Alcott Acre's Home, Room 4

É uma continuação do tópico Alcott Acre's Home, Room 3.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2024

Entre no LibraryThing para poder publicar.

Alcott Acre's Home, Room 4

Abr 1, 12:48 am

Well, let's get the introduction out of the way. My name is Stasia and I have been happily married to the recently retired Kerry for almost 36 years. We have 6 children, 4 of whom are my stepchildren and 2 of whom are ours together. We also have 8 grandchildren. 2023 was a tough year for our family as we lost my father and stepdaughter, Nichole, within days of each other back in February.

I love to read and it has been a huge solace to me over the past year - I call it "burying myself in books." Since Kerry retired December 29th, it is going to be interesting to see how his retirement affects my reading! I am playing it safe and just shooting for 100 books read this year. I also suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (known to me familiarly as 'stupid CFS') and it seems like my bouts are becoming longer each time it springs up, so it affects my reading for the worse. CFS drives me crazy because I hate sleeping!

That's about it, I think, so come on in and grab a cuppa!

Editado: Abr 19, 7:06 pm

Excellent Reads from 2024 (in the order in which I read them):

5 Stars
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Cold Crematorium by Jozsef Debreczeni
King: A Life by Jonathan Eig
An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina
The Hands of the Emperor by Victoria Goddard

4.5 Stars
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho
The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs
A Man's Place by Annie Ernaux
Heading North by Holly M. Wendt
Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi
Derring-Do for Beginners by Victoria Goddard
Thirteen Doorways Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
How to Say Babylon by Safiya Sinclair
Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger
The Postcard by Anne Berest
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
An Interrupted Life and Letters from Westerbork by Etty Hillesum
Foster by Claire Keegan

4.25 Stars
The Serial Garden by Joan Aiken
Freezing Order by Bill Browder
A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
My Hair Is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera
Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martinez
Code Girls by Liza Mundy
Enchantment: Awakening Wonder in an Anxious Age by Katherine May
Strangers in Death by J.D. Robb
The Six: The Untold Story of America's First Women Astronauts by Loren Grush
The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl
English Creek by Ivan Doig
Gin, Turpentine, Pennyroyal, Rue by Christine Higdon
Eden Mine by S. M. Hulse
Nettle and Bone by T. Kingfisher
Promises in Death by J. D. Robb

Editado: Abr 7, 7:43 am

For the past 2 years, I have concentrated on reading the works of one author in particular. In 2022, I read through all of Jane Austen’s works. In 2023, I read all of the volumes of In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. For 2024, I have decided to do something a bit different and, using Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda as a guide, am going to go through each of the chapters of the book and select one work from each.

So for April we have:

Words from the Wise:
Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tse
Philosophical fragments by Heraclitus
On Duties, Discussions at Tusculum, The Dream of Scipio, and letters to Atticus by Cicero
The Praise of Folly by Erasmus - Completed April 7, 2024
The English Religious Tradition including the King James version of the Bible, The Book of Common Prayer, The Pilgrim's Progress, hymns of writers like Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley
Ethics and Theological-Political Treatise by Benedict de Spinoza
"The Vanity of Human Wishes", Rasselas, Essays from the Rambler and the Idler, and Lives of the Poets by Samuel Johnson

What would you have chosen? Why?

So for March we have:

Love's Mysteries:
Poems and Fragments by Sappho
Arthurian Romances: The Knight with the Lion by Chretien de Troyes, Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg, or Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach
The Princes of Cleves by Marie-Madeleine de la Fayette
Diary of a Seducer by Soren Kierkegaard
Modern Love by George Meredith
Collected Poems by C. P. Cavafy
The Grand Sophy, Venetia, Friday's Child, Cotillion, or A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer - My pick for the month is Cotillion - Completed March 29, 2024
Selected poetry by Anna Akhmatova
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

So for February we have:

Heroes of Their Time:
Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings by Abolqasem Ferdowsi
Njal Saga, Laxdaela Saga, Grettir Saga, Egil Saga (The Icelandic Sagas)
Plays and Poems by Christopher Marlowe
Germinal and other novels by Emile Zola
Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger - Completed February 28, 2024
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee

So for January we have:

Playful Imaginations:
The True History; Lucius, or The Ass; Dialogues of the Dead by Lucian
Rameau’s Nephew by Denis Diderot
Crochet Castle by Thomas Love Peacock
Seven Men; A Christmas Garland; Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm
The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek
Brothers and Sisters; Manservant and Maidservant by Ivy Compton-Burnett
The Best of S.J. Perelman by S.J. Perelman - Completed January 9, 2024
Invisible Cities; The Castle of Crossed Destinies; If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino
Amphigorey; Amphigorey Too; Amphigorey Also; Amphigorey Again by Edward Gorey

Editado: Abr 16, 7:34 pm

Shared reads:

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman - Completed February 14, 2024
Derring-Do for Beginners by Victoria Goddard - Completed February 12, 2024
The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne - Completed February 18, 2024
An Interrupted Life by Etty Hillesum - Completed March 30, 2024
Martin Dressler by Steven Milhauser - Completed March 5, 2024
The Hand of the Emperor by Victoria Goddard - Completed March 25, 2024
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - Completed March 16, 2024
The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki - Completed April 16, 2024
The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham - May with Mark and Jim
Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer - May with Kim
The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason - August? with Mark, Ellen, and Linda P
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson - September with Mary (bell7)
Bound to Please by Michael Dirda - December with Ellen and Benita

Editado: Abr 19, 9:56 pm

April's TIOLI Challenges:

Challenge #1: Read a book by an author whose first name and last name ends in the same letter
Book Row by Marvin Mondlin and Roy Meador
The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente

Challenge #2: Read a book for the Zodiac challenge (Aries - has a word on the first page from the ram-related list)
Died in the Wool by Mary Kruger
Fairy Tale by Stephen King

Challenge #3: Read a book in honour of my dad
The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Speech That Inspired a Nation by Drew Hansen
The Thirty Years War: Europe’s Tragedy by Peter H. Wilson

Challenge #4: Read a book with a title that makes you think of the spring season
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim - Completed April 9, 2024

Challenge #5: The “Many Words, One Syllable Each” Challenge: Titles that have only 1 syllable words in them, but must have more than 1 word
An Eye for an Eye by Anthony Trollope - Completed April 9, 2024
At the Feet of the Sun by Victoria Goddard
Day Boy by Trent Jamieson
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck - Completed April 4, 2024
The House is on Fire by Rachel Beanland
I Shall Not Hate by Izzeldin Abuelaish
Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley
My Friend Anne Frank by Hannah Pick-Goslar
One Drop of Blood by Thomas Holland
One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
This Kind of War by T. R. Fehrenbach
Tin Man by Sarah Winman

Challenge #6: Read a book in honor of Mom and Dad's 65th wedding anniversary in April
Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Challenge #7: Read a book about a war that divides a nation
Life Laid Bare by Jean Hatzfeld

Challenge #8: Read a book with the word 'family' or 'families' on the cover
Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure by Menachem Kaiser - Completed April 6, 2024

Challenge #9: Read a book where there are at least 2 of the letter "s" in the title
The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki - Completed April 16, 2024
Liar Temptress Soldier Spy by Karen Abbott
Promises in Death by J. D. Robb - Completed April 19, 2024
The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud - Completed April 18, 2024
Soldiers of Paradise by Paul Park
Trespasses by Louise Kennedy

Challenge #10: Read a book whose title includes one, and only one, adjective
Ordinary Men by Christopher R. Browning
The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge

Challenge #11: Read a book by an author whose first name is typically a nickname
South of Broad - Pat Conroy
The Town That Food Saved by Ben Hewitt

Challenge #12: Read a book with something suggesting music on the cover
An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by T. E. Carhart

Challenge #13: Read a book with 150 pages or less
In Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus - Completed April 7, 2024

Challenge #14: April Fooler: Read a book with magical realism, fantasy, alternate history or humor as a tag
She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Challenge #15: Read a book you've owned for more than 10 years or that's been on your TBR list for more than 10 years
The Child That Books Built by Francis Spufford
The Siege by Helen Dunmore
Vermeer's Hat by Timothy Brook - Completed April 19, 2024

Editado: Abr 6, 7:58 pm

Black Studies Reading
Must reads for this year: King: A Life by Jonathan Eig and When We Ruled by Robin Walker
1. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho - Completed January 5, 2024
2. Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts by Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martinez - Completed February 2, 2024
3. Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome - Completed March 1, 2024
4. King: A Life by Jonathan Eig - Completed March 6, 2024

Jewish Studies Reading
Must reads for this year: The Instructions by Adam Levin and Jewish Literacy: The Most Important Things to Know About the Jewish Religion, Its People and Its History by Joseph Telushkin
1. 28 Days by David Safier - Completed January 25, 2024
2. The Archive Thief by Lisa Moses Leff - Completed January 28, 2024
3. Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi - Completed February 3, 2024
4. Cold Crematorium by József Debreczeni - Completed March 4, 2024
5. Etty Hillesum: An Interrupted Life the Diaries, 1941-1943 and Letters from Westerbork by Etty Hillesum - Completed March 30, 2024
6. Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure by Menachem Kaiser - Completed April 6, 2024

Editado: Abr 19, 7:08 pm

Series Reading - I will post these as I read them:

The In Death series by J.D. Robb
Creation in Death - Completed January 3, 2024
Random in Death - Completed February 6, 2024
Strangers in Death - Completed February 22, 2024
Salvation in Death - Completed March 24, 2024
Promises in Death - Completed April 19, 2024

The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
A Breath of Snow and Ashes - Completed January 18, 2024

The St. Mary’s books by Jodi Taylor
What Could Possibly Go Wrong? - Completed February 29, 2024

The Decker/Lazarus series by Faye Kellerman
Grievous Sin - Completed January 31, 2024

The Three Pines series by Louise Penny
The Brutal Telling - Completed March 22, 2024

The Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear
An Incomplete Revenge

The Jackson Brodie series by Kate Atkinson
One Good Turn

The Shetland Series by Ann Cleeves
White Nights

Editado: Abr 7, 7:44 am

The War Literature Challenge - I will be attempting to read at least 2 books toward each monthly challenge.

JANUARY - The Ancients (Greeks, Romans etc)
A War Like No Other by Victor Davis Hanson - Completed January 9, 2024
The Battle of Salamis by Barry Strauss - Completed January 31, 2024
Persian Fire by Tom Holland - Completed January 29, 2024

FEBRUARY - The American War of Independence
Killing England by Bill O’Reilly - Completed February 3, 2024
Unlikely Allies by Joel Richard Paul - Completed February 22, 2024

MARCH - WILDCARD - Pick your own fight!:
An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina - Completed March 10, 2024

APRIL - Wars of Religion
The Thirty Years War: Europe's Tragedy by Peter H. Wilson

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

Editado: Abr 4, 8:12 pm

The “Read More Sci-Fi” Challenge - using the Esquire list found here ( and the book Science Fiction, The 101 Best Novels, 1985-2010 by Damien Broderick and Paul di Filippo as guides
1. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers - Completed January 22, 2024 (Esquire List #29)
2. The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut - Completed February 25, 2024 (Esquire List #18)
3. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut - Completed March 3, 2024 (From the book - 1985)
4. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - Completed March 16, 2024 (From the book - 1996)

The “Indie List” Challenge with the list supplied by Berly
1. All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews - Completed January 29, 2024
2. The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne - Completed February 18, 2024
3. Eden Mine by S.M. Hulse - Completed March 31, 2024

The Around the World in 80 Novels Challenge inspired by the book of the same name. I want to try and expand my reading horizons to places I have rarely or never been. In addition to reading from the book that inspired this challenge, I will also be using Around the World in 80 Books as a reference.
1. The Missing File by D.A. Mishani - (Israel) Completed January 31, 2024
2. Bleak House by Charles Dickens - (England) Completed February 16, 2024
3. Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier - (England) - Completed March 8, 2024
4. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck - (China) Completed April 4, 2024

Editado: Abr 19, 9:57 pm

The Monthly Nonfiction Challenge - I try to read at least 100 nonfiction books a year and this challenge is instrumental in helping me achieve that goal. Last year, I was just short with only 96 nonfiction reads in the year, so I am hoping to improve that number in 2024!
January The Archive Thief by Lisa Moses Leff - Completed January 28, 2024
February Code Girls by Liza Mundy - Completed February 12, 2024
February The Six: The Untold Story of America's First Women Astronauts by Loren Grush - Completed February 24, 2024
March Written in Bones by Paul Bahn (editor) - Completed March 16, 2024
April Vermeer's Hat by Timothy Brook - Completed April 19, 2024

The American Authors Challenge - This is one that I dip into and out of as the case may be
January The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain - Completed January 11, 2024
February Reborn: Journals & Notebooks 1947-1963 by Susan Sontag - Completed February 8, 2024
March A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote - Completed March 2, 2024

The British Authors Challenge - I have never participated in this one before and I suspect that, like the American Authors Challenge, it will be one into which I dip only on occasion
January The Serial Garden by Joan Aiken - Completed January 4, 2024
February Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman - Completed February 16, 2024
April An Eye for an Eye by Anthony Trollope - Completed April 9, 2024

Abr 1, 12:53 am

Now we are waiting for paint to dry, water to boil, and Touchstones to load. . . Good thing I do not have anything more to do tonight.

Abr 1, 2:27 am

Happy new thread Stasia!

Abr 1, 7:23 am

Happy new thread :)

Abr 1, 7:43 am

Happy New Thread, Stasia. It looks like I will finish my current read today, so the Ozeki is on deck. 😁

Abr 1, 8:43 am

Happy new thread, Stasia.

Abr 1, 8:56 am

Happy new one, Stasia. I lost track completely of your last thread, but hope to do better for this one!

Abr 1, 10:20 am

Happy new thread!

Abr 1, 11:03 am

Phew! I'm tired just reading all those lists, but read them I did and remember them I will!

Happy New Thread, Stasia. I wish you more un-fatigued hours of reading and gaming so that you can report to us lesser mortals.

Abr 1, 11:10 am

Happy new thread, dear Stasia. xx

Abr 1, 12:20 pm

Happy new thread Stasia. Always great to have a peek at what you're reading!

Abr 1, 1:07 pm

Happy new thread, Stasia!

Abr 1, 1:43 pm

Happy new thread Stasia!

Abr 1, 2:57 pm

>12 quondame: >13 figsfromthistle: Thank you, Susan and Anita!

>14 msf59: Looking forward to starting the Ozeki book, Mark. Just let me know when for sure.

>15 Kristelh: Thank, Kristel!

>16 jessibud2: I completely understand how that goes, Shelley. Thank you for tracking me down again!

>17 foggidawn: Thank you, foggi!

>18 LizzieD: I do not think my lists are all that bad, are they? They certainly help me stay organized. "Lesser mortals"? I am a lesser mortal myself :) Thanks for stopping by at this tough time, Peggy.

>19 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!

>20 mdoris: I hope you enjoy peeking at this new thread too, Mary. My reading seems to be going in 100 different directions currently. I am not sure if that is good or bad - but it certainly keeps me on my toes!

>21 mstrust: >22 humouress: Thank you, Jennifer and Nina!

Abr 1, 6:28 pm

Happy new thread, Stasia!

Abr 1, 6:53 pm

Happy new thread, Stasia!

Abr 1, 7:05 pm

>24 FAMeulstee: >25 thornton37814: Thank you, Anita and Lori!

Abr 1, 7:57 pm

Happy new one, Stasia!

Abr 2, 1:15 am

Happy New Thread, Stasia! It' seems like a lot of people are starting new threads. Happy reads ahead.

Abr 2, 9:11 am

>27 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

>28 vancouverdeb: I think that - if people are like me in this regard - the beginning of a new month is just a natural time to begin a new thread, if you can wait that long :)


Abr 2, 9:15 am

So, today is Ark Nova day with Catey. We play on BGA and it still takes 1.5-2 hours. Then I will meet up with both Beth and Catey for as long as we decide to meet :)

April is starting off as a slow reading month for me. I am hoping it picks up! I started The Good Earth last night. I am not sure that I have ever read it despite having owned it for years! I will be starting The Book of Form and Emptiness soon to read with Mark and Laura and am looking forward to it as I enjoyed my only other Ozeki read, A Tale for the Time Being.

I hope everyone has a terrific Tuesday!

Abr 2, 9:25 am

>30 alcottacre: - I thought I was the only one, Stasia! My mum had all the Pearl Buck books in our house when I was growing up yet I never read a single one, despite her encouragement to do so. No idea what happened to those books but one day, several years ago, I saw someone had put a box of books out by the curb, hoping, I suppose, that someone would take them before the garbage truck came by. I obliged and to my delight, found a whole set of Pearl Buck books among them.

Still haven't read them, mind you, but I will!!

Abr 2, 9:27 am

>31 jessibud2: One of the wonderful things about books is that they are patient and will wait for us to get to them :)

Abr 2, 9:32 am

Morning, Stasia. Hooray for game day. I am starting the Ozeki today. Laura started it yesterday.

Abr 2, 9:33 am

>33 msf59: Thanks for letting me know, Mark. I will start the Ozeki tonight!

Abr 2, 4:25 pm

Happy new thread, Stasia! I hope the meetup with Beth and Catey is enjoyable :)

Abr 2, 7:04 pm

>35 curioussquared: It was more aggravating than enjoyable today just because my Internet is being problematic right now.

Thanks, Natalie!

Abr 2, 11:00 pm

Happy new thread, Stasia!

>30 alcottacre: I read The Good Earth twice when I was young. Once because I wanted to, and then I think I had to read it later for a class. I liked it at the time. I don't know if maturity and sensitivity to cultural things that wouldn't have bothered me then but do now would change the way I think about it. I've still got a copy on my shelves and I should probably reread it at some point.

Abr 3, 9:04 am

>37 atozgrl: Thanks, Irene! I noticed you have a new thread as well so I will be visiting soon.

As far as The Good Earth goes, I am a little over 100 pages into it. There are things that, to me as a modern reader, are definitely disturbing (referring to girl children as "slaves," for example) but since Pearl S. Buck lived quite a bit of her life in China, are no doubt historically correct. The murder of a baby girl immediately after birth - not blatantly stated but certainly implied - is another disturbing scene from the book. I am thinking that reading it for the first time at my age is not such a bad thing.

Abr 3, 9:11 am

So, on the agenda for today is getting the plumber out to give an estimate on how much it will be to repair the sewer leak underneath our house that was discovered when the guys were here doing foundation repairs. *sigh*

Abr 3, 4:26 pm

Hi Stasia my dear, Happy New Thread dear friend.

Abr 3, 6:38 pm

Thank you, John. I noticed you have a new one too and am off to check it out!

Abr 3, 6:53 pm

Happy Wednesday, Stasia. I hope you get these plumbing issues resolved. Ugh. Glad you are having a good time with the Ozeki.

Abr 3, 8:01 pm

>39 alcottacre: Crossing my fingers for you.

When my apt kitchen sink drain pipe was replaced, they removed part of the wall in my under-sink cabinet & ditto in the apt that abuts mine. And never put it back. If Dixie & I were to open our cabinets at the same time, we could wave at each other. :^(

And when there was a leak from my bathroom to the apt below, they decided to replace my lights, vanity, medicine cabinet, floor, trim, & toilet. And paint.

* they ran out of vinyl flooring before they got to the tub so they also couldn't apply the trim
* the mirror on the medicine cabinet was broken so they needed to get a new one
* and they just assumed without verifying that the problem was the toilet (again) rather than, say, the plumbing under the tub
* the guy kept disappearing for periods of time over the 14hours he took, most of that time with the water turned off to the bathroom, and the couple downstairs were incensed by the leak & the time it was taking, & ultimately he said he'd be back in a few days to finish

The result:
* the guy and the couple came close to blows and the couple called the cops -- I let the guy and the couple deal with the cops when they showed up
* the guy never came back to finish, so years later I still have a hole in the wall instead of a medicine cabinet, vinyl flooring that doesn't cover the whole room, no trim, and
* for 8mos I used my sinks rather than the shower/tub because I didn't trust that they had fixed the leak (spoiler: when my water heater died & they had to replace it, I had to run water in the tub & we found out I was right)

Feel better now?

Abr 3, 8:58 pm

>43 ReneeMarie: What a complete nightmare. I once had to jettison a contractor mid job and he made off with my Olivetti typewriter, the one with the square font, but no plumbing was involved, so merely a hassle.

Abr 3, 9:23 pm

>44 quondame: Did you recover your typewriter?

A few years before those plumbing incidents, we all had to prove we were poor-ish so the landlords could qualify for some program that enabled them to replace siding, windows, shingles, etc.

We weren't allowed to stay in our apts while they were working on the windows, so I spent about 8hrs in my car with my cats & their food & a litterbox. In late fall. On my birthday.

When they finally left, I discovered they had walked off with an article of my clothing. I had to call the building manager to find out who they were & get them to return it.

Seriously, women can wear black hooded sweatshirts. Mine was over a chair in my living room when I left. Not when I went back in. Took a few days for them to return it. Twits.

Abr 3, 9:54 pm

>45 ReneeMarie: Never. This was ~1990. Lots of things were going on and we had a loose social connection with him. He said he needed it to complete a manuscript and then disappeared. He probably never did complete the manuscript, if it even existed.

The worst bit for me was not having understood the warning about when to put dust covers over the furniture. We had to emergency wash all our bedding, and slept in an island fortress of furniture for about 4 days as everything was pulled away from the walls for electrical work, plastering and painting.

Abr 4, 12:04 am

From the books I have read, including The Fox Wife this year, it's true that they used to murder or drown baby girls sometimes right after birth. The Fox Wife was an enjoyable read though, and it didn't dwell on that topic. Oh no about the sewer leak they found as you got your foundation repairs done. $$$ and just a big hassle. Sorry about that.

Abr 4, 9:46 am

>42 msf59: The plumbers are already here this morning, Mark. Supposedly the work is to be done by end of day. I will believe it when I see it :)

>43 ReneeMarie: >45 ReneeMarie: I cannot imagine living through those nightmares! We live in a house that is almost 100 years old, so we have replaced a bunch of stuff through the years, but we have never had such a protracted problem.

>44 quondame: >46 quondame: I am sorry to hear about the typewriter, Susan. I had one up until a few years ago but it was nowhere in the neighborhood of being as nice as an Olivetti.

>47 vancouverdeb: I would not say that The Good Earth "dwells" on the subject, but the fact that girls were not as highly prized as boys does come up frequently especially as more of O-Lan's backstory is revealed.

The plumber who is out today is one we have worked with before - he replaced all of the lead pipes in our house several years ago - so at least we have some history with him.

Abr 4, 11:40 am

Wishing you good luck with that plumbing issue. A good thing too, to have some history with the plumber.

Abr 4, 5:42 pm

>39 alcottacre: Sorry you have to deal with that plumbing issue.

Abr 4, 8:02 pm

>49 Kristelh: Well, they finished the repair to the sewer line today, so that is all to the good. Yes, it is good to have history with him. He is going to come by in about 2 weeks to make sure that everying it OK.

>50 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori.

Abr 4, 8:10 pm

Look! I finished a book! Only 4 days into the month (*sigh* - do not try and read 2 900+ page books at the same time is the moral of this story)

95 - The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck - I can understand why this book is accounted a classic and won the Pulitzer a little over 70 years ago. What is more, I think that the book stands up to the test of time - it is good historical fiction. I do not think I had ever read it prior to now (if I have, I have completely forgotten about it). The story of Wang Lung, who wants nothing so much as to own some land - something that he can call his own - and his wife, O-Lan, a former slave who just accepts life as it comes, is an almost universal story. They have 2 sons and then a daughter who, to them, is little more than a burden. A famine devastates the land, including the litte land that Wang Lung has purchased, and so the family must move into the city and beg to survive. Eventually they are able to move back to the land and indeed purchase more land, but in the end Wang Lung finds that the land cannot provide everything, including peace in his own household; Recommended (4 stars) Library Book

"Yet when he went into his house there was no peace. Although he had given his son a wife and although he had bought slaves enough to serve them all. . .still there was no peace."

Abr 4, 8:27 pm

Hey, I am nearly finished a 310 page book, Stasia and it's my first book for April. Oh wow, two 900 pages plus books at once.

Abr 4, 8:35 pm

>53 vancouverdeb: Yeah, call me crazy. I am reading At the Feet of the Sun (which turns out to be a mere 790 pages, not 900 - sorry, I really thought it was longer!) and The Thirty Years War: Europe's Tragedy (997 pages) to open my reading month. I guess I should be glad that The Good Earth is only ~350 pages :)

Somehow or another I have managed to sign up to read 45 books this month for TIOLI challenges. When pigs fly. . .

Abr 4, 8:38 pm

LOL! When pigs fly, Stasia. I know the feeling!

Abr 4, 8:40 pm

>55 vancouverdeb: I always seem to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to the TIOLI challenges, but I always pad too because I am such a moody reader. It does not matter how good the book is, if I am not in the mood to read it, I will not. That is why almost every challenge has at least 2 books listed for it.

Abr 4, 9:39 pm

>54 alcottacre: The paperback appears to have fewer pages than the hardback, which strikes me as odd, but it seemed to have 1300pgs on the Kindle.

Abr 4, 10:35 pm

Happy New Thread!

Abr 4, 10:36 pm

Here's the next readathon:

Abr 5, 5:22 am

>57 quondame: I am reading it on the Kindle, Susan, but I never looked to see how many pages it is listed as there.

>58 SilverWolf28: Thanks, Silver!

>59 SilverWolf28: I have already been over to the new readathon thread and signed up :)

Editado: Abr 5, 7:58 am

Happy Friday, Stasia. Wow! You are reading some Chunksters! Yikes. Kudos to you for tackling this heavy load. I just have my Ozeki, along with some poetry. No wonder I am sailing right along. 😁🦉

Abr 5, 10:28 am

>61 msf59: I guess that In Praise of Folly, which is only 71 pages long, helps balance things out - although it is definitely on the thought provoking side!

Abr 5, 10:35 am

My cat Chalfont had me up during the night a couple of times because she was vomiting. No idea what is going on there, but she seems to have settled down now. I have been up since 3am, although I did sneak in a nap, but I have got to get some reading done today while I am awake, so I am off. I hope everyone has a fantastic day!

Abr 5, 10:46 am

>54 alcottacre: Definitely some chunksters there. I love The Good Earth and the other two books in the trilogy.

Abr 5, 3:34 pm

>63 alcottacre: Occasionally one of my cats will want me to pet him when I get up to use the restroom in the middle of the night. It makes it hard for me to go back to sleep when I get fussed at if I don't pet him or stop petting him. I think he's decided he can get one-on-one time in the middle of the night because the other cats are sleeping.

Abr 5, 5:06 pm

>64 Tess_W: I may get around to reading the other two books, Tess, but The Good Earth ended at a good point, I thought. We will see. It is another one of those 'too many books, too little time' problems.

>65 thornton37814: Lol! Cats are characters, aren't they? At least my two seem to be!

Abr 6, 12:56 pm

I read Good Earth many years ago. I think I was in my 30's at the time and it was in the high school library where I was the librarian at the time. I thought it was good. I didn't think about it again until about 30 years ago when a graduate student who worked for me at the university was reading it for a class on China. The reason the book was on the list was that he was to research things that were not correct in the book. It turned out that given when the book was written (1931). Given that Buck lived in China from 1892 to 1934 she was mostly correct about peasant life in China. She got a few things wrong, but most of her work on China is correct for the times in which she lived there.

I think that the problem with her work is viewing it from our perspective in time. Many of the things she described are now reprehensible practice, even in China, but in 1930 were accurate. The other problem is that of authenticity. Buck described what she saw. Given the fact that she was the child of Christian missionaries and a missionary herself, she is carrying certain biases. That slant has to be slanting her writing. But isn't that true of all authors? Even ones who live today? For me the larger question is Should I be using the issue of authenticity to judge any writing? How can I be sure that what is said about Hindu's when written by a Sikh author the truth? And of course - then - what is truth?

I just read a book and make my own decisions about authenticity. It makes things much easier. Of course, that means I have to trust the author.

Abr 6, 7:56 pm

>67 benitastrnad: Nice post, Benita, and I agree with a lot of what you say. It makes me wonder if, 100 years ago, readers were asking the same questions about the books and authors they were reading or if they were more accepting of things at face value than we are today.

Abr 6, 8:08 pm

Finished tonight:

96 - Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure by Menachem Kaiser - Nonfiction; Kaiser visits Poland and while there, attempts to find the property owned by his grandfather prior to WWII and which was seized by the Nazis. As with so many Jewish families who had their property stolen during the war, Kaiser runs into issues with having to prove the property's provenance and also that the people who owned said property were deceased. The hoops he had to jump through on the last were just ridiculous (his great grandparents would be around 140 years old were they still alive today) and there was no satisfactory conclusion one way or the other at the end of the book which I found immensely frustrating as a reader; Recommended (3.75 stars) Library Book

"Family stories are poor preservers of history; they're fragmented, badly documented, warped by hearsay, conjecture, legend. . .Most stories in most families aren't meant tor relied on as preservation of hard information, they're meant and relied on as preservation of soft information, of sentiment, narrative, identity, of who someone was and, subsequently, who you are."

Abr 6, 10:30 pm

>67 benitastrnad: Very well said!

Abr 7, 7:42 am

Finished this morning:

97 - In Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus - This satire, written as Folly, is still a worthy read even though it was originally published 1549. My biggest problem with the book - my edition is a mere 71 pages long - is the amount of allusion to people/things/places with which I am unfamiliar. It took me a week to read this one because I had to spend time online looking up those things. Still, I am definitely not sorry to have read it!; Recommended (3.75 stars) Mine

"If men would but refrain from all commerce with wisdom and give up themselves to be governed by me (Folly), they should never know what it were to be old, but solace themselves with a perpetual youth."

Abr 7, 7:42 am

Today is my traditional "day off" technology, so I will be back tomorrow. I hope everyone has a lovely Sunday!

Abr 7, 7:48 am

>72 alcottacre: im very glad

Abr 7, 8:28 am

Happy Sunday, Stasia. I should wrap up the Ozeki tomorrow. Enjoy your "tech" free day.

Abr 8, 8:10 am

>73 Owltherian: Thank you, Lily!

>74 msf59: I will be curious to see your thoughts on Ozeki, Mark. I am a little over 300 pages into the book and I am currently rather mixed on it.

Other than dropping off to sleep repeatedly yesterday, I had a good day. I got some reading in, talked to my daughter Catey, played some games with Kerry, and just had an all around lazy Sunday.

Editado: Abr 8, 8:23 am

>75 alcottacre:, Sounds like the perfect kind of Sunday, Stasia. I did a little jigsaw puzzle, read some, did go to church, met for pickle ball but did not have a foursome so we played a little 3 person. It was all in all a good Sunday. Life here in southwest Florida is coming to and end and I will be migrating soon. So have some work to get done this week.

Abr 8, 8:38 am

>75 alcottacre: Your welcome!

Abr 8, 9:27 am

>76 Kristelh: I hope you get some rest in too, Kristel, what with all the work you need to get done before you migrate.

>77 Owltherian: :)

Abr 8, 9:29 am

>78 alcottacre: Im in choir, although we are not singing due to having a sub- but that helps due to my throat hurting.

Abr 8, 10:24 am

>78 alcottacre:, Stasia, it is so hard for me to sleep before I travel. I know its anxiety but I just cannot break it. But I do have my daughter and granddaughter flying down to help me drive which I am looking forward to seeing them.

Abr 8, 5:29 pm

Sounds like a nice Sunday. : ) I am still sleeping about 10-12 hours a day including naps. Ugh. I have my TKD test on Saturday and I am going to do my best to make it through but long Covid and recent illness have zapped me. : P

Abr 9, 12:20 pm

>79 Owltherian: I loved my days in the choir back in the day!

>80 Kristelh: I am glad to hear that you have the help you need, Kristel. I completely understand about anxiety getting the upper hand and struggling with it.

>81 Berly: Ugh. That is all I have to say. I do wish that the long COVID would leave you alone, Kim!

Abr 9, 12:49 pm

My CFS has decided to visit again - I struggled with it over the weekend and it hit me hard yesterday - I was in bed by 7pm. *sigh* I am hoping it is a short bout, but not holding my breath.

It is my day to meet up with the girls. Catey is also getting hit by the storms that hit here last night so we are hoping that her electricity does not go out.

Abr 9, 1:17 pm

>82 alcottacre: Choir is an amazing class!

Abr 9, 1:24 pm

drive-by *smooch*

Abr 9, 2:35 pm

>83 alcottacre: Sorry the CFS has struck again. : ( Hope it is a quickie.

Abr 9, 6:06 pm

>84 Owltherian: I never had choir as a class, but I am sure I would have loved it. I sang and toured with a church choir as a teenager and continued to sing with church choirs into adulthood.

>85 richardderus: Thanks, RD. ((Hugs)) and **smooches** for you today too!

>86 Berly: Thanks, Kim. It is nothing like the long COVID that you are having to deal with, I know. It is just supremely annoying.

Abr 9, 6:24 pm

Finished this afternoon:

98 - An Eye for an Eye by Anthony Trollope - I have read all of Trollope's Barsetshire novels, so for this month's BAC I was looking for something else, something standalone, to read and I stumbled across this one. It is not much more than a novella (the edition I read was less than 200 pages long), but Trollope manages to say a lot in this story of Fred Neville, a soldier who learns that he is to be the inheritor of the title of the Earl of Scroope. He had, however, made promises to one Kate O'Hara, whose father is ostensibly dead (we learn later that this is not true and Fred essentially pays him off), and who is Catholic, an affront to Fred's Protestant aunt and uncle, the uncle who has named Fred as his heir. The length is against it although I felt like Fred was a well-drawn character. His girl Kate is definitely not a well-drawn character to my mind; Recommended (3.75 stars) Hoopla - Kindle

Abr 9, 6:48 pm

Happy Tuesday, Stasia. I hope that nasty CFS backs off, so you can get back to those books. 🤞

Abr 9, 6:54 pm

>89 msf59: Thanks, Mark! I hope so too.

Abr 9, 7:37 pm

>87 alcottacre: Yep! I have had it as a class since 7th grade! Its super fun!

Abr 9, 7:57 pm

>91 Owltherian: I am thrilled that you have found a class that you love, Lily!

Abr 9, 8:11 pm

Finished tonight:

99 - The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim - This story of four, if not downright unhappy but certainly discontent, women who decide to stay for a month in Italy is very good. Prior to their arrival in Italy, only two of the ladies were known to each other - and they met when one of them asked the other about sharing the rent. They also happen to be the two married ladies who are dealing with husband issues. The other two ladies responded to an ad asking for more women with whom to share the rent. Each of these ladies comes to Italy with grievances they need to resolve, discontent they need to face, history that needs to be put to rest. Each of them is very neatly drawn in the book and really is someone to which most readers will be able to relate. I am not going to spoil anything except to say that things work out for each of them in the end; Recommended (4 stars) Hoopla - Kindle

Abr 9, 8:12 pm

>92 alcottacre: Thats about the only class im good at because I'm sitting at 3 F's and they are all in my honors classes T^T

Abr 9, 8:20 pm

>94 Owltherian: I am glad you are good at choir, but you still have time to get better in your classes, so do not accept those Fs as permanent.

I am off for tonight. . .

Abr 9, 10:18 pm

Good night, Good Stasia. I wish that beastly CFS may grow bored with all your sleep and slink off for a long while.

>93 alcottacre: I love and adore The Enchanted April. The movie seems just about as good as the book to me, and there are some differences. *sigh* Italy.............

I'll be eager to see what you make of *Feet/Sun*. I kind of thought that you had read it. I'm due for a reread and hopeful that I can enjoy it more this time because I won't be in such a fever to move the plot along.

Abr 10, 7:37 am

>93 alcottacre: - The books sounds lovely, Stasia. I haven't read it but did see the film made from it, many years ago. It was very good.

Abr 10, 2:44 pm

>96 LizzieD: I wish that the CFS would grow bored with me too, Peggy. Surely I am not all that interesting?

I have never seen the movie - no surprise there - but it sounds like I am going to have to check it out. I agree with you about Italy!

No, I have now read The Hands of the Emperor twice, but this is the first read of At the Feet of the Sun for me. I am a little over halfway through and enjoying it, but not loving it like I do the first book. Still time to change my thought on that though!

>97 jessibud2: I hope you get a chance to read the book at some point, Shelley!

Abr 10, 2:45 pm

Sorry, folks, just not having a good day today. I am struggling with staying awake. I will (hopefully) be back when I am in a better frame of mind.

Abr 10, 4:07 pm

>98 alcottacre: At the Feet of the Sun does have some stunning moments, (less than 50%) The entire alt world sequence & Rhodin's double take, you've read and there will be more, but doesn't quite jell into the same "how did she do that" wonderfulness of centering a dull bureaucrat and making us love it!

Abr 10, 4:33 pm

I hope the CFS lets go of you soon, Stasia!

>100 quondame: Agreed. I still loved At the Feet of the Sun, but I didn't have the same overwhelming love for it that I felt at the end of Hands of the Emperor.

Abr 10, 5:35 pm

Feel better soon, Stasia

Abr 10, 9:19 pm

>93 alcottacre: I have a copy of The Enchanted April, and I even know where it is! I've read Arnim before, and liked her style. I should bump this one up the pile. Sorry you're feeling so punk.

Abr 10, 11:03 pm

You and Susan and Natalie say what I thought about *Feet/Sun*. The first thing I think about is his taking care of the corn for the sea witch: classic Cliopher.

By all means get that movie, Stasia!
Read *April*, Linda!
SOON - both of you!!!

I'm staying hopeful that this latest bout of CFS will have passed by tomorrow. Courage, my friend!

Abr 10, 11:19 pm

Hi Stasia, It must be so frustrating for you to have another bout of CFS. Sure hope it goes soon.

Abr 11, 1:45 am

Sorry you are feeling so tired with the CFS, Stasia. I hope you are soon feeling better.

Abr 11, 7:37 am

>71 alcottacre: I liked In Praise of Folly way better than you did, Stasia, it was a 5* star read for me.
But then the people, way of thinking, and places were way more familiar to me.

Abr 11, 7:24 pm

>100 quondame: >101 curioussquared: I am glad to know that I am not the only one who does not love At the Feet of the Sun (not that it is a bad book!) as much as The Hands of the Emperor. I am a little past the 50% point now. Thanks for the input, Susan and Natalie!

>101 curioussquared: Thank you, Natalie!

>102 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. Only one nap so far today. . .

>103 laytonwoman3rd: Please do bump it up the stack, Linda! I do not think you will regret it. Thanks.

>104 LizzieD: The CFS is not gone yet, Peggy, but I am hopeful that it will be gone by the weekend. . .

>105 mdoris: >106 vancouverdeb: Thank you, Mary and Deborah!

>107 FAMeulstee: But then the people, way of thinking, and places were way more familiar to me. I can definitely see how it would be a 5-star read for you then, Anita. I think it would have been better in my estimation if I had that kind of familiarity.

Abr 11, 7:31 pm

OK, people. Can we talk?

There is a lot going on at my house right now. I am wrestling with a lot of emotions and most days right now they are getting the better of me. I am struggling with the black dog a lot. CFS is certainly not helping.

What it basically boils down to is this: Kerry and I have decided that we would like to move to east Texas to be closer to both his daughter, Felisha and her kids, as well as to my mother, sister and our daughter, Catey. This is not an easy decision for me as I absolutely love my house - silly, I know, but there you go. My house, however, is almost 100 years old and it needs a lot of work that costs a lot of money. Even worse than that is, despite looking for a while now, we have found nothing in east Texas that we either like or can afford. On top of that, we would like to have a house and/or property that would be large enough for Catey to have her own house on it.

I am frustrated. I am sad. I am depressed. This is a dream for us and like I told Catey the other day, "Dreams die hard" even for 62-year-olds. We are still working on our house - we went and got an estimate for flooring in the kitchen today as well as some butcher block countertops, but we have a long way to go.

I am sorry that I have not been able to keep up my interactions in the group. That is another source of frustration for me. I know - stop having a pity party - and I wish I could put the brakes on all of the emotions that are swamping me currently, but I seem unable to do so.

Thoughts, prayers, and good wishes would be appreciated right about now. Thank you.

Abr 11, 7:48 pm

Love to you as always, Stasia. You KNOW how precious you are to me and to everybody here in the 75.

Abr 11, 7:57 pm

Stasia so much is going on for you right now and no doubt difficult when you are dealing with such chronic fatigue. So yes, thoughts, prayers and very good wishes are being sent your way. Fingers crossed that a perfect and affordable property in east Texas will appear soon for you and Kerry.

Abr 11, 8:01 pm

>109 alcottacre: Darling lady, never apologize for being your real, human, annoyed-to-bits self. I'm sure we're all able to relate to your stuckness on many many levels.

I so wish I could do something practical for you. I can, and do, offer my shoulder and ears. *smooch*

Abr 11, 8:22 pm

The best I can offer is what has been offered to me when I have been feeling overwhelmed (a LOT, in the last 7 years): one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. Breathe in, breathe out.

Don't give up on the dream, just tackle it one day, one project at a time. You are not in a time crunch, so that's in your favour. You are both on the same page and moving in the same direction toward the same goal. Another plus. And vent all you want, right here!


Abr 11, 8:44 pm

>109 alcottacre: My heart goes out to you sis.

Nothing strange about loving your home and it is sure to be a huge wrench for you to leave there. When you are less stressed and tired why don't you entertain yourself by looking at possible purchasing options in the location (s) that you are interested in moving to. I love at looking at houses for sale or even rent and keep an updated shortlist of properties for when I am eventually going to leave my own nest for the UK.

Abr 11, 10:15 pm

>109 alcottacre: Stasia, I am so sorry to hear that the CFS is back and even more that you have so much else to deal with now. I had not noticed that you were failing to keep up with the group, so I think you are putting more on yourself than you should. Please take care of yourself! I will keep you and your need for a house closer to family in my prayers. And I second what >113 jessibud2: said. Be kind to yourself.

Abr 11, 10:36 pm

>109 alcottacre: I'll say that change is hard even when it's what you want, and so is feeling like you can't achieve the change you want. Being physically or emotionally exhausted doesn't make it any easier.

You have people in your life you can reach out to when you need to talk and make a connection.

And for times when you feel like you can't talk to the people in your life, there's always 1.800.273.8255. Local to me, and possibly to where you are, there's also 211, a social services number.

Abr 11, 11:14 pm

Here's the next readathon:

Abr 12, 12:38 am

I'll pray for you Stasia, of course. I've battled the black dog a lot in my life, though thankfully not lately. That in itself it exhausting, never mind CFS on top of that and then needing repairs to your current home and looking for another one. Why would you not want to be closer to family ? I know I would feel the same way and it's not silly at all to love your house. You will be in my prayers and as Shelley says, just one foot in front of the other.

Editado: Abr 14, 9:37 pm

Stasia! I am so sorry life is not cooperating. Just make the most of the time you are feeling energy and then let go of what you can't get to. And no guilty feelings about time spent here!!! It is supposed to be fun and uplifting, not a chore. We love when we get to see you, but take care of yourself first. Texas move will happen when the time is right. Big hugs and best wishes. : )

Abr 12, 12:52 am

>109 alcottacre: Oh Stasia, we are, if not happy here your complaints, comforted that you feel you have a safe space in which to air your very real challenges. I do hope the black dog with draws or can be made to and that you get a long break from the CFS.

You have so much invested in your home that it is a monumentally huge thing to switch to leaving it behind, not to mention not finding its match were you plan to go. My house is quite ordinary, but it is exactly where I want it and I am resolved to stay put. But we have only the one family really important member and she lives with us.

Abr 12, 6:01 am

That's difficult stuff, Stasia. We're here for you whenever you need a bit of emotional support.

Abr 12, 7:23 am

That is a lot to deal with, Stasia. I hope you will find an affordable place where you want to go.
We are here to to support you, in any way we can. Sending love and (((hugs)))

Abr 12, 8:22 am

Sorry, you have to deal with all of this Stasia, on top of the CFS. I am hoping something positive comes your way. Maybe something will come through in East Texas. It sounds like a perfect move, despite leaving your "home".

At least you have books to give you comfort. Try to have a good weekend.

Abr 12, 10:21 am

I am sorry that you are dealing with all the this. My only advice- find a good real estate agent in Texas, give them your dream list and have someone else look for you and take your time.

Abr 12, 1:55 pm

I also have moving worries going on. This week I went through all my costume jewelry in preparation for the move. It was gut-wrenching. So much of it was given to me by my mother. Now that she is gone each piece brought back some kind of memory. I don't have children so I have nobody to pass it on to, I don't wear it anymore (clothes and styles have changed) and so it is best to pass it on to someone else. I know this, but it was hard and upset me for two days.

I also worry about taking on a house. I am now going to be responsible for all the bills at the house including repairs and appliances. I have only rented in the past so when something went wrong, I called the landlord. Now I am the landlord. I started looking at a new stove and am flustered with all the choices and research I will have to do to make a decision about that. I also need to start looking at flooring for the hallway, living room, and the office space I am going to create. So much to do with a house and not as much money.

I do think that your work on the foundation of your house was very important. Without a foundation the house isn't much good. Once it gets done that worry will be removed from your worry basket. It will get better and the load will get lighter.

Abr 12, 8:15 pm

Just getting caught up here - so sorry you’re dealing with all this. But you have a group of folks here that care deeply about you. I’ll be praying for you and Kerry.

Abr 12, 9:22 pm

>69 alcottacre: Adding Plunder to my WL. I now have 3 different books on my shelf about Nazi art's becoming a thing!

Abr 12, 11:01 pm

Dear Juana, Juan is worried about your state of ennui and your tiredness. Look forwards not backwards dear lady and hold the hand of your future with hopeful fingers.

Abr 13, 8:42 am

My prayers and thoughts are with you Stasia. Praying that the right house will come at the right time. I think it is a good idea to move closer to children as we get in the upper years of life so I think your plan is a good one. Of course, change is hard and I totally detest the process of moving. That would make me want to “sleep” just to avoid it.

Abr 13, 10:22 am

(((HUGS))) Big life changes are so difficult to contemplate...even when the reasons are positive ones. I'd love to be closer to my daughter, but we don't want to live where she is, and she doesn't want to come back here, so... And loving your house isn't silly. You can take your history and memories with you, but it's wrench to leave behind all the work and living you've put into your home just the same.

Abr 13, 1:26 pm

Sorry to hear that you are struggling, Stasia. We have also been looking for a new house for over a year now and the right one just hasn't shown up, but I'm trusting that it will appear at the right time and I believe the same will happen for you! I fully understand the feeling of wanting to move but not wanting to leave your current house -- not silly at all. I hope you feel better soon!

Abr 13, 9:16 pm

Checking up on you again, dear lady. No Stasia sightings this weekend. :{

Abr 14, 10:26 am

I want to thank you all so very much for checking in on me, for your love and concern. Sometimes I just need to vent and the way things have been going lately, I really needed it right now. We are doing OK despite yet more bad news on Friday.

So, it is a new week. On top of everything else going on, I have been in a book funk. I did not read a word either Thursday or Friday and maybe 2 chapters yesterday? This is just not me. I have decided to pick up something new, one of my comfort reads/genres, and put my current reads aside for the moment to see if I can get my reading mojo back. We shall see.

Today is my traditional "day off" technology so I am going to try and get some reading done and not to worry too much about all the stuff going on over which I have no control - and yes, Christians struggle with leaving everything in God's hands too (at least this Christian does!)

I hope to be back in the swing of things tomorrow :)

Abr 14, 11:20 am

Glad to know you're "OK", Stasia, but even if you're not, we're here, and venting is essential from time to time for everyone.

Abr 14, 12:02 pm

>133 alcottacre: *smoochiesmoochsmooch*

Abr 14, 7:39 pm

Book funk? It happens to all of us. Wishing you well, Stasia.

Abr 14, 9:34 pm

>133 alcottacre: Hugs a plenty from your brother from another mother. xx

Abr 14, 9:39 pm

Hope your non-tech day was rewarding and that next week is a better one. I found my copy of Here I Am and I will probably start it tomorrow. And, no!, you can't start until May because you read so much faster than me. : ) Hugs.

Abr 15, 7:47 am

Oh man! I am sorry you are dealing with all of this stressful stuff. House hunting alone can be overwhelming but I am confident that the perfect home will present itself to you in time when you least expect it :) It will be great when you both can live closer to family.

In the meantime, sending big ((hugs)) your way!

Abr 15, 2:26 pm

>134 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks, Linda. I am OK, but not really OK. I am just dealing with the not-OKness better at the moment.

>135 richardderus: ((Hugs)) and **smooches** back at you, RD!

>136 vancouverdeb: Yeah, I was really hoping it would be gone if I stuck to comfort reads and/or genres yesterday, but no dice. I read maybe 150 pages - which might sound like a lot until I realize I normally read between 400 and 450 pages a day.

>137 PaulCranswick: Thank you so much, brother. I was just over on your thread :)

>138 Berly: You take all the fun out of our shared reads if you start 2 weeks earlier than I do, Kim! Lol

>139 figsfromthistle: Thank you, Anita! Hugs are always welcome.

Abr 15, 2:30 pm

So, in an effort to get my mind off stuff and my current book funk, I have decided to tackle a project that I have wanted to do for a while now - refinishing my daughters' old bedroom sets. My parents bought the furniture about 30 years ago and they are nice pieces of furniture that managed to survive Beth's and Catey's childhoods.

I used to love refinishing furniture but I have not done it for years, so I think it is going to be a learning project for me. I have asked for input from Beth and Catey as to colors that they might like for the furniture as I plan to get it to them as soon as I can (and possibly reclaim the bedrooms that are in my house even though Beth and Catey are not!)

Wish me luck! I expect this is going to take me a good long while and hopefully keep my mind off other things. . .

Abr 15, 2:31 pm

I hope your okay! Have a good day Stasia

Abr 15, 2:32 pm

>141 alcottacre: Good luck! I have a couple furniture refinishing projects that I'd like to tackle... eventually. Maybe I'll get one of the small ones done this summer.

Abr 15, 4:30 pm

>142 Owltherian: Thank you so much, Lily! I hope you're OK too!

>143 foggidawn: Unfortunately I am kind of stymied at the moment because we have so much rain and humidity that I cannot work out on my back porch. I will get to everything eventually, right? Good luck with your projecta, foggi!

Abr 15, 4:31 pm

>141 alcottacre: Good luck with the refinishing project! I hope it works out to be satisfactory use of your energies. I'd just have the daughters haul it off or donate it if I wanted to reclaim the space, but refinishing is so not my thing.

Abr 15, 4:55 pm

>144 alcottacre: Hang in there! The weather will change!

Abr 15, 5:01 pm

Furniture refinishing is very satisfying...if messy, sometimes finicky and time-consuming. It might be exactly what you need! My dad and I refinished several pieces of his mother's furniture together when I was in high school and college, and most of them are still here in my house. Layer upon layer of history...just what I love.

Abr 16, 6:07 am

I love the idea of refinishing your daughters' furniture, Stasia. I'm sure it will be a fun and satisfying challenge for you, and create something special for Beth and Catey. Fingers crossed the weather begins to cooperate.

Abr 16, 7:50 am

Happy Tuesday, Stasia. Sorry about the book funk. I hope it subsides quickly. Good luck with the refinishing project.

Abr 16, 10:25 am

>145 quondame: Thanks, Susan. I can understand having the furniture hauled off if refinishing is not your thing though :)

>146 foggidawn: I hope it changes soon, foggi! We have a chance of rain today and the humidity is almost 90% at the moment. Ugh.

>147 laytonwoman3rd: Yeah, I have really kept the pieces because of the history. My parents bought both Beth and Catey very nice bedroom sets when they were kids - not the kind of furniture we typically think of as children's furnitute - and I would like them to have them as adults.

>148 lauralkeet: Thank you, Laura!

>149 msf59: I am trying to get out of the book funk, Mark, but I am not pushing myself because that will only backfire. Thanks!

Abr 16, 10:27 am

Today being Tuesday, it is meet up day for me with Beth and Catey - providing that our weather and the Internet cooperate. Fingers crossed.

I want you all to know how much I appreciate your encouragement over the past several days. I think I just think I needed a bit of support after a particularly bad month and my LT "family" came through in a big way for me. Thank you again so very much.

Have a terrific Tuesday! I hope to be back later.

Abr 16, 10:37 am

>150 alcottacre: The double bed in our "spare room" (formerly Laura's room) was my husband's when he was a child, and then Laura's throughout her post-crib life here at home. It's solid maple, and nothing has been done about refinishing it--in fact, there are still fragments of the bunny decals my MIL put on it 70 years ago visible in places!

Abr 16, 3:47 pm

Hi Stasia. Lots of “stuff” going on in your world. I’ve been through more than a few Funks in my life. Nothing wrong with a Pity Party. You have a great support team on LT.

I think your idea to refinish some prized pieces of furniture will be a great outlet for you. Take things slowly and seek help wherever you can find it. We love you, your family loves you, and things will work out for the best in its own timeframe. Most of all…stay in touch. XXOO

Abr 16, 6:53 pm

Hey Stasia, I hope you had a great day with Beth and Catey! You have had a lot on your plate, and I hope the book funk leaves soon - I know what you mean about pushing yourself and having it backfire...

Abr 16, 7:36 pm

>152 laytonwoman3rd: I am sure those bunny decals wish they could tell some stories!

>153 Donna828: Thank you so much, Donna. I do have a great support team here on LT and I hope I never take it for granted.

>154 bell7: The girls and I did have a great time together today - we always do - lots of laughing and carrying on, just what the doctor ordered.

Abr 16, 7:48 pm

Hey, look! I finally finished a book (it has only been a week since I had one to report, lol):

100 - The Book of Form & Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki - I am not an expert on grief by any means - I have lost exactly 1 person in my life with whom I was close, my grandmother, some 28 years ago. To date, hers is the only funeral (other than my MIL's) that I have ever been to. So when I say that I do not understand the forms of grief that Ozeki portrays in this book, I mean it. We have Annabelle and Benny, a mother and son, who have lost their husband and father, due to a stupid accident. I admit that I think the grief is harder for Annabelle because not only has she lost her husband, but she is watching her son slide into his own grieving process, plus she has to worry about things like her job and paying the bills - adulting. Not only do we hear from and about the two main characters, but we also have a narrator in the form of a book, who tells us more about what is going on, specifically with Benny, who can hear the "voices" of inanimate objects. I think Ozeki has a lot to say in this book but I am not sure all of the ways she went about saying them worked for me; Recommended (3.75 stars) Mine

Thanks to Mark and Laura for the "shared" read of this one (although I was behind the entire time!)

"Because every reader is unique, each of you makes each of us mean differently, regardless of what's written on our pages. Thus, one book, when read by different readers, becomes different books, becomes an ever-changing array of books that flows through human consciousness like a wave."

Abr 16, 8:44 pm

I am so pleased to see you back posting and finishing books, Stasia.

Also I am happy to report that this is the 1,000th post to your 2024 threads. xx

Abr 16, 8:51 pm

Wow, 1000 posts. That is pretty amazing! Glad you have had a good day and finished a book.

Abr 16, 9:42 pm

I've never been particularly successful at refinishing furniture. May you have improved temperature/humidity conditions for your project.

My most recent refinishing venture was to remove paint from a three-drawer dresser my grandfather made for his daughter (my mother). I recall it having an off-white paint when I was small. By the time it became mine, it had green paint. I went after that paint with a cabinet scraper and discovered—be still my heart—it was made with magnificent, clear mahogany. Cuban or central american. You can't get wood like that these days. Well, my grandfather was a patternmaker in the 1920s and mahogany is a very stable wood, excellent for making patterns. For this low-key project he used the materials he had on hand. Wow!

And, you know? Someday I'm going to finish refinishing it. :-)

Abr 17, 6:08 am

>156 alcottacre: Nice review of the Ozeki, Stasia. Like you I thought there were some important messages in the novel but I'm not sure I "got" all of them, or that they were conveyed in the best way.

Abr 17, 7:31 am

It is a stunningly beautiful spring day, except for the fact I have a dentist appointment to deal with a front tooth that has a nerve bothering me. Ouch.

>2 alcottacre: I'm so glad you liked Before She Was Harriett. What an incredible woman!!!

Abr 17, 10:35 am

>157 PaulCranswick: Wow. I still remember the days way back when that I thought 100 posts on one of my threads was a lot. My very first thread in the 2008 75ers group had less than 600 posts in total for the entire year.

>158 mdoris: Thank you, Mary!

>159 weird_O: magnificent, clear mahogany. Cuban or central american. You can't get wood like that these days. Oh, man. I probably would have wept with joy. You are right, Bill, that kind of wood is just not found any more. My grandfather worked in wood too. Nice coincidence! I do hope you get around to refinishing it one of these days.

>160 lauralkeet: Yeah, it is one I may return to in future just to try and catch more of Ozeki's message(s).

>161 Whisper1: Sorry to hear about the dentist visit, lovey, but hopefully they can get rid of the pain in your tooth!

I completely agree about Harriet Tubman!

Editado: Abr 17, 11:20 am

So, Kerry is off to the car dealership this morning to see about repairs to our Corolla. Yeah, pretty sure more bad news is coming. . .

ETA: Just heard from Kerry and was told that the repairs are only going to cost a little more than half of what we thought. That is good news, right?

Abr 17, 11:40 am

It is good news! Fingers crossed that you have a good week. You need a breather.

Editado: Abr 17, 11:55 am

>156 alcottacre: At least you have convinced me that I can give this Oz. a miss, so thank you, Stasia. I also totally approve of the refinishing project. Just wear a mask if stripper hasn't been improved since I did my last bit 30 or so years ago.
I hope Kerry brings home better news that you expect. (I seem not to have read your whole post.) Hooray for some pretty good news!

As you know, WMIY!*

*We'll Make It Yet*!

Abr 17, 6:44 pm

Happy Wednesday, Stasia. I enjoyed your thoughts on The Book of Form & Emptiness. We had very similar feelings on this shared read. Glad we could tick it off the list.

Editado: Abr 18, 2:10 am

Oh, dear about the Corolla. I hope the news is not bad. Dave and I both drive Corolla's too. Mine is white and his is a dark blue, but mine is 2018 and his a 2024. Our very first new cars in our lives! :-) Retirement is going very well, and today I had a book arrive from Blackwell's - the only book this month. It is The Household and Dave just said " you're spending all of my hard earned money " as always, but now that he is retired, that is a lie! So far I am managing just to purchase on book a month, though he has only been retired for about 1 month. I'm glad to see you back posting, Stasia.

Abr 18, 5:49 am

I'm glad the Corolla news was better than you expected. I can think of a couple times when we convinced ourselves that something would be super expensive and then it wasn't. And then for some reason we felt like we saved money. Not!

Abr 18, 8:07 am

Funny story. I used to have a Corolla. It was nearly 16 years old when I sold it and got another car but when I had it - it was a dark blue - the neighbours on either side of me also had dark blue Corollas at the same time. As did one neighbour across the street and another, a few doors down. Only one of those still has theirs but I think they all lasted a very long time, so I think it speaks well of Corollas! Good luck on the repairs and I hope all is well after that! :-)

Abr 18, 9:21 am

Our family has had great luck with Corollas (and Toyotas in general). Upwards of 15 years on a couple of them, with few problems. Good luck with your repairs.

Abr 18, 9:25 am

>164 mstrust: Thanks, Jennifer!

>165 LizzieD: I have no idea what stripper was like 30 years ago, Peggy, but I fully intend to wear a mask - if I ever get to start. The rain and humidity are decidedly not helping.

>166 msf59: Yeah, I am glad to have marked it off the list too. Thanks, Mark!

>167 vancouverdeb: We had a Corolla prior to this one, which accumulated somewhere around 300,000 miles before we traded it in for a Prius. We went back to the Corolla after our car was involved in an accident that totalled it. I do love my Toyotas!

>168 lauralkeet: Well, it is still going to be in the neighborhood of $1500, not counting the 2 new tires we had to have, but not as expensive as Kerry and I imagined.

>169 jessibud2: Oh, wow, Shelley. I would probably have been getting into the wrong car all of the time if mine was not parked in my driveway!

Abr 18, 9:26 am

So, Kerry and I are off to the car dealership in about 5 minutes to drop off Silver (our Corolla) and drive Stu (our other car) to get inspected. No idea if or when I might be back today. . .

Thank you everyone for checking in on me!

Abr 18, 10:25 am

Another Toyota fan here! My first car was a 1978 Toyota Celica hatchback in red. I bought it used, probably about 3 years old. I loved that car. Fast forward to 2007 and we bought our first Prius, then a second one, and finally a 2015 Prius v that began as an extra car for the college-aged daughters but is now still going strong as our everyday car.

Editado: Abr 18, 10:54 am

>173 lauralkeet: When I was little (early to mid '80s), my family had a blue Celica hatchback with a sunshade. It was just the family car to me; I didn't realize until many years later that it was a sports car.

Editado: Abr 18, 1:28 pm

Strange about the dark blue Corolla's. With me it seems to be a certain shade of blue Subaru Outback's. When I got mine I thought it would be unique. Instead, I see that same color and model everywhere. It doesn't matter where I go here in Alabama I see them all the time. In Kansas - I rarely see an Outback of any color. That might be because the nearest Outback dealer is 100 miles away. That is the same distance as it is to a Toyota dealer.

Abr 18, 2:55 pm

Good luck today with the varying car issues.

Abr 18, 7:15 pm

>173 lauralkeet: I did not own a Toyota until I had been married for a bit and when I was researching cars Reliability was my biggest priority. My father was insistent that I buy an American made car, but the reliability figures were nowhere as good as they were for Honda and Toyota. The Hondas were out of our budget at the time so we bought the Toyota - and every car we have purchased since has been a Toyota.

>175 benitastrnad: You find what you are looking for, right?

>176 richardderus: Unfortunately the luck turned out to be bad, RD.

Abr 18, 7:24 pm

Finished tonight:

101 - The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud - Juvenile; This was a recent recommendation from Nina (thanks!) and because I had enjoyed Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy, I decided to give it a shot. This very much reminded me of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents books I used to read as a kid - just enough suspense to keep me reading, but not enough to give me the heebie jeebies (I never have been a fan of horror). This book presents an alternative universe London where ghosts are showing up and the only people who seem to be able to deal with the infestation are kids. We meet Lucy Carlyle who ends up working for Anthony Lockwood, who owns his own agency. Due to an accident, the agency is in danger of closing unless a large amount of money can be raised, so Lockwood agrees to take a job that he might otherwise have left alone. And stuff happens. . .; Recommended (4 stars) Library Book

Abr 18, 7:42 pm

Ohh, lots of Toyota love here. My first car was a second hand red Toyota Corolla. It was very reliable and I later sold it to my sister. Since then we've had a second hand Toyota Highlander that my mom passed on to us after she was done with it, and we passed it to my brother last November , when Dave got the Toyota Corolla, since it was 21 years old and we know it's life was limited. My brother was happy to receive it for free, though the gasket or something blew in February , and he paid about $3500 to fix it, but now he thinks he may have 20 more years with it. I kind of doubt it will run that long, but he and his wife have another SUV, and he can easily afford a new car, so we'll see. I also had a second hand Toyota Tercel for many years, so yes, Dave and I think they are reliable cars.

Abr 18, 10:45 pm

Abr 18, 11:47 pm

Just speaking! We are used Honda people. Since my DH was finally able to locate and replace the plastic that failed in the clutch of our '98 CRV, it runs like a dream. We were forced to add another one in 2021 at the height (depth?) of the used car dearth to get me out of town for my eye shots. Neither of us particularly likes the car, but is also reliable so far. I wonder whether these won't be our last cars.

Anyway, I hope your weather clears up, Stasia. That alone will be a mood lifter! We were 90+ today, but the humidity isn't bad, so it's not quite summer yet.

Abr 19, 6:59 am

>177 alcottacre: Stasia, my dad helped me buy the Celica and he was very much a foreign car guy. We had a couple of American cars when I was growing up but for the most part they were German or Japanese. We've followed a similar path in our car purchases. Reliability was an important factor in the decision, although the two American cars we've owned (a mid-1980s Mercury Cougar and an early 2000s Ford pickup) didn't really give us any trouble.

Abr 19, 1:30 pm

>179 vancouverdeb: Yeah, the Toyotas seem to last forever! Their reliability is one of the reasons we keep going back to them.

>180 SilverWolf28: Thanks, Silver! I am going to try and be in this weekend.

>181 LizzieD: No luck on the weather, Peggy. There is a 97% chance of rain tomorrow. *sigh* If we had had a bit more money at the beginning, we might have ended up Honda owners as well, lol.

>182 lauralkeet: Yeah, my dad was a died-in-the-wool American car guy and he thought we were being stupid when we bought our first Toyota, let alone our second, third, and fourth.

We now have custody of his Buick - my mother gave it to me as a 'reward' of sorts for being the executor of his will last year. Not sure how long we are going to hang on to it but it is well over 20 years old.

Abr 19, 3:30 pm

>183 alcottacre: Count me as another Toyota enthusiast. My first car was a Corolla, and it ran great for a lot of years. After I married my DH, we needed to replace it. His height is mostly in his legs and the Corolla wasn't that comfortable for him (not enough leg room in front), so we went with a Camry. And 20+ years later, I'm still driving it. I'm not really comfortable with the idea of taking it on a long road trip at this point, but it still runs great and is perfect around town. I've been more than happy with both of the Toyotas.

Editado: Abr 19, 4:36 pm

>109 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! I'll confess I've been avoiding the threads that have been racking up mileage, yours included. I'm sorry you've not been feeling so good and it's been one of those times that life hits you with everything but (hopefully) things seem to be improving a bit now? As you know, we're all here to support you. Best of luck with the house-hunting. I fully understand not wanting to leave a house you love. I'm sure the right house in Texas will turn up in time, especially if you don't need to rush to get it.

Like >114 PaulCranswick:, I finding looking at houses fun. I'm keeping an eye on Australian houses but, since an actual move to Oz isn't on the cards in the foreseeable future, my budget is unlimited :0) But I would hate to have to leave my house.

>93 alcottacre: I saw a lovely BBC (will have to check that) the lovely film adaptation of Enchanted April years ago and it was one of the first books I got on my Kindle - but I still haven't read it. Maybe I'll get to it this year, when I get to the V's in my alphabetical ROOTs challenge.

>156 alcottacre: Congratulations on 100 books this year!

>178 alcottacre: You're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Abr 19, 6:19 pm

Happy Friday, Stasia. Have a good weekend. Has your reading improved?

Abr 19, 7:03 pm

>184 atozgrl: We had a Camry at one point too, Irene, and really liked it - up until the time someone totaled it for us.

>185 humouress: I do not need to 'rush rush' it, but my mother is going to be 85 years old next month and is not getting any younger, so I do kind of need to rush it, lol.

Thanks for the congrats, Nina!

>186 msf59: I am coming out of the funk, Mark. Completing books that I started before the funk and then reading one of my comfort reads has certainly helped!

Abr 19, 7:06 pm

Finished tonight:

102 - Promises in Death by J.D. Robb - In this entry in the series, Eve's friend Morris' new love, Detective Amaryllis Coltraine, is murdered. Not only does Eve have to deal with the murder, but also the anger at another cop being killed and her friend Morris' hurt. It turns out that Coltraine had an old lover in one Alex Ricker, son of Eve's nemesis Max Ricker. Is he behind a hit on Coltraine?; Recommended (4.25 stars) Mine

Abr 19, 9:55 pm

Finished tonight:

103 - Vermeer's Hat by Timothy Brook - Nonfiction; This one had been resting in the BlackHole far too long when Carrie mentioned it for this month's Nonfiction reading challenge, so I took the opportunity to finally get it read. Brook posits an interesting proposition: taking the works of noted Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and looking at the items and people in those paintings and extrapolating much about the world from them. The paintings themselves essentially become portals to the world as Vermeer saw and painted it. I found this a fascinating way to get to know about Vermeer's world and all of the discoveries that were being made in his day - and there were a lot!; Recommended (4 stars) Library Book

"This endless reflectivity, writ large, nods toward the greatest discovery that people in the seventeenth century made: that the world. . .was a single globe suspended in place."

"This is one motive for this book: knowing that we as a species need to figure out how to narrate the past in a way that enables us to acknowledge and come to terms with the global nature of our experience."

Abr 19, 10:46 pm

I show little faithfulness to any car brand. I've owned 2 Datsuns, a Mazda, 2 Acuras (both stolen), a Ford Taurus, a Lexus, 2 Smart Cars (both drowned), a Honda Fit, and now a Prius V & a Prius C. Mike owned a Corolla when we met. That's all since 1973, and since 1990 for Mike. One Datsun, and the Honda Fit were crash casualties. Fortunately I wasn't, though I did have a broken pelvic bone.

Ontem, 9:12 am

Congratulations on 100+ books thus far.

I’ve owned Fords, Mercury, Chevy, Cadillac, Camry, Ram pickup, GMC Acadia, Ford Explorer. I put many miles on my Cadillac and I’ve owned the Ford Explorer for many years now. I hate, hate, hate, the idea of a car payment at this time in my life. I did not the drive the Camry long and I found it to be very uncomfortable for long rode trips.

Ontem, 10:41 am

>190 quondame: Fortunately I wasn't I am very glad to hear that!

>191 Kristelh: Thanks, Kristel! As far as I am concerned, I am with you with hating the idea of car payments now. I am hoping that our cars will outlast Kerry and I!

Ontem, 10:42 am

Lots to do today, including a trip to the library. We still have not gotten our Corolla back from the dealership and are uncertain at this point as to whether it will happen today or Monday. Kerry and I have a long game to play and I have reading to do. To say that I am behind for April is a very big understatement but at least the book funk is over!

Ontem, 11:18 am

>193 alcottacre: Yay for the book funk being over! Fingers crossed it stays that way. I think I'm falling behind for April - let me go and check.

Ontem, 11:43 am

Being able to read cures a lot of bad stuff. Enjoy, my friend! Enjoy!!!!