mstrust's little yet fierce challenge

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mstrust's little yet fierce challenge

1mstrust
Editado: Dic 14, 2020, 10:06am



I've been away from the Category Challenge for a few years but I'm back with a smallish challenge for myself. Five categories, five books each. I can do this!
Hi, I'm Jennifer and I live in Phoenix with my husband and our boxer. I have thousands of books in the house, write short stories, love tiki, make up baking and cocktail recipes, and we travel a lot. Well, we did. This March will mark my 13th Thingaversary. I've hit LT puberty.
My theme is based around small businesses and the industries that are struggling right now. Sounds fun, huh? I've matched an industry to a book genre and each book finished will include a link to a small business that is probably holding on by the skin of their teeth through online sales. I think we'll find some cool stuff.
With the "Live Entertainment" reads I'll provide a link to a play or concert, something that we can "attend" while so many performers are out of work.
If you order something from one of these businesses or watch a performance, come back and tell us what you think. Feedback is welcome.
My threads are politics-free and tend to dip into weirdness from time to time. Can't help it.

2mstrust
Editado: Feb 5, 9:49am


1. Restaurants- Cooking and Foodie books

1. Veg: Easy and Delicious Meals for Everyone
2. The Little Paris Kitchen
3. Essential Herbs

3mstrust
Editado: Feb 11, 10:51am

4mstrust
Editado: Ene 26, 10:11am

5mstrust
Editado: Ene 22, 9:08am


4. The Travel Industry- Armchair Travel and Essays

1. California Hotel and Casino
2. A Walk Around the Block
3. Action Park

6mstrust
Editado: Feb 9, 8:59am


5. Live Entertainment- Plays, Autobiographies & Bios of Entertainers

1. Lady Windermere's Fan
2. Bowie's Bookshelf


The Rest of 'Em

1. The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag

7mstrust
Editado: Feb 11, 10:52am

Welcome!


Businesses We've Visited
1. Economy Candy, NYC- https://www.economycandy.com/
2. Cerreta's Candy, Phoenix- http://cerreta.com/
3. The Fudge Pot, Chicago- https://thefudgepotchicago.com/
4. Black Rifle Coffee, Utah & Tennessee- https://www.blackriflecoffee.com/
5. The Mysterious Bookshop, NYC- https://www.mysteriousbookshop.com/
6. The Civil War Tails Diorama Museum, Gettysburg, Pa.- https://civilwartails.com/
7. Dog Mountain, Vermont- https://www.dogmt.com/home.php
8. Cherry Republic, Glen Arbor, MI.- https://cherryrepublic.com/
9. Memphis Rock & Soul Museum, TN- https://www.memphisrocknsoul.org/
10. The Vermont Country Store- https://www.vermontcountrystore.com/
11. The Jackson Hole Book Trader, WY.- https://www.jhbooktrader.com/
12. The Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum, Gatlinburg, TN- https://thesaltandpeppershakermuseum.com/
13. Millican Pecan Company, San Saba, TX- https://millicanpecan.com/
14. Hemingway Birthplace Museum, Oak Park, IL: https://www.hemingwaybirthplace.com/
15. The Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West, FL: https://www.hemingwayhome.com/
16. Slow Jams, Detroit: https://www.smallbatchdetroit.com/products/slow-jams
17. The Golden Bear Trading Company, Racine, WI: https://www.goldbeartrading.com/
18. Argosy Bookstore, NYC: https://www.argosybooks.com/
19. The Writer's Black, Las Vegas: https://www.thewritersblock.org/
20. Pen and Pink Vintage Bookshop, Indianapolis: https://penandpinkvintage.square.site/
21. Kasama Chocolate Bars, Vancouver, BC: https://kasamachocolate.com/
22. Yardi Gras, New Orleans: https://www.neworleans.com/blog/post/yardi-gras-houses-new-orleans/
23. Acme Books, Savannah, Ga.: http://www.acmesalesandbooks.com/index.php

8scaifea
Dic 14, 2020, 10:07am

I *love* your idea of spotlighting struggling businesses and reporting back here on purchases! Wonderful.

9mstrust
Dic 14, 2020, 10:13am

Thank you so much, Amber!
I'm hoping that visitors won't find my theme to be a bummer, because my goal is to show lots of very cool stuff that we might otherwise be unaware of, and hopefully it turns into dollars for these small businesses.

10NinieB
Dic 14, 2020, 10:31am

>9 mstrust: No, not a bummer! Very creative--I'm looking forward to following along.

11Helenliz
Dic 14, 2020, 10:48am

Love the idea and your title is just great. I look forward to seeing what you read AND discover on your thread.

12markon
Dic 14, 2020, 10:54am

Love the way you're using your categories! I'd be coming back just to see which businesses you highlight, but will enjoy the books and conversation as well.

13DeltaQueen50
Dic 14, 2020, 11:55am

Hi Jennifer, it's great to see you back here. Let the weirdness commence!

14mstrust
Dic 14, 2020, 12:34pm

>10 NinieB: Thanks, Ninie, I'm glad to have you along!
>11 Helenliz: Oh, thanks alot, Helen! Yes, I think it'll be interesting!
>12 markon: Thank you, Ardene! I'm going to get as many businesses and performances squeezed in as I can.
>13 DeltaQueen50: Now, Judy, you know that all I need is the slightest encouragement...

15Jackie_K
Dic 14, 2020, 1:23pm

What a lovely and thoughtful idea!

16dudes22
Dic 14, 2020, 2:30pm

Very inventive idea to make the best of a bad time. Hope you have some good reading.

17mstrust
Dic 14, 2020, 4:58pm

>15 Jackie_K: Thanks, Jackie! I hope you'll drop by often.
>16 dudes22: Thanks, Betty! Good to see you!

18VivienneR
Dic 14, 2020, 6:07pm

A big welcome back, Jennifer! I'm so glad to be able to keep up with you here without having to go searching for you.

Looking forward to following along with your very inventive categories.

19rabbitprincess
Dic 14, 2020, 7:27pm

Yay, welcome back! Looking forward to seeing which businesses you spotlight :)

20Tess_W
Dic 14, 2020, 7:42pm

Good luck with your 2021 reading.

21MissWatson
Dic 15, 2020, 3:44am

What a great idea! Happy reading!

22Carmenere
Dic 15, 2020, 10:58am

Hey Jennifer, Just stopping by to check out the place. Good luck on your Challenge, you obviously put a lot of thought in it and although I won't be participating in Category Challenge I'll stop in to check out the businesses you've posted.

23mstrust
Dic 15, 2020, 12:51pm

>18 VivienneR: I'll be right here in an orange vest waving you in, Viv! Glad you're here!

>19 rabbitprincess: Yay, Princess! Thanks!

>20 Tess_W: Thank you!

>21 MissWatson: Thanks, and I hope to see you around here!

>22 Carmenere: Hey, Lynda! Glad you found me!
You've given me too much credit, as I put a shockingly small amount of thought into my challenge. On Sunday night I got into bed thinking about all the wonderful small businesses that we've visited on our vacations and hoped they'd survived. It's the little independent places, the unusual shops and Mom & Pop restaurants that make a city unique, not the chains and corporate stuff. So that night the news was about another NYC lockdown, and I've seen the L.A. restaurant owner who was crying, and our local Thai restaurant that we went to for a dozen years recently folded. And I just thought, "Hey!" (yes, I actually think "hey" to myself) and got a notebook and wrote out this challenge. I hadn't been thinking about doing the Category Challenge before that moment.
But now I'm putting in that time by finding lost of really great small businesses :-D.

24LittleTaiko
Dic 15, 2020, 3:15pm

Nice theme! I've been doing my part to support independent bookstores. Even though I don't live near you I've ordered more than my fair share from Poisoned Pen in 2020 and anticipate more in 2021. :)

25katiekrug
Dic 15, 2020, 3:58pm

What a great theme! Look forward to following along next year.

26mstrust
Dic 15, 2020, 4:40pm

>24 LittleTaiko: Fantastic! I've ordered my mom the latest Longmire from them for Christmas. It's signed by Johnson and has an exclusive Christmas card by him too. She already knows about (because I couldn't keep my piehole shut) it and is thrilled.
Did you find The Poisoned Pen yourself or through my 2020 thread?
My package from The Mysterious Bookshop in NYC arrived today. I'll be featuring them this year for sure.

>25 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie! I look forward to seeing you here.

27mstrust
Editado: Dic 15, 2020, 5:05pm

Just to kick things off while there's still enough time for the holiday shipping:
If you're on the East Coast, you can order from Economy Candy on Rivington. They are still a family store, 80 years in business and have bulk Christmas and Hanukkah candy, or candy sets.
https://www.economycandy.com/



If you're closer to Arizona, there's Cerreta's in Glendale. It's been in business for 50 years and has supplied some of the chocolate sold on Main Street at Disneyland.
http://cerreta.com/


If you're in the middle, you may know about The Fudge Pot in Chicago. It's been there since 1963 and makes all kinds of chocolate treats. They are encouraging orders.
https://thefudgepotchicago.com/

28LittleTaiko
Dic 15, 2020, 5:23pm

>26 mstrust: - I think I found them through both you and a friend of mine who lives in Scottsdale. It was the one must see thing on my list of things to do when I visited a couple of years ago. Such a charming store and a great selection.

Lucky you getting a Mysterious Bookshop package! Another wonderful store.

29mstrust
Dic 16, 2020, 12:00pm

It is a charming little shop. I really love their outdoor lamps and the big vintage posters they put in the windows. They have been mostly closed to the public all year, with just a brief window of browsing. You order, they e-mail when it's ready, then you wait outside and the albino guy cracks the door open and hands it to you, then slams the door closed and locks it, ha! They will not be robbed.
I loved our visit to The Mysterious Bookshop. Their employees are super helpful, although I believe it may have been the owner helping me.

And talking about Cerreta's yesterday got me out there this morning. They open at 8am, as stores should. We got nuts and chocolates that will go to Vegas and some that are on their way to Vermont right now. And some for us because I'm not going to a chocolate factory and coming away with nothing.

30thornton37814
Dic 18, 2020, 7:20pm

Welcome back, and good luck with your reading! Love your theme. I'm looking forward to seeing how you fill your categories.

31Tess_W
Dic 19, 2020, 7:51am

Good luck with your 2021 reading.

32mstrust
Dic 19, 2020, 12:21pm

>30 thornton37814: Thanks, Lori! I think it's been about five years but I'm glad to be back.
>31 Tess_W: Thank you, Tess, and good luck to you!

33hailelib
Dic 27, 2020, 7:47pm

Have good time with your 2021 challenge!

34Carmenere
Dic 29, 2020, 8:41am

>29 mstrust: "the albino guy cracks the door open and hands it to you, then slams the door closed and locks it"
That just cracked me up! Perfect for your thread!

35mstrust
Dic 29, 2020, 12:40pm

>33 hailelib: Thank you very much, and the same to you!
>34 Carmenere: Ha! Not to make fun of him, he's been there for years and might be the manager, but if Matt Lucas had a little bit of white hair they could be twins. And he isn't friendly at all, so they Yelp reviews of the shop that mention rudeness are definitely about him.
:-D

36cyderry
Dic 30, 2020, 4:57pm

What a fun theme!

37mstrust
Dic 30, 2020, 5:20pm

Thanks, Cheli! Good to see you here!

38mstrust
Dic 31, 2020, 9:15am

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

39mstrust
Editado: Dic 31, 2020, 10:46am

You may need this right now.


https://www.blackriflecoffee.com/
Black Rifle Coffee has two facilities, one in Utah and the other in Tennessee. They make their own roasted coffee in many varieties, from smooth to one that is like rocket fuel. They also sell clothing and mugs. This is a veteran-owned company that also employs many vets. I can attest to how incredibly smooth their Smooth Silencer variety is as I've bought several bags for myself and I've sent some to my nephew, who loves coffee as much as I do. We both give this a thumbs up, it's smooooth.
And, hooray, they're having a 50% off sale for the next few days, so you can get a real deal.

And please let me know along the way if images or links don't work.

40scaifea
Dic 31, 2020, 10:48am

>39 mstrust: Oh! I'm definitely going to try them! I've been looking for some new coffee to try - thanks!

41mstrust
Dic 31, 2020, 10:54am

You're very welcome!
I'm so looking forward to our Year of the Small but Fierce Business, where we will all, at some time or another, say, "Yes, that's exactly what I need."

42RidgewayGirl
Dic 31, 2020, 10:40pm

You're back in the Category Challenge! Yay! I look forward to your thread costing me money.

43VivienneR
Editado: Ene 1, 1:33am

>39 mstrust: Coffee, black, as dark as I can get it, is my drink of choice so I will be investigating Black Rifle Coffee although I'm sure shipping to Canada is too pricey for me. Still, it will be nice to dream.

Happy new year! It's going to be a good one.

44quondame
Ene 1, 2:14am

Happy new year!

45Helenliz
Ene 1, 4:01am

Happy New Year.
>39 mstrust: They even do more than one decaf. Goodness, that it impressive. Not even going to look at calculating shipping to the UK!

46mstrust
Ene 1, 9:39am

>43 VivienneR: Have a Happy New Year, Viv!
I hope their shipping to Canada isn't bad, but if it is, don't worry. I do plan on posting some Canadian companies throughout the year and have a few already lined up. But I encourage you to PM me with some names of small businesses around your area that ship merch.
>44 quondame: Happy New Year, Susan! Aaah, that book got my finger!
>45 Helenliz: Happy New Year! Yeah, I'd guess the shipping to you would be too high, but you might check. I hope there will be some stuff this year that isn't so bad for shipping around the world. I know we have LTers everywhere.

And I made a Black Rifle order yesterday myself, but on behalf of my Mom. She's sent Wade an order of coffee and a Black Rifle t-shirt. And since that was my idea for his birthday, now I have to come up with something else.

47mstrust
Editado: Ene 1, 9:46am


1. Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde. Young and deeply in love, the marriage of Lord and Lady Windermere is suddenly in peril when gossip assures the Lady that her husband has been keeping company with a notorious woman. This rumor is confirmed to be true by her husband, who then begs his wife to invite this friend of his to their society party that night, which the Lady refuses to do. Lord Windermere issues the invite on his wife's behalf, openly telling her that he does so because this woman wishes to be welcomed into society and he plans on helping her in that.
A story of deception and the intense scrutiny a person lived under, where whatever your relatives did reflected on you. 4 stars
My interest in Wilde's plays has been revived by one of my current shows, a documentary series about the theaters of London's West End.

So, let's have a good time on this first day of 2021. Here's the complete play, filmed in the West End during it's 2018 revival, featuring Jennifer Saunders as the gossipy Duchess. Skip ahead to four minutes in, that's where it starts.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlVkLimEqNM

48mstrust
Ene 1, 10:04am

Happy New Year to All!

49thornton37814
Ene 1, 10:21am

>39 mstrust: I've never heard of them. I have a friend who lives near Manchester. I'll ask her if she's had it the next time I hear from her. She's dealing with her mother whose health is declining.

50PaulCranswick
Ene 1, 10:43am



And keep up with my friends here as well, Jennifer. Have a great 2021.

51clue
Ene 1, 10:47am

Oh, this is going to be fun! I had a conversation with our local candy store owner recently and he said his business, particularly at Christmas, has been good which really didn't surprise me. A pandemic is no reason to give up chocolate!

I was also in our small locally owned bookstore just before Christmas and the clerk told me the new Obama book had been an end of year life saver. Just at that moment someone called wanting it and got their last copy. They've struggled but are still on their feet!

52mstrust
Ene 1, 12:48pm

>49 thornton37814: If your friend is a coffee drinker she may know the company. I'd love it if they were in my backyard. But it sounds like she's got her hands full.
>50 PaulCranswick: Happy New Year, Paul!
>51 clue: I think it will be fun too! I think the Christmas season adds up to somewhere around three quarters of retail sales for the year, so if a business wasn't able to open for the season, it's going to be tough to survive. That's why I'm determined to get the word out. As >42 RidgewayGirl: said, this is gonna cost us some money, ha!

>42 RidgewayGirl: And I'm sorry that I missed replying to you before! I did read your post and I'm glad you're onboard with me pointing out stuff to buy!

53lkernagh
Ene 1, 4:22pm

Happy New Year, Jennifer! Your struggling businesses theme is such a timely one. We try to do whatever we can to support local businesses. 2020 was such a hard year for many businesses. I am taking a break from the 75 Challenge group this year so happy to see you back in Category Challengeland. ;-)

54mstrust
Ene 1, 5:32pm

Thanks for coming over, Lori! Happy New Year!
Oh, the interesting businesses I'm finding in my research...

55mstrust
Editado: Ene 3, 9:26am


2. The Riddle of the Third Mile by Colin Dexter. The sixth of the Inspector Morse series. When a body, with all the identifiable parts missing, is pulled from the Oxford Canal, Morse and Sergeant Lewis are sent to figure out who it is and who put it there. The investigation takes them from the offices of Oxford University to the most seedy London clubs, and along the way they discover the pockets of the university where bitterness had been stewing for years.
This investigation is atmospheric, sometimes complicated, and also fun due to Morse's extreme crabbiness and arrogance. It's been too long between Morses. 4 stars

I read this for the Mystery Group's water theme this month, and it's also a ROOT.

56mstrust
Editado: Ene 3, 9:57am


So ROOTs have us visiting bookstores. This one will be no surprise to my visitors from last year. The Mysterious Bookshop in NYC has been pretty open about their financial struggles this year. They are the only remaining mystery bookstore in NYC, and what a beautiful store it is. Floor to ceiling bookshelves, plus the rare stuff in the basement.
They carry new and Golden Age, mystery, thriller, espionage and noir. And you have to check out their exclusive Bibliomysteries series, which is addictive to me. These are short stories about book mysteries written by the most famous authors exclusively for this store, so you won't find them anywhere else. And they're priced starting at just $4.95, but you can also get the hardbound, signed copies for about $100.
https://www.mysteriousbookshop.com/

I've visited the store and come away with a enough books that I had to ship them home. I've also made a couple of orders with them. They send Media Mail, which makes shipping very affordable. It usually takes around three weeks for the package to arrive (to Phoenix) and everything has been perfect, no issues.

57Tess_W
Ene 3, 12:28pm

>56 mstrust: Sounds like a wonderful place! I hope it survives. I'm not a mystery reader per say, but the atmosphere would be conducive for me to buy!

58thornton37814
Ene 3, 1:35pm

>57 Tess_W: I love the fact that they are reprinting some of the American mystery classics right now. I would hate for it to disappear even though NYC is a place I doubt I'll visit.

59rabbitprincess
Ene 3, 1:43pm

>56 mstrust: I just saw that The Bride Wore Black is one of the latest to be reprinted by American Mystery Classics! Exciting :)

I hope I will be able to visit NYC someday. The Mysterious Bookshop looks amazing.

60katiekrug
Ene 3, 1:52pm

Shame on me. I live 10 miles away from NYC and have never been to The Mysterious Bookshop. I'll make a note to go whenever it is we return to trips into the city... Though it sounds like I should show some support now so that it will still be around. Thanks for the tip, Jennifer!

61mstrust
Ene 3, 3:40pm

>57 Tess_W: It is a wonderful place, with the nicest employees!

>58 thornton37814: Yes, they have their own press and reprint some pretty obscure mysteries to make sure they aren't lost. So for anyone who likes having a really rare book to post on LT, you can find it at this store. It's going to be a while before we go back to NYC, but when I do I'm gonna tear it up.

>59 rabbitprincess: Well, Princess, if you're going to mention Cornell Woolrich, I'll mention that I happened to buy a copy of Angels of Darkness from The Mysterious Bookshop at our last visit. It's a 1979 printing from their own Mysterious Press. $20, with the original dustjacket!

>60 katiekrug: 10 miles in NYC encompasses thousands of businesses, so it's possible to not notice a lot of places. But if you get on their e-mail list you'll receive news of upcoming releases and their ongoing listings of vintage and rare books that come and go for really reasonable prices. That's where I learned that things have gotten so bad, since the pandemic and riots, that they were lucky to have half a dozen shoppers a day.
You're welcome, and so happy to point them out to you!

Just to track for myself, Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides and the Untold story of America's Most Dangerous Amusement Park arrived yesterday, and I've sent Wade a copy of Station Eleven for his birthday. One of the best reads for me last year and I think he'll like it.

62mstrust
Editado: Ene 5, 10:17am


3. California Hotel and Casino: Hawai'i's Home Away from Home by Dennis M. Ogawa and John M. Blink.This is the true story of how Vegas icon Sam Boyd turned a non-descript and failing downtown casino, one that was a block away from Fremont, so off the beaten path, into a destination for Hawaiians. Research had shown Boyd that the greatest (heaviest) gamblers where Hawaiians of Japanese descent. Using airline promotions, heavy media presence in the islands, and turning their food selections from typical Vegas fare to traditional island and Japanese, the casino and hotel was able to build a loyal clientele.
Most of this book is told in interviews, with the longest being by co-author Blink, who spent decades working for Boyd in all job titles, including "dishwasher". This is as much a biography of Boyd's career as the story of The California. But it probably wouldn't interest anyone who wasn't interested in old Vegas. 3 stars

This goes in my Travel Industry section.

63mstrust
Editado: Ene 5, 10:25am

We're going to Gettysburg to visit The Civil War Tails Diorama Museum.
Yes, it's a museum about the history of the American Civil War. Explained through dioramas. With all the soldiers as cats. And it's all owned and created by twin sisters. Top that!
You can explore the dioramas on their site, and you can also buy t-shirts, puzzles, cat soldier statues, and even a custom memorial for your own lost love.
https://civilwartails.com/

64scaifea
Ene 5, 11:34am

>63 mstrust: Oh. My. God. Post vaccines, I am GOING.

65mstrust
Ene 5, 1:19pm

I just knew it would be Nirvana for somebody. Glad I could help with your future plans.

66scaifea
Ene 6, 9:53am

I showed the website to my husband and was rewarded with a dramatic eye roll. We are *so* going.

67RidgewayGirl
Ene 6, 10:21am

>63 mstrust: Words fail me.

68katiekrug
Ene 6, 11:30am

>66 scaifea: - The Wayne thought it was awesome, what with the cats :) Gettysburg is an easy drive for us, so let's meet. When the Bad Times are over... if ever.

69Tess_W
Ene 6, 12:16pm

>63 mstrust: I've been to Gettysburg many times, but never seen this one!

70Helenliz
Ene 6, 1:02pm

>67 RidgewayGirl: I thought it was just me. >:-|

71mstrust
Ene 6, 2:08pm

>66 scaifea: Ha! He should know that if you say you are going, he's going too.
>67 RidgewayGirl: Because you're gasping from the majesty of it all, no doubt.
>68 katiekrug: Hmph. Am I not invited? Oh never mind, I live on the other side of the country. *(kicking a tin can)* just nice to be remembered, that's all...
>69 Tess_W: I would guess it's their patrons come by word of meow. I'm sorry.
>70 Helenliz: Your face is gonna freeze like that.
It certainly is a niche attraction, but I can see groups of cat fanciers and history buffs coming together and being all hopped up for the rest of the afternoon.

72mstrust
Editado: Ene 6, 2:23pm

And here's fair play:


Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury, Vt. This will likely be the smallest small business I'll find. It's one guy and his Lab. He and his wife (and dog) have 150 acres of property that welcomes visitors and their dogs to come play. He also paints and writes books about his dog, and his shop features the most unusual door mat I've ever seen. You'll know it when you see it.
https://www.dogmt.com/home.php

73Helenliz
Ene 6, 3:23pm

>72 mstrust: That's, um, certainly different!

74scaifea
Ene 7, 8:25am

>68 katiekrug: YES!!

>71 mstrust: Of *course* you're invited! I mean, it wouldn't be the same without the founder of the feast.

>72 mstrust: Oh, I love it! (And I *love* the doormat!) But, both the guy and his wife are gone? Sadness. I love that it's still kept up and running, though.

75mstrust
Ene 7, 9:38am

>73 Helenliz: I strive to show my visitors something they've never seen before ;-)

>74 scaifea: Hooray! I wish I could go! But I hope you two do get to go and that you have a great time. Come back and tell us how the war ended.
Yes they're gone, yet what a beautiful place they've left to visitors. And the people who care for the property are really involved in it's upkeep.

76mstrust
Editado: Ene 7, 9:39am


4. Ultimate Veg by Jamie Oliver.
A big book of vegetarian main dishes, side dishes and a few desserts. I'm a fan of the tv series that went along with this and many of those dishes, which are heavily influenced by Indian, Moroccan and African flavors, are included here. I'll try some of these, with the first likely to be the oven baked Crispy Moroccan Carrots. I've used quite a few Oliver recipes in the past and some have become regulars for me. 4 stars

Here's Oliver's hummus recipe. I've made this and to me it's better than store bought.

Go-To Hummus

15 oz can of chickpeas
2 tbs tahini
1/2 clove of garlic
1/2 a lemon
extra virgin olive oil
4 sprigs of Italian parsley
smoked paprika

Drain the peas and put in a blender with the tahini. Add the peeled garlic, a squeeze of lemon and 1/4 cup of oil. Blend to the texture of your choice. Add a splash of water if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

77mstrust
Editado: Ene 7, 9:57am



Now here's one I've been waiting to tell you about- Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor, Michigan.
Sitting right in the cherry capital of the world, this is where you can get the things you'd expect, such as dried cherries, canned cherries, trail mix snacks and jams and jellies. But they also have wine and hard cider, mustard, maple syrup, coffee, nut chips and dry rubs, all made with cherries. And I'm very enthusiastic about their cherry salsa, as I've had the original, a big jar which I finished off in four days, and the hot version, which does have heat. They're made with tomatoes, cherries, jalapenos and banana peppers. If you're thinking "cherry salsa, ewww," I'm telling you that if you enjoy sweet and spicy together, you'll like this.
https://cherryrepublic.com/

78thornton37814
Ene 7, 6:45pm

>77 mstrust: I bookmarked this. If we are locked down much longer, I'll be looking for gift items such as these.

79DeltaQueen50
Ene 8, 1:53am

You are giving me an itch to travel. I would love to just hit the road and visit both the quirky places and the places that sell delicious items. Looking forward to seeing where you will take us next!

80mstrust
Ene 8, 9:31am

>78 thornton37814: I hope you'll find some helpful here, both for gifts and yourself. Getting a box in the mail is one of life's joys.

>79 DeltaQueen50: I'd love to take off too, but I'm settling for a visit this weekend to a town we haven't been to in years and years even though it's less than an hour away.
I have so many good places lined up for us, and I'll be providing links even when I don't have a book "match".

81markon
Ene 10, 7:15am

>80 mstrust: Enjoy your weekend travel! Looking forward to seeing what you find

82mstrust
Ene 10, 10:35am

Thanks, Ardene, but dang it, our little jaunt was cancelled when we found out yesterday that the restaurant every one recommends in this town is closed on Sundays. We're looking at going maybe this Saturday.
I hope you're having a good weekend!

83mstrust
Editado: Ene 10, 10:40am


5. Bowie's Bookshelf by John O'Connell. This is a list put together for a V&A Museum exhibit of 100 books that Bowie felt were the most important or influential, not necessarily his favorites. The author of this book, O'Connell, met Bowie just once and describes his nervousness of that interview and Bowie's kindness.
Each book is given two or three pages, with background about the book and what was happening in Bowie's life when it was published or when he read it. As Bowie did many book reviews on Barnes & Noble's site and he worked on the exhibit, we have his opinions about those books. There's even information about which books may have been the inspiration for certain Bowie songs, and each book discussed has a recommendation for which Bowie song to accompany it, and one extra book to follow with. I love books that recommend other books like a bread trail.

What I didn't love was the author frequently taking license when discussing a book or experience Bowie apparently never spoke openly about, so we have phrases such as "he must have been excited" and "surely he felt..." sprinkled throughout. When discussing a certain sociology book published in 2008, he creates a jarring entry by suddenly turning it into his own pulpit on current American politics (this book was published in 2019) and claiming to know what Bowie, who passed in 2015, would have felt, then going on to list all the ways in which Americans are stupid.

There is a lot of information here about Bowie's life, his family, his marriage to Iman and his romances and personas of his career. It's unusual sizing and bright red cover with a picture of Bowie is striking. 4 stars

This goes in my Entertainment section.

84mstrust
Editado: Ene 10, 10:44am


In live footage from 1972, here's my favorite Bowie song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qrOvBuWJ-c
And here's much later Bowie, a song the book led me to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4R8HTIgHUU

85mstrust
Editado: Ene 10, 10:55am


Take a look around this lesser known music museum, The Memphis Rock & Soul Museum. It focuses on the music that came out of this area, a lot of it being so influential on musicians everywhere, including Bowie, who loved American Soul.
And their merchandise is about the most affordable I've ever seen from a museum of any kind.
https://www.memphisrocknsoul.org/

86rabbitprincess
Ene 10, 12:01pm

>83 mstrust: I may have to pick this one up for my brother (and then borrow it). My favourite Bowie song might be Golden Years.

87mstrust
Ene 10, 2:25pm

I can tell you that I came away with a list of both books and songs to look for, so your WL will grow.
I was originally looking to post the complete "David Bowie By Request" show, which was so good. Unfortunately, the only complete show I could find was so blurry that I couldn't imagine anyone sitting through it.

88DeltaQueen50
Ene 11, 2:38pm

Thank you for the links to David Bowie's videos, I am a huge fan and I enjoyed spending some time watching and listening - I would have a hard time naming a favorite!

89mstrust
Ene 11, 5:08pm

You're welcome! I know, he had so many hits and hidden gems that it's hard to choose one, but I've always perked up when "Ziggy Stardust" played. Though this book didn't even touch on one long ago hit that I really like, Dana Gillespie's "Andy Warhol" that he wrote, played guitar for and produced.

90christina_reads
Ene 11, 5:23pm

Count me in as another Bowie fan! My favorite of his is "Modern Love."

91mstrust
Ene 12, 10:22am

Oh yes, and I think that was his most handsome period, so dapper and he finally looked healthy.

92mstrust
Editado: Ene 12, 2:29pm


6. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. Set in a small English village in 1950, this story is told by a remarkably intelligent eleven year-old, Flavia de Luce. When she overhears her father arguing in his study with a stranger and hears the phrase "We killed him", then finds a strange man dying in the cucumber patch, she puts two and two together and believes that her father must be the murderer. The police do too and the Colonel is quickly arrested. Flavia's natural detecting skills, her knowledge of chemistry and her willingness to ride her bike all over the village to snoop are more than anyone expected from a little girl.
I'm more than a decade late in discovering this book and now I'm trying to keep myself from gushing about how fun and clever it is to be in Flavia's company. I'm absolutely continuing the series. 5 stars

This is going in my New To Me Retail section.

93mstrust
Editado: Ene 12, 2:40pm

Time to shop.


The Vermont Country Store has been around since the 40's and is now run by the third generation of the family. You can spend hours on this site because they sell stuff you don't find anywhere else. The candy your grandparents loved, flannel plaid sheets, maple in all it's forms and sizes, old fashioned health elixirs, red longjohns, and cans of New England bean soup. I have a box of maple scented soaps on their way to me right now.
https://www.vermontcountrystore.com/

94mstrust
Ene 12, 2:59pm

To keep things organized and easy to revisit, I've put the links to all the businesses we've been to so far at >7 mstrust: and will continue to do so as we go along.

95LittleTaiko
Ene 12, 3:14pm

>93 mstrust: - That picture makes me think of the movie Baby Boom, when Diane Keaton's character is starting to sell baby food out a country store. I imagine the inside of the store looking like the one in the movie.

96mstrust
Ene 12, 3:22pm

The inside of the store, which I've only seen in pictures, is 1940's New England Ultra. Everything you'd ever expect from a log cabin/sugar shack/grandparent's house. All knotted wood and maple, just right!

97rabbitprincess
Ene 12, 7:15pm

Flannel plaid sheets sound delightfully cosy!

98mstrust
Ene 13, 9:44am

I've had flannel sheets but never plaid flannel sheets, and I love plaid. Unfortunately, I'd get to use them maybe two times a year. I've had a bundle of firewood since November, just waiting for the day I can have a fire.
I'll post when the soaps come, let everyone know how mapley they smell. And if I've licked 'em.

99mstrust
Editado: Ene 14, 10:36am


7. Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry. Fernandez Britten has unhappily been a private investigator for many years. He began with the expectation that he would make the world a better place with his skill, but instead, he fell into doing so many adultery cases that he became known as "The Heartbreaker".
Finally something different comes along. A woman's fiancee has died recently and it's ruled a suicide, but she believes he was murdered. Britten, accompanied by his sidekick Brulightly, a tea bag that may be self-aware and chatty, or more likely is a sign of Britten's instability, begins looking into the dead man's life and finds more twists than a corkscrew.
This is a re-read and I enjoyed it as much, if not more now. I first read it eight years ago. Now I'm much more familiar with noir tropes, and I actually came away with a different opinion of the ending. 4.2 stars

I read this for Graphic Novel month in the ScaredyKit, but it's also a ROOT.

100mstrust
Editado: Ene 14, 10:48am


This is the Jackson Hold Book Trader in Jackson Hole, WY.
https://www.jhbooktrader.com/

They've been open for over twenty years and sell new, used and rare books with their specialty being books about the state and the West in general. It's a cool shop, female owned, and the staff is happy to help you find what you need.

101mstrust
Editado: Ene 16, 5:01pm


8. A Walk Around the Block by Spike Carlsen.
With a sly sense of humor, the author explains how and why things are the way they are in your neighborhood. He goes to the water plant, the recycling plant, and hangs out with a Parisian graffiti artist. You'll learn exactly how your mail gets from the post office to you, how your water and electricity gets to your house, what goes into paving a road or building a sidewalk and who takes care of roadkill. There's a chapter each on squirrels and pigeons, and one on snow and how your city deals with it.
Stuff I learned: Until 1920 you could mail a baby, and people did. A big reason people have heart attacks while shoveling snow is because they unconsciously hold their breath as they shovel. And in major cities, the pedestrian button isn't actually hooked up to anything, it's there mainly to give the person a sense of doing something. They lights are set according to how busy the area is.
This is informative, answers lots of questions, and even chapters you'd expect to be dry, like asphalt, are interesting.

This goes in the Travel Industry section.

102mstrust
Editado: Ene 16, 5:10pm


We're visiting The Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, TN!
https://thesaltandpeppershakermuseum.com/

Click the "online store" tab to find the salt & pepper set you didn't think would ever come into your life. Paul Bunyan and Babe, a shark eating a leg, Marie Antoinette, angels, aliens, fruits, cartoon characters, and even two lobster claws. From elegant to weird, they got it, and most items ship for a flat $4.

103thornton37814
Ene 16, 5:25pm

>102 mstrust: That one is not far from me. I'm trying to remember what used to be in that building.

104quondame
Ene 16, 9:39pm

>102 mstrust: I have a sewing machine set. Of course I do.

105mstrust
Ene 17, 10:59am

>103 thornton37814: It's shakers now, baby! You'll have to give us a review if you visit the actual museum.

>104 quondame: That sounds pretty cute. I have owls.

And just reminding to everyone that you can give us a short review or even just one line about purchasing from one of the small businesses listed here. Just to let others know that you got what you ordered and whether or not you're happy with it.

106mstrust
Editado: Ene 19, 9:55am


9. The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo. Khoo, a Brit, moved to Paris to attend Le Cordon Bleu. She turned her minuscule apartment with it's half oven and two gas rings into a temporary restaurant.
This is a big heavy book of traditional French recipes, often with her twist to simplify them a bit. So there's a Winter salad with goat's cheese mousse, but the twist is that Khoo serves raw vegetables rather than roasted. Her dumplings are served in a thin chicken broth rather than a heavy sauce. There are recipes that are originals from locals, such as a cherry tomato and vanilla bean chutney to serve with goat cheese.
Many of the recipes are more complicated than I usually do, but some are easy with ingredients I keep on hand.

107mstrust
Editado: Ene 19, 10:53am


https://millicanpecan.com/

The Millican Pecan Company is in San Saba, Texas, the pecan capitol of the world. In a city with dozens of pecan companies, I've ordered from two, Millican's and Oliver's. (I have to have a go-to for pecans because my Texan mother is obsessed with pecans to a startling degree.)
Nothing at all wrong with Oliver's and their delivery was fast, but Millican's has a greater variety of pecan products, plus, they own the "mother" tree that many of the area's trees came from.
This fourth generation family still owns the land and makes the products. Their divinity is so fluffy, they have the pecan logs Mom demands, and they have a really reasonable flat shipping rate. Packaging was good and protected the products.

108RidgewayGirl
Ene 19, 12:50pm

>107 mstrust: Gotta cheer for the pecan farmers. I'd order from them, but we get all our pecans from an elderly couple down the street whose family has an orchard a few miles away.

109mstrust
Ene 19, 3:18pm

My mom has a neighbor with a pecan tree and they've given her big bags of them. She won't make pecan candy or roast them though, so she still wants pecan logs and chocolate pecans from somewhere. This is a woman who gets a little screechy if pecan cookies don't have enough pecans in them for her standards.

110thornton37814
Ene 19, 6:56pm

When I was growing up, we had a pecan tree in the yard and there were trees at both grandparents, but there was a big pecan orchard right outside of town. Later Mom and Dad could get them at the Duke Pecan Company in nearby West Point. The pecan orchard outside town was damaged in a tornado. I've not lived all that close to a good source for pecans as an adult. There is one outside the music building, and I've been known to go gather enough to make something when I catch it. The ones on campus are a smaller variety. If I'm going through South Alabama, I stop at Priesters between Montgomery and Mobile just off I-59 and pick up a large bag. Theirs are always good. Pricy, but good!

111Tess_W
Ene 19, 10:59pm

>107 mstrust: love pecans. I have bookmarked their site on my computer.

112mstrust
Ene 20, 9:21am

>110 thornton37814: My grandparents has a farm in Greenville, TX. and there was a pecan grove on the property.
I used to order from Priester's. Very good quality products, rather expensive, and really poor customer service, which is why I stopped ordering from them. Mom didn't get her box of pecan Mother's Day presents last year because they couldn't deliver it on time even though I had ordered weeks in advance. I'd still buy their products if I could get to their store, but not ordering.

>111 Tess_W: I hope you try them out! I bought a pound of pecans pieces for baking at a really good price.

113lkernagh
Ene 20, 5:39pm

Hi Jennifer, I am getting caught up and having a lot of fun virtually traveling the sights on your thread. ;-)

>77 mstrust: - Cherry mustard.... that intrigues me!

>92 mstrust: - So happy to read that you enjoy Falvia! She is such fun!

114mstrust
Ene 21, 11:28am

Glad to hear you're enjoying our travels, Lori!
I know, cherry mustard is really unusual, but then I wasn't expecting to love the cherry salsa as much as I did. Their cherry products are really good quality.
I went and picked up my hold of the next Flavia mystery. Oooh, it's gonna be good!

***
So, anyone made an order from any of these businesses so far? Got something picked out as a gift? Tell us about it.

115mstrust
Ene 21, 5:42pm

I happened to look at the FedEx tracking this afternoon and saw that my package of maple soaps from The Vermont Country Store has arrived just five minutes earlier and said it was on my porch. Nope, wasn't there, or under my porch or in the mailbox. I went to the FedEx customer service and ended up talking to an employee who said he had no way to track down my local delivery driver and that an "investigation" would take 48 hours. So I figured, my only chance was a nice neighbor bringing it.
Which happened! Hooray! I don't know who but someone left it on my mat within half an hour.
So, the soaps. They don't smell like maple at all, not even a whiff. Not even the lather. It's just a light, clean scent and rich lather. I feel like I earned a maple scent after waiting two weeks and having to talk to customer service. *Picture me blowing a raspberry.*

116Tess_W
Ene 21, 11:54pm

>115 mstrust: I love The Vermont Country Store--for it's maple sugar candy, though, not the soap! I also like their vintage candy; although since I've shed 40 pounds, I'm no longer eating it.

117mstrust
Ene 22, 7:56am

I was disappointed in the delivery, but not the store. Over the years I've racked up enough issues with UPS to hold a grudge, but I'd never had a problem with FedEx before.
I'm a big fan of VCS, and if I didn't have two big jugs of maple syrup and a bottle of maple sugar already in my pantry, I would have ordered some supplies. I don't blame you for being tempted by the candy, so much of it is hard to find, like walnut chips. But that's awesome that you lost 40 pounds!
I have a second package coming from VCS in about a week or so. This one took over two weeks to arrive but they're having storms.

118mstrust
Editado: Ene 22, 9:08am



10. Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America's Most Dangerous Amusement Park by Andy Mulvihill. The author is one of the children of Gene Mulvihill, who built the infamous Action Park in Vernon, NJ. The park opened in 1976 and quickly became known as "Class Action Park" and "Traction Park". This is the insane story of a New Jersey institution that is remembered as fun in hindsight, in a "I went there and here's my scar," kind of way. But this book is also focused on the author's father and how much he was able to get away with because of the era in which he was doing it and because he knew how to make his problems go away.
From this story, it appears that the owner had his children and a crew of ski lodge employees build the majority of the rides, most of them water-themed, which gave guests a good chance of drowning, which they did. Guests were also electrocuted, thrown from rides, and fed tainted food at the concession stands. The owner firmly believed in letting people take responsibility for their own safety, and if that decision included getting hammered on the concession stand beer and driving a mini racecar that went 50 mph and had no guard rails or safety equipment, so be it. His comment was, "They don't want helmets, they want to feel the wind in their hair."
Another attraction was an arena of Battle Action Tanks, small contraptions the park mechanic had come up with that were equipped with cannons that shot 100 mph tennis balls. Guess what players did when an employee had to run out in the arena and collect the balls?
The owner would hire people who had no engineering experience to build experimental rides if he liked their idea, and of course, the danger that he demanded from a ride led to insurance problems, which he solved by making up a phony insurance company.

The book opens with sixteen year-old Andy, the author, suited up in all his hockey protective gear and taking the first ride down his father's newest creation, The Cannonball Loop, a water ride the had a complete loop in the end that would force the rider to defy gravity before being spit out into a pool. Because he couldn't bring himself to disappoint his dad by telling him how dangerous and terrifying that loop was, the kid said it was fun. Which sent two employees down without protective equipment. The first guy got his two front teeth knocked out and the guy behind him had his arm cut on those teeth, which were embedded in the wall of the loop. The loop was never officially opened to the public though it stood for twenty years as the owner tried to figure out how to make it work.
By far the most dangerous ride was The Alpine Slide, in which riders went down a cement track on a twenty pound piece of plastic. The incline was pretty drastic and the rider had to know how to lean their weight and work the brake. This ride was the first to have a fatality.

If you stuck your arm or leg out to balance yourself, it was like holding your body against a sander. The surface of the track scraped off your flesh, leaving an oozing, blistering wound. For superficial injuries, we sprayed a pink iodine liquid that bubbled up like acid and made the tender skin flare with pain...On busy days, the area around the slide could look like a leper colony. We eventually put up photos of these ghastly wounds at the top of the ride, a visual reminder of the potential for carnage.

The author is aware of how irresponsible his father was and how carelessness led to people being hurt. Yet the park was very popular precisely because there was a real element of danger. The park slogan, "Action Park: where you're the center of the action." was re-worked by visitors to "Action Park: where you're the center of the accident."
As the story and years progress, he becomes more admiring of his dad's remarkable ability to wriggle out of legal matters, even when there was a fatality involved. I found Gene Mulivill hard to like, but this story of Action Park is fascinating and often hilarious. 5 stars



This goes in my Travel Industry.

119mstrust
Editado: Ene 22, 9:18am

Two places to visit this time, both very interesting if you're a fan of Hemingway.

The Hemingway Birthplace Museum is located in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. You can tour the family home and purchase books by and about Ernest, and shot glasses too.
https://www.hemingwaybirthplace.com/


The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum is located in Key West. Look around, enjoy the six-toed cats and palm trees. You can purchase clothing, souvenir plates, artwork, cat stuff. And shotglasses.
https://www.hemingwayhome.com/

Have you visited either of these museums? I think the Key West museum is pretty popular.

120Helenliz
Ene 22, 9:15am

>118 mstrust: Imagine a slightly stunned face, that's my reaction to your review of the book. Goodness, what a childhood, he sounds like he deserves congratulations on getting out of it alive!

121mstrust
Ene 22, 9:21am

Ha! I did have a feeling of "Are you kidding me?!" as I read.
Not only did the author survive, but he got involved in re-opening the park about ten years about it had closed in the 90's. The re-opening didn't last long as laws and customer expectations had changed.

122LittleTaiko
Ene 22, 10:28am

>118 mstrust: - Wow! Just wow - what a story. Excellent review.

123mstrust
Ene 22, 12:33pm

Thanks! It's an incredible story.

124RidgewayGirl
Ene 22, 12:52pm

>119 mstrust: I visited the Hemingway House in Key West years ago and it was fantastic, especially the cats, who definitely own the place.

125mstrust
Ene 22, 1:03pm

I knew that someone around here would have visited! It looks like a beautiful place, and I've heard there are plenty of cats. Seems like it would draw as many cat fanciers as Ernest fanciers.

126Tess_W
Ene 22, 1:51pm

We visit my husband's family in Sarasota usually yearly. A day trip to the Keys is always possible. My question: Are there cats inside the museum/house? (Deathly allergic)

127charl08
Ene 22, 3:58pm

I hope it's not too late to join in and say how much I like your theme for the thread.

The Dog Park shop is having a sale - 15% off everything. I am tempted by the good dog / bad dog mug.

I love that there is a shop called Economy Candy.

>106 mstrust: I love her TV programmes. Her first kitchen was so small I could never quite believe that she was able to cook in it: she had many clever ways of saving space.

>118 mstrust: is bonkers. I can't believe he went back to reopen it!

I haven't bought anything from the shops you mention (postage to the UK) but I have ordered >99 mstrust: from an indy bookshop here via biblio.com so - nearly?

128thornton37814
Ene 22, 4:50pm

>119 mstrust: As a cat lover, how could I miss out on the Hemingway museum in Key West? Those cats not only ruled that house, but the surrounding area as well. I kept encountering the polydactyls everywhere, but I didn't mind one bit. Carrie (cbl_tn) was with me on the trip. We'd been to a library conference in Fort Lauderdale and went down to visit Key West. I would love to go back (after COVID, of course).

129mstrust
Editado: Ene 22, 5:17pm

>126 Tess_W: Looks like Lori has your answer in >128 thornton37814:.

>127 charl08: Never too late, Charlotte, especially for compliments!
Thanks for letting us know about the sale at >72 mstrust:. That mug is very cool!
The last time we were in NYC we drove right past Economy Candy. I couldn't stop the cab because we'd just gotten in two minutes before.
I really liked Rachel Khoo's shows too. Yes, I remember that kitchen, barely big enough to turn in.
I'm very happy to hear you're finding BBs here, and that you're buying from your local indie. Hooray!
Just a little gift for taking part:

Tip: I turn my back on my dog when I eat something delicious. She still knows but at least I don't have to see her pleading eyes.

>128 thornton37814: A cat lover's dream and an allergy sufferers nightmare, all in one beautiful home. I'd like to visit Key West, but in the Spring or Winter.
How great is it that you and Carrie got to go together! Don't know if you know, but Carrie is my Christmas card buddy- we've been matched for the last four years.

130thornton37814
Ene 22, 5:41pm

>129 mstrust: I keep getting matched with a lot of the same people too. I finally began printing the list so I can easily compare years. I added the names and addresses to one of those Christmas Card books that helps you track sent/received for 10 years. I sometimes even send cards to people I didn't get in the swap--just because I love sending cards.

131hailelib
Ene 22, 8:43pm

You've found some really interesting stores and museums!

132mstrust
Ene 23, 9:19am

>130 thornton37814: You're remarkably organized!
>131 hailelib: Yes, and we're just getting started.

133mstrust
Ene 23, 9:29am

My second package from The Vermont Country Store arrived yesterday afternoon, which was pretty fast considering I ordered it about four days after I'd ordered the soaps. No shipping issue with this one.

134thornton37814
Ene 23, 10:39am

We have a new store open in town I want to try--Buff City Soaps. https://morristowntn.buffcitysoap.com/

I'll need to avoid floral scents, but my nose usually tolerates fruity ones.

135mstrust
Ene 23, 1:31pm

I have that same problem with strongly scented soaps, but much more of a problem with scented laundry detergent, which gives me hives on my legs. I even had to stop using the ALL unscented detergent because of the stainlifter ingredient, I guess. Itchy hives all over my legs for over a week.
Looks like Buff City has some nice products, though with over 40 locations, they aren't a small business. I've come up against that
often while researching. Lots of businesses have created the look of an independent making small batch products, but turn out to be a chain. Thanks for the link though, and I'm sure you'll find something good there.

136thornton37814
Ene 23, 4:13pm

>135 mstrust: Sadly, the majority of businesses around here are chains. However, they do at least supposedly make the product in the Morristown store so you can watch. I'm allergic to Tide as far as laundry detergent goes. (My mother also was allergic to it.) I break out with Dial soap too. I have to be very careful about public restroom soap products because many use Dial. I remember a few years ago I wasn't watching the dispenser brands at a conference, and I ended up breaking out in hives all over my hands and arms. Fortunately the hotel attached to the convention center had a couple dispensers where they stocked a different product, and I learned to go to one of those locations when I needed a restroom.

137mstrust
Editado: Ene 24, 10:24am


11. 222 Ways to Trick Yourself to Sleep by Kim Jones. "222 Ways to Fall and Stay Asleep". The author has gathered research from sleep studies and methods from all over the world. While many of the tricks are suggestions of various phone apps and yoga poses, many more are suggestions that anyone who has ever struggled with insomnia has heard before, such as setting a bedtime, turning the clock away so you won't watch time pass, try a sleep mask. Funny thing is, I read this book as I was already tired, and then I was wide awake. It seems like nearly all the tricks start off with the description of the reader being unable to turn their brain off and sleep, and these descriptions were like banging a saucepan for me. 2.5 stars
This book seems to have multiple titles.

138mstrust
Editado: Ene 24, 10:37am


Slow Jams in Detroit is part of a food cooperative that teaches kids how to run a business. They produce small batch jams and jellies in flavors like strawberry vanilla, blueberry lavender and spiced apple. The packs are for three jars or larger and you can mix and match.
https://www.smallbatchdetroit.com/products/slow-jams

139mstrust
Ene 25, 2:15pm

Let me preface this post by saying that our annual huge VNSA booksale, the one with hundreds of thousands of books that normally takes place in February, won't be happening this year. I walk away with 40-50 books each year. It's so disappointing.
So that's why I gave myself permission to buy a few books. I thought around five would be a nice spree.
Over the weekend I ordered from The Poisoned Pen:
Red Herring Without Mustard
Dark Chocolate Demise
A Likely Story

Then Mike had an appointment this morning that happened to be near a Half-Price Books. Like I wasn't going to stop in.
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows
The Stranger Beside Me
Lemons Never Lie
The Gutter and the Grave
Bookman Dead Style
Nightcrawlers
Skinwalkers

So clearly I'm someone who will give herself permission to eat the whole cake. Btw, for anyone who has read the Flavia de Luce series, do they need to be read in order?

140rabbitprincess
Ene 25, 10:16pm

I'm so sorry that the huge book sale won't be happening this year :( I loved hearing about your adventures and the stacks of books you'd bring home!

I am not normally a read-in-order mystery series person, but I did happen to read Flavia in order.

141mstrust
Ene 26, 9:45am

And I loved bragging about all the books I'd gotten away with! The sale being cancelled is a huge disappointment.
I need to find out if the Tiki Oasis is going forward. They cancelled it in April of last year and said they'd have it this year, same dates.
I'm currently reading the second Flavia, and now I own the third and the eight and ninth. Do you think it matters, like does Flavia age in the series?

142mstrust
Editado: Ene 26, 10:12am


The Golden Bear Trading Company in Racine, WI. has been open nearly 40 years. Through their website you can admire and purchase really beautiful Native American jewelry from a wide variety of tribes. The store also sells moccasins, crystal and minerals and artwork, but you'd need to call to find out what's available.
https://www.goldbeartrading.com/

143mstrust
Ene 26, 10:06am



12. Come Home, Indio by Jim Terry. An autobiographical graphic novel, this is Terry's story of the hardships of being half White and half Native American, his dysfunctional family, seeing his parent's alcoholism, and then becoming an alcoholic himself.
While the artwork is very good, I found the story to wear thin by his college years. Nearly every page features the main character having a meltdown over something, even normal teenage insecurities are amplified and overwrought. To me, a few touches of humor here and there would have been a big relief, as at 231 pages, this is the longest graphic novel I've read, and the misery is unrelenting. 2.5 stars

144rabbitprincess
Ene 26, 8:47pm

>141 mstrust: She does get a little bit older, and I think you'll want to at least read The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (the sixth book) before books 8 and 9.

145RidgewayGirl
Ene 26, 8:59pm

>139 mstrust: That's sad news about the booksale, but probably not unexpected. I'm still waiting to hear if the giant booksale here that takes place in mid-August is on or not. It will probably depend on how quickly we all get jabbed.

The local Friends of the Library are going to do their booksale over a long stretch, with appointments necessary to keep a strict limit on the numbers. I hope they'll also take donations as the stack of books to get rid of has grown quite large.

146NinieB
Ene 26, 11:22pm

>139 mstrust: Oh, that's terrible. Is it for charity?

147mstrust
Editado: Ene 27, 9:47am

>136 thornton37814: I'm so sorry I missed you up there!
I think more and more people have become allergic to the perfumes and dyes in soaps and detergents, and I don't know if it's because of the chemicals getting harsher or there are just more of us because of the enormous population. My grandmother was allergic to perfume, make-up, cigarette smoke, animals, dust and grass. I've had enough allergic reactions that I hope I'm not getting as sensitive as she was.

>144 rabbitprincess: Thanks, I'll read them in order then.

>145 RidgewayGirl: I would love it if they re-scheduled for later in the year when people have had the shot, but I don't think they will. This sale is so huge that they could easily have a thousand people in and there would be a lot of empty space.

>146 NinieB: Yes, the VNSA stands for Volunteer Non-profit Service Organization and it benefits many local charities.

148mstrust
Editado: Ene 28, 9:00am


13. Mystery, Inc. by Joyce Carol Oates. A disguised man waits until the end of store hours to visit Mystery, Inc., a popular specialty bookstore in a New Hampshire seaside town. He knows that the owner will send the employees home while he himself helps a serious collector willing to spend a lot and ask many questions. The disguised man's purpose for the visit is as evil as can be. He is a bookstore-buying serial killer. He goes into a book store he wants to buy, but instead of making an offer to the owners, he murders them in a way that looks like a natural death, then lowballs the grieving family and acquires the store and its stock.
But Mystery, Inc. is special. Not only is it a beautiful store full of valuable first editions by Dickens, Christie and Doyle, but the owner is exactly the sort of man the killer would like to be himself, content in his work and happily married. Unaware that the customer who keeps adding books to his tab is actually planning on killing him and stealing the rare books, the friendly owner begins telling the story of his haunted bookstore.
Number 21 in The Mysterious Bookshop's Bibliomysteries. 4 stars

149mstrust
Editado: Ene 28, 9:12am


The Argosy Bookstore in Manhattan opened in 1925. It, and The Strand, are about the only remaining bookstores from the days of "Bookseller's Row". They sell books, maps, autographs and have a huge selection of old prints. It's a beautiful store staffed by people who can find that first edition you've been looking for. If you've never been here but it looks familiar, it's because lots of movie scenes have been filmed here.
https://www.argosybooks.com/

150mstrust
Editado: Ene 30, 10:12am


14. Almost Sleighed by Emily James.
This is the third in the Maple Syrup Mysteries series.
Nicole, a former defense lawyer at her parent's D.C. firm, is learning how to run the Michigan maple farm her uncle left to her. While checking the stables, she finds one of her employees, Noah, unconscious and bleeding. The question of whether Noah fell or was attacked is enough to make Nicole the prime suspect for Elise, the only female police officer in Fair Haven.
Realizing that she barely knows Noah, Nicole conducts her own investigation to find out if there would be anyone with a reason to put Noah in a coma.
And since deciding she was too attached to her friend Mark, the married coroner, Nicole is doing her best to live with the fact that everyone in the small town seems to hate her for breaking up with him. 4 stars

This is a ROOT, having been on my Kindle for six months or more, so it goes in my Bookstore group.

151mstrust
Editado: Ene 30, 10:25am


The Writer's Block in downtown Las Vegas has books, coffee & pastries, and an artificial bird sanctuary. Yeah, haven't come across that before in a book shop, have you?
They have book clubs and events, unusual beverages, and I've already announced that we will be going for a visit when we gather for Mom's birthday in February.
Make sure you visit the birds and read their fascinating bios. It's a wonder such a group could live together.
https://www.thewritersblock.org/?q=h

152scaifea
Ene 31, 9:48am

Artificial bird sanctuary? Like, the birds are fake? Because honestly, I'd be into that.

153mstrust
Ene 31, 11:36am

They are artificial birds. No worries about them messing up the books. Take a look.

154thornton37814
Ene 31, 4:49pm

>150 mstrust: I've never heard of that series. I put all that author's books listed in LT in their proper series. She lists 3 in this series and 2 in her cupcake truck series that have not been added by LT members yet.

155mstrust
Ene 31, 5:39pm

There are thirteen volumes in the Maple Syrup Mysteries and I wasn't even aware that she had started a baking series. Looks like there was just about six months between the last maple syrup and the first cupcake.
I'm reading a MSM about every five or six months. There's sugarbush and maple production talk in each. I know that isn't as popular as baking or knitting talk but I like it.

Hooray, we bought the paint today for re-painting my library! The shelving is a medium yellow and the walls are green right now. I've gone with a very pale neutral yellow called Spanish Lace. I'll start moving furniture and books and covering the floor. I should start painting in a day or two.

156mstrust
Feb 1, 11:18am

After receiving a Valentine's surprise from Mike's aunt and uncle, a box of Koeze cashews of Michigan, we made an order for them last night from Slow Jams in Detroit (>138 mstrust:). They'll receive a jar each of strawberry balsamic, tart cherry and peach bourbon jams. I'll post any feedback I get about the product or shipping.

157RidgewayGirl
Feb 1, 11:50am

Enjoy painting your library! It's amazing how a coat of paint can make an entire room feel brand-new.

158DeltaQueen50
Feb 1, 12:39pm

Have fun painting!

159mstrust
Feb 1, 6:04pm

>157 RidgewayGirl: I think it will make the room look very different. I'm also going to switch around the artwork in that room, get a new standing lamp. I feel like changing things up.
>158 DeltaQueen50: Thanks! While I don't necessarily enjoy painting a room, I like the change. I'm lucky that Mike was employed by his aunt painting her apartment buildings when he was a teenager. He gets the edging and goes over my messy brush strokes.

160DeltaQueen50
Feb 1, 6:10pm

>159 mstrust: I am so bad at painting that I have been forbidden to pick up a paint-brush (which is fine by me). Be sure to indulge in tasty snacks to make the job go smoother!

161mstrust
Feb 1, 6:15pm

Ha, does snacking make painting better? The new color is very light so I should make sure not to get Cheetos dust in it.
Mike doesn't like my painting work and he used to tell me not to help, he'd do it. That was great. I think he's letting me do the bulk of this room because he rarely walks into it.

162DeltaQueen50
Feb 1, 6:18pm

>161 mstrust: Ha! Snacks make everything better. Actually a little orange Cheeto dust would make your room very interesting!

163hailelib
Feb 1, 9:06pm

Switching a few things around and a new color can make a room seem brand new. Enjoy your made-over library.

164mstrust
Feb 2, 1:21pm

>162 DeltaQueen50: If only Cheeto dust had some sparkle.

>163 hailelib: Thanks! It is going to look very different, probably a little bigger since this is a much lighter shade.

I'm taking a lunch break to give the first two coats a chance to dry a bit. We bought one coat paint but the green still shows through, so hopefully this next coat will do it, then Mike will finish the tops and bottoms tonight. I'm hoping this inspires him to repaint the family room downstairs. And I want my bathroom repainted too but I haven't sprung that on him yet. Patience.

165justchris
Feb 2, 1:24pm

>164 mstrust: I hope all the painting happens quickly and efficiently. I have some painting projects I've been procrastinating on...

166mstrust
Feb 2, 1:41pm

>162 DeltaQueen50: I took your advice and got myself a small bottle of Coke, my first in many weeks. The painting is going smoothly as a result.
>163 hailelib: Thanks, Chris! I think it's going as well as possible so far, fingers crossed. I'm glad I spread sheets on the furniture, even though he said it wasn't necessary, because it was.

167RidgewayGirl
Feb 2, 4:41pm

>164 mstrust: Yes, the problem is that once you get started, it's hard to stop. We did my daughter's old room, then my son's and I'm finishing up turning the spare room into a workable office space -- I'm sure that I'll finish that up just as we no longer have the slightest need for zoom meetings or working from home...

168mstrust
Feb 3, 10:08am

It just seems like once you get the ball rolling...getting him going on this first room has taken about a year of me saying it. I'm really hoping to get at least another room out of the momentum.

169mstrust
Editado: Feb 3, 10:46am



15. Vegas Tabloid by P Moss. Jimmy Dot is the dirtbag ringmaster of a weird little circus that suddenly became cool at The Fabulous Hotel and Casino. He signed a contract with the evil casino owner, Fuller, and now he's required to live in a casino penthouse, be paid more than he should ever have expected to see in his low-class lifetime, and he smiles for tourist selfies. He hates his life, mostly because his wife Jenny left him when he became a success.
Revson was a scientist who discovered that the pill to cure the common cold he was working on and got to final testing, has been shown to cause pancreatic cancer. He tracks down a famous investigative journalist at The Fabulous and pleads to have the pill and the pharma CEO investigated. That CEO, Randy Leeds, happens to be in The Fabulous too, and his opponents too often turn up dead, so Revson knows he's got a target on his back.

People with men who are cons and sociopaths, and women who are almost always prostitutes or being sexually abused. I can't say that I liked this because there were some scenes that were too graphic and perverse for my liking. 2.5 stars

This is a ROOT, and it completes my "Bookstore" category. I'll still keep going after I finish off a category, there are too many small bookstores to talk about.

170mstrust
Editado: Feb 3, 10:59am

We're looking at Pen and Pink Vintage Books in Indianapolis today.


Specializing in vintage literature and Indiana authors and non-fiction. This is a pretty little shop that also sells sketchbooks and journals.
https://penandpinkvintage.square.site/

171Tess_W
Feb 4, 4:55am

>170 mstrust: looks like a charming place! Were you enticed to buy anything? Also, yum to the jam flavors!

172mstrust
Feb 4, 9:10am

I haven't purchased from Pen and Pink. I'll be picking up an order from Poisoned Pen, my local indie, on Sunday. The owner called me yesterday to tell me she had just charged me a second time, for some reason.
All the jams sounded good so it was hard to choose. I believe the jars are about 10 ounces, so not small. It's a good deal.

173mstrust
Editado: Feb 5, 9:49am



16. Essential Herbs: Treat Yourself Naturally with Herbs and Homemade Remedies by Neal's Yard Remedies.
A coffee table book of herbs, with good color photos and a rundown of how to grow that herb, what it can do medicinally, how to cook with or make solutions with it, and where to find it in the wild. There's also a section on how to make body products, another on making teas and another of cooking recipes. What sets this apart from others of this kind that I've read is that it provides more specifics and the photos are very good, showing both the whole plant and the cuttings. 4 stars

This falls under my Restaurant category.

174mstrust
Editado: Feb 5, 10:06am

I told you there would be some Canadians dropping in!

Kasama Chocolate Bars are made in Vancouver, BC. A group of friends started sourcing cocoa beans from places like the Philippines and Papua New Guinea, and now they have a shop on Granville Island (when it's allowed to open). They make bars in flavors like smoked dark chocolate, goat's milk and blackberry white chocolate.
https://kasamachocolate.com/

They're wrappers are really cool but I couldn't find an image small enough. Check them out.

175quondame
Feb 5, 6:26pm

>173 mstrust: That sounds like a great reference as well as a coffee table book - funny, I never drink coffee or tea at the coffee table, but have wine or beer. Life is sure different for me than it was for my parents mid-20th century.

176mstrust
Feb 6, 9:24am

It would be a very handy book to have around. And I pretty much call any oversized or heavy book a coffee table book.
It is strange to have such a common piece of furniture named for a beverage that might sit on it. Mine would be the "water table".

The painting goes on, mainly because Mike is dragging out the last bit around the ceiling. He needs to buy another tray liner now. If I was 6'4" it would be done.
Our weather has gotten too warm. We've had a few days hit 80.

177JoshuaSullivan
Feb 6, 9:26am

Este usuario ha sido eliminado por spam.

178quondame
Feb 6, 2:48pm

>176 mstrust: The remote control table. There are at least 5 on it.
Actually there is a second up against the wall under the window that is the overflow craft material table. I've no idea specifically what's on it just now.

179DeltaQueen50
Feb 7, 1:24pm

>174 mstrust: In better times we would often go and wander around the public market on Granville Island, it's a great way spend an afternoon and put together a gourmet dinner as well! Can't wait until those days return and I can visit the Kasama location.

180mstrust
Feb 7, 6:51pm

>178 quondame: I have a heavy wood desk downstairs that belonged to Mike's grandfather but now is my carving desk, so it's covered in tools.
>179 DeltaQueen50: We ended up at the Granville Market so many times in the week we were there. It's so fun looking around there, and that's where I had maple cheesecake. Mmmmm, maaaple.

181mstrust
Feb 7, 6:58pm

We picked up my book order today, and also bought new things for the library re-do, a floor lamp, curtain rod and new curtains. Mike finished the last of the painting last night.
So this weekend would normally have been both the huge booksale and the chocolate festival. I would like to throw myself on the floor and have a fit but that would be immature and tiring. Instead, I've bought many bags of crispy M&Ms and among the books I picked up today, A Likely Story is a signed copy.

182Tess_W
Feb 8, 2:01am

>180 mstrust: Oh maple, I'm a maple lover! When my kids were little, I used to make a maple praline sauce for ice cream that was to die for!

183mstrust
Feb 8, 9:41am

I like maple enough that I've been putting together a book about it for nearly a year, creating recipes. I made a resolution to finish this year.

184Tess_W
Feb 8, 10:07am

>183 mstrust: Wow! I'm impressed!

185DeltaQueen50
Feb 8, 6:12pm

Maple is one of those flavors that can adapt to sweet or savory. I love brushing my BBQ Pork Chops with a mixture of maple syrup, garlic and herbs. Not quite as appealing as Maple Cheesecake but yummy nonetheless!

186mstrust
Feb 9, 9:02am

>184 Tess_W: We'll see how it turns out :-D

>185 DeltaQueen50: I do a maple pork glaze too. They go very well together, but, yeah, I'd still take maple cheesecake.

187mstrust
Feb 9, 9:05am

I've added a category to >6 mstrust: to catch the reads that don't fit into my challenges, like this next one.

188mstrust
Feb 9, 9:17am



17. The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley.
In the second of the series, Flavia attaches herself to a traveling puppet show after the puppeteer's van breaks down in Bishop's Lacey. Everyone knows who Rupert Porson is, as he has a popular BBC show that he's apparently walked away from to travel the country with his assistant, but is seems that only Flavia recognizes that Rupert is a horrible person and she doesn't like him a bit. The vicar persuades Rupert to put on a show for the little village, an exciting event, so everyone is there to witness the murder.

Another story of twists and long-held grudges, with young Flavia working hard to get to the bottom of it, while also battling with her older sisters. 4.5 stars

189mstrust
Editado: Feb 9, 9:34am

And here's the spin of the wheel for this wild card category:


Because Mardi Gras would be going on right now but has been cancelled, the people of New Orleans have come up with Yardi Gras this year. They've dressed their homes up as parade floats and they're pretty great. This celebration will last until the 16th.
https://www.neworleans.com/blog/post/yardi-gras-houses-new-orleans/

190thornton37814
Feb 9, 10:55am

>189 mstrust: My cousin says they are doing that in Mobile too.

191mstrust
Feb 9, 4:30pm

I think it's an excellent idea. And I'm thrilled to see the Schitt's Creek house.

192rabbitprincess
Feb 9, 6:28pm

>189 mstrust: I love the name! Perfect :)

193mstrust
Feb 10, 9:46am

Somebody there is a genius. I wonder if drunk women are flashing the houses in hopes of getting cheap beads thrown at them?

194justchris
Feb 10, 12:39pm

>92 mstrust: and >188 mstrust: Sounds like an excellent series to go on the TBR list!

>189 mstrust: Beautiful!

>183 mstrust: Tell us more! I've always wanted to do a travelogue cookbook on tamales.

195mstrust
Feb 10, 5:05pm

I really have enjoyed discovering Alan Bradley's series and I already have the third ready on my shelf. I think I'll be able to get to it next month.
I think your tamale book idea is great! I've read books about seeking out regional candies and the best pies, why not tamales?
My maple book doesn't have such resources, it's just the basics of maple grading and tapping, but I go into the different types of maple products, where to buy them and what to do with them. I have many original recipes included.

196justchris
Feb 11, 3:33am

>195 mstrust: Have you read Braiding Sweetgrass? She's got a whole chapter called "Maple Nation." Your book sounds lovely.

I don't have any resources for such a book, which is why it's only a concept. I'd need support from a publisher to underwrite/handle the travel, interviews, etc. Tamales can be very different through the Americas. In Central America, tamales are wrapped in banana leaves, and there are both savory and sweet varieties. In Mexico, of course, they're wrapped in corn husks, and I've only ever seen savory versions. And I'm sure Tex-Mex or New Mexican tamales are regionally distinct, same for different Mexican states. I could go on and on.

I tend to order anything cooked wrapped in leaves, so I'd totally be up for including Asian dishes that fit the bill. I've found examples at local Laotian restaurants, for example. I recently saw fresh lotus leaves for sale at a grocery store, and now I want to find and try whatever item is cooked in lotus leaves...

197mstrust
Feb 11, 10:07am

I've lived in border states my whole life, so I've always had tamales wrapped in the corn husks. I know exactly where to get hold of them, as we have a friend who makes them when she feels ambitious (they're so much work), and there's a shop here called The Tamale Store that is very popular and they make different flavors. And sometimes a lady goes around Mike's business complex and sells her homemade tamales, which she's done for years.
My own savory food obsessions are ramen and pork belly bao.

198mstrust
Editado: Feb 11, 10:09am


18. My Life with Sherlock Holmes by John H. Watson, M.D., edited by J. R. Hamilton. The doctor's examination of his famous friend through their conversations and his own observations, mysteries removed, so that it becomes a biography of Sherlock Holmes. These are the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle with some editor's footnotes that clarify or comment.
Published in 1968, I expected this to weave a new story but it really doesn't. I think only the Holmesian completest would need this. 2.5 stars, a rating that is for the book being unnecessary, not for A.C.D.'s writing.
I read this for this month's MysteryKit pastiche theme, and it's a ROOT. It's been on my shelf for five years

199mstrust
Editado: Feb 11, 10:19am


This is Acme Books in Savannah. They carry 10,000 new and used books, plus it's a donation site for the local VA center.
http://www.acmesalesandbooks.com/index.php

200quondame
Feb 11, 1:43pm

>196 justchris: Sweet tamales are a holiday thing among my friends who make them, so I know that Mexico also has them.

201mstrust
Feb 11, 4:00pm

I've been offered sweet tamales and just can't. To be honest, I'm not a fan of masa so I always pull the meat filling out and eat that.
I always order chicken mole or green enchilada style burritos. And mango margaritas!

202mstrust
Feb 11, 4:01pm

Hey! Come visit my new thread!

203RidgewayGirl
Feb 11, 5:17pm

>199 mstrust: I'll have to visit Acme Books the next time I'm in Savannah.

204mstrust
Feb 12, 9:53am

That'd be great, and you can tell us what you think of the store (and what you bought)!
Este tema fue continuado por mstrust's little yet fierce challenge- #2.