EllaTim, hoping for the best in 2024

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2024

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EllaTim, hoping for the best in 2024

1EllaTim
Editado: Fev 10, 11:38 am

Hi everybody, my name is Ella. Living in Amsterdam, with hubby Marc.
I'm active in my community, and we have an allotment garden on the other side of the town.

I like to read fantasy, but also lots of other stuff.

Hoping for the best in 2024, because we need it!

For my culling books project, here’s the LFL map of Amsterdam:
https://www.google.com/mymaps/viewer?mid=15tEYpDFqfkNYBFAHRxNeM6AAxWBRxXcb&h...

2EllaTim
Editado: Fev 13, 8:15 am

Books read in 2024:

1. Acqua Alta by Donna Leon (It/USA, reread) ****
2. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (UK, audio) ****

11. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey ***

3EllaTim
Editado: Jan 2, 11:07 am

Best of 2023

Fiction
Dutch:
Bitter Herbs by Marga Minco, read by the author (Dutch) *****
Het Sleutelkruid by Paul Biegel (dutch, audio) *****
Knielen op een bed violen by Jan Siebelink (dutch)****1/2
Orpheus in de Dessa by Augusta de Wit (dutch, 1901) ****1/2
Het Dwaallicht by Willem Elsschot (dutch/Belgium) ****1/2
De Camino by Anya Niewierra (dutch, audio) ****

Several classics here. I was surprised by how much I liked them.
De Camino is a prizewinner of 2023

English:
Best five:
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray (Ireland) *****
The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff (UK, historical fiction) ****1/2
All the Light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr (USA) ****1/2
East of Eden by John Steinbeck (USA) ****1/2
Howards End by E.M. Forster (UK) ****1/2

Four ****1/2 star, but still a bit less memorable?
Long Bright River by Liz Moore (USA) ****1/2
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt (USA) ****1/2
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (USA) ****1/2
Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt (USA) ****1/2

Non-Fiction
Glucose Revolution: the life-changing power of balancing your Blood Sugar by Jessie Inchauspe ****1/2
De Mooie Voedselmachine by Giulia Enders ****1/2
Reizen zonder John by Geert Mak (dutch) ****

Series:
A Venetian Reckoning by Donna Leon (reread) ****

For next year: I was surprised by how much I liked my dutch authors, and the books for children I read! I'll be trying to find some more of those pearls.

And I will be trying to add some more non-fiction. I have been feeling tired most of the year, and obviously reading non-fiction suffered from that.

4EllaTim
Editado: Jan 2, 12:06 pm

Reading plans:
After listening to Wintergasten, an interview with Noreena Hertz. She is an economist who has written about globalization, and the world-wide epidemic of loneliness that seems to be going on. I thought she was very interesting. I can notice some of this in my own neighbourhood, where people have a hard time meeting each other. The Lonely Century

Tonight Wintergasten has Nino Haratischwili!

5EllaTim
Editado: Jan 2, 12:39 pm

BAC: https://www.librarything.com/topic/355015

Wildcard: Blast from the Past

January: Joan Aiken &
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Hound of the Baskervilles

February: Emma Newman & Ronald Firbank

March: Welsh Authors

April: Barbara Pym & Anthony Trollope

May: Portal Fantasy

June: Kiran Millwood Hargrave & DH Lawrence

July: Animal Tales

August: KJ Charles & Winston Churchill

September: The 1980s

October: Gothic Fiction

November: EM Delafield & TH White

December: Books Acquired in 2024

6EllaTim
Editado: Jan 29, 7:01 pm

Participating in War room:
MONTH - BY - MONTH IN THE WAR ROOM

JANUARY - The Ancients (Greeks, Romans etc)
Options: The Iliad? Cassandra or The Last of the Wine
FEBRUARY - The American War of Independence
MARCH - The War of the Roses
APRIL - Wars of Religion
De vuuraanbidders by Simon Vestdijk
MAY - The Napoleonic Wars
JUNE - The English Civil War
JULY - Colonial Wars
AUGUST - World War Two
SEPTEMBER - The American Civil War
OCTOBER - American Follies (Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and the Gulf Wars)
NOVEMBER - World War One
DECEMBER - The Spanish Civil War
WILDCARD - Pick your own fight!

See: https://www.librarything.com/topic/355667#

I probably won't manage to read for every month here. Some look easier than others.

7EllaTim
Editado: Jan 29, 7:04 pm

See the planning thread: https://www.librarything.com/topic/356288

For the January AAC Mark Twain: Huckleberry Finn
February Susan Sontag

8EllaTim
Editado: Jan 29, 7:04 pm

Series:
The Brunetti series by Donna Leon.
Just finished nr 5: Acqua Alta
6: Death of Faith

9EllaTim
Jan 1, 10:20 am

Oke, this was all I could think of. Now we're off to feed the birds.
Come in everyone. Allthough it's a bit empty and unfurnished here. I hope to amend that later.

10SirThomas
Jan 1, 12:02 pm

Happy new year and Happy new thread, Ella.
All the best for you in 2024!

11drneutron
Jan 1, 6:17 pm

Welcome back, Ella!

12Berly
Jan 1, 6:26 pm


13jessibud2
Jan 1, 6:28 pm

Happy new thread and new year, Ella. I think 2024 HAS TO be better for so many of us, after the awful 2023, right? ;-)

14quondame
Jan 1, 7:39 pm

Hi Ella!

Wishing you a great one!

15msf59
Jan 1, 9:10 pm

Happy New Year, Ella. Looking forward to hanging out with you again in 2024.

16figsfromthistle
Jan 1, 9:15 pm

Happy new year, Ella!

17FAMeulstee
Jan 2, 5:02 am

Happy reading in 2024, Ella!

18vancouverdeb
Jan 2, 6:22 am

Happy New Year, and Happy New Thread, Ella!

19EllaTim
Jan 2, 11:02 am

Hi everybody, so nice to see you all!
and thanks for all the good wishes for the new year. The same to all of you.

One good thing is the participation in this group of kind and friendly people. And the joy from reading, and reading more....

I finished my first, but of course already started in 2023.

1. Acqua alta by Donna Leon (It/USA) (reread)****

I'm not going to do a review, it's a reread for me. But I am still enjoying this series a lot. Here the description of a flooding Venice was a big part of the story. Made for an immersive and very atmospheric read!

20PaulCranswick
Jan 2, 11:05 am

Happy new year, Ella.

>19 EllaTim: Good to see you off to a flying start.

21EllaTim
Jan 2, 11:09 am

>20 PaulCranswick: Thank you Paul!

22EllaTim
Jan 2, 4:26 pm

Reading now:
The Hound of the Baskervilles. Listening to the audio. Great.

Had a job today, finances, for a subsidy. Took me ages. I think bureaucracy frightens me. But it’s done.

23EllaTim
Jan 3, 1:29 pm

2. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle (UK, audio) ****

Well, this was fun. A nice creepy atmosphere. Adventures, and suspicion. The story told by doctor Watson. And a big and exciting finish. After which Holmes explains the rest.
The creepy atmosphere, the unexplained and scary mystical hound makes the story so much fun, but the other part of it is, that after this rationality has the upper hand, and with it safety is restored. We can breathe again, the hellhound is revealed.

24Berly
Jan 4, 2:36 am

Well, your first two reads are definitely good ones in my book! Carry on! : )

25DianaNL
Jan 4, 8:18 am

Happy New Year, Ella.

>4 EllaTim: Did you watch the Wintergasten with Nino Haratischwili? Did you like it?

26karenmarie
Jan 4, 8:31 am

Hi Ella. Happy New Year! All my best for 2024 to you and Marc.

>2 EllaTim: Two books already. Congrats.

27karenmarie
Editado: Jan 4, 8:31 am

drat. double post. sorry.

28johnsimpson
Jan 4, 4:54 pm

Hi Ella my dear, Happy New Year. I will be visiting throughout 2024 dear friend.

29streamsong
Jan 4, 4:55 pm

Happy New Year, Ella! Yours is the first thread I've visited with two books already completed. Congratulations!

I'm hoping to keep up better this year, and look forward to seeing what you will read!

30EllaTim
Jan 4, 7:40 pm

>24 Berly: Hi Kim. Yes, so they were! glad you liked them.
>25 DianaNL: Thanks Diana! I don't watch TV every day. It tires me (that's what you get from this stupid fatigue). But thanks for reminding me, cause I really want to see it! Did you?
>26 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Thanks for the new year's wishes.
Two already was easy, first book started in December of course.
>28 johnsimpson: Hi John, I'll be visiting your thread as well. And happy New Year my friend.
>29 streamsong: Hi Janet. Thank you.
I'm having trouble keeping up as well, but I'll be interested in what you read! Of course I appreciate any visit here, but I completely understand about being tired, or busy. No problem at all!
I've been tired all year, and it has had it's effect on me as well.

32vancouverdeb
Jan 4, 9:48 pm

Happy New Thread, and Happy New Year, Ella! Enjoy The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. I read it when I was younger and loved it. She is a great author ( or was -, likely she has passed away ).

33ronincats
Jan 4, 9:54 pm

Happy New Year, Ella! I think I'm going to read The Wolves of Willoughby Chase as well, and then maybe continue with the series. I loved those books in the 60s and early 70s, but that was only the first four written at that time, and I've never read the later ones.

34PawsforThought
Jan 5, 4:36 am

Hi Ella, hope 2024 is treating you well so far!
You seem to have started off well with your reading, at least.

35sirfurboy
Jan 5, 5:45 am

Happy new year Ella, I'm just dropping my star. Looking forward to seeing your reads this year.

36EllaTim
Editado: Jan 5, 8:40 am

>32 vancouverdeb: Hi Deb! Thanks!
Joan Aiken: You made me wonder, and I looked her up. Yes, she died in 2004. Maybe I’ll look for some of her other books.
>33 ronincats: Hi Roni! Oh, that is some time ago. I hope you’ll love your reread.
>34 PawsforThought: Hi Paws, I hope the same for you!
>35 sirfurboy: Hi Stephen! Happy New Year!

37DianaNL
Jan 5, 8:24 am

>30 EllaTim: No, I didn't see Wintergasten. I was just curious if it was a good conversation.

38EllaTim
Editado: Jan 5, 8:34 am

3. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (UK) ****



Sylvia has lived with her poor aunt Jane, but she is moving to her aunt and uncle’s in the country, who are very well to do, and can take care of her better. During the train journey she meets a strange man, who happens to protect her from a wolf pack that was attacking the train (it’s mid winter). He contrives to get taken home with her by some clever means. Then it turns out who the real wolves are, and how they threaten Sylvia and her cousin Bonnie.

This is a good story, but what stays with me the most are the images in it, and the people. The wolves, the snow-clad icy cold landscape. The two little cousins, and their rescuer independent Simon and his geese.

Thinking of reading part two in this series.

39Tess_W
Jan 5, 8:34 am

Good luck with your 2024 reading and that garden!

40EllaTim
Jan 5, 8:35 am

>38 EllaTim: Hi Tess! Thank you and the same to you.

41Annie_09
Jan 5, 8:36 am

42EllaTim
Jan 5, 8:39 am

>41 Annie_09: Hi! Good luck. I don’t know that one, but Jane Austen is worth while.

43quondame
Jan 5, 4:41 pm

>41 Annie_09: I really love Mansfield Park. It has an unexpectedly subversive wit in what is related straight forwardly and in how it plays with the conventions of its days.

44EllaTim
Jan 5, 6:07 pm

>43 quondame: Sounds good!

45EllaTim
Jan 5, 6:30 pm

>37 DianaNL: Hi Diana! I have now seen more than half of it. Yes, it’s interesting. She tells about Georgia, and the collaps of the Soviet Union. And about growing up under those circumstances. It’s nice to have a face, and some background for a writer.

46Annie_09
Jan 6, 10:32 am

>43 quondame: Really! That's good to hear. I have been Holding off reading it for a while. I guess I'll start it soon enough.

47Annie_09
Jan 6, 10:32 am

>42 EllaTim: Thank you!!

48EllaTim
Jan 7, 7:47 pm

>47 Annie_09: Have a good time with your reading!

49PaulCranswick
Jan 7, 7:59 pm

Great start to the reading year, Ella.

I will be reading Black Hearts in Battersea this week all being well.

50EllaTim
Jan 9, 11:07 am

>49 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! Oh, good for you. Maybe I’ll get to that one as well.

It’s finally stopped raining here! Yippee! We were getting sick and tired of staying inside, cloudy skies, and all. High time, there wasn’t any serious flooding, luckily.
And now in some places, kids are skating.

I’m at home, jobs to do, but still tired too soon. Marc’s at the allotment cause there’s pruning etc. Yesterday I could still harvest some beets, and today I’ll be making oven-roasted pumpkin with feta cheese.

51EllaTim
Jan 9, 6:57 pm

4. . Het Monster Trotteldrom (dutch, comic) by Marten Toonder ****



Heer Bommel get to meet the Trots. Something is wrong in their island, there’s a monster they can’t get rid of. The trots are looking for help and advice. And of course our heroes are willing to give that (if a bit reluctant).
A good story, with some of my favorite characters, captain Walrus and professor Prlwytzkofsky.

52EllaTim
Editado: Jan 9, 7:01 pm

Listening to:
De Achterblijvers over de vergeten pandemie van long covid by Anne Vroegindeweij.

I got my one neighbor to meet my other neighbor. She is a very nice lady, but getting very elderly. They liked each other, yeah!

53FAMeulstee
Jan 10, 2:09 pm

>51 EllaTim: I love these editions of the Bommel comics, Ella. Bought them all right after they were published, back in the days we could afford to buy stacks of books at our regular bookshop :-)

54Berly
Jan 10, 2:12 pm

Hurray for no rain today!! And the pumpkin & cheese creation sounds yummy. Nice job with the neighbors and happy reading!

55EllaTim
Jan 10, 8:32 pm

>53 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! That’s the best way to read them. I bought a number of small paperback editions, but I found it very unfortunate that the pictures were so small in those. This one I have borrowed from the online library. Reading it on my iPad it has the right size again!

>54 Berly: Hi Kim! Nice to see you!

56EllaTim
Editado: Jan 10, 8:35 pm

For Paul’s War Room reading I had started on Pax Romana, but it is a tome and will take me ages. For the moment I picked a different book for this month’s challenge: The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff. Set in England after the Pax Romana has been gone. Not regretting this, it’s really very good. A pleasure to read.

57EllaTim
Jan 13, 5:24 pm

I’d started Huckleberry Finn. I remember reading it as a teenager, and liking it then. My reread was an audio, from Librivox. But I’m finding it hard going, don’t know why. (Well, the accents aren’t easy, that’s one thing) So I’ll be trying again, now with the ebook version.

Also I am finding myself still tiring soon.

58FAMeulstee
Jan 14, 5:42 am

>56 EllaTim: I have loved nearly every book by Rosemany Sutcliff, Ella. The Lantern Bearers is one of my favorites.

Sorry you are still easily tired.

59EllaTim
Jan 14, 8:48 am

>58 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! It’s really very good. I used to love her books, when I read them as a teen, and I still do.

This fatigue is really a bother. Backpain plays a part. Making me less active then I should be. I’m trying to be more active, but it isn’t easy.

Trying to make doing exercises a habit. Reading Atomic habits now. A suggestion from my sister. Make it easy. Good idea :-)

60EllaTim
Jan 15, 7:55 pm

I’m working on decluttering. Today I took down the Christmas tree. Just in time, to prevent lots of needles everywhere.

61sirfurboy
Jan 17, 6:56 am

>38 EllaTim: Great story. I loved it. There was a TV adaption years ago that was probably pretty bad - but I liked it at the time!

62EllaTim
Jan 19, 8:24 pm

>61 sirfurboy: Hi Stephen! Yes, I looked it up on YouTube, and there seems to be a TV or movie adaptation. I’ve never seen that, though. It is a good story, and would make some nice visuals.

63EllaTim
Editado: Jan 19, 8:46 pm

5. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (USA) ****



Huck Finn is being raised by two ladies, but his father, a drunk, and a rascal, takes him away. Huck likes it at first, but his dad doesn’t treat him well. At last Huck runs away, decides to play dead, and escapes along the river, the Mississippi. He meets another runaway, Jim, a black man, a slave of one of the ladies, and they go on together.
Follow lots of adventures, meeting all kind of strange people, but all’s well that ends well.

I had read this before, a long time ago. On reading it again I liked some parts a lot. I could see why the book was nearly banned, as Twain makes fun of religion, and how easily people are led and will believe anything. It’s clear from the story what he thinks of slavery. And it’s funny how he lets Huck decides he can’t denounce Jim, while at the same time condemning himself, thinking he’ll go to hell.

In other places I thought it really too long-winded, and especially the last part where Tom Sawyer shows up was really too much.

But overall it’s interesting, and it feels really fresh, not old-fashioned or dated. Huck is fun, he has his own way of looking at things, and makes the reader see too.

64EllaTim
Jan 19, 8:53 pm

6. De Achterblijvers by Anne Vroegindeweij (Dutch, audio) ****

Anne Vroegindeweij is a LongCovid sufferer. She talks about what happened to her, and this forgotten pandemic. The patients are now finally getting some recognition, but at first doctors didn’t know what was going on. Information didn’t seem to reach them, a lot wasn’t known or recognized. This made the situation for patients really difficult. I know people who have LC now, but I also have a friend who had ME for a long time. Their situation is similar. So this was interesting to read. Post infection syndromes as a whole are being recognized now, and the similarities are being seen. Hoping for better treatment, but the first step is that the problem is not denied any longer.

65EllaTim
Jan 20, 8:08 pm

7. The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff (UK) ****1/2



"Instead of leaving with the last of the Roman legions, Aquila, a young officer, decides that his loyalties lie with Britain, and he eventually joins the forces of the Roman-British leader Ambrosius to fight against the Saxon hordes."

I thought this was beautifully written. Aquila and his sister, at the start of the book. The atmosphere of their house, the apple orchard. There was something very melancholy about it.
The book is set right after the end of the Pax Romana. I read it for Paul’s War Room Challenge. Of course the Roman time has ended, but you can see here how important it was, and what this time of peace has meant.
Britain is being overrun by Saxons here. I liked the interlude where it becomes clear what was the background of these invasions.
Important theme is loyalty and ties. Aquila makes his peace in the end.

66Berly
Jan 20, 8:49 pm

Another Huck Finn fan here. And a LC sufferer -- hope they find some treatments soon. And >65 EllaTim: Nice review -- I like how my friends push me to read outside my comfort zone. : )

67EllaTim
Jan 21, 5:16 pm

>66 Berly: Hi Kim. Like minds eh?
I do hope they find treatments, and that we will decide to stop spreading the virus.

The Lantern Bearers was outside of my comfort zone as well. A battle scene! And so well described that I could feel why war and fighting can be attractive to people, and even addictive in a way.
I looked up the writer, Rosemary Sutcliff. Very surprising that she has spent most of her life in a wheelchair.

68EllaTim
Editado: Jan 23, 6:15 pm

I started The Iliad again. I got stuck in it earlier, and couldn’t get through. Now I have found a new dutch translation, by Imme Dros. What a surprise! Her translation is set in rhythm, like the Greek one. It just pulls you along, making reading it easy and fresh.

Her translation of Achilles words against king Agamemnon is funny, and I find myself cheering him on.

“Koning volksuitzuiger! Je heerst over sukkels en stakkers,”

Not meaning that it doesn’t take an effort sometimes.

I listened to an interview with Imme Dros on radio. She talked about translating, and how she found herself thinking about a translation laying in bed, and sometimes waking up with the right words. I can see how it must have been a joy to her.

69EllaTim
Jan 25, 6:46 pm

Happened on a wonderful site, artist Jackie Morris.
https://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/

For anyone who loves nature, books and painting!

She was the illustrator for The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane.



70EllaTim
Editado: Jan 25, 7:13 pm

Saw the newest book by Peter Frankopan in the bookshop. It’s massive. Also very tempting, for a book lover. A beautiful cover, and the side of the page also has a print, a must-have. But I have made a deal with myself to not buy any books on first view.



(Reviewers complain of the book being too detailed, also scary)

71jessibud2
Jan 25, 7:41 pm

>69 EllaTim:- Jackie Morris has collaborated with MacFarlane on a number of books and is green, she is wonderful. Thanks for that link, Ella.

72EllaTim
Jan 25, 8:21 pm

>71 jessibud2: Hi Shelley. Is that so? Which one do you like best? I love her art.

73EllaTim
Jan 26, 2:07 pm

I’m in book three of The Iliad. I am flabbergasted. This is one of the highlights of Western Classical civilisation. A book that centuries of young schoolboys had to read. And what am I reading? 1000’s of men making war to get a woman back. Vowing not to leave until each of them has raped the wife of some Trojan warrior. Angry because this King’s property has been stolen, his wife. Fighting, and the winner will get her, and a bonus of course. Pfff, level. It’s interesting, yes. But imagine this piece of war cult, being chanted for hundreds of years, by series of bards.
Am I overreacting? Am I the only one?

74quondame
Jan 26, 8:04 pm

>73 EllaTim: It is in fact appalling in what it says, what it says about patriarchy, and yet we see these people being people, of course mostly in the worst ways, and we recognize it.

75EllaTim
Jan 27, 9:21 am

>74 quondame: Hi Susan! O yes, we can recognize it. And not in the best way. I am going to go on reading, as it is interesting. But it has made me wonder. Epic history? Bard? Hmmm. But of course I am looking from my own cultural expectations.

76FAMeulstee
Jan 27, 5:19 pm

>68 EllaTim: I read both Ilias and Odysseia in the translation by Imme Dros, I think she did a great job with her metric Dutch translation. I read an other translation long ago and had way more trouble getting into it.

>73 EllaTim: No you are not the only one, I wrote about Illias In 24 books the battles and internal quarrels of the Gods, Greeks and Trojans are told. Describing a lot of fights, many gruesome deaths, some history and some mythology. Mostly a good read, but the descriptions of beheadings, intestines coming out, maltreating of dead bodies etc. were a bit hard on me.

77EllaTim
Jan 28, 6:38 pm

>76 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita! I agree, her translations are wonderful. I tried a different one, but couldn’t manage it.

O yes, I just came across a scene like that. Blow by blow description. Very graphic. The point is of course that this was war.

I do want to read the Odyssey.

78EllaTim
Jan 29, 6:53 pm

8. Death of Faith by Donna Leon (reread)****

Another strong episode in this series. Now why do I like her writing so much? It isn’t the whodunnit aspect, it’s more there’s so much more to the books.

9. Black Hearts in Battersea by Joan Aiken (UK) ****1/2



Very entertaining follow-up of Wolves of Willoughby Chase

Simon is invited to London to learn how to paint, by his friend dr. Field. But on arrival dr. Field is nowhere to be found. He does find the Twite family, rather awful people. Dido Twite, their young neglected daughter is quite endearing though. Lots of adventures to follow, a plot to murder the King, and more. Recommended!

79EllaTim
Jan 30, 7:57 pm

Caught a bug. Last Wednesday evening I think. Saturday I had to cancel a meeting. Because I didn’t feel right. Now I have this interesting gravelly voice, and I feel tired, and thirsty. Blech.
The meeting was about writing something, we’re working through the internet now. It works, but it’s no fun.

80sirfurboy
Jan 31, 7:14 am

>63 EllaTim:
>65 EllaTim:
>78 EllaTim: - You are going through some great books I have loved. Huck Finn was a childhood favourite of mine. We were blessed not to study it for English (the year above did). I thus did not have my enjoyment dented by the need to write about it!

As for Black Hearts in Battersea, a great book by a great author.

81EllaTim
Jan 31, 2:16 pm

>80 sirfurboy: Hi Stephen! Yes, I have been enjoying them. It’s a pity how demands from school can spoil our books for us.
I really like Joan Aiken, this book was so lively. I started out by listening to it, but as a non-native speaker of English the accents and the slang was just a bit too difficult.

Reading now, for the BAC I’ve started a book by Emma Newman: Planetfall. Starts good.
Still thinking about the AAC, Susan Sontag?

82SirThomas
Fev 1, 5:25 am

>79 EllaTim: I'm sorry to hear that, I hope you get better soon!

83sirfurboy
Fev 2, 6:02 am

>81 EllaTim: Planetfall sounds interesting. I'll look forward to hearing what you thought of it.

84EllaTim
Fev 3, 6:22 am

>82 SirThomas: Hi Thomas, thanks. Feeling a bit better already.
>83 sirfurboy: I’ll keep you posted, Stephen!

Reading now:
Planetfall by Emma Newman
Ilias by Homer, making slow progress
Misleiding by Maria Adolfsson
And The Bee Sting by Paul Murray

85EllaTim
Fev 3, 5:16 pm

And more reading now: I started on a book by Russell Shorto Revolution Song: A Story of American Freedom.
He tells the story of a number of individuals, one of them George Washington. I like the start.

86EllaTim
Editado: Fev 4, 4:08 pm

Found the ultimate help in de-stressing: Rail-Away! A TV show that follows trains in beautiful parts of Europe. I’m watching the line from Dunrobin Castle to Thurso. Of course this leads to thoughts of holidays. …

I have to read a number of awful documents for a job I’m taking part in. Lots of text, and it’s very tiring. I’m afraid I won’t be doing a lot of other reading for the moment.

87EllaTim
Editado: Fev 5, 10:15 am

I wonder: at different times of the day I like different books. In the morning when I have more energy I can take a difficult book, but in the late evening I would love something nice and calm and soothing (pff, really). Yesterday I tried some poetry, that came close.

Am I the only one? Does it make a difference to other people?

88EllaTim
Fev 6, 12:40 pm

10. Misleiding by Maria Adolfsson (Sweden) ***



English title Fatal Isles
remote island. A brutal murder. A secret hidden in the past . . . In the middle of the North Sea, between the UK and Denmark, lies the beautiful and rugged island nation of Doggerland. Detective Inspector Karen Eiken Hornby has returned to the main island, Heim?, after many years in London and has worked hard to become one of the few female police officers in Doggerland. So, when she wakes up in a hotel room next to her boss, Jounas Smeed, she knows she's made a big mistake

I picked this book from the library because of the intriguing setting in Doggerland, reminding me of the famous Doggerbank in the middle of the North Sea. But this book has nothing to do with that, it is an imaginary country where this very ordinary crime novel is set. I really don’t understand why the author chose to do that, it adds nothing.
I am not enthusiastic, the writing left me cold. I think some things were put in to make the story more interesting but I feel they didn’t really work. I don’t think I’ll be continuing this series.

89vancouverdeb
Fev 6, 8:16 pm

I'm glad you found a good de- stressing TV show, Ella. Personally, I find I can only follow one book at a time. I supposed if I felt to stressed to read a book, I'd turn to a magazine, or even facebook.

90EllaTim
Fev 7, 6:22 pm

>89 vancouverdeb: Hi Deb! Just one book at a time, huh? Maybe that’s a good idea.
Magazines, or facebook involve reading as well. I turn to Twitter, but maybe I would do better to avoid that!

91vancouverdeb
Fev 7, 11:42 pm

Thanks for the lovely pictures on Amsterdam you linked on my thread, Ella. It's such a beautiful city! If I had the courage to fly , I would love to visit.

92EllaTim
Fev 8, 3:56 pm

>91 vancouverdeb: Hi Deb. Amsterdam is still nice, though it isn’t all roses. You should here us complaining about trash and junk, Tic-Toc Rows, and rental scooters. I would love to visit Canada! So much to see and experience. But I am going to stay closer to home.

93EllaTim
Fev 8, 3:58 pm

Making progress in The Bee Sting reading the part from PJ’s perspective. Not good.

94EllaTim
Fev 9, 6:40 am

Started the day reading. First some pages from The Bee Sting Imelda’s story. No punctuation, which makes for tiring reading, it has a breathless quality, and makes me feel like wanting to rush through. But you can’t, you have to force yourself to stop and look or you won’t understand what she’s saying. Annoying.

Then I read a chapter from The Ilias. Chapter 7. Quite a contrast, this is a translation in verse, very well done. It has a cadence, no rushing here, but it takes you along. Fighting again, of course, but I enjoyed this more.

And the last was a couple of pages from Revolution Song Benjamin Franklin is trying to get the thirteen colonies to unite. In the meantime a war is starting.

And now off to the jobs of the day.

95msf59
Fev 9, 8:30 am

Happy Friday, Ella. I hope things are going better with The Bee Sting. I should finish it tomorrow.

96EllaTim
Editado: Fev 9, 7:15 pm

>95 msf59: Hi Marc! Things are going well with The Bee Sting! It’s just the no-punctuation style of Imelda’s part that made me feel tired. I will lag behind, but I am curious what everybody’s opinion will be. I am enjoying it, hearing the stories and seeing the different characters from their own perspectives.

I’ve managed to dispose of one paper folder, of old notes. Yeah! I took a book to a Little Free Library.
Very small steps, but still, something got done.

97EllaTim
Editado: Fev 10, 4:49 pm

I’m going to combine culling books with setting steps.
On an earlier thread someone posted a map of Little Free Libraries of Amsterdam. There are lots of them, also in my neighborhood. So they will be my destination, and I am going to bring them books.
Started today. Found two LFL’s, but one of them is quite shoddy, and the other very small. But there are more.

Outside there are crocusses in bloom, small yellow ones. And flocks of starlings piled up in the poplar trees.

Read from The Bee Sting, finished Imelda’s part, which is almost too sad.

98EllaTim
Fev 11, 12:46 pm

Exhausting job this afternoon. Stressed. Not enough time.
On a more positive note: a small walk to the nearest LFL. I donated one of my books, and took home another one. That’s the problem of course, you start browsing and finding new books.

99EllaTim
Fev 11, 2:38 pm

LT doesn’t let me post?

I was looking for some nice pictures.
Birdix: https://www.birdpix.nl/album_page.php?pic_id=535363&recent=1&db=0#anchor

Beautiful shots. Worth browsing.

100EllaTim
Fev 11, 5:08 pm

My neighbor called. She wants to swap houses with me. I can move to hers. She will move to mine. It’s just for a year for her, next year she can move out of town.
So nice of her! I’m grateful, it will mean much less noise and stress. And a small garden.
But the move itself will be a challenge.

101quondame
Fev 11, 5:22 pm

>100 EllaTim: That sounds strange but then my memory is threadbare where the difficulties in your housing situation should be. I hope it works well for you.

102EllaTim
Fev 11, 6:28 pm

>101 quondame: Hi Susan! No, you wouldn't know. My appartment is situated on a street with small shops, and some large restaurants with outside seating. Very busy lots of noise till late at night. My neighbor lives on the other side, where it is quiet. I am grateful that she wants to do this. She will be moving away, eventually.
I do hope it will work, it is quite a step.

103quondame
Fev 11, 7:09 pm

>102 EllaTim: While I'm a great believer in having shops and restaurants on the ground floors of buildings, that office buildings, not residences! I don't know how one goes about trading houses unless they are rentals, but here it would all get complicated with values and taxes, I'm pretty sure.

104EllaTim
Fev 11, 7:59 pm

>103 quondame: Yes, that’s right. We are both renting from the same owner. And we hope it will be OK! You have to ask for approval of course.

105SirThomas
Fev 12, 2:01 am

Oh - peaceful undisturbed sleep is very important in my life!
I wish you all the best for the house swap.
On the one hand, it's easier if you stay close by and don't need a removal lorry, but on the other hand, you'll both be moving at the same time...

106FAMeulstee
Fev 12, 2:35 am

>100 EllaTim: I hope this works out, Ella!
Moving is always a lot of work, going to a better house would be worth the effort!

107EllaTim
Fev 12, 4:33 pm

>105 SirThomas: Hi Thomas! Exactly! Well we don’t have to do it all at once. We just have to think it through before we start.

>106 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. Yes it is a lot of work. But we can get help.

108vancouverdeb
Fev 12, 10:10 pm

How fabulous that you can switch apartments with your neighbour to quieter place. I've always thought it looked cool to live about shops, but I guess you would want it to be a quiet shop/ shops. My niece is living in a rented apartment with a friend while she is at university here in Vancouver, but the shops below her are quiet, like a shop that sell tea and tea-ware, that sort of thing. She lives across from a grocery store and since neither she nor her roommate have access to a car, they find it very handy.

109EllaTim
Editado: Ontem, 6:40 pm

>108 vancouverdeb: Hi Deb! Yes, it’s a big difference. I would like to live above a tea-shop! That was what our street was like, small shops, greengrocer, bakery. But now it’s too big café/restaurants on both sides. 350 places outside on the pavement. That’s a lot of noise every day.

I’ll be working on culling paperwork. I had to move twice, ten years ago, and had too many boxes then. I don’t want that now. So today I selected more than a kilo of paper. For the bin. Three books for the thrift shop. And some small stuff.

And I finished:
11. Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey ***

A reread. Light reading because I felt tired.

Later I read the next two in this series.

12. Arrow’s flight by Mercedes Lackey (fantasy) ***
And
13. Arrow’s Fall by Mercedes Lackey ***

Light and easy reading, even a bit boring. Just nice when you are tired and not up to anything taxing.

110EllaTim
Editado: Fev 14, 7:32 pm

I bought a book. Of course. Just a small visit to Scheltema. Marc kept himself in check just buying some nice postcards. But I bought a cookbook. I’m clearing stuff, old cookbooks, and I have to buy a new one!
Ons Foodsaver Boek

Very useful boek giving ways to use every last scrap of food in creative ways.

111Berly
Fev 16, 7:01 pm

Hope the apartment switch actually happens for you!! Good luck with the paper purge. : )

112EllaTim
Fev 17, 6:20 pm

>111 Berly: Thanks Kim! Both will take time, I think.

I have been really tired again. Reading light and easy stuff. Today the weather was good. So we have been to the allotment. Pruning berry shrubs. Birds singing. Tomorrow another rainy day, so more time to read.

113PaulCranswick
Fev 17, 7:09 pm

>109 EllaTim: I would like to live above a bookshop, Ella. I would cut out a secret hole in the floor and have midnight reading parties!!

Have a restful weekend. x

114Tess_W
Fev 18, 4:37 pm

>110 EllaTim: That book sounds right up my alley. I hope you enjoy it and it's of practical use.

115EllaTim
Editado: Fev 18, 8:36 pm

>113 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! Fabulous idea, the midnight reading parties sound great as well.

>114 Tess_W: Hi Tess. Lots of good ideas to handle leftovers. It is a translation of an English language book, but I think from Australia. The one thing I liked less, as there is an emphasis on the kind of fruits that I can’t grow in my garden. But apart from that it’s really useful.

Culled some old computer books. Like a kilo of book. Too old for anything than the paper bin.

116bell7
Fev 24, 7:12 pm

Best of luck switching places with your neighbor! Also love your project of bringing books you've finished to local Little Free Libraries.

117figsfromthistle
Fev 24, 8:15 pm

>100 EllaTim: What a nice thing to do! I hope the new location will provide you with more peace and quiet than the one you are in now.

118PaulCranswick
Ontem, 4:31 am

Hoping your weekend is a good one so far, Ella.

119EllaTim
Ontem, 6:36 pm

>116 bell7: Hi Mary, thanks. We’ve finished the first step. Now for the actual permission.

>117 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita. It is really nice of her. And it won’t be totally quiet, but a lot better I hope.

>118 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! Thanks. I have overworked myself yesterday at the allotment. But today I spent reading and recovering, and I just finished my first five star book of the year, so I am happy.

120EllaTim
Ontem, 6:49 pm

14. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (USA) *****



A Japanese businessman, his translator, the opera star they came to listen to, and a whole set of other people who came to the mansion of the vice-president of an unnamed south-American country are held hostage by a group of terrorists.
The situation is frightening at first but slowly the hostages find ways to deal with it. The opera star starts rehearsing again, and people fall in love with her and her music. Time seems to stand still in the house, while they are negotiating and nothing happens. Love, music, people.
This was a beautiful story that made me cry at some points, but also made me smile, and even laugh.
I think this one will stick with me.