Norabelle414's Trilogy in One Part

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Norabelle414's Trilogy in One Part

1norabelle414
Editado: Jan 1, 12:30 am


Unamused cat

Hello and welcome! I'm Nora. I live in the Washington DC area. This is my fifteenth year of having my own thread in the 75ers group! Aside from books, I also love:

animals/biology/zoology - I volunteer at the National Zoo
TV - scripted only, mostly science fiction and fantasy, especially anything based on a book
theater - I have season tickets to Arena Stage but I go to shows elsewhere as well
podcasts - especially about books
knitting (I'm on Ravelry), and also occasional cross stitch and embroidery
progressive politics (particularly urbanism)

You can find me on Bluesky @ norabelle (send me a message if you want an invite)

My reading has been ticking up lately, so I have a few modest goals for 2024:
1) Be more present here, including actually posting on everyone else's thread instead of just lurking
2) Write reviews promptly after finishing a book
3) Read at least two books by the same author
4) Read another book in a series I've already started
5) Read at least one book in each of the following categories: romance, science non-fiction, science fiction, picture book, graphic novel, audiobook

2norabelle414
Editado: Jan 1, 2:07 pm

A selection of books I have finished recently:

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree - 4.5/5 stars
Heartstopper, Volume 1 by Alice Oseman - 4/5 stars
All Systems Red by Martha Wells - 5/5 stars
The Stranger by Albert Camus - 2.5/5 stars
The Helios Syndrome by Vivian Shaw - 5/5 stars
Pink is Not a Color by Lindsay Ward - 4/5 stars

3norabelle414
Editado: Jan 1, 2:09 pm

For a full list of books I have read this year, click here: https://www.librarything.com/catalog.php?view=norabelle414&collection=840181...

4norabelle414
Editado: Jan 6, 12:42 am

2023 Statistics

In 2023, I read 45 books. That's 20 more than last year, and the most I've read in a year since 2017.
6,900 pages (nice), plus 34 hours and 47 minutes of audiobooks.
I averaged 17 days per book, 19 pages per day, 4 books per month.
Average book length was 153 pages.

The longest paper book was Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands at 436 pages; the longest audiobook was Slow Horses at 10 hours and 51 minutes. The shortest paper book was Peek-a-Who at 16 pages; the shortest audiobook was The Snow Queen at 1 hour and 20 minutes.

I acquired 48 books (9 of which were individual issues of comics).
I bought 39 books (9 of which were individual issues of comics).
I deaccessioned 24 books, the most since 2019.

27 (60%) of the books I read had non-male authors/artists.
26 (58%) were marketed for adults, 2 (4%) for young adults, and 17 (38%) for children.
7 (16%) had authors/artists of color, and 8 (18%) had a main character of color.*
8 (18%) had LGBTQ authors/artists, and 10 (22%) had an LGBTQ main character.*
3 (7%) were translated from another language (French, Danish).

(*These are to the best of my knowledge. It is very hard to find biographic information about a lot of baby book authors!)

11 (24%) of the books I read were were purchased by me. 25 (56%) were checked out from the library. 0 were free. 9 (20%) were borrowed (mostly from my niece), 0 were gifts, and 0 were early review copies.
39 books (87%) were physical books, 0 were ebooks, and 6 (13%) were audiobooks.

34 (76%) were prose books. 0 were plays. 6 (13%) were comics. 5 (11%) were poetry.*
32 books (71%) were fiction, and 13 (29%) were non-fiction.

(*I'm counting any children's book that has a distinct rhyme or meter as poetry)

2 books (4%) were rereads. 9 books (20%) were published in 2023. 36 books (80%) were published before 2023, and 13 of those (29%) were published before 2013. The oldest book I read was The Snow Queen, published in 1844.

For the first time in many years, I finished a book in every month this year. My best reading month was August, in which I finished 10 books. My worst reading months were March, May, and June, in which I finished 1 book.

My most-read genre was general fiction, of which I read 17 books (38%). 10 books (22%) were speculative fiction/science fiction/fantasy/horror. 4 books each (9%) were science nonfiction, romance, and biography/memoir. 2 books (8%) were historical fiction/fantasy. 1 book each (2%) were adventure/mystery/thriller, general nonfiction, history nonfiction, and essays.

My Top Five Books of 2023 in no particular order:
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
The Helios Syndrome by Vivian Shaw
Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture by Virginia Sole-Smith
Bea Wolf written and illustrated by Zach Weinersmith
The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian

Dishonorable Mention:
Fen, Bog and Swamp by Annie Proulx
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

5norabelle414
Jan 1, 12:27 am

Welcome! Happy New Year! I'll be back with a real update in the morning.

6ChelleBearss
Jan 1, 12:13 pm

Happy New Year and new thread! Hope 2024 is kind to you

7bell7
Jan 1, 12:33 pm

Happy new year, Nora! Looking forward to following your 2024 reading.

8drneutron
Jan 1, 6:22 pm

Welcome back, Nora!

9qebo
Jan 1, 6:56 pm

Happy New Year! Looking forward especially to your zoo adventures and crafts.

10Ravenwoodwitch
Jan 1, 7:46 pm

Found you! (And Rory, hello)
Howdy, Nora, and happy new year and new thread!

11Tess_W
Jan 1, 7:51 pm

Good luck with your 2024 reading. In 2018 I spent a 6 months in the DC area (Georgetown) working at the Naval Museum of History--quite an experience.

12norabelle414
Jan 1, 9:55 pm

Thank you Chelle, Mary, Jim, qebo, Angela, and Tess!

>11 Tess_W: Wow! I work for the Navy and my cubicle is around the corner from the Navy Medicine historian, but Navy Medicine is pretty walled-off from big Navy so I don't know if he's involved with that museum at all (there used to be a Navy Medicine museum but I think it's been rolled up into a military medicine museum.)

13katiekrug
Jan 1, 10:12 pm

Happy new year, Nora!

14norabelle414
Editado: Jan 2, 10:10 am

Happy New Year!!!

Nothing going on the past couple days. I read a lot on Sunday and organized my spreadsheets.

Today I baked another cake from my new cookbook. It's a buttery yellow cake with swirls of jam on top. It didn't come out great....the jam all sunk to the bottom. But, I just flipped it over! It doesn't look very pretty but at least it's not soggy. I'm guessing either my oven was too cold or it's because I technically used jelly instead of jam. I'll try this cake again.

Tomorrow I'll be in the office. I bought a booklight and put it in my backpack so I can read on the bus in the evening.

Currently reading:
I finished 3 books yesterday, bringing my total books read for 2023 to 45! That's the most books I've read in a year since 2017. Now I just have to write those reviews....
I've started reading The House at Pooh Corner, my mom's copy from when she was a kid. My purse book for tomorrow is You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo.
Reviews behind: 6
Library books: 7

Currently crafting:
I found the needles I was missing this weekend....they were stuck inside the skein of yarn, right where they should be! I didn't knit anything, though.

Currently listening:
Nothing. I should listen to some music! It's January now.

Currently playing:
None

Currently watching:
I watched all of season 2 of Marvel's What If...?. I find it too dense to be really enjoyable (you have to know a LOT of lore to get what they're changing in the alternate universes) and I don't click with animated shows, but I had it on in the background while I did other things and episode 6 is a story about the Mohawk which was fantastic. I watched the rest of season 1 of Taskmaster New Zealand and looking forward to season 2 whenever that gets posted. I caught up on For All Mankind and Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, and started the new show The Artful Dodger, which seems cheesy (it's a sequel to Oliver Twist where the Artful Dodger is transported to the Australian colony and tries to become respectable by joining the Navy and studying to be a surgeon) but it's extremely charming (he falls in love with the governor's daughter who also wants to be a surgeon).

15norabelle414
Jan 1, 10:30 pm

>13 katiekrug: Thanks Katie!!

16FAMeulstee
Jan 2, 5:42 am

Happy reading in 2024, Nora!

17foggidawn
Jan 2, 2:56 pm

Happy New Year and Happy New Thread!

18curioussquared
Jan 2, 5:51 pm

Happy new year, Nora! Got you starred. Love the pic of Rory :)

19Berly
Jan 3, 3:00 am

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!!

20norabelle414
Jan 3, 8:41 am

Thanks Anita, Foggi, Natalie, and Kim!

21norabelle414
Jan 3, 10:32 am

Happy Wednesday!

Working in the office yesterday and today. Yesterday I went to the grocery store right after work instead of waiting a bit and it was a crowded nightmare but they did have a couple things in stock that they are usually out of if I go late in the day.

Teleworking tomorrow and Friday. I might have dinner with a friend who just got back from a trip.

As always seems to happen, I went from having zero plans to having too many plans. I signed up to watch a Zoom on Sunday of a TV critic I enjoy interviewing the cast of All Creatures Great and Small, but then Emily R. Wilson announced she's going to be at Politics & Prose to talk about The Iliad on Sunday at the exact same time (rescheduled from November when she got COVID). Obviously Emily Wilson in-person takes priority but I'm annoyed that I have to choose!

Currently reading:
Started You Sexy Thing on the bus. Not gotten very far in The House at Pooh Corner because I keep staying up a bit too late to read before bed. I also need to remember that I'm technically currently reading Where There Was Fire and The Iliad. I need to finish the former and catch up on the latter.
Reviews behind: 6
Library books: 7

Currently crafting:
Nothing. I need to pick up the stuffed panda again so I can finish it before the 13th. I haven't bought supplies for the baby blanket yet because I'm hoping there will be a sale.

Currently listening:
Nothing. I need to pick up a new audiobook.

Currently playing:
The Pokemon podcast I listen to, EXP Share, just started Pokemon Legends: Arceus so I've started replaying that. It was nice to pick up my Switch again! But then I stayed up a bit too late.

Currently watching:
Watched the 2024 Taskmaster's New Year Treat. It was lovely despite being a little more subdued than usual since there was a teenager on.

22PaulCranswick
Jan 3, 10:54 am

Happy Wednesday back to you, Nora.

Happy new year and I hope to keep up better in '24.

23MickyFine
Jan 4, 2:44 pm

Happy to see you back again, Nora!

We're also watching What If (it's Mr. Fine's half hour show right now) but only a couple episodes in. Looking at episode listings in Disney+, I'm looking forward to how much Peggy is in it. 😍

Sorry you have to pick between two cool events for the weekend. Will there be a recording of the online event you can watch later?

24Ravenwoodwitch
Jan 5, 8:20 am

Howdy Nora, happy Friday!
How's the booklight? I've been considering one and I'm curious.

25norabelle414
Jan 5, 9:52 am

>22 PaulCranswick: Happy New Year, Paul!

>23 MickyFine: The Peggy episodes were not my favorite, honestly. They don't really let her have any fun, she just gets bogged down in the lore. She's great in episode 8 though!

>24 Ravenwoodwitch: Hi Angela! I got this light from Dewenwils: https://dewenwils.com/collections/book-reading-light/products/dewenwils-amber-bo... which I saw on a few review websites and it met all my criteria (folds flat to store in my backpack, not too heavy for a paperback book, rechargeable, can buy somewhere besides Amazon). I've only used it twice, though, so I'm not fully recommending it yet.

26norabelle414
Jan 5, 10:11 am

It's Friday!

Yesterday I went out for Irish food with a friend and gave him his Christmas present.

It's very cold out today but sunny, which is my favorite kind of weather. I need to go to the library to return/check out some books, and I need to go back to the restaurant from last night because I left my water bottle there (it's just across the street so not even out of my way, no big deal). I've written 4 of the 6 reviews for last year (posted back at https://www.librarything.com/topic/355294#8341913 ) and once I'm done with those I'll post my stats.

Nothing going on this weekend until Sunday when I'm going to see Emily Wilson.

Currently reading:
You Sexy Thing and The House at Pooh Corner. I started Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World on audiobook but it's 29 hours long so I definitely won't finish before I have to return it, and there's a long waiting list.
Reviews behind: 2
Library books: 7

Currently crafting:
Nothing

Currently listening:
Bowling for Soup has pulled a Taylor Swift and re-released new versions of all of their songs. I'm not sure if it's for record label reasons or just for fun, but either way it's an excuse to listen to all my high school faves again.

Currently playing:
Pokemon Legends: Arceus

Currently watching:
Nothing

27ursula
Jan 5, 12:39 pm

>1 norabelle414: Unamused but so cute! (Don't tell your kitty I said that.)

28aktakukac
Jan 5, 2:33 pm

Hi Nora! Happy New Year! Happy Reading, too!

29ChelleBearss
Jan 6, 11:19 am

Enjoy your weekend!
Hope you found your waterbottle

30WhiteRaven.17
Jan 7, 1:52 am

Happy new year of reading Nora!

31PaulCranswick
Jan 7, 8:14 am

>26 norabelle414: I haven't listened to Bowling for Soup for the longest time!

Have a great Sunday.

32norabelle414
Jan 7, 9:40 am

I've posted my 2023 stats up above but posting them here as well:

2023 Statistics

In 2023, I read 45 books. That's 20 more than last year, and the most I've read in a year since 2017.
6,900 pages (nice), plus 34 hours and 47 minutes of audiobooks.
I averaged 17 days per book, 19 pages per day, 4 books per month.
Average book length was 153 pages.

The longest paper book was Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands at 436 pages; the longest audiobook was Slow Horses at 10 hours and 51 minutes. The shortest paper book was Peek-a-Who at 16 pages; the shortest audiobook was The Snow Queen at 1 hour and 20 minutes.

I acquired 48 books (9 of which were individual issues of comics).
I bought 39 books (9 of which were individual issues of comics).
I deaccessioned 24 books, the most since 2019.

27 (60%) of the books I read had non-male authors/artists.
26 (58%) were marketed for adults, 2 (4%) for young adults, and 17 (38%) for children.
7 (16%) had authors/artists of color, and 8 (18%) had a main character of color.*
8 (18%) had LGBTQ authors/artists, and 10 (22%) had an LGBTQ main character.*
3 (7%) were translated from another language (French, Danish).

(*These are to the best of my knowledge. It is very hard to find biographic information about a lot of baby book authors!)

11 (24%) of the books I read were were purchased by me. 25 (56%) were checked out from the library. 0 were free. 9 (20%) were borrowed (mostly from my niece), 0 were gifts, and 0 were early review copies.
39 books (87%) were physical books, 0 were ebooks, and 6 (13%) were audiobooks.

34 (76%) were prose books. 0 were plays. 6 (13%) were comics. 5 (11%) were poetry.*
32 books (71%) were fiction, and 13 (29%) were non-fiction.

(*I'm counting any children's book that has a distinct rhyme or meter as poetry)

2 books (4%) were rereads. 9 books (20%) were published in 2023. 36 books (80%) were published before 2023, and 13 of those (29%) were published before 2013. The oldest book I read was The Snow Queen, published in 1844.

For the first time in many years, I finished a book in every month this year. My best reading month was August, in which I finished 10 books. My worst reading months were March, May, and June, in which I finished 1 book.

My most-read genre was general fiction, of which I read 17 books (38%). 10 books (22%) were speculative fiction/science fiction/fantasy/horror. 4 books each (9%) were science nonfiction, romance, and biography/memoir. 2 books (8%) were historical fiction/fantasy. 1 book each (2%) were adventure/mystery/thriller, general nonfiction, history nonfiction, and essays.

My Top Five Books of 2023 in no particular order:
An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
The Helios Syndrome by Vivian Shaw
Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture by Virginia Sole-Smith
Bea Wolf written and illustrated by Zach Weinersmith
The Queer Principles of Kit Webb by Cat Sebastian

Dishonorable Mention:
Fen, Bog and Swamp by Annie Proulx
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

33norabelle414
Jan 7, 9:41 am

>27 ursula: Unfortunately I tell him that all the time!

>28 aktakukac:, >29 ChelleBearss:, >30 WhiteRaven.17:, >31 PaulCranswick: Thanks Rachel, Chelle, Kro, and Paul!

34norabelle414
Jan 7, 10:15 am

Happy Sunday!

Friday I went to the library and also retrieved my water bottle from the restaurant I forgot it at. I also baked some butterswim biscuits (you make a biscuit dough without any butter and then bake it in a pan full of melted butter. They are yummy but spilled butter on the floor of my oven and made the smoke detector go off. Never again! I wrapped a few and put them in the freezer, which is new for me because freezer space is usually at a premium.

Yesterday the weather was very cold rain all day, so I only went out to buy bagels (a necessity) and then stayed home.

Today is mostly nice again and I'm going all the way uptown to see Emily R. Wilson at 3, and then grab coffee with an internet friend who will also be there.

This week is my boss's last week with us so we're having a little party tomorrow, but I'm not baking anything.

Currently reading:
More of the same. I would like to read all of the individual issues of She-Hulk I have laying around, but I never started because issue #1 got lost in the mail (also issue #7, and #10 arrived extremely damaged - this is definitely the last time I get a mail subscription), so I got She-Hulk Vol. 1: Jen Again from the library and I can read issue #1 from that and then my comic books for the rest.
Reviews behind: 0
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
Nothing

Currently listening:
Now that I've watched season 1 of Taskmaster New Zealand, I'm going back to listen to all of the episodes of the Taskmaster podcasts that have TMNZ contestants on them, now that I know who they are.

Currently playing:
A lot of Pokemon Legends: Arceus. I think this game is too recent for me to get a ton of joy out of replaying it. Plus it's kind of tedious...the exciting part is exploring but I've already seen everything less than 2 years ago so I just find myself frustrated that I can't swim or fly or climb yet. But the hosts of the EXP Sharepodcast are really enjoying it and that's nice to listen to.

Currently watching:
Caught up on For All Mankind (I kind of hope the asteroid just bangs into Mars. That's the only way Ed Baldwin is going to retire.) and Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (Keiko is the best character, I'm so glad she's still alive! Also that godzilla pig was very cool.) and watched s2e1 of Taskmaster New Zealand (I've been hearing how good this season is for years so I'm very excited).

35MickyFine
Jan 7, 11:45 am

Yay for She-Hulk! I hope you have a good time with it.

I always forget you can get comics mailed to you. I have a file with my local comic book shop and they manage all the logistics for me, which I find much easier. Depends on the location (and vibe) of your nearest comic shop though.

36norabelle414
Jan 7, 12:14 pm

>35 MickyFine: I've looked into that, but the two shops I can get to in less than 45 minutes have minimums (in one case 4, in the other TEN) and there aren't consistently that many subscriptions I'm interested in.

37MickyFine
Jan 7, 12:31 pm

>36 norabelle414: Whoa, that's intense. Both of the comics shops I've used are fine with me having just one comic on file.

38The_Hibernator
Editado: Jan 7, 4:14 pm

Hey Nora! May 2024 yield many a good book!

39libraryperilous
Jan 7, 10:39 pm

Happy reading, knitting, and watching in 2024, Nora!

40AnneDC
Jan 8, 5:56 pm

Happy New Year Nora. I love your 2024 reading goals. I should make some myself. Nah. I will call it a win if I can keep current on my own thread for the entire year.

41norabelle414
Jan 9, 10:03 am

>38 The_Hibernator:, >39 libraryperilous: Thanks Rachel and Diana!

>40 AnneDC: Thanks Anne! It doesn't go well when I try to set too many goals for myself, so I'm just trying to match what I did last year plus a little extra.

42norabelle414
Jan 9, 10:48 am

It's Tuesday.

Sunday I went to see Emily R. Wilson and got her to sign my copy of The Iliad. It was packed! Standing room only. Then I had coffee with an internet friend who was also there. I didn't buy any books at the bookstore because I was just there last month (and technically I have an outstanding order with them because Birnam Wood is STILL backordered).

We had a little party for my boss at the office yesterday, since she's leaving this week.

There's a windstorm forecasted for about 4pm this afternoon, so I will probably leave work around 2.

Nothing going on this week until babysitting on Saturday. Might go to the Asian grocery store because I'm out of dumplings. I also need to go to the library because my card "expires" (I have to show residency every ~3 years) in Feb and I keep forgetting to renew it despite having been to the library many times recently. My library has switched to mostly self-checkout and so I don't interact with any staff who could remind me to renew.

Currently reading:
I read about 20 pages of The Iliad on Sunday, which still puts me nowhere because the Introduction + Translators Note is 75 pages, before even getting to the poem. Chugging along in You Sexy Thing and The House at Pooh Corner (more like crawling in the latter, obviously, or I'd be done already). The audiobook of Palo Alto went back to the library only 10% completed. I won't be able to get it back for about 5 weeks and I'm not sure what I'll listen to next.
Reviews behind: 0
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
Nothing

Currently listening:
Listened to some of my Spotify "liked" songs on the shuttle this morning, to drown out the right-wing radio the driver was listening to. Basically just Taylor Swift and Eurovision.

Currently playing:
Just a little Pokemon Legends: Arceus. I'm not being a completionist about catching pokemon but I can't help trying to complete all the side quests.

Currently watching:
Watched the season premieres of All Creatures Great and Small and Miss Scarlet and the Duke. I also watched Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2023, which I didn't really care for despite Mel Giedroyc and Katherine Ryan. I thought it was slow and I don't like Jimmy Carr. I keep trying to enjoy unscripted shows that aren't Taskmaster but I just really don't.

43MickyFine
Jan 10, 4:52 pm

If you use your physical card when you go to the library, you could stick a post-it on it to remind you about renewing? Post-its are my answer to many issues in life, lol.

I hope your windstorm wasn't too wild and you got some cozy time with Rory.

44Ravenwoodwitch
Jan 11, 1:57 pm

>34 norabelle414: Comics in the mail? News to me. Very good news.
The biscuits sound like a pain in the rear. Sorry you had to deal with that (my own smoke alarms are my biggest fear when I turn my oven on).

45PlatinumWarlock
Jan 12, 1:42 am

Hi Nora, and Happy New Year! Thanks for stopping by my thread, and I'm happy to return the favor. 😁 I hope the year is full of good health, good cheer, and good reading - I look forward to seeing what you share with us!

46ChelleBearss
Jan 14, 10:34 am

Hope the rest of your week went well!

47norabelle414
Jan 15, 10:49 am

>43 MickyFine: My library card is one of those keychain thingies, so that wouldn't work. But no matter, because I remembered!

>44 Ravenwoodwitch: I get my subscription from https://subscriptions.marvel.com/, but obviously I don't recommend it.
My smoke alarms go off basically any time I try to cook, though less so in the winter, when I keep all the windows open.

>45 PlatinumWarlock: Thanks Lavinia!

>46 ChelleBearss: Thanks Chelle!

48norabelle414
Editado: Jan 15, 2:06 pm

Happy Monday! It's a holiday today AND it's snowing.

I left work early on Tuesday, because it was very windy, but then didn't do much else all week. Saturday I realized the library was going to be closed Sunday AND Monday so I ran over to check out my holds, and finally remembered to renew my library card. I also baked some gluten-free brownies for my brother, because I had some almond flour and cocoa powder that were not getting any younger. I ended up cutting them before they were quite cool, because I was in a hurry, and they mostly crumbled apart but they still tasted good. Then baby-sat my niece in the evening and we had a great time playing with stickers and playing "circle" (spinning around in circles). We read:
Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi (3x)
George Goes to the Potty (Peppa Pig)
Where's Spot? by Eric Hill (2x)
This Is a School by John Schu (a re-read)
Very annoyingly, the section of the metro where I need to change trains to get to my brother's house was closed for repairs this weekend. They had shuttles set up to bridge the closed sections, but they were designed for going in or out of the city, not going from one suburb to another. I took a county bus to avoid the closed section on the way to my brother's house, then took a rideshare home because that bus stops running at 8pm (ridiculous, imo) and I was poorly dressed for the weather. (When I left my apartment it was 55F which is weather I really struggle with - if I wear a coat I'll overheat but if it gets down to 32, like it did on Saturday, I definitely need one.)

Yesterday I was planning to go to a local community activism group happy hour, but I forgot until just a few minutes before, and then got too anxious. So much for making friends.

Today I'm just hanging out and enjoying the light snow from my window. Tomorrow I'm back in the office, then Wednesday we're having a farewell lunch for my old boss in the middle of the day so I might telework.

Currently reading:
Finished The House at Pooh Corner. Need to finish You Sexy Thing, which is due back at the library very soon.
Reviews behind: 4
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
Nothing

Currently listening:
OK Go's 2014 album, Hungry Ghosts

Currently playing:
Some Pokemon Legends: Arceus and some Two Point Hospital. Haven't picked up anything new even though I've bought a few lately.

Currently watching:
Finished The Artful Dodger (which I think is considered a mini-series, but I really loved it and I wish there were more!), For All Mankind (a lackluster finale compared to previous seasons. Nothing really happened.), and Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters (a cool show! I love Godzilla). Caught up on Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Fargo, Good Trouble, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and All Creatures Great and Small. Started new shows Funny Woman (about a working-class woman in the 60s who moves from Blackpool to London to be a comedic actress) and Extended Family (generic network sitcom about a divorced family...it's not great but Donald Faison is in it and I do love him) and Criminal Record (British crime/conspiracy drama). I'm up to s2e3 in Taskmaster New Zealand and things are starting to get as good as promised, and I watched Taskmaster UK Champion of Champions III yesterday (I was really rooting for Sophie, but it was a good fun episode overall.)

49elorin
Jan 15, 12:54 pm

I love Whose Line is it, Anyway and have been trying to get my wife interested in starting it.

Stay warm!

50norabelle414
Jan 15, 2:13 pm

>49 elorin: Maybe try to find an episode with a celebrity guest she likes, as an entry point?
There's been a rumor since last year that this is the final season, but no confirmation yet so who knows.

51The_Hibernator
Jan 15, 8:14 pm

My kids are really loving the Percy Jackson show, Nora, though I haven't seen much of it.

52norabelle414
Jan 19, 1:32 pm



1. Everyone Poops written and illustrated by Taro Gomi, translated by Amanda Mayer Stinchecum

All animals eat, and so all animals poop! Humans are animals and we poop too, though all animals poop differently.

Very sweet, simple drawings in this 1970s Japanese book. Focuses more on the theory of using the potty than practice, so to speak.
I always thought I had read this one when I was a kid, but it didn't seem familiar so I think I actually read Once Upon a Potty.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

53norabelle414
Jan 19, 2:02 pm



2. George Goes to the Potty by David Gomez, illustrations from the eOne TV show Peppa Pig

Peppa already knows how to use the potty, so she helps her little brother George when it’s his turn to learn.

Short and straightforward. Potty-training from the perspective of an older sibling is a nice touch, being in-between the perspective of the trainee (who doesn’t know what’s going on, of course) and the parents who are far removed from what it’s like to get potty-trained. However, it is very specific about the family’s method of potty-training and while I think it’s a common one, I’m not sure if it’s universal.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (3.5/5)

54norabelle414
Jan 19, 2:33 pm



3. Where’s Spot? written and illustrated by Eric Hill

Spot didn’t eat his dinner, so his mom goes looking for him. She looks in and under various places, finding other animals, until she finally finds where Spot is hiding.

Very cute and fun. The flaps are well-made and don’t tear. There’s a good variety of animals, not just the typical ones.My niece loves that she gets to yell “NO!” every time she opens a door, and making me do the animal noises.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

55MickyFine
Jan 19, 9:58 pm

Sounds like some fun reading happening with your niece. ❤️

56norabelle414
Editado: Jan 20, 12:16 am


(this is a scan of my actual cover)

4. The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard

Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and all of their friends have adventures, get into scrapes, and sometimes just go for walks. There are 10 stories: Pooh and Piglet build a house for Eeyore (by taking apart and reassembling his existing house), they meet Tigger and he eats everyone’s food, everyone searches for Rabbit’s friend (a beetle) and gets lost in the woods, Tigger bounces into a tree and gets stuck, everyone learns that Christopher Robin has a life, Pooh invents a game where they race sticks in the creek, everyone tries to lose Tigger in the woods because he’s annoying (dark!), Owl’s treehouse falls down, Eeyore finds a new house for Owl (it’s just piglet’s house) and Christopher Robin leaves.

I never really clicked with Pooh and company as a kid, but it’s delightful to read from an adult perspective. Seeing the characters as pieces of Christopher Robin’s imagination, and the way that he uses twisted phrases and concepts he’s picked up from adults is fascinating. All of the characters are extremely cute, except (and I can’t believe how this has been erased from other Pooh media) Eeyore is an awful jerk! He calls the other animals “thing” and “it” even though everyone is very nice to him, and gives Pooh and Piglet a long lecture about how they’re not “Educated”. I thought Tigger was going to be my least favorite, but he’s way less obnoxious here than in the Disney-fied version.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

57norabelle414
Jan 19, 11:14 pm

>51 The_Hibernator: That's great to hear, Rachel! I hope you can catch some of it too, I think you'd like it.

>55 MickyFine: She loves books so much! It's really nice. She doesn't like to sit in my lap and be read to anymore, but she loves when we sit on the floor and face each other and I show her the book. She's moving out of a crib soon so hopefully soon I can sit on a bed with her instead of the floor!

58norabelle414
Jan 20, 12:12 am

Happy Friday! It's snowed basically all week.

Tuesday the government was closed because of the snow, so I teleworked and made pumpkin bread from a box I found in the back of my cabinet. Wednesday I teleworked and we had a farewell lunch for my boss. A lot of people couldn't come because of the snow (some schools were closed) but we had a good time. The rest of the week has been uneventful. Except for more snow today! Which was delightful. Have I left the house to enjoy it? No. I should do that.

Nothing going on this weekend. I probably should have signed up to volunteer at the zoo, but I didn't. I do have some online zoo training due at the end of the month so maybe I will do that this weekend.

Currently reading:
Finished writing all my reviews, but I haven't read much more.
Reviews behind: 0
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
Nothing, but I did order supplies for a baby blanket for my incoming nibling. I might make a baby blanket for my pregnant coworker as well? Just something simple, with yarn left over from my niece's rainbow blanket.

Currently listening:
Some of Joker Out's non-Eurovision tracks (they represented Slovenia in 2023) but they're just not as good as Carpe Diem.

Currently playing:
Too much Two Point Hospital.

Currently watching:
Caught up on Good Trouble, Criminal Record, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Family Law (s3 just started airing here), and Taskmaster New Zealand s2e5. Watched the finale of Fargo (I know everyone loves this show but something about it doesn't really click with me. I can tell its well-written but it doesn't really engage me). Gave up on Extended Family. Started new shows Death and Other Details (very fun locked-room murder mystery with a great cast, highly recommend it), True Detective s4 (I've never actually watched this show before but it's an anthology so I'm starting here), Wild Cards (a Good Cop teams up with a hot career criminal to solve crimes...boring BUT it has a very cute cat on it) and 2 episodes of Marvel's Echo, which is great but would be better if it wasn't a Marvel show.

59katiekrug
Jan 20, 8:47 am

I've been wondering about 'Death and Other Details' so glad to have your recommendation!

Yay for snow days!

60MickyFine
Jan 20, 11:30 am

Yay for snow! We're supposed to get some today. We'll see how much actually arrives.

What kind of pattern are you going to do for your new nibling's blanket?

61norabelle414
Jan 20, 12:23 pm

>59 katiekrug: I think it's right up your alley, Katie

>60 MickyFine: I'm going to make something a lot smaller and lighter, since they're a summer baby. The pattern I picked out is cream-colored with thin stripes of coral, yellow, and green in the middle and a few bobbles near the ends.

62norabelle414
Jan 21, 5:34 pm

It's Sunday!

I felt like I was being unproductive yesterday but I actually did a lot - I got an email from a company I bought something from in September, (which arrived in September) saying that my order had been delivered...but I didn't order anything from them and the USPS tracking number said it was delivered to Illinois. However, I didn't see a charge on my credit card for it so I think it's just an annoying error rather than fraud. While I was looking at my credit card statement I noticed a huge charge from BritBox - apparently when I got a gift subscription from my mom a year ago, it signed me up for auto-renewal so now I've paid $90 for a service I don't use. Ugh! Cancelled that but I still have it for a year so if anyone wants to share, let me know. After all that admin, I took out my frustrations by cleaning the oven. I just bought a digital oven thermometer because I've always suspected my oven is too hot. Turns out it's okay on average but the swing is HUGE. I set it to 350 and after 5 minutes it went up to 425(!) before it started to go back down, and then down to 300 before going back up. Not helpful, but at least now I know what's going on in there, and the thermometer is cute and purple. I also talked to my mom for awhile and did all of my online zoo training yesterday.

Today I spent most of the morning reading, until I couldn't concentrate anymore, and then the afternoon fussing around on the internet.

This week should be back to normal with no more snow (though there's still a lot on the ground, which almost never happens here). Friday and Sunday I'm babysitting. I expect it will involve reading more books about poop.

Currently reading:
I finished She-Hulk (2022) #1 from She-Hulk, Vol 1: Jen Again, so now I can start reading my own copies of the subsequent comics. I have about 15 pages left in You Sexy Thing so I'll try to finish that tonight. I also read about 55 pages in Sorry, Bro. I think that will be my bedside book and Where There Was Fire will go back in my purse.
Reviews behind: 1
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
Nothing, but my mom did ask for fingerless mitts, and ask for another snood for her dog, AND asked me if I could make a snood for her friend. Ok, I guess.

Currently listening:
Kesha's 2017 album Rainbow

Currently playing:
Nothing

Currently watching:
Nothing

63norabelle414
Editado: Jan 23, 9:15 am



5. She-Hulk (2022) #1 by Rainbow Rowell illustrated by Rogê Antônio and Rico Renzi

Jen Walters lost her job, but she’s on her way to a new, much crappier one when she’s coaxed into a fight (as She-Hulk, of course) with Titania. They like fighting so they decide to start a fight club. Later, she moves into a spare apartment belonging to Wasp, which is full of Jen’s clothes (having rich friends must be nice). Then, Jack of Hearts shows up, who she thought was dead.

I never like the beginning of a new comics series. I don’t understand what’s going on or who anyone is, I just have to take the word of the description boxes under every character. Why did Jen lose her job? Why are her clothes at Janet/Wasp’s spare apartment? Who are any of these people? I don’t even know what previous comic to read to find the answers, and I would probably have to read a previous previous comic to understand that one. But, I’ll keep going.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

64ursula
Jan 22, 2:43 am

>58 norabelle414: This finale for Fargo was ... something. It was weirdly quiet and exposition-heavy. I understand giving more time to Munch since he had just been lurking and needed some development, but overall it was just a slow ending to me.

This season of True Detective is up next for us, too. We've seen the previous ones but as you said, it doesn't matter. We're looking forward to the new perspective on the show though.

65norabelle414
Jan 22, 9:58 am

>64 ursula: I thought what happened with Munch in the finale was pointed, and theoretically I liked it, but it was incredibly undermined by Jennifer Jason Leigh solving all of the "good" characters' problems by controlling people via debt.

66norabelle414
Jan 22, 11:00 am

Happy Monday.

Yesterday I cleaned the bathtub and fixed a shelf in my bathroom. I wanted to bake a cake but I wasn't sure I would have enough time and I really wanted to go to bed on time. Maybe I'll bake one today (or maybe not because I'm planning to bake muffins for my brother either Thursday or Friday.)

Back in the office today after more than a week at home. It's quiet because half of the office is out sick (COVID is still a thing!) which is probably for the best because it's the first morning of my period and I'm very cranky.

I have 3 books to take back to the library today or tomorrow, and then I'll only have 3 at home. So I might pick up another one or two. (Because I can't possibly be expected to read the books off my own shelves...)

Currently reading:
Finished You Sexy Thing last night and I need to review it. I got back into Where There Was Fire on the bus this morning but the bus driver was listening to awful right-wing radio so I switched to a podcast.
Reviews behind: 1
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
Nothing, but I did pick out the yarn for my mom's fingerless mitts.

Currently listening:
Today's episode of Overdue was about Nothing to See Here, which I've never heard of before but it sounds interesting.

Currently playing:
Nothing

Currently watching:
Last night episode of All Creatures Great and Small and two episodes of new (to me) show SkyMed, a soapy Canadian medical drama about EMTs who fly to see patients in northern Manitoba. Great background tv but probably not worth your full attention.

67katiekrug
Jan 22, 11:02 am

I really enjoyed Nothing to See Here when I read it a few years ago. It's odd, and funny, and a compelling read.

68ursula
Jan 22, 11:29 am

>65 norabelle414: I agree about the lessons there. I love Jennifer Jason Leigh so much though. I want a big wall that says "No." now.

I didn't really like Dorothy, which is a big problem for my enjoyment of the season.

69foggidawn
Jan 22, 3:15 pm

>56 norabelle414: I have the same edition of The House at Pooh Corner!

70norabelle414
Jan 23, 8:54 am

>67 katiekrug: I'm not sure it's for me, but I was surprised I had never heard of it! I think it was most popular in 2020 and I was pretty disconnected from the world.

>68 ursula: Ah, I loved Dorothy, and I can see how not liking her would affect how you thought about the ending in particular.

>69 foggidawn: It's so cute! I think mine is my mom's copy from her childhood? It's in surprisingly good condition since I wasn't really a fan of Pooh as a kid.

71norabelle414
Jan 23, 10:12 am

It's Tuesday.

Still some snow on the ground today, probably for the last few hours as its supposed to get up to the 60s by Friday. I'm hugging my beloved snow boots goodbye before they go back in the closet for another two years.

Yesterday after work I did mostly nothing, but it was nice to leave my computer at the office for the first time in a week and a half. I got to bed at an okay time last night (I was aiming for 10:30 but it was more like 11:05 which is still great compared to my usual 12:30), for the third night in a row but I'm not really feeling it. Any improvements I make to my life should show results immediately, dangit!

Today after work I need to ... do some more work, as my annual performance evaluation is on Thursday and I need to finish the paperwork.

Currently reading:
Made it through a good chunk of Where There Was Fire on the bus yesterday afternoon and this morning, and the plot is coming together nicely so its holding my focus more. About 70% finished. Still reading Sorry, Bro before bed. The romance is kind of meh at this point but I'm enjoying learning about the Armenian diaspora.
Reviews behind: 1
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
Nothing

Currently listening:
I've got the audiobook of Palo Alto: A History of California, Capitalism, and the World back from the library. I'm 2 hours and 20 minutes in, which means I am 8% finished....

Currently playing:
Pokemon Legends: Arceus. I'm lagging behind the EXP Share podcast but I'll probably listen anyway. After this next boss battle I might switch to my original playthrough because I remember finding the endgame pretty frustrating.

Currently watching:
Taskmaster New Zealand s2e6, featuring the infamous diss track battle where Matt Heath says he's going to "eat your asses" and David Correos says he's going to run them over like dogs and then feels bad and gives them presents
I tried to watch True Detective but I was too tired to watch something that requires attention, so I need to start over.

72norabelle414
Jan 24, 9:20 am

It's Wednesday...

Awful day yesterday. The shuttle home was also playing the right wing radio station so I got no reading time. I finally heard the name of the station and looked it up and apparently one of the 3 news FM radio stations here got bought by a right wing company and pivoted really hard. All they were talking about yesterday is how Dr. Fauci should be put on trial for murder and Nikki Haley is a liberal extremist and I don't want to fuckin hear it.
I got home and opened my mail to find a letter from my health insurance company notifying me that my coverage has ended...despite the fact that I just got a new insurance card in the mail 2 weeks ago. I tried to access my account on their website and it wasn't working....after over an hour on the phone with their tech support I finally got into the website, which also said I no longer had health insurance coverage...after another hour on the phone talking to at least 3 people I figured out that while I still have the same insurance with the same insurance company I have for many years, it's now through a different branch of the company (which acts as a "third-party administrator" for ITSELF) which means I no longer have access to fancy things like "a website" or "medical care". I figured while I was fussing with my insurance anyway I would try to find a covered medical care provider, which involved over another hour on the phone with another third-party "advocate" company being transferred around until I found someone who would contact the third party administrator who would get the information from the health insurance company and they'll get back to me in 4 business days with a list of 2-3 providers who may or may not be accessible or accepting new patients. At that point it was well after I needed to go to bed.

Did not get to buy groceries yesterday or go to the library, or start my knitting projects or do the paperwork I need for my annual performance evaluation tomorrow, or anything else.

Currently reading:
Nothing
Reviews behind: 1
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
Nothing

Currently listening:
Nothing

Currently playing:
Nothing

Currently watching:
Nothing

73klobrien2
Jan 24, 11:03 am

>72 norabelle414: Oh, how frustrating! I hope that your health insurance mess gets straightened out, soon!

And I hope that you get time to get back to the things that you want to be doing and need to be doing! I’ll be thinking of you (and praying for you, if you don’t mind).

Karen O

74curioussquared
Jan 24, 1:11 pm

Ugh, I'm so sorry about the awful day. Being stuck on a shuttle listening to right-wing radio is a literal nightmare and I'm sorry you experience it so regularly!! And the insurance fiasco... I hope it gets straightened out. I work in a health insurance-adjacent field and know just how awful the insurance companies can be. Is your insurance through your employer? If you can't make any headway, at some point it might make sense to contact someone high up in HR and let them know about all the issues you're having, especially if you can demonstrate that it's "impeding access to care" (i.e. you are literally unable to find a covered doctor to make an appointment). At my last job in HR communications sometimes it literally took my boss, the VP of benefits for the whole company, yelling at our contracted health insurance company to do their job before some of the employee problems we heard about were solved.

(If you just want commiseration and no advice, please ignore the above!!!)

75norabelle414
Editado: Jan 24, 3:10 pm

>73 klobrien2: Thanks Karen, I appreciate you.

>74 curioussquared: Well....the added wrinkle is that technically I work for the company that provides the several intermediary services between me and the insurance company (as a contractor to the government, in an extremely distant department). They're doing the best that they can at their job, but to suggest that I should not have to go through multiple "advocates" to get to my health insurance company is kind of to say that my company shouldn't exist (which they shouldn't, tbh)

76elorin
Jan 24, 2:15 pm

>75 norabelle414: I feel for you. Struggling with insurance companies is the pits. I hope you make headway soon.

77qebo
Jan 24, 2:54 pm

>72 norabelle414: Awful day yesterday.
Ugh, sympathies. Yeesh, the amount of time and energy spent in the US on health insurance bureaucracy.

78curioussquared
Jan 24, 3:25 pm

>75 norabelle414: Ugh, well, that does complicate things. I hope you can resolve things relatively painlessly going forward! And that today is infinitely better.

79norabelle414
Jan 25, 1:47 pm

Thanks for the sympathy Robyn, qebo, and Natalie! No progress but I'm still waiting my 4 business days.

80norabelle414
Jan 25, 2:28 pm

Happy Thursday!

Yesterday was much better, surprising because I had all day meetings. But we got a lot done and felt like we were in it together, and they were in-person meetings which I like much better than sitting in front of a computer screen all day. I did get some reading done on the bus home, and read some before bed even though it was a bit past my bedtime.

Really gross weather today - rainy and in the mid-60s. I miss the snow! This morning's annual performance evaluation went very well. I don't like having an important 9:30am meeting but it does mean that I am ready and motivated for the day after the meeting is over. I had another meeting, went to the grocery store during my lunch break (long overdue!) and then had another meeting after lunch. Working on some projects now, then this evening I'd like to write a book review, do some laundry, return some library books, and bake some muffins. It might happen! I also need to pick up the copy of Birnam Wood that I ordered on December 1 (!) which has finally arrived at the bookstore. But if I do that I will probably have to forego some other tasks.

This weekend is busy - baby-sitting tomorrow evening, dinner with my friends on Saturday, baby-sitting again Sunday morning. I might also get a haircut, since I have to get a new ID sometime in mid-February.

Currently reading:
Where There Was Fire and Sorry, Bro
Reviews behind: 1
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
Nothing, but now that my book order has arrived I need to finish up these placemats. And my nibling blanket yarn has arrived! It's very soft.

Currently listening:
Nothing

Currently playing:
Nothing

Currently watching:
Miss Scarlet and the Duke - a fun flashback episode. My friend and I also started watching the first episode of Bast i Test, Swedish Taskmaster, but he had internet issues so we didn't finish the episode.

81norabelle414
Jan 25, 2:46 pm

Last summer Zoe accused me of "get{ting} through {my} TBR pile eventually" and I did some calculations to see if that was true and it was pretty fun. Since then, I've read more old books! Here's what it looks like now (new additions in italics):

1 - Dracula, owned pre-LT, entered July 2007 and read November 2022, 5,597 days later.
2 - The Stranger, entered May 2009, read November 2023, 5,289 days later.
3 - The Windup Girl, entered February 2012, read November 2023, 4,291 days later.

4 - War and Peace, owned pre-LT, entered July 2007, read October 2018, 4,104 days later.
5 - Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, owned pre-LT, entered July 2007, read July 2017, 3,669 days later.
6 - The Lady and the Panda, entered April 2014, read June 2023, 3,375 days later.
7 - Saga, Vol 1, entered November 2017, read December 2023, 2,239 days later.
8 - Never Let Me Go, entered April 2011, read April 2017, 2,187 days later.
9 - A History of Rock Creek Park, entered December 2014, read September 2020, 2,076 days later.
10 - American Zoo, entered December 2015, read July 2021, 2,026 days later.

82curioussquared
Jan 25, 2:47 pm

>81 norabelle414: I'm guilty of this too. I have seven unread books in my library that were entered in 2008... Maybe this is the year? Lol.

83norabelle414
Jan 25, 2:52 pm

>82 curioussquared: It could be! Or maybe next year.

None of mine were really planned, I think when I try to make myself read something just because it's been on my TBR a long time it doesn't go well. But it's nice when it does happen!

84norabelle414
Jan 25, 3:31 pm



6. You Sexy Thing by Cat Rambo

Niko, Dabry, Skidoo, Gio, Lassite, Talon, and Thorn are people from a variety of species who escaped grueling military service by starting a restaurant together - one of the Holy professions - at the edge of the universe. Now they’re a different kind of crew! When the space station their restaurant is on gets blown up, they manage to escape on a state-of-the-art bioship named You Sexy Thing, who has a personality and opinions of her own. Her opinion is that she has been hijacked and so she’s taking them all directly to the space cops, but some space pirates have different plans.

A solid found-family space opera, though a bit less cozy than others. (Content warning: major character death) The writing here is a little jarring - interestingly the dedication of the book calls it “an omniscient point of view” but it isn’t - it’s a close third-person that switches between characters constantly, sometimes mid-paragraph. It can get annoying. The world-building is really messy in a fun way. There’s no way to untangle aliens from technology from magic from religion, so all you can do is go along with it. The plot has a lot less to do with cooking/foodie stuff than the marketing description would lead you to believe (and I wouldn’t have minded less, tbh). It’s not a perfect book but it’s a lot of fun and won me over and I enjoyed myself. I loved how gross the descriptions of the bioship were - she’s always absorbing things or making furniture out of her own flesh. I’m probably going to read more in the series just for her alone.

It does need to be said that You Sexy Thing is a terrible name for a ship and a terrible name for a book. It only exists to make a single joke about the 1975 song of the same name by the band Hot Chocolate, and is so annoying to talk about that even the characters in the book call her “the Thing” almost exclusively.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

85norabelle414
Jan 26, 3:05 pm

Yay Happy Friday!!!

Yesterday I picked up the long-awaited copy of Birnam Wood from the bookstore, which was supposed to be a gift for my mom's husband in mid-December. Now that means I have to finish my mom's placemats so I can send them both at the same time!! I also caught up on book reviews, returned a bunch of books to the library, and baked some gluten-free pumpkin muffins for my brother (I don't think they taste great but I'm not sure if that's because I miss the wheat flour or what). The weather was DISGUSTING - there was still quite a bit of snow on the ground but the temperature shot up to the mid-60s and the snow evaporated (literally...you could see the steam coming off of the piles) and then condensed on every single surface. Today is a bit better (??) because it's HOT (????) and less humid so everything has dried off. It's 80F today and exactly one week ago we got 5 inches of snow.

I'm baby-sitting in a couple hours, then tomorrow is Bagel Day and my friends and I are playing indoor mini-golf downtown in the evening.

Currently reading:
A bit of Where There Was Fire on the metro, but I stayed up too late to read before bed.
Reviews behind: 0
Library books: 3

Currently crafting:
Nothing, but I'm taking my placemats to my brother's house.

Currently listening:
Nothing

Currently playing:
Nothing

Currently watching:
The first episode of Bast i Test, Swedish Taskmaster, it was fine but takes more effort to watch because of subtitles.

86Ravenwoodwitch
Jan 26, 7:26 pm

>63 norabelle414: 'Allo :)
So, youe frustration on comic continuity is perfectly justified; the massive backlog is, in fact, the biggest barrier to entry. It is why DC comics has hit the reset button multiple times over the years.

Possible Solution Feel Free To Ignore: I found what broke that frustration for me was to look for famous one shot stories. That gets you some great reads without a mountain of continuity behind you.
Failing that, I would just...smile. Nod. And Google. (Why is Lex Luthor the President? GOOGLE.)

>72 norabelle414: Ooh fuck that sounds like hell. I'm so, SO sorry you went through all that. God, I hate this country's Healthcare system.

>85 norabelle414: 80? O_o
I'm just gonna jealously sit over here in our 36 degrees and think of steaming snow.

87bell7
Editado: Jan 26, 9:39 pm

So sorry to hear about the insurance fiasco.

I liked You Sexy Thing but totally agree about the title. Happy weekend!

Edited to get touchstone to work

88norabelle414
Jan 27, 12:05 pm

>86 Ravenwoodwitch: I don't think Googling is a solution. If Marvel is going to continue to cut series off after 10-20 issues and restart them as a new series so that they don't have to pay creators as much, then they need to actually be a coherent story. Especially if they want people to buy individual issues (which is always the excuse they give for canceling/ending series)...if I were reading the trade paperback of She-Hulk I would be completely on board by the end of Vol 1, but as an individual issue there's nothing here in #1 that makes sense.

>87 bell7: I though I was just being a bit of a prude (I did not like openly reading this book at work/on the work shuttle) until I realized that none of the other characters ever call her You Sexy Thing either. It's a bad name!

89norabelle414
Jan 27, 1:12 pm

Happy Saturday

Yesterday's baby-sitting went fine, though pretty messy since we're now mid-potty-training. We read bits and pieces of a few books (Flingo Flies to Wisconsin, Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille, The Fearless Octopus, and I Am Ruth Bader Ginsburg) and all the way through Waddle! A Scanimation Picture Book about 4 times. Not my favorite. I left them most of the gluten-free pumpkin muffins as well. When I looked back through the recipe I figured out why they didn't taste great - there's very little sweetener at all in the recipe. Why can't recipes just be normal??? I feel like everything has to be "gluten-free AND low-calorie" or "dairy-free AND keto-friendly" or the dreaded, awful "healthy" (a meaningless word). Anyway, I'm going to eat the ones I have left toasted with honey on top.

This morning I read in bed a little, did laundry, and went out to get bagels. Tonight is dinner and indoor minigolf with my friends, tomorrow I'm babysitting from 9am to naptime. I'm also going to dust off some old artwork that was in my room when I was a kid and see if my brother and sister-in-law want them.

Currently reading:
I'm about 90% finished with Where There Was Fire so that's going to switch to an at-home book, and probably Bookshops and Bonedust will be my purse book since it's due back at the library soon.
Reviews behind: 1
Library books: 3

Currently crafting:
Just a little bit of the placemats

Currently listening:
Nothing...though some of the 2024 Eurovision contestants have been chosen so I might start listening to those

Currently playing:
Nothing

Currently watching:
Taskmaster New Zealand s2e7. So many iconic Taskmaster moments in this series! In this episode it's the worst wedding cake - shaped like a penis with the words "I f*cked your dad" on it.

90norabelle414
Jan 27, 2:14 pm



7. Waddle! A Scanimation Picture Book written and illustrated by Rufus Butler Seder

Shows the ways that a few animals (pig, snake, hummingbird, penguin, dolphin, etc.) move using some kind of optical-illusion thing where moving the page pulls on a panel inside the page and makes the images appear to move.

I think technically this is interesting to an adult, but the black lines that allow for the optical illusion make it pretty hard to actually see the image (as you can see from the cover) and hurt my eyes a bit. My niece doesn’t really care about seeing the movement but loves the onomatopoeia (e.g. “flip-flop-floop”). This book was published in 2009 and it would be interesting to see if the book technology has progressed since then.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (3.5/5)

91norabelle414
Jan 28, 3:18 pm

Happy Sunday...

Cold and rainy here today, which is preferable to hot and rainy. Last night I went out and played indoor minigolf with my friends, it was a ton of fun.

Today I baby-sat my niece in the morning until nap time. We read Sloth Slept On and Giraffes Can't Dance and a few pages of Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Now I'm just vegging out. Next week at work should be a normal one.

Currently reading:
Read about 75 pages of Bookshops & Bonedust last night and today on the Metro.
Reviews behind: 2
Library books: 3

Currently crafting:
Nothing

Currently listening:
My favorite Eurovision song so far is "Fighter" by Tali for Luxembourg. This is Luxembourg's first time competing in 30 years and it would be very funny if they won.

Currently playing:
Nothing

Currently watching:
Nothing

92elorin
Jan 28, 3:59 pm

>91 norabelle414: I just finished Bookshops & Bonedust and I really enjoyed it. Did you read Legends & Lattes first?

93norabelle414
Jan 29, 9:54 am

>92 elorin: Yes, I read it about a month and a half ago, which I think is a good amount of time to let it settle in my brain but not enough to forget everything.

94norabelle414
Jan 29, 11:58 am

It's Monday.

No real updates since yesterday afternoon. I stayed up too late last night, while also not doing any of the things I wanted to do (watch tv, knit, read, fold laundry, etc). I did move my couch and then move it back in an effort to smooth out a big wrinkle in the rug underneath it. I did not get the rug flat but I did move the wrinkle so it's further under the couch and I think I'm probably less likely to trip on it, so that's a plus.

I have a hold ready for pickup from the library but another is in transit so I'll probably wait a couple days and try to pick them both up at once. I have plenty to read right now.

Currently reading:
Nothing before bed, but a little bit of Bookshops & Bonedust on the bus this morning. I'd like to finish before it's due on Saturday, but it's okay if I don't because the library has several copies and the holds list isn't too long.
Reviews behind: 2
Library books: 3

Currently crafting:
Nothing

Currently watching:
Nothing (I'm quite behind now...)

95The_Hibernator
Jan 30, 11:32 am

Lol. Sometimes getting one important thing done is the best we can hope for, and is great!

96norabelle414
Jan 30, 12:07 pm

Tuesday....

Yesterday was 4 business days from last Tuesday when I tried to get the name of a healthcare specialist covered by my insurance who is accepting new patients. Late last night I got a "secure message" from my "advocate", which involved me signing up for yet another website (thank goodness for password managers, so I don't have to invent and remember what is now about 8 unique passwords) so I could read the message which said...they're still working on it. This morning I got another message from a new "advocate" at a different company so now I guess I have been transferred.

I signed up to go to a meet-up today at a nearby oyster bar. Still trying to make friends. I have not gone to any meet-ups with this group before but they have a very strict "no flaking" policy (you can cancel in advance but if you flake you get a badge next to your name in the chats that says you're a flake) so hopefully that will make me actually go. Nothing else going on until Friday.

Currently reading:
Bookshops & Bonedust before bed and on the bus.
Reviews behind: 2
Library books: 3

Currently crafting:
Nothing

Currently watching:
All Creatures Great and Small - good episode. My mom texted me to ask whether Richard Carmody is in the books, and I think he is but much more briefly than this show. If I recall correctly (I haven't read any but the first book in a few decades) he and Tristan didn't get along.
Also watched Taskmaster New Zealand s2e8 - this episode's iconic moment is Laura being asked to sabotage the team task

97norabelle414
Jan 30, 12:59 pm

>95 The_Hibernator: For real. One thing off my to-do list is a win.

98PlatinumWarlock
Jan 30, 4:46 pm

>94 norabelle414: I still am trying to figure out how rugs get wrinkles even when we DON'T move the furniture! Seriously, how is that even possible? (Not tripping on it is a good conclusion, though... 😀)

Also, get back to crafting so we can see what you're doing!! (I'm on a crafting obsession these days, so I think EVERYONE should be doing it!)

99norabelle414
Jan 31, 9:40 am

>98 PlatinumWarlock: I definitely spoke too soon on the "not-tripping" part! But I only trip when I'm going behind the couch to open/close the window (maybe twice a day) rather than when I'm going to the couch from anywhere in my apartment (many times a day) so I think that's still a win. I'm a very handy person and while I can lift one side of the couch well off the floor, one of the few things I can't do by myself is lift up the couch AND smooth out the rug under it. Frustrating.

Ooh, that's motivating! I will try to get back to crafting on Thursday.

100norabelle414
Jan 31, 10:31 am

Happy Wednesday! I've extra-enjoyed being in the office this week for some reason (probably because I tried going to bed earlier) so it doesn't really feel like a mini-Friday.

Yesterday I finally received contact information for ONE medical specialist. I had asked for an in-person visit because I prefer that, but was told that there are no specialists covered by my insurance taking new patients for in-person visits in my area, which I remind you is the entire DC metropolitan region. Cool. A virtual visit is better than nothing, I suppose.

After work I went to a meet-up and everyone was super nice, though I was older than everyone else there. A lot of the people in the larger meet-up group live much further outside of the city and so I haven't met up with anyone before, but this one was quite close to my apartment. The person who arranged the meet-up lives in my neighborhood, though, and she invited me to another group that meets up in DC itself so that might be better for me.

Today after work I need to do some admin for the end-of-year book awards I organized in a Discord server, and I also want to write the two pending picture book reviews so they get posted in the right month.

Nothing going on tomorrow, but Friday I'm getting El Salvadoran food for dinner and have tickets to see a comedian. Saturday I have a haircut appointment and I'm planning to go to a talk at the library so will also pick up my holds.

Currently reading:
I need to read 45 pages of Bookshops & Bonedust per day to finish on time; so far so good.
Reviews behind: 2
Library books: 3

Currently crafting:
Nothing, but I'm going to start something on Thursday because I said I would!!

Currently watching:
Didn't watch anything yesterday because I basically went straight from work to the meet-up to getting ready for bed, but I forgot to mention that on Tuesday I watched Jacob Elordi's episode of Saturday Night Live. It was fine but all the skits were about how hot he is and I don't really get the appeal (though maybe that would change if I had seen Saltburn). It reminds me of a parody headline from The Reductress: "Quiz: Is he hot or just tall?"

101norabelle414
Jan 31, 8:37 pm



8. Sloth Slept On written and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon

Some kids find a mysterious animal falling from a tree in their yard. They do a lot of reading and their research leads them to the conclusion that it is a sloth from the South American rainforest (or is it??) and they send it back home.

Really delightful, classic kid story. The parents are not paying attention and the kids find out all the information on their own. The Easter eggs of posters and newspapers throughout the book advertising the zoo’s lost sloth are such a wonderful touch.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (5/5)

102norabelle414
Jan 31, 8:39 pm



9. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees

A giraffe goes to a party but is too awkward and shy to dance with all the other animals. Giraffe leaves the party but then hears a different kind of music and starts to dance in their own way.

Really enjoyed this one, I like that the giraffe doesn’t need to just get over their shyness, all they need is some privacy to be themself.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (4.5/5)

103norabelle414
Fev 1, 6:16 pm

Happy February!

Yesterday I did some admin (including the January book reviews). Since I actually have some reading to report for the month I might do some monthly stats?? Which I haven't done in years and years.

Nothing going on today. Got a lot of work-work done, and a new contract year starts on the 15th so there's a lot of admin for that as well. I should have gone to the grocery store but I did not. Now is the worst time of day to go, so I might go later tonight or early tomorrow.

Just found out today that this weekend there will be track work and shutdowns on BOTH of the sections of the Metro that I use to get to the zoo. Fun.

Currently reading:
I read my 45 pages of Bookshops & Bonedust yesterday, but nothing so far today.
Reviews behind: 0
Library books: 3

Currently crafting:
Nothing yet but I'm going to sit down and knit right after I post this, I swear.

Currently watching:
Funny Woman s1e3 - still delightful but I think probably anachronistic.
Masters of the Air s1e1 - Extremely boring, and all these white men look exactly alike. Elvis, Barry Keoghan, the one who looks like Barry Keoghan but isn't, the one from Derry Girls, and the other guys....who could tell them apart?? I've heard from critics that it gets better but do I want to wait that long?

104_Zoe_
Fev 1, 7:25 pm

I have a new appreciation for your reviews of children's books! Both of those sound good.

105norabelle414
Fev 1, 7:35 pm

>104 _Zoe_: My best children's book advice at the moment is:
1) books that rhyme or have a meter of some kind are VASTLY better for babies because they like the sounds better and they're more pleasant to read a million times
2) There are a lot of kids books that are published more like toys than books, with no publication or illustrator or author information and they're incredibly annoying to try to catalog or find any information about (ok this isn't advice it's just a rant)

106norabelle414
Editado: Fev 2, 12:01 pm

Happy Friday!

Decided against doing monthly stats, I think. Maybe quarterly. Yesterday I fussed around on the internet for way too long, but did manage to sit on the couch and watch a little TV and do some knitting.

Dealt with a minor work crisis this morning so I'm feeling accomplished. Going to go to the grocery store during lunch. (I ate breakfast late so I don't think I'll do too much impulse-buying (it's not impulse-buying if I write it on my list before I leave my apartment!)). Tonight I'm going out, then tomorrow I have a haircut appointment first thing and then I'm planning to go to a talk at the library about Black history of Chesapeake Bay aquaculture (I'm excited, usually I have to go to a larger branch to attend things like this). I'll pick up some holds while I'm there. I'd also like to bake something tomorrow? I haven't in awhile.

Currently reading:
Did not finish my 45 pages of Bookshops & Bonedust last night but I caught up this morning.
Reviews behind: 0
Library books: 3

Currently listening:
I've been having trouble getting back on Last.fm after a 10-year hiatus and dealing with some double or triple scrobbles (the last time I used Last.fm I listened exclusively on an iPod, imagine that!) but I think it's working now. Listened to the album Bringing Down the Horse by The Wallflowers (One Headlight obviously a banger but everything else was pretty same-y). Listened to half of Taylor Swift's Midnights while trying to troubleshoot. Good, as always.

Currently crafting:
Picture for Lavinia -

Two and a half placemats finished, one and a half to go! It was really nice to just sit down and knit/watch tv for 2 hours. Would have been nicer if I had started before, uh, 8:45pm.

Currently watching:
Caught up on True Detective, which is fine. Seems like there may be some connections to the first season that I'm not getting, but whatever.

107PlatinumWarlock
Fev 2, 7:35 pm

>106 norabelle414: Those are beautiful, Nora!! I especially love that particular shade of teal, and it looks marvelous with the black and tan. (Or, is that maybe navy? I can't quite tell on my computer...) Regardless - very pretty indeed! Thanks for sharing. 🥰

108norabelle414
Fev 2, 9:10 pm

>107 PlatinumWarlock: the lighting in my apartment is very bad... It's a dark blue-green and a bright blue-green. I'll take another pic in natural light this weekend.
I almost swapped out the beige from the pattern because beige is not my favorite but I'm glad I didn't because I think it works really well

109MickyFine
Fev 2, 11:10 pm

The placemats look great.

Sounds like an interesting topic for the library talk tomorrow. My librarian brain hopes there's decent turnout and the rest of my brain hopes you have a great time.

110norabelle414
Fev 3, 4:49 pm

Happy weekend!

Yesterday I went to the grocery store. Had dinner at a small Salvadoran restaurant I used to go to when I was a kid, then went to see Dara O Briain's comedy show. It was great! Very funny, and long but didn't feel that way.

Early this morning I got a haircut which as usual was $75 for an hour of listening to everything I'm doing wrong, and got a bagel sandwich on my way home. I went to the library to see the talk about Black history of Chesapeake Bay aquaculture and there were about 20 people, but no talk because the speaker got stuck in traffic. I picked up my library holds. I briefly thought that my coffeemaker was broken, but turns out I had just pressed the wrong button.

Tomorrow I'm volunteering at the zoo in the morning, and I have to find an alternate way to get there since both sections of the Metro that I need to take are under construction.

Currently reading:
About 50 pages left in Bookshops & Bonedust so maybe I'll finish today.
Reviews behind: 0
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
I did not knit yesterday but I did take a better picture this morning, and that counts for something, right?


Currently watching:
I tried watching the first episode of Feud: Capote vs The Swans but I couldn't make myself pay attention (I gave up on the first season after a few episodes, when it aired). I did watch Taskmaster New Zealand s2e9.

111MickyFine
Fev 4, 10:23 am

The colours in the placemat are gorgeous. And yay for bonus Rory!

I hope you're having a good time with Bookshops and Bonedust.

112curioussquared
Fev 4, 12:12 pm

Love the placemats and Rory!

Yum, Salvadorean food. What do you order there? We have a "central American" restaurant near us that serves food from a few different central American countries, including El Salvador.

113ursula
Fev 4, 2:11 pm

>106 norabelle414: I haven't listened to Bringing Down the Horse since around when it came out, but my recollection lines up with your comment - only one real standout. Midnights was a good listen but I haven't actually gone back to it yet.

Connections to the first season of True Detective? If so I'm missing them too. I feel like this season is not great. The pilot was okay, the 2nd episode was better and the 3rd episode didn't hit for me at all. Aside from the young cop asking who Mrs. Robinson was.

Nice placemats, especially after seeing the truer colors in the photo below!

114norabelle414
Fev 4, 4:08 pm

>111 MickyFine: Thanks! Indeed I am.

>112 curioussquared: Because of the high Salvadoran population here (they're the largest Hispanic group here, and DC has the second-highest Salvadoran population in the US after California) most of the Mexican restaurants are actually Salvadoran-Mexican and so I'm not entirely sure where the line is between the two cuisines. They have pupusas and tamales, a lot of seafood, and a few "half a chicken with veggies" dishes that aren't really my thing. I got pupusas for an appetizer and shrimp and scallop enchiladas.

>113 ursula: Re: True Detective - I haven't seen season 1 but I understand from internet comments that the spiral symbol is also from season 1, and that the Matthew McConaughey detective mentioned at some point in season 1 that he's originally from Alaska. And possibly Fiona Shaw's dead boyfriend Travis, who leads her to the scientists on the ice, was Matthew McConaughey's dad?

115norabelle414
Fev 4, 4:25 pm

It's Sunday.

Didn't do anything yesterday after my update.

Today I volunteered at the zoo. I used to love working on cold days because the giant pandas were most active in the cold, but now that they're gone none of the animals are out in the cold and it's quite boring. I might switch to a different exhibit during the winter. I navigated the Metro closures just fine, but had a cranky shift because I feel like I don't know what's going on with any of the animals anymore. I probably need to volunteer more to get my confidence back up.

This coming week should be pretty uneventful.

Currently reading:
Not quite done with Bookshops & Bonedust but I'm planning to go to bed early tonight so hopefully I can finish. Haven't decided what my purse book for this week is going to be.
Reviews behind: 0
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
No progress.

Currently watching:
Watched the first two episodes of Feud: Capote vs The Swans but I might leave it here. I don't care about any of these people. I also caught up on Good Trouble and Criminal Record.

116norabelle414
Fev 5, 11:12 am

It's a new week!

Stayed up a little too late last night. I am doing better than I was a few weeks ago but I would still like to go to bed earlier.
I did not bake or cook anything this weekend, which I did want to. Maybe today? Doubtful because I'm always tired and starving when I get home from work, but my best bet might be to eat something right when I get home and then cook something to be eaten later in the week.

Running into an issue where I have at least 3 books with less than 30 pages left to read, at which point they can't be a purse/backpack book, but then I don't finish them because they're not in my purse/backpack. Whoops! Today I managed to stuff two books in my backpack so hopefully I can finish one. Not sure why I'm so worried about finishing a book before I'm done with my commute, it's not like I don't have my phone with me, and I don't get that much reading done anyway with the news radio on.

Currently reading:
Read 15 minutes of Bookshops & Bonedust last night, then a few more pages this morning. It was technically due back on Saturday so I'd like to finish it tonight then write a review and return it tomorrow.
Reviews behind: 0
Library books: 6

Currently watching:
Watched last week's episodes of Funny Woman and Miss Scarlet and the Duke (not last night's yet), caught up on Family Law (I know I talk about this a lot but I'm genuinely amazed that there's a casually pro-queer, pro-trans, funny law procedural that almost never involves police and I feel like no one else is watching it) and one episode of Wild Cards (everything about this show is pretty boring except the female lead, who is hamming it up, and, I cannot stress this enough, there's a cat who wears a life vest).

117Owltherian
Fev 5, 11:13 am

Um- can i have some advice?

118norabelle414
Fev 5, 11:51 am

>117 Owltherian: Welcome, Lily! What topic do you need advice on?

119Owltherian
Fev 5, 11:53 am

>118 norabelle414: How to deal with your period at school without pads bc i started mine in class

120norabelle414
Fev 5, 12:03 pm

>119 Owltherian: When I was in school I always kept pads or tampons in my backpack and in my locker. I did get caught out several times in school, since it really takes years to get used to having a period. When I needed help I would ask, first of all, my female friends, then other girls in my classes, then female teachers. (Female teachers were the most helpful, being adults who had resources, but I found them the most embarrassing to ask so I would always ask them last.)

All people who menstruate know what it's like to get caught without a pad or tampon, and are always willing to help. You just have to ask.

121Owltherian
Editado: Fev 5, 12:05 pm

I usually have a bag full of pads but i forgot it at my dad's and i don't go there until Wednesday. Asking teachers with my anxiety is really hard but i can try.

122norabelle414
Editado: Fev 6, 11:51 am

Happy Tuesday,

Did not cook or bake anything yesterday but I did get some knitting, tv watching, AND reading done so could be worse.

Today I need to pick up a package (not sure what it could be...I haven't bought anything that hasn't arrived yet), write 2 reviews, return a book to the library, and I'd like to finish knitting the placemats so I can block them Wed/Thu and mail them on Fri.

Currently reading:
Last night I finished Bookshops & Bonedust AND read all of She-Hulk (2022) #2. This morning on the bus I read a chunk of Where There Was Fire. Only about 25 pages left.
Reviews behind: 2
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
Knitted for about 45 minutes. I only have the bind-off left for placemat #3.

Currently watching:
Watched the season 2 finale of Taskmaster New Zealand (a fantastic season but Jeremy as Taskmaster is not very funny/doesn't laugh much and I think he acted too calmly in the face of some wild stuff), this week's episode of All Creatures Great and Small (sad, but James signing up for the military was so obviously a bad idea, I don't know what he expected. I really hope Mrs. Hall doesn't leave the show!!) and e3 of Echo, which remains a great show that shouldn't have anything to do with Marvel.

123norabelle414
Fev 6, 9:52 pm



10. Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree

20 years before the events of Legends & Lattes, Viv has been injured in battle and is left to rest and recuperate in the small town of Murk. She passes the time by making friends with a bookstore owner named Fern and her griffin-puppy, and making more-than-friends with the local baker. But the necromancer Viv’s crew was fighting is still out there, and may be closer than she knows.

Just as nice as the first, possibly cuter because of Viv’s blossoming love of books. There’s a bit more action in this one, all toward the end, but it has a very satisfactory ending. I loved the world-building and all of the characters and I hope some of them show up in future books!

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (4.5/5)

124norabelle414
Fev 6, 9:52 pm



11. She-Hulk (2022) #2 written by Rainbow Rowell illustrated by Roge Antonio

Jack of Hearts, whom everyone thought was dead, has shown up on Jen’s (well…technically Janet’s) doorstep. He recaps what Jen already knows - he’s full of nuclear power and a danger to everyone around him. He went off into space and everyone, including him, thought he was dead. But now he’s back, and he’s doing weird stuff like drinking water and taking naps.

The “previously” section for this issue says that Jen “decided” to leave the Avengers, “rejoined” a law firm, and “regained access to her former residence” and says “everything was coming up Jen”, which is the opposite of the impression I got from the first issue? Maybe I actually don’t understand what’s going on here. Most of this issue is Jack of Hearts telling Jen things she already knows, for the benefit of the reader, but his change in behavior is very intriguing.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

125Owltherian
Fev 7, 7:08 am

>123 norabelle414: My mum just got her girlfriend that book for her bday! Thats so cool!

126norabelle414
Fev 7, 9:36 am

>125 Owltherian: I hope she enjoys it! Has she read the first one? (I think it's fine to read them in either order, personally.)

127Owltherian
Fev 7, 9:40 am

yeah, i believe she has

128norabelle414
Fev 7, 10:36 am

It's Wednesday....

Picked up my package yesterday - my mom's husband mailed me his copy of Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution which I gave him for Christmas in 2022 and he loved. Very sweet, especially since I'll be visiting up there in 2 months so he could have just waited. Guess I should probably at least start it soon, even if big doorstoppers and I don't really get along anymore. Got caught up on reviews and then finished another book. Spent a lot of time updating my TV spreadsheet yesterday, but I only do that about once a month so I didn't mind the lost time.

There's a trivia meetup tonight that I could go to but it's not that close to my apartment and trivia is a hard thing to escape from if I'm tired or get anxious. I'm trying desperately to make new IRL friends because my two friends I've hung out with for the past 8 years have started bringing their partners everywhere with them and one has already moved to the suburbs about an hour away from me and the other is following soon. But it's not going great.

Currently reading:
Finished Where There Was Fire, read a chunk of Sorry, Bro, started Artificial Condition. I need to get caught up on The Iliad as well.
Reviews behind: 1
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
None

Currently watching:
Caught up on Whose Line Is It Anyway, and finished Percy Jackson and the Olympians. It was pretty solid (and frustrated me way less than the books) so I hope there is more.

129ChelleBearss
Fev 8, 9:49 am

My girls love Giraffe's Can't Dance! I'll have to check out the sloth book as I adore sloths!!

130norabelle414
Fev 8, 9:53 pm

Happy Thursday!

I was too tired to do much yesterday after work. Not sure why, I didn't get less sleep than usual.

Today I finished a huge work project I've been working on for months, so I'm feeling pretty good. I returned a book to the library after work. Should have gone to the grocery store but the timing wasn't great. Going to try to go tomorrow morning.

Nothing going on tomorrow besides work. Sunday I'm going out to brunch with friends for lunar new year.

Currently reading:
Nothing new.
Reviews behind: 1
Library books: 6

Currently crafting:
Finished placemat #3 and halfway done with the last block of #4. Then I'll have to weave in the ends and block them, so I probably won't get them in the mail this week.

Currently watching:
Watched the first two episodes of a new show called Sexy Beast, which I thought was going to be a fun heist show like The Gold but episode two had a very graphic rape scene and no thank you. Apparently it's a prequel to a movie I've never heard of so abandoning that. Caught up on Death and Other Details which remains delightful.

131norabelle414
Fev 8, 9:57 pm

>129 ChelleBearss: The sloth book is very cute! And the sloth actually acts like a sloth, which I enjoy.

132elorin
Fev 8, 10:47 pm

I always feel good when I wrap up a project at work. Will you share a photo of the finished placemats?

133ursula
Fev 9, 3:01 am

>114 norabelle414: What?! 🤯 My daughter is also watching, and we've been discussing how we're not really feeling the "season 1 but with feminine energy" so far (with only 2 episodes to go), but I'm going to have to run this by her.

134figsfromthistle
Fev 9, 7:34 am

>130 norabelle414: Happy Friday!

Yay for completing your big work project. Good luck with the next one.

The placemats look wonderful. Nice and cheerful colours you picked.

135norabelle414
Fev 9, 5:41 pm

>132 elorin: I will definitely share when I'm finished! Which is ... not yet lol

>133 ursula: Apparently the original creator of the show is not involved in this season and is not happy about it, so I wonder if either the other people involved wanted more connection between the series and he left over it, or he left and then the new showrunner wanted more connection. I've also seen that there are cinematography connections between seasons 1 and 4 as well - in season 1 the victims are all women whose bodies are in humiliating positions and in this season they're all men in humiliating positions, and in season 1 yellow light is used to highlight clues/connections to the mystery and in this season blue light is used the same way - as you can see I've gone down quite a rabbit hole lol

>134 figsfromthistle: Thanks Anita! My next big project is due Wednesday (one of the reasons this one took so long...) so hopefully I will still remember this feeling and it can motivate me.

136norabelle414
Fev 9, 6:17 pm

It's Friday!!!

Went to the grocery store this morning. Then during lunch I cooked up a Mexican-y casserole thing (just layers of beans and cheese and salsa and tortillas) to use up a bunch of stuff from my pantry. It came out pretty well, but as I'm typing this I remember that I was planning to use corn as well but forgot. Argh.

Tomorrow I'll go get bagels in the morning, but no other plans until brunch on Sunday.

Currently reading:
I read some more of The Iliad (Emily R. Wilson translation) yesterday and today, but it's still slow going. I'm on page 50 of the introduction, still haven't started the poem yet.
Reviews behind: 1
Library books: 5

Currently crafting:
None

Currently listening:
Nothing, but I did add a link to my Spotify account to the "also on" section of my LibraryThing profile, if anyone wants to be friends.

Currently watching:
Episode 2 of Masters of the Air was slightly less boring, I suppose. Also watched Taskmaster Australia s1e1. I'm mildly annoyed that the official Taskmaster YouTube page is airing this season from 2023 instead of Taskmaster New Zealand s3 from 2022, but it was delightful nonetheless. Tom Gleeson is a great Taskmaster.

137norabelle414
Fev 11, 4:35 pm

Happy Sunday...

Friday night I stayed up too late and yesterday I didn't do much besides get bagels. I did read a little and knit a little, though. Last night I fell asleep early enough that I could have gotten more than 8 hours of sleep! Except that I woke up at 5am to pee. This is getting older, I guess.

Today is drizzly and gray, but not too bad. I took the Metro up to the northern suburbs to get hot pot with some friends for lunar new year and had a delightful quiet 30 minutes of reading time each way. I brought Sorry, Bro, which is a Romance but doesn't seem to have any explicit scenes in it so I might move it to my purse/backpack.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to have my monthly dinner with my dad and brother, but my brother had to cancel again. So we haven't really had one since September, which is annoying. No plans for the rest of the week, but I will probably sign up for a couple zoo shifts next weekend.

Currently reading:
Read a big chunk of The Iliad yesterday, so I am finally....on page 1. Plus about 70 pages of Sorry, Bro on the Metro today.
Reviews behind: 1
Library books: 5

Currently crafting:
I finished knitting all 4 placemats! Now comes everyone's favorite part of colorwork - weaving in the ends.

Currently watching:
I caught up on Miss Scarlet and the Duke, True Detective, Saturday Night Live, and Funny Woman. Watched but not yet caught up on Wild Cards, Echo, Masters of the Air, and the first episode of the new season of Genius, which is about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Something about this show just doesn't work for me, I've tapped out after 2-3 episodes of the previous 3 seasons. I think it's just too long and serious? I wish there was more room for levity. I also watched the first episode of Jury Duty, which my mom's husband suggested to me, but as I suspected it is not for me.

138_Zoe_
Fev 11, 5:14 pm

>105 norabelle414: Can you recommend any particular rhyming children's books or authors? Currently I enjoy Sandra Boynton, and there's always Dr. Seuss, but for the most part I have no idea how to identify the good board books besides just reading them.

Mark is the one maintaining Brendan's LT catalogue, and for now he's just decided to skip anything without an ISBN. I told him manual cataloguing was an option, but he doesn't care that much and I'm not motivated enough to do it myself either.

139bell7
Fev 11, 5:17 pm

Sounds like a lovely weekend, Nora! Hooray for the placemats, boo to weaving in ends.

140norabelle414
Fev 11, 5:53 pm

>138 _Zoe_: It's impossible to tell without reading them, really! Some good rhyming/repeating/metered ones I've liked:
- Peek-a-Who? by Nina Laden (She has a ton of other ones, I assume they're all the same. The pages have holes in them so great for little grasping hands or playing peekaboo)
- Goodnight Moon is great, but most of the knock-offs are NOT. My niece has both Good Night, Maine and Good Night, Wisconsin and they just list things from the state without any meter at all.
- Anything by Bill Martin Jr, like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
- The Llama Llama series
- 8 Little Planets, which can be sung to the tune of "Five Little Monkeys"
- Relatedly, anything with the title of a kids song is probably going to just be the song - my niece has a "Five Little Monkeys" book, The Whales on the Bus, Chicken Soup with Rice, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, etc.
The tags rhyme, rhymes, rhyming, etc. seem to be pretty good (which reminds me I should probably tag my rhyming books as well)

I add all of my books manually, so I'm a bit biased, but I find it pretty easy to just enter the title and author on the manual add page and hit "save". Then I add details and such later.

>139 bell7: Thanks Mary! I've got two placemats' worth of ends done so far, so I'm halfway there!

141norabelle414
Fev 12, 9:49 am

It's Monday!

Last night's episodes of my PBS shows got posted an hour earlier than usual, not sure why, but it meant I could watch them and go to bed at a decent hour! I stayed up too late anyway, though.

I slept terribly last night. It took me over an hour to fall asleep and then I had a lot of weird dreams about my high school bully who I haven't thought about in probably a decade. Then I slipped and fell in the shower. Thankfully I didn't hit my head but I did badly bruise my butt and my right arm. Ordered a non-slip bathtub mat that should get here later this week.

I'm working in the office today and having dinner with my dad tonight. The restaurant is next to a Barnes & Noble so maybe I'll get myself a lil treat.

Currently reading:
Read 10 pages of The Iliad last night, plus a little Sorry, Bro. There was a substitute shuttle driver this morning who did not have the radio on at all so I was able to read a lot.
Reviews behind: 1
Library books: 5

Currently crafting:
Ends woven in on two placemats, two to go.

Currently watching:
Caught up on Good Trouble, watched s4e2 of Genius, s4e6 of Miss Scarlet and the Duke (if the show gets canceled and they leave it here I will be extremely annoyed), and s4e6 of All Creatures Great and Small (technically the season finale but not really because the Christmas special is next week).

142foggidawn
Fev 12, 9:51 am

Sorry to hear about your rough night and your shower fall! I think you definitely need a little treat from B&N.

143ursula
Fev 12, 10:57 am

Oh my goodness, I'm glad it wasn't a more serious fall - non-slip mat is definitely in order! I think about it every time I step out of our shower, although it's so tiny I imagine I literally couldn't end up on my butt, haha. Treats cure most things.

144MickyFine
Fev 12, 10:09 pm

Oof sorry to hear about the slip and fall. I've done that on stairs in my house a couple times and the bruises take ages to heal.

Wishing you much luck with the ends. There needs to be a fairy for that...

145norabelle414
Fev 13, 11:07 am

>142 foggidawn: Thanks foggi! I ended up running a few minutes late for dinner and it was raining so I did not stop by the B&N.

>143 ursula: I was pretty thankful to end up on my butt and not my head! I have a nice non-slip mat on the bathroom floor but not inside the bathtub. I think I used to have one but tossed it when I got the bathtub replaced a few years ago?

>144 MickyFine: It's like a fun reward for finishing knitting, except the opposite...

146norabelle414
Fev 13, 11:33 am

Happy snowy Tuesday!

After work yesterday I went home, zoned out for 45 minutes, then went out to dinner with my dad. It was a lovely 20-minute bus ride, Vietnamese food, then I made the last bus home (that neighborhood has a Metro station but the bus is better & faster - but only runs until 8:30pm). Went to bed a bit too late but still let myself read for 10 minutes (which turned into 20 minutes).

This morning it was 45F and raining when I left for work, then by the time I got here it was 34F and heavily snowing. It looked nice but I'm sure it's gone by now.

Nothing going on this week until Saturday when I'm volunteering at the zoo in the morning and baby-sitting in the evening.

Currently reading:
Read a lot of Sorry, Bro yesterday and this morning and now I only have about 10 pages left. So I might....read it under my desk as a break. Don't worry, I do have a backup purse book.
Reviews behind: 1
Library books: 5

Currently crafting:
None

Currently watching:
Nothing new, but I rewatched the most recent episode of All Creatures Great and Small with my friend who missed it on Sunday.

147The_Hibernator
Fev 13, 12:06 pm

Wow, that's a big weather change. Do people there know how to drive in that weather? It's dangerous, and more so if people don't frequently experience that weather.

148curioussquared
Fev 13, 12:44 pm

Glad your fall wasn't worse!! I have also been guilty of sneaking the last few pages of a book at my desk at work.

I had Vietnamese food last night too :) My favorite trivia place is a brewery that allows outside food directly next to a Vietnamese restaurant, and the owners are nice enough to bring your food next door if you tell them you're at the brewery.

I still need to start the new season of All Creatures Great and Small. I usually watch it with my best friend, but we've been trading off being sick lately so haven't watched any TV together for several weeks.

149norabelle414
Fev 13, 2:46 pm

>147 The_Hibernator: Yes, snow is perfectly normal here. The only thing that was unusual was that it got colder from 7:30am to 8:30am, instead of the opposite. Since it was still above freezing, though, the roads were just wet, not icy.

>148 curioussquared: All Creatures Great and Small is great to watch while you're sick! But maybe not in-person.

150norabelle414
Fev 13, 7:08 pm



12. Where There Was Fire by John Manuel Arias

In Costa Rica in 1948, Amarga’s husband Tacito goes on a work trip for his job as a lawyer with the American Fruit Company and never returns, though she waits for him for the rest of her life. On a sweltering night in 1968, Teresa’s husband Jose Maria comes home in a jealous rage, kills his mother-in-law Amarga, and sets the plantation where he works on fire. In 1995, human rights lawyer Lyra returns to San Jose in the middle of a hurricane to uncover the crimes of the American Fruit Company, and she and her son Gabriel visit her long-estranged mother Teresa.

A very skillful novel. It’s language-driven, which is not my usual thing but this one was written by my childhood friend. It was beautiful to read, which reminded me why I used to love language-driven books (but also took me months longer than it should have, which reminded me why I don’t read them much anymore). I enjoyed the symbolic language and the magical realism. The timeline of the story weaves back and forth, in order to reveal the puzzle pieces of the story in the desired order, but the characters and settings are distinct so it’s easy to go with the flow.

I was very intrigued by the story of the American Fruit Company, and I wouldn’t have minded more background on that. But the main theme is family trauma - when to cover it up, when to talk about it, how it gets passed on, and most importantly, when to forgive someone for the trauma they inflicted on you because of the trauma that had been inflicted on them.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

151norabelle414
Editado: Fev 14, 12:59 pm



13. Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni

Nareh Bedrossian is totally done with her WASP-y, Germany-loving tech-bro boyfriend. She lets her mom try to find her an Armenian man during the Bay Area’s Armenian festival, and if she can simultaneously report on some of the events for work, even better. But instead Nareh falls in love with someone else… an Armenian woman.

A perfectly fine debut Romance. I found the main character and some of the other characters very frustrating (she needs some real friends!!!) and she makes some very obviously bad decisions (kissing your secret girlfriend in a photobooth at a family event, what could possibly go wrong??) but as usual I was won over in the end. I absolutely loved Nareh’s journey to learn more about and learn to appreciate her Armenian heritage and her relationship with her America-obsessed late father. I would recommend it for that alone (and it doesn’t have any explicit sex scenes, so I do feel more comfortable recommending it widely.)

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

152Ravenwoodwitch
Fev 14, 2:12 pm

>106 norabelle414: I love the color combos you have going on here! Those are gorgeous.
>110 norabelle414: AND I've just realized they match your cat. Lol.
>141 norabelle414: Ow :o
Hope you're okay. Good thing you didn't hit your head!

153norabelle414
Fev 14, 2:28 pm

Happy Wednesday...

After work yesterday I wrote some reviews and did some dishes. The sun came out so the weather was pleasant enough in the afternoon/evening.

Today is technically the last day of my company's work contract. It's already been renewed so everything will be seamless but it does mean that I absolutely have to get a few things done before midnight. This morning I finished a big project and I have one more to go (which might require some extra hours this evening.) After work I am planning to ... probably do nothing.

It passed me by at the time but reading Bookshops & Bonedust and She Hulk (2022) #2 marked the first time I have read more than one book in a series since Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!, Volume 2: Don't Stop Me-Ow in September 2019. To find the last time I read a non-comics series I had to look all the way back to Rich People Problems in March 2018, almost 6 years ago. Also, we're about 1/8 through the year and if I can keep up half of my current pace I'll read the most books in any year since 2014. It's good to be back!

Currently reading:
As you can see I did finish Sorry, Bro yesterday. I read The Iliad (still in book 1) and Artificial Condition last night before bed. About halfway through the latter so it's staying at home and I started a new purse book - Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest. Once I finish Artificial Condition my next bedtime book will be Delilah Green Doesn't Care.
Reviews behind: 0
Library books: 5

Currently crafting:
None

Currently watching:
For some reason there was no new episode of Taskmaster posted this week so I went back and watched the first episode of Taskmaster: Minnesota, a fan series made by a bunch of college kids that was originally just (kindly) ignored by the official productions but is now starting to be embraced. It's better than you'd think!

154norabelle414
Fev 14, 2:28 pm

>152 Ravenwoodwitch: Thanks Angela!!

155bell7
Fev 14, 3:08 pm

>153 norabelle414: Oooh, interesting that it's been that long since you've read series - and you're well on your way to another one with Artificial Condition. Congrats on having your reading pace pick up! I know it's not about the numbers, but it does feel good reaching a sort of sweet spot with the pace of books read, doesn't it?

I've heard good things about Delilah Green Doesn't Care, so I'll look forward to your thoughts on it.

156norabelle414
Fev 15, 10:57 am

>155 bell7: I have always been bad at following through with series, and other books by my favorite authors, but it got especially bad when I was only reading a few books per year. I hope I can get back into it! I have an embarrassing number of unread books on my shelves by authors that I *love*, I don't know why I'm so reluctant to read them.

157norabelle414
Fev 15, 12:31 pm

Happy Thursday!

I did get my project finished last night, fairly late but it was just formatting and adding graphs to a powerpoint so I was working on it while doing other things.

It's a lovely. chilly, sunny day out today. I've already finished all my meetings for the day so I might cook something or do laundry while working on my next project. I was intending to go into the office this morning, because my new boss was going to be on site, but I forgot (it was extremely optional so doesn't actually affect anything except my annoyance with myself). I also need to pick up some packages from my apartment package office (including my non-slip bathtub mat) and go to the grocery store.

Saturday is going to be very busy, with the zoo in the morning and baby-sitting in the evening. I debated moving my zoo shift to Sunday but I think I'd rather have one busy day and one rest day than two medium days.

Currently reading:
Yesterday on the bus I read a chunk of Grave Reservations. It's about a psychic travel agent who saves the life of a police detective and they team up to solve crimes. It's fine but not my favorite genre. I also finished book 1 of The Iliad and read a chunk of Artificial Condition before bed. Really enjoying my new routine of 15 minutes of something slow then 15 minutes of something cozy before bed.
Reviews behind: 0
Library books: 5

Currently crafting:
None

Currently watching:
The pilot of the new show Tracker - pretty boring.

158curioussquared
Fev 15, 12:40 pm

Yay for the return of reading mojo!

159katiekrug
Fev 15, 3:31 pm

My impression from the limited amount of stuff I've seen about Tracker was that it was trying to be Reacher...

Glad your no-slip bath mat has arrived! We have a very slippery tub, and I am embarrassed about how long it took me to wise up and get one :)

160norabelle414
Editado: Fev 17, 11:21 pm

>158 curioussquared: Thanks! I'm sure it won't last forever but I'm enjoying it while I can

>159 katiekrug: The Jack Reacher novels are much older than the Colter Shaw ones, and I haven't seen any Reacher properties, but it doesn't really look to me like they have much in common aside from vaguely similar names and being about one guy.

161katiekrug
Fev 15, 4:22 pm

>160 norabelle414: - Ah, I didn't realize Tracker was based on a series of books.

162Ravenwoodwitch
Fev 15, 7:51 pm

I didn't realize Reacher was based on books. Huh.

163Owltherian
Fev 15, 7:53 pm

Hello Nora, how are you?

164MickyFine
Fev 17, 9:42 am

I hope the zoo shift is fun and you have a grand time with the nibling this evening. Looking forward to hearing about what books you read with her.

165norabelle414
Fev 18, 2:27 pm

Happy Sunday!

Friday was not great, I didn't feel good and I didn't really do anything except read before bed. Friday night into Saturday morning we were supposed to get about 3-5 inches of snow but at my apartment there was ...absolutely nothing. The zoo announced Friday that they were going to open late on Saturday for snow cleanup, but there was only an inch there. The zoo opened at 10 and my shift at the bird house started at 10 so it didn't affect me much except that there weren't any visitors until about 10 minutes into my shift. I had a nice time, much better than when I was on Asia Trail a couple weeks ago, so I might switch to exclusively bird house for awhile.

Last night I babysat for a few hours. We read Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, Harold and the Purple Crayon, and a little bit of a book about sea animals and a book about national parks that I didn't catch the name of (sometimes the books get pulled out of my hands practically as soon as I can open them...)

Today I'm doing nothing (except that I already cleaned my toaster oven and kitchen vent this morning) but I might join an online social event later. Tomorrow I'm at the zoo again in the morning.

Currently reading:
Friday I read She-Hulk (2022) #3. I read some of The Iliad but I'm still only halfway through book 2. Yesterday between several metro rides and baby-sitting I read about 150 pages of Grave Reservations. Cherie Priest's writing just works so well for me, even when she's writing about something that doesn't usually interest me.
Reviews behind: 3
Library books: 5

Currently crafting:
None

Currently watching:
Caught up on Death and Other Details, Good Trouble, Whose Line Is it Anyway, Criminal Record (only one episode left and I'm pretty sure the ending is going to be a flop), and Family Law. I also watched s1e2 of Taskmaster Australia (an incredible first two episodes, quite an accomplishment for a brand new series. I finally realized I recognize Nina Oyama from Deadloch, where she plays basically herself) and finished Echo, which was incredible all the way through.

166MickyFine
Fev 18, 5:49 pm

I'm glad to hear Echo was good. Marvel shows have been real hit and miss for me lately.

167curioussquared
Fev 19, 2:14 am

I watched Taskmaster Australia and Deadloch in the opposite order and also had fun spotting Nina :) She cracks me up in both shows.

168RIMAKARY
Fev 19, 8:13 am

Este utilizador foi removido como sendo spam.

169norabelle414
Fev 20, 9:50 am

>163 Owltherian: Hi Owl, I'm okay, how are you?

>166 MickyFine: Echo could easily have been a non-Marvel show, which is why it works so well IMO.

>167 curioussquared: Nina is so funny and I'm enjoying Taskmaster Australia *so much*

170Owltherian
Fev 20, 9:55 am

>169 norabelle414: Not well, had a panic attack during class but at least I'm okayish now

171norabelle414
Fev 20, 11:43 am

>170 Owltherian: I'm sorry to hear that. I hope you're taking advantage of the available resources at your school, like counselors. It will never again be as easy or cheap to get counseling as when you're in school.

172Owltherian
Fev 20, 11:50 am

>171 norabelle414: yeah, i visit a teacher who helps me

173norabelle414
Fev 20, 12:16 pm

Happy Monday Tuesday!

Sunday was relaxing, I joined an online social event where we talked about what we're reading (and other random topics) and caught up on TV. Monday I went to the zoo in the morning. I was going to try a new place for breakfast but it wasn't open yet so I went to my usual egg sandwich place. I was much more tired after my shift on Monday than I had been on Saturday, which probably means I need to volunteer more. The birds were great as usual but the room was very hot. Started getting ready for bed in good time last night but kept getting distracted so by the time I actually got into bed it was a bit on the late side and so I only read Artificial Condition and not The Iliad.

Today I'm in the office. Our new director is here today but he's checking in, getting his computer, etc. so there's nothing I need to do. After work I need to pick up a package (new skirts from https://shop.morningwitch.com!) and try to locate another package which has gotten lost in my building somewhere (it's just new scratch pads for Rory, nothing special). It's a low-key week ahead, until I babysit on Saturday morning.

Currently reading:
Finished book 2 of The Iliad, which was mostly lists of people and places I could skim through. Honestly I'm mostly skimming through the whole thing because I don't have the concentration ability to read it closely. I'm hoping once I catch up with the podcast I listen to that's reading it I'll feel more inspired. I'm more than 80% through both Grave Reservations and Artificial Condition, not sure which I'll finish first.
Reviews behind: 3
Library books: 5

Currently crafting:
None

Currently watching:
Caught up on Family Law, Masters of the Air (I still don't know who any of the characters are but also JFC was the most recent episode sad), Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and the new seasons of Not Dead Yet, Abbott Elementary, and Resident Alien. I watched the season finales of Funny Woman, True Detective, and All Creatures Great and Small, which were all good.

174katiekrug
Fev 20, 1:27 pm

I'm thinking Resident Alien might be a good option for TW and me. Are they 30 or 60 minute episodes? Our current "short" show is Welcome to Wrexham" and we just started Death and Other Details" for a longer option.

175norabelle414
Fev 20, 2:13 pm

>174 katiekrug: They're a network TV "hour", so 43-ish minutes long. I think you guys would like it, it's very funny.
Season 3 of Welcome to Wrexham is coming in mid-April so you won't have too much time to fill.

176katiekrug
Fev 20, 2:42 pm

>175 norabelle414: - Cool, thanks. WtW is weird in how varied the run-time of their episodes are. Throws me off, dammit!

177norabelle414
Fev 20, 3:10 pm

>175 norabelle414: There is technically a logic to it if you're watching it in real time. Every week there's one hour of show, but sometimes it's one hour-long episode and sometimes it's two half-hour episodes. It does really mess up my spreadsheet, though.

178katiekrug
Fev 20, 6:10 pm

>177 norabelle414: - Interesting!

Your spreadsheet must be very complicated. I started using the JustWatch app, which I don't love the UI of, but it does keep decent track of things for me.

179norabelle414
Fev 21, 9:40 am

>178 katiekrug: I sometimes use an app called TV Time, which is fine except that it skews international so sometimes it will say shows are available when they aren't airing in the US yet (PBS shows, etc.). I tried switching to JustWatch but it absolutely refuses to remember what episodes I've watched - as soon as I mark an episode as "watched" it marks the prior episode as "unwatched". I submitted a bug report about it almost a year ago but they said they couldn't help unless I sent them a *video* of the behavior. So annoying.

Thus....spreadsheet. It's not very complicated, I just list the show title, episode number, air date, and whether I've watched it (Y/N)

180norabelle414
Fev 21, 12:36 pm

Happy Wednesday!

Picked up my packages yesterday; Rory loves his new scratch pads but the skirts I got for myself are too big so I need to return them. Ugghhhhhh I hate mailing things!

Today I'm in the office. After work I *really* need to write book reviews! And maybe go to the library. For some reason Artificial Condition has 3 copies in my library system and I have the only one that's checked out, but Rogue Protocol has 7 holds on 3 copies so I'm going to have to wait a bit. Why is everyone else in my county at the same point of the series as me?? Anyway, I put holds on a couple other books and one is ready for pickup. I also need to start thinking about what books I'm going to bring with me on my trip to Wisconsin at the end of March, since I don't want to take any library books with me. I'd like to get started on a couple before I leave so I have some momentum.

Tomorrow I definitely need to go to the grocery store because I haven't been in like 2 weeks.

Currently reading:
Last night I finished Grave Reservations. My new purse book is The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek which my mom loaned to me a couple years ago. I don't love it so far but I'm only 15 pages in. I'm halfway through book 3 of The Iliad, and almost done with Artificial Condition.
Reviews behind: 4
Library books: 5

Currently crafting:
None

Currently watching:
Yesterday's episode of Death and Other Details. I did not care for the format. It always feels like bad writing when a detective finds an answer by "exploring their own memory" or whatever instead of actual clues.

181curioussquared
Fev 21, 12:41 pm

>180 norabelle414: Totally agree about the most recent episode of Death and Other Details. This was me and Tim about ten minutes in:

Tim: This is weird.
Me: Yep. I don't really like it.
Tim: Oh thank god, me either.

182norabelle414
Fev 22, 5:49 pm

It's Thursday!

Yesterday sucked. The shuttle I take home is supposed to leave every 20 minutes but I had to wait over 40 minutes because the shuttle before mine broke down going from point A to point B and the shuttle company made the next shuttle, on its way from point B to point A, abandon its route to take the one passenger to point B instead of taking him back to point A and then to point B. So instead of one passenger being 20 minutes late, ~20 passengers were between 30 and 60 minutes late. The driver made good time but I still got home about an hour late (since it was later in the evening, the traffic was worse) and very cranky and stressed. Did not write any reviews or read anything.

Today has been uneventful. Tomorrow will hopefully also be uneventful, then Saturday morning I'm babysitting and Saturday night I'm going out to dinner for a friend's birthday.

Currently reading:
Nada
Reviews behind: 4
Library books: 5

Currently crafting:
None

Currently watching:
I watched the first two episodes of the new show The New Look, about Christian Dior and Coco Chanel during the Nazi occupation of Paris. I find Christian Dior's sister, a resistance fighter, very interesting but the show is mostly about fashion and middle-to-upper class people who end up kind of collaborating so they can keep their lifestyle, neither of which interest me. I also watched the finale of Criminal Record, which did not screw up the ending as much as it could have but still didn't come down as hard on corrupt police as I think it should have.

183norabelle414
Fev 22, 10:12 pm



14. She-Hulk (2022) #3 by Rainbow Rowell, illustrated by Rogê Antônio

Jennifer goes to work but struggles to find clients since her nemesis/boss does not want to take on anyone with powers. Jack speculates about why he might have come back, and why to Jennifer, and then realizes he might need to pee for the first time in his life. Also Jennifer talks to her BFF Patsy Walker on the phone but doesn’t tell her about Jack.

Now we're getting somewhere! The scene at the law office was fun, and the rest moved the plot forward a bit. It’s kind of funny that Jack is like “I don’t know why I came to you, we weren’t that close” when the cover art looks like they’re on a date.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (4.5/5)

184norabelle414
Editado: Fev 23, 5:33 pm



15. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Each of the machines on a construction site winds down their work and tucks themselves in to sleep.

Very cute, with good rhyming. The illustrations of construction trucks with little blankets on their backs or holding teddy bears are extremely cute. However, I do wish that ALL of the trucks didn’t use he/him pronouns. They’re trucks, can’t one of them be not male?

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (4.5/5)

185norabelle414
Fev 23, 5:30 pm



16. Harold and the Purple Crayon written and illustrated by Crockett Johnson

Armed only with a purple crayon, a little boy named Harold draws a moon and a path to walk on, then draws his way into an adventure. Eventually he draws his way back home, and draws himself a bed to sleep in.

Very cute, but seems like it might be trying to appeal more to parents than kids. The stark drawings are beautiful, but it’s a little too long to hold my niece’s attention, and there’s the obvious concern about promoting drawing on walls. I’ll be interested to see if she likes this one more when she’s a little older.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (4/5)

186norabelle414
Fev 23, 5:31 pm



17. Grave Reservations by Cherie Priest

Leda Foley is a travel agent with light psychic abilities, who incidentally saves the life of a homicide detective. He enlists her help to solve a recent murder case which has hit a dead end, and she agrees…if he’ll help her look into the unsolved murder of her fiance 3 years ago.

Very fun. This is a bit of a departure for Cherie Priest from her usual horror, steampunk, etc. but her clever and breezy writing shines through. I loved all of the side characters, and Leda & Niki’s friendship, and really really loved the idea of psychically figuring out what song people want to hear as a way to show off / practice / hone her powers. It’s voluntary, totally harmless, and can’t be faked. However, despite the great writing and worldbuilding this is still a police procedural. Detective Grady is by-the-book, doesn’t abuse his power, and ensures Leda doesn’t overstep. But it’s just not my favorite genre.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (4.5/5)

187norabelle414
Fev 23, 5:32 pm



18. Love, Vol 1: The Tiger written by Frédéric Brrémaud, illustrated by Federico Bertolucci

A graphic novel without words, that depicts a day in the life of a tiger. They hunt for a meal, avoid animals that could hurt them, and are observed by other residents of the jungle.

The illustrations here are absolutely stunning, down to every leaf and raindrop.The movement of the animals is captured perfectly. The “facial expressions” are a bit exaggerated but that’s necessary for a comic. However, the story is not great. This must be an especially stupid tiger because they spend a lot of time chasing (and missing) one tapir, and then kill a leopard that attacks them but don’t bother to eat any of it, then can’t manage to avoid a lusty elephant that they could have heard coming from a mile away. In the end they eat a human, which tigers only do when they are very desperate. Why was this tiger so desperate when it didn’t eat an already-dead leopard? It doesn’t make much sense. This book was originally published in French and it’s not stated who translated the few sentences of writing at the beginning, explaining why the series is called “love”, but they don’t make any sense. It was beautiful to look at and I’m not mad I read it, but I don’t think I’ll continue with the other 3 books in the series.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ♥ (3.5/5)

188curioussquared
Fev 23, 5:32 pm

I've only read one Cherie Priest book but I really enjoyed it. I'll have to check this out!

189norabelle414
Editado: Fev 23, 5:36 pm

>188 curioussquared: I also really liked Boneshaker and Maplecroft and I Am Princess X, so it's nice to know that I'll just enjoy anything at all that she writes.

190drneutron
Fev 23, 5:40 pm

Cherie Priest is great! I sat by her aunt on a plane once - happened to be reading one of the Lizzie Borden books.

Also, Neil Gaiman’s at Wolftrap on July 31. I think tickets are still available. We’ve got ours. 😀

191katiekrug
Fev 23, 6:54 pm

I loved Harold when I was a kid, but a kid older than your niece is currently 🙂

192norabelle414
Fev 23, 9:29 pm

>190 drneutron: She's nice to follow on social media, which reminded me that I need to read more of her work!
Thanks for the heads up! That's the week my next nibling is born so I'm on-call to watch their dog, but I hope you enjoy! I saw him a few years ago at DAR Constitution Hall and it was really fun

>191 katiekrug: That's good to hear! I'm hopeful.

193norabelle414
Fev 23, 10:13 pm

Happy Friday!

Last night I wrote a couple reviews and read some. Today has been good, I went to the grocery store, got caught up on reviews, did several loads of laundry, and took books back to the library. I played a little library holds chicken (waiting until the last minute to pick up a hold because I have another that's going to be ready any minute now), but I lost.

I'm baby-sitting in the morning, then going out for a fancy dinner. No plans for Sunday.

Currently reading:
I read all of Love, Vol. 1: The Tiger and a bit of Artificial Condition. My purse book is The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, so I should get some of that read tomorrow.
Reviews behind: 0
Library books: 4

Currently crafting:
None

Currently watching:
Caught up on Abbott Elementary, Not Dead Yet, Good Trouble (I'm so tired of Callie and Jaime, I can't believe there's like 2 episodes left, ever, and it's all about them), and Wild Cards (still extremely mid but still has a cat in it! His name is Marc and he's in every episode! Also the most recent episode was basically a spoof of The Vampire Diaries which really tickled me.)

194Whisper1
Fev 24, 12:22 am

It's so good to find another member who likes illustrated books! I'm hooked on them. The stories, the art...all of it I love!

195elorin
Fev 24, 10:50 am

>185 norabelle414: Harold was one of my favorite books as a child and I loved reading it to my daughter (she liked it too) but I don't know comparative ages.

196PaulCranswick
Ontem, 7:51 pm

>187 norabelle414: That is one heck of a book cover, Nora.