foggidawn's Books & More, 2024, Part 2

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foggidawn's Books & More, 2024, Part 2

1foggidawn
Editado: Mar 5, 12:29 pm



Hi, all! Welcome to old friends and new. For the latter, I'm a children's librarian in a small Ohio town. My reading tastes range from children's and young adult literature, to fantasy and some sci-fi, to mysteries, to historical fiction and literary works, to romances, to biography and memoir, with a smattering of other nonfiction (it's been a pretty light smattering, of late) and anything else that catches my fancy. I'll also occasionally post about the picture books that I use during story time or school visits, though I don't include picture books in my count of books read during the year.

I live on a farm with my husband John, who is also an avid reader, though his tastes run towards graphic novels, golden age sci-fi, and nonfiction, mostly about history or chicken husbandry. We have a Springer Spaniel, Lottie, above, who is immensely spoiled and loves being a farm dog. We also have about 50 chickens and too many rabbits (what they say about them multiplying is true) and about 43 acres of hayfields.

For 2024, my main reading goal is to read at least one book a month off my existing TBR shelves. According to my To Read collection here on LT, I have 231 books on shelf to read, though I suspect I may find as I read that some of them didn't get entered when I acquired them. (Oops.) The good news is that only 8 of those 231 were added last year. I suspect I'll easily exceed this goal, but I don't like to make strenuous reading goals and stress myself out. I read 181 books last year, so I expect I'll read around 175 in 2024, but if I don't, I will try not to be too sad about it.

As for the "& More" part of my thread topper, you may also see me posting here about board gaming, gardening, cooking, and theatre. I'm not involved in a local theatre group, nor am I surrounded by board gamers, but I'm still interested in the topics and hope to at least view some theatre and maybe do some solo gaming this year. I have plans to slightly expand my gardening efforts this year, so the summer and fall will be full of garden updates. My non-book "resolution" for 2024 is to get outside more, whether that be hiking and kayaking, gardening, or just taking a little walk through the fields with Lottie. I've become too much of an indoor cat this past year, especially when the weather is not a pleasant 70 degrees and sunny. I'll also keep up with my menu planning, posting about it here once a week or so.

I look forward to chatting with you all and hearing about your reading (and other) plans for the year!

2foggidawn
Mar 5, 12:12 pm

Books Acquired in 2024

1. Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth. Purchased/trade. Bkmns.
2. Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi. Purchased/trade. Bkmns.
3. A Brave Little Quakeress by E.P. Roe. Purchased/trade. Bkmns.

3foggidawn
Editado: Mar 5, 12:25 pm

Books Read in 2024

1. The Running Grave by Robert Galbraith
2. Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander
3. Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt
4. Have Sword, Will Travel by Garth Nix and Sean Williams
5. The Mystery Guest by Nita Prose
6. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
7. The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin
8. The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
9. Yellowface by R.F. Kuang
10. Mother-Daughter Murder Night by Nina Simon
11. Three Tasks for a Dragon by Eoin Colfer, illustrated by P.J. Lynch
12. The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older
13. Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan
14. Simon Sort Of Says by Erin Bow
15. The Girl I Am, Was, and Never Will Be by Shannon Gibney
16. London's Number One Dog Walking Agency by Kate MacDougall
17. Everyone on This Train Is a Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson
18. The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn
19. The Vanderbeekers Ever After by Karina Yan Glaser
20. The Witch of Woodland by Laurel Snyder
21. Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli
22. Not Quite a Ghost by Anne Ursu
23. Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede
24. Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands by Heather Fawcett
25. The Afterward by E.K. Johnston
26. Alebrijes by Donna Barba Higuera
27. I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai
28. Mexikid by Pedro Martin
29. The Mysteries by Bill Watterson and John Kascht
30. Bride by Ali Hazelwood
31. Yes, No, Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed
32. Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

(Re-reads in italics)

4foggidawn
Mar 5, 12:12 pm

You can post below! Welcome!

5alcottacre
Mar 5, 12:58 pm

Happy new thread, foggi!

6compskibook
Mar 5, 1:02 pm

Happy Spring! Happy new thread!

7msf59
Mar 5, 1:04 pm

Happy New Thread, Foggi. I love reading the details of your small farm. Sounds wonderful. I hope you enjoyed Rules of Civility. I liked it but A Gentleman in Moscow is his masterpiece. Towles has a new novel coming out soon.

8Owltherian
Mar 5, 1:05 pm

Happy new thread Foggi!

9laytonwoman3rd
Mar 5, 2:14 pm

>1 foggidawn: Marvelous pose, Lottie! Farm dogs are special.

10curioussquared
Mar 5, 2:24 pm

Happy new thread! Love the Lottie yawn ☺️

11foggidawn
Mar 5, 3:43 pm

Hello Stasia, Dana, Mark, Owl, Linda, and Natalie!

>7 msf59: I enjoyed Rules of Civility a lot, but I agree that it's not quite as good as A Gentleman in Moscow. I haven't read anything else by him yet, but I'll keep an eye out!

12PaulCranswick
Mar 5, 3:49 pm

Happy new thread, Foggy.

13foggidawn
Mar 5, 4:18 pm

>12 PaulCranswick: Hello, Paul!

14foggidawn
Mar 5, 4:19 pm

Goals update:

I'm doing pretty well with my goal to get outside more, which usually means taking a 20-30 minute walk after work. I haven't let the weather deter me too much, though if it's raining hard or bitterly cold I stay in. Lottie thinks it's just the best addition to our routine, and when I go to put my hiking boots on (like Mr. Rogers, I come home and change my shoes) she gets immediate zoomies (which I have been calling "boot-citement").

On the other hand, I've failed for two months in a row to read a book off of my physical TBR shelves. I've read quite a few off of my TBR list, since I created a tag in Libby so I can quickly look whenever I need an audiobook and see which of my TBR titles is available for checkout. Hopefully, making this post will serve as a reminder to me that I need to read some physical books off of my shelf. I overdid it on library checkouts last month, but I'm getting those down to a manageable point, as well.

As for menu updates, you may have noticed on my last thread that I've been sporadic with them this year. I'm still trying! But when there's other stuff going on, it's easy to fall back on the standards. And that after-work walk does take a chunk out of my cooking time.

15msf59
Mar 5, 6:44 pm

Good luck with those goals, Foggi. You can do it!! I was glancing through your gallery photos, looking for any photos of your farm and was reminded that you were at the Chicago LT event a number of years ago. That was such a fun time. I wish we could do that again.

16foggidawn
Editado: Mar 5, 7:51 pm

>15 msf59: Thanks! I don't think I have put any exterior photos of the farm on here -- I'll have to dig some up (or take some new ones, but March is not a photogenic time of year, by and large).

Edit: Also, maybe I'll come to Chicago again next time there's an ALA conference there. They happen fairly often, since ALA is headquartered in Chicago. I'll be sure to let you know if I do!

17foggidawn
Mar 5, 7:13 pm

Okay, here's one I took last spring (a little later in the spring). It's the view of the barn from the back porch. The little bush in the foreground is an azalea; I'm hoping it comes back this year.


Here's one of the side of the house, taken from the road that leads to the barn. It was taken in early summer a couple years ago, when the catalpa trees were in bloom. The cinderblock structure in the foreground is the first of my raised garden beds (it looks a little different now that we've added more). The chicken coop and rabbit hutches are to the far left, and the small building is a tool shed.


This is my most recent picture taken outdoors, from a different angle off the back porch. We get some lovely sunsets. You can see a few of the chickens at the far right of the photo.

18figsfromthistle
Mar 5, 7:46 pm

Happy new thread!

>17 foggidawn: Loving the pictures of your farm.

19foggidawn
Mar 5, 7:52 pm

20fuzzi
Mar 5, 8:46 pm

>17 foggidawn: love it, thank you.

21drneutron
Mar 5, 9:05 pm

Happy new one! Your place is beautiful.

22quondame
Mar 5, 11:53 pm

Happy new thread!

23vancouverdeb
Mar 6, 1:33 am

Happy New Thread! I love dogs, and we have one. Lottie is beautiful and so is you place!

24FAMeulstee
Mar 6, 3:46 am

Happy new thread, Foggi!

Lottie may be spoiled, she is still adorable.
Thanks for sharing the pictures of your lovely place!

25Owltherian
Mar 6, 7:53 am

How are you today Foggi?

26aktakukac
Mar 6, 10:30 am

Happy New Thread! The pictures of your farm are great! I love pictures of barns :)

Do you think you'll ever read The Lincoln Highway? That's the only Towles I've read so far (for book discussion at work) but I'd like to eventually read more by him. I'm curious how you'd rate The Lincoln Highway.

27curioussquared
Mar 6, 12:05 pm

Lovely photos of the farm! Thanks for sharing :)

28foggidawn
Mar 6, 12:39 pm

>20 fuzzi: You're welcome!

>21 drneutron: Thank you!

>22 quondame: Thanks!

>23 vancouverdeb: Aw, thank you!

>24 FAMeulstee: She's hard to resist, so we probably do spoil her a little.

>25 Owltherian: Busy, but good, thanks. You?

>26 aktakukac: I might read The Lincoln Highway eventually. The setting and description didn't grab me right away, but I'm sure the writing is strong, based on his other books.

>27 curioussquared: Thanks!

29Owltherian
Mar 6, 12:42 pm

>28 foggidawn: Annoyed, and panicking

30foggidawn
Mar 6, 1:40 pm

>29 Owltherian: That's too bad!

31Owltherian
Mar 6, 1:42 pm

>30 foggidawn: My friends are making me both, but more annoyed and also add in pain to that list now

32foggidawn
Mar 6, 2:18 pm

>31 Owltherian: Sorry to hear it! Sounds like it may be time to get some distance from these friends.

33Owltherian
Mar 6, 2:43 pm

I hope so, and i possibly started my period today, which is weird due to it only being the 6th and i don't usually start this early.

34mstrust
Mar 7, 12:20 pm

Happy new thread!
>17 foggidawn: Such pretty views!

35MickyFine
Mar 7, 4:00 pm

Happy new thread, Foggi!

Love the photos you shared of the farm. It looks lovely.

I hear you about trying to fit in walking time. I can do it easier on my work from home days and take a walk during my coffee break. On the days I'm in the office, it can be harder to make myself go for a walk when I get home, especially when we've had a cold snap like this past week.

36msf59
Mar 7, 6:54 pm

I love your farm photos, Foggi! What a beautiful, peaceful setting. I am glad and flat-out jealous that you get those views every day.

37The_Hibernator
Mar 8, 4:32 pm

Happy new thread!

38foggidawn
Mar 9, 12:05 pm

>33 Owltherian: Sorry to leave you hanging; it's been a busy few days. Hope you are feeling well.

>34 mstrust: Thanks! Yes, it is a pretty place.

>35 MickyFine: Thanks! I have to force myself to go on a walk immediately, because if I decide to "sit down for just a minute," it's all over. Fortunately, Lottie's enthusiasm for the prospect helps me keep going.

>36 msf59: Thanks! The views are lovely.

>37 The_Hibernator: Thank you!

39foggidawn
Mar 9, 12:28 pm

(33 books read)



Straw into Gold: Fairy Tales Re-Spun by Hilary McKay -- A reread; I was hoping that I might use some of these stories with the school group that I read to, but most of them are longer than I have time for (I need ones that can be read in 15-20 minutes). Excellent fairy tale retellings, though -- don't miss them if you're a fan of that sort of thing!

40Owltherian
Mar 9, 1:31 pm

>38 foggidawn: Its fine Foggi, and im a lot better than i was on the 6th

41foggidawn
Mar 9, 4:03 pm

>40 Owltherian: Glad to hear it!

42Owltherian
Mar 9, 4:52 pm

>41 foggidawn: Not cramping as much, and im happy to report i got to watch at least 3 episodes of The First 48 before i was told to let someone play the Xbox or something.

43clamairy
Mar 10, 9:09 am

Happy New Thread!
Love the photos!

44foggidawn
Mar 11, 9:03 am

>42 Owltherian: That's good!

>43 clamairy: Thanks!

45humouress
Mar 11, 10:29 am

Happy new thread foggi!

Lovely photos of your place and of Lottie too.

46foggidawn
Mar 11, 10:46 am

(34 books read)



Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin -- A fictionalized account of the life of Alice Pleasance Hargreaves, nee Liddell, the woman generally supposed to be the inspiration for Alice in Wonderland. Her childhood friendship with Charles Dodgson, her brief romance with Prince Leopold, and her eventual marriage to Reginald Hargreaves are all part of this novel, but the thread that runs through the whole thing is the question of whether Dodgson behaved inappropriately towards her, and what caused the sudden break between him and the Liddell family when Alice was 11 years old.

This was a fascinating, sometimes uncomfortable read, skirting the edges of the historical record and playing around in the hazy places left by destroyed letters and missing diaries. It sent me down many Wikipedia rabbit holes (yes, see what I did there), and I feel like I learned a lot about several Victorian figures and the Oxford of the mid-1800s. I was also freshly irritated at Victorian social mores as embodied in Alice's mother and older sister, just as the author intended. If you enjoy reading about this period, or like to look behind the curtain at the creation of beloved literary classics, I would recommend this book to you.

47Owltherian
Mar 11, 10:48 am

Heya Foggi, how have ya been?

48foggidawn
Mar 11, 10:50 am

49foggidawn
Mar 11, 10:50 am

>47 Owltherian: Pretty good! Still adjusting to the time change. How about you?

50Owltherian
Editado: Mar 11, 10:52 am

>49 foggidawn: In school so cant go to the bathroom, forgot to eat breakfast, and cramping a little + only got 10 mins of sleep so I'm not that great. But i am looking on Amazon for chest binders to help with my problems so that's gonna be fun to try and see if my mum can get it for me if i use my own gift card.

51foggidawn
Mar 11, 11:07 am

(35 books read)



Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines -- Isaac has been working as a librarian for the past two years, cataloging works for both his small-town library and the secret society of magic users that he used to be part of. After over-using his magic, he almost got kicked out, but was allowed to remain on the fringes in this auxiliary role. All of that changes when a couple of vampires show up at the library and try to kill him. He's fortunate that Lena, a dryad, is following the vampires. Between Isaac and Lena, the vampires are dispatched (including the other vampires that were waiting at Isaac's house), and the two set out to figure out what's gone wrong with the treaty that usually keeps the vampires more or less in check. They discover that the aforementioned secret society, the Porters, is in disarray, with agents killed or kidnapped, including 400-year-old Johannes Gutenberg, the founder of the Porters. Could a rogue agent or former agent be behind it all?

That's kind of a sloppy summary, as I don't want to give too much away. There's a lot going on in this book, with the sort of plot that dashes from one big fight or disaster to another, with some witty quips in between. I loved the idea of Libriomancy, the magical ability to reach into books and pull out anything small enough to fit within the book's covers, though I am still confused, after finishing the book, about some of the rules and limitations of the magic. This is straight-up mind-candy, with not a lot of substance behind the flash -- and that's just fine; sometimes one needs just that kind of read. If it's what you're looking for, go right ahead. I probably won't read more in the series, but I don't regret having read this one.

52foggidawn
Mar 11, 11:11 am

>50 Owltherian: Oof, lack of sleep and lack of breakfast, with cramps on top of that, sounds like a rough start. Hope things even out for you soon. Good luck finding a binder that will work for you.

53Owltherian
Mar 11, 11:16 am

>52 foggidawn: Yeah, and then i have to ask my mother to order it for me as well.

54foggidawn
Editado: Mar 11, 11:20 am

(DNF)



My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh -- Our narrator, a young, beautiful, and wealthy New Yorker, hates everything and everybody, so she decides to take a sort of gap year and just sleep. With the help of many, many different medications prescribed by an absolutely batty psychiatrist, she does just that.

It's absolutely true that you can enjoy a book with zero likable or relatable characters, especially if it's well-written and full of witty social commentary. It's just not for me right now.

55foggidawn
Mar 11, 11:22 am

>53 Owltherian: I hope things go well for you.

56katiekrug
Mar 11, 11:50 am

>54 foggidawn: - I DNF'd that one as well. I also DNF'd her novel, Eileen. I wouldn't have even picked up My Year... but it was a book club pick.

57foggidawn
Mar 11, 2:37 pm

>56 katiekrug: Yeah, I won't be going after any of Moshfegh's other books in the near future. I can see struggling through it for book club -- but I'm not in a book club right now, so I'll happily pass!

58Owltherian
Mar 11, 2:58 pm

>55 foggidawn: Yeah, i think i found one that will work, but afterschool i may ask my mother to stop by my dads so i can get my wallet for the money to buy it.

59foggidawn
Mar 11, 4:55 pm

60katiekrug
Mar 11, 6:28 pm

I eventually quit the book club because I had several DNFs/books I finished but didn't like in a row, and I figured why waste my time. I'm trying out a new book club this month, so 🤞 they make better picks!

61foggidawn
Mar 12, 11:51 am

>60 katiekrug: I was in a book club once, where I used to live. We met at a local winery that had really good wine slushies, so that may tell you something about how serious of a book club we were! (We did read some good books and some less good, and also griped about work because we all worked together as well.) Good luck with your new book club!

62mstrust
Mar 12, 2:27 pm

Wine slushies?!

63foggidawn
Mar 12, 2:31 pm

>62 mstrust: I know, right?!

64katiekrug
Mar 12, 5:16 pm

>61 foggidawn: - When I joined that book group, they met at a coffee house. Another woman and I convinced them to move to a restaurant, so we could have wine during the discussion :)

I had a fun book group when I lived in Dallas - it was mostly people I worked with, so there was a lot of work talk as well as book talk. Inevitable.

65foggidawn
Mar 12, 6:05 pm

>64 katiekrug: Yep! Both of those sound like fun book club scenarios to me.

66foggidawn
Mar 14, 3:50 pm

(36 books read)



Instead of Three Wishes by Megan Whalen Turner -- In my continuing quest for short stories to read to the elementary schoolers, I reread this slim volume. Some of the stories are too long for my purposes, some had elements that were a bit dated at this point, but a couple -- the first and last, in fact -- worked well. Of course, I had to read all of them, just to be sure. ;-)

67thornton37814
Mar 14, 7:34 pm

Trying to play catch-up on threads this evening. Hope you are doing well. Looks like you've been reading a lot!

68humouress
Mar 15, 12:38 am

>62 mstrust: Wine slushies!? I think we should start a book club right here. (And right now.)

>66 foggidawn: But of course.

Some of the Tashi books might work, if you can get them there.

69foggidawn
Mar 15, 10:13 am

>67 thornton37814: Thanks for visiting!

>68 humouress: The Tashi books look really interesting, but I've never seen them over here. I'll have to see if I can get my hands on them.

70foggidawn
Mar 15, 12:53 pm

(37 books read)



The Empire of Dreams by Rae Carson -- Red was an orphan and a slave before Empress Elisa found her, freed her, and made her her ward. Now, Red is about to be officially adopted into the royal family in front of the whole court. Red's adoption requires a council vote, but the royal family is certain that they have the votes. When something goes wrong and the adoption is rejected, Red asks instead to join the Royal Guard. Elisa and her consort Hector are scheduled to go on a journey, leaving Prince Rosario in charge. While they are away, Red begins to notice some strange things about what's happening in the palace, and in the training of the new Guard recruits. Is there a traitor lurking in the shadows?

It's been years since I read the first three books in the Fire & Thorns series, and I was concerned that I would have forgotten too much about the previous books, but this book stands on its own fairly well. Carson's writing is strong, and as with the previous books, she doesn't pull her punches. In reading about Red's experiences as the only female Guard recruit, I couldn't help think of Tamora Peirce's Song of the Lioness and Protector of the Small quartets, so if you enjoyed those stories, you might like this one. I'd recommend reading the whole series, just because they are so good, but this book could be read as a stand-alone.

71quondame
Mar 15, 6:02 pm

>70 foggidawn: I've only read one Rae Carson book, but perhaps I should try some more..

72The_Hibernator
Mar 17, 4:07 pm

>51 foggidawn: Too bad. It's a good concept - if maybe a little Dresden-sounding. (Not that I dislike Dresden Files - it just reminded me a little of how things work in Dresden files, though magic is pretty clearly defined in DF.)

73humouress
Mar 18, 9:21 am

>70 foggidawn: Oh, alright. BB'd. I'll check out the series.

74foggidawn
Mar 18, 2:07 pm

>71 quondame: I like her Fire & Thorns series better than anything else I've read by her, though I haven't read everything she's written.

>72 The_Hibernator: I've seen that comparison elsewhere. I haven't read the Dresden Files yet.

>73 humouress: Enjoy!

75foggidawn
Mar 18, 2:32 pm

(38 books read)



Barely Floating by Lilliam Rivera -- Nat figures her summer will go according to plan: she and her best friend Joanne will hang out at the pool. Joanne will read manga, Nat will earn money by betting older kids that she can beat them in swimming races, and they'll make plans for the anime con they'll attend in the fall. But everything changes when Nat sees a demonstration by the L.A. Mermaids, an artistic (formerly called synchronized) swim team. The costumes, the glitter, the coordinated moves... Nat is immediately in love, but her parents are skeptical. They're of the opinion that synchronized swimming puts too much emphasis on appearances. Nat is confident in her body: she knows she's fat, strong, and fabulous. She's passed the audition for the Mermaids, and she has some money saved up. So, she decides to lie to her parents. With the help of an older cousin, she starts attending practice, and learns how much work goes into those effortless-looking moves. But she can't keep up the lie forever...

I really loved the character building here: Nat's a great lead, and the secondary characters are all well fleshed out, with their own lives and problems. I do think the scope and duration of the lie was a little hard to believe, since Nat's parents are cast as being involved and interested in Nat's life. However, I was willing to suspend disbelief for the sake of the story, and I found it well-plotted and paced. Recommended to readers of middle-grade realistic fiction.

76foggidawn
Mar 18, 2:45 pm

(39 books read)



The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett -- True crime writer Amanda Bailey has the golden opportunity to write one of the first books in a new true crime series, and she's all set to focus on the Alperton Angels, a cult killing from twenty years ago that may not be all that it seems. Unfortunately, a long-time rival, Oliver Menzies, is set to write a book on the same topic for a different publisher. Their editors encourage them to work together and take different angles, saying there's plenty to be found in the case for two different books. Amanda isn't convinced, but she's determined to get all the information she can, even if some of it has to come through Oliver. As she delves into the case, she finds some loose ends that might even prove that the wrong man is behind bars. But the deeper she digs, the more it seems like someone powerful doesn't want the truth to come to light...

This epistolary mystery is presented as a set of case files: interview transcripts, text message logs, emails, all pertaining to the Alperton Angels case. It's up to the reader to sort through and determine what really happened, and there are definitely some twists and turns before the end. If you're up for this kind of narrative, I'd recommend this one.

77foggidawn
Mar 18, 4:44 pm

(40 books read)



North Woods by Daniel Mason -- A young Puritan couple flees to the wilderness, where they build a little cabin in which they can live and love in peace. Thus begins the long history of a tract of land in rural Massachusetts which will see love and hate, murder and betrayal, prosperity and ruin over the course of the next three centuries.

The writing style is fascinating, since Mason takes up the different voice of each character and era. There's also a thread of the supernatural running through, as ghosts and other uncanny occurrences pop up in many of the tales. A recurring theme is the interaction between nature and humans, and the way the land is shaped by the people who live on it and vice versa. Most of the stories end on a sad note, though there are happy moments, of course. An enjoyable read, well-written, but not one that I think I would ever revisit.

78msf59
Mar 19, 8:47 am

Glad you got to North Woods, Foggi. I really enjoyed that one and it prompted me to read his earlier work.

79foggidawn
Mar 19, 11:48 am

>78 msf59: I might also seek out his other writings, Mark.

80foggidawn
Mar 19, 7:16 pm

(41 books read)



Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman -- A master storyteller interprets the ancient legends of the North. I listened to this book in audio format, and it went down remarkably smoothly, especially considering that I had relatively low interest in the subject. (I've always been more of a Greek mythology kind of girl.) Gaiman's retellings have a great deal of humor and wit, and I appreciated his narration of the audiobook as the perfect interpretation of his writing style (and a helpful guide to pronunciation, as well). The stories flow perfectly together, from the beginning of the world to Ragnarok. I found as I listened that I have absorbed bits and pieces of the mythology from popular culture, but this helped me set the individual pieces within a framework. Recommended.

81Deedledee
Mar 20, 8:21 pm

I'm on team wine slushie! I mean, I also like to read books or whatever ...

82foggidawn
Mar 21, 9:18 am

>81 Deedledee: Yes, that was the general attitude among the club! ;-)

83foggidawn
Mar 21, 5:01 pm

(42 books read)



An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green -- April May is on her way home after a late night at work when she discovers what she assumes is an ambitious art exhibit. It's New York City, after all, and sometimes things like this Transformer-looking robot dude just show up. She calls her friend Andy to come and bring his camera and recording equipment, and they put up a quick video about the statue, which she cheekily names Carl. The video goes viral within 24 hours, because it's not just New York City where Carl has appeared -- 60 of them have appeared simultaneously in cities across the world, disrupting surveillance cameras and confounding scientists with their mysterious chemical makeup. Could they be . . . aliens?

I read this book because I've been listening to the backlist of the podcast "Dear Hank and John," where authors and brothers Hank and John Green answer questions and just have generally goofy conversations, and of course the episodes from around this book's release included a fair bit of chat about it. I enjoyed the read, but I'm not sure how I would have felt about it had I not been listening to the pod. The book's narrative gets very explain-y in spots, and that's totally Hank. I didn't mind it in the book because I'm used to it in the pod, but I can see being put off by it if I were coming to this book with no prior knowledge of the author. I also feel like a few plot threads were left dangling. (Like the uranium -- why did the Carl ask for three elements if all it needed for the Dream was the iodine? What was the point of the americium, if it didn't really do anything either?) I'm trying to decide if I would consider the ending of the book a cliffhanger, and I kind of would, as it left me wanting the next book right away. Fortunately, having dragged my feet on reading this, the second volume is readily available, so I'll be taking a look at that one soon.

84curioussquared
Mar 22, 1:21 pm

Hi Foggi!

>76 foggidawn: I have The Appeal by this author on my list to read soon and I'm looking forward to it!

>83 foggidawn: I think I felt similarly about this one -- liked but didn't totally love. I did read both books, though.

85mstrust
Mar 22, 1:57 pm

>68 humouress: What, like we all line our beverages up at the same time and keep typing passages of our current reads until everyone can tell the alcohol has kicked in and we just start rambling about old times? I can tell you, it's already been done on LT ;-D

86humouress
Mar 22, 2:06 pm

>85 mstrust: And I missed it?!

87foggidawn
Mar 23, 9:47 am

>84 curioussquared: Ooh, I really liked The Appeal -- it's set in a community theatre group, which I enjoyed very much.

>85 mstrust: Sounds like something that could be done again! Despite my starting all of this with my talk of wine slushies, I don't drink wine very often any more because one of my meds says not to take it with alcohol. But I can be plenty goofy/maudlin/whatever without help from a beverage!

>86 humouress: Right? Me too!

88clamairy
Mar 23, 11:02 am

>77 foggidawn: I've been on the fence about trying this one. I'm not sure you've convinced me to get off my perch.

>83 foggidawn: I may try this as an audiobook so the explainy bits aren't as painful.

89mstrust
Mar 23, 11:37 am

>86 humouress: >87 foggidawn: I only know about it because this member, who is also a friend, would get pixelated on bourbon and leave some long and entertaining stories of past romances on my thread. They would disappear the next day.

90foggidawn
Mar 23, 12:00 pm

(43 books read)



Of Salt and Shore by Annet Schaap -- Emilia, or Lampie as everyone calls her, grew up in the lighthouse. Her mother is dead, and her father is missing a leg, which makes it hard for him to climb the steps, so Lampie mostly tends the light. On one stormy evening, Lampie realizes that they are out of matches because she forgot to go out and buy them. She tries to get to the store and back, but the storm overwhelms her. Worse, a ship crashes on the rocks because the lamp wasn't lit. As punishment, Lampie's father is imprisoned inside the lighthouse, and Lampie is sent to work at the Black House on the cliff, the Admiral's residence, where it's said a terrible monster dwells. What Lampie finds there, however, is something she never could have expected...

This book has the feel of historical fiction, but once Lampie is at Black House, the fantastic elements start inching their way in. The story reminded me a lot of The Secret Garden, though it nods toward The Little Mermaid as well. This book is a translation from the Dutch, and I felt that the writing generally flowed well. If you're intrigued by the premise, it's worth a look!

91foggidawn
Mar 23, 12:53 pm

>88 clamairy: Hmm. I was a little on the fence, myself, and I think I'm okay with leaving you there -- I don't feel like I need to tip you one way or the other.

>89 mstrust: Hilarious!

92foggidawn
Mar 23, 1:08 pm

(44 books read)



Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon -- Castle Hangnail's minions have a problem: there is no Master of the castle, and the Society of Magic is on their backs to get one, because without a Master, magical places can go a bit... wonky. So, it's a relief when Molly, Wicked Witch, age 12 shows up. Sure, she's young, but she demonstrates the ability to do magic, and she has an invitation. Plus, she's an Evil Twin, so she's probably some sort of prodigy. Most of the minions are relieved and willing to work with her, though the Majordomo has some qualms. There are some immediate problems, though, not the least of which is that the castle is without funds, and the ancient plumbing has just given out. There's a real estate developer lurking, just waiting for the castle to be decommissioned and go on the market. Plus, Molly may be hiding just a few secrets from her new companions...

This was a very fun read. Vernon (who publishes for adults as T. Kingfisher) has a delightful writing style, and I loved getting to know these characters. There's lots of humor, and the plot moves apace, with interesting (if sometimes predictable) twists and turns. If you enjoy middle-grade fantasy, this one is a pleasure to read.

93foggidawn
Mar 23, 2:41 pm

(45 books read)



Nothing Else but Miracles by Kate Albus -- It's 1944. Dory Byrnes lives in New York City with her brothers Fish and Pike. Her mother is dead, and her Pops has gone to war, so the three siblings are supposed to look out for each other and listen to Fish, who's 17. 12-year-old Dory finds this hard at times, and the siblings get in a few scrapes, which leads to their new landlord reporting them to Child Protective Services. The siblings are afraid that they'll be sent to orphanages, until Dory makes a discovery. She learns that the third, fourth, and fifth floors of Caputo's, the restaurant where Pops arranged for the kids to get a meal once a week, are closed off, accessible only by an ancient dumbwaiter that nobody has used in upwards of thirty years. When Dory sneaks in one night, she's hoping to find treasure. Instead, she finds an abandoned hotel, which becomes the Byrnes kids' sanctuary. But when the letters from Pops stop coming, they start to wonder what will become of them.

There are lots of books about World War II for kids, but few about the US home front. This one is delightfully Old New York, with all the character and bustle of the city. I did think it glossed over the difficulties of getting in and out of the abandoned hotel, but on the other hand, what kid wouldn't love finding a secret hideout and outsmarting mean adults like Dory did? There's also lots of complicated growing-up emotions that are portrayed so very well. This book isn't quite as heartwarming as A Place to Hang the Moon, but it's all kinds of charming.

94foggidawn
Editado: Mar 25, 10:00 am

(46 books read)



Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution by Todd S. Purdum -- From their early success with Oklahoma! through flops and triumphs, this book takes a look at Rodgers and Hammerstein's collaborations and how they were received by critics and the public. The author's tone is respectful of the duo's achievements, while making note of some of their flaws and foibles (Rodgers' womanizing, for instance, and Hammerstein's temper). Purdum makes the case that Rodgers and Hammerstein were revolutionary for their era, and paved the way for the creators who would follow in their footsteps on the Broadway stage.

I was introduced to The Sound of Music when I was probably 8 or 9 years old, and have been a fan ever since. I've seen most of the films of their major works, though I wish I could have seen the original staged versions. I do generally consider the R&H musicals as "safe," sentimental, and a little old-fashioned, so it was interesting to see the ways in which they were groundbreaking and perhaps a little shocking in their time. Moreover, it had me singing bits of some favorite melodies whenever they were mentioned. I'd recommend this to theatre buffs and musical aficionados.

95foggidawn
Mar 25, 10:08 am

>94 foggidawn: I didn't fit this into my review, but I was surprised to learn that Stephen Sondheim was a protégé of Oscar Hammerstein. I always think of Sondheim's work as being basically the opposite of R&H.

96curioussquared
Mar 25, 7:50 pm

>93 foggidawn: Yay, glad you liked this one! I agreed that it wasn't quite up to A Place to Hang the Moon, but still great.

97foggidawn
Mar 26, 11:50 am

>96 curioussquared: Yeah, I enjoyed it.

98foggidawn
Mar 29, 9:39 am

Storytime update:

I did bunnies this week -- nothing Easter-specific, but it's a good time of year for a bunny theme.

     

Bunnies on the Bus by Philip Ardaugh, illus. Ben Mantle
Everybunny Dance by Ellie Sandall
Pete the Cat: Five Little Bunnies by Kimberly & James Dean
Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes

There are plenty of bunny songs and rhymes to go with this theme. It went well.

99clamairy
Mar 29, 11:47 am

>94 foggidawn: Oh, this looks like fun. You did it as an audiobook? Were there any musical interludes?

100foggidawn
Mar 29, 12:20 pm

>99 clamairy: Only the ones that I myself provided. ;-)

101clamairy
Mar 29, 1:04 pm

>100 foggidawn: I'm sure they were wonderful.

102Berly
Mar 29, 1:39 pm

Appreciating the Bunny theme. : )

103foggidawn
Mar 29, 4:19 pm

>101 clamairy: Well, I enjoyed them, and Lottie pretty much ignored them. (John was at work.)

>102 Berly: Thanks!

104foggidawn
Mar 29, 4:42 pm

(47 books read)



Bone Gap by Laura Ruby -- Finn's been different all his life. He's been called Moonface, Sidetrack, Space Boy... but he's never felt so unwelcome in his small town as he has in the months since Roza left. Roza was his older brother Sean's girlfriend, and she disappeared one night. Finn saw her get into a car with a strange man, but he can't describe the man's face, and nobody seems to believe him -- not even Sean. Finn thinks Sean should try harder to look for Roza. As Finn pursues a romance with Petey, a sharp-tempered and sharp-faced girl from down the road, he begins to wonder if he's the one who should be trying to rescue Roza.

I didn't know a lot about this book going in, so the magical realism that builds throughout the novel was a surprise to me. A pleasant one, just unexpected. Up until things start getting magical, it's a pretty typical, if well-written, story of a small-town boy who doesn't fit in. I'm not sure everything completely came together for me in the end, because I liked this but didn't love it, and I suspect that I won't remember many details a few months from now. Still, if YA and/or magical realism is your jam, you'll probably like it better than I did.

105FAMeulstee
Abr 1, 6:01 am

>90 foggidawn: Glad to see you enjoyed Of Salt and Shore, Foggi. I read it a few years back. There was also a lovely Dutch TV-adaption in 2023.

106humouress
Editado: Abr 1, 7:59 am

>1 foggidawn: I'm only just noticing - is that Lottie doing a Kermit & Otter impersonation? (im'dog'ation?)

107foggidawn
Abr 1, 11:13 am

>105 FAMeulstee: When I saw that it was in translation from the Dutch, I wondered if you had ever read it. :-)

>106 humouress: Pretty much! I caught her mid-yawn-and-stretch.

108foggidawn
Abr 1, 3:51 pm

(48 books read)



An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson -- Isobel lives on the edge of Faerie, and the Fae crave the portraits she can paint of them. She bargains carefully for enchantments that will protect and provide for her family, carefully worded to avoid ill effects. When Rook, the Autumn Prince, arrives for a portrait session, things are somehow different. There's something about his eyes -- sorrow, she finally realizes, an emotion that the Fae aren't supposed to be able to feel. Isobel is drawn to the faerie prince, but she knows that they cannot break the Good Law, which forbids faerie/human relationships. When the portrait, with its telling revelation of Rook's sorrow is unveiled before the court, a furious Rook returns, dragging Isobel to his court to stand trial. Surrounded by the Fae court, who can Isobel trust?

I enjoyed this story, though it has some flaws. I liked the setting and descriptions, and the conceit that the Fae can't make art (Craft, as the book calls it, which can include things like Isobel's paintings, but also food, clothing, furniture, etc.) and therefore bargain with their human neighbors to obtain it. I thought there were some pacing issues, and I wasn't entirely convinced at the insta-love that characterizes the romantic plot. I listened to the audiobook, and I always enjoy Julia Whelan's narration, which may be part of the reason the book's shortcomings didn't bother me until after I finished listening. All in all, if you enjoy stories of humans in the faerie court, you might like this one, if the things I mentioned aren't deal-breakers for you.

109quondame
Abr 1, 5:18 pm

>108 foggidawn: I read Sorcery of Thorns a few years back and did not think it worth the time. Significantly not worth the time.

110foggidawn
Abr 2, 11:40 am

>109 quondame: I liked Sorcery of Thorns a little better than An Enchantment of Ravens, but I have a higher tolerance for some of that nonsense than you do, I think. ;-)

111foggidawn
Abr 3, 1:01 pm

(49 books read)



A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor by Hank Green -- I don't feel quite up to summarizing this, the second book in a duology, as I don't want to give any spoilers. So, straight into the review: I enjoyed this about as much as the first book, meaning that I found it a pleasant but not mind-blowing read. It had many of the same positives, and some of the same flaws. It did wrap up a few of the questions I had after reading the first book, and provided a satisfactory resolution of the story arc. It reminded me strongly in several ways of Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline, which is interesting since that book and this one came out within a few months of each other -- perhaps a sign that the greater culture was grappling with these issues at that point in time. All in all, if you liked the first book, you'll probably want to read this one as well.

112MickyFine
Abr 3, 5:16 pm

>111 foggidawn: Ooh the ending of Ready Player Two made me really angry so now I'm inclined to give this duology a miss. I like Hank but I have to admit his novels have never called to me.

113foggidawn
Abr 4, 9:39 am

>112 MickyFine: To be clear, I liked this book better than RP2, but I didn't like the first book as much as RP1. I feel that the ending was cleaner in ABFE than in RP2. Mostly, the similarities were about full-body immersive VR worlds and what effect that would have on society/the economy/etc. I think you're safe giving the duology a miss, though.

114alcottacre
Editado: Abr 4, 10:04 am

I am very far behind again, foggi, but came by to check on you. I may give the Hank Green duology a try.

I only ever read Ready Player One, which I loved, but not hearing a ton of great things about the second book, elected not to read it.

115foggidawn
Abr 4, 10:52 am

>114 alcottacre: Hope you enjoy the Green! As for RP2, I'd say that was a good call.

116foggidawn
Abr 6, 9:52 am

Menu update:

I have skipped a week or two of posting my menu plans here, and have been doing a lot of my basic staples lately. My brother and his family are coming for a visit tomorrow through Tuesday, for the eclipse (we're not in the totality zone, but right on the edge of it, so they can easily drive to a good viewing place). I've planned kid-friendly meals for my nephew, so we'll be eating tacos, hot dogs, mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, etc. while they're here (and probably going out to eat once or twice). Once they leave, I will re-assess what is left in the fridge and pantry and go from there.

117foggidawn
Abr 6, 11:48 am

(50 books read)



The Romantic Agenda by Claire Kann -- Joy has been in love with Malcolm since college, but he's also her best friend. Both identify as asexual, though they express it in different ways. Now that they're in their 30s, Malcolm is strongly motivated to find a partner and start a family. Joy's not interested in having children at this point, but she's still sure that nobody could be as perfect for her as Malcolm -- why can't he see it? When she notices him planning a romantic weekend getaway, she's hoping that he's finally decided to give her a chance -- until he mentions Summer, a woman she's never met, but with whom Malcolm has become close over the past few months. Summer has invited along her own male best friend, Fox, and Malcolm asks Joy to come along to keep Fox occupied so he can have some time with Summer. Joy's hoping she can do a My Best Friend's Wedding-inspired confession during the weekend and move her and Malcolm's relationship to a romantic level -- but there are just two things that may throw a wrench in those plans: Summer. And Fox.

This was a fun, trope-y, romantic read (we've got a love triangle, fake dating, a grumpy/sunshine romance...). I love the weekend getaway setting and the ace representation. I felt like things moved quickly, but that's kind of in line with the setting and with Joy's personality. I didn't love that the story is written in present tense, but I was able to look past it, possibly because I was listening to the audiobook and the narration was very good. Recommended.

118foggidawn
Editado: Abr 6, 3:35 pm

(51 books read)



Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma by Claire Dederer -- In this book, Dederer looks at the question of what audiences are to do with the work of "monstrous" creators, those who do terrible things that stain their public image and, therefore, the public perception of their work. Can one still love the music of Michael Jackson? The art of Pablo Picasso? Roman Polanski's films, or Woody Allen's? The list goes on, but the question is always pretty much the same.

I was a regular viewer of The Cosby Show when I was growing up. As an adult, you can at least try to separate actors from roles they play, but to my child self, Bill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable was "America's Dad." So, that's the #MeToo revelation that hit home hardest for me, though of course there have been many others. I think most people these days have experienced the sinking feeling in their stomach that comes with reevaluating some favorite work of art when faced with new biographical information about the artist. So, what do you do? The portion of this book that focused on this question was smart and thought-provoking. I was less enamored with the parts of the book that veered into memoir, or to trying to explore "monstrous" behavior in women (usually related to abandoning their own children, though there were other examples). There are a few repetitive bits, and occasionally Dederer's rarified language use comes off as pretentious. Though I basically agree with her conclusion, I'm not left with a strong feeling about the book, or that it helped me explore the topic in any significant way beyond the mental work I've already put in to it. So, somewhat recommended?

119The_Hibernator
Abr 7, 5:37 pm

>118 foggidawn: Interesting. I personally try to separate the author's behavior from my enjoyment of their work. But I might avoid further enriching them by buying their books.

120clamairy
Editado: Abr 7, 8:49 pm

>108 foggidawn: My daughter was just suggesting I read this. She says it was a very pleasant read, with good vibes. Thanks for the nudge.

>118 foggidawn: I only made it about half of the way through this one. Some of her arguments didn't sit well with me. I can't watch Woody Allen movies, and I can't listen to Michael Jackson anymore, and at this point in my life I'm not willing to try.

121foggidawn
Abr 10, 12:32 pm

>119 The_Hibernator: That's about where I come down as well, for authors at least. It's trickier with other media.

>120 clamairy: That's fair.

122foggidawn
Abr 10, 12:54 pm

(52 books read)



Golden Hill by Francis Spufford -- It's a rainy evening in the fall of 1746 when Mr. Smith arrives in the bustling little city of New York. He's immediately a man of mystery: he arrives at a counting house on Golden Hill street with an order for a thousand pounds, an almost unimaginable fortune in the Colonies. Is he a fraudster? An eccentric, wealthy businessman? What is his business in New York, and why is he so hesitant to talk about it?

I can't quite remember how this book got on my radar (a conference speaker some years ago, perhaps?), but I'm glad I finally got to it. The ups and downs of Smith's trip to New York and the mystery of his business there kept me intrigued the whole way through, as well as the turbulent, spiky romance between him and Tabitha, daughter of the counting-house on Golden Hill. I did guess at one of the twists from a dropped clue, but was still generally surprised at how things turned out. The book does have some flaws -- for one thing, the narrator is revealed at the end, but that person would have had no way of knowing about certain conversations and events that are recorded. Smith is also amazingly forward-thinking and tolerant for his time. The audiobook narration is likewise good but flawed, with a couple of mispronounced words and a few awkward bits of phrasing where the last word of a sentence gets tagged on as an afterthought. Still, I'd recommend both the book and the audiobook to readers who enjoy historical fiction set in this era.

123PaulCranswick
Abr 13, 7:38 am

>122 foggidawn: I am another one who really liked that book, Foggi. I have heard good things about his next two novels too.

124foggidawn
Abr 15, 10:04 am

>123 PaulCranswick: I'll have to take a look at them sometime.

125foggidawn
Editado: Abr 15, 2:53 pm

(53 books read)



The Magician's Daughter by H.G. Parry -- Biddy has grown up on the magical, disappearing island of Hy-Brasil with her guardian, a mage named Rowan, and his familiar Hutchincroft. However, magic is fading from the world, and Rowan, who has been pursuing a Robin Hood-like existence of stealing bits of magic from the remaining powerful magicians and giving it to the common people, is now in grave danger. Biddy has always wanted to venture out into the "real world," but she knows nothing of its dangers -- and she's soon to learn that maybe Rowan hasn't told her everything she needs to know...

I very much enjoyed this coming-of-age fantasy, with its strong characters and well-developed magic system. Would it be possible for me to go live on Hy-Brasil now, do you think? I would adore it. Also, I will seek out more books by this author. Recommended.

126curioussquared
Abr 15, 1:04 pm

>125 foggidawn: Oh, I have this waiting for me on my Kindle so I'm glad you loved it!

127foggidawn
Abr 15, 2:14 pm

>126 curioussquared: Hope you like it as much as I did! I've occasionally had trouble getting into fantasy, especially YA fantasy, lately, so it was refreshing to find one that I solidly enjoyed. (Maybe because there's no romance for the main character?)

128humouress
Abr 15, 2:27 pm

>125 foggidawn: Darn. BB'd

129foggidawn
Abr 15, 2:28 pm

(54 books read)



Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail -- Gracie kind of maybe likes AJ, but Riley also likes AJ, but AJ likes Sienna, who... maybe likes AJ? But doesn't know what to say to him? So Gracie texts AJ using Sienna's phone, because Sienna is Gracie's best friend. But Emmett, Gracie's second-best friend, is also AJ's best friend, so Gracie can kind of use him to get info on AJ, too. But maybe there's someone Emmett likes...

Middle school is generally miserable, and some of these kids are, too, but most of them are actually very likable for all that. I think this got put on my reading list because of the hat-tip to Cyrano de Bergerac (my long-time fave), and it's a cute, lighthearted handling of that angle. There are also some serious bits: Gracie deals with body image issues, as well as some complicated feelings about the older sister who died before Gracie was born, and about feeling like she has to be her parents' little ray of sunshine because of that. It's cute and funny and only a little bit angsty, and I would recommend it to middle-schoolers, and also those who enjoy reading books written for middle-schoolers.

130osamabeenbombin
Abr 15, 2:31 pm

Este utilizador foi removido como sendo spam.

131foggidawn
Editado: Abr 15, 2:34 pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

132foggidawn
Abr 15, 2:34 pm

>128 humouress: Mwa-ha-ha!

>130 osamabeenbombin: Okay, blocked.

133The_Hibernator
Abr 15, 3:39 pm

>125 foggidawn: That looks really good.

134foggidawn
Abr 15, 4:53 pm

>133 The_Hibernator: I hope I'm not over-selling it to you all! It may have been a case of just the right book at just the right time for me. Also, the audiobook narrator does a pretty convincing Irish accent (maybe they're Irish, I didn't look at their details) so that may have contributed to my good feelings about it. I stand by my enjoyment of it, and I hope anyone who reads it on my recommendation enjoys it as much as I did!

135foggidawn
Editado: Abr 16, 1:09 pm

Garden update:

I finally got my peas planted! Also, I got the lovely box of plants I ordered -- a dwarf fig tree that I'm hoping to grow in a big pot, and 20 bare-root strawberry plants (Mara Des Bois, for those who want to know what kind of strawberries, and Fignomenal for the fig tree). I decided that one of my raised beds will be given over to the strawberries, but for this spring I planted my peas down the middle, with strawberry plants on either side. By the time the strawberry plants are big enough to spread, the peas will be long gone. I won't get any strawberries this growing season, since with new strawberry plants you're supposed to pinch off any blooms so they will put their energy into growing strong root systems, but maybe in the fall I will get a few.

Looking forward to starting some lettuce and carrot seeds soon. It's garden season!

Edit: I planted the carrots and the first batch of lettuce today. Planning to plant more lettuce in a couple weeks to extend the harvest.

136mstrust
Abr 17, 11:46 am

Your garden sounds great! I'd love to have a fig tree.
I didn't get around to planting strawberries this Spring as I became totally wrapped up in how many tomato and lettuce varieties I could grow. I'm getting the hang of growing on the low desert, but then one of our landscaping guys went among my growing carts and containers with a leaf blower the other day, blowing off blooms and tomatoes.

137foggidawn
Abr 17, 12:50 pm

>136 mstrust:, Ooh, infuriating! I'm cautiously excited about the fig tree. I'm only growing one type of lettuce this year, because last year I grew a mix and there was a clear winner of which we liked best. As for tomatoes, usually my mom starts a whole lot and gives me some (and some to my aunt, and some to my cousin... she starts a LOT of tomatoes), but this spring she is traveling and not starting as many garden plants. I plan to just buy a few tomato plants from a nursery, so I'm reliant on them to see what varieties I can get. I find that Romas and heirloom breeds have worked well for me in the past.

138foggidawn
Editado: Abr 17, 1:17 pm

(55 books read)



Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan -- Summer lovin', having a blast / Summer lovin', happened so fast...

Sam's first love broke her heart. When they were teenagers, spending summers next door to each other in cottages on Long Island, Sam and Wyatt were inseparable. Especially those last few summers, when childhood friendship turned into young love. Now, fourteen years later, Sam doesn't even like to go to the family beach cottage, because it brings back too many hurtful memories of the way it ended between her and Wyatt. But now Jack, her fiancé, wants to go there to check out possible wedding venues, and Sam hopes that she can put her old ghosts to bed. What she doesn't expect is to find Wyatt, who left for California years ago, back in the house next door. Is Sam's carefully constructed safe existence about to crumble like a sandcastle?

Of course it is. This is a perfectly adequate romance, but there are no surprises here. Monaghan has written Jack as so blatantly unlikable that it's obvious that Sam's not going to end up with him, in the same way that it's obvious that Wyatt is not some washed-up surfer bum/gas station mechanic, as Sam's whole family seems happy to assume. (A quick Google search could have cleared up so much, but the reason given for not doing one was pretty flimsy.) The summer beach house setting is well-written, and the interactions between Sam and Wyatt are believable. Recommended for romance fans, but not very picky ones.

139fuzzi
Abr 18, 6:40 am

>135 foggidawn: catching up on threads, loved seeing your gardening news.

I'm in zone 8a, so my peas are about 4' tall and blossoming.

140msf59
Abr 18, 7:50 am

Sweet Thursday, Foggi. We had similar thoughts on Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma. Such a fascinating and thorny issue. I am a film buff so I will probably continue to enjoy the films of Polanski and Allen but they will also be shadowed somewhat by their behavior.

Glad to hear you have sandhill cranes hanging around.

141foggidawn
Abr 18, 9:41 am

>139 fuzzi: I probably could have planted my peas a little earlier, but I was waiting on John to haul in more well-rotted horse manure to freshen up the beds. We're in zone 6b.

>140 msf59: I'm less of a film buff (don't know that I've seen anything by Polanski, for instance), but it's an issue that we run up against in any form of art these days.

I just realized that I only posted my crane picture over on Mark's thread, so here it is:


John took this picture from an upstairs window when a couple of sandhill cranes were wandering through our back yard. We've spotted them nearby a couple of times since, so they seem to be hanging around for a while at least. I've never seen them in this area before, and they're considered endangered in Ohio, so it is so cool to see them here.

142clamairy
Abr 18, 12:02 pm

>125 foggidawn: I enjoyed this one as well. I was getting over COVID when I read it though, so I think I got a bit impatient with it at times. I did love the setting.

143norabelle414
Abr 18, 12:05 pm

>141 foggidawn: Yay sandhill cranes! I saw a few when I was in Wisconsin last month.

144foggidawn
Abr 18, 2:43 pm

>142 clamairy: I can see how that would happen -- I do remember thinking that the climax/denouement was going a little slowly. But yes, I can picture Hy-Brasil so clearly!

>143 norabelle414: So neat! They have a very distinctive call.

145foggidawn
Ontem, 9:29 am

(56 books read)



There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool -- Long ago, the Seven prophesied that a great darkness would befall the world. The order of paladins who have kept that final prophecy are now seeing some of the harbingers that were foretold. It's time for the Last Prophet to arise, the only hope of averting the darkness and saving the world.

This is one of those sprawling fantasy epics with lots going on, lots of point of view characters, a sprawling fantasy world, and complex systems of magic and religion. The author did a good job of differentiating all of the characters and making me care about them (some more than others, of course). I didn't feel that the ending was really the ending; this is really just one big book divided into three, I think. At any rate, I dove straight into the next one. I don't love the audiobook narrator, but he's tolerable. Recommended for those who like a big chonky epic fantasy.

146foggidawn
Ontem, 10:09 am

In other news, John has been suffering with a dreadful cold for about a week. I had hoped that it had passed me by, but no such luck -- I was up much of the night with a sore throat and a stuffy nose. Having watched him go through it, I'm anticipating a wracking cough and loss of my voice within the next few days. Bleah.

147humouress
Ontem, 10:35 am

>146 foggidawn: Ooh; poor both of you. Hope you're both better soon.

148quondame
Ontem, 3:26 pm

How dreadful. You have my wishes for minimal cold symptoms and a speedy recovery for both of you.

149bell7
Ontem, 3:28 pm

Oof, sorry for John's cold and yours. I hope it passes quickly and you're able to get lost of rest.

150katiekrug
Ontem, 4:58 pm

Hope you feel better soon!