a bent stem, or put a rock on it, so that part of it is touching the ground and the end is free - it will (often) make roots and become a separate plant). You can spread shrubs that way; I don't know what all else.

It's not _necessary_ to plant tomatoes that way - but it makes for quicker, sturdier growth, so it's _better_.

I actually have to be very careful when transplanting - some plants (most herbs, many flowers) object strongly to having the crown (where the plant meets the roots) under the ground (or too high). I have to remember not to dig them in deep! I do a lot of tomato transplanting, so that's my default.

147AlisonY
kesäkuu 17, 2020, 3:34pm

Good to know - thanks. My sister gave me loads of young vegetable plants this spring and I'm learning the hard way that courgettes take up a huge amount of room, as does broccoli. Needless to say, more room than I've allowed them...

148jjmcgaffey
kesäkuu 17, 2020, 4:02pm

Yes. I grew broccoli successfully one year; it was good, but not worth the space it took (even though it was one of the ones that does little heads (side-shoots) after the main blossom is picked. I'm finally successfully growing a zucchini, and it's trying to eat my balcony - stretching from one side well into the center walkway. I've tried to contain the leaves on the tomato net that's hanging there, but they keep escaping. Still, I grew squash!

I grow tomatoes every year; those, I have down. I know how to keep them contained and lifted so I can actually harvest, etc. Other stuff...it's always an experiment.

149AnnieMod
kesäkuu 17, 2020, 4:28pm

>146 jjmcgaffey:

My grandmother used to use a set of specially cut pieces of wood when transplanting tomatoes - one was put in the container where the seeds were put to grow and when the stems got bigger than it was, it was used to make the hole for the plant so that it is almost completely buried. I never thought of why she was doing that (she was barely literate so I know she did not read it in a book) and I never tried to find out; this explanation makes so much sense...

150benitastrnad
kesäkuu 17, 2020, 4:31pm

I grew zucchini for several years in two pots. I used them to form a living screen between me and my neighbors on our shared balcony. I put a stake in both pots, then wound string between the two of them and as the plants grew I forced them along the strings. It formed a living green wall. It was a tip I learned from a Martha Stewart Living show. It was great! And later I told the neighbors to help themselves to the zucchini. However, they were guys and were to young to appreciate homegrown green stuff so they never took me up on the offer.

I have two very small eggplants growing, so I should soon have some of them to eat. Along with the tomatoes and basil.

151jjmcgaffey
kesäkuu 17, 2020, 7:13pm

>149 AnnieMod: She may not have known why - just "the way it's done". Someone figured it out and passed the word along...

The other thing about this tomato habit is, if a stem gets broken or snapped off, lay it down and bury it. If it's completely off its roots it's unlikely to grow but I've recovered a couple (young ones, a bit late for transplanting, that snapped off at the soil line when I was moving them around) that way - and if it's still partly attached to its roots there's a 80-90% chance it will recover and go on growing.

>150 benitastrnad: Huh. Yeah, zucchini _would_ make a good screen - not what I need, though, my balcony is very set back and I need all the sun I can get in there. I'll keep that in mind for the future, though.

Mine has lots of female flowers, but no males any more. Which means the females won't get pollinated (not a lot of pollinators get up here...). Grumble grump. Any magic solutions? I've only got the one plant.

152jjmcgaffey
kesäkuu 27, 2020, 2:18am

And oddly enough - despite no male flowers, the zucchini are growing nicely. I've harvested 6, I think, from the size of a short cigar to (the most recent one) as big as they come in stores - 8 inches, and probably 3-4 inches around. They're very tasty, too.

Lots of green tomatoes, but not even Jolly (the first to produce fruits) has any that are changing color. 7 of the 10 have fruit, the three smallest plants haven't set anything yet though they have flowers. The horseradish has sent up one big leaf and several small ones (which are apparently edible - but it doesn't have enough to be cutting them off, yet). I'll stop watering the garlic at the end of the month and harvest it a couple weeks later; the seed garlic (purchased at a nursery for growing, rather than planting some eating garlic that sprouted) seems to have made a major difference. We'll see when I pull them up, but the seed garlic has much thicker stems; if that translates into bigger bulbs, it's worth buying.

I had a bunch of blueberries going ripe, and then I had none. I've still got the bird net up, so I have no idea where they went. The next lot are almost ripe, I'm keeping an eye on them. One parsley is growing furiously, the other big one has bolted and is working on seed. The celeriac is sprouting leaves heavily; I haven't tried to dig up any bulbs, though. Mint and carrots growing well. One poppy bloomed and set a head (which will produce poppyseed when it dries out), no others so far. Some marigolds have bloomed, as well. It's going well.

153jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 27, 2020, 2:31am

Books Read
104. The Horse-Tamer * by Walter Farley. Review - Fun story - historical fiction (when written, as well as now) focused on horses.
105. The Admonishments of Kherishdar @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Weird, somewhat unsettling stories - like Aphorisms, it's little short bits illuminating another angle of Al-Naidar culture.
106. The House of Diamond @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Fun adventure. Written as a teen, I don't know how much she rewrote before publishing it, but it's definitely worth reading, and rereading.
107. The Mountain of Iron @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Second half of the story, with some very interesting choices (from the characters, and the author) that make the ending. Very rich.
108. The Chocolatier's Ghost @^ by Cindy Lynn Speer. Review - Well-written fantasy murder mystery...that never quite caught me up in the story.
109. Black Blossom @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - The characters from the two previous books now meet, and we get a full story (instead of the little bits). Very internal, very nice on multiple levels.
110. The Railway Children @^ by E. Nesbit. Review - Fun, sweet (not saccharine) story of kids wandering around getting into and out of trouble, and frequently saving others as part of their trouble-making. Worth reading, maybe worth rereading.

Currently Reading
Minnow on the Say, which has just become a BOMB (I waited a few weeks to start it so it would be...), and Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin. This is the Raine Benares book - the first one of the series, which I have read before. As I've said before, I have several more of the series in paper and I believe I haven't read any but this first one.

BOMBs
The Horse-Tamer, the rest are ebooks.

Discards
The Horse-Tamer, after I found an e-edition of it. Just in case I want to read it again.

New/Reread
All new. Seven rereads paid for, at this point - I'll use one up on Raine Benares, then add more.

A mildly interesting set of books - they're all 3 or 3.5 stars. Nothing great, nothing terrible. And I've hit my half-year goals for BOMBs and discards, very nice. Now I need to keep it up.

154jjmcgaffey
kesäkuu 27, 2020, 2:28am

So, besides my home computer repair business, I've been working for the Census for a few months (for various values of working, given the shutdown). We're in the process of starting up again, trying to minimize contact while getting all the people who haven't already done the Census counted. And I was offered a "battlefield promotion", from Census Field Supervisor to Census Field Manager, one step up. I accepted, and am currently sort of in limbo - there's still admin stuff to do before I'm officially a CFM and have access to all the CFM stuff, but there's no point in giving me CFS stuff (like cases to do, or enumerators to supervise). So I'm working full days in the office, at the moment just trying to get clued in on what's going on.

It's interesting work, and they need me (and are delighted to have me, and the other CFSs are pleased with my getting the promotion). Getting in to the office at 8 am every weekday is...not fun (I am so much a night owl...), but it's manageable. And the money will be very nice - even now, while I'm still being paid as a CFS, working 8 hours a day and 40 hours a week adds up nicely. And I'll get a raise when the CFM-ness actually comes through. It does cut into my reading time, though...

155jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 1, 2020, 11:42pm

_Seriously_ cutting into my reading time. 8 hours a day in the office (OK, not quite, commute time counts while I'm still a CFS, so I leave at 8 am, take a half-hour lunch, and am (supposed to be) home at 4:30 pm) means my usual errands and chores get fit, with difficulty, into the remaining time, and then I sleep (not enough). I finished The Railway Children on June 25, the same day I started in the office; since then, I've read almost 3/4ths of Magic Lost, Trouble Found on my phone. Today I started Minnow on the Say by Philippa Pearce which so far is delightful, as well as being a BOMB. But I got half-way through it (it's a skinny little book) and had to get up and go do chores if I want to get a decent night's sleep (unlike the last...four days?). I hope I'll finish it this week. Stole some time to catch up on LT; now back to chores, and if I finish fast maybe I'll get to read some more.

156jjmcgaffey
heinäkuu 1, 2020, 11:42pm

June stats
14 books read
0 rereads
14 new books
7 rereads paid for

3401 pages read, average 242.9

4 BOMBs
0 ER books
0 Netgalley books

10 ebooks, 4 paper books

4 discards

8 SF&F
2 animal stories
3 children's
0 non-fiction
0 general fiction
1 romances
0 graphic novels
0 mysteries

11 F, 3 M authors

Half-year stats
110 books read (of my goal of 200)
23 rereads
87 new books
7 rereads paid for so far

28485 pages read, average per book 259, average per month 4747.5

30 BOMBs so far this year, hit my goal for the half-year (exactly)
2 ER books
0 Netgalley books

72 ebooks, 38 paper books

32 discards so far this year, 2 above my goal for the half-year

67 SF&F
7 animal stories
21 children's
7 non-fiction
2 general fiction
1 romances
2 graphic novels
3 mysteries

91 F, 28 M authors

Well, I did manage to read at least one book from each of my genres. The usual severe imbalance towards SF&F and female authors (there are more authors than books; some of them are team-written, mostly by a man and a woman). April seriously skewed my averages for books and pages; this month is much more normal.

157jjmcgaffey
Muokkaaja: tammikuu 1, 3:54am

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