Tess Does Her Own Thing-2nd page

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Tess Does Her Own Thing-2nd page

huhtikuu 9, 11:42 am

Hi, I'm Tess. A once-retired high school history teacher and now part-time history professor and a very part-time (6 hours per week) private school history teacher. I tell people that I'm recycled! I live with my husband of 49 years on 3 acres in central Ohio. No, it's not "good" land, mostly clay; but I do manage to grow peppers, tomatoes, flowers, potatoes, and herbs. I'm really into canning and dehydrating foods to have a sustainable pantry that is also chemical and GMO free.

1st time making grape jelly--not a jelly fan, but the grape juice was free!

This year I want to either begin or complete some author's canons.(Dickens, Balzac, Hardy, Trollope, Buck)

My rating system:
1 star--waste of paper and ink
2 stars-Is this literature? -major flaws or mind numbing boring
2 1/2 stars-not so bad I had to stop reading, but I wanted to!
3 stars-average
3 1/2 fun, informative, thought provoking
4 stars-excellent read
4 1/2 exceptionally good, among my favorites
5 stars-in all ways a superior read

My reading year runs from Dec. 25 to Dec. 24

I try to always read from my own TBR. I have whittled down my TBR from 1500 books to a little less than 300 in the past 10-11 years. My goal is to get down to somewhere around 100. New books are so tempting!

TBR on Dec. 25 2023: 307

Hosting Duties
January MysteryKit Short Story Mysteries
February ScaredyKit Gothic
February CalendarCAT
March RTT Medicine & Epidemics
April HistoryCAT Riots, Revolution, and Mayhem
May RandomKit
June Book lists PrizeCAT
November PrizeCAT Children's Book Awards

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 24, 5:59 pm


This month I started making my own almond extract. Should be done in 18-24 months.

1 pound of raw almonds, chopped or slivered. I just put whole almonds in my food processor and pulsed twice. Be careful not to get them too fine! Put in a 32 oz mason jar and add vodka to the neck of the jar. Place in a dark, cool place and shake about once a month-every two months or whenever you think about it! When you have determined that it is extract, (the alcohol smell/taste is very light and what you taste is basically almond flavor), strain to separate, discard almonds.

1. The Pickwick Papers 3.5*
2. The Death of a Neanderthal 2*
3. The Denisovans 2.5*
4. H is for Hawk 3*
5. Life and Death in Rebel Prisons: Giving a Complete History of the Inhuman and Barbarous Treatment of Our Brave Soldiers by Rebel Authorities, ... Ga., and Florence, S. C (Civil War) 5*
6. Come into my Cave 3*
7. Early Christian Fathers 4*
8. Andorra Revealed 4.5*
9. Bad Days in History: A Gleefully Grim Chronicle of Misfortune, Mayhem, and Misery for Every Day of the Year 3.5*
10. Helen of Troy by Margaret George 4*
11. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell 4*
12. What She Left Behind by Ellen Wiseman 3*
13. The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliffe 3.5*
14. Hannibal: Rome's Greatest Enemy by Philip Freeman 5*
15. Stonehenge by Bernard Cornwell 3* (barely)

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 24, 6:01 pm


In September of 2023 I canned 17 quarts and 70 pints of organic green beans.

1. Polio 4*
2. Justinian's Flea 3*
3. The Disappearing Act 3.5*
4. I Found You 4*
5. Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds, and Scandals 3.5*
6. Bonnie Prince Charlie and the '45 3*
7. The Thirty Years War by Hourly History 3*
8. The Black Arrow 3*
9. The Viscount's Sinful Bargain 4*
40. Along the Broken Bay 4.5*

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 24, 6:02 pm

One of my favorite months because on the last week of the month I get to plant the flowers and veggies outside! One of my favorite flowers are hollyhocks. Sadly, last year, my 3-4 year old hollyhocks got rust and I had to pull them up! On to new ones (already purchased) this year that claim to be rust resistant

Grass of the Earth: The Story of A Norwegian Immigrant Family in Dakota 3*
Work Song by Ivan Doig 3*
The Children's Blizzard 3*
Double Fold DNF
63. The Gathering Storm 4*
Napoleon’s Escape from Elba: The History of the French Emperor’s Return from Exile and the Road to Waterloo (no touchstone) by Charles Rivers Editors 3*
64. The Great Portrait Mystery by Austin Freeman
65. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell 3*
66. The Trumpet Major by Thomas Hardy 3*
67. Napoleon's Hemorrhoids and other small events that changed history by Phil Mason 2.5*
68. Shakespeare's Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485 by John Julius Norwich 4.5*
69. West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge 3*
70 Where here the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderhal 3*
71. The Harvest Gypsies by John Steinbeck 4.5*
72. The Storm Before the Storm 3*
73. The Reluctant Midwife 3.5*

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 13, 6:36 am

Everything is beginning to bloom! One of my favorite plants are peonies. They are so fragrant. However, their actual blooms only last about a week, so just a short time to enjoy them. All of my dark pink ones have passed! They were 20+ years old and had a good run. Just light pink and white ones remain. Oh, they also attract ants!

77. A History of Cornwall 4*
78. The Long Dissolved Parliament 3.5*
79. Humanism and Terror by Maurice Merleau-Ponty 4*
80. The King's General 5*

huhtikuu 9, 11:46 am

Most people that I know don't "like" July. They say it's too hot! I say, bring it on! This is not my pic, but I have the exact same pool that is backed up to the deck. When we open our pool, I will take a pic and repost!

huhtikuu 9, 11:53 am

We have lots of cookouts and swims in August. This is my youngest son's favorite: vegetable pizza

2 cans pillsbury crescent roll dough (I normally make my own=flour, sugar, yeast), but in a pinch....
1 cup mayo
2 TBSP dry ranch dressing (I make my own, but again, you can buy the dry Hidden Valley Ranch or its equivalent)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, match sticked
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped (or any color pepper)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Spread the crescent dough on a cookie sheet and bake as directed. Let cool. Mix the mayo, cream cheese, and dry ranch dressing together until well blended. Spread on crescent dough. Add each of the vegetables and top with cheese. Cover and store in fridge. I usually bring to room temp 1 hour before eating. It's gone in a flash! This isn't my pic--who knew I would ever need a pic of my food? But mine looks just like this!

pic by Amanda's Cookin'

huhtikuu 9, 11:54 am

The last of the month is harvest time. I alternate planting and canning different items about every 2-3 years, depending upon usage. In 2022 I canned about 40 pints and 20 quarts of tomatoes, so I didn't need any in 2023. I use the canned tomatoes to make chili, tomato soup, marinara sauce, and whenever else canned tomatoes are needed. It's a lot of work to preserve tomatoes!

huhtikuu 9, 11:55 am

Potato month! 2023 was my first attempt at growing both red, white, and sweet potatoes. I was most excited for my German Butterball potatoes and I got NOTHING, even though it did appear above ground that everything was going well. I did harvest Pontiac Red, Yukon Gold (not very many), and two kinds of sweet potatoes. Will give potatoes another go next year!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 9, 11:59 am

I celebrate November because it is the month of my mother's birthday. She passed in 2024 at 90+ years of age. She still lived by herself, drove, played the organ at church and had FUN! I love her so much!

huhtikuu 9, 12:00 pm

May your holiday be blessed!

My "parlor" tree decorated with a Victorian angel theme.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 13, 6:34 am

This is just an extra. I made laundry detergent and I deem it a success. The cost for 5 gallons was just over $7. That makes the cost of each load about 17 cents. Our ladies service group made this and put it in every USED glass container with a lid we could find. (spaghetti sauce jars, etc.) We donated 8 oz. jars to the food bank and they reported their clients loved it! Next time I make it will search for a substitute for the Borax to be more eco-friendly. I did need to mix it with an immersion blender after I put it in the jars. (I skipped this step initially, directions stated it was optional.......)

1 bar Castile or Fels Napatha soap, grated
1 cup washing soda
1 cup Borax
3 gallons water
10-20 drops of essential oils (for scent), optional

In 1 gallon of hot water on the stove, melt the grated soap. Stir frequently and do NOT boil.

In the 5 gallon container, add the other 2 gallons of hot (from the tap) water, the washing soda, and the borax. When the soap is melted, add this to the bucket. Stir very well and leave set overnight. It will jell. The next day, mix with an immersion blender and put in containers. Glass works best. Use 1/4 cup for regular laundry.

January - Prize Winners - prize winning books that won literary prizes that are off the beaten tracks. Not the National Book Award, Pulitzer, or other prizes of that ilk. There will be more details in subsequent posts.

February - Women's Work - what women do or did. This could be books about WWII pilots, civil war nurses, the women who sued Newsweek over pay and promotion issues, or the history of home economics.

March - Forensic Sciences - forensics is a wide open topic so read about criminal forensics, genetic forensics, even astronomical forensics.

April - Globalization - all things global, exports, international banking, terrorism, pandemics.

May - Wild Wild West - books about the western U.S. Historical or modern. Indian wars, water wars, conservation, settlement, etc. (The Children's Blizzard)

June - Middle Europe - anything about Europe from the Elbe to the Ural's, from Finland to Turkey. History, language, travel, etc. (Hitler's Children: Sons and Daughters of Third Reich Leaders)

July - Insect World - insects are important. Butterflies, honey bees, mosquitoes, ants, roaches, etc. (Why Insects Matter-Great Courses)

August - Being Jewish - this topic is wide open as long as it is nonfiction. Zionism, modern Israel, history, religion, Kabbalah, Judaism. (A Tale of Love and Darkness)

September - Essays - any book of essays. Scientific, religious, political, racial, social commentary, etc. (Two Essays be Georgi Markov)

October - Music, more music - lots of books being published now about composers, the music industry, history of music, and even memoirs and biography's from the Boss to Bach. (The Piano Shop on the Left Bank)

November - Too Small to See - books about Bacteria, Viruses, Atoms, Dust. maybe even microaggressions? (Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present, and Future)

December - This is a dual topic month. As You Like It - whatever you want to catch up on that is nonfiction
Political Biography - ancient or modern, any person who had a role in politics of their day. Even people who might not have had a job or title, like historian Theodore White, or women like Madam Chiang Kai-Shek or Nancy Regan. People who had influence in the politics of their day, but not a job title that would indicate the scope of their power. (Mr. Wilson's War: From the Assassination of McKinley to the Defeat of the League of Nations)


JANUARY - The Ancients (Greeks, Romans etc)
FEBRUARY - The American War of Independence
MARCH - The War of the Roses
APRIL - Wars of Religion (The Burning Chambers)
MAY - The Napoleonic Wars (Trumpet Major)
JUNE - The English Civil War (The King's General)
JULY - Colonial Wars (Johnny Tremain)
AUGUST - World War Two (Prisoner B-3087)
SEPTEMBER - The American Civil War (Re-read of Gone with the Wind)
OCTOBER - American Follies (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and the Gulf Wars) (Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies That Led to Vietnam)
NOVEMBER - World War One (Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey: A Novel)
DECEMBER - The Spanish Civil War (Homage to Catalonia)
WILDCARD - Pick your own fight!

huhtikuu 9, 12:02 pm

Welcome to the 2nd quarter. Here's to some great reads!

huhtikuu 9, 12:09 pm

Happy new thread! That picture of your mom is so great!

huhtikuu 9, 1:54 pm

Happy New Thread! Your canning activities are impressive.

>12 Tess_W: Love the picture. What a wonderful person.

huhtikuu 9, 2:03 pm

Happy new thread! Your adventures in canning and laundry soap making are fantastic. It's very satisfying to have neat rows of canned fruit and veg in the pantry. I should try it again -- there are so many local farms selling amazing produce, but so far we just eat it all right away.

huhtikuu 9, 2:33 pm

Happy new thread.

huhtikuu 9, 2:56 pm

Happy new thread Tess! I’m impressed with your canning activities and what a lovely picture of your Mom.

huhtikuu 9, 4:38 pm

Happy new thread, Tess. I am in awe of all the canning and processing that you do!

huhtikuu 9, 4:52 pm

Great new thread. Lovely picture of your mom.

huhtikuu 9, 5:31 pm

So impressed by all your food growing and preserving, Tess. You're avoiding all those numbered ingredients, the preservatives and colourings that are in almost everything. There have been a lot of articles lately about highly processed food, and how bad it is for us.

huhtikuu 9, 5:32 pm

Happy new thread! I think I want to be you when I grow up - I've always fancied canning/dehydrating/making my own. I think it will be a good retirement project, although sadly that is still a few years away.

huhtikuu 9, 7:30 pm

Happy New Thread! I love to make grape jelly but am finding it hard to find wild grapes these days.

huhtikuu 9, 9:03 pm

>22 DeltaQueen50: Nothing to be awed about--it's a hobby of mine, like reading!
>23 hailelib: Thank you--she is lovely!
>24 pamelad: Half of the reason I did this was to control what was in my food! The other was to save money. Have done both!
>25 Jackie_K: Aww, thank you! It's quite easy, start small!
>26 dudes22: I'm not a jelly fan (prefer jam or preserves) but somebody gave me 2 gallons of organic grape juice......so I tried it! Gave it to my children/grandchildren---not a grape fan! Hope you find some wild grapes!

huhtikuu 11, 6:05 am

Happy new thread, Tess! You sure know how to make good use of all the hours in a day!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 12, 7:56 am

45. The Quail, Robert by Margaret Stanger is a sweet non-fiction book about a couple who "adopt" a baby quail, or a baby quail who adopts them. It is like nothing I've ever heard, if in fact, it is true! Read this in one sitting and it was entertaining and amusing. 127 page 3.5 stars April Randomkit-Enchanting garden visitors

46. The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese This has very mixed reviews. Either readers hated it or loved it. I'm very ambivalent about this novel. It is a generational saga that I feel has great potential. There are some great mini-stories contained within. However, it is meandering and overly long. There are 1-2 chapters which are of great interest and I was getting invested in the story, when the next two chapters introduced a new character in a new setting and we don't get back to the original story for 200 more pages. Disjointed, but at times brilliantly engaging. I started reading this in March and just now finished. It was sooooooo long! I think as I get older my attention span is waning! Anybody else notice that? 727 pages 3 stars

1 star
1.5 stars-1
2 stars-1
2.5 stars-2
3 stars-17
3.5 stars 8
4 stars-6
4.5 stars-2
5 stars-7


Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 12, 8:16 am

My daughter-in-law volunteers Saturday mornings at a food bank. Last Saturday they were going to throw away (required by law) the produce that was not given away. She texted me--I said "never!" She brought to me 8 softer onions and 8 very ripe tomatoes. I got out my food dehydrator and dehydrated the onions. Wow--my house smelled very bad for 3 days! The first day the onion fumes burned our eyes! However, after burning some essential oils for a day, the house smells normal again. I ended up with 1 quart of dehydrated onions. They can be used in any casserole or soup. I just froze the tomatoes whole and will process when I get enough to make a minimum of 4 quarts of something! We are down to our last jar of salsa.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 12, 9:24 am

47. Globalization A Very Short Introduction by Manfred Steger. This was a short and unnecessarily belabored book about globalization. The author did provide many real time/life examples of globalization. It is the author’s thesis that globalization has three facets: form, quality, and dimension. I have found several author opinions (and they are opinions!) that I would argue: “Globalism consists of powerful narratives that sell an overarching neoliberal worldview.” Then the author goes on to argue that globalism is sparking a worldwide resurgence of national populism. Populism and neoliberalism are not compatible—it can’t be both—imho. I’m not even sure this was worth the read, but I have been “introduced!” I listened to this on audio. 4 hours 4 mins 3 stars 75's NF Read April-Globalization

1 star
1.5 stars-1
2 stars-1
2.5 stars-2
3 stars-18
3.5 stars 8
4 stars-6
4.5 stars-2
5 stars-7


Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 23, 9:14 pm

I can't even remember what I've planned to read!

April Plans:
Finish A Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese RTT Mar Med/EPi/Plagues FINISHED
Finish From Here to Eternity FINISHED
Finish Ormond (Off shelf) FINISHED
Song at Dawn: 1150 in Provence (The Troubadours Quartet) April Mysterykit:series FINISHED
Valley Forge by Newt Gingrich March HistoryCat: Riots, Revolutions, Mayhem
The Quail, Robert April Randomkit: Enchanted Garden Visitors this book has been slated every month since last December!FINISHED
Globalization A Short Introduction Non-FictionFINISHED
Wars of Religion The Burning Chamber (French Wars of Religion) Paul's War RoomFINISHED
if time, something by Wilkie Collins FINISHED

huhtikuu 12, 10:57 am

>32 Tess_W: Looks like you're doing quite well with your April plans!

huhtikuu 12, 11:18 am

>29 Tess_W: Tess, I'm confident it is true. I remember my family watching the TV game show he was on! That was long ago, I think I would have been a young teen then.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 12, 12:25 pm

>34 clue: I can buy into most of it. I do have some problems with the potty training to go on a newspaper, once a day, at the same time each morning.

huhtikuu 12, 6:19 pm

>29 Tess_W: About The Covenant of Water, it could be that the book is just too long and you're a discriminating reader. I no longer have the patience for long, mediocre books and deny that my attention span is the problem!

I think it would be much harder to write a short book, where there are no wasted words, than to waffle on for hundreds of pages.

huhtikuu 12, 8:50 pm

>36 pamelad: You could be correct. It is the lack of patience with mediocrity that I struggle with as I age. Especially now that my mother passed.......I just don't have time for lonnngggg mediocrity!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 12, 8:57 pm

48. Charlotte Temple by Susanna Rowson. Early American literature, very popular, rivaled sales of Uncle Tom's Cabin, reminded me of Richardson's Clarissa, only less violent. Mindless, easily swayed female so desperate for a man's attention she will go along with anything! Meh.......107 pages 2.5 stars Don't waste your time. Off the virtual shelf (Free on Kindle)

1 star
1.5 stars-1
2 stars-1
2.5 stars-3
3 stars-18
3.5 stars 8
4 stars-6
4.5 stars-2
5 stars-7


Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 12, 9:15 pm

I sort of semi-retired, AGAIN! I advised my uni boss that I would not be teaching online anymore in the fall. That will leave me one University class in person on Mon/Wed afternoon each semester. That is enough with my 2 high school morning classes on Mon/Wed (World History, American History). So on Mon/Wed I will be working from 9-2, although not really working all that time! I will be teaching for a total of 126 minutes. (three 42 minute classes) The off times I will work in my office and not have to take anything home--that is the plan, anyway!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 13, 6:40 am

49. Remembrance of Letters Past: Famous Authors - Fake Letters & Other Parodies by Robert Ambros This was a collection of "letters' written by and to famous individuals who were authors. It was a work of satire. I was mildly amused with the letters to and from Twain and Dickens. Some of it went right over my head if I was not familiar with the authors. Meh Another off the virtual shelf. 102 pages 3 stars

1 star
1.5 stars-1
2 stars-1
2.5 stars-3
3 stars-19
3.5 stars 8
4 stars-6
4.5 stars-2
5 stars-7


Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 19, 6:55 am

50. Lunatic: The Rise and Fall of an American Asylum by Edward Gleason. A great non-fiction chronicling the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum from the planning stages (Civil War) through it's closing in 1990. Its claim to fame: cutting edge of performing lobotomies. Over 750 were performed in the 1950's. I have visited the facility, now a museum, twice, and it was sobering both times. 113 pages 4 stars

1 star
1.5 stars-1
2 stars-1
2.5 stars-3
3 stars-19
3.5 stars 8
4 stars-8
4.5 stars-2
5 stars-7


Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 19, 8:02 am

51. The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse This is the story of Catholic vs. Huguenot in 16th century France, specifically Carcassonne and Toulouse. Throw in a missing/stolen shroud, romance, and the Inquisition and it should make for a great read. However, with a plethora of characters it was often difficult to keep up with who's who. There was a very much used and needed list of characters in the front of the book. Difficult to flip back all the time when using an ereader. This was just a difficult read, not content wise--not sure why. This was book 1/3. I may seek out book 2 in the distant future. 592 pages Paul's War Room April-Wars of Religion April History Cat/Riots/Revolutions/Mayhem 3.5 stars overall, 4 stars content

1 star
1.5 stars-1
2 stars-1
2.5 stars-3
3 stars-19
3.5 stars 9
4 stars-7
4.5 stars-2
5 stars-7


Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 20, 2:57 am

52. Who Killed Zebedee by Wilkie Collins This was a short story focused on a stabbing death and the memory of a dying former police officer as he relates the case to the priest giving him last rites. No heavy reading here, just an enjoyable 30-45 minutes. 37 pages 4 stars AOTM

1 star
1.5 stars-1
2 stars-1
2.5 stars-3
3 stars-19
3.5 stars 9
4 stars-8
4.5 stars-2
5 stars-7


huhtikuu 21, 4:27 pm

Happy new thread (belatedly).
Your preserving activities are very impressive. If you ever work out what to do with grapes let me know. We planted a grape vine to give shade to the kitchen window, thinking that we'd get good leaf colour in autumn, and any fruit would be a bonus. I get buckets of grapes every year and no real idea what to do with them! There really is only so much grape sorbet you can make and eat.

huhtikuu 21, 5:07 pm

>44 Helenliz: Other than grape juice or jam, no idea. I can't really eat/drink all that sugar, so I would be giving it away.

huhtikuu 21, 9:17 pm

>44 Helenliz: My dad grew grapes and my mother made jam from them. Muscadine grapes grow wild here so we picked them every year too, and my mother made muscadine jam as well. My grandmother's sisters were still on farms and they and their daughters always made something from fruits or vegetables to give each other at Christmas, and mother's jam was always looked forward to. So good on those homemade biscuits! Unfortunately, my generation didn't carry on that tradition because all but my older sister worked and just didn't have time, especially those still farming. A couple also moved away. There are some things I still miss about the "old ways" and this is one of them!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 21, 10:43 pm

Happy New Thread Helen and >39 Tess_W: Congratulations on making this life change for yourself. Regarding The Covenant of Water, I agree that sometimes a meh book is just not worth finishing. Life is just too short.

And with Sanger's book, your quote makes me wonder how such diametrically opposing views can even be taken seriously by the publishers. It's almost like he's saying "Neo-liberals are the cause of the worldwide surge in populism" and no one is pushing back.

huhtikuu 22, 2:02 pm

>44 Helenliz: Is wine an option? That was my first thought about your grape surplus. :)

huhtikuu 23, 10:07 am

Regular diet and book buying diet both blown! I've gained 7 pounds back of the 100 I lost! Back to the walking, walking, walking, and bye bye to even one more potato! And Audible had a sale:

The Other Daughter psychological suspense
Courage is Calling non-fiction
Behind her Eyes another psychological suspense
The Accidental President Harry S. Truman and the Four Months That Changed the World non-fiction

huhtikuu 23, 6:48 pm

53. I finished a treatise written by Hippocrates titled "On Airs, Waters, and Places.' It is thought that he wrote this about 4-5 BCE. It is mostly advice to traveling physicians. He advised them to firstly always check the air quality of each city they were going to visit Also to observe: winds, water quality, terrain, and personal habits of the citizenry. Did learn a few new vocab words: fenny, meaning boggy. Hippocrates thinks he can evaluate the population of a city based on the above qualities of their environment. Amongst others he evaluates the Scythians, inhabitants of Phasis (eastern shore of the Black Sea), and the Macrocephali. (long headed people, normally of the head deformation tribes in Africa, but Hippocrates is probably referring to an area in Turkey called Pontus-- I had to look this up). This was a short copy that came from a packet given to me for additional reading for a class I took 30 years ago. I don't believe it's in its entirety--I'm not sure of the date or who published. Off the shelf! 48 pages (probably more, but the font was only 6-7 and in double columns)

huhtikuu 23, 7:08 pm

>49 Tess_W: A 100 pound weight loss is really impressive. Good luck with the seven pounds and the walking. At least books aren't fattening!

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 23, 9:02 pm

>51 pamelad: That's how I got into canning and preserving, so that I could control absolutely what I ate!

54. Song at Dawn by Jean Gill is billed as a medieval thriller. I would not say it is a thriller, but a historical fiction and romance read. The premise is very good, a secretive young lady is taken into the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine as a troubairitz in training. The usual court intrigue is present and Estela must maneuver through. While the premise of this book is good, I once again find a plethora of characters which make it a difficult read for me. I did have to some extra reading because I was unaware of the results of the second crusade and had no idea about the Occitanians. I've read many a book about Eleanor of Aquitaine, but had never come across "Occitania" before. Interesting read about the language and it's forced cessation in my lifetime. This is book 1/6. Not sure if I'm going to seek out book 2 or not. 3.5 stars overall, 4 points content. 352 pages

1 star
1.5 stars-1
2 stars-1
2.5 stars-3
3 stars-20
3.5 stars 10
4 stars-8
4.5 stars-2
5 stars-7


Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 23, 9:01 pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

huhtikuu 26, 12:54 pm

Happy new thread, Tess. Love all your canning and preserving work.

huhtikuu 26, 1:07 pm

My grandmothers always did something with their grapes, first jelly and then the rest was juice. The only problem with using up the juice was it would ferment if keep too long and the taste became rather rough.

huhtikuu 27, 3:41 am

>55 hailelib: True to fermenting. That's why I would pressure can to preserve. I canned some cranberry juice and it's the best I've ever tasted. (and we normally don't drink juice)

huhtikuu 27, 4:59 am

Time to start "collecting" for my May reads:
finish The Ride of Paul Revere (hope to finish in next 3 days to count for April's HistoryCat)
finish Girl Runner
The Children's Blizzard 75's NF Wild West
The Napoleonic Wars--find something suitable .....have Trumpet Major which took place in England during the wars.....
Headlong Art/Architecture May Randomkit
Shakespeare's Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485 May HistoryCat Medieval Ages
Work Song International Labor Day RTT May
Hamnet AOTM A re-read

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 27, 3:04 pm

>57 Tess_W: Looking forward to seeing what you make of Shakespeare's Kings. That could press a lot of my buttons!

>48 christina_reads: It is now we know someone who has tried home wine making and has all the kit. There seems to be a reasonable outlay required in kit. Their kit, our grapes, just see what happens!

huhtikuu 27, 5:19 pm

Happy new thread! And that IS a lovely picture of your mom!

And happy second semi-retirement!

huhtikuu 27, 7:58 pm

Your new schedule sounds lovely, I hope it works well for you.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 27, 10:00 pm

>59 LisaMorr: TY
>60 RidgewayGirl: TY
>54 VivienneR: TY

55. Sergeant York and the Great War by Tom Skeyhill. This was the diary of Sgt. Alvin York, WWI hero, accompanied by pictures. About 50 years ago I saw the movie starring a very young Gary Cooper. I didn't remember a thing! This read not as exciting as I thought it would be! Mr. York's spelling and grammar (which they kept) was so bad it made it a bit difficult to read--not difficult to decipher, but it made the reading so slow! There was a lot of wrestling with "Thou shall not kill" and the situation in which Sgt. York found himself. 225 pages 3 stars

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Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 29, 8:25 pm

56. Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer was a non-fiction book concerning Paul Revere. While a fascinating read, I found it to be more about the Battles of Lexington and Concord and General Gage more than about Revere. I think that there is not enough information about Revere for an entire book, so the battles were portrayed in depth, although Revere did not fight in either. Just a great period piece of history. Lots about Gage, Sam Adams, John Hancock, Dr. Church, Dr. Warren, etc. Would recommend if you want a history of what lead up to the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the personalities involved. 463 pages 4.5 stars April HistoryCat

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57. ETA: Also a great job of the author contrasting the actual event with Longfellow's The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere., which I also read waiting for dinner to cook! Longfellow always good! 5 stars

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Muokkaaja: toukokuu 21, 9:04 pm

Wow--where did April go?!!!

Books read-15

Cheers (4+ ratings)
Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Lunatic: The Rise and Fall of an American Asylum by Edward Gleason

Jeers (less than 3 rating)
Charlotte Temple by Susanna Rowson

Not a bad month!

Plans for May:

finish Girl Runner
The Children's Blizzard 75's NF Wild West READ
The Napoleonic Wars Napoleon's Escape from Elba READ
Headlong Art/Architecture May Randomkit
Shakespeare's Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485 May HistoryCat Medieval Ages
Work Song Labor Day RTT May READ
Hamnet AOTM A re-read

toukokuu 3, 10:48 pm

58. Work Song by Ivan Doig This is the book # 2 in the Medicine Country series. I did not read book one. Morrie travels to Butte, Montana, and takes several jobs: a crier for Irish wakes at a funeral home, a bookkeeper at the Library, and a friend to the miners. The pace is slow and there just doesn't seem to be a spark to ignite the story. The ending just fizzled. It was a very local piece. It reminded me of Garrison Keillor books, which I do not appreciate. 306 pages 3 stars RTT: May-Labour Day

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toukokuu 4, 2:07 am

>64 Tess_W: I read The Whistling Season and it just didn't work for me, although it has a lot of devoted fans. From your description, I think The Whistling Season had more of a plot and had some laugh-out loud lines. But it also had an ornate writing style; I felt like I was tripping over words.

toukokuu 4, 7:39 am

>65 kac522: I don't remember a lot of the details, but I did describe it as literary and thought-provoking. I gave it 4 stars at the time I read it, so I must have been in the mood.

>64 Tess_W: I commented more fully in the other group.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 4, 8:40 am

59. Grass of the Earth: The Story of A Norwegian Immigrant Family in Dakota as told by Aagot Raaen, a child of 5 when she arrived in the U.S. This is not your glossed-over Little House on the Prairie, but does depict the darker side of immigration settlement. (starvation, alcoholism, abuse) Most of the story takes place in North Dakota and depicts just how hard life was. A solid, no frills read. 272 pages 3 stars 75's NF: Wild West, RTT Labour Day

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toukokuu 4, 6:23 pm

>67 Tess_W: You might like Jonathan Raban's Bad Land: An American Romance, an engaging and well-researched book about the homesteaders who settled Montana and the Dakotas.

toukokuu 4, 8:03 pm

>67 Tess_W: Having grown up reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, I will add this to my Wishlist. Have you ever read Letters from a Woman Homesteader?

toukokuu 4, 11:29 pm

>68 pamelad: That one is not on my radar, so put in on my WL!

toukokuu 4, 11:30 pm

>69 threadnsong: Yes, I read that in 2019 and found it to be better than average. Did you read it, also?

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 5, 12:26 am

60. The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin This is a non-fiction account of the blizzard of 1888, sometimes called the schoolhouse blizzard, because 280-300+ children died. While a good, factual account, there were a few chapters that were just mind-numbing boring to me: 68 pages on meteorology, fronts to be exact, and the description of the villages from whence the immigrants came (Norway-primarily). I would have been more interested in the people themselves, but do understand in a work of NF 80+ years later, hard to do! I found interesting the flag system of weather notification for when the telegraph was down (a good deal of the time!). Also, the actual process of the body breakdown when exposed to extreme temperatures was gruesome. Winds so fierce that it peeled the skin off faces in strips. This event took place on the Great Plains--specific to this book the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Nebraska. Native Americans were not mentioned. Might have to research how they managed. 75's NF Wild West 362 pages 3*

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ETA: The Native Americans moved to the cover of the forest every winter season. It provided protection from the wind and the snow and gave them more opportunity to secure game.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 7, 10:08 am

61. Double Fold by Nicholson Baker a non-fiction read decrying the use of microfilm (microfiche) and the destruction of paper. Nicholson does wax nostalgic, but that's where most things sane end. He calls librarians (that only do the bidding of the library board) who destroy (pitch) newspapers and documents after being micro-filmed as killers, idiots, and criminals. That's where he "lost" me! As a historian, I'm all about preservation. However, I do realize that preservation and storage are a huge problem. You can't just pack old documents away and shove them in a warehouse: 1) who will pay the bill 2) said warehouse needs to be temperature controlled-who will pay the bill 3) how does one access them. Mr. Baker might be better suited to write about this issue rationally and without name calling. Don't care that he won an award, I'm writing him off as a kook. Read 188/400 pages 2 stars DNF

P.S. And now microfilm is being scrapped for digitalization

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toukokuu 7, 5:20 pm

>73 Tess_W: Ha, yes, I was going to say...microfilm? I think my public library still has a machine, but I don't know anyone my age (late 30s) or younger who would know how to use it!

toukokuu 7, 6:23 pm

>73 Tess_W: That's a memory there -- of using microfiche to look things up. I can't imagine that keeping great stacks of moldering newspapers would have been better. I understand wanting to preserve reference materials, but when they aren't printed with an eye to being archived, surely digital copies are more reliable.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 7, 6:26 pm

>73 Tess_W: Congratulations on ditching a book you didn't like!

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 8, 1:55 pm

>73 Tess_W: And I was so proud, as a member of the Friends of the Library Board, to complete a 2.5 year project having all of our newspapers (from the 1850s forward) digitized! It's expensive and we dedicated most of our fundraising for those years to it due to it's importance. Or at least we thought it was that important. Do you know what the author's background is? The people that do a lot of historical research for this region have high praise for it because they can access them online.

toukokuu 11, 2:30 am

May 2024: Today I trimmed back all my perennials, including blackberries and blueberries. The roses and hibiscus are doubled in size since last year and full of blooms already, a good month earlier in my neck o the woods. Tomorrow I mulch and pull wild onions in one bed. On Sunday afternoon I will plant all my seeds in pots or buckets. This year I'm going crazy with snapdragons and dahlias. I use pots for annuals. A friend told me last year to cut back my geraniums, put them in a dark place for the winter, and bring them out in the spring and she gets 4-5 years out of a geranium pot. I did and they are beginning to bloom! Who knew? Peonies will be open in next 2-3 days and the lilacs are in full bloom. Some fragrant bouquets next week. By Memorial day potatoes (red, yellow, sweet) will be planted as well as cherry tomato plant. This year I am planning to can salsa (48 jars) and marinara sauce (24-48 jars). I may try my hand at canning corn, but it may be more work than my arthritic hands can handle to shuck all that corn and then get it off the cob! But I'm thinking if I plan a barbecue-shucking party, I may get my 20 something grandsons to help! They are all about free food!

How does your garden grow?

ETA Will add pics tomorrow.

As far as reading goes, I'm too in love with the weather and being outside to read much at the moment. I would listen to an audiobook but my earphones quit working and haven't been anywhere to a pair. Anyway, I enjoy the silence.....just the soil, me and my plants!

toukokuu 11, 7:54 am

>78 Tess_W: - I went to a local garden center yesterday and picked up a couple of flats of flowers for a start. I'll let them harden in the garage for a couple of days since it's still somewhat chilly at night. I visit multiple garden centers, so this is just a start.

toukokuu 11, 11:11 am

>79 dudes22: 90% of my plants are perennials--has taken me 20 years to collect/plant/cultivate them all, and get them to survive in clay soil. This year I bought flower seeds for my annuals and I'm going to try to save their seeds to plant next years. We'll see how it goes!

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 11, 11:14 am

>75 RidgewayGirl: Digital are much preferred for ease of accession.

>76 pamelad: TY!

>77 clue: This is an older book (2006), but I agree that digitization is necessary--it actually provides for better accession and more preservation.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 11, 12:35 pm

62. The Gathering Storm by Julia Brannan This is book 3/6 in the Jacobite Chronicles. Most of this book does not deal with the Jacobite rebellion, but with the relationships among the McDonald clan. The last two chapters see Bonnie Prince Charlie landing in Scotland. 413 pages 4 stars

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Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 26, 9:36 am

63. Napoleon’s Escape from Elba: The History of the French Emperor’s Return from Exile and the Road to Waterloo (no touchstone) by Charles Rivers Editors

This was a very simplistic, yet very informative, overview of Napoleon's greatest battles, his exile to Elba, and his eventual escape. It did not cover the Battle of Waterloo. Somebody gave me a set of 10 Charles Rivers books on various historical topics and they are a good, quick overview. Although only 35 pages, I ended up purchasing 3 other books from topics glossed over in which I was interested. A few fun factoids:

Pre-Elba-Napoleon had trouble subduing the guerillas (first time this term used) in Spain. He was a good battle strategist for conventional armies, but could not read or anticipate the guerillas.

US Civil War--Battle of Bull Run--used one of Napoleon's battle strategies (not successful)

Others considered Napoleon such a good strategist that when his hat was observed on the battlefield it was said to be "worth 50,000 soliders." 3 stars 75's War Room-French Revolution

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toukokuu 12, 2:50 pm

>78 Tess_W: My sister has a geranium that's at least 5 years old, and she doesn't even put it in a dark place. She brings it in and puts it somewhere away from the heating vent and that's it. Last year something broke some of it off (we're blaming the neighbors cat) and it's a little odd looking but has bloomed well so far this year.

toukokuu 12, 4:02 pm

>78 Tess_W: My grandmother had a geranium on the window ledge (indoors), always with a flower but few leaves. It was probably terribly neglected. I don't know how old it was, but certainly several years. I know in a climate with mild winters geraniums planted outdoors will grow back in spring.

toukokuu 12, 6:07 pm

Do you have to nurse your geraniums in North America? They grow like weeds here. You can chop off a stalk, put it straight into the ground, and it grows.

toukokuu 12, 9:41 pm

>85 VivienneR: We have brutal winters here, annuals would not survive.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 12, 9:49 pm

>86 pamelad: I've never had mine be that prolific! Most geraniums are grown as annuals and they are dead after first frost. It could be different in different climate zones, I'm in zone 6, which is basically 4+ months of good growing temps, last frost mid-end of May, and first frost anywhere from Oct 15 on. Winter temps from 30F to -20F with lots of ice--sometimes snow, but always ice. There are some geranium perennials--but they are expensive and they don't look or smell like the annuals. I usually just have one big pot of annuals each year, as I have invested heavily for the past 20 years in perennials. For the annuals I usually rotate between geraniums, petunias, and portulacas. This year I bought seed and I'm going to have 4-5 pots of dahlias, snap dragons, and zinnias.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 12, 9:55 pm

64. The Great Portrait Mystery by Austin Freeman This was a short mystery. Nothing exciting, not even the resolution! It was interesting that there was a museum who displayed famous painting and allowed other artists to come in with their easels and paints and make copies! This was free from Kindle at sometime since 2011! There are other stories which I'm not inclined to read. 43 pages 2.5 stars May RandomKit Art/Architecture

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Muokkaaja: toukokuu 18, 10:21 am

65. Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell In 2021 this was a DNF for me. I couldn't handle the very disjointed timelines. This was still an issue with the re-read, but this time I was able to focus. Because of the intense focus, this re-read was not ultimately enjoyable. That being said, I did like the story and the actual prose. The subtitle of the book is "A Novel of the Plague." It really isn't....all total maybe 2-3 pages/372 mention or allude to the plague. Would I read another by this author? Probably not; but I could be convinced! 372 pages 3 stars AOTM

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Muokkaaja: toukokuu 18, 2:35 pm

66. The Trumpet Major by Thomas Hardy. I am a Hardy fan, but this one has been my least favorite. It is also Hardy's only foray into historical fiction. The time period is the Napoleonic Wars and Weymouth is preparing for an invasion by Napoleonic forces. The story centers around Anne Garland, who is pursued by three suitors. We do see some action with Wellington during the Peninsular War and one of the suitors serves with Nelson at Trafalgar. Meh 3 stars 288 pages Paul's War Room: Napoleonic Wars

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Muokkaaja: toukokuu 18, 11:16 pm

67. Napoleon's Hemorrhoids and other small events that changed history by Phil Mason. This was a book of unrelated trivia. I have no idea if any or most of the trivia was based on facts. For example, the first story simply said the Battle of Waterloo was fought 6 hours late because Napoleon's was soaking his "piles." That was it! I'm not sure it altered let alone changed history. I thought I would do a little research and there are lots of reputable organizations that claim "considerable indication that Napoleon was bothered by very painful thrombosed hemorrhoids." (NIH National Library of Medicine) This book also stated that Napoleon probably died in St. Helena of an infected ulcer. I have read that numerous times before. The book was really a waste of time, don't know why I finished it! 268 pages 2.5 stars

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Muokkaaja: toukokuu 18, 11:51 pm

68. Shakespeare's Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485 by John Julius Norwich This is a book that compares and contrasts the historical version of the Kings (beginning with Edward III and ending with Richard III) with Shakespeare's plays. According to this historian, Shakespeare was pretty spot on and took creative license to capture larger truths that would appeal more universally. Norwich feels he took the most creative license with Richard III. I should have taken notes, for memory's sake. 432 pages 4.5 stars May HistoryCAT: Middle Ages

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Muokkaaja: toukokuu 19, 4:32 am

Wondering why I've been getting so much reading done lately? Well, I tripped over my own feet and fell. These are the results! No blood clots or broken bones. However, several grapefruit sized hematomas, lots of inflammation. The blood (hematomas) will have to dissipate on its own--the doctor said 2-12 months for people "may age." Have been lying in bed for 6 days with leg elevated and ice. This has fatigued me! Tomorrow I'm going to get up, shower, get dressed and go to church. I will have to wear my slippers because there is not one pair of shoes I have that I can get my foot into. Also wearing sweats because there is also not a pair of pants I can get up over my knee! P.S. My leg is about 5 times its normal size. The 3rd pic is my actual knee.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 18, 11:53 pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

toukokuu 19, 7:43 am

>94 Tess_W: Oh my word Tess, you don't do things in halves! That looks so very sore! I hope you are feeling more yourself soon.

toukokuu 19, 1:05 pm

>94 Tess_W: Ouch! I hope you get over this soon and are back on your feet, although I would advise not rushing things. Everyone seems to have their own rate of recovery and we just need to let nature take it's course.

toukokuu 19, 6:11 pm

>94 Tess_W: How did you go with the trip to church, Tess? So sorry that you are in such pain and discomfort. So frustrating to be immobilised. I hope that you're able to get around more easily very soon.

toukokuu 19, 7:21 pm

>98 pamelad: Well, it took me 1 hour to shower and dress in sweats & slippers. But the drive is only 5 minutes on a back country road, so it was good. Sitting on the wooden pews was not so good--my leg/foot went numb. But, I came right home and elevated and iced.

toukokuu 19, 8:44 pm

>71 Tess_W: Yes, I read it what is now decades ago. A friend who was in the same martial arts class I was taking talked about it and loaned it to me. I loved it so much that I bought myself a copy. The picture it paints of life as a homesteader makes the struggles and joys so real.

toukokuu 19, 8:47 pm

>72 Tess_W: Loved this book as well. Well, loved may not be the right word, but engrossed. The meteorology I tried so hard to wrap my head around. And grateful this author took the pains he did to paint a portrait of the people involved in the early weather watching systems as well as the blizzard itself.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 19, 8:56 pm

>94 Tess_W: And I hope you heed the advice of your fellow LT'ers and heal well! Take your time and elevate, and I'm glad you were able to get up and go to church for a bit of a break and relief.

toukokuu 19, 9:56 pm

>94 Tess_W: That looks so painful. I'm glad you're not trying to do too much and that you hopefully have enough books around you to keep you occupied while your body heals.

toukokuu 20, 5:30 am

>94 Tess_W: Oh dear, I hope it gets better soon, Tess! Those hematoma look awful.

toukokuu 20, 7:28 am

>93 Tess_W: Ok, sorely tempted by that one.

>94 Tess_W: ow those bruises look really awful. Take care. And make the necessary changes to not do it again; while those bruises may not feel like having got off lightly, you may not get off without breaks another time.

toukokuu 20, 11:58 am

Adding my best wishes for a swift recovery!

Also, I've had Shakespeare's Kings on my shelves for ages...your review has definitely nudged it closer to the top of the TBR list!

toukokuu 20, 5:34 pm

>94 Tess_W: I had a large hemtoma once and it scared me to death because I didn't know what it was. It was also caused by a self-inflicted accident but I don't remember how long it took me to get back on my feet. I do remember going back to work on crutches. I hope you can be back to mobility soon, for the active person you are it must be especially hard to be idle.

toukokuu 21, 1:36 am

Thanks for all the good wishes. The leg/knee is now beautiful shades of green and yellow. I can still only get sweats and flip flops/slippers on. The knee (artificial) pops every time I extend it, but doesn't hurt, per say. My back and hips are hurting from walking funny and lying around so much. I will see my chiropractor in the next few weeks. I ice twice daily--from 1-3 and 7-9. I set the timer on my ereader for 20 minute increments and move the iced spot each time. I'm getting tired of this! Only plus side: more reading time!

toukokuu 21, 2:22 pm

Tess, I saw your comments on Delta Queen's page relating to Labor history and the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Since college this has been a topic of interest to me. You might want to check out a new novel by Stephanie Dray, Becoming Madame Secretary, about Frances Perkins who as you know became the Secretary of Labor and first woman U.S. Presidental Cabinet member. I'm about halfway through the book (it's over 400 pages I think) and have enjoyed it though I could have done without her romance with her eventual husband. That's part of her story of course, I'm just particularly interesed in the reform issues, and it has caused me to wonder how reform would have ever taken place without the women who worked so hard to cause them.

toukokuu 21, 5:25 pm

>109 clue: Thanks, did not know about the book. I have read her lecture to Cornell University regarding the subsequent investigation, including eyewitness and survivor testimonies. I also have read a transcript of the criminal trial. Good stuff!

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 21, 9:07 pm

Plans for May:

finish Girl Runner
The Children's Blizzard 75's NF Wild West READ
The Napoleonic Wars Napoleon's Escape from Elba READ
Headlong Art/Architecture May Randomkit Did not have this on my shelf! Instead, I read The Great Portrait Mystery READ
Shakespeare's Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485 May HistoryCat Medieval Ages READ
Work Song Labor Day RTT May READ
Hamnet AOTM A re-read READ

First time in about forever that I have completed my PLANNED monthly reads. I still need to finish Girl Runner!

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 23, 12:31 pm

69. West With Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge is a work of historical fiction based on a true story set in the Great Depression. Let's don't forget the stars of the show, "He" and "She", two giraffes caught up in the 1938 east coast hurricane but destined for the San Diego Zoo. This book tells of that journey. 346 pages 3 stars This was a free book on Kindle.

toukokuu 22, 5:55 pm

>94 Tess_W: Ouch! Sorry to hear of your fall. I hope you will be feeling better soon with less pain, less swelling. I might be joining you as I have developed severe vertigo.

toukokuu 22, 10:07 pm

>113 VivienneR: I am sorry to hear that, Vivienne!

toukokuu 23, 1:55 pm

>93 Tess_W: I have this book on my shelf - glad you liked it so much!

>94 Tess_W: Sorry to hear about what happened to your leg! I hope you will recover soon! The icing sounds tiring indeed.

toukokuu 23, 8:44 pm

Thinking that this reading year is nearing the halfway mark, how am I doing?

The sheer number of books is good!
The original categories I started with--dumped after 2 months--not so good!

What do I "need" to read? As in I really want to accomplish something:
1. at least 3 more Dickens (for a total of 5)
2. at least 4 more Hardy's (can be re-reads)
3. 5 Pearl Buck's...which were going to be my focus
4. The oldest 5 books on my Kindle
5. One James Michener

That's only 18 books.......one would think.............

toukokuu 24, 1:26 pm

>116 Tess_W: I find it hard to stick to my "good intentions." I'm beginning to free myself of some of those and just read what I want to when I want to read it.

toukokuu 24, 4:09 pm

>117 thornton37814: Yes, it is difficult to break away from the traditional idea of what describes one "well read." I'm trying!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 11, 12:41 pm

70. Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah is a novel featuring Jo, a PhD student in bird nature studies and Ursa, an "orphan." An okay story but too much magical realism for my taste. 333 pages 3 stars Free on Kindle.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 11, 12:46 pm

71. The Harvest Gypsies by John Steinbeck depicts the hardships of migratory farm workers during the Great Depression, highlighting societal injustices and human resilience. This was a prequel and the basis for his novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Besides addressing the plight of the Okies, the Mexican, Filipino, Chinese, and Japanese farm workers was also addressed. 87 pages 4.5 stars

toukokuu 25, 6:39 pm

>120 Tess_W: I have found this in KoboPlus, so have downloaded it. Looks interesting. The Grapes of Wrath made a huge impression on me when I read it in my youth.

toukokuu 26, 3:31 am

>120 Tess_W: I still haven't read anything by John Steinbeck! Interesting to know about this prequel of which I hadn't heard before.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 11, 12:47 pm

>121 pamelad: I hope you enjoy!
>122 MissBrangwen: This would be a good place to start (86 pages)

72. The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic by Mike Duncan. This book tells of events and personas that preceded the fall of the Republic. The book focused on political corruption and social unrest mostly fomented by Gaius Marius and Sulla. It was a very dramatic book for a non-fiction history. There seemed to me, although not an expert in this area, that there were pieces missing or glossed over: slave revolts, economic troubles, movement of farmers to the cities, and the decline of the military which allowed the Vandals at the gate. Perhaps the author focused on just a few major points for brevity's sake. 287 pages 3*

A quote for me to ponder--"When the Republic began to break down in the late second century it was not the letter of Roman law that eroded, but respect for the mutually accepted bonds of mos maiorum". I had to look up "mos maiorum", but it seems to translate to those customs and traditions that were adhered to that stabilized society--more the spirit of the law rather than the letter of the law. It was the interpretation of the law per the ancestors........

toukokuu 26, 10:35 pm

>123 Tess_W: What a fascinating look at this historical event! Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a well-known classic, but Gibbon seems to get a bit lost in his knowledge of the period. Thank you for your explanation of mos maiorum as well.

toukokuu 26, 11:17 pm

>120 Tess_W: I'd recommend Obscene in the Extreme by Rick Wartzman, which gives the story of the writing of East of Eden and the response to the book, especially in California. It's really fascinating.

toukokuu 26, 11:57 pm

>123 Tess_W: Frighteningly relevant to the US today.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 27, 6:33 pm

>124 threadnsong: I had to read one of the Gibbon volumes in college. At that time it was way over my head. I have always thought about a re-read, but I think it is 5-6 volumes, and since this isn't my area of historical concentration, I don't think I want to spend that much time on it!

>125 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, off to find that one!

>126 pamelad: Exactly! The Vandals are at the gate, and they are not singularly foreigners.

toukokuu 27, 10:54 am

>123 Tess_W: That sounds interesting but I already have a stack of "read soon" books that's taller than me and doesn't even count the ebooks.

toukokuu 28, 9:23 am

>128 hailelib: I understand that one!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 11, 12:48 pm

73. The Reluctant Midwife by Patricia Harman A heart warming and at times wrenching story of Becky and Patience, two "medical" personnel during the Great Depression. Patience is a midwife and often calls upon Becky for help. Meanwhile, Becky works two days at week a the CCC camp as a nurse. Great depression era feel (4 stars) The story was average. (3 stars) 409 pages 3.5* This was book # 2 in the Hope River series.

kesäkuu 1, 3:44 pm

How's your leg coming along, Tess? Hope you're feeling better!

kesäkuu 1, 4:27 pm

>131 Jackie_K: Well, no big improvement. I see a general trauma surgeon on Monday for the hematoma that is the size of a grapefruit and has not gone down one little bit after icing, elevation, and compression every single day!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 14, 12:32 am

May summary:
Books read: 15
Cheers (4 stars and above):
The Gathering Storm (Jacobite Rebellion)
Shakespeare's Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages: 1337-1485 by John Norwich
The Harvest Gypsies by John Steinbeck

Jeers (less than 3 stars)
Double Fold DNF
Napoleon's Hemorrhoids and other small events that changed history

Plans for June:
CalendarCat Apothecary Rose (flower of the month)
Valley Forge Newt Gingrich HistoryCat-historians
Intensity Dean Koontz ScaredyKit Serial Killers
Gritil’s Children Johanna Spyri Randomkit Initials S
Prisoner B 3087 PrizeCat Booklists
Six Years in the Russian Court 75’s NF Middle Europe
The King’s General 75’s Paul’s War Room English Civil War
The Seven Wonders RTT Monthly READ
Maybe a Margaret Atwood if time permits (MO AU Read)

kesäkuu 1, 5:53 pm

>132 Tess_W: So sorry to hear that your leg is still giving you grief, Tess. I hope the trauma surgeon will be able to fix you up easily and quickly.

kesäkuu 1, 5:56 pm

>132 Tess_W: I hope the trauma surgeon will be able to help you and you will be better as soon as possible!

kesäkuu 2, 8:06 am

>132 Tess_W: Hoping your leg gets better very soon.

kesäkuu 2, 9:19 am

>132 Tess_W: I hope the surgeon can help you get better!

kesäkuu 2, 4:37 pm

>132 Tess_W: That sounds awful and very upsetting - I hope the surgeon helps!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 11, 12:48 pm

74. The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie. This was my first Hercule Poirot mystery. As with most mysteries, I was clueless and that's why I don't really find them enjoyable. This was was not bad, though, until the last 2 chapters where I was totally lost. 240 pages 3 stars

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 11, 12:49 pm

75. Select Epigrams from the Greek Anthology Anonymous. I decided to look up epigrams because: 1) I did not know what they were 2) I'm reading an ancient wonders book about Antipater, a Greek poet famous for his epigrams. I would say an epigram is a pithy saying, much like Ben Franklin's maxims or King Solomon's Proverbs. I flipped through this book for the most part and only read the epigrams attributed to Antipater. The problem I had was that many of his epigrams were messages to Greek gods/warriors and muses of which I had no knowledge. 220 pages 3 stars Free on Kindle

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 3, 3:17 pm

>132 Tess_W: I hope the surgeon could help and you are soon on the mend.

oops! We cross posted. With a little luck maybe that six months is overly pessimistic.

kesäkuu 3, 3:15 pm

For those of you who asked: Dr's appt----I have a hematoma (blood from muscle) which is 11 cm long and 6 cm wide. The doctor said it was one of the biggest ones he had ever seen. It's only been 4 weeks since I fell. He said it might take 6 months for this to dissipate. He said at this point the insurance company would not pay for a drain, excision, etc. He said that was risky because of the possible infection and it's close to my artificial knee. I have an appointment in 6 months if it hasn't gone done at all!. At this point I can't get jeans on! This thing is as big as a grapefruit!. Hope everybody loves seeing me in sweats! The good news: BP was 126/76, the lowest it has been since 2020 and all my bloodwork was absolutely normal!

kesäkuu 3, 6:16 pm

>142 Tess_W: Congratulations on the blood pressure, Tess. But "wait and see" is frustrating advice on the haematoma.

Perhaps you could lash out on a maxi-dress, as a change from the sweats.

kesäkuu 3, 6:46 pm

>142 Tess_W: - I can attest to how long those kinds of hematomas take to go away. I tripped and fell when we were on vacation the beginning of April and I had one of those although not anything as big as yours on my forearm. I would say it was about the size of a golf ball or a little smaller. And only this week is it finally gone. I think Pam's idea of long dresses or skirts would be more comfortable in the summer instead of sweats.

kesäkuu 3, 8:49 pm

>143 pamelad:
>144 dudes22:

Yep, already have some cotton midi skirts and several dresses. I will wear them every time I go somewhere. Sweats at home and in the garden. Dr. said don't wear shorts as I could scratch my skin that is pulled paper thin right now.

kesäkuu 4, 4:50 am

>142 Tess_W: Six months? That's a long haul. Wishing you lots of patience!

kesäkuu 4, 8:02 am

>142 Tess_W: Take care. At least, you know more about it.

kesäkuu 4, 8:54 am

Today is blueberry day. I'm canning blueberry pie filling and also making a blueberry pie.

kesäkuu 4, 4:43 pm

>148 Tess_W: - Wow - your blueberry season is definitely ahead of ours. I won't see blueberry picking until sometime in July. The place I go to pick strawberries is saying they might start picking in a week or 10 days. And you're probably all done already.

kesäkuu 4, 6:24 pm

>142 Tess_W: Of course your blood pressure is lower -- all your blood is in your poor knee! But the answer being time instead of a quick fix has to be frustrating.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 5, 12:42 am

>149 dudes22: I'm in central Ohio. Strawberries were early this year, May, instead of June. As to the blueberries, these are organic and came from from southern Oregon, so they are earlier than in my area.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 11, 12:50 pm

76. The Seven Wonders by Steven Saylor This was the story of Gordianus, who is just 17 and Antipater of Sidon, the world's "greatest poet" (a real historical personage), Gordianus' teacher. For reasons we don't find out until the last chapter, Antipater faked his own death and with Gordianus traveled to some ancient wonders, solving crimes along the way. The problem being for me, that several of the "mysteries" were based on Greek myths, of which I had no knowledge, so the intricate details of the crime and its subsequent resolution made no sense. I almost DNF'd this book, but I persevered. 321 pages 3 stars (would have probably been higher had I been a better mythology student) RTT: June-Ancient Wonders

kesäkuu 5, 1:45 am

I'm so sorry to hear your leg injury is still in such a bad way. Wishing you an unexpectedly quick healing!

kesäkuu 5, 7:14 am

>139 Tess_W: Poirot is a bit hit or miss with me. It's been a while since I've read any, but if I recall, that one was not one of the better installments.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 5, 11:36 pm

Received my 40 lbs of Honeycrisp organic apples today. Tomorrow is processing...am going to make an apple pie slab (11 x 18 pan) for a funeral on Friday, an apple crisp for hubby tomorrow, and then go for 4 quarts of apple pie filling and can the remaining as applesauce, and of course save out about 6-8 for fresh eating! I MAY try my hand at making some apple scrap vinegar this year.

Between the blueberries and the apples, that is probably all the fruit I'm going to process this year unless I find a really good deal somewhere!

kesäkuu 7, 8:10 am

My mom used to freeze blueberries so she'd have them for muffins. We tended to dry our apples because we really liked mom's fried apple pies better than traditional ones. When I get back into town, I need to go over to Carver's and get some apples. I have a dehydrator. I made a batch of the pies last summer at my brother's house, and I know everyone loved them--even the new "in-laws" who'd never had mom's.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 7, 8:24 am

>156 thornton37814: I do have a dozen apples remaining. I also have a dehydrator but have never dehydrated apples. I think I might try that!

kesäkuu 7, 8:31 am

>157 Tess_W: My grandparents had apple trees in their yards. During the apple season, they'd dehydrate the apples outside--on big window screens. My grandfather had made some table legs to hold the screens in place. Everyone would sit out under the trees peeling and cutting the apples. It was my job, as a child, to shoo the flies!

kesäkuu 7, 9:45 am

>158 thornton37814: Sounds like fun!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 11, 2:37 pm

apple pies, blueberry pie filling, apple pie filling not pictured: applesauce, dried apples

kesäkuu 9, 8:12 am

>160 Tess_W: - Nice! What a busy beaver. Strawberry picking is starting this week and I'm planning to go at least one day.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 11, 12:51 pm

77. A History of Cornwall by F.E. Halliday This was a broad sweeping but seemingly concise history of Cornwall. I "needed" to get some background and context for a novel I'm reading about the English Civil War, Du Maurier's The King's General. I specifically wanted to locate more information on Sir Richard Grenville, who led the King's forces in Cornwall, among other places. I must confess that I did not read the entire book, but began with the dissolutions of the monasteries and the Tudors and finished with the defeat of the Spanish Armada (both outside this time period of the English Civil War). I did get some good information about the English Civil War, Charles I, Charles II (then the Duke of Cornwall), Oliver Cromwell, Prince Rupert of the Rhine, etc. Only one line about Richard Grenville. However, I do feel that I am more versed about Cornwall, their Royalist support, and their subsequent loss(es) to the Cromwell's armies. Read about 70 pages 4 stars Paul's War Room English Civil War

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 11, 12:51 pm

78. Humanism and Terror by Maurice Merleau-Ponty This is a book about the connection between humanism and political violence. I believe the author rightly argues that humanism can champion liberty and freedom of speech but it can also lead to authoritarianism and in the extreme, terrorism. The author argues against sacrificing individual liberties for collective "progress" (Amen, brother!) This long essay was written in response to the show trials that took place under Stalin in 1936-1938; specifically that of Bukharin. Also as response to Koestler's Darkness at Noon. I did not think that I would like or agree with anything by this author, as he is a noted French, liberal philosopher, but do have a couple of compatible thoughts. Who knew?;) 140 pages 4 stars

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 11, 10:18 pm

Visited the Audible site and fell off the wagon tonight! 7 books for $39 isn't too shabby, though!

Pompei by Robert Harris
First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston
Fatherland by Robert Harris
Maisie Dobbs Book 1
The Seamstress of Acadie by Laura Frantz
Hide and Seek by Wilkie Collins
The Heiress of Linn Hagh Book 1 in Detective Lavender series

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 11, 10:12 pm

79. The Long Parliament Dissolved by Denzil Holles This book was critical of Cromwell's dissolution of a parliament that had sat from 1640-1660. Those dates are from this book, but I have different dates from different books. However, the author condemns the military closure of said parliament as an act of democratic betrayal. He sees it as an erosion of the checks and balances of a parliamentary system as well as the consolidation of political power. Found at a Friends of the Library sale for 25 cents and it fit this month's war room topic: English Civil War. Book is being pitched because it smells bad and I'm not going to contaminate other books. 79 pages 3.5 stars This book has no cover.

ETA: This was only an excerpt!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 12, 7:51 pm

80. The King's General by Daphne du Maurier This was historical fiction concerning The English Civil War. The story is beautifully told by the protagonist, Honor Harris, one-time love of Sir Richard Grenvile, the King's General in the West. (Cornwall) Du Maurier spins a great, but painful romance as well as exposing the psychological and emotional toll the war takes on the locals. I had to do some pre-reading to be able to really get into this novel as I wanted to understand more about the English Civil War. I was well prepared for this novel. I really enjoyed the author's notes as she let the reader know what happened to every historical personage who had a part in the novel. One of the best reads thus far in 2024! 448 pages 5 stars Paul's War Room: English Civil War

P.S. The Rashleigh estate, Menabilly, was the inspiration for Manderley.

kesäkuu 13, 7:14 am

>166 Tess_W: I haven't heard about this particular Daphne du Maurier novel before. I have a few of her novels on my shelves, but haven't read any of them so far.
The English Civil War is one of those areas of British history that is hard for me to grasp, although I learned more about it when I read The Great Roxhythe by Georgette Heyer some time ago. Like you I felt I needed more background knowledge and I did some online research. I also visited Cromwell's House in Ely in March, which was very interesting. But still I feel that this part of history is a bit greyish for me.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 13, 9:50 am

>167 MissBrangwen: Off to purchase that particular Heyer!

ETA...on sale on Kindle for 99 cents! But it's 446 pages........!

kesäkuu 13, 10:02 am

>168 Tess_W: It was not a particular favourite of mine, but then I listened to it and I think it might be better when actually read. There were interesting parts, but it is not a romance as her other novels, and to me it was mostly very dry. I will be interested in your opinion should you decide to go for it! But I understand if you decide against it - 446 pages is long for such a book!

kesäkuu 13, 3:33 pm

>166 Tess_W: I'm glad to be reminded of this book. I've tried to read the books that were in m mother's bookcase and this is one I had forgotten about, I'm putting it on my list. My favorite from the bookcase so far is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which she wanted me to read when I turned 16 and a few years ago I read it for a second time.

kesäkuu 13, 6:00 pm

>166 Tess_W: With your focus on the history aspect of The King's General, you got a lot more out of it than I did.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 25, 9:33 pm

Cause I can't remember!!

Plans for June:
CalendarCat Apothecary Rose (flower of the month) DNF
Valley Forge Newt Gingrich HistoryCat-historians , READ,
ScaredyKit Serial Killers
Gritil’s Children Johanna Spyri Randomkit Initials S
Prisoner B 3087 PrizeCat Booklists READ
Six Years in the Russian Court 75’s NF Middle Europe
The King’s General 75’s Paul’s War Room English Civil War READ
The Seven Wonders RTT Monthly READ
Maybe a Margaret Atwood if time permits (MO AU Read) The Evil Mother

kesäkuu 15, 9:16 pm

>160 Tess_W: YUM!!!

>166 Tess_W: How interesting - I have been looking to learn more about the English Civil War. I love how your research into that time period helped your reading of this author's work.

And hoping you continue to heal and wear comfortable dresses and skirts this summer!

kesäkuu 16, 2:03 am

>173 threadnsong: I am wearing cotton dresses & skirts. However, I did "cheat", I went to Penney's and bought "old lady" (stretch) jeans and they fit over my knee/leg comfortably!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 23, 2:46 am

Woo hoo! Temps 95 F and above every day this week! Really the warmest June I can remember. Supposed to be record breaking heat wave in central Ohio. The record is in 1934 it was 113 F, but that was 2-3 hours further south along the Ohio River.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 17, 8:23 am

Well, they were baked, not fried. That makes them almost diet food, right?;)

kesäkuu 17, 10:37 am

>175 Tess_W: I'm glad the mountains are giving us a tad of relief from the extreme heat you will experience--although 90 degrees here is way too hot for my body. I don't do heat well. I'd prefer to be in Missoula and Butte where there are winter weather advisories!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 23, 2:46 am

81. Valley Forge by Gingrich and others. I continue to be wowed by this series. This is the "real" story of the revolution and not a sanitized version. Love how General Mad Anthony Wayne, von Steuben, Gates, and Lafayette are brought to life. 5 stars

kesäkuu 18, 10:24 am

>178 Tess_W: I might need to try that series.

kesäkuu 18, 1:36 pm

I'm impressed you're baking in this heat! I did make a raspberry tart for Father's Day, but I baked it early in the morning. I did pick up blueberries for muffins, but the thought of turning that oven on has me ready to just eat them with granola for breakfast instead.

kesäkuu 18, 6:26 pm

>176 Tess_W: Diet food rarely looks so appetising.

kesäkuu 20, 12:29 pm

>180 RidgewayGirl: I do bake in the morning but I have a range I use for canning in the garage, so doesn't really heat up house. Good thing because it was 95F today and the humidity was also high!

kesäkuu 20, 12:30 pm

>181 pamelad: they weren't near as good as fried....but easier on the fixing and the eating!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 23, 2:48 am

82. Indefensible by Michael Griesbach This was a type of true crime, written about a real case in Minnesota where a man was wrongly imprisoned for a rape. He was exonerated 12 years later, but within 2 years charged with murder, which he did commit. He thought he learned a lot in prison! 347 pages 3.5 stars

kesäkuu 20, 9:00 pm

>182 Tess_W: The heat is almost unbearable if you go outside. Inside in the air conditioning is the best plan.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 23, 2:48 am

>185 thornton37814: I'm with ya!

83. Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz. Fictionalized story of Yanek (Jack) Gruener who from the age of 10-16 survived 10 camps and the likes of Mengele and Ammon Goethe. YA book 3 stars

kesäkuu 21, 7:28 am

>186 Tess_W: So guess what happened in the middle of the night? The power went out. I was so thankful when it came back on, and even more grateful the outage happened at night instead of in the middle of the day when the temps were 90+.

kesäkuu 22, 3:54 pm

>187 thornton37814: Glad it wasn't out too long!

kesäkuu 22, 10:10 pm

>176 Tess_W: Mmmm, donuts! Our blueberries are ripening over the past two weeks and while there are many, they aren't quite as plump as they would have been with more rain in the forecast. I've been tempted to make muffins, but like >180 RidgewayGirl: posted, I have been eating them on cereal or with yogurt instead.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 23, 2:49 am

>189 threadnsong: Healthier choice!

84. Fruit of the Spirit: 48 Bible Studies for Individuals or Groups (Fruit of the Spirit Bible Studies) by Phyllis J. Lepeau

I read this for personal study reasons as a fruit a week. It was good, except I was hoping to get more exegesis of the Scripture. 304 pages 3.5 stars

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 24, 5:56 pm

85. Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes This was the story of Johnny, a silversmith apprentice, set during the American Revolution. The author does a good job of creating the correct time period atmosphere. Listed as a pre-teen book, but I would say to understand it in its context, it's a YA book. 338 pages 4 stars CAT: PrizeCat: Booklists: 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up

kesäkuu 24, 5:25 pm

>191 Tess_W: I think I was around twelve when I first read Johnny Tremain? I loved that book so much.

kesäkuu 25, 9:41 am

>192 RidgewayGirl: I thought I had it many years ago, but remember absolutely nothing! Maybe one of my sons read it?!

86. My Evil Mother by Margaret Atwood A short story about a mother, who claims to be a witch, but only for good. I'm not so sure she's a witch, but maybe a savvy manipulator. Meh 32 pages AOTM: Margaret Atwood

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 26, 8:33 am

87. Persuasion by Jane Austen (my first read!) The story follows Anne Elliot, minimalized by her family, who regrets breaking off a previous engagement due to family pressure. She meets up with her once-intended several years later and through a painful process, secures a second chance Loved this book. I listened to this on audio. 7 hours 19 minutes 5 stars June Book Prizes: Booklists: 1001 Books, Guardians 1000 Books List, BBC Big Read

kesäkuu 25, 3:46 pm

>194 Tess_W: What did you think of it?!

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 26, 8:32 am

>195 christina_reads: Oh, I loved it (5 stars!) I really mostly read historical fiction or history, so don't probably read enough this type of literature, but it was very good! Upgrading my rating after thinking about it overnight!

kesäkuu 25, 4:35 pm

>196 Tess_W: Ahh I missed the rating above. But as an Austen superfan, I'm very glad you enjoyed it! :)

kesäkuu 25, 7:28 pm

>197 christina_reads: I think I liked it better than Pride & Prejudice, which I read years ago!

kesäkuu 26, 8:17 am

88. The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander A work of fiction about the Romanov's in their last days as seen through the eyes of a servant. The story picks up in Tobolsk, Siberia, the next to the last place the Romanov's were held before their execution. There wasn't anything in this book that isn't general knowledge. I thought the author made the kitchen boy very self-centered. A waste of time. This is book 1 in a series. 240 pages 2.5 stars

kesäkuu 27, 9:55 am

I can't find that ebook bargain thread......but, for those of you who like to tuck away a LOT of books, cheaply, who knows when you will need one for a prompt?

Émile Zola: The Complete Rougon-Macquart Cycle (The Greatest Writers of All Time) 4,055 pages just 99 cents on Amazon/Kindle/US

The Complete Harvard Classics - ALL 71 Volumes: The Five Foot Shelf & The Shelf of Fiction: The Famous Anthology of the Greatest Works of World Literature Kindle Edition $1.99 Amazon/Kindle/US

kesäkuu 27, 9:53 pm

kesäkuu 28, 1:48 pm

I remember reading Johnny Tremain back in elementary school.

>199 Tess_W: That one is in my library, and it predates my joining LT. I believe I read it back then, but I'm not 100% certain, but my vague recollection is that I didn't like it all that much--and since you didn't either, I probably did read it back then.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 29, 7:47 am

89. Six Years at the Russian Court by Margaretta Eagar This was a NF account of governess Eagar's time spent with the Romanov family from 1894-1906. The writing was very elementary and seemed like a litany of: we went here, we wore this, we met these people; not to say that it was not somewhat interesting. Ms. Eagar claimed the four princesses to be well behaved and well mannered. Nicholas II and Alexandra Feodorovna appeared to be loving and hands on parents. Ms. Eagar ended her recollections with: Due to personal and private reasons I left my employ with the royal family. She left shortly after the baptism of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia. Speculation is that she was dismissed because England sided with Japan in the Russo-Japanese War. She did receive a lifetime pension from the emperor and regularly exchanged letters with the four girls until they were taken captive by the Bolsheviks. 153 pages 3.5 stars June 75's: Non-fiction Middle Europe.

P.S. I mistakenly read book #88 (fiction) instead of this one, but it was also off my shelf, so it was a win-win!

kesäkuu 29, 11:52 am

June Round up:
Books read: 13
Valley Forge by Newt Gingrich
Persuasion by Jane Austen
The King's General by Daphne Du Maurier

There were no jeers this month!

What's up for July --not as much reading as my sister in law from Florida will be here for 2 weeks. While here we are taking her to the Flight 93 Museum in Pennsylvania and also taking a trip to the Patton Museum in Fort Knox as well as a nearby antebellum plantation.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien Booker Prize (prize not from your own country Chinese Cultural Revolution
Listen to Insect World (Great Courses) 75's NF
Victory at Yorktown Paul's 75 War Room: Colonial Wars
The Suitor of Yvonne RTT France
Celtic Twilight and The Last Tomb of King Arthur RTT Arthurian Britain
Book 1 in the Zola series (AOTM)

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 29, 10:13 pm

House was clean and I acquired some peppers from a friend's garden and I found some Polish Kielbasa for $1 per pound and bought all 8 pounds they had. Since my freezer was full I canned it, first time! It smells wonderful! I also made some pinto beans and kielbasa and some stuffed peppers for future dinners. Had 3 pounds of Pontiac red potatoes that I also canned. Quite a productive morning! And I have molasses sugar cookies baking in the oven.

P.S. The sauce on the peppers is not tomato red, because it's an alfredo sauce made with white wine. There is tomato powder in it, but it's not the base.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 30, 6:03 pm

Someone just asked me the question of how can they be certain they will not can food that develops botulism. I will just answer for everybody: the definitive answer is that you can't with 100% accuracy--but then neither can Hormel or any of the big industrial canners.

There are 2 types of preservation: 1)water bathing (jams, fruits) 2) pressure canning. I prefer number 2! However, I do water bathe my jams/jellies, canned fruit, tomatoes and salsa. You have to be more careful with this than the pressure canning as the temp does not get that high and also there is no pressure involved. Botulism only grows in non-acidic foods. Temperature does not kill botulism; only pressure does. Therefore, it is safe to water bathe high acidic foods like fruits, etc. I have canned over 1000 jars of everything from jams to cherries to meats to vegetables. I have never once had "trouble." Trouble would mean you served something with botulism to people and to be honest it would be very bad. Botulism causes respiratory failure, blindness, and paralysis and sometimes very sudden death. There is an anti-toxin, but it only prevents future damage and does not undo the damage caused before the injection. When there was a botulism poisoning in Ohio, they had to send to Utah for the anti-toxin. Have I sufficiently scared you away? I hope NOT! I now have about 1000 jars of canned food and never once has anything gone awry. The safest bet: FOLLOW the Ball Blue Book of Canning to a T. It is based on the USDA tried and tested methods. Where people get into trouble is all the "rebel" canners out there...."my grandma did it this way for years....." Don't rebel can! Another hint: Don't skimp on the jar lids, buy Ball or Superb, which are American made. You can buy cheaper imports (which I did when I first started), but they have a higher failure rate. Do not reuse the lids! Once the seal is broken, the lid is no good. You can reuse the rings and jars, but not the lids. A failure is when either the lid didn't seal or pops off at a later date. I've had 5-6 lids that failed to seal during canning--so we just ate that food that night for dinner! I also went to get a can of green beans out of the pantry, and the lid was just sitting on the jar, it had obviously popped off during storage. Down the disposal went those beans! To save money, buy used mason jars, pay no more than 50 cents each for them. (New they are $1). Just make sure they have no chips or cracks.

I chose to start preserving my food for several reasons: 1) I could buy in bulk 2) I could have shelf stable food (in case the electricity went out) 3) I could control what goes into my food 4) my freezer was full and it was dependent on electricity

Canned food never gets freezer burn! I can't say that all canned food is as good as fresh, because it's not. I've read that each year the jar sits on your shelf its nutritional value depletes. But then, a jar of canned carrots in a soup is better than zero carrots! A jar of canned applesauce tastes just like fresh made applesauce. Canned pie filling is better than you can find in the stores. Baked apples are the same (but better nutritionally) than you can get at the Cracker Barrel, soups and beef stews are phenomenal. (I've canned beef stew, vegetable, chili, ham and bean, green pea and ham, and chicken soups) I also make all my own broths: bone, chicken, vegetable, with no additives; which is great for someone who can not tolerate salt.

If you should have anymore questions, just ask!

kesäkuu 30, 7:00 pm

>207 Tess_W: And it's really not that hard to can! My brother bought a bunch of tomatoes last year, but we discovered his wife had gotten rid of their canner at some point. I only needed the water bath canner, but it took us a bit of time (in the midst of canning season) to locate one. I'm the one who found it by changing my location until I came across one in stock at a store along our route for the day. I spent part of the next day canning all but a few of the tomatoes he kept out for eating. I don't have a problem doing the canning. I grew up watching Mom, but she knew all the things you stated--so I had a good education in canning and preserving. I really hadn't done that much of it on my own until I was on my own, but I found it easy to do.

kesäkuu 30, 8:47 pm

>206 Tess_W: What a find and yes, what a productive morning! I enjoy continuing to read about your canning adventures. You certainly expand on what can be canned (pretty much everything). And thank you for your words of wisdom about the right way to can and where the pitfalls lie.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 1, 5:06 am

90. Con/Artist by Tony Tetro A first person account of the life of a con artist/art forger as told by himself. This book was mildly interesting in the aspect of the different techniques used to "age" a work of art. However, the actual life of Tetro, while he thinks he is the world's cleverest art forger, not so interesting and a lot unbelievable! Small time thief that most people have never heard of. 289 pages 3- stars

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 2, 6:03 pm

91 Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thein This novel is set against the backdrop of t he Chinese Revolution, The Cultural Revolution, and Tiananmen Square. There are 2-3 timelines and there seems to be no rhyme or reason for their placement. Sometimes there are two timelines contained within one page. The times lines are not the "same", they are not continuous--One page may be 1971, the next page 2016, and the third page 1966 and the reader will not see these dates again. This reader had a hard time keeping the story in order. The writing was such that the characters were kept at bay and I never really became engaged in the story; all sort of mystical. However, the Booker Prize Committee thought otherwise. (Longlist 2016) Also won Canada's Governor General's Literary Award (Winner – Translation (English to French) – 2019. 429 pages 2.5 stars July PrizeCat--an award from a country other than your own (USA).

heinäkuu 2, 6:18 pm

>211 Tess_W: Interesting topic. Shame the book is so tedious.

heinäkuu 3, 6:50 pm

Wow, Tess, I am still in awe at all you do! How is your leg coming along? I hope it has healed and you're not spending a lot of time standing on it.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 7, 7:34 am

>213 DeltaQueen50: Don't be in awe.....nothing really! Some days (weeks) and do nothing but read! The leg is healing. The hematoma is only about 50% of the size it was in April. I still have bruises on my knees, but ever so slowly I think they are returning to normal.

92. Victory at Yorktown by Newt Gingrich et.al. This was book 3/3 in the George Washington series. To be honest, before I read the first book in the series, I didn't expect anything but mediocre. I was pleasantly surprised. This book included personalities such as Comte de Rochambeau, Benedict Arnold, and Alexander Hamilton. Best historical series I've read in awhile. 367 pages 5 stars Paul's War Room July: Colonial Wars

heinäkuu 7, 9:57 am

>214 Tess_W: I'm glad to hear there's been some improvement!

heinäkuu 7, 11:09 am

>214 Tess_W: Good to hear about the improvement.

heinäkuu 7, 12:28 pm

Must be a relief - hope the improvement continues.

heinäkuu 7, 1:02 pm

Glad to hear that the leg is improving.
>211 Tess_W: That sounds positively awful! I'm not a fan of dual timeline books, one with 3 timelines that poorly delinitaed would be beyond me too.

>214 Tess_W: That brings back memories!

heinäkuu 7, 1:06 pm

>214 Tess_W: Good to hear that it is healing. It always amazes me how quickly we can hurt ourselves and then how slowly we heal!

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 9, 9:25 am

93. I listened to The Great Courses series titled Why insects matter : Earth's most essential species by Dr. Scott Solomon, which offers a compelling exploration into the critical roles insects play in our ecosystem. The course delves into their impact on pollination, agriculture, decomposition, and biodiversity. Each lecture focused on a specific insect to prove its thesis. My favorite was the bedbug and the honeybee. The only drawback was most chapters contain statements such as "350 million years ago..." (an actual number used) This was my first ever Great Courses. I liked the format whereby if you purchased the lecture (this one was free with Audible membership), the reader received an accompanying PDF. 4.5 stars 23 lectures, 12 hours 11 mins 75's NF Group July: Insects

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 9, 9:26 am

94. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai This is an autobiography of Malala, which recounts Malala's childhood in Pakistan and the Taliban's attempt on her life in 2012. What a testament to resiliency! Wish there were more Malala's in the world! I could almost swear I had read parts of this before, but I can find no record. 289 pages 4 stars I read this to preview for the suitability of the ELA teacher assigning this for 8th grade students (13-14 year olds). She wanted a second pair of eyes. I see nothing objectionable!

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 11, 11:01 pm

95. The Great Escape by Paul Brickhill told of 76 British pilot officers who attempted an escape from a German POW camp. It is unsure how many actually made it to freedom, but the estimated numbers range from 3-22. Not only was the purpose to escape, but also to tie up German resources in the manhunt. 50 of those caught were executed on the orders of Hitler. Non-fiction. 349 pages 4 stars (only $1.49 on Kindle)

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 15, 8:13 am

Evaluating midyear reading and what I set as goals (which I quickly abandoned, formally) and revised personal reading goals:
22 books (2 in July, 4 books per month August-December)

1. Two books by Pearl S. Buck
2. Next 2 books by Dickens (publication order reading) (Oliver Twist-started, and Nicholas Nickelby)
3. 5 war room books
4. 5 non-fiction books
5. 4 AOTM books
6. 1 Arthurian Britain book
7. 1 Middle Ages/Vikings book
8. Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World

Anything else is a bonus!

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 15, 8:59 pm

96. The Fortunes of the Rougons by Emile Zola. This is the first novel in Zola's 20 novel series about the Rougons and the Macquarts following the downfall of the Second French Empire (circa 1850-1870's) The Rougons were a pretty miserable lot until the Coup d'Etat by Louis-Napoleon. Napoleon's success was also the success of the Rougons, thieving scoundrels that most were. I can't say this book was terribly interesting, it was a bit mediocre. However, I have read that this book is the historical foundation(s) for the coming novels. There was a plethora of characters, but a family tree was provided. I may have enjoyed this book more had I known more about the history of this period. I think I will read up on it before I go on to read book two. 392 pages 3.5 stars

Eilen, 3:51 am

>226 MissWatson: As families go, they are indeed miserable. But as social history, the books are fascinating. I hope to add one more this month.