Clam Devours Books & Shares Cheese ❂ 2023 ~ Part II ❂

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Clam Devours Books & Shares Cheese ❂ 2023 ~ Part II ❂

Editado: Mar 15, 10:33 pm

Clammed Up was light and fluffy, for a book with a murder in it. I guess this qualifies as a cozy mystery. There are a lot of descriptions of New England foods, with recipes at the end of the book. (I might be trying the Blueberry Grunt this Summer!) There is also quite a bit of traveling back and forth by small boat to a private island that hosts clam bakes. I probably won't read any more in this series. I bought it because I was in a bit of a fey mood and the title caught my eye in one of those ebook sale emails I get overloaded with. It was cheap and fun! (But not particularly complex.)

I have already started Demon Copperhead and it really isn't grabbing me*. I think I will return that ebook loan and start a Trollope. The print in my copy of Barchester Towers & The Warden resembles fruit fly scat. :o( And the pages have yellowed. So I will might start the ebook, or possibly Can You Forgive Her. I have to see what each is about first before I decide.

*I know this is on me. The ratings are through the roof on this one, but after The Gift of Rain I want something without a lot of darkness in it right now.

Mar 15, 10:03 pm

I just realized I haven't shared any cheeses for a while, so today I am sharing two. They are very similar, and at least one of them should be available both sides of the pond.

The first is Cambozola. I believe it is made in Germany, but it's usually available in cheese shops and some grocery stores stateside. It is a Camembert that's been injected with some Gorgonzola mould. (Hence the clever name.)

The second is Saga Blue Brie. You'll note they look very much alike, and when I can't fine that first one I will buy the second, because over here it is a little easier to find. This one is from Denmark, but the Danish now manufacture it in the US as well. It is a brie that has been injected with very mild blue mould.

Mar 15, 10:10 pm

My wife liked Demon Copperhead, although not unreservedly. I peeked at the first few pages, and the last few page numbers, and said, "not now." I never have read David Copperfield and I wonder if I should use the Kingsolver as a reason to tackle that.

Mar 15, 10:36 pm

>3 Jim53: That sounds like an excellent plan. I loved David Copperfield when I read it 40 years ago.

Mar 16, 1:44 am

Happy new thread, clam!

I like cambozola too. I haven’t seen Saga blue Brie here, although other Castello cheeses are readily available.

Mar 16, 3:40 am

>1 clamairy:
Good luck with the new thread.

I am currently enjoying The Warden and really enjoyed Barchester Towers when I read it. I know, I read them in reverse order.

Mar 16, 10:20 am

Happy new thread!

Mar 16, 11:32 am

And another Happy New Thread!

Mar 16, 11:43 am

Happy new thread and thanks for the cheese!

Mar 16, 9:57 pm

Mmmm, Cambazola! My all time favorite cheese. Not always easy to find though.

Mar 16, 10:28 pm

>10 MrsLee: We have a new cheese shop only four miles away that had it when I was there last week. I bought some for the family St. Pat's gathering this weekend.

Mar 17, 8:09 am

Happy new thread and Very happy new cheese!

Mar 20, 2:03 pm

Even if you didn't overly enjoy The Warden, I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Trollope.

Editado: Mar 20, 3:15 pm

This isn't the cover on my copy of The Warden, I just liked it better. So, as I mentioned in Peter's thread I also finished this book, and I was not in love with it. I did think the ending was quite good. (And not just because it was ending.) I think most of onus is on me, as I am under of bit of a cloud right now, and my ability to focus isn't what it could or should be. (My sweet old Boxer has started having serious health issues.) That said, all I could think of was that scene from the movie Amadeus when the king tells Mozart that his latest composition has "too many notes." I realize most books from this era are exceptionally wordy, but parts of this one bored me to tears. As I said, it's me... I gave it three and a half stars for now, and I will not be continuing on at this juncture. I can't give this series the attention it (probably) deserves right now.

Mar 21, 11:04 am

>14 clamairy: Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that Sammie is having problems. It's so hard when our four-legged friends start to fail.

Mar 21, 11:38 am

>14 clamairy: Sorry to hear about your dog, I hope he improves.

Mar 21, 2:15 pm

>15 Sakerfalcon: >16 Karlstar: Thank you. She had one seizure back in January, and we hoped it was a one time thing. Then she had three more this past weekend. So she's starting anti-seizure meds. She's almost 13, which is great for a Boxer. And her mood is still very good.

We always know that owning a pet will end with heartbreak. :o(

Mar 21, 2:39 pm

>17 clamairy: Enjoy the time you have with her for as long as both of you are comfortable (((Hugs)))

Mar 21, 6:28 pm

>17 clamairy: I'm so sorry to hear that. I remember all the fun photos back when you first got Sammie. *hugs* for you.

Mar 21, 7:08 pm

>17 clamairy: Awww :( So sorry to hear that Sammie is having trouble.

Mar 21, 7:47 pm

>18 jillmwo: >19 MrsLee: & >20 Narilka: Thank you. Sammie is the last of the furbabies I got with Pete. (I also have a spoiled rotten cat, but she didn't join us until after Pete passed.)

Mar 22, 6:19 am

Boxers are wonderful dogs. I was privileged to get to know the last of my friend's Boxers. Her family always had them when she was growing up, but after Gaia passed her father decided it wasn't fair for him to take on another dog at his age. I am a total convert to the breed.

Mar 22, 8:46 am

>22 Sakerfalcon: They are such endearing clowns. I still get a "talking to" if I'm not ready to walk on the beach when she wants to go.

Mar 22, 9:29 am

I had a co-worker who always had boxers. There was just something about them she could never find in another breed, so I can imagine how special yours have been to you as well. Sorry this one is reaching that stage of life. It's the hardest thing even though we know it's coming. Give her extra hugs.

Mar 22, 10:34 am

My grandparents had boxers; my grandmother tended to treat them as if they were lapdogs.

Mar 22, 9:29 pm

Catching up on threads. Sorry to hear Sammie is not doing well. I hope the meds help. It’s so hard when our fur babies are sick.

Mar 23, 9:34 am

>26 catzteach: Thank you. The new anti-seizure meds may give her a few more weeks or maybe even months. They can't stop whatever is causing them from progressing, though. She's too old to be sedated for a CAT scan or MRI.

I was having a lot of trouble settling on something to read that didn't seem insipid or too depressing. But I started Gobbelino London and a Scourge of Pleasantries, and it appears to be exactly what I needed. So thank you sakerfalcon for this BB. (I think it was you who shot me.)

Mar 23, 10:37 am

>27 clamairy: Thinking with much sympathy of you and Sam. Can't help thinking that if she's anything like the boxers I grew up next door to, she wouldn't take kindly to being scanned by a Cat.

Mar 23, 10:45 am

(((All the Hugs)))

Mar 23, 11:46 am

>27 clamairy: So glad Gobbelino is hitting the spot! (((hug)))

Editado: Mar 23, 12:39 pm

>28 hfglen: Ha! True. Especially if it were a strange CAT. (She and my cat get along tolerably well. We three share couches and a queen sized bed with few issues.)

>29 jillmwo: &>30 Sakerfalcon: Thank you!

Mar 23, 10:08 pm

>27 clamairy: Hopefully more months.

Mar 24, 8:32 pm

>27 clamairy: Hoping for the best for Sammie and you!

You may have hit me with a rick o'shea: the Gobbelino sounds as if it could be quite entertaining. I'm looking forward to your comments.

Mar 26, 3:23 pm

Gobbelino London & a Scourge of Pleasantries really hit the spot. Thank you again, sakerfalcon. This one was like a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. I knew it wasn't nutritionally complete, but I needed to inhale it all anyway. I will definitely be continuing with this series. (But not right now.) I've already borrowed and started Those Who Hold the Fire.

Editado: Mar 27, 2:25 pm

Those Who Hold the Fire was short and sweet, which is perfect for me right now. This one was just a quick visit with Cliopher Mdang (from The Hands of the Emperor) as a child. It made me realize how much I loved this world. I need to carve out a chunk of time for At the Feet of the Sun soon.

I've gone back to A Prayer for the Crown-Shy, which I had set aside for a few OverDrive loans. This one should also be short and sweet.

BTW, my pup seems to be *knocks wood* responding well to the anti-seizure medication. She's back to giving me a very hard time mid-morning when I am not getting ready for our beach walk fast enough for her liking.

Mar 27, 3:20 pm

>35 clamairy:
Glad Sammie is responding to the medication.

Mar 27, 5:10 pm

Oh that's a good sign. I hope it continues and she can take you out for a drag every day!

Mar 27, 7:26 pm

>35 clamairy: We will continue *knocking wood* and crossing thumbs for additional luck for Sammie and the meds!

Mar 27, 7:35 pm

>36 pgmcc:, >37 Bookmarque: & >38 jillmwo: Thank you. She's still sleeping more than usual, and doesn't want to do the full two mile beach walk we had been doing. But she's so much steadier on her pins than she was. 🤞

Mar 27, 11:34 pm

>35 clamairy: Great news!

Mar 28, 10:56 am

>35 clamairy: Thank you for the reminder of how refreshing the work by Victoria Goddard can be. I found time to read a quick short story of hers this morning and turned out that The Saint of the Bookstore was just the bit of a lift needed!!

Editado: Mar 28, 12:42 pm

>41 jillmwo: I was eyeing that one. Can I just hop in on that If I haven't those read previous six novellas?

And you are most welcome. That is what we do around here. Is it not?

Editado: Mar 28, 11:13 am

>42 clamairy: Yes, you can. But it's a short story and NOTHING more. Very lightweight.

Mar 28, 3:28 pm

I'm sitting in a car dealership. I thought I was only getting an oil change, tire rotation and air & cabin filter replacement. Turns out there was a mouse nest in the cabin filter. So not only is that being replaced, but the entire air duct system needs to be cleaned. I walked to a few shops (none with books, sadly) but returned to the dealer when my bags were full. I didn't bring my Kindle because it wasn't supposed to take so long... I will be using the Kindle app on my phone.

Mar 28, 4:16 pm

>44 clamairy: Oof, being stuck without a book is the worst!

Mar 28, 5:03 pm

>44 clamairy: I swear that mice are the WORST!! All my sympathies.

Editado: Mar 28, 5:27 pm

>45 foggidawn: There was a nice lady with a cute dog I talked to instead of reading. Thankfully I didn't have to sit that long.

>46 jillmwo: They are. 🤬 I can't use poisons, because of all the birds of prey in the area. Last Winter was the first time I set up those heavy duty plastic snap traps in the garage, because a pair had moved into my new grill cover, which I left folded up in the garage for the Summer. (The reason my grill cover was in the garage was because the mice had moved into my grill when I kept the cover on it in the Summer... LOL) I refuse to use glue traps, because they are unnecessarily cruel. But this means war. I guess I'm going to have to set reminders on my phone to check and rebait the traps on a regular basis.

I think I earned a glass of two of wine today.

Mar 28, 5:41 pm

Sorry to hear all the troubles. I can see now why you are envious of my pleasant time in the college grounds reading my book.

Mar 28, 7:11 pm

Glad to hear Sammie is doing better. Bummer about the mice in the car. At least it was an “easy” fix. Hopefully it didn’t cost very much.

I have Scourge of Pleasantries on my Kindle. I may have to read it sooner rather than later.

Mar 28, 7:15 pm

>49 catzteach: It was not cheap because of the labor involved... So it goes.

I hope you get to it soonish, and that you enjoy it as much as I did.

Mar 28, 7:21 pm

>50 clamairy: Aw, bummer. Why are car issues always expensive?

Mar 28, 10:08 pm

>44 clamairy: Sorry about the car problems. Mice are the worst. We had a scourge of them a couple of months go, when Luna got too old to keep them under control. Nothing for a couple of months, luckily.

Mar 28, 10:17 pm

>52 Karlstar: Thank you. I am grateful they aren't in the house. My garage is detached. We had such a mild winter that they stayed out there instead of trying to live in my attic, as they have done in the past.

I had a serious problem with them in New England. I had to trap them in my attic all Winter. They were smart enough not to come into the main part of the house, especially when we had four cats.

Mar 29, 7:09 am

>46 jillmwo: >52 Karlstar: Sorry pardon, mice are only second worst. Monkeys are the pits, not only because of their destructive thieving, but because of the bunny-huggers who scream blue murder if anybody suggests trying to control the "poor darlings". They've forced us to give up trying to grow our own food, for example.

Mar 29, 9:45 am

>54 hfglen: I can't imagine... A tiny foe with opposable thumbs! We have similar gardening issues with white-tailed deer here. The herd out here needs to be culled by something other than automobiles. But every time my township proposes something there are protests.

Mar 29, 10:04 am

>55 clamairy: You probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that some while back, “Yarralumla”, the official residence of the Governor-General of Australia, had a kangaroo problem. There was talk of administering macropod contraceptives.

Mar 29, 10:41 am

>56 haydninvienna: On the other hand, in one episode of Masterchef Australia series 9, they get to cook kangaroo. The results looked pretty good, and that would surely deal quite quickly with Yarralumla's roo problem.

Come to think of it, Genuine Cuisine of Mauritius includes a recipe for monkey curry. I'd be tempted if I could think of a way of despatching a couple legally.

>55 clamairy: Presumably your deer don't also raid the pantry, larder and bread bin ...

Mar 29, 11:04 am

>56 haydninvienna: You're right. I am not surprised.

>57 hfglen: Thankfully, no. But the mice do! I have never lived anywhere that didn't have a mouse problem, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. There are no bears destroying my bird feeders here, at least.

Mar 29, 12:30 pm

>54 hfglen: It's not a contest, but the monkeys probably win - except in Australia, when it comes to mice. On the other hand, deer are the WORST! :)

Mar 29, 3:02 pm

>57 hfglen: Kangaroo is pretty good if cooked appropriately. It’s very lean so has to be treated as game, like venison. You can sometimes buy kangaroo meat in upmarket butchers in Oz. There are even suppliers of it in the UK, it appears.

Editado: Mar 29, 3:17 pm

I have not tasted kangaroo. But I would try it. I haven't tasted bear either, but I've had elk, bison, ostrich, rattlesnake, and alligator.

The deer are a plague... But also tasty.

Just an FYI, I put the deceased mice out on a stump in my backyard when I find them in a trap, and they are usually gone the next day. So they aren't going to waste either. I am assuming it's the racoons taking care of them for me.

Editado: Mar 29, 3:32 pm

>61 clamairy: we put dead mousies outside too, and usually either an owl will pick them up, or other rodents will haul them away. I guess some creatures aren't picky.

I haven't tried snake or gator, what do they taste like?

I will try most things once, and we are fortunate to go to game dinners at our shooting club every year (actually one is coming up this weekend). Bear is one of the few game meats I didn't like; since they are omnivores their meat can vary a lot in taste and texture, and what I had was very gamy. I prefer to eat things that eat plants.

ETA actually that's not completely true: I also didn't like beaver meat. It has the consistency of meat-flavored sponge. I chewed it and chewed it, but nothing happened. It just wouldn't break down at all. I eventually spit it discreetly into my napkin; after all, someone in the room had proudly donated the meat to the game dinner and I didn't want to offend. Now I know to avoid it.

They do make a nice dish with wild fowl and apples, and plenty of venison and moose options.

Mar 29, 4:11 pm

>62 Darth-Heather: I had the snake and gator in the same dish, and they tasted like a firm white fish, or frog's legs. I've heard bear can be delicious if it is prepared properly, I hadn't realized it depended on what its diet was, but that makes perfect sense.

Mar 29, 4:27 pm

>62 Darth-Heather: I’ve eaten crocodile, emu and (water) buffalo in Oz, and reindeer, minke whale and seal in Norway. Don’t recommend the last two; all the others are good.

Mar 29, 4:41 pm

>64 haydninvienna: ooh water buffalo, that sounds exotic! how was the texture? is it fatty?
I saw seal on a menu in Quebec; at first I thought it was a translation error, but no, they actually have a seal & butter sandwich on baguette. I was not brave enough to try it. My husband tried whale mukluk when he lived in Alaska and said he wouldn't recommend that either :(

>63 clamairy: are snake and gator meats usually white? i had frogs legs, which were ok once I got past the green color of the meat. I saw someone in a restaurant order a dish of rattlesnake and it was an odd pink color; not sure if it is supposed to be like that?

Mar 29, 10:26 pm

>65 Darth-Heather: They were very light in color. Maybe not quite chicken breast white, but close. I don't think cooked rattlesnake should be pink!

Mar 30, 1:31 am

>65 Darth-Heather: Water buffalo is like very rich beef. All of the meats I mentioned are game meats, hunted rather than farmed. Water buffalo were introduced to the north of Australia in the late 19th century—someone must have thought it was a good idea, but now they are a pest animal. Australia has quite a few large herbivores as introduced pests: buffalo, pigs, goats, camels and, in places, horses.

Mar 30, 5:16 am

Many years ago the then Parks Board (now SANParks) decided for some reason best known to themselves to cull (at different times) elephants and Cape buffaloes in the Kruger Park. The culled animals were converted into cans of stew in a factory at Skukuza, and were among the few canned meats in my experience to taste of themselves, not preservatives. This practice was stopped decades ago, and the cans have mostly faded into memory.

These cans are on display in the museum hut at Skukuza. Considering that they are surely about 50 years old, one hopes and trusts that they are dummies!

Mar 30, 6:40 am

>68 hfglen: Elephant stew. Elephant stew?

Mar 30, 7:11 am

>69 haydninvienna: Indeed. Elephant stew. One carcass went a long way.

Mar 30, 8:52 am

>69 haydninvienna: My reaction exactly.

>70 hfglen: And what does elephant taste like?

Mar 30, 9:46 am

>71 clamairy: Rich and beefy. Not like chicken at all.

Mar 30, 11:50 am

>72 hfglen: LOL No. I wasn't expecting that it would.

Editado: Mar 30, 6:42 pm

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy was another refreshing trip on the road with Becky Chamber's Monk & Robot team. (BTW, I love that Dex is referred to as Sibling instead of Sister or Brother.) It's not all fluff. There is a lot in here about the nature of consciousness, but it's just a pleasure to read. I hope she keeps going with this series.

I've already started Exiles by Jane Harper, who's book The Dry I loved so much.

Abr 2, 8:56 pm

Man, I got sucked into Exiles and I couldn't put it down. I have enjoyed the previous two books in the series. Though I liked the first one (The Dry) more than the second (Force of Nature.) This one takes place in South Australia's wine country. There are two mysteries to be solved here and I was barking up the wrong tree on one, but figured out the second before the big reveal.

So I tried to start The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England, which is the brand new Brandon Sanderson that I received in the wee hours of April 1st. But it is so lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek that I found it a bit jarring after my tense murder mystery. I'm opting to read another mystery instead*, but one with some magical realism. After that perhaps the Sanderson will work better.

*The Last of the Moon Girls

Editado: Abr 6, 9:15 pm

I can't remember the last time a non-fiction audio book had me crying like a baby, but the end of And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle did just that. This book focuses on Lincoln's slow transition from a young man who detested slavery, but was willing to let the South keep its slaves, into the more mature man who's abolitionist views we are more familiar with. He experienced a slow and steady realization that things couldn't be allowed to stay the way they were.

I have come to the conclusion that though 158 years have passed since the North won the Civil War, and so much has improved, I fear that a version of this fight is still ongoing, and it deeply saddens me.

I have started listening to a Great Courses book, The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague by Dorsey Armstrong.

Abr 6, 10:59 pm

I'm glad your puppy is doing better!

Abr 7, 12:25 pm

>76 clamairy: Good review, I'm glad I'll be reading that one and not listening to it!

Editado: Abr 9, 3:30 pm

>76 clamairy: A lot of the research I've done in recent months in 19th century American history has served to deepen awareness of events that do tend to be glossed over quickly in the average classroom. I haven't read Meacham's book yet, but I will keep an eye out. Clearly there are areas where we all benefit from a swift elbow to the ribs.

Abr 11, 8:23 pm

>78 Karlstar: That's probably a better choice for you. This worked well for me, though.

>79 jillmwo: Agreed. And much of what I once knew is forgotten, unfortunately.

Editado: Abr 11, 8:52 pm

The Last of the Moon Girls was better than I was expecting. This was an Amazon Kindle First freebie from several Summers ago. I just typed 'mystery' into my library search bar to see what I owned that I hadn't read yet. And this Barbara Davis book popped up, with a decent rating I might add. It was just what I needed. (With recipes at the end!)

I wasn't ready to say goodbye to mysteries just yet, and thankfully NorthernStar just happened to mention reading an Elly Griffiths book with lots of delicious archaeology in it, in addition to a murder mystery. So I snagged the first in that series, The Crossing Places, from OverDrive and gobbled it right up. I've already started the second.

Here is my favorite snippet from the Griffiths:
"When she bought the cats her mother asked her straight out if they were ‘baby substitutes’. ‘No,’ Ruth had answered, straight-faced. ‘They’re kittens. If I had a baby it would be a cat substitute.'"

Abr 12, 6:42 am

>81 clamairy: "When she bought the cats her mother asked her straight out if they were ‘baby substitutes’. ‘No,’ Ruth had answered, straight-faced. ‘They’re kittens. If I had a baby it would be a cat substitute.'" That's a wonderful quote! I'm going to have to look this book up!

Abr 12, 9:01 am

>81 clamairy: I discovered Elly Griffiths last year and quickly tore through that whole series. I like her Harbinder Kaur books as well, starting with The Stranger Diaries.

Abr 12, 9:49 am

>83 foggidawn: I am glad to hear this. It's a lot of fun so far, but I plan to try to pace myself. I will look up that other series as well.

Abr 12, 10:01 am

Eh, I didn't warm to Ruth and didn't love the info dumps because her cop friend was conveniently so dumb.

Abr 12, 10:14 am

>85 Bookmarque: As pgmcc likes to say, what a boring world it would be if we all liked the same books.

Abr 12, 11:06 am

>84 clamairy: Yeah, spacing them out would be the sensible way to go about it. :-)

Abr 12, 11:47 am

When reading a trilogy I like to have some time between the books. I find reading related books one after tge other can lead to a bit of jading.

Abr 12, 11:59 am

>88 pgmcc: I agree. I will almost always read something else between installments, but prefer to have the next book at hand so I can pick it up whenever I feel ready to continue. That's why I usually try to hold off reading a series until after it is fully published. I call it 'The GRRM Factor'.

Abr 12, 12:45 pm

>87 foggidawn:, >88 pgmcc: & >89 ScoLgo: Yup. These are short, so I figured I could handle two before I started to find patterns that annoyed me.

This is one of the reasons I have left so many series unfinished. I find things that start to bother me and I can't continue. :o(

Abr 12, 2:06 pm

>81 clamairy: Ruth Galloway is a series I like a lot! I have read the first five books so far.

Abr 12, 7:10 pm

I usually can read two books in a series or by the same author, and then I need a break so burnout doesn't set in.

>81 clamairy: I love Griffiths' middle grade series, but I haven't tried any of her adult mysteries.

Editado: Abr 12, 7:34 pm

>91 MissBrangwen: I'm happy to hear this.

>92 libraryperilous: I didn't realize she'd written non-adult books.

Abr 13, 12:27 am

>81 clamairy: I'm glad you are enjoying the series. I've read up to the third, but have the next two in hand.

Abr 13, 10:16 am

>94 NorthernStar: Thank you again!

Abr 13, 7:15 pm

The Janus Stone was good fun, but I am taking a break from this series. (I will be going back though.) I have already started The Witches are Coming and I am enjoying that immensely.

Abr 13, 9:28 pm

>81 clamairy: you hit me with a BB with that cat quote. :)

Abr 13, 10:07 pm

>97 catzteach: I hope you like it. There's quite a bit of humor in these books.

Abr 15, 3:12 am

>96 clamairy: I always need quite a long break between these books, otherwise they get too similar!

Abr 15, 9:02 am

>99 MissBrangwen: Exactly. It's like eating the same meal too many times in a row.

Abr 18, 9:15 pm

I heard about The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West because of a meme that was circulating on Facebook with this snippet from the book:
My husband plays the trumpet, which is a sort of loud pretzel originally invented to blow down the walls of fucking Jericho and, later, to let Civil War soldiers know it was time to kill each other in a river while you chilled eating pigeon in your officer’s tent twenty miles away, yet somehow, in modern times, it has become socially acceptable to toot the bad cone inside your house before 10:00 a.m. because “it’s your job” and your wife should “get up.” What a world! If one was feeling uncharitable, one might describe the trumpet as a machine where you put in compressed air and divorce comes out, but despite this—despite operating a piece of biblical demolition equipment inside the home every bright, cold morning of his wife’s one and only life—the trumpet is not the most annoying thing* about my husband.

Needless to say I felt compelled to read the book. It is indeed quite funny in many places, but also serious in many others. Here she discusses activism:

I’d been taught that when ordinary people try to do activism, they look stupid. Of course now I know that there is no effective activism without the passion and commitment of ordinary people and it is a basic duty of the privileged to show up and fight for issues that don’t affect us directly. But maintaining that separation has served the status quo well. It keeps good people always just shy of taking action.

I enjoyed this, and learned quite a bit. But in retrospect I might have appreciated this more if I hadn't read it in one shot, but took it one or two sections at a time.

*The most annoying thing about her husband turns out to be his obsession with microphones.

Abr 18, 9:45 pm

I have read and enjoyed a couple of books by Amy Harmon over the last few years, so when Kindle First Reads was offering A Girl Called Samson popped up as one of the free book selections last month I grabbed it. I figured I'd read it over the Summer, but an old friend reached out on Facebook to tell me how much he enjoyed it, and that I should move it up the queue.

Deborah Samson spends most of her childhood in what becomes the state of Massachusetts as an indentured servant. She's tall for a female, very bright and possessed of incredible drive and energy. When most of the boys in the family she works for enlist to fight in the Revolution she longs to join them. So she does! I enjoyed this story very much, though I thought the tale incredibly far fetched. She serves for almost two years without being discovered, ending up as an aide-de-camp to the youngest American general. A romance blooms. I got so sucked in that I spent a good chunk of this afternoon finishing this book when I should have be doing other stuff. I kept thinking to myself things like "Ha! As if she could have pulled that off..."

So I finish the book, and I am happy and satisfied, and then I get to the Afterword and thunder strikes. Deborah Samson was real!! She hid her gender, and served, was wounded more than once, and kept serving. She removed a musket ball from her thigh herself rather that take her britches off for the surgeon! She was not discovered until she became ill with Yellow Fever near the end of the war. They did discharge her, but she was actually treated pretty well. Where the book differs from reality is the romance aspect. In 1802 she started a lecture tour and traveled from town to town telling her tale. She would dress in a uniform, run though a bunch of drills, then leave and come back in wearing a gown, but with her musket at her side. Damn! What a woman... She even sought for and received a military pension!

Abr 19, 1:23 am

>101 clamairy:
I love the definition of the trumpet. My son-in-law plays the trombone. My daughter and he appear to have a very strong relationship. They would need one.

Abr 19, 8:23 am

>103 pgmcc: I suspect a sense of humor might be helping your daughter endure as well.

Abr 19, 8:40 am

>104 clamairy:
That is low. Phil’s playing isn’t that bad. Well, maybe it is. :-)

The trombone is an acquired taste.

Abr 19, 10:11 am

>102 clamairy: I read Alex Myers' Revolutionary a few years ago and enjoyed it.

Abr 19, 10:21 am

>105 pgmcc: I did not mean to cast aspersions on your son-in-law's skill level. Living with a musician playing anything loud would be difficult. I'm speaking as a mother who had a full drum kit (that was used regularly) in the house for a decade...

>106 libraryperilous: Thank you! I'll add it to the pile.

Abr 19, 12:20 pm

>107 clamairy:
That must have been fun. A friend of mine used to quote the expression, “If someone offends you, buy their child a drum.”

A whole drum kit? You must have upset someone pretty bad.

Editado: Abr 19, 12:32 pm

>108 pgmcc: Very funny. :o)
The set was donated to the school by another drummer who's parents were buying him a better kit. The school didn't need it, so the music teacher and the guy who gave private lessons got together and decided to give that kit to us because both of my kids played at the time, and we didn't own a full kit. Considering how much pleasure my son got from that kit (before we also donated and upgraded) it turned out to be a fortuitous gift indeed. He's going to be 28 next month and is still playing.

This is his new band's first gig. He's actually starting to sing while drumming, which is a real challenge.
Hope this is viewable:

Abr 19, 1:17 pm

>109 clamairy: Excellent job on both drums and vocals!!

Abr 19, 2:40 pm

>109 clamairy:
That is some achievement. The group sound is good, and it is no easy task to drum, sing, and prevent one interfering with the other. Even technically preventing the vocal mic picking up the local drum sounds is difficult.

Abr 19, 2:45 pm

>110 ScoLgo: Thank you.

>111 pgmcc: Thank you. The sound quality on this isn't great as it they used someone's phone to record. When I play it on my PC the picture actually pulses with the drum beat. LOL

He had been very sick with a cold and sore throat that week, and was extra nervous about how he would sound. He never told me he was soloing, so I found out by watching the whole gig. (They have a lead singer.)

Abr 19, 2:52 pm

>112 clamairy:
I watched the clip when you posted it on Facebook originally, but I only had the phone sound on and could not appreciate it to best effect. I have bluetooth earpods in mow and it sounded great.

Abr 19, 2:58 pm

>113 pgmcc: Thank you. Yes, it's definitely better with my PC speakers, and even better when I played it on my TV.

Abr 20, 9:35 am

>101 clamairy: I have seen that snippet before, but it makes me cackle aloud every time I come across it. For some reason, the phrase "toot the bad cone" particularly tickles my funny bone. My brother and I both played brass for a time in our childhood/teenage years.

Abr 20, 9:54 am

>108 pgmcc: Wow, nice, a very decent Billy Idol cover!

>101 clamairy: I am glad I do not play the trumpet. That was harsh! Funny, but harsh.

Abr 20, 10:20 am

>116 Karlstar: Thanks. He calls the music they play Dad Rock. I'd never heard the expression before, but it certainly fits.

>115 foggidawn: She certainly has a way with words. How did your folks deal with practices?

Abr 20, 11:26 am

>117 clamairy: I don't recall it being much of an issue -- they were pretty easygoing about it.

Editado: Abr 20, 7:49 pm

I don't think I've read That Quail, Robert since I was 13 or 14, because I remembered next to nothing about it. I decided to revisit it because libraryperilous was discussing it in her thread, and I remembered how much my mother loved it. It's very sweet.

Abr 20, 8:11 pm

>119 clamairy: I'm glad it prompted an enjoyable reread. The buttered broccoli scene!

Abr 20, 8:56 pm

>120 libraryperilous: That was hilarious. And sounded like it was completely out of character. That little birdie was so smart and charming. I have to add that I feel a lot less guilty about the way I spoil my cat and dog after reading about Robert.

Abr 21, 10:28 am

>121 clamairy: Ha! The green-eyed monster comes for everyone at some point, even sweet little birbs.

Editado: Abr 22, 7:52 pm

Well, here's one Great Courses audiobook that did not put me to sleep. The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague was enthralling and not macabre at all. At 12+ hours it is short and sweet for a Great Course. This in my third Dorsey Armstrong audio course, and I will keep getting them. She is brilliant, and her delivery is so down-to-earth.

She recommended reading fiction set during the plague years to achieve a real sense of what it was like to live through. The two she listed were Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, which I had already read, (and enjoyed) and Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. So I have started that as an audio, borrowed via OverDrive. On my Kindle I'm working on How to Speak Whale.

Abr 22, 10:56 pm

>123 clamairy: I forget, are you getting these through Wondrium?

Abr 23, 8:06 am

I’ve liked all of the Connie Willis I’ve read; Doomsday Book looks intriguing. My library system has a lot of the Great Courses, but I haven’t tried them yet.

Abr 23, 8:43 am

>124 Karlstar: Audible. Though I noticed yesterday that my library has hundreds of Great Courses available through OverDrive.

>125 foggidawn: The only issue with borrowing them from the library is that many of them are 40+ hours long, and I can't get through them in 3 weeks. Most of them you can just borrow again, but if anyone else is waiting then you can't.

Abr 23, 9:51 am

>123 clamairy: I just discovered The Great Courses through LT a few weeks ago and have started my first one on Audible - England: From the Fall of Rome to the Norman Conquest. I enjoy it so much!!! But it is a bit hard to really follow through with it. I am six lectures in now and it is a bit challenging to continuously find the time and concentration to go on.

Abr 23, 11:33 am

>123 clamairy: I haven't listened to this on Audible but I did watch the Prime Video version of the Plague series. I hope you'll enjoy the Willis book. It's been absolute ages since I've read it, but I seem to recall that it was very well done.

Abr 23, 11:50 am

>127 MissBrangwen: You don't have to do it all in one go. That's the best thing about getting them on Audible. You can take a break, and then go back when you're ready.

>128 jillmwo: There's a miniseries? Is it any good?

Editado: Abr 27, 9:40 am

Today is my 17th thingaversary. I did buy a couple of books, but I decided to celebrate a little differently this year. I made two library donations, one to my local library and one to the small library in my old town. My local library gets all of its funding from the town, but the library in East Granby gets less than 70% of its budget from taxes, and has to raise the rest itself every year.

Abr 27, 8:14 am

>130 clamairy: That's a great way to observe your Thingaversary. I'm sure it will meet with approval from the enforcers!

Abr 27, 9:05 am

>130 clamairy:
Happy Thingaversary. As >131 Sakerfalcon: said, I am sure the enforcers will look kindly on your method of celebration.

Abr 27, 10:03 am

>131 Sakerfalcon: & >132 pgmcc: Thank you. I have been giving to my old library every year. Having been on their library board for almost a decade, and then working inside for a few years I know all too well how much they struggle to make ends meet. I think I will be donating to both venerable institutions for my thingaversary from now on.

Abr 27, 11:02 am

>130 clamairy: That does sound like a good way to observe your Thingaversary! Especially since it falls during National Library Week this year!

Abr 27, 11:37 am

Happy Thingaversary! What a nice way to celebrate!

Abr 27, 12:10 pm

>134 foggidawn: Even better!

>135 reconditereader: Thank you!

Abr 27, 1:40 pm

>130 clamairy: Agree with everyone else. Brilliant idea. I think I will adopt it myself. I'm already planning to donate my surplus books to their fundraising sale, but they can always use cash as well.

Abr 27, 1:56 pm

>130 clamairy: What a great idea! Thank you for the inspiration. Also Happy Thingaversary!

Abr 27, 3:22 pm

Ooops! It appears I am 21 days late celebrating my 17th. Shshshs! Do not tell anyone.

Abr 27, 3:28 pm

>139 pgmcc: Your cheese pics have saved you from retribution!

Abr 27, 3:30 pm

>137 tardis: Yay.
>138 MrsLee: Thank you. And you're welcome.

Abr 27, 3:44 pm

Abr 27, 5:28 pm

>130 clamairy: That's a wonderful way to celebrate your Thingaversary! Libraries are consistently being challenged on so many sides these days.

As to the video mini-series (see #129), it appears I was mistaken. It was a single hour about the plague as it occurred historically in the UK. The host commentator was "disappointing" at best.

Abr 27, 9:06 pm

>123 clamairy: I'm an unashamed Connie Willis fangirl. How are you liking Doomsday Book?

Abr 28, 12:25 am

Happy Thingaversary, and what a wonderful way to celebrate it!

Abr 28, 9:34 am

That’s a great way to celebrate your Thingaversary!!

Editado: Abr 28, 9:40 am

>143 jillmwo: Yes, I think I'll just keep doing this, and just buy books at my usual pace.

>145 NorthernStar: Thank you!

>144 Marissa_Doyle: I am enjoying very much! The only thing that I find jarring is that although it's set in the near future (2050 something I think?) phones are still on the wall, or brought into a room for someone to make a video call. I think this was published in 1990, and I know I was walking around with a cell phone by 1995, and I knew people who had them much earlier. So I'm not sure why she missed seeing that coming. I was wondering if she wrote it earlier, and just managed to get it published in 1990.

On a side note I found her remarkably prescient when she described how the US fared so badly during a pandemic because so many people wouldn't follow the guidelines. :o(

Abr 28, 10:44 am

>130 clamairy: Happy Thingaversary! Great idea.

Abr 30, 10:53 am

>130 clamairy: Happy Belated Thingaversary!

Maio 1, 5:01 pm

Editado: Maio 1, 5:13 pm

How to Speak Whale by Tom Mustill was another hit from libraryperilous. Definitely a hopeful look at our current relationship with cetaceans, that does not try to gloss over how horrific our behavior was in the past, not to mention all the damage we have caused EVERYWHERE.
In just a few thousand years, we’ve caused the loss of 83 percent of wild mammals and half of plants. We have replaced the diversity of life with the fewer species that can live in a humanized world. When I look across the rapeseed fields, car parks, and golf courses of my homeland, where temperate rainforests once stretched and great beasts roamed, I think of the Caledonian chieftain Calgacus, who said of the destruction wrought by his Roman enemies: “They make a desolation and call it peace.”

But there is a bit a humor, too.
What confounds this dilemma further is that individual animals within a species have varying cognitive abilities. To quote the Yosemite National Park ranger who, when asked why it was proving so hard to make a garbage bin that bears couldn’t break into, said, “There is considerable overlap between the intelligence of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists.”

This author places a lot of hope in AI helping us break down (or at least poke holes in) the language barrier between species. I believe this hope has some merit. We shall have to wait and see.

Maio 1, 5:22 pm


We had some crap weather here this past weekend, and I didn't feel like doing anything productive, so I finished off both The House At Sea's End and A Room Full Of Bones by Elly Griffiths. These are the 3rd and 4th books in the Ruth Galloway series. Yes, they really force you to stretch your credibility quotient, but they are a lot of fun. And the archaeology appears to be sound.

I just started a Kindle First Read that has a rather high rating in here, Swan Light.

Maio 2, 3:40 am

>151 clamairy: How To Speak Whale is definitely on my wish list! I was first introduced to these ideas at uni when one of my professors said that in a few decades, the lectures might be held by dolphins :-) I'm waiting for that!

>152 clamairy: I thought that A Room Full Of Bones was one of the weaker entries in the series, but I enjoyed The House At Sea's End a lot.

Maio 3, 5:25 pm

>153 MissBrangwen: Yeah, that's understandable. I am taking another break from the series. I probably won't go back until we have another crappy weekend.

Maio 3, 6:06 pm

>151 clamairy: I'm glad you liked it! The Calgacus quote was memorable for me because of Arkady Martine's series. I found the author's enthusiasm and optimism catching. :)

Editado: Maio 14, 11:04 am

Swan Light was a Kindle First Reads freebee, and it was a very decent read. (Even though there were two instances of repeated text, that some rushed editor missed.) It's about the search for a (fictional) lighthouse in Newfoundland that slid into the sea. It's made me much more interested in the (still funtioning) lighthouse about two of miles North of me that George Washington commissioned.

Can I just say HOLY SHIT? When Dorsey Armstrong professor of medieval history recommend Connie Willis's Doomsday Book for anyone looking for an accurate depiction of the Black Death, I was not expecting this. It's SciFi, after all. But damn... this book really did the job. There are two pandemics, one in the future when about half of this book is set, and then the one in 1348. It's really well done. People have been recommending it to me for over a decade in here, and I am so glad that I finally got to it. I did the audio version. Jenny Sterlin did a wonderful job with the various voices and accents. (Including a couple of characters I wanted to throttle.) I will definitely be reading the second in the series, but probably not as an audio.

Maio 9, 10:41 am

*thumbs up* Glad it worked for you!

Maio 9, 10:56 am

>156 clamairy: I have Doomsday Book somewhere, it has been on my TBR list for years. You're swinging the balance towards me giving it a try.

Maio 13, 9:05 pm

>156 clamairy: I have enjoyed most of Willis's time-travelling Oxfordians, including Fire Watch, the title story of a collection of short stories that was my first introduction to it, and To Say Nothing of the Dog. I'm glad you enjoyed Doomsday Book. I had it for a long time before I read it, because the cover looked like a medieval romance.

>158 Karlstar: Let me add another little nudge.

Maio 16, 9:20 pm

>158 Karlstar: I think you'll enjoy it. It was a bit slow at the start.

>159 Jim53: That is good to know. I plan to keep going.

Maio 16, 9:25 pm

The Frugal Wizard's Handbook for Surviving Medieval England was a lot of fun. Definitely not Brandon Sanderson's usual gig for sure. This read more like a Scalzi. Because I didn't buy this one from Amazon I can't access my notes online, but have to type them out or use Google, and I don't have the mojo for that right now.

I'm sorry that I have been mostly AFK, but there were demon spawn visiting for the weekend. My daughter is still here.

Maio 16, 10:16 pm

>161 clamairy: I'm glad you survived your visitors, abyssal as they were.

Maio 18, 7:45 pm

>162 Karlstar: Ha! My daughter just left yesterday and I am still decompressing. I adore my kids, but when you live alone it's an adjustment to suddenly have company that wants to interact all day long. I didn't get to read much.

Maio 19, 6:31 am

>163 clamairy: I find this when I go to visit my mum! She wants to talk all the time because it's nice for her to have company, and she also has the radio or TV on a lot, whereas my place is usually very quiet. It's really hard to adjust.

Editado: Maio 19, 8:24 am

>164 Sakerfalcon: Yes, the TV. I go days without watching any TV. I do have classical piano music playing softly on the Echo devices, but definitely not anyone speaking. LOL I remember my mother retreating to her room to "lay down" for a while to get away from my husband and my young kids (and me!) when we would visit. Now I understand.

Maio 21, 12:17 pm

>163 clamairy: The pandemic did not help, we're so used to not having anyone at the house, ever.

Maio 21, 9:28 pm

>163 clamairy: >166 Karlstar: We look forward to having our kids and grandkids visit, and heave huge sighs of relief when it's back to just us.

Maio 24, 9:04 pm

>166 Karlstar: Yes, it definitely made things worse.
>167 Jim53: Exactly. It makes me feel an awful lot like I used to feel on that first day of school in the Fall once my kids had hit a certain age.

Maio 24, 9:12 pm

A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher was yet another BB from tardis. (Thank you!) This one was a lot of fun. It's my first book from this author and I wasn't expecting the humor. I kept reading bits to my daughter and she was in stitches.

You have to drink a lot of coffee to cross Texas, but there are not rest stops nearly as often as there should be. Somewhere in West Texas, at the bottom of an off-ramp, a coyote is probably still wondering who left the strange mark in his territory.


“Do you remember that time I had to come get you at church camp? Because you made a counselor cry?” “Oh come on! She tried to tell me that dinosaur fossils were put in the ground by Satan to test the faith of paleontologists. She had it coming.”

I will definitely be reading more of her books.

Editado: Maio 25, 8:19 am

The Echo of Old Books by Barbara Davis showed up in an email a few weeks ago and after checking its rating here on LT (a 4.5!) I snapped it up. (I almost always check LT ratings for anything with the word 'books' in the title.) This one had an intriguing premise, in that we have a woman bookstore owner who has the gift of psychometry, but only when she touches books. She ends up with two beautifully bound books (with no authors listed) that both give off some very intense feelings. Once she starts reading them she realizes they are the two sides of a love affair from the early 1940s that ended badly. I got sucked into this, and though I have some minor quibbles I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In the happiest times of my life, I have reached for my books. In the saddest times of my life, my books have reached back.

Oddly enough it wasn't until I finished the book that I realized it was written by the author of The Last of the Moon Girls that I only read last month. I will be reading more of her books for sure.

I have already started The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi which I have been waiting patiently for from OverDrive. (I will buy the Kindle version when it finally goes on sale.)

Maio 25, 10:19 am

>169 clamairy: If this wasn't already on my wishlist you'd have got me with a BB! Those are great quotes!

Maio 25, 10:24 am

>171 Sakerfalcon: The second one really hit a nerve with me as back in grade school we had a nun tell the class that dinosaur bones were buried to test our faith. Hahaha. (I'm laughing now.)