Laura (lauralkeet)'s 2023 Books - Part 11

É uma continuação do tópico Laura (lauralkeet)'s 2023 Books - Part 10.

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Laura (lauralkeet)'s 2023 Books - Part 11

Editado: Nov 23, 7:36 am

Alys with her new bestie, Jula’s dog Rizzo

Welcome to my thread! I'm Laura, 61, retired. My husband Chris and I live in an 18th century farmhouse in northern Virginia, with our 8-year-old terrier mix, Alys, who has a place of honor at the top of my threads. We keep ourselves busy with gardening and various home projects. Besides reading, I spend a lot of time knitting and weaving. I occasionally post photos of my work here; if you’re so inclined you can enjoy more “fun with fiber” on my thread in the Needlearts group.

2023 is my fifteenth year in the 75 Book Challenge Group, which I can hardly believe. I love this group! I'm more interested in the quality of my reading than the quantity, so this year I have abandoned the infamous ticker. I read mostly contemporary fiction, with the odd classic or memoir thrown in. I enjoy reading where my mood takes me, but this year I want to be a little more intentional in seeking out nonfiction and prize winners or nominees.

Books Featured on This Thread
(Go here to see all books read this year)
55. A Spool of Blue Thread
56. The Dog Stars
57. Harlem Shuffle

Editado: Nov 1, 8:40 am

Series Progress

Active series as of October 1 (updated quarterly):

A snapshot of my active series sorted on the "progress" column.

Series completed/current in 2023:
* Inspector Gamache
* Ruth Galloway
* Thursday Murder Club
* North Bath

Series started in 2023:
* Kurt Wallander (resumed after a long hiatus)
* Kinsey Millhone
* Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James

Series abandoned in 2023:
* Lymond Chronicles

Editado: Ontem, 8:44 am

Currently Reading & On Deck

The White Lioness | The Vaster Wilds

Editado: Nov 1, 8:42 am

Bird Buddies of the Month

There were two new arrivals in October:

Mourning Dove. These birds are normally ground feeders, so I was surprised to see them on the perch.

Blue Jays were regulars on our feeders in the spring, went elsewhere during the summer, and have now returned to take advantage of the food supply.

Editado: Nov 1, 8:47 am

New month, new thread!

As mentioned on my previous thread, HVAC Project Day 2 is now in the books. Progress is being made and there were fewer questions, but it's still weird having other people in your house for hours, and always being on alert. Ah well ... this, too, shall pass.

On the plus side, I finished Gun Street Girl and then, realizing I had no library holds ready, I downloaded A Spool of Blue Thread to my Kindle (as a library loan). I started reading it last night. I also started knitting a hat, so it was a fairly productive day, all things considered.

Today will be more of the same: trying to stay out of the way while still keeping an eye on things. We might escape for a while to have lunch or hang out in a coffee shop. We'll see.

Wordle 865 5/6


Editado: Nov 1, 8:49 am

I posted this review on my previous thread in the interest of October completeness, and I'm reposting here for the book chat.

54. Gun Street Girl ()

Inspector Sean Duffy’s latest case begins as a double murder, and is soon followed by more deaths. What appeared to be a straightforward case is (of course) anything but. Duffy and his colleagues find themselves working with MI5 and Special Branch, who are investigating potentially related matters.

Meanwhile, Duffy is trying to strike up a relationship with a news reporter. He is also being actively recruited by MI5, who are offering him a higher level post than anything he would ever achieve in the Royal Ulster Constabulary. Since Duffy is perpetually fed up with his chain of command this has some appeal, as does the woman recruiting him. And yet he also values his fellow investigators, including Lawson, a sharp new member of the force, and his long-time colleague McCrabban.

The investigation takes several turns, and like previous books the crime has links to actual historic events of the period (in this case, 1985). The final dramatic showdown coincides with equally dramatic events in Duffy’s personal life, and the question of joining MI5 is resolved … at least for now.

Nov 1, 9:24 am

Happy new thread, Laura!

Love your topper and bird pics.

>6 lauralkeet: I really need to start the Duffy series... sigh.

Nov 1, 9:28 am

Happy New Thread, Laura. Happy November. Love the toppers, especially the bird buddies. We still get blue jays from time to time. They love peanuts in the shell. You got some good current reads going. I really enjoyed both, especially The Dog Stars.

Nov 1, 9:34 am

Happy new thread, Laura!

That blue jay looks *mean*!

I'm so glad you're enjoying the Duffy series. I just started #2 on audio yesterday, and had to tear myself away from it and my puzzle to go to trivia :)

Nov 1, 11:57 am

>5 lauralkeet: Hopefully the HVAC project will end soon. It's always a hassle to have people in your home and watch to make sure everything goes the way it's supposed to.

Happy new thread!

Nov 1, 12:41 pm

Love the besties, and your feathered visitors.

Btw what do you think of the new University Challenge compare (haven't seen him yet, but I love his interviews)?

Nov 1, 12:47 pm

Happy new thread, Laura!

Nov 1, 1:32 pm

Hi Laura!
I think I know where that blue jay was for the summer - a bit further north in PEI. Do the mourning doves migrate? They could leave PEI in the summer because the moaning drives me batty. There is nearly always one on the electric wires by my house.
I'm intrigued by the Adrian McGinty series, and after the last great recc of Kate Burkholder (and probably Ruth Galloway which was a great find), I'm inclined to start this one. Not right away, but an Irish troubles series will stay on my radar.
Did you get many trick or treaters in your area? I kind of miss my kids being little and taking them around the neighbourhood.

Nov 1, 4:02 pm

Happy new one, Laura. I love the doggy photo -- know I would love the doggies in person too :)

Nov 1, 4:22 pm

>7 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Congratulations on being the first visitor to my shiny new thread. And yes, you *should* start the Sean Duffy series one of these days. I think you'd like it.

>8 msf59: Glad you enjoyed the bird pics, Mark. I'm sure our Blue Jays would enjoy peanuts, too, but we only have sunflower seeds on the menu 😃 Oh, and suet -- I just put up our suet feeder in the past week or so.

>9 katiekrug: I guess Blue Jays do look a little ornery, Katie. They are big guys and probably intimidate smaller birds too.

>10 figsfromthistle: We are trying to remain patient during the HVAC project, but ran into a situation today and had to get the manager involved. I guess I would have been surprised if nothing had gone awry, but still ...

>11 Caroline_McElwee: Caro, I liked Jeremy Paxman and was sad that he had to retire. As a relative newcomer to UC I didn't have the history that most folks do, so I wasn't as emotionally invested in the Paxman era. I also was completely unfamiliar with Amol Rajan so he seemed like a new kid on the block, when he is in fact a very experienced journalist. I think he's done a great job assuming the host role; he seems completely at ease and is developing some of his own trademarks.

>12 alcottacre: Thanks Stasia! *waves*

>13 raidergirl3: Hi Elizabeth! So, you had Blue Jays in summer eh? The Cornell Lab of Ornithology says they inhabit Eastern North American year-round and don't really migrate, per se, Here's their map (purple means "year round"):

But that's such a large region, now you have me wondering if they travel around a bit based on weather or whatever. Interesting!

Also: yes to Sean Duffy--put it on your list!
And: nope to trick-or-treaters. We don't live in a neighborhood and the nearest houses are not an easy walk for kids in costume, so they go elsewhere. I used to love taking my kids out, too.

>14 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba! I'm certain you would love Rizzo and Alys in person. They are both very sweet doggos.

Nov 1, 5:03 pm

Happy new thread Laura!

Nov 1, 5:24 pm

I have almost never met a dog I didn't like. I have a bit of a reputation for petting every dog I pass on the street, or elsewhere. On the walking trip in England a few years go my bff entertained herself taking as many photos as possible with me petting strange dogs. Sooooo, I KNOW I would love Rizzo and Alys.

Nov 2, 6:51 am

>16 quondame: Thanks Susan.

>17 RebaRelishesReading: That's a great story, Reba!

Nov 2, 7:00 am

Brrr ... the weather turned cold yesterday, and is even colder this morning (about 27F/-3C as I write).

We didn't do much yesterday other than putter around while keeping one eye on the HVAC crew. As mentioned above, we had a situation that required escalation to the installation manager (who is not on-site all day). I'll spare you the details, but things were not proceeding the way we had been told, probably caused by a communications disconnect between the installation manager and his crew. They were able to put things mostly-right by the end of the day, but now we feel like we need to pay even closer attention to what's going on. Grrr.

So, today's agenda is unfortunately much like yesterday's. I guess the positive side of that is I'm able to do a decent amount of reading and knitting. A Spool of Blue Thread has really grabbed me. Anne Tyler really knows how to write about dysfunctional families, doesn't she?

Wordle 866 3/6


Nov 2, 9:38 am

Sorry about the complication with the installation. That's very frustrating, as is having to be around but out of the way but available...

Wordle took me 5 again today. I need to stop rushing it, I think.

Nov 2, 10:44 am

I'm nicely tucked in to I Hear the Sirens in the Street, the second Sean Duffy...I like him, and I think I have you to thank for the recommendation.

Nov 2, 11:28 am

Sorry to hear the HVAC has required more intervention than you'd hoped. Hopefully, it's smoother sailing from here.

Nov 2, 11:32 am

>21 laytonwoman3rd: I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying it, Linda! I must give credit where it's due: Katie warbled most enthusiastically about this series which inspired me to dive in.

>20 katiekrug:, >22 MickyFine: Thanks for the empathy regarding our HVAC project. It really does make a difference!

Nov 2, 5:02 pm

>19 lauralkeet: Bummer -- you shouldn't have to manage a project that you're paying someone else to manage!!

Nov 2, 6:08 pm

>24 RebaRelishesReading: I can't argue with that, Reba. Sigh.

Nov 2, 6:37 pm

The HVAC issue sounds like a real pain. I hope it all gets ironed out to your satisfaction!

Nov 2, 10:08 pm

>6 lauralkeet: Oh yeah... great... Ms. Cliffhanger
(the question of joining MI5 is resolved … at least for now.).
Now I'm going to have to resume reading Adrian McKintry, having bailed out at In the Morning I'll Be Gone. I think I burned out halfway through that one so time to get back.

Glad to find a fellow-admirer of A Spool of Blue Thread. Anne Tyler's writing brings to life such amazingly real, in-depth characters, doesn't she?

Nov 2, 10:23 pm

Happy new thread, Laura. x

Nov 3, 6:25 am

>26 alcottacre: We're getting there, Stasia. One day at a time. Thanks.

>27 SandyAMcPherson: Ha ha Sandy, I'm glad I got you with that cliffhanger! I hope you enjoy the series when you return to it. And I totally agree with you about Anne Tyler's writing. I read a couple of her books ages ago and then she fell off my radar. I've been trying to make up for that.

>28 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul.

Editado: Nov 3, 6:41 am

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!

Same old, same old yesterday. We escaped the compound for a while in the afternoon, to enjoy lattes at our favorite coffee shop. I spent some time planning next year's vegetable garden, taking inventory of our seeds to figure out what I can use, and what I will need to stock up on.

I'm still plugging away at A Spool of Blue Thread. Evening viewing included an episode of The Wire and some other odds and ends. Meanwhile, I made progress on my sweater (easy, mindless knitting) and the hat (a couple of false starts on a tricky stitch pattern, but it's all good now).

Today we will "welcome" the HVAC crew again. The plan was for them to complete all of the pre-electrical work this week and come back after the electrician is done, to wrap things up. This project has some significant complexities and they've had to spend time making up for their error earlier in the week. So today we will have a chat with the manager about their progress and next steps.

At some point today I'll do the grocery shopping. Dinner will be takeout of some sort, which is normal for Friday and also a reward for a stressful week.

Wordle 867 4/6


Nov 3, 8:41 am

>13 raidergirl3: We have blue jays and mourning doves year-round in northern Illinois. They are also both regular visitors to my feeders. PEI looks absolutely gorgeous.

Happy Friday, Laura. I may have to revisit "The Wire" one of these days. Landmark show.

Nov 3, 1:22 pm

>31 msf59: Hi Mark! Thanks for dropping in. We have really enjoyed The Wire (that's not the right word, but you know what I mean). It's so well done. We're on the last season now and I'll miss those guys!

Editado: Nov 3, 1:26 pm

Oh yeah- Black Butterflies has been excellent but you knew that already, right? 😁

Nov 3, 1:40 pm

>33 msf59: I do, but I'm glad you agree!

Nov 4, 7:35 am

Welcome to the weekend!

I am so ready for a break in the HVAC project. I almost lost it yesterday, because they were working on the main level of the house and there was nowhere to go to escape the noise. They were originally supposed finish this phase yesterday, but because of the time required to fix a mistake they'll back on Monday and hopefully wrap things up. Sigh. But at least we have two days to ourselves.

Yesterday I had to frog (aka unravel) the hat I was knitting, because it was too small. I didn't check my gauge in advance, and I really should know better. So I'll try out some different needle sizes and start again with the one that gets me closest to the required gauge (stitches/inch).

This morning I'm going to Barre, and then I'll spend some time putting the house back in order. We had to move furniture around so they could add new air returns in the living and dining rooms, and both rooms are really dusty. I'm also looking forward to spending more time with A Spool of Blue Thread. There was a sudden, unexpected plot twist about halfway through, and then the narrative moved back in time so now I'm really wondering where this is all going.

Wordle 868 5/6

My fourth word was inspired by how I felt in the moment. Ha.

Nov 4, 4:42 pm

>35 lauralkeet: Sorry to hear about the frogging, Laura. Never a fun time. Hopefully your weekend includes lots of down time and opportunities to tackle the hat again (plus plenty of reading time too).

Nov 5, 7:43 am

>36 MickyFine: Thanks Micky. I don't know why I didn't swatch first; I've learned this lesson before. Oh well, I swatched yesterday and will block and measure today.

Editado: Nov 5, 8:13 am

Good morning!

We slept in today, after first waking up at 5am (due to the time change) and saying nope, it's way too early. The extra sleep and dog-snuggling was luxurious. This morning I changed the one clock in the house that doesn't switch automatically (an older thermostat). The only other clocks that need to be adjusted are in our cars. Do the clocks in new cars change time automatically these days?

Today I hope to finish up the dusting and cleaning I started yesterday. The weather is supposed to be warm-ish so I might start working on our garden storage & potting shed, which turned into quite a mess over the gardening season.

I'm nearing the end of A Spool of Blue Thread now, less than 50 pages to go. I can see why it was nominated for the Booker and Women's Prizes in 2015, although I think Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant might still remain my favorite. We'll see.

Wordle 869 4/6


Nov 5, 8:13 am

Happy Sunday, Laura! Nice that you got a bit of a lie-in this morning. Our car changes the time automatically, yes. I need to change the oven, microwave, and coffee maker myself.

You are making me want to finally get to A Spool of Blue Thread. I've liked every Tyler I've read, but I think 'Homesick' is my favorite so far, too. It's been years since I read it, though...

Nov 5, 8:15 am

>38 lauralkeet: Ahh, so your clocks switch a week later than ours Laura. It always takes me a couple of weeks to adjust to the wiggle, whichever direction.

Nov 5, 9:17 am

>40 Caroline_McElwee: Yes Caro, and we we change 2 weeks earlier in the spring! My body doesn't have trouble adjusting to the time change, but we listen to a lot of BBC radio and I am surprised every time when a familiar program isn't on when I expect it to be.

Nov 5, 3:56 pm

>38 lauralkeet: Oooh! I haven't read Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant. Onto the library WL it goes.

So glad we live in a province that stays on standard time all year 'round. Like Arizona. I believe the Yukon is permanently 7 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC -7), and they do not "spring forward" or "fall back". So sensible, eh?

You have all my sympathy, Laura, for the HVAC angst.
We had a big plumbing job in 2017 that was so poorly managed, that the plumber in question was dismissed by the company manager. The plumber-manager came out himself to rectify the mess. At no extra charge but no compensation for the upset. We had no water for two days while the job was sorted.

Editado: Nov 5, 5:06 pm

>38 lauralkeet: Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant remains my favorite Anne Tyler book. But I read it so long ago I only remember that I really liked it; nothing else. Is that the one where the brother has geographic dyslexia and takes an hour getting lost while driving to the local deli every time he goes there?

How do you do your Wordle posts? I’m fascinated.

Nov 5, 6:53 pm

>42 SandyAMcPherson: Wow, Sandy, that plumbing job sounds like a nightmare!

>43 kjuliff: A new visitor! Kathleen, right? Thanks for stopping by. I don't remember that bit about *Homesick Restaurant* so it might have been in another of Tyler's books. Here's my review from last year if you want to refresh your memory:

To answer your Wordle question, when you solve the Wordle you have the option to share your results. This copies the grid to my clipboard and then I just paste it into a Talk message. I use the "spoiler" tag to hide my guesses.

Nov 5, 7:15 pm

I don't care about being over-looked (*sob*), but I did answer your question about car clocks 😁

Editado: Nov 5, 8:24 pm

>44 lauralkeet: Thanks for the welcome. I usually call myself Kate but registered with my real name of Kathleen. I’ve had to take to using both Kate and Kathleen since coming to the US, as I get more forms and confusion here than back in Australia.

I will read your review of Homesick. The part about the brother always getting lost must be from another of her books written around the same time, as I had a short binge of reading her novels back round the time it was published.

Thanks for the Wordle explanation; I’ll tried it out but can’t get it to work properly. The answers don’t show. What text is in your spoiler alert?

Wordle 869 4/6


Nov 5, 8:08 pm

>45 katiekrug: oh no! I'm sorry, Katie. Thanks for answering my question! I guess I need to buy a new car LOL. Also, I finished *Blue Thread* and .. um ... well. I am annoyed! I'll be back with thoughts tomorrow.

>46 kjuliff: Hi there Kate! My daughter is named Kate (full name Kathryn). Anyway, thanks for stopping by.

Editado: Nov 5, 8:14 pm

>46 kjuliff: It looks like you were able to copy/paste the grid. You have to type the guesses/answers yourself. The spoiler tag hides that text. You have to click on the spoiler to see it.

Editado: Nov 5, 8:34 pm

>48 lauralkeet: But how do you get the graphic with the results in it? Edited - I now see you just type the words.

Nov 5, 8:32 pm

>47 lauralkeet: Hi there. Did you use the name Kate for your daughter from birth?

Editado: Nov 6, 6:59 am

>49 kjuliff: I'm glad you figured it out, Kate. I wasn't at all sure I was explaining it well. I didn't invent this LT Wordle-sharing method; someone started it in the early days of Wordle and I jumped on the bandwagon. Hooray for the spoiler tag!

>50 kjuliff: Yes, she's been Kate from the very beginning. Kathryn is my mother-in-law's given name (although she goes by her middle name), and we wanted to use a nickname. I really liked Kate, and was also adamant she would not be Katie, for no good reason except I knew a Katie in high school who did not do justice to the name. If I'd met katiekrug earlier, our Kate might have been a Katie. Ha.

Nov 6, 7:08 am

Monday Monday ...

We had a nice, relaxing weekend -- much needed after last week's HVAC work. Yesterday's weather was gorgeous and it was great to be outside, even if I was doing drudge work like organizing the garden storage areas. This will be a multi-part job, but I made a nice dent in it yesterday which was satisfying. I also helped Chris with a project he was working on, where he needed an extra pair of hands for a bit.

As mentioned upthread, I finished A Spool of Blue Thread. I was reading on Kindle and not fully aware I was at the end, when suddenly I "turned" a page and that was that. And I thought, "What?!!" I ended up feeling underwhelmed. It was still a good book (I'm giving it 3.5 stars), but I was looking for something Tyler just didn't deliver. Review forthcoming.

At bedtime I started reading The Dog Stars, which couldn't be more different than A Spool of Blue Thread.

Evening viewing included an episode of The Wire, and we've also started watching Rumpole of the Bailey, which we did not see in its initial 1980s run. I know it's a bit of a classic and Chris seems to enjoy it; I'm on the fence. Thoughts, anyone?

We are expecting the HVAC crew today, hopefully for just one day to wrap up this phase of their work. I don't have much on my agenda other than a follow-up doc appointment to evaluate a recent change in medication. Exciting, no?

Wordle 870 2/6

A great start to the week!

Nov 6, 7:49 am

>52 lauralkeet: Oh, the Dog Stars! That's a real favorite of mine — hope you enjoy it, Laura.

Nov 6, 7:57 am

"If I'd met katiekrug earlier, our Kate might have been a Katie. Ha."

Oh, you flatterer, you :D (Fun fact: I've always been Katie, short for Catherine, until I met The Wayne. He calls me Kate.)

I'm sorry about the disappointment at the end of the Tyler. That's frustrating.

I've had The Dog Stars on my shelf forever and keep meaning to get to it, and then it gets overlooked. Again. I'm sure no one else has this happen to them with their books.

Fingers crossed the crew finished up phase 1 today!

Nov 6, 8:52 am

Happy newish thread, Laura. I love your birds. I've also had Dog Stars on my shelf for years. Maybe I will get to it still this year.

Editado: Nov 6, 10:43 am

>51 lauralkeet: interesting about your daughter’s middle name. My legal first name is Kathleen but like your daughter, my parents called me Kate from birth and wanted that to be my name. The Kathleen, like your daughter’s Kathryn was a relatives name.

Great start to your Wordle week. I took five goes!

Nov 6, 11:21 am

Loving all the "Kathryn/Katie etc." discussion.

My MIL is Kathleen, and hates it---she has always been Kaye to everyone. My SIL is Kathleen and hates it--she has always been Kathy. My grandmother was Kathryn, and I don't know how she felt about that, but she was Katie to most people who didn't call her Ma or Grandma. I kinda wanted to name our daughter Kathryn, but we decided she'd be Katie Koons and would never forgive us for that, so we went another way.

Editado: Nov 6, 11:23 am

>53 rosalita:, >54 katiekrug: Hi Julia & Katie. The Dog Stars was inspired by chat in this group, maybe over on Vivian's thread? She read something by Heller and I asked whether I should start with that book or something else. Julia, I feel like you might have weighed in on this. Anyway, it looks like it will be pretty interesting.

>55 BLBera: Hi Beth! Nice to see you and glad you like the birds. I've been lurking over on your thread, not saying much. I will have to remedy that.

>56 kjuliff: I got lucky with Wordle today. 2s are not normal for me!

>57 laytonwoman3rd: Looks like we cross-posted Linda. Hi! Naming children is so complicated, isn't it? From "kids I disliked in school" to alliterations to names that might incite name-calling ... there's a lot to consider. As a Laura myself, I think you made a good choice. 😃

Nov 6, 11:24 am

55. A Spool of Blue Thread ()

I love a family saga, and Anne Tyler excels in this genre. The more dysfunctional the family the better. So I had high hopes for A Spool of Blue Thread, even more so because of the prize nominations it earned back in 2015. The book delivered in some ways, and fell short in others.

The first half of the book is the story of Abby and Red, and their adult children. Both parents are showing signs of age, cognitively and physically. Their children–2 daughters and 2 sons–are justifiably concerned and everyone plays a part in looking out for them. Even their son Denny, who has a habit of coming in and out of their lives, moves into their house and shares duties with his brother Stem. There’s a lot going on in this family, borne of good intentions, poor communications and unmet expectations. They seem to be just barely holding things together when suddenly a major event turns their world upside down.

At that point, Tyler takes the narrative back in time, first telling the story of Abby and Red’s early days as a couple, and then the story of Red’s parents. These were interesting character studies in their own right, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the present-day family. When Tyler finally returned to them, it was more of a denouement which resolved a few questions but left much of the family’s future uncertain. In the end, I was left wanting more from this novel.

Nov 6, 12:06 pm

>57 laytonwoman3rd: - "she'd be Katie Koons and would never forgive us for that"

Well, I'm Katie Krug, and I quite like it :)

I had all my children's names picked out before I realized I didn't actually want children, I just liked picking names, LOL.

Nov 6, 1:08 pm

>38 lauralkeet: Hi Laura!! We have the reverse time change issue -- antique clocks and things on appliances and regular old alarm clocks etc. that all need to be changed by hand. I changed all that need to be changed before going to bed...except Hubby's watch which needs to be done by hand too. Guess which one he checked before worrying that I was over-sleeping the next morning 🥹

As to the all the years we owned our wonderful Subaru I never did figure out an easy way to adjust the clock in it. Sole source of irritation with that car. I was delighted to find our Bolt takes care of that itself! Oh I do love that little red car for so many reasons :)

Sorry about your frogging problem. One reason I like to knit scarves and shawls and baby clothes (for donating rather than for a specific baby) is that a little bigger or smaller really doesn't matter.

My son is named "Thomas" because his father worked internationally and we wanted to have a name that wouldn't be "weird" or mean something awkward in another language. When he was about 5 he came home from school one day and informed me that he wanted to change his name to "John" -- choosing names for someone else is hard (btw I think he's OK with his name now).

Editado: Nov 7, 2:50 pm

>51 lauralkeet: And if she hadn't liked what she was called, she'd have let you know, I'm sure. I get squashed every time I call my daughter Rebecca, and still...

Nov 6, 2:55 pm

Lurk away, Laura!

Editado: Nov 8, 3:42 pm

>60 katiekrug: In some countries people pick names from a book provided by the government. I think this was once the case in Germany. Maybe you could get hold of one of those books for your tbr list 😜

Nov 6, 4:22 pm

>59 lauralkeet: Sorry you found the book disappointing, Laura, and I hope your next read is better for you!

Nov 6, 6:14 pm

>60 katiekrug: I thought of you when I was posting, Katie. I see nothing wrong with either surname attached to Katie myself.

Nov 7, 7:14 am

>60 katiekrug: That's funny, Katie. But also, I kind of get it.

>61 RebaRelishesReading: Great story about your son's name, Reba. So is Thomas now John? Or did he stick with Thomas?

>62 quondame: I can relate to that, Susan. We are still paying the price for giving Julia a "family" middle name.

>63 BLBera: Thanks Beth!

>64 kjuliff: That's an interesting fun fact.

>65 alcottacre: Thanks Stasia!

>66 laytonwoman3rd: Whew, I'm glad you two didn't come to blows ha ha. I can see thinking about the potential for ... I don't know ... playground taunts or whatever. We know someone whose last name is Butt, which is unfortunate in its own right and further complicates choosing names for your children.

Nov 7, 7:34 am

Good morning!

Yesterday was pretty uneventful. I went to the gym in the morning and had a doc appointment in the afternoon, both of which took up more of the day than you might think. But I still managed some reading time. I also started knitting the hat again, hoping this version is a tad larger than my first attempt. I'd like to try it on; to do that I would need to run a lifeline through the stitches so I can safely take it off the needles. I might try that today.

Last night's viewing included a really great match on University Challenge, and an episode of Formula 1: Drive to Survive. Chris acknowledged that the Rumpole series hasn't aged well, which is fine with me. I'd already decided that if he wanted to continue, I'd probably just read. 😃 There's nothing offensive about it, it's just slower-paced than modern mystery/crime shows, and leans a little too hard on the quirky main character trope.

In reading news, I'm liking The Dog Stars. It's been a while since I read a dystopian novel, and this one is quite unsettling so far. It's probably not the best bedtime reading, but I'm usually a monogamous reader so I'll probably just deal with it.

Today's agenda includes a Guild committee meeting over Zoom, and then I hope to spend a bit more time organizing/decluttering our garden storage space. I also need to plan the menu for an upcoming evening with friends. One member of the party is vegan, and another is vegetarian. We're thinking about having a few options for people to choose from. NYT Cooking has lots of vegan recipes, some of which I've actually made before, so I'll start there.

Wordle 871 5/6

Sigh. I wanted to rule out all the vowels before repeating one, but I really should have seen the solution sooner.

Nov 7, 7:42 am

I enjoyed last night's UC. It was nice to see a competitive match, and I liked how the winning team collaborated. That Polish guy is good!

Nov 7, 9:00 am

>67 lauralkeet: Katie and I would never resort to fisticuffs! Maybe a trivia throwdown...

Nov 7, 11:23 am

Ooh I look forward to hearing about the menu you pick for your gathering.

Nov 7, 8:40 pm

Enjoying going through this latest thread . . . a little bit of catching up. I've put the McKinty on the xmas list for the spousal unit.

We have bears and must put away our birdfeeders from mid-late April to December. I sprinkle some birdseed starting on a couple of stumps but our feeder is rather beaten up from a couple of bear encounters. Anyway we have a bevy of mourning doves. This summer I saw a smallish raptor swoop down and carry one off, young hawk, perhaps. Also this year we had a lot of jays, someone must have nested nearby. Noisy crew!

Editado: Nov 8, 8:46 am

>69 katiekrug: Katie, I agree with you about the UC match and that amazing Polish contestant. His knowledge is so wide-ranging, and we kept reminding ourselves that he's doing all this in a second language.

>70 laytonwoman3rd: Whew! I'm glad to hear that, Linda!

>71 MickyFine: Still working on it, Micky, but I will report back.

>72 sibylline: Hi Lucy! Nice to see you here. McKinty's Sean Duffy series would make a great gift. The first book is The Cold, Cold Ground.

I am not jealous of your bear population! There are probably bears in the vicinity here, but they haven't been seen close to home.

Nov 8, 8:54 am

Good morning all!

After my Guild committee meeting yesterday, it was nearly lunchtime and since it was a nice day, we decided to go get subs and eat outside. After that I did some cleanup and organizing in the potting shed. I spent a bit of time on the menu planning I mentioned yesterday; now we need to whittle down the list of main course options and then decide what else we need (sides, dessert, etc.)

Last night we had a FaceTime call with Kate, who brought us up to date on Thanksgiving meal plans as well as her quest to find an appropriately festive cocktail to make (she was testing one as we talked). We chatted for a long time, so we didn't watch much on TV except, IIRC, an episode or two of Arrested Development which we've seen a million times.

This morning I have a Guild-related meeting, and the afternoon is free. Maybe some gardening work, maybe some menu planning and/or other admin tasks. We'll see. I also hope to make progress on The Dog Stars, but as much as I'm liking it I needoccasional breaks from the post-apocalyptic storyline. I have a library hold coming in soon (today?) and might start that so I have something else to read when I need it.

Wordle 872 4/6


Nov 8, 3:40 pm

>74 lauralkeet: Thanks for the tip. Now I’m addicted to comparing scores.
Interesting to see the different ways of getting to the same place.
Wordle 872 6/6


Nov 8, 5:46 pm

>74 lauralkeet: - Is Kate hosting Thanksgiving this year?

I hope your Wednesday was a good one, Laura!

Nov 9, 7:12 am

>75 kjuliff: Interesting to see the different ways of getting to the same place
I know, right?! I enjoy clicking on everyone's spoiler links.

>76 katiekrug: Yes, Katie, I guess I haven't mentioned it before but we're having Thanksgiving at Kate's. She and Julia are collaborating on menu and prep (with some outsourcing, like a reportedly fabulous pumpkin cheesecake). We'll be staying in a hotel but I expect we'll spend most of Thanksgiving Day hanging out at Kate's and I will assist as needed. This is the first time I have not been "responsible" for the meal and while it feels strange I'm also kind of looking forward to it!

Nov 9, 7:31 am

This week is flying by.

Yesterday's activities included a couple of admin tasks and working with Chris on tidying up the house. There was one room left to clean after the HVAC work, both dusting and vacuuming and putting away some ladders as well as tools and equipment from a project Chris was working on.

We also spent some time thinking about the menu for the dinner we're hosting next weekend. We're going to do this buffet-style, with both a vegan chili (with farro and beans) and a roast chicken, some salad and/or vegetable sides, and a vegan chocolate pudding pie for dessert. Our friends have asked what they can bring so I'll probably ask the vegan couple to bring bread, and the other to bring a side.

Also yesterday, Alys had her first-ever appointment with a groomer, for a nail trim. While we weren't looking, her nails turned into eagle talons and really needed to be dealt with. She was a bit wary at first, but we were in and out in 10 minutes and she gave everyone kisses before we left.

Last night's viewing included an episode of The Wire. I thought about starting the book I picked up at the library (The Silent Patient), but then felt myself drawn back to The Dog Stars. Weird, since I thought I needed a break.

Today's agenda is pretty light, although I have my annual mammogram this afternoon and we need to drop off my car for service tomorrow. As usual I have a few odds and ends I'd like to take care of, plus I offered to help prepare supplies for a library craft program so I'll probably get started on that (it involves cutting many 16" lengths of yarn, nothing too difficult, just repetitive).

Wordle 873 4/6


Nov 9, 7:44 am

Here's something fun for internet nerds: Internet Artifacts

I learned about this from Kate, who interviewed the creator, Neal Agarwal, a 25-year old who has been creating websites since he was 9 years old. She describes the site:
Agarwal’s Internet Artifacts museum goes back to the beginning of the internet in 1977, recreating what early sites looked like and allowing you to scroll a 1983 webpage in a way that’s otherwise impossible on the modern internet. It’s extremely well-researched and fun.

Some of the earliest entries were unfamiliar to me, but it was really fun to see notable milestones (the first smiley! the beginnings of Yahoo, Amazon, Netflix, memes, etc.) all recreated on screen. Most of these were amazing at the time and now seem so primitive.

I highly recommend this if you need a time suck today.

Nov 9, 7:59 am

>77 lauralkeet: - How fun!

>79 lauralkeet: - I took a quick look at the link and immediately sent it to The Wayne to share in the fun :)

Nov 9, 8:40 am

Morning, Laura! So, what's the library craft they'll be doing?

Nov 9, 11:50 am

>77 lauralkeet: I would love to not be "responsible" for holiday meal but our local "children" don't have facilities to host so I'm up (again). They will likely volunteer to bring something so I won't have to actually do it all myself but it will be at our house and I'll be coordinating the menu I suspect.

>78 lauralkeet: "after the HVAC work"? So are they finished? Are you happy with the end product?

Good luck with the mammogram. I have an appointment on the 18th 😬. I tried to convince the doc that I had "graduated" from that but she wasn't buyin' it.

Nov 9, 12:43 pm

>80 katiekrug: Oh yay! I bet TW would enjoy the "museum"!

>81 scaifea: Inquiring librarians want to know, eh Amber?
The library program is called Creative Soul, open to high schoolers and and adults. I think it meets monthly. This month's program: "Using multiple types of yarn, weave a beautiful piece of art that's perfect for gifting or decorating your home." The librarian is using this video as a reference. I'm cutting yarn for the fringe/tassels, and one of my Guild buddies is warping the hand looms.

>82 RebaRelishesReading: Reba, Kate wouldn't be able to host a large gathering in her space but we're a small group. I don't mind hosting, but I would like it more if we could have an "everybody bring something" approach like you have. That doesn't work with their travel, and somehow we all fall back to "the way we've always done it," which involves me spending the day cooking. This year will be a nice break from that, and the next time we host I'm going to give some thought to ways we can share the work.

The HVAC project is pretty far along, and we're using the new equipment in most areas of the house. We are waiting on the electrician to run some new lines, and then the last of the equipment can be installed. So far it's working well, but it's also been warm this week so we haven't put it fully to the test yet. For environmental reasons, we're very happy to no longer be dependent on oil, and glad that we decided on a heat pump instead of gas.

Nov 9, 12:57 pm

>79 lauralkeet: No one has yet disputed my claim to have hosted the first BYOC (computer) party in 1980, which had a modem connection to DARPA net, and another to USC Plato, and various very early Intel and Apple PCs as well as my Teletype 43 souped up with an RS-232 connection in addition to its built in modem. I myself put off PC ownership until scandalously in the 1990s - my work always offering better and faster connectivity under elastic supervision.

Nov 9, 1:07 pm

>79 lauralkeet: Internet Artifacts

Nov 9, 1:34 pm

Remember Yahoo Groups and the reading Challenges? Wendy with the German Shepherd/she was a Search and Rescue person? So long ago!

Wordle 873 2/6


No illusions that I am brilliant, I got quite lucky on my 2nd guess. After NINJA yesterday, I went with the high scrabble letter guess.

The year my mother was recovering from brain surgery (benign, everything was fine) my sister and I did the Christmas dinner at her house, where we made the gravy and Yorkshire puddings after Dad started most of the veggies. We've continued doing our part, but now Mom stands over and 'supervises' lol. It was better when she couldn't get up and watch us.

Nov 9, 1:37 pm

>79 lauralkeet: I do not need a time suck today (or ever!) but I am still interested and will be checking it out. Thanks, Laura!

Nov 9, 4:06 pm

>84 quondame: Wow, Susan.
>85 qebo: Yep, it's right up your street, Katherine.
>86 raidergirl3: Yes I do Elizabeth! I met you, Wendy and others there and many of us soon had blogs, and then of course LT. Wendy was active on LT for a quite a while, too. Those were the days ...

Nice Wordle, BTW, and I love your Christmas dinner story.

>87 alcottacre: Save it for a rainy day, Stasia. 😊

Nov 9, 5:38 pm

>83 lauralkeet: I fully understand going for a heat pump. We bought the house with a good gas central heating/AC system and a nice gas stove -- IF/when they need replacing I will be looking for more environmentally friendly ones, especially now that our electricity use is generated by solar.

It was confirmed this afternoon that Thanksgiving dinner will be at our house. D1 and D2 are actually my step-daughters and their mother moved into the neighborhood a couple of months ago so this year they are coming to us for dinner and then going on to her house for dessert. That shares the load a bit too. We may turn that around for Christmas but that hasn't been decided yet.

What ever you decide and where ever you are I hope your holidays are wonderful as I"m sure they will be:)

Nov 10, 8:40 am

>89 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba! I'm glad your holiday plans are sorted out. I'm looking forward to a different setting for Thanksgiving. Christmas will be at our house, and the meal planning & cooking is usually simpler.

Editado: Nov 10, 8:49 am

Happy Friday!

Yesterday I puttered around, crossing various tasks off my to do list (after doing them of course LOL). After my mammogram we dropped the car off for today's service appointment and stopped for coffee at our favorite local place. Chris had a thing to go to in the evening (a rare occurrence), so I had the TV to myself. I decided to watch the film, The Quiet Girl, based on Claire Keegan's book, Foster. It was everything I hoped it would be. Absolutely excellent.

While watching the movie I worked on my hat project. It has an unusual stitch pattern which was giving me fits, but just before I threw it at the wall I discovered a tip on Ravelry that made it much easier.

I also continued reading The Dog Stars, and after persevering through some of its darker aspects, am now fully invested in it.

Today has started out rainy, but that's okay. We need the rain, and I don't have to be out in it for any length of time. I'll go grocery shopping in the morning, and then probably finish cutting the yarn for the library craft. We also want to do some furniture rearranging, moving a bookcase from one room to another, which might be a good rainy day activity. Tonight's dinner plans are not yet set, but will not involve cooking. So, takeout or maybe a casual restaurant? We'll see what we're in the mood for.

Wordle 874 3/6


Nov 10, 12:10 pm

Hi Laura. I really liked The Dog Stars.

>86 raidergirl3: That's an impressive two.

My readers' retreat weekend starts today and, in addition to books, I'm taking some sketching tools. I've not sketched much since we returned from Ireland and I want to get back to it. Your fiber art work is what made me think to share this bit of trivia. 🙂

Nov 10, 12:46 pm

Sounds like a lovely Friday, Laura.

I'm fortunate that all my family lives close by so when we do big meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas, everyone can contribute a few dishes and no one has to do all the cooking.

Of course, we also have a bigger gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas up here so you're not doing two feasts a month-ish apart.

Nov 10, 12:59 pm

>91 lauralkeet: Looking forward to your thoughts on The Dog Stars, Laura, as I have had it in the BlackHole for a while now.

Have a fantastic Friday!

Nov 10, 1:15 pm

Glad you found the tip to help your knitting project. I would probably have hit the wall well before finding the tip!! I am rather proud of my self at the moment though. I've been knitting baby sweaters to donate using a neck down pattern. After the third or fourth one I decided to see if I couldn't move the sleeve stitches to double-point needles and knit them in the round leaving only the two or three arm-pit stitches to sew up (I don't like seaming knitting and don't do it well). It worked!! I like the end product so much better now :)

Good job with Wordle -- took me 5 but at least I got it...I didn't get Connections today :(

Nov 10, 6:57 pm

This house has a heat pump with gas backup because it only works efficiently when the temps are consistently above 35F. (I think) So we have just switched to gas and will use that until sometime next spring. Although the days may be above 35, it's not worth trying to keep switching it back and forth.

And on a Wordle note, I had a 2 today after getting 4 yellows in the first row. Makes up for the 6 I had yesterday.

Nov 11, 8:12 am

>92 EBT1002: Ellen, I enjoyed seeing the sketches you shared before and hope you're able to get back to it soon. It won't be long now before you have more time on your hands!

>93 MickyFine: Hi Micky. While I'm used to the "back-to-back" nature of American Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have to agree it would be easier to manage if the two occasions were further apart. Our holiday season also includes birthdays--Julia on Dec 6, Kate on Jan 2--so it's a busy time.

>94 alcottacre: Watch this space, Stasia. I'm pretty hooked now.

>95 RebaRelishesReading: Congratulations on your knitting victory, Reba! I love it when I figure out a new way to do something that makes things easier. And if it produces better results, that's a bonus.

>96 dudes22: Oh yeah, that switching thing. Ours has an auxiliary unit for more "extreme" conditions (but still electric, not gas). I suppose we will have a better sense of how all that works as we go through the winter.

Editado: Nov 11, 8:48 am

Good morning!

It ended up being rainy most of yesterday. Nothing heavy, just a steady light rain off and on all day. By lunchtime I was feeling quite accomplished because the grocery shopping was done, and I finished cutting yarn for the library project. We had a quick call with our HVAC contact just to check in on things, and then it was time to pick up my car from the service place. So we get in Chris' car, and the "low air" light comes on. I had just used his car to do the shopping, and it was fine. So he decides he'll drop me off to get my car and then top up the tire when he gets home. We should have examined it when we stopped at the service place, because sure enough there was a very visible piece of metal sticking out of the tire. So it was back to the service place, this time to drop off his car. It was only a 2-mile drive but we were both worried about the tire going completely flat en route. Fortunately that didn't happen, and hopefully it can be fixed today.

In the evening we had dinner at a new-to-us restaurant in Leesburg, part of our sporadic campaign to discover more dining spots in the area. We shared a crab dip appetizer and each had a substantial salad (mine with chicken, his with salmon). The food was decent and the ambience was nice. Nothing special, but not a bad option to have in the rotation.

Over dinner we had a long conversation about books and as a result, I'm changing up my near-term reading plans a bit.

First of all, I am giving up on The Silent Patient before even really starting it. I read the first few pages and thought "meh". I set it aside for a day, and then read a few more pages. There's something about this book that I find off-putting. There are plenty of positive LT reviews, but not from readers I recognize, and I can't find much press about it. I feel bad abandoning a book that Kate recommended to me, but I think she's done the same and I know it can't always work out.

Over dinner Chris shared his thoughts on Harlem Shuffle, which he's almost finished. I've considered reading it before but somehow never got around to doing so. Vivian recently wrote a favorable review of the sequel, The Crook Manifesto. Between her review and Chris' thoughts on Harlem Shuffle, I've decided to read HS next.

Our dinner conversation also included a look ahead to books we want to read over the winter. Chris tends to tackle chunksters or challenging books during the winter months, when he's not so busy outdoors. As for me, Shakespeare Day earlier this week got me thinking about the bard, not so much to read his plays or poetry but to read more about his life. Chris recommended A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599, which looks like just the thing. Timing will depend on my mood and the status of my current library holds.

After dinner we just chilled at home, watching a bit of this and that on TV. I worked on my hat project for a bit, but decided to abandon it because it just wasn't turning out as I hoped. I thought the stitch pattern would show off the gradient yarn I chose, but it just wasn't working. Sigh

Whew, that's a lot of news isn't it? I have less to say about today, because I really have no plans. Right now I'm just enjoying a lazy morning, there are a few admin tasks I could take care of today, and of course reading. And I'll turn my knitting attention back to my sweater project.

Wordle 875 3/6


Nov 11, 9:08 am

I read The Silent Patient and I enjoyed it for what it was - a page-turner thriller. If you're in the mood for that thing, I think it works. But you won't be missing anything if you skip it.

Nov 11, 10:35 am

Your dinner conversation sounds lovely, Laura. I'll watch for your comments on Harlem Shuffle. I have a Shakespeare shelf that I need to get to. Maybe this winter.

Editado: Nov 12, 6:35 pm

>97 lauralkeet: Thanks for the knitting encouragement :) I wouldn't say knitting tiny sleeves in the round is easier but I do think the result is better (especially since I don't like the way my seams in knitwear come out).

Busy holidays with birthdays -- can't resist sharing that we have the following winter line-up: 12/11 my b'day, 12/18 son's b'day, 12/19 D1's b'day, 12/21 granddaughter's b'day, 12/25 Christmas, 12/26 Hubby's b'day, Jan. 21 big grandson's b'day, Jan 22 little grandson's b'day -- then a short breather until 2/17 dil's b'day.

Bummer re your car issues!!

But I'm a bit jealous of your sharing reading with Chris. Hubby's taste in reading is so different from mine we really have nothing to talk about there -- plenty of commonality elsewhere but not in reading

Nov 11, 3:50 pm

>101 RebaRelishesReading: Oh, Reba, isn't it a JOY having all those birthdays lumped up around the holidays? Ours are 12-15 my b'day, 12-26 my brother's b-day, 12-27 Aunt & Uncle anniversary, 12-31 my mother's b'day, 1-4 my daughter's b-day. Stick Christmas and New Year's Day in there. Only 2 of those are actively celebrated now, having lost several people, but it was once a mad round of gaiety.

Nov 11, 7:19 pm

>102 laytonwoman3rd: It certainly adds to the festivity (festiveness?) of the season, doesn't it :)?

Editado: Nov 12, 7:43 am

>99 japaul22: Thanks Jennifer. That's good to know.

>100 BLBera: Hi Beth ... I admit I don't fare so well reading Shakespeare's plays, I'd rather see them performed. But winter is a great time to hunker down and tackle a reading project, so I say go for it.

>101 RebaRelishesReading:, >102 laytonwoman3rd:, >103 RebaRelishesReading: Wow, that's a lot of celebrating! I'm a little bit jealous of all the extra festivity / festiveness (I don't know which one either, Reba ...)

Nov 12, 7:55 am

Good morning ...

I enjoyed a low-key day yesterday. We were able to pick up Chris' car in the late morning. In the afternoon we took care of a couple of home maintenance tasks, and I settled down to read for a while. I'm now really enjoying The Dog Stars; so glad I powered through the initial bleakness. There was more reading in the evening, because we didn't feel like watching any of our usual shows. I also knit a few rows of the sweater.

Today's agenda includes an afternoon chamber music concert, featuring a string quartet performing works by Schubert, Beethoven, and Smetana plus a 20th century composer I'm not familiar with, Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020). I'll do some dinner prep before the concert (making pasta sauce), so it will be quick to put together when we get home.

Wordle 876 4/6


Nov 12, 10:56 am

The concert sounds lovely. Have a grand Sunday, Laura!

Nov 12, 11:19 am

Good morning Laura. The reading retreat has been fun. I would absolutely do this again. I made some progress in The Sullivanians which is quite good.

Nov 12, 11:34 am

By the way, my friend Erin has been reading my copy of Prophet Song this weekend so I'll be able to send it along to you very soon.

Nov 12, 12:06 pm

Sounds like you've been having a nice few days, Laura. I hope the concert today is a good one.

Nov 12, 12:14 pm

Hi Laura! Finally checking back in after a period of relative silence. I've enjoyed catching up with you - I'm sorry the HVAC work was a headache (so many home repairs and projects are...) - I hope things go smoothly as the weather gets colder.

I've also appreciated your comments on The Dog Stars... I love dystopian stories, despite their darkness, so while this has been on my TBR list forever, I'll move it closer to the top. I also added Foster to the list... that's not one I know, but read the summary and it sounds intriguing. (And honestly, I always enjoy a movie after I've read a book).

I hope you and Chris are enjoying the approach of winter in rural Virginia... I remember how raw and bleak they can be (although you have a little more daylight than we do in the Pacific Northwest!), but the crisp cold sunny days are fantastic. Happy weekend to both of you!

Nov 12, 4:12 pm

Hope the concert was a good one and dinner was/is easy. : )

Nov 12, 6:39 pm

That chamber concert sounds lovely. Hope you had a great time.

Nov 12, 7:24 pm

HI y'all ... the concert was delightful. The Viano Quartet is very young, I'd say all in their 20s. The program took some risks by showcasing a couple of composers less known for quartets. And then for their encore they performed their own arrangement of Swing Low Sweet Chariot for quartet, including some vocals now and then, and it was energizing and amazing.

Ellen, thanks for the update on Prophet Song. No worries! I hope you enjoyed your retreat.

Lavinia, I hope you enjoy Foster. Keegan's books are short--more like novellas really--but she packs a punch in few words. Remarkable. I had forgotten your Northern VA roots. The weather here is surprisingly (to me anyway) similar to Philly, so I guess I'm used to "raw and bleak". I do love a crisp fall day though, and I savor them as I try to psych myself up for winter.

Nov 13, 8:59 am

Happy Monday!

We had a quiet evening last night. Viewing included a couple episodes of Black Books. Such a funny show. I also started reading Harlem Shuffle, but only a few pages and then it was time to sleep.

The weather has turned cold again, but the new heat pump is keeping us toasty. The heat is much more uniformly distributed than our old system, which was actually three separate things. At the moment we're primarily heating the downstairs (which includes the main bedroom). Once the electrical work is done the upstairs will also have better heating. The electrical will also allow us to use the AC, although obviously we won't need that for a while.

This morning I'm working a library shift. I need to deal with a couple of household admin things in the afternoon, one of which involves the dreaded phone call and most likely being put on hold. Blerg. We also have a plumber coming to install a hose bib outdoors.

Wordle 877 4/6


Nov 13, 11:43 am

>I appreciated your comments about The Silent Patient. There was so much good press all over but it was a dud for me. Like Kate, my daughter thought it was worthwhile.

Nov 13, 11:48 am

Glad the new heating system is working well and the concert sounds lovely.

Nov 13, 12:29 pm

>115 vivians: I feel less guilty now, Vivian, thanks for that!

>116 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba.

Editado: Nov 14, 8:38 am

Good morning!

I survived my phone call yesterday, thanks in large part to the option to have them call me rather than wait on hold. The plumber wasn't able to fit us in after all, but we hope he'll be here on Wednesday. We're not in a rush, so that's no big deal.

I didn't do much reading or knitting yesterday, not sure why. Last night's viewing was University Challenge, an episode of The Wire, and a couple eps of Black Books.

This morning I'm going to my Knitting Group meeting, so I'll definitely get some knitting done then. The afternoon is unplanned, and in the evening I'm meeting with a new Guild member who is about to start the TKGA Master Hand Knitting program which I completed a couple of years ago. She's interested in learning about my experience and has some questions about the process before she dives in.

Wordle 878 3/6


And today marks a milestone!

I've actually played more than 500 games, probably 650+, but lost my stats in late June 2022 (boo!)

Nov 14, 8:35 am

56. The Dog Stars ()

Somewhere in Colorado, some years into the future, Hig is one of the few survivors of a global flu pandemic. Resource scarcity has caused a rise in violence as people do whatever it takes to ensure their survival. Hig has forged a partnership with Bangley and together they protect their compound from marauding gangs. Bangley's back story is not clear, although his expertise with guns and ammunition offers clues. But Hig also has a humanitarian side, and routinely uses his private plane to provide food and other aid to a Mennonite community.

Hig suffered tremendous loss during the pandemic; his dog Jasper is now his only family. But nine years after the pandemic, Jasper is showing signs of age. Hig and Jasper go out foraging, sometimes spending the night in the wilderness. Jasper also accompanies Hig on his routine reconnaissance flights. Whenever Hig flies near an airport, he uses his radio in hopes of finding other human life. On one flight he received a faint response, and ultimately decided to search for its source. This trip will be longer than usual, with a risk of running out of fuel, not to mention other potential dangers.

This marks a turning point in the novel, as the focus shifts from the bleak and violent living conditions fraught with despair, to a personal journey that offers hope. I will refrain from saying more, except that once Hig began his journey I found this book un-putdownable.

Nov 14, 9:12 am

>119 lauralkeet: - Great review, Laura! I hope to get to it early in the new year.

I also got Wordle in 3.

I have phone calls to make today - I hope mine go as easily as yours :)

Nov 14, 9:27 am

>119 lauralkeet: It's silly for me to be so invested in whether you liked a book I loved, but I'm delighted anyway to read your review.

Nov 14, 12:45 pm

I've had The Dog Stars on my shelf for years. It sounds like it's time to get to it. Have you read others by Heller? He seems to be highly regarded here on LT.

Nov 14, 1:05 pm

>120 katiekrug: Good luck with the phone calls, Katie!

>121 rosalita: Julia, I have the same feelings whenever I've highly recommended a book, and yes I feel silly too but maybe we're just normal. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

>122 BLBera: Hi Beth! This was my introduction to Heller. After seeing another of his books reviewed on Vivian's thread, and having seen him praised elsewhere (probably Julia's!), I asked where I should start with his work. She (and probably others) recommended The Dog Stars. I am sure I'll read more of his stuff now.

Nov 14, 6:17 pm

>118 lauralkeet: I never pay any attention to my stats but your comments made me look. I've only played 229 which sounds wrong to me but I don't know why. I'm very impressed by your 100% solve percentage -- congratulations!!

Nov 15, 8:56 am

>124 RebaRelishesReading: Well Reba, I admit we have an X-avoidance strategy here. Chris and I typically don't discuss the Wordle until we've solved it, but if either of us are about to make our 6th guess we'll confer with the other by asking yes/no questions. "Is there a repeat letter?" or similar to start, and then "Is it such-and-such-word" before entering a guess.

Nov 15, 9:03 am

Happy Wednesday!

Yesterday's knitting group was a lot of fun, mostly because there were several new people so we spent more time than usual getting to know them / each other before moving to our main topic. My evening meeting went well, and then it was just quiet time in front of the TV. My only regret is that I didn't read very much yesterday. I kept getting distracted by other tasks.

Today's agenda includes a trip to Total Wine to stock up in general, and with this Saturday's dinner party in mind. The plumber is supposed to come today too. I'll try to read more today, and would also like to make my grocery list so I can go shopping sometime tomorrow, and start a new hat project having given up on the one I started a couple weeks ago.

Wordle 879 4/6


Nov 15, 10:38 am

>105 lauralkeet: Just catching up. That concert sounds like it was a good one. Did you enjoy Penderecki? I only heard one symphony by him and it sounded like perfect scary music for halloween.

>118 lauralkeet: Those are some impressive stats! Mine always disappear when I clear my caches. Ah well.

Have a fabulous rest of the week.

Nov 15, 11:58 am

>125 lauralkeet: That would be handy. Hubby doesn't do any of the puzzles so I have no one to dig me out :(

Nov 15, 5:10 pm

>127 figsfromthistle: Hi figs ... 20th century composers are somewhat new to me, as are Eastern European composers. I find them so different from earlier eras and I feel like my ear (and my appreciation) are still evolving. The work performed in the concert was definitely "different" and I didn't dislike it, but I have a ways to go before I can say whether I truly like a composer, or not.

>128 RebaRelishesReading: Aw that's a bummer, Reba, although I'm sure your hubby has many other redeeming qualities!

Nov 15, 10:26 pm

>126 lauralkeet: Magic words... "trip to Total Wine to stock up..." LOL Hope that was enjoyable!

Nov 16, 8:14 am

>130 PlatinumWarlock: I don't know about "enjoyable," Lavinia, but at least it was successful!

Nov 16, 8:23 am

Good morning ...

I finally worked in a spell of reading yesterday, as a reward for getting the menu planning / grocery shopping done. The plumber did his thing, and we now have a hose bib on the front of the house to make it easier to water plants on that side of the property.

Last night's viewing included an episode of The Wire, and some odds and ends (shorthand for "I can't even remember what we watched"). I started a new hat project while TV-watching. Nothing fancy, although it uses a challenging technique called brioche that I haven't done in a while.

Today I plan to do the grocery shopping, but first we have a guy from the HVAC company coming around to make some adjustments to our thermostats because they aren't working together as they should. We think they may have been installed incorrectly or not fully configured or something. We'll see.

Wordle 880 4/6


Nov 16, 12:49 pm

>129 lauralkeet: Indeed he doesn't Laura -- he's a sweetheart

Hope you get your HVAC fine tuned

Nov 17, 8:52 am


Our thermostats are now humming along nicely. The zones weren't set up correctly the first time but it's all good now. Also yesterday:
* I finished the first part of Harlem Shuffle. Getting into the story now ...
* I made some progress on my hat project.
* We watched an episode of Drive to Survive, and the F1 "Weekend Warmup" about this weekend's race.

Today we're hoping to get outside to plant some bulbs. I also have a few admin tasks to take care of, and some house cleaning. In other words, a pretty ordinary not-very-exciting day.

Wordle 881 4/6


Nov 17, 9:05 am

Happy Friday, Laura. Hooray for The Dog Stars. My favorite Heller. If The Comfort of Crows: A Backyard Year isn't on your TBR, I recommend that you add it. I think you would have a good time with it. Enjoy Harlem Shuffle. I thought it was a lesser Whitehead but it was an entertaining read.

Nov 17, 9:06 am

Glad to hear the HVAC stuff is working as it should.

I have Harlem Shuffle on my shelf...

Nov 17, 9:18 am

>135 msf59: Thanks for the rec, Mark. I like Margaret Renkl's writing in the NYT and listened to an interview about the book on Margaret Roach's podcast recently. It looks like a good one!

>136 katiekrug: I've dithered over Harlem Shuffle for a while, but so far so good. I'll keep you posted of course.

Nov 17, 5:39 pm

Hope your "pretty ordinary not-very-exciting day" is going well and glad that the HVAC is sorted. Happy weekend :)

Nov 17, 5:49 pm

>119 lauralkeet: Yeah, I really need to get to that one soon! Thanks for the review (and the reminder), Laura.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Nov 18, 8:38 am

>138 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba!

>139 alcottacre: You are welcome, Stasia. Bon weekend back at ya.

Nov 18, 8:48 am

We had some nice weather yesterday: warm-ish and partly cloudy/partly sunny. It was a good day to plant bulbs, and so we did. That's not the most exciting task, but with two of us we can get it done in reasonable time.

Yesterday morning I discovered standing water in the dishwasher, which was a bit concerning. A bit of internet research said the most common cause was a dirty or clogged filter. I was still concerned because I'd cleaned the filter before ... or so I thought. It turns out that when I did that, I only removed part of the filter for cleaning so by this time the other part was seriously gunked up. I rinsed all the gunk off, we reassembled the filter, and all was well on the next cycle. Whew. I had visions of having to hand wash all the dishes for tonight's dinner party and the foreseeable future.

Last night we watched a bit of this and that, and I read and knitted a bit, but also nodded off at some point. Such an exciting Friday night ha ha.

Today will be mostly about getting ready for tonight's dinner. I'm going to make the dessert this morning and finish cleaning. Then I should have some downtime until late afternoon.

Wordle 882 4/6


Nov 18, 9:26 am

Happy weekend, Laura! I hope your dinner this evening is fun!

Nov 18, 11:46 am

Glad the DW issue was relatively easily resolved!! (so you're supposed to clean the filter, eh? never done that in my life!!). Hope you have a fun-filled party this evening.

Nov 18, 12:25 pm

Honestly Reba, I can't remember what prompted me to clean the filter once before, because it's not something I've done on other dishwashers. It's probably a once- or twice-a-year task, so the biggest problem is remembering to do it. Like smoke alarm batteries, right?! 😀

Nov 18, 12:36 pm

>143 RebaRelishesReading:, >144 lauralkeet: I learned that lesson a few years ago, and although it's an icky job, I try to clean my dw filter at least once a month now. It does make an noticeable difference. I got in the habit, with my old dw, of doing it when the "blue stuff" (Jet Dry) needed refilling. My new one has a much smaller reservoir for that, though, so it's trickier to remember when to clean out the gunk.

Nov 18, 1:00 pm

*searches frantically for DW manual to figure out how to clean filter*

Nov 18, 2:50 pm

>145 laytonwoman3rd: You are my role model, Linda! I was thinking about trying Affresh to clean the dishwasher now and then (I've used their washing machine tablets before). Maybe that will remind me to check the filter.

>146 katiekrug: You learn all kinds of things around here, Katie!

Nov 18, 3:18 pm

>147 lauralkeet: Aside from the filter, I've never "cleaned" my dishwashers. Always figured all that soap and hot water was doing that daily!

Nov 19, 8:11 am

>148 laytonwoman3rd: Same here Linda. I feel weirdly guilty for ignoring my dishwasher. Maybe that's crazy.

Nov 19, 8:21 am

We're off to a slow start this morning, recovering from last night's dinner. The two couples mixed really well, and we ended up chatting around the table until nearly midnight. That's a very late night for us, so we slept in a bit today.

The meal was decent, if not epic. The chicken was one I'd made before (spatchcock, with a spice rub) so I was confident it would turn out well. The farro & bean chili was really nice and I'd make it again. Sides included roasted root vegetables, another familiar recipe. One guest brought bread and another, a salad. I made a vegan chocolate pudding pie for dessert which was not as dense and solid as it looked in the photo so some of the slices came out messy. But it tasted good so I guess it was okay.

This morning I think we're going to reward our hard labor with pancakes for breakfast. There's still some cleanup to do--wine glasses, serving dishes, and silverware--which we'll take care of today. Other than going out to buy birdseed, I don't have much on today's agenda so relaxation will be the order of the day, I think. I finished the second part of. Harlem Shuffle yesterday during a bit of down time, and am looking forward to getting back to it.

Wordle 883 5/6


Nov 19, 11:00 am

Good to hear your dinner was a success! Enjoy a quiet Sunday.

Nov 19, 12:14 pm

Thanks Katie. Post-dinner cleanup is now complete, and we'll be heading out to buy birdseed shortly and then it's couch potato time for me!!

Nov 19, 4:24 pm

Your dinner sounds delicious and fun. Hope you're having a restful day today.

Now, as to the DW filter -- where is it? Is it under the little catch/basin thingy in the bottom? I might be able to find out in an owners manual but the DW came with the house and I don't think they left us one (although there is a drawer in the laundry room...should go check). I've just never heard of this in all of my centuries of DW use and I'm a bit gobsmacked!!

Nov 19, 4:38 pm

>153 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks Reba, today has been pretty restful and that has felt pretty darn good.

Our DW filter is on the floor of the dishwasher so we have to take the bottom rack out to get to it. If you know the manufacturer and model number of your dishwasher, you could probably find a manual online. Sometimes the manufacturer has them (search on model number), and sometimes they are available on other sites. The dishwasher was new when we moved in so the manual was passed along, but I've had good luck finding them online for other appliances like our our washer & dryer.

Nov 19, 4:39 pm

I'll check the drawer in the laundry room and see...I keep thinking though that everything comes out nice and clean so why do I care? I'm sure there's a reason though so I'll try to care :>

Nov 20, 8:38 am

Nov 20, 8:43 am

My normal energy level is back thanks to a very low-key day yesterday that included a decent amount of reading time. In the evening we watched an episode each of The Wire and Drive to Survive, and I did some mindless knitting on my sweater.

This morning I'm working a library shift and after that I need to pop into the grocery store for a couple things. Our electrician may show up for the HVAC-related work, or he may not. I really have no idea and it's rather frustrating but I'm trying not to stress over it. Depending on the weather we might plant more bulbs.

I'm nearing the end of Harlem Shuffle so would really like to get immerse myself in it again today.

Wordle 884 3/6


Nov 20, 4:35 pm

Well Damn!! There was an owner's manual in the laundry room drawer AND it says the filter should be cleaned about 3x per year. We've lived here for 3 years now... guess I'd better man-up and see about it.

Nov 20, 5:48 pm

OK -- filter has been removed, duly scrubbed clean and replaced -- and I promise not to wait three years to do it again :)

Nov 21, 6:52 am

>158 RebaRelishesReading:, >159 RebaRelishesReading: Nice work, Reba!

Note to self: 3x/year !!

Nov 21, 7:20 am

Good morning ...

Yesterday was fairly uneventful. The electrician didn't show, but that was more surprising to me than to Chris, who had heard from him. We didn't plant bulbs but he got some other work done outside instead. Last night's viewing once again included episodes of The Wire and Formula 1. We are coming to the absolute end of The Wire with all of the story lines wrapping up. We'll probably watch the finale tonight. What a superb program it's been.

I finished Harlem Shuffle yesterday, and really enjoyed it. I'll try to cobble a review together soon. Since none of my holds have come in yet, I scanned my library wish list for books available at my local branch and picked up Henning Mankell's The White Lioness while I was there for my volunteer shift.

Today's agenda includes a Guild committee meeting over Zoom and getting ready for travel to NYC/Brooklyn on Wednesday. I'll do some laundry and some packing and in the late afternoon we'll take Alys to the kennel.

Wordle 885 3/6


Nov 21, 9:58 am

Are you driving or training to NY, Laura? Either way, I hope you have an easy time of it!

Nov 21, 12:29 pm

>161 lauralkeet: - I'm soooo annoyed. The wordle word for today is one I frequently use as my beginning word. I could have had a 1.. (boo hoo)

Nov 21, 2:58 pm

>162 katiekrug: we're driving, Katie. We like being in control of our own schedule, and there's a good parking option across the street from our hotel.

>163 dudes22: Oh no, Betty! I'm sorry to hear that. But I'm also making a note of that possible starter word. It's a good one.

Nov 21, 4:30 pm

Understood. The bad weather should have cleared out by tomorrow morning, so I hope you have an uneventful drive.

Nov 21, 7:03 pm

Hope travel goes smoothly tomorrow and, of course, that Turkey Day is great :)

Editado: Nov 21, 8:42 pm

>79 lauralkeet: Good grief, Laura, I didn't realize I was an internet nerd 😳

Your Internet Artifacts link was fascinating. I recognized so much of that earlier development (as a user). Thanks for a lot of laughs.

Edited to add, yeah I was waay behind on your thread, Laura, but it was all interesting stuff. No BB's but memories galore.

I'm remembering the silly era of 'list serv' blogs (sheesh that's old), and posting on userfriendly (run by a friend where one of my daughters worked for awhile); then I switched to blogging on LiVEJOURNAL; I left well before it became a Russian-owned social networking service. Lordy that's a distant past now.

Nov 21, 8:20 pm

>84 quondame: I love that under elastic supervision. Those were the days, huh?

Nov 21, 8:31 pm

>168 SandyAMcPherson: No kidding. By the end of my working life when 10hr days were considered short, I saw so many "look like I'm working" ploys it was dizzying. Almost no one felt obligation to work even 6hrs on the projects, but could make it look like they arrived at 7am and worked 'til 9pm. I knew 3 who were running side business over our networks.

Editado: Nov 21, 9:57 pm

>168 SandyAMcPherson: I edited my >167 SandyAMcPherson: post, Susan, because yeah "That Happened". Remember games with a boss button? And fake spreadsheets if you were busy writing for (in my case) NanoWriMo?
I didn't know anyone using the university networks for a side business, but I'm pretty sure there were (ahem) some 'consumables' being marketed that way.

Nov 21, 9:39 pm

>170 SandyAMcPherson: I knew about those, but never bothered - much of my misdirected computer time was text games, so who could tell, or I was programming postscript for fun, which actually made me able to fake up some project charts for my boss's presentation before we had sw for that.
I did spend a lot of time on eBay in my final working years, but that was part of an overall breakdown, and once again I didn't care for concealment. I didn't try the second display gambit that hid the display in use from the cubical opening or participate in the "boss has left the building" run to the gym or other offsite jaunts. Of course I didn't keep that job either.

Editado: Nov 22, 6:37 am

>165 katiekrug: Thanks Katie! It rained here all day yesterday too but it's clear this morning so things are looking good so far.

>166 RebaRelishesReading: Thank you very much, Reba

>167 SandyAMcPherson:, >168 SandyAMcPherson:, >169 quondame:, >170 SandyAMcPherson:, >171 quondame: Hi Sandy & Susan, it sounds like you have some fun memories of the early internet era.

Editado: Nov 22, 7:43 am

Good morning everyone,

The electrician was here yesterday, doing the first part of our HVAC-related work. The work was done in the basement but required a partial power outage for a few hours which was a bit disruptive but not unexpected. Fortunately I was still able to do our pre-travel laundry. We dropped Alys off at the kennel around 5pm and the house felt empty after that. We spent a quiet evening watching TV, including the final episode of The Wire. That series will linger with us for a long time, I suspect.

We haven't packed for the trip yet, although I did get my bag down from the high shelf and set aside a few things so I won't forget them. It shouldn't take long to get ready once we've caffeinated and had breakfast.

I'll probably still check in here over the weekend, but in case that doesn't happen I wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

Wordle 886 3/6


Nov 22, 7:39 am

My eyes! My eyes! Your Wordle progression is not spoilered...

Safe travels today!

Nov 22, 7:43 am

>174 katiekrug: Oops, thank you so much Katie! There was a typo in the first spoiler tag. My sincere apologies.

Nov 22, 9:47 am

>173 lauralkeet: Happy travels and good times, Laura. I hope everything is splendid at the T-Giving gatherings.🎉🎉

Nov 22, 9:16 pm

Safe travels, Laura.

Nov 23, 11:09 am

Hello all, yesterday's travel was uneventful and in the evening we enjoyed a casual meal with Kate and Julia at a local restaurant. Today we're hanging out, first at Julia's apartment and later at Kate's where we will have our Thanksgiving meal. Julia is preparing her contributions as I type. We're prepared to help as needed and also brought iPads, books, knitting, etc. so we don't get underfoot.

Nov 23, 4:09 pm

Hi Laura my dear, Happy Thanksgiving dear friend.

Nov 23, 7:11 pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Laura, and I am sure you are having a wonderful time with your family .

Nov 23, 7:39 pm

>178 lauralkeet: Now that sounds like the right way to have a Thanksgiving celebration, and I wish you a truly happy one!

Nov 24, 8:59 am

I love your Thanksgiving dogs, Laura.

Nov 24, 10:12 am

>178 lauralkeet:, >182 BLBera: Me too. The dogs are a great touch.

Nov 24, 5:20 pm

Sounds like a lovely Thanksgiving. Hope you have a safe trip home (whenever it is that you're heading home).

Nov 26, 8:04 am

Greetings John, Deborah, Susan, Beth, Sandy, Reba, and everyone who kept my thread warm over the holiday weekend!

We had a very nice holiday in Brooklyn. Kate and Julia did a great job planning and preparing our Thanksgiving meal. We assisted as needed but they had it all pretty much in hand. We didn't do anything touristy but to be honest, I wasn't all that eager to venture into the fray on the day after Thanksgiving. Instead we just enjoyed nice family time together. We left Brooklyn on Saturday morning, arrived home mid-afternoon, and picked up Alys from the kennel. Needless to say she was happy to see us.

While I didn't have loads of time for reading, I've been making steady progress in The White Lioness, part of the Wallander series.

Today is off to a slow start, which is fine with me. Grocery shopping is top priority, because we had run out of almost everything before we left. Other than that, I have a few odds and ends to take care of but nothing urgent.

Wordle 890 3/6


Nov 26, 8:07 am

Glad you had a nice holiday and an easy trip there and back.

Did Kate ever settle on a seasonal cocktail to serve? Enquiring minds.... ;-)

Nov 26, 11:45 am

Thanks Katie. We have a pretty good driving routine down now. If we leave by 9, we miss rush hour traffic both going there and back, and the Delaware rest stop (known as the Biden Welcome Center) is a perfect halfway point for lunch.

The cocktail was a Winter Aperol Spritz. It was one of the easier ones to make I think, plus she had the key ingredients on hand:
* 100ml Aperol
* 100ml Prosecco
* 30ml Cranberry Juice
* Top with soda
* Garnish with 1 orange wedge, 1 orange zest twist, 1 sprig rosemary.

Nov 26, 12:52 pm

>187 lauralkeet: - Ah, yes, I am very familiar with the Biden Welcome Center and its Pret, my preferred meal option. TW always indulges in Popeye's... Not my thing.

That cocktail sounds very nice. I might steal it for Christmas at the in-laws!

Nov 26, 9:55 pm

Hi Laura. I see that Prophet Song won the Booker Prize. Do you still want me to send it to you for reading and then for distribution around the LT map?

Ontem, 6:11 am

>189 EBT1002: Yes please Ellen! I'm looking forward to reading it, even more so now that it's won the prize. Thank you!

Ontem, 6:54 am

>185 lauralkeet: Sounds like you had a stress free holiday! Have a great week.

Ontem, 8:38 am

>191 figsfromthistle: Thank you figs!

And hello everyone, welcome to another week. I cannot believe November is almost over. It's almost time to create my 2024 reading spreadsheet! Where has the time gone?!

We were pretty low-energy yesterday. Our travels didn't feel that onerous at the time but we did do a lot of walking and of course driving so maybe that took more out of us than we expected. We sat around being lazy most of the day, a trend which continued into the evening. It was nice to spend most of my time reading and knitting. The White Lioness has become really intriguing, with the crime-solving taking on international dimensions.

This morning I'm working a library shift and will pick up my hold (Lauren Groff's The Vaster Wilds). My afternoon agenda includes a few admin tasks and probably some holiday shopping.

Wordle 891 4/6


Ontem, 9:02 am

I really enjoyed Mankell's Wallender series Laura, despite the violence.

Ontem, 9:33 am

>187 lauralkeet: That Winter Aperol Spritz sounds great! I might suggest that for our Christmas cocktail this year.

Lately I've been drinking a fall margarita - tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and apple cider

Ontem, 10:53 am

>192 lauralkeet: - I was just thinking I need to start setting up my spreadsheet for next year :)

Do you have any specific reading goals/plans for 2024? I have been mulling the question over but haven't made any firm decisions...

Ontem, 4:27 pm

Hi Katie! I don't have any specific reading goals for 2024 yet, but I'm often inspired by the end-of-year/new year discussions about goals in this group so I expect something will come from that.

Going into 2023 I felt like my reading had become rather unfocused and I needed to change things up a bit. I considered some of the reading challenges but ultimately all I did was decide to add more non-fiction to my reading. In 2021-22 I strayed away from non-fiction, but it wasn't because I disliked it. What happened was, my non-fiction reading had become focused mostly on difficult subjects like racism and as valuable as that was, I just couldn't take any more of it. This year I chose books about nature, fiber arts, or history. I really enjoyed it and have a list of books that I'd like to get to, so I will continue this in 2024.

Hoje, 8:14 am

Good morning ...

Not much more to report from yesterday. We had a quiet evening at home, watching University Challenge and the last episode (for now) of Formula 1: Drive to Survive. Reading and knitting also happened.

Today is a no-agenda day. We have some bulbs left to plant, but it's very cold outside so we will put that off until later in the week when it's supposed to warm up. I'll probably keep plugging away at our holiday gift shopping. And it seems I always have admin tasks and household odds and ends to take care of, so I'm sure I'll handle some of that today. I might also bake something.

Wordle 892 4/6


Hoje, 9:34 am

>196 lauralkeet: - All I know so far is that I want to continue to make progress reading off my own shelves. I used a 52-book challenge to help with that and had success, so I am planning to do the 2024 version (it's just a series of different prompts - I've already started a spreadsheet to slot in books off my shelf that fit :D).

Hope you have a good Tuesday!

Hoje, 9:53 am

I generally don't have reading goals either, beyond reading from my shelves! Or, at least most goals are like New Year's resolutions; they last until February.

Hoje, 12:01 pm

>196 lauralkeet: On the other hand, I cannot imagine not having reading goals for 2024, and have been working on mine for several months now. Lol

If someone in this group does not have "a list of books that I'd like to get to" I seriously wonder about them :)

Have a terrific Tuesday, Laura!

Hoje, 12:10 pm

>200 alcottacre: I don't use a spreadsheet, but I have a collection here on LT that is called Queue, which is a sort of "shortlist" of my To Read collection (which is simply bonkers in size) that is meant to highlight books I want to get to sooner rather than later. It makes picking my next read a little less mind-boggling. :-)

Hoje, 1:04 pm

>201 rosalita: That's a great idea...why didn't I think of that? I have so many bookshelves in my house that I forget what's on them. Of course browsing sometimes brings nice surprises...but I tend to remove a few and pile them up somewhere, thinking "maybe I'll read this one next". Then, naturally, something else captures my interest, and I end up with little piles everywhere. An LT collection would be so much tidier.

Hoje, 2:43 pm

>198 katiekrug: Great idea, Katie. My book acquisitions have dropped dramatically. But I still have lots of Viragos that I haven't read. And there are plenty of books in the house we've had for ages, and/or Chris bought to read himself, that I haven't read. I should take a closer look.

>199 BLBera: Resolutions are made to be broken, right Beth?!

>200 alcottacre: Stasia, this cracked me up.

>201 rosalita: I love that idea, Julia. I keep a spreadsheet primarily for stats, so it's convenient to also list a few books that are in the queue. But a collection would do nicely for that too.

>202 laytonwoman3rd: The books I mentioned in my response to Katie aren't even in my LT library. I haven't been motivated to catalog all of them, but if I found some that I wanted to read they might warrant their own collection.

Hoje, 4:05 pm

>202 laytonwoman3rd: I find it especially helpful for ebooks, which I have a tendency to buy on sale and promptly forget I own because they aren't staring accusingly at me from my bookshelves. :-)

>203 lauralkeet: Yeah, if you're using a spreadsheet anyway it would make sense to want all of it in one place.