Ruth attempts refinement rather than fashion in 2023

Tämä viestiketju jatkaa tätä viestiketjua: Ruth continues in 2022.

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Ruth attempts refinement rather than fashion in 2023

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 1, 2:43 pm

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common — this is my symphony.

William Henry Channing

I can aspire, yes?

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 1, 2:47 pm

Several Libby items expired over the holiday.

One Person, One Vote 11% read. Goes waaay back. Exhaustive.

Calling Bullshit also sampled at 11%

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 1, 8:55 pm

I’m beyond three-quarters of the book and I’m pretty sure the rest doesn’t hold any surprises.

Grandma Called It Carnal - 1 alternates lovely prose, sly observations and a quite barren and sad childhood. But, though Damon paints a lonely, dismal existence in some respects, she has grabbed the best of it and relishes it. Her grandma has never hugged, caressed or praised her; yet she knows the love is fierce. Grandma is devoted to duty and sacrifice, but on her own terms. Aunt Martha does all the housework but Grandma has all modern conveniences removed for moral reasons. Stupid items like the pulley and chain on the well.
Chapters alternate the bliss of Grandma’s flower gardens with the loneliness and despair when Grandma eliminates Bertha’s beloved puppy on a count of sinfulness.
Complex. I will be glad to be done with it, but I’ve already ordered her other book, A Sense of Humus.

tammikuu 2, 1:51 am

Happy new year Ruth!

tammikuu 2, 6:56 am

>1 2wonderY: I like. And yes.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 5, 10:18 am

Jan. 3

Grace (Eventually) - 2 Seemed almost a chore to get through. I’ve loved Anne Lamott for decades, both her fiction and her autobiographical works. She is nakedly honest. I think perhaps I’m now out of synch with her writings and my own life. Just a theory. Good content despite my own difficulties with it. Smiles and tears.

Best quote - in her plan for a US Bastille Day:
One last thing: It would be great if people brought a bit of fruit to share, and maybe a few dollars, in case anybody ran into someone desperately poor. Bananas are great, as they are the only known cure for existential dread.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 4, 11:52 am

Completed this 300 piece jigsaw puzzle:

Discovered this seller at the local mini-mall will sell damaged items. This has two pieces missing and three pieces that are damaged.

Oh well, it was a pleasant afternoon anyway.

tammikuu 4, 2:02 pm

I really enjoyed Catherynne Valente’s first book, way back when. But I’m not curious enough to read past chapter 2 (5%) of Space Opera. It is very much a continuation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, probably unauthorized😝

tammikuu 4, 5:30 pm

I admit, I bought this book merely because it was so handsome.

Pippins and Cheese - 3 is not at all what I might have expected. I had to go read up on the author, who seems to have written quite a bit of everything. As a journalist and editor, I suppose she trained up in speed and versatility.
These stories are vignettes only, some a bit freakish, others just piquant. If I can trust LT CK, she also designed the cover.

tammikuu 4, 8:49 pm

I didn’t mean to; it just came to hand. Grandma Griswold in >3 2wonderY: read John Ruskin and today On Art and Life - 04 rose to the top of the pile next to my bed.

Yes, the cover did indeed influence the purchase. This is a slim volume, less than 100 pages, and contains one essay ‘The Nature of Gothic’ and a speech ‘The Work of Iron.’
Ruskin wrestles with the elements that define gothic architecture and speaks on the iron industry in England. But it’s never a straight, narrow path. He drifts rapidly to sociology, philosophy and theology. He speaks on the dignity of laborers, and the deliberate imperfections in art and men as divinely appointed.
He ends his speech on Iron by talking about the need to care for the sword-wielders, the standing army, in both their bodies (health policies) and their souls (education.)

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 5, 1:17 pm

Keeper of Dreams volume 1 - 5 has good tales, but since I listened rather than read them, they are already fading. Sorry, OSCard!

The Elephants of Poznan
Geriatric Ward
Heal Thyself

tammikuu 5, 1:34 pm

There is probably a reason the author reverted to publishing her own works. Should not have been sucked in by her post on Instagram.

Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus - 6 is hopelessly mediocre. I’m abandoning it at 61% with the taste of sodden cotton in my mouth. So many better books to spend time reading. Strangely, my library has ALL of her titles in both ebook and audio.

tammikuu 6, 10:29 am

Celine - 7 is supposed to be in some way, commentary on Catcher in the Rye. But since I’ve never read that, it flew over my head. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this lovely, warped adolescent. She’s got her head screwed on right. And her 8 year old neighbor, Jake, is pretty okay as well.
Who needs adults? Do visit the page and enjoy a few quotes I saved in CK.

tammikuu 6, 11:09 am

Oh, and I finally watched Sense and Sensibility. Gosh, that’s an old film.
In the last couple of years, I had realized I hadn’t read that particular Austen, so I remedied that. After reading Alan Rickman’s journal last year, I added this to my library list.
I thought Hugh Grant was terrible in this role, especially in the last few scenes.

tammikuu 6, 11:35 am

That's such a good one.

tammikuu 6, 12:59 pm

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg - 8. No, I’m not reading faster; just finishing some that I had started a while ago.
I like this cover; hate the cartoony one.

tammikuu 6, 1:02 pm

>14 2wonderY: There is another version of sense and sensibility that is equally enjoyable. I don't recall actors.

tammikuu 6, 4:59 pm

The Birds’ Christmas Carol - 9.

Ach! How lovely, even with the tears.

tammikuu 6, 10:45 pm

>14 2wonderY: >17 EGBERTINA: Typically, I'm rather fond of the BBC 1981 Sense and Sensibility in which Irene Richard, Charlotte to Elizabeth Garvey's Lizzy Bennett, plays Elinor.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 7, 4:43 pm

The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner - 10 is 2nd in a collection of Pratchett short stories. Very probably old, old examples. The last is titled ‘Rincemangle, the Gnome.’ Pleasant, but not essential.

tammikuu 7, 5:38 pm

Another from the bedroom floor pile.

The Lemonade War - 11. Mid-grade story about a competition between siblings and their associates. I won’t call them friends because their worst natures are on exhibit. Though 6yo Jessie is a math prodigy and 8yo Evan understands people, it’s really not a believable story. And they don’t have honorable associates, so it was very uncomfortable.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 7, 5:49 pm

It took me a while to watch the whole documentary, the contents got me so upset.

Groundswell Rising shows how soulless the oil and gas industry is. Those who work in management and consulting and advocacy for these companies will surely burn in hell. Hopefully in fumes of the toxins they’ve introduced into our world.
Yes, there have been bans and moratoriums, but that’s not enough.

My library got this for me through ILL, from Loyola University.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 8, 11:00 am

Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes - 12 is fairly short, recording a solo trip as Stevenson walked south across the Cevennes, a lonely and uncertain part of France. All told, he records about two weeks, including preparation time. He had never managed a donkey before this, and there were dispiriting adventures in that; as well as having only vague directions from sometimes uncooperative natives. Near the end, he glories in spending a night outside, but that’s when he is most poetic.
It might have gotten tiresome if it had gone on longer. But as is, we’ll worth the company.

tammikuu 8, 2:14 pm

>14 2wonderY: I watched that version, was only impressed by Alan Rickman.

tammikuu 8, 7:26 pm

Pinkerton: America’s First Private Eye - 13 is a biography written for adolescents; which was fine. Just the right amount of detail and complexity, and the typeface size is generous. A complicated and talented man. He was a friend of John Brown and a stop at the Underground Railroad. He came from poverty and was a labor activist in his younger years, but eventually worked at strike breaking. He also did not hesitate to employ females. His employees were remarkably loyal.

tammikuu 8, 10:22 pm

During this break before other commitments, I’m trying to get as much reading in as possible. The book piles are getting out of hand once more.

Our Finest Hour: Voices of the World War II Generation - 14 is one of those special edition collectible magazines. It contains many heartfelt vignettes from the home front, the battles, the correspondents, entertainers, wounded and the lost. It’s a keeper.

tammikuu 9, 4:25 pm

Miss Osborne-the-Mop - 15 has been on my shelf with other books on animated dolls like Hitty. Well, turns out she’s just annoying. Tossing this one.

tammikuu 10, 10:20 am

Sensible Kate - 16. Now this is a good story. The ending is slightly weak, but that’s okay. The illustrations by Marjorie Torrey are completely charming.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 10, 2:22 pm

Miss Hickory - 17. I tried to dislike this, because the characters were always so brusque with each other, and Miss H didn’t seem constant; one moment brave and industrious, the next timid and shrinking.
But the phrasing won me over.
“If one had to live in town, Miss Hickory had always said, take a house under a lilac bush.”
I have to heartily agree with that sentiment.
Some, though not all, of the illustrations are nifty. I wonder if they are meant to be in color. Mine are black & white. The cover says they are lithographs.

tammikuu 10, 7:30 pm

>29 2wonderY: I belong to an online group that collects and plays with Hitty dolls, and one member includes in her collection a Hitty sized (~6.5") Horrible Hetty made from a Hickory nut, so I guess that's a reference to this book which I hadn't caught before.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 14, 8:03 pm

>30 quondame: I can’t see that they are connected. I tried googling ‘horrible hetty’ and couldn’t find anything except creepy dolls.
One interpretation of Miss Hickory I did find is

with proper homage to Salley Mavor.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 11, 11:25 pm

M. V. Sexton Speaking - 18 is as good as I remember it. A good cast of characters, and they all help each other to grow.
And I have a shirt just like she’s wearing on the cover.

tammikuu 12, 1:06 am

>31 2wonderY: They are, but my description was based on a misunderstanding so I wasn't able to make what the connection was clear.

Here are two images of Hickory nut dolls from my Hitty groups:

The first is a recent one when a member was making her own Miss Hickory. The second is the Horrid Hetty Hickory, who belongs to a household full of Hittys and is a bad tempered trouble maker. Not that HHH owes her bad temper to the original Miss Hickory, just that she was physically modeled after her and went bad on her own. I think HHH is a delightful creation, but it is sad that I didn't research her template before assuming that her bad nature was intrinsic to her hickory nut head.

tammikuu 12, 11:51 am

>33 quondame: That face though!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 12, 12:07 pm

Dude, Where’s My Country? - 19, listened in Libby, because I had nothing else in queue. I do admire Moore’s films, but this book wandered into some strange alleys. He is really pissed at the Bush admin here and pushing for a 2004 upset. He’s also really angry at the Democrats for not being effective.

I learned about some despicable capitalist practices, such as ‘dead peasant insurance’ aka ‘dead janitor insurance.’
Because the term liberal was poison at the time, he pulls out the dictionary and explains what it means and that most people hold that life attitude, without admitting the term to themselves. Then he explained to a nominal business owner why liberal policies would benefit his bottom line. It was a good argument.

Finally, he suggested local “I Voted” lotteries for the evenings of election days, in order to encourage voter participation. He’s done this in Michigan with prizes of $1000 or even a car in one instance.

tammikuu 12, 6:41 pm

I’m returning overdue materials at the library, and staying out of the Friends room.
But I did look at new releases. One I checked out was about fungi. The librarian (Shelley) got animated and we had a conversation about Beatrix Potter and her groundbreaking examination of lichens. I’ve got a book to lend her and several more titles to recommend. But it will have to wait till tomorrow, as the weather discouraged second trips.

I also asked the tech guy, Jacob, to help me choose and upload a free alternative to Microsoft Works. I’ve had my new laptop nearly a year, and Microsoft wants $70 for a year’s subscription of their programs. It took just a couple of minutes to manage that.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 12, 8:48 pm

Combining these two

Fungarium and The Mycocultural Revolution - 20

The first is a junior book with basic information and luscious illustrations by Katie Scott. The second is a specialist book by one of the most knowledgeable mycologists in the Western Hemisphere. Yet I learned tantalizing new facts from both.
I’m not interested in eating mushrooms, but I’m fascinated by their ecological functions.

tammikuu 13, 8:56 am

Almost cheating on this one. It’s a commencement speech, and only 82 pages, including lots of illustration. But it is published in book form, because of the fame of the speaker.

Very Good Lives - 21
It’s middling good, with a couple of good quotes.
Here’s one:
“We do not need magic to transform our world; we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.”

tammikuu 13, 7:18 pm

The Old Peabody Pew - 22 is charming. The wonderful old phrasing and the pretty decorated pages😊

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 3, 11:14 am

Picked this one up from a display table at the library.

Design by Nature - 23 is mixed in quality and interest. I was taken by the nice photography of natural elements and interiors and specific projects. Tanov is a fabric and clothing designer. The book is organized into five elements: wood, water, dirt, weeds, and decay. The order is not strictly adhered to, and that’s a weakness. Some spreads just left me scratching my head.

My favorite of her designs is a “wave print” from her 2012 collection.
My favorites in her house, not designed by her, are a wallpaper and an embroidered wool coat.
Let me see if I can find photos…

The silver background is now tarnished to purples and browns.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 14, 8:02 pm

Polly Oliver’s Problem - 24
I’m not done yet, but need to write some notes.
This was advertised as a sequel to The Bird’s Christmas Carol, but I couldn’t imagine how. It is set on the other side of the country in California. Aha! More than half way through, Polly meets Mrs. Bird, who is out there visiting her brother-in-law.
This one is less pleasing than any other Wiggins book. While trying to make rounded characters, she sometimes merely contradicts herself.
The friend, Edgar Noble, is especially conflicted. I did have to smile when Mrs. Oliver and he agree that Edgar will board with them, all while both are so reluctant it should happen.
More later.

Okay, I revise my rating. Chapter 7 is the core heart of the story. Quietly tragic and where transformation and growth are forged. It earns a spot on the ‘right living’ list.

Courage was one of the little jewels set in her fairy crown when she was born, but there was a round, empty space beside it, where Patience should have been. Further along was Daring, making a brilliant show, but again there was a tiny vacancy waiting for Prudence.
The crown made a fine appearance, on the whole, because the large jewels were mostly in place, and the light of these blinded you to the lack of the others; but to the eye of the keen observer there was a want of symmetry and completeness.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 15, 2:54 pm

I have enjoyed all of Harold MacGrath’s books that I’ve read. Up till now. Admitting that I’m half-way through, I may change my mind. Let us hope.

Arms and the Woman - 25 starts out dull and continues with insufficient plot. But it’s high crime is that the hero lacks any sterling qualities. He basically floats through his mediocre life with little gumption and poor self-reflection. MacGrath’s plots are always ridiculous, but his presentation is usually beguiling. I’m am forcing myself to continue.

Check back.

Ah, well. His excuse is it was his first novel. My eyes are sore from rolling them all during the second half of the book. It was awful.

I will pull another from the shelf just to reassure myself.

tammikuu 15, 6:04 pm

>42 2wonderY: I hope you are well reassured. The title was ever so promising.

tammikuu 15, 6:15 pm

>43 quondame: I am. I found four of his later works; and they all begin excellently.

tammikuu 15, 10:24 pm

The Genie of Sutton Place - 26 is an obscure title by the author of The Cricket in Times Square. It’s a good enough story; but I think I can release it now.

tammikuu 16, 11:17 am

>28 2wonderY: oh, I've read other stories by Doris Gates, will check around for this one.

tammikuu 16, 12:42 pm

I hadn’t finished the book last year, though I left a review in the TBSL group:

In the Wake of the Willows - 27 attempts to do justice to the original, but fails. It gives me more of an impression of disfunction rather than loving story. Somebody else wrote a sequel that had earth moving equipment invade. Somewhat along those lines. Though moving to the New World is radical enough.

I’m debating whether I want to give it shelf space. I’ll probably keep it just because I’m a compleatist.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 16, 7:54 pm

Cheating on this one. I skimmed most of the under-sea adventures; they just didn’t attract me.

Wet Magic - 28 had just a few nice phrasings. It is certainly meant to be read by children only. Never could figure out the hierarchy of the children. I did like Rueben the best.
It seemed that she made up the rules of her world on the fly and announced them through the mermaid princess. I didn’t trust that.

tammikuu 16, 10:45 pm

Tossing Homegrown Democrat back. Not much has changed, only worsened. The names are different but the attitudes remain.

tammikuu 18, 5:25 pm

I bought it in the Friends room a year ago and finally read it.

Fortunately, the Milk - 29 is an absurdly fun romp. It takes perhaps 10 minutes to read. I will probably pass it on to T’s mom.

tammikuu 18, 10:14 pm

I’m scooping books out from shelves that have been just waiting for me to have all of the reading time in the world. This is why I brought them home by the boxes full all those years.

Rose of Old Harpeth - 30 is the one my fortunate hand reached for today. Daviess wrote one of my favorite of all times books; and I’ve had at least three more in the wings, possibly a couple more as well. Sweet sigh of pleasure! Every page has characters and phrasings and sly humor to savor and read several times more just to taste the delight again.

tammikuu 20, 12:06 pm

As I’ve already claimed a point for >38 2wonderY:, I will scoop this one into that one.

A Short Guide to a Happy Life is just as short as a commencement speech, and may be one; though it doesn’t admit so directly. There are a couple of quotes I will save, including the last paragraph.

“People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a résumé than to craft a spirit.”

“…knowledge of our own mortality is the greatest gift God ever gives us.”

I’ll have to meditate on the second one.

tammikuu 21, 10:10 pm

>51 2wonderY: l do have a couple of complaints towards the end of the book.
- Everett and Rose don’t talk plainly to each other. That helps to build to the crisis, but I just prefer frankness and verbal trust.
- Everett takes it upon himself to negotiate a mineral rights deal to pay off the mortgage on the Briars. But it’s not his property. He gets blessed by the owners after the fact; but it’s still illegal.
- Everett finds cobalt. And that saves the farm, but at the cost of turning it into a mining operation. That’s not considered here. But a nice clean oil field would have been better to live with back then.

tammikuu 21, 10:20 pm

I have no idea where this one came from. Well, it’s a Libby audio, but I don’t know how it came to my attention.

Love & Gelato - 31 turned out to be more annoying than anticipated. Lina’s mother never speaks of Lina’s father, but sends her to Italy after she dies. Lina is left to figure out who her father is and learn of her mother’s sad, but stupid decisions 17 years ago. More irritation than sympathy from me.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 23, 9:25 am

Letting By the Book expire today at 42% read. Eh.

I have read one of Ernie Pyle’s books from the war front, and was bored. So I wasn’t sure about Bill Mauldin. But it was on my shelf.

Back Home - 32 was a surprise. Maudlin retained his Everyman attitude as a civilian; even in the face of economic success and celebrity.
His cartoons are used freely throughout, but his text is engaging and thoughtful. He tackles American life after the war, not only from the pov of the veteran; he tries to see the larger world picture.
Veterans groups, the VA, Congress, unions, the press, the UN, political parties, European attitudes. He covers it all. And sadly, nothing has changed.
When accused of liberal slant, he says:
Most of Webster’s definitions for “liberal” have to do with generosity. The idea seems to be that if you are generous with your possessions, or with your tolerance for another’s viewpont, you are liberal.

He goes on to criticize those who identify as such, but don’t live up to that definition.
I like him!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 23, 9:42 am

A college group was screening Jane: An Abortion Service last evening. I thought it was the new film, but this was done in 1996.

I was glad to go. It’s quite a story. And contained a lot of original footage and extensive talk by the participants.
The acoustics of the room were poor. I had some difficulty hearing both film and the very short discussion after.

I did meet some interesting students, Abraham and Shady.
Another lady my age, Betty, was talkative, but self-absorbed.
The sponsoring group is a newly formed Communist student group. I lean toward socialism. But I think I’ll go to a meeting or two, just to meet more activist people.

Oh, and they fed us very well - pizza, pastas, wings, etc.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 23, 10:08 am

Oh, and I listened to Earwig and the Witch, sampling some Wynne Jones. It took just an hour.

She’s just not my cuppa. I did really enjoy A Sudden Wild Magic ages ago.

tammikuu 23, 8:52 pm

“ Think not of the books you've bought as a "to be read" pile. Instead, think of your bookcase as a wine cellar. You collect books to be read at the right time, the right place, and the right mood.”

tammikuu 24, 2:13 pm

I guess I’m on a roll of political commentary.

America Again - 33 Is from Colbert’s first incarnation, way back in 2012. It’s very broad spoof. And it’s just done for entertainment. The best line:

Some scientists think we could get our energy from tidal power. They argue that ocean tides are more reliable than wind or sunlight. Oh, really?!! I for one do not want to count on something that gets high twice a day.

tammikuu 25, 5:25 pm

Listened to the author read Waxing On - 34. It’s a feel good book.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 28, 11:06 am

I was trying to clear some of my Wishlist collection, but it seems too obscure. I was looking for Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris
and only found The Poseidon Adventure on audio by the same author. So I decided to sample it. 63% in, I’m tossing it. Ugh!! It gets worse and worse!! Self-absorbed characters? Here’s your chance.

Also returning Will They Ever Trust Us Again? at 13%. It’s fairly repetitive, lacks depth. The book consists of letters to Moore from Iraq-deployed US soldiers, in response to his film Fahrenheit 9/11.

Libby now has an annoying feature that lists books none of my libraries own, but I can tag them for later, if they are ever acquired.

I still have nothing to listen to.

tammikuu 28, 11:51 am

>61 2wonderY: I would be thrilled if Libby would quit showing me that stupid balloon icon. I don't want help navigating the app, thank you very much!

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 28, 12:51 pm

They tell me that my OverDrive app is going to end. I have no intention of using Libby, but there are fewer and fewer books each cycle that I am interested in, so I'll just stop using it.

I certainly don't need the 'features' you two mention.

tammikuu 28, 4:50 pm

Libby is great. Some of the features (including "Recommend to library") have to do with the library settings. If you want to get a feel for Libby without downloading the app you can use the website from any browser.

tammikuu 28, 5:03 pm

>64 lesmel: Sorry, just the first few pages freak me out. Not going to use it.

tammikuu 28, 8:14 pm

Curiosity made me borrow Class Mom. It’s pretty bad. D/c-ing at 14%

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 3, 11:14 am

I should be writing up my first unit notes in Soil Science, due tomorrow.
Instead I’m shifting furniture and books and I finished another puzzle - The Fly, by Susan Brabeau:

tammikuu 29, 8:03 pm

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

Attributed to Da Vinci on the internet. But probably not his. Good nonetheless.

tammikuu 31, 9:06 am

Thrift Store Graces - 35 is a sequel. I was impressed by the first, so was glad to pick this up recently. I haven’t quite finished it yet, but I’m not finding it as engaging. I love the bits where she quotes the code of St. Vincent de Paul and shows how the shop tries to live up to them. The volunteer is the student; the customer/client is the teacher.
I will probably read it through a second time at some point again. It may just be me being spiritually stubborn and backward.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 31, 10:03 am

January - 35

I was focused this month on reading my own books.
I spent time on the childrens/YA shelf - 11
Tattered but still lovely - 11

Audio books - 7

Other ways to categorize
Lightly spiritual - 3
SF/F - 3
Biographic - 5
History - 4 or 5
Political - 3
Science - 1
Arts - 2
Current fiction (romance) - 1
Classics - 7

Films - 3 ( 2 documentaries, 1 classic)
Puzzles - 2

And I tossed 8 books without finishing them.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 2, 11:51 am

Erin E. Stead came to my attention somehow. I found a handful of her work at the library and brought one home.
She mostly illustrates for her husband’s books. He’s an illustrator too, but not nearly as charming.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee won a Caldecott Medal.

Amos is a zookeeper. He catches a cold and calls off. His friends catch the bus and visit him. He usually races with the tortoise, but today they play hide & seek.

helmikuu 2, 8:19 pm

Portable Magic - 36 is about books as objects. ( my first comments were wiped out by that stupid book balloon that won’t go away; and I’m in a foul mood now)
Suffice to say I enjoyed the first half but skimmed the second half. Too much of a good thing?

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 3, 11:28 am

I skim-read most of Punishment Without Crime over the last few weeks. It was an unpleasant experience because of the multitude of examples of injustice and the misuse of the misdemeanor system for perpetuating poverty and powerlessness. Appalling!!

An example of blatant targeting:
"The assumption that trespassing is a black crime is so deeply ingrained in the Baltimore Police Department that it is written into the form that officers use when they make a trespassing arrest. The form contains blank spaces for the arrestee's name and the address of the arrest, but there are no spaces for race or gender. Instead, the form has already been filled in to read "BLACK MALE.""

helmikuu 3, 6:49 pm

>72 2wonderY: oh, I'm not the only one? I thought it was a glitch of the latest operating system on my iPad!

helmikuu 7, 6:47 pm

I’ve been dissatisfied with most of the audio books loaded from Libby for a few weeks. Since I was on the road this past weekend, I loaded an old reliable.

Skin Game - 37 has Dresden returned to Chicago after his resurrection and island recovery. His friends try to catch up and deal with a trust issue. I happen to have the paper book too. I think someone left it in my LFL before I took it down. But I will read chapter 20 again and savor some details - Michael’s wisdom.

helmikuu 8, 7:42 pm

Politely returning The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning at 35% read. Please ignore the clothespin on my nose. It has nothing to do with the sexist stereotypes encountered.

helmikuu 8, 7:57 pm

Bewildered by a plot twist that I must have missed, and shocked at the treatment of the terminally ill, returning How High We Go In the Dark at 18%.

helmikuu 8, 8:01 pm

Quitting Felix Ever After at 25%. Tried really hard, but I don’t want to spend time with self-absorbed adolescents.

helmikuu 8, 8:04 pm

It seems you have a stack of not the right books. I hope your next is a winner.

helmikuu 8, 8:34 pm

>77 2wonderY: I read that for bookclub and overall liked it. Wait. Like isn't the right word. Appreciated the art and craft of writing? It was a bizarre book. It's hard to read because of the topic(s). What plot twist did you miss?

helmikuu 8, 8:48 pm

Ditching The Enemy of the People at 28%. Nothing new, and Acosta rushes his reading. He doesn’t seem to realize he’s not in front of a camera; not reporting the news. Even dialing it back to 80% speed he talks too fast, too relentlessly.

helmikuu 8, 8:52 pm

>80 lesmel: I don’t even remember the start of the book, but somehow it segued into the theme park for the terminally ill.

helmikuu 9, 1:45 pm

For such a small book, this took me a while to get through.

Field Study - 38 is the result of the author rummaging through the entire Fowler Herbarium in Ontario for a year. We are invited into her head too often and she switches emphasis of her research over time. The best aspects are her biological tidbits on the collectors (I’ve added a couple of quotes on the work page.) and the sometimes poetic locational descriptions.
I’ve started my own herbarium, so I found some nice pointers. She features examples collected by Thoreau and Emily Dickinson.
One note. Field Study is a terribly crowded title. The touchstones go on forever.

helmikuu 9, 10:50 pm

>82 2wonderY: I'm not advocating for the book or pressuring you to try it again; but it's really a series of interconnected short stories following the progression of a pandemic. The second story with the theme park is probably the hardest one for most readers; followed by the pig story. Each story is connect to the ones before by characters (directly or indirectly) as well as the larger storyline. It's an interesting concept. I've probably read one or two other books with a similar style.

helmikuu 12, 7:30 pm

I took the day off and listened to a trashy romance recommended by a librarian.

A Princess in Theory - 39 starts out fresh and fun. The old African prince email scam. Send us all of your IDs and you may be the person we are looking for. When the prince does show up, he is mistaken for the new waiter. It allows for the two principals to develop a nice history before all is revealed and SHTF. There are two nice girlfriend stories as well.

helmikuu 12, 7:34 pm

Oh, and a Georgette Heyer book yesterday.

Faro’s Daughter - 40 has a similar amount of fun romp.

helmikuu 12, 7:57 pm

And this happened. Asimov bored me!

I gave up listening to Prelude to Foundation at 11%. Long long time ago…longer ago than that… I’ve read and enjoyed most of the rest of Asimov’s fiction as well as some of his nonfiction.

helmikuu 12, 8:22 pm

>87 2wonderY: I found all of the latter day Foundation novels a total waste. About the worst work by Asimov, Kingsbury, Brin, and Bear that I've encountered.

helmikuu 12, 9:02 pm

>87 2wonderY: they did a tv series one or two years back called foundation. i thought it was pretty good . ive never really read his sci/fi- so consider the source

helmikuu 13, 1:42 am

>87 2wonderY: I find Asimov a lot less satisfactory now than I did several decades ago. Largely because he can't (couldn't) create a realistic female character.

helmikuu 13, 1:48 am

helmikuu 13, 9:16 pm

Celebrating the holiday, I read Cupid’s Understudy - 41

Field was a darling of the publishing world. The bindings, illustrations and special treatment of his stories is always over the top. His writing is not remarkable, but pleasant. The maid’s name is Valentine.

helmikuu 14, 10:50 am

Among the Dolls - 42

I’ve started a new group discussing toys:

So I pulled out a few dollhouse stories to read.
This is the slightly creepy one. But I see I’ve read and enjoyed another of Sleator’s books. Hmmm. Gotta go check out a possible connection….

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 14, 11:10 am

Okay Interstellar Pig is not the same as the Transcendent Pig, who is a character in the Young Wizards series. I might have to start a list of books that feature pigs, yeah?

Specifically, in The Wizard's Dilemma, but referenced in later books as well.

Huh. Found this fantasy list referencing Pig Boys, not Pigs:

helmikuu 15, 8:46 am

>94 2wonderY: Taran, the Assistant Pig Keeper comes to mind...

helmikuu 15, 9:17 am

>95 fuzzi: It’s there. But not my mission.

I’m listening to Fair Play, and I may quit it in disgust. It’s about sharing the household work load fairly between partners. The entitlement attitude of the author’s spouse is enraging. The drunk’s jacket and beer bottle left on the lawn for two days till she got home from a trip would have caused a divorce for me. (Her husband had texted her about it when he noticed it.)
My daughters have these issues with their spouses, but I never did.

helmikuu 17, 10:52 pm

The Finches’ Fabulous Furnace - 43

I’m reading some of the short novels on my YA shelves, with hopes of weeding the overburdened shelves.
This is a cute one, but I can let it go now. The furnace is a very tiny volcano.. The adults act very silly, as they did in The Pushcart War.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 18, 5:51 am

Lesmel and Susan are reading Ilona Andrews, so I thought I’d try Clean Sweep - 44 on audio. The pov was first person narrative and there was an attempt to create it as a full cast radio play. That aspect was not particularly successful, but I liked the two main characters and the concept of Innkeeper.
I don’t know how Beast is portrayed in the book, but he sounded cute, adorable, badass.

helmikuu 18, 3:50 pm

King of the Dollhouse - 45 fulfills so many of the wishes of dollhouse owners. No stuffy stiff dolls, but real little live people take up residence. And eleven of them are adorable babies!

helmikuu 18, 5:22 pm

Abandoning ship at 65% on the historical novel, The War Librarian. More than half of the story is taken up by a 1976 story line instead of the titled 1918 story. As other reviewers have said, each might work on its own, but it’s just annoying blended.

helmikuu 18, 8:13 pm

A companion book to Putting the Fact in Fantasy, read in December, I sampled Putting the Science In Fiction on audio. Got to 15% and I decided “Nah!” These are essays from various writers that fill in some considerations that other writers might not have extensive background. It’s an odd collection; and would be a terrible place to rest your research on a particular topic.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 19, 10:54 am

Let Us Tell Quiet Stories of Kind Eyes (1918)
Geoffrey Bache Smith

Let us tell quiet stories of kind eyes
And placid brows where peace and learning sate:
Of misty gardens under evening skies
Where four would walk of old, with steps sedate.

Let’s have no word of all the sweat and blood,
Of all the noise and strife and dust and smoke
(We who have seen Death surging like a flood,
Wave upon wave, that leaped and raced and broke).

Or let’s sit silently, we three together,
Around a wide hearth-fire that’s glowing red,
Giving no thought to all the stormy weather
That flies above the roof-tree overhead.

And he, the fourth, that lies all silently
In some far-distant and untended grave,
Under the shadow of a shattered tree,
Shall leave the company of the hapless brave,

And draw nigh unto us for memory’s sake,
Because a look, a word, a deed, a friend,
Are bound with cords that never a man may break,
Unto his heart for ever, until the end.

(After Robert Gilson was killed in 1916, Smith wrote this poem to mourn his friend.)

helmikuu 20, 2:22 pm

>102 2wonderY: very nice.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 23, 4:30 pm

Cyrano de Bergerac is a play I appreciated very early on, just reading it. So I was interested to see the most recent film.
Cyrano takes detours, as one reviewer says, through 90s MTV. I was not prepared for a musical or the coy production. Dinklage was fine, and the last 20 minutes possibly saved the film for me, beginning with Christian silhouetted on Mount Etna. (Stupid place to have a war. Just sayin’)

helmikuu 23, 4:35 pm

Actually, having a war anywhere is stupid.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 25, 2:41 pm

“The obscenity of the belief in God”
A general conclusion of the educated classes after WW1

Listened to A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War - 46. It’s a short book, 6 chapters. I’d like to get a physical copy, so as to read chapters 3-5 again. There are nuggets of sublimity that I don’t often experience. As a matter of fact, the first time I recall experiencing it in a book was reading Letters to Malcolm. Recommend highly.

helmikuu 26, 12:03 pm

>96 2wonderY: I continued on with Fair Play up to 45%. It got better, and the incident that disgusted me seems to have been a game changer. Her idea is to create a deck of cards representing tasks and getting the significant other to own half of them. While my daughters might benefit, I doubt they’d read this. And I don’t need it. Releasing it for the 14 women waiting to read it.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 26, 1:11 pm

The Prison Healer, at 27%, is annoying the hell out of me with its repeat phrases. Done.

Also tossing Booked on a Feeling at 8%. Cloying.

helmikuu 26, 6:21 pm

Sorry about the string of not good enoughs. Better luck with your next!

helmikuu 26, 7:23 pm

>108 2wonderY: Augh! I'm sorry you didn't like The Prisoner Healer.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 27, 11:02 am

Completed a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle. My eyes like that size.

helmikuu 27, 11:26 pm

Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 - 47 Justifies the graphic novel genre. There couldn’t be fiercer, more cuddly mice.

maaliskuu 8, 1:39 pm

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 10, 7:49 am

Good thing I read a lot early in the year. I have been away from books for over a week. Spending my days atop the garage roof, spare time with my chatty teen granddaughter, and in bed with my heating pad by 7:30. I carried one book with me and I’m nearing completion. It’s a re-read prior to reading the sequel.
The Late Great Wizard - 48 is good until the climax, and then it becomes chaotic and rushed and lacks some of my favorite characters.

Livy didn’t bring a book for herself, so I supplied Maniac Magee. I had my first firsthand glimpse* of her dyslexia issues. She graduated high school with honors (salutatorian) because she works incredibly hard.

*because we are always doing projects when we are together.

maaliskuu 10, 9:08 am

>114 2wonderY: wonderful that you can spend time together, giving her support, encouragement, and lasting memories of the relationship with her grandma.

maaliskuu 11, 8:46 pm

The Magicians TV series looked interesting and I borrowed it from the library. I immediately recognized it is based on the book by Lev Grossman, which I started but didn’t finish. I thought it was more interesting in this format, but got tired of the complications and the horror aspects of it midway through. Triple ICK.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 12, 1:53 pm

Arrow’s Flight - 49 is the second in a long and complex series. This was just okay. I think I liked the bonding with the Companion and the physical training of the first book. Though the issues confronting the Heralds on the road were interesting, too much time was devoted to Talia’s struggles to control her talent. Great big gap in her education. Shouldn’t have happened.

maaliskuu 12, 9:17 pm

>117 2wonderY: I read most of Lackey's Valdemar series at one point, have fond memories of this first trilogy, Alberich's books (Exile's Honor and Exile's Valor), and By the Sword, but I have no interest in revisiting the rest.

maaliskuu 17, 3:40 pm

Almost a week since I’ve finished something. I’ve dabbled at several audiobooks, but nothing catches. Hard labor and then recovery has limited my before sleep reading; but I finally got to the cliffhanger end of The New Improved Sorceress - 50.
It’s irritating that her compatriots continue to hold back her education on the premise that the knowledge is too dangerous. Still kinda scattershot character motivations. I hope she improves and tightens the stories with practice.

maaliskuu 19, 12:10 pm

Absolutely delighted by Thud! - 51.
Sam Vimes has a regular family! Sybil and little Sam play a part in the story. I’m not able to read these in any order, much to my detriment.
But all is well in the world.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 20, 5:36 pm

I went looking for Charles Dickens on audio. All I found were two short ghost stories - The Signalman and The Trial for Murder - 52. Magazine pap.

It was the way I searched. There are actually 54 audio entries at Libby.

maaliskuu 21, 4:08 pm

Random pick up, Great Balls of Fury - 53 is a light fun fantasy. First in a series. Magic system seems made up as she goes along, but the mix of magical and mundane characters is fresh.

maaliskuu 21, 7:38 pm

Magic Elizabeth - 54 is a sweet old story (1966) about several generations getting to know each other and solving the mystery of the lost doll.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 21, 10:53 pm

MarthaJeanne said good things about it, so I found a copy.

The Rabbi’s Cat - 55 is fun. I was distressed when the cat lost the ability to speak. I wonder if he will ever get it back. Quitting before finishing tonight because the scribbled dialogue is hard on my eyes. The rabbi wants to be miserable in Paris for now.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 22, 3:04 am

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Oh! Oh! I see that a fourth collection has come out in German. When can I get to the bookstore?

I agree with you though on how much harder it is to read graphic novels than regular books. Funny that they are often recommended for people who have trouble reading.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 22, 7:37 am

Zlabya is so beautiful and graceful and self-assured. And Malka is a hunk. Love the friendship between cat and lion. And the discussion as to the source of the name Sfar.

maaliskuu 23, 9:33 am

>124 2wonderY: I swear I've read that, but it's not in my collections.

maaliskuu 23, 9:47 am

>125 MarthaJeanne: My adult granddaughter has severe dyslexia and she loves graphic novels.

maaliskuu 24, 1:13 pm

The weather turned wet and cool again today; not a day to go anywhere. So I skipped class and finished reading Midnight in the Dollhouse - 56. The dolls are wonderful. They have vapors that swirl in their heads rather than brains, but they work the same way. Martinique, the cook - “her wooden bones rattled in satisfaction.”
There are four illustrations besides the cover. Very well done, especially the last one where the dolls solve a mystery.

maaliskuu 24, 6:45 pm

The Doll House Caper - 57 tells how the dollhouse family foil a burglary attempt. The three human boys have always played roughly with the set, but they each have a special connection with the dollhouse and family. Illustrations by Eric Blegvad are perfect.

maaliskuu 25, 10:47 am

The Dollhouse Murders - 58 is a truly creepy story. But it has a good ending.

The front cover tore itself off the book as I read it.

maaliskuu 25, 11:03 am

>131 2wonderY: I read that until the covers got loose. Then I loaned it to a friend that promptly moved to another state. That was the last time I loaned a book to anyone. I was in 4th grade, I think.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 28, 11:24 am

I’m not done with it yet, but I have two words: Dysfunctional families!

I am enjoying it and caught on to the twist fairly early on. Charity Girl - 59

Done. Except for the awful slang at the front of the book, very satisfying.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 29, 9:54 pm

The Reluctant Widow - 60. What a perfectly fun story! Nicky lit up the middle and Francis astonished at the end. And no slang!

The only unfortunate choice was the name Carlyon, as I wanted to pronounce it Carolyn.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 2, 9:28 am

Clearing Libby of attempted reads
Madame Fourcade’s Secret War - 19%
Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus Cat Magic - 42% rubbish
Once Upon a Marigold - 14% I recollect none of what I did read.
I Am, I Am, I Am - 33% recommended by daughter, but hit a hard patch with a miscarriage, and never picked it up again.

huhtikuu 2, 9:38 am

Reread Battle Ground - 61, #17, as I heard from one of you that there is a sequel short story and I see that #18 is supposed to come out soon. Incredibly searing losses.

huhtikuu 2, 2:27 pm

The President’s Brain is Missing - 62 is a short story. Taking credit because of all the stuff I’ve endured lately. (see >135 2wonderY:)

huhtikuu 2, 10:08 pm

I read Sylvester - 63 in 2014. On my second read, I’m noticing the care and concern the principals have for the horses and the faithful servant, Keighley.
I’m not near done yet, so I may come back and add more observation.

huhtikuu 3, 10:37 am

>138 2wonderY: that was one I really enjoyed.

huhtikuu 8, 9:12 pm

Witches Abroad - 64 is one of a couple of Discworlds I had missed. The theme of “story” kept reminding me of Alix Harrow’s Fractured Fables.

Oh, I see I have read it in 2017.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 11, 8:32 am

I found a couple more National Geographic magazines. Interestingly, I have the July 1975 volume that discusses world food production for 3.9 billion people. And then the May 2014 edition that examines the food production needed to feed a projected 9 billion people by 2050.
I have to say that though they both give a nod to the effects on climate change, the focus is on mega-industrial farming techniques.

At the same time, I’m listening to Joel Salatin read The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs. He, unexpectedly, is being outspoken about his fundamentalist beliefs. That’s a bit off-putting, and he’s definitely not a theologian. But he is speaking to fundamentalists about stewardship, and what that should look like.

huhtikuu 14, 6:54 pm

The Shepherd’s Crown - 65 Is Pratchett’s last book…. But there was so much more to explore. Like Jeffrey! What about Jeffrey?!

huhtikuu 17, 9:37 am

Tried to watch a Marvel film this weekend, but gave it up. Multiverse of Madness had no sympathetic characters, with the possible exception of the oriental gentleman, and a lame plot and pointless battles.

huhtikuu 18, 9:46 pm

Sorry for the time it takes to load this thread. But the thumbnails are helpful for me when I am looking for my notes. I will have to break the year into parts.

It took me quite a while to warm up to Trustee From the Toolroom - 66, but the last quarter of the book kept me warm and happy. I loved his informal epilogue on the last page. It added that last bit of realism to his people.

huhtikuu 19, 12:23 am

>144 2wonderY: It's one of my favourite Shutes.

huhtikuu 19, 11:00 pm

>145 MarthaJeanne: I knew that. Good gracious! I just looked at your Shute collection in your catalog. Wow! Admirable!
So tell my why it’s your favorite.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 29, 9:31 pm

To those few of you who read this thread but not the one I keep in Gardens and Books - no, I have not slipped off the face of the earth.

I slipped into a muddy trench. I hired a contractor to remedy a water drainage issue around my foundation. I had to disassemble perennial gardens and cringe while the backhoe clipped my young trees, backed where it shouldn’t and compacted areas that I hope will be gardens some day. They are done, and the yard itself looks reasonable; but my plants are still mostly in buckets.
I’m mud caked and exhausted.
But it’s planting season. My neighbor took me to a couple of out of the way greenhouses for relief and I came home with trays and trays of new treasures.

My Libby books have all expired and the library books are overdue. I have a book within reach, but I will probably just fall asleep here on my heating pad. (I did clean the mud off.)

toukokuu 1, 11:12 am

I will count Harriet the Invincible - 67, though I only listened because I had liked an adult book by the same author under a different pseudonym. Though I listened to 94% of the 2 hour book, it was pretty boring. Kept thinking it wound pick up.

toukokuu 14, 11:35 am

Okay, not at all refined, but I wanted to try it. Get a Life, Chloe Brown - 68. I’ve been too work tired to pick up a book, but listening to this in odd moments. I’m skipping the steamy passages, as that doesn’t interest me this year. But her treatment of a heroine with fibromyalgia is laudable. And the match with Red feels appropriate. The relationship is healing for him and he is able to pull his life back together.

toukokuu 14, 11:50 am

>149 2wonderY: Yes, I liked that one, because the author got living with pain right.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 14, 12:51 pm

>150 MarthaJeanne: Yes. And it’s not a magical or perfect match. It’s two people who know how to give of themselves. I might even tag it “right living.”

Chloe: “Relationships aren’t supposed to hurt.”
Red: “Life hurts;” he said fiercely, “it’s unavoidable. But I know the difference between torture and growing pains.”

toukokuu 14, 2:42 pm

Leaving Castle Hangnail at 23%.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 16, 3:05 pm

For an Earth Day display, I went to the big city (Lexington) library and came back with a cartload of books and a few documentaries.

The films are Fed Up, which I’ve seen before and really liked the information and attitude. The topic is industrial and processed foods and how our bodies treat them.
Eating Animals is about industrial confined animal operations. I am an agriculture major, and I guess I saw the middle of this trend. I worked a 400 cow dairy operation one summer. But some of the material here is just disgusting. I feel lucky to be in a community that promotes other options.

I haven’t watched the third yet, but it features a local permaculture farmer of my acquaintance. Inhabit

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 16, 3:10 pm

Starting to listen to audio books again.
Strange Practice - 69 is a middling fantasy. I like the premise, and the plot was straightforward. I didn’t really warm to the characters.

toukokuu 17, 4:49 pm

>154 2wonderY: The characters were kinda meh, right? At least, that's how I felt.

toukokuu 17, 5:30 pm

>155 lesmel: Yes. I will give her another chance with the second book. Gotta forgive certain lacks in first publications and allow the author to grow.