Katiekrug Reads and Reads and Reads Some More - Part 11

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Katiekrug Reads and Reads and Reads Some More - Part 11

Editado: Jul 14, 11:56am

(Kindle) (Audio)

Hi All!

For anyone new to my thread, I'm Katie: reader, wine drinker, food appreciator, shenanigan-ator, and non-sufferer of fools. I live outside New York City with my husband, "The" Wayne, our cat, Leonard, and our dog Nuala/Noodles. I work as a senior governance manager for a non-profit engineering association, which used to be fun because I got to travel and now is just a big pile of meh.

Here's to a great, or at least an improved, new year!

Books Completed

Books Off My Shelf: 19
Books Off My Kindle: 25
Books from Audible: 5
Library Loans: 15

64. The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths (3.5 stars)
63. The Summer Book by Tove Jansson (4.5 stars)
62. The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn (4 stars)
61. Born in Death by J.D. Robb (3.5 stars)

YTD Did Not Finish
1. Waterland by Graham Swift
2. Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanne Elden
3. The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon
4. Chasing Shakespeares by Sarah Smith
5. Dear Girls by Ali Wong
6. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
7. The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard

Editado: Jul 14, 11:56am

60. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (3.5 stars)
59. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (3.5 stars)
58. The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman (4 stars)
57. In the Morning I'll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty (4 stars)
56. The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare (4 stars)
55. Summerwater by Sarah Moss (4 stars)
54. Outlawed by Anna North (3.5 stars)
53. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell (audio) (3.5 stars)
52. Wish You Were Here by Stewart O'Nan (4 stars)

51. Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger (4.5 stars)
50. The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz (4 stars)
49. The Other Americans by Laila Lalami (3.5 stars)
48. Normal People by Sally Rooney (audio) (4 stars)
47. A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught (3 stars)
46. The New Yorkers by Cathleen Schine (4.25 stars)
45. How to Break a Dragon's Heart by Cressida Cowell (audio) (3.5 stars)
44. On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn (3 stars)
43. Darkside by Belinda Bauer (4 stars)
42. Another Kind of Life by Catherine Dunne (3 stars)
41. Eat Cake. Be Brave. by Melissa Radke (audio) (3 stars)
40. Lord the One You Love is Sick by Kasey Thornton (4.5 stars)

39. Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson (3.5 stars)
38. Stories from Suffragette City by Various Authors (3.5 stars)
37. The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (4 stars)
36. Lean on Pete by Willy Vlautin (4.5 stars)
35. The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side by Agatha Christie (3.5 stars)
34. The Crucible by Arthur Miller (audio) (4.5 stars)
33. The Vanishing Point by Mary Sharratt (4 stars)
32. Pride and Promiscuity by Arielle Eckstut and Dennis Ashton (2 stars)
31. Island of the Lost by Joan Druett (4 stars)
30. It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn (4 stars)
29. The Secret River by Kate Grenville (4 stars)

Editado: Jul 14, 11:57am

28. Dodgers by Bill Beverly (4.5 stars)
27. The Rogue of Fifth Avenue by Joanna Shupe (3.5 stars)
26. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton (3 stars)
25. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck (4 stars)
24. Shit, Actually by Lindy West (3.5 stars)
23. Difficult Women by Roxane Gay (4 stars)
22. Anywhere for You by Abbie Greaves (3.5 stars)
21. Fat Chance by Nick Spalding (3.5 stars)
20. Memory in Death by J.D. Robb (3.5 stars)
19. Passing by Nella Larsen (3.5 stars)
18. Love by Toni Morrison (4 stars)

17. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (4.5 stars)
16. The Blood of Emmett Till by Timothy B. Tyson (4 stars)
15. The Weirdies by Michael Buckley (audio) (4.5 stars)
14. The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley (4.25 stars)
13. Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke (4 stars)
12. Paradise by Toni Morrison (4.25 stars)
11. Emperor of the Air by Ethan Canin (3.5 stars)
10. When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele (4 stars)
9. Blessings by Anna Quindlen (4.5 stars)

8. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (2.75 stars)
7. Triangle by David Von Drehle (4 stars)
6. New Boy by Tracy Chevalier (3.5 stars)
5. 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad (audio) (4 stars)
4. Siracusa by Delia Ephron (4.5 stars)
3. Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls (4 stars)
2. One By One by Ruth Ware (3.5 stars)
1. Jazz by Toni Morrison (3.75 stars)

Editado: Jul 14, 11:57am

My Ratings (revised, once again, as I continue the fruitless search for the perfect scale...)

2 stars = Whyyyyyy?
3 stars = Eh, ok.
4 stars = Definitely worth the time.
5 stars = Perfect *for me*

(Anything below 2 stars is unlikely to be finished)


Jun 15, 11:11am

Carried over from previous thread:

Summerwater by Sarah Moss

Similar to her earlier novel, Ghost Wall, Sarah Moss' newest takes relatively few pages and uses each one to expertly build a sense of tension and unease. I loved the changing perspectives, each chapter an internal monologue of a different character, all of whom are staying at an out-of-the-way Scottish holiday camp. Some of the monologues are rich in humor, keenly observant, and at times, disturbing. Moss has a gift for capturing the rhythm of the conversations a person has with themself - it makes the reader feel intimately acquainted with the characters in just a few pages.

And then there is the ending. This slow smoldering finally explodes and the characters we've come to know are forced into action and communion with each other. Immediately after finishing, my reaction to the ending was "meh." I expected something more. But in thinking it over and re-reading a few pages, I like the creepy ambiguity (no spoilers here!).

4 stars

Editado: Jun 15, 11:46am

Happy new thread, Katie.
>5 katiekrug: I've just borrowed that one to listen to. Hoping it lives up to the generally positive reviews.

Jun 15, 12:03pm

>5 katiekrug: How I wish I'd liked that ghost book. But I really didn't so will resist your warbles to try another one...difficult though you make it....

Jun 15, 12:10pm

Happy new thread, Katie!

From the discussion on your last thread, I am also a hater of phone calls so kudos on making yours today.

Jun 15, 12:22pm

>6 Helenliz: - I hope you like it!

>7 richardderus: - Oh, come on! It's not like you have anything else to read.

>8 MickyFine: - Thanks, Micky. I feel like 3 phone calls should exempt me from work for the rest of the day.

Jun 15, 12:51pm

Happy new one Katie!

Jun 15, 1:02pm

>10 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Reba!

Jun 15, 1:07pm

>9 katiekrug: Oh, come on! It's not like you have anything else to read.

Jun 15, 1:43pm

>12 richardderus: - Thought that would give you a giggle.

Jun 15, 1:45pm

YIPPEE! The HVAC company can do our replacement on Monday. I was afraid we'd have to wait weeks.

Jun 15, 1:49pm

>14 katiekrug: That is excellent news!

Jun 15, 1:55pm

>14 katiekrug: *whew*

>13 katiekrug: thought I'd bust something

Jun 15, 2:05pm

>15 rosalita: - I was so happy, I can't even tell you...

>16 richardderus: - Well, I'm glad you're intact :)

Editado: Jun 15, 2:12pm

The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Duke

This is the third in the Girl Meets Duke series and is just as delightful as the previous two. It is typical romance fare, with attraction, misunderstanding, sex, and a happily ever after, but Tessa Dare brings a boatload of warmth and humor to her stories. I also very much appreciate the distinct lack of angst - miscommunications are straightened out fairly quickly, there isn't a lot of dithering about, and I never muttered to myself, "Get on with it already!" This novel will especially appeal to animal lovers, as it features a dog, some kittens, a goat, a headgehog, a (foul-mouthed) parrot, a Highland steer, and an otter.

I can't wait for the fourth entry in the series, which - frustratingly - keeps having its publication date pushed back. I hope that doesn't bode ill.

4 stars

"'A little old lady who lived in a brothel.'

Penny put a hand to her brow, realizing she might have just coined the worst nursery rhyme ever."

Jun 15, 2:18pm

>18 katiekrug: I'd forgotten this was the one with all the critters. Penny is so lovely.

Jun 15, 2:24pm

>20 katiekrug: - And the vegetarian meals crack me up. "Sham" "Tuna-ish" "Roast Leaf"

Jun 15, 2:34pm

Happy New Thread, Katie! I thought Becoming was wonderful on audio. I hope you are feeling the same way.

Jun 15, 3:00pm

>21 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! I'm really enjoying the audio - I just need to find more time to listen...

Jun 15, 3:18pm

>14 katiekrug: squeeeeeee!

Jun 15, 3:36pm

>5 katiekrug: I've been eagerly awaiting your thoughts on Summerwater, Katie. You posted on Insta/FB that you were kind of "meh" about the ending and I was hoping you'd elaborate on that. But now I see you've kinda sorta changed your thinking. I felt a sense of foreboding slowly building throughout the novel and was lulled into that feeling when all of a sudden I realized something very different was happening: fast-paced action.

There was a point early on where a character observes the little girl's shoe on the beach and I thought that she might go missing, but that never happened. But do you think the little girl was trapped in the fire?

Jun 15, 3:46pm

>24 lauralkeet: - Sorry it took me so long, Laura!

I think the little girl - Violetta - and her mother were trapped in the fire. What I found most disturbing was the creepy little girl, Lola, described as having her hand in her pocket at the scene of the fire, and she had a lighter in her pocket earlier in the day...

Jun 15, 3:52pm

Ohhhhh I didn't make that connection Katie. I didn't like the creepy little girl Lola one bit, but missed that huge clue. OMG.

Jun 15, 3:56pm

>26 lauralkeet: - I didn't catch it until I re-read those last few pages (after I said the ending was meh). It made the sense of building unease and creepiness pay-off for me.

Jun 15, 3:58pm

>24 lauralkeet:, >25 katiekrug:, >26 lauralkeet: studiously ignoring spoilers...

Jun 15, 4:01pm

>27 katiekrug: damn, I even re-read the ending the day after I finished it and was still clueless. I feel old.

>28 Helenliz: Good call. Our spoilery conversation gives away some really important points. But I've been itching to talk about this book ever since I finished it!!

Jun 15, 4:03pm

>28 Helenliz: - Just make a note to come back and read the spoilers once you're finished :)

>29 lauralkeet: - I often miss stuff like that, and I only caught it because I found the Lola chapter so disturbing, that it stayed with me more than some of the other chapters. Otherwise, I never would have remembered she had the lighter in her pocket. And it's still kind of ambiguous, which I love and hate :)

Jun 15, 4:55pm

I found that chapter disturbing too, Katie. I knew it was foreshadowing something but then what I thought would happen didn't so I thought maybe it was a misdirect. Sarah Moss is a genius.

Jun 15, 7:32pm

Great discussion of Summerwater. I agree with Katie about Lola. Isn't Moss great with atmosphere?

Happy new thread, Katie.

BTW, I mailed your book yesterday.

Jun 15, 9:07pm

Happy new one!

Jun 16, 2:27am

All these spoiler tags make me suddenly intrigued. And it's available from the library ... but it'll have to wait a bit. Maybe.

Jun 16, 8:12am

>18 katiekrug: I think I need to add this series to my romance list...

And WOOT for getting the A/C work done on Monday - that's great news!

Jun 16, 8:46am

>31 lauralkeet: - Agreed!

>32 BLBera: - Hi Beth! The atmosphere was great, especially the slow build. And thanks again for the book!

>33 drneutron: - Thanks, Jim!

>34 ursula: - It's a short book, Ursula. Small pages, about 200 of them, so you could easily squeeze it in.

>35 scaifea: - I think you'd really love the series, Amber. And thanks about the a/c!

Jun 16, 8:50am

I had a super productive day yesterday - got all my phone calls taken care of, wrote a giant check for the a/c work deposit (gulp), accomplished a bunch of stuff hanging over my head at work, and then after work, I made turkey chili verde which turned out great and will be lunch. For dinner, The Wayne made chili pork and cabbage bowls which were very tasty and then we hung out and watched crappy TV. I went to bed on the early side but managed to read for an hour or so. I'm really enjoying The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman, who wrote the charming The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. This one has the same sort of charm, and it's very bittersweet so far. Becoming on audio continues to be excellent - Michelle just arrived at Princeton.

Jun 16, 9:47am

>37 katiekrug: So today you're leaning back, feet on the desk, surfing the internets. Got it all done yesterday. How I wish I could say that.

Jun 16, 9:56am

So glad to read all the Summerwater spoilers as I was turning around the ending in my mind. It would have been a great book club discussion.

Jun 16, 10:41am

>37 katiekrug: Coincidentally, I see The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is on e-sale for Kindle and Kobo today. Tempting!

Jun 16, 10:54am

>38 weird_O: - Ha! I wish.

>39 vivians: - I am going to keep it in mind for my book group, I think...

>40 rosalita: - It's a delightful read, Julia. Do it.

Jun 16, 10:54am

Hi Katie, and happy new thread!

>14 katiekrug: I’m glad to hear that the HVAC company can do the replacement on Monday.

Jun 16, 11:20am

>42 karenmarie: - Thanks, Karen! I was so (happily) surprised they could take care of it so quickly.

Jun 16, 5:23pm

>37 katiekrug: Oh I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the new Abbi Waxman. I can't remember if it's on The List already or not. I'll check once you post your review and I have a true vouch for it. ;)

Jun 16, 6:52pm

Happy new thread, Katie! I'll have to add The Garden of Small Beginnings to my TBR, somehow I missed that one coming out and I loved Nina Hill.

Jun 17, 7:40am

>44 MickyFine: - This isn't her new one. It's from 2017. I just finished it this morning - definitely worth a read!

>45 bell7: - She had two books out before Nina Hill, and I think this is her debut. It was good! I also have Other People's Houses on my Kindle, and I'm eyeing getting a copy of her latest (whose title escapes me at the moment)...

Jun 17, 8:58am

We are having the most beautiful weather this week - sunny and not too hot, with lovely breezes. It's supposed to get a bit warm this weekend, but that will make me appreciate the new a/c all the more once it's put in!

Work is going well and I think I will be able to take tomorrow off - hurray! The Wayne has it off for Juneteenth and has some stuff he wants to do around the house. I plan to do some shopping - maybe finally get those new pillows I keep kicking myself for not getting. Heh.

After the gym last night, I made tortellini with olive oil, garlic and basil. Nice and easy and fairly good - more garlic next time!

I finished The Garden of Small Beginnings this morning. A very nice read. I'll be starting The House of Mirth later - I've only read some of Wharton's shorter works, and I'm looking forward to diving into a novel.

Book group tonight, which means yummy Greek for dinner. I'm curious to see if the group can make me want to give Klara and the Sun another try.

And in exciting (for me) news, I've scheduling a cleaning service to come the week after next (next week is too full) - if they are good, I'll make it a regular thing. I look forward to never washing the kitchen floor again. Ha!

Jun 17, 9:32am

We've got that lovely weather here this week, too! All the windows are wide open and it's just wonderful. I could do this all summer.

Your tortellini sounds amazing.

Jun 17, 10:05am

>47 katiekrug: The House of Mirth! Gawd, Lily Bart's a pill. Such fun!

Rooting for the cleaners to be supercalafragilisticexpialadocious so that they will become routine.

It's glorious outside. I want to run around naked...Rob said he'd come bail me out, so I might just do it....

Jun 17, 10:13am

>48 scaifea: - Yep, our windows are open, too. It's delightful!

I'd say make the tortellini but for me it's just a garlic delivery device, and I know that's a no-go at the Manor.

>49 richardderus: - I'll chip in on your bail, but only if there is photographic evidence of the streaking!

Editado: Jun 17, 10:24am

In the Morning I'll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty

This is such a great series. Sean Duffy is a Catholic cop in the predominantly Protestant Northern Ireland police force in the early 1980s. This entry follows him as he's recruited by British intelligence to try to track down an IRA bomber he knew when they were both in school. That work leads him to also look into a cold case - a locked room murder mystery. As usual, there are great cultural references, a ton of music, and black Irish humor. I can't wait to get to #4!

4 stars

"You noticed the hair first. Kennedy hair was far in advance of anything Ireland had to offer. It was space-age hair. It was hair for the new millennium. Irish hair was stuck somewhere in 1927. Kennedy hair had put man on the fucking moon."

Editado: Jun 17, 10:43am

I love the McKinty series! I'm debating whether to read his breakout bestseller The Chain. Thrillers aren't usually a genre I like, but I may make an exception for him.
Sorry that Klara wasn't a hit for you. We had one of our best book gorup discussions about it a couple of months ago. Hope yours inspires a change of heart!
I've never read Waxman but will look her up.
ETA: Oops I did read Nina Hill and really liked it! Memory is just shot.

Jun 17, 10:47am

Good luck with your cleaner, Katie.

I need to start the McKinty series.

Jun 17, 11:03am

>52 vivians: - Hi Vivian! I read The Chain (the first thing I'd read of McKinty's) and it started strong but kind of lost some steam as it went along. I don't think you're missing much by skipping it, tbh.

I'll report back on the book group discussion of Klara. I expect everyone will love it but me :)

Garden wasn't as good as Nina, but still a good read for when you want something a bit lighter maybe.

>53 BLBera: - Hi Beth! Thanks re: the cleaner. And yes, you need to start the series. It's very good.

Jun 17, 11:20am

>51 katiekrug: I've been holding off on reading the most recent Duffy because I know there is a new one coming this fall and I want to maximize the chance that I'll remember what happened in the previous book. I'm glad he's writing a final three to round out the series.

>52 vivians: >54 katiekrug: I did not love The Chain. I just never bought into the premise enough to make it engaging. But it certainly was a big hit so I'm definitely an outlier on that.

Jun 17, 11:21am

>55 rosalita: - I still have a few to get caught up, but I tend not to binge series anyway, so they should last another year or so.

Totally agree about The Chain.

Jun 17, 11:22am

As if this day couldn't get any better, the US Open *finally* announced ticket sales will start next month - July 15. My best friend and I are already planning our annual trip :)

Jun 17, 11:34am

Thanks Katie & Julia - I will skip The Chain.

Now that you're a New Jerseyan, Katie, do you know anything about "the shore?" I'm looking for a beachfront destination to take my mother (96 and with very high standards) for a weekend this summer, within 2-3 hours drive from the city.

Jun 17, 12:10pm

>58 vivians: - You might take a look at Spring Lake, Vivian. I haven't been there, but it's my understanding it's a little more quiet and upscale than some of the shore towns.

Jun 17, 12:45pm

Thanks - I'll take a look!

Jun 18, 9:22am

>60 vivians: - Let me know if you end up going or find another place. I'd be interested in your experience.

Jun 18, 9:28am

I love a Friday off. And I love my husband who got up with the dog and closed the bedroom door so I could go back to sleep until 8:30 :)

Book group was good last night - there were a lot of interesting thoughts on Klara and on the sun and what it all meant and what Ishiguro was trying to say. I wasn't convinced to pick the book back up, but I enjoyed the discussion.

I plan to run some errands today - Homegoods, Target, and joy of joys - I recently discovered a used bookstore I didn't know existed. It's two doors down from my eye doctor and sort of tucked away - so I might stop in there and check it out. I might treat myself to lunch - I sort of miss eating out solo with my book (no offense to The Wayne). Then I need to come back home and do some straightening up because I have a cleaning woman coming on Saturday to give me an estimate. I've already got something booked for later in the month, but if this lady charges less....

I'm enjoying The House of Mirth but it is, unsurprisingly, not as fast a read as my last several books have been. I am trying not to get antsy :)

Jun 18, 10:20am

>62 katiekrug: A BOOKSTORE!!!!

I am so exceedingly jealous that I am actually ill.

"Have fun" having this glorious day on this glorious day!

Jun 18, 11:02am

>62 katiekrug: it always amuses my bachelor heart that Judy and I have to clean up before the cleaning woman comes.

Jun 18, 11:11am

>62 katiekrug: The Wayne is definitely a keeper. Enjoy your Friday off!

Jun 18, 11:32am

Excellent on the cleaner options.
Hope your friday off is a goodie.

I tidy up before my cleaner comes; she cleans, and her cleaning keeps us tidier.

Jun 18, 3:35pm

>63 richardderus: - I ran out of steam and didn't make it to the bookstore. Maybe tomorrow!

>64 magicians_nephew: - The Wayne finds it a bit silly, too...

>65 MickyFine: - Thanks, Micky!

>66 Helenliz: - Thanks, Helen! I've always tidied before the cleaner comes, otherwise I'm afraid she'd do it and then I wouldn't know where anything is :)

Jun 19, 12:47am

Best of luck with the cleaning woman, Katie. Hope she works out.

Jun 19, 9:36am

Hi Katie!

Yay for your Juneteenth 3-day weekend and sleeping in yesterday.

Good luck getting a good cleaning service - between the one scheduled and the one coming out to estimate perhaps one will work out.

I still love your idea of having them just clean the main floor and need to remember to try again this year with just that in mind.

Jun 19, 11:18am

>68 Familyhistorian: - Thanks, Meg!

>69 karenmarie: - Hi Karen! It was nice to sleep in a bit. This morning, I was up around 7am to return the favor to TW :)

Fingers crossed the cleaner works out!

Jun 19, 11:21am

Gym last night AND this morning. I'm whupped. Last night, after our regular Friday night pizza and salad, we watched History of the World, Part I - so silly. I pretty much love all of Mel Brooks' movies.

I'm not entirely sure what we'll be doing today. It's supposed to be hot - about 90F - so I expect at some point we'll retreat somewhere with air conditioning. But The Wayne wants to move some things around in the basement and the garage to make it easier for the HVAC guys on Monday, so hopefully he'll do that before it gets too warm. I have the usual laundry and house chores to do and should take my own advice and get moving on those.

Jun 19, 6:48pm

>71 katiekrug: Hoping it all got done with a minimum of hassle...and a maximum of happy anticipation of the HVAC folk's arrival.

Jun 20, 9:06am

>72 richardderus: - It was a good day, thanks!

Jun 20, 9:10am

The errands got run, we had a nice lunch out, and then came home to try to stay cool. I ended up taking a little nap. We watched Do the Right Thing, which was excellent and a good, if unintentional, pick for Juneteenth. It cooled down nicely after some rain so sleeping was not a problem. Today I have to do the laundry and clean up the kitchen. I never connected with the cleaner who was going to come by - I think she left me a message on WhatsApp but I can't access it. *shrug* I hate WhatsApp.

We also need to make a grocery list and go shopping. And I usually go get bagels on Father's Day to thank The Wayne for NOT being a father. Heh. It's still not too warm out yet, so I might amble down - the bagel shop is only a couple of blocks away.

Jun 20, 10:07am

>74 katiekrug: Happy UnFather's Day to The Wayne!

I gave a five-star review to a comic book. The same week I positively reviewed a poetry collection.

...I'm getting old...I can't remember who I am...

Jun 20, 1:45pm

>75 richardderus:. My God. Who *are* you?

Jun 20, 3:17pm

>76 katiekrug: A valid question. I have no answer to it just now. I wonder if I will again.

Jun 21, 9:06am

>77 richardderus: - I'm sure you'll return to yourself soon :)

Jun 21, 9:11am

The HVAC guys are here! Hurrah! It was so miserable yesterday and last night. I know I'm a wuss, but I really hate being hot. Fingers crossed they get everything done without encountering any issues/delays...

Despite the ickiness yesterday, I got all my laundry and house crap done. Then The Wayne made me WALK (it was 90F) to a local restaurant for a refreshing beverage. That was nice until we had to walk back :-P We had Italian sausage burgers for dinner with charred sweet peppers on the side, and then we watched Top Chef. A thrilling day.

Today I've got a bunch of work to do which sucks because it's still hot and there is a lot of banging and such going on with the removal/installation. Unsure about the gym tonight - it depends on when these guys finish up.

I'm a little over halfway through The House of Mirth, and making some progress with the audio of Becoming. Maybe I'll have more book stuff to report in a few days...

Jun 21, 9:42am

>79 katiekrug: Yay hooray for the REAL superheroes: HVACMen!!

It's foggy/sticky here. Blech. But in exchange it's only 74° and, well, that doesn't suck. I hope they're done in time for your gym visit to be possible and for you to return to a fully-20°-cooler-inside house.

Jun 21, 9:52am

>80 richardderus: - I"m so impressed with them so far. They arrived just after 8am. There are three guys, three trucks, and another guy just showed up in a pick-up to haul away the old equipment. I am hopeful they'll be done well before 6pm.

I've already told The Wayne I intend to turn the a/c down so low I'll need a blanket to sleep tonight. Heh.

Editado: Jun 21, 10:07am

The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

Lili is a single mother to two young girls, her husband having died a few years ago in a car accident. She had a bit of a breakdown after that, but she's all better now and focused on making a stable life for her girls and for herself. Then she loses her job, starts taking a gardening class, and makes new friends. Lili likes the rut she's in, but she's now seeing new possibilities for her life and struggles to figure out if it's worth taking risks.

Much like The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, 'Garden' tells the story of a woman confronted with change and the push-and-pull of what one knows and what one (maybe?) wants. And much like Nina, Lili has a wonderful community of family and friends (awful mother notwithstanding) to help her figure out her life. Both novels are charming and, at times, laugh out loud funny. I'm so pleased to have a couple more of Waxman's novels to enjoy.

4 stars

Jun 21, 10:07am

>81 katiekrug: Keep $100 out of your mad money to pay for it...but never were dollars better spent.

Jun 21, 10:18am

Waiting to hear news of cool breezes wafting through Chez Krug. Hope all goes off without a hitch! We're heading for 90F today way up here in the NE PA boonies.

Jun 21, 11:53am

>82 katiekrug: As predicted, your review pushed this onto The List.

Hope the banging and such is over soon and things are blessedly cool in the near future.

Jun 21, 12:24pm

I'm glad to hear the AC installation is underway and moving along smartly. Hope you're soon experiencing cool comfort!

Jun 21, 1:48pm

>83 richardderus: - You can't put a price on comfort, amirite?

>84 laytonwoman3rd: - Thanks, Linda! They are still at it, but we were told it would be an all day thing. At least they don't seem to have run into any major issues so far. We're supposed to top off at around 88F I think - but it's a bit more humid than it has been, so it feels grosser.

>85 MickyFine: - I hope you like it, Micky!

No banging at the moment, but I think they might be eating lunch :)

>86 lauralkeet: - I am very much looking forward to some cool comfort, Laura. I'm so tired and hot and cranky....

Jun 21, 2:27pm

Hoping the workers work hard and coolness happens before the end of the day.

In anti sympathy, the temperature here has dropped to low teens (degrees C) and I've been back in jeans and a jumper all day.

Jun 21, 2:40pm

Woot for impending coolness! I'm like you - I can't stand to be hot, especially at night. I want the A/C on deep freeze and fans blowing on me so I can pile three blankets on and snuggle in.

Jun 21, 2:54pm

>88 Helenliz: - Oh, I'd love to be in jeans and a jumper/sweater right now! I loathe summer.

>89 scaifea: - Yessss! Exactly.

Jun 21, 2:56pm

It's 92° F. at the front door, which is in the shade. But I got work to do, and I'm going to do it. Irregardless.

Stay cool!

Jun 21, 3:29pm

>91 weird_O: - I hope that work involves your feet up and a book in hand, Bill. Anything else is just wrong in that heat.

Jun 21, 3:30pm

It has gone ominously quiet in the basement. I wonder what terrible, insurmountable obstacle they have encountered?

Jun 21, 4:09pm

>93 katiekrug: Crossing my fingers it's not an obstacle and just that they're done. :)

Jun 21, 4:11pm

>94 MickyFine: - Nope. They brought in another tech. There are now 4 trucks parked outside the house :-P

Jun 21, 5:35pm

>95 katiekrug: There's a "how many HVAC techs does it take to install a central air unit" joke hiding in there somewhere, but I'm afraid to jinx your installation. :-)

Jun 21, 6:51pm


Jun 21, 7:58pm

>98 katiekrug: Crank it up!

Jun 21, 9:04pm

>98 katiekrug: Say hallelujah and bring the jubilee!

Jun 21, 9:20pm

Hey, Katie. Do the Right Thing is one of my favorite films. Spike Lee at his best. Hooray for the working A/C.

Jun 22, 2:38am

Jun 22, 8:07am

Woo hoo! I'm glad everything is up and running, Katie.

Jun 22, 8:20am

Jun 22, 8:22am

Yay for the new AC, Katie! Enjoy your cool day.

Jun 22, 10:18am

>96 MickyFine: - *grin*

>97 rosalita: - Ha!

>99 rosalita: - I did!

>100 richardderus: - Amen.

>101 msf59: - It was so good, Mark. And still so timely. I'd seen bits and pieces of it before but never start to finish.

>102 Helenliz: - I see what you did there :)

>103 lauralkeet: - Thanks, Laura. So am I!

>104 scaifea: - WOOT! indeed.

>105 karenmarie: - Thanks, Karen!

Jun 22, 10:23am

I had a lovely sleep in the cool air last night. It took a while for the temperature in the house to come down, so we went out to dinner to wait it out and then came home to a much more comfortable environment.

I had an early meeting this morning, and now that's done so I can focus on regular work. I'm hoping to get a bunch done today, as things are gearing up in advance of our Board meetings next month.

I may actually finish the Wharton novel today - we'll see. Not sure what's next, though my hold on The Other Black Girl just came in, so maybe that.

Jun 22, 10:31am

Glad the HVAC guys came and got you all fixed up. It was getting a little ripe in here... 😀

Jun 22, 10:39am

>108 drneutron: - The first thing I did was change the sheets on the bed, because two warm nights and The Human Furnace (aka The Wayne).....

Jun 22, 10:55am

We're heading into another hot spell. High of 29C (84F) for today and by Sunday we're supposed to hit 35C (95F). Mr. Fine and I will be spending a lot of time in the basement and I'm toying with moving our mattress down here to sleep. I'd just take the step-daughter's bed (her room is in the basement and she's here only a couple weekends a month) but her mattress is on the soft end of the spectrum and if I don't have a firm mattress my back complains. All this to say, I'm super envious of your central air this week.

Jun 22, 11:03am

Ironic, isn't it. You get the A/C chillin' and the weather gets with it and makes the A/C unnecessary. It's 65° F. and raining here, just 70 or so miles west of you. I turned off the fans and closed a few of the windows. But this'll pass, and I'll wish for your A/C.

Jun 22, 11:17am

>110 MickyFine: - Micky, could you get a window or portable a/c unit for the bedroom? If we couldn't get our a/c fixed so quickly, TW was going to get something (I didn't really pay attention to what it was) to alleviate the worst of it. It sounded like something that could be set up and taken down easily and put away when not needed... I can ask him if you want.

>111 weird_O: - Since it's only June, I know we'll still get lots more heat before the summer is over, so I'm grateful we took care of this now. My checking account is less happy, but it will recover ;-)

Jun 22, 12:10pm

>112 katiekrug: It will; you wouldn't have had it remained undone. It's sticky today, which makes any temperature uncomfortable.

Bleurgh. Climate change rots...this is the weather I left in 1960s Central Texas.

Jun 22, 1:06pm

>112 katiekrug: Our bedroom windows are very narrow so a window unit is unlikely to fit. We don't get a ton of 30C and above days so we'll be all right with our basement life (it's actually really nice down here) for the duration of the heat wave. But we'll definitely look at a combo furnace and a/c unit when our current furnace kicks the bucket (which touch wood is many years in the future).

Jun 22, 1:26pm

>113 richardderus: - It was sticky here earlier, but it seems to be abating...

>114 MickyFine: - You're a better woman than I, Micky! (I asked TW anyway, and he said you can get portable a/c units that vent out the window but don't sit in it. Who knew?)

Editado: Jun 22, 1:29pm

>114 MickyFine: Actually, you can get portable air conditioners for a reasonable price (~$100 US to several hundred depending on cooling capacity) that don't have to be vented outside. Most of these work on the swamp cooler principle. Blow air across a water surface and evaporation cools the air. Looks like they're available at places like Home Depot and equivalents.

Jun 22, 1:34pm

>116 drneutron: Oooh, that's good to know. Thanks, Jim!

>115 katiekrug: And thank TW for me as well, Katie. :)

Jun 22, 1:37pm

>116 drneutron: - Oh, yeah. We had one of those in Dallas for the garage. I totally forgot about it (as did TW apparently....).

>117 MickyFine: - Will do :)

Jun 22, 2:51pm

>116 drneutron: I was going to mention the same thing. These units are basically a dehumidifier with a fan. We're talking about getting one for our spare bedroom, where the windows are not easily accessible for putting a window unit in and out (heavy bed and bookcases in front of them). Since no one sleeps in there very often, it doesn't warrant much expense or labor, so we think the portable floor unit might do for those rare occasions when the room is occupied during a hot spell.

Jun 22, 5:48pm

>98 katiekrug: HOORAY! I can so relate to your comments about heat!! I don't much like temperatures about 75, especially if there's humidity involved.

Jun 22, 9:29pm

Hooray for working AC!

Jun 22, 11:04pm

Hooray for AC, Katie. I'm with you - I don't like the sticky heat.

Jun 23, 8:58am

>119 laytonwoman3rd: - That seems like a good solution.

>120 RebaRelishesReading: - I'm okay until about the low 80s :)

>121 bell7: - Thanks, Mary!

>122 BLBera: - And I know you get a lot of it in Minnesota!

Jun 23, 9:01am

We had a quiet evening - dinner was smashed black bean tacos with red cabbage slaw (courtesy of HelloFresh) and I started the last season (SOB) of Schitt's Creek. It was nice and cool last night, so we opened the windows and I slept like a log :)

This morning before work, I finished The House of Mirth (more later) and started The Other Black Girl. I'm getting my hair cut at lunch time and tonight we are doing pub trivia at a local restaurant. We don't have the gym this week, so I need to do some sort of workout on my own today.

Work is busy but good. I'm managing to stay focused and get stuff done. Hopefully, now that Nuala has finished her antibiotics and can go back to day care, I can get even more accomplished.

Jun 23, 10:47am

>124 katiekrug: Here's to hoping daycare will keep your productivity rising. Schmoozle Nuala's ears from me.

Jun 23, 1:12pm

>124 katiekrug: Open windows? You don’t get mosquitoes? I mean here, we don’t have screens (just like Italy) so we don’t leave the windows open once the sun starts to go down, but even in Fresno with screens we would get them in the house sometimes.

Jun 23, 1:27pm

>125 richardderus: - Schmoozle delivered. She was ecstatic and sends you virtual hand licks.

>126 ursula: - We get an occasional mosquito or other bug in the house, but the screens do a good job. I love sleeping with open windows - it was the only way I survived growing up without a/c :)

The Wayne even likes to crack a window open in winter when we go to bed. I always have about 3 blankets on my side of the bed...

Jun 23, 2:24pm

>127 katiekrug: Excellent! I love no-need-to-scrub handlicks.

Have you looked over GenreThing yet? I'm finding it pretty useful so far.

Jun 24, 9:51am

>128 richardderus: - I heard about GenreThing but haven't explored it yet. I probably will this weekend. Useful is good!

Jun 24, 9:55am

I'm a bit slow getting up to speed this morning. We had fun at trivia last night, though we didn't do so well. Didn't come in last, though, so yay for that! This evening is virtual HH, so I'm looking forward to that.

Work remains workish.

I am enjoying The Other Black Girl - not super far into it yet, but it's a pretty fast read so I should make good progress when I get some dedicated reading time.

Jun 24, 10:08am

We do get a lot of humidity in the summer, Katie, so we can complain about the weather all year round here. :)

Jun 24, 11:52am

>130 katiekrug: Was it a good mix of categories, Katie? As a former pub quiz host it was always fun to get the right mix. Plus finding the obligatory sports question. :P

Jun 24, 12:56pm

>130 katiekrug: It's a great thing to be able to move at your own pace. Glad today wasn't one of the rushrushrush days! And is air-conditioned, too.

Don't get too plastered tonight...don't want the cops getting called like The Wayne had to that time...

Jun 24, 1:25pm

I picked up my new glasses today. One set of nice new varifocals, one set of sunnies. Just need some sun, now, to wear them...

Jun 25, 9:13am

>131 BLBera: - Yuck!

>132 MickyFine: - It was a good mix, Micky. There were 10 categories and 3 rounds with a question from each category. And then the 4th round also covered all ten categories but each answer had 3 parts.

>133 richardderus: - I was so tired last night, I signed off of HH on the early side and was in bed by 9pm!

>134 Helenliz: - Yay for new glasses! Hope you get some sun soon....

Jun 25, 9:17am

I went to bed on the early side last night, as I was super tired. I slept pretty well except for an hour of wakefulness around 4am. So I am ready to tackle the day, which needs much tackling because I was pretty useless at work yesterday.

I'm still enjoying The Other Black Girl and Becoming. I've had a bunch of library holds come in, so I am trying to juggle those (a familiar story around here, I know). I do love the Overdrive tool of delaying a hold but keeping your place in line...

Jun 25, 12:16pm

I just put in all my PTO requests for the summer, and now I don't want to do any work :)

I'm taking 2-3 days here and there throughout the summer - going to see TW's family in Virginia in July, a long weekend in Boston in August, and three days off to go to the US Open the beginning of September.

It's nice to have things to look forward to again!

And I just found out I am definitely going to Dubai for work in September. I'm less excited about that and I could probably kick up a fuss about not feeling comfortable to travel internationally yet, but I'm not sure I want to. Very mixed feelings...

Jun 25, 12:20pm

Happy Friday, Katie! I am glad you are enjoying your current reads. I LOVED Becoming. Have you read Jo Ann Beard? I am getting ready to start her latest essay collection.

Jun 25, 12:55pm

>138 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! I haven't read any Beard, but I see from her author page that I have one of her novels - In Zanesville.

Jun 25, 1:02pm

>137 katiekrug: I haven't heard anything particularly awful about Dubai, Plague wise anyway, so what's kicking up in you? Just the whole "dealing with meatsacks not avatars" problem that I suspect we're almost all having?

Well, September is far enough off to have your issues thought through and the feelings to become unmixed. Travel or no, it's going to be down to you and your desire to travel vs you and your desire not to be exposed to the Plague.

Jun 25, 2:05pm

>140 richardderus: - Yeah, all of the Emirates seem to be doing well and have good vaccination rates. I think my issue is more the uncertainty - like what if something terrible happens and I'm stuck there. Or in transit. Plus there's the hassle of having to get the tests even though I'm fully vaccinated. And the long flight. And hordes of people. On the other hand, I'd love to see some of my colleagues again. And the hotel is gorgeous (because Dubai). And the idea of being able to go places again is lovely....

Jun 25, 2:48pm

>141 katiekrug: ...and round and round we go...

One thing no one told me about adulthood was that there will never again be an unmixed feeling about anyone or anything.

Jun 25, 3:06pm

>142 richardderus: - Ha! That is so true...

Jun 25, 6:30pm

>142 richardderus: wise words from RD!

Jun 26, 8:58am

>144 lauralkeet: - Very wise!

Jun 26, 9:02am

It's getting hot and sticky here. Gross. Once again, thankful for the excellent new a/c :)

We had Greek for dinner last night and then watched Quigley Down Under which was not very good. Very odd film. I then went to bed to read and TW watched some weird monster movie. And maybe something else, because I think he came to bed late as he's still sleeping...

Regular weekend stuff to do around here. Later this afternoon, we are going to a new Italian place (https://lapopolari.com/) a few blocks away to watch the Italy-Austria UEFA match in their "pizza garden." That should be fun. Probably another movie tonight, though this time I'm picking!

Jun 26, 9:12am

>146 katiekrug: Mmm, Greek. What did you get?

Also have an excellent day out and about. Who are you rooting for in the match?

Jun 26, 9:14am

>147 MickyFine: - I got a lamb gyro, which is my go-to when ordering takeout. If I go to the restaurant, I usually get some sort of seafood.

I think I have to root for Italy because (a) it's an Italian restaurant and (b) it's New Jersey :)

Jun 26, 9:18am

>148 katiekrug: LOL at your logic for choosing your team. Hope it's a good game and the drinks and nibbles are excellent.

Jun 26, 12:37pm

>146 katiekrug: Hmmm...sorry you didn't care for Quigley. We just watched it not too long ago, and thought it was a hoot. But then...Tom Selleck, so...maybe I wasn't paying strict attention to the plot, such as it was.

Jun 26, 12:43pm

Popolari Burger 15
Grilled in duck fat, mozzarella lettuce, tomato and topped with caramelized onions & fries on briouche bun

Oh GAWD yes!!!

But someone needs to flay their web designer alive and roll them in hot salted lemon juice...there is NO EXCUSE for playing music at me without warning or the ability to pre-emptively opt out.

Spend a lovely, if glucky, day!

Jun 26, 12:52pm

>149 MickyFine: - Thanks, Micky!

>150 laytonwoman3rd: - I did appreciate the eye candy, and I love Alan Rickman even when he's playing evil... But it was just such a mish-mash, I couldn't get into it.

>151 richardderus: - I should have provided a warning about the music, RD. I do hate when web sites have it.

Jun 26, 1:20pm

>152 katiekrug: I think I love Alan Rickman best when he's playing evil, actually.

Jun 26, 1:57pm

>153 laytonwoman3rd: I agree. He is at his absolute best when playing the baddie.

>146 katiekrug: I think your choice of team to support is very wise...
I'm tempted by the Spaghetti carbonara. I had it once in Italy, on a very cold day (it had snowed earlier and taken them all by surprise) and it was a bowl of steaming, carb laden, slightly gooey, yumminess.. Still one of my favourite food memories.

Jun 26, 3:01pm

Hi, Katie. I’m another one who loved Becoming. What an admirable woman she is. And I’ve been curious about The Other Black Girl. Are you enjoying it? I just finished Americanah, with its wide-ranging take on racism. What a great book that is.

Jun 27, 10:59am

>153 laytonwoman3rd: - He does bad very well, but I have such a soft spot for him in Truly, Madly, Deeply...

>154 Helenliz: - I love that food memory. One of my favorites also involves Italian, but it was in London - a big bowl of pasta bolognese at an out-of-the-way Italian restaurant we stumbled upon after a really frustrating day...

>155 jnwelch: - I am enjoying The Other Black GIrl, Joe. I should finish it today.

Jun 27, 11:02am

Yesterday's outing to watch soccer and eat pizza was a great success. And then we had a double feature night with Airplane II and Major League because that was the kind of mood we were in :)

And to further indulge, this morning we went out for breakfast and now I'm trying to gin up some energy to do some straightening around the house in anticipation of the cleaners coming on Tuesday. I really just want a nap - my usual reaction to pancakes. Heh.

Overcast and warm and sticky here. Gross. But in happy news, today is Nuala's "Gotcha Day"! She's been with us for a year and we love her to bits.

Jun 27, 12:59pm

"Gotcha Day" -- love that!!

Jun 27, 1:29pm

>157 katiekrug: It really is gross out there. Just warm enough for the sticky to stick. I.C.K.

New thread's up when you got some energy. Two reviews in. I swear I had already posted those reviews here but I hadn't...I had posted them on my blog. AND yesterday Rob found a tree-book I swore up one side and promised down the other that I didn't have a tree-book of. In the crate next to my bed. With the publisher's compliments sheet still in it.

I'm glad he found it so he could take it but....

Jun 27, 2:42pm

>158 RebaRelishesReading: - We celebrate it like her birthday since we only have a vague idea of when she was born :)

>159 richardderus: - Shall go check out the new thread shortly!

Jun 27, 2:49pm

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.... Poor Lily Bart is raised to expect a lot and when circumstances change for her, rather than changing with them and finding the strength to re-order her life, she just digs herself deeper and deeper. How much is Lily's fault and how much is society's? Wharton seems to apportion near equal blame, though as the novel moves forward, the pity one feels for Lily increases, even as she continues to be an incredibly frustrating character.

I enjoyed this novel, though not quite so much as the two shorter Wharton works I've read (Ethan Frome and Summer). I have several more on my shelves to get to and certainly don't dread the prospect.

3.5 stars

Jun 27, 3:04pm

>161 katiekrug: I am so pleased you liked it! I always hope that folks will enjoy the chunkier Whartons, as I simply expect that her shorter works will make a hit with more than they miss.

If you think Lily Bart's frustrating, read The Spoils of Poynton! It's quite short, and Veda Fletch gives Lily lessons....

Jun 27, 4:59pm

>161 katiekrug: Haven't read that one yet, although I have enjoyed several of Wharton's other works.

Happy Gotcha Day!! And I am glad your AC works. ; )

Jun 27, 9:16pm

>161 katiekrug: Yay! As mentioned elsewhere, I highly recommend The Custom of the Country as another of the "chunkier Whartons," as RD calls them. I loved that one, and I think it's the book that turned me into a confirmed Wharton fan. I've enjoyed almost everything of hers except the really late works.

Jun 28, 6:21am

Happy Gotcha day to Nuala! We made up a birthday for Archie and Cleo, based on how old the shelter said they were when we got them. For Rollo, I don't know what we're going to do. Celebrate the day we saw him? Celebrate the day we took him in? Celebrate the day we had to admit we were going to keep him? One of those, maybe.

Jun 28, 8:36am

>157 katiekrug: Time flies, Katie, already a year flew by since Nuala came. So glad you found her :-)

Jun 28, 9:52am

Like Laura, I enjoyed Custom of the Country,and Age of innocence, too. But I think I"ll avoid House of MIrth. Reading about a frustrating character like Lily doesn't sound appealing,

Jun 28, 11:03am

>162 richardderus: - I don't know if I can take another Lily-like heroine so soon, but I'll put it on the list :)

>163 Berly: - Hi Kim! Any Wharton favorites? I sure do appreciate the a/c now that it's fixed - so will you. I was so glad to see that you opted for a hotel rather than suffering at home.

>164 lauralkeet: - That will probably be my next one, Laura.

>165 ursula: - Any of those days would work to celebrate Rollo. I feel slightly guilty that I only realized it was Nuala's Gotcha Day thanks to Facebook memories. I thought it was June 29th :-P

>166 FAMeulstee: - I'm glad we found her, too, and that The Wayne talked me into adopting her. I was afraid she was too young and would be too much trouble, but she's a sweetie.

>167 jnwelch: - Doesn't CotC have a frustrating main character, Joe? Undine sounds like a piece of work... But I haven't read it so maybe should reserve judgment :)

Jun 28, 11:08am

Today will be a crazy day at work, as it's the deadline for getting all the material for the Board meetings next week finalized and distributed. I, of course, have left mine to the last minute. Oops.

We had a nice Sunday - got some stuff done, got some relaxation in, etc etc. Back to our regular gym schedule this week. Tonight will be rough since I was a bum and did nothing all last week. Oops again.

After finishing The Other Black Girl yesterday, I started two books - The Summer Book will be my nighttime in-bed reading, as it's very soothing and has short chapters. I also started Born in Death because I wanted something reliably entertaining, and this series never lets me down.

The Wayne has today off (company-wide Wellness Day) - this is his second of three long weekends in a row - lucky bastard. I am trying not to let my resentment show. Heh.

Jun 28, 11:14am

>169 katiekrug: ...and next week's the Fourth on the fifth...wow. Three-day weekends runnin' out they ears over there.

Hope the gym's agonizing and work surprises you with its ease.

Jun 28, 1:23pm

Hoping work behaves itself. Mine rarely does, but hey ho. It has its moments...

Hoping Nuala is equally as happy about having been with you a year >;-) I'm sure she would let you know if she wasn't.

The Summer Book is perfect bedtime reading. You can let it all just wash over you.

Jun 28, 4:12pm

>169 katiekrug: No sign of any resentment there at all Katie.

I am rather jealous of your AC. Murky and steamy here, and rather tricky to sleep.

Jun 29, 8:01am

>170 richardderus: - Yup. He got Juneteenth off (or the day before, I guess it was), yesterday for "wellness," and then gets the 5th. I get the 5th off, but I fly to Dallas on the following day, so I will probably have to do work since I'll miss a big chunk of the work day on Tuesday. *grumble*

Work was a pain in the ass yesterday; I was glad to escape to the gym!

>171 Helenliz: - Work did not behave itself. More accurately, the people with whom I work did not behave themselves...

I think Nuala is pretty happy. She's got a pretty sweet deal going ;-)

I am enjoying my quiet time with The Summer Book.

>172 charl08: - Glad I'm covering it well, Charlotte. Ha!

Ugh. Steamy is The Worst. Hope it gets better soon!

Jun 29, 8:05am

As mentioned above, work was kind of terrible yesterday and consequently, at least the first part of today will probably be bad, too. Oh well.

The gym was a bit rough after a week off, but I acquitted myself decently.

We had grilled chicken sausage with peppers and onions for dinner. A favorite summer meal here.

Today is an exciting day - the cleaners are coming! I hope they don't take one look and turn around and leave... And my friend, Rebecca, is coming by for wine and catching-up after work, so that should be fun.

In the meantime, work work work. We have a staff meeting for those of us slated to go to Dubai in a few months. Oh joy. At this point, I mostly don't want to go because I have to get a PCR test before I go and before I come back, and I think that's the one where they take a sample of your brain through your nose. Yuck.

Jun 29, 8:12am

Grilled chicken sausage sounds fantastic! Do you have a favorite brand of sausage? Type of seasoning?

I'm back to seriously considering a cleaning service. We'll see...

Jun 29, 8:15am

>175 scaifea: - We really like the Al Fresco brand - their sweet Italian, hot Italian, and spicy jalapeno are all good. We haven't tried all the varieties (yet).

I'm just having the cleaners do the main floor of the house (which includes no bathrooms, but I recently discovered The Wayne is *excellent* at cleaning bathrooms when he's asked to, so yay) - foyer, living room, dining room (really, a library), kitchen, and family room. I really hope they do a good job so I don't have to try to find another one...

Jun 29, 8:18am

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Jun 29, 8:18am

Ooh the cleaners are coming! I hope it goes well, Katie.

PCR tests are indeed as you described, but they aren't that bad. You have annual gyn exams, right? PCRs are no worse than that, and they're over in a heartbeat.

Jun 29, 8:25am

>178 lauralkeet: - Ok, that actually makes me feel better, Laura. I was one of those who was terrified of getting a pap smear because all I heard was how awful it was (same with a mammo) and when I got my first, I was like *shrug*. Mildly uncomfortable but over quickly.

I'll have to think of another reason I don't want to go now :)

Jun 29, 8:28am

Al Fresco...I'll have to put that on my list and see if my grocery store has them.

Good luck with the cleaners - I hope you love them!

Jun 29, 8:34am

>179 katiekrug: I'm glad that was helpful, Katie. I had the same feeling about mammos. Sooo much unwarranted negative hype.

Jun 29, 8:47am

As someone who opted out of having a smear test, I'm not sure that describing a PCR like that is terribly reassuring!
We've been doing home tests for a little while. You soon get used to sticking a swab down your throat and supressing the gag reflex. 4 times. Same swab then goes up one nostril and makes your eyes water. 10 times.

Jun 29, 8:49am

>182 Helenliz: - *trying hard not to lecture about the importance of preventative care of lady bits*

I believe here, when you get the PCR, it's just a nostril or two. That's what I believe, and I don't want to hear otherwise!

Jun 29, 9:04am

Not had a PCR, so can't confirm. We've been doing the LFT home tests and have *touches wood* come up negative every time.

Jun 29, 9:20am

I feel the same about mammograms and paps - NBD + very important.

Jun 29, 9:25am

>184 Helenliz: - What is LFT?

>185 scaifea: - *nodding vigorously*

Jun 29, 9:27am

Welp, Rebecca cancelled on me, so that's a bummer. But also a bit of a relief because the day was getting crazy with the cleaners in the mid- to late afternoon, picking up Nuala from daycare, etc.

Instead of ordering pizza, TW is going to make grilled chicken with a side of pasta with garlic and tomatoes from his garden. Yes, please!

Editado: Jun 29, 10:13am

>186 katiekrug: Lateral Flow Test.
You stick said swab down throat & up nose. Stick swab tip in small vial with solution on it and swish swab about a bit (They do provide more specific instructions), then pop 2 drops of solution into a thing like a pregnancy test and wait 30 minutes. It comes up with up to 2 lines, 1 a control and if you have the second it means you have the lurgy (probably). Twice a week fun and games.

Jun 29, 11:15am

>164 lauralkeet: The Custom of the Country is a favorite of mine. Undine Sprague is a piece of work but the book is the portrait of a place and a time - the "Gilded Age" as much as it is a book about her. Not that the age is "Gilded" and NOT Golden.

They have been showing IHOP commercials showing big FAT pancakes sopping in blueberry jam and I WANT SOME!

We usually eat pancakes once a year when we visit friends in Boston and go to their favorite "country style" brunch place, Bickfords.

Jun 29, 11:42am

>188 Helenliz: - Oof. Don't envy you that.

Sending you a PM.

>189 magicians_nephew: - I think we used to go to a Bickfords in college occasionally, after a heavy night of drinking...

Jun 29, 12:16pm

Bickfords! Good goddesses. I'd forgotten that place. My eldest sister married a Needhamer once, and as a teen I was shipped there for a summer. (It was better than Texas, but decidedly inferior to Civilization.) The blueberry pancakes were a highlight, though I appalled the family be requesting and using a great deal of butter on them.

Jun 29, 3:28pm

>191 richardderus: - I love butter on pancakes. I'm a simple girl - just give me a stack of buttermilk fluffiness, lots of butter and syrup, and I am good to go!

Jun 29, 3:30pm

So I kind of forgot how thorough professional cleaners are :-P They've been here for two hours! And are moving furniture. I want to tell them to just do what's visible, but I guess that attitude is why I need them in the first place. Heh.

Jun 29, 6:25pm

I have a sudden urge to eat pancakes, which I haven't had in ages. God I can't even remember when Katie.

Jun 30, 2:29am

>193 katiekrug: >:-o Hope the cleaners were nice as well as thorough. I got rid of my first cleaning company after 1) they pulled the towel rail off the wall and 2) didn't tell me (I was in at the time). I think it was 2 that bothered me more than 1. My current cleaner comes for 2 hours on a Wednesday and we have a nice chat as well as her doing my cleaning.
I may also do a quick tidy up on a Wednesday morning before she comes, but that's my secret and no-one needs to know that happens...

Jun 30, 3:53am

>168 katiekrug: I don't feel like that's so terrible... Morgan and I forget these things all the time. This year we both forgot our wedding anniversary. Our 10th wedding anniversary.

Jun 30, 8:36am

>194 brenzi: - Why deny yourself the glory of pancakes, Bonnie? I think you are due some :)

>195 Helenliz: - They were very nice and did a GREAT job. Major language barrier so no chatting - plus, I was working upstairs and they were working down.

And *of course* you tidy up before she comes. Doesn't everybody?!?! I definitely do.

>196 ursula: - LOL, Ursula. Ok, I feel better. I always think our anniversary is two days later than it is. Luckily, The Wayne reminds me :)

Jun 30, 8:39am

OOF. Hot one today again. Heat index of 107F (don't know what that is in That Other Temperature Scale). Nuala's outside time will be short. And the only other reason I have to leave the a/c is to go to the gym, so it's not so bad. The a/c guy is here again to install the UV light system thing. I don't totally understand what it does, but it was part of the package.

The Wayne ended up not making dinner last night because he got stuck with work, so we had pizza and salad from a favorite place and also ordered some soup, which will be dinner tonight.

I'm still reading The Summer Book and Born in Death, both of which are good (in different ways, of course). And I got some listening time in with Becoming when I picked up Nuala from daycare.

Editado: Jun 30, 8:41am

Pancakes are the best! I switch between sometimes having them with butter and syrup and sometimes with peanut butter and syrup. Depends on my mood.

Stop me if I've told this story before: Tomm claims that he fell in love with me when we met (as friends) for breakfast and I ordered pancakes with chocolate chips and asked for peanut butter instead of butter.

ETA: Ooooh, what kind of soup?

Jun 30, 8:47am

>199 scaifea: - I was just over at your place commenting on Agent Fitzsimmons!

I've never tried peanut butter on pancakes. Adding that to the list of things to give a whirl.

Tomm is a man of good sense and taste. Obviously.

It's pasta fagioli and they include really yummy crusty bread to go with. Even in the heat, I love soup.

Jun 30, 10:49am

>200 katiekrug: Ha! Yeah, he knows what's good, I guess.

Oh, that soup sounds amazing! And I agree - we have soup all year round here.

Jun 30, 11:11am

I'm another fan of peanut butter on pancakes, although it's then 50/50 as to whether I'll put syrup or apple sauce on top of the peanut butter. So yummy.

And for the record, Google informs me 107F is nearly 42C. So gross. Enjoy that A/C.

Jun 30, 12:27pm

Greetings from much-cooler seaside Long Island. It's only 99° here!

Jun 30, 12:56pm

>198 katiekrug: Heat index of 107F (don't know what that is in That Other Temperature Scale)

You mean Kelvins? About 315.
Nice day for soup. HA.

Jun 30, 3:09pm

>201 scaifea: - It's my favorite version of pasta fagioli, and we are not hurting for options around here...

>202 MickyFine: - I am definitely going to have to try the PB on pancakes. When I was a kid, a favorite "dinner" was pancakes rolled with jelly. A poor man's crepe, and really more of a dessert than a proper dinner, so it must have been a treat.

I am not taking the AC for granted, I promise!

>203 richardderus: - Brrr! Better bundle up.

>204 lauralkeet: - *snork* to both comments!

Jun 30, 4:35pm

>200 katiekrug: So sorry to hear you're having excessive heat now!! Hope it goes away quickly and glad to hear you're getting your A/C fixed.

I adore pasta fagioli soup but only in cold weather please :) Pancakes MUST have butter on them ... syrup optional.

Jun 30, 4:50pm

Pancakes need lemon juice and brown sugar. And they're thin enough to roll. They are also one food stuff that I simply cannot cook. I can make batter, but himself has to cook pancakes - I can't get the bally things to turn.

Jun 30, 6:03pm

>207 Helenliz: ...pan...wha...oohh you mean crêpes!

Yes, those are indeed delicious with lemon juice and sugar...with some egg yolks and a bit of warm cream, some whisking time, a knob or two of butter....

Jul 1, 1:50am

>208 richardderus: No, I don't. Crepes are pancakes but even thinner and French. You can see through a crepe, you can't see through a pancake. But yes, to you, I mean a crepe. >:-)

We don't have anything akin to what you refer to as pancakes that I know of. They're just American pancakes. *whisper it* not ever had one.

Jul 1, 9:47am

>206 RebaRelishesReading: - The bad heat has passed for now. The a/c was fixed a week or so ago, so we were fine :)

I love soup any time of year, in any weather. But not cold soups. Those are gross.

Yes, butter is a must, but so is syrup for me!

>207 Helenliz: - Oooh, those sound good. I'm coming over next time I'm in the area and you and himself can whip me up a batch!

>208 richardderus: - I'm not a huge crepe fan. I can eat 'em, but they are never my first choice.

>209 Helenliz: - I love learning about these culinary differences. I am very partial to American-style fluffy buttermilk pancakes, but willing to try any and all comers :)

Jul 1, 9:51am

I made lots of progress at work yesterday, so here's hoping for more of the same today! Last night was gym, soup, book, bed.

I'm nearly finished with Born in Death and halfway through The Summer Book. Sadly, no audio book time, but I should get some later this afternoon when I go to pick Noodles up from daycare.

I think we are going out to dinner tonight. I'll raise a glass to my mom, who would have celebrated her 76th birthday today.

Jul 1, 10:55am

>211 katiekrug: Happy beyond day, Mom.

>209 Helenliz: I'm pretty sure hoecakes/pancakes are Southern American in genesis, as they rely on baking powder to exist so no ancestral flatbread/quickbread would've been exactly analogous. We did appropriate the term "flapjacks" for the pancake, though I really can't imagine why since there's less than zero similarity between the two foodstuffs.

Jul 1, 3:57pm

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Nella is the only Black editorial assistant at the publishing house where she works. She's thrilled to find out the new editorial assistant with the cube just across from hers is also Black. Maybe things are finally changing. Aaaaaand maybe not. Or maybe they are, just not how Nella imagines or hopes or needs.

This was an interesting read. It was fast-paced and has been described in a few places as a thriller. I don't know about that, but there is a sense of creepiness that develops over time. We know all is not right and clue into it before Nella does. It's an interesting exploration of race and gender and the obligations and competition we feel to others like us. It didn't all hang perfectly together for me, and I can't quite pinpoint why. I think part of it was due to a secondary story line that never fully developed and took away from the pace and intensity of the primary one. Still, a good read and one I'd recommend, especially because it takes on difficult and uncomfortable topics.

3.5 stars

Jul 1, 4:01pm

Born in Death by J.D. Robb

Not much new to say about this series. It's reliable and entertaining and has a lot of unexpected warmth. This wasn't a favorite, but it was a solid read.

3.5 stars

Jul 1, 4:08pm

>211 katiekrug: I will do likewise. I had the equivalent a fortnight ago, should have been 71.

>212 richardderus: Flapjack & pancakes?! Mind genuinely boggled at that one!!

>210 katiekrug: You'd be very welcome to have a plate of pancakes with us. He'll try and tell you that pancakes need orange juice and white sugar, but he is as wrong as a very very wrong thing* and I wouldn't want you to be utterly misled.

* this is not an uncommon occurence.

Jul 1, 4:16pm

>216 Helenliz: - I love everything about this post :)

Jul 1, 6:00pm

Edith Wharton. My wife was a Wharton fan for many years. She read her bio by R. W. B. Lewis, which won a Pulitzer. We visited her place in the Berkshires. She read Age of Innocence, House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, some of her short stories. She even got me to read some Wharton. And one day, she had enough! "Everything she writes ends badly," Judi said. That was that.

Peanut Butter. I'm a peanut butter guy. Peanut butter and Nutella. Not jelly. On pancakes? Hmmm. I should try it.

Ever buy peanut butter like this?

Jul 1, 8:26pm

"Ever buy peanut butter like this?" At $36.45 per pound? I don't. think. so.

Jul 2, 9:12am

Hi Katie!

>192 katiekrug: Butter and syrup on buttermilk pancakes is the Best. You’ve inspired me - I may make them Sunday or Monday.

>198 katiekrug: Well, crap. I see that I’m now three books behind in the Eve Dallas series, Faithless, Forgotten, and Abandoned.

>200 katiekrug: Even in the heat, I love soup. Me, too. Especially in a nicely air-conditioned house.

>211 katiekrug: Yay for raising a glass to your Mom. My mom would be celebrating her 89th birthday in 5 days, on the 7th.

>218 weird_O: Ewww, just ewww. Natural crunchy, the kind where you have to stir the oil back into the pb.

Jul 2, 9:12am

>218 weird_O: - I have never seen peanut butter sold like that! It's rather, er, unappetizing to me, tbh.

>219 laytonwoman3rd: - And at that price I'll let others have it!

Jul 2, 9:15am

>215 katiekrug: One of these days I'm actually going to dig into this series. Every time you post a review I think, "Oh, I bet I'd really like that" and then promptly forget about it. But soon ...

Jul 2, 9:16am

Woot! I just got notified that my hold on the new Ruth Galloway mystery has come in, and just in time for my trip in a few days. If I decide to wait that long to start it...

Nothing much new here. I'm *trying* to get all sorts of work stuff wrapped up so I can enjoy the long weekend. I leave for Dallas on Tuesday and it will be a very busy week there.

In books, I'm focused on finishing up The Summer Book, which is just lovely, and I started two others yesterday to see what I was in the mood for. I still haven't decided, so I may just put them both aside and read the mystery that just came in :)

Jul 2, 9:17am

>222 rosalita: - When I first heard about it here in my early days on LT, I was all like, "No, that's not my thing at all." I forget why I decided to give it a whirl, but I'm so glad I did. As with most series, I don't think the first one or two books are all that great, so be patient. As relationships develop and new characters are introduced, it really comes together.

Jul 2, 10:37am

Your mention of the new Ruth Galloway had me scurrying over to look at my library account. It looks like our system now has it, and I’ve moved up to #2 on the hold list. Yay!

Jul 2, 10:41am

Jul 2, 11:58am

My hold for the new Emily Henry novel, People We Meet on Vacation, just came in. I'm glad I have some airport/flight time coming up!

Jul 2, 12:39pm

>225 lauralkeet:, >223 katiekrug: That's your flights sorted. While you're in Dallas, there's not likely to be any time to read anyway. Happy reading!

Jul 2, 12:39pm

Ooh, glad you'll have good reads to curl up with at the end of your busy days in Dallas!

Jul 2, 1:06pm

>228 richardderus: - I will have very little time to read while there, it's true :(

>229 MickyFine: - Oh, I wish, Micky! I have something going on nearly every evening I'm there - all my family and a lot of friends are there and, for some reason, they want to see me. Probably more than I want to see them. Heh.

Jul 2, 1:33pm

Have a lovely time down south. Even if there's not a lot of down time.

Jul 2, 2:06pm

Happy Friday, Katie.

The Other Black Girl sounds good. I'm #2 on the list for the new Ruth Galloway, can't wait.

Wimbledon is cutting into my reading time a little.

Jul 2, 4:07pm

>231 Helenliz: - Thanks, Helen! It'll be busy, but it will be nice to have a change of scenery :)

>232 BLBera: - Hi Beth! I think The Other Black Girl might be right up your alley.

Sadly, I haven't watched any Wimbledon. Maybe this weekend!

Jul 3, 8:29am

After I posted, I got a notice from the library that The Night Hawks was available, so I went and picked it up! I don't have your restraint, so I paused my book club book and started reading it right away. I love Ruth!

Jul 3, 10:12am

I fell way behind here and just caught up.

Regarding tidying up before the cleaners, my philosophy has always been that they can't clean a rug they can't find under the mess and also that good prep sets expectations of quality. Of course, not having painted the bedroom in 20 years does work against that.

I just put in my two cents for Undine Sprague. She's not frustrating - she is appalling! But she finds ways to get what she wants.

And glad to hear the a/c is in. These days are too hot.

Jul 3, 11:12am

"good prep sets expectations of quality" That's the best explanation of tidying up for the cleaners I've ever heard. And it make so much sense. After my brother and I left home, and there wasn't any free teenage labor force anymore, my working parents hired someone to help with the housework. My dad used to tease my mother about "cleaning up for the maid", but both my parents were just naturally tidy, and as you say, the less the cleaners have to move or work around, the better the outcome is likely to be.

Jul 3, 11:14am

>236 laytonwoman3rd: It's especially urgent if they are unsupervised.

Happy Third!

Jul 3, 12:27pm

>234 BLBera: - Hooray for Ruth! I was going to save it for my plane ride on Tuesday, but I might just start it as soon as my current read is finished :)

>235 ffortsa: - Hi Judy! We are all behind in one way or another :) Thanks for taking the time to stop in!

>236 laytonwoman3rd: and >237 richardderus: - Makes sense to me!

Jul 3, 12:31pm

Welp, I was up at 6am this morning. So gross. I did some reading, some MarioKarting, and some tidying. I'm dragging now and should take a nap, but we are going out in a bit to watch some UEFA at a pub. Being up so early meant I got to the nail salon for a pedicure nice and early before they got busy. And on the way home, I treated myself to an everything bagel with scallion cream cheese. As you may know, New Jersey is the Bagel Capital of the World :)

Last night after the gym and frozen pizza and salad, we watched True Lies, which neither of us had seen since we were teenagers, probably. It is still silly fun.

I should be able to finish up two books today, but we'll see.

Hope you all are having a good start to the weekend!

Jul 3, 1:05pm

New Jersey is the Bagel Capital of the World

...Brooklyn would like a word...

Jul 3, 1:08pm

Month in Review: June
(#s in parentheses are YTD)

Books Read: 9 (60)
Mine vs Library: 6 vs 3 (47 vs 13)

Non-US/UK Authors: 0 (6 - 1 Mexico, 1 Canada, 1 Australia, 1 Morocco, 2 Ireland)
Own Voices: 1 (11)
New-to-me Authors: 2 (31)

Best of the month: Summerwater and The Garden of Small Beginnings
Worst of the month: Nothing really terrible; maybe Homage to Catalonia because of the tedium

DNFs: 1 (6)

Jul 3, 1:08pm

>241 katiekrug: - Brooklyn can stuff it.

Jul 3, 7:56pm

Sorry about the early wake up time but sounds like an excellent day. True Lies is always fun.

Jul 4, 9:12am

>243 MickyFine: - It was a nice day, Micky, and I had a good sleep last night, so all is right with the world :)

Jul 4, 9:27am

No big plans for the 4th of July today. We are going to the gym later this morning, so we don't have to go tomorrow evening when I expect I'll be frazzled from packing and getting ready to leave for Dallas.

The Wayne is planning to smoke a chicken, which we'll have for dinner along with beans and an orzo salad I'll be making.

Other than that, I'll be doing laundry and weeding through my closet, trying to remember how to dress for a work environment :)

I finished The Summer Book last night (more later) and am now reading The Pink Hotel, though I might pause it and just jump into one of the library holds that came in late last week that I'm excited about.

Jul 4, 9:43am

We are going to order Mexican food to celebrate the 4th. There are actually a rather odd number of Mexican places here ... it's been essentially impossible to find in other cities we've lived in.

Jul 4, 2:41pm

"trying to remember how to dress for a work environment" That would be the stuff of nightmares for me. Good luck.

Jul 5, 8:58am

>246 ursula: - That's interesting, Ursula! I would not expect there to be much Mexican at all in Istanbul.

>247 laytonwoman3rd: - Yeah, I put it off until today. Such a hassle.

Jul 5, 9:02am

'Morning, Katie! Do you have today off because of the official US holiday?

Jul 5, 9:04am

Yesterday was a good day - very relaxed. Other than the gym and the laundry, I didn't do much. Oh, I did make an orzo salad to have with dinner, and it turned out a treat. Instead of a vinaigrette, I used some Delallo hot pepper garlic sauce, so it had a kick, but the sliced cucumbers and feta cheese provided a good contrast. I love throwing together stuff like that. The Wayne made a fabulous smoked chicken - so flavorful and juicy - and we had some baked beans to round out the meal.

I'm reading two books at the moment - The Night Hawks and The Pink Hotel. Both are good. I'm trying not to race through TNH, so I can read some on the plane to make the time go by faster :)

Today, as I mentioned to Linda above, I'll be sorting through clothes and packing. I have a teensy amount of work to do, though it's a holiday... But other than that, there is nothing on the agenda, and I intend to enjoy it!

Jul 5, 9:05am

>249 karenmarie: - Morning, Karen! I do have today off. I have to do one or two things for work because our overseas offices are not respecting our holiday... ;-) But it's nothing major and shouldn't take me more than 30 minutes or so. I would have done it already but my VPN isn't wanting to connect.

Jul 5, 9:12am

Enjoy your day off, Katie. Good luck not racing through TNH. :)

Jul 5, 9:22am

Morning, Katie! Yay for the day off and not much to do!

Jul 5, 9:45am

hi, Katie. You're tuned into my reading wavelength. I liked The Summer Book a lot (Ellie Moses recommended it to me) and I'm a sucker for the "in death" series. As you say, reliably entertaining. She must be due to put out another one soon. How she keeps the quality level so high in such a long series is beyond me.

Jul 5, 10:44am

>252 BLBera: - Thanks, Beth!

>253 scaifea: - Thanks, Amber!

>254 jnwelch: - I must have been channeling you, Joe :) I think because the In Death series is basically a formula, it's probably easier to churn out lots and maintain a decent level of quality.

Jul 5, 10:48am

Hi Katie! Great news about the Ruth Galloway :-)

I hope Nuala was OK with the fireworks last night. We Rate Dogs had a cute tweet of a dog wearing headphones.

Jul 5, 11:09am

>256 susanj67: - Hi Susan! Nuala was fine. She was more curious than anything else - kept getting up to look out the back door. There were a lot of booms but nothing super close, which probably helped. The Wayne also pointed out she's part gun dog so maybe booms don't bother her as much as they do other dogs...

Jul 5, 12:18pm

I was amazed that the locals weren't their usual firecracker-ing selves last night. That was a relief.

Have a pleasantly reading-laden flight tomorrow!

Jul 5, 5:12pm

>258 richardderus: - No fireworks on the beach?!?!

Thanks re: tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to the airport/plane experience...

Editado: Jul 5, 5:16pm

I'm pretty much all packed except for laptop and other work stuff.

Books that I'll be taking with me (print or downloaded on my Kindle):

The Night Hawks (in progress) - I'll focus on this one on the flight
The Pink Hotel (in progress) - I'll focus on this one while waiting to board
Everything I Never Told You - this is for book group on the 15th
People We Meet on Vacation - if I finish everything else

I've worked out that I have two evenings free, at least as of now - Tuesday and Thursday. I could see Thursday getting booked with drinks and/or dinner, but we'll see. Otherwise, I have NON-VIRTUAL happy hour (yippee!) with my regular group on Wednesday, a formal dinner for the Board members in town on Friday, dinner with my family on Saturday, and a pool party on Sunday after the meetings are finished.

I can't wait to come home and I haven't even left yet...

Jul 5, 5:24pm

Well at least you get to get off a plane and not immediately have plans. That is always my preferred approach when arriving somewhere.

Jul 5, 6:26pm

Safe travels, Katie. I'll be anxious to hear about flying now.

Jul 5, 6:30pm

>260 katiekrug: I'm exhausted reading it! Yay for f2f Happy Hour, too...but famulee din-din should be the most fun, no?

>259 katiekrug: Oh nonono, the municipals went as planned, it was the usual firecracker-letter-offers who stayed shtumm this time. I was very pleased indeed.

Jul 5, 7:09pm

Hiyah, Katie! Back from traveling, hope yours goes well.

Jul 5, 7:27pm

Safe travels, Katie!

Editado: Jul 5, 8:56pm

Hi Katie - hope you have a good trip and the heat's not too bad.

ETA: I looked into Spring Lake and every single beachfront hotel was completely booked. So I finally settled on 3 days in Westbrook, CT, which is right on the Sound. I'll report back!

Jul 6, 2:08am

Safe travels and have a good time.

Jul 6, 10:27am

Hope your flight went smoothly and the hotel bed is comfy!

Jul 6, 12:02pm

Hope the trip goes smoothly, meetings go well, family/friends time is fun and that you get a lot of reading done.

Jul 6, 5:07pm


Jul 6, 7:42pm

I'll try to come back and respond individually tomorrow, but for now - I'm here, flight was on time, rental car was a bit of an ordeal, and I'm exhausted, having only gotten about 2.5 hours of solid sleep last night. Hopefully, tonight will be better. I did a little workout in my room and then got my Tex-Mex dinner and margaritas, and now I'm vegging with 'Chopped'. I didn't read much at the airport or on the plane because I was too tired. Very frustrating.


Jul 7, 9:47am

>261 MickyFine: - Yeah, I had to kill some time before checking in to the hotel, but that's what Starbucks are for.

>262 BLBera: - The flying wasn't terrible. The plane was packed, but everyone wore their masks as required - same in the airport.

>263 richardderus: - Well, apparently at least part of the family didn't realize this was the weekend I'd be in town - despite me having emailed the dates over a month ago *eye roll* Whatever. We are still on, and that will fulfill my obligations for a while.

>264 drneutron: - Thanks, Jim!

>265 lauralkeet: - Thanks, Laura!

>266 vivians: - Thanks, Vivian. It's forecasted to "only" be in the low to mid-90s, which is actually pretty good, given what it could be.

Interesting about Spring Lake - must be popular! Maybe next year?

>267 Helenliz: - Thanks, Helen.

>268 MickyFine: - Flight was fine and the bed is pretty good :)

>269 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Reba.

>270 magicians_nephew: - I am not sure what the Woot! is for, but I'll take it :)

Jul 7, 9:57am

Happy Wednesday, Katie. Is this strictly a business trip to TX? Whatever it is, I hope you make the best of it.

Jul 7, 10:01am

>273 msf59: - Hiya, Mark! I was just visiting your new thread :)

Yes, it's a work trip, though I am squeezing in dinner with my family one night.

Jul 7, 12:58pm

Thanks for the update. Glad everything went OK and hope you're rested up now.

Jul 7, 3:35pm

I'm so sorry you're in Dallas in July.

I hope you're always in the a/c.

Jul 7, 4:38pm

Hi Katie, I hope you are having some fun on your trip and that it's not all business. I find I always think I am going to get so much reading done while traveling, but rarely do.

Jul 7, 4:45pm

>275 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Reba! I slept relatively well last night so I feel pretty good.

>276 richardderus: - TBH, it's pretty tame for Dallas in July. Only 93F today :)

>277 DeltaQueen50: - Hi Judy - I'm allowed a little bit of free time for fun, but not much. Ha! I do have a happy hour with friends tonight, so that will be fun.

Jul 7, 5:22pm

>278 katiekrug: Must be TS Elsa sucking up all the humidity to keep it that cool. In July. In Dallas.

Jul 12, 1:16am

I have no ability at all to catch up on this thread, so I'm just here to say hi. For today. Have a good trip--although Dallas in summer does not sound like the dream destination. Not that I'd recommend DC, either.

Jul 12, 3:52pm

Ooohhh, CPAC travelers no less! How many were on the Newark flight? Read through it well, formerly-frequent flyer.

Jul 13, 10:40am

>279 richardderus: - Whatever the reason, I was grateful!

>280 AnneDC: - Hi Anne! Thanks for stopping in :)

>281 richardderus: - If there were any on the flight, they behaved themselves...

Jul 13, 10:43am

I'm back. The trip was okay - work was annoying but it was nice to hang out with people. I won't bore you with details. I barely read anything and ate my fill of Tex-Mex. So there are the lowlight and highlight of the trip :)

Jul 13, 10:59am

>283 katiekrug: Glad to hear you're safely returned home again.

Jul 13, 11:11am

Glad you're home safely and tanked up with Tex-Mex. Sorry work wasn't better.

Jul 13, 11:19am

Well, all things being equal, you're way ahead...fun times with people you like, family duties done, all the Tex-Mex you can't get here consumed, and all it cost was some boring mornings and draggy afternoons!

Jul 13, 12:29pm

Welcome back, Katie. I'm glad the trip was at least okay.

Jul 13, 12:43pm

>284 Helenliz: and >285 RebaRelishesReading: - Thanks, Helen and Reba!

>286 richardderus: - True, true.

>287 lauralkeet: - Thanks, Laura!

Jul 13, 12:51pm

Welcome back, Katie! I'm reading another Julia Quinn and she continues to be a delight. :)

Jul 13, 1:36pm

>289 MickyFine: - I was just over on your thread and commented on the Quinn!

Jul 13, 1:38pm

While I was away, I finished The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths, DNFed The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard, and started People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry. I also managed to listen to a big chunk of Becoming by Michelle Obama on my flight home yesterday.

I am a few behind on written comments, so I'll try to get that taken care of, along with starting a new thread.

Jul 13, 1:52pm

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

A bittersweet but charming collection of vignettes about a young girl and her grandmother. It was a bit darker than I was expecting from others' reviews but also funny and sweet. I can see myself returning to it from time to time.

4.5 stars

Jul 13, 1:57pm

The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn

I forget how this came on to my radar, but I'm glad it did. It's translated from Norwegian and is creepy and intense. Two people keeping secrets live together in an isolated house and slowly come to depend on and obsess over each other. The translation is really well done, with few - if any - awkward spots.

4 stars

Jul 13, 2:00pm

The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths

Another solid entry in the series. It is not a favorite, as I thought the ending was a bit too pat and out of left field in a way. But Ruth and friends are always a delight to spend time with. My only grumble is that Ruth seems to think "Katie" is the worst name in the world ;-)

3.5 stars

Jul 13, 3:12pm

>292 katiekrug: Glad you enjoyed it. >:-)

>294 katiekrug: I'm quite a few behind you in that series. It's a bit of a blind spot, I can see it might rile you after a while!

Jul 13, 3:34pm

Skipped over your reading update because I hope to soon receive The Night Hawks from the library. What's up next for you?

Jul 13, 3:54pm

>295 Helenliz: - Part of my affinity for Nelson is his insistence on calling her Katie. Heh.

>296 lauralkeet: - I said so little about TNH, Laura, it's probably safe! I am currently reading People We Meet on Vacation which is by the same author as Beach Read - I read that last year and enjoyed it. They are marketed as very light, but at least BR had a bit of depth, but was also funny and smart.

Jul 13, 3:57pm

I'm wondering if a librarian friend can answer a question for me - I put in a request through Overdrive for a newly released book (Falling by T.J. Newman) and my local library system kindly purchased it. I went to borrow it from Overdrive, but there is no Kindle edition available. I've encountered this a couple of times before. Is this a price issue? The book is available for Kindle purchase on Amazon, so it seems like a decision to purposely not purchase a Kindle edition, which I find rather odd...

Jul 13, 3:59pm

Oh, and in other book-related news, I decided not to read the book or attend book club this month. The meeting is on Thursday and we are supposed to leave Friday morning for my in-laws in Virginia ("supposed to" because the car is currently at the dealership and we are not sure we'll have it back in time - oy). Also, the book (Everything I Never Told You) wasn't of much interest to me. And the member who picked it is one of my least favorite and kind of a dim bulb so I didn't have high hopes for it. So there :-P

Jul 13, 3:59pm

I've heard about Falling (Adrian McKinty, among others, has been raving about it on Twitter) and will wait to hear what you think. Good that you waited until after your flight home to request it!

Jul 13, 4:09pm

>300 vivians: - I first heard about it from Adrian McKinty on Twitter :)

I don't have the book. Since I couldn't get it for Kindle, I just canceled the loan. I'll see about getting a print version from the library...

Jul 13, 4:30pm

>298 katiekrug: I can't help you on this one sadly, Katie. Up here in Canada Kindle/Amazon refuses to work with libraries entirely.

Editado: Jul 13, 4:55pm

>298 katiekrug: IANAL, but I found this on the Intertubz: https://ask.fvrl.org/faq/329456. Sounds like it's an Amazon restriction, not Overdrive.

Jul 13, 4:52pm

>302 MickyFine: - Well, poop.

>303 rosalita: - Thanks, Julia.

Jul 14, 9:05am

Ugh - gross morning. Very humid and supposed to get hot. The humidity has actually swollen our front door so badly, we can't open it from the inside - we have to go out the back, around the house, unlock the front and then shoulder it open. Good thing we don't get a lot of visitors :) This may accelerate the getting of a new front door which I've wanted to do since we bought the house...

We are currently without a car, as ours is at the local dealership to determine why the "Check Engine" light comes on. And stays on for days. And then goes off. And then comes back on. So we walked to a local place for dinner last night, since The Wayne forgot to go grocery shopping while I was gone. He did remember to do laundry and keep up with the dishes, so I'll take it. The cleaners came yesterday, so at least part of the house is clean and shiny.

Still reading and enjoying People We Meet on Vacation.

And I've booked my flights to and from Dubai for September. I'm not thrilled about going but my boss made it clear that I was expected to be there. Wait until I make it clear that this will be my last Board meeting... He did agree to let me fly business class because I found a (relatively) cheap fare with Emirates, so at least I won't be crammed in steerage for 13 hours.

Back to the gym tonight! We'll be taking an Uber there and back unless we get the car back by some miracle.

/long boring post

Jul 14, 9:24am

>299 katiekrug: I read that one and ... I did not love it. So I think that was a good choice!

Jul 14, 9:30am

>305 katiekrug: Dubai. September. Ew.

Wow, last board meeting, such a sweet farewell to travel business class to and from it!

I got a really lovely thank-you tweet from Matt Bell for my review of his latest. (Review's on my thread.) It is so lovely to me when an author likes what I've said about their book and bothers to say so. Splendid gym-Übering!

Jul 14, 9:36am

Wait until I make it clear that this will be my last Board meeting

Oooh, did I miss something?!

Jul 14, 9:56am

>306 ursula: - Good to have some validation!

>307 richardderus: - I've been there in September. It's like Texas. You don't go outside much and everything is over air-conditioned :)

Maybe my last Board meeting.

That's great about the review. I'll toddle over shortly to check it out.

>308 scaifea: - Nothing official but The Wayne and I are In Discussions.

Jul 14, 9:58am

I'm glad you made it back OK, Katie. Fingers crossed that there is nothing seriously wrong with the car.

Jul 14, 10:05am

>309 katiekrug: Ooh, exciting! (But *hugs* if it's also stressful.)

Jul 14, 10:09am

>310 BLBera: - Thanks, Beth! We think it's just a malfunctioning sensor. Hope so anyway!

>311 scaifea: - Thanks, Amber. I'm not really stressed. TW has basically said I can leave whenever I want, but I am trying to be Responsible and make him show me (spreadsheets!) that it will be okay.

Jul 14, 10:12am


The Wayne's NYPL card has expired and I have been CUT OFF from their Overdrive. I made him send an email about renewing online since his NYC office is still closed. Fingers crossed they can be accommodating...

Jul 14, 10:31am

>313 katiekrug: That's awful!!!!

>312 katiekrug: That's exciting!!!! I walked out of a job with nothing confirmed to go to and it was liberating. What do you *want* to do? Heart needs to answer that one, not the head.

This post was brought to you by an over-enthusiastic exclamation mark.

Jul 14, 10:32am

>313 katiekrug: - Phew! They emailed back almost immediately (very impressive!) and gave an extension until September. We'll be in the city at the end of August for the US Open, if not before, so I just need to remember to have him bring proof of his work address.

Crisis averted :)

Jul 14, 10:34am

>314 Helenliz: - LOL, Helen! I don't really want to do anything specific. I've got some ideas for making some "pocket money" and for volunteering, but really, I just want to work on my romance novel :)

Jul 14, 10:51am

>316 katiekrug: Having lived the life of a Lady of Leisure for several years, I highly recommend it.

Jul 14, 11:04am

>317 scaifea: - You'll have to give me tips! Like, are bonbons only for the afternoon or can I eat them in the morning, too?

Jul 14, 11:20am

Exciting news about a possible career change, Katie. It's nice to have options. I think bonbons can be eaten with morning coffee.

Jul 14, 11:25am

>318 katiekrug: "are bonbons only for the afternoon or can I eat them in the morning, too?" Oooo.....I can answer that! They can be eaten any time, as long as you have had your mani-pedi first!

Jul 14, 11:55am

>319 BLBera: and >320 laytonwoman3rd: - Thank you for this important information about bonbons! I like to be prepared :)