Witchyrichy (aka Karen) Wades Into Reading In 2023

Keskustelu75 Books Challenge for 2023

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Witchyrichy (aka Karen) Wades Into Reading In 2023

joulukuu 30, 2022, 3:45 pm

Welcome! I am Karen Richardson, aka Witchyrichy, and this is my 9th year in the 75ers group. I am mostly retired from public life although I do a bit of teaching related to educational technology and instructional design for a few clients. Otherwise, when I wake up on Monday mornings, I can pretty much do what I want. And, often what I want to do is read!

I live with my husband of 30 years, Major the beagle and Circe the cat in a 19th century farmhouse on 18 acres in rural southeast Virginia. The picture above is one of my favorites as it shows off the trees in the front yard. It is our own little bit of paradise and came with a library for my books, which helps make up for the challenges of living in an old house. The books also spill out into every other room of the house. My major goal this year is to read the books I already own (lots and lots of ROOTS) and start clearing the shelves a bit.

Besides reading, I garden, crochet and play music as my main hobbies. I reignited my blog last year when I retired and plan to publish more posts in 2023. My husband and I share a love for the outdoors including birding.

I am looking forward, once again, to sharing my life and reading with this wonderful group of people!

Muokkaaja: joulukuu 30, 2022, 3:48 pm

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 4:43 pm

What I Am Reading:

Morning Texts that I am Reading Slowly:

The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
Yes, And... by Richard Rohr: daily meditations drawn from Rohr's other writings
Real Life: The Journey from Isolation to Openness and Freedom by Sharon Salzberg
Freeing Jesus by Diane Butler

Other Reading and Listening:

Through a Glass, Darkly by Donna Leon (audio)
The Overstory by Richard Powers (analog)
A Conventional Murder by Pam Stucky (digital)

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 28, 6:53 pm

A book about a topic you don’t usually read
The next book in a series you started: Friends in High Places by Donna Leon
A book that taught you something: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Switched or stolen identities: The Third Girl by Agatha Christie
With a book on the cover: The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels
A book rated above 4 on LT: The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama
Book is set on a plane, train or ship
A bestseller from 20 years ago
STEM topic
Inn or hotel: Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jennifer Colgan
Journalist or journalism: Planning to read Jann Wenner's memoir
Small town or rural setting: The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede
Read a CAT: I Must Betray You by Ruth Sepetys (January GEOCat)
Title contains a number or quantity: Planning to read 1619
Book by a local/regional author where you live/have lived: The Virginia Plan by Robert Gillette
Author who shares your zodiac sign: turns out Daphne Du Maurier is a Taurus
A popular author’s first book
Art or craft related
Written by an author under 30: Planning to read The Luminaries
A memoir: Planning on reading Nina Totenberg's memoir of her friendship with Ruth Bader Ginsberg
Features a cat (cats) or member of the cat family (leopard, lion, tiger, etc.)
Involves an accident: The Endless Beach by Jennifer Colgan
More than 1000 copies on LT: The Silver Branch by Rosemary Sutcliff
With a plant in the title or on the cover
Music or musician

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 9, 3:04 pm

January - March

January - 21
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff
The Christmas Shop by Jennifer Colgan
A Murderous Grudge by J.M. Roberts
I Must Betray Youby Ruth Sepetys
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Silver Branch by Rosemary Sutcliff
The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff
South to America by Imani Perry
The Third Girl by Agatha Christie
The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede
Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan (audio)
Bloodlines by Fred D'Aguiar (analog)
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
The Virginia Plan by Robert H. Gillette
Friends in High Places by Donna Leon (audio)
The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
The Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (analog)
I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company by Brian Hall
A Sea of Troubles by Donna Leon (audio)

February 15

Switchboard Soldiers by Jennifer Chiaverini
21st Century Balance by Mark H. Law
The Café by the Sea by Jennifer Colgan (audio)
The Killing At Badger's Drift by Caroline Graham
The Endless Beach by Jennifer Colgan (audio)
The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama XIV
An Island Christmas by Jennifer Colgan (audio)
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
The Falcon's Malteser by Anthony Horowitz
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Two Old Women by Velma Wallis
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
The Librarian of Crooked Lane by C.J. Archer (audio)
The Last Kingdom by Steve Berry

March 15

An Island Wedding by Jennifer Colgan
Honeycomb by Joanne M. Harris
Wilful Behavior by Donna Leon
The King's Inquisitor by Tonya Ulynn Brown
A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
A Feather on the Water by Lindsay Jayne Ashford
The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Cogan
Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
Uniform Justice by Donna Leon
Doctored Evidence by Donna Leon
The Goddess Effect by Sheila Yasmin Manikar

joulukuu 30, 2022, 3:46 pm

July - Sept

joulukuu 30, 2022, 3:46 pm

Oct - Dec

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 26, 6:19 pm

January Challenges:

I have completed a few challenges this month and happy they led me to good reading!

British Authors Challenge: Rosemary Sutcliff's Roman Britain Series and Bloodlines by Fred D'Aguiar
GEOCat: Central and Eastern Europe: I Must Betray You by Ruth Sepetys
AlphaKIT: S and I: South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry
SeriesCAT: A New Series: The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff was the first in her Roman Britain Series
MysteryKIT: Movie and TV Detectives: The Third Girl by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot)
American Authors Challenge: Children's Classics: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
KiddyCAT: Picture books/graphic novels: Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
ClassicsCAT: Adventure Classics: The Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

joulukuu 30, 2022, 4:07 pm

Wishing you a comfortable reading year in 2023, Karen.

joulukuu 30, 2022, 11:16 pm

Welcome back, Karen! Glad you’re joining in again.

joulukuu 31, 2022, 10:27 am

>10 PaulCranswick: >11 drneutron: Thanks, you two! Looking forward to it and making a goal of 3 - 4 threads this year.

joulukuu 31, 2022, 4:39 pm

Hi Karen my dear, i am dropping my star off for another year of chat and books and anything else we can think of dear friend.

joulukuu 31, 2022, 4:39 pm

Happy New Year

joulukuu 31, 2022, 4:46 pm

>13 johnsimpson: >14 johnsimpson: Thank you! Very much looking forward to keeping up with you and your family and, of course, the hedgehogs!

joulukuu 31, 2022, 5:10 pm

>15 witchyrichy:, Hi Karen my dear, i love posting on your threads and i love receiving your posts, i hope i keep them interesting and i hope the Hedgehogs come back next year. After struggling through their food shortage, i managed to get some food for them and after a week of wasted food they came back only to disappear again after a few weeks. I kept putting food down but to no avail and then they were hibernating, fingers crossed they know where the food is again.

joulukuu 31, 2022, 6:17 pm

Hello Karen and Happy 2023! I'm dropping off a star with no promises to visit often, but definitely planning to follow along for book recommendations and life updates. I love your front yard!

joulukuu 31, 2022, 6:25 pm

Hi Karen, happy new thread, and happy new year.

>1 witchyrichy: Lovely picture.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 1, 7:31 am

>17 EBT1002: I am always happy to welcome you whenever you find a moment. I make no promises myself but will check in when I can.

The front yard, at one point, was something of an arboretum with unusual species. Most didn't survive very long, but we have a nice mix of trees left including a gingko that gets a lovely yellow color in the fall.

tammikuu 1, 7:31 am

>18 EllaTim: Thanks! Same to you. Happy reading!

tammikuu 1, 5:24 pm

Happy New Year, Karen. I hope 2023 is good to you.

tammikuu 1, 8:31 pm

>Thanks! Hoping the same for you!

tammikuu 1, 10:34 pm

tammikuu 2, 7:50 am

>1 witchyrichy: Absolutely stunning topper. I found that this fall produced beautiful colours compared to last few years.

Happy reading in 2023!

tammikuu 2, 8:36 am

>23 Berly: Same to you!

>24 figsfromthistle: I do love that tree: it is the last to get its leaves in the spring and then provides quite a wonderful show each fall. Same to you...happy reading!

tammikuu 2, 9:09 am

tammikuu 2, 2:15 pm

>26 fuzzi: Same to you! Looking forward to good reading. Weather is so nice here in Virginia, I am heading out to the porch with a book.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 3, 7:56 am

This year's MEME as seen first on Carrie's thread - I grabbed it from Paul.

Describe yourself: An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good

Describe how you feel: Bittersweet: How Sorrows and Longing Make Us Whole

Describe where you currently live: All The Stars in the Heavens

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: An Irish Country Village

Your favorite form of transportation is: The Narrowboat Summer

Your favorite food is: The Baker's Secret

Your favorite time of day is: Moonglow

Your best friend is: The Best Cook in the World

You and your friends are: The Girls of Mischief Bay

What’s the weather like: All Systems Red

You fear: The Hound of the Baskervilles*

What is the best advice you have to give: Run, Rose, Run

Thought for the day: When You Get the Chance (take it)

What is life for you: Cloud Cuckoo Land

How you would like to die: Salt to the Sea

Your soul’s present condition: Winter Solstice

What was 2022 like for you? Elementary, She Read

What do you want from 2023? A World of Curiosities

*I kept this from Paul's list as I also read it last year, and it is one scary dog.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 3, 3:30 pm

I am starting to plan out my reading for January:

RLBG: The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede
GeoCAT: Central and Eastern Europe: I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys
SeriesCAT and BAC: The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff, The Silver Branch, The Lantern Bearers

I have a few books in the works already:
South to America by Imani Perry
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn (Counts for AlphaKIT)
Why Woo-Woo Works by PhD David R. Hamilton

My current dog walking audio book is The Christmas Bookshop by Jennifer Colgan.

tammikuu 3, 11:30 pm

Happy New Year, Karen!

Loved your meme answers! I used Cloud Cuckoo Land for the answer to what’s the weather like, but it’s certainly what life is like these days!

tammikuu 4, 3:29 pm

>30 Copperskye: Thanks for stopping by! Just commented on your new thread and my own use of the Elderly Lady book ;-)

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 4, 3:41 pm

First book of the year in the books: Silent In the Grave by Deanna Raybourne. This is the first book in her Lady Julia Grey series. I've enjoyed her Veronica Speedwell series and this book did not disappoint as it also features a strong female lead who manages to put aside her Victorian sensibilities. The book opens with the death of Lady Grey's husband, Edward. His death is not a surprise as he comes from a sickly family, and it is only a year after his demise that Julia, along with her husband's friend, Nicholas Brisbane begin to consider the possibility of murder. There are fascinating twists in both the characters and the plot. In addition, Raybourn brings authentic historical realism to her novels.

I will be reading more of these and also plan to return to the Speedwell mysteries as well.

tammikuu 6, 6:07 am

Hi Karen! Happy New Year and happy first thread of 2023.

>1 witchyrichy: I can see why you love that photo. when I wake up on Monday mornings, I can pretty much do what I want. And, often what I want to do is read! Being mostly retired makes Mondays so much more enjoyable, doesn't it?

tammikuu 6, 7:56 am

>33 karenmarie: Yes, indeed. I am still doing a bit of paid work, but I am not in charge and that has made a huge difference in my mental well being.

tammikuu 6, 7:58 am

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 6, 8:20 am

The Eagle of the Ninth is part of the reason I like at least browsing the LT challenges even if I am not willing to commit completely. I don't think Rosemary Sutcliff's tale of Roman Britain would even have crossed my path were it not for the British Author Challenge. And what a tale it was: Marcus Flavius Aquila has taken up soldiering in Britain where his own father disappeared twelve years before as part of the Ninth Legion that marched north to put down rebellion and was never heard from again. Sutcliff is a masterful writer, able to balance setting, character and action in a way that draws you into the time and space of the story. I read this for the BAC challenge and have the other two in the series ready to go. We follow Marcus as he heads into the north region to find the lost Eagle standard of the legion.

tammikuu 6, 8:48 am

>35 LucindaSchramm: Rome, Monte Carlo, and Paris are remote parts of the world? 😂😂

You'd think the spammers would a least try...

tammikuu 6, 3:37 pm

>37 drneutron: The irony is that I am a homebody and that's why I LOVE remote work! But, if I ever do get to Paris, I'm hoping I don't have to work while I am there!

I flagged it.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 6, 3:41 pm

Just signed on for the social distancing readathon.

Here's the plan:
South to America
A Murderous Grudge from LTER
The Silver Branch
The Lantern Bearers
I Must Betray You
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Plus, if I take enough walks with the dog, I can finish The Christmas Bookshop, my current audio book.

I think it's doable...lately when I am hovering over the social media apps, I have been navigating to my Kindle instead and getting lots of reading done.

tammikuu 8, 2:23 am

>28 witchyrichy: I didn't realise I was addressing one of the Girls of Mischief Bay, I like that!

>36 witchyrichy: Already a shared read and it was good fun, wasn't it?

Have a lovely Sunday, Karen. xx

tammikuu 8, 6:54 pm

The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan was a lovely book to listen to over the holidays. Edinburgh is the primary setting and its history and traditions play an important role in the story of a young woman trying to find her way in a world that seems to be against her. Carmen finds herself out of a job when the department store in her town shuts down. Her older, very successful sister finds her a spot in a bookshop in Edinburgh, itself on the edge of bankruptcy.

The story unfolds from there as Carmen slowly gets to know Mr. McCready, the shop owner, along with the other shop owners, and finds she may have a place here. Even as she settles in, she struggles to deal with her perfect sister, her sister's obnoxious nanny and her own confusion over two very different men. The reader had the perfect Scottish accent as well as the exact right intonation to catch Colgan's asides. Carmen is smart and likable and I found myself laughing out loud at some of the scenes, particularly as she connect with her nieces and nephew.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 8, 7:09 pm

A Murderous Grudge by J.M. Roberts is the first in the Peggy Rector cozy mystery series. Peggy, a former ER nurse in Houston, has moved home to Stinky Springs, Texas, where she is writing science books as well as romance novels and keeping up with her old friends, including her next door neighbor Wanda who may be up to no good. She keeps house with a dog and a cat and has a good relationship with her two children even as she faces widowhood. All is well until she finds a dead body. Peggy starts poking around to prove her friends--including an old flame who could just be a new one--are not the murderers only to become the prime suspect when a second body is found.

I was pulled in immediately by Peggy and her small town. The characters are fun and memorable, with well developed story lines of their own. I thoroughly enjoyed this new series and am looking forward to reading more.

I received an early reviewer's copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the opportunity!

tammikuu 8, 7:22 pm

In I Must Betray You Ruth Sepetys delves into the 1989 Romanian Revolution that led to the ousting of Nicolae Ceaușescu. Unlike neighboring countries whose revolutions were peaceful, many Romanians were tortured and killed in December of 1989. Sepetys focuses on the months leading up to the overthrow, describing a miserable world of grinding poverty where everyone, it seems, is an informer as well as being informed on. We see this world through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Cristian who is, early in the novel, reluctantly recruited as an informer when an illegal dollar is found in his possession. He struggles to have some kind of life with a girlfriend and social events but the overwhelming sense of surveillance makes it almost impossible for any kind of normality.

This is a powerful book about personal freedom and surviving in a world where even thoughts can be considered crimes.

tammikuu 8, 7:26 pm

>28 witchyrichy: I almost used the same book for this prompt!! "What is life for you: Cloud Cuckoo Land." It really does apply. And I love "Describe yourself: An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good." LOL Happy reading -- looks like you are off to a great start.

tammikuu 8, 9:12 pm

>41 witchyrichy: I picked up The Christmas Bookshop as a Kindle deal a month or so ago but didn’t get to it for my holiday reading this year. I may need to read it in the off season, although the audio certainly sounds appealing!

tammikuu 9, 11:42 am

I don't think I ever read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm as a young person. I was an Anne of Green Gables fan and somehow equated Wiggin's book with Pippy Longstocking, a book I sure I probably wouldn't like. I picked up Rebecca as a children's class for the American Author Challenge and am glad it did. It was a lovely read for a coldish winter weekend, and I spent Sunday by the woodstove lost in the world of rural Maine. Rebecca is much like Anne: full of the joy of life that often annoys those for whom life seems like one big chore. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was reminded why I pursue the LT challenges. I end up reading books I haven't and finding out I enjoyed them!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 9, 11:46 am

>44 Berly: I have been spending less time doom scrolling and more time reading. And, I love doing the meme as a reminder of all the great books I read in the past year. I still have to do my top five from 2022. Maybe this week...I've been too busy reading.

tammikuu 9, 11:45 am

>45 Copperskye: I have moved on to Christmas at the Island Hotel set on the island of Mure. In looking it up just now, I realized it is part of a series. But, I am far enough in that I don't feel like I am missing much. I have read a few of Colgan's and enjoy them: enough complications to keep them interesting but nothing too demanding or worrisome.

tammikuu 10, 12:40 pm

Hi Karen - I'm dropping off a star. Here's to another year of good books and gardening!

I like the way your trees shield the front of your house - it looks like a lovely place to spend time'

I also like your description of yourself in the meme An Elderly Woman Up to No Good. It also sounds like a book I'd like to read. :)

tammikuu 10, 4:17 pm

>49 streamsong: Always glad to see you. My seed catalogs are piling up and it's time to start planning the vegetable garden.

I read An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good in an afternoon and laughed out loud at the kind of dark stories. The second one An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed is on the bedside pile.

tammikuu 10, 7:00 pm

I finished the second two books in Rosemary Sutcliff's Roman Britain trilogy: The Silver Branch and The Lantern Keepers. They build on the first but moved forward in time until, in the final book, the Romans have abandoned Britain completely and word comes of the final fall of Rome. Those left on the island know they are the last outpost of Rome, and the battles between the Saxons and Britons form a large part of this final book.

The Silver Branch follows two cousins as they work against a traitor who has killed their leader. They become part of an underground and eventually join the fighting force.

These are rousing tales of mostly manly men (with a few notable women but not many) who fight for honor and Rome. I enjoyed them thoroughly although was a little surprised to find they are considered children's books.

I wrote a blog post about Sutcliff that started with the wonderful word from the second book: tatterdemalion. Think rag tag, dilapidated. Sutcliff often focuses on the outsider: in The Silver Branch the main characters are pushed out by the usurper and become part of the resistance. In The Lantern Bearers, the main character is enslaved by the Jutes after Saxons destroys his family. In the end, they all find glory but the path is rough and Sutcliff knows how to tell a good tale.

There is a wonderful Sutcliff fandom wiki that you can find here.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 11, 4:12 pm

If you plan to read South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation by Imani Perry, do so when you have time to slow down and savor this rich chronicle of our country. Perry, born in Alabama, tours the South from DC to Miami and Savannah to Houston. Her book pays homage to Albert Murray who wrote a similar book in 1971 entitled South to A Very Old Place. The book is filled with stories and myths--some we know and many others we don't--of communities, rituals and traditions with a focus on lives lived well under often crushing poverty and oppression with the threat of state-supported violence never far away.

Perry's prose is as rich and complex as the region she explores. And she is always clear that she is part of the telling, her reactions to what she experiences sometimes as complicated as those of the region she is describing. I appreciated her honesty and wisdom. In the end, however, she concludes that just reading her book isn't enough. Action is required if we are going to finally allow all people to dream great dreams.

This review does not do justice to the book. I highlighted passage after passage where Perry pulled disparate ideas together then clinched them with one short sentence.

In a section on New Orleans, Perry describes the practice of plaçage, in which white men would contract with black women to keep them as mistresses. As she points out, it wasn't a mutual consenting contract but one in which young black women were forced as part of the society in which they lived. This practice forms part of the plot of The Thread Collectors and would make an interesting companion read to Perry.

tammikuu 12, 9:36 am

Happy reading in 2023, Karen!

tammikuu 12, 2:25 pm

>53 FAMeulstee: Thanks! It's been pretty good so far.

tammikuu 12, 2:47 pm

Hi, Karen! Not sure how I missed your thread before, but I found you and here I am now so all’s well. Looks like you’re off to a great start with your reading! Hope that continues all year long!

tammikuu 12, 6:16 pm

>55 Storeetllr: Happy to greet you whenever you stop by. I have been really enjoying reading this year: less social media and more good books. I know spring will slow me down but without a course to teach this spring, I seem to have lots of open time.

tammikuu 12, 6:21 pm

That's a great motto for 2023: Less Social Media and More Good Books! I should print it in big letters, frame it, and hang it where I can see it every day.

Glad you're enjoying your reading so far!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 13, 7:41 pm

>57 Storeetllr: I was inspired to do a little graphic design:

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 14, 12:36 pm

Was it plaçage that figured in Absalom, Absalom? I'm hazy on the details of that Faulkner novel's twists, but it's in my recall that a white man's sexual relations with a black woman ended really badly.

Be that as it may, I have taken more than a flesh wound from that book bullet you fired. Onto The WANT! List™ goes South to America. Thank you (I guess).

ETA: I like your meme >58 witchyrichy:.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 14, 2:56 pm

>58 witchyrichy: I am also hazy on Faulkner so can't say for sure. Plaçage was a specific practice of parading the available free Black women at a debutant style ball. In The Thread Collectors it is the youngest, most attractive daughter who attends. A man claims her and provides her with a cottage, food, and clothes in exchange for sex.

I love your trademark! I was stunned by the book.

tammikuu 14, 3:08 pm

I am not making a lot of progress on the weekend readathon. I listened to Christmas at the Island Hotel on the dog walk and finished up The Third Girl earlier this morning. Started on my RLBG book for Tuesday: The Day the World Came to Town.

But, I have had "sauerkraut" on my to do list for a week. I bought huge cabbages when I was in Pennsylvania in October 2022 (one of them was over 5 pounds!) and put them into the fermenter late that month. I pulled out a couple cups for New Year's as the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition is pork and sauerkraut and really needed to get the rest into jars. Today was the day: I ended up with ten quarts to put in the fridge. I froze a few quart bags as I ran out of jars. The freezing kills off the probiotics but it will be good for soups and stews.

Chores are done and I am ready to settle back into my RLBG.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 14, 3:21 pm

Third Girl by Agatha Christie comes late in the Hercule Poirot mysteries, published in 1966. I borrowed it from the library to meet the Bingo card entry for switched/stolen identities. Despite knowing the mystery hinged on that feature, I didn't figure it out. It was an interesting mystery as the actual murder isn't revealed until very late in the book and, even then, seems like hearsay. I think the most interesting part is that Christie features the clash between generations that was so important in the 1960s as part of the mystery itself. Poirot is his typical self and the mystery includes his sometimes-sidekick Ariadne Oliver. A good read that surprised me in the end.

tammikuu 15, 7:13 pm

Looks like your reading is off to a flyer, Karen. We are neck and neck currently.

Ruth Sepetys usually delivers the goods don't you think?

tammikuu 15, 7:52 pm

>61 witchyrichy: Sauerkraut- looks good. My parents still make it in an old stone crock. They usually give me some to take home. I am glad they make it at their house because it does smell a bit when fermenting. This year I made cabbage rolls with the fermented cabbage leaves.

tammikuu 16, 6:23 pm

>32 witchyrichy: I've read the first two in the Lady Julia Gray series and enjoyed them. I haven't tried any of the Veronica Speedwell ones though.

>41 witchyrichy: I need to try that one sometime. It appears to be a stand-alone.

>42 witchyrichy: Another new series I need to try.

tammikuu 16, 9:01 pm

>58 witchyrichy: Nice!

>61 witchyrichy: The Day the World Came to Town is a good one - enjoy!

>62 witchyrichy: I’ve never heard of that Christie but I haven’t read very many of them either. I do like the Poirots with Ariadne Oliver. I’ll have to look for it.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 17, 10:08 am

>63 PaulCranswick: As the meme says, less social media, more good books. I have been getting back into my reading mojo of my younger years when I could read undistracted for hours. Hard to believe I'm at your level. And, the Australian Open started today, so my reading will slow down as I watch tennis in the early mornings, which is when I normally get a couple hours of reading in.

I am definitely seeking more Ruth Sepetys. She tackles interesting bits of history that others don't and tells them from very personal, authentic perspectives.

tammikuu 17, 10:07 am

>64 figsfromthistle: I have a very old friend who tells the story of being unable to go into her basement as a child as her father did it in a crock. I use an enclosed fermenter from Crazy Korean Cooking. I have also done quart jars of smaller bits like beets and carrots, and I use the glass weights.

tammikuu 17, 10:10 am

>65 thornton37814: I am listening to another of Colgan's Christmas themed books: Christmas at the Island Hotel. It is part of a series that I want to explore further.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 17, 10:29 am

I read The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede for my RLBG. Even after 20 years, I still found myself emotional over 9/11 and its aftermath. Maybe it's because of all we have lived through in those 20 years. Defede tells the story of Gander, Newfoundland (pronounced Newfin-land, reminds with understand), the town at the edge of the sea where 48 jets landed when the United States air space closed.

Gander, along with its neighboring towns, stepped up to host the passengers in a way that made it seem that had been waiting for this to happen. Perhaps it is just the nature of a small town where everyone works together in different organizations and churches to be able to organize quickly and efficiently. They were generous in opening their homes to the strangers for showers, meals and extra beds.

Defede interviewed many of the townspeople and passengers for the book and tells it from a variety of points of views. He shows how, even in just a few days, human beings can make lifelong connections. In the 20th anniversary edition, he provides an afterword that follows the lives of the main characters.

The book is Defede's love story to Newfies. But, he points out in the afterword that the town of Gander is not some kind of perfect paradise. In fact, as the story opens, the bus drivers are on strike. That detail jarred a little from what I had heard of Gander. The drivers did abandon their strike for the few days they were needed, but went back to it after the emergency was over. Defede mentions some of the other controversies that have taken place in the past two decades and that some people in Newfoundland aren't comfortable with what they see as capitalizing on the terrible events of 9/11.

A good read and I am looking forward to talking it over with the group later today.

tammikuu 17, 11:07 am

>70 witchyrichy: Looks interesting. I may have to add that to the pile.

tammikuu 17, 3:14 pm

>69 witchyrichy: I've read a couple things in the Mure series.

tammikuu 17, 3:52 pm

Just back from my RLBG and we had a great discussion of The Day The World Came To Town about Gander, Newfoundland. Everyone enjoyed reading it and we thought about how the world has changed in 20 years. Most of my group members were teachers who were in classrooms on 2001. They talked about how they experienced the day with their students. We also pondered questions of terrorism and terrorists and how we identify them without leading to stereotype.

We try to use the library's book club kits. They cover a wide range of books. Next month, we picked Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I read it when it came out, so long ago it isn't in my LT library. I am looking forward to rereading it and hearing what the book group thinks.

tammikuu 17, 5:16 pm

>73 witchyrichy: I read it many years ago after it came out. I went to Savannah, and they kept talking about "the book." I knew I had to read it. I don't remember if I purchased it in Savannah or after I got home, but I read it soon after that trip.

tammikuu 17, 5:59 pm

>74 thornton37814: Several of my club members had toured the house itself in Savannah.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 19, 6:27 am

Up early with my latte, tennis and crocheting. The bag I am working on is not hard per se but the pattern requires a bit of focus. I started it three times before getting it right. Now it is moving along nicely and unlike most of what I make, it is just for me. I took this photo as part of a Photo A Day group on Instagram.

tammikuu 19, 4:16 pm

>73 witchyrichy: Sounds like your book club had a wonderful discussion!

I DNFd Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I just couldn't seem to get into it. Probably just my mood at the time. It happens.

Have a lovely Thursday!

tammikuu 20, 9:06 am

>77 Storeetllr: I remember liking it at the time so we shall see if that holds. Most of us have either read it or seen the movie. I have a couple books--most notably Wallace Stegner's biography--that I just haven't been able to get into. I haven't ruled it out completely but am waiting for a moment that seems right. It may never come.

tammikuu 20, 11:50 pm

Happy New Year, Karen - what a lovely photo up top!

I can't remember when I listened to The Day the World Came to Town on audio, but I absolutely loved it. This fall we saw Come From Away - the musical based on the book, which is also terrific.

tammikuu 21, 10:44 am

Your saber kraut looks tasty, Karen. Are you following the Australian Open?

tammikuu 23, 8:44 am

>79 AMQS: I have trouble imagining a musical but everyone who has seen it says it was great.

>80 BLBera: Yes, I am and it is *killing* my sleep patterns. Up late, then this morning despite not wanting to, my eyes came open at 3 AM just as the Djokovic match started. I did go back to sleep and only got to see the last set. I did get to see the Murray/Kokkinakis match and then Tsitsipas/Sinner. I haven't been watching a lot of the women's matches but there are some excellent young woman coming up that i want to follow more including Coco Gauff. How about you?

tammikuu 23, 10:23 am

Posted this in the readathon thread but copying it here as well:

I was dog sitting for a friend this weekend and mostly offline. Watched tennis early and late while I crocheted, entertained the dogs with walks and ball games and snuggled with the three of them (a BIG lab, a medium sized mutt, and a pug) on the couch and happily read.

I only officially finished one book: Book Lovers by Emily Henry. It was a fun, very self-aware romance in which the villainous literary agent (who knows she is the villain) ends up in the small town (although it isn't quite as adorable as it might seem) and eventually falls for the guy she thinks is arrogant and cold-hearted (just like her). I laughed out loud and didn't mind the torrid sex scenes. My only complaint is that it seemed to drag towards the end. Since we knew the outcome, it took just a couple chapters too many to get there, and I was a little relieved when I got to the Epilogue. This wasn't my typical reading but I picked it off an Amazon Best of 2022 list as part of the current Kindle challenge.

I read about 60 pages of The Book of Joy featuring the Dalai Lama and Archibishop Desmond Tutu talking about how to experience lasting happiness. I'll be picking it up again when I finish LT threads. I am reading it as part of the Random KIT challenge: it is a great book that has been gathering dust or whatever digital books gather in my Kindle library.

Classics CAT is all about adventure classics and I picked The Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle. I am about 2/3rds of the way through and enjoying it despite my 21st century sensibilities over comments about Jews and the lack of women. It is what it is and Pyle's writing is beautiful, almost poetic. I even read some of it aloud to the dogs: lots of detailed descriptions that put you right in the setting along with alliteration and sentences that flow. Seems funny to praise an adventure book for its prose but it is a wonderfully written book.

I am listening to Friends in High Places by Donna Leon. Since I don't drive much or very far any more and that along with dog walks was my audio book time, I have begun incorporating it into other parts of the day such as cooking and cleaning. Makes the chores go faster.

P.S. You may note that I am involved in several challenges. I didn't plan this but am finding that these various challenges have led to some reading I wouldn't have otherwise done and I am grateful for that.

Thanks, as always, for these readathons. I am already planning ahead to next weekend.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 24, 3:12 pm

After thoroughly enjoying The Christmas Bookshop, I needed more of Jenny Colgan's Scottish fiction so listened to Christmas at the Island Hotel. It was wonderful: Colgan stretches the rom com genre to add a bit of complexity and inclusivity. I dropped into the middle of a series of books set on the fictional island of Mure. The characters are quirky but honestly portrayed in all their humanity. I love the way Colgan lovingly exposes their innermost thoughts to the reader. She also manages to create a not-so-villainous villain. I laughed out loud and was pleasantly surprised by some of the plot twists.

The story focuses on Constantine, a young Norwegian noble who owing to his profligacy has been banished to the Rock, a soon-to-open hotel on the island. He arrives with his big dog and his bigger chip on his shoulder. He connects with a cast of diverse characters, all looking for happiness and love in sometimes challenging circumstances. I especially love the way Colgan includes children as important parts of the story rather than just embellishments. That was true in The Christmas Bookshop as well.

The narrator for both books was Eilidh Beaton, and she was terrific.

tammikuu 24, 3:41 pm

Bloodlines by Fred D'Aguiar tells a love story of sorts between a white man and a slave. What began as domination leads to love and their child narrates the tragic tale. D'Aguiar doesn't spare the reader from the racial violence of the Antebellum South.

I haven't read narrative poetry for a long time but D'Aguiar's story telling and mastery of language and rhyme melded perfectly to create an often horrific story. It was authentic but also mysterious and magical. I definitely need to read it again, I think, to get more meaning. I would not have read this except for this challenge so thank you!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 25, 11:47 am

Book Lovers by Emily Henry was the perfect read for last weekend. I was dog sitting for a friend so had lots of downtime as someone else's house. The dogs were easy and loved to snuggle on the couch. Henry's book ended up on my Kindle as part of the Kindle challenge to read one of their bestseller's from 2022. As I mentioned above, this wasn't my typical read but I enjoyed it.

It was a fun, very self-aware romance in which the villainous literary agent (who knows she is the villain) ends up in the small town (although it isn't quite as adorable as it might seem) and eventually falls for the guy she thinks is arrogant and cold-hearted (just like her). I laughed out loud and didn't mind the torrid sex scenes. My only complaint is that it seemed to drag towards the end. Since we knew the outcome, it took just a couple chapters too many to get there, and I was a little relieved when I got to the Epilogue.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 25, 11:50 am

The Virginia Plan was recommended by a member of my RLBG. It is the story of how a Jewish business owner and leader in Richmond, Virginia, worked to save Jewish youth from the Nazis. William B. Thalhimer owned a department store and was a member of a Jewish resettlement group. His plan was to bring German Jewish students to his farm in Virginia. The story connects with the recent PBS series about America and the Holocaust as the author details the challenges related to getting visas. The students who came were part of an agricultural experiment in Germany called Gross Breesen. The community was targeted during Kristalnacht and the leaders and students spent some time in a concentration camp.

I appreciate these mini-histories that focus on regional history. You can learn more about Hyde Park Farm at Virginia's Department of Natural Resources.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 24, 4:47 pm

Added another Donna Leon Detective Brunetti mystery to my list: Friends in High Places. I have mostly listened to these and the narrator is excellent. Leon captures the Venetian world with all its food and gossip and corruption and sets Guido Brunetti and his family in that world. This installment incorporated drugs and the AIDS crisis into the plot. Leon also creates a family for Brunetti that play a role in his life: from his wife who comes from Venetian royalty to his two children and his colleagues at the police station. I am especially intrigued by the secretary, Signorina Elettra, one of the original hackers who also uses the budget to order fresh flowers.

I have already downloaded the next installment. I have been able to listen to all of them on demand for free via my library's hoopla account.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 24, 4:58 pm

>82 witchyrichy: My late wife inherited a copy of Robin Hood from her grandfather. Published in 1911. No color inside, but marvelous illustrations done by Pyle, who taught N. C. Wyeth. (I'm sure you know that.) I know Judi read it fairly recently. Maybe I should...


This is a scan of Papa Leh's copy; it is in excellent condition.

>85 witchyrichy: Back when Book Lovers was a hot seller, I watched a woman get in her car outside a Target, pull a book out of a Target bag, and start reading. I was parked opposite her car, front bumper to front bumper. I looked at the book; she had it in front of her face. Book Lovers. I sat and watched and she read quite a while. I got out and headed into the store, and she was still there. It should end with me returning and her still reading, but... Nah.

By the bye, your touchstone goes the wrong book.

tammikuu 24, 4:50 pm

>88 weird_O: I lived in Chester County, Pennsylvania, for a few years, home to the Wyeths and the Brandywine School. That was part of the reason I connected with this version of Robin Hood. Thanks for sharing the beautiful book cover! I am heading up to that part of the world soon and may stop by Baldwin's Book Store in West Chester. Their front room is full of local and regional books.

tammikuu 24, 10:42 pm

>85 witchyrichy: I also very much enjoyed Book Lovers -- obvious romance with good humor. : )

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 25, 11:42 am

The Words Between Us was a random pick off the public library shelf. I am happy to read anything about books and bookshops so this was a fit. Author Erin Bartels pulled me in immediately with her story of Robin Dickinson née Windsor who has spent much of her teenage and young adult life hiding from her past as her disgraced father awaits execution as a traitor. When she returns to her adopted hometown that she had fled when her grandmother died, she opens a bookshop and begins to build a small community with old and new friends. Then, books from her past begin to arrive and she finds that she can't escape the truth.

I loved this book. It switches between Robin's past and present in River City with the two lines of narration integrating seamlessly to tell the full story. I did figure out one major twist before she did but didn't mind.

Robin spends a lot of time thinking about what brings life to both creatures and books. I had been watching figure skating and thinking about Yeats' line: How can we tell the dancer from the dance? What is that "thing" that makes something greater: it happens in figure skating sometimes when the skater seems to connect with the music and ice and movement so perfectly it takes your breath away. For Robin, she considers the difference between books that last and those that don't:

"I know why some books live on forever while others struggle for breath, forgotten on shelves and in basements. The authors of these books...might have told rollicking good tales and sketched out characters who who were fun for 400 pages but they hadn't bled. They hadn't cut themselves open and given up part of themselves that they would dearly miss. They hadn't lost anything in the writing" (pp. 315 - 316).

tammikuu 25, 11:50 am

>88 weird_O: I love the story about the lady reading in her car outside Target. And thanks for the heads up on the link...all fixed!

tammikuu 26, 10:47 am

I wasn't sure I was going to get to the KiddyCAT challenge of a picture book or graphic novel but a look at my shelves revealed a wonderful picture book by Sophie Blackall entitled Hello Lighthouse. Not sure where I picked it up but it is even signed. It was lovely: the story of a the life of a lighthouse keeper told through a cutaway.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 20, 11:22 am

February Reading Plan:
Updated 2/20/2023

✅ MysteryKIT: Murder At Badger's Drift (a mystery trope: this one is the small village)
ClassicsCAT: At Fault by Kate Chopin (her first novel published before 1900)
✅ RandomCAT: The Awakening (associated with second or two: this is Kate Chopin's second book)
British Author Challenge: Honeycomb (short stories/novellas: this is Joanne Harris's collection of original fairy tales illustrated by Charles Vess
American Author Challenge: Overstory by Richard Powers, the author of the month
✅ Shared Read: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
✅ KiddyCAT: The Falcon's Malteser by Anthony Horowitz (mystery)

tammikuu 26, 6:26 pm

I finished The Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle. A rousing adventure tale that is surprisingly well written. The descriptions of settings and people are detailed with maybe a few too many synonyms but all of them spot on for understanding the stories. I read this for January ClassicsCAT and enjoyed it. I don't think I ever read it before: most definitely more of "boy's" book with women appearing few and far between. We do get to connect with Queen Eleanor who loves Robin Hood as much as her husband along with the Bishop and Sheriff hate him. Richard the Lionheart also connects with the outlaws when he comes to understand their approach to life.

tammikuu 27, 12:06 pm

Scout and I loved Hello Lighthouse! It is a beautiful book. I think we have a signed copy as well.

>91 witchyrichy: I am also a sucker for books about bookshops, so I will look for this one.

I wish my library had more Donna Leon audiobooks. The ones I have listened to are very well done, and I like them in that format.

tammikuu 27, 1:05 pm

>96 BLBera: My library subscribes to Hoopla and it seems to have all the audio books. I understand that not everyone has access to that particular application through their library. It is on demand so no waiting with a 21 day check out. I don't mind their audio interface. I guess I am fortunate as my library seems to have very little available via libby.

The only paperback I read came from one of my parents' neighbors. It was the 7th in the series though so I had to start from the beginning.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 27, 1:29 pm

>89 witchyrichy: Thanks for the reminder. I know of Baldwin's Book Barn, but I've never been there. Checked Google Maps. About a 90 minute drive for me. I must go there.

Oh, and Middle Creek. I was there in mid-February about 5 years ago. It was overrun by snow geese and gawking humans. It was a Sunday. Perhaps fewer gawkers on a weekday.

>91 witchyrichy: BB!

tammikuu 28, 10:31 am

>98 weird_O: We usually make a trek to Middle Creek as it is close by Cornwall and my parents and I are bird nerds. We are fortunate to be able to go on a weekday, but there are still plenty of gawkers.

One warning about Baldwin's: the first floor is mostly accessible but the upper floors are accessed via pretty rickety wooden steps. My friend with bad knees didn't go past the first floor. If you are game, though, there are treasures to be found.

tammikuu 28, 11:24 am

>99 witchyrichy: Okay! Thanks for the warning about the steps. It's not like I need any more books, but a trip there would be something of an adventure.

tammikuu 29, 12:25 pm

I enjoyed Hello Lighthouse when I read it. I've read some of Jenny Colgan's books. I might get to another of hers this year.

tammikuu 29, 11:48 pm

Two BBs - >85 witchyrichy: Book Lovers and >91 witchyrichy: The Words Between Us. Thank you! Hello, Lighthouse is one of my favorite Caldecotts.

tammikuu 30, 12:11 am

>94 witchyrichy: Don't forget Wallace Stegner!

tammikuu 30, 3:15 pm

>103 PaulCranswick: I will add him right now! I was using that spot as a placeholder for the various challenges I seem to be pursuing these days.

tammikuu 30, 3:15 pm

Monday Readathon Update: It's 3 PM but since I didn't really have anything pressing to do this morning, I extended the readathon as an excuse to finish I Should Be Extremely Happy in Your Company. I'm not sure what I expected when I bought this book but it wasn't this sprawling, multi-voice, often stream of consciousness novel. I was mesmerized by Brian Hall's reimagining of this American legend, told through the eyes of Lewis, Clark, Sacagawea, and, most surprising, Sacagawea's owner/husband Charbonneau. The story itself is told in memories and dreams with prose that sometimes spills out across the page. He creates a language for Sacagawea and uses dialect for Charbonneau.

I also started listening to the first book in Jenny Colgan's Mure Island series: The Café by the Sea. Since I read the third book already, I know what happens to most of the characters. It will be interesting to see how Colgan gets them there.

tammikuu 30, 3:20 pm

>104 witchyrichy: I was pulling your leg, Karen. I know you haven't forgotten him!

tammikuu 30, 6:55 pm

Another cross post from this weekend's readathon: I listened to A Sea of Troubles by Donna Leon on the afternoon dog ramble on Saturday, and the last hour was too riveting to put down. The ending was a shock. Leon's endings are often cynical about the way the legal system works in Italy but this one was violent. I started the next one in the series--Willful Behavior--and the narrator is different. He is very British rather than Italian. I checked and David Colacci, the previous narrator, picks up the series after this one and appears to continue for awhile. I really prefer him and his voicings for the characters. So...I am going to read the analog version. There is an ebook available via Hoopla.

tammikuu 31, 8:21 am

>107 witchyrichy: We noticed that one when we listened to it. The narrator of that one book mispronounced everything. I'm so glad David Colacci narrated all the others (at least as far as I remember).

tammikuu 31, 9:52 am

>105 witchyrichy: I read a book about Sacagawea a couple years ago, Streams to the River, River to the Sea by Scott O'Dell. He's best known as the author of Island of the Blue Dolphins. I recommend it.

tammikuu 31, 10:03 am

>108 thornton37814: The narrator really does make a difference. Colacci was the voice of Leon's characters for me. I'm not sure a better narrator would even be able to take his place.

>109 fuzzi: Thanks for the tip. I know O'Dell from my days of teaching middle school. Adding this one to the TBR list!

helmikuu 1, 9:54 am

Woke up very early and knew I wasn't going back to sleep so pulled out Switchboard Soldiers by Jennifer Chiaverini. I wanted to finish it and get it back to the library as I've already renewed it once and will be traveling next week when it is due. So, with nothing else pressing to do and a few hours until the dog needed fed and an insulin shot, I tilted back in the reading recliner in the bedroom and read. I put the afghan and pillow over my lap and Circe the cat arrived pretty quickly and settled in with me.

Aah...I was transported back to the front lines of World War I with a group of women switchboard operators who, with their skills as well as their ability to speak French, became soldiers in their own right. Chiaverini has a masterful way of combining historical events with personal stories. I learned a lot about WW I, including the use of passenger pigeons to send messages! I was also not aware of the ravages of the influenza epidemic during the war. Chiaverini includes it as part of her story.

I did a little searching on one of the real-life characters and found the very fascinating Gjenvick-Gjønvik archives that includes a wide variety of ephemera related to topics like the military and the influenza pandemic. It covers the "hello girls" and has a tribute to that particular character.

helmikuu 1, 10:19 am

>111 witchyrichy: sounds interesting. I shall put it on my list and see if my library has that one.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 5, 11:28 am

I feel badly writing poor reviews for Early Reviewer books but Mark H. Law's book, 21st Century Balance just didn't work for me. I appreciated some of the things he had to say about the contemporary world, social media and balance but the stilted prose and masculine tone was off putting, not to mention the odd uses of commas.

Here's my review:

In his book, 21st Century Balance: Unconventional Wisdom to Enlighten Yourself and Inspire Others, Mark Law pulls together a wide variety of information and resources to make the case for aligning natural capabilities with external opportunities as the way to self-actualisation. He delves into wide areas of research, uses the lives of famous men to illustrate his ideas and takes side trips to the industrial revolution and the Dark Ages. It is a fascinating conglomeration of material, and I found much of it interesting although ultimately the book was unsatisfying to me in several ways.

Considering the level of detail provided in some of the chapters, I was a little surprised at the short shrift given to the steps for practicing gratitude in the penultimate chapter on how to remain content. Developing mindfulness and exercising meditation are not quite as easy as he makes them seem. Suggestions of resources to use would have been helpful at that point. This might also have been a point where Law gave some personal insight into his practices in order to connect more closely with his readers.

Law's prose style is stilted, and I found his use of the passive voice discordant. The work seems to struggle to find itself, veering from academic treatise to self-help book and back again. I did find the key points at the end of each chapter useful. The odd use of commas was off putting and perhaps will get cleaned up before final publication.

My biggest concern was Law's choice of people whose lives he felt exemplified balance. Making any such list is problematic--you can't hope to make everyone happy--but as we are in the 21st century, deciding to choose all men as your examples seems out of touch. The happiness research he cites were both studies of men. The book already had a masculine tone, and this just doubled down on that. It is his book, of course, so he gets to choose. I just wonder if he or his editors thought about the impact of their choices on readers? I can certainly learn from the lives of everyone but seeing myself in at least one of the exemplars would have made me feel a bit more welcome in Law's world.

I also wonder if Law knows anything about Henry Ford besides his work in the automobile industry? He fails to address the problematic nature of Ford's life outside of the factory where he used his fame to espouse ugly anti-Semitism that he linked to labor unions and sought to socially engineer the lives of his workers. Here might have been an opportunity to choose a woman. I thought about Eleanor Roosevelt, a contemporary of Ford, who turned personal tragedies into public compassion and leadership.

I appreciate receiving an Early Reviewer's copy of this book in return for an honest review. Law has done a massive amount of research and clearly cares about his topic and his audience.

helmikuu 4, 12:30 am

>113 witchyrichy: I suppose that is a quandary, Karen. How honest to make an honest review?! Yours is mildly scathing but clearly pretty fair. Especially as, if I'm reading you right, he chose Henry Ford as an exemplar of balance!

Have a great weekend. x

helmikuu 4, 9:15 pm

>111 witchyrichy: I saw that one in my Overdrive wish list. Glad to know it is good.

helmikuu 5, 11:35 am

>114 PaulCranswick: I wrote the review numerous times so glad it seems a bit fair. And, yes, Henry Ford was his final and best example of balance but it was completely focused on how Ford channeled his mechanical interests into creating low-cost, mass-produced cars. Law sees it as Ford benefiting society. I might have been more open to the example if Law had at least acknowledged some of the challenges related to someone like Ford.

Same to you...traveled to Pennsylvania yesterday to spend a few days with my parents and then an old friend. Dad turns 88 tomorrow. Today, he is singing in chapel in the afternoon.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 12:08 pm

My sister came up from Maryland and we went out to a favorite restaurant with mom and dad to celebrate my dad's birthday. Then we drove cross country to hit up our favorite ice cream place. A lovely day!

Finished The Killings at Badger's Drift by Caroline Graham, the book that inspired Midsomer Murders, one of my favorite series. The book was well-written, and it was interesting to see how Anthony Horowitz, a favorite writer of mine, who wrote the screenplay works with Graham's story and characters.

helmikuu 10, 4:39 pm

I'm glad that you had a great time with your dad on his birthday!

Looks like I need to read something by Ruta Sepetys. I've added I must betray You to my library hold list.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 10:21 am

Home again, home again, jiggedy jig. I spent last week in Pennsylvania with my family and then at the end of the week with one of my oldest friends from my first teaching position in the late 80s. We had a day to ourselves and then had lunch with the rest of the crew: all retired teachers, my former colleagues. At 60, I'm the youngster with all of them over 70, I think. What a wonderful group! They are all readers so there is lots of talk about books. They are also all quite liberal so we were able to talk about politics as well.

I am home and ready for spring! Time to start ordering seeds and maybe even planting some potatoes and spring crops like greens and radishes in our high tunnel.

I did manage to finish The Book of Joy and a review is forthcoming. Also finished up listening to The Endless Sea on the road trip and dove into Colgan's next one, Christmas on the Island. Still working on The Angle of Repose. I have a bit of work to do for my *two* volunteer jobs including a meeting agenda for Wednesday night. Going to put my head down and get it done and then hope for a bit of reading time later today.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 13, 5:27 pm

I added Book of Joy to my morning routine, reading a chapter a day. The book reports on a dialog between the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, the Archbishop of South Africa. The explore the nature of joy and the obstacles to achieving joy. They also explore the Eight Pillars of Joy. The book concludes with an extensive description of their daily practices including specific types of prayer and meditation. Both men, despite their celebrity and spiritual achievements, see themselves as simple men trying to find the right path. Tutu expresses the Christian perspective but it is one of compassion and forgiveness. The Dalai Lama takes a similar, non-Christian approach as he forgives his Chinese persecutors.

The heart of the book is the relationship between two great spiritual leaders: they tease each other, laughing together, willing to explore new ideas, finding connections across their two religious traditions. Douglas Abrams, long time colleague of Desmond Tutu, facilitates the conversation and offers summaries and insights.

I was fortunate to hear the Dalai Lama speak some years ago. Despite the huge crowd, he was personable, the sense that he was speaking directly to you. I heard his voice once again in this book.

helmikuu 17, 3:28 pm

I gave Wallace Stegner's novel Angle of Repose five stars when I entered it into LT in 2013. This was my short review:

Family stories woven together in wonderfully crafted prose. The story of the West told through the story of a marriage revealed.

I stand by those words. Stegner writes beautifully, taking time for the landscape which plays such an important role in the novel. The novel moves along slowly at first, but the ending comes fast and furious. The narrator knows what is to come and wants to avoid it so keeps it until the end and then spills it quickly, first almost coyly then face on.

But at its core the novel is the story of a Victorian woman with her high-necked, long-sleeved dresses, who moved from Eastern drawing rooms to Western shacks, capturing them in words and images. She lived on the edge of both, trying to establish a conventional life in unconventional places.

Stegner's love of the West comes through. Lyman Ward, the grandson of that. Victorian woman, who is writing her biography from her last home in Grass Valley, California, north of Sacramento, describes the vistas from both his own and his grandmother's point of view. Towards the end, he imagines the silence she must have experienced during her days versus life in the 1970s. It was a nostalgic moment, finding the beauty in the midst of what was a very challenging life for his grandparents.

helmikuu 18, 7:05 am

Hi Karen!

>39 witchyrichy: Plus, if I take enough walks with the dog, I can finish The Christmas Bookshop, my current audio book. I listen in my car, and it took me 3 ½ months to listen to The Ink Black Heart. I’m now listening to a lecture series about 1066 and have another lecture series about Shakespeare lined up. Much shorter, so I’ll get to add books to my goal for the year more quickly. *smile*

>62 witchyrichy: I don’t remember particularly liking Third Girl when I read it decades ago, but if it has Ariadne Oliver in it, I might re-read it sooner than later.

>91 witchyrichy: Well, darn. A BB, I was perfectly willing to buy it but Lo! Behold! It’s available as a Kindle Unlimited book and I just downloaded it. It may be the book to break my romance-only reading mode, going strong since last April with very, very few exceptions.

>111 witchyrichy: Woke up very early and knew I wasn't going back to sleep The story of my life recently – it doesn’t matter though, being retired, because of naps. *smile*

>117 witchyrichy: I loved The Killings at Badger’s Drift, but we’d already started Midsomer Murders before I realized it was based on a book. Too bad there the series is so short, 7, and I’ve only read the one.

So much good reading! So many exciting things! It's fun to read your thread and get caught up.

helmikuu 20, 11:01 am

>122 karenmarie: Always happy to have you stop by. I need to do some thread reading myself. Fun travel and two volunteer jobs have kept me busy the last two weeks! But I have mostly kept up the reading, too.

helmikuu 20, 11:30 am

I read the first book in the Diamond Brothers series by Anthony Horowitz: The Falcon's Malteser as part of the February KiddyCAT. It was funny with lots of word play as you might guess from the title that is a play on The Maltese Falcon. The narrator is Nick Simple, who with his older and somewhat inept brother Herbert, begin working as private detectives. Herbert renames himself Tim Diamond and the Diamond Brothers are born. I love Horowitz's Thursday Murder Club series. I will be reading more of this series as well.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 11:50 am

My RLBG met today and discussed Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. We read it mostly because it was part of a book group pack that we could check out to make sure everyone had access to a book. It was a reread for me although I couldn't have told you much about it other than it focused on a sensational murder in Savannah. I did reread it and all the quirkiness came back but I found myself skimming a bit. My book group mostly hated it with one woman not getting past the first half. I think the story was sensational at the time and Berendt took advantage of that to write a gossipy, offbeat tale of Savannah. But, somehow it just hasn't worn well, maybe it's because the sensationalism has worn off and the story wasn't all that interesting to start with.

We did discover that Lady Chablis, the drag queen featured in the book, wrote an autobiography called Hiding My Candy: The Autobiography of the Grand Empress of Savannah. Berendt wrote the introduction.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 12:04 pm

A new friend loaned me Two Old Women, the story of two Native women left behind by their starving tribe as winter approached. The women, after getting over their shock and sadness, decide they don't have to die, and the rest of the small book describes their efforts to survive and even thrive. It is a cautionary tale of what happens when we neglect our elders and their learning.

helmikuu 23, 11:17 am

>126 witchyrichy: I’ve got it requested—it sounds great! Thanks for the heads-up!

Karen O

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 26, 10:15 am

The Awakening by Kate Chopin has been sitting on the shelf for some time, purchased at a point in time when I thought I wanted to read more classics. This was Chopin's second book so it fit with the Classics CAT for February dealing with two or seconds. I knew the basic plot of a woman struggling to find an authentic life in a world where women are largely considered decorative. Once awakened by real love during her summer sojourn on Grand Isle, Edna Pontellier finds it impossible to return to her normal life as wife and mother in New Orleans. The book was very controversial when it was published at the turn of the century as Chopin described an early feminist mindset that really did threaten a world that circumcised women's lives. My edition is a study one with lots of interpretive essays as well as primary source documents from the books and magazines of the times with their guidance for women to be good wives and mothers.

helmikuu 25, 10:44 am

Interesting comments on Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Karen. I remember I really liked it when I read it.

I must get to Angle of Repose; so many people have recommended it. Maybe this year...

I love Kate Chopin. She was certainly ahead of her time.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 25, 2:23 pm

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander was first published in 2010 and called attention to the impact the War of Drugs had on communities of color. In her preface to the 10th anniversary edition, Alexander discusses what a new version of the book would cover: the hopefulness of prison reform, the complicated legacy of Barack Obama related to incarceration, the horrific legacy of Donald Trump who gave voice to white supremacy.

But she resisted the urge to write an updated book and I agree with the decision. Things have changed since 2010 but as long as police have almost unlimited power to stop and search and prosecutors can keep people of color off juries for silly and superstitious reasons, our system is broken.

I think the biggest change in this edition is that Alexander expresses some hope for change in her preface. Alexander presents a meticulously researched historical timeline that shows how we moved from slavery to Jim Crow to mass incarceration as answers to segregation and racism. The latter is seemingly so entrenched legally, politically, culturally and economically that Alexander doesn't offer much hope for reversing it in her first edition. She is particularly hard on Civil Rights lawyers and activists who seem to ignore the issue because it often deals with people who did break the law and that makes it harder to defend them.

If you are interested in learning more about mass incarceration and how your state measures up, the Prison Policy Initiative is a good starting point.

helmikuu 26, 10:31 am

I listened to The Librarian of Crooked Lane via a recommendation from Hoopla. Set in London just after WWI, the novel follows the exploits of a working class young woman, Sylvia, who is struggling to find work now that men have returned. As this is a fantasy novel, she is also trying to discover if there is magic in her family line. She contrives to meet a society woman who may be able to help her but ends up becoming connected to the son, instead, a war hero who specifically investigates magical crimes for Scotland Yard. They join forces to investigate the thefts of magical paintings. Romantic tension ensues, of course.

I enjoyed the story and the narrator did a good job capturing voices and personalities of a wide variety of characters. The next volume in the series comes out next week and I plan to continue with it once Hoopla gets the audio version.

helmikuu 26, 3:56 pm

Hi Karen my dear, hope you are having a good weekend and the weather is good. We have had a steady weekend, yesterday afternoon the remaining four table lamps arrived and we got each one out of its box and put it in situ, the one we favoured seeing it online was the one we decided upon. We re-packed the lamps and put them in the dining room ready to go back to Next.

Karen was working last night 5 to 10pm, she normally does 2 to 10pm but as it's her first week back after her hand surgery, she is on restricted hours.

Today we took the table lamps back to Next at Crown Point Retail Park and then popped into Smyth's toy store to look for a shopping trolley for Elliott, sadly the one we had has broken apart at the handles due to heat and cold and the plastic snapped and is dangerous. Sadly Smyth's didn't have one that suited, it was too small as Elliott is quite tall for his age.

We got home, had a pot of tea and then prepped the veg for Sunday lunch, the lunch was lovely. We listened to the Eagles Greatest Hits before listening to Johnnie Walker's 70's show and then we put on the new Pink CD, it is brilliant, she gets better and better.

Sending love and hugs to you, Bob, Major and Circe from both of us dear friend.

helmikuu 26, 5:03 pm

Hi Karen. Your comments make me want to reread Angle of Repose. I read it years ago, before I discovered LibraryThing and I remember loving the language and the evocation of place. I'm glad your reread was as enjoyable as your first go.

helmikuu 26, 5:43 pm

>132 johnsimpson: A busy weekend for you! I was happy to be home, puttering around the house and reading.

I don't listen to much new music (the Eagles and other 70s folks are favorites!) but if you like Pink, I may just have to give her a try. I have read a few articles about her that are very positive.

helmikuu 26, 5:44 pm

>133 EBT1002: I rarely reread books but am very glad I did so in this case. I'm wondering what other books I might want to try again now that I have passed a certain age.

helmikuu 26, 8:17 pm

Hi Karen!

I’m definitely going to have to read Jenny Colgan’s Christmas books this coming fall. I have at least one on my Kindle.

I’ve been thinking of rereading a Stegner, either The Big Rock Candy Mountain or Angle Of Repose. I loved them both. I seem to be into rereads lately - Wuthering Heights and now All Creatures Great And Small. They are comforting, knowing what to expect (well, maybe not Wuthering Heights) and I’m always curious if I’ll feel the same way about a remembered favorite.

Pink was on Colbert last week. Her interview was great as was her new song. I’m a new fan. :)

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 28, 6:33 pm

>136 Copperskye: I can't get enough of Colgan, it seems! I have listening to Little Beach Street Bakery set in Cornwall.

I also loved The Big Rock Candy Mountain and can even remember where I was when I read it!

I generally don't reread but I think you're right about revisiting certain books as we get older. I have reread a few of my childhood favorites: The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Phantom Tollbooth and Anne of Green Gables.

Another Pink endorsement...I'm dialing her up right now.

helmikuu 28, 6:41 pm

March starts tomorrow, and I have books left over from the February challenges including Overstory and Pride and Prejudice. I poked through the various challenges for March and even put in an order to Better World Books for Tariq Ali books for the British Author Challenge.

For now, I am reading An Island Wedding and listening to more Colgan via Little Beach Street Bakery. I am also working through Honeycomb by Joanne M. Harris, a collection of fantastical fairy tales, loosely woven together. The illustrator, Charles Vess hails from southwest Virginia, one of my favorite parts of my state. He has done illustrations for Neil Gaiman as well.

maaliskuu 4, 9:21 am

Sounds like you have a wide variety of reads on your plate.

maaliskuu 5, 10:54 am

>139 thornton37814: It has been a wide ranging year of reading, indeed. The various challenges help as they force me out of my comfort zone.

maaliskuu 6, 8:03 am

>140 witchyrichy: This is mostly a year of reading what I want to read. Even my BINGO board is only stuff on my TBR list--mostly next in series stuff. I am reading for some book clubs, and I may occasionally participate in another challenge. I had such a bad reading year in terms of numbers last year, that I decided to read what I wanted this year. I am trying to participate in some of the challenges if I have something I want to read that fits. Sometimes I just don't get to it in that month because my numbers aren't what they used to be.

maaliskuu 10, 5:45 pm

>141 thornton37814: I completely understand. I have a pile of TBR books for the bingo card but can't seem to get to them because of the challenges. I may just chill out and read what I want.

maaliskuu 10, 6:05 pm

It has been a busy week for me with two trips to the "big" city of Williamsburg where we used to live and mostly kept our friends and health care professionals. It requires crossing the James River either via a ferry or a bridge and I did both this week. Both crossings included osprey sightings, a true sign that Spring is here. I don't mind the trip as I can listen to books: working on Jenny Colgan's Cornwall series. It is good but not quite as good as the one set in Scotland.

I also spent the week making St. Patrick's Day cards. I love crafting with paper and have a Cameo cutter. Using patterns from their store, I made two different kinds: a "lovepop" style that lays flat and a hexagonal style that is mailed flat and then pushed up for display.

I have also been reading A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II. It has been on the Kindle for awhile and seemed appropriate for Women's History Month. It reminded me of Resistance Women.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 11:20 am

Chilling out and reading what I want led to The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell about the last Brontë, a young woman at Oxford trying to find her inheritance and her own identity. I found it on my Kindle and I am not sure where it came from, honestly, but it was excellent. Lots of literary references and quirky characters who share a fascination with the Brontës along with some conspiracy theories. I may need to reread the novels themselves.

maaliskuu 15, 7:50 pm

>143 witchyrichy: Hi Karen, Oh my goodness, those are so cute!

One of my sisters recommended A Woman of No Importance to me a couple years ago. I have a copy now but still haven't read it. Thanks for the reminder and I look forward to your thoughts.

>144 witchyrichy: Well, that one sounds interesting, too! You're dangerous today. I reread Jane Eyre a few years ago and Wuthering Heights just last month. Loved them both still. I started The Tenant of Wildfell Hall last year(?) sometime and got bogged down with it. I should pick it up again. I loved Agnes Grey. Anyway, yeah, I should try The Madwoman Upstairs.

maaliskuu 17, 5:18 pm

>145 Copperskye: You are the *perfect* candidate for The Madwoman Upstairs as it references all the novels with a particular focus on Anne and her relationship to Emily and Charlotte.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 11:12 am

The The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz has been on my Kindle for a bit so I dove in and read it over the course of a night and morning. It is a wonderful homage to the Sherlockian canon by one of my current favorite authors. Dr. Watson tells the tale long after the death of Sherlock Holmes and then has it put away for 100 years as the subject matter is too controversial and horrifying for the Victorian age. Horowitz was picked by the estate and he stays true to the tradition even if his Holmes is a bit more human in his reactions to the world. I am looking forward to Moriarty, the second book in the series.

maaliskuu 18, 11:28 am

>147 witchyrichy: You got me with The House of Silk—I really like the Sherlock Holmes pastiche books (thanks to Richard for the term “pastiche”). Onto my TBR it goes!

Karen O

maaliskuu 18, 1:24 pm

>121 witchyrichy: I was surprised how much I enjoyed Angle of Repose when I read it a couple of years ago. I’ve been thinking of reading Big Rock Candy Mountain next. My current “literary” book that I’m going to try is Cakes and Ale, based solely on the title. (“Cake” is one of my favorite foods AND words.)

>131 witchyrichy: Got me with a BB on this one. I’ll be borrowing the audiobook soon.

maaliskuu 19, 4:52 pm

Ah, you got me with The House of Silk. It's now on the wish list and in the shopping cart.

maaliskuu 20, 12:08 pm

>149 Storeetllr: >150 EBT1002: Glad I got a few people with Horowitz. I am already looking forward to September when the next Thursday Murder club book appears.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 20, 6:16 pm

Weekend Readathon Update:

I have decided my readathons go from Friday at noon until Monday at noon. And this one would continue today but I am having lunch with a friend.

Books read from:
A Feather on the Water, historical fiction about women sent to Germany at the end of WWII to help with cleanup, each making the journey for different reasons
Wondrous Encounters, Richard Rohr's Lenten devotional
Mrs. Sherlock Holmes about one of the original women detectives
The Thread Collectors, historical fiction set at the end of the Civil War, a reread for my RLBG

Plus, I finally tried to make sauerkraut out of collards and we'll know in 6 weeks if it is any good. Dinner on Sunday night was meatloaf (I make *good* meatloaf if I do say so myself) mostly so I could have a meatloaf sandwich for breakfast this morning. Yum...I bought a loaf of Martin's potato bread just for this reason as well. I am a generally healthy eater but I do have my comfort food favorites.

Update: I don't know why I don't add it, but I read the Bible every day, working through the whole thing almost every year with different reading plans and translations. This year, I am reading from The Message, the very contemporary version, and I like Eugene H. Peterson's style. I am almost done with Deuteronomy. The reading plan I am using is in chronological order so it started with Job. It has been moving through the Pentateuch in order with a few Psalms here and there.

maaliskuu 24, 9:13 am

>152 witchyrichy: I do the same thing with Bible reading. I choose a different plan and alternate versions. NASB (1977) is my favorite version, but it's almost impossible to get the 1977 since they released an updated version. I think I like it best because it does a really good job of showing the Greek verb tenses, even though some people think it makes it less readable. I like its accuracy, and I guess it's familiarity is great for me. I did a chronological plan last year. I liked that arrangement less than I thought I would. This year's plan is from International Bible Society and is called Bible in a Year.

maaliskuu 24, 3:21 pm

>153 thornton37814: Thanks for sharing this! I use the Holy Bible app from YouVersion which makes it easy to both switch between translations and compare them. Sometimes, with a particularly poignant verse, I like to go back to the King James Version, something like Psalm 23. I memorized the KJV and that's how I hear it, no matter the translation.

The app also has reading plans: both short term and long term, including several different "read the Bible in a year" plans.

maaliskuu 28, 10:53 am

All caught up, whew!

>147 witchyrichy: have you read the Laurie R. King Sherlock Holmes pastiche series? I think she really did a great job fleshing out Holmes, and adding an apprentice.

huhtikuu 5, 2:21 pm

>155 fuzzi: Thanks for stopping by! I have been away for more than a week so have some thread visiting to do myself.

I have read Laurie R. King's Holmes series and enjoyed them. I took a break: sometimes I get tired of long series but plan to get back to them at some point.

huhtikuu 6, 8:16 am

>156 witchyrichy: I slowed down when I got to The Language of Bees and The God of the Hive, thought she'd lost her touch, but by Garment of Shadows I felt she was back on track.

My favorites are The Beekeeper's Apprentice, O Jerusalem, A Monstrous Regiment of Women, and Locked Rooms (my favorite).

huhtikuu 6, 10:53 am

>157 fuzzi: Good to know. I adored The Beekeeper's Apprentice and O Jerusalem. I think the latter might be my favorite.

Have you checked out the story collections that King edited? I've read two: For the Sake of The Game and In League with Sherlock Holmes. They were both very good.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 6, 11:01 am

I spent last week in Pennsylvania with my parents. I took my laptop but never lifted the lid. We just enjoyed being together, hanging out, shopping, eating well, watching their latest binge TV, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. It was interesting to see the various progressive themes from a show in the 90s: gender roles (boys can make pies and girls can race horses) and the rights of women (one woman was accused of killing her abusive husband).

My sister came up Saturday and we went to a favorite local restaurant, then two different greenhouses for our Easter gifts and ended up at our favorite ice cream spot. Lovely family time!

I came home Monday and have spent most of the past two days in the garden, weeding and mulching. I always overdo the first few days and woke up stiff and sore today. Fortunately, I am having an early dinner with an old friend today so can take a break.

I also had a blast making 3D easter eggs for gifts.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 6, 12:06 pm

>158 witchyrichy: no, I have not! Thanks for the recommendation.

>159 witchyrichy: beautiful!

I remember the spun sugar Easter eggs that were sold in the local pharmacy. They had a "window" too. I've not thought of those since I was a child.

Like this!

huhtikuu 7, 2:55 pm

>160 fuzzi: I think this design is meant to mimic those sugar eggs. I used a design for my cutter created by Lori Whitlock.

I think I need to visit your thread ;-) I just settled in for LT time.

huhtikuu 7, 3:04 pm

March seemed to get away from me somehow...I fell behind on book reviews and thread visiting and reading in general. I watched a fair amount of tennis, made cards and gifts, did some database work for a friend, and then headed to Pennsylvania for the last week.For all the people who thought I would be bored in retirement, you owe me a margarita, I think. Sometimes, I look up from the daily routine, realize it is 5 PM and I wonder how I ever got any work done?

So...here you go...a marathon of book reviews before I start a new thread at some point.

huhtikuu 7, 3:10 pm

Steve Berry writes a book a year that features former special agent turned bookseller Cotton Mather. Berry combines historical conspiracies with contemporary themes to create a fast-paced thriller that appeals to history buffs like me. In this case, the focus is King Ludwig II of Bavaria--the Mad King--who was deposed and then died mysteriously days later. The conspiracy hinges on a deed that supposedly Ludwig's descendants access to Hawaii. China and the United States are involved via Luke Daniels, Mather's young colleague. I read it the minute it showed up in my Kindle app and I was not disappointed. After so many books, Berry still manages to surprise the reader.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 7, 3:27 pm

I really enjoyed Jenny Colgan's Mure Island series. I listened to most of them and looked forward to the time I spent on a northern Scottish island. Colgan has created a diverse, complex community of human beings who live and love alongside the natural world. Whales, in particular, play a role in several of the books. One of the main characters, Flora, is considered by some to be a selkie, a seal woman, who has come from the sea. Her story forms the core of the books but her family and friends are woven in as well and the series ends with a heart wrenching ending for her best friend.

I have moved on to the Little Beach Street Bakery series and have listened to the first two: Little Beach Street Bakery and Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery. This series is set in Cornwall, as far south as you can get from Mure Island. But, the setting is similar, a seaside community with quirky characters living their lives alongside nature. The main character, Polly, has come to the island to escape a breakup and bankruptcy. Baking keeps her sane and eventually helps her find her place in the community. I don't like this series quite as much as the Mure Island one but I can lose myself in Cornwall for a bit and that's good.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 7, 3:35 pm

I took a break from listening to Colgan to return to Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti series. The narrator, David Colacci, brings the world of Venice and Commissario Brunetti's family and colleagues to life. As I wrote about listening to Colgan, Leon provides an escape for me, even if it involves murders and corruption. Brunetti, along with his assistants and his boss's secretary, often find themselves battling their own colleagues in the police department and the Venice government. They may solve the mystery but cannot guarantee that justice will be done.

huhtikuu 7, 3:43 pm

The King's Inquisitor by Tonya Ulynn Brown was the second in the Stuart Monarch series. Queens Mary and Elizabeth are dead and James is now king. The son of Mary's almoner has a place at court but is forced to become part of the North Berwick witch trials. Brown describes the horror of being condemned as a witch, including exposing corrupt officials who used the trials for their own benefit. William Broune must choose his path: the easy path that will lead to a good marriage and successful court life or the very dangerous path already being tread by a Scottish woman who sees the hypocrisy and fulfills her Christian duty to help others. Both books were good: historical fiction but with some romance woven in as well.

huhtikuu 7, 4:00 pm

Honeycomb by Joanne M. Harris was a collaboration with one of my favorite artists, Charles Vess who lives in southwest Virginia. The fairy tales are connected, all set in a fantastical world where the Lacewing King rules. It is an often dark world where nothing is what is seems or works out the way it should. Harris and Vess have created an alien yet familiar place and I was captivated. I had to buy the paper version as Vess's work especially doesn't stand out as well in ebook version.

huhtikuu 7, 4:25 pm

A Woman of No Importance tells the story of Virginia Hall, one of the greatest, least known spies in World War II. Hall was sidelined by America because of her gender and a prosthetic leg, but she managed to work her way into the British forces and was a major force behind organizing the French resistance. She was known to the Nazis but managed to evade them, eventually escaping in a grueling hike over the Pyrenees into Spain. The book reminded me of Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini as, like that book, highlights the important work done by women that has been largely forgotten. And, like those women, Hall was often prickly and not the demure debutante most men wanted in that era.

huhtikuu 7, 4:42 pm

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell was just fun and left me wanting to reread the Brontë canon. Main character Samantha Whipple is the last Brontë and supposed heir to a treasure trove of paintings, letters and novel drafts. Whipple enrolls in Oxford and is just settling in to life with her tutor when artifacts from the past begin to appear, seemingly leading to her father whose early death left her adrift in the world.

huhtikuu 7, 4:49 pm

A Feather on the Water focuses on an often overlooked period of World War II: the months and years just after the end of the war as the many displaced persons struggle to survive and find their next steps after the devastation of the war. Three women from very different circumstances come together in German to run a displaced persons' camp. Their personal stories are interwoven with those of the people they serve and it was a compelling book. Lindsay Jayne Ashford creates complex characters and digs into the details of those chaotic days.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 9, 3:05 pm

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier was an impulse read when I found it browsing at the library. The novel tells the story of Mary Anning, an early fossil hunter in Lyme Regis. Her discoveries of creatures that no longer exist seem to question church teachings. Chevalier tells the story from two perspectives: Anning herself and a fictional ally named Elizabeth Philpot. Their friendship--with its ups and downs--forms the core of the story. These women struggle to make their way in a world dominated by men.

huhtikuu 7, 5:00 pm

Anne Tyler has this matter-of-fact way of telling stories, especially of women. Clock Dance is just such a tale: we follow Willa Drake through her life from her childhood in the 1960s through 2007 when a phone call from a stranger leads her to Baltimore. I adored the book from start to finish and Willa Drake is my new hero!

huhtikuu 7, 5:39 pm

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis was so good I stayed up way past my bedtime reading it! Time travel, plagues and pandemics, all set at Christmas so also lots of bells ringing. Willis provides a very personal view of the plague in England in 1348. And, considering the book was written in 1993, Willis seems a bit prophetic as her future Oxford shuts down when a mysterious virus works its way through the community and references are made to a previous pandemic.

huhtikuu 7, 8:21 pm

Hi Karen, I loved Remarkable Creatures and Clock Dance, too. My sister had highly recommended A Woman of No Importance to me a few years ago and I even picked up a copy at a library sale not long ago. Thanks for the reminder!

The Easter eggs up thread are beautiful! Happy Easter to you

huhtikuu 7, 8:30 pm

>174 Copperskye: I *just* posted a happy Easter to your thread! Hope all is well!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 8, 12:59 pm

I have been trying hard not to buy books, focusing on using my local library resources and reading all those books on the shelves. But, the thrift shop at my parents' retirement community was doing a deal at $1/bag and I couldn't resist. I managed to limit myself to two bags.

Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler
The Boat Who Wouldn't Float by Farley Mowat
Son of Holmes by John T. Lescroart
The Opening Night Murder by Anne Rutherford
Wait Til Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Stout
Colored Peopleby Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Certain Women by Madeleine L'Engle
Unto the Sons by Gay Talese
September by Rosamund Pilcher
Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernières
Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith
The American Spirit by David McCullough

And two classic cookbooks I couldn't resist:

Simca's Cuisine by Simone Beck
Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

huhtikuu 8, 2:23 pm

>176 witchyrichy: ooh! I like Farley Mowat, though I've not read that one.

huhtikuu 8, 2:24 pm

>163 witchyrichy: ouch. Got me.

Should I start at the first in the series?

huhtikuu 8, 3:03 pm

>177 fuzzi: I haven't read it either and am looking forward to it.

>178 fuzzi: I think that is the best way to experience Berry's work as characters recur and it helps if you are familiar with them as the novels move along quickly.

huhtikuu 8, 3:23 pm

>159 witchyrichy: Those eggs are adorable! I’m going to try and remember to make them for the grands for next year.

>160 fuzzi: I remember those spin sugar eggs too! My grandma used to give one to me every Easter when I was a kid. They were magical! I wonder what happened to them, because I never ate them. I suppose they melted or got moldy and thrown out. If I could find them today, I’d buy them for the grands and myself. Yes, I am still a kid.

Got hit with a couple of BBs. You’ve read some cool books lately!

Happy Easter weekend! 🐣

huhtikuu 8, 3:33 pm

Your 3D eggs are so cute!

>176 witchyrichy: Nice book haul.

I would like to read an update by Alexander; the book doesn't offer much hope.

I also loved the Tyler; she is so good with women and families.

huhtikuu 9, 3:20 pm

Browsing my Kindle library this morning, I realized I completely missed recording a book I read at the end of March: The Goddess Effect. I seem to accumulate books on my Kindle between Kindle unlimited and the low cost/no cost emails I get every day. Not sure why I picked this one other than it seemed perfect for a road trip, not too demanding.

I was not disappointed: Sheila Yasmin Marikar has a wicked sense of humor, creating a parody of Los Angeles that has a whiff of reality to it. The narrator, a woman of color with Indian roots, makes the move to LA for a maybe-job-offer and finds herself in a commune-like shared house and at loose ends emotionally and financially. She lives her life in the glare of social media, often never quite posting the picture, bogged down in worries over hashtags. She eventually finds friendship and purpose at a local gym but that quickly turns into obsession and then horror. I laughed out loud at the absurdity only to consider how close to the wind of reality the author was sailing.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:22 am

Murder on the Pneumatic Railway is the third book in a trilogy written by Lisa M. Lane. I enjoyed the book enough that I am planning to read the previous two books. The books are billed are the Tommy Jones mystery, named after a scrappy young man who is willing to do whatever it takes to see that justice is done. Set in 1870 London, this mystery opens with the discovery of a dead body in London's newest technology, a pneumatic railway. A local physician is accused of the murder, the police seem satisfied, but Tommy knows there must be another story.

Lane is a historian, and her notes at the end were impressive. She also includes real historical characters in her books. But she managed to weave the history seamlessly into the story, so it read with the intensity of a murder mystery. The book focused on the lives of women and innovations and dangers in health care. She also incorporated details about the formation of miners' unions in Durham.

An excellent read!

I was provided an Early Reviewer's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

huhtikuu 10, 4:50 pm

Hi Karen my dear, sounds like you had a good trip to your parents and the laptop was surplus to requirements, lol. I love your thrift shop buys and wish we had an offer like a £1 per bag, not sure i would be strong enough to restrict myself to two bags, lol.

Hope you had a nice Easter weekend dear friend.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 16, 3:16 pm

>184 johnsimpson: Thanks for stopping by. I have continued to be away from my laptop: we went camping and once we got home I've been getting the flower gardens weeded and mulched. Photos to come.

A happy Easter to you, too, a bit belatedly.

P.S. I really dig being mostly retired.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 16, 3:29 pm

Well...another week away from the interwebs. We headed west to Stuart, Virginia, to stay at Fairy Stone State Park. I made the reservations early and we were able to get into one of the waterfront log cabins built by the CCC in the 1930s. We poked around Patrick County looking for covered bridges, roadside markers, and LOVEworks signs. We spent a bit of time following the Civil Rights in Education driving tour as we headed home. I have lots of pictures to organize but for now here is the cabin and the view complete with Major.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:25 am

I read through the Bible every year, using various translations and reading plans. But, other than introductions to the books and devotionals offered through my app, I don't do formal, academic Bible study. I found Benjamin J. Segal's history and commentary on The Book of Esther to be a fascinating dive into Biblical scholarship in an accessible way. He provides the original Hebrew text and his own translation along with detailed commentary.

He then engages in extensive analysis of the book including literary methods and principal purposes as well as how it came to be included in the Bible as God is not mentioned in the book at all, a fact that had never occurred to me. Segal addresses various contexts and controversies, especially related to the Jewish Diaspora.

If you are interested in the Bible and Biblical commentary, Segal would be a good starting point. I have a new appreciation for a Biblical story that I thought I understood.

I was provided with an Early Reviewer's copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

huhtikuu 16, 9:06 pm

>186 witchyrichy: Oh! Those pics are wonderful, and the whole trip sounds fabulous! Can't wait to see more!

huhtikuu 17, 9:30 am

Wow, that looks like a great place!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 17, 3:37 pm

>188 Storeetllr: >189 drneutron: Fairy Stone is a great state park! Probably five hours or so from the DMV where I think you are located. We found some great examples of the stones themselves at the hunt site.

We have been enjoying spending a few days in the cabins at various state parks and then poking around the area. Many of them have waterfront cabins and us retired people can grab them off season and during the week.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:27 am

My RLBG meets tomorrow. We decided to read a classic and I pushed for The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins as no one else seemed to have a strong opinion. I loved it! I read it on our camping trip and since there was NO internet at the cabin, I was able to sink into the story the way a contemporary reader of the book would have. Collins wove together the various perspectives of the characters including police-style witness statements and created a suspenseful story of intrigue and deceit. The prose was old-fashioned but didn't really get into the way of the plot.

I really have no idea what my fellow readers will think and am hoping they don't hate it too much. I am often surprised by what they like or don't like. They often have much stronger opinions than I do. I may find out a glimpse tonight as I am heading to the library for paint night and a few of the group members will be there.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:30 am

Jeff Warren is one of my favorite meditation teachers. His meditation style is very light-hearted but also quite sincere. A journalist, Jeff's meditation journey began with a book he wrote about consciousness, The Head Trip: Adventures on The Wheel of Consciousness. Warren writes the book as a travel log, documenting his experiments with various tools and techniques related to studying both our sleeping and waking consciousness. It is funny and irreverent but also science focused, looking for research and data to support ideas about what the heck is going on in our heads. The final chapter focuses on pure consciousness, those moments when everything connects, and discusses the ways that the brains of long time meditators change. While I have meditated for a long time, I am still a dilettante in many ways but I can see some of the ways my perceptions have been modulated. I am aware of my own thinking in ways I wasn't before.

Some of the chapters got long-winded as Warren really dove into the science. He also included interesting bits in footnotes, further ideas for exploration that he couldn't fit into the text. This was my second attempt at reading the book and I am glad I kept at it although there was some skimming involved.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:34 am

I committed to a Lenten reading discipline this year and chose Richard Rohr's Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent as it was already on my Kindle and I had browsed it in previous years. I was glad I did as I appreciated Rohr's approach to the season and the scripture itself. He pulled together Old and New Testament passages and helped make larger spirituals connections that went beyond literal, temporal ideas about the writings. I was not familiar with Rohr and have been learning more about his connections to perennial philosophy.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 22, 8:04 am

Travelogue: The Bridges of Patrick County

Fairy Stone State Park is in Patrick County. The county used to include two covered bridges. Now, there is one bridge and one former bridge site, which is better interpreted than the still standing bridge. Bob White Covered Bridge was built to make it easier for people to get to church. It was lost to a flood but the foundation still stands along with the church.

Jack's Creek Covered Bridge didn't have any interpretation but the county website says it was also built to gain access to a church, which still stands on the hill. It was designed by the same person behind Bob White Covered Bridge.

Click the photo to view the full album at my flickr site.

huhtikuu 22, 11:45 am

Lovely photos! Looks like a delightful road trip. Thanks for sharing!

huhtikuu 25, 9:17 am

I love your photos, Karen. It sounds like a great getaway.

>187 witchyrichy: This sounds fascinating.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 25, 12:59 pm

>194 witchyrichy: lovely. Three years ago when we went on our annual trip to visit the grands in Chicago we "did" covered bridges all along the way. We saw them in WV and Ohio, mainly.

huhtikuu 28, 10:27 am

>195 Storeetllr: I have more coming including the oddest thing we discovered.

>196 BLBera: We love nothing more than puttering around the countryside.

>197 fuzzi: I find it helps to have some mind of purpose to give some kind of guide even if you diverge from it. In summer 1998, we did the Lewis & Clark trail for about 7 weeks and it was a great path to follow across the United States.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:36 am

It is pouring down rain here at the farm. Buckets, cats and dogs, and all that. So, time to update my thread and do some thread visiting as well. Thanks to those who have stopped by.

The big news is that I finally finished Why Woo Woo Works after several months. David R. Hamilton explores the science behind various practices such as meditation and reiki. It was interesting if not all that surprising to me as I have been poking around "pseudo-science" for awhile, especially meditation.

Hamilton makes two conclusions that stood out to me. The first is that any practice, whether modern medicine or ancient practice, works better when the person believes in its efficacy. He spent a fair amount of time on the placebo effect, where patients who weren't taking the actual drug got better anyway.

His second conclusion is more about the general practice of science and scientists attitudes towards parapsychology, in particular. I agree with Hamilton when he suggests that those exploring these kinds of areas should declare themselves sheeps or goats: in other words, whether they harbor a particular attitude that would impact the research. I was asked to do this as part of my doctoral dissertation so it only makes sense that others should do so, especially if they are examining something that is viewed with skepticism.

Hamilton ends with the recommendation that these complementary practices should be considered as part of conventional medicine. I concur, even if the most you can say is that meditation won't hurt.

Not necessarily strongly recommended unless these kinds of things interest you. Hamilton's book dovetails with some other spiritual texts I am reading including Soul Boom: Why We Need a Spiritual Revolution by Rainn Wilson. Yes, Dwight from The Office is now a guru. Seriously, I have heard a couple interviews and am looking forward to diving in.

huhtikuu 29, 1:41 am

Thought I'd stop by and say hi, Karen. What a beautiful looking cabin and State Park.

huhtikuu 29, 3:27 pm

>200 vancouverdeb: Thanks for stopping by. Hope all is well in your world and reading life. I have been remiss in thread visiting myself.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:37 am

Mystic Tea kept popping up as a Kindle unlimited book I should want to read. In this case, Amazon did a good job as this book fits nicely with some of the reading I am doing.

Set in an almost defunct convent led by not always perfect nuns in upstate New York, the book tells the story of the old nuns and two young women who join them. Grace, the convent's founder, now long dead, continues to exert a powerful spiritual influence, and one of the newcomers, a young woman who knows nothing of God or religion, bears a strong resemblance to Grace. The other young woman takes her own beliefs to an extreme including self harm in the spirit of the ancient penitents. She also suffers from some sort of mental health issue that leads to a split personality. This part of the book was somewhat disturbing, but the current mother superior, Sister Mike, eventually gets her the help she needs.

I enjoyed the book--it dealt with spiritual issues in an authentic and thoughtful way mainly through the eyes of three characters: the two young women and Sister Mike. We hear briefly from the oldest nun, Augusta, who inhabits her own trailer and exerts great influence through her medicinal and possibly magical teas concocted from her garden.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:39 am

I picked up The Trackers: A Novel by Charles Frazier off the lucky day shelf at the library: you get them for two weeks with no renewals. I knew that would be fine as I have read everything else Frazier wrote and figured I only needed a day or two. I was right.

Frazier's story is set during the Depression in a small Wyoming town where the main character, Val Welch, has been hired to paint a mural on the post office wall. Through his work he meets the locals, including the town's wealthy landowner, John Long, and his young wife, Eve, a former singer. Welch stays in a cottage on the ranch, giving him first hand experiences of the Longs and their ranch hands. When Eve disappears, Long hires Welch to find her, using faulty logic that leads to danger for Welch as he moves from California to Florida in pursuit of Eve. Along the way, we are immersed in Depression era America.

The story was excellent, well-crafted characters, perfectly plotted.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:40 am

At the Edge of the Orchard seemed like a good follow up to Frazier and again, I was not disappointed by Tracy Chevalier's tale of America through the lens of its trees, starting in an apple orchard in Ohio where two mismatched people attempt to raise a family amidst their battles over apples. Their son Robert escapes after a brutal event and ends up in California, wandering amongst the redwood and sequoia groves. Eventually, Robert's past catches up with him, and he is forced to face his decisions and responsibilities. Chevalier included the enigmatic apple guru, Johnny Appleseed, as an early character, paddling his canoe filled with seedlings and saplings for sale and handing out seeds for free.

A well-told tale of life in early 19th century America.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:57 am

Final Chapter is the first book in Pam Stucky's Megan Montaigne mystery series. I have all four of the books, probably via the Fussy Librarian freebie email.

Megan Montaigne is the library director in little Emerson Falls, Washington, a small town along the Skagit River. The library is in a mansion and Megan lives on the top floor, a beautiful view of the river below her balcony. The book includes the typical cozy mystery cast of characters: the local police chief, Megan's best friend who owns the B&B, a curmudgeonly diner owner, and a friendly library employee who seems to do most of the work while Megan is sleuthing.

It was a fun, easy read and I did not guess the mystery. I've started the second one about travel writers descending on Emerson Falls.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 30, 10:40 am

I am keeping up with two series via audio: Donna Leon Inspector Brunetti and Laurie R. King Russell & Holmes. Both are good mystery series. I had dropped the King series but got back to it and am enjoying learning about Japan as part of Dreaming Spies. Not sure if I'm going to keep going with King or go back to the next Brunetti once I'm done. While I may read several books at once, I normally only listen to one at a time.

Sunday morning update: finished King and went back to Leon. Next installment is Through a Glass, Darkly. The narrator is David Colacci and he is terrific.

huhtikuu 29, 7:40 pm

Hi Karen!

Long time no visit. Lots of good reading although I dodged book bullets. *smile*

>176 witchyrichy: $1/bag Oh my. I’m envious. Great choices, especially Olive, Again, which I read in November of 2019 and loved just as much as Olive Kitteridge.

huhtikuu 30, 10:21 am

>207 karenmarie: You will probably be my last visitor to this thread. I saved a bunch of books when I went thread visiting this week but have been mostly reading whatever seems to makes sense, sometimes related to my last read. I may move Olive, Again closer to the chair pile at your suggestion. I loved Olive Kitteridge, one of those books I can tell you where I was when I read it.

huhtikuu 30, 11:44 am

Moriarty, the second book in Anthony Horowitz's Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Horowitz takes on the story of what really happened after Holmes and his arch-nemesis plunge to their deaths at the Reichenbach Falls. A Pinkerton detective and a Scotland yard detective team up in a dark novel with a very unexpected twist.

toukokuu 4, 8:44 am

>198 witchyrichy: I want to do the Lewis & Clark trail. It's not happening in the near future...but I can dream.