2021*1: Lizzie Reads with New Hope

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2021*1: Lizzie Reads with New Hope

Editado: Ene 18, 11:40pm

Our lovely May: adopted 11-9-2007, put down 1-18-2021. I love to look at her when she was young and healthy! We miss her very much.

Editado: Feb 26, 6:57pm

1. By Darkness Forged
2. *The Obsidian Mirror
3. People of the Book
4. *Ancient Bones
5. Milk Run
6. How It All Began

Into the House in January
1. Milk Run ✔ - Kindle
2. The Wheel of Time Companion - Christmas GC
3. Mexican Gothic - PBS
4. Underland
5. The City of Brass - Kindle Deal
6. Uprooted - Kindle Deal
7. Washington Black - Kindle Deal
8, Square Haunting

7. Visitor

Into the House in February
9. Sergeant Salinger - BLP ARC (but really the hardback first edition!)
10. Her Here - BLP uncorrected proof
11. Augustus: First Emperor of Rome - Kindle Daily Deal
12. Wonder Engine - Kindle
13. Book of Jhereg - Kindle
14. Emergence - AMP

*Review on Book Page

Editado: Feb 26, 6:58pm

Open for February Reading

(Just because they're open doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to get to them this month. *sigh*)

Editado: Ene 2, 11:59pm


Dic 27, 2020, 2:25pm

But better to have and not need than need and not have, Peggy. Happy to see you!

Dic 27, 2020, 3:27pm

I'm not sure I'm here either. I seem to have lost track of you, so I'm keen to follow along again.

Dic 27, 2020, 10:08pm

Welcome back! Enjoy your reading!

Dic 27, 2020, 10:22pm

Here or not really here, I'm here to say I'm so pleased you are back for another year.

Dic 28, 2020, 7:04am

I'm also not here.

Dic 28, 2020, 7:40pm

Well I'm here - 2021 cannot come a moment too soon. I look forward to seeing you when you are really here!

Dic 28, 2020, 8:40pm

Here, not here, whichever, welcome back!

Dic 29, 2020, 6:47pm

Not here huh? Me neither. Just joking, I am here :)

Happy nearly new thread!

Dic 31, 2020, 6:14am

Best wishes for a better 2021!

Dic 31, 2020, 6:13pm

Well, you may not be here but we're warming up your thread for you. :-)

Happy New Year, Peggy!!!!!

Dic 31, 2020, 6:13pm

Happy reading in 2021, Peggy!

Ene 1, 1:56am

And keep up with my friends here, Peggy. Have a great 2021.

Ene 1, 4:00am

Happy new year!

Ene 1, 4:10am

Happy New Year Peggy!

Ene 1, 11:38am

Happy New Year, Peggy. I'll stop back. I hope 2021 is good to you.

Ene 1, 11:48am

'Morning, Peggy, and Happy New Year!

Gentle hugs for your ma, kind regards to your DH, and lots of fierce hugs for you.

Ene 1, 6:11pm

'ullo, 'ullo, 'ullo....

Good to see you again, and a happy 2021.

Ene 1, 6:14pm

Keeping your thread warm Peggy whether you are here or not.
I'm leaving 2020 behind and not looking back, so I'm done with those 2020 threads that I could never catch up on anyway.

Ene 1, 6:59pm

Are you here yet? Happy 2021!

Ene 1, 7:01pm

Here's to a brighter, better, bookier 2021! I'll come back later to check out the top posts. ; )

Ene 1, 7:05pm

Happy New Year Peggy!

Ene 2, 12:29am

Richard! Helen! Lori! Paul! (And Paul again!) Mamie! Anne! Jim! Megan! Diana! Ellen! Anita! Susan! Rhian! Beth! Karen! Suzanne! Anne! Judy! Kim! Bonnie!

What a lovely, warming thing to arrive and find friends who care enough to speak to an itinerant! I can't tell you how much your speaking means to me. A LOT!

I wish you all a 2021 much freer of anxiety with many more opportunities for doing good and receiving good - and Happy Reading!

I'll work on the thread over the weekend.

Ene 2, 7:54am

I honestly thought I'd posted greetings here and now I see that I haven't. Well, shoot.

Happy New Year, Peggy! I'm happy to see you here in the 2021 group.

Ene 2, 12:36pm

Dropping off my and wishing you the best of new years in 2021!

Ene 2, 12:42pm

Roni and Laura, my heart would be pretty broken if you decided to stay away! Thank you for the visit.

Ene 3, 3:45pm

Oh, sweet May! Our Whistler is getting older and struggling in many ways. He keeps hanging on, though, and we love him so.

Ene 3, 3:52pm

Hi, Peggy, welcome back! Best wishes for the new reading year. :)

Editado: Ene 3, 4:35pm

Peggy, Happy New Year!

What a beautiful dog!!! Sadly, they leave us with sorrow, but oh so many wonderful memories.

Lilly suffers from arthritis. She loves snow. I always have a difficult time getting her to come inside when there is snow.
Here is Lilly, a ten year old Shetland Sheep dog (Sheltie):

Ene 4, 11:33pm

Hi, Liz! It's a treat to see you here. Wish I were still reading with you, but I'm hardly reading at all. *sigh*

Dear Anne and Linda, thank you for visiting and for thinking of May. Best to you both and to Whistler and Lilly! Living with them is worth so much more than the pain of losing them, and it is pain.


This is the last of the Ishmael Wang books, and I have mostly loved every one. No exception here! I'm not wild for the adventure. I'm less than entranced when he gets involved in a process (in this book Ish helps track down a nuclear bomb on a station in the Toe Hold). I love the day-to-day. I could read the formula for undocking or docking or jumping the ship a million times and not be bored although I'm sure that other people are bored by the second time. I don't know how much is comfort in time of pandemic, but I suspect it's just one of my idiosyncrasies.

Speaking of the pandemic, my county has 1,000 or so doses for us old folks. I'll start calling tomorrow to see whether I can get the vaccine for Mama and me. If they're all gone, I won't be surprised - and they don't start vaccinating until Wednesday.

Editado: Ene 5, 3:24pm

To do some time that is not tonight!

My 2020 in Books
Describe yourself:
Describe how you feel: Quarter Share
Describe where you currently live: At Home (duh)
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Utopia Avenue
Your favorite form of transportation:
Your best friend is:
You and your friends are:
What the weather is like:
You fear:
The best advice you have to give:
Thought for the day: Time Was Soft There
How you would like to die:
Where/what are you eating:
My soul’s present condition:
Special 2020 Category:

Ene 5, 3:40am

>33 LizzieD:

I miss you too, Peggy! It's funny, I think about our group read of Our Mutual friend quite a lot: how we started out arguing about the book and ended up dissecting it together. :D

Ene 5, 3:19pm

It was great, Liz: one of my best GRs here. I just don't have the mind for anything comparable right now.


I got the three of us signed up to receive our first dose of the Pfizer vaccine next Thursday!!!!!!!
A friend let me know that it was here, and then we saw it on our closest TV station's local news and found it on our local paper's online site. I started calling at 8:29 this morning, when they began taking calls, and hit redial for the 45 minutes I had before I had to come over to start Mama's breakfast. By 10:00 I had gotten through twice, but both times I held for 3 minutes without an answer until their system cut me off. Same friend texted to say that they had given up calling and gone to the office; vaccine was still available, and they got appointments. So I hot-footed it over there and got us into their system. Now if I just didn't pick up the virus in the waiting room ---- only one person there when I went in; 5 crowded together between me and the door by the time I left - all masked though.

Has anybody among the 75ers gotten it yet?

Ene 5, 3:43pm

>36 LizzieD: Excellent determination. I know a nurse who has had both doses, and joked that the second must have had the chip in it because it hurt more.

Ene 5, 5:10pm

Good news about y'all's appointment, Peggy! Come tell us about how the chip has trans-reversed your cranio-spatial vortex. If you can remember, that is.


Ene 5, 7:12pm

>36 LizzieD: WELL DONE PEGGY! I'm so pleased you're able to get vaccinated along with your DH and Mama. That's phenomenal. I think you might be the first person I know to get it, other than a couple of doctor neighbors.

Ene 5, 8:03pm

Congrats on getting the vaccine, Peggy. I had my check up today, and my provider told me he would be emailing me when supplies are available; I'll be in the next group. I did however, get two vaccines today, so both my arms are sore. One is the pneumonia vaccine, and the other is the first of two for the new shingles vaccine.

Ene 5, 8:07pm

Oh, yay! So glad you're getting a vaccine soon. I think Colorado is planning to vaccinate teachers in the next round - hopefully in a couple of months.

Ene 5, 11:28pm

Thanks for visits, Anne, Beth, Laura, Richard, and Helen!

I'm not sure what I think about NC deciding to put all 75+ people in their first wave. I'm grateful to have it, of course, but I sort of think people like grocery clerks and janitorial staff should have it along with medical staff and retirement home residents. And teachers! Yes, Anne. I would have been very unhappy with an early dictum here that teachers had to do their online classes from their classrooms rather than from home.

Beth, I'll be interested to know how you get along with the Shingrix. Both doses laid my DH low for a couple of days, and I can't quite volunteer for that if I were to react the same way. There are things that he just can't do for my mother even if he didn't have enough to fill his days here.

Thank you, Laura and Helen. I can really hardly believe it.

Richard, if the chip trans-reversed your cranio-spatial vortex, does that mean it might make me normal again? I obviously can't tell you how much I forget now.

Ene 6, 7:29am

>40 BLBera:, >42 LizzieD: The hubs and I both got the Shingrix vaccine last year, in March and July. We both had residual soreness at the injection site, but not in a debilitating way. Chris had a stronger overall reaction, though, feeling a bit off ("laid low" is a good phrase, Peggy) for the better part of the next day. I was afraid he'd try to dodge the second shot but he recognized that a day of feeling like crap was better than getting shingles. It's weird how reactions can vary so much.

Ene 6, 8:17am

>42 LizzieD: I was a little surprised that grocery store clerks are not included in a group until 3rd quarter in Tennessee. Many will be age-eligible before occupation-eligible. I'm age-eligible in the 2nd quarter.

Ene 7, 10:49am

Good work on scheduling those vaccines!

I had no reactions to the Shingrix vaccine either, except for soreness at the shot site. But I have heard of people laid low for a day or so. Still, better than shingles. I recall my mother's long siege years ago.

Ene 7, 12:08pm

Hi, Lori and Judy! Hope you and I and all of us are holding up mentally and emotionally after yesterday's horrors. Georgia, however, excites me.
Judy, my parents both have had shingles - my mama a couple of times in these past four years when I've been taking care of her. Both those times we caught them in early and the ??? pills worked. I at least have had the earlier shingles vaccine that is maybe 45% effective. Better than nothing.

Ene 7, 9:22pm

Hi Peggy!

I saw something on WRAL about the hospital in your town dispensing the vaccine - is that where you got it?

Ene 7, 11:20pm

Hi, Karen. Yes, that is where we'll get it next week - not at the hospital itself (which would likely be better) but in a doctor's former office. I'm not really happy about the small waiting room nor the fact that I'll have to persuade them to make some kind of accommodation to Mama's back. She can't be the only person who will have real trouble going in and sitting in a bad chair. That's another day's problem.

*sigh* I was expecting my one GC book to arrive by 8:00 P.M. yesterday. Instead, they are sorry that my book has been delayed. It's apparently somewhere between here and Waukegan - arrived there yesterday morning.

Ene 9, 9:34am

I had a sore arm, Peggy, otherwise no reaction to either vaccine.

Editado: Ene 10, 11:36am

Hi, Beth! I'm encouraged by good reports. Thank you!


This was an impulse, Kindle Daily Deal buy. I'll try to remember it the next time I'm tempted. Every offering can't be an Andy Weir or a Becky Chamberlain. It wasn't a complete waste of time and $, but it did have a distinct YA vibe (unintended, I believe) that I don't find appealing. I think that young teens might, but then, what do I know?

Coyotl, Queztalcoatl, and his evil twin whose name I won't even try to spell are involved with humans. The evil twin is using a Silicon Valley chip-maker to infect humans with such self-absorption that they don't pay attention to climate change. Mr. Q calls our heroine Sierra to disinfect the president of the company. She and her friends move from danger to danger and rescue themselves or are rescued.

I'm glad I'm done.

Ene 10, 6:23am

>50 LizzieD: Well I'm not rushing out to buy that one. >:-)

Ene 10, 11:36am

Hi, Helen. I wish I hadn't.

Ene 10, 1:29pm

Let me see --- I was laid low for a day by the Shingrix, but I always overreact to vaccines.

Chuckled over you and Richard and the 'chip'.

My husband, as a First Responder, has had vaccine #1 and gets #2 tomorrow -- then he does training for administering the vaccines locally. Vermont is gearing up for that when the vaccines that don't require the crazy cold routine start coming along. He felt nothing at all. But let me tell you, he is so so relieved to be on the way to having protection. So glad to be able to get back to the FR work (he was furloughed as he is over 65). His team is too. We're figuring out the hygiene routine when he does go out on calls again, since I won't be protected for who knows how long. I think I'm in group 3, over 65 but with no issues.

Ene 10, 11:02pm

Good for your Spousal Unit, Lucy, and glad to see you here vaccinated or not!

Ene 11, 6:18am

I only just discovered the beautiful photo of May in >1 LizzieD:. What a lovely dog. We also have an old lab with those characteristic fatty tumors. I hope you enjoy whatever time is left to you.

Ene 11, 12:25pm

Thank you, Laura. It's up and down, but the ups are never higher and the downs are ever lower. Much love to you and your lab too.

Ene 12, 8:33pm

I, too, just saw the pic of May. Sweet old girl. Yes, enjoy your time left with her.

Ene 14, 3:25pm

Thank you, Karen. May is much worse today, so we're down to the hard decision.

Meanwhile, I'm beyond furious. We just got home from our vaccine appointment unvaccinated. We arrived about 2:00 to register for the 2:15 appointment. The line outside was about 50 people long with the people nearest the door waiting for their 12:15 appointment. We (being Mama and I) waited in the car a little while and came on home. DH decided to stay in the line and was about #10 when he checked in a few minutes ago. I'm frankly terrified for him. There is no social distance, and when he gets into that tiny waiting room it will be worse. We can continue as we have been as long as he stays healthy, but it's a huge disappointment.

Ene 14, 4:15pm

>58 LizzieD: That...it's just...OOOOOOOO

Ene 14, 4:17pm

>58 LizzieD: That's so disappointing.

Ene 14, 5:29pm

>58 LizzieD: Sorry about May, Peggy, and how disappionting that the appointment fell through.

Ene 14, 7:04pm

>58 LizzieD: oh that's a real shame, Peggy. I'm so sorry.

Ene 14, 11:03pm

Thank you for sympathy, Richard, Helen, Anita, and Laura. My DH did get his shot at last and was home a bit after 4:00. He said that inside was a very small, unventilated zoo where distancing was impossible and the staff harried beyond endurance.
I'm going to bed.

Ene 15, 8:58am

Hi Peggy!

>58 LizzieD: and >63 LizzieD: What a horrible experience. Unforgivable. Why couldn't they have held the clinic at a place where people could social distance? Sheer stupidity.

I registered with my county online on January 6 but of course haven’t heard anything back even though 65+ can now get the vaccine. Tried UNC Healthcare, too, but after filling out their online questionnaire it said there are no appointments available. Sheesh.

Ene 15, 1:49pm

Peggy, I'm so sorry to hear of your experience in not-getting a vaccine. I think things are a mess everywhere. Here in Oregon, people over 65 are supposed to start getting them on Jan 23, but then I heard today that the state will not be receiving the number of vaccines expected. I'm trying to stay optimistic but who knows !

Ene 15, 7:31pm

Oh, Jan, I'm sorry! At least some people are getting them here, including me as of this afternoon. Our Health Department was accepting walk-ins, and I went to check out their process and felt comfortable enough to go ahead and get my shot. They had proper distancing enforced and enough personnel to deal with the numbers who came in. I was #131 and had to wait awhile but nothing like two hours. I'll make an appointment for Mama next week. Actually, other places have figured out how to do drive-throughs, and that makes sense to me.
Karen, I'm sorry it's not being easy for you. Keep at it! My friend in Chapel Hill and the couple at your F. Village were able to get vaccinated a Duke.
We still have May, but it can't be much longer.

Ene 15, 11:24pm

>66 LizzieD: Jim was pleased to get an appointment for a week from now, but today got an email saying the appointment was cancelled due to lack of supply. It seems to be happening all over NYC. What a mess.

Ene 15, 11:44pm

Oh, Judy. It is a mess. NC or at least my county seems to have plenty for now. I wish Jim may get it very soon!

Ene 16, 11:35am

Good news! I went to our Health Department yesterday, waited about 30 minutes properly distanced from everybody else waiting, and got my shot. I'll feel secure to take my mother back next week. She'll have an appointment and shouldn't have to wait even the 30 minutes.

PEOPLE OF THE BOOK by Geraldine Brooks

I really enjoyed this story of the Sarajevo Haggadah, a real medieval illuminated Jewish prayer book for celebrating the Seder. Brooks takes what's known, including some of the real-life stains and presents a compelling guess of how this treasure might have survived for nearly five hundred years. I may like this one even more than March and Year of Wonders, and I thought a great deal of both of them!

Ene 16, 3:54pm

>69 LizzieD: That was a good read indeed, then, Peggy? Are you planning to keep up with Author Brooks's output?

Happy weekend and quick vaccination *whammy*

Ene 16, 3:56pm

That is better news.

Editado: Ene 17, 12:02am

Glad to see you both, Helen and Richard! I agree with Lucy that some indefinable (by me anyway) thing is missing from Brooks to make her books five star reads. I have a copy of Caleb's Crossing, and I certainly intend to get to it one of these days.

ETA: I completely missed my Thingaversary and Lucy's on the 5th. Oh well. Happy Thinga to both of us! It's a great Thinga in my life for sure.

Ene 17, 12:16am

Belated Happy Thingaversary, Peggy!

Ene 17, 11:59am

Why thank you, Roni!

Ene 18, 2:46pm

Ugh, glad you finally got your shot. Sorry you'll have to go back with your mother. The entire vaccination seems like a disaster (no surprise I guess). Our governor announced Colorado received a fraction of the vaccines we were promised. Teachers were getting closer to the front of the line but I'm sure that's postponed now.

Ene 18, 8:23pm

Hi Peggy!

Happy Belated Thingaversary, and so glad you've gotten your first dose of vaccine.

Hmmm. Brooks. I loved Year of Wonders, didn't particularly care for People of the Book, and don't intend to read anything else by her. I realize I'm in a minority here.

Ene 18, 11:39pm

The vaccination business is a sad mess, Anne. I wish you may get yours soon though. I did file a concern with the hospital. A nice young woman took copious notes on our experience and assured me that hospital admin. will review the situation carefully. She said that they have increased the staff and hired somebody to manage the outside lines - both good things - but they have not addressed the size of the facility itself. Meanwhile, I called the Health Department all day to make an appointment for Mama's vaccination but couldn't get through.....a saga continuing tomorrow.

Thank you, Karen. I understand your reluctance to read more Brooks. I have a copy of *Caleb* and will read it eventually. (I think I've said that.) I'm eager now to read more Mary Doria Roberts, whose writing is on the same level as Brooks's for me.

We did lose our May today. This is what you get when you adopt and love a dog. Giving her up now was the kindest thing, but our hearts are sore.

Ene 19, 12:23am

>77 LizzieD: I am so sad about May. The best of friends, dogs leave so many good memories behind, but nothing to fill the void of their warmth against a thigh.

Editado: Ene 19, 7:25am

I'm sorry you had to say good-bye to May, Peggy. I agree with Susan's comment that nothing can ever fill that void. Three years on, we still keenly miss our dear Lilly even though we have two dogs that hang out with us every day. May will live forever in your hearts.

Ene 19, 8:32am

>77 LizzieD: Nowhere near getting vaccines to the populace at large here in Malaysia and then the government is likely to go cheap and buy Chinese. They will definitely not give it for free anyway and I will await the chance of having the UK Oxford vaccine when I can.

I currently have four family members down with COVID - mum, sister, brother in law and nephew. Only mum is in hospital and on a ventilator but Christian, my nephew, is at home and likely to be hospitalised if he gets any worse.

Ene 19, 9:16am

Peggy, I am so very sorry about your May. What Susan and Laura said is so very true.

Ene 19, 10:26am

Sorry to hear about may. Pets leave a big hole, even if it is the best thing for them to go.
>80 PaulCranswick: hope that they get better soon, Paul.

As a relatively healthy, under50 (albeit not by much any more), I'm right at the back of the queue. Never mind, I'm not going anywhere, I will wait my turn. I know a couple, both in their 80s, who attended the local drive through centre. He was driving and got jabbed in his right arm, through the window, his wife was in the passenger and she got jabbed in the left arm, through the passenger window. All done and dusted without even having to get out of the car!
For once we don't appear to be making a complete pig's ear of this. *finger's crossed*

Ene 19, 1:17pm

>77 LizzieD: Oh, I'm so sad with you, Peggy. It's so hard but still so kind to let her go.


Editado: Ene 19, 4:52pm

>77 LizzieD: So sorry you had to let May go, Peggy. She left her pawprints on the hearts that loved her.

Ene 19, 5:10pm

Oh Peggy, I’m so sorry about May. They’re in our hearts forever, but it’s so sad to say goodbye.

Ene 19, 11:10pm

Thank you for kind messages, Karen, Anita, Richard, Helen, Mamie, Laura, and Susan.

Paul, I hadn't realized that your dear mother was ill with the disease. I'm so sorry and concerned for all four of your family.

("make a complete pig's ear of it" is pretty wonderful, Helen. I've never heard that before!)

Ene 20, 1:41pm

Good luck with getting your mom the vaccine, Peggy.

Ene 20, 1:54pm

Peggy, belatedly getting to your thread to say happy new year but so, so sad to hear the news about your lovely May. Sending many hugs to you and fingers crossed you can get an appointment for your Mama to get the vaccine (also pleased to hear you and DH have been able to get jabbed).

Ene 20, 10:56pm

Thank you for the visit, Beth and Heather! I tried calling a couple of times today for Mama's appointment, but no luck. Mostly, we watched the inauguration and exulted! I am exalted!!!!!!!!!!!

Ene 21, 12:36am

Peggy, what did you think of Amanda Gorman's poem? I was exalted by it and it brought tears to my eyes. She is so gifted. What a fabulous day.

I'm so sorry to hear about May. We always know we're going to outlive our pets but, as time goes by, it becomes so hard to let them go.

Ene 21, 12:46pm

Thank you, Jan. I was greatly touched by Amanda Gorman. I think what she read sounded more like beautiful prose than poem, but you know what a contrarian I am. Whatever it was, it was deeply moving and I remain lifted up and SO relieved. To have even one day to wake up and not turn on news with a grimace is a real gift.
I have another appointment next week for my mother at the same place. I just can't get the Health Department where I walked in to answer the phone. Maybe they have their act a bit more together.

Ene 21, 2:00pm

Somewhere I have pix of May and Posey -- can't remember if they actually played a little or just wandered about in cheerful parallel play, but the pix are sweet. I will do my best to find them!

Amanda Gorman. Wow. Such poise as well. I am in awe. Parts were definitely poetry and parts were somewhere in between prose and poetry, but from what I've read she was struggling with it until the 6th and was then inspired and wrote feverishly. So, it is new. I bet she'll be dying to tweak it!

Editado: Ene 21, 8:23pm

May and Posey


Do you have others, Lucy?

Editado: Ene 22, 10:24am

I think so -- but I'll have to come through my photos! In the second one Po has on a classic 'corgi mischief' face -- she's ready to burst into action! What a wonderful visit that was!

Photo combing is more complicated than looking here -- they are all in their own memory thingie. That extra step!

Ene 22, 1:24pm

If photo combing is fun, have at it! That was a splendid visit. I loved it!

"Corgi mischief" and May swings her tail. Good time!

Ene 22, 2:05pm

>91 LizzieD: I tend to agree with you about Gorman's performance piece, it felt more like prose than poetry but whatever the heck it was she made it *extra* with that gorgeous delivery!

Happy weekend's reads, Peggy.

Editado: Ene 24, 12:08pm

Absolutely, Richard! Thank you, and I'm always happy to have you grace this thread.

ANCIENT BONES by Madelaine Bohme
I'll do my best to write a coherent view when I am not asleep. I'm not sure that I was coherent, but I did post my review of this ER ARC on the book page. I very much enjoyed the last third and was able to concentrate on the greater part of it without much trouble - not a given this year.

Ene 23, 11:42pm

I'm still too sleepy tonight to write about the bones, but Lowell doesn't demand any brain power at all (perfect for COVID reading).

MILK RUN by Nathan Lowell

This is not only set in the same universe as the Ishmael Wang books, but is pretty much like the last several in that series except that we have two young women protagonists, Natalya Regyri and Zoya _____. (Zee is pretty much a cipher in this book, and I'll have to look at her last name later. Nats is framed for killing an academy classmate and escapes to Toe Hold with Zee. They are maneuvered into taking positions on a smuggling mission which should have been a milk run but isn't. No brain required. Easy reading. I'm on to the next and sorry that there are only two more.

Ene 25, 1:05pm

Serendipity! I plundered the cave of my bedside table for a short something to get me through January (I'm almost on track to 75 by the end of the month; unprecedented in the past several years) and found P. Lively's How It All Began, which I am enjoying enormously. Thank you, unknown-any-longer recommender. I really must find some way to keep up with where I get BBs. Oh.... I have tags available, don't I?

The center of the action is a retired English teacher (ahem), and I love the passage on Charlotte's reading, some of which I will copy here:

"Forever, reading has been central, the necessary fix, the support system. Her life has been informed by reading. She has read not just for distraction, sustenance, to pass the time, but she has read in a state of primal innocence, reading for enlightenment, for instruction, even. ....
Thus has reading wound in with living, each a complement to the other. Charlotte knows herself to ride upon a great sea of language, of stories and situations and information, of knowledge, some of which she can summon up, much of which is half lost, but is in there somewhere, and has had an effect on who she is and how she thinks. She is as much a product of what she has read as of the way in which she has lived; she is like millions of others built by books, for whom books are an essential foodstuff, who could starve without."

Ene 25, 1:53pm

Hi Peggy!

I use tags extensively, so recommend them highly. I have that book on my shelves, too. Will I get to it this year? Possibly. I've now tagged it '2021 read'. *smile*

Ene 25, 2:13pm

>100 karenmarie: Good for you, Karen! I'm pretty sure you'll like it.
I use tags too. I see as a problem in this situation, though, that by the time I get and enter a book, I may have forgotten who recommended it. Hmmmm. I've never used my wiki. I guess that's a possibility.

Ene 25, 3:53pm

>99 LizzieD: I remember enjoying How it all Began greatly several years ago so glad to hear you are too. I want to say Beth/BLBera recommended it to me but looking at the review page I can see several prominent 75ers have reviewed it so who knows (I didn't tag mine either)

Ene 25, 3:54pm

>99 LizzieD: La Lively could be describing any of us here, couldn't she, with the line about starving without books.

I used to know people who just didn't read. I simply can not imagine what they do with that much...blank...time! ...then I remember TV exists...

*smooch* Good reading week ahead!

Ene 25, 6:14pm

Peggy, I adored How it All Began (gave it 4.5 stars). It was my second Lively book (the first was Moon Tiger), and turned me into a true Penelope Lively fan. You know, where you decide you'll read anything the author wrote and happily snap up their work in used bookshops. I've read probably half a dozen more of her novels since.

Ene 25, 11:15pm

I'm way behind you, Laura, but Moon Tiger is the only other Lively I've read. Heather, I'm glad to see that you loved this one too. I'll give all three of you credit for the BB; I could have ordered it after any of you recommended it.
Indeed, Richard! I feel the need to say the same things over and over, but really ---- I love LT because in RobCo it's much easier to count readers than non-readers. I have very few friends among the readers who stretch further than Kristen Hannah or Sue Monk Kidd. That's O.K. but it makes conversation about books a bit hard.

Ene 25, 11:57pm

>99 LizzieD: Lovely quote!

Ene 26, 7:49am

I always forget to tag my books as well, Peggy, but some kind person always is willing to take credit, especially if one loves the book. I did love How It All Began, which reminds me that I have several unread Livelys on my shelves.

Ene 26, 12:53pm

Hi, Roni and Beth! Always glad to see you here! I think that having books Lively on the shelves is a GOOD THING!

Ene 26, 3:39pm

>99 LizzieD: I always get a buzz when I see a friend reading and enjoying Penelope Lively. She was my very first pick for the British Author Challenge back in the day and some probably hadn't seen my main motivation for choosing her was that her late husband Jack Lively was my tutor at University. I cannot claim to know Penelope Lively or even to have met her properly but I did see her with her husband at one or two events at Warwick Uni back in the 80s (before the success of Moon Tiger).

Ene 26, 11:04pm

Lively is Lovely, Paul! I always appreciate literary connections, even those more tenuous than yours. Thanks for that info!

I rarely read novels in which the central character is my age and a retired English teacher too. This one is just right - not demanding but not entirely lightweight either. I was reading earlier that Charlotte, like me, is unable to read her normal choices (she was mugged and broke her hip during the robbery), so she takes *Da Vinci Code* to her doc's apptmnt. She finds it unreadable, but the woman waiting with her is pleased to see it. Charlotte wonders about the pretension of somebody reading Dante, for instance, in a waiting room. Made me smile.

Ene 28, 6:53pm

>99 LizzieD: Hi Peggy.
How it all Began is one of my most favourite P-Lively novels. Her 'voice' sure comes through. She is very adept at catching the hidden nuances not just of how dreadful it is to lose one's independence, but also that difficulty that faces the elderly: keeping useful and staying in charge of one's own life.

Also wanted to send supportive 💙💜💖 and understanding about the loss of your lab. Dogs are amazing companions, aren't they?

Ene 28, 11:38pm

Hi back, Sandy, and thank you for the visit. We miss our May, and I thank you for your sympathy. I did enjoy *HiaB* very much. It's funny. I'm Charlotte's age, but as far as identifying with anybody in the care of an old parent, I identified with Rose. I am still the one who relegates my lovely 99 year-old mother to 7 year-old status (as Charlotte complains). It's hard not to.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN by Penelope Lively

This was perfect pandemic reading: short, lively, astute, funny, thoughtful! I guess it would be good reading any time. I have quoted Charlotte, the central character, on reading. I particularly enjoyed her ruminations on the past as contrasted with her daughter Ruth's discussion with her friend. Since I've already said as much as I want about the book as a whole, I'll quote from those two passages and let that be enough. (Ooops. I should add that Ruth works for an old historian, who is working on his memoirs, and he is contrasted with an up-and-coming young man looking to make his academic mark.)

Charlotte (reflecting on vivid memories): "Why had these particular moments lodged? Well, lodge they have, and thanks be. Without them, one would be - untethered. What we add up to, in the end, is a handful of images, apparently unrelated and unselected. Chaos, you would think, except that it is the chaos that makes each of us a person. Identity, it is called in professional speak."

Rose and her friend Sarah: ".... Goodness - most of life goes down some plughole"
"Just as well ...Overload - if you had to carry it all around."
"Instead of which - a few bits and pieces...."
"Idle thoughts. Whose turn is it to pay for the coffee?"

I like it. Same thing, but what a difference in emphasis!

Ene 29, 2:19pm

The quotes remind me of what an amazing writer Lively is. How It All Began was the first I read of her books and love it as you do. The contrast between the two quotes above is perfect. You've reminded me that I need to read more of her books.
Have a great weekend!

Ene 29, 4:08pm

Hi Peggy! Glad that How It All Began answered the Call. We really *need* these reads at this moment. Things are brighter and happier with someone in charge whose purpose is to lead, not destroy, the response to the plague, but we're still all pretty fragile.

Ene 31, 3:31pm

Hi, Peggy! I think I need to put How It All Began on my list now—Moon Tiger is floating around there already.

Feb 3, 7:11pm

Hi Peggy--I lost track of your thread for a bit and am so sorry to hear about your dear dog.

But very glad to see all the Penelope Lively love here. How it All Began was my first Penelope Lively and I loved loved loved it. I've since read several others, but that one remains my favorite. Reading your comments brought it all back to me.

Feb 4, 12:16am

Jan, Richard, Emery, and Anne! How nice of you all to visit and to express Lively love for the most part! My reading has certainly dwindled since I finished *HiaB*, so I really have nothing to say. Sad!

Feb 5, 11:48pm

HOORAY!!!!! We got my mama and Moderna shot #1 together this afternoon with not much trouble. Now we all are working on some level of protection. So relieved!

Feb 6, 12:14am

>118 LizzieD: Great! I hope for a smooth path of you, your mama and of course all the rest of us to vaccinated future!

Feb 6, 9:35am

Great to hear that your mother got her first shot, Peggy.

Feb 6, 10:12am

Hi Peggy! Happy Saturday to you.

Yay for getting your mama's first shot.

I got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Thursday, and the relief is, if not overwhelming, very noticeable.

Editado: Feb 6, 11:36pm

Susan, Beth, and Karen, thank you for the visit and the rejoicing. I will be SO GLAD when all of us here are as protected as we can be.
On our walk this morning, we ran into the recent widow of one of our classmates. He had had heart surgery some time ago and was diabetic when he got COVID. She said, "I guess I didn't realize how serious COVID was and didn't get him to the hospital soon enough." We were both dumbfounded. She is not stupid or uneducated. DH's comment after we left her was, "This is really a disease of ignorance." Meanwhile, Billy is dead, and I'm sorry.

Feb 6, 4:27pm

What a sad story, Peggy. Your DH has a point. While COVID can strike even those most knowledgeable of the disease, there are so many stories of the impact on less-informed people, as well as deniers. I feel sorry for those folks.

Feb 6, 11:36pm

Hi, Laura. That's the truth. COVID is indiscriminate, but my mind boggles that people are taken by surprise. It's a heart breaker.

Feb 6, 11:44pm

Enjoying the continued warmth for Penelope Lively, Peggy.

>122 LizzieD: What a sad and touching post. Sorry to hear about your friend. xx

Editado: Feb 7, 11:31am

>118 LizzieD: Great news!

>122 LizzieD: Oh, that's so, so sad. So sorry to hear that.

I've seen lots of stories here saying that Covid can have an effect on someone's blood oxygen levels without it being very noticeable (i.e. you don't feel short of breath) and that can lead to a sudden deterioration. So, I think even for someone who is aware of how serious an illness it can be it can be difficult to identify the go to hospital point. (Recommendations are home blood oxygen monitors which are about £20 here).

Feb 7, 12:00pm

That's a generous attitude, Heather. I'll try to think that way - except that if any of us three had even sniffles, we would head for a testing site immediately. Oh well. We'll continue to be very, very, very careful and hope one day to get some semblance of normality back.

Hi, Paul!

Feb 7, 2:28pm

Hi Peggy, it is all sorts of fabulous that your vaccine rollout has now included your household.

We're probably not getting immunized before the fall at the earliest. And the Hubs is a candidate especially as he's in a vulnerable category. We just stay as isolated as ever possible and are grateful our city is small, so crowded grocery shopping venues at opening times for seniors are not happening.

Feb 7, 6:59pm

>128 SandyAMcPherson: The FALL??? Oh, that's awful. I hope your area gets its act together and gets you the vaccine before then.

Feb 7, 11:28pm

>128 SandyAMcPherson: Oh my soul, Sandy! I echo Judy (Hi, Judy), that's awful! Surely, surely they'll do better than that for you. We have been very, very careful. This will be the 8th time I've been anywhere in public since March 14 of last year. All of my outings have been medical: flu shot, Prolia shot, trying to line up the vaccine for us and then getting it. Sort of like Karen, I haven't gotten any take-out at all in that time. In mid-March when we should all be protected, I am going on a take-out binge. I can't tell you how tired I am of my own cooking.

Meanwhile, I'm reading very little ...... some Visitor (the kyo are FINALLY on station) and still the introduction to Herodotus and a bit now and then of the E. Wharton bio. I like it all, but by the time I sit down to read, I'm tired and fall asleep.

Feb 8, 9:45am

'Morning, Peggy!

>122 LizzieD: Your DH got it right, "This is really a disease of ignorance."

>130 LizzieD: Sort of like Karen, I haven't gotten any take-out at all in that time. If you mean me, Bill and I get takeout every Saturday, but I always get something hot. I will only eat salads that I make at home and don't get coleslaw either. For some reason the idea of someone touching all those cold vegetables makes me leery, whereas a pizza hot out of the oven or a hot sub and onion rings or even Bojangles chicken tenders hot out of the fryer seem safe. I've got a hankering for Hot and Sour Soup but don't want to go to a different restaurant yet, so if I get tofu, fresh ginger, and green onions, can make it at home.

Hello to your DH, gentle hugs for your ma, and hugs for you.

Feb 8, 10:47pm

Yes, you're the Karen that I'm "sort of like." I know that you do some takeout but nothing like most folks. I was just on my way over to your thread, so I'll see you there!

Yay for Molly at Bellevue Literary Press, who just sent me two reading copies!

Editado: Feb 9, 1:22pm

Here resting my back and recovering from minor disaster....... In my mother's little old house, I mistimed flushing the toilet with the climax of the washer's spin cycle and forced sewage back up into the shower, the lav, and onto the floor. My DH helped clean up and is reaming out the line again, poor soul. I was cleaning and just didn't hear the spin cycle start. Oh woe.

Kind of trying not to watch the first impeachment session and kind of failing.

Feb 9, 1:24pm

>133 LizzieD: oh dear Peggy. That's no fun at all.

Feb 9, 2:07pm

Good news on vaccines, bad news on plumbing. hopefully only a brief disaster.

Feb 9, 2:17pm

Oh dear on the plumbing problems. That's not what you want.

Feb 9, 9:14pm

>133 LizzieD: Sending massive sympathy on having to cope with this unpleasant job.
I hope you can resolve the plumbing problem, so it won't happen again.

Feb 9, 10:43pm

Thanks for all the plumbing sympathy, Sandy, Helen, Anne, and Laura! It could have been worse. It certainly has been, but even so - gah. If you have been fortunate enough not to live with ancient plumbing, be thankful!

Feb 9, 11:29pm

>138 LizzieD: I am always thankful for well working plumbing. Civilization sure isn't perfect, but I do like it's advantages.

Feb 10, 11:26am

So do I, Susan, fervently! After being without water for so long following Matthew, I'm grateful for water at all - even in a system that has to be pampered!

Feb 10, 3:43pm

Our plumbing is vintage 1950s. It works...but not too well. Ah well, the fact that it was a hotel once means a lot of things were once state of the art that aren't now.

And your plumbing awfulness plus watching the impeachment? A perfect simile for what the former president's "legal team" did all over the Senate: Spewed things best flushed away.


Feb 10, 8:30pm

>141 richardderus: second sentence, spot on.

I am so sorry about your gross plumbing incident. Bleagh.

Feb 10, 11:53pm

>141 richardderus: As usual, Richard, you nailed it.

Thanks, Lucy.

Today, in spite of watching the proceedings all day - chilling, I also managed to read some Visitor and some E. Wharton bio. I might, someday, finish something and move on!

Feb 11, 9:35am

Hi Peggy!

>133 LizzieD: Yikes. Sorry about the plumbing issues. Just what you don’t need on top of Everything Going On In The World. I haven’t been watching the impeachment, just check on my news websites (WaPo, NYTimes, CNN, etc.) and the occasional YouTube video. If I’m in the kitchen for any length of time, I listen to NPR.

Feb 11, 1:19pm

Very smart, Karen. As you know, Mama has the TV on All. The. Time. I'm not in there right now, but I can sort of hear it.

Feb 11, 4:09pm

Plumbing problems. Ugh. I must say I was extremely grateful when the hot water came back to my apartment a few days ago.

I've been dipping into and out of the impeachment trial these last few days. Painful, and more painful to think that the Republicans will not show their courage when it comes to the vote.

Feb 11, 11:36pm

Hello, Judy, and thanks for the visit. I'm rejoicing for your return to hot water too. Let me lose electricity 10 times rather than water once!

I've watched a lot of the trial. I think that the managers have done a brilliant and convincing job. I can't get myself to understand how anybody could pay attention and not be convinced. I've tried and tried to think of something that I could write that would touch Richard Burr, who almost had a moment of clarity before the first impeachment. Nothing comes to mind.

VISITOR by C.J. Cherryh
This is #19 in the series. While too much of the first third or so is spent in Bren's head going over and over and over the same territory, the book picks up for me when he starts working on his real job, thinking about the alien language he's about to deal in again. (I guess I should say that the alien kyo are approaching atevi earth for a visit, but Bren & Co. can't be sure who are coming or why.) When the kyo arrive, I'm a happy reader. I'll add that Cherryh must have done some subliminal foreshadowing because I was pretty much expecting this book's big reveal. That didn't diminish the pleasure.

Feb 12, 6:55pm

>142 sibylline: I was just thinking the same, Lucy (what RD said at 141)

Feb 13, 12:19am

Agreed, Sandy!

Feb 14, 11:03am

Hi Peggy!

>147 LizzieD: I was amazed that Richard Burr voted to convict Trump. However, it’s only because he’s not going to run for the Senate again. It’s a good thing for the wrong reason. Tillis, on the other hand is despicable.

Feb 14, 12:04pm

Hi, Karen. As I suggested, I wasn't completely surprised that Burr voted guilty. He kind of almost stood up to DJT about James Comey. I'll admit that I cried when he said, "Guilty." Had a brief flare of hope that others of his ilk would act on conscience. Oh well. I also question whether he'd have done it if he hadn't already announced that this was his last term, but at least he took a stand for truth. He's going to face some unpleasantness in any case, so I'm willing to cut him a bit more slack than you. (I do find the insider action at the outbreak of COVID unconscionable.)

Editado: Feb 14, 4:24pm

>150 karenmarie: Same situation with PA's Pat Toomey. He was a loyalist and a pain in the a** for four years, but he's changed his tune on a few things now that he doesn't need to worry about his political future.

Hi Peggy!

Feb 15, 12:56am

I am of course more detached than you on the Impeachment Trial, Peggy. I think that the result was satisfactory really. He cannot really claim acquittal given that 57/43 voted for conviction - a failure to convict is all and that was inevitable and would have also raised further issues of what to do next.

The Republican's best chance in 2024 was to convict. The airhead will stand again - not get accepted by the Republicans and then split their vote standing as an Independent.

Feb 15, 1:05am

>152 lauralkeet: Wait, Toomey finally did something worthwhile???

Hi, Peggy! Have a nice week!

Feb 15, 9:51am

Hi, Laura, Paul, and Emery!

Well Paul, DJT and his sycophants are again claiming victory all over the place. You're right that the rest of the world knows how to judge that, and meanwhile, maybe the rest of the world can move on.

On the home front....... Mama fell last night; didn't break anything, DG, but is sore this morning. We had EMTs in to get her up, but she was able to walk to her bed. They checked her out, and we had a pretty good night. I do want to get her moving, but we'll have to see. If you pray, please add a prayer for her and me too.

Feb 15, 10:14am

I'm sorry your mama fell. Keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers.

Thank goodness she didn't break anything. I hope any soreness goes away quickly.

Feb 15, 11:17am

I'm sorry to read about your mama's fall. I hope she's feeling okay today.

Feb 15, 11:48am

Thank you, Laura and Karen! She was able to get up this morning and move to her chair and to the bathroom and back again. I was very much afraid for her to be stuck in bed with all that that entails.

Feb 15, 12:05pm

Prayers from these tropical climes duly sent. Peggy for you and your mama. As far as I am aware some very light exercise is probably advised so that your mama doesn't stiffen up unduly after her tumble.

Feb 16, 5:04pm

So sorry to hear about your mama's fall, Peggy, and so fortunate that she didn't break anything. I'll definitely keep her in my prayers.
I finally got an appointment for my vaccine shot. I am so relieved just to have a confirmed date!
Have a good week.

Feb 16, 9:39pm

Hooray for your shot upcoming, Jan! GLAD to hear it.
Thank you, Jan and Paul, for prayers. I was just saying that she's making good progress, but it gets harder every time. She hurts and can't always remember why and certainly can't remember how much worse other times have been.

CLOCKWORK BOYS by T. Kingfisher

Thanks to Tui and Heather for sending BBs my way for this fun fantasy. Four flawed characters on a dangerous quest sounds familiar, but T.K. (who is really children and YA author Ursula Vernon) spins the story charmingly. I love the characters and their world, and I'm eager to move on to part 2 in The Wonder Engine.
Heads Up, Fantasy Fans!

Feb 18, 9:26am

>161 LizzieD: Hi Peggy, those stories by Kingfisher sound wonderful.
I never heard of this author before. and the need for 2 books to get to the end of the quest is a compelling attraction...
I laughed when I clicked the touchstone, "A paladin, an assassin, a forger, and a scholar ride out of town." What an amusing hook, AND, I keep collecting BB's from you!

Feb 18, 12:27pm

Hi, Sandy. I'm delighted to pass on what was given to me. You will almost surely enjoy the whole book of getting there!

Feb 18, 8:20pm

>161 LizzieD: Oh, that one sounds like a lot of fun, I should give it a shot!

Feb 18, 10:42pm

You absolutely should, Emery. I, on the other hand, can't settle to anything - even part 2 of *Clockwork*. It's true that you eventually finish a book if you read 5 or 10 pages a day, but that's a sad way to go about things.

Feb 19, 10:34am

I'm sorry to hear about your mother's fall, Peggy. Fingers crossed that she will be back to normal soon.

Feb 19, 1:03pm

Thank you, Beth. That's my fervent wish too!

Feb 20, 9:23am

'Morning, Peggy!

I hope your dear mama is continuing to improve after her fall. So scary for all of you.

I'm still scheduled for a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday, even got a confirming text from UNC Healthcare AND an email with same.

Happy reading to you.

Feb 21, 8:47pm

Stopping by to say hello here. Have that Kingfisher series wishlisted!

Feb 21, 10:47pm

Hooray for the second dose, Karen! GOOD for you! Mama is scheduled for her second shot Friday, and we should be able to do that if she keeps progressing. Thank you for good wishes.

I think you'll love the Kingfisher when you get to them, Lucy!

I have a lot of handsome stuff open for reading, but I'm only able to do *Wheel 12* at the moment. Since there's a lot of it, that's O.K. I'll get hungry for something else soon, I'm sure.

Feb 22, 1:06am

So sorry to hear about your mother's fall but I'm glad she is progressing and I hope the progress continues. My daughter took a painful tumble on some ice today, but 17-year-old bodies are much more forgiving, aren't they?

Feb 25, 12:38pm

Hi Peggy!

I hope your mama is continuing to improve and that she'll be able to get her second dose of vaccine on Friday.

I got my second dose yesterday and so far no side-effects.

The Dick Francis SHARED Read March - April thread is up: March - April, Odds Against

Feb 25, 1:06pm

Thank you all around, Karen. I've read about half of Banker. For some reason it has never been among my favorite DFs. I do have a positive vibe about Odds Against!

Feb 25, 1:12pm

Hiya Peggy. Mama's second shot going okay *whammy*s heading southward. I hope she has no side effects. Recovering from a fall is tough enough at "plenty-nine."


Feb 25, 11:36pm

Thank you, Richard! All good *whammy*s are much appreciated.

Feb 26, 6:32am

>161 LizzieD: Hooray! So glad you enjoyed The Clockwork Boys. I find her books very comforting.

So sorry to hear about your Mama's fall but glad to hear she is slowly recovering and that she will get her second dose of the vaccine today. Sending good thoughts for everything to go smoothly.

Feb 26, 1:01pm

Thank you, Heather!

UPDATE with rampant stupidity: Today should have been the day of Mama's second shot. As we were getting ready this morning, I looked at the appointment sheet again - March 5. I could swear that the person who handed us the sheet said, "February 26," but I may have simply assumed the whole thing since today was the three week mark. I'm trying to be a big girl about it, but being set back a week is hard. I'm on duty here about 23 hours a day, and it's wearing. I don't know exactly what we're going to do, but I can't keep this up indefinitely. Not a problem for today though.

Ayer, 8:28pm

>177 LizzieD: Perhaps of comfort is knowing that coping with a pandemic has certainly affected everyone with any sensibility. Being worn out and not sleeping well has taken a toll on many of my family and close friends. All the resulting adaptations we've made to change how we do just about *everything* makes ordinary activities and responsibilities so much more exhausting.

You've clearly carried a big responsibility and so efficiently and with love. I believe you deserve the grace to forgive yourself. Know that what you're doing is so commendable, Peggy. It is a big burden and hard to lay down such a weary load. I hope there are resources to give you some respite.

Ayer, 10:24pm

Thank you, Sandy. Indeed, I don't have to compare my lot with many before I realize how easy I have it. We're trying a toilet chair beside the bed tonight. If Mama can manage that, I might be able to go home tomorrow night. I can do 12 hours a day forever, but the non-stop duty and the interrupted sleep have been hard.
Meanwhile, my reading is almost non-existent. When I do pick up a book, it's either Suicide Run or *Wheel 12*. Maybe I really will finish that monster series this year!