Ruth seeks imperishable vitality in 2024

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Ruth seeks imperishable vitality in 2024

12wonderY
Jan 1, 3:54 pm

I went looking for a suitable quote to begin the year.

I have collected a small shelf of “right living” non-fiction from the 19th century. Some I’ve never opened, just prized them for their age and bindings. So this was educational for me.
William B. Sprague counsels his daughter to not bother with fiction, as it can cause her to stray.
Foundation Stones of Success is patriotic in nature, but never mentions general reading in its three volumes.

I found what I wanted in Home Life Made Beautiful

“So much of imperishable vitality glows and burns in a book that it never assumes the attitude of anything merely decorative or merely useful; it comes to one like a friend and stays by one in every vicissitude with the countenance and the support which only the best friend can give.”

- Margaret Sangster, 1897

22wonderY
Editado: Jan 1, 4:05 pm

And I started with an old friend.

My sister gifted me with books by Jean Shinoda Bolen, as we travelled our young adult lives. Bolen is a Jungian philosopher.



I found Crones Don’t Whine - 1 recently on my own, and thought it a good place to start the year. She always offers some thoughts to gnaw on.

32wonderY
Jan 1, 4:59 pm

Today’s music

Ellington/Armstrong (Newport) Jazz Festival
Sweet Emma
Blues Legends
Blue Monk
Lucille Talks Back
Ragtime Guitar - Joplin and Lamb

The last is the only one on the dispose pile today.

4quondame
Jan 1, 7:26 pm

Hi Ruth!

Wishing you a great one!

52wonderY
Jan 3, 9:12 am

Thank you Susan!

I’ve been playing with my youngest grand, but she’s going home today.
I’m still planning a small holiday get-together this weekend, so the tree will not come down till next week.
But my goal today is to empty the folding table set up in front of one of my bookcases.

I picked up new glasses yesterday. I tried bifocals last year and continued to be irritated with the line through the center. So these are for far vision only, but they’re transition lenses and will protect my eyes in sunlight.
And I will have a spare for when I put them down randomly and forget where.

6fuzzi
Jan 3, 9:13 am

>5 2wonderY: I used to wear progressive/transition glasses (I think they're the same thing). It took me about a week of head-bobbing to get used to them.

7lesmel
Jan 3, 1:08 pm

>6 fuzzi: Transitions are the ones that change darker or lighter depending on the level of light. Progressives are the zero-line bi/trifocal. I'm in progressives. The first time was a nightmare. This time is a LOT better. The optometry tech said that progressive technology improved significantly in just a very short period of time (five years?). I told her she should be prepared to have to remake my glasses. Turns out, I managed to adjust!

8fuzzi
Jan 3, 1:10 pm

>7 lesmel: thanks for the clarification (no pun intended).

9quondame
Jan 3, 4:07 pm

>5 2wonderY: I'm used to wearing bifocals most of the time, but take off my glasses for reading or close work and have a pair I use only at the computer.

But this year will be one of eye issues for me. I've got to deal with cataract surgery and so changes are inevitable.

102wonderY
Editado: Jan 4, 10:37 am

I went looking for the 4th in The Walker Papers, and instead found book 3 of another series.



Death of an Irish Mummy - 2. I’m not done yet, but barreling along with the fun. Great characters all around. Irish writers do seem to have that knack! I’m particularly smitten with Anne Edgeworth, who is prepared to change her will on the strength of a family resemblance known about after just five minutes. So glad to know this author.

11lesmel
Jan 4, 10:47 am

>10 2wonderY: I'm sure you have figured this out: Catie Murphy is CE Murphy (who writes The Walker Papers). She's originally from Alaska; but lives in Ireland now.

122wonderY
Jan 4, 11:36 am

>11 lesmel: Yes! Back to the book… it’s climax time!

132wonderY
Jan 5, 8:59 am



Inspired by a heartwarming anecdote I saw on Instagram, I bought the biography of George and Marina - 3. It’s disappointing. It’s more an official biography of Marina from childhood on, and very little about them as a couple. Oh well.

142wonderY
Editado: Jan 6, 2:16 pm

After listening to Let’s Dance, I moved into the stack of contemporary artists (contemporary to me!) and tossed a couple of tapes by The Eagles, but seriously enjoyed Talking Book and The Best of Arlo Guthrie.

And before the machine ate A Night at Red Rocks, I listened to Cajun & Zydeco Classics by various artists, Graceland, and Days of Future Passed.

15NorthernStar
Jan 7, 12:15 am

>10 2wonderY: I've really enjoyed the Dublin Driver series, as well as any of Catie/CE Murphy's other books that I have read.

162wonderY
Jan 8, 4:37 am

>15 NorthernStar: she’s on my list to repeat. Not so the author of Fury Godmother - 4. This is #2, but the characters are still a bit clunky. The love interest has no charm.

Yesterday I listened to
PS Phoebe Snow
I Can’t Complain
Maria Muldaur
Obrigado Brazil, though it skipped.

17fuzzi
Jan 8, 6:21 am

>16 2wonderY: I immediately thought of Poetry Man when I saw Phoebe Snow's name.

182wonderY
Jan 8, 8:12 am

>17 fuzzi: I’m glad I had her playing when my young friends came over. Dylan had never heard of her.

192wonderY
Jan 8, 12:41 pm

I thought I could handle Who Rules the World?. But I don’t want to know. The truth is sickening.

Very much a comfort read, Borders of Infinity - 5.

20NorthernStar
Jan 10, 1:28 am

>19 2wonderY: you can never go wrong with Bujold. I hear a new Penric is out soon. Have you read that series?

212wonderY
Jan 10, 9:02 am

>20 NorthernStar: Yes. I’ve read at least four. They don’t come close to the excellence of the Vorkosigan world for me.
Btw, nice to see you here.

22quondame
Jan 10, 9:51 pm

232wonderY
Editado: Jan 12, 8:20 pm

With the weather taking a dive, I thought I’d better check on the WV house. It was ridiculously rainy on the drive, except it cut off when I was on the 2 lane. Thank you Lord.
It afforded the opportunity to finish listening to Prequel - 6. Rachel Maddow is such a skillful storyteller. Wow. This story needed to be told. I cannot fathom why elected representatives would want to tear down our system of government.

Discontinuing Theft of Swords at 6%. It’s just not catching character-wise.

242wonderY
Editado: Jan 13, 9:33 pm



I had two books in my bag and chose to finish The Secret Lives of Dresses - 7. This is a re-read from multiple years ago. Actually, it might have been an audio listen. There are flaws here, such as the doctor telling Dora that her grandmother’s brain bleed has stopped after 5 days. Uh. Where and when are we?
But it’s Mimi’s relationship with the dresses she finds and sells that twist this plot so nicely. She writes histories from the dress’ perspective. Dora learns some of the richness of her grandmother as she takes over running the shop after Mimi’s stroke. My favorite character is still Maux, though in print she doesn’t stand out as much.

Oddly, the title of the other book is The Secret Lives of Color. Lotta whispering going on in my bag.

Oh, and conscious of my apparel while reading, I have on black slacks, a snug turtleneck and a boiled wool jacket cardigan in moss green. I have a black knit winter scarf shot with silver wound around my neck. Pink quartz teardrop earrings. Earrings are the only jewelry I wear, for the most part, though that doesn’t stop me buying pretty things.

252wonderY
Editado: Jan 16, 5:52 pm

LibraryThing on Instagram informs that today is NationalAppreciateADragonDay.

So I posted this from my library:

262wonderY
Editado: Jan 17, 12:41 pm



I’m struggling to finish Devil’s Kiss - 8. It’s more powerful than I remember. And the climax is aweful and full of dread. I keep escaping by putting it down and then picking it up again and reading another page.

Whew! Finished. The thing that disconcerted me through the entire book was that the villain was the archangel Michael. That’s just wrong.

I’ve got book 2, but I need some breathing space.

272wonderY
Jan 17, 1:43 pm

A couple of days ago, The Meaning of Love - 9 popped into my Libby queue, and I thought “Where did that romance come from?” It wasn’t till several chapters in, Lady Osbaldistone is mentioned. Aha! This is book 5 of her Christmas Chronicles. It is a few years later and two of the young characters meet again. An engagement is materialized to keep scandal at bay. The young couple are refreshingly frank with each other, discussing what their expectations would be to solidify the engagement into something real and permanent. Chapter 5 has them analyzing what makes real love and compatability. Trust is one feature that stands uppermost. Since these stories also involve a mystery as well, it looks like that will be a test.

282wonderY
Jan 18, 11:57 am

It’s winter. Jigsaw puzzle time. I’ve got a folding table set up in front of the living room windows.
I’ve never before abandoned one that I started. But my eyes are too old for nonsense.
1000 pieces of Evelyn de Morgan’s “Flora”
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e5/EvelyndeMorgan.jpg/559...
was just too muddled.
I got the border, most of the lawn, body parts and red shawl. But 400 pieces of gown and the rest of the background just exasperated me.
Off to Goodwill with it.
I broke out this “deluxe” wood puzzle:
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/CjMAAOSwZgdjYYoF/s-l400.jpg

Though it’s new, I had to repair two pieces with glue. The piece shapes are very uniform, and they don’t pop into place easily. I might pass on this one too, except for the coding on the reverse. The puzzle is broken into 8 regions, each patterned with a repeating letter. Using that as a reference, I’ve completed 3 of the zones. Oddly satisfying this way.
It also comes with a full-sized fold out paper of the picture. I guess you could lay it down on the table first.

292wonderY
Jan 19, 5:43 pm

>27 2wonderY: The Meaning of Love was longer than I had expected. There was a large mystery. I held my breath when puppy Ulysses was in danger.

The puzzle is done. Yay!

I tried another romance, but threw it back at 14% read - Once a Soldier.

302wonderY
Jan 20, 10:13 am

I’m quitting Something More, a teen angst story that is too slow, at 40%.

I am, however, enjoying Starter Villain despite reading the text on my phone; my least favorite way to read a book.

312wonderY
Jan 20, 2:34 pm

It is copyrighted, but it’s a recording of a writers’ workshop 3 hour talk by a favorite author, Anne Lamott.


Word By Word - 10. Enjoyed it. I started reading her fiction in the 1980s, then her biographic books about motherhood and then her spiritual life. I consider her a good friend.

322wonderY
Jan 21, 6:46 am



I liked Starter Villain - 11 until the climax. That part felt false. And there is no reason to like or trust Tobias. Actually, manipulation is the name of the game, come to reflect on it. I did genuinely admire the porpoises.

332wonderY
Jan 21, 9:29 pm

Quitting Winter Tide at 30% read. It’s not delivering any joy.

34lesmel
Jan 22, 1:10 pm

>33 2wonderY: I tried that title as well and couldn't make it very far.

352wonderY
Jan 22, 2:38 pm

>34 lesmel: Why is that author familiar to me? Someone I follow on LT has been reading her.

36quondame
Jan 23, 12:12 am

>22 quondame: I enjoyed Winter Tide and the entire Innsmouth Legacy series, they had a dryly humorous subversive quality that appealed to me.

37reconditereader
Jan 23, 12:52 am

>36 quondame: I also enjoyed them both, although it's been quite some time since I read them

382wonderY
Jan 24, 10:16 am

I saw a mention of the PBS series Craft in America, and went looking on Libby. Thought there might be related books at least.
Oh my! Went down a rabbit hole. Borrowed three books and put half a dozen more on hold. None with any connection to the original hunt.

Though it’s a fun read, I’m probably going to let Word by Word, by a lexicographer, lapse at about 10% read. Many other books to get to.

I’ve got assignments to read and a couple of TBSL started.

392wonderY
Editado: Jan 25, 6:35 pm

Today is Robert Burns birthday, and it’s celebrated yearly in Scotland.
Purely by chance, serendipity, I looked on a free shelf at the college library. I snatched The Adventures of Hamish the Wee Sleekit Mouse - 12. I love the poem! This is an homage to the poem, written and illustrated by high school students in the village of Kinlochleven. For all of the inputs, there is a pleasing harmony to it. Lovely!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinlochleven

Haha! You can have the book read to you here:
https://www.kinlochlovin.org.uk/blog/2018/the-adventures-of-hamish-the-wee-sleek...

402wonderY
Jan 25, 6:59 pm

Reminder to self.
Jigsaw puzzle exchange this Sunday at the library from 2:00 to 4:00.

Also, there is a little free library just for jigsaw puzzles at
3155 Mapleleaf Drive
Lexington
That’s off of Man O War Blvd and Todd’s Road.

412wonderY
Jan 25, 8:21 pm

I read most of The Pencil of Nature -13 today. I had to sit in a sealed room in Special Collections. The book contains picture plates, but I found the text more absorbing. Talbot wrote very clearly on his search for the right combination of materials and technique for successful photographs. And his commentary on each picture was charming and sometimes informative.

42fuzzi
Jan 25, 9:03 pm

>41 2wonderY: oh, wow. I'd sit in a sealed room too, just to look at that.

432wonderY
Editado: Jan 27, 3:50 pm

Utopia For Realists - 14 argues for universal minimum income. He says all of the tests and studies prove that it’s cheaper than any other form of welfare and has uniformly positive outcomes.

GPI = genuine progress indicator

https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/gpi.asp

Chapter 5 suggests alternative measures to progress instead of GDP.

442wonderY
Jan 28, 7:16 pm

I see I’m posting books while I’m in the middle now, but only if I’m sure I am on the way to finishing them.

The Tinder-Box - 15 just arrived in the mail. Just as The Melting of Molly, this is supposedly journal musings of a young woman wrestling with a life decision. So we learn about the other characters in a piecemeal fashion. I’m keeping notes. I’d also like clarifications on geography, but I have to conclude she’s being vague on purpose.
Evelina is from a sleepy southern town, but has been to university and to Paris studying architecture.
Her friend, Jane, challenges her to treat men as equals, and to be honest and frank expressing herself.
There are three men in her life, and I know a quarter of the way in, which one I prefer. Let’s see how she gets along.
Daviess was not just a suffragette, she was a feminist, a founding member.

452wonderY
Jan 29, 9:17 am

I’ve got a three page paper to compose today, and I’d much rather stay in Harpeth Valley.

462wonderY
Editado: Fev 2, 12:55 pm

I found The Heart’s Kingdom - 16 at the college library. (It’s handy to be taking class on the west side of campus again.). I not only had to make a list of all the characters’ names but keep track as well of the unexpected cross-affections. They were not as straightforward as usual. I distrusted this book for quite a while, but Daviess did satisfy and had me in tears.

I think I must return and finish reading her autobiography before I read more fiction.

472wonderY
Fev 3, 6:43 pm



Instead, I read the second book of Devil’s Kiss, Dark Goddess - 17. I did not enjoy it. I will dispose on my copy.

482wonderY
Editado: Fev 4, 12:48 pm

Because I’ve been reading actual physical books that absorb me, my phone use went down 40% last week. I’m hoping that will continue.

I’ve got several books begun, but not sure if they will get fully read.
I was about to abandon Mr. Adam, but an intelligent female character just appeared.

49fuzzi
Fev 4, 6:17 pm

>48 2wonderY: by Pat Frank? I have his work Alas, Babylon on my shelves, have reread it several times since I first read it in high school.

502wonderY
Fev 4, 6:48 pm

>49 fuzzi: Yes. I’ve enjoyed it too; which is why I had higher hopes for this one.

512wonderY
Fev 4, 7:25 pm

Funny, the Adam and Eve theme is all over my reading this season.
The Tinder-Box main character is Evelina, but her suitor called her Eve, and she thought of him as Adam.
On audio, I’m listening to a science book titled Eve: how the female body drove 200 million years of evolution.
I’ve also got Ripeness is All started, which refers to populating the earth.

522wonderY
Editado: Fev 5, 7:49 pm

I have no idea why this book landed in my Libby, but because it was short, I listened to it. United Tates of America - 18 is insignificant, except for the character named GUM - great Uncle Mort. I liked him.

53lesmel
Editado: Fev 5, 6:40 pm

>52 2wonderY: I think your touchstone is wrong -- it's going to Dimensions of Black Conservatism in the U.S.: Made in America by Gayle T. Tate

542wonderY
Fev 5, 7:49 pm

>53 lesmel: thanks!!

552wonderY
Fev 9, 2:16 pm

I know Instagram is not the place for recommendations, but I bit once more.


Sixteen Souls - 19 is an action fantasy. Grabs you and wrings you out. I doubt I’ll read another though. Too many better choices.

I should be at the college library researching my next assignment.

562wonderY
Editado: Fev 18, 9:48 am

I struggled a bit with Andrew the Glad - 20, a Harpeth Valley story. It was city based, though the characters were from the rural farms, and it dealt with politics and there were racist terms used. The blacks came out wholeheartedly for the hero, but still “the nig votes” was used in passing. There was a lot of flag waving for the new America, and a love and reverence for the Civil War vets who still gathered once a year. The main plot point between two lovers was tiptoed around to the point I had only an inkling of the distress. My least favorite of Daviess’ works.

572wonderY
Editado: Fev 11, 12:38 pm

One that seems to have been around for a while, but I never picked it up.
The Rain-Cloud Pony - 21 is from 1977, about a 13yo horse-crazy girl. The first page captures you with a description of Patty riding a stallion. On the second page, you discover:
“None of the people could see the black stallion at all. What they saw was a girl’s rusty bike with the fenders gone.”

Two details that jarred. Can a horse be referred to as both a pony and an Arabian? Also, it was hot all the time, but tulips and lettuce were just coming up.
Lad is such a good dog.

582wonderY
Fev 12, 10:53 am



Paladin’s Grace - 22 is only so-so. Kingfisher is a hot new author, and I think she may not be able to keep it up.

59reconditereader
Fev 12, 11:26 pm

>58 2wonderY: Hilarious

602wonderY
Editado: Fev 17, 10:10 am

Miss Selina Lue and the Soap-Box Babies - 23 is Daviess’ first published novel. I believe she had already published short stories in magazines. There are a few of those at the end of this novel. They mention Old Harpeth. The novel does not, only referring to the Bluff near a river with commerce going on.
Two features that annoyed me slightly - It was written in dialect and it ended too abruptly.
I believe it was a best seller though.
Miss Selina Lue is a beautiful character. She lost her lover in a war and never married. Everyone pities her that she can’t imagine how a mother feels; all the while mothering the entire community, adults and the babies. The other two main characters do recognize her special love.

This might be the only time she focuses on the characters living on the other side of the tracks. But there is an equitable mixing of classes, as always.

>59 reconditereader: That’s not a helpful comment.

61reconditereader
Fev 17, 1:00 pm

I thought you were making a joke! Kingfisher is far from new.

622wonderY
Editado: Fev 17, 10:16 pm

She is in comparison to other authors I read.

Based on her author page here, she hadn’t been read widely until Nettle and Bone (deservedly) won the Hugo. That was my first encounter. The other few I’ve read don’t come close to its quality.

632wonderY
Editado: Fev 17, 9:46 pm

I thought I’d go back and read book 1 of The Dublin Driver Mysteries after reading book 3
Dead in Dublin - 24 isn’t as well formed as the later book, but you glimpse a few of the beginning relationships among the cast. It has a good climax and denouement.

Discontinuing The Name-Bearer at 5%. There are 13 people waiting for it, and I feel guilty holding it.

Also d/c-ing But Have You Read the Book? at 21%. It’s really quite boring.

642wonderY
Editado: Fev 19, 6:46 pm

Oppressive teen angst? No thanks. Too much else on my plate. D/c-ing Threadneedle at 9% read.

Thumbed through about a third of The Best of Barbie, which came out in 2001. I never did like the look of her, though my sister and I spent a lot of time under the cascading snowball bush playing with ours. We each got one, and mine was the awful bubble cut blonde from the 60s.

When my daughters were Barbie-aged, there were a couple of local craft women who sewed beautiful clothes for them; I think my daughter still has some of those.

652wonderY
Fev 19, 6:56 pm

I took another chance on a modern romance. Secretly Yours - 25 tries hard, but drags on way too long with a non-issue and the sex scenes had me cringing or eye-rolling.

A couple of non-fictions picked up at the library kept me occupied this weekend.
The Right-Sized Flower Garden - 26
A Very Vintage Christmas - 27. I discovered Richter on Instagram and he has written other holiday decor books, but this is the one my library owns. It’s not particularly substantial. I like my personal take on the subject better than his; but then I lack any number of followers😝

662wonderY
Fev 21, 10:01 pm

Oath and Honor - 28, read by the author. Chilling details. I wonder why the Proud Boys wanted to protect freshman congressperson, Ronny Jackson. He's the only politician singled out Jan. 6 in that fashion in texts. They said he had something valuable.

672wonderY
Editado: Fev 23, 4:49 pm

When I was in the Special Collections at the library yesterday, I was encouraged to attend today’s tour of the St. John’s Bible, which the college acquired in the past decade.

https://saintjohnsbible.org/See/Index

Well worth the visit!! I was the only attendee. I was allowed to browse 6 volumes at will. The 7th is on display in a locked case.

It took 11 years, 6 calligraphers and 31 artists to complete the original on vellum. This is a printed copy, table-sized, red leather bindings with embossed and gilt designs.

I particularly loved the Psalms. I will go back and ask for it again. It warmed my being.

682wonderY
Fev 23, 8:29 pm

The Tale of One Bad Rat - 29 is a graphic novel that deals with family trauma and the main character’s connection with Beatrix Potter. Well done.

692wonderY
Fev 24, 6:25 am



How to Survive History - 30. Good advice!

702wonderY
Editado: Fev 24, 12:36 pm

I listened to an abridged radio production of Whisky Galore - 31.
I cringed at the climax!
Primary reader is Stanley Baxter.

712wonderY
Ontem, 12:57 pm

From the piles near the children’s shelves - The Chinese Puzzle - 32. Mildly entertaining, but not worth keeping.