MickyFine Is in the Corner Reading, Thread 1

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MickyFine Is in the Corner Reading, Thread 1

Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 6:00 pm

I'm Micky, 37 years old, librarian, and generally bookish nerd. I usually have a good mix of reads going on every year with strong doses of romance, sff, historicals, and a dash of non-fiction. I'm largely kicking around without any goals this year beyond a list of 12 books off my own shelves that I want to (re)read. We'll see where my reading mood takes me!

I do my best to be chatty on my own thread and in addition to my reading, I'll also discuss highlights of my craft projects (check out my NeedleArts thread if you like more details), board games, what we're watching, and general life goings on often featuring my husband, Mr. Fine, and our two cats, Ash and Smee. Posters and lurkers alike are welcome.

Editado: Fev 26, 4:11 pm

1. Word to the Wise - Jenn McKinlay
2. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (adapted by Anna Lyse Erickson)
3. No Words - Meg Cabot
4. The Hooktionary - Brenda K.B. Anderson
5. The Confession of Henry Jekyll, M.D. - David Rambo
6. The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
7. Ten Thousand Stitches - Olivia Atwater
8. A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas
9. Like, Literally, Dude - Valerie Fridland
10. The Road to Roswell - Connie Willis
11. Fantastic Four: Whatever Happened to the Fantastic Four? - Ryan North et. al.

12. The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
13. Longshadow - Olivia Atwater
14. A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas
15. The Love Hypothesis - Ali Hazelwood (re-read)
16. The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
17. The Imaginary Corpse - Tyler Hayes


Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 5:40 pm

My rating system:

/ = Ran screaming in the other direction (aka did not finish)
* = Suffered through it for reasons I'm still not sure of
** = Had far more flaws than virtues
*** = A read I don't regret but could use some improvement
**** = A good, solid read that I might revisit
***** = Loved it beyond reason and will probably re-read in short order

Editado: Fev 18, 5:05 pm

My only goal for myself this year is to read these books off my own shelves. I'll be aiming for one a month but we'll see how it goes.

From My Shelves
The Galaxy and the Ground Within
Any Duchess Will Do (re-read)
Lost in a Good Book (re-read)
The Love Hypothesis (re-read)
Molly of the Mall (re-read)
The Switch
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (re-read)
To Say Nothing of the Dog (re-read)
The Dark Is Rising
The Golden Key (DNF)
Squirrel Girl Universe

Editado: Dez 31, 2023, 5:46 pm

This thread is officially open for business. Let's kick things off with a chat about the book on your own shelves you most want to read right now?

Dez 31, 2023, 5:39 pm

Happy 2024 to come, Micky!

Dez 31, 2023, 7:29 pm

Welcome back, Micky!

Jan 1, 12:09 am

Hi Micky!

Wishing you a great one!

Jan 1, 12:27 am

Happy new year, Micky!

Hard to choose one book I'm most excited to read, but I got a copy of Let Us Descend for Christmas, and I'm looking forward to reading it and retaining my status as a Jesmyn Ward completist 🙂

Jan 1, 11:38 am

Happy New Year! Hope 2024 is kind to you

Jan 1, 12:51 pm

Happy new year, Micky!

Hmmm, most of the books on my January stack are library books, but my brother gave me The People We Keep for Christmas, and I'm excited to read that one soon.

Jan 1, 1:17 pm

Happy New Year!

Jan 1, 10:51 pm

And Happy New Year!!

Jan 2, 5:47 am

Happy reading in 2024, Micky!

Editado: Jan 2, 10:24 am

Me? Read one of the hundreds of books on my own shelves? Absolutely not. Those are my emotional-support unread books.

Jan 2, 3:22 pm

Happy New Year and new thread!

I'm probably most excited to read Bookshops and Bonedust, which John purchased for me on our Christmas bookshop date.

>15 norabelle414: Ahahahahaha! Yes, the TBR shelves are there for us if for some reason we can't leave our houses for several years.

Jan 2, 4:42 pm

>6 richardderus: Thank you kindly. *smooch*

>7 drneutron: Thanks, Jim. And thanks for corralling us all once again!

>8 quondame: Thank you, Susan!

>9 katiekrug: Nice to see you, Katie. I hope the Ward is a great read for you!

>10 ChelleBearss: Thanks so much, Chelle. Nice to see you back!

>11 bell7: Happy new year, Mary. It's always so hard to fit in owned books when you go to the library as often as we do, I find.

>12 SandDune: Thank you, Rhian!

>13 Berly: Thanks for swinging through, Kim!

>14 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Same to you!

>15 norabelle414: Snort. One of my friends sent me a reel recently that called print books "completion trophies for audiobooks." 🤣

>16 foggidawn: Thanks, Foggi. And yay for the Baldtree. I hope you have a grand time with it!

Jan 2, 4:57 pm

I whine about not reading enough from my TBR piles, but the fact is they can't go away -- they are my security blanket!!!

Jan 2, 4:59 pm

Ugh, I hit an exhaustion wall at 2 this afternoon. Staying up until 1 on NYE and then getting up at 5 a.m. today as Mr Fine is on early shift this week makes for one tired Micky (I run best with 8-9 hours of sleep and the last two nights were more 6-7). At least there's only one more hour of work after my coffee break.

I won't be doing daily updates again this year but I'll maybe do some weekly highlights? No guarantees they'll happen on the same day each week though, lol. I'll continue to post reviews as I finish books.

Nothing too exciting on the work front so far - today is one of those days with all the weird email questions. Tomorrow night I'm going to see Wonka with my mom. No other real excitement on the calendar this week and I'm already looking forward to a quiet weekend (3 more days to go!).

All my crafting time is being spent on the tree-skirt. I really want to finish the stitching this month.

Shows currently on the go: Rewatch of Mrs Maisel season 3 (prep for finally watching the last season), rewatch of Reacher season 1 before we start the new season, rewatch of X-Files (nearing the end of season 1), and I think Mr. Fine wants to go back to Castle picking up in season 3? My current half hour show is The Muppet Show. Haven't picked a new solo show yet but it'll probably be the new season of Virgin River.

Movies watched on the weekend: Barbie and X-Men. A pretty decent snapshot of our marriage really.

Board gaming: We did the first of 12 campaigns for Charterstone (one of my Xmas gifts to Mr. Fine) and NYE included one game of Flamecraft (one of my gifts from Mr. Fine) and two games of Verdant.

Jan 2, 5:25 pm

Happy new year, Micky! I've been good at reading off my shelves but then I've also been very good at replacing the unread books on my shelves, lol. Good luck with your 2024 goal!!

Jan 2, 9:31 pm

Have you starred. Happy reading in 2024 :)

Jan 3, 5:06 pm

>18 Berly: Sound logic to me. 😊

>20 curioussquared: Thanks, Natalie. Looking forward to seeing how you're read/unread balance goes this year.

>21 figsfromthistle: Thanks for the star!

Editado: Jan 3, 6:22 pm

Happy New Year, Micky! I always have the goal of reading from my own shelves and always am less successful than I would like. I would also like to reread The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I'd like to read A Deadly Education (from Marina's shelves, as is my current read). From my own shelves: Bone Gap, Killers of the Flower Moon, and many more!

Jan 4, 2:34 pm

>23 AMQS: Those all look like great reads to tackle, Anne. I hope you have a great time with the Novik series - especially since you don't have to wait between books.

Jan 5, 7:08 am

Hi Micky, and happy new year!
Sorry to hear you didn't get enough sleep. As I'm working from home during the holiday season (last day today) I am currently enjoying a unusual stretch of getting to sleep 7-8 hour a night (as opposed to my more usual, and decidedly unhealthy, 5-6 hours). It's making me long even for for the day when I can finally stop commuting.

Looking forward to seeing what you read this year.

Jan 5, 2:28 pm

Happy New Year, Micky! I am absolutely terrible at reading my own books. I really should do better and will have to check my shelves and see what sounds good.

Happy reading this year!

Jan 5, 2:44 pm

>25 PawsforThought: Happy new year, Paws. I've been getting better sleep since that post but I'm very glad it's almost the weekend and tomorrow's alarm is not nearly so early.

>26 aktakukac: Nice to see you, Rachel. I'm only so-so at reading my own books (due dates on library books always feel more pressing), thus the goal. 😊

Jan 5, 2:47 pm

I forgot to mention in my highlights post what I'm reading! *facepalm *

I'm starting the year with a chunkster, The Golden Key. It was a gift from a friend a few years ago and after 160 pages (of 889), I'm still not sure if it's for me. At this point, I think I'll read to the end of the first section and decide on continuing at that point. Anyone read this one and have thoughts to share?

Jan 5, 3:43 pm

>28 MickyFine: Enjoy this chonky read. Should keep you occupied this weekend, right?

Jan 5, 10:37 pm

Happy New Year, Micky!

Jan 6, 1:57 am

Happy New Year. Found and Starred.

Jan 6, 11:14 am

>28 MickyFine: I hope you start enjoying your chunkster more
I dislike starting the year with a huge book as it makes me feel "behind".

Jan 6, 12:46 pm

Happy weekend, Micky! I haven't read your chunkster -- Kate Elliott is one of those authors I'm aware of but haven't read. I used to own a bunch of Rawn's books but gave them away after never picking them up. I have enjoyed a few of Roberson's stories in some fantasy anthologies and have heard good things about the Tiger and Del books but never read her longer fiction. Hope the book picks up!

Jan 6, 12:55 pm

Good luck with your 2024 reading!

Jan 6, 5:25 pm

>29 richardderus: *snort* Oh there's never a shortage of things to do on the weekend.

>30 ronincats: Thanks, Roni!

>31 ArlieS: Nice to see you, Arlie.

>32 ChelleBearss: I get that feeling but I'm trying to train myself that quality matters more than quantity. So diving in with a chunkster it is!

>33 curioussquared: We'll see how it goes. I'm neither loving nor hating it at this point, but it's definitely not the type of fantasy that's my first choice. I'll give it a while longer but may ditch it if I'm avoiding it rather than reading. Life is too short to force myself to read a book.

>34 Tess_W: Thank you!

Jan 7, 12:55 am

>28 MickyFine: I had to drop The Golden Key about 1/2 way through - and still remember more of it than than the overwhelming majority of books I completed the same year. Two of the 3 authors have written books I enjoy, Kate Elliot over 30 of them. Melanie Rawn wrote several series I couldn't rate above a 3, but something about the almost Spinal Tap approach to fantasy of Glass Thorns really caught my fancy. I haven't read Jennifer Roberson since before recorded history (2007) but I don't remember any attraction.

Jan 7, 11:39 am

>36 quondame: Well, you made it farther than me. I dropped it yesterday after 200ish pages. On to other things I'll enjoy more!

Jan 8, 5:04 pm

Book 1

Word to the Wise - Jenn McKinlay

Lindsey Norris is dealing with a heat wave and wedding planning when a new member of the Briar Creek comes to the library and becomes unhealthily obsessed with her. Lindsey is disturbed enough at the prospect of a stalker but when he's found dead, Lindsey and her fiance, Sully, are the prime suspects. Once again, Lindsey will break out her librarian skills to investigate the crime and clear their names.

An improvement in the quality of the writing in this entry in the series. McKinlay engages with some more serious issues here (stalking and sexual harrassment) and does it well. Lindsey and Sully's relationship is in a lovely place and I'm always delighted to spend time with the citizens of this small community. The mystery doesn't hold a ton of surprises but it's a fun way to spend a few hours. Plus the descriptions of library work continue to be spot on. If you're a fan of cozy mysteries, this series is a fun way to spend some time.

Rating: ****

Jan 8, 5:07 pm

>38 MickyFine: - I have the first in this series on my tentative TBR this year list...

Jan 8, 5:09 pm

Book 2

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (adapted by Anna Lyse Erickson)

An audio drama adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel. Erickson does an excellent job of bringing Fitzgerald's gorgeous prose into the medium and all of the cast are well-cast and suit their characters. I've been fond of this book since reading it in high school and revisiting it in this format was a lovely way to spend a couple hours.

Rating: *****

Jan 8, 5:10 pm

>39 katiekrug: Oh nice! I hope you have a good time with it.

Jan 8, 5:34 pm

It's my EDO today and I'm very glad I gave myself another long weekend after the holidays rather than tying it in with Christmas or New Year as January always feels sooo long. The only bummer is I had a cold rebound or allergy flare up starting on Friday (I'm honestly not sure which it was but I was very stuffy for a few days). Spent most of the weekend being cozy around the house. Did take down all the Christmas decorations on Sunday and reorganized our storage space under the stairs at the same time. It's satisfyingly tidy in there now. I'm starting to feel back to normal today so I'll definitely be back to work tomorrow. It'll be full day on Tuesday as I have a couple meetings plus we're having a baby shower for my manager (she starts her maternity leave at the end of this week) and in the evening I'll have my monthly massage. The rest of the week should be pretty chill - literally in the latter half of the week as we head into a deep freeze. Date night this week is my pick and is scheduled for the first day it'll be truly cold (high of -28C) and I'm not sure if I'll want to go out or hermit at home and deal with food that isn't as hot as it could be.

What I'm reading: After abandoning The Golden Key (I gave it far more than the Nancy Pearl try), I've sped through two books and next up will be No Words.

What I'm crafting: The end of the cross-stitch tree skirt is in sight! I think odds are good I'll finish the stitching in the next few days. Went to the fabric store with my mom today to pick up supplies for finishing the edges (she'll be using her sewing skills to help me with that final step).

What we're playing: Played Flamecraft on Friday night with Mr. Fine and H (he trounced us). Saturday afternoon, Mr. Fine and I played the second game of Charterstone (he edged out a win by 1 point).

Currently watching: Together we're watching DS9 season 3, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 3, wrapping up season 1 and starting season 2 of Reacher, nearing the end of X-Files season 1, Castle season 3, The Muppet Show season 2, and What If...? season 2. My solo shows are Sweet Magnolias season 3 and Golden Girls season 2. Our Saturday night double feature was Love at First Sight and X2. The former is adapted from The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, which I really enjoyed when I read it years ago. It's a cute rom com, although more tear jerking than I anticipated.

Jan 8, 6:15 pm

Sorry about the cold/allergy flare-up. I was very stuffy most of yesterday but better today. Weird.

I had to get Google help on the temperature conversion, and holy schnikeys! I wouldn't leave my bed, much less the house :) You Canadians are a hardy lot.

I read the first in the Little Bridge Island series and didn't like it much. I'll be interested to hear if you like the 3rd and mayeb give it another shot.

Jan 9, 12:54 am

Hope you feel better soon, Micky. As for the book from my own shelves that I most want to read it's Clara at the Door with a Revolver: The Scandalous Black Suspect, the Exemplary White Son, and the Murder that Shocked Toronto but I'm fitting my own reads in between library holds at the moment so it might take me a while.

Jan 9, 6:27 pm

Hi Mickey! Your thread is found and starred!

>42 MickyFine: Good luck finishing up the tree skirt. The last time I saw a picture you posted, it looked fantastic! I know you'll be glad to have it done.

>4 MickyFine: I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society some years ago (10 maybe?) when we had a book club at work and remember that it was a lot of fun. As for books on my own shelves, I'm not sure what I most want to read. I've joined a second book club at the senior center and right now I'm working on reading January's books for both. I still need to figure out what I want to tackle from my own collection.

Wishing you a great new year!

Jan 10, 4:48 pm

>43 katiekrug: Happily, it has largely passed although I still sound a bit congested occasionally.

As for the weather, I'm not sure if we're hardy or just very bundled up. But every time I see news stories from the US about large insects or reptiles showing up I am reminded of why I live where the air hurts my face.

The third Little Bridge book is turning out to be the best of the series IMO (she said with 90 pages left).

>44 Familyhistorian: Thanks Meg. Sounds like an interesting bit of Canadian history waiting for you.

>45 atozgrl: Nice to see you, Irene! I am looking forward to taking on different projects and putting the tree skirt behind (below?) me.

Two book clubs sounds like an undertaking. I hope both the assigned books are enjoyable!

Editado: Jan 11, 9:41 am

You've gotten winter, apparently. Winter has barely come to SW Ontario and our temps are hovering at 0! Finally got some snow today though!

Jan 11, 2:16 pm

>47 ChelleBearss: Oh yeah. Ye Olde Polar Vortex is here and it is cold! It's currently -31°C and feels like -44°C with windchill.

Jan 11, 2:57 pm

>48 MickyFine: I had to do the Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion, but that is still freakin’ cold in either. Brrr!

Stay warm!

Karen O

Jan 11, 2:58 pm

Brrr!! We are expecting a low of 16 F tomorrow and I thought that was cold 🥶

Jan 11, 11:28 pm

>46 MickyFine: Two book clubs is going to be interesting. We'll see if I'll be able to keep up. However, the new one is a "Challenged Books Club" and I wanted to see what they were reading and also read some challenged books. So far, they've picked 4 books for this year, and these are all older titles. I've read 3 of the 4 previously, but many, many years ago, so I think it will be very useful to revisit them. They're also shorter titles so far, so I should be able to manage. I'm hoping they'll also get to some newer titles that I haven't read.

Jan 12, 2:30 pm

>49 klobrien2: Conveniently, Celsius and Fahrenheit meet up at -40°, so when we get into that range, no conversation needed. 😊

>50 curioussquared: For your neck of the woods it is. Did you get snow?

>51 atozgrl: Reading Banned and Challenged books is awesome. I hope both groups yield excellent conversations!

Jan 12, 2:35 pm

>52 MickyFine: Just a few flurries that didn't stick at my house, but my family members 20-45 minutes north of us got a good amount so I'm getting lots of cute pictures of babies and dogs frolicking 😂

Editado: Jan 12, 2:57 pm

In today's polar vortex report, my phone said it was -42°C when I got up this morning (the car's less accurate thermometer said -37°C when I took Mr. Fine to the bus). We're currently sitting at -33°C with sunny blue skies. Hibernation keeps looking better and better.

In other news, I finished the stitching on the tree skirt last night! Now just have to make a date with my mom to do the required cutting and sewing (won't be this weekend as we're all avoiding going outdoors as much as possible).

I owe two book reviews and am currently reading the third Percy Jackson book.

Jan 12, 2:57 pm

Editado: Jan 12, 4:12 pm

>52 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky, I do too! I'm currently reading The Catcher in the Rye for the banned books club. I haven't read it since high school, and don't remember much of anything about it.

>54 MickyFine: Congratulations on finishing the stitching on the tree skirt!

Jan 12, 5:47 pm

>54 MickyFine: YAY!! Skirt being done has to feel good, and next Yule can be its debut.

Enjoy the weekend, Micky me lurve.

Jan 12, 7:07 pm

YIKES to the cold, and hope you get a break from that soon. Congrats on the tree skirt! How satisfying to finish a big project.

Jan 12, 8:11 pm

>54 MickyFine: Congratulations on the tree skirt needlework completion! It has been amazing watching your progress!

Jan 12, 10:30 pm

>56 atozgrl: I read Catcher in the Rye as an adult and it didn't do much for me but I hope you have a better time with it.

>57 richardderus: It is exciting to get to pick up other projects now and not be doing all cross-stitch all the time.

>58 bell7: We're supposed to be this cold through the weekend at least so lots of warm clothes and blankets and avoiding putting a toe outside if at all possible. And thanks on the tree skirt front.

>59 quondame: Thanks, Susan!

Jan 13, 5:40 pm

Book 3

No Words - Meg Cabot

Jo Wright is a well-known children's author but she's been blocked for the past year, ever since massively popular author, Will Price, bad-mouthed her books and writing to the NYT. When Jo is invited to the first literary festival held by the Little Bridge Public Library, and offered a massive appearance fee, she agrees to go. What she doesn't expect is that Will Price will be there too or that they'll have to spend so much time together. On the one hand, Jo might finally get the chance to give him a piece of her mind about his quote but on the other, he keeps being distractingly good looking every time she turns around...

This is by far my favourite of the Little Bridge Island books. Jo is a delightful protagonist and while she peppers things with a few too many silly cat references (her children's series focus on anthropomorphic teen cat), she largely feels realistic. Her hate to love romance with Will Price (who definitely has some Nicholas Sparks-esque writing tendencies), is sweet and watching both of them overcome their own baggage and flaws is highly enjoyable. Cabot also crafts a lovely cast of characters with the other writers attending the festival who add plenty of humour to the general goings on. Also, if you happen to read this in the depths of a cold week in January like I did, it might give you the urge to go on a warm weather vacation. Recommended.

Rating: ****

Jan 13, 5:51 pm

Book 4

The Hooktionary - Brenda K.B. Anderson

A beautiful reference collection of tapestry (or colourwork) crochet stitches. Anderson provides really helpful information in her introductory section, discussing the types of stitches that can be used with her patterns and the different effects your choice will have on how the work will look. All of the patterns are designed to be done in the round but there are instructions provided on steeking your work if you want something flat. The colourwork patterns are divided into sections based on the crochet stitch that works best for them (extended single crochet, front post double crochet, etc) and there are tons of patterns to choose from including adorable narwhals, cassette tapes, and plaid. The final section includes patterns for a toque, mitts, scarf, sweater, and cardigan, using colourwork motifs in them. Anderson also provides directions on how to swap out different colourwork motifs into the patterns (if a jackalope cardigan isn't quite your jam). A gorgeous book that I'll be acquiring for my personal collection.

Rating: *****

Editado: Jan 13, 5:56 pm

The completed tree skirt!

Final steps will be to cut the fabric and sew on trim for the edges but that won't be happening until next weekend at the earliest when I'll be willing to leave my house and get my mom's assistance with the sewing.

Jan 13, 5:56 pm

>63 MickyFine: That is stunning! Congratulations!

Jan 13, 6:16 pm

>63 MickyFine: Gorgeous!!!

Jan 13, 10:44 pm

>63 MickyFine: That is absolutely gorgeous! Well done!

Jan 14, 3:20 am

>63 MickyFine: What a lovely piece of work!

Jan 14, 8:22 am

>63 MickyFine: Wow! Very impressive.

Jan 14, 9:03 am

>63 MickyFine: - Well done!

Jan 14, 9:17 am

Hibernation does seem lovely right about now. Our temps are currently sitting at -12. The next week is looking at our lowest temps yet of -19 overnight. Yuck.

Jan 14, 2:50 pm

Thank you to Susan, Natalie, Irene, Kerry, Rhian, and Katie for your compliments on the tree skirt. I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

>70 ChelleBearss: We have some highs of -19C coming up and I'm looking forward to them, lol.

Jan 14, 2:55 pm

Book 5

The Confession of Henry Jekyll, M.D. - David Rambo

A contemporary audio drama retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde commissioned for L.A. Theatre Works. Rambo does a brilliant job of bringing this dark and haunting tale into the modern era and Seamus Deaver's performance as Jekyll and Hyde is very well done. A highly compelling listen made even more rewarding by the post-play discussion between the writer of the adaptation and an expert on the original book, which is really fascinating as well. Recommended.

Rating: ****

Jan 14, 3:57 pm

>63 MickyFine: Just perfect, Micky! *smooch*

Jan 15, 1:12 pm

Congrats on finishing the tree skirt, Micky! It's gorgeous.

Jan 15, 4:45 pm

>73 richardderus: Aww, thanks. Smooches back!

>74 norabelle414: Thanks, Nora!

Jan 15, 5:12 pm

>63 MickyFine: The tree skirt looks great - what an accomplishment! Do you (like me) tend to feel a sort of relief after finishing a big project like that? I hope you'll show us how it looks under your tree later this year!

Jan 16, 1:57 pm

>63 MickyFine: Wow! That looks amazing! I've enjoyed watching your progress, but the finished tree shirt is really astonishing - well done!

Jan 17, 2:40 pm

>76 bell7: I do feel a bit of relief that it's done. It's also weird not to have a massive project on the go (although I've started a sweater, which isn't exactly a small project either).

I promise there will be skirt with tree photos come December.

>77 AMQS: Thanks so much, Anne!

Jan 18, 1:00 am

>63 MickyFine: The tree skirt looks wonderful, Micky. How long did it take you in total? It seems like you've been doing it for a while.

Jan 19, 7:55 pm

>79 Familyhistorian: I started it November 2021 so a little over 2 years but there were several months in there where I was busy working on other things and didn't pick it up, so in terms of actual crafting time, probably 18 months?

Jan 19, 8:06 pm

>63 MickyFine: Wow! that is fantastic. So much detail.

Happy weekend

Jan 19, 10:24 pm

>81 figsfromthistle: Thank you, Anita!

Jan 19, 10:56 pm

What's been happening lately: My new manager started this week (my regular manager started her 18-month maternity leave early last week). So far so good with said new manager, as I expected from the small prior experience I've had with her.

I did the first of my weeding roadshow branch presentations this week. The upside of me being the one that coordinated all the scheduling is that I gave myself the branches that are conveniently close to my house and/or where I have friends working (this branch was both close and had a friend). It went pretty smoothly.

H returned from her trip to Banff with the news that she's now engaged. Regular visitors to my thread may remember that Mr. Fine and I are not big fans of her partner, so this isn't particularly welcome news but as long as she's happy, we'll keep our discontent to ourselves.

Thursday's date night was turned into a family dinner with my parents (and we added H to the mix after learning her news so she could tell my parents herself). We went to a buffet place Mr. Fine loves and had a good feed and a lovely chat.

Our monthly game night with our friends M&A is tomorrow night. I'm making a cheesy baked spaghetti squash dish for our shared dinner and hoping it turns out well. 🤞 Otherwise a quiet weekend at our house, I'm hoping.

What I'm crafting: After realizing my gauge for the sweater was off, I had to frog all of my progress plus the gauge swatch. It was a real pain as the fuzzy quality of the yarn I'm using makes it "sticky" and tough to unravel. I have now figured out the right hook size and started over. I'm about halfway done the hem of the front half of the sweater (it's made bottom up).

What we're playing: We've completed 3 games in our Charterstone campaign and will hopefully get in game 4 this weekend. We played Farshore this evening in prep for tomorrow as we're bringing it and Verdant for game night.

What we're watching: Still on season 3 of Mrs Maisel, nearly finished season 2 of Reacher (just have the episode that dropped this week to watch), started season 2 of X-Files, and DS9 season 3 is an improvement over the first two seasons. Last weekend's double feature was Frozen (leaning into the vibes of a -40°C weekend) and X-Men 3. As for my solo shows, I just wrapped up season 3 of Sweet Magnolias and Golden Girls continues to be a fun time.

I owe 2 reviews and am currently reading A Court of Thorns and Roses. One of my friends was a bit mad at it and wanted someone to talk to about it, so I agreed to give it a try. So far it's not impressing me much but I've been told it really takes off in the last quarter so we'll see...

Jan 20, 6:41 am

Nice newsy update, Micky! Kudos on the roadshow presentation. Apologies if you've mentioned this already but what's it about exactly? You used the term weeding but I suspect it's not about gardening. 😃

Congratulations to H, it's too bad this isn't entirely welcome news but as you say, as long as she's happy ...

Jan 20, 8:57 am

Thanks for the update, Micky! Good to hear things are mostly fine in your world. Sorry about the non-beloved fiance. That's got to be tough.

The Wayne and I are enjoying Reacher, s2. He watched the first season, but I didn't - I might go back and watch it sometime.

Jan 20, 11:20 am

>84 lauralkeet: Sorry for the jargon, Laura. It's definitely not about gardening. 😆 Weeding, or deselection, is the removal of material from the library that is in poor condition, outdated, or no longer in demand with our community. The library system where I work has centralized selection (me and three other librarians order all the new material for the whole system) but weeding is done at the branch level. While we offer an in-depth 3 hour workshop on weeding, there's been a lot of demand for a streamlined version to offer at branch staff meetings. So over the next 6 months, we're visiting almost every branch to give this roadshow session.

>85 katiekrug: Mr. Fine and I both really enjoy Reacher, which was a bit of surprise when we tried season 1 and then ended up binging it. I do recommend going back to season 1 and giving it a viewing. The mystery is just as solid and there's some great characters in it.

And thank you both for the sympathies on the engagement. H and her fiancé are both young (she's 21 and he's 20) so at least a longer engagement seems likely.

Jan 20, 12:21 pm

>86 MickyFine: no apology necessary, Micky. I thought it might be something like that, and I enjoy reading about "how the sausage is made" in the library world. Thank you for the explanation!

Jan 20, 1:36 pm

Hi Micky! Sorry to hear about the boyfriend-turned-fiancé 😐 That must be rough for you guys. And they're so young, too! Hope things turn out well there and like you said, as long as she's happy...

Jan 20, 2:57 pm

Hi Micky! Sorry it's taken me most of January to make it to your thread. I did so poorly on threads last year, I've split my thread visiting into letter groups per week. Yours is week 3, lol. I hope you have a wonderful reading year!

Jan 22, 2:11 pm

>87 lauralkeet: Always happy to explain. 😊

>88 curioussquared: Thanks, Natalie. Appreciate the good thoughts for it working out for the best.

>89 The_Hibernator: Nice to see you, Rachel, whenever you manage to visit.

Jan 22, 3:27 pm

Book 6

The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan

Percy goes on yet another quest, this time with some of Artemis' hunters, as they attempt to track down a monster that threatens all of the half-bloods.

Another fun entry in the series. I'm quite fond of this cast of characters now and looking forward to seeing what the rest of the series brings.

Rating: ****

Jan 22, 4:23 pm

Book 7

Ten Thousand Stitches - Olivia Atwater

Effie is a housemaid at a large estate and inconveniently in love with the brother of her employer. When Effie unexpectedly meets a Lord Blackthorn, a Faerie, she knows better than accept anything from him as her mother raised her on tales of all the ways that could go wrong. But Lord Blackthorn is determined to become virtuous, which in his book requires being kind to those less fortunate. When he offers Effie a deal that will allow her to become a lady, in order to catch the attention of her love, Effie can't refuse him. But as she spends more time in the world upstairs, Effie increasingly begins to wonder if that's the life she really wants after all.

An utter delight from start to finish, this riff on Cinderella does a great job of turning all of our expectations of such a tale on its head. Effie is a brilliant character who is frequently angry about the injustices of her role in the world (and there's a definite pro-labour motif at work here). Lord Blackthorn is also a delight as the rare exception in this world of a Faerie who genuinely wants to help. Atwater manages to also sneak in a few truly laugh out loud lines into the book, which made the read even more fun. Interested readers should read Half a Soul first, as this book does include some spoilers for the first book in the series. Highly recommended.

Rating: ****1/2

Jan 22, 4:28 pm

>92 MickyFine: - Mary just posted a link to a list of romantasy books that I decided to take a look at, since fantasy isn't really my thing but I thought "romantasy" might be a good gateway into it. Off that list, I added Half a Soul to my library WL :)

Jan 22, 4:34 pm

>93 katiekrug: that's so funny, I was reading through Micky's review thinking, hmmm, I really should move Half a Soul up the list to read.

>92 MickyFine: So yeah, moving that series up the list 😂 No promises, but I'll try to read it soonish.

Jan 22, 5:04 pm

I am in a seriously divided mind about weeding. I know you need to do it...there is not a pocket universe next door to give unlimited shelf space, whatever were the goddesses thinking when they forgot that?...but the books! the books! *sob*

Editado: Jan 22, 5:16 pm

>93 katiekrug: Oh nice! Half a Soul is a good pick for you, I think. It's not super heavy on the fantasy, and that one in particular has a bit of a Jane Austen-y vibe. It's definitely on the very mild end of romance though (I haven't read a ton of romantasy but Instagram reels inform me it can get SUPER steamy).

>94 bell7: I am all for more people reading Half a Soul. It was one of my favourite discoveries last year. :)

>95 richardderus: Yes, but many of them go to that wondrous place: The Library Book Sale! And then they can be your own special preciouses. *smooch*

Jan 22, 5:49 pm

Book 8

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

Feyre is the only thing standing between her family and starvation. When she kills a massive wolf while out hunting, a part of her wonders if the wolf was Fae. When a Fae beast arrives at her door outraged about the death of his friend and demanding either her death or that she accompany to live with him in Faerie territory on the other side of the wall for the rest of her life, Feyre agrees to go in the hopes that she'll be able to sneak back to her family. But nothing is quite as she expected in the Spring Court. As she learns more about the Faerie world and the threats that threaten to spill over the wall into the human world, she'll make choices she'd never expected when she left home.

I picked up this book because a friend was a bit mad at it and wanted someone to talk about it with. While I know the book is hugely popular, particularly on BookTok, I remained pretty underwhelmed/critical throughout. I will admit the plot got more interesting in the final quarter (as I'd been told by many people it would) but the writing style is a little florid for my tastes, the romance lacked any zip (and a few of the "romantic" scenes I found outright skeevy). I'm a big fan of many a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but this one didn't work for me. All that said, I'll be continuing the series because I'm a good friend (and also I've been promised book 2 is much better).

Rating: **1/2

Jan 22, 6:11 pm

>97 MickyFine: I say martyr to friendship is more accurate. Ghastly, regressive thing full of messages that truly skeeved me out in a culture as pervasively misogynistic as this one is.

But hey, what do I know, tens of millions of True Believers must know more than I do.

Jan 22, 6:27 pm

I loved Half a Soul but still need to read the second book! Glad you loved it 😊

>98 richardderus: ACOTAR is fun for what it is, but not amazing. I enjoy listening to the books more than reading them because I can skim over some of the less than fantastic writing that way.

Jan 22, 6:59 pm

>99 curioussquared: I must demur, Natalie, as I read her as needing to be rescued by a man,and her endless negative self-talk as really unappealing messages for young women who like it so much to get.

Again, though, it is all down to taste and the eye of the specific reader, so whatever works for you does not necessarily need to work for me.

Jan 22, 7:53 pm

>100 richardderus: Sorry, Richard, I meant to respond to Micky's review, not to downplay your comment/feelings about the book. Totally agree -- to each their own! And I'm in no way the biggest ACOTAR proponent out there; I think they're fine and heartily support anyone who doesn't like them in not liking them. For what it's worth, I see more women my age (late 20s-30s) reading these than teenagers; I think mostly they are serving people as a fun escape rather than influencing the youth.

Jan 22, 8:52 pm

Hi Micky, you got me with Ten Thousand Stitches. And I guess Half a Soul also.

Jan 23, 4:50 pm

>98 richardderus: I mean, it's fun to talk/ trash them, so it could be worse. 😆

>99 curioussquared: I hope Ten Thousand Stitches is just as fun for you, Natalie!

>102 AMQS: I think they'll decidedly be your thing, Anne. I look forward to seeing if I'm right. 😊

Jan 26, 10:16 pm

Book 9

Like, Literally, Dude - Valerie Fridland

Sociolinguist Valerie Fridland explores some of the largest pet peeves many individuals have about English speakers and explores why these features aren't really so bad, and instead the dynamic reality of a living language. Diving into topics like the purpose that "uh" and "um" serve, why the emphatic use of "literally" is not a sign of language death, and the many meanings of "dude." Along the way, she repeatedly emphasizes that women and minorities are often the biggest drivers of linguistic change (and also get the biggest flack for "ruining" the language, surprise surprise). Smart, thought-provoking, and with occasional moments of humour, this is a great read for those interested in how language grows and changes and is willing to think about why certain linguistic tics bug them so much.

Rating: ****

Jan 26, 10:50 pm

What's been going on lately: Work was largely quiet this week with nothing too exciting going on as I worked through my usual tasks. My new manager was only in the office one day due to being off sick a day and at a conference in Toronto for the rest of the week. However, on a larger scale things are a tad stressful. Our union negotiations hit a standstill and we've been approved by the Labour Board for a strike vote in early February. While the library is technically a separate bargaining unit, because we're funded by the city, we typically get the same wage deals as the city employees bargaining unit (who are also in the process of being approved for a strike vote). So we'll cross all our fingers and toes a strong strike vote results for both groups will push everyone back to negotiating. Five years without inflationary increases is rough, especially for those in the lowest pay bands.

In happier news, one of my newer friends at work got the permanent contract for her current role and I'm delighted I'll get to see her regularly going forward (and also that she gets to stay in a librarian role as her previous permanent position was as a library assistant).

Unsurprising to anyone after H's announcement of her engagement was her announcement at the end of the last weekend that she'll be moving out in early February. She and K are going to be sharing a house with 2-3 friends on the south side of the city. We'll see how that arrangement goes. While we'll miss seeing her more regularly, it will be nice to have our guest room/gym back.

As for extracurriculars, I went to virtual craft circle this week. Date night was Wednesday and we went to a pub where I had good but not great chicken quesadillas and Mr. Fine had an amazing brisket shepherd's pie, of which I was pretty envious. Mr. Fine joined a new (to him) D&D group and had a grand time (it's all with friends he knows in other contexts and some of whom he plays D&D with in another group, so new isn't exactly the right term but it works). His other D&D group is still going but is likely to die as none of the members are particularly engaged in it anymore so I'm happy to see him enjoying D&D again. This evening after work, I headed to church to do a run through of songs as I'm leading out for the that part of the service tomorrow.

This weekend, besides leading out at church, I'm hoping to have a quiet Saturday at home with Mr. Fine. Sunday will be the usual cleaning and in the evening there's a union meeting to answer all questions strike vote and strike related. Happily, I have a long weekend as I have my EDO on Monday so I'll get some extra chill time, although I do have plans to hang with my friend, A, for part of the day after her kiddo goes to daycare.

What I'm crafting: The sweater is back on track and I made solid progress. The pattern for this one is pretty straightforward so it's been working up pretty quickly. I'm probably a third of the way through the front panel.

What we're playing: Saturday game night included both Verdant and Everdell Farshore. We also played a Charterstone game on Sunday afternoon. This evening we played Flamecraft, which I enjoy quite a bit.

What we're watching: We wrapped up season 2 of Reacher, we're nearing the end of season 3 of Mrs. Maisel, a couple episodes of Castle season 3, a couple of X-Files season 2, a couple of Supernatural season 14, some Muppet Show episodes, and one episode of What If?

I'm a few chapters into The Road to Roswell and having a grand time with it so far.

Jan 27, 12:01 am

>104 MickyFine: This one looks interesting!

>105 MickyFine: I hope H's new living arrangements work out -- and enjoy having your spare room back!

Jan 27, 1:22 am

>92 MickyFine: After reading your review of Ten Thousand Stitches I thought it sounded good even though fantasy is not my usual jam but then I saw your recommendation to read Half a Soul first. Another fantasy book, but wait a minute that title seemed familiar. I had just read it recently, so probably a BB from your thread. You got me twice for the same author, Micky!

Jan 27, 7:42 am

Best of luck with the union negotiations. That's got to be stressful.

The Road to Roswell was a lot of fun, and hope it continues to hit the spot for you.

Jan 27, 9:06 am

I enjoyed reading your catch-up post, Micky! Sorry about the stressful union stuff. I hope it works out how you want it to.

We have two more episodes of 'Reacher' to watch...

Have a great weekend!

Jan 27, 11:38 am

>106 curioussquared: I'm glad the Fridland caught your fancy. If you try it, I hope it's both fun and informative.

>107 Familyhistorian: Happy to get you reading more Atwater, Meg.

>108 bell7: Yeah, anxiety levels in my brain are on the high side at the moment. I'm hoping the Willis book is a good distraction this weekend.

>109 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie. Enjoy those last two Reacher episodes. We had a good time with them in our house and we're pleased it was renewed for a third season.

Jan 27, 2:23 pm

Good luck with the union stuff -- my husband is going through something similar, and it's causing him a bit of anxiety and frustration.

Jan 27, 4:44 pm

Yes, good luck. That is unsettling. You got me with >104 MickyFine:. I majored in Linguistics, and do love exploration of linguistic topics.

Jan 27, 10:56 pm

I'll add my best wishes for the union stuff. I hope it all works out well and soon, for your peace of mind.

Fev 1, 3:10 am

>110 MickyFine: LOL. Now I have to check out Reacher. : )

Fev 2, 6:26 pm

>111 foggidawn: My sympathies to John. It's not a fun position to be in.

>112 AMQS: Oh if you majored in Linguistics then there should be plenty for you to enjoy. There were a few passages that got a bit more into the nitty gritty of linguistics that I admit went over my head a bit.

>113 atozgrl: Thanks, Irene.

>114 Berly: It's pretty fun for an action-y mystery show. I hope you enjoy it, Kim.

Fev 2, 7:05 pm

What's been going on lately: Even though I had Monday off for my EDO, it still felt like a long week. On said Monday off, I still had to get up early to drop off Mr. Fine at the bus and had some time to putter before going to hang out with my friend A. We watched the first half of season 2 of A Discovery of Witches (we enjoy mocking it almost as much as we enjoy watching it) and I did some crochet. I spent the afternoon at home largely chilling.

Work was fine although I yo-yoed back and forth between working in the office and at home (I prefer to do them in blocks) due to some in-person meetings, one of which was at another branch so I had to drive to work one day instead of taking the bus. I much prefer taking transit - more reading time and way less stressful than navigating rush hour myself when leaving downtown. On Tuesday I went out for lunch with a few work friends to celebrate my friend, V, getting a permanent librarian position. I had orange fennel salad, which was solid, but the winner was the raspberry cardamom cruller I had for dessert. *chef's kiss* On Thursday, I had a meeting with a colleague at the same cafe but sadly they were out of doughnuts. I had a carrot cake "muffin" (I'm not sure it's truly a muffin when there's an inch of cream cheese icing on top - that feels like a cupcake to me), which was also delicious. Today included a meeting to discuss the 2024 goals for my department and there are some projects coming up later in the year that I'm already pre-emptively exhausted by.

Date night this week was at a local Mexican restaurant. We finally managed to visit on taco Tuesday! Mr. Fine and I split their taco Tuesday special (your choice of two servings of tacos) and a plate of nachos. We had fish and brisket tacos. I'd had the brisket tacos before and they're solid but I ADORED the fish tacos. I've finally found my go to dish on this menu (the chicken tacos are also great but the fish were everything I wanted them to be and more).

The big news today was that they finally lifted the local water ban this afternoon. Since Monday we've had to limit water usage and avoid things like doing laundry, using the dishwasher, taking baths, etc. One of the local water treatment plants had a mechanical failure and to avoid overwhelming the remaining functioning water treatment plant, the capital region was asked to limit water use. Happily, water quality was fine throughout, so we didn't have the headache of a boil water advisory at least. The original timeline for the repair and recovery of reserves was Sunday afternoon so I'm pleased to be able to do things this weekend like shave my legs and do laundry after all, lol.

The weekend agenda is light with church on Saturday as usual. Sunday will be the usual cleaning and Mr. Fine is having a group of friend's over for their monthly gaming get together.

What we're playing: Last weekend we got in a game each of Flamecraft and Cornerstone.

What I'm crafting: During a meeting at work this week, I finished one dishcloth that had been in progress for ages and started another. The sweater continues to progress although slower than anticipated because I was distracted. Said distraction was a box FULL of embroidery floss from my aunt who is downsizing her crafting stash (she used to cross-stitch avidly and made a lot of detailed and large projects). So some of what would normally be crafting time has been spent sorting out skeins of floss and then winding them onto cardboard bobbins for storage in the box I use for floss.

What we're watching: Last weekend's double-feature was The Wolverine and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The latter was my pick, which I wanted to watch after seeing Wonka. It's definitely not a film I'll watch again (Wonka I would rewatch though) and Gene Wilder is... something. TV shows Mr. Fine and I are watching together: DS9 season 3, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 4, Castle season 3, X-Files season 2 (Gillian Anderson is about to start her mat leave), Supernatural season 14 (hoo boy am I ready to wrap this one up and we still have a season and a half to go), The Muppet Show season 2 (the Elton John episode is PERFECTION), and we finished season 2 of What If. My solo shows are Virgin River season 5 and Golden Girls season 2 (damn I love those ladies).

What I'm reading: I finished January with 11 books read (two more reviews to come shortly). I'm currently a third of the way through The Battle of the Labyrinth.

Fev 2, 9:04 pm

Book 10

The Road to Roswell - Connie Willis

Francie, unlike everyone else headed to Roswell on the weekend she travels there for a friend's wedding, definitely doesn't believe in UFOs or aliens. Right up until she's abducted by an alien. Then she finds herself trying to understand her new abductor and help him achieve his goal. Along the way, they'll pick up several other people, all with their own secrets but all equally invested in helping this strange alien on his quest.

I've yet to find a Connie Willis novel I didn't enjoy and her newest novel is no exception. The cast of characters is a delight and the vaguely Quixotic journey they go on as they try to assist their alien abductor is fun and funny. A good time for readers who enjoy their sci fi, light on the sci and high on the humour.

Rating: ****

Fev 2, 9:14 pm

Book 11

Fantastic Four: Whatever Happened to the Fantastic Four? - Ryan North et. al.

This volume includes three stories after the Fantastic Four have gone their separate ways after one of their latest exploits have left them estranged from each other and low in public opinion. The remaining issues follow them after they reunite and working to save the planet from an alternate universe threat.

I picked up this volume largely because I'm a Ryan North fan (I adored his writing on Squirrel Girl). While the writing here is solid and some of North's humour shines through, I don't think Fantastic Four comics are for me. The quartet's dynamics aren't particularly compelling for this reader. That said, the first issue in this volume, which follows The Thing and his wife, Alicia, when they accidentally stumble into a small town that's stuck in a time loop was very fun. Fine enough reading but not recommended. YMMV.

Rating: ***

Fev 2, 10:08 pm

Hi Micky! Happy weekend!

>117 MickyFine: - "readers who enjoy their sci fi, light on the sci and high on the humour"

That would probably be me? I might check the new Willis out...

Fev 3, 6:38 am

I enjoyed your weekly update, Micky. Lots of news there!

I don't think I realized you were under a local water ban. As you said, at least you were able to use water, just less of it. Hurray for shaved legs and clean laundry!

I'm impressed that you tackled the floss organization task right away vs. just tossing it all into a closet.

Also interesting comments on Wonka. We watched a review of the new film where the reviewer said they didn't think the world needed a Wonka prequel until they watched it, and changed their mind. In other words, they recommended it. It doesn't sound like you feel the same way. It's been ages since I've seen the Gene Wilder film, although his Wonka is embedded in my imagination (much more so than Johnny Depp). I could imagine the Wilder film maybe didn't age well?

Enjoy your weekend!

Fev 3, 10:06 am

>119 katiekrug: Happy weekend to you, Katie!

I think the Willis might work for you. It's a road trip romp with an alien and a dash of romance, so I think it's fun for people who aren't usually into the genre.

>120 lauralkeet: Glad you enjoy the update, Laura.

I haven't finished completely with the floss just yet but hopefully by next week. There's also quite a few colours where she had multiple skeins so I'll be figuring out whether loose skeins will fit in my storage box or if I'll need to keep them in a bag.

Oh I must have fumbled my comments. I definitely enjoyed Wonka (aside from the running "joke" of Keegan- Michael Key getting fatter over the course of the film. My lack of enjoyment was entirely with the Gene Wilder film. I found the songs lackluster and Wilder's line delivery baffling and/or creepy as all get out. 😆

Fev 3, 1:26 pm

>117 MickyFine: I am in love with this book's premise. I have to say, though, that my own track record with Willis is far spottier than yours. Might be a borrow, not a buy....

Have a lovely weekend, Micky. *smooch*

Fev 3, 7:18 pm

>122 richardderus: It's definitely one I enjoyed but won't be adding to my personal collection. I hope your library has it in an accessible format for you.

Also, happy weekend smooches.

Fev 4, 6:16 am

>121 MickyFine: Ohhhh thanks for clarifying your thoughts on Wonka, Micky. I totally agree with you about Wilder-as-Wonka. I don't think that film aged well. For all I know, he may have been creepy in 1971, but I was too young to know better.

Editado: Fev 5, 3:31 pm

>124 lauralkeet: It's definitely a product of its time.

That said I'd be interested to hear your thoughts if you see the new Wonka. I thought Timothee Chalamet was really charming in the title role and was quirky but never creepy like either Wilder or Depp.

Fev 4, 12:05 pm

Happy Sunday, Micky!

>117 MickyFine: Glad you enjoyed the Willis! That one's on my list, although I also have a number of books from her backlist to get to.

I wasn't intrigued by the new Wonka movie, but may watch it eventually. It's funny -- I have fond memories of the Gene Wilder movie from when I was a kid, but definitely have the feeling that it might be weirder watching as an adult... I have been really wanting to do a rewatch of the original The Producers with Wilder.

Fev 5, 2:13 am

>63 MickyFine: Delurking to say your tree skirt is just stunning, Micky! Just gorgeous, it's a work of art.

Fev 5, 3:33 pm

>126 curioussquared: I should explore her backlist more. I've onlyread the Oxford Time Travelers series and Crosstalk and know there's much more to explore.

It's strange to see which childhood favourites hold up and which don't. I adored Inspector Gadget as a kid but tried watching episodes as an adult and could not do it.

>127 vancouverdeb: Thanks so much, Deb. I'm quite proud of it.

Fev 6, 12:59 pm

>128 MickyFine: I'm behind you there as I have both Crosstalk and Doomsday Book on my shelf unread. Hopefully I'll get to them... soon...

Fev 6, 2:16 pm

>129 curioussquared: If you don't like Doomsday Book, don't write off the series. I read it once and found it a solid experience but had no desire to revisit it. The rest of the series I would re-read (and I have plans to re-read at least one this year).

Fev 6, 2:21 pm

>130 MickyFine: I've actually read the other three books and loved them but been putting off Doomsday Book until I feel ready for a plague novel 😂

Fev 6, 4:48 pm

Book 12

Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan

Percy is back at Camp Half-Blood for another summer and the threat of Kronos and his forces looms ever larger. This year, Percy and Annabeth will have to brave the Labyrinth in an effort to keep the camp (and the world) safe from the monsters that threaten it.

Yet another fun entry in this series. There's plenty of action and Greek myth exploration as well as character development as Percy and his friends continue to grow up.

Rating: ****

Fev 6, 4:50 pm

>131 curioussquared: That's fair. It was a challenging read before I'd lived through a pandemic. I'm not sure I could handle it now. So kudos to you if you ever feel up to it.

Editado: Fev 8, 10:32 am

>97 MickyFine: I keep seeing that series but when I read the blurb it didn't sound like I would enjoy it. I'm glad I resisted the booktok pressure lol

I did get hit with a few books here though, I'll be adding Ten Thousand Stitches and Half a Soul to my list!

Fev 8, 6:45 pm

>134 ChelleBearss: If it doesn't sound like your jam, skip it. Life is too short.

Happy to hand out other BBs though.

Fev 9, 9:57 pm

I caught a BB from you, Micky. Like , Literally , Dude. That proved irresistible to me. My library did not have it, so I " had " to purchase it. Thanks! and Happy weekend ahead.

Fev 10, 10:25 am

>136 vancouverdeb: And I caught that second-generation BB from vancouverdeb! I’ll see who I can pass Like, Literally, Dude on to.

Karen O

Fev 12, 6:11 pm

>136 vancouverdeb: Happy to spread the linguistics love, Deb!

>137 klobrien2: I hope you enjoy it, Karen!

Fev 12, 6:23 pm

Book 13

Longshadow - Olivia Atwater

As the adopted daughter of the Lord Sorcier, Abigail has always been around Faeries and magic. What most of society doesn't know is that Abigail is a powerful magic wielder herself. When young women of the ton start dying with their western windows open, the Lord Sorcier suspects Faeries may be involved and Abigail is determined to help him investigate. Along the way she meets another young woman, Mercy, with magical abilities who is also investigating the deaths. While their approaches clash initially, Abigail and Mercy each have knowledge the other needs and as they continue to investigate, they'll discover they might have more in common than they thought.

This whole series has been a delight and the final installment is no exception. Abigail is a lovely character to spend time with and her growth as both a person and a wielder of magic is lovely to behold. Her relationship with Mercy is also charming as all get out. And there are cameos from characters from previous books in the series, which adds extra delight to the returning reader. If you've read the first two books, you should definitely pick up this final entry.

Rating: ****

Editado: Fev 12, 10:12 pm

What's been going on lately: Work has been ticking along fine, lots of ordering and starting to get a sense of what projects might end up on my plate this year tied to various department and team goals. Did a presentation on weeding at one of the branches last week, which went really well although I hated the commute home afterwards (various factors made it really difficult for me to get on the freeway I needed to get back to the 'burbs and I spent a lot of time taking weird side routes and dealing with jerk drivers). I had my first one-on-one meeting with my new manager and I think we'll get on OK.

The strike vote for the library's bargaining unit had really high turnout and there was a very strong vote in favour of a strike. The city's bargaining unit just wrapped up their vote today. We should hear results from that tomorrow afternoon and then we'll see what next steps the union decides to pursue. So, stress levels are... elevated.

H is, in theory, fully moving out this week. We've barely seen her the last couple weeks as she's been working and helping K move into their new place and mostly spending nights there. Which would be fine except that her cat is still at our place and because we never managed integrating him with our boys, he's largely in isolation. Feel bad for the kitty.

Last couple weekends have been largely chill. Yesterday, Mr. Fine had a game day with friends and when I went to pick him up, I got to hang with my friend A for a bit (she, her spouse, and their child were hanging out with the host and his kiddos after the game), which was nice. We plotted game nights for the four of us for the next few months. Before picking him up, I did a bit of shopping to pick up some supplies for my next craft project (stocking up in case my disposable income disappears for a bit) and got some chocolate for Mr. Fine for Valentine's Day (I'm also planning to buy the next audiobook in the series that he repeatedly borrows from the library).

We're doing date night tonight to avoid all the Valentine's hoopla later this week, although it has not yet been decided if we're staying in or going out. We'll do our traditional spaghetti dinner on Valentine's Day itself.

What we're playing: I think since my last update we've played Flamecraft, Cascadia, and one game of Charterstone (we're officially halfway through the campaign).

What I'm crafting: Finished the front panel of my sweater! Blocked it yesterday and it's looking lovely. It feels like this should be halfway done but it's more like a third as I have the back panel and the sleeves still to do (plus assembly).

What we're watching: Since Carl Weathers passed a couple weeks ago, Mr. Fine has started a Rocky rewatch (my first time viewing). So far we've done the first two and they're fine. Very much a product of their time but not as bad as I thought they might be. With it being February, I'm pulling out all the rom coms and have watched Sweet Home Alabama and the 1995 version of Sabrina (my ultimate comfort movie). TV shows currently on the go: DS9 season 3, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 4, Castle season 3, X-Files season 2, Supernatural season 14, and Muppet Show season 3.

I'm currently a little over halfway through A Court of Mist and Fury. Still sending my friend, A, a lot of snarky comments about it but I will admit that, as I was promised, it is better than the first book. At this point, we'll see how the end goes and then I'll decide whether to keep going with the series or not.

Fev 12, 10:08 pm

Good to read your update, Micky. I would do the same in laying in some non-essentials in case of a strike :) When TW summarily lost his job at Twitter, he was still technically on the payroll for a few months, and I made the most of it....

Fev 13, 12:01 pm

Is this your first time reading Percy Jackson?

Fev 13, 12:46 pm

>139 MickyFine: I really loved Half a Soul and need to get to the next two books! I own the first one on Kindle and I think I've been waiting in vain for the next two to go on sale so I can buy them, but I might just get them from the library at this point.

Sorry about the strike stress :( I hope it all goes as smoothly and quickly as possible and a fair outcome is achieved.

Editado: Fev 13, 4:51 pm

>141 katiekrug: Yeah, it's been a fun balance of stocking up on things (lots of buying flats of things at Costco) while also trying to spend a little less so there's some extra savings around.

>142 The_Hibernator: Yes, my first time reading the Percy books.

>143 curioussquared: I think you'll love the whole series, Natalie. And thanks for the stress empathy. Talked with our shop steward at lunch today and got a sense of next steps after the vote results come out. It helped a bit but stress levels will be high for a while yet, I think.

Fev 13, 6:29 pm

Sorry about the stressful strike situation! John's union was able to come to a satisfactory agreement, so he and his coworkers did not have to strike. Hoping for positive results for you as well!

Fev 14, 4:38 pm

>145 foggidawn: Glad to hear John's negotiations were resolved without a strike. That must be a major relief.

Fev 14, 5:17 pm

>146 MickyFine: Oh, definitely.

Fev 16, 6:55 pm

Hope you had a lovely spaghetti Valentine's night and cheers to Friday!! (What happened with the strike situation?)

Fev 17, 9:49 am

>148 Berly: Update incoming.

Fev 17, 10:17 am

What's been going on lately: Things continue to tick along quietly at work as I did all the ordering things and attended a few meetings. Had a 3 hour meeting on Thursday to go over a coaching model the organization uses, which I wasn't super keen to attend but was ultimately fine.

No big news on the strike front. There's some stuff going on with the city's bargaining unit that involves the Labour Relations Board. The union doesn't anticipate that will have a decision until Wednesday next week. So I can at least enjoy my long weekend (and get paid for the stat 😝).

Our Valentine's Day was lovely. We had our traditional spaghetti dinner and rewatched When Harry Met Sally, which we both really enjoy.

H stopped by with K last night and picked up some of her boxes. In theory she'll be picking up more stuff today and possibly her cat as well (they have to install a door on their room first 🤷‍♀️).

This morning we're watching church online as there's a large choir visiting. Big crowds are not my jam (particularly in our church building), so I'll be skipping that whole scene. This evening our friends M&A are coming to our place for games night for a change (grandparents are babysitting their kiddo and they're doing a house swap for one night). We'll also be doing breakfast with M&A on Sunday (with an extra game tacked on probably).

Since we're having company today, we did all the weekend cleaning on Friday, which means the rest of the long weekend we can be pretty lazy. Huzzah!

What I'm crafting: A few full evenings this week meant less crochet time. I've got the bottom hem and the first five rows of the back panel complete though.

What we're watching: X-Files season 2, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 4, Castle season 3, the aforementioned When Harry Met Sally, and the first episode of Only Murders in the Building (our first viewing and we're already hooked).

I owe 2 reviews and I'm currently reading The Last Olympian.

Fev 17, 5:45 pm

>150 MickyFine: Good luck with the strike situation. I hope things work out for you all.

When Harry Met Sally is a great choice for Valentine's Day. That's one of my all-time favorite movies.

Enjoy your lazy weekend!

Fev 18, 10:40 am

>150 MickyFine: ooh, enjoy Only Murders in the Building!

Fev 18, 11:48 am

>150 MickyFine: Only Murders is a really great show! i hope you enjoy it.

Fev 18, 5:14 pm

>151 atozgrl: Thanks, Irene! We're also big WHMS fans in this house and rewatch it at least once a year.

>152 norabelle414: Thanks, Nora!

>153 Owltherian: Thanks.

Fev 18, 5:26 pm

Book 14

A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas

In the wake of defeating Amarantha, Feyre has returned to the Spring Court as High Fae, but the trauma both she and Tamlin have suffered threatens to tear them apart from the inside. The only thing keeping Feyre from completely falling apart are her trips to the Night Court with Rhysand, where she slowly discovers who she is now that she has become Fae and the role she can play in this world where larger threats still loom.

Well, at the end of book two I'm now in the same place as my friend who convinced me to read this series: annoyed that I'm interested enough in what happens to keep reading. Maas' writing has its flaws (and I send snarky texts about them to my friend throughout) but she can put a solid plot together. Am I a hardcore fangirl for this series? Absolutely not. Will I keep reading the whole series? Probably. Will I be salty about it the whole time? Absolutely.

Rating: ***

Fev 18, 5:30 pm

Book 15

The Love Hypothesis - Ali Hazelwood (re-read)

I loved it just as much on the re-read as I did the first time around.

My original review

Rating: *****

Fev 18, 5:35 pm

Book 16

The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the rest of the demigods have their final facedown with Kronos as he threatens to destroy Olympus and all of human civilization as we know it.

As a last book in a series (at the time of publication), this entry does everything you'd expect it to: has a major battle with the big bad of the series while also nicely tying of up character arcs for all of the individuals we've come to care for over the series. Riordan does a solid job (although I found the final battle carried on a little longer than I wanted - but I find fight sequences less interesting generally) while also adding enough of a tease for the next series set in this universe that I'll be reading more.

Rating: ***1/2

Fev 18, 10:33 pm

>156 MickyFine: - This one found its way into my Christmas stocking, thanks to The Wayne. I'm planning to read it next month. My only exposure to Hazelwood was a novella on audio, which I really enjoyed (Under One Roof).

Fev 19, 2:12 am

Hi Micky!

Sounds like a fun weekend with friends. Enjoy the extra day!

>155 MickyFine: I feel similarly about the ACOTAR books, although I think I might like them a bit more than you. I listened to books 4 and 5 instead of physically reading them and that helped for me -- I'm often more forgiving of writing flaws while I'm listening. I also send snarky texts about the writing to a friend while reading, lol.

Fev 19, 8:17 am

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Fev 19, 8:31 am

Morning, Micky! The union news is due on Wednesday, or *next* Wednesday, somehow I find puzzling this out beyond me...in any case I hope the decision goes the union's way. *smooch*

Editado: Fev 19, 9:50 am

>158 katiekrug: I think you'll have a good time with it, Katie.

>159 curioussquared: Thanks, Natalie. I think I'm the opposite with audiobooks in that mediocre writing will feel worse to me when it's being read aloud. So I'll continue to do wrist curls with these ACOTAR chunksters. 😆

>161 richardderus: Oh that was a bit unclear on my part. Sorry, RDear. The city's bargaining unit had a very strong vote result in favour of striking. City management currently has an ask in with the labour board to force a vote of the union membership on their "best and final offer" that the union reps already turned down. The labour board decision about whether they'll allow that vote is anticipated to come out this Wednesday or Thursday. So things are in a bit of limbo until then.

Fev 19, 9:50 am

Hello Micky, how are you today?

P.S. Your name reminds me of the song 'Hey Mickey'

Fev 19, 10:02 am

>163 Owltherian: Fine, thanks.

Fev 19, 10:03 am

Thats good.

Fev 19, 7:38 pm

>155 MickyFine: Am I a hardcore fangirl for this series? Absolutely not. Will I keep reading the whole series? Probably. Will I be salty about it the whole time? Absolutely.
*snort* I like them slightly better than you do, but agree that there are flaws. I just like that her plots are generally solid, the twists not ones that I predict, but, on a reread, make absolutely perfect sense. There are not a lot of authors who can still do that to me.

I'm with you, though, I can't listen to books with mediocre writing, where I can kinda skim/not think about it when I'm reading.

Fev 20, 8:55 am

>162 MickyFine: OIC

Well, that kind of end-run tactic is pretty much the norm in these negotiations. *sigh*

Editado: Fev 20, 4:41 pm

>166 bell7: Agreed. The plot is what keeps me hooked. The characters and the writing style are largely the target of my snark, lol.

>167 richardderus: We'll see which way the labour board goes. *shrug*

Fev 20, 4:40 pm

Abandoned Possession after only 30 pages as it was miserable (academic) people being miserable and I had no interest in spending 500 pages on that. Now reading The Imaginary Corpse, which has a premise I'm fascinated by.

Fev 24, 7:28 pm

>139 MickyFine: Another Olivia Atwater book? You hit me with a BB for Longshadow hit, Micky. Best of luck with your strike/union negotiations.

Fev 25, 5:40 pm

>170 Familyhistorian: Yup, I'm turning into a solid Atwater fan. Thanks for the well wishes!

Editado: Fev 26, 4:10 pm

What's been going on lately: For a short week, last week felt loooooong. Work remained largely uneventful with all the ordering as usual and my one on one with my manager.

All things strike related continue to be in limbo as the Labour Relations Board still hasn't issued their decision on the city management's request for a vote on their proposal. So that will probably come through this week and then we'll see what happens next. Of course, the week we're likely to go on strike, it suddenly goes back to wintery temperatures. Le sigh.

Outside of work it's been a largely quiet week. I had a bunch of holds come in at once at the library so I'm set on the reading front for a while. Date night this week was dinner at a local Italian place and then dessert at DQ as I had a Blizzard craving (and came home with a box of peanut buster bars). Friday night, Mr. Fine's former roommate came over with her dog and we had a nice visit.

What I'm crafting: Finished the back panel of the sweater and have seamed it together to the front. I'm pleased to say that it fits perfectly. I'm now on sleeve island.

What we're playing: Just a game of Flamecraft today.

What we're watching: Finished season 4 of Marvelous Maisel and season 5 of Virgin River. We watched the first episode of season 3 of Resident Alien (there was a free preview on CTV) and the season premiere of The Rookie (we got a season pass). There have also been episodes of season 3 of Castle, season 2 of X-Files, season 14 of Supernatural, and season 1 of Only Murders. While crafting, I've had Taylor Swift's Folklore special from Disney+ on in the background as well as episodes of Golden Girls. Plus I started the One Day miniseries on Netflix. Last night's double feature was Rocky IV (an utterly bananas film) and the filmed version of Waitress The Musical with Sara Bareilles in the lead (so glad I added this to my personal collection).

I owe one review and I'm currently reading A Court of Wings and Ruin.

Hoje, 5:49 pm

Book 17

The Imaginary Corpse - Tyler Hayes

In the world of the Stillreal, a place where Ideas like imaginary friends or abandoned novels that are too Real to disappear when their creators give up on them, there are always mysteries small and big to solve. And every Friend in the Stillreal knows your best call is to reach out to Detective Tippy, a bright yellow stuffed triceratops with a brain for investigation. But when a new arrival in the Stillreal is permanently killed by a man no one has ever seen before, Tippy isn't sure all his detective skills will be able to prevent more crimes from happening.

The premise of this one is utterly wacky and I utterly adored it. A very noir-ish mystery with a yellow stuffed triceratops who likes to drown his sorrows in root beer is exactly my kind of book. The world-building is creative, the characters are smart and interesting takes on various narrative tropes, and the central mystery is really well done. While there are a few writing style wobbles early on in the book (symptoms of it being a first novel), overall it's a solid read and one I'd recommend if the premise intrigues you.

Rating: ****

Hoje, 6:06 pm

Ok, friends. Come join me in my new spring-ish thread (she said while it currently feels like -26C outside).
Este tópico foi continuado por MickyFine Is in the Corner Reading, Thread 2.