foggidawn reads and stuff in 2020, thread 4

É uma continuação do tópico foggidawn reads and stuff in 2020, thread 3.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2020

Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.

foggidawn reads and stuff in 2020, thread 4

Set 1, 2020, 9:07am

Welcome! I'm foggi, and this is my thirteenth year on LibraryThing and my tenth year in this group! I'm a collection development librarian/youth materials selector (means I buy all the kids' and teen books) for the public library system in a medium-sized Ohio town, and a voracious reader.

I'll read anything that catches my fancy, but here are some of the kinds of books I particularly like:

Books for kids and teens

Fantasy for any age -- plus the occasional work of science fiction

Inspirational fiction, if the writing is good

Mysteries, particularly cozies and golden age British detective stories

The occasional memoir or biography

Here are some of the other things I like, which can distract me from reading, but which I may occasionally post about here:

Theatre -- both viewing live theatre and participating in community theatre. 2020 has done away with a lot of those opportunities, but believe me, if I get the chance, I am still there for it!

Sewing -- it's a love/hate relationship, really. I'm only barely proficient at it, so it's slow going when I get on a sewing kick, but when it goes right, I love the results.

Gardening -- I've been trying container gardening lately. I've had a lot of success with basil this year, but more mixed results with the tomatoes and peppers. The cilantro was an outright failure.

Gaming -- I love board games when I can find people to play them with (which is not as often as I like) and I occasionally play video games, but most often I waste my time playing games on my phone. Right now, I'm mostly playing various puzzle games and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

Dogs -- My Sophie passed away on April 12th of 2019. I have been very lonely without a dog, but I've recently adopted the darling Springer Spaniel pictured above -- Lottie! She turns 1 year old on September 3rd.

Family and friends -- I recently became a first-time aunt! I'm always looking forward to my next chance to see the baby, and I'm working on building up his library. Also, my parents recently retired and moved to their newly-built cabin in rural Pennsylvania, so I foresee many visits there, as well. At home, I've recently had a college friend move in with me, proving that I can still surprise myself sometimes. Our weird platonic house-sharing arrangement may occasionally be something I mention in my posts.

Thanks for visiting my thread!

Editado: Set 1, 2020, 9:38am

2020 Reading Resolution

For the past few years, I've made a book-based reading resolution: longstanding TBR books, unread classics, overdue Early Reviewers. This year, I've made a list of 20 books from my TBR shelves that I'd like to finish, with the reason why. They may fall into the categories above, or I may have other reasons for wanting to read them. This feels a little ambitious, but it's a new decade and I'm thinking big! (My non-book-related resolution is to find a way to like myself better, so in comparison 20 books doesn't sound so extreme.) As with last year's resolution, I'm giving myself full permission to DNF any book that doesn't grab me, if I've given it a fair shot. Here they are, listed in the order they appear in the photo above:

1. Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper -- Longstanding TBR Read 1/12/20
2. The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander — Unread children’s classic
3. You Can’t Take It With You by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman — longstanding TBR
4. A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat -- Early Reviewer (2019) Read 3/2/20
5. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett — longstanding TBR
6. The Key to Rondo by Emily Rodda — longstanding TBR DNF 5/20/20
7. The Book of Pearl by Timothee de Fombelle -- Early Reviewer (2017)
8. Curse of the Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen -- Early Reviewer (2019)
9. Light Beyond Light: Beauty, Transformation, and the Kingdom of God by Patrick Adams -- Written by a friend
10. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy -- Unread classic
11. Unspoken by Dee Henderson -- Early Reviewer (2013)
12. Inside Prince Caspian by Devin Brown — Written by a friend
13. Broken Strings by Eric Walters -- Early Reviewer (2019) Read 2/16/20
14. The Various by Steve Augarde — longstanding TBR
15. The Time Traveler’s Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortimer — recommended by Rob
16. Jim Henson by Brian Jay Jones -- Early Reviewer (2013)
17. Mythos by Stephen Fry -- Early Reviewer (2019)
18. Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis -- Early Reviewer (2019) Read 1/8/20
19. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies by Laura Amy Schlitz -- Award winner, longstanding TBR Read 4/29/20
20. Wren, Journeymage by Sherwood Smith -- Early Reviewer (2010) (Ebook, not pictured)

September update: 2020 has been hard, y'all. I'm not going to get all of these read, but I'm still hoping I might finish a few more before the year is out.

Editado: Set 1, 2020, 9:36am

Books read so far in 2020

(Rereads are in italics, new favorites in bold.)

1. Old Toffer's Book of Consequential Dogs by Christopher Reid
2. The Apprentices by Maile Meloy
3. Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis
4. Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself by Anneli Rufus
5. Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
6. Pat of Silver Bush by L.M. Montgomery
7. Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis by Ada Calhoun
8. Mistress Pat by L.M. Montgomery
9. The Cat Who Wasn't There by Lilian Jackson Braun

10. The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
11. Landwhale by Jes Baker
12. The Mystery of the Masked Medalist by Maia and Alex Shibutani
13. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
14. Brave by Svetlana Chmakova
15. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
16. Crush by Svetlana Chmakova
17. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
18. The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson
19. Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane
20. Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
21. Broken Strings by Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer
22. The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz
23. Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls by Jes Baker
24. The Distance from Me to You by Marina Gessner
25. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
26. A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat
27. I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
28. How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason
29. Ansley's Big Bake Off by Kaitlyn, Olivia, and Camryn Pitts
30. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
31. Not if I Can Help It by Carolyn Mackler
32. Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park
33. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
34. Abigail by Magda Szabó, translated by Len Rix
35. All Systems Red by Martha Wells
36. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
37. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
38. Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

39. The Skylarks' War by Hilary McKay
40. A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Gier
41. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
42. Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun
43. The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue by Karina Yan Glaser
44. Homerooms and Hall Passes by Tom O'Donnell
45. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz
46. Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet
47. Brave Red, Smart Frog by Emily Jenkins
48. Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker
49. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
50. My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi
51. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
52. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

53. There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
54. Go With the Flow by Lily Williams and Karen Schneeman
55. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
56. Again, But Better by Christine Riccio
57. Snug by Catana Chetwynd
58. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
59. Turning Darkness Into Light by Marie Brennan
60. Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley
61. Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
62. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
63. Dress Coded by Carrie Firestone
64. Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin McKinley
65. I'll Be the One by Lyla Lee
66. Persuasion by Jane Austen
67. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

68. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
69. A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers
70. Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
71. Book Love by Debbie Tung
72. A House Without Mirrors by Mårten Sandén
73. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
74. The Widow of Larkspur Inn by Lawana Blackwell
75. The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter by Lawana Blackwell

76. Circe by Madeline Miller
77. Stranger Planet by Nathan Pyle

That's it -- you can post below!

Set 1, 2020, 10:12am

Happy new thread!

Set 1, 2020, 10:15am

Happy new thread, Foggi. xx

Set 1, 2020, 10:32am

Set 1, 2020, 10:44am

Happy new thread, Foggi. Lottie looks so content in your topper. Is she mellowing a little or still a rambunctious puppers?

Set 1, 2020, 10:55am

>7 MickyFine: Oh, she's still rambunctious! I do think she's learning what she can and can't do -- that if she jumps on us and we say "ouch" she's going to get put in the other room, so she now jumps around us instead of on top of us. Mostly. And she has her calm moments. She tends to snooze a lot during the day when I work, with several breaks to go outside and play fetch. Then, in the evenings, she is much more playful (usually when I'm trying to read aloud, which isn't great -- I give her something to chew, but that rarely keeps her occupied for an entire chapter).

Set 1, 2020, 11:17am

Hi Foggi, all best wishes for a great Autumn read. #staysafe

Editado: Set 1, 2020, 12:22pm

Happy new thread! Your topper photo looks ideal :)

>8 foggidawn: "jumps around us instead of on top of us. Mostly." Definitely reminds me of Otter... he gets so, so excited when we're getting ready to go on a walk that he's jumped up and slashed me with his claws several times. We're trying to teach him a new command, "chill," which is basically "stop jumping, feet on the floor, and we're not continuing to get ready for a walk until you are still."

Editado: Set 1, 2020, 2:51pm

>9 SandyAMcPherson: Thanks, you too!

>10 curioussquared: Good luck with the dog training! Lottie also gets very excited to go out for a walk, and has to be reminded not to jump and claw. But she used to try to grab my shoes as I would put them on, and she doesn't do that any more.

Set 1, 2020, 3:26pm

Happy new thread, Foggi!

>1 foggidawn: Lottie looks like good company in the picture.

Set 1, 2020, 7:51pm

Happy new thread, foggi! I got my notification from Amazon the other day that my pre-order of the new Megan Whalen Turner book should be arriving in October, so hooray for that! (Guess I'd better reread the last book soon...)

Set 1, 2020, 9:09pm

Thread number 4! Where has the year gone?

Set 1, 2020, 9:09pm

Happy new thread...and Lottie is looking SO big!

Set 1, 2020, 10:44pm

Happy new thread!

We have a new French Bulldog puppy! We just got her Sunday.

Set 2, 2020, 6:43am

>16 quondame: ooh! Pictures?

Editado: Set 2, 2020, 9:58am

>12 FAMeulstee: Thanks! Only sometimes is she that snuggly, but I think it's a hint of what she might be like when she's a little more mature and settles down.

>13 bell7: Yes! My goal is to get through reading aloud Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince this month, so we can dive straight into Return of the Thief as soon as it arrives.

>14 compskibook: I know, right? Because it still feels to me like we are stuck in April.

>15 fuzzi: Thanks! She is -- probably pretty close to her full-grown size now, though I think she'll fill out more over time. Right now, when she stretches her body out, she looks impossibly skinny.

>16 quondame: Thanks! Aww, puppy! Enjoy!

>17 fuzzi: My thoughts exactly!

Set 2, 2020, 11:26am

>17 fuzzi: Meet Nutmeg whose big sister Gertie, did not want a new sibling:

Set 2, 2020, 9:26pm

>13 bell7: Hmmm, I didn't get a notice about the new Megan Whalen Turner book from Ammy. So I went and looked and, yes, it is still on pre-order (as it has been since 1/15/2019) and showing October 6 as delivery date, so that's good.

Happy New Thread, foggi!

I did get a notice that the third book in Seanan McGuire's Ghost Roads series is available to pre-order (although not out until next May) so that is something else to look forward to. Angel of the Overpass

Set 2, 2020, 9:39pm

>20 ronincats: I ordered Thick as Thieves back in May of 2017. Last I checked on the Coming books page is was listed for this December.

Set 2, 2020, 9:43pm

>21 quondame: Return of the Thief is the final book and the one I'm waiting for, Susan.

Set 2, 2020, 9:58pm

>22 ronincats: Sorry, I must have looked in the wrong place on my Amazon orders. I know I pre-ordered when it was announced, just can't find the record of it.....

Set 3, 2020, 6:48am

>19 quondame: that look seems to say "When are you taking it back?" Hahaha.

Set 3, 2020, 10:59am

So many cute puppers!

Set 8, 2020, 9:44am

>19 quondame: Awww!

>20 ronincats: Thanks for stopping by!

>21 quondame: >22 ronincats: >23 quondame: Glad you got that sorted out. We're less than a month away from the release date now!

>24 fuzzi: She does seem a bit disgruntled.

>25 Ape: Indeed!

I read so many books over the weekend, you all! It's a good feeling. I'll work on reviews later today.

Set 8, 2020, 11:52am

(78 books read)

The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark by Lawana Blackwell -- Plain, spinster schoolteacher Lydia Clark is suddenly the object of two men's interest -- too bad they're not men she would ever consider marrying. Meanwhile, the man in whom she is interested solicits her professional help to gain the attention of another woman.

This was once my favorite book in the series, as I could relate to Lydia's circumstances. It's probably the lightest and most humorous book in the series, what with Harold Sanders' ham-fisted courtship, and the antics of various other characters. There's a secondary plotline about a cast-aside mistress of a member of parliament who is sent to Gresham to get her out of the way, which adds a little more weight to the book (if not more believability, as I find her story line stretches credulity). All in all, still a fun outing, especially if you've enjoyed the rest of the series, but I wouldn't recommend it as a stand-alone.

Set 8, 2020, 12:02pm

(79 books read)

The Jewel of Gresham Green by Lawana Blackwell -- A frightening incident causes Jewel and her daughter Becky to flee from Birmingham to Gresham, where they find the town in upheaval. Squire Bartley is dying, and his unscrupulous heir is in town, trying to get his paws on his inheritance as soon as possible. Vicar Phelps is in need of medical care, but Philip Hollis, now grown and through medical school, is practicing surgery in London, and caught in an unhappy marriage. And his sister Aleda, now a published author, seeks solitude in a cottage on the squire's property.

This book was published some years later than the original three books in the series, and it advances the age of the characters so that the Phelps and Hollis children can take center stage. It's enjoyable, but a bit of a lurch. This book probably could be read as a stand-alone, but of course I'd recommend starting with the first book in the series.

Editado: Set 8, 2020, 3:24pm

(80 books read)

Again Again by E. Lockhart -- It's the summer after Adelaide's junior year, and she's floundering. On academic probation, recently dumped by her boyfriend, worried constantly about her brother, a recovering addict. In this inventively-written narrative, Adelaide falls in and out of love in a series of multiple possibilities (multiple universes?) as the people she meets weave in and out of each other's stories.

I enjoyed this book more than Genuine Fraud but not quite as much as The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks -- about on par with We Were Liars. I'd recommend it to you if you liked any of those books, or if you find the concept intriguing.

Set 8, 2020, 3:45pm

(81 books read)

Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song by Sara Bareilles -- I came to the work of Sara Bareilles through the musical Waitress, though as I listened to this audiobook, I realized that I was at least familiar with some of her most well-known songs ("Love Song," "Brave"), but I couldn't have told you that they were by her. However, I needed an audiobook to listen to during a long drive, and I often enjoy memoir. In this series of essays, Bareilles explores her childhood, her career, and her vulnerabilities surrounding her appearance and abilities. Many listeners, myself included, will certainly relate to many sentiments expressed here. And I was excited that the final essay in the book does cover the making of the musical Waitress. It's a quick read, easily listened to in a five-hour car trip (and read by the author, which makes it feel all the more intimate). Recommended to fans of this artist, and those who enjoy this sort of memoir.

Set 8, 2020, 5:35pm

>30 foggidawn: Despite ordering NF for work and being a Sara Bareilles fan, I somehow was unaware of the existence of this book. Glad to see it's enjoyable!

Set 9, 2020, 9:38am

>31 MickyFine: It's a few years old, so maybe that's why you didn't see it.

Set 9, 2020, 9:47am

Ooh I didn't know about it either. Sounds like a great audiobook!

Set 9, 2020, 1:39pm

>29 foggidawn: I think my E. Lockhart ratings just about line up with yours! I have Again Again on hold and should be getting it soon, so we'll see if that trend continues.

Set 10, 2020, 4:02pm

(82 books read)

One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London -- Bea may be a plus-size fashionista and social media influencer, but she hasn't had the best luck with romance lately. When her best friend Ray, whom she's loved for years (but who is engaged to another woman) comes for a visit, they end up sleeping together -- and then Ray leaves without a word. Bea can't bring herself to date for months after that encounter, but when a popular reality show (think The Bachelor) wants to make her a star, she can't deny that it would be a phenomenal career move. She just won't fall in love, that's all. She can act the part, right?

This is all the cotton-candy fun of watching a reality show, with a body-positive twist. Did I love every detail? I did not (the whole thing at the beginning with Ray made it harder for me to like either character), but I thought it was a great, fun read with interesting, well-developed characters. If you're looking for romances with a plus-size main character, or if you love all the ~*drama*~ of reality TV, this one's for you.

Set 10, 2020, 4:13pm

>33 norabelle414: It was a good way to pass the driving time.

>34 curioussquared: Hope it does!

Set 11, 2020, 9:23am

>3 foggidawn: wow. You've read so many good books this year! My selection is much smaller and less diverse. ☺ But I do the best I can. I miss days where I could pump through 100 great books in a year!

Set 11, 2020, 9:36am

>37 The_Hibernator: Thanks! Looking back, it is a pretty nice selection, huh? Thanks for putting it into perspective for me; it feels like a low reading year to me, but I realize that's crazy talk to most people. :-) And I bet you'll get back to the 100+ books years someday.

Set 11, 2020, 10:09am

(83 books read)

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers -- Four astronauts set out on a scientific mission: to see if life exists in a distant solar system. Their bodies will be put into a state of torpor for the 28 years it will take them to get there, and once on site, it will take messages to and from Earth 14 years to arrive. And if something were to happen back home...

I'm still processing this one. Like Chambers' other works, the characters are lovely, their interactions marked with kindness and understanding. This book is very science-heavy, and I lack the knowledge to say whether it's accurately portrayed, but it's certainly believable. The ending is bittersweet and indeterminate, so don't expect everything to be tied up with a tidy bow. If you like science fiction that's heavy on the science and low on the interpersonal drama, this is definitely your novella.

Set 11, 2020, 11:46am

>35 foggidawn: I'm not a big reality TV fan but I'm happy to see more body positive romances out there!

Have a great slide into the weekend!

Set 11, 2020, 12:10pm

>40 MickyFine: To be honest, I'm not big on reality TV either. I think I may have watched an episode of The Bachelor once? I've watched a fair number of reality cooking/baking shows, so I get the appeal of the competition and the interpersonal drama in high-stress situations. Hope you have a good weekend, too!

Set 11, 2020, 12:29pm

>41 foggidawn: I used to watch more of the competition shows. So You Think You Can Dance was a fave in my early 20s and I recently enjoyed Blown Away (competitive glass blowing) on Netflix but since I've cut the cable cord I don't seek out much in the way of reality TV.

Set 11, 2020, 5:03pm

Missed the beginning of your thread however, happy new one anyways :)

Set 13, 2020, 7:17am

>38 foggidawn: Probably when the kids are gone. Maybe?

Set 13, 2020, 3:32pm

Happy New Thread, foggi!

>19 quondame: Love it!

I was one of those who really enjoyed To Be Taught If Fortunate. So imaginative!

Set 14, 2020, 9:04am

>42 MickyFine: I haven't watched much lately either, except a season or two of the Great British Baking Show a couple years ago.

>43 figsfromthistle: Thanks! It's early days yet, as my threads go. I'm thinking this one will last to the end of the year, but we'll see...

>44 The_Hibernator: Maybe!

>45 jnwelch: I liked it, though not as much as some of her other work.

I had another fairly good reading weekend; reviews to come. I worked a little more on reorganizing my study, a project which had ground to a halt while I tried to find another bookshelf. I found one that I thought was the lighter shade of "wood" that I wanted at Meijer, but alas, it was the same almost-black of the others I've recently bought. I put it together anyway. (My older bookcases are all maple/cherry tones, and I was hoping to match that, but lately all I can find in stores is white, black, or a dark brown that is just off black -- "espresso," they usually call it, though this one was misleadingly called "cinnamon cherry.") I've ordered an extra shelf for it, but I suspect that I still will not have enough shelves. I'm trying to cull some of my TBRs, but that's even harder than weeding books I've read.

In other news, I have an unprecedented thing tomorrow: another first date, this time with my last prospect from my recent foray into online dating. My housemate and I have been referring to this one as "Shakespeare guy" because he and I had a nice long conversation about our favorite plays. Two dates in as many months! If this one fizzles out, I'm going back to my old, dateless ways until after my Newbery stint is over.

Set 14, 2020, 5:27pm

>46 foggidawn: Yay for a good reading weekend. Shelf space is always an issue. I may be aberrant in wanting some bare walls and to be able to see out window, though.

Set 14, 2020, 7:43pm

>46 foggidawn: Hi Foggi, sure related to your problems finding decent bookcases.

We had so much trouble with finding the preferred book shelf material. Didn't want anything with that composite material (I always call it 'particle board junk' but apparently there's new terminology all about oriented strands or something).
Our original ones were made of solid birch and we finished it with a clear poly acrylic. These shelves used to be very reasonably priced and more importantly, *abundant*!

Since then no such luck so the augmented shelves came from Ikea, made of pine. The pine has yellowed where the books don't cover the wood even though it was supposedly finished with a sealant of some kind. Looks kind of odd if you empty the shelf to move it or rearrange the books because the shaded parts never match up.

Just chattering... in case you wanted to know what other options might be out there. I don't even know if Ikea has outlets in the USA.

Set 14, 2020, 9:25pm

>48 SandyAMcPherson: The book The Mushroom at the End of the World has something to say about the reasons for the changing availability of lumber. That's not really what it's about, but it is a great bit of NF.

Editado: Set 15, 2020, 1:48pm

>48 SandyAMcPherson: I've gotten some lovely REAL WOOD bookcases from thrift stores like Habitat for Humanity. They sometimes have quality furniture for cheap. I once found an Ethan Allen matching dresser and desk set for a pittance, and in very good condition!

Set 15, 2020, 12:36pm

>47 quondame: In this house, I transformed what's probably intended as a dining room into a study (I tried calling it my "library" for a while, but as I work in an actual public library, that got a little confusing). There are also books in the living room, and now I have a very nice shelf that my mother built for me on the stair landing, so of course the books are spreading throughout the house a bit, but I did like the idea of concentrating them in one room.

>48 SandyAMcPherson: We do have an Ikea store in Columbus (about an hour away from where I am), but I do not enjoy shopping there. And I wasn't impressed at their bookcase options in stock last time I looked. I would love to have all solid wood shelves that match and look nice, but for now I put up with the particle board nonsense.

>49 quondame: Sounds interesting!

>50 fuzzi: Most of my furniture is either hand-me-downs (I have a very nice bedroom set that was my great-grandmother's) or from secondhand stores, but I haven't had any luck finding shelves there. I do have a couple of slightly nicer shelves that a friend was giving away when she moved into a smaller apartment, so those are in my living room.

Editado: Set 16, 2020, 8:38am

So, my date this morning went well enough. We met at a town halfway between the two of us, so about 45 minutes away. We had a nice long walk at an arboretum there (there were other people on the paths and lots of volunteers out working on clearing out some of the flower beds, so not too secluded). We found plenty to talk about, mostly on a fairly superficial level, but we avoided too many awkward silences. He asked for my phone number at the end of the date, so we'll see if he stays in touch. I don't feel strongly about the situation either way at this point -- if he suggests another date, I will probably take him up on it, but if things fizzle out, I will not be too sad.

Editado: Set 15, 2020, 1:12pm

>51 foggidawn: Most of my shelves are Ikea, just because they were reasonably priced and I needed a lot all at once. I know people love their Billy bookcases; I think they're fine but prefer the Hemnes style. It's more expensive but the majority of the unit is real wood.

I don't know if you have Facebook or if this exists in your area, but I'm part of a Buy Nothing group on Facebook and have gotten a lot of good stuff there! The Buy Nothing project allows members of specific, hyperlocal communities to join a group where the point is to give to your neighbors. For example, my group is a specific neighborhood with street boundaries and it's about 25x25 city blocks, so you know items are going directly back to your community, and you never have to go too far to pick up a gift. Members can post items they wish to give away or items they're looking for. Selling and trading is not allowed, only gifting and receiving. Items I've received range from clothes, bookcases, a really nice pair of night stands, and an elliptical exercise machine, and I've gifted things like clothes, extra furnace filters, and an older gas grill. It's worth checking out if it exists where you are! It is unfortunately specific to Facebook, I believe.

>52 foggidawn: ETA Hooray for a well enough date and seeing where things go!

Set 15, 2020, 4:17pm

>53 curioussquared: I checked, but there's not a Buy Nothing group in my area, alas. I like the look of the Hemnes Ikea bookcases (although they, too, don't come in the stain color I want), but I don't think I can invest in them just now. Maybe someday...

Set 15, 2020, 4:25pm

(84 books read)

The Switch by Beth O'Leary -- When a panic attack at work results in a mandatory two-month holiday, Leena comes up with the idea of switching places with her grandmother, Eileen. Leena can enjoy the bucolic village life and keep an eye on Eileen's "projects," and Eileen, who has been toying with the idea of looking for love again since her no-good husband left her, can explore the broader dating pool of London. What could go wrong?

I really, really loved O'Leary's first book, The Flatshare. I tried to keep my expectations low for this one, but I didn't really need to. Leena and Eileen are such delightful characters, and I enjoyed seeing what each of them would get up to. I didn't have quite the same emotional connection with this book, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable story, and I'll definitely read whatever O'Leary writes in future.

Set 15, 2020, 4:40pm

(85 books read)

Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary -- Beatrice Quimby's little sister is so annoying. She's loud and boisterous, messy and impatient -- and she bestowed the nickname "Beezus" on Beatrice, back when she couldn't pronounce names correctly. There are times when Beezus doesn't feel like she loves her little sister, and that troubles her -- shouldn't sisters love each other all the time?

I'm a fellow oldest sibling, but I've never had a lot of sympathy for Beezus in this book. To me, she comes across as whiny. While I can sympathize with having a rambunctious younger sibling, I never feel a lot of affection for Beezus in this book. After this, the series shifts focus to Ramona, who is a much more dynamic character. Poor Beezus -- she gets the short end of the stick in this series.

Set 15, 2020, 5:14pm

(86 books read)

Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary -- Ramona isn't a pest, she insists. It's just hard, being the youngest in the family. Sometimes you have to be the loudest to make sure that your voice gets heard. In this book, Ramona tackles kindergarten, with all the ups and downs you might expect.

I loved this series as a child, and it's restful and fun to revisit it. This time, I'm listening to the whole collection on audio, narrated by Stockard Channing. The stories are charmingly episodic and tend to blur together in my mind. These audiobooks would be great for a family car trip with kids.

Set 15, 2020, 5:26pm

(87 books read)

Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary -- Ramona, now in first grade, is having problems. For one thing, her teacher is unsympathetic, and when Ramona starts the school year off on a bad foot, she wonders if she will even make it through the year. Plus, what should have been an exciting event -- getting her very own room -- turns sour when she finds that she is afraid to sleep in the bedroom alone. Can Ramona find a way to work through all of these difficulties?

Cleary does a really excellent job of getting the reader into Ramona's head and making her a flawed, sympathetic character. I'm amused at some of the 1950s freedoms that the children have in these books. Despite the fact that the past may at times seem to young readers like a foreign country, I think Ramona, at heart, is still pretty relatable today.

Set 15, 2020, 5:44pm

>58 foggidawn: I love the Ramona books. I never read them as a child, but once my children saw the delightful PBS series I devoured them all. My favorite is Ramona and Her Father of which I wrote:
Once again the magic of author Beverly Cleary comes alive in "Ramona and Her Father". While I love all the Ramona books, this one was especially good. I don't know how Mrs. Cleary remembers so well what children think, but it comes through loud and clear in her words. Ramona comes home from school to find the doors locked and her unemployed father missing...

"Ramona was frightened. Tears filled her eyes as she sat down on the cold concrete steps to think. Where could her father be? She thought of her friends at school, Davy and Sharon, who did not have fathers. Where had their fathers gone? Everybody had a father sometime. Where could they go? Ramona's insides tightened with fear. Maybe her father was angry with her. Maybe he had gone away because she had tried to make him stop smoking. She thought she was saving his life, but maybe she was being mean to him. Her mother said she must not annoy her father, because he was worried about being out of work. Maybe she had made him so angry he did not love her anymore. Maybe he had gone away because he did not love her. She thought of all the scary things she had seen on television-houses that had fallen down in earthquakes, people shooting people, big hairy men on motorcycles-and knew she needed her father to keep her safe..."

Set 15, 2020, 7:47pm

>54 foggidawn: Bummer! Yes, I only have the one Hemnes, and I think it was a hand-me-down from a family member. But I'd like more at some point!

Set 16, 2020, 12:06am

>49 quondame: The title is sure catchy. Douglas Adams is a great fave in our family ~ I am tempted just because of the title (despite knowing nothing of Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing). Thanks.

Set 16, 2020, 12:17am

>53 curioussquared: What a great idea. I've never heard of a Buy Nothing group.
I don't plan to sign up to FB though.

In our city, the municipal garbage pick up has an annual city-wide curbside swap that they facilitate.
The rule is that nothing is for sale and you can list it on the swap website so people know what you have.

The day is usually a Saturday in September. Participants put the freebies out on the front of their property for pick up, so perfect for drive by and social distancing.
Whatever is left at the end has to be taken in. There are lots of donations at the end of the day for charity shops and thrift stores!

We've cleared out unused patio furniture and old lawn mowers and bikes to my great glee.

Set 16, 2020, 2:06am

>61 SandyAMcPherson: TMatEotW is nothing like Douglas Adams, or maybe, well, ... It's a non-fiction exploration of a mini-phenomenon that isn't the sort of thing that registers with governments, academics or businesses that aren't directly connected to some aspect of it. It's sort of how the world really works, though the stories people tell themselves that probably aren't based on reality they do have an effect on reality nonetheless. In this case that effect doesn't seem harmful.

Set 16, 2020, 8:52am

>59 fuzzi: I've started listening to Ramona and Her Father, and I agree, it's one of the best of the series.

>60 curioussquared: People joke all the time about book lovers always wanting/collecting more books, but I don't think as many people understand our desire to have more and better bookshelves!

>61 SandyAMcPherson: It is a catchy title. I wonder if the Douglas Adams vibe was intentional?

>62 SandyAMcPherson: That curbside swap sounds like a great idea. We don't have anything like that. In the past, I've saved stuff up until I had enough for a yard sale, but I've never had a yard sale that was worth the time I put into it.

>63 quondame: It does sound like a fascinating book.

Set 16, 2020, 12:36pm

>62 SandyAMcPherson: Love the curbside swap! Yes, I think the Buy Nothing Project has been successful partly because they leveraged FB's existing group infrastructure, but it's also annoying that joining a group is tied to FB.

Set 17, 2020, 1:22pm

>65 curioussquared: I still have a Facebook account, but lately the negatives have outweighed the positives of that platform, for sure.

Set 17, 2020, 1:47pm

(88 books read)

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant -- Ob and May took Summer in when she was six years old, shunted from one relative to another. They didn't have much, just a trailer in rural West Virginia, but they gave her the unconditional love and acceptance she had been craving all her life. Then, when Summer was 12, May died, leaving Summer and Ob feeling lost and adrift. If only there were some way to talk to May just one last time...

It's rare to find a book for older children than handles grief so well. This book is slight, and the plot is definitely secondary to the characters. It's a "typical" Newbery winner in many ways (realistic fiction, female protagonist, plot less important than character development), but that doesn't take away from the fact that it is very, very well written.

Set 17, 2020, 6:03pm

>67 foggidawn: I've enjoyed most of Rylant's books that I read. I'm pretty sure I read that one when it came out, but it didn't make it into the database so it must have been in a time I wasn't tracking reads.

Set 17, 2020, 6:55pm

Set 21, 2020, 10:47am

>68 thornton37814: For me, it fell in that time when I wasn't reading as many juvenile books -- published when I was a young teen, more likely to be devouring Agatha Christie or Victoria Holt. And, of course, long before LT existed. I never tried to track my reading before joining LT, oddly enough.

>69 fuzzi: Hope you... well, "enjoy" doesn't seem the right word for that one, but I hope you appreciate it as I did.

Set 21, 2020, 10:53am

Well, after a couple of weekends of good reading, I got no reading accomplished on this one. I had a rough time with my anxiety/depression, for no discernible reason, and though I tried to start two different books, neither of them caught. Yesterday I did some sewing in the afternoon, which was a good way to occupy my mind. I'm on a more even keel today, and this morning while I waited for the mechanic to figure out why the check engine light was coming on in my car (a faulty switch in the transmission, apparently), I started reading Network Effect -- that should jump-start my reading again, I hope, as Murderbot is a sure thing in terms of reading enjoyment.

Editado: Set 21, 2020, 11:40am

Sorry to hear you had a rough weekend, Foggi. Glad the sewing helped. I've definitely found during the pandemic that while focusing on paper or ebooks has been rough some days/weeks, listening while I do cross-stitch has worked for me.

Hopefully the transmission repair isn't too pricy!

And enjoy Murderbot! I'm starting the third novella today. :)

Set 21, 2020, 9:03pm

>70 foggidawn: "appreciate" is a more apt description.

I save "enjoy" for Murderbot.

Set 22, 2020, 6:54am

I'm sorry you had a rough weekend. It's not easy dealing with anxiety and depression in the best of times, but right now? Yeah. *hugs*

I'm happy you found some relief in sewing, though, and I'm jealous! I have to be in a *good* mood to sew, or everything goes wrong, it seems.

*adding more hugs just because*

Set 22, 2020, 9:52am

>71 foggidawn: I have frequently been in that "boat", especially this month. I've read only 4 books so far. I have 3 others on the go, but just seem rather too distracted recently, perhaps an effect from pandemic-burn out and prolonged anxiety? Hope you find your stride with some activities.

>74 scaifea: Like me, Amber. I hadn't quite realised why I was shying away from setting up a sewing project until I read your comment about mood coupled with sewing. Thanks for that insight.

It's full on autumn here: really warm, sunny-hazy days, cool nights and glorious colours. I went for an hour's walk along the river bank paths yesterday and that was a real mood-improver.

Set 22, 2020, 10:27am

>72 MickyFine: Thanks! The car is in for the repair today; it's going to be a little pricey, but has to be done, so... *shrug* I need to get back to listening to audiobooks; I was on a go with the Ramona series, but then stopped.

>73 fuzzi: Indeed! That's appropriate.

>74 scaifea: Normally, that would be the case. I think it's because I was working on very simple, basic things that the sewing helped. Usually, I would expect to feel the same way -- goodness knows, there have been times when I've gotten so frustrated with a sewing project that I had to put it down and walk away!

>75 SandyAMcPherson: The weather here has been lovely and fall-like for the past few days, though we're not seeing much in the way of autumn color yet. I need to get out and enjoy it more, though Lottie ensures that I at least spend a few minutes in the back yard throwing her ball several times a day.

Set 22, 2020, 10:56am

>76 foggidawn: Ha! Many, many, MANY times I've let loose a string of foul words, thrown the sewing project down, and flounced out of the room. So. Many. Times.

Set 22, 2020, 11:29am

>77 scaifea: Yes! I have been there so often. And a couple of times I have completed a project and realized that I don't like it! That's super frustrating. There's a shirt that I made hanging in my closet right now that just doesn't look good on me, and I had such high hopes...

Set 22, 2020, 11:30am

>78 foggidawn: Oh, yeah, that's awful, too. *sigh*

Set 22, 2020, 3:31pm

>78 foggidawn: Been there, done that. Shipped such things off to the thrift store eventually. I realised that seeing the dang thing in my closet every time I pawed through looking for something suitable to wear, made me feel a lot of negative emotions (frustration, wasted effort, expensive fabric misused, etc).

Set 22, 2020, 4:11pm

>79 scaifea: *sigh* Lately I've been sticking to things like pajama pants. I always like those. :-D

>80 SandyAMcPherson: Yes, I need to do a closet clean-out, but I lack the motivation just now.

Set 22, 2020, 6:29pm

>77 scaifea: >76 foggidawn: I throw sewing projects, at least I used to. I've not sewed in years, never was a fan, gave it up.

I can mend. 😁

Set 23, 2020, 7:14am

>81 foggidawn: Ha! I'm in the middle of the yearly Great Pajama Pants Project right now, making new ones for Charlie. So easy, those, and a nice distraction.

Set 25, 2020, 10:19am

>82 fuzzi: No point in doing it if you don't enjoy it -- it's cheaper to buy clothes than to make them, in most cases. Mending is a handy skill, and it's nice that that came of your sewing experience.

>83 scaifea: I must admit, I love shopping for flannel when it goes on sale at the fabric store, and finding the pattern that will best suit the person I am sewing for.

Set 25, 2020, 10:27am

(89 books read)

Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary -- Ramona's father is out of work, which means he's spending a lot more time at home. Unfortunately, it also means he's feeling a bit more irritable and dejected. But life continues for the Quimby family, and Ramona is always working on something, whether it's finding a way to have a real part in the church nativity play, or launching a campaign to get her father to stop smoking.

This is one of my favorite books in the series. The whole thing is just so warm and comforting, like a long hug. It's also a perfect book to read in the fall, as it's set around Halloween through Christmas time.

Set 25, 2020, 11:12am

(90 books read)

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh -- After the publication of Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh basically stopped posting on her blog, which made me sad. I wondered, periodically, what might have happened in her life since then. With the publication of Solutions and Other Problems, I got an answer. Unfortunately, the answer is: tragedy and misery. I will not list all of it, since I suppose that would constitute spoilers for the book. But it hasn't been a happy time. This book consists of stories from Allie's recent life as well as from her childhood, copiously illustrated by drawings in her trademark style ("bad MS Paint").

This is a hard read, I must say. There's some humor, but it's all mixed up in the unrelenting misery. Her first book (or the blog posts that made up most of the first book) often had me in tears of laughter, but this one elicited barely an audible chuckle. I'd recommend it for fans of Brosh's earlier work, with the caveat that the tone is even darker (and, certainly, Brosh has always employed dark and self-deprecating humor). It's all new material, with only one chapter posted as a teaser on her blog shortly before the book's release. On a technical note, I had trouble reading some of the text in the illustrations -- in some cases, the contrast was not high, and in others, the text was small enough to make reading difficult. I bought this book, and I wish I had gotten it from the library instead, because I can't see myself rereading it.

Editado: Set 25, 2020, 12:23pm

>86 foggidawn: I was reading a BuzzFeed interview with Brosh yesterday about her book and while I'm still looking forward to borrowing it from the library, the article and your review have definitely prepped me for the darker tone. If all else fails, I'll just read "The God of Cake" from the first book to get a good giggle afterwards.

Set 25, 2020, 12:51pm

>86 foggidawn: Oh, that's disappointing, and I guess kind of unsurprising.

>87 MickyFine: I love God of Cake, but I think my favorites are the tales of simple dog and helper dog.

Set 25, 2020, 12:58pm

>88 curioussquared: As you're decidedly a dog person, I totally understand why. I enjoy that one too but am a cat person and therefore God of Cake takes top spot. ;)

Set 25, 2020, 4:16pm

>87 MickyFine: I will have to look up that article.

>88 curioussquared: Simple Dog and Helper Dog were my favorites, too. Also the Sneaky Hate Spiral, because I can so very much relate.

>89 MickyFine: I just went back and reread God of Cake. How did I ever forget about that one?

Set 25, 2020, 6:54pm

>85 foggidawn: I love that book, it's my favorite Beverly Cleary.

Set 28, 2020, 7:59am

>91 fuzzi: It might be my favorite, too, but it's hard to pick one.

Set 28, 2020, 8:04am

(91 books read)

Ramona and Her Mother by Beverly Cleary -- Everyone always says that Beezus is her mother's girl, that her mother couldn't get along without her. Why doesn't anyone say that about Ramona? What will it take for her to be called "her mother's girl?"

Another solidly enjoyable entry in the Ramona series. I find that the episodic nature of these means that I have trouble remembering which anecdote belongs to which book -- if, as in the current case, I'm listening to the whole series without taking a lot of breaks between books, sometimes they start to blend together.

Set 28, 2020, 8:19am

(92 books read)

Network Effect by Martha Wells -- Murderbot is back! This satisfying longer-form work introduces new characters as well as bringing back some old ones. Murderbot continues to be snarky and delightful. I don't really want to tell you much more about the plot, because it's best to be surprised. There are plenty of fun plot twists to look forward to.

For sheer enjoyment, it's hard to beat Murderbot. I highly recommend the whole series.

Set 28, 2020, 8:39am

(93 books read)

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary -- Now that Ramona is in third grade, she's graduated from being a pest to being a nuisance -- or, at least, that's what she overhears her teacher say. Ramona doesn't think she's a nuisance!

Another strong entry in a funny, enjoyable series.

Set 28, 2020, 12:04pm

>94 foggidawn: Glad to see you enjoyed it, Foggi. I'm not quite there yet but I'm looking forward to getting a long Murderbot book.

Set 29, 2020, 3:09pm

>96 MickyFine: You will love it when you get to it!

Set 29, 2020, 3:13pm

(94 books read)

Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary -- Ramona doesn't know it yet, but two big, exciting events are just around the corner. Her Aunt Beatrice has a boyfriend, and things are getting serious -- and are Ramona's parents acting like they have another secret? Maybe...

I always think of this as the last book in the series, because it was, back when I first read it. It's also the one I remember best -- in reviews of other books, I have mentioned that they tend to run together in my memory, but this one stands out a little more.

Out 1, 2020, 9:48am

(95 books read)

Ramona's World by Beverly Cleary -- Ramona's never had a girl best friend, and now that she's in the fourth grade, she's feeling like she'd really like one. Will Daisy, the new girl at school, fit the bill?

This book came out after I had outgrown the series, so it's an odd experience for me, reading a "new" Ramona book (I first read it on my last reread of the series, about ten years ago). It has the same delightful feel as the rest of the series and fits in well.

Out 1, 2020, 9:58am

Good morning Foggi.
I hope this shiny new month is a dandy for you. We even get to have a "Blue" moon on the 31st!

Out 1, 2020, 2:58pm

>100 SandyAMcPherson: Thanks, same to you! A blue moon on Halloween seems appropriate.

Out 4, 2020, 2:15am

Hi Foggi!

Out 5, 2020, 10:42am

>102 leahbird: Hi, Leah! Hope you are settling in well in your new place!

I finished a book over the weekend, a really excellent one -- review in a few minutes, maybe, if I don't get distracted. I also had a second date this morning with the guy I mentioned up thread ( >52 foggidawn: ), breakfast at a local diner and then a walk around downtown. He brought me flowers and freshly pressed apple cider. I still feel like we are the most awkward ever, but the only way out of that is to work through it, I think.

Out 5, 2020, 11:19am

(96 books read)

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik -- A school for magic: like Hogwarts, except everything is trying to kill you. Monsters (maleficaria) pop out of the air ducts and lurk under cafeteria tables. About a quarter of your graduating class can expect to survive -- especially since "graduation" is simply a melee in a chamber below the school, full of the biggest and hungriest maleficaria who have been waiting all year for a good meal. El and her classmates (she doesn't have friends) have a year to go before that happens, but there's a problem: Orion Lake, the school golden boy, has been upsetting the balance of things by rescuing his classmates, so that a larger proportion of students are surviving, and a smaller number of mals are being fed. And now, he's turned his attention on El, convinced she might be a dark wizard capable of mass destruction (which, fair, although she never uses dark magic at all, because of that prophecy about her destroying the world someday, or whatever). Now, in addition to her usual unpopularity, she has Orion Lake trailing around after her to make sure she doesn't start eating other students or something. If he's not careful, people are going to start thinking that they're dating...

Novik's writing just gets stronger and stronger. El is so delightfully prickly, and all of the characters are so full and complex. The setting is unique (despite my opening sentence, not really Hogwarts-like at all), and there's lots of action and plot twists. I loved every minute of reading this book, and it will certainly be one of my top five this year. I can hardly wait until the next book in the series arrives. If you're a fantasy fan at all, don't miss this one.

Out 5, 2020, 1:11pm

>103 foggidawn: Yay for a second date! I agree that the only way is to work through the awkward -- I hope it gets better soon!

>104 foggidawn: I'm so excited to get my hands on this one.

Out 5, 2020, 4:17pm

>103 foggidawn: Sounds like a lovely second date even if awkwardness is still there. Also sending well wishes that you both find your comfort zone in this new relationship.

>104 foggidawn: Yay! I'm skimming your review on this one as I'm eagerly awaiting my own hold on it but I'm very happy to see you liked it. While I wait, my hold on Piranesi just came in and I pre-ordered The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue so I'll have other excellent fantasy to keep me occupied. :)

Out 5, 2020, 6:00pm

>106 MickyFine: Thanks for the good wishes. I'm just going to be awkward no matter what, so I guess it's nice that we both seem to be the same kind of awkward?

And yes, A Deadly Education was all I could have wanted, and now I'm having that kind of book hangover where you've finished a really good book and don't want to start anything that might not be as good. There's a children's book that I'm about halfway through, but I've lost the will to complete it. I have two other fantasy novels checked out, but I think that, for their sakes, I need something non-fantasy in between, or they might suffer in comparison. It may be time for a nice reread of some sort...

Out 5, 2020, 7:10pm

>104 foggidawn: Oh goody! I'm looking forward to this - for some reason the library checked it out to me 3 days ago but I couldn't download it until today.

Out 5, 2020, 8:03pm

>107 foggidawn: I just put A Deadly Education on hold at my public library! I can't wait!

Out 5, 2020, 9:57pm

>104 foggidawn: yesssss that one was so good! Glad to see it was a hit with you as well.

Out 5, 2020, 10:55pm

>19 quondame: What lovely dogs! I am tempted to get another Shetland Sheepdog, but am not going to do so mainly because of vet bills for two dogs. But, I think she would like company. Most days, it is just the two of us. She barks loudly when one of the neighbors comes to visit, running round in circles and doing a happy dance.

Out 5, 2020, 11:49pm

>111 Whisper1: Thanks! I originally adopted Gertie (and our other current dachshund Zette) because Manny, my daughter's first dog, was distraught when our older dog died. We've had only one dog that was happy as an only dog, although Zette would be - we adopted her after she bit a foster care person and the family in line before us for her opted out - we had found Gertie in between and have now had the both for over 8 years. I noticed how much happier the dogs my parents had were when they weren't only pets, so I've always tried to have more than one dog. But I wouldn't mind only having two. Nutmeg really wants to play with Gertie a lot more than Gertie is happy with, but at least she's happy about the time she gets.

Out 6, 2020, 8:53am

>108 quondame: Hope you enjoy it!

>109 compskibook: Great! I think you'll love it.

>110 bell7: So good.

>111 Whisper1: I've thought about getting a second dog to keep Lottie company, but as you say, the vet bills give me pause.

>112 quondame: Lottie is always happy to visit my parents' farm, where there are several other dogs, including one just a little older than herself, who can play as enthusiastically as she does. When it was Sophie (who also loved to visit the farm), my parents' Sasha was Lottie's age and energy level, and we joked that Sophie would give Sasha five minutes a day of play time, on Sophie's schedule, not Sasha's. Now that Sasha is more mature, she seems to have the same sort of deal with Lottie!

Out 6, 2020, 9:06pm

>113 foggidawn: The only other puppy we've ever had, Manny, was a terror to the older dogs, Coogan and Robbie at the time. We spent a lot at the vet getting care for infected ear bites and poor Robbie had to have multiple procedures to drain and relaminate his ear, but Manny really loved Robbie and missed him terribly when he died. Robbie had no affection for Manny.

Out 6, 2020, 9:58pm

>104 foggidawn: KNEW you would love it!

Out 7, 2020, 8:23am

>114 quondame: Goodness! But then, puppy teeth are basically razor needles. I do not miss that phase at all, when my hands and arms were all scratched up from Lottie playing with me.

>115 ronincats: Right?! I really would like the next one, now, please.

Out 7, 2020, 11:00pm

>116 foggidawn: No kidding. Nutmeg's greetings are full face encounters with muscular tongue surrounded by needle teeth. She is exhaustingly full of energy unless she is inert and can certainly wake one up quickly.

Out 7, 2020, 11:37pm

>104 foggidawn: On the WL this one goes!

Out 10, 2020, 10:14pm

>103 foggidawn: I'm sooo there with you on the awkward dates (well, when that was a thing I did) but he sounds like someone worth walking through that with if he brought apple cider. ;) Good luck!

Editado: Out 12, 2020, 4:21pm

>117 quondame: This is all sounding very familiar.

>118 SandyAMcPherson: Yay! Enjoy.

>119 leahbird: I mean, it was really good cider. ;-) Date #3 is happening next week, so... we'll see.

I did very little reading over the weekend, but my house is considerably cleaner than it was. I did listen to a little more of the audiobook I've been working on, We Are Not Free by Traci Chee. It's really good, but I may not finish it until next weekend. I picked up a couple of old favorites for rereading, but nothing is sticking yet. Oh, and Rob and I finished Half-Blood Prince, so I'll add that to my count momentarily.

Out 12, 2020, 10:52am

(97 books read)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling -- In Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts, he embarks on a special project with Dumbledore, to learn more about the origins of Voldemort and what he has done to obtain his powers.

Of the later books in the series, I think that this is the strongest. The plot moves well, there are surprises and revelations and big emotional moments (both positive and negative), and as always, the characters shine. It's a good lead-up to the final book in the series.

Out 13, 2020, 1:51pm

>120 foggidawn: Yay for date #3! Hope it goes smoothly and you both feel a bit more comfortable. :)

>121 foggidawn: Is Rob ready for the series to end? Even in re-reads I always feel a little sad when I reach the end.

Out 13, 2020, 2:24pm

>122 MickyFine: Thanks! I feel like I'm about to the point of feeling more excited than anxious about going out with him, which was certainly not the case for the first or second dates. And Rob is excited to find out how the story ends (I have warned him about the high body count of the final book), but we're both more excited to hear more about Eugenides, so we're pausing the HP reread for The Return of the Thief. We started it last night, and I like it already, of course.

Out 13, 2020, 5:42pm

>123 foggidawn: Aww, yay! I'm happy you're reaching the tipping point between excited and anxious. That's a lovely point.

Hope your MWT read is everything you hope. :)

Out 13, 2020, 8:19pm

>112 quondame: Sue, I await a procedure in November. If it is successful in controlling my pain, I think I may look for another dog. Lilly is quite lonely since my partner Will died 18 months ago. She was with him all day long before I retired. When he passed, we both grieved. I took her to the vet who gave me medication for her. My way of dealing with the loss of someone I loved dearly for 20 years, was to welcome my neighbor, now good friend, into my house. She is an incredible person who listened.

Thanks for sharing your success story!

Out 13, 2020, 8:20pm

>123 foggidawn: Congratulations on finding someone who seems to be a great match for you!

Out 14, 2020, 1:12pm

>124 MickyFine: It is nice, though the anxiety is still there, of course.

>125 Whisper1: Glad you have made a new friend to talk to.

>126 Whisper1: Thanks. It's early days yet, and my tendency is to assume that things won't work out. My life experience thus far seems to have made me a pessimist. But I'm trying to stay positive!

Editado: Out 23, 2020, 9:24am

(98 books read)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell -- The following is my review from the first time I read this book.) Cather writes fanfic -- and she writes it really well. In fact, her long-running fic, based on the über-popular Simon Snow fantasy series, has thousands of fans. And when she goes off to college, Cath plans to continue writing -- in fact, when she gets to college, she finds that the comfort of writing the fanfic is all that keeps her going some days. Her roommate is intimidating, the campus is overwhelming, and her twin sister, who opted to live in a different residence hall, wants to have nothing to do with Cath. Meanwhile, her father may be kind of self-destructing back at home. But it's not all downers -- Cath is accepted into an upper-level writing course, eventually makes peace with her roommate, and meets Levi, an ag student who is relentlessly charming (and who admits to not having read the Simon Snow series. "But I've seen the movies!" he protests). Then again, her lit professor views fanfic as little more than plagiarism, and Levi . . . is dating Cath's roommate. And then there's Nick, who meets with Cath regularly to collaborate on a writing project . . . Well, it's complicated. But throughout, Cath handles things with wit and humor.

This may be my favorite Rainbow Rowell book yet, probably because I was just like Cath when I started college (well, except for the whole fanfic thing). If I had been at a big school, I too would have been too introverted and intimidated to locate the dining hall. So there's an element of nostalgia playing into my love for this book. Also, while the Simon Snow series doesn't actually exist, it's pretty obviously a stand-in for Harry Potter (my love for which is well-documented). I've never wandered into the wilds of fanfic, but I can sympathize with wanting more and more of a series. Cath writes slash, basically analogous to Harry/Draco (just, yikes), but it's her enthusiasm and obvious skill that's really impressive, and the way that she has to find her way from writing in the comfortable, familiar world created by another author, to creating her own stories and finding her own voice and strength as a writer. (I can't help but wonder if Rowell is partially basing the character on Cassandra Clare, who got her start writing Harry Potter fanfic featuring Draco.) The romance aspect of the book ties up almost too neatly, but there are so many things going on in the story that I wasn't bothered by that -- it's less about Cath and her romance, and more a general coming-of-age story that includes a romance.

I'm not sure that I would recommend this book as widely as I would Eleanor & Park -- but on the other hand, this is the book I'm more likely to go back and reread. I would definitely recommend it to fellow Harry Potter fans, fellow introverted college students or former college students, and particularly to fans of fanfic.

Out 23, 2020, 10:32am

(99 books read)

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee -- Fourteen teens growing up in San Francisco's Japantown are forever changed by the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the events immediately following -- specifically, the forced relocation of Americans of Japanese heritage to internment camps. Their stories are woven together and torn apart over the remaining war years as they grow from teens to young adults in the camps, surrounded by barbed wire and guard towers.

This is a powerful story. The characters are so real that I almost expect to meet them next time I venture out. Recommended to anyone who is interested in reading more about this dark time in American history.

Editado: Out 23, 2020, 10:46am

Hi, all, life update:

I had my third date with the guy I mentioned above. He wants to "be friends" and "see where it goes," which in my experience has been: nowhere. But it's not like I have anything else going on at present, and we do enjoy spending time together, so maybe things will develop.

I'm a bit gloomy in general at present -- they're restructuring the departments at work, eliminating mine, and shuffling me sideways into a different position. It's not a demotion, but it feels like one. I'll have a different boss (I loved working for my boss) and won't see as much of the co-workers that I've built a rapport with over the past four years. I may still get to do some functions of my current job, but it will be a big change. It may be time to think about moving on to whatever is next in my life. (I hate moving. I hate job hunting. Ugh.) At least I still have a job; this is not the worst thing that has ever happened to me; chin up, things may not be as bad as they seem... But still. It was my dream job.

Out 23, 2020, 11:11am

>130 foggidawn: Oh Foggi, I'm sorry to hear about the restructuring at your work. *hugs* Sending all the supportive thoughts as you consider next steps.

Yay for re-reading Fangirl! I hope it brought some needed comfort.

Out 23, 2020, 12:24pm

>128 foggidawn: Excellent review, thanks for sharing and including your relating to how thoughtful it was for introverts in a big sea of college students.
I've read one R-Rowell book so far (Attachments) and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. As I wrote in my review, There were many places where the author had me laughing my head off.

Out 23, 2020, 12:35pm

>130 foggidawn: I'm sorry Foggi :( I can't imagine the feeling of having your dream job taken from you!

Out 23, 2020, 12:53pm

Good luck foggi!

Out 23, 2020, 1:15pm

>130 foggidawn: sorry about your dream job. Perhaps your next dream job is just around the corner...?

My husband of 40 years was "just a friend".

Then something happened, about 41 years ago...

Out 23, 2020, 3:03pm

>131 MickyFine: Thanks. I foresee a lot of comfort reading over the next few weeks.

>132 SandyAMcPherson: Yes, I love Attachments, too. It and Fangirl vie for the position of favorite among her works, with me.

>133 curioussquared: Thank you. Yeah, it's been a rough few days.

>134 compskibook: Thanks.

>135 fuzzi: Maybe? Or maybe I'll just have a job that I'm okay with for a while, while I figure things out. And yeah, keeping my fingers crossed for "something" to happen. :-)

Out 23, 2020, 3:13pm

>130 foggidawn: What a bummer about the job shift. I'd say go look for work you want to do. Not that you need to, just a suggestion from someone who's only distantly familiar with your concerns.

Out 23, 2020, 4:17pm

>136 foggidawn: Comfort reading (and watching) is the best thing sometimes. Something familiar while everything else is not.

Out 24, 2020, 9:06am

Big hugs about the job, friend. It stinks to lose/ get shifted away from your dream job, and working for a library is a scary thing right now, job security-wise. I'll keep my fingers crossed that things work out better than you could have hoped, because you deserve it.

Out 26, 2020, 9:48am

>137 quondame: My plan right now is to keep an eye out for things that really appeal to me, while I hang on here. This coming year is going to be a busy one for me, so probably best to focus on only the opportunities that seem like they would be the best fit for me. In a year, if things are not going well here, I can broaden my search a bit.

>138 MickyFine: Yep. I started a reread via audiobook this weekend that I'm really enjoying -- The War that Saved My Life.

>139 scaifea: Thanks, friend. I know you've been dealing with the insecurity of a library job, too. It makes me question whether I want to keep working for libraries, since this (a big change based on the whim of a director in the middle of unsettled economic times) has happened to me before -- last time, it was the tail end of the Great Recession, and I lost my job entirely. But I think this sort of nonsense goes on in every industry, and I have to do something, and I do believe that libraries are a good thing, so...

Out 26, 2020, 9:59am

(100 books read)

The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue -- Sumac is the middle child in a big, nontraditional family (two moms and two dads who decided to have kids together, then won the lottery, hence their unconventional surname). Life is great in their loving if chaotic household, until an estranged grandfather comes to live with them because he is developing dementia and can't get by on his own any more. Grumps, as the kids secretly call him, disapproves of many aspects of their family, and Sumac can't help but think that he might be more comfortable somewhere else -- anywhere else!

I enjoyed this story, though I did find it a little precious at times -- "crunchy twee" was the term I mentally coined. There are a lot of family in-jokes (all four parents have punny nicknames) and a lot of borderline preachy sentiments. I think young readers who are drawn to realistic stories about large families will enjoy this book, though adults (like me) may find it just a bit much.

Out 26, 2020, 1:14pm

>140 foggidawn: I hear you. While my job has been pretty secure there have been times where I haven't loved everything going on in my organization that have made me consider what I would do outside library land.

Have the piles of books started arriving for your review yet for your award panel?

Out 26, 2020, 2:46pm

I'm sorry about your work situation. Sounds like you have a good plan for going forward.

Out 26, 2020, 3:09pm

>142 MickyFine: No piles of books yet. I keep waiting and expecting, but last time I was on a committee I don't think they started this early.

>143 aktakukac: Thanks. It's all still so uncertain, and because I am human, I hate uncertainty.

Out 27, 2020, 7:18am

>140 foggidawn: You're not wrong about that sort of thing happening in other fields. Tomm's organization is going through yet another reorg (the third or fourth in as many years - yoicks), and although he's safe, it's still rough.

>141 foggidawn: Ooof, I don't respond well to preachy, so I think I'll avoid this one.

Out 27, 2020, 10:53am

>145 scaifea: Yeah, it was preachiness that I by and large agree with, but I still found it a bit too much.

Out 28, 2020, 3:50pm

>141 foggidawn: Book #100 💥‼️

Celebrations in order ~

Out 28, 2020, 4:39pm

Yay! 100 books!

Out 29, 2020, 6:44am

Out 29, 2020, 7:43am

This user has been removed as spam.

Editado: Nov 2, 2020, 9:28am

(101 books read)

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley -- (Review from my original read of the book) Ten-year-old Ada has never left her family's London apartment. Her mother is ashamed of Ada's club foot and refuses to let her appear in public. When Ada's little brother Jamie comes home from school with the news that children in London are being evacuated to the countryside because of the danger of bombings, Ada hatches a daring plan: she knows her mother would not give her permission to go, but what if she were to go anyway? She sneaks out with Jamie on the morning the children are to leave, and just like that, enters what might as well be another world. In the country, Jamie and Ada are placed with Susan, a spinster who did not intend to take in children. Slowly, Ada and Jamie learn to trust Susan, and Susan learns to care for, and even love, the children. But what will happen when the war ends and Ada and Jamie must return to London?

This book has a multitude of strengths (plot, pacing, setting to name a few) but the characters are what make it really stand out. Each of the three main characters has a distinct and beautifully rendered emotional journey as the story progresses, and I was completely wrapped up in their lives while reading. Highly recommended!

This time I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the wonderful Jayne Entwistle. If you like audiobooks, this one is a treat.

Editado: Nov 2, 2020, 9:35am

(102 books read)

The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley -- (Review from my original read of the book) As World War II rages on, Ada, Jamie, and their guardian Susan face new challenges. I'd hate to spoil anything, so I think that's all I'll say in summary. Instead, let me kvell a bit: I didn't think that this book could possibly be as good as its predecessor (The War That Saved My Life), but it was! Bradley writes excellent characters with all their complicated emotions so very well. After I finished this book, I just hugged it for a while. So good! If you liked the first book, be sure to get your hands on this one!

Once again, I listened to the audiobook this time around, and it was just as excellent as the first book of the duology.

Nov 2, 2020, 9:49am

>152 foggidawn: I need to get round to this one; I loved the first book so much.

Nov 3, 2020, 9:53am

>151 foggidawn: book bullet! Argh!

Editado: Nov 4, 2020, 11:18am

>153 scaifea: Yep, yep, yep. I don't love the second book *quite* as much as the first, but it's close.

>154 fuzzi: You have to watch out for those.

Editado: Nov 4, 2020, 11:19am

(103 books read)

(Note: This review contains spoilers for earlier books in the series, particularly Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Leah on the Offbeat.)

Love, Creekwood: A Simonverse Novella by Becky Albertalli -- It's the freshman year of college for Simon, Bram, Leah, and Abby. Simon and Bram are at separate schools, experiencing the agony of the long-distance relationship, while Leah and Abby are roommates. Can Simon and Bram's relationship survive the distance? And will Leah ever feel comfortable using "the L word" to describe her feelings for Abby?

This quick little bite of a story is told entirely through emails, which means that the reader does not get to see much of the "action" first-hand. You can tell that the author brushed up against the limitations of the format in some places. I also found it super frustrating when there were group emails, as the audiobook narrators had to read off each of the group's email addresses before getting to the content of the email, text that would be easy to skip or skim if reading the print book. Apart from that, there's just not much story here. The author clearly doesn't want to put her characters through interpersonal conflict, so the only real problem that the characters face in the entire novel is that of Simon and Bram's long-distance relationship and how much they hate being apart.

If you really love these characters, this is a nice little glimpse into their world. I'd recommend text rather than audio, not due to any deficiency on the part of the narrators, but simply because the format doesn't translate well to audio. If you haven't read the earlier books in the series, you will probably not appreciate this one, as it requires prior investment in the characters and their relationships.

Nov 9, 2020, 8:37pm

>151 foggidawn: Mark gave me this book for Secret Santa last year and I haven't read it yet. I think I'll move it up the pile, foggi!

Nov 9, 2020, 10:47pm

>151 foggidawn: & >152 foggidawn: You caught me too with those two books, Foggi - well and truly book bulleted.

Nov 10, 2020, 12:06pm

Hi foggi.
I haven't visited here this month. One thing that troubles me is the way "Talk" pops my starred threads with the most unread at the top, then descending.

I prefer the old design, where recency dictated the list. I used to be able to start at the bottom of the 'unread' threads and just work my way up. I don't think we are able to adjust this aspect of the threads however.

Anyway, I see you are racking up the books-read. Hope they are satisfying all through this month.

Nov 10, 2020, 12:16pm

>159 SandyAMcPherson: Sandy, if you click "Last Message" at the top of the Talk page you can sort the messages by recency.

Nov 11, 2020, 11:11am

>160 norabelle414: Thank you! I will run off now to do exactly that.

Nov 11, 2020, 12:27pm

>157 ronincats: Always nice to pick up a BB for a book you already own!

>158 PaulCranswick: It's rare that I can do that for you, so enjoy, Paul!

>159 SandyAMcPherson: >160 norabelle414: >161 SandyAMcPherson: Mine are still sorting by recency, so I hope you were able to get yours sorted as you like!

I've been a bit absent lately. I have a few more books read, will try to review those soon. I had a great weekend, but coming back to work meant everything crashing back down on me, so the last few days have been hard. Hope you are all well!

Nov 12, 2020, 10:01am

(104 & 105 books read)


Giant Days, Volume 1 and Giant Days, Volume 2 by John W. Allison -- Susan, Esther, and Daisy are three weeks into their university education, and by virtue of being next-door neighbors in the dorm, they've formed a fast friendship, despite being very different in personality.

I'm not going to review each volume of this graphic novel series individually, but just know that it's a fun read that evokes those college days for me (and many others, based on its recent popularity around here). Just what I needed to get me through the end of the year.

Editado: Nov 12, 2020, 10:06am

(106 books read)

Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner -- I've long since given up summarizing these books, and I think I need to read this one again before I can even give my final opinion on it. It's good, but I still feel like I was missing some things. So, expect to see this one again soon in my "read" list. In the meantime, just know that you need to read it if you've liked the rest of the series -- and if you haven't read the rest of the series, this is not the place to start.

Nov 12, 2020, 11:52am

>163 foggidawn: Yay for Giant Days!

Nov 12, 2020, 2:53pm

>164 foggidawn: This one just popped up in my e-book holds list as available.
I downloaded it last night, but haven't started it.

I can't clearly remember where the adventure left off... I own only one book in the whole series, so I think I'll not be trying a re-read anytime soon. Too many other TBR BBs.

I do agree, this is definitely a series to read in order of publication.

Nov 13, 2020, 7:51am

>165 MickyFine: Right?!

>166 SandyAMcPherson: Yes, and some of the things in the previous two books happened concurrently, and some of the things that happen in this book overlap with the last book, so it's a little tricky that way. My plan is to reread just this book, and then reread the whole series in a year or two, to get a full picture of the final events of the series.

Nov 13, 2020, 8:04am

Skipping right over that MWT review because I'm still working on my series reread before getting to the new one. I'm so excited, though!

Nov 13, 2020, 9:08am

Editado: Nov 13, 2020, 3:13pm

>168 scaifea: Hi Amber.
~~ No spoiler, so safe to read ~~
I started the MWT final book last night because it was beckoning me when I should have been going to sleep... *grin*

I'm enjoying it very much, even though it's over a year since I read the previous one in the series (Thick as Thieves ). I was one of the few (based on review ratings) who thought T-as-T was a very good novel. So far (all of about mid-chapter four) Return of the Thief is a very attractive tale.

Editado: Nov 14, 2020, 8:47am

>170 SandyAMcPherson: I'm with you on Thick as Thieves being excellent, but then again, I think every one of the books in the series is brilliant.

ETA: Morning, foggi!

Nov 14, 2020, 10:05pm

>164 foggidawn: I have only read the first book in the series but I really did like it. The series will be on my to do list next year.

Nov 16, 2020, 9:08am

>170 SandyAMcPherson: It's got a 4.23 average right now on LT, which I think of as pretty good. I also enjoyed it, though the first three will always be my very favorites of the series.

>171 scaifea: Good morning! Carry on with the Queen's Thief love!

>172 PaulCranswick: Yay! The first book is brilliant, but they get even more complex and delightful as they go.

I spent most of the weekend cleaning my kitchen, or taking breaks from cleaning my kitchen. I had a bunch of other things I wanted to do, but I did not get to them. I did finish a book; more on that in a bit. This is going to be a busy week at work, and I have another date with the guy I've been seeing -- our fourth! I wonder when I will stop counting? We'll be hiking again -- COVID certainly limits dating options, and with the current spike in cases, I don't want to be indoors with a bunch of other people any more than I have to be. Good thing we both enjoy spending time outdoors!

Nov 16, 2020, 1:26pm

>173 foggidawn: Good luck on date 4! Kudos for persevering, especially when COVID makes an out of comfort zone thing even stranger. I had a guy I went out with pre-Mr. Fine that I still refer to as "Seven Date Wonder Steve." So maybe eight dates is when you stop counting? ;)

Nov 16, 2020, 1:39pm

>174 MickyFine: At our current leisurely pace (due to a combination of COVID caution, living far apart, and both of us being pretty awkward and tentative), eight dates will get us at least to early spring!

Nov 16, 2020, 3:14pm

>175 foggidawn: Ah, spring romance. ;)

Have you considered something like Netflix Party (which Google informs me is now Teleparty) for a movie date night? Saves you from having to bundle up in the winter and easy for a distanced date.

Nov 16, 2020, 3:33pm

>173 foggidawn: Agreed that not much can compare with the first three books of the series, but I did think Return of the Thief was excellent (because they're all excellent :D)

>176 MickyFine: My best friend and I have been using Teleparty to watch the newest season of Call the Midwife together (a tradition we wanted to carry into COVID times) and it's been great! We do a phone call at the same time so we can talk and aren't limited to the text chat.

Nov 16, 2020, 4:17pm

>176 MickyFine: I don't have Netflix (shocking, I know), but I'll have to check with him and see what he thinks of doing something similar. Back in the heyday of the Hogwarts Express group here on LT, we used to do group movie watch sessions, where we all logged into a private chat room and started the movie at the same time. Probably a good idea in January and February, when the weather here is likely to get nasty, and when I'll have less flexibility because of the shift in my job duties.

Nov 16, 2020, 5:33pm

>178 foggidawn: Not so shocking. Some variation would work just as well. Hopefully you can figure out something that works for when the weather is less conducive to outdoorsiness. Mr. Fine and I definitely bonded a bunch sharing favourite shows with the other (we're still working through some of the shows we started back when we were dating).

Nov 17, 2020, 8:21am

>179 MickyFine: I do think it will be a good idea for us. So far, we haven't done many phone calls, but there's been a lot of texting -- pretty much every day, even if its just a quick "good morning" or "good night."

Nov 17, 2020, 12:20pm

>180 foggidawn: Ah the texting stage. That part is fun. :)

Editado: Nov 20, 2020, 8:20am

>177 curioussquared: Sorry I missed you up there! Yes, all of the Queen's Thief books are excellent. And thanks for the shared movie/TV watching tips.

>181 MickyFine: Ah, a stage, is it? Since we started with the chat function of the online dating app and switched over to normal texting after our first date, it feels like we've always been in this "stage." Yesterday's date was lovely: we walked several miles along the towpath of the Ohio & Erie Canal, and explored a little historic village nearby. There was considerable hand-holding. He brought me a dozen eggs from his chickens; I brought him some of the pumpkin roll I baked earlier. Our manner of courtship apparently involves lots of food gifts, as well as lots of hiking.

I feel like I'm practically buried in books, without actually doing much reading. I do have one review still to write, but right now I'm writing a lot of booktalks (very similar to review-writing) for work, and in my free time I'm still trying to organize my personal shelves (I really want to get that done this month, but the month is flying by dangerously fast). I'm currently reading Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade, and listening to The Moment of Tenderness, a collection of Madeleine L'Engle short stories. Both are good, but I barely have time to read (or even listen) between everything else I have going on.

Nov 19, 2020, 3:19pm

>182 foggidawn: Well for Mr. Fine and I, we texted pretty intensely for first few months of our courtship. The frequency tapered off after that although we saw each other in person more so it balanced out. Glad to hear date four was a success. :)

Enjoy your reorganization project! I love sorting books.

Nov 19, 2020, 6:17pm

>183 MickyFine: Thanks! I hope to actually (gasp!) get rid of some books, but we all know what a struggle that is.

Editado: Nov 20, 2020, 9:05am

(107 books read)

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune -- Linus Baker lives in a gray, rainy city, doing a dull, demanding job. He's a caseworker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, and he believes in the work he does, but also strives to maintain a professional distance from the children he encounters in the course of his work. This becomes more difficult when he is sent on a special assignment to a very unusual orphanage, where he meets children with powers more varied and rare than any he has ever seen -- and where he meets the enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, head of the orphanage. What secrets are hidden there, in the house on the island? Why was Linus sent to observe and report on it? And what will become of the people there when his report is done?

Ahhhh, this book is so lovely! Just heartwarming. It has fantastic characters, a delightful setting, good pacing, moments of delicious humor, and it elicits all manner of happy feels. It is just the sort of book that we all need right now. I thought the ending was maybe a little too perfect, but that's really the only criticism I can level at it, and is that even really a criticism? I can see this book becoming a favorite comfort read for me.

I think Roni recommended this one -- many thanks for that!

Nov 20, 2020, 10:28am

>185 foggidawn: What a fantastic-sounding story. Great review to hook me, because "Comfort Reads 'R Us".

Nov 20, 2020, 10:45am

>186 SandyAMcPherson: Right? I'm all about the comfort reading, here in 2020.

Nov 20, 2020, 11:53am

>185 foggidawn: Yesss, this is one of my favorite reads of 2020. Just the most delightful story. So glad you were equally enamored of it!

Nov 20, 2020, 12:00pm

>185 foggidawn: I'm reading this one right now and I'm not sure if it's my current mood or the book being too hyped but I'm underwhelmed. It's fine but I'm not in love with it. Hopeful that will change but I might be the downer on this one.

Nov 20, 2020, 4:43pm

>188 curioussquared: I can see it being one of my favorites of 2020 as well.

>189 MickyFine: I get that way with over-hyped books -- and, you know, "Every reader his or her book." :-)

Nov 20, 2020, 5:24pm

>190 foggidawn: Good ole Ranganathan (whose name I spelled right the first time! go me!). We'll see if the book grows on me this weekend.

Nov 25, 2020, 8:32pm

Hello foggi, I am getting slowly caught up after being away for some months. As usual, many of your reads have caught my eye and my list.

I'm sorry to hear about the changes at work. I think you're right though, that every industry has changes and shifts and uncertainties. It's hard to think of a job that is rock-solid in these times.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Nov 26, 2020, 10:29pm

This Brit wishes to express his thanks for the warmth and friendship that has helped sustain him in this group, Foggi

Nov 30, 2020, 11:16am

>191 MickyFine: I always have to google it to make sure I got the spelling right!

>192 AMQS: Anne! So good to see you here. I'm hanging in there with regards to work. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving, too.

>193 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! I am also thankful for the friendship I've found in this group.

I read a couple of books over the past week -- I'll be back later with reviews.

Nov 30, 2020, 4:34pm

One of these days I hope to get to The House in the Cerulean Sea - glad it was a good one for you!

Dez 1, 2020, 8:18am

>195 bell7: Hope you like it when you do!

Dez 1, 2020, 8:33am

(108 books read)

The Moment of Tenderness by Madeleine L'Engle -- A collection of short stories, discovered and compiled by one of the late author's granddaughters. Many of the stories are semi-autobiographical. Most are a bit bleak, though there are moments of hope and joy and, yes, tenderness. Recommended to L'Engle completists and short story aficionados.

Dez 1, 2020, 9:04am

(109 books read)

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade -- When April posts a photo on Twitter of herself in cosplay based on her favorite show, she is body-shamed by some other fans. But she's also asked out by Marcus Caster-Rupp, star of the show. She's not super interested in him, as he comes across as a bit shallow in interviews, and she assumes he's just being kind because of the bullying, but she agrees to the date. What she doesn't expect is the undeniable attraction between them -- and what he doesn't expect is that she's actually his best online friend from the site where they both write fanfiction about the show. If he tells her who he is, he's putting his entire career in her hands, as some of his fics are critical of decisions made by the show-runners, and he could fall foul of the non-disclosure agreements he signed. But as their relationship deepens, it becomes more and more difficult for him to keep the secret from her -- and he knows that it will be hurtful to her if she ever finds out.

This is a great, body-positive romance, sweet and very steamy at times. I loved the characters, and the writing is great. If you like romance novels with a fair amount of heat, highly recommended.

Dez 1, 2020, 10:52am

>198 foggidawn: This one is already on The List but I'm happy to see you enjoyed it!

Dez 2, 2020, 12:26am

Hi foggi! It looks like I lost you quite early this year. I've more or less caught up now - phew! there's a lot going on here.

I'll just quickly say congratulations on your reading century! and Lottie looks lovely. Deadly Education may be a BB - if I can make space on my wish list.

Dez 2, 2020, 8:42am

>199 MickyFine: I think you will like it when you get to it.

>200 humouress: Hi! Welcome back! And thanks!

Dez 2, 2020, 10:50am

Revisiting >185 foggidawn: ~ Would you, or anyone else here who has read this title (The House in the Cerulean Sea), consider it a great book for an advanced reader in middle school? I'm thinking a 11 or 12 year old...

I'm also wondering if anyone can add their insights on Coraline?
Might be good to answer on my thread... I'm looking to send some YA books to family for Christmas and leaving it a bit late, I know.

Dez 2, 2020, 2:37pm

>202 SandyAMcPherson: I responded over on your thread -- or rather, Micky did, and I seconded what she had to say!

Dez 2, 2020, 4:43pm

>203 foggidawn: Thank you!

Dez 3, 2020, 5:49pm

>185 foggidawn: I've heard good things about this book. I love the cover art. :)

Dez 4, 2020, 9:49am

>204 SandyAMcPherson: You're welcome!

>205 The_Hibernator: It does have a really pretty cover.

Dez 4, 2020, 3:02pm

I haven't finished any books lately, but I will soon. I'm planing to finish up The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue tonight, because it needs to go back to the library, people are waiting for it. And I started listening to Hollowpox on my drive last weekend, but since I haven't had any reason to drive anywhere all week, I'm not sure when I will read more of it. I could switch over to paper, I suppose -- I also have it checked out in that format.

For those interested in such things, Date #5 was last night: dinner and a movie at my house. We ate lasagna and watched Clue, which he had not seen before. (He liked it -- both the food and the movie; he had at least three slices of lasagna.) We're both still super awkward; I think he was nervous, which I find really sweet. We always find plenty to talk about; this time we sat around after the movie and ate oreo cheesecake and talked about Star Trek and Firefly and other sci-fi shows and movies. (If anyone is out there judging me for dating during the pandemic, thank you for not saying anything here. I know that many people wouldn't choose to take this risk, but we both have very small social circles and all of our dates up until now have been outdoors.)

Editado: Dez 4, 2020, 3:16pm

>207 foggidawn: Yay for successful date #5! Sounds like a wonderful evening even if you're both still feeling a teensy awkward. Hang in there, sounds like he's worth it.

ETA Completely forgot to comment on the book things. Super excited for you to finish both Addie and Hollowpox, I really enjoyed both so I look forward to your thoughts.

Dez 4, 2020, 3:43pm

>207 foggidawn: Sounds like it's going okay; oreo cheesecake is always a good thing. Awkwardness isn't surprising at this point.

Stay safe :0)

Dez 4, 2020, 3:44pm

>207 foggidawn: Interested to hear your thoughts on both books as they are both on my list! I'm glad date #5 went well -- it sounds like a lovely meal and evening! Did you make the oreo cheesecake? Because that sounds amazing.

Dez 4, 2020, 4:22pm

Glad the dates continue to be going well, and it’s great that you always have plenty to talk about with him! I am thinking my next audiobook will be Nevermoor, so I will skip your review of Hollowpox when you post it. I’ve been looking forward to starting this series for a while. My younger siblings would make an Oreo dessert occasionally when we were growing up and your cheesecake reminded me of it - must hunt down the recipe now!

Dez 5, 2020, 8:58am

>207 foggidawn: It would be a lovely story if you were to find companionship and affection during the pandemic and anybody that would begrudge you that is a complete Scrooge. Your meetings sound socially very responsible!

Have a wonderful weekend, Foggy and save me some of the Oreo Cheescake.

Dez 5, 2020, 8:52pm

This New Yorker Instagram post on dating during the pandemic being like living in a Jane Austen novel made me think of you. :)

Dez 6, 2020, 12:17am

I had no idea the next Nevermoor book was out so thanks for posting about it! Queued up on phone now!

Dez 6, 2020, 12:26am

Hollowpox is in transit between libraries, so I should have it soon!

Dez 6, 2020, 12:58am

>207 foggidawn: >214 leahbird: Oh now that's on my Kindle!

Dez 6, 2020, 2:09am

Dez 6, 2020, 3:51am

>185 foggidawn: You got me with The House in the Cerulean Sea and the Queen Thief books. Curses! I mean, thank you! And happy to hear that your dating life is pretty nice right now. Good luck. : )

Dez 6, 2020, 12:13pm

Wow, so many visitors to my thread! It’s great to hear from you all!

>208 MickyFine: Thanks! As it turns out, I finished Addie and made progress on Hollowpox over the weekend, so you’ll be hearing my thoughts on at least one of them soon.

>209 humouress: Indeed! I had leftover cheesecake for breakfast this morning, as one does.

>210 curioussquared: Yes, I made the cheesecake. I used whatever recipe comes up first when Googling, and it came out very nice, though I didn’t get as fancy as they did with the toppings. A little whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce seemed sufficient for me.

>211 aktakukac: Hope you enjoy Nevermoor as much as I did!

>212 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul, that’s a lovely sentiment. And the leftover cheesecake is in the fridge, drop by any time. ;-)

>213 MickyFine: Hahahahaha! It does feel like a rather old-fashioned courtship in many ways!

>214 leahbird: Yay! Hope you love it!

>215 ronincats: Huzzah! Hope it arrives soon! Our library has scaled back how often they do transit between locations for now, due to the pandemic.

>216 quondame: Great! Glad I was able to spread the news about this one.

>217 humouress: :-D

>218 Berly: Nice! Always happy to hand out those book bullets. And thanks!

So, the sixth date followed hard on the heels of the fifth: he had taken vacation and thus had Saturday off, so since he drove over to my house Thursday, I drove over on Saturday afternoon to see his farm. It’s a very pretty property with a cute little farmhouse. We walked around the property, which is mostly hayfields bordered by wooded areas, so he brought his chainsaw and I my work gloves to help him clear a couple of fallen trees and branches around the edges of the fields. (I probably shouldn’t start this story, “On my last date, I followed a man with a chainsaw into the woods...”) ;-D Then, after our walk, we went back inside and looked at some of his books. He reads a lot, mostly tending towards history, science fiction, and books about chicken husbandry based on the selection I saw. I realize that, even without my serial-killer opening line, it doesn’t sound like a super romantic date, but it was really very nice. I feel spoiled, having had two dates in one week. Hoping to fit in another before Christmas, if the weather cooperates.

I did a fair amount of reading over the last couple days, so I’ll probably write book reviews later today or tomorrow. I have a lot of Christmas sewing to do, which is not conducive to reading, so we’ll see how many more books I finish this year. I’d love to get to 125, but that seems rather ambitious at this point.

Dez 6, 2020, 1:03pm

>219 foggidawn: romance fades, friendship lasts much longer. 😊

Dez 6, 2020, 2:14pm

>219 foggidawn: Romance is in the eye of the beholder. All that matters you had a great time. Yay! *hugs*

Dez 7, 2020, 12:58pm

>219 foggidawn: Hooray for date #6! Chainsaws aside, it sounded really nice :)

Dez 7, 2020, 2:40pm

>220 fuzzi: That's definitely what we're aiming for.

>221 MickyFine: True! Thanks!

>222 curioussquared: It was really nice. :-)

Dez 7, 2020, 6:59pm

>219 foggidawn: That sounds wonderful!

Dez 7, 2020, 8:22pm

>219 foggidawn: The chainsaws are the stuff of lasting memory and just the sort of story to tell future generations if that is not getting too far ahead. My only concern is books on chicken husbandry - who'd want to marry a chicken!!! (only joking) A partner who doesn't read is not for me so it is good to see that he has some of the right habits at least!

Dez 8, 2020, 9:29am

>224 compskibook: Yep. :-)

>225 PaulCranswick: LOL! Yes, one of the reasons I initially "swiped right" on the dating app was because he mentioned liking to read. That's surprisingly rare, I've found.

Dez 8, 2020, 11:51am

foggi, your dates sound lovely, and I think the chainsaw beginning is a great potential story. I bought Addie LaRue for Marina for Christmas based on comments here. I placed a huge book order in the fall and realized after placing it that I hadn't added Hollowpox. It was the first title I added to my next order!

Dez 8, 2020, 1:40pm

>219 foggidawn: I shared your chainsaw date description with my 92yo father, and he had a good laugh.

Thank you.

Dez 8, 2020, 2:03pm

>227 AMQS: Ooh, I hope Marina likes it! I still need to write that review -- I'm falling a bit behind. With the holidays approaching at speed, I'm not finding large chunks of time for review writing.

>228 fuzzi: Always glad to bring someone joy with my goofiness. :-)

Editado: Dez 8, 2020, 5:17pm

>219 foggidawn: A guy who lives on a farm AND reads books?!?! You have somehow managed to find my perfect man.

If he doesn't already have Storey's Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds, it's my favorite chicken book and would make a great gift. ;)

Also, if you need viewing recommendations for the cold month dates, the BBC Historic Farm Series is lovely viewing AND has amazing companion books! Victorian Farm is the best!

Dez 8, 2020, 6:00pm

(110 books read)

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue -- 18th century French peasant Adeline LaRue wants to live her life on her own terms, not under the control of a husband. She prays to every god she has heard of -- the Christian God, but also the little gods of wood and stream -- and for a while, it seems to work, as one potential suitor, then another, turns his eye in another direction. But when she makes on last, desperate prayer on what would have been her wedding day, Someone else answers her prayer. Addie sells her soul to the devil in exchange for freedom for as long as she wants it, but there's a catch (when you make a deal with the devil, there's always a catch): she will be unremembered. As soon as she leaves another person's line of sight, they will forget her completely. For nearly 300 years, Addie lives this lonely existence, reveling in her freedom to explore all of the world's wonders, but then, one day, somebody remembers her...

Schwab's writing is always marked by tight plotting and complex characters, and this book is no exception to that rule. It's a fascinating read (I quibbled a bit at some of the minor historical details, but I won't go into that), and the emotions in the book are likewise deep and moving. If you enjoy this sort of story, I definitely recommend it.

Dez 8, 2020, 6:09pm

(111-113 books read)


Giant Days. Volume 3, 4, and 5 by John Allison -- I'm continuing to enjoy this series very much. I'm not going to review each individual volume as I continue to read them, but if you like slice-of-life college stories, this series is great fun.

Dez 8, 2020, 6:20pm

(114 books read)

Twins by Varian Johnson, illustrated by Shannon Wright -- Maureen and Francine have shared pretty much everything for all of their lives, but this year Francine – Fran – is pulling away, going by a new nickname and pursuing different interests. In a fit of pique, Maureen decides to run for class president – the same position that Fran has been planning to pursue for months. When the competition turns ugly, will the feuding sisters go too far?

This is a fun middle-grade graphic novel that will appeal to fans of Raina Telgemeier and Jerry Craft. The warm family relationships at the heart of the story and the stresses and strains of beginning middle school will ring true for many young readers.

Dez 8, 2020, 6:26pm

>230 leahbird: He does indeed have that exact book! I'll have to look into the BBC Historic Farm series, sounds fascinating. Thanks!

Dez 9, 2020, 8:23am

>233 foggidawn: Intriguing. I put it on my "YA genre possibles" list. I like that there are "warm family relationships at the heart of the story".

Dez 9, 2020, 8:46am

Honestly, foggi, if you don't end up writing a romance novel about meeting and dating a chainsaw-wielding chicken farmer who reads - and in the middle of a pandemic, no less - then what are you even doing with your life? I mean, I'm ready to pre-order that bad boy right now.

Dez 9, 2020, 8:58am

>236 scaifea: bwahaha! Love it.

Dez 9, 2020, 10:53am

>231 foggidawn: Yay, I'm glad you liked it. But I want to know your historical quibbles! Inquiring minds...

>236 scaifea: Snort.

Dez 9, 2020, 6:22pm

Oh yay, you liked Addie! That's one of my top reads of the year.

Your dates sound lovely, and I hope they continue towards staying fun and less awkwardness.

>236 scaifea: You got a *snort* out of me too.

Dez 10, 2020, 6:55am

>236 scaifea: oh, no, it's been done!

Chainsaw Honeymoon

But she'll need a different cover...

Dez 10, 2020, 7:20am

Happy Thursday!

>231 foggidawn: What a great storyline.

I enjoy reading about your dating escapades. Sounds like they are getting to be more comfortable. Bonus that he reads a lot!

Dez 10, 2020, 9:40am

>236 scaifea: Ditto ^^^ what Amber said!

Dez 10, 2020, 4:27pm

>235 SandyAMcPherson: Yes, the relationship between the sisters is key, but their parents and older half-brother are also important characters, as well as their school friends, of course.

>236 scaifea: I'll get right on that, after I finish the platonic odd-couple story of the Eastern Orthodox Christian and her Reform Jewish housemate. My life has not always been this eventful, I assure you.

>237 fuzzi: :-D

>238 MickyFine: Well, apart from the usual historical novel concerns about people being a little too modern in their speech and attitudes for the time, I question that a peasant would have had a wedding dress that much fancier than her normal clothes, and if she did, they probably would have dyed it, because white wedding dresses weren't really in fashion until Queen Victoria got married in one. I'm not an expert on the issue, though, so maybe Schwab did more research on it and turned up some information about what brides wore in early 18th century rural France. But it gave me pause.

>239 bell7: Thanks! I feel like we get slightly less awkward each time, though we're drawing from a deep well of awkward, so it may be a while until things feel completely easy and natural. I do think he was particularly nervous when he visited my house, because he seemed more confident showing me around his own place.

>240 fuzzi: Yikes! I'm hoping for a very different story from what I imagine that one to be! ;-)

>241 figsfromthistle: Thanks! Yes, the fact that he enjoys reading is a big plus.

>242 SandyAMcPherson: Hahaha! Yes, Amber really hit the nail on the head with her comment.

We're going to look at Christmas lights Monday evening. Hopefully, the chainsaw will stay at home. ;-)

Dez 10, 2020, 6:00pm

(115-117 books read)


Giant Days, Volume 6, 7, & 8 by John Allison -- More delightfully fun college stories. I have all but the last volume on hand, so I expect I will rip through them over the next few days.

Dez 10, 2020, 8:50pm

>244 foggidawn: You're about to pass where I am in the series. Glad you're still enjoying it.

Dez 11, 2020, 9:25am

>245 MickyFine: I am enjoying it very much. I started out thinking that I could just read one every now and then and make them last a while, but now I am reading 1-2 per day, so...

Dez 11, 2020, 12:00pm

I've been alternating them between other books so that I don't blitz through them too fast because I don't want it to end.

Dez 11, 2020, 1:26pm

>247 MickyFine: I know what you mean, but I'm at the point where I can't stop myself. They're just what I need at the moment. Also, they're going to really help my reading totals for the year!

Editado: Dez 14, 2020, 9:00am

>219 foggidawn: 'He reads a lot'

Snabble him.

Dez 14, 2020, 9:05am

Dez 15, 2020, 11:14am

Date #7 was last night -- we drove around and looked at Christmas lights in a little town midway between our homes. A little conversation, a little Christmas music, and I brought cookies and hot chocolate (well, warm chocolate; my thermos proved unequal to the task of keeping it actually hot for that long) to have as a snack after our drive. It was lovely, and there were, for the record, no chainsaws in evidence. :-)

Dez 15, 2020, 11:57am

(118-120 books read)


Giant Days, Volume 9, 10, & 11 by John Allison -- Continuing to devour this fun series -- three books to go, plus the bonus prequel if I really can't bear to disconnect.

Dez 15, 2020, 12:22pm

Sounds like a lovely date, Foggi! I love a good Christmas light viewing. :)

Dez 15, 2020, 1:16pm

Yay, a fun date! Sounds delightful :)

>252 foggidawn: I am devouring these at a similar rate. I may or may not have finished four volumes yesterday... I'm reading them on my phone via Hoopla and it's something about the easy access, I think; I just can't stop reading.

Dez 15, 2020, 1:26pm

>253 MickyFine: It was very nice. :-)

>254 curioussquared: I read a few of them on my phone via Hoopla as well, but it made my eyes tired, and I got irritated with having to zoom in and scroll around, so I made sure to pick up the rest of the series next time I was able to get to the library.

Dez 15, 2020, 1:29pm

>255 foggidawn: I was doing a lot of zooming and scrolling but then I switched to viewing panel by panel which helped, with occasional zooming out to see how a whole page works together. This is the only time I've ever wanted an iPad :D

Dez 16, 2020, 7:50am

Oooh, which town (if you don't mind my asking)? We're lucky to have some excellent lights right here in our development, and it's great to see them during our evening walks.

Dez 16, 2020, 11:54am

>256 curioussquared: I had the same thought -- I rarely want a tablet because I can do so much on my phone, but reading on the phone is definitely not fun.

>257 scaifea: Wooster.

Dez 17, 2020, 7:58am

>257 scaifea: Ah, the town my MIL insists on pronouncing as WOOOOster. Drives me batshit crazy. Neat little town, though.

Dez 17, 2020, 10:35am

Ok, now I want to know how it is pronounced because I'm pronouncing it (in my head) like Bertie's last name.

Dez 17, 2020, 10:40am

>260 MickyFine: Micky: I pronounce it somewhere between wuss-ter and wooster (with woo being similar to a brief ghostly boo!), but honestly, I don't know if that's the correct way. But really emphasizing the -oo- isn't right, surely.

Dez 17, 2020, 12:39pm

I lived in northeastern Connecticut for about 20 years, just a short drive from Worcester. I heard the town referred to as Wuss-turr, emphasis on the first syllable. Gloucester is Gluss-turr. Norwich is Norrrch. Greenwich is Grehn-ich.

Dez 17, 2020, 12:49pm

Wow, you people name your towns weird names. Not easy ones like Opelousas or Natchitoches or Zwolle or Tangapahoa like we use in Louisiana...

Editado: Dez 17, 2020, 2:50pm

>262 fuzzi: Correct, correct, correct, and correct. (As far as my feelings on the matter go, at least.)

>263 drneutron: *SNORK!*

Dez 17, 2020, 4:01pm

>264 scaifea: agreed. Of course, there's more...

In South Carolina Beaufort is Biew-furt (rhymes with "view").

In North Carolina Beaufort is Bow-firt (rhymes with "show").

Ain't regionalisms grand?

Dez 17, 2020, 4:32pm

I have a coworker who says Wooster's pronunciation rhymes with rooster, and another who says it the way Amber does. They are both native Ohioans, although from opposite sides of the state. The coworker I would like to ask who probably has the best idea is on vacation this week. She goes to Wooster almost every year for the Buckeye Book Fair.

Dez 19, 2020, 5:39pm

Since we're playing with town name pronunciation (if I may?),

... in Saskatchewan (and that is also mispronounced by furriners all the time), we have a small village called "Bienfait" (because the province has a contingent of French-speaking peoples from back in the 1700's).

Anyway, the pronunciation has evolved (very unpleasantly, imho) to "Bean-fate". Many French and Spanish words here have suffered considerably.

An irrelevant factoid on a Saturday afternoon...

Dez 24, 2020, 2:29pm

>267 SandyAMcPherson: ha! How does a native Saskatchewan pronounce Saskatchewan?

There's a small town in eastern NC "Conetoe", NOT pronounced "Cone-toe", but "kuh NEET tah". Uh huh.

Editado: Dez 24, 2020, 10:36pm

>268 fuzzi: Too hard to write out - subtle and a give away if you know how/what to listen for.
"Conetoe"! I love that. Thanks

PS Have a really decent Yuletide festival. Hi to Foggi while I'm at it!
Lots of images going the rounds, so I'll just say Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Goodnight. (quoting Clement Clarke Moore, 1949 edition).

Dez 24, 2020, 5:30pm

Dez 24, 2020, 5:33pm

>262 fuzzi: Luckily when I lived in Connecticut, I lived in Wilton, which pretty much stays Wilton. LOL

Foggi--Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas (if you are into that holiday) and a Happy New Year.

May 2021 bring you less need for masks, loads of peace and joy, good health and, of course, books! And another date!

Dez 25, 2020, 1:17am

Happy Holidays Foggi!

Dez 25, 2020, 1:20am

Wishing you and yours the very best of the season.

Dez 25, 2020, 3:26am

I hope you get some of those at least, Foggy, as we all look forward to a better 2021.

Dez 27, 2020, 4:46pm

Thank you all for the holiday wishes (and the linguistic fun)! Hope all who celebrated holidays over the past several days enjoyed them! I have finished a few more books, so I’ll be writing reviews some time in the next few days.

Dez 31, 2020, 5:48pm

(121 books read)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens -- It's our family tradition to read this aloud every year, so I've probably read it 30+ times. I still love it.

Dez 31, 2020, 5:54pm

(122 books read)

At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon -- An old favorite and a comfort read, to get me through the last few days of the year.

Dez 31, 2020, 9:31pm


As the year turns, friendship continues

Dez 31, 2020, 9:41pm

>278 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!

I'll probably start a thread in the new group tomorrow, but first...

Dez 31, 2020, 9:49pm

(123-125 books read)


Giant Days, Volume 12, 13, & 14 by John Allison -- I finished it! The end of the final volume was a little weird. but all in all, a fun romp. I want to hug all of my college friends now.

Dez 31, 2020, 10:00pm

So, I reached my modified reading goal by the skin of my teeth. (Thanks, Giant Days!)

This hasn't been a great year in many ways, but I've read lots of good books and had lots of good experiences, too. (Including Date #8 a couple days before I left town -- is this where I stop counting, Micky? I brought dinner to his house, and then we went for a drive.)

I'm looking forward to 2021, and I'll definitely start a new thread there tomorrow. I'd do it tonight, but I'm going to participate in my parents' time-honored tradition of going to bed and being asleep to welcome the new year. 2021's thread may be a bit... mysterious. Wondering why? You'll have to wait and see!

In the meantime, Happy New Year to you all! I'll link to the new thread once I make one.

Dez 31, 2020, 10:22pm

Jan 1, 12:35am

>281 foggidawn: Hmm. I think you could stop counting dates if you want. But if you're enjoying counting, keep going! Hope #8 was another good one.

Jan 1, 8:24pm

>282 quondame: Indeed.

>283 MickyFine: It was. And I’ll probably let myself lose count before too long. :-)

Okay, everyone, find me over in the 2021 group if you haven’t already: