richardderus's fourth 2023 thread

É uma continuação do tópico richardderus's third 2023 thread.

Este tópico foi continuado por richardderus's fifth 2023 thread.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.

richardderus's fourth 2023 thread

1richardderus
Mar 20, 12:41 pm

still not up to it topper-wise, sorry!

3richardderus
Mar 20, 12:43 pm

Not yet

4richardderus
Mar 20, 12:43 pm

still no.

5richardderus
Mar 20, 12:43 pm

no once more

6richardderus
Mar 20, 12:43 pm

okay, go

7richardderus
Mar 20, 12:44 pm

011 Arrivals and Arrests by Diana Xarissa

Rating: 3* of five
DNF 15%

I'm not anything like as fond of Fenella as I was of Aunt Bessie, and I'm really not interested in straight people's romances working out well (or poorly) because who cares? So the two selling points of the series are non-starters for me. I've rated it 3 stars for the rampant Americanisms (no one not American uses the verb "to grab" to mean "to get" or "to procure" plus it's waaay overused) used by the Brits or Manx folk (true throughout the Bessieverse, to be fair, but it's an added annoyance here). Then we add a "cute" kitten and a sleazy man winking at Fenella, and my tolerance collapsed.

Those without my personal crotchets whose desire for a cozy mystery series set somewhere very interesting to learn about will likely enjoy the read.

8richardderus
Mar 20, 12:48 pm

9ArlieS
Mar 20, 12:51 pm

Happy new thread!

10figsfromthistle
Mar 20, 12:52 pm

Happy new thread, Richard!

11richardderus
Mar 20, 1:43 pm

>9 ArlieS: You're first. Arlie, so have a crown:

12richardderus
Mar 20, 1:44 pm

>10 figsfromthistle: Thank you, Anita!

13Storeetllr
Editado: Mar 20, 1:51 pm

Happy new thread! And happy first day of Spring! Hope your week is all sunshine and soft breezes.

From your last thread, so sorry about the beautiful red mug, but as others have said, though it will be missed, better to lose it than you. Smooch.

14mahsdad
Mar 20, 2:12 pm

Happy New Thread!

15Helenliz
Mar 20, 3:06 pm

Happy new thread Richard.

>7 richardderus: pass, methinks.

16johnsimpson
Mar 20, 4:44 pm

Hello Richard, dear fellow, Happy New Thread.

17FAMeulstee
Mar 20, 4:52 pm

Happy new thread, Richard!

>1 richardderus: No need for toppers if you aren't up to them.

>8 richardderus: I think you wanted to post that on your previous thread....

18PaulCranswick
Mar 20, 5:12 pm

>1 richardderus: I for one am more than fine with the topper dear fellow as it means you are back amongst us and getting back to being as active as before.

A happy and healthy new thread, RD.

19SandyAMcPherson
Editado: Mar 20, 5:36 pm

Hi Richard. Perfect day to start a spring thread.
🌞🌷🍄🌻🐥🌱🌸🌼
Mind you "spring" is a misnomer in much of Canada ATM ~ ❄️☃🌨️

I'm reading a Regency mystery series I recently learned about on Lori's thread, (thornton37814): the Wrexford & Sloane Mysteries. I like the idiosyncratic characters which are quite out of the ordinary and strongly portrayed in such a way that is very engaging. The murders are not as stunningly gruesome either, as CS Harris' in her Sebastien St. Cyr stories. I'm much less drawn to the St. Cyr adventures these days.

20jessibud2
Mar 20, 5:41 pm

Happy new one, Richard!

21klobrien2
Mar 20, 5:47 pm

Woohoo! New thread! Congratulations!

Karen O

22msf59
Mar 20, 6:03 pm

Happy New Thread, Richard. I hope you are having a good day.

24ronincats
Mar 20, 6:49 pm

Happy New Thread, dear Richard!

25richardderus
Mar 20, 7:18 pm

>24 ronincats: Thank you, Roni!

26Familyhistorian
Mar 20, 9:03 pm

>19 SandyAMcPherson: Ha, the daffodils are blooming in this part of Canada, Sandy!

Sorry, Richard, couldn't resist. Happy new thread. Nice to see you out and about too. If you'd like to visit, my thread is at https://www.librarything.com/topic/348979#n8098491

27SandyAMcPherson
Mar 20, 10:04 pm

>26 Familyhistorian: My e-mail is flooded with snarky photos of spring flowering bulbs from friends and family in the LM (Lower Mainland, for the uninitiated) and Victoria... so not a surprise ~ very pretty, too. A couple from today

Crocus (New Westminster) ~ Helebores ~ (Victoria).

Apologies to RD for hijacking his thread, but perhaps you'll enjoy the views, too?

28ArlieS
Mar 20, 11:02 pm

29richardderus
Mar 21, 10:13 am

>26 Familyhistorian: No sense resisting when you've got such a cool boast to make, Meg...I love the bulb-burgeoning season!

I'll pop around to see you here directly.

30richardderus
Mar 21, 10:15 am

>27 SandyAMcPherson: Aren't hellebores gorgeous? Crocuses are always a welcome sight, but the Hellebore family truly lifts my spirit, like cyclamens do.

31richardderus
Mar 21, 10:16 am

>28 ArlieS: You're welcome, Your Majesty.

32jessibud2
Editado: Mar 21, 6:52 pm

>30 richardderus: - I share your taste, RD, for those 2. I have a gorgeous pink and white cyclamen sitting on my computer desk as we speak. And I can't wait for my hellebores to pop up in the garden. I have 2 varieties, one that looks like Sandy's, that dark maroon colour, and another that I forget the name of but it's something like wedding party or confetti or something. It's white with pink speckles in the centre and is magnificent. I only wish the flowers pointed up instead of downward so everyone could see how beautiful they were! I am sure I have photos of it from last year. If I can find them, I will post them.

33SandyAMcPherson
Mar 21, 11:39 am

>30 richardderus: On the same page, RD. I am told Hellebores are prairie hardy but for me, that's turned out to be "a crock..." as Mr. SM says.

I used to love visiting the Hatley Castle Gardens in spring especially for the Hellebores. They have a huge selection of many varieties I've never seen elsewhere. Although the location is in the Sooke area, it's an easy drive from Victoria (on Vancouver Island, BC).

34bell7
Mar 21, 12:32 pm

Happy new thread, Richard! Tuesday *smooches*

35richardderus
Mar 21, 12:43 pm

>33 SandyAMcPherson: I'm surprised they failed you, Sandy, since they're natives of the unforgiving plains of Central Europe and the friggin' horrendously cold parts of the Alps and the Balkans. ::sad trombone:: for your garden bereavement

36richardderus
Mar 21, 12:44 pm

>34 bell7: Thank you, dear Mary!

37Kristelh
Mar 21, 2:21 pm

Happy new thread, Richard.

38Crazymamie
Mar 21, 2:43 pm

Happy new one, darling! Sorry I am late to the new digs. I'm hoping that Tuesday has been kind to you so far. *smooch*

39Familyhistorian
Mar 21, 2:50 pm

>27 SandyAMcPherson: Ohh, pretty Sandy. Yes, we Lower Mainlanders are pretty obnoxious in the spring but such wonderful bounty to show off! I have a weakness for forsythia myself. I haven't seen any blooming yet but I'm keeping a lookout.

>29 richardderus: I think the Lower Mainland has one of the longest springs of anywhere I've ever lived so we can brag about it for a long time! Good to see on my thread, Richard.

40richardderus
Mar 21, 2:57 pm

>37 Kristelh: Thank you, Kristel.

41richardderus
Mar 21, 2:58 pm

>38 Crazymamie: No such thing as late, Mamie me lurve, until you're here the shenanigans are not launched. *smooch*

42richardderus
Mar 21, 3:00 pm

>39 Familyhistorian: Spring is the defining season of Cascadia in general, Meg, and it truly makes the wet'n'sticky bits that much easier to endure.

43Crazymamie
Mar 21, 3:03 pm

>41 richardderus: Most excellent! Thanks for waiting for me.

44LizzieD
Editado: Mar 21, 6:01 pm

43 behind. Oh my. Happy, happy, happy new thread, Richard! I look forward to it!

*smooch*

45jessibud2
Mar 21, 6:12 pm

You missed me up there, Richard, but that's ok. (>32 jessibud2:). Good to see that you are having good days.

46richardderus
Mar 21, 6:40 pm

>45 jessibud2: I'm sorry Shelley! I'm trynig to be careful but apparently need to sharpen my eyes again. *smooch*

47richardderus
Mar 21, 6:42 pm

>44 LizzieD: Jump right in, Peggy, wherever you happen to enter. It's never like you're late because you're always on time.

48Helenliz
Mar 22, 5:19 am

My Hellebores are out as well. Will try and remember to take a picture. They must be fairly forgiving, I'm a pretty neglectful type of gardener.

49richardderus
Mar 22, 9:23 am

>48 Helenliz: I'm a hellebore fan, so seeing photeaux would please me if you happen to have your camera with you when they're blooming. They're pretty hardy since they grew in Austin on the shady side of my house and bloomed heartily. Of course I watered them a lot in summer...a steady tiny trickle from a bottle kept 'em from heat shock.

50richardderus
Mar 22, 10:10 am

I walked to CVS yesterday, causing Rob no end of anxiety because I didn't take my phone so I'm now sworn not to leave the premises without it. It makes sense, so I can't kick too hard, but it is another thing I need to keep track of since it's my new phone...Google Pixel...and I'd be hysterical if I lost it. Getting old is annoying. But having so much concern for my well-being and comfort is a blessing I can't begin to be grateful enough for! That there are so many who sent me cards and gifts (those Viennese Cookie Company delights! Caro, you rock!!) and talked to me endlessly while I was still regaining control of my tongue and so much else...came here to give me encouragement and caring...I am blessed with a wonderful and deeply valued friend network and thank all of you for being part of it in every way you are.

51drneutron
Mar 22, 11:10 am

Happy new one! Glad you're able to get out, but yeah, take your phone. 😀

52Crazymamie
Mar 22, 11:37 am

Morning, BigDaddy! Lovely post in >50 richardderus:. Rob is right - take your phone. *smooch*

53Storeetllr
Mar 22, 11:50 am

Agree. Always take your phone!

54richardderus
Mar 22, 1:38 pm

>53 Storeetllr:, >52 Crazymamie:, >51 drneutron: I've got it on my dresser so I won't forget it...(only I will because I'm not likely to change the habits of a lifetime too quickly). It's a sensible precaution goodness knows and I'm going to try to habitualize it despite the anxiety that I'll lose the darn thing. I need to shop for a shoulder tote that will hold my chair cushion AND ye olde phone.

55EBT1002
Mar 22, 1:44 pm

Hi Richard, back to your prior thread, the whys and wherefores of having a stroke (or more than one!). My experience was less dramatic but similarly dissatisfying in terms of understanding the underlying cause. In my case, I had a mother who died of strokes at age 61 but I take such better care of myself than she did. I was definitely taking in more salt and fat than I should have been but my numbers were not outrageous for all that. All we could identify was stress.

In bout 268 days, that will be a thing of the past. And, interestingly enough, just the announcement of my intention to retire has relieved some of my internalized stress. It's helpful to be able to shrug off some of the bullshit. I have "whatever" as my silent mantra now.

And, I will say this in unison with your other friends here: yes, take your phone. If only for Rob's sanity. *smooch*

56richardderus
Editado: Mar 22, 2:18 pm

>55 EBT1002: I'm pretty confident that my stroke, like both my parents', was related to apnea...I am on enough meds to be sure my blood chemistry's normal, and has been. The hospital's docs couldn't fault my medical regime, and made no recommendations for change except they added Eliquis. Since it's a safe-enough drug, given that I don't have any bleeding issues and can always plan ahead for dental stuff....Apnea causes transitory rises in ICP so since I've got the family history I'm pretty confident that's the culprit in the absence of other candidates.

Your stress levels going down is excellent news and proof that this is an excellent decision implemented not one minute too soon. I'm glad for you and for P. I'm sure that she, like Rob, has had some heart-in-mouth moments waiting for this happy resolution.

I've ordered a corduroy totebag with an outside pocket for the phone to arrive this weekend, so I won't be able to forget the thing and will also have a handy cushion carrier. I hope that Rob will be coming back to Brooklyn after school, which should help reduce his anxiety levels, too. Brooklyn to here is less than a half hour as opposed to most of a day from school.

Time to make lifestyle changes for us both, eh what?

57mdoris
Editado: Mar 22, 4:12 pm

About to go in my garden I love them! Hellebore.

58Familyhistorian
Mar 22, 3:05 pm

>42 richardderus: I had to look up Cascadia after reading your post, Richard. It's not something that this part of the region calls itself (maybe because they've attached the moniker to a subduction zone).

Just my two cent's worth, your posts on your thread prior to your stroke seemed stressed to me due to gout keeping you from your preferred activities.

59richardderus
Mar 22, 3:24 pm

>57 mdoris: Aren't they SPECTACULAR! Thank you, Mary for the mood-booster.

60richardderus
Mar 22, 3:33 pm

>58 Familyhistorian: I think of the entire area in terms of which natural disaster will kill everyone there first: the inevitable complete explosion of Mount Rainier, the slippage of the Cascadian Fault and resultant tsunami, or just the common or garden 9+ megaquake, exacerbated from the acceleration of climate change drowning the whole coastline under 20 feet of seawater. Plus the US side has white-supremacist looneys who call it that and, as my sister Winter now lives there, I'm extra-aware of that label.

61benitastrnad
Mar 22, 5:33 pm

I am still out here ensconced in the Prairie Redoubt and having to learn that the weather here is really unpredictable. In one day it rained, snowed, and sleeted while the wind was 40 MPH out of the north. The day before it was 40MPH from the south and was 60 degrees. I almost didn't bring any long underwear with me, and so I am glad that at the last minute I did so. I have needed it.

I am not sure that retirement cured my stress levels, as other things have taken the place of workplace anxiety, but at least I don't have to worry through this year's faculty evaluations.

62richardderus
Mar 22, 5:39 pm

My new face post-stroke and post-hospital hair removal...clean summer start.

I'm growing it back as fast as possible so I can hide the Nosferatu-meets-shar pei look.

63richardderus
Mar 22, 6:05 pm

"Men will not accept truth at the hands of their enemies, and truth is seldom offered to them by their friends." Democracy in America

64richardderus
Mar 22, 6:15 pm

>61 benitastrnad: You will never be bored by the weather there...unlike Alabackward where the seasons are: hot and wet, hotter and wetter, TORNADO!!!, and one weekend a year, mild and pleasant.

Nothing cures anxiety except death. Given that, I'd prefer to stress over worthwhile stuff, not workplace BS.

65benitastrnad
Mar 22, 6:35 pm

>64 richardderus:
agreed about the weather in Alabama. It never worked very well for me. It made me feel puffy and slow.

66LovingLit
Mar 23, 3:16 am

>60 richardderus: *gulp*
We just had some exciting weather here, yesterday and the day before were stormy (horizontal rain stormy( and today was a lovely balmy sunny day! Keeps the veges growing through autumn, I suppose :)

67FAMeulstee
Mar 23, 4:02 am

Happy Thursday, Richard dear!
*smooch*
More Helleborus love here, I had one like Mary's picture in my Rotterdam.
And please take your phone, when going out. Rob is absolutely right.

Tomorrow we go on vacation, walking the next part of the Pieterpad.

68msf59
Mar 23, 8:44 am

Sweet Thursday, Richard. I hope your progress is contining. Hey, I don't mind the " Nosferatu-meets-shar pei look." 😁

Rain here for the next couple of days, keeping me off the trails. Still waiting for that springtime warm-up.

69richardderus
Mar 23, 9:15 am

>65 benitastrnad: It makes me feel trapped and desperate.

70richardderus
Mar 23, 9:18 am

>66 LovingLit: That's some kinda stormy all right! All rain is welcome when it's dry but that kind of storm makes me think of The End Times. Not much about today's world doesn't make me think of The End Times, though.

71richardderus
Mar 23, 9:21 am

>67 FAMeulstee: I promise not to tip a toe off these premises phoneless, Anita. I've got to work on my damn phone registration again today. So irksome!

I thought Hellebores were obscure, because they're not usually starring in the garden. I'm so pleased so many here like them.

72richardderus
Mar 23, 9:23 am

>68 msf59: Too bad you've already read The Red Widow, it would keep you busy like it has me!

A blanket and a book and a dog is all one really needs. Let it be cold!

73karenmarie
Mar 23, 10:17 am

Hiya, RDear! Happy new thread.

From your old thread:
…skippety-skip skip…

Congrats on winning $100 off OS last week.

>276 msf59: I understand why you spent $8 on a pint of ice cream.

>283 Copperskye: Blanche on the Lam added to my wish list – since you don’t know who sent it to you I’ve given you ‘credit’ on my kairfa account. However, it’s also available on Kindle Unlimited so I borrowed it.

>287 richardderus: I’ve always thought being an introvert was a great secret to have, because I can socialize and talk when I want to (social obligations aside), and revel in the aloneness most of the time.

>289 richardderus: I haven’t walked the line yet since my heart attack in November of 2021 because I haven’t wanted to, but I did tell Jenna on the 10th, woozy and in pain from the knee replacement surgery, that I want an Elizabeth’s mushroom and black olive pizza with extra cheese soon. She said to just name the day and she would provide it. Maybe Saturday?

>294 karenmarie: A strange way to be unique on top of all the delightful ways you’re unique. With me it’s that I never had high blood pressure yet had a STEMI heart attack. Doctors who aren’t my regular doctors still assume I have high blood pressure. *shrugs*
>7 richardderus: Oh no! Winking. For me it’s chuckling, and waggling eye brows in addition to winking. Although I do like a good smirk…

>50 richardderus: Bill and I got Pixel 7s earlier this year and I love, love, love mine, even as I hate, hate, and more hate Google in general. Would it surprise you to read that I have the duckduckgo widget on my home page and that I don’t use Google’s mandatory-on-the-home-page search bar?

>54 richardderus: Yup – a good tote for all the critical items.

>56 richardderus: I hope that Rob will be coming back to Brooklyn after school, which should help reduce his anxiety levels, too. Brooklyn to here is less than a half hour as opposed to most of a day from school. Yay! Joy! Excellent news!

>62 richardderus: Nosferatu-meets-shar pei look *snort*

*smooch* from your less-sleep-deprived Horrible

74richardderus
Mar 23, 12:45 pm

>73 karenmarie: I know, a shar pei is cute and my giant-eared fang-bearing face is decidedly not...but the wrinkles and droops are there.

We're waiting for Rob's benefactors to decide what to do with him once everything's settled up. Back to Brooklyn is the default plan and they appear to want him to go back to the old restaurant for now. I want a hug so bad it hurts sometimes....

I chose this tote:

I know it's a "ladies' model" but as I am a lady at heart I do not care. *snort*

The Pixels are good phones...I've got the 6a. They can shove their catbutts in my face until they turn bald but I won't be using their search...despite DuckDuckGo's many failings.

Brow-waggling must be transparent to me because I can't summon an example...and as I am a regular chuckler I can't in good conscience complain when writers use the act I am guilty of in their writing.

Make half the olives green and I'll join you. *smooch*

75ArlieS
Editado: Mar 23, 1:10 pm

>62 richardderus: Looks fine to me. But OTOH, I've considered keeping my own head shaved, and my main reason for not doing so is that it's too much work.

>74 richardderus: f*** gendered rules about who gets to use or wear what. It looks like a nice bag to me.

76richardderus
Editado: Mar 23, 1:13 pm

>75 ArlieS: thanks for the vote of cofidence, Arlie...I'm not planning to stay bald, just giving the medical-facility-tainted hair the heave-ho to regrow unpolluted hair.

I've never been one to attend to those sorts of rules, either. The bag's the right size and has a zipper plus pockets outside so it's good to go for my needs.

ETA Molly Templeton had surgery this year and her reading journey mirrored mine: https://www.tor.com/2023/03/16/reading-in-a-fallow-month/

77katiekrug
Mar 23, 1:30 pm

Do you have a link to the pillow you mentioned on Karen's thread? TW uses a body pillow and it needs replacing...

79Helenliz
Mar 23, 4:40 pm

I like those bags that have different carry options. The cross body option is a particularly useful option, imo. I don;t always want to carry it that way, but having the option to be hands free can be really handy.

80richardderus
Mar 23, 6:34 pm

>79 Helenliz: I'm certainly a fan of options, as well, Helen...the strap being adjustable helps it stand out, too.

81Caroline_McElwee
Mar 24, 4:56 am

>50 richardderus: I'm afraid I can't claim responsibility for the cookies Richard, but glad someone tickled your palette with them.

>62 richardderus: I recognise that face....

>74 richardderus: Love the bag. Gender neutral in my book. Nice.

82figsfromthistle
Mar 24, 8:05 am

Happy Friday, Richard

*smooch*

83richardderus
Mar 24, 8:21 am

>81 Caroline_McElwee: Well, Whoever sent the cookies to me step forward to receive proper Laurel-garlanding. I'm astonished someone found the place as I've never mentioned it anywhere because Rob and I occasionally go there, get two dozen assorted cookies, and binge (this is a deep, dark secret, no tellsies).

The face is, sadly, familiar to me as well. A steady, reliable source of gloom in my mirror...wasn't I supposed to wake up one morning looking like Tom Selleck? If not, what was the point of sacrificing all those kittens?!

The bag's a great find for all of me, and if it survives a month I'll be getting some different colored ones to switch out.

84richardderus
Mar 24, 8:22 am

>82 figsfromthistle: Thank you, Anita!

85katiekrug
Mar 24, 8:45 am

IIRC, it was Helen who sent the cookies.

Have a happy Friday, RD!

86LizzieD
Mar 24, 10:11 am

I can't say how heartening it is to see you returning to real life, Richard. You're looking good and sounding good, and I'm warmed by your joy and gratitude. Meanwhile, old age is annoying. Well, yes. We deal with it.

Enjoy your weekend! *smooch*

87richardderus
Mar 24, 10:21 am

>85 katiekrug: I'm glad you knew, and told me so! I'll go visit to say a belated thank you to her.

88richardderus
Mar 24, 10:27 am

>86 LizzieD: I spent my morning in OT for my left hand and arm, and am now pretty tired from using the muscles in unfamiliar ways. A couple weeks off did not do great things for my strength, so it's rebuilding time.

We do deal...I wish we didn't have to deal with quite so much. But old age is not guaranteed to anyone, I remind myself, and I prefer it to the alternative.

89Helenliz
Editado: Mar 24, 1:15 pm

>87 richardderus: No problems, you thanked me on the previous thread, just after they'd arrived.
I just hope they were as good as they looked. Although the website images did rather lack scale, so I'm still not sure if they were the size of a coin or a tea plate! >:-D

Also: Hellebores


There are 2 colours a cream and a pinky/cream. And another bed of them further down the garden. Also loads of weeds, but you're all too polite to point those out.

90ArlieS
Mar 24, 1:52 pm

>88 richardderus: This! While not as old as you, I'm not appreciating various side effects of aging - but better this than not having reached retirement age at all.

91richardderus
Mar 24, 2:37 pm

>89 Helenliz: Lovely mass planting...I love the effect of the blooms against their intense leaves.

Weeds are invisible to nature-lovers.

I'm glad I said thank you back then because Rob sent me another box and I suddenly couldn't remember whether I'd done the mannerly thing. They're 5cm/2in rounds for the most part...and I've just polished it off. Great with coffee!

92richardderus
Mar 24, 2:39 pm

>90 ArlieS: No.Joke.

I might moan about the rigors of aging, but I would not go back a single day to relive the past. It was hard work getting here, and here I plan to stay.

93EBT1002
Mar 24, 11:10 pm

>57 mdoris: We had a ton of hellebore in our tiny Seattle yard. I miss it, along with about 347,839 other things about that city.

>92 richardderus: Agree wholeheartedly. I sometimes miss the body I had in my 40s when I was running half marathons and had stopped giving a sh*t what others thought about how my body looked because I felt so strong in how it felt to be in my body, but really, I don't want to redo the last two decades. I'm pretty damn happy right where I am now.

Be.
Here.
Now.

94humouress
Mar 25, 5:57 am

Happy new thread Richard! (You're still on the premises, right?)

95msf59
Mar 25, 8:12 am

Happy Saturday, Richard. Hope you are getting stronger by the day. We have rain/snow mix today but since we had Jackson overnight- all good here, plus my books are treating me well. Enjoy your weekend.

96richardderus
Mar 25, 8:24 am

012 Departure by A.G. Riddle

The Publisher Says: A wild propulsive adventure full of hairpin twists, Departure weaves together power, ambition, fate, memory, and love. The world's past and future rests in the hands of five unwitting strangers. En route to London from New York, Flight 305 suddenly loses power and crash-lands in the English countryside, plunging a group of strangers into a mysterious adventure that will have repercussions for all of humankind. Struggling to stay alive, the survivors soon realize that the world they've crashed in is very different from the one they left. But where are they? Why are they here? And how will they get back home? Five passengers seem to hold clues about what's really going on: writer Harper Lane, venture capitalist Nick Stone, German genetic researcher Sabrina Schröder, computer scientist Yul Tan, and Grayson Shaw, the son of a billionaire philanthropist.
As more facts about the crash emerge, it becomes clear that some in this group know more than they're letting on, answers that will lead Harper and Nick to uncover a far-reaching conspiracy involving their own lives. As they begin to piece together the truth, they discover they have the power to change the future and the past-to save our world... or end it.

My Review: I don't exactly know how to feel about this book or its implications. It's propulsive and exciting reading on one hand, and a manifesto for changes I regard as religious in their scope and ambition on another; I do not believe in the essential goodness of Humanity or imagine we are capable of such changes a Riddle proposes on any time scale that will save us from Doom. The idea of medical immortality scares me witless because only the lowest, vilest scum will have it, and that can never, ever end well.

So I'm left with a story that, while interesting and excitingly told, leaves me in despair even deeper than confronting my mortality after the strokes engendered. There is no hope for Humankind, or we'd've stopped the scum-sucking bastards who've doomed us all (themselves included) before time ran out. So dance while you can, but accept that Death awaits the whole lot of us, a not very pleasant one, and not so long in the future; shiny lovely stories notwithstanding.

97richardderus
Mar 25, 8:28 am

>93 EBT1002: It's a very good mantra indeed, Ellen. Don't be the person who waits or pines...be the one who's right here, right now.

98richardderus
Mar 25, 8:28 am

>94 humouress: ...not sure where else i'd be...

99richardderus
Mar 25, 8:34 am

>95 msf59: Hiya Mark, I'm sure both you and Sue are grinning ear-to-ear from a whole night with Jackson! My entire experience of the way grandparenthood works is about that sense of deja vu...been here, done this...only tinged with happy not regret.

Our weathers are the same today. Yuck, ick, ptui.

100bell7
Mar 25, 8:40 am

>96 richardderus: Ummm, I think I'll skip that one.
We'll have cold, icky weather here too, but it hasn't started snowing yet, so for that I'm grateful.

Happy weekend *smooches*

101richardderus
Mar 25, 8:52 am

>100 bell7: I feel sure your sunnier and more optimistic spirit wouldn't feel dragged down by the optimism that so oppresses my curmudgeon's heartlessness. But, to be honest, I think you'd be dissatisfied with the curiously flat and featureless "romance" that so much hinges on but somehow isn't ever quite real enough.

Icky ptoo-ptoo on the not-quite-snowing-yet part in particular. Dithering makes me a madman, even when it's the Weather Goddess doing it.

102humouress
Editado: Mar 25, 10:17 am

>98 richardderus: I seem to have managed to miss another couple of threads. Just checking you hadn't gone on to thread number 5 yet.

>99 richardderus: re grandparenthood: I find it eminently unfair that my parents not only allow but encourage their grandkids in the kind of shenanigans which were expressly forbidden by them in my own childhood. Where's the solidarity?

103richardderus
Mar 25, 10:22 am

>102 humouress: OIC
The solidarity is between the parties who share a common enemy, of course...the grandparents and grandkids both hate and resent you.

While loving you dearly, of course.

104SandyAMcPherson
Mar 25, 10:23 am

Delurking to say hi 👋 .
>96 richardderus: >100 bell7: I will join Mary in skipping the despairing read.

I finished The Sting of Justice last night (in the wee hours, TBH) and will think about how to write a spoiler-less review (after a few more mugs of coffee. I *really* shouldn't stay up so late indulging in "gluttony-reading").

105richardderus
Mar 25, 10:32 am

>104 SandyAMcPherson: I *really* shouldn't stay up so late indulging in "gluttony-reading"
Why ever not? We're old enough not to have any jobs to go to, so it's okay to nap away the day if that's what we want/need to do.

Those delicious little spoiler tags are super useful, Sandy. This PSA provided to encourage you to write whatever the heck you want to and spoilers be hanged.

*smooch*

106humouress
Mar 25, 10:34 am

>103 richardderus: Ah, of course *nods head sadly* Though I don't remember any such solidarity with my own grandparents - they seemed solidly on the adults' side, as I recollect.

107richardderus
Mar 25, 10:45 am

>106 humouress: Oh how grotesquely unfair! My grands were indulgent, spoil-y folk.

108Storeetllr
Mar 25, 10:45 am

Happy weekend, Richard! Though today is cool and rainy, tomorrow is supposed to be gloriously spring-like, and I’m ready for it! *smooches*

109SandyAMcPherson
Mar 25, 10:53 am

>105 richardderus: Thanks for the encouragement to review to my heart's content!
I often click the spoiler tags because I am too impatient to wait and want to find out what was 'hidden'. I try not to present a similar temptation in my reviews. But, yeah, we're adults with free choice.

I do napping very badly, which is why I aim to keep my late nights to a minimum. My naps generally turn into 2- to 2½-hour sleeps and if I'm going to benefit, I have to know that there's no timer set. It's a psychological blip in my brain, I think.
Like I also need to guarantee that my weekly calendar *has* to have at least 1-day between any obligation related to appointments. I think this is a reflection of a dreadful pressure-cooker career I led for way too long.

110richardderus
Mar 25, 11:15 am

>108 Storeetllr: From your keyboard to the Weather Goddess's inbox, Mary! I'm annoyed that I *must* go out to CVS today...but, well, I am not made of spun sugar so I won't melt. I'll be damp cold and annoyed, but not dead.

111richardderus
Mar 25, 11:19 am

>109 SandyAMcPherson: There's a good reason to resent a career now over if I ever heard one. Still messin' up your sleep!

I have no patience with spoiler-phobia. Don't try to tell *me* what to write so I won't "spoil" something for *you*. I am not responsible for your quirks and crotchets. At all, ever.

112Storeetllr
Mar 25, 11:23 am

>110 richardderus: And from your keyboard to all the Goddesses’ inboxes, adding the hope that you aren’t damp and cold either. Annoyed, otoh? It’s always annoying to need to go to the drugstore, so it would be unrealistic to hope against that.

113richardderus
Editado: Mar 25, 1:31 pm

>112 Storeetllr: Well, I am indeed damp, cold, and grumpy...but I have what I need, so am satisfied it was worth it.
***

114SandyAMcPherson
Mar 25, 1:34 pm

>111 richardderus: 💖 Thanks, RD. I love that 'tude ~ Don't try to tell *me* what to write so I won't "spoil" something for *you*.
I have taken a long time to realize that the "pleaser" mentality that was required in my growing up days still rears its vile and unhelpful head.

115jessibud2
Editado: Mar 25, 2:40 pm

>113 richardderus: - Of course they are not! Never ever ever have been. But *we* know that! :-)

(what's with the rooster?)

116richardderus
Mar 25, 2:42 pm

>114 SandyAMcPherson: Male privilege...I rejected the "you're responsible for MY feelings" trap in my teens, much to my mother's fury...but she stopped pushing when my response to "I'm your mother" was "whose fault is that?" Being as she carried on about responsibility a great deal having it shoved back on her was infuriating...but inarguable. Since then, I'll be polite until the party of the second part violates my boundaries, but I am not in the least upset when someone's upset by what I've wriiten.

117johnfoxmr0
Mar 25, 2:49 pm

Este utilizador foi removido como sendo spam.

118richardderus
Mar 25, 2:56 pm

>115 jessibud2: I have no idea about the purpose of the rooster, TBH. seems a weird choice, but the window picture makes a pretty frame.

119jnwelch
Mar 25, 4:17 pm

Happy Saturday, RD.

Hey, I’m the one who sent you Blanche on the Lam! You liked? Hooray! The idea came to me when we were discussing Walter Mosley and Valerie Wilson Wesley. I’m glad it worked for you. I’ve had a great time with that series.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

120richardderus
Mar 25, 5:36 pm

>119 jnwelch: Oh, I'm glad you let me know, Joe. Neely's a 90s good memory of a read. I think she's aged pretty well! Thanks for the gifts.

I'm not going out again until it's not dank. Hoping that'll be tomorrow.

121richardderus
Editado: Mar 25, 8:40 pm

013 Murder in Moreton (Eliza Thomson investigates, #2) by V.L. McBeath

DNF 14%

Real Rating: 2.5 * of five

Too many anachronistic touches. I don't have the eyeblinks to spare on things I don't think are well-crafted and -edited by the self-publisher. The prose isn't scintillating or inspiring; so I just don't think it's going to work well enough for me.

“Before we go, I need to take a couple of other samples and arrange the body for collection,” Archie said.

“Would you mind putting the lights on?” he asked. “I need to see what I’m doing.”

“It’s a possibility but I’ll need to arrange a post-mortem to confirm the cause of death,” Archie said.


"Post mortem" is modern lingo not early 19th; "Putting the lights on"?! Light a candle perhaps.

ETA I got the time period wrong, it's 1900 not 1800...but I still feel the locutions ae too 21st century to fit into the time period it's set in.

122RebaRelishesReading
Mar 26, 12:19 am

Looks like you've made a lot of progress while I was away -- well done Richard (and good job getting the carrier for your phone).

123msf59
Mar 26, 8:03 am

Happy Sunday, Richard. Thanks for all the dandelion tips. I sure have enough of these hardy weeds. We enjoyed our time with dear Jackson. Today will be a lazy one, although I plan on hitting the trails for a bit, to get some fresh air and exercise. Enjoy your day.

>113 richardderus: Amen!!

124weird_O
Mar 26, 10:48 am

I made scones for breakfast. Stone simple to do, nothing special, but I haven't had one since Judi died. I found her recipe (and a slightly different one from Son the Elder) and decided to try it. I loved the two I've eaten so far. Going back to the kitchen for a second cuppa and additional scone(s).

Continue to heal, friend-to-us-all.

125richardderus
Mar 26, 11:04 am

>122 RebaRelishesReading: I'm delighted to say, Reba, that my progress has been steadily towards recovering threatened skills and abilities!

Thank you for visiting.

126richardderus
Mar 26, 11:08 am

>123 msf59: Hiya Birddude..."Lazy" and "hitting the trails", even if only for a while, are mutually exclusive terms. I hope the trail-hitting is enjoyable. It's a very pretty day here so I'm on the way out post-lunch to fill up the little free library with some already-reads.

127richardderus
Mar 26, 11:13 am

>124 weird_O: That sounds delicious to me, Bill. I'm always amazed at how many people think it's hard to make scones and/or biscuits. Just be sure your baking powder is not expired and follow the recipe...I'll bet you'll be experimenting with add-ins before long! Hint: fresh fruit isn't as straightforward an add-in as dried fruit is, so start small. Dried cranberries and the zest of an orange is *chef's kiss* and is super simple.

128benitastrnad
Mar 26, 3:41 pm

I was visited by a pestilence this last week and spent three days in bed. I am fixin' to head to the bed for a nap at this minute. I sort of suspect that nasty bug of recent mention might be the culprit and so am very glad that I am fully vaccinated. I have not spent two days in bed and one day laying about on the couch in many years, so this was a unique experience for me. However, I have managed to read 200 pages in a book about the clash of empires in the 1500's. The book is a blow by blow account of the Siege of Malta and the Battle of Lepanto. Very interesting stuff for the sick bed.

I hope your last three days was better than this.

129jnwelch
Mar 26, 6:14 pm

>120 richardderus:. You’re welcome. Sounds like you read her before, darn it. I was hoping to surprise you with a good one. It was a nice surprise for me when I stumbled across Blanche on the Lam.

130richardderus
Mar 26, 7:39 pm

>129 jnwelch: She was quite The Thing among my friends in the 1990s. I've enjoyed reacquainting myself with them.

131richardderus
Mar 26, 7:41 pm

>128 benitastrnad: My last three days have been bliss incarnate compared to yours, Benita. Although my reads haven't been anything like as good as yours....

132SandyAMcPherson
Mar 26, 8:59 pm

Hi RD, simply a check in chez toi to be sure all's well, and see what y'alls been up to.

I ultimately had little difficulty in writing my review for The Sting of Justice.
Taking my time and waiting for the thoughts to coalesce, I was able to focus on what I wanted to emphasize.
I also avoided spoiler tags without any problem in the review of Murder in the Paperback Parlor. I tend to blab away about books more freely on my Talk thread and am pleased with being thoroughly candid. Writing it up on Talk first was a good prelude to developing some 'Tude, eh?

I hope no tail end of that nasty Mississippi tornado arrived to make your life miserable. TTFN 😊

133jnwelch
Editado: Mar 27, 11:07 am

134justchris
Mar 27, 1:14 pm

Hi, Richard. So sorry to hear about your health challenges. Glad that you're recovering from the stroke and are surrounded by love. I'm pretty sure those two go hand in hand.

>74 richardderus: Congrats on finding a bag that works for you.

My sling bag zipper failed pretty spectacularly maybe 3 weeks ago. So I've been limping along with a butt pack I can't really wear since my stomach ballooned years ago and especially not with my winter gear. I just ordered a replacement sling bag. My mom insists on calling it a purse, even though I've never done purses. But I'm not allowed to do backpacks anymore either, so the sling bag is the next best thing.

I hope you enjoy the unfurling flowers as spring progresses. I'm still waiting to see something blooming here. Probably need to spend more time outside...

135richardderus
Mar 27, 2:46 pm

>132 SandyAMcPherson: I was over at yours earlier and saw that review, quite deft it was, as well as tempting.

Murder in the Paperback Parlor doesn't tempt me at present, the most recent foray into a new series was a disappointment so I'm cooled off for now.

I think the freedom we allow ourselves to talk about whatever we've a mind to whenever we've a mind to do it is one of the 75ers' greatest strengths. There are other groups you can join if you're a control freak; not in this space.

I've seen hide nor hair of stormy weather to date, so I'm pleased to report nothing tainted by Mississippi's miasmic misery is in evidence. *smooch*

136richardderus
Mar 27, 2:46 pm

137richardderus
Mar 27, 2:59 pm

>134 justchris: Thank you most kindly, Chris...it's good to see you here. I'll come look for your thread (?if you made one this year?) here directly. The zipper failure is a thing to be dreaded for certain...I'm hoping my cheapie bag will just work without being zipped up since its role is cushion carrying for the most part.

I don't see your sling as a purse at all, but whadda I know...look at what I chose.

My recovery's been kind of a miracle, to be honest. I've had nothing but the best luck from start to finish (except for the initial strokes themselves). Ad supremely lucky in the deep and ongoing support I've had from start to finish (always assuming I've reached the finish)!

138richardderus
Editado: Mar 27, 5:36 pm

THOUGHT FOR TODAY
If you view religion as necessary for ethics, you've reduced us to the ethical level of four-year-olds. "If you follow these commandments you'll go to heaven, if you don't you'll burn in hell" is just a spectacular version of the carrots and sticks with which you raise your children. —Susan Neiman, philosopher and author (b. 27 Mar 1955)

I behave morally because I believe it is the proper way for an adult to behave, not because some sky-dwelling bully demanded that I do so or else.

139katiekrug
Mar 27, 4:33 pm

>138 richardderus: - Amen.

I never understood how someone who is "good" only out of fear of consequences could consider themselves better than those of us who are "good" simply because, well, why wouldn't we be?

140richardderus
Mar 27, 5:37 pm

>139 katiekrug: ...among religion's many, many twisted and awful side effects...

141richardderus
Editado: Mar 27, 6:12 pm

Gurdeep!! Gurdeep is one of the Canada Reads judges!! Hotline is his choice I love his choice and his bhangra dancing.

142jessibud2
Mar 27, 6:29 pm

>141 richardderus: - LOL! I posted and linked to today's Canada Reads program on my thread. Are you watching online?

143vancouverdeb
Mar 28, 12:01 am

>113 richardderus: I'm with you on that, Richard, and you should see my place. It's bad! So delighted that you are home and have made such a fabulous recovery!

144msf59
Mar 28, 7:35 am

Happy Tuesday, Richard. We are still stuck in a cooler than normal pattern but it isn't keeping me off the trails. I am also really enjoying Lost Places: Stories. Enjoy your day.

145richardderus
Mar 28, 9:57 am

>142 jessibud2: Since the CBC.ca site frequently decides I'm not worthy and refuses to show me content, I rely on YouTube.

146richardderus
Mar 28, 10:10 am

>143 vancouverdeb: Thanks, Deb!

147SandyAMcPherson
Mar 28, 2:06 pm

>145 richardderus: "... CBC.ca site frequently decides I'm not worthy... "

Very strange because we are all in the same region (in internet-speak).
When I was in Amsterdam for prolonged periods, I took a computer and had no trouble accessing CBC (and neither did my Amsterdam-resident family, using Euro-purchased computers).
Is your WiFi provider playing at censorship? What would happen if you used a public library computer? Kind of scary to be blocked in a national sense.

148ArlieS
Editado: Mar 28, 4:04 pm

>145 richardderus: It's the other way round for me. YouTube rarely works; something about my unwillingness to watch their intrusive ads. But CBC is pretty reliable.

149richardderus
Mar 28, 9:32 pm

I spent my whole day fightiingg to get my Google access back after setting up my Pixel phone. It's been hugely annoying and frustrating. But it was successful, which is what I care about. Technology is most finicky.

150richardderus
Mar 28, 9:33 pm

>148 ArlieS: Install an ad blocker. I don't see YouTube ads. I'd be a crazy person if I did!

151figsfromthistle
Mar 28, 9:55 pm

Too bad about CBC. I get a lot from CBC online.....how about CBC gem? Are you able to access that or is it blocked as well?

Heres hoping you have a great rest of the week.

*smooch*

152richardderus
Mar 28, 9:56 pm

>147 SandyAMcPherson: I never know what causes sites to reject my advances.

153richardderus
Mar 28, 10:13 pm

>151 figsfromthistle: I'mm afraid Gem is strictly Canada-only. I just use YouTube and it works fine, thank goodness.

154SandyAMcPherson
Mar 28, 10:44 pm

Not to prolong the discussion --- but inquiring minds may like to consult this explanation,
https://cbchelp.cbc.ca/hc/en-ca/articles/115000908468-Can-I-get-CBC-programs-if-...

I was curious about CBC Gem and stumbled across this help page. *I* never knew bout Gem before now.

155ArlieS
Editado: Mar 29, 2:15 pm

>150 richardderus: That's the problem. The ad blocker I have seems to result in YouTube waiting forever for me to click to play a video-based ad I don't see, and not showing the desired video until I do.

Perhaps I should switch to ad nauseam, which helpfully clicks on all the ad links, and shows the user none of them, thereby messing with the advertisers' payment model.

156richardderus
Mar 29, 4:07 pm

I use AdBlockPlus myownself and never even know it's on until I hit one of the sites that tells me to turn it off...which I won't do.

157richardderus
Mar 29, 4:17 pm

I saw Dr Liao, the podiatrist from the hospital stay, today...he was very, very excited to see my progress and took photos to show to the residents who treated me there. Apparently I was supposed to be a nursing-home case, and none of them could believe I was back in assisted living, and even Liao said he assumed I'd be in a chair not on my feet. I twirled and said "soo there nyah" which got a big laugh. I'll see him again next week for progress checks.

158RebaRelishesReading
Mar 29, 5:44 pm

>157 richardderus: Good on you!!

159richardderus
Mar 29, 5:46 pm

>158 RebaRelishesReading: I'm pretty pleased with my good luck, Reba, and seeing how very surprised he was made me even more delighted with that doctor's visit.

160figsfromthistle
Mar 30, 6:12 am

>157 richardderus: It's quite something all you have been able to accomplish, Richard! Lot's of hard work, determination and a good team around you. Dr Liao sounds like a nice doc!

Happy Thursday *smooch*

161karenmarie
Mar 30, 9:04 am

Hiya, RDear!

>74 richardderus: I hope it works out for Rob coming home AND for you getting all the hugs you want/need/deserve. Nice tote. I just spent 10 minutes down the leather messenger bag rabbit hole and realize that without Friends stuff to take my laptop to the Library to after June 30, it doesn’t make sense to spend any money. I have several not-leather-but-functional laptop bags that fit my 15” laptop. Sigh. I’ve been a tad self-indulgent recently with a few purchases, so will back off.

Ladies model, pfui.

Shock. You used the evil word + butts... Brow-waggling always stands out to me because it is so not subtle and I wish they’d try quirking an eyebrow or raising eyebrows or something else.

Love green and black olives on my grilled chicken salads – sacrifice later-in-the-day sodium for olive joy, but for me, not on pizza. You’ll have to indulge without me, since only ripe black olives will do.

>76 richardderus: ‘Unpolluted hair’. You’re a mess, in all the good ways.

>83 richardderus: LOL. I won’t tell anybody about your deep, dark secret. And, for me, I prefer Silver Foxes – Sam Elliott, Timothy Olyphant, Michael Justin, Pierce Brosnan… you get the idea.

>138 richardderus: I behave morally because I believe it is the proper way for an adult to behave, not because some sky-dwelling bully demanded that I do so or else. 👍 However, being a liberal theist, I do think there is some kind of higher power although I, too, am on the 'do it because it’s right', not to appease gods/goddesses/other spiritual beings.

>153 richardderus: Yup. I use YouTube too.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

162richardderus
Mar 30, 9:18 am

>160 figsfromthistle: I''m so glad whenever I think about it, Anita. I am very aware that attitude creates altitude in recovery, and I set out to make my attitude positive. Everyone around me, for the most part, fell in with that plan. That was a great bolt of energy I had to draw on.

Luck and perseverance met in one place.

163richardderus
Mar 30, 9:55 am

>161 karenmarie: The day approaches fast, and the current plan is back to Brooklyn "for now". Rob said he really didn't think it was going to be too different going back, but was starting to think they might be thinking of placing him in a new venue.

I've been sure this was the plan since day one, but just smiled and nodded....

The CBC You tube channel doesn't have a lot of The Good Stuff because massive corporate greed is everywhere, but >154 SandyAMcPherson: pointed out they're up-front about what's available where.

I'm afraid I miscalculated the bag's dimensions because the zipper straitens the access to the interior. It's not going to work, I'm sad to say. Back to handle-free shoulder-strappèd non-luggage tote shopping...no zippers or flaps, just a sack on a strap.

Olives Are Life. The Greeks and the Romans were correct.

I'll have to invoke ATD on theism.

164katiekrug
Mar 30, 10:36 am

>157 richardderus: - That's great!

165SandyAMcPherson
Editado: Mar 30, 11:55 am

>163 richardderus: Idea RE: sack on a strap....
Back around about 2002, I visited NYC (staying in the Chelsea area) and bought lunch food at the Whole Foods shop that was nearby (I think, 250 7th Ave).
I bought it for a $1, back then, and it's the best carry bag ever! It will definitely take a lot of groceries (even though feels so light-weight).

I think your pillow will fit in, if they still sell these bags. The handles are long enough to carry over your shoulder. And there's a zippered sturdy mini-pocket to fold the bag into. I use the zipped pocket for my mobile phone...

Yeah, probably not a handy location if you're in Brooklyn. I can post a photo and dimension if you want!

166Helenliz
Mar 30, 1:39 pm

I think I can lay this one at your door. Just finished Fatal Isles. Am I right in thinking that you read it last year? The library had it on audio on Borrowbox. It also has books 2 & 3, which may well be borrowed in reasonably short order.
Doggerland's an interesting place to visit, but I';m not sure I'd want to go in person.

167ArlieS
Mar 30, 1:55 pm

168richardderus
Mar 30, 5:40 pm

>164 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie! It made me feel happy to see how far I've exceeded expectations.

169richardderus
Mar 30, 5:50 pm

>165 SandyAMcPherson: The bags from Whole Foods and the other grocery stores are big enough, but no longer have long enough handles to go over one's shoulders...my shoulder anyway. They had to make them worse, like all the tech folk, so they could discourage "misuse" and thus risking lawsuits.

170richardderus
Mar 30, 5:58 pm

>166 Helenliz: I'm not guilty, but I'm glad to know about it! I wish it was available accessibly, but it's only in tree-book form here and I just can't with tree books anymore. Maybe one day they'll release it digitally.

171richardderus
Mar 30, 5:58 pm

172SandyAMcPherson
Mar 30, 8:37 pm

>169 richardderus: Handles on mine are 22-inches, looped of course, to create the 'handle' so technically, 11-inches. What a shame this so-called 'misuse' was a legitimate concern. All it did was has created a less useful item.
Fubar.

173Helenliz
Mar 31, 4:07 am

>170 richardderus: hmm. Well memory has proven false. Wonder who it was then.

174karenmarie
Mar 31, 9:46 am

'Morning, RDear. Happy Friday to you. Hope OS is keeping it down to a dull roar.

>163 richardderus: I'm so sorry the bag doesn't meet your needs. I'm PMing you with a thought but won't be able to respond til after PT and a daring masked raid on Walgreens.

Alert! Alert! Cephalopod reference on my thread...

*smooch*

175LizzieD
Mar 31, 10:08 am

>157 richardderus: You remain The MAN!!!! I'm proud of you and happy for you!

I can't catch up with you though. I've lurked a time or two, but somehow time is not behaving correctly here, and I don't have any for LTing. I do have time to wish you a lovely weekend with all good things, including time to read and reflect! *smooch*

176richardderus
Mar 31, 10:23 am

>172 SandyAMcPherson: ...same as it ever was in his debased political/legal landscape....

177richardderus
Mar 31, 10:23 am

>173 Helenliz: Dunno, but tell 'em "thank you" from me when you remember/discover!

178mahsdad
Mar 31, 11:58 am

Happy Friday RD.

Fair warning, my FF today has an abhorrent image (to you ;) ) You might want to skip until I post my new thread for Q2 tomorrow.

Have a good weekend!

179richardderus
Mar 31, 12:37 pm

>178 mahsdad: Thanks for the heads-up...I'll see you in Q2!

180ArlieS
Mar 31, 1:38 pm

>172 SandyAMcPherson: Misuse of shopping bags? I don't recall that story....

181richardderus
Mar 31, 5:51 pm

014 Aunt Bessie Decides (Isle of Man #4)by Diana Xarissa

Rating: 3.5* of five

I was ready for the action to begin well before it did...but one of the charms of the Bessie stories is how she and her Scoobygroup hang together even when not solving crimes, and that's what a goodly part of this story does. It's not a bad thing per se, but I was, as stated, ready to get the body on the slab (so to speak) and figure out why the killer chose the time and place for the crime. I'll be honest...the theatre troupe was made up of nasty, unkind, un-Bessie-able people who won't reappear (if anyone does I'll be very surprised, not least because they're all just visiting from the US) who drink and cuss and comport themselves quite unbecomingly.

Xarissa has a low opinion of her countryfolk. As I tend to share that trait with her, I wasn't put off by it. I just don't see how the clear and rational deductions that lead her to the murderer's identity did not occur to her far earlier.

A quibble only. I'm not here for the puzzles, I'm here for the Scoobygroup and the food! Fair warning: do not start here. Start at the beginning or there will be a great loss of grounding in the whys and hows of Aunt Bessie's special little (term used advisedly) world.

182richardderus
Mar 31, 5:54 pm

>180 ArlieS: It's sordid and stupid and involves some very silly snobby 'tude about who is seen with what brand of gear.

183richardderus
Mar 31, 6:46 pm

FIRST QUARTER READING 2023

If I didn't reach you before now with this news, I had several stokes in mid-January. I was very, very lucky, and while the source of the strokes was a congenital malformation of some cerebral arteries and therefore not susceptible to permanent correction, I'm lucky enough to have recovered far, far more of my abilities than was presumed to be possible early on. I'm still typing one-handed and not for fun, dirty reasons. I'm still weaker and less agile than I was. But I can read, and think, and walk, and talk.

All in all, good luck, plus good care, plus being one stubborn old bastard, have all concatenated to leave me far better off than many—even most—who have had similar events.

I still managed to read sixteen books, and have reviewed them...even if briefly...all. My goals for 2023 are right out the window, of course, but honestly I'm so glad to be able to be here I just Do.Not.Care!

184SandyAMcPherson
Mar 31, 7:53 pm

>183 richardderus: Yay YOU.
Go for what works in the here and now, is my approach, too.
I am glad to know you've dialed your goals back to suit the Black Swan event, iffn you know what I mean. Take care, have a relaxing time in the sunshine if it is possible.

185richardderus
Mar 31, 9:29 pm

>184 SandyAMcPherson: Thank you, Sandy...I'm working on the unusual notion that flexibility can indeed coexist with stubbornness.
***
A24 TO ADAPT YOUNG MUNGO FOR TV! Broadcaster and schedule not set. This is the first deal the studio's announced sine they cleaned Old Hollywood's clock at the Oscars last week. In PR-speak that makes this therefore a "halo project"...one that's already a slam-dunk.

186karenmarie
Abr 1, 9:25 am

'Morning, RDear.

>183 richardderus: We both have reduced reading, although mine was a planned medical event and yours was a crappy luck of the draw.

*smooch*

187bell7
Abr 1, 9:27 am

Happy Saturday, Richard. I think it's impressive you managed to read and review 16 books in the first quarter on top of (or as part of) your recovery process, so *smooches* to you and hope you're able to reset your goals to something that makes you happy (even if it is to continue the year with no goals in mind at all).

188richardderus
Abr 1, 9:57 am



...oh crap...

189richardderus
Abr 1, 10:06 am

>186 karenmarie: I'm glad I **CAN** read, Horrible! The first ten days or so I simply couldn't...so keeping on trying was a success unparalleled and a great joy when I quite suddenly could again. I still can't read handwriting too well. Luckily there is very little call to do so. Numbers, funnily enough, present no problem in clusters, but a long string of 'em makes no sense to me whatever.

190richardderus
Abr 1, 10:09 am

>187 bell7: Thanks, Mary! I suspect I'm going to go goal-free this year because tension scrambles my brain far, far more than it did. I'm pretty pleased that I made it back among the literate.

Rainy-Saturday *smooch*

191RebaRelishesReading
Abr 1, 11:19 am

>183 richardderus: You go, Richard!! "do.not.care" is exactly right.

192richardderus
Abr 1, 12:21 pm

>191 RebaRelishesReading: I'm finding it's a hugely powerful weapon, Reba. I'm reaching for it very often.

193SandyAMcPherson
Abr 1, 12:22 pm

>188 richardderus: Great T-shirt!

194Storeetllr
Abr 1, 12:40 pm

>183 richardderus: You are my hero, Richard, and a real inspiration! Whenever I start feeling discouraged with the difficulty of my physical therapy or the slowness of my recovery, I think of you and your determination, and I keep at it. Of course, I’m only working on my arthritic hip and knee joints so I can get around again, not on recovering from stroke, which is to my mind much more intense, but what you’ve done inspires me to keep at it.

>188 richardderus: Ain’t that the truth!

I’m still enjoying the Thursday afternoon news. And I thought of a title (or possibly opening line) for the book that will surely be written about this: “It was a dark and Stormy night.”

*Smooches*

195richardderus
Abr 1, 12:55 pm

>193 SandyAMcPherson: Ain't it? I thought it said it all about the source of my despair for the future being halfway good.

196richardderus
Abr 1, 1:06 pm

>194 Storeetllr: I hate when I type something that vanishes.

Anyway, Thanks for the props...I'm glad I'm a good example to someone in this our fleeting life!

*smooch*

197Storeetllr
Abr 1, 1:16 pm

198ArlieS
Abr 1, 3:57 pm

>188 richardderus: Where can I get that tee-shirt?

199FAMeulstee
Abr 1, 5:13 pm

Happy Saturday, Richard dear.
Leaving my weekly message late, as we are just back after a week on vacation.

200Familyhistorian
Abr 1, 5:16 pm

Stubbornness coexist with flexibility? It must or how else would we pick ourselves up and carryon? Keep going forward, Richard.

201richardderus
Abr 1, 5:41 pm

>197 Storeetllr: *smooches*

203richardderus
Abr 1, 5:42 pm

>199 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! I remembered you would be away, so wasn't expecting you. *smooch*

204richardderus
Abr 1, 5:43 pm

>200 Familyhistorian: ...slowly...steadily...Glad to see you, Meg.

205jessibud2
Abr 1, 8:26 pm

>188 richardderus: - Scary!
>189 richardderus: - Numbers often make no sense to me and I haven't had a stroke!

Hi Richard! I've been a bit awol but here I am. Happy weekend ahead.

206ArlieS
Editado: Abr 2, 12:32 pm

>202 richardderus: Oh dear. It's hard for me to imagine people not getting it. I'm clearly spending all my time in an educated bubble.

OTOH, the people most likely to take violent offense are probably also those least likely to understand it, so maybe that's a good thing.


(Edit: Oh my, the people selling it claim they think it's anti-lockdown. You can't make this stuff up.)

207karenmarie
Abr 2, 3:08 pm

Hiya, RDear! Happy Sunday.

I'm simply mostly *be*ing today, per your instructions. It's good.

*smooch*

208Crazymamie
Abr 2, 3:14 pm

I have finally caught up with you, my dear. Sorry it has taken me so long. *smooch and a bear hug*

>157 richardderus: This post was just so happy making!!!

>188 richardderus: I want this.

>191 RebaRelishesReading: What Reba said.

209richardderus
Abr 2, 3:26 pm

>206 ArlieS: Honestly, I wrestled with giving them my miney...finally deciding that my repurposing their message was subversive enough to excuse handing money to them. It took a week of soul-searching, though....

210richardderus
Abr 2, 3:28 pm

>207 karenmarie: I'm a little bit surprised it's worked, but even more delighted. It will, in fact, speed your healing despite it being very counterintuitive.

*smooch*

211richardderus
Abr 2, 3:35 pm

>208 Crazymamie: You, too, can join us in subverting the makers' intended message by going to >202 richardderus: Mamie darling.

"Do.Not.Care." is an excellent mantra for recovery. I'm planning on keeping it well past recovery, too. The liberation is complete, the power it retains instead of gives away is enormous.

*big thank-you smooch*

212Storeetllr
Abr 2, 4:15 pm

>206 ArlieS: >209 richardderus: That is just too funny, and not in a good way. When they talked about the dumbing down of America back in the 80s and 90s, I didn't think it would ever get this bad.

Happy Sunday, Richard! Hope you are enjoying this beautiful spring weekend!

213richardderus
Abr 2, 6:40 pm

>212 Storeetllr: It's not remotely funny, Mary, and in fact is truly scary as hell.

It was sunny but windy here, so too chilly for me to stay out for very long. More of a quick dip than a leisurely stroll.

214SandyAMcPherson
Abr 2, 10:36 pm

>206 ArlieS: Great insight ("You can't make this stuff up")!
I laffed my head off.
But first I needed to go and visit the linky that RD posted.

215karenmarie
Abr 3, 9:45 am

‘Morning, RD! Happy Monday to you.

>202 richardderus: I don’t wear T-shirts out in public much, and I have so many t-shirts here at the house. Having lost significant weight after my heart attack, I am conducting archaeological digs of my closet (not right now, obviously) and discovering things from aeons ago that now fit again. I also bought Jenna and myself matching t-shirts last year:



>210 richardderus: I’m feeling much more the thing today, having just *be*en yesterday and done whole bunches of nothing.

*smooch*

216LizzieD
Abr 3, 10:13 am

>202 richardderus: NOOOoooo! I went to the site, but I was afraid I'd get stuck there, so I didn't poke around. It's bad enough living here where the Kool-Aid has flowed freely.

Good morning, Richard! I wish you an increasingly comfortable, and therefore useful, week. Hope you get to read a lot and comment on it!

217richardderus
Abr 3, 10:23 am

>215 karenmarie: *best Dame-Edna voice* There you are, possums!

I'm glad you followed the prescription, Horrible...I'm still hearing Seth's admonition to "SLOW DOWN!!" and, by my rough count, I've avoided falling at least four times when my normal headlong hurtle would've landed me on the floor.

218richardderus
Abr 3, 10:23 am

219richardderus
Abr 3, 10:30 am

>216 LizzieD: Good morning, Peggy darling! I knw how you feel about the rabbit-hole.

Long Island's MAGAts turned out in force to make sure that jackanapes DeSantis felt unwelcome. What was a lot less welcome to me was feeling like I agreed with them. It was deeply unsettling for me.

220karenmarie
Abr 4, 8:08 am

‘Morning, RDear! Happiest of Tuesdays to you.

>217 richardderus: I love Dame Edna. And yes, at yesterday’s PT I didn’t try to get to the 115° that we’re working for by the end of the week. He had me on my stomach for a different kind of bending my knee, which makes me think I might be able to go back to the chiropractor soon. Email has been sent to the surgeon’s office to see if they think it’s okay to start that up again.

221Crazymamie
Abr 4, 8:20 am

Morning, BigDaddy! Tuesday has arrived in all of its grayness, which I love, so it's very happy making for me. Hoping that your Tuesday is also full of happy. *smooch*

222msf59
Abr 4, 8:22 am

Morning, Richard. I am back and slowly trying to catch up on LT. Always a slow process. I hope you are progressing and seeing improvement each day. I am off to Rehab duties shortly...

>215 karenmarie: LOVE the t-shirts, Karen.

223richardderus
Abr 4, 8:59 am

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders. Maya Angelou (born 4 Apr 1928)

224richardderus
Abr 4, 9:09 am

>222 msf59: It's a steady process, Mark, ans needs concentration...but you'll get back into thr swing soon, I'm sure. :)

I'm glad today's sunny and brisk. I need a boardwalking!

225richardderus
Abr 4, 9:10 am

>221 Crazymamie: Hiya Mamie...I'm drenched in cool, breezy sunshine so I'm happy, too. *smooch*

226richardderus
Abr 4, 9:43 am

I would slaughter MAGAts by the scores if sacrificing their lives would net me a piece of this orange-clove cheesecake.

https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/orange-clove-basque-c...

227LizzieD
Abr 4, 10:04 am

>226 richardderus: Oh my. Taste buds leaping about at the thought of that combo!

Happy boardwalking! It's overcast here with a promise of heat, but green is glorious!

As to the MAGAts, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Or something.

228katiekrug
Abr 4, 10:39 am

A restaurant near us does a fabulous Basque cheesecake with cherry compote. I don't usually like cherries much, but the tart with the sweet in this instance is *chef's kiss*

Enjoy the gorgeous day!

229richardderus
Abr 4, 10:52 am

>227 LizzieD: Heat *ickshudder* is the primary reason I never moved to NC in the 1990s. I just hate to sweat.

I know what you mean about that flavor prpfile!

I know, I know...statistically they can't be wrong 100% of the time, but it feels like it should be impossible for them to be right at all, ever.

230richardderus
Abr 4, 10:54 am

>228 katiekrug: ooooOOOOOoooOOOOO, the cherry compote sounds deVOON to me.

It is a stunner, ain't it? I'm off to walk the boards before lunch.

231figsfromthistle
Abr 5, 8:14 am

Dropping in to wish you a happy mid week!

232karenmarie
Abr 5, 8:15 am

'Morning, Rdear and happy Wednesday to you.

Today's PT and perhaps cataloging some of my Book Sale finds. Reading, icing, and etc.

*smooch*

233richardderus
Abr 5, 8:56 am

>232 karenmarie: A solidly busy day and all of it productive, Horrible. I'll see Dr. J today, barring unforeseen incidents, and that's that. *smooch*

234richardderus
Abr 5, 8:57 am

>231 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita, and a terrific midweek to you, too!

235Storeetllr
Abr 5, 12:11 pm

Midweek greetings! Hope your doctor visit goes well!

236richardderus
Abr 5, 12:40 pm

If anyone remembers The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng, set in 1949 Malaya-as-was, the author has a new book coming out in October: The House of Doors, a based-on-true-events 1921 Malayan story featuring Somerset Maugham, his lover Gerald, and some salacious doins among the colonizers. Them as has NetGalley accounts can request it now. Mere civilians get it in six more months.

237richardderus
Abr 5, 12:42 pm

>235 Storeetllr: Hiya Mary...thanks for the medical wishes. I expect Dr. J to be pleased with my healing, so it should be amiable indeed.

238Storeetllr
Abr 5, 12:46 pm

>237 richardderus: Excellent! *big smooch*

239LovingLit
Abr 5, 6:35 pm

>74 richardderus: great tote. Fits a lotta books I bet!!!

>237 richardderus: I too am pleased with your reported healing. Go well RD :)

240richardderus
Abr 5, 7:21 pm

015 Aunt Bessie Enjoys by Diana Xarissa

Rating: 3.5* of five

A peculiar sort of mortality tontine unfolds under Bessie's nose; as its details emerge, sh feels horrified that such a dreadful, and (to her) heartless scheme could've been hatched and executed (!) in civilized society.

While I disliked the driving force behind the agreement, I completely understand why it would occur to and appeal under thee circumstances as they come to be explained to us, and to Bessie, in the last few pages of the book. That's why I only give the book three and a half stars. There's no chance, based on the evidence we're given, for us, or for Bessie, to work out what's happening. The real reason's that the what and the why are inextricably linked together. Until one gets deeply enmeshed with the why, the what makes no sense whatsoever.

As always, the setting—and the eating—are the main appeals to the read. I can't pinpoint exactly why it is so irresistible to delve into Bessie's Scoobygroup's mass psychology and how it informs the whole Isle of Man's public life.the Constabulary, after all, is an integral part of the Bessieverse...it's true that no actual meatspace policing entity would ever behave in this fashion, but it does make for a fun story.

I'm perhaps second-findest (after the food descriptions) of the way Author Xarissa grows the characters into new and more complete roles as the series goes on: eg, Hugh Waterson's evolving role in the Constabulary, and his shifting relationship with Grace. It allows time to pass without feeling as obtrusive as more concrete, outer-world-event linked means would feel. Visit this self-contained bubble of bonhomie and kitchen-centered action for a respite from ick-ptui reality.

241richardderus
Editado: Abr 5, 7:41 pm

>239 LovingLit: How do, Megan! If I were to load the tote to book-capacity, I wouldn't be able to lift it, that's how capacious it is!

My visit with Dr. J today resulted in his pronouncing as follows: "soak your feet in hot slightly bleachy water nightly and just keep doing it, put this betadine on the little nubby thing, then one of these bandaids {they're a funny H-shape} on it, and call me if anything gets infected. You, my friend, are healed!"

The little nubby thing is a slight swelling from my doing toe-lifts in PT, which he said are more important to my overall health improvement than the tiny risk they pose to my foot. Apparently none of the residents could quite believe the photo he showed them was me. I'll miss seeing him, but I can't believe how satisfying it is to hear him say "you're healed".

242PaulCranswick
Abr 5, 7:39 pm

>236 richardderus: It is about time, Tan got another novel to the bookstores, RD. I have enjoyed both of his books to date - The Gift of Rain more so than The Garden of Evening Mists and am pretty sure that the book based on Maugham will resonate.

Pleased to see that every day you seem to be getting that little bit stronger, dear fellow, and long may it continue.

243richardderus
Abr 5, 7:42 pm

>241 richardderus: Agreed re: Author Tan, PC. Thanks for the well-wishes, and long may the trend extend!

244laytonwoman3rd
Abr 5, 9:42 pm

>241 richardderus: A miracle! I'm glad you have been pronounced "healed", sir. Long may this blessing last.

245FAMeulstee
Abr 6, 5:46 am

Happy Thursday, Richard dear!

>241 richardderus: You, my friend, are healed! is wonderful news.

246lauralkeet
Abr 6, 6:44 am

>241 richardderus: that's great news, Richard! It's been quite a ride and I'm glad to see this pronouncement.

247Kristelh
Abr 6, 6:44 am

Good news on your healing! Keep up the good work. Toes are so important for our balance.

248drneutron
Abr 6, 7:58 am

I expect Dr. J to be pleased with my healing

Got a chuckle at the thought of you and your doc doing skyhooks during your appointment. 😀

249Caroline_McElwee
Abr 6, 7:58 am

>226 richardderus: Yum.

>241 richardderus: Such great news RD.

250karenmarie
Abr 6, 8:04 am

‘Morning, Rdear, and happy Thursday to you.

>240 richardderus: I love the word tontine, and loved The Tontine by Thomas B. Constain.

>241 richardderus: Hallelujah! Excellent news.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

251bell7
Abr 6, 8:19 am

>241 richardderus: Hooray! What excellent news.

Thursday *smooches* and hope the weather and the books are both treating you well. We're to get a high of 75 today but it will be raining by the time I get out of work.

252msf59
Abr 6, 8:29 am

Morning, Richard. Sweet Thursday. I hope the week is humming along for you. Thankfully the rain and storms have moved out. It will be cooler but with lots of sunshine, plus Jackson Day tomorrow. Yah!!

253richardderus
Abr 6, 8:43 am

>244 laytonwoman3rd: Thamk you, Linda3rd!

254richardderus
Abr 6, 8:45 am

>245 FAMeulstee: Thursday orisons, Anita...the wonderful feeling of knowing months of antibiotics worked makes dealing with the gut issues worth it.

255richardderus
Abr 6, 8:47 am

>246 lauralkeet: Thanks...now for the stroke effects to get the same dismissal...I fear that one will be longer term. *sigh*

256richardderus
Abr 6, 8:47 am

>247 Kristelh: Thank you, Kristel...toes were things I never thought about before.

257richardderus
Abr 6, 8:48 am

>248 drneutron: LOL

How'd you know we were the same height?

258richardderus
Abr 6, 8:52 am

>249 Caroline_McElwee: So very yum indeed! I'm slightly (read: desperately) eager to locate a local source for same.

Thanks for celebrating my healing with me!

259figsfromthistle
Abr 6, 9:00 am

>241 richardderus: Thats awesome, Richard! Congrats!!

260katiekrug
Abr 6, 9:25 am

Keep on keepin' on!

261richardderus
Abr 6, 9:31 am

>250 karenmarie: I remembered reading that book, Horrible, and being appalled at the concept because of the behaviors it ecouraged. Human greed is bottomless and insatiable...things like tontines are incitements to behave abominably. But they still exist in France...

*smooch*

262richardderus
Abr 6, 9:32 am

>251 bell7: Thank you, Mary...it's been misty/foggy and dank for days and days now, I'm ready for sunshine, please!

263richardderus
Abr 6, 9:34 am

>252 msf59: Happy Jackson Day, Mark! Enjoy the break in April's weirdness with him tomorrow.

264richardderus
Abr 6, 9:35 am

>259 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita!

265richardderus
Abr 6, 9:36 am

>260 katiekrug: I'm really glad and grateful that I can, Katie.

266jessibud2
Abr 6, 9:50 am

Congrats on the happy news, Richard.

267LizzieD
Abr 6, 9:55 am

>241 richardderus: HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!!!!!! GOOD for you, Richard! Good news for my Thursday morning!!!!!!

*smooch*

268RebaRelishesReading
Abr 6, 11:22 am

>241 richardderus: Lovely words indeed!!

269richardderus
Abr 6, 1:36 pm

>266 jessibud2: Thank you, Shelley. I'm enjoying the afterglow of the pronouncement even now.

270richardderus
Abr 6, 1:37 pm

>267 LizzieD: *smooch* It's a joy to share good news, Peggy, and even more so when someone's as pleased for me as you are.

271raymondrobm3
Abr 6, 1:37 pm

Este utilizador foi removido como sendo spam.

272richardderus
Abr 6, 1:39 pm

>268 RebaRelishesReading: I feel over-the-moon, Reba, and wish I could convey how much dread the condition raised in me; Dr. J (quiet, Jim!) was a goddess-send I'd never have met had I not had the damned stroke.

273Storeetllr
Abr 6, 2:08 pm

>241 richardderus: What a relief! So happy for you.

274richardderus
Abr 6, 2:09 pm

>273 Storeetllr: Thank you, Mary, I appreciate that support.

275karenmarie
Abr 7, 7:24 am

'Morning, RDear. Happy Friday to you. Of course, living where you do, I guess there's no mention of Good Friday, eh?

Another fun day of PT for me here, along with a grocery order/pickup, house cleaner Alex, and Jenna home for the religious holiday of a faith she does not subscribe to. *smile*

Other than that, I think I still need to report on the books I got at the book sale last Saturday and start entering them into my catalog, even if they won't make it to specific shelves for a while.

*smooch*

276msf59
Abr 7, 8:32 am

Happy Friday, Richard. Chilly start to the day but lots of sunshine again, plus Jackson will be brightening our day even more. We are taking him to see the Easter Bunny. Sue's idea- not mine. How are those books treating you?

277richardderus
Abr 7, 9:37 am

016 The Bucharest Dossier by William Maz

Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: Bill Hefflin is a man apart—apart from life, apart from his homeland, apart from love

At the start of the 1989 uprising in Romania, CIA analyst Bill Hefflin—a disillusioned Romanian expat—arrives in Bucharest at the insistence of his KGB asset, code-named Boris. As Hefflin becomes embroiled in an uprising that turns into a brutal revolution, nothing is as it seems, including the search for his childhood love, which has taken on mythical proportions.

With the bloody events unfolding at blinding speed, Hefflin realizes the revolution is manipulated by outside forces, including his own CIA and Boris—the puppeteer who seems to be pulling all the strings of Hefflin’s life.

The Bourne Identity meets John le Carre’s The Spy Who Came In from the Cold

I RECEIVED A DRC FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA EDELWEISS+. THANK YOU.

My Review
: A time and place explored as the events I saw unfold with my own eyes were shocking and appalling me and my compatriots will always make a story I want to read.

I've had decent luck with Oceanview's choices of stories they publish so far. This one is a first novel, as almost all the others of theirs I've read so far have been. As a first novel, I felt this was very promising in terms of the choice of story to be told but less so in its structure. Is ir a sentimental education? Is it a spy thriller? Is it a long-term migrant returns tale? A love story? Pick any two. The issue for me was that the author and editor tried to fit way more plot in than the story could support.

"Bill"/Fili (his childhood nickname) in his college years and his recruitment dragged me down the hardest. It's true that I don't care if straight people get hooked/hooked back up very much. I still can read about the characters, if I'm invested in them; but I saw Catherine, the college girlfriend, as a creepy, nasty person, deeply self-centered, and I felt she didn't ever care for Bill except as and when he could be useful. The lost childhood girl-friend was so generic as to be pointless as a character, almost so much so that she was a poor Maguffin. It damned near gets him killed several times, this obsession with women who don't exist except in his imagination. No subsequent revelations or events changed my opinion, either.

What worked for me was the evocation of the time and the place...a world on the cusp of a violent ending, a culture about to prove (yet again) the absolute inescapable truth of the aphorism "To every birth its blood." There is, in each increasingly menacing occurrence, a mounting sense of Bill's being in a place that is dangerous, that could claim him as its next victim. A creeping sense of dread is always useful in a spy thriller. It was present in every part of the Romanian settings of the story. Bill's discoveries about his place in the CIA, and nature of the US interest in the country's future path, all lead him to reassess a lifetime of hurts and hopes as a last-minute rooftop decision point changes him, his essential self, irrevocably.

When we reach the end of this story, the chickens of wars long past and of debts long since exchanged for the gift of a life out of reach to thank the giver for a life unearned come home to roost. The resolution was...pat...but the consequences meted out were condign, so I landed more on the forgiving snd accepting side of the story's ending. It was not a foregone conclusion that I would forgive the w-verb-bombings and the ethnic-slur pepperings and the heterosexism...but I did. That speaks volumes in the story's favor.

I considered it a qualified success, though I warn readers about the convenient-reveal ending.

There's a really interesting development on the way: THE BUCHAREST DOSSIER is now optioned for film adaptation by Cody Gifford, Kathie Lee Gifford's son.

278richardderus
Abr 7, 9:47 am

017 The Bucharest Legacy: The Rise of the Oligarchs by William Maz

Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: The CIA is rocked to its core when a KGB defector divulges that there is a KGB mole inside the Agency. They learn that the mole' s handler is a KGB agent known as Boris. CIA analyst Bill Hefflin recognizes that name—Boris is the code name of Hefflin' s longtime KGB asset. If the defector is correct, Hefflin realizes Boris must be a triple agent, and his supposed mole has been passing false intel to Hefflin and the CIA. What' s more, this makes Hefflin the prime suspect as the KGB mole inside the Agency.

Hefflin is given a chance to prove his innocence by returning to his city of birth, Bucharest, Romania, to find Boris and track down the identity of the mole. It' s been three years since the bloody revolution, and what he finds is a cauldron of spies, crooked politicians, and a country controlled by the underground and the new oligarchs, all of whom want to find Boris. But Hefflin has a secret that no one else knows—Boris has been dead for over a year.

While the novels in the Bill Hefflin Spy Thriller Series stand on their own and can be read in any order, the publication sequence is {actually very important, ignore this sentence}.

I RECEIVED A DRC FROM THE PUBLISHER VIA NETGALLEY. THANK YOU.

My Review
: I did not see this set-up coming. I like that in a spy story, especially a series. What I *did* see coming was that the author would keep using the ethnic slur "gypsy" which as a Romanian he should know is the semantic equivalent of the "n" word...but wait! there's more, as the infomercials used to say....

Considering how the previous book ended, I was expecting to feel pretty indifferent to the life Bill's received from his immigrant parets and their sacrifices, from Boris and his scale-balancing, being placed under threat. I was, in fact, uninterested in his fatherhood, his marriage to the still-icky-to-me Catherine, all that pop-music-scored montage material. Once Bill's in the vice-grip of his old job's new bosses and he's back in Bucharest, I stopped speed-flipping and resumed reading.

What we have is a spy story that really bites into the apple of all (especially the best) spy stories: who're the "good" guys when absolutely everyone is lying through their (false) teeth and giving you Bambi-eyes through colored contacts as they try to distract you with a hand job while picking your pocket and measuring you up for a swift stab?

The good news is that the story is up to its convolutions now. The sub-optimal news is that the ending goes places I found repugnant and disturbing. The sheer velocity of the spy bits would get an honest four-plus stars. The ending's shenanigans lopped that half-star right back off. The chasing around and the inclusion of Catherine in the spying got my happy grins. The way the author treats his ethnic slur use won me back to his side. The resolution of Bill's quest for roots was also quite deftly sewn into the material of the plot. There's a degree of...I suppose wistfulness is the word I'll choose...in that resolution, and it was laced with a very true-to-life salting of disillusionment. Like most all of us, Bill does not leave his twenties with his idealism intact; like almost any of us who become parents, he discovers the oceanic depths of the connection between parent and child. He becomes a different, more dangerously grounded man.

As the body count that results from this mounts, I felt that most agreeable glow of the thriller reader, "they deserved it", suffusing me regularly. I don't think a single murder was committed before my bifocals that I'd've flinched away from in real life. That is a good trait in a spy story. As the action in this story moves around the globe more than the first one, I was satisfied that the author chose to focus most of his descriptive and evocative prose on Bucharest as it transitions from failed Communist state to failing oligarchy. I am very unfamiliar with Bucharest so I was most interested in the parts of the story in that setting.

But the psychosexual peek into the author afforded by the ending was greatly not to my taste. I'm sure I'll read another one of these, should one eventuate; I'm forewarned that there will be disagreeable ladlings of heterosexual activity; I can only hope the author will feed me more Romanian atmosphere to help mask the bitter taste of it. I'd really like to smack the copyeditor, too, for failing to catch things like "peak" for "pique" and other such homophones. The w-verb bombing is present, too, and honestly should be a fine-able offense.

On the whole, a guarded and qualified endorsement of the story.

279richardderus
Abr 7, 10:18 am

>275 karenmarie: Even if there was, how would I know? I've been as rude as I know how to be to the religious nuts, so they avoid me with scowls and frowns and muttered imprecations. It's heavenly. The idea of smiling and having a cozy family dinner in celebration of some poor motherfucker being tortured to death is deeply off-putting to me.

Our PT & OT providers are out until a week from today for their religious festival...the appalling one where they celebrate their gawd slaughtering other peoples' babies but not their own. *shudder* I'll take the endless silent indifferent blackness of the void if these are the alternatives.

280richardderus
Abr 7, 10:21 am

>276 msf59: A Jackson day is a bright day come what weather the goddesses decide to splash over you, right Grandpa? New life affects us that way (if we're inclined to be optimistic, anyway).

Lovely weekend-ahead's reads!

281Familyhistorian
Abr 7, 3:52 pm

Hearing "you're healed" must have been a wonderful graduation, Richard! Have a great weekend. Hopefully the weather cooperates. We could do with less rain here ourselves.

282richardderus
Abr 7, 5:37 pm

>281 Familyhistorian: It does indeed feel like a graduation, Meg. I'm so happy there's no longer a hole in my skin!

283Copperskye
Abr 7, 8:16 pm

Hi Richard, I'm so glad to see that you have been proclaimed healed! There's nothing like an illness or two to help us appreciate how important our good health is. Here's to a happy and healthy weekend!

284sirfurboy
Abr 8, 4:09 am

Hi Ruchard, so glad you are back with us, and taht things are better. What Copperskye said!

285karenmarie
Abr 8, 6:40 am

‘Morning, RDear! Happy Saturday to you.

>277 richardderus: Look at you with the very long and full-strength review! Congrats on that. like almost any of us who become parents, he discovers the oceanic depths of the connection between parent and child. He becomes a different, more dangerously grounded man. Oh, my yes. And, the copyeditor, too, for failing to catch things like "peak" for "pique" and other such homophones. The w-verb bombing is present, too, and honestly should be a fine-able offense. I should have been a copy editor. I see stuff like this all the time and am always put off by it.

>279 richardderus: Ah yes. Passover. I have two Passover stories. The first is when I was invited to a Messianic Jewish Passover seder celebration but did not know that’s what it was. I was having a good enough time, cringing a bit with the bits they contorted with Jesus, but got very sad when a deeply religious Jewish couple realized they were at the wrong Passover celebration at the venue but were too embarrassed to leave and too embarrassed to arrive late where they should have gone.

The second story is when I was dating a cultural Jewish man, whose family was quite well off and lived behind the Orange Curtain in SoCal. We were invited down to celebrate Passover seder, with their cook serving us. Parents, Ric and me, and, I think a sister… Well, about halfway through, with each of us having the ritual words printed out so we’d know what to say when, there was an invasion of moths in their bougie dining room. We fled, and that was literally the end of Passover for the Goldmans.

*smooch*

286PaulCranswick
Abr 8, 7:15 am

>279 richardderus: That is one way of looking at it RD! Have a splendid weekend, dear fellow.

287richardderus
Abr 8, 9:18 am



Lock him up.

288richardderus
Abr 8, 9:19 am

>283 Copperskye: It's a sad truth of human nature that we don't always appreciate our good fortune, isn't it? Glad to see you.

289richardderus
Abr 8, 9:20 am

>284 sirfurboy: Stephen! Happy to have your visit, and thanks.

290richardderus
Abr 8, 9:55 am

>285 karenmarie: You went to a moth-blighted seder? Sounds like someone giving it was getting A Hint to me...

Thanks for the vote of confidence re: the reviews. Copyediting is such a complicated process, I don't wonder that it's fading away. People need to be good at multiple things, including grammar, spelling, the spidey-sense of Purpose...a world dominated by TikTok isn't going to see the need for copyediting, or even the content editing, for long. I console myself that I'll be dead before all that much longer.

291richardderus
Abr 8, 9:58 am

>286 PaulCranswick: Their way of looking at it being light on the gore and hatefulness of the underlying reality, it's the only way I can think of that makes sense at all.

293richardderus
Abr 8, 7:43 pm

>292 Storeetllr: Now, please, since it's seven years overdue.

294karenmarie
Abr 9, 7:19 am

'Morning, Rdear! Happy Sunday and Happy Easter CANDY Day. I've got Peeps (yes, love 'em or hate 'em), and a Lindt Chocolate Bunny.

>287 richardderus: Wouldn't it be the bee's knees to see that awful and evil man in jail, permanently? Or shuffled off this mortal coil? Either would satisfy me.

*smooch* from your soon-to-be-sugar-infused and always-re-t****-bloodthirsty Horrible

295msf59
Abr 9, 8:26 am

Happy Sunday, Richard. I hope you are feeling well. Thanks for the RGV info. I am getting very pumped about this trip. It sure helps to go with a couple of seasoned birders and photographers. The weather there looks perfect too- low to mid-80s while we are there.

>287 richardderus: LOVE IT!!

296richardderus
Abr 9, 8:30 am

>294 karenmarie: Peeps...and chocolate...*ewwwwww*

"Enjoy" your pancreatic abusive treats. This being Passover we're getting the usual round of egg-white-heavy fatless cakes, like swiss roll sponges, which I quite enjoy. Last night's snack was a gingerbread-flavored version with a slather of apricot jam...delightful.

I know it's terrible and very much to be hidden from polite eyes but I do not want 45 to die a natural death. More like slaughtered in a jailhouse riot...with video. Traitorous scum.

297richardderus
Abr 9, 8:38 am

>295 msf59: Low-to-mid 80s in April...don't count on it, is all I'll say...take a hat!

Have a wonderful time! Eat ALL the Tex Mex and drink ALL the pink grapefruit juice (yes, they call it ruby-red, but it's pink and it's delicious). You're in for some peak birding!

298jessibud2
Abr 9, 8:44 am

>296 richardderus: - Hi Richard. Actually, having given this some consideration, I actually do want him to die a natural death. Say, an aneurism or something, preferably mid-speech, surrounded by his throng of goons, with his fish mouth fully open, and just drop. Because that way, it will be visible and public (the spotlight is just the way he likes it) and no one else can be blamed. You can't fake-news a sudden and public death. And there are not likely to be any Democrats or sane people in his crowd to blame.

(I don't generally wish bad on anyone, but there are some exceptions. And since I am in this nasty mode, shall we say sooner might be better than later? ie, before the election?

299karenmarie
Abr 9, 9:54 am

>296 richardderus: I know it's terrible and very much to be hidden from polite eyes but I do not want 45 to die a natural death. More like slaughtered in a jailhouse riot...with video. Traitorous scum. Well, I won't disagree with that.

>298 jessibud2: ...I actually do want him to die a natural death. Say, an aneurism or something, preferably mid-speech, surrounded by his throng of goons, with his fish mouth fully open, and just drop. Because that way, it will be visible and public (the spotlight is just the way he likes it) and no one else can be blamed. You can't fake-news a sudden and public death. And there are not likely to be any Democrats or sane people in his crowd to blame. Can't disagree with that scenario either.

300richardderus
Abr 9, 10:13 am

>298 jessibud2: I like hte timing...but I'm just too in hate with 45 to think such a seamless ending is okay. My loathing for the scum demands a hefty price be paid for perverting the public discourse and acting in the best interest of states not the United ones.

Ah well...I'm not in charge of the Universe so there's no realistic hope for me to get my way.

301RebaRelishesReading
Abr 9, 11:38 am

>299 karenmarie: I'm not fussy about how ... just hurry up!!

302richardderus
Abr 9, 1:04 pm

>301 RebaRelishesReading: Awomen, Reba...Awomen.
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