karenmarie: a new normal with lots of books - VI

Dette er en fortsættelse af tråden karenmarie: a new normal with lots of books - V.

Denne tråd er fortsat i karenmarie: a new normal with lots of books - VII.

Snak75 Books Challenge for 2021

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karenmarie: a new normal with lots of books - VI

maj 10, 2:52pm

Welcome to my sixth thread of Twenty Twenty-one.

One third of 2021 is behind us. How has that happened?

The Good: Books, family, friends, kitties. A decent man in the White House. Bill, Jenna, and I have all gotten both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and Jenna will be two weeks past her second dose next Thursday. Our three county libraries have re-opened, albeit on reduced day/hour schedules. But, it’s a start. Jenna has landed a full-time-with-benefits at the Biltmore Farms Hotels in Asheville NC and will start on May 31st. She’ll be staying in a hotel for some of the two weeks before her apartment is available, and will have all of June to get all her stuff out of the apartment in Wilmington and moved to Asheville. I will see Jenna sooner than later!

The Bad: The coronavirus mutates, people get complacent. The vaccines are not available worldwide. Too many mass shootings all of a sudden. And WTF is it with people not wanting to get vaccinated?

The Ugly: The country is polarized. T**** is still spewing poison from Florida and the Gang of Psychos is still in his thrall. And now they’re ousting Cheney from her position of leadership. Unbelievable. Lawlessness is justified by prejudice and religion.

I still love being retired, and am beyond grateful that I don’t have to venture out to work to earn a living ever again. I’ve paid my dues. Every day I don’t have to get up to an alarm is a cause for celebration.

I read and am a charter member of the Redbud and Beyond Book Club, started in 1997. We haven’t met since March of last year, and I’m not at all certain when we’ll be able to meet again. I am President for our local Friends of the Library (henceforth abbreviated FoL), and am sad that our Tuesday morning FoL book sale donation sorting meetings are still on hold and we’ve now had to cancel three book sales because of Covid-19 and an October 2020 cyberattack on our county, which includes the Libraries. We are meeting this month to discuss the possibility of a book sale/book sales this fall.

I have been married to Bill for 30 years and am mother to Jenna, 27. Bill and I live in our own little corner of paradise on 8 acres in central North Carolina USA.

We have three kitties. Current pictures of all three. L to R: Inara, Zoe, Wash.

No theme for pictures although I do like posting ones of family members. This picture is of my great-grandmother Alice Maud Hopps Patrick (1856-1952) and her daughter, my paternal grandmother, Nelle Patrick Pomeroy (1882-1964).

My goal last year was 100 books and I exceeded it by 24. This year’s goal will be 100 again. It’s a good goal, not too stressful and not too comfortable. No page goal, just tracking. I seem to read around 30000 pages per year and surpassed that too, last year, by 3,869 pages.



In response to the pandemic and in need of comfort reading, I’m reading/re-reading the Nero Wolfe mysteries by Rex Stout, all 47 of them. I started last April and will finish when it makes sense. I’ve currently read 35 of them.

New this year: With Julia’s blessing, I’ve taken over the Dick Francis Shared Read, now in its 3rd year. Here’s the link: Third Race at the LT Racetrack: a Dick Francis SHARED Read.

Every year I buy a new Lett’s Week to View Desk Diary. The first thing I do when I get it is to put in my name, address, phone number, and email address in case it needs to be returned to me, although it hasn’t gone out of the house since a meeting at the Library in February. Next, I transfer my voter registration card from last year’s to this year’s diary. I then write “God does not make bargains, but She does dispense grace.” across the top of the left inside front cover. Finally, I print out and tape in the two following quotes. The first I think I found in an old Ann Landers column and I don’t remember where I found the second one. But I’ve had both for decades and read them often.
On This Day

Mend a quarrel.
Search out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss a suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a letter to someone who misses you.
Encourage a youth who has lost faith.
Keep a promise.
Forget an old grudge.
Examine your demands on others and vow to reduce them.
Fight for a principle.
Express your gratitude.
Overcome an old fear.
Take two minutes to appreciate the beauty of nature.
Tell someone you love them.
Tell them again,
And again,
And again.


Whatever you do, death occurs. But if you have lived with a sense of reality and gratitude towards life, then you can leave the dignity of your life behind you, so that your relatives, your friends, and your children can appreciate who you were.

2021 – a new normal with lots of books.

Redigeret: jun 9, 9:14am

books read

1. Washington's Farewell Address and Webster's Bunker Hill Orations, Introduction and Notes by William T. Peck 1/8/21 1/9/21 172 pages hardcover
2. Banker by Dick Francis 1/3/21 1/12/21 303 pages mass market paperback
3. Christmas Beau by Mary Balogh 1/16/21 1/18/21 224 pages mass market paperback
4. If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout 1/22/21 1/25/21186 pages hardcover
5. The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths 1/25/21 1/28/21 342 pages hardcover
6. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn 1/29/21 1/30/21 438 pages trade paperback
7. The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths 1/28/21 2/2/21 352 pages hardcover, Kindle

8. The Distant Echo by Val McDermid 2/5/21 2/10/21 450 pages mass market paperback
9. Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo 2/11/21 2/12/21 353 pages trade paperback
10. Sharks in the Time of Saviors by Kawai Strong Washburn 1/15/21 2/15/21 373 pages hardcover
11. And Four to Go by Rex Stout 2/13/21 2/16/21 150 pages mass market paperback
12. A Promised Land by Barack Obama 11/20/20 2/17/2021 701 pages hardcover
13. Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo 2/17/21 2/19/21 322 pages trade paperback
14. We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper 2/19/21 2/23/21 433 pages trade paperback
15. The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths 2/23/21 2/26/21 359 pages hardcover
16. A Wealth of Pigeons by Harry Bliss and Steve Martin 11/25/20 2/28/21 272 pages hardcover

17. A Darker Domain by Val McDermid 2/26/21 3/4/21 404 pages mass market paperback
18. Prodigal Son by Gregg Hurwitz 3/4/21 3/7/21 417 pages hardcover
19. The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly 3/7/2021 3/9/21 421 pages hardcover
20. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman 3/9/21 3/9/21 59 pages hardcover
21. Little Black Sambo and the Baby Elephant by Frank Ver Beck 3/9/21 3/9/21 57 pages hardcover
22. Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo 3/9/21 3/12/21 302 pages trade paperback
23. The Skeleton Road 3/12/21 3/17/21 404 pages hardcover
24. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman 3/18/21 3/21/21 351 pages hardcover
25. Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron 3/22/21 3/23/21 261 pages hardcover
26. Southern Discomfort 3/23/21 3/27/21 241 pages hardcover
27. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 10/18/20 3/29/21 audiobook 20 hours
28. Win by Harlan Coben 3/28/21 3/29/21 371 pages hardcover
**abandoned Murder At the 42nd Street Library by Con Lehane 65 pages
29. Odds Against by Dick Francis Francis 3/30/31 3/31/21309 pages mass market paperback

30. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E.Schwab 3/30/21 4/5/21 444 pages hardcover
31. Fup by Jim Dodge 4/5/21 4/6/21 51 pages trade paperback 1983
**abandoned Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas 56 pages
32. Champagne for One by Rex Stout 4/9/21 4/10/21 205 pages mass market paperback
33. Plot it Yourself by Rex Stout 4/11/21 4/12/21 132 pages hardcover
34. Life of Pi by Yann Martel 4/12/21 4/15/21 325 pages trade paperback
35. Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar 4/16/21 201 pages hardcover
36. Three at Wolfe's Door by Rex Stout 4/18/21 4/19/21 184 pages hardcover
37. Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman 4/19/21 4/20/21 355 pages trade paperback
38. Too Many Clients by Rex Stout 4/20/21 4/22/21 188 pages mass market paperback
39. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell 4/22/21 4/24/21 340 pages hardcover
**abandoned What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris 186 pages read
**abandoned North Carolina as a Civil War Battleground 1861-1865 by John Gilchrist Barrett 71 pages read, rest missing

40. An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine 4/29/21 5/2/21 291 pages trade paperback
41. The Final Deduction by Rex Stout 5/3/21 5/5/21 188 pages mass market paperback
42. Out of Bounds by Val McDermid 5/5/21 5/7/21 421 pages trade paperback
43. The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks 5/8/21 5/13/21 418 pages hardcover
44. Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller 5/13/21 5/17/21 350 pages hardcover
45. Homicide Trinity by Rex Stout 5/18/21 5/19/21 205 pages mass market paperback
46. North Carolina as a Civil War Battleground 1861-1865 by John Gilchrist Barrett 4/30/21 5/20/21 99 pages trade paperback
47. Out of Bounds by Val McDermid 5/21/21 5/24/21 419 pages trade paperback
**abandoned yet again - sigh - Emma by Jane Austen 69 pages
48. Gambit by Rex Stout 5/25/21 5/26/21 206 pages Kindle
49. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard 5/24/21 5/29/21 295 pages hardcover

50. Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben 6/1/21 6/2/21 347 pages hardcover
51. The Mother Hunt by Rex Stout 6/2/21 6/4/21 213 pages mass market paperback
**abandoned Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots 150 pages
52. Still Life by Val McDermid 6/4/21 6/7/21 434 pages hardcover
53. Last Seen Wearing by Hillary Waugh 6/7/21 6/9/21 214 pages trade paperback

Currently Reading:
Religious Literacy by Stephen Prothero 5/5/21 244 pages hardcover 2007
Cumin, Camels, and Caravans by Gary Paul Nabhan 276 pages hardcover 2014 - Sandy McPherson
Deacon King Kong by James McBride 3/10/21 370 pages trade paperback 2020
Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell 1/1/21 305 pages hardcover 2020
White Trash by Nancy Isenberg 11/9/20 321 pages trade paperback 2016
The Source by James Michener 10/1/20 909 pages hardcover 1965
Moby Dick 5/1/20 517 pages trade paperback 1851

Redigeret: jun 7, 11:02am

books added - 2020 was the great conjunction of adds and culls, both at 128. Keeping the adds down will probably be as easy as it was last year because of the pandemic - no Friends of the Library book sales and no trips to used book stores and thrift shops.

**I spoke too soon - a FoL book donation with me getting first dibs has put me in the hole already.**

00. Friend Jessica - Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein. Given in December, but it offsets the first cull, below, so they're in the 00. black hole.
1. Amazon - Twice Shy by Dick Francis
2. ER - Sergeant Salinger by Jerone Charyn
3. Amazon - The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer
4. Amazon - A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders
5. FoL member Marian - In the Morning I'll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty
6. FoL member Marian - The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty
7. FoL member Marian - I Hear the Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty
8. FoL member Marian - Police at the Station and They Don't Look Friendly by Adrian McKinty
9. FoL member Marian - Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty
10. FoL member Marian - Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty
11. FoL member Marian - The Death of a Joyce Scholar by Bartholomew Gill
12. FoL member Marian - Counterparts by Gonzalo Lira
13. FoL member Marian - The Hellfire Club by Jake Tapper
14. FoL member Marian - Lost Light by Michael Connelly
15. FoL member Marian - Echo Park by Michael Connelly
16. FoL member Marian - The Overlook by Michael Connelly
17. FoL member Marian - The Reversal by Michael Connelly
18. FoL member Marian - Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly
19. FoL member Marian - City of Bones by Michael Connelly
20. FoL member Marian - All Saints by Karen Palmer
21. FoL member Marian - Ripley Under Water by Patricia Highsmith
22. FoL member Marian - The Drop by Michael Connelly
23. FoL member Marian - The Dark Winter by David Mark
24. FoL member Marian - The Last Four Days of Paddy Buckley by Jeremy Massey
25. FoL member Marian - Fair Warning by Michael Connelly
26. FoL member Marian - Reversible Errors by Scott Turow
27. FoL member Marian - Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly
28. FoL member Marian - The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly
29. FoL member Marian - Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
30. FoL member Marian - Death Descends on Saturn Villa by M.R.C. Kasasian
31. FoL member Marian - The naive & Sentimental Lover by John Le Carre
32. FoL member Marian - The Professionals by Owen Laukkanen
33. FoL member Marian - The Widow by Fiona Barton
34. FoL member Marian - The Looking Glass War by John Le Carre
35. FoL member Marian - The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John Le Carre
36. FoL member Marian - Dead I Well May Be by Adrian McKinty
37. FoL member Marian - The Chain by Adrian McKinty
38. FoL member Marian - The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais
39. Amazon - The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
40. Kindle - The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
40. Kindle - Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos
41. Kindle - Legion by Brandon Sanderson
42. Mark - We Keep the Dead Close by Becky Cooper
43. Kindle - Medieval People by Eileen Edna Power - saw it on Mamie's thread
44. Amazon - Prodigal Son by Gregg Hurwitz
45. Kindle - The Chronicles of Barsetshire by Anthony Trollope - recommended by lauralkeet
46. Amazon - The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis
47. Kindle - Theresa Marchmont or, the Maid of Honour by Mrs. Gore

48. Amazon - Deacon King Kong by James McBride
49. friend Karen - the President's Shadow by Brad Meltzer
50. friend Louise - Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo
51. FoL member Marian - Pray for Silence by Linda Castillo
52. FoL member Marian - Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo
53. FoL member Marian - Gone Missing by Linda Castillo
54. FoL member Marian - Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo
55. FoL member Marian - The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo
56. FoL member Marian - After the Storm by Linda Castillo
57. FoL member Marian - Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo
58. FoL member Marian - Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo
59. FoL member Marian - Shamed by Linda Castillo
60. Amazon - Cumin, Camels, and Carabans by Gary Paul Nabhan
61. Amazon - Drive Your Plows Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk
62. Amazon - A Darker Domain by Val McDermid
63. Kindle - My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due

64. friend Jan - Remains of Innocence by J.A. Jance
65. friend Jan - Dead Wrong by J.A. Jance
66. Kindle - The Decameron by Giovanni Boccacio
67. Circle City Books - Bootlegger's Daughter by Margaret Maron
68. Amazon - The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid
69. Amazon - The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
70. Amazon - The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
71. Amazon - Win by Harlan Coben
72. Kindle - Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth
73. Sanford book store - Shooting at Loons by Margaret Maron
74. Sanford book store - Death's Half Acre by Margaret Maron
75. friend Pam Dennis - A Very English Scandal by John Preston
76. friend Pam Dennis - The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell

77. Amazon - Too Many Clients by Rex Stout
78. Amazon - Refusal by Felix Felix Francis
79. Amazon - The Survivors - Jane Harper
80. Amazon - Blue Nights by Joan Didion
81. Amazon - e.e. cumming: the Growth of a Writer by Norman Friedman
82. found on my shelves - don't know how I acquired it - Defending Jacob by William Landay
93. Kindle - Mystery Mile by Margery Allingham
94. Amazon - What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris
95. Amazon - The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman
96. Amazon - Out of Bounds by Val McDermid
97. Thrift Shop - The Golem of Hollywood by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman
98. Thrift Shop - Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart
99. Thrift Shop - Beneath the Skin by Nicci French
100. Thrift Shop - Land of the Living by Nicci French
101. Thrift Shop - The Crocodile Bird by Ruth Rendell
102. Thrift Shop - A Visit from the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan
103. Thrift Shop - Wait Wait... I'm Not Done Yet! by Carl Kasell
104. Amazon - The Final Deduction by Rex Stout

105. Amazon - Homicide Trinity by Rex Stout
106. Amazon - Blind Justice by Bruce Alexander
107. Amazon - Nomadland by Jessica Bruder
108. Amazon - The Code Breaker by Walter Isaacson
109. Amazon - Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots
110. Thrift Shop - The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel
111. Thrift Shop - Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
112. Thrift Shop - The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
113. Thrift Shop - Frederica by Georgette Heyer
114. Library of Congress Shop - Last Seen Wearing by Hillary Waugh
115. Library of Congress Shop - The Silent Bullet by Arthur B. Reeve

rather than renumbering from January and February,

116. Amazon - Archaeology From Space by Sarah Parcak
117. Roni - Dangerous Visions by Harlan Ellison

118. Kindle - A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby: A Multi-Cultural Historical Regency Romance by Vanessa Riley
119. Amazon - Train by Pete Dexter
120. Amazon - Broken Ground by Val McDermid
121. Amazon - North Carolina as a Civil War Battleground 1861-1865 by John Gilchrist Barrett - replacement for copy that mysteriously stopped at page 71 and culled
122. Kindle - The Jungle by Sinclair Lewis - Mark
123. Thrift Shop - Crisis by Felix Francis
124. Thrift Shop - Later by Stephen King
125. Friends donations reject - The Beat Book: Writings from the Beat Generation edited by Anne Waldman
126. Friends donations reject - Adventures in American Literature 1952
127. Kindle - Gambit by Rex Stout
128. Amazon - The Children of Pride by Robert Manson Myers
129. Thrift Shop - Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
130. Thrift Shop - More Letters from Pemberly by Jane Dawkins
131. Thrift Shop - Rituals of the Season by Margaret Maron
132. Thrift Shop - Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
133. Thrift Shop - Theodore Roosevelt by Nathan Miller
134. Amazon - Still Life by Val McDermid
135. Kindle - Virginia Woolf: The Complete Works

136. Friend Jessica - The Love Girl and the Innocent: Victory Celebrations. Prisoners by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Redigeret: jun 4, 9:11am

books culled - there are still quite a few books on my shelves, lurking in corners and 3 deep on the shelves, that need new homes.

00. Mi's Day by Mira Vest. Cousin Mira, published in 1947. I had two copies and gave one to my sister. I actually culled this one in December but won't go back and update 2020 statistics.

1. Lost Light by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
2. The Overlook by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
3. Echo Park by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
4. Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
5. City of Bones by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
6. The Drop by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
7. The Reversal by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
8. The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly - upgraded to hardcover
9. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn - won't read any more of the series
10. Field Gray by Philip Kerr - won't read the series - for Peggy
11. For the Time Being by Annie Dillard - for Richard
12. I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming
13. The Brass Go-Between by Ross Thomas
14. Voss by Patrick White
15. The Monkey's Raincoat by Robert Crais
16. Straight On Till Morning by Mary S. Lovell
17. Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas
18. Field Gray by Philip Kerr
10. Champagne for One by Rex Stout
20. The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H. G. Parry
21. What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris blech
22. North Carolina as Civil War Battleground 1861-1865 by John Gilchrist Barrett - missing pages

bye-bye J.A. Vance!

23. Betrayal of Trust by J. A. Jance
24. Cold Betrayal by J. A. Jance
25. Cruel Intent by J. A. Jance
26. Day of the Dead by J. A. Jance
27. Dead Wrong by J. A. Jance
28. Deadly Stakes by J. A. Jance
29. Deadly Stakes by J. A. Jance I do not know why I had two copies. bad inventory control. *smile*
30. Failure to Appear by J. A. Jance
31. Injustice for All by J. A. Jance
32. Left for Dead by J. A. Jance
33. Partner in Crime by J. A. Jance
34. Remains of Innocence by J. A. Jance
35. Second Watch by J. A. Jance
36. Taking the Fifth by J. A. Jance
37. Trial by Fury by J. A. Jance
38. Until Proven Guilty by J. A. Jance
39. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - will never, ever read this trilogy
40. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel - ditto
41. The Mirror & The Light by Hilary Mantel - ditto
42. Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots - nope. Not my cuppa.

Redigeret: maj 10, 2:59pm

Statistics Through April 30

39 books read
8 of them on my shelves before 01/01/2021 and not rereads
4 books abandoned, 378 pages abandoned
11868 pages read
20 audiobook hours 20
Avg pages read per day, YTD = 99
Avg pages read per book, YTD = 304

Book of the month: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Books Read By Month
January 6
February 10
March 13
April 10

Male 49%
Female 51%

Living 64%
Dead 36%

US Born 62%
Foreign Born 38%

Hardcover 54%
Trade Pback 21%
Mass Market 21%
Audiobook 3%
e-Book 3%

My Library 79%
Library 8%
Other 13%

Re-read 21%
Series 62%

Fiction 90%
NonFiction 10%

New to Me Authors 14

England 20%
Germany 3%
Scotland 10%
Spain 3%
US 61%
Wales 3%

Original Decade Published
1890-1899 3%
1910-1919 3%
1920-1929 3%
1950-1959 10%
1960-1969 10%
1980-1989 5%
1990-1999 8%
2000-2009 15%
2010-2019 15%
2020-2029 28%

Adventure 5%
Biography 0%
Chrestomathy 0%
Contemporary Fiction 3%
Fantasy 13%
Historical Fiction 5%
Humor 3%
Informational Nonfiction 8%
Memoir 3%
Mystery 28%
Poetry 0%
Science Fiction 0%
Suspense 0%
Thriller 32%

New Stat, starting April. Thanks for the idea, fameulstee!

Book Acquisition Date
2007* 9
2009 1
2010 1
2012 1
2016 1
2018 1
2019 1
2020 4
2021 14
borrowed from friends 3
Library 3

*(joined LT, added 1853 books)

Redigeret: maj 10, 2:57pm

April’s Lightning Round

Champagne for One by Rex Stout 4/9/21 4/10/21
A very solid entry into the series with an unusual beginning. Archie is asked to attend a party. A woman dies, Archie knows that she couldn’t have given herself the poison, and quite a few people get upset when he insists it’s murder. Vivid characters, solid logic, always entertaining bits with Fritz.
Plot It Yourself by Rex Stout 4/10/21 4/11/21
Clever in the use of a writer’s style to determine fraud. Way too many characters, however, with four authors accused of plagiarism, four accusers, a large group representing two organizations who hire Wolfe to put an end to the fraudulent plagiarism claims, and various and sundry spouses, boardinghouse owners, etc. I vaguely recalled who the culprit was about halfway through and was correct. Not a bad entry, just an overwrought entry in some respects.
Three at Wolfe’s Door by Rex Stout 4/18/21 04/19/21
Three novellas:

1. Poison à la Carte. A man is poisoned under Archie’s and Wolfe’s eyes and Wolfe feels honor bound to find the poisoner. The suspects are five of twelve beautiful actresses, all hired to deliver the food. Which one delivered the poison and delivered two plates instead of one? Very well done, although it relied on an elaborate ruse.

2. Method Three for Murder. Archie quits, is met on the stoop by a client with a dead woman in a cab, and Archie hires Wolfe to help him solve the case. Short, sweet, and with enough detail, nuance, and timetables to satisfy.

3. The Rodeo Murder. The rodeo’s in town. Lily Rowan hosts a publicity event from her penthouse and there’s a murder. Stereotypes galore, but it’s nice to see Lily Rowan again, and Wolfe and Archie are on top of it.
Too Many Clients by Rex Stout 4/21/21 4/22/21
Solid entry in the series. Archie and Wolfe get pulled into a murder when Archie is hired to follow a man. All of a sudden there’s a murder and everybody wants to hire them. The characters are vivid and interesting, the dialogue witty. Archie’s first person POV is as snappy as ever. Wolfe fulfills the object of the client with the most money. Very clever.

Redigeret: maj 10, 3:04pm

124 books read

1 Masterpiece
19 Stunning
67 Excellent
20 Very Good
12 Good
4 Average
1 Bad
0 Very Bad
0 Don't Bother
0 Anathema

Best Fiction
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Beastly Tales From Here and There by Vikram Seth
The Standing Chandelier by Lionel Shriver
Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls

Best Nonfiction
Abraham Lincoln: Mystic Chords of Memory edited by Larry Shapiro
Dr. Seuss Goes to War by Richard H. Minear
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Top five overall for the LT Top Five Books of 2020 list:

Mrs. Caliban
How to Be an Antiracist
In the Heart of the Sea
The Standing Chandelier
Dr. Seuss Goes to War

maj 10, 2:54pm

maj 10, 2:55pm

Welcome! The next one's yours.

maj 10, 2:58pm

Hi Karen! I'm glad Bill's surgery went well, and also that you were able to sneak off for a bit of book shopping. Nice!

maj 10, 3:07pm

Happy new one, Karen!

Good news re: Bill's surgery. And new-to-you books!

maj 10, 3:31pm

Happy new thread, Karen!

Glad all went well today :-)

maj 10, 4:13pm

Happy new thread, Karen. Love the pics!

maj 10, 4:24pm

Hi Karen my dear, happy new thread and good news about Bill's Cataract surgery. Sending love and hugs to you all dear friend.

maj 10, 4:32pm

Happy new thread!

>1 karenmarie: What a great picture!

maj 10, 4:56pm

Good news all around!!!! Very happy to hear that Bill is now recovering and that you have some wonderful books too. What a fine day after all!

maj 10, 5:16pm

Happy number six, Karen!

maj 10, 6:42pm

Yoiks! More thread.

Redigeret: maj 10, 8:02pm

>10 lauralkeet: Thank you, Laura. I almost didn’t go out to the thrift shop but am glad I did.

>11 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie.

>12 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita. We are too – even something positive can be stressful in the leadup and actual surgery.

>13 jessibud2: Thank you, Shelley. I wish I knew when that picture was taken – looks like the 1910s with the long skirts and that hat, but the photo is not marked on the back. And the kitties – they are all very photogenic.

>14 johnsimpson: Thank you, John. Love and hugs back to the new grandparents.

>15 quondame: Thanks, Susan.

>16 LizzieD: Yes, done surgery and new books. We’re both absolutely exhausted, though, and dozed through an episode of Forensic Files before giving up. I’ve woken up enough to come here and say hi to my visitors, but envision an early night.

>17 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul!

>18 weird_O: Yoiks indeed, Bill. Yes. More thread. *smile*

maj 10, 8:11pm

Happy New Thread, Karen!

maj 10, 8:30pm

Happy new one!

maj 10, 8:59pm

Ooh, a short new thread. I am in! SO far behind...happy new thread, Karen!

maj 10, 9:00pm

Hi Karen, hopelessly trying to keep up. I'm glad Bill's surgery went well and that you'll soon be seeing Jenna.

maj 10, 9:07pm

Happy new one!

maj 10, 10:19pm

Happy new thread, Karen.

maj 11, 4:41am

Love that picture of the kitties cuddling. Ours often use another cat as a pillow too, sometimes like that, sometimes head on top of head, which is sort of funny.

Glad the surgery went well. My daughter was also sitting in a hospital waiting room yesterday as her boyfriend had surgery on his hand. All is well there too, although he won't be able to use the hand for a while.

maj 11, 7:07am

>20 msf59: Thanks, Mark!

>21 drneutron: Thank you, Jim, and, as always, thank you for managing our group so well.

>22 ronincats: Thanks, Roni! You’ve got so much on your plate right now. I appreciate the visit.

>23 brenzi: Thank you, Bonnie.

>24 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita!

>25 BLBera: Thank you, Beth.

>26 ursula: Hi Ursula. Thanks re the kitties. They don’t cuddle as much as when we first got them from the shelter in December 2019, so I’m happy to see it now. Happy, too, when my cell phone’s handy. Here’s a pic from 10 days after we adopted them. Wash weighs twice what Zoe does now, but was only 4 months old when we got him.

I hope your daughter’s boyfriend gets the use of his hand back sooner than later.

Coffee. Possibly time for a bite of breakfast before we leave in an hour for Bill’s follow up visit with the surgeon.

maj 11, 7:17am

Morning, Karen. It looks like we inch back up to 55F today but there will be sunshine. I got 3 more FOY warblers yesterday, and I hope to add to that total, with my birding buddies today and tomorrow.

I hope the follow-up goes well with Bill.

maj 11, 7:22am

'Morning, Mark! I just posted on your new thread. Great minds and all that. Yay for the 3 FOY warblers and your next two birding adventures.

Thanks re Bill. He was a tad distraught this morning when I came down - his right eye was cloudy. However, as soon as I put the prednisone drop in it started clearing up.

Redigeret: maj 11, 9:26am

>27 karenmarie: - Oh my, how adorable! I doubt my 2 shelter kitties will get to that point (and they are unrelated, as well) but there have been moments when Theo's paw has rested on Owen's back or leg, and I count that as success, given the circumstances. My first 2 cats (Jessie and Buddy, of screenname fame), were littermates, adopted at 6 weeks of age, and I have several photos of them in similar poses to >27 karenmarie:. I miss those days!

maj 11, 11:10am

Hi Shelley!

Even if Theo and Owen don't get to the cuddle stage, they've come a long way since you got them.

Ah, ha! I never knew the meaning behind your username. Thanks.

maj 11, 1:44pm

>29 karenmarie: I hope Bill's post-surgery vision stabilizes soon. I can understand that he would be worried if promised improvements didn't appear.

maj 11, 2:12pm

Thanks, Judy. The surgeon says Bill's eye is fine after the surgery. He's worried about the pressure in Bill's eyes, a long-term issue, aggravated, temporarily we hope, because of the surgery. Two additional sets of eye drops. Sigh.

maj 11, 5:26pm

Smoochiemama! You snuck away. I found you, though.

Bill's diabetes makes a difference in the eyes, so resuming his med-schedule and the drops will help get him back to where he needs to be soon.

maj 11, 7:44pm

Hiya, RD.

You're right. It's just been more stressful than either of us would have liked. Sigh.


maj 11, 7:51pm

Happy new thread, Karen!

Bill had cataract surgery? Anything to do with hospitals and surgery is stressful, as far as I'm concerned. So best wishes for fast healing for him.

>1 karenmarie: I love that hat.

maj 12, 7:06am

Hi Ella, and thank you.

I agree about the stress. But Bill's putting in his own eye drops now and had a good night's sleep last night - even with the plastic eye covering he has to have on when he sleeps for a 5 more nights.

I only remember my grandmother as a formidable dame. She lived with us from when I was probably about 2 until she died when I was 10. That hat, though, is a clear sign of a fashion-wanna-be. They lived in Omaha, Nebraska.

First sips of coffee consumed, no major plans today. I was going to go grocery shopping, but with the gas shortage I'm going to conserve my half-a-tank by combining shopping with tomorrow's Friends of the Library Book Sale Team meeting.

maj 12, 7:23am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. We have a gradual warm-up coming and we are looking forward to it. A nice time with my birding buddies yesterday. Several FOY birds, including 2 more warblers. Off again, in a short while.

maj 12, 11:11am

Wow, a few days away and it's hard to catch up!! Happy new thread. Glad the cataract surgery recovery is going well. Love the photo of your ancestors.

maj 12, 11:18am

Somebody somewhere here mentioned grilled-cheese sandwiches and I am now obsessing over them.

I want five. No, six. Make it an even dozen. *drool*

maj 12, 1:38pm

Happy New Thread! Whoopsie - I left a post on your old thread. I guess I'll leave it there since it refers to posts on that one.

maj 12, 1:45pm

>40 richardderus: - Bacon on mine, please!

Hi Karen! I hope Bill continues to recover well from his surgery.

Redigeret: maj 12, 2:04pm

New thread, yer jus' stringin' us along. Shame on you.

Bill here, wishing Bill well. How is his vision now? I remember being flabbergasted by the improvement in brightness and color. I had one eye done at a time, so after that first surgery, I could compare: close the bad eye, then close the good eye. What a difference.

Did I mention that I went to my first library book sale since December of 2019 last week? Yeah, I probably did. I'm pondering a Scranton run this Saturday for the one-day outdoor sale at Albright Mem, Linda's place (heehee).

>40 richardderus: I had a grilled cheese samidge just last evening. Finlandia swiss and sweet lebanon bologna. Mmmm.

maj 12, 3:02pm

I hope Bill’s eyes continue to improve Karen.

maj 12, 3:10pm

>38 msf59: Hi Mark, and happy Wednesday to you, too. Yay for the warmup. We’re back into cold territory today - 47F. I hope you enjoyed today’s birding adventure.

>39 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba, and thank you. Yes, Bill’s doing well. Thanks re my grandmother and great-grandmother.

>40 richardderus: Oh, RD, I was going to have a grilled cheese for lunch but started watching Forensic Files with Bill, then spent an hour and a half doing some FoL budgeting work, and now it’s too late for lunch. Perhaps for dinner with tomato soup since it’s so cold out. Five or six or twelve? My goodness.

>41 streamsong: Thanks, Janet. I saw your post on my old thread and need to go back and reply to it.

>42 katiekrug: Hi Katie. Thick cut bacon, right? Besides eating it by itself, I never ever have bacon on or in anything except an omlette. Fresh summer tomatoes are the absolute best in a grilled cheese although I can’t get them this time of year. Thanks re Bill. He’s coming along nicely.

>43 weird_O: *hangs my head* Sorry about that, Bill.

My Bill’s vision is doing quite well. He’s loving the brightness and non-yellowed colors. In fact, he’s adjusted the settings on the TV already to get to the truer colors he’s starting to see and will fully see after the second surgery. Bill’s doing the same – comparing eyes. You guys!

Yay for Library sales, yay for visiting Linda’s place. And yum for your interesting grilled cheese sandwich.

Well. Yes. Finished sending out the proposed budget for the Friends fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). It took me about 15 minutes to figure out how to make it look right in PDF, but I’m nothing if not stubborn and finally got it.

Now off to read.

maj 12, 3:31pm

>40 richardderus: - Mine will have a tomato in there along with a big glass of cold chocolate milk on the side. My favourite lunch of all time, hands down!

maj 12, 4:25pm

>37 karenmarie: Fortunately my grandmother never lived with us - sending back thank you cards spelling corrected was her speed, though my granddad was a sweet heart to be around.

maj 12, 4:29pm

>40 richardderus: They are a perfect food. I still mourn the Brandywine Cafe which stayed open till way late and had a design you own grilled cheese that was always perfectly executed to instructions. Sourdough grilled on the inside first with cheddar, bacon, and grilled tomatoes added at the end was a perfect way to end the night.

maj 12, 5:25pm

Hi Karen. I took ages realising I was on the old thread! It was interesting reading.

Re Intriguing statement about why you checked it out, I did post a review of The Language of the Goddess. I mostly skimmed, using the descriptions under the illustrations that intrigued me.

I've been mostly off the computer while it is finally decent garden time. Generally not freezing overnight and my hay fever - itchy eyes - has somewhat subsided. There was such a dose of 'snow mould' this year. I actually couldn't really read much.

maj 12, 8:41pm

>46 jessibud2: I do love chocolate milk, Sandy, but must admit I’ve never had it with a grilled cheese sandwich.

>47 quondame: Hi Susan. The three of us kids loved Mom (that’s what she wanted us to call her – our mother was ‘Mommy’). She made silver dollar pancakes for breakfast for us, made pinwheel cookies and I still use her recipe, played cards and etc. She kept malted milk balls or lemon drops in a milk glass candy dish in her bedroom. She put envelopes with $1 in them inside the mail slot for us for our birthdays and pretended that the mailman delivered them. My poor mother, though, had a real hard time with her MiL, who was bossy and always knew what was best for her son. My grandfather had died in 1929 when my dad was 8, so I never knew him.

>48 quondame: Yum, excluding the bacon. Sourdough grilled cheeses.

>49 SandyAMcPherson: Hi Sandy. Sorry The Language of the Goddess was so much unsubstantiated and citation-less hypothesis.

Glad you’re getting some good gardening time in.

Wonderful news! Jenna will be stopping here Saturday – early morning Monday on her way to start her job in Asheville. Long story short, she’ll be working part time for a bit since they said she could start on the 31st of May but now need her on the 17th, but her apartment won’t be ready until June 14th. Regardless, we get her for almost two whole days after 16 months of not seeing her. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

maj 12, 9:32pm

Wonderful news about Jenna's stopover! Huzzah!!!

maj 12, 9:39pm

>50 karenmarie: ^^^^ what Laura said!

Redigeret: maj 12, 9:44pm

>50 karenmarie: It's great that you'll be able to see Jenna again!
I don't know how I'd have survived these months without Becky.

With the exception of my daughter and, when I'm feeling charitable, my husband, my luck with family members is not good, though I really like my younger brother and think my older siblings have done amazing things. But then, they have to put up with me, which can't be a picnic. My mother-in-law's best attribute was her living in Hawaii - and having no funds to get to California unless we paid. I went to visit once bringing 8 mo old Becky. After that Mike and Becky went every year.

When Becky was 10 she came back and told me she knew why I didn't go with them, because grandma was pretty horrible. It was sort of sad, as I had said as little as possible to her about the woman and was kind of hoping she could control herself enough around a granddaughter so that Becky wouldn't have to see what she was.

Redigeret: maj 13, 4:20am

A belated happy new thread, Karen. Love the picture of your grandmother and great-grandmother. I think it's very special when you still have those old pictures to share and cherish.

Wow seeing Jenna again!

maj 13, 5:40am

>51 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura.

>52 SandyAMcPherson: Thank you, Sandy.

>53 quondame: Daughters are pretty special, aren’t they, Susan? We had problems with Bill’s Mama like you did with your MiL. She was controlling and demanding but lived 3 hours away. We tried to do the same as you did with Becky about not saying much to Jenna, but she eventually figured it out. requiescat in pace.

>54 connie53: Thank you, Connie. I’ve never really organized the pictures, and only have some of them scanned in. I’ve always been the keeper of the pics in the family.

And yes, wow. I’m all a-twitter.

Up at 5:30. Ugh. My brain started up about 5-ish and I couldn’t get back to sleep. Ah well, I can take a nap today if I need to. Coffee in hand, I’m off to visit a few threads then finish up the last 44 pages of The Widow of the South.

maj 13, 7:32am

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. I am not sure if I mentioned this to you but I have a family wedding to attend to in Kansas City this weekend. It will be a whirlwind trip. I leave tomorrow early and return later Sunday. Sue is tending to her aunt who is getting out of rehab today and will get her settled in at home, so I will be a solo trip, unfortunately.

Funny, I always heard such mixed things about The Widow of the South that I chose not to read it, although I still have a copy on shelf. You are enjoying it though, right?

maj 13, 8:30am

Hi Mark, and happy Thursday to you, too. You are definitely out and about these days - camping, Oregon, now KC. Stay safe and enjoy yourself.

I had never hear anything that I can remember about The Widow of the South, so went into this novel unprejudiced.

I just finished it a while ago and have given it 4.5 stars.

Redigeret: maj 13, 12:15pm

43. The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
5/8/21 to 5/13/21

From Wikipedia:

Hicks became fascinated by the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, a major battle which occurred in the final months of the Civil War. During his many years working at Carnton, he began to develop a book idea, and during an accidental meeting with civil war historian and author Shelby Foote, he received further encouragement to complete a historic novel about the battle.

The result was Hicks' first novel, The Widow of the South. In writing the novel, he hoped to bring national attention back to this moment in American history, the impact those five bloody hours played in making us a nation, and in the preservation of the sites tied to the story. The Widow of the South was launched September 1, 2005 to overwhelming critical success, entering the New York Times Bestseller List after only one week out.

The novel is centered around the Carnton Plantation and mansion which was commandeered by officers of the Confederate States Army as a hospital during the Battle of Franklin II. Hicks creates a cast of characters including the Madame of the mansion and soldiers wounded during this monumental battle. The novel has been critically acclaimed as comparable to other literary works on the Civil War including Gone with the Wind, and The Killer Angels.

Why I wanted to read it: It caught my eye while looking over my shelves in the Sunroom when I wanted a change from mystery/thriller/suspense.

This is an amazingly powerful novel. Short chapters alternate among third person reporting, Carrie, Sergeant Zachariah Cashwell of the 24th Arkansas, Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, Carrie’s slave Mariah, and a host of others.

The emotions are from the heart. We watch Carrie come out of the years-long, profound, and debilitating grief over the deaths of three of her five children to manage the horrors of a field hospital in her home after the Battle of Franklin.

The strongest relationship in the book is between Carrie and the Sergeant, as she overrides his express desire to die by ordering the field surgeon to amputate his leg. This relationship helps Carrie and Cashwell understand themselves and each other in the immediate aftermath of the battle and over the course of the following 30 years.

The combination of historical fact and novelization breathes life into an event whose power has faded over the decades. There are portraits and photos in the back of the book of Carrie, her husband John, her three dead children, and Mariah. There is a photo of the cemetery in 1866 and another more recently. 1481 markers, 1481 names, 1481 lives commemorated by the determination of one woman aided by her family and people in Franklin.

If I ever get a chance to go to central Tennessee, I want to visit Carnton and the cemetery.

Six word review: Out of the crucible of war…

maj 13, 9:23am

I really enjoyed The Widow of the South, too, Karen. I read it a few years ago.

maj 13, 11:00am

>50 karenmarie: So happy for you, Karen, that Jenna will be visiting.

maj 13, 11:56am

Enjoy your time with your daughter. Sixteen months is a long time.

maj 13, 11:59am

>58 karenmarie: You got me with this one, Karen. And happily, my library has it.

maj 13, 1:00pm

>50 karenmarie: YAAAYYY!!! See ya Monday.

>58 karenmarie: *missed me missed me* NYAH

maj 13, 5:30pm

Hi Karen! Great that Jenna is able to visit. Enjoy!

maj 13, 10:02pm

>55 karenmarie: Heh, controlling and demanding I grew up with, and yes it is a trial and I took decades to catch on because my mother could be fun and charming as a way of being controlling, though one never quite forgot the stinger. But while my parents were deeply flawed they were capable and meant well and did maintain basic values and kept within the discipline structure of their times. MIL was a compulsive corrosive liar who did way worse than average damage to her sons, especially the two elder who unlike Mike didn't get out of the house at 5 and stay out as much as possible.

maj 14, 7:13am

>59 katiekrug: If you commented on it at the time it must have gone right over my head, Katie – I don’t recall hearing anything on LT about it.

>60 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! We’re excited.

>61 BLBera: We don’t have anything special planned, Beth. But I do plan on a bit of cooking.

>62 lauralkeet: Another BB! I hope this works as well for you as The Family Upstairs did.

>63 richardderus: Well, depending on when she arrives tomorrow and gets up Sunday and Monday I might be here… but I do have a few things to do today. Not an impossible list, just enough to keep me busy.

Dodging BBs is satisfying, isn’t it? *smooch*

>64 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel! Nice to see you. Thanks.

>65 quondame: Great perspective, Susan. Especially about your parents. My parents were deeply flawed, too. However, as you say, they were capable and meant well and did maintain basic values. I only remember my mother paddling my brother and me one time. It’s actually a funny story, from a child’s viewpoint. Doug and I did something that enraged my mother. She made us go lie down on their bed. We heard her muttering in our bedroom across the hall. I seem to recall that we were shocked to hear the H-e-double toothpicks word. Then she came in and made us lie face down and spanked us. But the bed absorbed the blows so we basically felt nothing and we laughed. Got her madder and she hit harder, but it didn’t do any good. My dad never hit any of us although the wonderful lady in the picture in my topper, my grandmother, cornered me in the living room one time and walloped me with my Fuller Brush plastic hairbrush. She was in her late 70s so the blows were pretty ineffectual, but she broke my hairbrush hitting me with it.

I decided to forgive my parents for all their perceived flaws and actions when I was in my early 20s, realizing that they did the best that they could do. It was amazingly freeing.

I’m glad your husband escaped most of your MiL’s horribleness, sorry his brothers didn’t escape it.

Yup. Coffee, a bit of reading and brekkie, then pacing myself throughout the day getting a few things under control for Jenna’s lunchtime arrival tomorrow.

maj 14, 7:27am

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. I did not get out birding yesterday but I did keep an eye on my feeders and saw a male rose-breasted grosbeak. The very first time I have seen one at my feeders. Photos were taken but I didn't process them yet. Yah! Leaving for KC shortly. I won't be on LT much. Have a great weekend.

Good review of The Widow of the South. I may now have to reconsider.

maj 14, 7:32am

'Morning, Mark! Have a safe trip and a wonderful time.

Thanks re my review.

maj 14, 12:29pm

Hiya Horrible! I see my aim wasn't true, either...*sigh*

I hope the visit is sweeter than your dreams. We'll see you when we see you!


maj 14, 2:23pm

WOW!!!! Great news at your house!

I'm thrilled that you get Jenna for a whole weekend!!!!!!! I hope that she can spend most of it with you rather than with hometown friends, although I'd grant her some friend time if I were in control.

Good news about Bill's surgery! Everybody compares eyes, I'm sure! The drops are a royal pain though, and adding two more to the schedule can't be fun. It's well worth the tedium though.

Grilled cheese yummyness!

I am more grateful than I can say to have had two sterling parents and wonderful grandparents too. Mama's daddy is the only one I didn't know.

maj 14, 3:36pm

Yay! for Jenna's visit. Have tons of fun! Is she vaccinated, too (that means can you all go out and do fun stuff while she's here?)

maj 14, 3:50pm

Congrats, Karen, on Jenna's visit! What a treat!

maj 14, 4:36pm

>66 karenmarie: Forgiving does help, though I took a bit longer and by then my mother was dead after a really difficult year. Considering what they went through as children helped, and my dad mellowed out a lot after retirement.

Have a great weekend with Jenna!

maj 14, 4:41pm

Hi Karen my dear, great that you will get to see Jenna for two whole days, what a treat and i would love to be a fly on the wall to see the reunion after 16 months.

Sending love and hugs to you, Bill, Jenna and the Kitties, give them skritches from us dear friend.

maj 14, 7:24pm

Yay for getting to have Jenna home Karen, no matter how long or short the visit. My son lives in Raleigh and I haven't seen him since Christmas 2019. But now we're finally making plans for a visit.

maj 14, 9:27pm

>69 richardderus: Not sharing BBs is okay, too, RD! It’s been hard not seeing our daughter, so this weekend will be a very nice catch up. There will be food, talking, and even a bit of Yahtzee. January 9, 2020 was the last day Jenna was home. *smooch*

>70 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. Oh yes, best thing that’s happened to us personally in 2021 (never forgetting that we have a real human in the White House…)

Jenna’s going to stick right here at the house. Her two best friends live in Charlotte and Thomasville, and she is as much of an introvert as I am so wouldn’t go visiting casual acquaintances. The pressure in Bill’s eyes dropped from 50 on Tuesday to 21 today, which is even lower than it usually is.

You’re lucky in your parents and grandparents for sure.

>71 streamsong: Hi Janet and thanks. Jenna’s two-weeks-after-second-shot was yesterday.

>72 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. It’s been way too long.

>73 quondame: Thank you, Susan.

>74 johnsimpson: I know, John, and we’re so pleased. There will be many hugs and beaming faces for sure. Given what everybody has gone through during this pandemic, it almost doesn't seem real. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen and skritches for Felix the Cat.

>75 brenzi: Thanks, Bonnie. I’m grateful for two days, absolutely. Glad to hear that you’ll be visiting your son in Raleigh soon, too.

Nothing like a bit of housework to make me feel whupped – Bill and I were watching Forensic Files. I dozed through the last one, then napped on the couch for an hour. Time to go to bed…. 😴

maj 15, 12:08pm

Karen, over on Mark's thread you said you expected Jenna "noonish." I looked at the clock and realized that's like, NOW. I'm very happy for you!!

maj 15, 12:20pm

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray for Jenna Day!!!!!!

I love thinking about how happy all three of you are. Enjoy! Hmmmm. Maybe I should devil some eggs but not today.

maj 15, 9:24pm

>77 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura, for stopping by. Update below.

>78 LizzieD: Hooray indeed.

Jenna arrived about 11:45, earlier than I thought she would, which was wonderful. Many fierce hugs and I even kissed her on the cheek. Dad/daughter hugs, too.

We've spent most of the day just chatting and hanging out. Dinner was Instant Pot Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce - thank you, RDear, for providing me with the first and seriously excellent recipe for my IP last summer. I doubled the recipe, only increased the pressure cook time by 2 minutes, added 5 minutes to the natural release, and it all came out beautifully. Leftovers for tomorrow night! Jenna and I made an angel food cake to go with the totally excellent strawberries and freshly whipped cream for dessert. Nothing like scratch angel food cake...

Inara heard Jenna's voice and immediately went up to her on the couch and hung out for 20 or more minutes. My money's on Inara spending the night with Jenna. Within an hour of Jenna coming home Zoe came back inside, jumped up on the coffee table, looked over at the couch where Jenna was, looked at Bill, and I swear she did a double take - who's that in my house? It was amusing. She's now comfortable hanging out on a blanket between Jenna and me. Wash's been more skittish, but he did say hi to her a while ago and has spent the last couple of hours in the living room with us.

Long, happily emotional day. I'll be heading upstairs in a while, Jenna will probably play on her cell phone for a couple of hours. Tomorrow morning will either be buttermilk waffles or chipped beef - Jenna's choice.

maj 16, 12:14am


maj 16, 5:34am

So glad Jenna is home, Karen! And you have had a lovely diner with an excellent dessert! And more time to spend with Jenna today! Have a super time.

Redigeret: maj 16, 7:50am

>79 karenmarie: This made me smile and also made me a bit teary. I love how the kitties reacted.

maj 16, 10:36am

>79 karenmarie: The contentment in that post vibrates off the screen.

So glad for all y'all. *smooch*

maj 16, 11:03am

So glad to hear about your happy day.

maj 16, 3:43pm

>79 karenmarie: It makes me happy to read about your happiness, Karen.

maj 17, 6:35am

Morning, Karen. The Warbler is back! It looks like I will be staying put for awhile. I had a very nice trip. It was great catching up with family. Well, migration is finally in full throttle here, so I am heading out early. We are going to the Chicago lakefront, where things are really hopping. Folks have been seeing 70-80 species.

Redigeret: maj 17, 8:14am

>80 LizzieD: Yes, and then we settled in like it hadn’t been 16 months. And she’ll be back on Thursday, spend the night, then head to Wilmington on Friday morning.

>81 connie53: Me, too, Connie! It’s been wonderful.

>82 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. Wash has said hi to her a couple of times.

>83 richardderus: Yes, this Mom is happy to have hugged and spent time with her daughter. *smooch*

>84 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, Reba!

>85 FAMeulstee: And that makes me smile, Anita!

>86 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark! Glad your whirlwind spring will settle down for a while. Enjoy the spring migration.

Jenna’s eating breakfast. Bill will work from home today because he chipped a tooth Friday and it’s much easier to work from home if he has to go to the dentist.

Jenna will leave in about 15 minutes or so for Asheville. I’ve had my first few sips of coffee and will read a bit. I’ve got the Friends Board meeting to conduct this morning, then can be calm for the first time after being so keyed-up since I knew Jenna’d be coming home.

eta: On her way out a few minutes later.

maj 17, 12:33pm

Happy Monday!


maj 17, 8:27pm

How nice that you have had Jenna home again, Karen! Hugs and all. I'm very glad for you. Will visiting be easier now?

maj 18, 7:13am

>88 richardderus: Hiya, RD! I had a lovely Monday, thank you. Lots of reading and R&R. *smooch*

>89 EllaTim: Hi Ella. Oh yes, it was. Visiting will definitely be easier Covid-wise. We'll see how things shake out with her new job and getting her apartment under control. New apartment available on June 14, old apartment lease ends June 30. She'll be going back and forth a bit.

Coffee, trying to clear the brain fog. I'll be going to the Library with one of the Book Sort Team members/Board members this morning to sort books, catch up, and possibly even go out to lunch. We'll see.

maj 18, 7:54am

Morning, Karen. Yep, I am wolfing my breakfast and coffee down, so I can get out and look at birds. Yesterday was a great day. More details on my thread.

Nice photo of Jenna up there. Glad you had a good visit.

maj 18, 8:01am

'Morning, Mark! Have a great birding adventure. I'll check back in on your thread to get the details about yesterday's adventure.

Thanks re Jenna, and yes, we had a wonderful visit.

Redigeret: maj 19, 8:40am

44. Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
5/13/21 to 5/17/21

From Amazon:

Gil Coleman looked down from the window and saw his dead wife standing on the pavement below.'

Gil's wife, Ingrid has been missing, presumed drowned, for twelve years.

A possible sighting brings their children, Nan and Flora, home. Together they begin to confront the mystery of their mother. Is Ingrid dead? Or did she leave? And do the letters hidden within Gil's books hold the answer to the truth behind his marriage, a truth hidden from everyone including his own children?

'Thrilling, transporting, delicately realised and held together by a sophisticated sense of suspense...more than matches the power of Fuller's debut... Powerful, pleasing and pleasurable.' Sunday Times

Why I wanted to read it: It’s Mamie’s fault! Contemporary fiction is one of the lesser lights in my reading firmament but for some reason this one caught my interest.

Two stories develop in alternating chapters. The first is Flora’s although it’s not told from the first person point of view. The second is told through a series of letters written by Ingrid and hidden in 23 of Gil’s many thousands of books. I’m a sucker for epistolary books, and this one has the added bonus of Ingrid’s telling us at the end of each letter what book it’s been put in. The books are all real books, an added bonus.

Was the sighting of Ingrid real?

What drove me to continue at first was the wish/hope that Flora and Nan would discover the letters. What kept me going were the letters, wondering if Ingrid was still alive and my rising sense of indignation on Ingrid’s behalf of Gil’s ego, arrogance, infidelity, and, ultimately, failure as a serious writer. Ingrid is not free from guilt in this dysfunctional family either, as she unintentionally becomes a mother, doesn’t/can’t stand up to Gil, and even if she doesn’t love her daughters doesn’t care for them in what has become her only responsibility.

Fuller captures all the little incidents that shape Nan and Flora. The sisters are opposite in personality and temperament. Flora’s most recent sexual partner, Richard, is thrown into the mix as a voice of reality.

Gil's friend Jonathan and Ingrid's friend Louise add contrast and surprising plot twists.

There is irony in Gil's bestseller x-rated novel, tragedy in Ingrid’s tale, and redemption in Nan and Flora’s.

Six word review: Selfish people and an edgy premise.

maj 18, 2:51pm

Claire Fuller's everywhere! Bitter Orange is on Kindlesale right now for $1.99, her latest dropped today...everywhere, I tells ya, everywhere!

Anyway, here's to tomorrow.

maj 18, 4:54pm

>8 karenmarie: I literally just posted on my thread that I was telling my lovely other the other day that we *must* cut down on our frivolous spending (next minute) went and bought a book.

Looks like your latest reads have been successful ones! Always a good thing.

maj 18, 7:40pm

Looks like things are going well for you, Karen. Good to see that Bill's surgery was successful and that you finally had a visit with Jenna. Such good news about her new job and apartment too!

maj 18, 8:45pm

>94 richardderus: It's like when I moved to NC. Bill hadn't paid attention to Volvos, but that was the car I drove at the time and then all he could see on the road were Volvos. Yes, tomorrow will be a good day. *smooch*

>95 LovingLit: Megan, books are not frivolous spending, but I do agree that there are some things that have a higher priority. I did, however, only spend 4.20USD on books - I paid for two and two were gratis.

Four out of my five reads for May are 4.5 stars. This doesn't happen often. I'm stingy with stars, but this month has been stellar so far.

>96 Familyhistorian: Knock on wood, Meg, yes, they are. Jenna's second day on the job was today and it went well. She works tomorrow, comes back through here Thursday-Friday, goes to Wilmington, and will return here Monday to work next week Wednesday - Saturday. No Jenna for 16 months and now Jenna 3 times in a week and a half. This mom's doing a happy dance.

Off to read, probably chat with friend Karen, and go to sleep before last night's midnight.

maj 18, 11:29pm

Still enjoying your happiness!

maj 19, 7:40am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. Good review of Swimming Lessons, although your touchstone is incorrect. I have not read Fuller, so this might be a fine place to start. I hope your excellent reads continue.

I am backing off a bit today on the birding front but I plan checking on a distant reservoir for a Lifer sighting.

maj 19, 8:37am

Hi Karen. Yay for all the Jenna time! Will she be closer to you, geographically once the move is settled?

maj 19, 8:44am

>98 LizzieD: As am I, Peggy. Jenna's doing well, Bill's doing well, and I'm blissed out with the quiet house. *smile*

>99 msf59: 'Morning, Mark! Thanks re Swimming Lessons - touchstone fixed above and correct here!

Good luck on your potential Lifer.

>100 jessibud2: Hi Shelley. Actually, she'll be further away by about an hour. She'll be living in a part of the state she wants to live in, though, so I'm content. And Bill and I love the idea of excuses to visit her - Asheville! Biltmore! Mountains! Friends close by! A win-win situation.

maj 19, 10:38am

Hi Smoochling. Should be done with my review of The Hidden Girl and Other Stories later today. Mixed bag, luckily none awful and two outstanding! So there's that...and the sheer perfection of today's sunny, cool-side-of-May 64°.

Better than July will be, I reckon. So soaking it up now.

maj 19, 11:12am

'Morning, RDear! Yay for a good book. We've got beautiful weather, too. I've even got a window open. We only have screens on two windows in the entire house, so that's saying something.

July will suck, weather-wise, for sure, as will most of June.

I just added the four books I acquired yesterday, selected the correct member-uploaded covers or scanned in the correct covers, and found them shelf space here in the Sunroom. I think they're happy.

maj 19, 11:25am

An open window even! It's lovely for a minute. I keep hoping that Star Trek's global weather net will materialize before I die.

...not lookin' good, though...

PS I fat fingered the temp here: 74° not the April-y 64°

maj 20, 7:26am

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. I took it easy on the birding front yesterday but I did get my back and neck adjusted, along with a much needed massage. A big warm up has arrived here finally and we will be in the 80s through the weekend. Heading out shortly with a birding buddy.

maj 20, 9:59am

Hey there Horrible...I gave up and downloaded duckduckgo.com's search page as my default after the AI revelations from Google. (They're training it to be racist, in a nutshell.) Also watched some of season two of Love, Death + Robots on Netflix. Rob and I agreed that the first two are excellent. One's funny, one's *really*really*grim* but also excellent.

Splendid Thursday orisons. *smooch*

maj 21, 7:39am

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday! Everything good? It doesn't look like you came around yesterday. Hope all is well.

maj 21, 9:12am

>104 richardderus: Windows are closed now, but yes, it was lovely. *smooch*

>105 msf59: Hi Mark! Yesterday got away from me – I had to go grocery shopping before Jenna got home, which meant leaving early ‘cuz she left Asheville early. And then it was a Jenna day. I’m envious of your back/neck adjustment. My insurance only covers injuries, and I don’t lie and don’t have an injury and am cheap. Sigh.

>106 richardderus: I don’t know about the AI revelations from Google, but am glad you’ve come over from the dark side. Haven’t heard of Love, Death + Robots, but will check it out.

>107 msf59: Happy Friday, Mark, and yes, I’m fine, everything’s good. I am going to be away much of today, too, as Jenna is here and won’t leave ‘til 1-ish to head back to Wilmington.

maj 21, 5:18pm

Hi Karen my dear, lovely photo of Jenna, i bet you had a really lovely time catching up dear friend.

maj 21, 9:53pm

>79 karenmarie: What a lovely day!! I love that the cats were as happy about it as the humans were!

I'm adding The Widow of the South and Swimming Lessons to the wish list.

On Tuesday I fly to Charlotte, by way of Seattle and Chicago (It will be a long day), then rent a car to drive to Black Mountain. I will see my sister for the first time in 21 months! Returning Sunday so it's a short visit. I plan to savor every moment.

maj 22, 8:20am

>109 johnsimpson: Hi John, and thank you re the photo of Jenna. Sending love and hugs to and Karen, kitty skritches to Felix.

>110 EBT1002: Hi Ellen! Inara was very happy to see the third member of the human family and Zoe even slept on Jenna's bed, along with Inara, on Thursday night. Wash is a bit standoffish but he's even standoffish with Bill and me. I do hope you like The Widow of the South and Swimming Lessons. Each is in a genre I rarely delve into - Historical Fiction and Contemporary Fiction - so it was good to find two books that rate 'stunning' in my rating system.

I'm very happy you'll get to see your sister on Tuesday! I remembered that you had a sister somewhere near Asheville. I hope you have a wonderful reunion with her.

Ah, coffee. It's what usually brings me downstairs in the morning, and today was no exception. Its siren call kept my eyes open and my feet motivated.

I'm rather a bit achy from yesterday. I had Jenna help me put couch covers on the sofa and loveseat in the living room. They look pretty good, considering I paid less than $100 for both. Furniture moving and vacuuming didn't do my back much good although Jenna did most of the furniture moving.

The Jenna whirlwind will continue next week. Jenna's coming through on Monday or Tuesday for a 4-day schedule in Asheville, then will probably come back Sunday on her way to Wilmington.

maj 22, 8:31am

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. I am glad all is well and I hope you had a good time with Jenna. I have an oil change this morning and then a birthday party to attend, so no birding today for the Warbler.

maj 22, 8:35am

Hi Mark! We cross posted. It sounds like a good Saturday even without birding. Have fun at the birthday party.

maj 22, 4:12pm

Happy Saturday, Horrible! *smooch*

maj 22, 5:24pm

>111 karenmarie: So much Jenna time, how lucky you are to be located on her route to Asheville.

maj 22, 9:20pm

>114 richardderus: Thanks, RD, it's been a good day. Home-made brownies were made.

>115 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. Oh yes, this is great makeup for 16 months of being Jenna-less.

maj 22, 11:03pm

Dropping by to wish you a lovely weekend, Karen.

maj 22, 11:46pm

>87 karenmarie: Hurray for a wonderful visit with Jenna!! And I am glad Bill's surgery went well.

>93 karenmarie: BB on Swimming Lessons, like I need one with my reading being abysmal these last two months, LOL.

I am a Duckduckgo.com fan and I also like home-made brownies. Be right there! ; )

maj 23, 7:13am

>117 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul!

>118 Berly: Hi Kim! I hope you get some more reading in since you're empty-nesting.

I started using duckduckgo.com in 2016, having previously used ixquick.com. However, once Ixquick's start page said "Powered by Google", I moved to duckduckgo. Ixquick.com may have used Google in the background, which I didn't know, but once it was advertised, I was gone.

Brownies - cakey or fudgy? Mine are fudgy, about 1/2" tall. Recipe from the 1950s from our neighbor Doris Bowers.

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
½ cup butter (I use 2 T less)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
¾ cup flour
¼ t salt
1 t vanilla
½ cup nuts (optional)

Melt chocolate and butter together. Add to other ingredients. Put brownie mixture in a greased and floured 8” x 8” pan. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.

You can double this recipe and bake in a 9” x 13” pan.

Coffee. Reading. Typical Sunday.

maj 23, 7:58am

"Coffee. Reading. Typical Sunday." All I need to do is insert birding & laundry and I will join you. Grins...

Morning, Karen. I am leaving soon. It has suddenly got very warm here, so trying to beat the heat. Enjoy your day.

maj 23, 8:18am

Denne bruger er blevet fjernet som værende spam.

maj 23, 8:52am

Morning, Karen!

Brownies are one of the few things that I tend to use a box mix for because it's so easy and they're just as good as the ones I make from scratch. Ghirardelli has the best mixes from the ones I've tried (although someday I'll order some King Arthur Flour ones to compare). We prefer slightly fudgey ones here at Scaife Manor (although I wouldn't turn down a cakey one in a pinch).

maj 23, 9:41am

Hi Amber!

I would never turn down a cakey one either. I also have a Texas Brownies recipe from a family friend - cakey with frosting poured on when the brownies are warm, but rarely make it. I just checked out King Arthur brownie mix - $6.95. I'll stick with the homemade ones. Speaking of which, one with coffee while I continue to devour the 5th in the Karen Pirie series, Broken Ground, sounds like a good idea.

maj 23, 10:06am

>123 karenmarie: ...one with coffee while I continue to devour the 5th in the Karen Pirie series, Broken Ground, sounds like a good idea.

I love it when a plan comes together....

maj 23, 10:22am

It was good. These brownies do best completely cooled, and overnight is better.

I'm going to go visit friend Louise in a bit, taking 5 books for her. Second visit since we're both completely vaccinated. I'll take her a couple of brownies, too. She lurves chocolate.

maj 23, 11:18am

Anyone else ever tried brownies with chipotle's in them? They're really great. I haven't made them for years but now I suddenly feel drawn to the kitchen.

maj 23, 12:00pm

So what about The Weed? Don't you mix some into the brownies?

maj 24, 6:57am

>126 RebaRelishesReading: Hi Reba! No, I haven't even heard of them. Yay for making brownies.

>127 weird_O: Well, Bill, I've never made weed-infused brownies, but I did partake one time. Didn't like the flavor although I did like the result.

Big day here in central NC - I'll be taking Bill to his second cataract surgery later this morning and Jenna will be back. She'll head out Wednesday to work 4 days in Asheville.

In the meantime I've got coffee and some reading to do.

maj 24, 7:16am

>128 karenmarie: Good luck to Bill with the next cataract surgery, Karen, and enjoy Jenna's company.

maj 24, 7:49am

Thank you, Anita! We leave in a little less than an hour. I just finished up the 5th in the Karen Pirie series by Val McDermid, and, having no will power, just ordered the 6th in hardcover.

Redigeret: maj 24, 7:54am

Morning, Karen. I hope everything goes smoothly with Bill's surgery. Keep us updated.

I am going to the Arboretum in a couple of hours and I will be joined by LT Rhonda and family, visiting from OR. How COOL is that? I think this will be the third time I have taken an LTer there. Yah!

maj 24, 7:58am

Thanks, Mark! How wonderful - an LT meetup. We need a picture. *smile*

maj 24, 12:40pm

>128 karenmarie: Happy eye-fixing day to Bill, YAY to mom-being day with Jenna, and *smooch* for being you.

maj 24, 12:54pm

Hope cataract surgery goes smoothly and hooray for more time with Jenna. (give the chipotle brownies a try some time -- they're amazing)

Redigeret: maj 24, 11:03pm

Dear Karen, I was out of your loop. Hope Bill got along as well with eye 2 as with eye 1 and that both of you are enjoying Jenna! Great!

ETA: Brownies --- I use whatever mix I grab and put a layer of good chocolate (as in Roth bars) in the middle with walnuts. I. Do. Not. Need. Brownies. But oh my!

maj 24, 11:16pm

>119 karenmarie: Karen--Thanks for posting the recipe. I'll have to get my hands on the ingredients. ; )

Good luck on round #2 for Will!

Redigeret: maj 25, 6:34am

>133 richardderus: Thank you, RD.

>134 RebaRelishesReading: Both have gone well, Reba.

>135 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. Bill did great with his second eye surgery. He’s distraught now because he’s finally figured out that his old eye glasses prescription basically doesn’t work and it will be 4 weeks before he can go to the eye doctor for a new prescription. 🙄

>136 Berly: You’re welcome, Kim. I hope you love them. Fudgy, not cakey, best left ‘til absolutely cooled.

I do not like being up at 5:55 a.m., but since it’s not to an alarm and I have my first cup of coffee here, and a book to read, it’s all good.

edited to add: On ursula's thread, I just watched a 2012 TED talk posted by mahsdad titled The hilarious art of book design | Chip Kidd. I'd seen it before somehow, but enjoyed watching it again.

The hilarious art of book design | Chip Kidd

Redigeret: maj 25, 7:32am

Morning, Karen. I am glad Bill's surgery went well. Bummer about his glasses prescription. As you can tell from my thread, the Meet Up was a smashing success. I sure love doing these, when I can.
Still slow on the feeder front, although I just saw a nearly black squirrel out there. Pretty cool.

maj 25, 7:48am

Great news about Bill's surgery, except for the glasses part. Boo hiss. Hope you have a more restful day planned today.

maj 25, 10:56am

I'm glad Bill's surgery went well.

My eye doctor suggested buying a cheap pair of reading glasses from a drug store in the meantime. I couldn't imagine not being able to read for 4 weeks .... not to mention being here by myself and not being able to pay bills etc.

My eye doc honestly didn't understand the problem with not being able to read for a month.

maj 25, 11:15am

Hoping the rest of today presents little to no stress. *smooch*

maj 25, 11:19am

I'm happy that Bill's eyes are now functioning! Soon he will be through with the drops too!! As to the reading glasses, I also buy $1 pairs, scatter them around the house, and wear a pair on a chain like the Old Gal (my friend Suze's term) that I am. I have to have them to cook as well as to read. In fact, had I but known about the pandemic, I might more seriously have considered close-vision implant lenses rather than distance ones. The only thing I haven't been able to get used to is leaving glasses on for the last few pages before falling asleep in bed. (If it's any help, my doc advised 2.5 magnification for the cheap-o lenses, and they have worked fine.)

>140 streamsong: Your eye doc and reading ---- Really????? Horrors!

maj 25, 11:57am

Yes, drug store glasses worked for me too. There are quite a few different strengths so it's probably best if he goes to try them on himself. I would really have been fine with them forever except I hated having to put them on and take them off all the time so I opted for transition lenses in "real" glasses as soon as I could. Now I see nearly perfectly at all distances.

Happy new eyes to Bill :)

maj 25, 2:28pm

>138 msf59: Hi Mark! Thanks re the surgery. Pretty much everybody who has cataract surgery deals with prescription/glasses problems for a while, it’s just that my husband’s expectations were unreasonable. We had the follow-up exam this morning with the surgeon and Bill’s doing better because 1) he understands what it’s reasonable to expect and his eyes are reacting properly to the surgeries and 2) we stopped off at the pharmacy and got him a pair of 1.75x cheaters which seem to be helping A Lot. Yay for the meetup, boo hiss for the squirrel. Weird about the feeders, although can it be that the natural foods available in the spring are more enticing right now?

>139 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. Today was busy for a while with Bill’s follow up appointment, which I drove him to, and then Jenna following me to the Ford Dealership because my car started acting up yesterday. Fortunately, I was able to just leave it and they have all week to figure it out as Bill’s home this week and will be able to drive me to pick it up anytime tomorrow or after. Since then, we’ve watched more of The Closer and then I came in here because I just can’t deal with TV All Day Long.

>140 streamsong: Hi Janet. Yes, cheaters are a great solution and Bill, now that he’s calmed down somewhat, will be able to use them and his old progressives prescription to manage for the next 4+ weeks.

When I had my cataract surgeries in 2014 I ended up with upwards of half a dozen sets of cheaters in multiple magnifications.

>141 richardderus: Thanks, RD. Things are settled down again.

>142 LizzieD: I’ve gone back and forth in my mind about whether to have opted for close-vision lenses, but still think I’d have done what I’ve done. Like you I use glasses to read where I could whip them off and read close, and use them to cook, write, and do pretty much any close work. 6+ years, and I’m grateful that I’m not blinded by cataracts.

>143 RebaRelishesReading: Yay cheaters! Bill will get progressives again, even if they are clear glass at the top. I hated progressives the one time I tried them because I had to turn my head left-to-right while reading and that wasn’t acceptable to me. Made me dizzy and nauseated.

maj 26, 7:25am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. Looks like it might be lightly raining out there but I still plan to join a birding buddy for a little excursion. Not seeing many migrants right now but there are plenty of summer arrivals to enjoy.

In regards to the black squirrel yesterday, he was just bouncing around on the ground below the feeders, not bothering them.

Redigeret: maj 26, 10:18am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Wednesday to you, too. Isn't it nice to see squirrels under the feeders instead of on them?

I've got some House Finches visiting right now.

Jenna just left for Asheville. It's time for coffee and reading.

maj 26, 10:29am

Coffee...reading...solitude? Or is Bill home today?

No matter. You'll enjoy your day no matter what since Jenna's coming home in four more.

maj 26, 10:49am

'Morning! Coffee, putting up books and updating my location tags on LT, which are tasks I adore. Time to read a bit of Gambit, #37 of the Nero wolfe series of 47.

I pulled out all my old cheaters for Bill to try. He's trying to work. So, not solitude. But at least the TV's off while he's in his home office. His expectations are still too high.

Jenna will be back on Sunday, yes, hurray! We didn't play Yahtzee this time, sad face, but with her dad's surgery and my car acting up there just wasn't time to properly relax into it.

maj 26, 8:53pm

>144 karenmarie: One of my lenses IS clear glass on top, the other side has a very light prescription for distance. I've had progressives for probably 40 years and love them. I'm so used to them that I sometimes try to put my sunglasses on over them and have gone in the shower with them on a couple of times :)

maj 27, 7:24am

Hi Reba!

I'd never heard of progressives until Bill got them about 15 years ago. He loves them.

He just scared me by printing to the printer in my home office/Sunroom, finally connecting to it via wi-fi on his cell phone. He printed a chart to use to determine what magnification level of cheaters to get. He may take back the 1.75x Foster Grants he bought based on his surgeon's recommendation, which are pretty much useless. They were not cheap either.

maj 27, 7:36am

>144 karenmarie: Seems weird to have to turn your head while reading. I haven't had any issues like that with my progressives. Definitely had to make sure to look through the top part of them while going down stairs, though!

maj 27, 8:04am

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. Much cooler today. It will struggle to reach 60. After birding the last 4 days, I think I will lay low for the next two days. Most of the migrants seem to have moved on anyway.

maj 27, 9:04am

>151 ursula: I'm sure it was my own personal weirdness, Ursula. I use bifocal prescription readers - top half is for the computer, bottom half is for close up - and if I'm wearing them I always have to look over the tops if I'm walking anywhere.

>152 msf59: 'Morning, Mark, and sweet Thursday to you, too. I'd like 60F. It's getting to 90F here today, and 92F tomorrow. Busy birder, I hope you enjoy the next two days doing other things.

Well, it turns out that my brake calipers are bad, and even the small amount of driving I did with the problems I noticed on Monday damaged the rotors, pads, and some kind of lines. Barry the service manager told me that when the tech drove it to see if he could reproduce the symptoms I described, he was afraid he wouldn't make it back. I'm glad it wasn't transmission problems. Not wanting to spend money on a new car right now, and glad it wasn't thousands for trannie work, I'm going to shell out $860. It might be ready tomorrow.

maj 27, 9:05am

Morning, Karen!

Ugh- sorry about the car problems, but I'm glad you took it in when you did!

maj 27, 9:09am

'Morning, Katie.

When I can't trust my car (well, SUV, a 2012 Ford Escape), I'm miserable. Once I get it back I might even wash it. *smile*

maj 27, 9:31am

Wow...almost a grand for car problems. Suddenly I'm glad I don't drive anymore.

Still, safety is paramount. Have a happier Thursday than you would have carless.


maj 27, 10:07am

Except for being something like some kind of filter or hose, Bill and I consider this the cost of doing business and although there are a lot of books I could get with $860, I need my Es-cap'-pay.


maj 27, 3:09pm

Whew. I'm glad you had those brakes looked at and, most importantly, fixed. It's expensive, but less than a new car and less than the hospital bills ...

maj 27, 8:32pm

>155 karenmarie: Sorry you're having car issues. I know what you mean about "trust" though. I don't need a fancy car or a beautiful car but if it won't start, stop and go without argument it will be replaced.

maj 27, 9:01pm

>158 lauralkeet: I had no idea of what the problem was. The brakes didn't seem like they were failing, but of course that could have occurred at any time, with potentially bad consequences. My Guardian Angel was looking out for me, as she always does.

>159 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, Reba, and I absolutely agree about replacing it if it doesn't do its job reliably and safely.

Some friends of ours are coming over to the house Saturday. This will be the first time we've seen them since Thanksgiving 2019. We'll have burgers and oven baked fries and pound cake with fresh strawberries and freshly whipped cream. I'm looking forward to it, since we're all fully vaccinated.

maj 28, 8:00am

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. The feeders were a bit more active yesterday. I had a male red-winged blackbird sitting in the platform feeder. We rarely see them in the yard. A couple of grackles showed up too.

It is our anniversary today, so we will be going out to dinner with another couple that share the same date. We are all vaccinated so we will feel comfortable.

Redigeret: maj 28, 8:53am

'Morning, Mark! I'm glad your feeders were more active. I probably need to put out fresh hummingbird food and definitely need to fill the sunflower feeder again.

BTW, spraying cooking oil and sprinkling cayenne pepper on it has kept the hummingbird feeder safe so far.

Congrats on your 32nd anniversary.

maj 28, 11:58am

A lot going on here. I'm sorry about the out-go for car work, but you must be safe! Stuff wears out. (We wear out, as I'm learning first-hand to my sorrow.) Hooray for tomorrow's time with friends!!! Ain't it grand?? My cousin and his wife (who is also a cousin after nearly 50 years in the family) were here for lunch Wednesday, the first family we've seen in the flesh for over a year. It was great!
I had an adjustment to my left implant yesterday - pretty common. The back of some people's lenses clouds over and must be lasered to be clear again - a one-time procedure. That left eye has much sharper focus now, and I can't wait for the current treatment on the other eye to be done so I can have it taken care of too.

maj 28, 12:42pm

Hi Peggy! Yes, our things wear out and we wear out, too. I'm glad your cousin and wife were able to visit you. It is totally grand, and I'm almost childishly looking forward to having Geoff and Diane over. So glad your time with them was great.

I had the laser treatment several years ago on both eyes. Glad your left eye has better focus now and it's only a matter of time for the other one, too. My eye doctor admitted to me that he gets a great deal of pleasure of lasering off the cloudy bits. It's sort of like a video or PS4 game...

Anyway, I've been puttering around, cleaning a few windows, straightening things up, and getting the drawers under the wall oven back under control.

I foolishly pushed something into the top of two drawers two weeks ago that I immediately knew was going to jam it. We tried unjamming it for a week and a half until Bill finally found the right combination of coat hanger and right angle. I've now put the things that were in one drawer in two drawers so it won't ever happen again and have redistributed what was in the second drawer. Whew. For a while I thought we were going to have to damage the drawer getting it open. The hardest part was putting the knobs back on the drawer - the screws didn't just push through, I had to screw them back through. I originally tried unscrewing the knobs and pushing the screws into the drawer to get the drawer front off so I could get my hand in there to unjam it. However, the darned installers did it right when they built our kitchen and glued the drawer fronts to drawers themselves in addition to installing the knobs instead of just screwing the knobs in to hold everything together. It's always something.

Time to read.

maj 28, 12:59pm


That's it, that's the post.

maj 28, 5:19pm

It's a lovely post, RD, truly. *smooches* greatly appreciated.

I'm overheated. It's 94F out there. Bill dropped me off to get my car, I went grocery shopping, came home, and we both unloaded the car to get all the food inside. Refrigerated stuff in the refrigerator, everything else in the grocery bags on the floor in the kitchen. I'll let Bill put the rest of the stuff up later.

I'm drinking a Black Cherry Bubly and going to read a bit.

maj 28, 5:30pm

>166 karenmarie: - Weather! Karen, I had my A/C going earlier this week. Today, we reached a whopping high of 6C (42.8F) and it SNOWED for an hour this morning (thankfully, did not stick). The warmup begins again tomorrow.

Poor, confused Mother Nature....

maj 28, 6:16pm

>166 karenmarie: You're overheated?! 94F?!? I just looked at the thermometer at the front door: 52F. And of course it is now raining. That's said to be our outlook for the holiday weekend.

On the other hand, I hit another book sale. Seventeen unbelievably great reads for nine bucks. A collection of J-P Sartre stories for ten cents.

Now reading on of those Rex Stout tomes you sent me. Thanks. Also reading Bangkok 8, which I think you read.

maj 28, 8:32pm

>167 jessibud2: I know, weather. Today was 94F, tomorrow's supposed to be 80F, and Sunday the high's supposed to be 63F. Very weird. I wanted more snow than we got last winter.

>168 weird_O: You're much further north than we are, of course, Bill. I'd like 52F. Don't need rain, though.

Yay for more book sales, sounds like excellent pricing. I'm glad you're reading Rex Stout - I've now read 37 of the 47 in the original series and will be reading The Mother Hunt next. Yes, I read, and really liked Bangkok 8. I've started the sequel, Bangkok Tattoo, only a chapter, and plan on reading it eventually, but got diverted.

maj 29, 8:30am

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. We had a very nice time last night. We had a nice dinner, went and heard some live music and then returned to our friends house for a game and a nightcap. Dragging a bit now, but it was worth it.

I also enjoyed Bangkok Tattoo. I am sure you will too.

maj 29, 8:35am

Hi Mark!

I'm glad to hear that you had such a fine time, even if you're dragging a bit.

maj 29, 11:27am

Enjoy the time with your friends, Karen!

maj 29, 12:18pm

Have a delightful social function, dear Horrible, and unwind afterwards with the best book of 2021. *smooch*

maj 29, 1:51pm

Heya keed! I'm planning my first social function in the house, a Christmas party I hope to make a yearly event. I've also promised Parker that we'll get a tree this year. There are bay windows in the living room that would be perfect for a tree. I'm also giving a nod to my grandparents and will put a wreath on that triangular front bit made by the porch roof, whatever that's called. One of these days after I retire I would like to read Shakespeare's collected works and study ecclesiastical architecture so that I would at least know what that front bit is called.

My brother's recovery has been astounding, it's hard to believe that this guy I speak with every day was in a coma a month ago. Seeing him that sick really swept away the years of estrangement, in a single movement.

Plus, I have sunflowers! I've not yet walked the yard, or even been inside the shed, but got an email from my next door neighbor and I found out that the bed of flowers at the bottom of my garden, which I assumed belonged to her since they're so gorgeous, are actually mine. Man I love sunflowers. There's so much of this house and the yard that I'm just now learning about. Eric got sick not long after I moved in and I've spent most of my time either with him or managing his affairs.

I was listening to the podcast Backlisted and they mentioned Celia Dale, and described her as writing domestic horror novels so of course I bought the two that are currently in print. I read the first pages of both and they have that engaging, clear and slightly menacing narrative style that reminds me of Roald Dahl's short stories. I do love me some suburban gothic gaspers.

Much love, dear heart. You're invited to my Christmas party!

maj 29, 9:22pm

>172 katiekrug: Thank you, Katie! We had an excellent time and I ate way too much. It turns out that we hadn't seen them since January of last year. Lots to catch up on, the conversation flowed.

>173 richardderus: Hiya, RD, unwinding as I write this. I just finished up a book I loved even as I despise one of the two authors for his personal and political life. Sigh. Why did it have to be Bill O'Reilly who co-wrote Killing Lincoln? See below.

Back to Hench, which is intriguing so far.

>174 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hiya, hiya, Larry! I’m glad to hear from you. So exciting that you’re going to have a Christmas party, and a tree, and decorations. I don’t know what that bit is called, but it definitely deserves a wreath.

It’s great to hear that Eric is on the road to recovery and fantastic to hear that the years of estrangement have been swept away.

It sounds like your neighbors are wonderful people. I hope you are able to get to know them better now that things have settled down with Eric AND the pandemic has entered the vaccination stage so that there’s a chance to socialize with folks.

I looked at a few by Celia Dale. You’ll have to tell me which ones you got – horror isn’t my go-to-genre but I'm game.

Much love back to you, and I’ll really try to make a Christmas party visit work.

maj 29, 9:26pm

49. Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changes America Forever by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

5/24/21 5/29/21

From Amazon:

A riveting historical narrative of the heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and the first work of history from mega-bestselling author Bill O'Reilly

The iconic anchor of The O'Reilly Factor recounts one of the most dramatic stories in American history―how one gunshot changed the country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America's Civil War finally comes to an end after a series of increasingly harrowing battles. President Abraham Lincoln's generous terms for Robert E. Lee's surrender are devised to fulfill Lincoln's dream of healing a divided nation, with the former Confederates allowed to reintegrate into American society. But one man and his band of murderous accomplices, perhaps reaching into the highest ranks of the U.S. government, are not appeased.

In the midst of the patriotic celebrations in Washington D.C., John Wilkes Booth―charismatic ladies' man and impenitent racist―murders Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre. A furious manhunt ensues and Booth immediately becomes the country's most wanted fugitive. Lafayette C. Baker, a smart but shifty New York detective and former Union spy, unravels the string of clues leading to Booth, while federal forces track his accomplices. The thrilling chase ends in a fiery shootout and a series of court-ordered executions―including that of the first woman ever executed by the U.S. government, Mary Surratt. Featuring some of history's most remarkable figures, vivid detail, and page-turning action, Killing Lincoln is history that reads like a thriller.

Why I wanted to read it: My friend Karen recommended this book to me because of some of the fascinating tidbits about the Lincoln assassination. The only historical inaccuracies seem to be minor, according to websites I looked at.

So for the elephant in the room: I despise Bill O’Reilly. Truly think he’s an awful human being. However, this book is a real winner.

I found it entertaining, riveting, informative, well-written, and, if a bit sensational, it’s definitely because the subject is sensational.

I loved the lead up to the surrender of Lee to Grant at Appomatox even though detailed descriptions of battles usually don’t interest me. It made me appreciate military tactics more than I ever have.

I appreciated the history of Ford’s Theater, the information about so many people who participated in the events leading up to the assassination or the assassination itself. There was enough about Mary Lincoln to help me understand why Lincoln agreed to go to the theater with her and why Grant and his wife Julia, the expected second couple in the President’s Box, weren’t there.

The Afterword gave thumbnail sketches about Life After the Assassination for 21 people, including Booth, the other conspirators, and other political players. Photos, playbills, sketches, and maps were in abundance and greatly added to my understanding.

Six word review: Vivid and informative Lincoln assassination timeline.

maj 29, 10:24pm

>176 karenmarie: A published review by Edward Steers Jr. in North & South, the Magazine of the Civil War Society, excerpted on the book page, notes: By their own account, the authors relied on the writing of previous authors, and in doing so perpetuated both a wealth of errors and a number of hoary myths.

>169 karenmarie: Shortly before the sunrise today, I encountered the use of a drug called Argyrol in the second story in Black Orchids. My mind took an enormous detour to museum row in Philadelphia and the home of the Barnes Collection. Dr. Albert Barnes was a wealthy and eccentric art collector who bought works by Matisse, Renoir, Picasso and many other now-revered painters. According to the Wiki, his collection encompasses "more than 4,000 objects, including over 900 paintings, estimated to be worth about $25 billion." And it was the drug Argyrol that he and a German chemist developed in the late 19th century that financed his collecting.

maj 30, 6:20am

Hi Bill.

Ah well. The errata sheet had 11 corrections, which I thought were minor. I discounted the potential conspiracy theories although Booth's Diary, on display at Ford's Theater, is missing 18 pages.

Fascinating about Argyrol and Dr. Barnes.

Up early, grumble, grumble, but at least not to an alarm. Coffee in mass quantities, quiet, deliciously cool air. It's 53F, only going to a high of 64F today.

Jenna's coming back through on the way to Wilmington today, will leave tomorrow , come back Wednesday. Busy young woman, but it's only temporary.

I'll be making my sister's Instant Pot Chicken and Potato Soup for supper.

maj 30, 7:27am

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. I had a perfectly lazy day yesterday. Lots of book time, watched a couple of old Sopranos episodes with my son and then a movie in the evening. After taking a couple of days off birding, I am doing a solo run and will take off shortly. Chilly start but it should warm up nicely later.

maj 30, 7:49am

Hi Karen. That book does sound like a good one. I love historical fiction. Many many years ago, when visiting a cousin who lived in Washington, DC, we went to a show at the Ford Theatre. I wish I had spent more time there, really taking in the historic photos on the walls, given its history. The show, by the way, was called *Hot Mikado*, a musical, contemporary version of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado, with an all-Black cast and the music very upbeat, Motown-ish. The stage sets were stunning and it was a terrific show. We had done The Mikado in school when I was in grade 6 so it was very cool to compare. I loved it.

How's that for going off on a tangent? ;-) Have a lovely Sunday.

maj 30, 8:58am

>179 msf59: Hi Mark. Happy Sunday to you, too. Yay for lazy days. Enjoy your solo birding adventure today.

>180 jessibud2: Hi Shelley. Killing Lincoln is not historical fiction, but Informational Nonfiction. Wonderful tangent, *Hot Mikado*, and to actually be in the Ford Theater! Lucky you.

The concept of *Hot Mikado* reminds me of *The Wiz*, and I just watched "Ease on Down the Road from the 1978 movie. Good stuff.

Jenna will be home around in about an hour and a half. Time for me to nip over to the U-Haul place to get her some boxes.

Redigeret: maj 30, 10:55am

Oh oh oh! What's the recipe for the chicken?

I've only made superficial searches of online recipes, but I found that looking then up is just about useless. They're all so simple you can guess what the ingredients are and you have to wade through miles and miles of ads. They also must be teaching in blogger school that every post has to have four or five opening paragraphs of pizzaz because that's what engages the reader and prepares him to be amazed, which just drives me nuts. Intro, ingredients, steps, outro. Social media is ruining narrative style (he posted to social media). I bought Vincent Price's cookbook and it's pretty exemplary of the kind of cookbook that I enjoy. A factoid or reminiscence involving a famous or very interesting person and then the business. You drop a few names, you crack a few eggs, next recipe.

I know I'll never be able to cook as well as my mom or both of my grandmothers, but I do have their recipes. I saved the card files and the tattered cookbooks years ago, when I had no intention of ever using my oven for anything other than storage.

maj 30, 11:35am

>176 karenmarie: I will admit to picking this up and putting it down in several book stores. Maybe I'll borrow it from the library as historical fiction about the Civil War is a favorite of mine.

>182 SomeGuyInVirginia: I laughed out loud at your description of the food bloggers. Some of them do have a button that says jump to recipe but the ads and popup videos are just annoying. Years of watching Food TV taught me the basics and the rest really is improvisation. I bought a great new biography/cookbook that I can't wait to read: Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Food Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today by Anne Willan.

Mostly came by to say hello to Karen. It is a chilly Sunday here as well and I am enoying the Thiem/Andujar match that has now gotten to the fifth set. More coffee is on my list. Hope you are well. Finished Bonecrack in a late night reading binge. So glad to dive into Dick Francis.

maj 30, 11:47am

>182 SomeGuyInVirginia: You drop a few names, you crack a few eggs, next recipe.

Oh Larry, I do so miss having you around. (It's called a "gable.")

>176 karenmarie: Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Have a lovely time with Jenna's flying visit today, and on Wednesday!


maj 30, 12:15pm

>182 SomeGuyInVirginia: just poking my nose in to recommend the New York Times Cooking site/app, as well as Bon Appetit. The recipes on both sites are free of all that narrative. The comments on NYT recipes are also frequently useful, which is more than can be said for most comment sections.

maj 30, 12:39pm

>182 SomeGuyInVirginia: And then the comments on recipes, wherever they're posted. Say it's a recipe called "Creamy Chicken Pasta with Mushrooms". Invariably, the comments are full of people saying things like "I'm so disappointed by this recipe, it turned out bland and watery! I don't really like mushrooms, so I left those out. And I am vegetarian, so I substituted seitan for the chicken. And since my husband is lactose intolerant, I didn't use cream."

maj 30, 4:26pm

>182 SomeGuyInVirginia: I have really started hating online recipes because they’re being written for kitchen newbies. This is not a bad thing, but I don’t need all the tips and photos and self-congratulatory babble. Almost all my grandmother’s recipes are ingredients only and I’ve done fine with them over the years. I’ve never seen Vincent Price’s Cookbook, but most of my cookbooks are like that.

You’re lucky to have all their cards and cookbooks. I still have my mother’s, Bill’s mama’s, Bill’s grandmother’s, Bill’s great-aunt’s and my own cards, and Bill’s step-mother’s and my paternal grandmother’s recipe books. This is in addition to my 135 cookbooks, some of those inherited, too.
Laura Beth's Instant Pot Chicken Potato Soup

5 red potatoes, peeled and cubed - I do not peel them, just scrub them thoroughly
3 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, 1/4" slices
1-2 cups frozen or canned corn or hominy
2 cups cabbage, chopped
2 lbs boneless/skinless chicken breasts cubed - I use chicken thighs
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
2 t thyme - I use basil
2 T parsley flakes
2 t celery salt
1/2 t black pepper - I double it

Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot. Cook on high for 10 minutes. Allow to manually release for 20 minutes.
>183 witchyrichy: Hi Karen! It’s perfect soup weather here. I just beat Jenna at Yahtzee, and in about 10 minutes we’re going to start making the soup. For some reason the French Open doesn’t interest me, glad you liked Bonecrack. I need to pull it and start it.

Killing Lincoln is nonfiction, but at least if you get it from the Library and don’t like it you haven’t spent any money on it. My copy was from the Library.

I learned to cook with my mother, grandmother, and my first boyfriend. He loved to cook. I hope you enjoy the Willan book.

>184 richardderus: Oooh, thanks for gable. I thought cornice and knew that wasn’t right and didn’t want to spend any more time on it. Jenna’s visit is going great. *smooch*

I wonder how many books have been written about the assassination that have as many or more incorrect facts as this one?

>185 lauralkeet: Thanks for the tips about online recipe sites, Laura. I used to love Epicurious, too.

>186 ursula: Hi Ursula. Substituting ingredients and then complaining about the results are ridiculous, I agree. I do firmly believe, though, that not all recipes are created equal.

The only cornbread recipe I use is out of my Better Homes and Gardens Bread book. The only Pumpkin Pie recipe I use is out of my Meta Given’s Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking. Prime Rib? Joy of Cooking. Chocolate Cake? Betty Crocker. Etc.

maj 31, 7:28am

Morning, Karen. I had a nice solo walk yesterday, in a beautiful stand of woods. Not as many birds as I had hoped but I did get to see a very active tufted titmouse. And speaking of active, I had a red-bellied woodpecker drilling on our chimney cap at 545am. Fortunately, it isn't as loud as it sounds down in my man Cave.

Enjoy your holiday. We are going over to Bree's for a cookout.

maj 31, 10:19am

Hi Mark! Bad Red-Bellied Woodpecker.

I've got a female Downy chowing down on the suet and another in the Crepe Myrtle. Jenna got to see a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird while we were playing Yahtzee in the dining room. Simple pleasures.

Have a good time at Bree's.

Jenna just left for Wilmington, will be back on Wednesday.

maj 31, 2:24pm

Safe travels, Jenna!

...still reeling...

maj 31, 3:01pm

She made it home safe and sound about 2 hours ago. She always calls to let us know.

Still reeling about the O'Reilly book or am I missing something?

maj 31, 3:09pm

Statistics Through May 31

49 books read
8 of them on my shelves before 01/01/2021 and not rereads
5 books abandoned, 506 pages abandoned
14890 pages read
20 audiobook hours 20
Avg pages read per day, YTD = 99
Avg pages read per book, YTD = 304

Book of the month: An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

Books Read By Month
January 6
February 10
March 13
April 10
May 10

Male 53%
Female 47%

Living 63%
Dead 37%

US Born 61%
Foreign Born 39%

Hardcover 49%
Trade Pback 25%
Mass Market 20%
Audiobook 2%
e-Book 4%

My Library 84%
Library 10%
Other 6%

Re-read 18%
Series 59%

Fiction 88%
NonFiction 12%

New to Me Authors 19

Author Birth Country
England 18%
Germany 2%
Jordan 2%
Scotland 12%
Spain 2%
US 62%
Wales 2%

Original Decade Published
1890s 2%
1910s 2%
1920s 2%
1950s 8%
1960s 16%
1980s 4%
1990s 6%
2000s 14%
2010s 22%
2020s 22%

Adventure 4%
Biography 0%
Chrestomathy 0%
Contemporary Fiction 6%
Fantasy 10%
Historical Fiction 6%
Humor 2%
Informational Nonfiction 10%
Memoir 2%
Mystery 31%
Poetry 0%
Science Fiction 0%
Suspense 0%
Thriller 29%

New Stat, starting April. Thanks for the idea, fameulstee!
Book Acquisition Date
2007* 9
2009 1
2010 1
2012 1
2016 2
2018 1
2019 1
2020 5
2021 20
borrowed from friends 3
Library 5

* joined LT, added 1853 books

maj 31, 3:10pm

May’s Lightning Round

The Final Deduction by Rex Stout 5/3/21 5/5/21
Curiously flat, actually, with Wolfe hired to keep a kidnap victim alive. I don’t think Stout’s heart was in this one, frankly.
Out of Bounds by Val McDermid 5/5/21 5/7/21
Fourth in the Karen Pirie series, perhaps the best one yet. DNA from a traffic accident victim identifies him as a close familial tie to someone wanted in a cold case murder. At the same time a probable suicide brings up another cold case – the murder of 4 people in an airplane bombing mistakenly attributed to the IRA but left open without proof. Tied in are Karen’s grief over a personal loss and the maturing of her work relationship with her sargent. Highly satisfactory.
Homocide Trinity by Rex Stout 5/18/21 5/19/21
Three novellas:

1. Eeny Meeny Murder Mo. Sweet little novella with nothing out of the ordinary, although Wolfe with a murderess in his lap at the end was amusing.
2. Death of a Demon. Archie keeps a gun handy through much of this novella, surrounded as he is by victims of a blackmailer. There are also two guns instead of one, which is what gets the client freed from a murder charge.
3. Counterfeit for Murder. Archie is Buster and Wolfe is Falstaff to Hattie Annis, an eccentric and feisty old lady who hires Wolfe to make the cops eat dirt. She’s also warm-hearted and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. She almost gets run over and won’t eat the food the cops offer when she’s held as a material witness overnight. Easily the best part of this one, although the cast of characters is vivid and entertaining.

North Carolina as a Civil War Battleground 1861-1865 by John Gilchrist Barrett 4/30/21 5/20/21
The first part of this book was the best because the very first chapter, North Carolina Leaves the Union was factual without being inflammatory, succinct without losing detail, and highlighted the polarization in thought between the Western “Loyalist” part of the state and the eastern “Rebel” part of the state. It then devolved into battles and military strategy, of less interest to me. There were many photographs and line drawings and an absolutely outstanding folding map in the back with “principal forts, towns, railroads and engagements fought in the State during the Civil War.” It was particularly interesting to me since the 93 counties at the time of the War have since grown to 100 by various subdivisions and splits.
Broken Ground by Val McDermid 5/21/21 5/24/21
Fifth in the Karen Pirie series, another excellent entry in the series. I particularly like the growing teamwork and understanding between Karen and her sergeant “Mint” Murray. He’s not the sharpest knife in the block, but he’s methodical, works hard, and is starting to show signs of becoming a good detective. Karen’s having problems with her new boss and a new employee clearly placed as a spy by that boss. I really like how bits and pieces come together to show us what happened in 1944, 1995, and the present in three timelines.
Gambit by Rex Stout 5/25/21 5/26/21
The motive for the murder is unusual – I don’t remember ever reading another book with this motive. Solid detective work and interesting characters.

maj 31, 3:38pm

>191 karenmarie: No, my GRANDson being a FATHER this year...it's mind-blowing.

maj 31, 5:48pm

>192 karenmarie: Always love to see your statistics, Karen.
Nice to see you added book acquisition date, I always like to see I did read some of the long waiting books :-)

Redigeret: maj 31, 8:58pm

>194 richardderus: Ah! Got it. Sometimes I'm a bit thick...

>195 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I started keeping the date added to my catalog as soon as I started keeping statistics, but didn't think about adding it to my statistics until one of the times I actually looked at your statistics in detail and said "Well, heck, I can do that, too!"

Quiet evening, rather nice, actually. Last week's cataract surgery/follow up for Bill, car problems, friends visiting, and Jenna coming/going and coming/going again were a bit weary-making.

maj 31, 9:17pm

I haven't written comments on a single book this year. Yet. Oughta gotta get back to that.

I finished the Welty novel. Read a little more in Bangkok 8. There are a couple of streets mentioned, and the names sure are familiar. But my sojourn in Bangkok was soo long ago. Ah well.

maj 31, 9:38pm

Hi Karen, I’ve gotten so far behind! Congrats to Jenna on her new job and new city. Hope Bill’s cataract surgery recovery is going well. My husband had cataract surgery scheduled for last April but, of course, that never happened. He seems to be putting off rescheduling but he definitely needs to get it done.

I have a couple Val McDermid books on my shelves but haven’t read any of them yet. I’ll pick up one of them this summer.

jun 1, 7:22am

>197 weird_O: Hi Bill. You're just moving along, aren't you? Writing about books should only be done when the mood strikes, although I'm one to talk because I either write a review or use Mark's Lightning Round Technique to write a few sentences about every book, being somewhat compulsive about it.

>198 Copperskye: Hi Joanne. Thank you. Jenna's doing well, and she sounds truly happy for the first time in a long time. Music to a mom's ears. Bill is not quite as panicky about the results of his cataract surgeries, but his expectations about having perfect vision immediately after the surgeries were unrealistic and make him cranky. Sigh.

I'm really enjoying Val McDermid, so hope you do too.

A few errands in town today, the tree service to prune, take down a pine leaning close to the house, and etc. Otherwise rather quiet.

jun 1, 7:23am

Morning, Karen. We had a nice but short visit with Bree. The men sat around and watched the Cubs game, with a couple of refreshments, while Sue and Bree went over the baby shower registry. The shower will be later this month.

A nice walk yesterday but nothing really notable seen. I hope for something interesting on today's jaunt. We get back up into the upper 70s.

jun 1, 9:55am

Morning, Karen!

Yay for happy daughter! It's *such* a great feeling when you know they're happy.

jun 1, 10:28am

>200 msf59: 'Morning, Mark! Happy Tuesday. A short visit is better than no visit, for sure. Enjoy today's jaunt.

>201 scaifea: Hi Amber! Oh yes, very little beats knowing your chick is happy.

jun 1, 11:51am

Good for you and yours, Karen! I cherish the times when everything lets up at the same time and you can relax into the moment and hope the last several more!

I used to read Val McD, but I lost her in the chaos of teaching and getting Latin credits and living. One of these days maybe I can get back to her.

jun 1, 8:35pm

Hi Peggy, and thank you. Today was marvelously stress free.

I'm not quite sure I have the emotional energy to start another series by McDermid right now, but you just never know. I have the first Tony Hill/Carol Jordan on my shelves. There are eleven in that series.

We spent a small fortune today, but the tree service did a perfect job with every task we wanted done. They also mulched everything per our request and put about 30-40 cubic yards of mulch in the paddock. All the little twigs and branches and sawdust are all either picked up or blown off the decking/porches. We saved the maple near the house, too.

Jenna comes back tomorrow, leaves Thursday. I plan on making lasagna for dinner tomorrow night.

In the meantime, I've started Don't Let Go, a standalone thriller by Harlan Coben. It's compelling.

jun 1, 9:25pm

>204 karenmarie: It's the wind-down from a whirlwind week. And one that sucked a lot of money out of y'all's wallets...but that's a really good place to be for June's beginnings. Jenna's next flying visit's the last one for a while, isn't it? Much as you love her, it's a lot to handle when you're accustomed to being all the way alone a lot of the time.


jun 2, 7:32am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. We had a nice walk yesterday, with some good looks at a few of our summer residents. Hoping for more of the same today, along with a few surprises.

Redigeret: jun 2, 7:50am

>205 richardderus: 'Morning, RDear! Yes, between the tree service and the brakes last Friday we don't have a huge cushion like we did in our checking account but that cushion was there for a reason. Last big thing before the $17K roof later this summer is our portion of Bill's cataract surgeries.

Let's see. Jenna comes home today, leaves tomorrow, then will return next Wednesday.

>207 karenmarie: Hi Mark, and happy Wednesday to you, too. Good news about yesterday's walk - I hope you have as good a walk today. Surprises, eh? A FoY? An accidental? A Lifer?

Coffee, reading, and waiting for Miss J to call. I think I'll go grocery shopping and pick up Inara's meloxicam after she gets here - gives me a good chunk of reading AND gives her a chance to be alone in the house for a bit, something she always loves.

jun 2, 8:18am

Yay for the Return of the Jenna! And also for lasagna (which sounds amazing right now)!

jun 2, 8:40am

Hi Amber! I just posted on your thread and love the idea of mint M&M brownies.

Thanks re Jenna and the lasagna. It's my sister's recipe from decades ago before oven-ready lasagna noodles were available. The recipe simply calls for adding an extra cup of water to the sauce, with a two-step baking process (foil on, then foil off) then let it sit for 15 minutes. It's not 'authentic' in that it calls for cottage cheese instead of ricotta, but since I don't particularly like ricotta anyway, it works for me. And this is the only thing I like with cottage cheese. Otherwise I hate the texture and consistency.

jun 2, 8:43am

Bill snapped this yesterday. I love how the canopy looks now.

jun 2, 9:21am

>209 karenmarie: Oooh, I love cottage cheese in lasagna, but I also just love cottage cheese. It's also excellent as a sour cream substitute on baked potatoes (but probably not if you don't actually like cottage cheese).

jun 2, 9:37am

Happy Wednesday, Karen!

What a great photo in >210 karenmarie:.

No to cottage cheese in lasagna - more for you and Amber!

Redigeret: jun 2, 12:20pm

I grew up eating lasagna with cottage cheese and didn't even know ricotta was a thing. I've used my MIL's lasagna recipe for years. It calls for cottage cheese but I've been substituting ricotta for some time now.

Hi Karen! 😀

jun 2, 12:29pm

I'll weigh in on the ricotta side of the lasagne scale, but I've *never* said no to lasagne. I love it. Any way, all ways, just gimme.

>210 karenmarie: OooOOoOOOoOoo that is so beautiful!

jun 2, 4:44pm

>211 scaifea: >212 katiekrug: I can, or at least could eat cottage cheese, but I can't imagine wanting too. There are so many other young dairy products that I prefer - ricotta, labne, even farmers cheese and creme fraiche. But then it's the ricotta in lasagna which makes that pasta dish one of my least favorites (the white sauce in pastitsio tanks that one for me). Trade out 3/4 of the "sweet cheese" for beef and I'll shovel it on my plate, but I'm just not a fan of cottage cheese casserole even if it's Italian flavored.

Redigeret: jun 2, 5:02pm

>211 scaifea: Hi Amber. A friend and I have a long-standing joke. I hate oysters, so she can have all the oysters if we’re stuck on a desert island together. I get all the lima, kidney, navy, and etc. beans. We have to split the shrimp and lobster. I get all the clams. … you get the idea. So. You can have all my cottage cheese if we’re stuck on a desert island together.

>212 katiekrug: Hi Katie, and happy Wednesday to you, too. Thanks re the photo, Bill is a good photographer. Okay – I’ll take your cottage cheese for my lasagna.

>213 lauralkeet: You can have all my ricotta, Laura. 😊

>214 richardderus: I’ve never said no to lasagna either, RD. I have a friend's Aunt Jean's recipe that I've never made yet. I also have my aunt and uncle’s compromise recipe – he likes it more runny than she does but she likes it spicer (Italian sausage in with the ground beef). I made it one time and it was so complicated and took so many dishes/pans that I’m not sure I’ll make it again any time soon. But it was heavenly. Jenna and I just put together the lasagna and got it into the oven. I’ll make sourdough garlic toast to go with, and we’re going to eat about 5:45 or so.

I also made peanut butter cookies today. And now my back’s complaining.

Thanks re the photo.

>215 quondame: >I would eat cottage cheese if it was one of the last things on earth, Susan, but probably have the shudders while doing it. My sister likes it with crushed pineapple, and her daughter, my niece, loves it with chopped tomatoes and black pepper. *shudder* Bill, Jenna, and I don't like it. We also don't like Ranch in anything or on anything. Think of the calories we save!

But I do love pastitso. I have a good Americanized recipe that you would dislike, but that I make every once in a while. Cinnamon cooked with the ground beef, and the nutmeg makes the white sauce a glorious béchamel.

jun 2, 6:36pm

Thanks for the ricotta, Karen. I make my lasagne with Italian Sausage. Or Italian Turkey Sausage, to reduce the fat content a bit.

I actually kind of like pineapple with cottage cheese, but I haven't eaten that in eons and I probably won't be rushing out to buy the stuff.

jun 2, 6:41pm

>216 karenmarie: I grew up with CC and pineapple as lite lunches, or maybe breakfast, and don't hate the idea. We had ricotta too, but it was costlier and initially available only once a month when we went to LA so my mother mostly had dibs on any that didn't get used as cannoli filling. Then I found out about all the other fresh cheeses and they suit me so much better. One of my favorite desserts is Rasmalai and I'm usually down for palak paneer.

jun 3, 8:04am

Morning, Karen! Sweet Thursday. Our bird outing hit a major snag yesterday- My Explorer broke down, about 25 miles from here. I had to have it towed back to a garage near my home. Fortunately, my birding buddy's wife came and picked us up. My whole family was working. The alternator crapped out. Quite an adventure, but not the kind we hoped for. Once I pick up the Explorer, I will run a couple of errands and then I am staying put.

>210 karenmarie: I love this photo!

jun 3, 8:06am

>216 karenmarie: Oooh, tomato slices with cottage cheese and pepper brings back memories of summer lunches as a kid, with the tomatoes straight from the garden, the slices as big as the plate. That's what my parents ate - I can't stand tomatoes!

Redigeret: jun 3, 8:14am

>219 msf59: oh wow, bummer about the car breakdown Mark. I'm glad you were rescued! I hope the repairs don't break the bank.

ETA: sorry Karen, I thought I was on Mark's thread. I really need to look more carefully when I post! I need another cup of coffee. I hope you have a wonderful day.

jun 3, 9:43am

I haven't eaten cottage cheese for a while, but I love it. I mean, if you can love something so ... boring. I will eat it plain, in a salad, on potatoes, with pineapple or peaches. But not with tomatoes or pepper. But then again, pepper is my thing I hate.

And I am pro-lasagna, if that was a question up there.

(And I love seeing people use "lasagne", warms my heart!)

Redigeret: jun 3, 1:08pm

>217 lauralkeet: You're welcome, Laura. One of these days I might make lasagna with Neese's Hot Sausage - the only sausage we like.

>218 quondame: I just checked out rasmalai and palak paneer, Susan. I could probably find them here in central NC, but the closest would be about 30 miles away.

I'm a philistine when it comes to food, I'm afraid.

>219 msf59: ‘Morning, Mark! Sweet Thursday to you. I’m sorry about the Explorer needing a new alternator – me with brakes last week and you with an alternator this week. Glad your buddy’s wife was able to pick you up. Thanks re the photo.

>220 scaifea: Amber, you sound like my husband and daughter – neither will eat ‘raw’ tomatoes. Cooked are fine – lasagna, spaghetti sauce, pizza, etc., but NOT raw.

>221 lauralkeet: Hi Laura! The more the merrier. Have another cuppa, and I hope you have a great day too.

>222 ursula: Cottage cheese needs something to pep it up for sure. I disguise it in lasagnE - *smile*. Interesting about pepper being the thing you hate. I’m not fond of it either as a rule, and there’s even a place in town that makes great hamburgers EXCEPT that they get the hamburger from their corporate parent and it has pepper in it. So, I never, ever eat a burger there. I always get their chicken-mushroom-provolone hot sub. If pepper’s called for in a recipe I include it but never add it on its own except to eggs-over-easy. Not scrambled eggs.

Jenna's getting ready to hit the road again to Asheville. I just pressed one of her shirts and freshened up two pair of pants. The little weasel is so teensy - size 4 pants, 0-2 shirts - that I really need a mini-iron to do it right. But I'm glad that she is not fat like her parents and self-regulates her food intake.

Other than saying good-bye to Jenna, there's nothing on the agenda today except dishes and reading.

edited to add: After trying to listen to Wolf Hall on audiobook last week and not even getting past the first disc and having tried the book aeons ago and abandoned it, I've decided that I will never read the Wolf Hall Trilogy. If anybody would like it, US only, I'm afraid because of postage, please PM me with your name and address. Wolf Hall is a trade paperback and the other two are hardcovers, both with dust jackets.

jun 3, 1:07pm

>221 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. Do not be afraid to leave messages on my own thread. I do not bite or have cooties.

I have the bird mobile back, so I will be ready to hit the trails again tomorrow.

jun 3, 1:09pm

LOL - so glad you don't bite and don't have cooties, Mark. Congrats on having the bird mobile back, too.

jun 3, 6:47pm

Wow. I went into deep writing mode to get my Pride Month posts through the 8th done. My fingers are sore.

Hoping for good things now that TeenyTiny's on the road again!

jun 3, 7:28pm

>224 msf59: ha ha ha good one, Mark!

jun 3, 8:47pm

>226 richardderus: Yay for your Pride Month posts, RD.

>227 lauralkeet: Glad to be the message board for you two... *smile*

Well. We got 2.56" of rain this afternoon and lost power for 2 hours. Exciting times here in central NC.

jun 4, 7:09am

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. Hooray for being cootie-free! I will have to watch for ticks though. I am meeting a birding buddy early. We want to hit the trails before the heat hits. 91F today.

I talked to my brother in Hendersonville yesterday and he said it was raining there but that your state had been very dry. Sorry, about the power loss though.

jun 4, 7:42am

>228 karenmarie: WOW. That's a lot of rain, Karen. You prompted me to check our forecast to see if it's heading our way. We had a bit of rain yesterday and some forecast for today, but nothing like that. Whew. I'm glad your power outage wasn't toooo long.

jun 4, 8:12am

>229 msf59: 'Morning, Mark! Happy Friday to you, too. Cootie free here in NC, although I did see a rather largish spider in the bathtub in the guest bath yesterday. It's still there. Being arachnophobic, I didn't want to deal and will mention it to Bill tomorrow. He's at the office today and won't be in the mood to deal with it tonight. Have a good birding adventure. Whew. 91F. Looks like it will get to about 84F today, with a chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms. Our part of the state is in a moderate drought condition, as is most of the state.

>230 lauralkeet: It was pounding down, that's for sure! I love rain, wasn't as thrilled with the power outage but we do have the generator, so were okay. Power was out for about 2 hours.

Husband's at work, daughter's safely in Asheville, I have the house to myself. Energy recharge day.

jun 4, 8:16am

>231 karenmarie: Energy recharge day.
I love it when that happens. Chris went out cycling yesterday and was gone for about 2.5 hours. It was lovely just puttering around, uninterrupted.

jun 4, 8:23am

We love our husbands AND enjoy our time alone in the house, don't we?

jun 4, 8:37am


jun 4, 10:38am

>233 karenmarie: Of course!!

jun 4, 12:27pm

>231 karenmarie:, >229 msf59: I suppose it's impolitic of me to mention that it's all of 67° here at 12.30....

*smooch* for your much-needed recharge day.

jun 4, 1:48pm

>234 lauralkeet: and >235 RebaRelishesReading: *smile*

>236 richardderus: I don't mind the 78F, possibly going to 84F. 91F I would mind. 67F would be very nice.

I'm having a grand day so far, thank you.

jun 4, 1:57pm

>233 karenmarie: That! Covid has a lot to answer for.

jun 4, 3:22pm

I had a swell post going, then hit a very bad, no good keystroke combination... It was stream of consciousness; I didn't expect it to get to the length it was before it...well...before I blew it away. Stop by to see how blue the waters of the Aegean are.

jun 5, 7:47am

Morning, Karen. Happy Saturday. We had a good bird jaunt yesterday and mostly beat the heat. Clocked in 40 species. Not bad for this time of year. A family of hairy woodpeckers was a highlight. Nothing planned today but house chores and a party with friends later. Of course, books will fit in there somewhere too.

jun 5, 7:49am

>238 quondame: All the normal routines got thrown out the window for sure, Susan.

>239 weird_O: Hiya, Bill. I hate losing posts, too. I frequently open up a Word document, minimize it at the bottom of the screen, then cut and paste stuff into LT for just that reason.

First sip of coffee taken, trying to come out of the anxiety-dream fog from when I woke up. *shudder*

I'll be driving off to the Friends webmaster's home today to meet with him and book sale team member Eliza to discuss how to let our membership software offer discount coupons in such a way as to appease the paranoid book sale team members who think folks will use discount coupons multiple times.

jun 5, 10:27am

'Morning, Mark! Happy Saturday to you. 40 species, fantastic. Chores, books, party. Not a bad way to spend the day. *smile*

jun 5, 12:29pm

>241 karenmarie: how to let our membership software offer discount coupons in such a way as to appease the paranoid book sale team members who think folks will use discount coupons multiple times


Well, it's a worthy aim: Getting people back in the doors. Still...*sigh*


jun 6, 6:18am

>210 karenmarie: wow, that looks lovely, light and bright. We have had a few days of weak sunlight here, bookended by rain so persistent that there was widespread flooding, and just greyness. But, we have our wood burner so are cosy and warm inside, and in the dry spells the kids have taken to their mountain bikes.

>231 karenmarie: energy recharge days are a necessity! Well done you for using it well :)

jun 6, 6:59am

Morning, Karen. Happy Sunday. I am meeting a birding buddy soon. We want to get out early to beat the heat. I have a graduation party to attend, later this afternoon, which should give me some reading time in between. Enjoy your day.

jun 6, 7:02am

Wishing you a wonderful, Sunday, Karen.

I am reading much more productively this month and if i reach my target for June then I will hit the 75 too.

>210 karenmarie: Lovely!

jun 6, 8:05am

>244 LovingLit: Thanks, Megan. As long as neighbors can't see into my house without binoculars, I'm happy. I think we have enough strategically placed hollies and etc. to make that happen, so I'm okay with all the tree trimming/removing we did.

We're heading into the nastiness of summer out here, and you're heading into winter. One of the few joys of summer is that I saw the first fireflies of the season the other evening.

When I don't get alone time, I twitch.

>245 msf59: 'Morning, Mark, and happy Sunday to you. Enjoy the birding, reading, and party. It'll be sticky and 88F today.

>246 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul. As always you have ambitious goals, and I hope that June's is easily reached. Thanks re the pic.

Coffee, reading, various and sundry.

jun 6, 8:13am

>247 karenmarie: Won't be easy, certainly Karen, but then again my goals are normally for me to fail spectacularly!

Books, Coffee, music, books, Hani's home baking (with more coffee), bought-in Nyonya food, The Count of Monte Cristo, and plenty more coffee!

jun 6, 11:04am

I hope your Sunday's been a good one. Food, coffee, and books. Three of my favorite things, too.

jun 6, 1:37pm

Hey Horrible. *smooch*

jun 6, 1:58pm

Snappy Funday, Karen!

>241 karenmarie: Why the anxiety fog when you were waking up? I hate that feeling! I found another book podcast I can recommend, You're Booked hosted by Daisy Buchanan. I also find her voice to be incredibly sexy which, at this point in my life, is really just sort of unsettling.

I saw my first firefly last night and on my own lawn. Man, I think they are magical.

jun 6, 3:31pm

>250 richardderus: Hey back, RD! *smooch*

>251 SomeGuyInVirginia: Same to you, Larry!

I've had several anxiety dreams lately and do not know why. As I recall, that one was trying to finish packing, running late for an international flight and knowing my passport had expired. Bizarre.

Thanks for the tip for the podcast. I can understand why you might be a tad unsettled about finding her voice sexy...

Fireflies are absolutely magical.

Redigeret: jun 6, 10:33pm

I forgot to add, thanks for the chicken soup recipe. I've saved it and will give it a shot.

When you come out of the post-sleep anxiety fog, do you feel a sense of relief, or maybe confusion and frustration at not being able to identify the cause? You're probably worried about something that you can't change, so try changing something you can. I've always wanted to dye my hair platinum blonde or dark blue. I will if you will.

I'm afraid that Parker may have a bug. He's been sneezing a lot this afternoon and instead of curling up on his side he sits sphinx-like. He's also got Poofy Face, an unquantifiable characteristic open to idiosyncratic divination that's an unfailing indicator that a cat is feeling poorly. Basically, it's augury but I've never known it to fail.

jun 7, 1:45am

Hi Karen - I've only seen fireflies a few times, mostly in Kansas. I agree - they are magical

I thought I was having recurring nightmares, but it turned out to be sleep apnea which would make me wake up in a panic. The funny thing is, I could usually tell the nightmare in great detail that my oxygen-starved brain had cooked up.

jun 7, 7:08am

Morning, Karen. I had a very nice Sunday but didn't get as much reading in, as I would like. I will try to make up for it today. Heading out with my birding buddies. Rain later... we could use it.

Redigeret: jun 7, 7:39am

>253 SomeGuyInVirginia: You're welcome re the IP chicken soup recipe. The most recent time I made it I only used 1 T parsley flakes and liked that a bit better.

I always know it's an anxiety dream, so no confusion or frustration. Not relief either, but I do believe in the symbolism of dreams and always wish I could remember more. I do have a few minor things going on right now - like every fortunate person in the world - meaning I don't have anything major going on. The increase in number of anxiety dreams is puzzling. Ah - I can't take you up on the dare - I've never dyed my hair with permanent dye - only applied henna twice in my early 30s.

I used to hate my hair. I wanted to have straight blond hair but had strawberry blond-red curly/frizzy hair. It took until I was in my mid 20s to embrace my hair, so to speak. I'm taking a hair/nails supplement and an antioxidant mint strip every day and actually think my hair has less white in it than it did 6 months go. But don't let me stop you! I'd love to see a pic of you with dark blue or platinum blond hair.

You've mentioned Poofy Face before, and I'm sorry that Parker's got a bug. Wash's nose was warmish several days last week but he's back to being his sweet derpy self.

>254 streamsong: Hi Janet! I've never thought I had sleep apnea, based on the symptoms I read about. Bill and Jenna lie when they say I snore - *smile* - and I don't have any of the other symptoms.

>255 msf59: 'Morning, Mark! Enjoy your birding adventure. My feeders are quiet right now.
Bill just left for work. I've got freshly brewed coffee and a good book. Life is good.

edited to add: Jenna sent this to me.

jun 7, 10:01am

>256 karenmarie: - That graphic is an accurate representation of me for sure!

Happy new week, Karen.

jun 7, 10:07am

>256 karenmarie: - That's me! How come my name isn't on it?

jun 7, 10:29am

>256 karenmarie: Also guilty of that "reasoning" process.

Am absolutely astonished at the amount of excellent publishing taking place this year! All we need is for one of Mme Rougier's descendants to reveal she left more completed MSS in a hitherto-unopened trunk and now we're getting the Alistair-Audley cycle complete through WWII!


jun 7, 11:10am

>257 katiekrug: Thanks Katie, and glad you like the graphic.

>258 jessibud2: I don't know Shelley. If I was good with graphics I'd have your name stamped across it... alas, I'm not good with graphics.

>259 richardderus: I think most of us in the 75ers are guilty of it.

What in particular appeals to you this year in the glorious world of publishing?

jun 7, 3:26pm

>256 karenmarie: >259 richardderus: Who needs an excuse or guilt?

jun 7, 4:35pm

>261 richardderus: Whew! I get it.

>262 quondame: Nobody does - it's just amusing and points out the fact that those who read will use any excuse to read. Need to do dishes? I'll read instead. Need to work on finances? I'll read instead. Need to clean out a closet? I'll read instead.

jun 7, 4:47pm

>263 karenmarie: Those aren't excuses, they're reasons!

jun 7, 5:11pm

>263 karenmarie:, >264 quondame: ...and just when I moan about all the *new* stuff, Rob sends me a box of sale books from the UChicago warehouse sale that ends next week! Go look.

jun 7, 5:38pm

>256 karenmarie: They all look like good reasons to me.

jun 8, 7:20am

Morning, Karen. A bit foggy here but it isn't going to hold us back from our birding jaunt. Still seeing mostly summer residents. The Baltimore Orioles have been the most active and looking beautiful as they do so. Sadly, not many usable photos. We did get a brief but solid look at an American Kestrel yesterday.

jun 8, 8:08am

I spend Saturday afternoon reading on my deck, but now it's uncomfortably hot and humid. Do you know of a good birdsong identification app? I heard they do exist. A few weeks ago I listened to a bird that was sitting in the fig tree and it had an amazing song-- there was no repeated phrase, nothing but a long string of seemingly unrelated chirps, bleats, and squawks. It was really kind of amazing.

Redigeret: jun 8, 8:35am

>268 SomeGuyInVirginia: Butting in: I've used an app called Birdnet for that. I'm sure there are others. Your bird might have been a mockingbird, because they imitate the songs of many other birds. But try an app and see what it tells you!

Hi Karen, hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

jun 8, 8:50am

>264 quondame: Books are lifeblood, so reason or excuse works.

>265 richardderus: Well. One hour, 11 books, and a discussion with Bill about my birthday present later, I'm in hog heaven. Bless you.

>266 BLBera: We all read as much as we can anyway, but I've actually used one or more of the seasonal excuses over the years.

>267 msf59: 'Morning, Mark! I love fog as long as I don't have to drive in it. Stay safe and enjoy the birdies. I've never seen a Kestrel, but their markings are gorgeous.

My worst fog experience was in SoCal in ... 1974? ... when I had to drive with the door of my Datsun 1600 Roaster open and keep my eyes on the yellow line because I couldn't see beyond about 5 feet. Intersections were interesting.

I'm probably having dinner out tonight with friend Jan, the first time since February 2020. And in the meantime I'm reading a very interesting book in the Library of Congress Crime Classics series, Last seen Wearing by Hillary Waugh.

jun 8, 8:54am

>268 SomeGuyInVirginia: Hiya Larry! See Laura’s recommendation below. Yuck for hot and humid, yay for your fig tree and birdsong.

>269 lauralkeet: Hi Laura. Things are humming along here in central NC, thank you.

jun 8, 10:54am

Lots of connections going on here. Well, fake ones...

>251 SomeGuyInVirginia: Is the podcaster really Gatsby's love Daisy Buchanan?

>270 karenmarie: Was Hillary Waugh related to Evelyn Waugh? Both sporting gender ambiguous names. Turns out: No. Hillary was an American, born and died in Connecticut.

A few other observations passed through my mind as I scanned this thread. The operative word is "through". They are gone now. Probably just as well.

Carry on!

jun 8, 12:53pm

>270 karenmarie: Heh, my pleasure! *smooch*

Redigeret: jun 8, 1:09pm

>272 weird_O: Hi Bill!

I thought about that too - Daisy Buchanan. I'm sorry your observations are gone now.

>273 richardderus: *smooch*

So here are the titles of the 11 books I ordered from the U of Chicago Press this morning. I'm excited.

Ties That Bound: Founding First Ladies and Slaves by Marie Jenkins Schwartz
American Indians by William T. Hagan
Who Freed the Slaves?: The Fight over the Thirteenth Amendment by Leonard L. Richards
The Thousand-Year Flood: The Ohio-Mississippi Disaster of 1937 by David Welky
A Village with My Name: A Family’s History of China’s Opening to the World by Scott Tong
Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism by Cathy Gere
Socrates and the Fat Rabbis by Daniel Boyarin
Rattling Spears: A History of Indigenous Australian Art by Ian McLean
Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things by Lafcadio Hearn
The Daily Jane Austen: A Year of Quotes by Jane Austen
The Legendary Detective: The Private Eye in Fact and Fiction by John Walton

jun 8, 2:10pm

>274 karenmarie: Helluva haul, Horrible! I almost included Ties That Bound and The Thousand-Year Flood in my cart, too.

jun 8, 7:14pm

>270 karenmarie: Oh oh oh! I read Last Seen Wearing back in the '90s and it had to have been really good because I remember reading it. Is that the one where the girl is looking out of school window and sees somebody on a hill, and later recognizes the clothes? Something like that? I love reading old mysteries because after all these decades the best has risen to the top.

Laurel and Karen, thanks for the tip, I'll download it. I'd love to know what bird that was.

Redigeret: jun 9, 7:15am

>275 richardderus: Thanks, RD, I'm thrilled. Interesting that you almost included Ties That Bound and The Thousand-Year Flood. I'm particularly interested in Ties that Bound because I read Never Caught by Erica Armstrong Dunbar this year, about the Washingtons decades-long effort to get back a runaway slave. Fortunately, they failed.

>276 SomeGuyInVirginia: There are quite a few Last Seen Wearings. This one is from 1952 and is considered one of the first ever police procedurals. Here's the Amazon blurb for this edition:
No one saw her leave, and no one knows where she went...

It's a perfectly typical day for Lowell Mitchell at her perfectly ordinary university in Massachusetts. She goes to class, chats with friends, and retires to her dorm room. Everything is normal until suddenly it's not―in the blink of an eye, Lowell is gone.

Facts are everything for Police Chief Frank Ford. He's a small-town cop, and he knows only hard evidence and thorough procedure will lead him to the truth. Together with the wise-cracking officer Burt Cameron, the grizzled chief will deal with the distraught family, chase dead-end leads, interrogate shady witnesses, and spend late nights ruminating over black coffee and cigars. Everyone tells him what a good, responsible girl Lowell is. But Ford believes that Lowell had a secret and that if he can discover it, this case will crack wide open.

Considered one of the first-ever police procedurals and hailed as a milestone, Last Seen Wearing―based on a true story―is riveting in its accurate portrayal of an official police investigation. Hillary Waugh, who earned the title of Grand Master from the Mystery Writers of America, went on to create several memorable series, but this early novel ranks among his finest work. This next installment in the Library of Congress Crime Classics series will keep readers in suspense until the final page.

Coffee. Reading for a while. Bill's staying home from work today and Jenna will be coming through 11-ish.

jun 9, 7:49am

Morning, Karen. Happy Wednesday. It was a good bird stroll yesterday but we didn't see as much as we hoped. It also got HOT quickly. I am taking a break today. I will get into Sue's work and get my back and neck adjusted. I am overdue.

I finally watched a Randy Rainbow video. Yah!!

jun 9, 9:10am

'Morning, Mark! Happiest of Wednesdays to you, too. Yay for getting into see the chiropractor today.

Randy Rainbow is brilliant. That's his real name, by the way. I'm subscribed to his YouTube channel and love each new video when it comes out.

I just finished Last Seen Wearing by Hillary Waugh. It's very good, but I think I'll 'relegate' it to my June Lightning Round.

jun 9, 10:15am

Horrible. Happy Humpday. Hurling my hump back into a recalcitrant review.

Well, no one is *making* me do it, so it's just my inner perfectionist grousing at me. Creepy bastard, wish he'd belt up already.


jun 9, 2:00pm

Can't catch up, Karen, but I'll say that there is another Ties that Bound (your Touchstone, in fact) that has to do with peasant families in medieval Europe, but Barbara Hanawalt. I'd be more interested in that one!
Lunch coming up at last! good grief

jun 9, 4:13pm

>280 richardderus: Thanks, RD! Master that review!

>281 LizzieD: Hi Peggy. The Hanawalt book sounds interesting to me, too. But it's not available through the U of Chicago Press website and so for now 11 books is good...

Jenna's here, and I have 16 months of no visits to make up with foods she loves. Tonight will be salmon croquettes and Church Rice - a.k.a. skillet pilaf.

jun 9, 6:01pm

>274 karenmarie: Like your buys from the U of Chi Press. Okay, not all of them, but many. But, but, but I must turn my head and not be seduced.

jun 9, 6:50pm

>279 karenmarie: Really love Randy Rainbow! He's so good with the satire, but also has a great voice and musical abilities. And he's cute as a bug!

Karen O.

jun 9, 9:48pm

>283 weird_O: Hi Bill! I'm pretty excited about the books. It's okay that you like some of them. You are mesmerized by RL book sales, so I guess you're safe for now.

>284 klobrien2: Isn't he the bee's knees?

Successful salmon croquettes and Church Rice. We watched a few episodes of The Closer then made Jenna watch a particularly ridiculous episode of Perry Mason, The Case of the Flighty Father. The actress who played the heiress was just awful, emoting all over the place. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Redigeret: jun 10, 7:32am

Morning, Karen. Sweet Thursday. I had a perfectly lazy day with the books yesterday and got to enjoy the Cubs game too, mid-afternoon. No birding plans for today either but I plan on finally taking my bike out for a spin. We got them tuned up a few weeks ago but haven't been out for a ride. I really haven't ridden at all, since I took up birding. I could use the exercise now.

jun 10, 9:54am

Got caught up here, Karen.
Not going to comment much, but all looks well in your neck of the woods.

I'm hiding out at home while the masses agitate against vaxing and masking ~ too many idiots here and the covid cases really aren't diminishing very much. ICU filled again.

Lots of gardening going on and I'm enjoying a splurge of Bujold titles, having been urged by Susan (quondame) to read the Penric and Desdemona novellas. They're really wonderful.

jun 10, 10:13am

A mom to spoil her, a dad to play games with her, and a place to sleep free...Jenna is really in heaven with y'all backing her up. And she knows it!

Good job, y'all.

jun 10, 11:22am

>286 msf59: 'Morning, Mark! Happy Thursday to you. I hope you enjoy biking today.

>287 SandyAMcPherson: Hi Sandy! Things are going okay. Hiding out at home is a good and prudent thing to do, especially in an area where the idiots won't wear masks or vax. I'm glad you're enjoying gardening and a splurge on a favorite author.

>288 richardderus: Oh yes, RD, Mom spoils her. Free food, free lodging, and lots of hugs and kisses. She's grateful without being smarmy about it. There were years I worried about her, but now it's only things and situations and not her core sense of self/value.

It is a whirlwind when she's home, though, so she just left and Bill's in his home office working. I'm going to eat a bit of brekkie then try a new Blondies recipe that won't fail - yesterday's attempt was an epic failure. *shudder* Waste of ingredients and had to be thrown out. I don't know where I got that recipe, but it's been deleted from my computer.

jun 10, 1:04pm

Egads!! That is just revolting!

Rob found this recipe for butter-pecan blondies and, well, let's just say he calls them "get-lucky bars."

Martha Stewart's butter-pecan blondies

jun 10, 1:15pm

Hmmm. Now I'm going to have to make the Martha Stewart recipe too, but not today. Somewhat different ratios, but sounds good, too. I've put walnuts in this recipe but will do what Martha says with pecans...

I går, 7:10am

Morning, Karen. Happy Friday. I really enjoyed my bike ride yesterday. I hope to ride a couple of times a week. I am heading out on a solo bird jaunt. I need to get out early before the heat arrives.

I går, 7:54am

'Morning, Mark, and happy Friday to you, too. I'm glad your bike ride went well, and I hope you enjoy your SBJ.

That first sip of coffee... heaven. I was supposed to visit a book club friend this morning but she cancelled because of possible thunderstorms. She's still not comfortable with inside visitors, even though we're both fully vaccinated. We'll try for Monday, but in the meantime, I've got most of the day alone in the house. I need to pick up our tax stuff and go grocery shopping sometime this afternoon.

Redigeret: I går, 10:03am

>272 weird_O: Yes, she really is.

>277 karenmarie: So frustrating! I know I've seen that book, it might be in the permanent collection and I haven't cataloged it yet, but that doesn't quite sound like what I read. It seemed like this was a schoolgirl rather than a girl in college.

I had a slight water leak in the basement last weekend. Stained some tiles in the ceiling and soaked the pine paneling, which thankfully dried out beautifully. Anyway, a Servpro tech was out here to give an estimate on replacing the ceiling tiles. He coughed a couple of times and said that it was just allergies, that he'd been vaccinated. I told him I've been vaccinated too and after that just never even worried about it anymore. I only wear a mask when I visit my brother in the rehab unit.

Redigeret: I går, 10:18am

Hi Larry!

I knew it - Daisy Buchanan reincarnated. *smile*

I hope you find the book you're thinking of. It makes me crazy to be thinking of a book just beyond the tip of my tongue.

Boo hiss to the water leak, so glad the paneling dried out. Sorry about the ceiling tiles. It's not always something but it's occasionally something with a house. I've got a few somethings, nothing major, that need attending to this year.

I hope Eric's coming along in the rehab unit. Will he be able to go back to his apartment/house eventually?

edited to add:
I thought of you when I read this just now, RD:
Cats, they're like olives, seem like - either you're crazy about them or you just can't abide them.

Case Pending by Dell Shannon, p 84

Redigeret: I går, 10:25am

>293 karenmarie: That sounds like a lovely day to yourself, Horrible. Enjoy it!

Heh! I'm crazy about olives, indeed. And crazy about cats...in the "what's he doing with that axe?" kind of way.

I går, 10:54am

I'm crazy about olives, too, and have 3 kinds in the house right now. Bill won't touch them at all, and Jenna won't eat Greek olives, but the canned regular black and pimento-stuffed green ones are fair game when she's home.

Huh. Axe, really? I'm sorta crazy about dogs, as in I'm glad other folks want them and want to spend money and time on them and clean up their poo, but not me. I had Doberman Pinschers in the early 1980s and loved them inordinately, but when I broke up with The Boyfriend, he kept them. This is my favorite kind of dog:

The Invisible Dog - poo-less, doesn't eat, drink, or bark.

I går, 12:29pm

>297 karenmarie: Cute poochie! I might even get away with having one of those.

I keep salad olives around at all times for salads and sandwich dressing. Love 'em.

I går, 1:27pm

Back again, Karen, recommending my mama's olive sandwich spread, which I'm sure you've had numerous times. It's at least a Southern staple, I think. Just in case ---

In a blender mix 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 cup of Spanish olives with pimientos, 1 cup pecans, 1 small/medium onion (play with the taste to suit yourself), and enough mayo to make the spreading consistency you like. You're welcome.

I may have to do that this afternoon. I need to transform a gallon of Kosher dills to sweet, crisp chips, but maybe I'll save that for tomorrow.

Redigeret: I går, 1:42pm

Can't decide whether or not to get another dog since my old Golden passed a few years ago.

Living out here in the woods by myself, I would love a pair of ears and a nose to alert me and bark if something that I should know about is around.... but it's sort of like having a baby. Until I feel that I can't live without one, I'll pass for now.

>299 LizzieD: Oh my, that sounds delicious!

I går, 4:40pm

>298 richardderus: The best kind of dog for some of us, for sure, RD.

>299 LizzieD: Hi Peggy! That just got my mouth watering, always excepting the onion... I've got everything here in the house to make it, once I boil an egg. Toast the pecans or enjoy the sweetness of them raw?

>300 streamsong: I can understand you wanting a doggo on your property, Janet, but love the analogy of not getting one until you feel you can't live without one. Fortunately, you and I both have grown children, and our fur children are a great substitute.

Off to build thread #7.