jjmcgaffey Reading in 2020, 2nd tranche

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jjmcgaffey Reading in 2020, 2nd tranche

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 20, 2020, 2:34am

Actually got enough posts it's worth continuing, at just about halfway through the year.

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

heinäkuu 1, 2020, 11:56pm

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).

heinäkuu 1, 2020, 11:57pm

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

Read January-March

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.

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.

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.

heinäkuu 1, 2020, 11:57pm

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

Read April-June

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.

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.

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.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 1, 2020, 3:18am

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

Read July-September

111. Magic Lost, Trouble Found - @# - by Lisa Shearin.
112. Minnow on the Say - * - by Philippa Pearce.
113. Wild Card - @^ - by Lisa Shearin.
114. Armed & Magical - @# - by Lisa Shearin.
115. The Trouble with Demons - # - by Lisa Shearin.
116. Bewitched & Betrayed - # - by Lisa Shearin.
117. Con & Conjure - # - by Lisa Shearin.
118. All Spell Breaks Loose - @^ - by Lisa Shearin.

119. Wedding Bells, Magic Spells - @^ - by Lisa Shearin.
120. Silver in the Blood - @^ - by Jessica Day George.
121. Miss Ellerby and the Ferryman - @^ - by Charlotte E. English.
122. I Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf - @^ - by Grant Snider.
123. The Shape of Ideas - @^ - by Grant Snider.
124. What Color is Night? - @^ - by Grant Snider.
125. What Sound is Morning? - @^ - by Grant Snider.
126. Rebel Raider - @^ - by H. Beam Piper.
127. Wren to the Rescue - @^ - by Sherwood Smith.
128. The Reluctant Widow - @# - by Georgette Heyer.
129. Hard Magic - @^ - by Laura Anne Gilman.
130. Unexpected Eden - @^ - by Rhenna Morgan.
131. Record of a Spaceborn Few - @^ - by Becky Chambers.
132. Fathers' Honor - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
133. Lone Star Lawman - @^ - by Justine Davis.
134. Author Vs. Character - @^ - by Lazette Gifford.
135. The Velveteen Rabbit - @^ - by Margery Williams Bianco.
136. Attack of the Ninja Frogs - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
137. The Book of Dragons - @* - by E. Nesbit.
138. The Circus Ship - @^ - by Chris Van Dusen.
139. Giant Trouble - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
140. Whiskerella - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
141. Little Red Riding Hood - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
142. Toad Words and Other Stories - @^ - by T. Kingfisher.
143. Pebbles on the Shore - @^ - by A.G. Gardiner.
144. Leaves in the Wind - @^ - by A.G. Gardiner.
145. Masters of Space - @# - by E.E. Doc Smith.
146. Subspace Explorers - @# - by E.E. Doc Smith.

147. Bryony and Roses - @^ - by T. Kingfisher.
148. Madame Pamplemousse and her Incredible Edibles - @^ - by Rupert Kingfisher.
149. Lyric's Accidental Mate - @^ - by Elle Boon.
150. The Speed of Dark - @* - by Elizabeth Moon.
151. A Posse of Princesses - @^ - by Sherwood Smith.
152. The Red House Mystery - * - by A.A. Milne.
153. Reflections - @^ - by Diana Wynne Jones.
154. This Strange Adventure - * - by Mary Roberts Rinehart.
155. Earth and Air - @^ - by Peter Dickinson.
156. Lone Star Nights - @^ - by Justine Davis.
157. A Lone Star Christmas - @^ - by Justine Davis.
158. Lone Star Reunion - @^ - by Justine Davis.
159. Lone Star Homecoming - @^ - by Justine Davis.
160. Curse of the Were-Wiener - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
161. Durrell in Russia - * - by Gerald Durrell & Lee Durrell.
162. Trickster's Choice - @# - by Tamora Pierce.
163. Trickster's Queen - @# - by Tamora Pierce.
164. Frank's Campaign - @^ - by Horatio Alger.
165. Three Hanses - * - by Julian David.
166. Thornbound - @^ - by Stephanie Burgis.
167. The Breaking Wave - @^ - by Nevil Shute.
168. The Flowers of Vashnoi - @^ - by Lois McMasters Bujold.
169. Lessons in Enchantment - @! - by Patricia Rice.
170. The False Princess - * - by Eilis O'Neal.
171. Escape from B-Movie Hell - @! - by M T McGuire.
172. Shadowed Flame - @^ - by RJ Blain.
173. A Royal Birthday - @^ - by Eilis O'Neal.
174. Coast to Coast - * - by Betsy Byars.
175. A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking - @^ - by T. Kingfisher.
176. Healing Eden - @^ - by Rhenna Morgan.
177. Waking Eden - @^ - by Rhenna Morgan.
178. Eden's Deliverance - @^ - by Rhenna Morgan.
179. Change Management - @^ - by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller.
180. Blind Man's Lantern - @^ - by Allen Kim Lang.
181. A Bewitching Governess - @^ - by Patricia Rice.
182. A Killing Frost - @^ - by Seanan McGuire.
183. An Illusion of Love - @! - by Patricia Rice.
184. Bessie Bell and the Goblin King - @^ - by Charlotte E. English.
185. Alphas - Origins - @# - by Ilona Andrews.
186. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar - * - by Roald Dahl.
187. Esio Trot - * - by Roald Dahl.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 1, 3:35am

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

Read October-December

188. Finders Keepers - @^ - by Craig Childs.
189. Beyond Shame - @^ - by Kit Rocha.
190. Eight Days of Luke - @# - by Diana Wynne Jones.
191. Call It Courage - * - by Armstrong Sperry.
192. Winging It - @^ - by Lee Farnsworth.
193. Pied Piper - @^ - by Nevil Shute.
194. Lair of the Bat Monster - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
195. No Such Thing as Ghosts - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
196. Revenge of the Horned Bunnies - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
197. When Fairies Go Bad - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
198. Nightmare of the Iguana - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
199. The Case of the Toxic Mutants - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
200. Knight-napped! - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
201. The Frozen Menace - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
202. The Witch's Brat - @# - by Rosemary Sutcliff.
203. Howl's Moving Castle - # - by Diana Wynne Jones.
204. Apocalyptic - @^ - by Joshua Palmatier.
205. Interweave Presents Knitted Gifts - @^ - by Ann Budd.
206. Flight of the Godkin Griffin - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
207. The Godson's Triumph - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
208. Inquisitor - @^ - by RJ Blain.
209. The Egyptian Box - * - by Jane Louise Curry.
210. Masquerade in Lodi - @^ - by Lois McMaster Bujold.
211. Winter Wolf - @^ - by RJ Blain.
212. Blood Diamond - @^ - by RJ Blain.
213. Silver Bullet - @^ - by RJ Blain.
214. The Gordian Protocol - @^ - by David Weber and Jacob Holo.
215. Ringlet and the Day the Oceans Stopped - @^ - by Felicity Williams.
216. Seven From the Stars - ^ - by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

217. Hungry Like the Wolf - @^ - by Paige Tyler.
218. The Hollow Places - @^ - by T Kingfisher.
219. Tedric - @^ - by E.E. Doc Smith.
220. Lord Tedric - @^ - by E.E. Doc Smith.
221. The Willows - @^ - by Algernon Blackwood.
222. The Voyage of the Arctic Tern - * - by Hugh Montgomery.
223. Recognize Fascism - @! - by Crystal M. Huff.
224. Kherishdar's Exception - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
225. Hunter - @# - by Mercedes Lackey.
226. Elite - @# - by Mercedes Lackey.
227. Apex - @# - by Mercedes Lackey.
228. Windfalls - @^ - by A.G. Gardiner.
229. Giving Chase - @^ - by Lauren Dane.
230. Rock Paper Scissors - @^ - by Devon Monk.
231. Gods and Ends - @^ - by Devon Monk.
232. Dime a Demon - @^ - by Devon Monk.
233. Tales of the Winter Wolf Omnibus - @^ - by RJ Blain.
234. Kiki's Delivery Service - @^ - by Eiko Kadono.
235. The Chequer Board - @^ - by Nevil Shute.
236. Daughter of Necessity - @^ - by Marie Brennan.
237. Hortense and the Shadow - %^ - by Natalia O'Hara.
238. Dragon's Bait - * - by Vivian Vande Velde.

239. Tales from the Folly - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
240. Wolf Trouble - @^ - by Paige Tyler.
241. In the Company of Wolves - @^ - by Paige Tyler.
242. To Love a Wolf - @^ - by Paige Tyler.
243. Wolf Unleashed - @^ - by Paige Tyler.
244. The Part about the Dragon Was (Mostly) True - @! - by Sean Gibson.
245. Brunelleschi's Dome - @* - by Ross King.
246. Hitty: Her First Hundred Years - * - by Rachel Field.
247. The Far Country - * - by Nevil Shute.
248. Spellbound - * - by Vivian Vande Velde.
249. Why Knot? - @^ - by Philippe Petit.
250. Ruined City - * - by Nevil Shute.

heinäkuu 2, 2020, 12:21am

Thread open!

And to start a new(ish) discussion - I have my first tomato starting to turn color. It's nowhere near ripe - another week or two at best - but it's the first one that's not solid green any more.

Also lots of tomatoes of assorted varieties (the first turner is a Jolly, not a surprise); every plant now has at least one fruit showing. A lovely harvest of zucchini, a lot of blueberries which I need to pick before whoever stole the first harvest gets them. Parsley growing well - some plants, some seeds (one plant is thoroughly bolted, I'll let it set seed and save some). Lots of carrots. Horseradish is sending up healthy leaves, celeriac ditto (I should poke around and see if any of them are making bulbs), mint is flourishing, one poppy which is now a pod (no more blooms yet, though there are other poppy plants growing). The lettuce-leaf basil didn't like my severe pruning; it's alive but not spreading, or growing more leaves (two plants both doing the same thing).

I've started a bunch more basil of various sorts in the Aerogarden, they're juuuuust beginning to sprout.

I will continue to grow Astia zucchini in future years, assuming starting from seed works as well as starting from a plant as I did this year. It's a hybrid so I'll have to buy seed (and squash seed is a one-year thing, mostly, so I may buy plants instead...depends on what I find), but I've really enjoyed having the zucchini. The plant isn't very well-behaved (trying to eat my garden! look at the second picture, it's the huge leaves at the end) but I like the fruits.

The garden is flourishing this year; the light in my living room (all of which comes through the sliding glass doors that look out on this balcony) is quite green. Mom is having a bad year; lost 4-5 of 10 tomato plants, though the ones that survived seedlinghood are huge and mostly setting fruit. This is normal - years when it's calm and warm enough for all of her plants to grow, my much more sheltered balcony usually grows an excellent crop of aphids and other plant pests. She's right on the bay, and her balcony has widely-spaced vertical railing supports; I'm a little further inland (100-150 yards), face slightly more north, and have a balcony with planks for railing supports, with essentially no gap between them. Much dimmer (I'm also under a projecting roof, unlike Mom's balcony), much more sheltered.

heinäkuu 2, 2020, 12:52am

Happy new thread!

heinäkuu 2, 2020, 11:18am

Happy New Thread, Jenn! Lovely use of space and luscious garden. We have been picking the ripe stuff for a little over a week now and have a lot blushing on the vine. Also pole beans and cucumbers.

Was it on your thread that there was a discussion of the two types of Kitchenaid mixers, and you were going to see which you like better? I have a cheap mixer that is a pain because you have to hold down a tab to keep it running which makes it hard to scrape the sides and the sides need scraped because it doesn't fit its bowls all that well. I'm thinking of asking for one for Christmas. Haven't ever used the one I have that much but since I've been baking more this year, might go for it. Did you have an opinion?

heinäkuu 2, 2020, 8:42pm

I picked my first eggplant two days ago. I have two more on the plant. These were the white ones. I have several small ones on the purple plant. I got four cherry tomatoes the other day, but nothing is ripe today. The tomatoes were so nice and sweet! delicious.

heinäkuu 2, 2020, 10:36pm

>9 ronincats: I have not gotten around to even checking what the problems are on the bowl-lift - I'm still using my tilt-head. I do think they are, in general, very good machines. Exactly which one to get depends on a) what you cook and b) your finances. They're not cheap, but they keep going.

Note that I took apart and re-lubricated my tilt-head last year - the (gooey) lubricant they used dissolved under certain circumstances and drooled oil down the machine. Certain circumstances included overuse, under-use, and being in a hot room (I think my problem was under-use). It's relatively simple and extremely sturdy in there; I took it apart with minimal tools, and spent a long time scraping brown/black goo out of all the corners, then replaced it with white goo (silicone lubricant, as recommended on the Kitchenaid site). Since then no oil drooling down the machine, and it's run beautifully.

I like machines that you can take apart and fix, much better than fiddly things that have to be sent off for official service for any problem. It was that experience, in fact, that made me willing to get the bowl-lift and see what I could do about fixing it up.

One thing I recommend - though I think it comes standard now - is a flex-blade mixing blade. It's the same triangular shape of the standard metal-and-enamel Kitchenaid mixer blade, but one side is (has wrapped around it) a silicone spatula. It makes it _much_ better at scraping the sides of the bowl without damaging bowl or blade. I bought a generic one some time ago (it has spatulas on both sides, but isn't very sturdy) and got an official Kitchenaid one for Christmas - the Kitchenaid one is more expensive but I think it's worth it (of course, I didn't pay for it, either).

I do use my Kitchenaid quite regularly - creaming butter, whipping cream or egg whites, mixing dough for cookies or bread, lots of stuff.

>10 benitastrnad: The only thing I've really harvested so far is the zucchini. And one baby carrot, and some basil. I need to harvest a bunch of greens and make pesto soon (about to run out).

heinäkuu 3, 2020, 2:48pm

>11 jjmcgaffey: Do you use the flex blade for whipping cream, or do you use the whisk?

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 6, 2020, 12:21am

Whisk. I use the flex blade for creaming sugar and butter, and mixing batters and light doughs. And the dough hook for heavier doughs, that need actual kneading.

Basically, if the recipe says "and scrape down the sides of the bowl", I use the flex blade - and don't have to!

heinäkuu 6, 2020, 12:40am

>11 jjmcgaffey: Thanks for this information. I have to get one of those. I use my Kitchenaid almost every day, and I love it.

heinäkuu 6, 2020, 8:55am

>9 ronincats: I have a KitchenAid where the bowl lifts. It's around 25 years old and still runs beautifully and no differently than on the first day. I use it a lot. It's an expensive machine, but given its age and how it looks ready to do another 25 years, the overall cost may be around the same as buying a new less expensive one every five or ten years. And it's a joy to use.

>11 jjmcgaffey: I'm going to have to get a flex-blade. That sounds very useful.

heinäkuu 6, 2020, 6:14pm

So I have to ask (as I do on the threads of many other prolific readers in CR) - how the heck do you get through so many books? That's seriously impressive. I feel like I read quite a lot through the week, yet I'm only on #24 of the year (admittedly there were a couple of books at 1000 pages + in there, but still).

The veggies are looking great. I've harvested a beetroot and broccoli so far. Nothing earth shattering, but I was pleased! My courgettes are getting there but are still a little small. Despite getting an entire sheep's worth of fleece from my sister (literally), something's still being the gladiator of leaf-eating annoyances and devouring my kale so I've lost the love for nurturing it.

heinäkuu 7, 2020, 8:10am

I'm very impressed with your gardening success on a terrace. I've only managed herbs with our small back decks.

I got a KitchenAid mixer a couple of years ago and love it. I don't use it nearly enough but the flex blade sounds like a great tool. None of my rubber spatulas are long enough to scrape without raising the head.

heinäkuu 7, 2020, 10:58pm

Yeah. That's exactly why the flex blade is so good. I should say - I do have to scrape a little bit at the end, but nothing like I used to when I had the all-metal blade.

I've been growing on balconies for years. The garden gets a little bigger and denser every year (except the years when everything dies...but then I buy more pots and the _next_ year gets filled in!). I really like tomatoes, and while the farmers market ones are OK they feel awfully expensive the way I eat them (especially cherry tomatoes). My way I probably pay more per tomato (pots, dirt, fertilizer, seeds or starts...), but I enjoy the growing as well as the eating.

I have a squirrel that thinks I'm putting out a buffet for him (or her, I suppose). I didn't get a single pea (snow pea) this year, he ate all of them. On the other hand, I'm usually seeing powdery mildew by this time and I don't see any - maybe the rest was good for the soil. I put up bird net which didn't entirely keep him out but he gave up after a while. Possibly because (I mentioned this back when it happened) he chomped on, on three successive days, garlic cloves, horseradish, and sorrel. Hee hee.

I don't know how it is I read so much - I'm a fast reader, and I remember what I've read (mostly), and I just keep going. Also I mostly read light books, fiction. Not entirely, but mostly. I'm actually not reading a non-fiction at the moment, I'm trying to get through a backlog of magazines at the table (which is where I read my heavy non-fiction). Also I am _determined_ that my next non-fiction is going to be Mauve, which I have to find before I can read...

heinäkuu 8, 2020, 7:32am

>15 RidgewayGirl: I have the same thing, 27 years old. What a workhorse those are! I'd probably rather have a tilt-head, all things considered, but I'm not trading in that old gal until she dies. I may invest in a flex blade though—I'm used to the maneuvering of scraping / rotating the blades just a bit / scraping the parts that I couldn't hit, but it would be nice not to.

I have marble-sized early tomatoes, inch-long green beans, and cherry tomatoes that are about a week behind the others that are just starting to flower. Eggplants aren't doing anything much besides making lush leaves, but they're a week behind too. I need to re-seed my lettuces, but we got some great harvests from those once we fenced that plot (the yard cats think it's the world's best litterbox, otherwise). Supposedly we're getting some more rain this week, which has been in short supply since it warmed up—that'll make everything happy.

heinäkuu 10, 2020, 6:44pm

Here is my garden report.

I am starting to get my cherry and pear tomatoes. They are turning beautiful shades of yellow, red, and one heirloom red and green striped cherry tomato. I have picked one eggplant and have two more on that plant and have 2 baby ones on the second plant. My flowers are beautiful and last week I trimmed back my angel wing begonia's so they will fluff out and look amazing in about two weeks. If it weren't 100 degrees on my patio it would be a great joy to just sit there and look at them all.

I used my vegetables as ornamentals. The big leaves on the eggplant served as a great backdrop for some chartreuse coleus with ruffled leaves and some of that lime green sweet potato plant that filled in at ground level.

heinäkuu 10, 2020, 6:54pm

My Kitchenaid is probably twenty years old, too--maybe more. I have the "75th Anniversary" special model with my name engraved on a bowl--I love that, and it really impresses kids. (I wonder what that implies about me?

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 11, 2020, 12:39am

I did harvest greens and make pesto - mostly parsley, a little basil, a bit of oregano and thyme, a couple carrot tops (and ate the little carrots), some celeriac leaves which aren't really very flavorful though they do taste a little celery-y. NZ spinach for the bulk, and a few sorrel leaves. I tasted the horseradish leaves (nipped off a bit from the edge) and decided I didn't really want them in my pesto. Can't put tomato leaves in (since they're poisonous) - a pity, since I have so much... And now I have four jars of pesto in the freezer (with cheese in - I have no idea why so many books/sites say you can't freeze pesto with cheese) and one in the fridge. I use it on everything - on rice, as a bread spread, wherever I want a little punch of green and garlic (there's a lot of garlic in it, the way I make it).

The zucchini has paused - there are several little tiny ones on the plant, but nothing bulking up. Also no daddy flower, at the moment - all the flowers are still green. I expect I'll get a few more, but not at the moment. Hmm, I should probably fertilize it, too.

Two bright red Jolly tomatoes, still a bit too firm for picking or eating; two yellow-orange Sungold Select (it's supposed to be a de-hybridized Sungold, we'll see. First year growing it. But I'd love to have a Sungold I could collect seed from), also too firm to eat. Keeping an eye (and an occasional finger squeeze) on them.

heinäkuu 11, 2020, 2:27am

>22 jjmcgaffey: I do my pesto without cheese because I like the way the uncheesy sauce mixes completely with the pasta before I throw the finely grated cheese in. The mixing container is much easier to clean, and fewer globs get into the ready to serve pasta. I once tried something other than basil and pine nuts and didn't think it was worth the effort. What I like about pesto is really the basil-garlic-pinenut-cheese marriage.

heinäkuu 11, 2020, 8:14am

>22 jjmcgaffey: >23 quondame: I freeze with cheese, but in ice cube trays so I can control just how much is going into whatever, and it's easier to mix that way (thank you for that tip, Martha Stewart). We had an entire day and night of much needed rain yesterday and my tomatoes all popped—from marble sizes on up. And I have a few full-sized green beans but not enough for a whole dish—maybe to blanch and throw in a salad.

heinäkuu 11, 2020, 10:38am

>22 jjmcgaffey:, >23 quondame: Finding out you could make pesto with just about any leaf was a godsend for me. I love it and frequently end up with lots of some veg that I don't know what else to do with it. My favorites are arugula pesto and a great one I found for parsley with toasted pecans.

heinäkuu 11, 2020, 1:27pm

>25 janemarieprice:
I agree with you. I like pesto made with parsley but have not tried it with toasted pecans. Something to put on my list.

Oh heck! Pesto made with just about anything would be good. But I agree with you Jennifer. I think that horseradish leaves would be a bit much in most pesto's.

heinäkuu 11, 2020, 9:27pm

I found that basil-and-pine-nuts was a little too strong for me. And pine nuts are way too expensive. So I started making it with walnuts, and still do; and I started making the greens half-and-half basil and spinach (plus a little nutmeg to take away the dark green taste - neat trick). And then I didn't have spinach but did have some other greens, and made that...and now it's any kind of green, lots of garlic, cheese, walnuts, and olive oil.

I picked and ate my first two tomatoes today! One Jolly, one Sungold Select - and yes, it tastes like Sungold, that particular mixture of acid and sweet. Excellent. I'll have to save a tomato or two later for extracting seeds. There are plenty on the vine (and a few are juuuust beginning to turn gold).

(didn't get a picture of the Sungold Select).

heinäkuu 12, 2020, 2:38pm

>21 sallypursell: I have two KitchenAid mixers, one of which is over 30 years old, and I also have the one with the engraved bowl! Both of them work well.

heinäkuu 18, 2020, 10:59am

I have been picking my cherry tomatoes, yellow pear, and striped heritage cherries my the handful this last week. It has turned way hot here and the blossoms are drying up before getting pollinated so I am going to enjoy these tomatoes by the bowlful while it lasts.

I am going to bake cookies today. Not sure what kind and it is a very hot day, so it isn't going to be fun in the kitchen but I am hungry for peanut butter cookies so will suffer through it.

heinäkuu 20, 2020, 10:33pm

I got a handful of Sungold Select a few days ago - lots of green fruit and quite a few changing color but no more ripe right now. And I potted up my basils that have been in the Aerogarden for the last month.

Sungold harvest:

Basils yesterday:

Basils today:

What's left in the Aerogarden (look closely):

I baked prince-biscuit and corn cookies this morning; the corn cookies are new, and pretty good. It's a mix from Trader Joe's. I like them a lot except they're too salty, so I'm going to figure out how to make them from scratch - I suspect it's the Milk Bar recipe, so I need some freeze-dried corn. Which I may have tucked away somewhere - I've had the Milk Bar recipe for ages, never got around to making it.


I wrote the above last night (Sunday night), then my computer updated itself and shut down before I could finish the post.

Today was my first day as a full Census Field Manager - spent the day a) getting my paperwork and authorizations in order so I'm officially employed and able to use the computer that's been sitting on my desk the last three weeks unused, and b) working on the same stuff I've been doing for those three weeks, mostly figuring out exactly where cases are so we can get them done as soon as possible. And it was _so_much_easier_ with an actual computer!

I've still got a lot of training to do - it's supposed to take up most of this week - but it couldn't start quite yet (another authorization question). So I did one bit today and there will be more the rest of the week.

heinäkuu 22, 2020, 8:57pm

I now own a KitchenAid Artisan tilt-head stand mixer, 4.5 qt. capacity, in bright red, with a flex blade accessory. The red is my husband's choice. As you know, I had been thinking about investing in a new mixer as the el cheapo model I have now (doesn't even have a brand name on it--I just looked) has bowls where the beaters don't really reach into the corner nor, in the larger bowl, in the middle and it's a pain to use. Before, I just never used it that often. So today the husband asked me what he should get me for our anniversary and when I told him I was thinking about getting this, he immediately wanted to go get it. He'd been wanting me to get one for years and I always resisted because I so rarely used a stand mixer.

heinäkuu 22, 2020, 10:57pm

>31 ronincats:
I think you will use a stand mixer much more often now that you have one. They do so many things.

heinäkuu 24, 2020, 12:46am

Now that you have a _good_ one. Enjoy! Make something you like that's too much of a pain to make most of the time (cake that needs serious mixing/creaming? Cookies with lots of mixins?), and see how easy it is with the Kitchenaid.

elokuu 3, 2020, 12:26am

Books Read
111. Magic Lost, Trouble Found @# by Lisa Shearin. Review - Mildly interesting fantasy with oddly skewed character types ("races"). Read before (years ago) and completely forgotten - we'll see if it's more memorable now, I'm going on to the rest of the series.
112. Minnow on the Say * by Philippa Pearce. Review - Fun adventure. It would have made more sense (though a less interesting book) if she'd told them why she didn't want them looking. And David was extremely dense at the end - why did he think she needed to be told? But a good story anyway. Keep until I can find an e-edition (this one's worth rereading).
113. Wild Card @^ by Lisa Shearin. Review - Nice snapshot of Raine before Magic Lost - though there's some things in here she should have thought of in Magic Lost that didn't show up. Interesting, though.
114. Armed & Magical @* by Lisa Shearin. Review - Raine is piling up enemies and escaping by the skin of her teeth, over and over - where "escaping" frequently means "messing up their plans" and rescuing people. Next, please! And yes, far more memorable, I suspect. Richer.
115. The Trouble with Demons @* by Lisa Shearin. Review - Story continues - this is really one book in multiple volumes. Also accelerates.
116. Bewitched & Betrayed @* by Lisa Shearin. Review - Nukpana is back, and a heaping pile of trouble with him. Tam demonstrates that Talon is a chip off the old block. And they have some idea what's going on and what to do about it.
117. Con & Conjure @* by Lisa Shearin. Review - Multiple new opponents, added to the old lot (ok, one is dealt with - at least physically). Another honorable assassin (for certain values of honorable), and some interesting secrets from Raine's past. And disaster - but they've got a plan.
118. All Spell Breaks Loose @^ by Lisa Shearin. Review - Here's the plan to deal with the disaster - very risky, what else is new. Now we learn some of Tam's secrets, and end up successful. More or less.

Currently Reading
See August post

Five BOMBs - Minnow and the second through fifth Raine (aside from the Wild Card novella - that's only an ebook). I read them as ebooks but I own the paper ones.

I'm keeping Minnow because I can't find an e-version; discarding five Raine Benares because I have them as ebooks.

The first Raine Benares was a reread. All the rest are new, and five BOMBs makes it 11 rereads paid for.

Nice lot - and this was the perfect well-written fluff to get through a couple tense and frustrating (at work) weeks. Despite my comment in the review of All Spell, I have moved away from Raine - I'll read the sequel series later. And other things by this author - she's good.

elokuu 3, 2020, 12:27am

July stats
8 books read
1 rereads
7 new books
11 rereads paid for

2377 pages read, average 297.1

5 BOMBs - hit my goal for the month
0 ER books
0 Netgalley books

7 ebooks, 1 paper books

5 discards - hit my goal for the month

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

8 F, 0 M authors

Not a lot of reading this month - 8 hours a day in the office (if I'm lucky...it's being more like 9 or 10 all too often) doesn't leave me a lot of time to read. But I managed to hit both goals, and enjoy some quite good books along the way.

elokuu 3, 2020, 12:29am

Books Read
119. Wedding Bells, Magic Spells @^ by Lisa Shearin. Review - This book was written after a pause of a few years, and it's got serious infodump at the beginning. However, it also has a) Mychael's (and his family's) secrets, and b) some of the funniest scenes I've read in ages. And also a new world-wide threat and some really nasty monsters, of course.

Currently Reading
Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George - it's a gothic-ish romance, but fun, and very interesting characters (though at this point I'm at least as confused as the protagonists). More good fluff.

Nope, not yet.

It's an ebook, so no.

One new book, but no BOMBs so still 11 rereads paid for.

elokuu 5, 2020, 7:41pm

Books Read
120. Silver in the Blood @^ by Jessica Day George. Review - Fun, light/grim Gothic romance. The writing style is light, the subjects are often grim. It worked for me.
121. Miss Ellerby and the Ferryman @^ by Charlotte E. English. Review - Fun fluff - good to visit Alfenhayme again. Isabel is almost too sweet for words, but since most of the story is her developing beyond that it didn't bother me. Sweet romance, too, that could have (but didn't) ended very badly.
122. I Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf @^ by Grant Snider. Review - I thought this would be fun - it's not bad, but neither the words, the art, nor the sentiments resonate much with me.
123. The Shape of Ideas @^ by Grant Snider. Review - Same thing - mildly interesting, but not really for me.
124. What Color is Night? @^ by Grant Snider. Review - Picture book for small children; quite nice in its category but again not for me.
125. What Sound is Morning? @^ by Grant Snider. Review - And another the same - nice picture book for children, not for me.

Currently Reading
Nothing at the moment, trying to decide.

No BOMBs, they're all ebooks.

Nope - ebooks don't count as discards.

All new, and two of them were worth reading. Still 11 rereads paid for.

elokuu 5, 2020, 7:49pm

So yesterday I was sniffling a little but still went to work. Today I woke up with a noticeably drippy nose and a cough, a slight fever (my temperature is still below "normal", but about a degree and a half high for me) and diarrhea (ugh) - too many things off the COVID symptoms list for me to ignore. Stayed home, talked to a doctor, got scheduled for a test. Unfortunately while I'll be tested tomorrow the results may not come for a week... I have no idea how I'm going to handle work, or how work is going to handle me. Apparently I can't work from home (which is dumb - there's stuff I couldn't do, but there's stuff I could, too). They may revisit that determination when they realize I'm out for a week. And while I'd rather work and finish the Census, if they want to lay me off instead I'll take it. I've been quite overstressed - the money is nice, the work is too much and too rushed, and the directives from above are strongly contributing to both the "too much" and the "too rushed". It's a pain to be instructing people to do things I think are dumb.

I'm not very sick; under normal circumstances I'd still be going in to work (and probably share a cold with several of my officemates), but these are not normal circumstances. Anyway, at the very least I can get some good sleep for a change. And read more.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 10, 2020, 8:37pm

Books Read
126. Rebel Raider @^ by H. Beam Piper. Review - Interesting report of Mosby's Raiders/Rangers, in the Civil War. I learned some things, so it was worth reading; not a Civil War buff, so probably not going to reread.
127. Wren to the Rescue @^ by Sherwood Smith. Review - Not bad, but a lot of very convenient coincidence… sweet tale otherwise, I do want to read the rest.
128. The Reluctant Widow @# by Georgette Heyer. Review - Craving this for some reason. A pleasant read, with some holes in it, as always.
129. Hard Magic @^ by Laura Anne Gilman. Review - Interesting universe, slightly fluffy (and sex-obsessed) protagonist, I want to read the next one.
130. Unexpected Eden @^ by Rhenna Morgan. Review - Usual Rhenna Morgan - very hot romance, interesting setting and situation, rotten editing. I really wish she'd get another editor…

Currently Reading
A Witchly Influence by Stephanie Grey - ER book, mildly interesting so far (though since it's a PDF it's a pain to read - can't read it on my phone, have to sit at the computer). Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers - interestingly scattered (a lot of POVs in this one), I presume they'll come together at some point. And I'm expecting quite a bit from this book, it is a Chambers.

Nope. All ebooks.

Nope again.

One reread, 4 new books. 10 rereads paid for.

I'm being a little...sluggish? Picky? Unhappy? about my reading just now - partly because I'm stuck inside and dead bored, I'm pretty sure. I would probably have liked Wren better if I were in a better mood. So I'm being a bit picky about _what_ I'm reading, because I don't want to turn myself off entirely. Nothing terrible, so far, but nothing great either. After I finish this batch I think I'll read a Hogarth, I have Fathers' Honor that I haven't read yet. That's a reward worth working for.

elokuu 11, 2020, 7:38am

>39 jjmcgaffey: I read one of Gilman's other sub-series of that and liked the characters a good deal. Will be interested to hear your thoughts if you continue on.

elokuu 11, 2020, 4:23pm

>39 jjmcgaffey: >40 janemarieprice: I agree with both. I've read whatever Gilman I've been able to get, and I like her urban fantasy as lightweight potato chip reads, and some of her others have more depth and invention. I really liked Silver on the Road and its sequels.

elokuu 16, 2020, 4:18am

>41 quondame: "Potato chip reads" is perfection! May I use this phrase? Should I cite you?

elokuu 17, 2020, 12:30am

>42 sallypursell: Sure. I don't know at this point whether it's mine or borrowed.

elokuu 17, 2020, 1:49am

Books Read
131. Record of a Spaceborn Few @^ by Becky Chambers. Review - Very rich - but hard work. A lot of POVs and some very deep thought in here.
132. Fathers' Honor @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Magnificent. Exactly what I needed right now - hopeful and working to make things right.
133. Lone Star Lawman @^ by Justine Davis. Review - Fun romance, with Davis's usual excellent characterization. It started confusingly but improved quickly.
134. Author Vs. Character @^ by Lazette Gifford. Review - Amusing short about a character trying to rebel against the author...not so much.
135. The Velveteen Rabbit @^ by Margery Williams Bianco. Review - I hadn't realized how short this was. Cute fairy story.
136. Attack of the Ninja Frogs @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Fun - better than the first book. Lots of nice touches. Yeah, I'll read more Dragonbreath.

Currently Reading
Still A Witchly Influence - or rather, since it's such a pain to read, I haven't actually read any more of it. Nothing else at the moment, though I'll pick something soon.

Nope, not a one.

Nor any of these. All ebooks.

All new.

One deep, complex, hard work story; one that was exactly what I needed, hopeful and bright; one fun romance (and it's the start of a series, which I now have in its entirety); and three very short reads, all of which I've had hanging around for years (so not technically BOMBs, since they're ebooks, but similar). Nice to actually get them read. Not a bad week's (minus a little) work.

elokuu 20, 2020, 11:04pm

>44 jjmcgaffey: Is this a book? Still a Witchly Influence? Who's the author?

Muokkaaja: elokuu 21, 2020, 12:21am

A Witchly Influence by Stephanie Grey - an Early Reviewers book. The "still" is "I'm still reading this one".

elokuu 21, 2020, 9:44am

>46 jjmcgaffey: Too bad. I like the title better with "Still" included, but at least this way I will be able to find it. Thank you for the response.

elokuu 23, 2020, 2:26pm

That would be a rather different book, I think...might be interesting, though.

syyskuu 7, 2020, 12:17am

Grumble. My eyelid is seriously swollen, and it's expanding to the whole side of my face - makes it very difficult to read or do stuff on screen (no games, little LT...). I've gotten antibiotics and hopefully it will settle down soon, but. It's too hot to knit or do other crafts, the yarn/string gets sticky. I'm boooooored! Oh well. Eat some ice cream (see: hot!) and go to bed early.

I've been reading quite a lot, mostly small stuff but still books. But I haven't been updating my Book Stats database and it's too much screen time now, so can't post yet. Soon, I hope, as soon as the swelling goes down.

syyskuu 7, 2020, 12:43am

>49 jjmcgaffey: I hope your eyelid de-swells asap! What a bummer. Ice cream therapy is exactly what's called for!

syyskuu 7, 2020, 12:54pm

I pulled up two of my three tomato plants. They weren't producing any more and we looking very scruffy. I had rooted some coleus and so will plant them in the old tomato spots just to provide some cool looking green. It has been seriously hot here as well.

syyskuu 8, 2020, 1:57am

I'm thinking about pulling some of mine up, but there's still tomatoes on a lot of them. What I really need to harvest is carrots - I never thin them enough, so they're all crowded together. The zucchini is producing only little tiny fruits now - finger-size - but they're still quite tasty.

syyskuu 8, 2020, 3:10am

Books Read
137. The Book of Dragons @* by E. Nesbit. Review - Mildly amusing fairy stories - I dislike the ones that fail even internal logic, but there are some nice stories here too.
138. The Circus Ship @^ by Chris Van Dusen. Review - Cute picture book. I know a song about the actual incident that sparked this story (though this is not true to life); fun.
139. Giant Trouble @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Fun as usual - Harriet gets magic beans, which of course leads to a beanstalk and a giant...and then things start going usual twisted. I love the harpster, and the giant's stinky feet, and the way Wilbur steps up a couple times - especially the fast talking at the end.
140. Whiskerella @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Heh. A highly reluctant Cinderella, and Harriet steps in to fix everything (sort of…). Some very nice characterization here.
141. Little Red Riding Hood @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Fascinating. Who's the villain depends on your point of view. Some very neat twists on the standard story, and the standard twists from the standard story…
142. Toad Words and Other Stories @^ by T. Kingfisher. Review - Lovely lot of twisted fairy stories - Bluebeard, Snow White, the Little Mermaid, etc.
143. Pebbles on the Shore @^ by A.G. Gardiner. Review - Very interesting set of essays, written during WWI. They're not particularly about anything, but they do a lovely job of showing the world as it was then.
144. Leaves in the Wind @^ by A.G. Gardiner. Review - More essays. I can't remember which ones were in which book; both books are well worth reading. Everything from considerations of prisoners of war to habits in the putting on of boots…
145. Masters of Space @# by E.E. Doc Smith. Review - Picked this up to confirm that I had in fact read it, since I didn't remember it at all. And ended feeling the same way I did first time - there's not a lot of story here.
146. Subspace Explorers @# by E.E. Doc Smith. Review - Love this book - this is a many-times reread. I like that there's no real answer to who's behind the scenes - no Mentors or the like, just...mystery. The political viewpoints are...mostly amusing (the speech by the commissar in particular).

Currently Reading
See September's post

The Book of Dragons.

Discard the BOMB - I have the ebook, should I want to reread.

Two rereads, the rest new, one BOMB - I ended up with 9 rereads paid for.

syyskuu 8, 2020, 3:12am

August stats
28 books read
3 rereads
25 new books
9 rereads paid for

5380 pages read, average 192.1

0 ER books
0 Netgalley books

28 ebooks, 0 paper books

1 discards

9 SF&F
0 animal stories
7 children's
3 non-fiction
2 general fiction
3 romances
4 graphic novels
0 mysteries

18 F, 10 M authors

Not a lot of reading, and very few BOMBs this month - need to focus on that in September. I was very busy most of the month, and then at the end I was collapsing from relief (a very stressful job, and I got out from under. The money was nice, but not worth the stress).

syyskuu 8, 2020, 3:21am

Books Read
147. Bryony and Roses @^ by T. Kingfisher. Review - Oh, this is lovely. I adore McKinley's Beauty and like Rose Daughter - this is _not_ the same story as either, despite the author's explicit referencing of Rose Daughter in the foreword, but it has the same richness. This is going to be a many-times reread.
148. Madame Pamplemousse and her Incredible Edibles @^ by Rupert Kingfisher. Review - Um. Cute. It's quite simplistic, with sketchy characters who are their quirks and not much more. And the moral is a little too visible. But not terrible.
149. Lyric's Accidental Mate @^ by Elle Boon. Review - Ugh. I need to remember that my sister does not like the same kind of romances I do. Very explicit sex - too explicit for my taste - and sketchy characters and setting (I have no idea how these werewolves work). Not going to read anything else by her.
150. The Speed of Dark @* by Elizabeth Moon. Review - Oh, wow. I've had this for years and never got around to reading it - dumb of me, this is amazing. Lou is fascinating, especially because he's not a stereotype. Definitely worth rereading.
151. The Red House Mystery * by A.A. Milne. Review - A perfectly good locked-room mystery, with a clever amateur detective (a professional amateur - neat guy). I figured out the what well before the detective did, but had little idea of the how and none of the why. Glad I read it, but I doubt I'll bother to reread - it doesn't stand out much.

Currently Reading
Reflections by Diana Wynne Jones - interesting, various essays and speeches by her, on writing - the how, and the why. Very interesting - though I can't touchstone it because the title is way too generic, grr (can't find her book in the Others list).

The Speed of Dark (I'd forgotten I had it in paper) and The Red House Mystery (which I've been carrying around for literally a month planning to read). One excellent, one decent. Need to read more - I didn't hit my goal for last month so I need to focus on this.

Discard both the BOMBs - I have The Speed of Dark as an ebook.

All new; I'm back up to 11 rereads paid for.

syyskuu 9, 2020, 6:12pm

OK, today is _weird_. I woke up into a dim orange twilight, and had to look at the clock several times before I believed it - it was 10:45 am! We're under enough of a smoke cloud that it's been sunset all day. Fortunately the smoke is mostly pretty high - I can't smell it, though my throat is a little sore so there's probably smoke down here too, but not enough to be smelt or to bother my eyes (despite my swollen eyelid - still swollen despite half a week of antibiotics. Still half a week to go - and it has helped with the rest of the swelling and ache, just hasn't fixed the eyelid itself yet).

syyskuu 16, 2020, 2:19pm

>56 jjmcgaffey: Hope things are improving there. My sister is in Portland and it's been extremely trying.

syyskuu 16, 2020, 7:26pm

Yeah, we had shadows (occasionally) by Friday. Today is quite bright, though the sky is still pretty much milky, not blue. The problem was that that solid roof that produced the weird colors collapsed onto us - so Friday through the weekend was quite smoky at ground level. That's improved too - still smells a bit, but I'm not coughing all the time.

Portland is a lot worse off than we are. Hope your sister is OK.

syyskuu 18, 2020, 1:25am

Books Read
151. A Posse of Princesses @^ by Sherwood Smith. Review - Good writing, somewhat stupid story. It makes me want to reread the scene in Wren where the legend of Rhis is recounted.
153. Reflections @^ by Diana Wynne Jones. Review - Interesting, somewhat repetitive - it's collected essays about writing, the how and the why.
154. This Strange Adventure * by Mary Roberts Rinehart. Review - Ugh. Read the first few chapters, checked an online review, skimmed the end and discarded. Neglected child, bad marriage, bad results, pointless end (that isn't really an end).
155. Earth and Air @^ by Peter Dickinson. Review - Some very good stories, some OK. I really liked Ridiki, and really disliked both the symbiont stories.
156. Lone Star Nights @^ by Justine Davis. Review - Lovely - second in the series, Slater and Joey. Several twisted relationships get set right, the romance being only one of them.
157. A Lone Star Christmas @^ by Justine Davis. Review - Sean and Elena - another "I am not worthy", though Elena does a good job of shooting that down. Also a lot of info on the town, the family, and the father's death - filling out the series arc.
158. Lone Star Reunion @^ by Justine Davis. Review - I don't remember Scott being mentioned at any point before. This is Sage's romance - and it's abused person learning to trust again, one of my favorite tropes.
159. Lone Star Homecoming @^ by Justine Davis. Review - And here comes Kane. It's the same themes as the last book of Trinity West, my favorite Davis - not the same story, on many levels, but the same themes. Lovely.
160. Curse of the Were-Wiener @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Silly; worth reading once, I guess. Not my favorite Dragonbreath, and none of them stand very high for me - though a kid might love it.
161. Durrell in Russia * by Gerald Durrell & Lee Durrell. Review - Interesting, if a bit choppy. Twelve different mini-expeditions to different areas of Russia, to meet the animals and the people there. For some reason Durrell's love for similes really stood out to me.
162. Trickster's Choice @# by Tamora Pierce. Review - Much loved and often-read book - but it's been more than a decade since I read it (no review on LT!). Aly is a lot of fun, and Kyprioth is appropriately annoying. Of course now I want to read all of Tamora Pierce…
163. Trickster's Queen @# by Tamora Pierce. Review - Second half of the story; like the first one, a many-times reread that I haven't read in far too long.
164. Frank's Campaign @^ by Horatio Alger. Review - Eh. Not great even for an Alger. Civil War - Frank is left to tend the farm and family when his father goes to serve. Standard cast of mean boy, mean man, random rich good guy to help…
165. Thornbound @^ by Stephanie Burgis. Review - Lovely. I do like this series. Cassandra's romance goes into next steps - and she has to figure out how to accept help when she needs it. Great setting, I like the politics and magic of it.

Currently Reading
Finders Keepers by Craig Childs - non-fiction, about archaeology and how it's really just organized theft. Good writing, interesting, but I feel like I'm being scolded. The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal - very good twist on Sleeping Beauty. The king and queen brought in a poor man's child to fill the role of the princess - and then they were sixteen, and the princess came home. What happened to the other girl? Very rich characters, I'm enjoying this. I'll be looking for more by her. The Breaking Wave by Neville Shute - rich, as expected.

This Strange Adventure and Durrell in Russia.

This Strange Adventure - out, out! I'm keeping Durrell, for now, though I'll be looking for an e-version (doesn't look like one exists, unfortunately). It's a big chunky book - coffee table book.

12 new, 2 rereads. Back to 11 rereads paid for.

I've been reading rather lightly - don't want anything too dense or heavy. Emotional is fine, as long as it's not too deep (good romances, for instance). And mean and depressing, like This Strange Adventure, are right out. Making progress on BOMBS, though I'm still behind because I read so few last month.

I couldn't post for quite a while because of my swollen eye - couldn't look at a screen long enough to update book stats. That's now behaving itself better - not perfect, but I'm able to manage a full screen session. So here's a chunk of books. I missed one last time - The Red House Mystery is actually number 152, after A Posse of Princesses.

syyskuu 19, 2020, 7:26pm

Are you doing any census work? Or has that been put on hold for the time being?

syyskuu 21, 2020, 4:12am

Huh, I never said (or only a quick note in my August stats post). I quit the census in late August - it was just being way too stressful for me. I was running one operation by myself, while four other people shared the work on a (admittedly, larger) operation. This became very obvious when I came back from my quarantine (did I say that the test came back negative?) and found that absolutely nothing had happened while I was away for a week. So then it was panic speed to get that operation done a week and a half later - and then another small one middle of the next week - and prep people for the two or three next operations (all mine - no one else working on them, except one person on the small one, but she had no field experience so I was handling all that part of it). I kept asking for help and kept getting told that I needed to delegate - to people in an office totally overloaded by the big operation. So I told them I couldn't do this and got "I don't think you're really a good match for this..." I think my boss was surprised when I enthusiastically agreed. I stuck it out for the rest of that week - theoretically so they could find my replacement. But they didn't find anyone...and I still quit that Friday. I passed off a lot of work and a lot of data about my operations to other people; hopefully they were able to handle it. I haven't talked to anyone I knew there, mostly because it's _still_ a source of stress. I am so glad to be out of there...

The census is still going on...in a horrible mess. Between COVID and shutdowns, smoke and fire and unbreathable air (and hurricanes on the East coast, and tornadoes in the middle), and being jerked around about the end date of the operation (it's supposed to end September 30. Except a judge will decide in a couple days if they're going to stop that stop date and continue the census until October 31. The fact that, in case they don't decide to let it push on, everything still has to be ready to finish in just over a week...ghahh) this may be the worst census ever (almost certainly, the worst in living memory).

I'm doing a little work for my home computer repair company - not a lot, since I normally go to people's houses to help them. Now that happens only if they're in a crisis, though I've done it a couple times. Don't care, I've got enough savings to manage for a while and I'm finally starting to destress.

syyskuu 23, 2020, 10:43am

I am sorry to hear about all of this. I am concerned about the Census. I think it is a big BIG mess. My sister works for them in Kansas. Normally. Was told to report and when she did, was told that they didn't need her. She tells me that the people she knows who are working this time say that they aren't going to get things done on time and now they also don't know what the end date is. My sister is also a poll worker and she says the same things are happening with the election in November. It is so sad. We had systems in place and it only took one time to wreck it all.

syyskuu 23, 2020, 11:42am

>62 benitastrnad: My sister also works for the Census and says it is a mess. She gets anywhere from 10 to 150 assignments each day she works. She does not have an ending date either. They wanted to send her to a different state to help out, but she does not want to do that. Too many things are a mess this year. I do not even want to ask, "What next?"

syyskuu 23, 2020, 2:11pm

Yeah. Honestly, I'd rather they said "this isn't working" and chopped it off - then did a mid-decade count (which the laws that govern the Census say they can) instead. So Census in 2025. Hopefully things will have settled down by then! It would be awful - but better than claiming this mess produced an accurate count, and depending on it for the next decade.

I haven't heard much about elections - I do usually work the polls, but the invitations I got started during the last wildly stressful period in the Census so I haven't actually signed up yet. I plan to. California has been leaning towards vote-by-mail for a long time - the last three elections, we had vastly more people come to the polling station just to drop off their VBM ballots than to actually vote there. And that doesn't even mention everyone who dropped them off in mailboxes, dropboxes, early voting stations, etc. But there are going to be people determined to "actually" vote. I suspect there will be fewer polling stations, but there will be some.

syyskuu 23, 2020, 2:28pm

Books Read
165. The Three Hanses * by Julian David. Review - Ugh, stupid. Poorly-written children's adventure, NOT a biography but more name-dropping.
167. The Breaking Wave @^ by Nevil Shute. Review - Usual amazing story and rich characters from Shute. I don't like the ending - and we don't really get to see the end - but maybe things will work out.
168. The Flowers of Vashnoi @^ by Lois McMasters Bujold. Review - Great story - Ekaterin gets to be the Vor lady, in her own style. More butterbugs (or a variation thereupon) and a mystery in the Vorkosigan Exclusion Zone.
169. Lessons in Enchantment @! by Patricia Rice. Review - Pretty good. There's some really obvious missed connections, but also some good solid characters and reasons (beyond lust) for the romance.
170. The False Princess * by Eilis O'Neal. Review - Neat book. Great characters, very interesting plot(s). Her only book so far...but I'll be looking for her short stories.
171. Escape from B-Movie Hell @! by M T McGuire. Review - Well-written, humor of a type that leaves me cold. It could have been an interesting SF story, but she was too busy making it twisted cliches.
172. Shadowed Flame @^ by RJ Blain. Review - Oh my - that's lovely. The plot is pretty standard - secret magical beings, including werewolves; a woman is changed to save her life, and forms a mate bond with the man who did it. But it's an adventure with a romance subplot, and really rich characters, not a standard paranormal romance. More, please!
173. A Royal Birthday @^ by Eilis O'Neal. Review - Short piece - a prequel to The False Princess, Nalia's 15th birthday. We get to see things from Kieran's POV, interesting.
174. Coast to Coast * by Betsy Byars. Review - Silly. It might have been an interesting trip if it weren't for the girl babbling the whole time.

Currently Reading
A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher - not unexpectedly, a delight. All the stuff I was "currently reading" before that hasn't shown up in the book lists - Finders Keepers, Meph the Pet Skunk, The Confectioners' Guild, A Witchly Influence - none of them feel right, but I still think of myself as in the middle of them. I've re-picked up Thereby Hangs a Tale by Charles Earle Funk - it's very enjoyable for what it is, but what it is is word origins, dictionary style - word and its origin, next word...not something I can get lost in. It would be a great bathroom book if I read paper books in the bathroom. I've also started The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Other Stories by Roald Dahl - I thought I'd read it before but I don't recognize the first story so yay, it's a BOMB. And a pile of other short books for BOMBs - I'll list them when I get around to actually reading them.

The Three Hanses, The False Princess, and Coast to Coast.

All three out - I got the ebook of The False Princess, the other two I don't care about.

All new. 14 rereads paid for now.

Nice lot of books - some dumb but at least they were BOMBs, some good, some _excellent_. And one ER book and one Netgalley. Good, I haven't read any of those in quite a while - though Netgalley won't be happy with me with this very late review.

I still need two more BOMBs to get up to where I should be at the end of this month - I don't think that will be a problem. And I found a new good author (well, OK, I need to read some more by RJ Blain to be sure - but Shadowed Flame was great). A very good reading set.

syyskuu 24, 2020, 8:42pm

I just sent in my application for my Absentee ballot. I hope that I get it in time to get it back to Kansas. Maybe I will need that tornado from the Wizard of Oz to do so.

syyskuu 25, 2020, 12:17am

I just got my sample ballot; the VBM ballot usually follows a week or two later. The sample ballots are extremely useful - they are exactly what the real one will be except printed on newsprint instead of card, and with pages of info about the people and things we'll be voting for. If I go through that, I usually know exactly how I'm going to vote - and I can mark it on the sample and just transfer the marks to the real thing when it comes (so it's very quick, the actual voting).

syyskuu 25, 2020, 11:02am

>67 jjmcgaffey: That sounds really useful! I did not get my ballot yet, although I have applied. I will be relieved when this election is over.

syyskuu 25, 2020, 5:38pm

It's been a while since I've been able to pay attention to LT, so I just read your July through September story with great interest and suspense. Will she test positive? Will the census be successful? What's with the eye? How bad will the fires get? And voila! You tested negative, the census is a mess and you've quit, the eye is better, and the smoke has improved. Your life could be a novel at this rate! Very enjoyable.


Personally I think it's partly that you're an entertaining writer. So glad things are working out better.

The election is awful and fascinating at the same time. I do read headlines online and follow the issues that I find most meaningful but almost never watch the news because I'm afraid I'll get angrier than I want to be. I have two siblings, both Trump fans, and have had to stop talking to them and then have showdowns with both to be able to stay connected to them. We seem to be in a truce where we just pretend there are no politics. But at least we've been successful in maintaining contact.

Having used the census for so much genealogical research over the years, this year's mess has been depressing to watch. I trust the voting but I'm unsure this census is going to be useful at all.

syyskuu 25, 2020, 8:54pm

>69 auntmarge64: LOL! The story of a year... Thanks for the comment about my writing, I try.

I've been avoiding the (political) news almost entirely. The only exception is the NYT Breaking News bits as emails - and I'm strongly considering cancelling those. Everything Trump does/says/tweets is Breaking News - and yesterday they gave me Breaking News that RBG would be the first woman to lie in state at the...Capitol? She's already been at the Supreme Court. Given that they wrote a long story about her various rites, including making a point of her being the first woman to lie in state, _three_days_ previous to this Breaking News item...ghahh. Someone does not understand what breaking news is.

I don't have any family or close friends who are Trump supporters - whew. I am not good at confrontations, and would probably just sit miserably while they burbled on.

And yeah, >68 LadyoftheLodge:, I will also be so relieved...the funny thing is, this is possibly the shortest election season I've ever experienced, especially for a presidential election. Things are only now heating up - two, maybe three months of intensive campaigning (for obvious reasons). It was...what, 14 months last time? Talk about silver linings.

Yeah. The information they have will be very clear and precise - no digitized microfiche images of handwritten ledgers, nor retyping of hand-written questionnaires. But if an error was made, it will also be very clear and precise...and the whole short count, of course. At least it's now been extended back to October, so there will be a chance to go back over areas that haven't had many responses. Whether they _will_ do that is another question - it's normal procedure, but there's nothing normal about this year.

syyskuu 26, 2020, 3:21pm

>70 jjmcgaffey: My sister tells me that her census work now is concentrating on those folks who are recalcitrant and do not want to provide the information. I guess she has run into some nasty cases!

syyskuu 27, 2020, 4:46am

Yeah. I remember that from 2010 - the last few weeks were tough and nasty.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 19, 2020, 3:12am

Books Read
175. A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking @^ by T. Kingfisher. Review - Lovely - Ursula's usual odd outlook on things. A 14-year-old wizard whose talents are with bread and dough.
176. Healing Eden @^ by Rhenna Morgan. Review - Good story, rotten editing, explicit sex - adds up to OK. Galena and Reese.
177. Waking Eden @^ by Rhenna Morgan. Review - Like all the others - the story is so close to being great, it really bothers me. Our Hero is described as bonsai!...I suspect she meant banzai. Overall OK. This one is Ramsay and Trinity.
178. Eden's Deliverance @^ by Rhenna Morgan. Review - Story is good - editing is actually good too! But there's an awful lot of convenient stuff going on. And secrets not mentioned in all the previous books. Hmph.
179. Change Management @^ by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller. Review - One story I knew and liked, one new one - Tolly and an AI (backstory/origin for Tolly), and more about Korval learning Surebleak. I like the way Surebleak's customs take the lead here.
180. Blind Man's Lantern @^ by Allen Kim Lang. Review - Weird. An Amish couple sent to help a lost colony begin to return to tech...The problem was too simple (and why wasn't he listening), the solution...he found it too easily, with too few clues. Author fiat. But interesting.
181. A Bewitching Governess @^ by Patricia Rice. Review - Eh. "I am not worthy" crossed with "we are too different". Does _everyone_ there/then have powers? Sheesh.
182. A Killing Frost @^ by Seanan McGuire. Review - Hmph. I thought better of Patrick and Dianda. Though the results were good for everyone...so far, at least. Yet another major, major change in things - the next book will be very interesting.
183. An Illusion of Love @! by Patricia Rice. Review - Why illusion? The blurb is wrong, that's not her power at all. The characters are mildly interesting (some diversity!), but the "I am not worthy" gets really annoying. And the whole twists with the various villains get way too complicated.
184. Bessie Bell and the Goblin King @^ by Charlotte E. English. Review - Not bad, but the characters were very oblivious - their connection was obvious (to the reader, and to other characters) long before they acknowledged anything. Interesting expansion of the world.
185. Alphas - Origins @# by Ilona Andrews. Review - A reread that I didn't remember was one until I went to review it. Decent story, interesting world, obviously not hugely memorable (and the series never materialized, apparently).
186. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar * by Roald Dahl. Review - An interesting assortment of stories. Some are children's fiction, some are...not. It includes the story of how he sort of accidentally became a writer - and the story he wrote to do it.
187. Esio Trot * by Roald Dahl. Review - Obnoxious. I guess Alfie wasn't harmed - but it was nasty trick to play on her.

Currently Reading
Nothing much - maybe I'll go back to some of those half-finished books.

Two (the Dahls) - which means I'm caught up with my goals.

The two BOMBs; one is interesting enough to read again, but I'll find an ebook if I want to. Don't want the other at all.

One reread that I didn't know was a reread. 15 rereads paid for, now.

A nice lot of reading - almost all ebooks, almost all at least mildly interesting. Pretty good (even if I did need to sit and read two BOMBs on the last evening of the month...).

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 1, 2020, 3:18am

September stats
41 books read
3 rereads
38 new books
15 rereads paid for

10542 pages read, average 257.1

9 BOMBs - passed my goal for the month (and caught up for the year so far)
2 ER books
1 Netgalley books

33 ebooks, 8 paper books

8 discards - passed my goal for the month (and passed my goal for the year so far)

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

31 F, 11 M authors

A lot of books this month - some were pretty short, but my average is still quite solid (some were pretty long!). The most books I've read in a month this year so far. Caught up on my missed goals from last month, and read some ER and Netgalley books. Not bad.

lokakuu 6, 2020, 2:44pm

Wow, 41! I thought I was doing well with 28.

Any advice for me? Numbers is refusing to recognize my Books 2020 spreadsheet. I've tried duplicating and renaming the file--still says there is no such file even when it is showing details in the "Open" window. Seems to be opening other files okay. This would be a major headache to redo. I have been able to open it by fiddling with different entry points, but nothing consistent.

lokakuu 7, 2020, 7:13pm

Is it saying "can't be opened for some reason"? Or what is the exact error message?

If you just updated to a new version of Numbers, you might try opening the file in an older version (if you have another device that hasn't updated, or can find the old app). I found someone complaining about a similar problem back in 2016; their fix, once they got it open, was to save in an old version (they used Numbers '09). I doubt this is the same thing, though.

lokakuu 7, 2020, 7:40pm

So I have managed to damage myself once again - I was looking at my parents' fridge and discovered that there was stuff that had spilled over the edge sitting underneath the freezer basket (bottom freezer, with a drawer). I lay down and fished around, pulling out a half-dozen bags and packets (success!) and when I got up my shoulder was aching. So I took an aspirin, no biggie. But it continued to hurt all night (getting up and down from my loft bed didn't help), and this morning was sore enough I put it in a sling, and called the advice nurse who set up a video appointment with my primary doctor tomorrow. I'm hoping I haven't damaged my rotator cuff (muscles and tendons that move and hold the shoulder) - my mom has had problems for years, and now has a good arm and one she can barely use. Typing is a pain - well, everything is a pain done one-handed. At least it's my left shoulder and I still have my right hand.

The other major thing I'm doing is, I'm having my kitchen cabinets refaced (in a month or so, when they have a free appointment). They're not changing the boxes (which are real wood, anyway), but they're replacing the doors, hinges, and knobs, and putting a thick veneer on the bodies of the cabinets. Also replacing drawers - with rollers instead of sliding wood on wood - and putting roll-out shelves in my pantry closet, which
I've been trying to do DIY for several years now but not actually daring to start building. The end result should look like lovely oak cabinets instead of my current boring white slabs.

Also I'm having them raise one cabinet - cut it shorter - so that I can fit a modern fridge in there. My current is a 31-year-old top freezer, which is still running but being rather noisy and stuff like the gaskets are dying and no one makes them for this model any more (they've even taken the manuals and specs off the Internet, I'd found them before but not now). It's also tiny - 14.34 cubic feet (which I just figured out - I thought it was 19 cf). I'm going to get a bottom freezer one, hopefully not in stainless steel (or if I have to, hopefully in magnetic stainless steel). But I was looking at 19-20+ cf ones, which...would have stuck out past the doorframe, and made getting into my kitchen from that side awkward (not impossible, just awkward). Now I can look at 16-17 cf ones and it'll still be larger than what I have. More internet research - which is fun, but would be nicer (and faster) if I weren't typing one-handed and going back to fix errors all the time.

lokakuu 7, 2020, 8:12pm

As I recall, the error message says the file does not exist. And no, this is a file I use nearly every day and I haven't updated the application (unless it did it automatically) and when I do get the file open and save it, it doesn't fix the problem the next time. Sigh. The file shows up in my document folder and when I click on it to open from there (as opposed to "Open Recent") the window comes up with a preview of the document on the right above the Open button--I can even see the detail of the document--but when I press the button, I get that error message. Just thought you might have some insight. Thanks.

lokakuu 19, 2020, 2:28am

Books Read
188. Finders Keepers @^ by Craig Childs. Review - Confusing - a whole bunch of viewpoints on archaeology, no one changed their minds (including me). He doesn't think anything should be dug up though he loves seeing what has been.
189. Beyond Shame @^ by Kit Rocha. Review - Excellent setting and characters, too much and too explicit sex for me.
190. Eight Days of Luke @# by Diana Wynne Jones. Review - Good, as usual. It's hard to notice the story when I know the Meaning of all these people and events, though.
191. Call It Courage * by Armstrong Sperry. Review - More interesting for the setting than the story; not bad, but a little simplistic.
192. Winging It @^ by Lee Farnsworth. Review - Yeah, not for me. Romantic comedy of the "bumbling hero" sort - yawn.
193. Pied Piper @^ by Nevil Shute. Review - Fascinating - great story, and a very interesting angle on early WWII.
194. Lair of the Bat Monster @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Neat story - why not a (mythical) giant bat? And a quetzalcoatl studying bats, too (one of Danny's relatives).
195. No Such Thing as Ghosts @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Proper Halloween story - a prank uncovers a genuine ghost. The cost of dispelling it is a real pain to Danny and friends - their Halloween candy!
196. Revenge of the Horned Bunnies @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Cool, jackalopes! And another member of Danny's family, his younger cousin Spencer.
197. When Fairies Go Bad @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Don't know about the title - the fairies here are very standard High Court elves, easily offended, and holding strictly to their word - including all the loopholes in what's said.
198. Nightmare of the Iguana @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Wendell is the trigger here - he's having nightmares, which are more than just bad dreams. The dreamscape is interesting.
199. The Case of the Toxic Mutants @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - A glimpse of Danny's father's side of the family. Neat opponents, neat solution. And a very nice bonus for Danny.
200. Knight-napped! @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Spencer shows up again; Christina's family plays an unexpected part; and the relationship between knights and dragons is interestingly explored. Nice!
201. The Frozen Menace @^ by Ursula Vernon. Review - Danny's never had good control of his fire (that's sort of the point of the series); here he loses it entirely, and the solution solves a whole bunch of problems. And apparently ends the series.
202. The Witch's Brat @# by Rosemary Sutcliff. Review - Fascinating as usual - a rich glimpse of the medieval world. Love Sutcliff.
203. Howl's Moving Castle # by Diana Wynne Jones. Review - Enjoyable as always. I've almost got this one memorized, though there's always bits I've forgotten enriching a reread.
204. Apocalyptic @^ by Joshua Palmatier. Review - Very interesting assortment - everything from zombies to dimensional rifts. Plus Torin Kerr, yay.

Currently Reading
Interweave Presents Knitted Gifts - not a winner, I wouldn't want most of these things and knitting them looks tough. Not even useful techniques. I'll finish it, maybe there are some useful bits in here. I need to read more BOMBs but haven't picked one yet.

Only one, Call It Courage.

Discarded the BOMB (after getting the e-version - I might want to reread).

Three rereads, 14 new books. 13 rereads still paid for.

A lot of books in one post! Mostly because my arm didn't let me do much typing, so I couldn't update Book Stats and post; also because I needed something quick and light to distract me from my arm, so I read almost all the Dragonbreath series (all the ones I hadn't read yet) in two days. Fun.

lokakuu 22, 2020, 3:10pm

Got the refacing appointment - December 8-11 they'll be working on it. So I've got a little over a month to make space to clear out all my cabinets so they can do the work...it's going to be interesting. But both the kitchen and the rest of my apartment should be better for it - I'll have to actually deal with all the totes cluttering my living room to make the space. And I'll have to take everything out of my kitchen cabinets and consider whether I actually use it or if I can get rid of it. It'll be a lot of work but the end result should be _excellent_.

My shoulder is much better, though it still twinges at times. I'm still using a stepladder to get into my loft bed, rather than climbing up the end as usual - don't want to hang on that arm. But I've started playing guitar again, just a little.

My garden really suffered during the hot days when I couldn't lift a watering can because of my arm. The zucchini is pretty well dead - it keeps trying to grow, though, and maybe if I pruned off all the dead leaves it would come back. The tomatoes have a bad case of powdery mildew (as usual), and gave it to the carrots - I didn't know they were susceptible. But it didn't stop them growing, I got a huge harvest of them from the pot where they were too crowded together - a few full-size, mostly very thick carrots, and a lot of little finger-size or smaller ones. I haven't harvested the pot where they had space yet. I've harvested one celeriac, should get the rest. Despite the powdery mildew, the tomatoes are still producing too (also as usual - which is why I don't pull them up). The horseradish is very unhappy, and so is the sorrel; again, if I pruned, they'd probably come back. And I have blueberries again...this is, what, the third or fourth harvest this year? My blueberry bushes are ridiculous. I never get more than a handful in a day, and often only one or two ripe, but I have those few ripe berries on the bush(es) for the majority of the year.

For some reason the NZ spinach is dying - I think I overwatered, which is ridiculous. But the self-watering pot they're in never seemed to empty, and I kept watering the top - probably stupid. I'm going to scatter some seeds on the pot...or maybe I'll let them die, dig up the dirt and refresh it with compost and fertilizer, _then_ scatter some seeds on. I probably won't have spinach again until spring or late winter, though, the seeds are slow to germinate. So the pesto I need to make soon will be mostly parsley, celeriac leaves, oregano, and basil.

lokakuu 22, 2020, 3:38pm

I'm glad your shoulder is healing.

My parents' kitchen remodel (years ago) was a complete gut-and-start-over job, which my Dad told me was as stressful as a move or a divorce (he had experience with the first, but luckily not the second). His recommendation is to budget for a lot of take-out food.

lokakuu 22, 2020, 4:42pm

Yes! That's why I'm doing the refacing instead. 3-4 days instead of a month or two. I still have to move everything out, and they'll be cutting some of the cabinets so there will be sawdust - but other than that they're not touching the interior of the cabinets, or the countertop (which is newish). I'll have the microwave...and I'm trying to figure out how to rent/borrow/hopefully not buy a large cooler, and get some dry ice, so I'll have the equivalent of a refrigerator. I plan to get a new fridge, but it's being difficult - there aren't a lot the size (small enough) I need, and finding one in this area is complicated. The plan is to buy one and have it delivered just after the refacing is done (and have them take away the old one). Another thing I need to focus on setting up in the next month.

But even with all these plans - I suspect I'm going to be eating at my parents' house a lot that week.

lokakuu 25, 2020, 2:12pm

>80 jjmcgaffey: I cleaned out our barn and some things out of the storage room downstairs within the last few months. I gave away a lot of things and donated a lot to the local Humane Society sale in August. It was a rewarding experience to get rid of things I was not using so others can use them.

lokakuu 26, 2020, 9:51pm

>83 LadyoftheLodge: Yeah, that's always a good feeling. It's just a lot of work to get to it... Very rewarding when done (even if I'll never be a Kondo fan).

marraskuu 1, 2020, 4:26am

Books Read
205. Interweave Presents Knitted Gifts @^ by Ann Budd. Review - Ugh. Kitschy, complicated stuff that has to be knitted in wool (because a lot of it is felted). Someone might love this, not me.
206. Flight of the Godkin Griffin @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Oh, gorgeous. New world, with some very complex culture clashes going on - and literal gods meddling. I like Angharad.
207. The Godson's Triumph @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Some answers to questions raised in the first book - and some new questions raised (as far as I know, there aren't any more books in this world, sigh). They're very forgiving, though they may not have much option…
208. Inquisitor @^ by RJ Blain. Review - Rich, complex...not as good as Shadowed Flame. I got seriously confused about who was on what side, especially near the end.
209. The Egyptian Box * by Jane Louise Curry. Review - Do not like. It ended OK, eventually, but the middle was an utter slog while the protagonist sat and said duh…
210. Masquerade in Lodi @^ by Lois McMaster Bujold. Review - Lovely as usual. Another in-fill - this is shortly after he stopped being a physician.
211. Winter Wolf @^ by RJ Blain. Review - Also confusing - here it's not who's on which side (though there is some of that) but more what really happened before to set up current events.
212. Blood Diamond @^ by RJ Blain. Review - Now this guy I like. Sneaky and decent. This tangles the new characters, the ones from Winter Wolf and the ones from Inquisitor into a new storyline.
213. Silver Bullet @^ by RJ Blain. Review - Direct continuation from Silver Bullet - next steps, and some very interesting solutions.
214. The Gordian Protocol @^ by David Weber and Jacob Holo. Review - Interesting! Time wars - backtimers discover cross-timing, and the bad effects of what they've been doing. Lots of nasties.
215. Ringlet and the Day the Oceans Stopped @^ by Felicity Williams. Review - Utterly confusing and tangled. If it were a video game people would hate it - if she didn't fail at the beginning she'd have lost at the end.
216. Seven From the Stars ^ by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Review - Weird little story of aliens on Earth. All about the relationships, and emotions, really.

Currently Reading
Quite a few...including some of the BOMBs I didn't get to this month. Dragon's Bait by Vivian Vande Velde, White Wing by Gordon Kendall (that's a reread)... Hungry Like the Wolf by Paige Tyler, a mildly interesting werewolf romance. It would be more interesting if she didn't spend so much time describing their sexual reactions to each other. Of course it would also be half the size... I started The Thorn of Dentonhill by Marshall Ryan Maresca but didn't have the energy to keep going. I'll get back to it, and to the other Maradaine books, sometime soon. I actually only have one BOMB going, and a few I started ages ago and should finish off. I need to concentrate on BOMBs if I'm going to hit my goal without forcing myself to read them during the Christmas season.

The Egyptian Box.

The Egyptian Box. And I'll return Seven From the Stars to my parents. Everything else is ebooks.

All new, no rereads. I have 14 paid for - but if I don't read more BOMBs quickly, I won't have time to indulge in those!

I haven't been posting much - low on energy, for no visible reason. Reading quite a bit, though mostly new ebooks. Some quite good or excellent, some quite bad in this lot. A very ordinary month - though second-most books read in a month for this year.

marraskuu 1, 2020, 4:29am

October stats
29 books read
3 rereads
26 new books
14 rereads paid for

8164 pages read, average 281.5

0 ER books
0 Netgalley books

25 ebooks, 4 paper books

2 discards

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

23 F, 6 M authors

marraskuu 13, 2020, 8:56pm

So I was procrastinating on cleaning up my living room. But...

This Saturday I'm taking a (video) class on making Brie. In order to age it, I need the wine fridge which is buried in my living room, under totes and boxes and so on. I could age it in my fridge...but that wouldn't be much simpler, because it needs to be in a rather large plastic box and I _don't_ have room for that. Also the wine fridge is better - it cools to 50F rather than to 40 or so like a standard fridge, and that's a much better temperature for aging cheese.

So I'm spending this week burrowing through my living room. I'm mostly just shifting stuff, not really dealing with it, to make a path to the wine fridge; but I am dealing with some things, and I'm in (I'm delighted to find) a throw-it-out mood. I have a lot of stuff that was going to be useful...not so much. Pages from computer magazines from 2010... So lots of trash/recycles going out, yay. And I'm almost to the fridge - actually, I'm at the side, but I can't yet open the door. The next thing is to test and make sure it actually works - I got it on Freecycle and was told "it worked the last time I tried it", but I haven't actually tested it. And I mentioned this class is Saturday, right? As in, tomorrow? Fun fun fun.

Then I have a week of nothing huge going on, which I plan to use to get rid of as much as possible (there's also a growing heap of stuff-to-donate). Then comes Thanksgiving - we'll have a small one, but still. Mom makes the turkey (a small one, and on her rotisserie if it works); I make the pies and maybe rolls; and we split the veg. Usually one of my sisters does most of the veg and my brothers-in-law do the potatoes and the bread, and sometimes the meat. But we're doing a _small_meal, I have to keep reminding myself... Mom and I (and Dad) need to discuss exactly what we're having. Turkey and pie, yes; stuffing; what else?

One more pause week - more time to clear things out, arrange for coolers, etc. And empty the kitchen!

And the week after that is the kitchen refacing. As I said above, I suspect I'm going to be eating at my parents a lot. I'd clear out entirely...but I can't take my cats there, because Dad's allergic. Ooh, I'll have to figure out a new place for them to eat - I suspect my dining nook will be part of the project, and that's where their bowls are. Fun fun fun _fun_.

Of course this would have been less of a thing if I hadn't been ignoring the living room the last two weeks. But that's me, I need deadlines...

Still no fridge. The one I want is even on sale at Best Buy (on the web) - but not available here. I think I need to go up there and discuss matters with them. If they're selling it, surely they can ship one to the store? The other thing is, I don't really _need_ the new fridge at the same time as the refacing. I'd love to have it, but I don't _need_ it, the old one will still fit and work. So if they say it won't be available until the new year, I can survive that.

marraskuu 16, 2020, 3:02am

I got to the wine fridge on Friday, plugged it in and it worked fine. I made six lovely little Bries (though the teacher kept reminding us that what we make here, with our environment, is not really Brie (or Camembert, or any of the other specific cheeses) - even with commercial cultures, we're making bloomy-rind cheeses that with be unique to each of our specific locations/equipment/aging location...

Wine fridge (on the right by the shelves). Also bookshelves I haven't been able to get at for a year...

Cheese curds in molds

Baby Bries ready for aging. They squish down quite a lot...

Very tired. I dealt with a little bit of stuff - a couple boxes - and the rest was just shifting stuff around to make a different path that included being able to open the wine fridge. And then Saturday was the first class (a _lot_, about 3 hours, of standing at my stove), and Sunday was the second class. That was only an hour.

Also I listed a bunch of stuff on Freecycle, and had four pickups so far - one more tomorrow, and I've got more stuff to list. I have to dig out what I'm giving away in advance of each pickup, because otherwise it would take too long - some of it's from the house, some from my storage unit in the next building's basement garage. After tomorrow, there will be quite a bit more space in that storage unit, yay.

And also today (Sunday) I helped Mom with getting pellets for their wood stove - we had to drive nearly 30 miles to get to a store that actually had them in stock, then drive home, then load all the bags from the car into the Rubbermaid garden box they have in their parking space. A lot of lifting and hauling. I'm very tired.

But I got all (ok, almost all) my chores done, and it's not yet midnight (five minutes to). I'll be in bed by midnight and asleep almost immediately afterward. Tomorrow I have the Freecycle pickup in the morning and a job in the afternoon, and around those two a lot of cooking/baking and more cleaning up/out. And maybe I'll go to Best Buy and discuss fridges with them, after my job (it's closer to Best Buy than my home is).

marraskuu 16, 2020, 7:36am

I admire so much your energy and get-go for making things from scratch.

When are you having your first cheese tasting session?

marraskuu 16, 2020, 1:04pm

This was so much fun to read. We are also doing a small Thanksgiving at our home, just our close family members. We are doing most of the food prep, which I ordered from a small local store that specializes in organic and healthy foods. My sisters are bringing desserts.

I get the idea of the throwing things away mode--I did that recently with my barn. I cleaned out a lot of stuff that I did not know was in there and my sister's gentleman friend took it. I also cleaned out old teacher magazines and papers from files and boxes. I loved your brie pictures and hope they turn out well.

marraskuu 16, 2020, 3:51pm

I am very excited to read about the cheese making! Are you taking a class in cheese making? How did you get interested? I know you have been making yogurt for some time, but why cheese?

marraskuu 17, 2020, 1:57am

I've been interested in making cheese for a long time - why, because I love to eat it, basically. I have made cheese before, but not much - I successfully (sort of) made mozzarella out of a book, and brought it to a party - but it was such a pain I didn't really feel like repeating it. That was probably 10 years ago. Then last year or the year before, this teacher (Nicole Easterday at FARMcurious) had a sale on her mozzarella and burrata class, and I took that; I learned quite a bit, but doing it from what she handed us (here's your milk, pour it into your pot on the induction burner and stir with this spoon, put in these premeasured cultures in the jar...) was very different from "here's the recipe, I can sell you what you don't have, have all these things ready before class starts". I had a lot of the stuff already - the molds and spoons - discovered at the last minute that I _didn't_ have some other stuff (a stainless steel pot! I have two big pots, but they're both anodized aluminum - and aluminum is very not good with cheese). Also discovered that my bag of cheese cultures were all expired. So I bought the premixed setup she had, and I'll get some proper cultures later.

I also have a cheese press (which I didn't need for this, or the mozzarella, but would need for hard cheeses). That was neat - someone was selling them in cheesemakers.com's Classified section; I asked if he could lower the price, and he offered to barter. So I traded him a strap I'd woven for the cheese press he'd built, and we both thought we got the better of the bargain (best kind!).

Now I've made cheese at home, properly; I need to make it again, soonish, so that I can practice making it without the teacher directing me step by step. If I do that, cheesemaking will be one of my skills, finally. Then I can expand and try some new and interesting types of cheese (the cheddar I eat a _lot_ of, for instance. Though that both needs pressing and takes a long time to age, especially the extra-sharp I like). And try a blue brie (I had one once and it was wonderful), and and...

The teacher said that the brie would be just barely ripe enough to eat at Thanksgiving, and suggested brie en croute to make up for the fact that it will be somewhat stiff and quite bland. We'll see. Thanksgiving lets it have a week and most of another to age; it should be good in 2-3 weeks and very good at about 4 weeks (and then start to go downhill and need to be refrigerated to keep from going funky). Since I made 6, I can eat some early and let some others age quite a bit. Though my dad already offered to taste-test three or four of them...

I have to flip it every day until the mold coat grows, then wrap it in cheese paper and flip it every few days so it keeps its form while aging. This timing is because I'm doing it in a wine fridge at 50F - if it were in a normal fridge (in a plastic box, to protect it from picking up odors and to keep the humidity right and so on) at about 40F, it would need flipping every 2-3 days and would take 3-4 weeks to be edible. I'll try some that way next time; the teacher says it also makes a difference to the flavor, how fast it ages.

It's fun!

marraskuu 17, 2020, 11:58am

I think it sounds like fun too!

I would like to see more local cheese makers going into business. It would localize farming even more. And it would make for some interesting cheeses due to the locality and the specific bacteria and molds in certain areas. I have read that is why the Wisconsin Cheddar is so special - due to the specific area that makes it distinct from Vermont Cheddar and that from English Cheddar. After all, it is the locality that makes Rochefort cheese what it is. Wouldn't it be great to have regional Cheddar's and Brie's from so many different localities all over the U. S.?

marraskuu 17, 2020, 7:31pm

One of the stories the teacher told us was about a local creamery - Cowgirl Creamery, and their stuff is fantastic - that moved from their original location at Point Reyes about 10 miles inland. Most of their cheeses had no problem, formed and aged and were very similar to the Point Reyes cheeses. But one, a very popular washed-rind cheese, utterly refused to work in the new location. They fiddled with the aging setup at the new location, tried this and that...nothing. So they set up a small secondary location very close to their original home, just for making that cheese - and a few others, that showed consistent differences in the new location. Now they have Point Reyes this and (other place) this, two varieties of an otherwise identical cheese that people who love that cheese find sharply distinct.

Terroir has a real effect on cheese - both the milk that's used (and what the cows that make the milk were eating), and the aging place/conditions/ambient microflora play as big a part in what the cheese is like as the main cultures and the handling of the curd (which latter two are what a cheese recipe consists of).

>93 benitastrnad: There are a lot of local cheese makers - I don't know who might be near you (where are you?). Ah, checking your profile and doing a search...

Four cheesemakers not too far from you (not very close, given current travel restrictions, though...)

And a deli/sandwich shop that has "locally sourced cheese", in Pelham (also sounds like really good food!)

There's probably people making cheese nearer to you, but not commercially (going commercial is a big task - I have a 6-quart pot for making cheese in, a commercial setup is usually in the hundreds to thousands of gallons at a time. And forming, and aging...).

Here's one in the New England Cheesemaking Supply newsletter (from 2013!). Also luring you in - this is where I mostly get my cheesemaking supplies, and will be resupplying myself now that I seem to have started again.


marraskuu 17, 2020, 10:40pm

I have been to Belle Chevre and their cheese is delicious. There just needs to be more of that kind of place all over the U.S.

marraskuu 20, 2020, 2:31am

Books Read
217. Hungry Like the Wolf @^ by Paige Tyler. Review - Very good story, way too much sex interfering with it.
218. The Hollow Places @^ by T Kingfisher. Review - Creepy - it's horror, but it's also very funny (gorgeous dialog, as usual).
219. Tedric @^ by E.E. Doc Smith. Review - Not space opera - time opera, perhaps. Good fluff.
220. Lord Tedric @^ by E.E. Doc Smith. Review - Immediate sequel to the previous story - _not_ the same as the book by this name, that does turn into space opera.
221. The Willows @^ by Algernon Blackwood. Review - The inspiration for The Hollow Places, so I wanted to read it. Like The Hollow Places, it's creepy without actually being scary (for me, at least).
222. The Voyage of the Arctic Tern * by Hugh Montgomery. Review - Mildly interesting ghost-ish story, in verse.
223. Recognize Fascism @! by Crystal M. Huff. Review - Multiple interesting stories, but en masse they were very unpleasant to read. The beginning of fascism is frequently annoying.
224. Kherishdar's Exception @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Very weird and very rich - the culmination of the series. All we learned before gets thrown into high relief.
225. Hunter @# by Mercedes Lackey. Review - Lovely as always - a favorite series.
226. Elite @# by Mercedes Lackey. Review - Second in the series, great as always.
227. Apex @# by Mercedes Lackey. Review - I'd only read this one once before, so I saw more new things than in the other two - but same reaction, great series.
228. Windfalls @^ by A.G. Gardiner. Review - Interesting various essays, from late in WWI. Unfortunately the editing is awful, distracts.
229. Giving Chase @^ by Lauren Dane. Review - Pleasant, mildly enjoyable. A trifle too explicit for me but not horrible, and a lot of complex and well-written characters. Next, please.

Currently Reading
Lots of (paper) books hanging fire - some BOMBs, a reread. I need to focus on the BOMBs, but what I'm actually doing is reading on my phone - and not my eBOMBs (books I have as ebooks that are also BOMBs). Sigh. Spellbound by Vivian Vande Velde - not what I expect from her, but her stuff is good so I expect I'll like it. Just gotta sit down and read it (this is a BOMB). Another BOMB in progress is Dragonbait - huh, just now realized that's also a Vande Velde. Need to dig up more BOMBs, or read the ones I've got piled up - I need to read 12 more BOMBs in a month and a half.

One, Arctic Tern.

I'm discarding Arctic Tern. It was worth reading but I don't think it's worth rereading.

Three rereads - the Lackey books - and the rest new, mostly ebooks (all but that one BOMB).

Not unexpectedly, I'm behind on BOMBs and discards with the end of the year looming perilously close. Get cracking!

Not a lot of reading, measured either by books or by pages. Part of it is books taking a while, part is...I'm just distracted, or something. Spending more time playing games on my phone than reading. And, y'know, the kitchen, and health insurance for next year, and Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and my dad's health...a lot on my mind.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 5, 2020, 8:32pm

Still not reading my BOMBs. I've made serious progress on the living room - it needs a lot more work, but there's actual space. I'd have to fill it up solid again to empty the kitchen, though, so... I took a second (small) lot of stuff to the Salvation Army yesterday. Just a little at a time - it's better than stacking everything up to do it all at once, not least because the less time it spends sitting in my house the less time I have to think again about getting rid of it.

What I'm _supposed_ to be doing right now: baking pies for tomorrow. I have to make the crusts, let them chill, make the fillings, roll out the crusts and bake the pies (three - mince for Mom, pumpkin for Dad, blueberry for me - we'll all have some of each, but those are favorites). It's already 6:15 pm...I gotta get going!

Tomorrow morning I go over to los padres and help Mom with Thanksgiving dinner - it's just the three of us. We tried to get a small turkey to fit in Mom's new rotisserie toaster oven...not so much, it's 11.5 pounds (she'd asked for a 10-pound one) and she doesn't think it'll go. So normal oven cooking. Mashed potatoes (that's my job), roasted carrots with ginger, turkey gravy...and that's probably it. We normally have two or three other dishes - green beans, mashed sweet potatoes, pearl onions... but with so few of us we thinned it down to the minimum. And three pies. Lots of leftover turkey, yum.

I've joined the Thanksgiving readathon - not sure I'm going to get much reading done, certainly not today and probably not tomorrow. But it goes through Sunday, so no big deal.

Currently reading Kiki's Delivery Service - not a perfect match for the movie, as far as I recall, but very much the same style. A fun read.

marraskuu 26, 2020, 11:29pm

I cooked a sweet and white potatoe casserole to take to share with two other people for Thanksgiving. We had a very nice supper together. Not bad for three people.

I had planned on driving to Natchez, Mississippi this weekend to spend a couple of days there. I have not been there in the 30 years I have been in the South and want to do that soonish. There is a chef over there, Regina Charbannou, who teaches a biscuit making class and I wanted to attend. I also wanted to tour a couple of the old Antibellum houses. (Natchez is sort of the Old South version of Newport, R.I) However, this is not going to be the year to do that. Maybe next year.

marraskuu 27, 2020, 2:05am

Yeah, there's a lot of "maybe next year". Better that way.

A lovely dinner - the turkey came out very well, with the help of a thermometer probe, though neither Mom nor I know how to carve so the meat was kind of pulled off in chunks. Minimal but very tasty, and the pies came out well. We didn't manage to eat the brie I brought over (the one I made), though - too full. Maybe this weekend.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 27, 2020, 3:29pm

My husband and I had pre-ordered prepared Thanksgiving food from a small local organic grocery store co-op, to share with my family--enough food for eight people, including turkey and side dishes. They all changed their minds about dining with us, so the two of us have a lot of food. We put most of it into small containers for the freezer and that will be our Christmas dinner too. It was excellently prepared and we were able to support local business. Although we missed our family, we had a lovely quiet day together.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 5, 2020, 8:36pm

Books Read
230. Rock Paper Scissors @^ by Devon Monk. Review - Three interesting in-between stories - they advance things without actually advancing them, nicely done.
231. Gods and Ends @^ by Devon Monk. Review - This actually takes place before Rock Paper Scissors, oh well.
232. Dime a Demon @^ by Devon Monk. Review - Nice close - oh, no, another book coming out, yay! Demons and lying and telling the truth...complicated. This is Myra's book.
233. Tales of the Winter Wolf Omnibus @^ by RJ Blain. Review - Interesting compilation of short stories, that tell what "actually" happened before Winter Wolf. The first adventure is… a little too close to what is supposed to have triggered her, but overall quite nice.
234. Kiki's Delivery Service @^ by Eiko Kadono. Review - Cute little story. A little simplistic, but a fun read. Not quite the same as the Miyazaki movie - he couldn't resist adding a flying machine!
235. The Chequer Board @^ by Nevil Shute. Review - Not bad - it is a Shute - but kind of pointless.
236. Daughter of Necessity @^ by Marie Brennan. Review - Interesting twist on Penelope.
237. Hortense and the Shadow %^ by Natalia O'Hara. Review - Cute little picture book (read standing in a store). Dangers too easily solved, but that wasn't the point of the story.
238. Dragon's Bait * by Vivian Vande Velde. Review - Not good. It's a morality story - and like most such, skips little things like character development, motivation, etc. Not _terrible_, but not one I'll ever reread.

Currently Reading
Why Knot? by Philippe Petit - non-fiction about knots by a high-wire artist. He's very chatty - looks interesting. But I've got too much else going on right now, not reading enough... I have a stack of BOMBs to get through - I'm still short 11 books, my stack is 9 books high (ranging from tiny to normal thickness). So...if I can actually sit down and read them (I've started some, some time ago...) I'll be nearly up to where I need to be.

One - Dragon's Bait.

Dragon's Bait. Not a good story - I'm not even interested in having it as an ebook.

No rereads in this batch, all new. So I've got 13 rereads paid for (but I won't be using them because (determined) I'm going to be reading BOMBs!).

Lots more ebooks, not enough BOMBs. At least I finished Dragon's Bait - I started it in October.

marraskuu 30, 2020, 11:52pm

November stats
22 books read
3 rereads
19 new books
13 rereads paid for

5411 pages read, average 246

1 ER books
0 Netgalley books

19 ebooks, 3 paper books

2 discards

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

16 F, 7 M authors

I don't think I'm going to finish any more books today, so I might as well post this. Nothing exciting this month.

joulukuu 1, 2020, 11:48am

I am in the midst of my Christmas baking for the friends here in Alabama. Last year, after Christmas I spotted a Christmas tree bundt cake pan. It was so weird looking that it was cute. I didn't buy it at first. Then it was marked down again and eventually I purchased it for $12.00. This Christmas my baking gift is a traditional Gingerbread Spice Bundt Cake. The only thing the recipient has to do is shake some powdered sugar on the top.

I also experimented with an oatmeal dinner roll recipe last night. It got cold here. Down to 25 so all my plants froze, but it is time. Anyway, I mixed up the dough and left it in the bowl of the mixer to sit out all night on the counter by the outside door. I figured that a long slow rise would be good. Sure enough, this morning my dough was risen and I finished the recipe. They are in the oven baking as I type. I will take these over to a friend tonight and hope to make another batch of them this week.

I am leaving for Kansas next week so all the baking has to be done now. I purchased two boxes of disposable face masks from Amazon and had them shipped to my Mom's house. I listened to an NPR podcast and a psychologist on the program said that the reason why Covid spreads so much in family groups is that we trust our family to be save. She advised that we get a box of disposable masks and set them out in a visible place and ask everybody who comes to the house to use them when they are not eating. I thought this sounded like good advice. Reasonable and doable. So I did it.

joulukuu 13, 2020, 3:54pm

My kitchen is done, and it looks great. I'll add some pictures later. I'm still working on cleaning things up, so that I can put things back - everything is covered with a thin film of sawdust (from sanding). Also, now that I can see the insides of my cabinets - they're pretty mucky. I'd like to repaint but I think that will wait - right now I'm putting contact paper or shelf liners on everything. I want to paint the walls, too - I've gotten primer and a couple possible colors, I'll paint samples and see which one (if either) I want. But this is all a rather long-term project; I'm having to balance having what I need in the kitchen to live normally, and having the space to get at the walls etc and finish this job. Shelf liner is a start.

joulukuu 13, 2020, 9:38pm

Looking forward to the photos, Jenn!

joulukuu 13, 2020, 11:32pm

Here's photos - first both sides as they were before, then the afters.

I'm still working on getting a new fridge - that will be stainless steel, probably, I can't find a white one (and almond doesn't exist). So that will change. And I'm probably getting a new stove vent, hopefully in almond...but that may also be stainless. And I'm painting the walls, as I said above...so still in process, but you can see the differences.

This is the drawers inside the tall pantry opposite the fridge - they pull out, which will make getting at those deep shelves a lot better. I painted the inside of the cabinet with an orange-tinted primer; I will probably just leave it that way, because adding a coat of paint would be extremely complicated with the shelves in. So at least it has a fresh coat of paint (even if it's pretty matte, rather than glossy which is easier to clean).

joulukuu 23, 2020, 1:34am

Books Read
239. Tales from the Folly @^ by Ben Aaronovitch. Review - Very good collection of short and short-short stories - great flavor of the Rivers.
240. Wolf Trouble @^ by Paige Tyler. Review - Female werewolf joins the SWAT team - new type of romance problem, fraternization. Good one.
241. In the Company of Wolves @^ by Paige Tyler. Review - Lots and lots more about werewolves - there are kinds other than alphas. Makes me wonder about Gabe's teacher… Story is OK, not wonderful but it works.
242. To Love a Wolf @^ by Paige Tyler. Review - Cooper (who gives good advice) gets to be the one who needs advice this time… More worldbuilding, some very interesting new characters, and a nice mingling of romance and story.
243. Wolf Unleashed @^ by Paige Tyler. Review - Back to too-explicit sex. The relationship part gets rather formulaic; the story part is...weird. Not a favorite - take a break from the series.
244. The Part about the Dragon Was (Mostly) True @! by Sean Gibson. Review - Very good writing, interesting (if frequently obnoxious) characters...too many fart/poop jokes. I'll try something else by him.
245. Brunelleschi's Dome @* by Ross King. Review - Very good! Lots about how the dome was made, only a little gossip. Well-written, too. I want more by him.
246. Hitty: Her First Hundred Years * by Rachel Field. Review - Cute; its age makes it problematic in spots.

Currently Reading
The Far Country by Nevil Shute - interesting so far, though I'm halfway through and it's still mostly setup. Still reading Why Knot?; it's good, but awkward as an ebook (it's hard to flip back and forth quickly, and some of the diagrams are messed up. Not the important ones, though). And I need to read a bunch more BOMBs in the next few days...

Two, Hitty and Brunelleschi's Dome. The latter was technically borrowed...but if my entry date is correct, it was borrowed over 10 years ago. I think that counts as a BOMB.

Both BOMBs out - the Dome back to who I borrowed it from (my parents), Hitty gets donated. The rest are ebooks.

All new, excellent. 15 rereads paid for, though I won't have time to use them...

As I kind of expected, I'm still behind on BOMBs with 9 (really, 8) days left in the year. I need to read one or more a day. I doubt it will happen but I'll try - I could do it if I didn't have anything else to do (which is NOT the case...). Also behind on discards, but that's less important.

I was reading, but not recording my reads, or reviewing the books, for a couple weeks there - it took some work to figure out what I read when. I don't _think_ I've missed any. If I have, it would be a BOMB (a paper book - the ebooks are automatically tracked), which would be good...but I don't think so. Oh well.

joulukuu 23, 2020, 1:36am

I've decided that painting is not going to happen in the immediate future. I'm putting the kitchen back together (which is a big job!). I used up all the plastic shelf liners, and then found some contact paper so I'll be using that as well. I'm supposed to be baking pies for Christmas...I could _almost_ do it, now. Still need my spices, though. Unload more boxes tomorrow...

joulukuu 23, 2020, 4:46am

Your kitchen looks lovely and well-thought out. We've done two kitchen renovations so we know how disruptive they can be (but fun working it all out). Good luck 'putting it back together.' What kind of pies? I did six over Thanksgiving (apple, chocolate and sawdust), that quantity because we weren't going to actually be together, so we dropped them off. I like making interesting pies but the gang's tastes don't stretch much beyond those three (and perhaps lemon meringue). Good luck with finding all the pie stuff.

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 23, 2020, 11:26am

I am going to bake Oatmeal Dinner Rolls today. The recipe is from America's Test Kitchen and I made three batches of it for gifts before I left Alabama and headed to the wilds of Kansas to make sure my mother recovers from Covid. (Why people won't wear masks is beyond me? especially when you are 84.). The recipe makes a dozen rolls and that will be just right for Mom, my sister, and I for our Christmas Eve lunch. We are not having the entire family over due to Mom's recovery, but she insisted that she wanted a Christmas, so there will be three of us for Christmas Eve lunch.

I baked a gingerbread bundt cake with my super sale Christmas Tree bundt cake pan, and we have been slowly eating that for the last couple of days. That will be our Christmas desert. Other than that it will be a very normal meal.

I forgot to mention that the recipe for Oatmeal Dinner Rolls is really good. It works perfectly with a stand mixer and that makes it easy to make. I also made the dough in the evening and left it sit out overnight (I keep my house cool at night) and it was ready to bake first thing the next morning. The key to doing that is that the house has to be cool at night (Under 65 degrees) otherwise the yeast grows too fast and you won't get a good enough second rise out of the dough.

joulukuu 23, 2020, 5:29pm

>110 benitastrnad: I've collected that recipe, but haven't made it yet - glad to hear it works well!

>109 avaland: I'm making just mince and pumpkin for Christmas - I made blueberry as well for Thanksgiving but neither of my parents like it much and nearly a whole pie was rather too much. What's sawdust? Having spent considerable time vacuuming up sawdust from the kitchen redo, it doesn't sound all that appetizing - but pie names are frequently...interesting. I've frozen the fats for pie crusts, need to make the crusts and the fillings today and assemble and bake them tomorrow.

It'll be just the three of us for Christmas, with a Zoom (ish, we actually use something called Daily.co) call in the afternoon for shared present-opening. Which will be a little thin too, because some presents are still in the giver's house - complications prevented them being shipped. Later. But we'll get to see everyone, which is the important part.

Which reminds me - I need to fix the parents' media computer. I updated it last Saturday and Sunday it refused to boot at all. We successfully ran two video calls off my laptop (onto my parents' TV, which is how we usually do the video calls), but the dedicated computer is better (has the right software for peripherals, etc). So I need to work on that.

My kitchen continues to improve - I got the main spices out today (so far, there's still a good chunk of the day to go). The minor and backup spices are, as always, a mess, and I'm looking at them and thinking how I can rearrange them...but I suspect they'll get shoved in about the way they always are, bottles in more-or-less alphabetical order and bags, tins, boxes, etc jammed in on top and around the corners. Some of the bags might end up in jars, though, that would be good (assuming there's room for them...).

And in...less delightful, but goodish news - Dad's going on hospice care shortly. As of right now, there are no treatments that are likely to extend his life, so the doctors are relinquishing him to hospice - which isn't good news, but having someone come over almost every day to help Mom with taking care of him will be very good. I cannot imagine the world without Dad in it, so I don't think about it much - because if I were crying and flailing on the floor I'd be less helpful to both of them.

joulukuu 25, 2020, 1:23am

Happy Holidays!

joulukuu 27, 2020, 1:54am

A pleasant, quiet Christmas. I got some nice stuff, and gave some ditto. Only two books - except my parents gave me the price of the ebooks I had listed on Amazon (it was simpler for them than buying them for me!). So...eight books, I think. The two paper books I got were Four Colors Suffice, which I've had wishlisted for quite a while - it's an interesting math/logic puzzle, and from what I hear the book is a good read; and The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking, which I learned about recently (I forget where...possibly in an LT cooking thread) which also sounds very interesting. Haven't started to read either one, because I still need to focus on BOMBs - haven't read a one (or anything else - haven't finished, that is) since I last posted. Too much going on. Next week should be relatively quiet (aside from hopefully finishing putting my kitchen back together), so maybe I'll get more reading done.

I've joined Club Read 2021, but haven't yet set up my thread - I'll put a link here when I do. Also went over to 75 Books Challenge 2021 and starred a bunch of threads - not everyone I follow there has one yet (and almost nobody in Club Read 2021), so the starring will be an ongoing process.

joulukuu 27, 2020, 3:17pm

>113 jjmcgaffey: Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking was from my thread! I hope you like it and find many recipes to bake. The commentaries are also fun to read.

joulukuu 27, 2020, 11:12pm

Ah, there we go! Yeah, I started reading it, then firmly put it down. I got past his history and into the uses of ingredients. Very interesting angle on prayer and service.

joulukuu 28, 2020, 2:04pm

>115 jjmcgaffey: The recipes for cornbread are interesting and diverse. I have not seen so many variations before. My husband wanted to try all of them.

joulukuu 28, 2020, 11:45pm

Yeah, that's what caught my eye flipping through - but I didn't let myself actually read any of them.

So yesterday I made a thing...and I didn't take any pictures, phooey. I was making bread balls for bubalki, a Slovak New Years Day treat. It's small balls of bread (baked in balls, not just squished - and they're supposed to be a little stale. Oops), boiled briefly, then poppyseed sauce poured over. Very tasty, very rich, supposed to be good luck. I usually make the bread balls around Thanksgiving, but I forgot, and then I didn't have a kitchen...they're baked and sitting open in a bag in the fridge so they get as stale as possible (otherwise they go entirely squishy when boiled).

Anyway. The recipe I use for the bread balls makes four loaves worth of dough. One loaf worth makes plenty of balls, so I had three loaves worth to deal with. Two of them I made the way this bread is supposed to be made; roll little cigars, lay them in the bottom of a loaf pan and brush with melted butter. They rise fast, bake together, and it's a lovely egg-and-butter enriched pull-apart loaf (like brioche, a little coarser and richer-flavored and much easier). But two loaves is really a bit much, and I didn't want three - so I rolled one loaf's worth out, covered it with half-melted butter and lots of cinnamon sugar, rolled it up and made cinnamon buns. Not entirely a success - next time I'll mix the butter in with the sugar and make a slurry, when I cut the buns a lot of sugar came out the sides. I scooped it up and poured it over the buns, and they tasted really good (and a little too sweet), but I'd be happier if the filling stayed inside. I will be making these again, yum. But hopefully with some other people to eat some of them - I ate the whole pan yesterday and today. And part of one loaf. Oof.

I have finished a BOMB! Which means I only need to read 9 more in the next three-and-a-half days...yeah, I don't think I'm making my goal. But I'll try. I'll post all my readings on the 31st. I was reading it in paper, and it was taking...a...long...time... then I figured out I had it as an ebook, and I finished it the next day. Sigh. I really have gone electronic. Which is very problematic for BOMBs.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 12:55am

>117 jjmcgaffey: Oh the breads!

I sometimes check a kindle book from the library even though it's on my shelves, because it's easier to read and look up words and because it's not always easy to get to books on the shelves even when I know exactly where the book is.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 1:30am

Yeah, I knew I was doing that - it's easier to find the book electronically. But finding that it took me three weeks to get through half of a book on paper, and then I finished the other half in less than 24 hours electronically - that surprised me. It means I wasn't being immersed in the book on paper - I was carrying it around and not opening it. Until a year or so ago, I found reading on paper much more absorbing and electronically I'd get distracted - but for this book, at least, I had more distractions on paper than on my phone. Iiiiinteresting...

joulukuu 29, 2020, 10:05am

>111 jjmcgaffey: I found sawdust pie in Pie by Ken Haedrich a few years ago. Apparently, it is more common in other area of the countries, he sources a restaurant in Kentucky for his recipe. It's a basic pie crust, filled with with a combo of egg whites, sugar, graham cracker crumbs, flaked coconut and chopped pecans (I use walnuts). It's the one "new" pie my adult children placed on their list of acceptable pies (I love making different kinds of pies but they only want the traditional: apple, lemon, chocolate ... and now sawdust. I can send you the specifics, if you like. I'd recommend the pie book if you like making pies. I love to try new pies and was disappointed that family prefers the simple ones rather than, say, "triple layer chocolate pumpkin". >117 jjmcgaffey: The bread smells delicious. I made five loves of bread about two weeks ago (3 white, 2 shredded wheat. The whole thing was an experiment to see how long it would last, and if we could cut down trips to the grocery to two week intervals) and three loaves of cranberry orange bread (a departure from my deadly cranberry cheddar bread). We kept one of the three and gave away the others. (yum, maybe I'll do cinnamon rolls next....)

Sorry to hear that your dad is moving into hospice.

Happy end-of-the-year reading!

joulukuu 29, 2020, 3:38pm

>120 avaland: Another good Kentucky recipe is Derby Pie, especially if you like rich pies with chocolate chips.

joulukuu 29, 2020, 10:21pm

>120 avaland: Ooh, recipe for deadly cranberry cheddar bread, please, Lois!!

>117 jjmcgaffey: And I'd like the recipe for your bread too, Jenn.

joulukuu 31, 2020, 3:58am

At the moment, Dad's not going anywhere - he's just having hospice people come to their home. If we can manage it at all, he'll stay there - if/when he needs a hospital bed it'll get complicated (it's a large apartment, but still an apartment, not a house - not a lot of spare room), but we'll try.

And yes, I'd like the recipe for sawdust pie, sounds interesting.

Here's the bread recipe, along with a bunch of notes:

Allow at least 2 hours to make this - it rises very fast, takes time to assemble, and doesn't do well in the fridge (continues to rise fast!). It can work, but don't leave it too long (more than 8 hours).

Grandma Miller’s Home Made bread
Yield: 4 loaves of bread – approximately 8-11 ‘slices’ in each loaf.

¾ C warm/hot water
3 packets of Active Dry Yeast 3/4 oz
2 C milk (best if room temp or even slightly warmed)
1 stick butter (melted is easiest)
½ C sugar 3.5 oz
2 t salt
2 lightly beaten eggs
~9 C flour 40+ oz
More melted butter for assembly - 1-2 oz (quarter or half stick) per loaf

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and turn off. Put a pan with steaming water in it. This is the perfect place for the first rise.

In a large bowl, add water, milk, melted butter, and sugar. Mix well using a hand or stand mixer. Add salt and lightly beaten eggs. Continue to mix. Add yeast and continue to mix.

Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing well. Make sure resulting dough ball is not too sticky. Adding a touch of flour will fix this.

Once all flour is added and the mixture is a ball of dough, sprinkle some extra flour on the counter and knead for 7 minutes. You can also use the knead feature on the large stand mixers if you wish - be careful about it climbing past the dough hook top. (Does _not_ work in my tilt-head, with the dough hook - persistently climbs. Try Ankarsrum, or bowl-lift. Ankarsrum works perfectly - put everything together in the bowl, with 27 oz of flour and yeast last. Let it mix with the roller running free. When it's solid (3-4 minutes), move the roller half an inch out, put in the remaining 13 oz flour and run 6 minutes. If necessary, add another spoonful of flour - half an ounce? Climbs right at the end but not seriously.)

Put in large oven-safe container (sprayed with cooking spray/rubbed with olive oil), and place in warmed oven (make sure there's room above the bowl top). Wet a kitchen towel and drape over the bowl to ensure the dough ball does not dry out. Leave pan with hot water to also keep humidity high.

Once dough has doubled in size (usually 15 -30 minutes - set a timer to check), take out and turn out of the bowl onto a lightly floured counter. ‘Punch’ it down…one good thump will help the dough ball go down a bit. Spray 4 loaf pans with cooking spray (you can use 2-8x8 or 2-9x9 square pans – just put two rows of dough pieces in as noted below).

Slice off ‘small apple’ sized piece of dough and roll between your hands to turn into a log. Place in the sprayed loaf pan, with dough log parallel to the short end of the pan. Continue to place dough logs next to each other in the pan, filling it with one layer. Depending on the size of your ‘logs’, you will have between 8-11 pieces (squish them together to fit). Brush with melted butter and put aside. Continue to do this until all pans are full. (Huh, I misread this - I've been brushing each log with melted butter. My way works fine.)

Place in oven (keep steaming pan in there if you have room) and let rise again – about 15-30 minutes, until the dough reaches the tops of the pans. Turn oven to 350 degrees, remove steaming pan, and bake until lightly browned. This takes about 25-30 minutes. Keep a bowl of melted butter close by and brush once during baking if you wish. (I don't do this)

Remove bread from oven and turn out on racks to avoid damp spots. Break bread apart and brush with melted butter. (I don't do this either) Enjoy! (You can slice this if you like, or just pull it apart. The pulled "slices" are uneven, but that doesn't matter for eating.)

For dirty marbles (bubalki) - need tiny pieces, peanut sized. Almond/macadamia grow to walnut size. Bake 25 min, swapping top and bottom tray at 15 minutes. Do not put in oven to rise (second rise), and don't bake with bread - balls will be OK, bread falls. Can fit 140 small balls on a pan (rows of 10x14); some balls touch but are easily separated when you take it out. One loaf worth fills more than one pan, maybe more than 2.

Dough can be put in fridge but continues to rise! Yeast balloons after a few hours - knock it down again, shape and let rise. Takes longer to rise the third time but comes out nicely.

Cinnamon buns - one loaf worth, roll out thin to ~10x15. Pull the corners to make it squarish. I spread it with semi-melted butter and layered it thick with sugar/brown sugar/cinnamon. Rolled it up, sealed the long edge with a damp finger, cut it - and sugar poured out all gaps. Maybe a slurry would be better - or more butter, less sugar so it sticks. Same or more cinnamon, though. I sprinkled the spilled cinnamon sugar over the rolls in the pan (9" round, with liner), and poured extra melted butter over - like sticky rolls, very nice. But I'd rather it stayed inside. Rise in proofer - I let them rise almost a hour, because cold. Bake like bread, 25 minutes at 350. Made a quick glaze of powdered sugar (maybe a cup?) and just a little milk, poured it over hot buns. Yum - very sweet, though. 12 rolls, started about an inch thick (except the ends were longer). Rose to fill 2" deep pan and solidly pressed together (not quite touching to start).

tammikuu 1, 3:34am

Books Read
247. The Far Country * by Nevil Shute. Review - Mildly interesting story - it's rather slice-of-life, plus romance. Makes me want to check histories of the period - is his version of England under rationing (after the war) real or exaggerated?
248. Spellbound * by Vivian Vande Velde. Review - Interesting ideas, no answers to the questions it raises.
249. Why Knot? @^ by Philippe Petit. Review - Interesting set of knots, needs to be read with cord in hand (he did tell me so!), some problems with the ebook formatting hid some of the words.
250. Ruined City * by Nevil Shute. Review - Oh, that's good. This will be one of the regular rereads. Good deeds done, the hard way, and he paid for it - and was the better for it.

Currently Reading
I've trimmed down my Currently Reading list...the earliest one on the list was now started in 2018 (since I've cut off a bunch I started in 2010...). What I'm actually currently actively reading are two BOMBs (that didn't get done in 2020 - so they'll be a good start for 2021) - Sing Down the Moon, in paper, and Dick Francis' Bloodline, electronically (I have it in paper, in a box, so it counts).

Three more BOMBs - still not enough, but progress.

All three BOMBs - the one I don't have electronically I don't want to read again (Spellbound), so that works. Not sure I'll ever reread The Far Country either, but I have it if I want to.

All new. I ended the year with 18 rereads paid for - and I don't plan to use them at all; I'm going to start 2021 at zero, and earn my rereads with BOMBs from the start.

Good push, but too late. Still, a bunch of BOMBs and discards done. And the last book of the year was among the best I've read this year - very nice.

tammikuu 1, 3:40am

December stats
12 books read
0 rereads
12 new books
18 rereads paid for

3341 pages read, average 278.4

5 BOMBs - hit my goal for the month (well, that at least...)
1 ER books
0 Netgalley books

7 ebooks, 5 paper books

5 discards - hit my goal for the month

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

6 F, 6 M authors

tammikuu 1, 3:47am

Full year stats
250 books read
36 rereads
214 new books
18 rereads paid for

63700 pages read, average per book 254.8, average per month 5308.3

54 BOMBs this year, 6 short of my goal
6 ER books
1 Netgalley etc books

191 ebooks, 59 paper books

55 discards for the year, 5 short of my goal

131 SF&F
7 animal stories
54 children's
16 non-fiction
12 general fiction
19 romances
6 graphic novels
4 mysteries

193 F, 68 M authors

So. Not my best year for books, but well up there. While I didn't hit my goals (aside from books read) this year, I got very close - I did almost as well as 2018, when I did hit my goals (and then boosted them by 10 each for BOMBs and discards). In 2019 I failed badly - got about halfway to my goals. So this year was much better.

The usual huge skew towards SF books and books by women. I don't go looking for female authors, really I don't - just, a lot of my favorite authors happen to be women. There are more authors than books, because some were by male-female pairs, and I mark both; I also mark both male and female when it's an anthology with assorted authors. And only a bit over three times as many ebooks as paper...sigh. I can go all (nearly) electronic when I've cleaned out my BOMB backlog! And just about as many SF books as all others combined. That's about right.

tammikuu 1, 3:54am

Happy new year!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 1, 3:55am

New thread started for 2021:

>127 quondame: Thank you! Same to you - it's gotta be a better year, right?