Mary/Storeetllr Reads Through 2023-Chapter 1

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Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

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Mary/Storeetllr Reads Through 2023-Chapter 1

Jan 2, 11:50 pm

And so it begins.

Happy New Year!

Let’s do this!

Editado: Mar 7, 10:06 pm


1. How the Multiverse Got Its Revenge by K. Eason. 4 stars. Audio. Sequel to How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse and Prequel to a couple of books I read last year.

2. Cast in Eternity by Michelle Sagara. 4 stars. Audio. More angst from Kaylin, but not quite as much, and a few new characters, some of whom are ghosts. I especially enjoyed the introduction of Mrs. Ericksen. I’ve noticed that more seniors seem to be popping up in fiction. Could it be because there are more of us these days?

3. The Milky Way, an Autobiography of Our Galaxy by Moiya McTier. 4 stars. Audio. Okay, this is hard to categorize. Is it science? Yes. Is it fiction? Some. I mean, it anthropomorphizes the galaxy, but what the galaxy tells us are actual scientific facts, hypotheses, and theories. It’s sort of like a fictionalized documentary. Anyway, if you’re at all interested in learning more about the cosmos and physics, this is a relatively painless way to do that, though the apparent disdain shown by Milky Way toward hunans can be a little off putting at first. Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot more than

4. The Universe, a Biography by Paul Murdin. 3 stars. Audio. Yawn. The material was interesting, but the narration was absolutely soporific. It took me FOREVER to finish because it kept putting me to sleep and then I had to go back to just before I nodded off. Back to fiction for awhile.

5. Sweep of the Heart. 4 stars. Audio Yes, I know I read Sweep of the Heart as an eBook late last year, but, honestly, reading a text and reading an audiobook are completely different experiences. In this novel, Sean's mentor has been kidnapped and taken to a planet that makes "inhospitable" seem welcoming. In order to access the planet without dying upon entry into its atmosphere, Dina and Sean agree to host a spouse-search for one of the most powerful rulers in the galaxy. Keeping all the guests safe and discovering which candidate plans on assassinating the ruler is a full-time job, made even more stressful by the fact the whole thing is being broadcast galaxy-wide, and that means the Innkeepers Assembly is watching it all go down.

6. Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire. 4 stars. Audio. Trigger warning: grooming by a child sexual predator (though she escapes before it happens). High tension in the beginning and a pretty dark subject matter, with a likeable main character, my only beef is how mature the child is. I base that only on my memory of how immature and unaware I was at that age. Others may have been more mature than me. I liked this story almost as much as my favorite, Across the Green Grass Fields. Lots of Doors in this, the 8th Wayward Children novella, though I know as little about Doors now as I did when I finished the first book.

7. The Wordhord by Hana Videen. 4.5 stars. Audio. Very interesting (and surprisingly amusing) look at life in early medieval England through the lens of the Old English language (think Beowulf and Cædmon). Listening to it - the pronunciations and cadence - was wonderful, but I think listening to it in conjunction with reading the written text would have been even more helpful.

8. Sleep No More by Jayne Ann Krentz. 3.5 stars. Audio. Light psychic romance and, as with many of Krentz's books, enjoyable but not really memorable. In this one, three women - strangers to each other until the night when, after being abducted, they awaken on gurneys in a burning hotel with strange new psychic powers - are on a quest to find out what happened to them. They create a podcast exploring cold cases with odd crimes. One of them is lured to a small town in Northern California by a man who had a similar experience and is on his own quest to figure it out.

9. Spare by Prince Harry. 4.5 stars. Audio. At times surreal, even horrifying, and often sad, this autobiographical memoir is in its entirety an intensely personal and fascinating look at what it was like to be the second-born prince in a highly dysfunctional royal family. Struggling to find his way after he lost his mom at a young age, with a narcissist for a father, a brother who seems to want complete acquiescence to his will (no pun intended) from his younger brother, and a devious stepmother, having to deal with the royal courtiers who run the monarchy like a pack of wolves and the predatory press and paparazzi, Harry made a a lot of missteps along the way, but he seems genuinely willing to learn from his mistakes and to not hurt anyone on purpose. I found the section on his military service absorbing, and his apparent tender love for his wife and children endearing.

10. Blood, Fire and Gold by Estelle Paranque. 3.5 stars. Audio. Enjoyable history about an element of the Elizabethan era of which I was unaware. Lovely narrator.

11. The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli. 3.5 stars. Audio. What is this thing you call “time?” Is it even a thing? Does it only flow in one direction, or does it sometimes flow to the past? Just a few of the questions this book tries to answer. It may do so, but - honestly? - I have little idea what it all means. I borrowed the Kindle version to reread parts of, and I’m going to relisten to the entire thing because it’s almost poetic. Also, the author quotes from Proust, so I may try to read Swann’s Way this year.


12. The Twilight Man by Koren Shadmi. 4.5 stars. GN. A fascinating look at Rod Serling, his life, his creative genius, his PTSD, early TV, Hollywood, his war experiences. Highly recommended. (Reccied by Mark: thank you!)

13. Halfway to the Grave by Jeannine Frost. 4 stars. Graphic Audio. I read this urban fantasy series a few years ago and enjoyed it, so when I saw they’d done a Graphic Audio, I couldn’t resist. Other than the fact that Bones sounds suspiciously like Lord Arlen from The Innkeepers books and nothing like the Bones of my imagination, it was a really fun listen. Now, of course, I’ll be listening to the rest of the books of the series. ETA that no, I won’t, because they haven’t done any more graphic audios in that series. 😟 I hope they do; it really translates well to that format.

14. Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker (aka Seanan McGuire). Audio. 3.5 stars. A couple of kids who don’t know each other are forced by a water main break to take a detour on the way to school and end up having adventures in the Up and Under. They have to figure out how to work together or they’ll never get home.

15. The Cabinet of Dr. Leng by Preston and Childs. 3.5 stars. Audio. Have I mentioned how time travel is one of my least favorite tropes? I loved The Cabinet of Curiosities, which is maybe the third or fourth book in the series. This is a sort of sequel, and Constance Green (my least favorite character in the series) features large. I stopped listening at the 90% mark because I just couldn’t take any more. I finished it tonight ON A CLIFFHANGER. It’s such a huge cliffhanger that the authors apologized for it and promised the conclusion (in the next book) would be worth it. Honestly. Also, Coldwater is working a case that appears to have nothing to do with the main show. It better mean something, is all I have to say. Finally, I don’t care for the reader.

16. Encore in Death by J. D. Robb. 3.5 stars. Audio. I enjoyed it, but I expected more after how fantastic the last one was, but I guess you can’t hit a homer every time you are at bat. In this one, someone poisons the husband of a Broadway star, a film star. Was it meant for him, or was someone trying to kill the wife and screwed up? Pretty low key for an Eve Dallas thriller. More of a straight procedural than usual.

17. Midnight Crossroads by Charlaine Harris. 4 stars. Graphic Audio. So glad they made this into a GA! I read this novel about a weird little town in Texas and its weirder denizens (or listened to it, or both) a few years ago snd enjoyed it, and the GA version really worked well with it, bringing the characters and the action to life. Recommended for anyone who enjoyed the novel.

18. The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas 4.5 stars. Audio. A retelling of the Mulan legend, this romance YA novel of high adventure is set in a well described and historically accurate ancient China and so well written and interesting I roared through it in 2 days. I’m not much one for YA or romance, so for me to give this 4.5 stars is telling.

19. Waco by Jeff Guinn. 4.5 stars. Audio. Chilling look at the horrifying events at Mount Carmel, the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, TX and how it came to happen. Supports my opinion that religion is right up there with love of money as a corrupting influence, and that men have no business being in charge of anything.

20. Vendetta in Death by J. D. Robb. 4 stars. Audio. Reread. A whacked out woman whose husband divorced her and scammed her out of the business she started goes after men who did women wrong. TW: torture. (This is the “light and easy” reading I chose after Waco. Sometimes I wonder about myself.)

Editado: Mar 28, 12:51 pm


21. Indulgence in Death by J. D. Robb. 4 stars. Audio. Reread. Misogyny meets entitlement as random people are murdered in unusual ways.

22. Golden in Death by J. D. Robb. 4 stars. Audio. Reread. Long-held grudge ends in the death of innocent people.

23. Shadows in Death by J. D. Robb. 4 stars. Audio. Reread. Another psycho’s long-held grudge has him coming after Roarke and those he holds dear.

23. Faithless in Death by J. D. Robb. 4 stars. Audio. Reread. the murder of a sculptor leads Eve to a white supremacy cult.

24. Mickey 7 by Edward Ashton. Audio. 3 stars. Mickey is a shiftless young man who needs to get off planet to escape a gangster to whom he owes a lot of money. He signs on to a colony ship as their “expendable,” someone tasked to do the most dangerous jobs which are sure to get him killed - and then be reconstituted since his genetic codes and memory are on file. Interesting premise but I found it a little boring and the main character less than appealing.

25. Day Shift by Charlaine Harris. 4 stars. Graphic Audio. Well done adaptation of the second book in the Midnight TX trilogy.

26. Forgotten in Death by J. D. Robb. 4 stars. Eve investigates two unrelated murders discovered in one morning at two different but nearby building sites, one of them owned by Roarke, that one decades old.

27. One foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. Graphic Audio. 4 stars. Second in the series, this adaptation is a lot of fun.

28. Reckoning by Jeaniene Frost. 3.5 stars. Audio. Told from Bones’ POV, this novella predates his meeting Cat. Bones is hired by the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans to stop a pair of ghoul killers during Mardi Gras.

28. Abandoned in Death by J. D. Robb. 3.5 stars. Audio. Not sure why, but this one - about a boy whose mother abandoned him - isn’t my favorite. Maybe it’s the back and forth between then and now. It’s okay, but not as satisfying as most.

29. Desperate in Death by J. D. Robb. 4.5 stars. On reread, still one of the best in the series, even with the triggering subject matter.

30. The Other Half of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. 4 stars. Audio. Well, this was a surprise. Retelling the Cat and Bones saga from Bones’ pov turned out to be quite a turn on (and at my age!), as well as a filling out of his character and the world. I’m looking forward to the next in the series: Both Feet in the Grave. (I also like the titles, which are a clever play on the original ones.)

31. The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle. 3.5 stars. Fun but ultimately forgettable paranormal romance thriller. Sedina Snow is a a gatekeeper who has escaped from a scientist using her for his mad experiments and gone to ground on Rainshadow Island. Cyrus Jones is the new guild boss on Rainshadow.

32. Siren’s Song by Jayne Castle. 3.5 stars. Another fun but forgettable paranormal romance thriller set on Harmony. This time, dream therapist Ella Morgan, whose talent is that of a siren, helps Rafe Coppersmith navigate the catacombs on Rainwater, and his personal nightmares. The story was good, but I never warmed to the characters. Also, the narrator (Barbara Rosenblat, whom I used to love) sounds in places like she had a few too many.

33. Last Man Standing (the Earthburst Saga Book One) by Craig A. Falconer. Audio. 3.5 stars. Tries so hard to be Project Hail Mary but doesn’t come near the brilliance of the Andy Weir masterpiece. Instead of alien Rocky, we have macaw Lyle (which, as you can imagine, I actually loved). Instead of astrophage destroying earth, we have a psychotic doomsday cult. Barclay does resemble Grace, though, in that both men - although both are scientists and quite brilliant in their own ways - are so bumbling I wonder how they managed to tie their shoelaces, much less survive disaster. Also, both have somewhat abrasive personalities. The premise and world-building are interesting, and it’s really quite exciting in parts, which accounts for the 3.5 star rating, and I’ll probably read the next in the series, because, unlike PHM, this ends on a cliffhanger.

34. Just finished Broken (in the Best Possible Way by Jenny Lawson. 5 stars. Audio. I ask myself how a gut-wrenching book about a woman’s struggle with anxiety and depression made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt and tears ran down my face. I do not know, except it did. Parts of it were just hilarious, parts had me nodding in recognition of things I’ve gone through myself (snd still do), and parts were so raw and painful my heart about broke. This was read by the author, and yes, her voice got a bit shrill at times. It fit the subject matter perfectly though and didn’t bother me. I loved her occasional spontaneous laughter when she said something particularly outrageous or really funny. I’m going to look for more of her stuff, but not right away. This one was a lot to take in, and I’m going to need time to process it. Highly recommended.

35. A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn. 4 stars. Audio. I stopped reading the Veronica Speedwell historical mysteries awhile back because they got a bit boring and stale. I picked this up as a palate cleanser in the hopes it would be more enjoyable than the last one in the series. It was. Set during the Jack the Ripper era, it started off slowly, but I ended up liking it a lot, especially the time spent in captivity and the slowly developing acquaintance between Veronica and one of her relations.

Editado: Mar 22, 11:51 am

Currently Reading

Raised Bed and Container Gardening by Emma Andrews. LTER. Laptop

Up Next:

The Russian Cage by Charlaine Harris. Graphic Audio.
Broken (in the best possible way) by
Jenny Lawson. Audio. Recommend by Mahsdad

In the Queue:


The Hands of the Emperor Kindle.
John Dies at the End
The Bullet that Missed
The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells. Kindle
Prosper’s Demon by K. J. Parker. Kindle.
The Wife of Bath by Marion Turner. Audio.

Editado: Mar 6, 8:48 am


Rooted by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. Audio. Started but not in the mood. Maybe another time.
The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray. Audio. 🤮
The Good Wife of Bath by Karen Brooks. Audio. I got about halfway through when I lost my patience with that silly woman and couldn’t bring myself to pick it back up. I think I’ll read the original instead. (It’s very well written though, so don’t be afraid to read it if you want to read about a character who never really grows.)
Egypt's Golden Couple - OMG, this is the worst narrator since Scott Brick's rendition of The Passage.
Lessons in Chemistry - I got triggered in the first chapter and just couldn’t go on. Maybe another time, and I’ll start with chapter 2.
Hell Bent - a bit tedious, or it could just be my mood. I’ve got too many other books to read to struggle to finish this one. Others are waiting for it, so I’ll return it and maybe borrow it again later.
Demetrius, Sacker of Cities - I got about 20% in but it was boring. I mean, it read like a high school textbook. Maybe it was me, or maybe it was the narrator, but I just couldn’t.

Editado: Jan 3, 1:21 am

2022 was a good reading year. I read a total of 101 books and had only a few DNFs and only 13 books to which I gave only 3 stars (anything lower would have been DNFd). I reread only 32 books, many of them books I haven’t read in decades or that I listened to in the new format of Graphic Audio, "a Movie in Your Mind," which is my favorite new thing. Of the books I read for the first time, there were three 5-star books and sixteen 4.5-star books. The totals (new and rereads) are:

5 stars – 7
4.5 star – 29
4 star – 26
3.5 star – 26
3 star – 13

I included one 4 star book in my top 10 fiction choices, because I’m still thinking about it and it makes me smile just to recall it.


-Time Travel--1
Contemporary Lit--4

My Favorites of 2022


The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison. Audio. 5 stars. Fantasy.
Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. 5 stars. Audio. Scifi.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel. 4.5 stars. Audio. Scifi
The Lost Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland. 4.5 stars. Audio. Contemporary Fiction
Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst. 4.5 stars. Audio. Fantasy
The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison. 4.5 stars. Audio. .Fantasy
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. 4.5 stars, tending toward 5 stars. Audio. Fantasy/time travel/multiverses
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. 4.5 stars. Audio. Alternate history of dark academia
The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells. 4.5 stars. Kindle. Fantasy
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. 4 stars. Audio. Contemporary lit/Magical realism


Truman by David McCullough. Audio. 5 stars. Biography.
Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? by Seamas O'Reilly. 4.5 stars. Audio. Memoir
Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery. 4.5 stars. Audio. Memoir

Honorable Mentions (Books That Gave Me Great Enjoyment and/or that I’m still thinking about):

Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi. 4.5 stars. Kindle. Scifi
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. 4.5 stars. Audio. Contemporary Fiction
Desperation in Death by J. D. Robb. 4.5 stars. Audio. Romantic mystery thriller
The Serpent in Heaven by Charlaine Harris 4.5 stars. Audio. Fantasy/alt history
Sweep of the Heart by Ilona Andrews. 4.5 stars. Ebook ARC. Scifi/fantasy

Obviously, I'm big fan of fantasy and scifi (and mysteries, though none of them made the list this year), so it's not a surprise a lot in those genres were favorites. What surprised and gratified me was the amount of great nonfiction I read this year, as well as some really good contemporary fiction.

In case anyone wants to read a mini review of any of the books on my Favorites list, here’s my last thread of last year, from which you can easily find all 4 of my 2022 threads. Most of the reviews are near the top of each thread.

Jan 3, 5:41 am

>1 Storeetllr: Love the topper. Your are rightly proud of those cuties.

Happy reading year, Mary.

Jan 3, 5:48 am

Glad to see your thread!

I have to make a list of "best reads of the year". I do know that Hail Mary is on mine as well.

Jan 3, 8:34 am

Happy new year and happy new thread, Mary. Dropping my star!

Jan 3, 9:09 am

Happy new year, Mary!

Your best of 2022 has a bunch of SFF books I've enjoyed over the last couple of years, too.

Jan 3, 9:47 am

Welcome back, Mary!

Jan 3, 1:04 pm

>7 PaulCranswick: Hey, Paul! You found me! Yay! Welcome!

Yes, those two are cuties are really special human beings. They are truly my raison d’être!

Jan 3, 1:11 pm

>8 figsfromthistle: Hi, Anita! Glad you found me!

I have a confession to make. I don’t usually include rereads on my favorites list, but I read Hail Mary when it first came out on the Kindle. As soon as the audiobook came out earlier last year, I bought it. The listening experience was enhanced and so different from reading it as text that I decided to consider it a “new read.” Not sure whether Murderbot or Rocky is my favorite character. I think it is a tie.

Jan 3, 1:12 pm

>9 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley! If I haven’t been over to your new thread yet, I’ll be there soon to drop my ⭐️ there.

Jan 3, 1:15 pm

>10 bell7: Thanks, Mary! Happy New Year to you too! I’m not surprised; I’ve noticed we have similar taste in books. In fact, I may have gotten a few tips for books from you.

Jan 3, 1:15 pm

>11 drneutron: Thank you, Jim! I’m glad to be back!

Jan 3, 4:59 pm

Greetings and felicitations, Mary! I'm glad we're spending 2023 in harmonious fellowship.

Jan 3, 5:00 pm

>17 richardderus: Richard! You found me! (My life is complete.)

Jan 3, 6:45 pm

Happy New Year, Mary! We are closing out another wonderful year of books and banter and I am looking forward to sharing another with you. Keep enjoying those grandkids. They are beautiful.

Jan 3, 6:48 pm

Mark! You found me too! (My life is now completely complete.) *grin*

Thank you! We are both blessed with the most precious, beautiful, wonderful, delightful, smart, fun grands in the universe. Everything else is icing on the cake.

Editado: Jan 4, 11:11 am

New Year's Eve

Budding Artist

Jan 3, 7:22 pm

(Thinking of all of us with this meme, but especially Paul Cranswick.)

Jan 3, 7:26 pm

Happy new thread Mary!

What wonder family pictures!

>22 Storeetllr: All the time. I realize I'm addicted to reading and constantly muttering that the fallout isn't as bad as drugs.

Jan 3, 7:47 pm

Happy New Year, Mary! Wait, where is chubby baby Ruby? Who is that exquisite damsel? And is Nickel still with you?

Editado: Jan 3, 9:00 pm

>22 Storeetllr: - Ha! Yes! (speaking for myself, of course ;-)

>21 Storeetllr: - Gorgeous!!

Jan 3, 10:58 pm

>21 Storeetllr: Lovely family, Mary!

>22 Storeetllr: I feel seen.

Looking forward to following along for another year!

Jan 5, 10:08 am

Happy New Year, Mary. I look forward to following your reading journey this year. I hope it's a good one for you.

Jan 5, 11:40 am

Happy reading in 2023!

Jan 5, 12:08 pm

>23 quondame: Thanks, Susan. And yes, if one must be addicted to anything, reading is the least harmful. Tho I read that Bette Davis’ divorce was because, as her estranged husband complained, “she was always reading,” so maybe not, thi imo she was well rid of him, whomever he was.

Jan 5, 12:12 pm

>24 ronincats: Hah! Chubby Baby Ruby has been replaced by Chubby Baby Rowan. (She is exquisite, isn’t she. Tall and slender and so very sure of herself and her place in the universe. It’s a beautiful thing to be witnessing!)

Yes, Nickel is still with me. I’ll post a picture of her next time I’m on my laptop.

Jan 5, 12:13 pm

>25 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelly. They really are!

Jan 5, 12:15 pm

>26 Copperskye: Thank you, Joanne. I agree!

>26 Copperskye: >22 Storeetllr: 😆

Jan 5, 12:16 pm

>27 BLBera: Hey, Beth! You found me! Yay!

Jan 5, 12:17 pm

>28 libraryperilous: Thank you! Happy reading ti you too!

Jan 5, 3:12 pm

Happy new year and happy reading! And more pictures of your adorable family.

Jan 5, 10:32 pm

Happy New Years, Mary. I've placed my star and I am looking forward to seeing what 2023 is going to bring us - hopefully, only good things!

Jan 6, 10:50 am

>6 Storeetllr: Added to my ongoing list of "best of 2022" books. I was able to get a copy of The Goblin Emperor and have it on tap to read this month.

>21 Storeetllr: Great pictures!

>22 Storeetllr: Love that!

A belated Happy New Year from me, Mary. I hope you have a wonderful, book-filled 2023.

Jan 6, 11:14 am

Friday! I'm in love. It's a weekend of simple and sweet nothings-much.

Jan 6, 2:00 pm

>35 witchyrichy: Thank you, Karen! And here’s to the same for you!

>36 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy! Looking forward to that!

Jan 6, 2:05 pm

>37 alcottacre: I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Stasia!

>38 richardderus: Happy Friday, Richard. Thanks for the earworm.

Jan 6, 4:26 pm

>40 Storeetllr: *preen* I thought it up all by myself.

Jan 6, 6:34 pm

>21 Storeetllr: What a beautiful family!

Happy Friday, Mary. I hope those books are treating you well.

Jan 6, 8:20 pm

Happy New Year, Mary! Your grands are adorable - thanks so much for sharing.

>13 Storeetllr: I loved this! Abby, Daniel, and I all listened to Project Hail Mary while Craig read it in print - we keep telling him he missed out and needs to revisit it on audio. It is just so full of fabulous on audio.

Editado: Jan 7, 1:09 pm

>41 richardderus: Hah!

>42 msf59: Thanks, Mark! I think they are. Happy weekend to you too, though weekends don’t matter to us retired folks as they once did, except, for me, a stronger reason to stay home and avoid the crowds of those still working regular jobs.

Jan 7, 1:08 pm

>43 Crazymamie: Mamie! So nice to have a visit from you! Thanks, I think they are that and more. I’ll add my voice urging Craig to listen to it. The audio version adds layer upon layer to the story. The narrator is pitch perfect. Let me know if he does and what he thinks.

Jan 7, 6:53 pm

Mary, you win the Best Topper I've seen so far "award"! Ruby and Rowan are so precious, and you are kind to share your pictures with us. Wishing you more fun times in 2023.

I was surprised by how many of our favorite books overlapped. I always thought we read quite differently. Sci/fi and Fantasy aren't my favorite genres, although I was a huge fan of Project Hail Mary.

Jan 8, 11:29 am

Stopping by to wish you a great Sunday, Mary.

Jan 8, 2:06 pm

>46 Donna828: Oh! You’re so kind to say so, Donna. When I created my 2023 thread, I just wasn’t feeling up to writing a long intro and figured that anyone who doesn’t already know me can look at my profile if they want to read background. I kind of like the short and snappy. And anyway, at this point, the calendar with my grands’ pic says it all.

I was a bit surprised too at some of the books that made my favorites list last year. Looking back over the decades, I see a kind of pattern of me changing preferences, where for a time I might prefer lighter reading and then for a time I read more substantial books. The past decade, and especially the years from 2016 to 2021, were traumatic, and it seemed I had a hard time concentrating on much except books with lighter content. Things have eased up a bit irl, so now I’m seem capable of enjoying meatier books.

Jan 8, 2:12 pm

>47 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul! My Sunday is so far nice and relaxing.

I managed to get Wordle in 3, Dordle in 6, and Phrazzle in 2! Phoodle isn’t coming up for some reason, so I’ll try that one later. I hope to get a little painting in later, and plan to make salmon curry for dinner.

Jan 8, 2:38 pm

We finally had our Christmas dinner yesterday now that we’re all done with covid (touch wood). The kids’ paternal grampa brought gifts for everyone, including me! Though I said I didn’t want anything this year (presents for the grandkids only). He gave me a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio which some of us drank at dinner and a basket full of dark chocolatey treats. I’ll paint him a thank you card this week. He (says he) loves my hand painted cards. He’s really a nice guy.

Anyway, my son-in-law’s aunt and uncle also came, which was lovely. The kids warmed up to them almost immediately, and all were enchanted by Ruby (until she got a bit overwhelmed and chocolated out, though it never descended into a full-blown meltdown thank goodness) and Rowan who played ball with all of us incessantly until it was time for dinner and asked to be picked up by all at one point or another.

We had prime rib and whipped potatoes, vegetables, fried potato dumplings and ice cream cake after. Rowan went crazy for the mashed potatoes. I’ll post a pic of Mr. Potato Face when I get on the laptop next. It was all delicious, and I ate more than I should have.

Later, I had a nice cup of ginger tea.

Jan 8, 3:52 pm

Happy Sunday, Mary. Your belated Christmas dinner sounds fantastic. Go Mr. Potato Face!!

Jan 9, 8:24 am

Mary, your dinner sounds full of fabulous. And who can argue with wine and dark chocolate? I love gifts that are thoughtful but can also be consumed. Heh.

Jan 11, 10:22 am

The dinner with family sounds wonderful. Please let grampa know I am open to wine and dark chocolate anytime!

Hope the week is going well and I am eager for Mr. Potato Face pictures.

Jan 11, 1:08 pm

Hi Mary. I'm slowly pottering out and hope you're only going to get better and happier all 2023 long.

Jan 12, 8:57 am

Belated happy reading in 2023, Mary!

Jan 12, 5:33 pm

>51 msf59: Hi, Mark! It was nice to finally get it done! (Not a big fan of Christmas, old Ms. Scrooge that I have become. Except for the kids. I love giving them gifts, seeing the looks on their faces when the tree and decorations go up, watching them excitedly opening presents. Ruby's at the age where she gets super shy when too much attention is paid to her, so she's a lot quieter than the previous years. Rowan just goes straight into playing - with the boxes and gift bags. He's playing with his stuff now, but him and cats have a lot in common.

Jan 12, 5:34 pm

>52 Crazymamie: Right?!? Apparently, my daughter told him not to get me anything, because I wanted Christmas to be about the kids (and, you know, budget?), but he insisted, so she told him what to get. lol My daughter knows me.

Jan 12, 5:36 pm

>53 witchyrichy: Hi, Karen! Yes, it was lovely. And large. I have more than enough to share. If only we lived closer.

>54 richardderus: Thank you, Richard. Now totter back to bed and rest, you sweet, silly man!

Jan 12, 5:42 pm

>55 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita! I need to get to your thread soon, which I have starred so I can find it but haven't actually dropped a star on yet.

The era of the sucky laptop is almost at an end, I think (hope). I got a different used computer and updated it a bit with a new drive and more RAM. Then I had to figure out how to get the virus protection program on it. I renewed it but it wouldn't work. With a little help from their IT people, I managed to uninstall and reinstall it, and I think it's safe to use now. It's still not as fast as I would like, but it's not unconscionably ssslllloooowwww like the last one. So I should be able to do more posting of pics and visiting/commenting on others' threads. Yay!

Editado: Jan 12, 5:50 pm

Which brings me to Mr. Potato Face!

Jan 12, 5:56 pm

>60 Storeetllr: What a cutie.

Jan 12, 6:06 pm

So, I think I've mentioned how small and dark my basement apartment is. It's almost too dark for houseplants, except in the two south-facing windows (the north-facing window is about 18" x 32" and a foot deep, so not much light comes in there even on a sunny day), and there's really not much room in those windows for the number of house plants I used to have. And then to try to overwinter herbs and other outdoor plants - well, it isn't pretty.

Anyway, I had a brainstorm (the good kind) and decided to try to use a useless closet as a plant room. It's useless because it's too small to hang clothes or store boxes and it's where the electric/gas and water meters are located and where the main water line comes into the house from outside, i.e.. where the pipe burst last summer which necessitated new flooring, among other things. So I hung one plant grower lamp and put a bunch of plants in there, along with a fountain, and it's just lovely! I get sunshine-y light every day, even when it's raining (like today), and I managed to save a bunch of outdoor plants. (One of them, the pineapple sage, is even blooming! You can see a couple of tiny red blooms midway down the left side of the mirror frame.) (The dried leaves you can see over at the far left are rose geranium leaves that I hung to dry for making potpourri.)

Jan 12, 6:09 pm

>61 BLBera: Hi, Beth! Yes, I think so! And smart! I don't remember my daughter being that smart and aware so young. I mean, he's only a little over a year old. Of course, it was awhile ago and I could just be misremembering.

Jan 12, 6:53 pm

>62 Storeetllr: What a great and mood altering use for a difficult space!

Jan 12, 7:06 pm

>60 Storeetllr: Hooray for Mr. Potato Face! He still manages to look so darn cute.

Jan 12, 8:46 pm

>60 Storeetllr: Quite adorable!

>62 Storeetllr: What a great solution! On a dreary day it must be a great area to look at and feel uplifted.

Jan 12, 8:49 pm

Love the plant closet, Mary!

Jan 12, 9:20 pm

I love your plants! What a creative way to use the space.

Jan 12, 11:38 pm

>60 Storeetllr: That cute little face!

>62 Storeetllr: Small, dark closet no more. What a great idea!

Jan 13, 5:04 am

>62 Storeetllr: What a lovely way to use an useless space, Mary!

Jan 13, 7:45 am

Hi Mary! A very belated Happy New Year and happy first thread of 2023.

>22 Storeetllr: Well. Yes. Books with no shelf space, of course. Easy decision.

>48 Storeetllr: I’m the opposite right now – lighter rather than meatier – and am just going to go with it ‘til it changes.

>50 Storeetllr: We had Prime Rib for Christmas dinner, too. Yay for Rowan and the mashed potatoes.

>60 Storeetllr: Very sweet pic. Letting kids be messy is so important, IMO.

>62 Storeetllr: Wow. Just…. Wow. Clever idea beautifully implemented.

Jan 13, 9:24 am

You are creative in so many ways! Love that plant space!

Jan 13, 11:52 am

>62 Storeetllr: What a lovely space.

Jan 13, 4:46 pm

I LOVE your plant space! You are always so creative. I seem to remember you had that amazing vegetable growing tower at one point, right?

Jan 13, 7:42 pm

Quick follow up: here's your image to print out...

Jan 14, 12:46 pm

>75 witchyrichy: Love it!

>74 witchyrichy: Thanks! Between the plant closet and the fuchsia Christmas lights I have for evenings and really dark days, my SAD symptoms don’t seem as bad as usual this winter, although the knee and hip pain is taking up the slack. 😆 It’s so ridiculous, I have to laugh. Getting old is not for the faint of heart.

Jan 14, 1:22 pm

I love that plant space you made, Mary. It’s beautiful, and a good use for a difficult corner. It’s a real coincidence you showing this here, I was thinking of making a corner for sowing seeds and growing plants. Inspiration!

Mr. potato face is a cutie, as is your granddaughter.

Wishing you a fabulous (reading) year in 2023!

Jan 14, 5:01 pm

>76 Storeetllr: My 87-year-old mother phrases it this way: "Getting old is not for sissies."

Jan 15, 7:15 pm

>60 Storeetllr: Too cute. Hani would profess that I still eat like that!

>76 Storeetllr: & >78 witchyrichy: It is the lack of puff that needs adjusting to!

Jan 16, 4:45 pm

>77 EllaTim: Thanks, Ella! I sure do love those little cuties!

I love the idea of a seedling corner! If you do it, I'd love to see a pic of it! Coincidentally, I was just contemplating how to add a place for growing seedlings without having to lower the light or block light from the house/outdoor plants that are already there. I thought of using a hanging planter that I can put where the current one is and using that, at least until the seedlings get too tall. Or, I could buy another lamp and hang it somewhere else. Decisions, decisions!

Jan 16, 4:47 pm

>79 PaulCranswick: Haha, Paul, I hope not QUITE like that! Though he also loves his food.

Jan 16, 5:03 pm

So, yesterday Ruby went with her parents to Disney-on-Ice, which was one of the gifts her grandpa gave her for Christmas. She was so excited! I took some pics of her in her Anna gown, another gift from grampa, which is what she wore to the event.

I got to stay home with Rowan, and we had so much fun! Here are a couple of pics.

Mr. Sour Cream and Guacamole Face

Clowning Around

It was nice spending time with him, but I was exhausted after 6 hours of almost nonstop fun. Sadly, my knees and hips hurt so much after picking him up so much that I had trouble sleeping. Finally fell into a deep sleep just before dawn and slept till noon. I hate when that happens. Even so, TOTALLY WORTH IT!

Jan 16, 5:19 pm

That sounds like a fabulous day all around, Mary, for you, Rowan and Ruby. She looks adorable in her dress.

Jan 16, 5:21 pm

Jan 16, 5:36 pm

She looks like a princess! And am I seeing that Rowan is a leftie? Yay! (me too)

Jan 16, 7:04 pm

Thanks, Mary, Susan, and Shelley! Ruby loves dressing up, just like her mom did when she was that age.

I've been observing him and wondering that myself, Shelley, though he seems to be ambidextrous at this point.

Jan 16, 8:19 pm

Rowan and Ruby look like great fun and are certainly cuties, Mary.

>85 jessibud2: I am another for our small band of lefties, Shelley.

Editado: Jan 16, 8:52 pm

>82 Storeetllr: A beautiful gown and beautifully modeled! I’ll bet she had fun. When I worked in cable, when Chris was young, Disney always comped us tix for the ice shows when they came through Denver. They were fun.

Rowan, Lol, so cute!

Jan 17, 8:14 am

Sounds like a good day all around!

Jan 17, 8:22 am

>82 Storeetllr: Great pics, Mary. Looks like a wonderful time. Ruby looks so grown-up.

Jan 17, 10:00 am

What a couple of cuties. Ruby is growing up so fast!

Jan 17, 11:16 am

>79 PaulCranswick: I laughed out loud at the lack of puff. I may start evaluating my days based on a puffiness scale.

>82 Storeetllr: Adorable children! Ruby is beautiful in her gown. How wonderful that you are able to be there with them.

Jan 17, 11:59 am

Hello, Mary! The photos of Ruby and Rowan are full of happy. They both have such sweet faces.

Love the oasis you made out of a closet - that is so full of fabulous! What a great idea.

Jan 19, 2:05 pm

>87 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! They are that!

>88 Copperskye: Oh! That must have been wonderful! What great memories! When Meg was little, I had a friend who worked at Disney, and he took us to Disneyland (California) often. Fun times.

Editado: Jan 19, 2:13 pm

>89 drneutron: It was, Jim! Good but exhausting. Still, it's a good kind of exhaustion.

Jan 19, 2:09 pm

>90 msf59: >91 BLBera: Thanks Mark and Beth! Yes, I can't believe how quickly she's growing up! On the cusp of her fourth birthday, she already is writing her own name and "MAMA" and "MIMI" (that's me) all by herself.

Jan 19, 2:12 pm

>92 witchyrichy: I am grateful every day, Karen!

>93 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie! They are full of happy, and I give my daughter full credit for making that possible.

The plant closet is a lifesaver, in that I suffer from SAD when I can't see the sun. Which is most of the winter here in the Lower Hudson Valley. Between the closet oasis (great word for it!) and the fuchsia Christmas lights, it's not as bad this year as usual.

Jan 19, 2:33 pm

I was offline most of yesterday so didn't get around the threads. My daughter woke with a migraine, so I had the baby all morning so Meg could rest while Ruby was at preschool. Having had migraines myself when I was younger, and still get them occasionally, I know how debilitating they can be.

Rowan's such a sweetie most of the time, but he must have been feeling his mama's pain because he was Mr. Grouch most of the morning. I gave up trying to play with him and finally turned on Ms. Rachel, which calmed him down.

Now I've got toddler earworms running constantly in my head. Gack!

The Royal Baby got Attitude

Looking out the window for his Mama (she was in the bedroom resting)

Nickel enjoying a sunbath among the greenery

Jan 19, 2:42 pm

>98 Storeetllr: We were looking at some camcorder videos of the kids when they were very small over the last few days which Belle discovered in the wardrobe. Mainly of her brother and especially of Yasmyne but it did bring back how much fun and hard work it was bringing them up.

Your pictures and anecdotes help remind me too that I have grandparenting to look forward to!

Jan 19, 3:18 pm

Every morning I do five word puzzles with breakfast. Wordle, of course, plus Quordle and Dordle. Then there's Phoodle, which is food related. Finally, I do Phrazle, where you figure out a common phrase. Yesterday's phrase infuriated me. "Tow the line?" "TOW?" Seriously? Because "tow" the line is almost as bad as "For all intensive purposes." (I usually get it in two tries, sometimes three; this took me four because it just didn't compute.) I nearly decided to stop doing Phrazle altogether, but I'm giving it another chance, because - I don't know why.

On the book front, it's gone from "nothing I feel like reading" to "OMG too many I want to read!" I guess I prefer the latter to the former, but it's slightly stressful trying to decide what to read next and hoping I get them all read before they need to go back to the library.

I've decided on the following, in order of reading:

Spare - although I'm neither a lover of autobiographies nor a follower of the royals, I've heard good things from those who've read it. And I've kind of admired Harry over the years - at least more than his brother. We'll see how far I get.

Hell Bent - sequel to Ninth House which I read late last year and really enjoyed.

Blood, Fire and Gold - because I like this historical era (to read about; I really wouldn't want to live then) and think this will be really interesting.

The Cabinet of Dr. Leng by Preston and Child - latest Pendergast thriller. Not sure about this one; I'm not a fan of Constance, but I loved The Cabinet of Curiosities and am hoping this one lives up to it.

Jan 19, 3:24 pm

>99 PaulCranswick: Oh, that is so cool! Old photos of the times the kids were, well, kids, can bring back some lovely memories. And, yes, some not-quite-so-lovely one - though all are precious.

Your time will come. Hope it's not too soon - your eldest isn't all that old and still has time to be free to have fun without the responsibility of babies.

Jan 19, 6:54 pm

>98 Storeetllr: The small ones can be so delightful, but they are entirely ruthless and it amps up quickly when they feel they have cause.

Jan 20, 4:38 pm

>102 quondame: haha, yes, it does.

Jan 22, 7:43 pm

What a cute and inventive solution to your closet problem, Mary. I'm glad to see that Nickel approves as well. Lovely pictures of the grands. Rowan looks like he can have fun anywhere! Sorry you were in pain, but you will always treasure the fun times.

I'm interested to see your impression of Spare. I probably won't read it as I have a year's worth of book recommendations from you and a few others that I have 'bookmarked'. Thanks for your help.

Editado: Jan 23, 7:53 pm

>104 Donna828: Thank you, Donna. I like the closet greenhouse a lot more than Nickel does. I do treasure my time with the littles, even more knowing firsthand how swiftly these years pass.

I finished Spare. My initial reaction was positive. I haven’t followed the royal soap opera closely over the years, so most of it was new to me, but, if even half of what he says is true, I am truly horrified by the way he and his girlfriends and now his wife were, and are, treated by the royal family, the functionaries who run the monarchy, and the press. If Charles were my father, I’d have left the family too. Some parts were really uplifting, like when he talks about his time in Africa and his charity work. His time in the military when he was in Afghanistan is intense. I’m glad I listened to it on audio. Hearing him read it, well, that was pretty intense at times too.

Editado: Jan 23, 8:18 pm

Just learned the next Murderbot book will be out this coming November. Can’t wait! I will, of course, be preordering it. The title is System Breakdown. The cover is supposed to be revealed tomorrow. I’m ridiculously excited about this!

Jan 23, 8:13 pm

>106 Storeetllr: Yay! More Murderbot!

Jan 23, 10:42 pm

I am ready for more Murderbot as well. And ART?

Jan 24, 12:25 pm

>107 quondame: Yay, indeed!

>108 BLBera: I hope so. Last we saw of Murderbot, it had decided to stay with ART, so chances are good. My question is whether it’s going to be a novella or a novel. I hope it’s a novel.

Editado: Jan 24, 9:18 pm

SQUEEEEEEE! It is! It is a novel! And here's the cover art. And what the heck is that thing confronting Murderbot? Oh! November can't come soon enough. Wait. I usually wish time would slow down; but in this one instance, I want it to speed up. I'm so conflicted! If only I could bend physics to accommodate both my wishes.

From Tor's description:

Am I making it worse? I think I'm making it worse.

Everyone's favorite lethal SecUnit is back.

Following the events in Network Effect, the Barish-Estranza corporation has sent rescue ships to a newly-colonized planet in peril, as well as additional SecUnits. But if there’s an ethical corporation out there, Murderbot has yet to find it, and if Barish-Estranza can’t have the planet, they’re sure as hell not leaving without something. If that something just happens to be an entire colony of humans, well, a free workforce is a decent runner-up prize.

But there’s something wrong with Murderbot; it isn’t running within normal operational parameters. ART’s crew and the humans from Preservation are doing everything they can to protect the colonists, but with Barish-Estranza’s SecUnit-heavy persuasion teams, they’re going to have to hope Murderbot figures out what’s wrong with itself, and fast!

Yeah, this plan is... not going to work.

Cover art by Jaime Jones
Cover design by Christine Foltzer

Fev 1, 3:28 pm

January Round-Up

Books Read: 11


Fantasy: 5
Fictionalized memoir, sort of: 1
Nonfiction: 5
-Memoir - 1
-Science - 2
-Linguistic Anthropology - 1
-History - 1


Spare by Prince Harry. 4.5 stars. Audio. At times surreal, even horrifying, and often sad, this autobiographical memoir is in its entirety an intensely personal and fascinating look at what it was like to be the second-born prince in a highly dysfunctional royal family.

The Wordhord by Hana Videen. 4.5 stars. Audio. Very interesting (and surprisingly amusing) look at life in early medieval England through the lens of the Old English language (think Beowulf and Cædmon).

Most Enjoyable - Sweep of the Heart. 4 stars. Audio. Latest adventure in the world of The Innkeepers

Oddest (but in a good way) - The Milky Way, an Autobiography of Our Galaxy by Moiya McTier. 4 stars. Audio. Okay, this is hard to categorize. Is it science? Yes. Is it fiction? Some. I mean, it anthropomorphizes the galaxy, but what the galaxy tells us are actual scientific facts, hypotheses, and theories. It’s sort of like a fictionalized documentary.

Fev 1, 3:29 pm

Welcome to February!

I can't believe he was such a little guy only a year ago! Time is just rocketing by!

My first book of the month is The Twilight Man, a wonderful graphic novel recommended by Mark. My daughter picked it up from the library for me this morning, and I finished it a half hour ago. It's so good!

Fev 2, 9:45 am

Morning, Mary! Great January stats. I also really enjoyed The Twilight Man - didn't you think the artwork was perfect?

Fev 2, 12:07 pm

Thanks, Mamie! Yes. I thought the whole thing was perfect, but the artwork was outstanding!

Fev 3, 9:33 pm

>112 Storeetllr: That is so cute!

Have a lovely weekend, Mary.

Fev 4, 1:19 pm

Thanks, Paul! The calendar was my Christmas gift from the grandkids, and I love it! Best thing they could have given me because I love to see their sweet faces - and I love wall calendars.

Hope your weekend is wonderful!

Fev 4, 5:07 pm

>94 Storeetllr: Yup. Disneyland (and World) are even more fun when they’re comped. Not to mention Universal. Those were the days…

I was wondering if Nickel enjoyed the tropical closet. Looks like that’s a yes.

I read The Twilight Man yesterday. Very well done!

Editado: Fev 6, 7:35 pm

>117 Copperskye: Joanne! Nice to "see" you! Oh, yes! SO much fun! We used to have our summer office parties at either Disneyland or Universal when I worked for my second to last large law firms when Meg was a preteen. It was wonderful! I had forgotten about that. Lovely memories!

Nickel does NOT enjoy the tropical closet. She does not trust it. "Plants belong outside. The sun belongs outside. This is not natural. It is going to kill me."

Yes, Twilight Man was well done. I am still thinking about it! And now I want to watch a Twilight Zone marathon. Guess I'll have to wait till New Year 2024. (Damn, that has an ominous sound to it.) On FB, you mentioned The Hitchhiker. I don't remember that episode. When I have a chance, I'll look for it on You Tube. (Everything's on You Tube, it seems.)

Fev 6, 7:54 pm

>118 Storeetllr: Oh yes, the company nights! I don't think I ever found Disneyland very enjoyable once those stopped being a thing. It's hard to have patience with hours long lines after you've whipped through Space Mountain 3 times in 20 min or less. Also I started having issues standing for long times....

Editado: Fev 9, 12:49 pm

>119 quondame: Right?!? I don’t think I ever went to Disneyland without a kid. First time - in 1973, the year I moved to California from Chicago - was with my 11-year old sister. Next time was in the mid-80s with my own kid. (Remember the A tickets? I liked it better when they did away with those and you could reserve a time to go on a ride.) Universal was a different story. I went there in the late 70s with a friend who visited from Chicago. Later was with Meg and/or for office events. Now, of course, it would be too hard for me to get around any amusement parks.

Fev 9, 10:02 pm

>120 Storeetllr: I only remember going once as a kid - no A tickets for us! and rarely with a child, maybe 2-3 times. Mostly I went in the 70s and very early 80s on the company nights. I'm not even sure if I went after 1982 when the car I was in on my way there was rear-ended and I was badly concussed but the emergency room we were taken to refused to diagnose that in order to clear me out, so though I somehow got home - no memory of how - I was stuck having to ask for rides anywhere I wanted to go and no senses of time. I may have avoided Disneyland after that.

Fev 10, 4:38 pm

Hi Mary, you've got me all excited over the new Murderbot book! I also can't wait. You mention wall calendars - I am surprised at how important a wall calendar has become to us - we use it to keep our various doctor, dentist etc. appointments straight. I bet lots of senior citizens are in the same boat!

Fev 14, 12:47 pm

>121 quondame: Yikes! What a dreadful experience. Totally understandable you’d avoid Disneyland after that, even tho the park itself wasn’t at fault.

Fev 14, 12:53 pm

>122 DeltaQueen50: It’s very exciting, Judy! I was feeling poorly the other day and found myself hoping I manage to survive at least to November so I don’t miss the next Murderbot.

I tried to go without a wall calendar last year. It wasn’t easy. I just like to have the month laid out on paper where I can visualize how many days/weeks before or after some event. I know I can get the information from my phone’s calendar app, but it’s not as easy to visualize for some reason.

Mar 1, 1:30 pm

February stats

Total read: 9


Graphic novel: 1
Audio: 8


Fantasy: 3
Mystery: 3
YA Historical: 1
Nonfiction: 2


The Twilight Man by Koren Shadmi. 4.5 stars. GN. Biography.

The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas 4.5 stars. Audio. YA Historical

Waco by Jeff Guinn. 4.5 stars. Audio. Nonfiction

Mar 11, 4:12 pm

Sorry it took me so long to visit, Mary. I hope everything is going well for you.

Mar 11, 5:14 pm

Hi Mary, I hope you and your family are doing well.

Mar 16, 8:37 pm

>12 Storeetllr: Well, that's a depressing thought. I hope you're feeling better and have many more years of Murderbot books to look forward to!!

We also have a kitchen calendar. I really wouldn't want to be without it and have to look at a screen to see what there was to look forward to (or not) each month.

It looks like you had a good reading month in February and hope March is going well! I have Waco on library hold for John.

Mar 17, 11:37 am

>126 Familyhistorian: Hi, Meg! Welcome! It’s always a pleasure to have a visit from you. I’m doing well, thanks, except for a neverending cold. Going to physical therapy for my knees and hips, and it seems to be helping, so that’s good!

Mar 17, 11:40 am

>127 quondame: Thanks, Susan! As I told Meg, I’m doing well. The kids bring home every bug that’s going around, so one or the other is sniffling, feverish, coughing, throwing up, tired, or generally crankily not feeling well at any given time. Hope you’re doing well!

Mar 17, 11:42 am

I'm home from rehab! I'm excited to say I've still got 90% of my marbles still rattling around in my head, too.

Happy weekend-ahead's reads! *smooch*

Mar 17, 11:45 am

>128 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne. Yes, I’m feeling more optimistic about getting to November so I can read the new Murderbot. Glad to know I’m not alone in my love for wall calendars. I also use the phone calendar, of course, but it’s good to see the entire month in one glance. I hope John finds Waco as - I can’t say “enjoyable” because the subject matter is too horrible, but maybe “fascinating.”

Mar 17, 11:49 am

>131 richardderus: Oh, yay! So happy to hear that, Richard! And don’t take this amiss, please, but your 90% is equal to most people’s 50%, if that, imo. Happy Friday!

Mar 17, 12:00 pm

>133 Storeetllr: Amiss? That's the nicest thing anyone's said to me this week! (If not month)

Mar 17, 5:19 pm

>130 Storeetllr: I do not miss that aspect of raising a child. I'm glad to hear the PT is doing some good for your knees and hips.

Mar 18, 11:05 am

Hi Mary. Sorry to hear about the never-ending cold. I seem to have the same thing going with a runny nose. I’m beginning to think I’m allergic to Penny. I sure hope not because there is no way I would give her up.

I recently finished listening to Miracle and Wonder. A thousand thanks for the recommendation. It was amazing. I am planning a relisten on our next long road trip as I think Dave would love it as well. Oh, and I also gave the first Murderbot a try…with great success. I was pretty certain it wouldn’t be for me. I was wrong. I’m in for the rest of the series.

Mar 18, 12:20 pm

>135 quondame: Heh, yes, that part is the pits.

Mar 18, 12:25 pm

>136 Donna828: Oh, great news, Donna! So glad you enjoyed Miracle and Wonder. It was pretty wonder-full! I agree that your hubby should also enjoy it. But Murderbot too!!!! Makes me so happy to hear it!

Boo hiss to the cold, though better that than an allergy to Penny.

Mar 18, 12:49 pm

Thread visiting on a Saturday afternoon. I'm rooting for you to get to November and we can enjoy the new Murderbot together! I have a few to go to catch up but they are such great reads.

I've added Miracle and Wonder to my TBR. Right now, I am working through Richard Rohr's Lenten devotional.

Mar 18, 12:53 pm

>134 richardderus: Oops! Sorry. Missed you up there, my friend.

What I said was nice, maybe, but true. *smooches*

Mar 18, 12:58 pm

>139 witchyrichy: Hi, Karen! Always a pleasure to have a visit from you!

Yes! One way to make November endurable. Which books do you have left? My favorite of the novellas is Exit Strategy. Have you gotten to it yet?

I think you will love Miracle and Wonder. It’s audio only (I think), but so worth the listen, even if you’re not a fan of audiobooks.

Mar 18, 1:58 pm

Happy Saturday, Mary. I hope all is well. I miss seeing you around. Enjoying those grands? Dumb question?

I am so glad you loved "Waco". Guinn is such a good NF writer. Miracle and Wonder is the Paul Simon audio, right? If so, I also loved it.

Editado: Mar 19, 2:00 pm

Hey, Mark! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, the grandkids are wonderful, even with their penchant for gifting me with every bug they pick up.

Love isn’t quite the word I’d use for a book about a religious cult going off the rails resulting in child endangerment, sexual abuse, and violent death, but it was horrifyingly gripping, well-written and -researched. I’m definitely going to look for more by Guinn. As for the Paul Simon interview/memoir, it was wonderful and I’m glad I bought it so I can listen to it again.

Mar 20, 3:15 pm

Hi Mary, star dropped. Too much to read in full, so I'll just start from here. You might not hear from me much, but I'll follow along...

Mar 21, 11:26 am

>144 mahsdad: Yay! Glad we found each other’s threads. And no worries, Jeff. I sometimes go for days or even weeks without commenting on anyone’s thread, including my own.

Mar 21, 12:45 pm

*smooch* just cuz

Mar 24, 10:49 pm

>146 richardderus: Just cuz kisses are the BEST kind of kisses!

Mar 24, 11:01 pm

Just finished Broken (in the Best Possible Way by Jenny Lawson. 5 stars. Audio. I ask myself how a gut-wrenching book about a woman’s struggle with anxiety and depression made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt and tears ran down my face. I do not know, except it did. Parts of it were just hilarious, parts had me nodding in recognition of things I’ve gone through myself (snd still do), and parts were so raw and painful my heart about broke. This was read by the author, and yes, her voice got a bit shrill at times. It fit the subject matter perfectly though and didn’t bother me. I loved her occasional spontaneous laughter when she said something particularly outrageous or really funny. I’m going to look for more of her stuff, but not right away. This one was a lot to take in, and I’m going to need time to process it. Highly recommended.

Mar 28, 12:54 pm

A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn. 4 stars. Audio. I stopped reading the Veronica Speedwell historical mysteries awhile back because they got a bit stale. I picked this up as a change of pace in the hopes it would be more enjoyable than the last one in the series. It was. Set during the Jack the Ripper era, it started off slowly, but I ended up liking it a lot, especially the time spent in captivity with the slowly developing acquaintance between Veronica and one of her relations.

Mar 28, 10:00 pm

>148 Storeetllr: I have seen this one around lately and just wa not sure but you convinced me to put it on my list.

Regarding the Disneyland conversation further up, the first time I wen to Disneyland was during my "reading" week in my third year of University. I went with my mom and it was a blast!

Mar 29, 10:44 am

Hi, Anita! Lovely to see you here.

>148 Storeetllr: I hope you - enjoy isn’t quite the right word, although parts of it would qualify. Would you be listening to it or reading it in text form?

I bet your visit to Disneyland was a welcome relief from the rigors of university. What is a “reading week?”

Mar 29, 10:47 am

Happy Humpday, smoochling!

Abr 2, 1:53 pm

>152 richardderus: Hey, there, Richard!

Abr 2, 2:06 pm

March Reading Stats

17 books (all audiobooks)
10 new
7 rereads

Mystery - 8
-Romantic thriller - 7
-Historical - 1
Scifi - 2
Fantasy - 6
Nonfiction - 1

Best read was Broken (in the Best Possible Way by Jenny Lawson.
Este tópico foi continuado por Mary/Storeetllr Reads Through 2023-Chapter 2.