Susan/quondame may have something to say about books in 2021 - 1

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Susan/quondame may have something to say about books in 2021 - 1

1quondame
Ene 1, 2:03am



Well, it’s finally 2021. Let’s hope we make a better job of this year than the last. I continue to age surrounded by dogs and books and dolls and other miniature things, including books for my dolls. I have downloaded the spreadsheet to keep track of book details for 2021, but will report statistics sparsely even if I do manage to keep them.

2FAMeulstee
Ene 1, 4:48am

Happy reading in 2021, Susan!

3SandDune
Ene 1, 5:42am

Happy New Year Susan!

4CDVicarage
Ene 1, 6:38am

Happy New Year!

5Crazymamie
Ene 1, 8:31am

Susan, wishing you happy in 2021.

6msf59
Ene 1, 8:49am

Happy New Thread, Susan. Happy New Year! Glad we are turning the page on that one.

7PaulCranswick
Ene 1, 9:16am



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

8drneutron
Ene 1, 9:30am

Welcome back! I love that topper pic.

9cbl_tn
Ene 1, 9:49am

Happy new year! Being surrounded by dogs, books, and dolls sounds lovely. I don't have dolls, but I do have bears, and some of them have books!

10richardderus
Ene 1, 10:23am

Happy 2021. It's going to be a bumpy start, but I'm wondering if the ride won't smooth out as we go along.

11DianaNL
Ene 1, 10:42am

Best wishes for a better 2021!

12lauralkeet
Ene 1, 12:37pm

Hi Susan, best wishes for a happy new year!

13Narilka
Ene 1, 6:11pm

Happy New Year!

14Berly
Ene 1, 6:14pm

>1 quondame: Love that image!! Here's wishing you happy, healthy 2021. Love seeing you around. : )

15thornton37814
Ene 1, 7:22pm

Enjoy your 2021 in books!

16brenzi
Ene 1, 7:47pm

>1 quondame: Love this! Happy New Year Susan!

17EBT1002
Ene 1, 8:39pm

Happy New Year, Susan!

18figsfromthistle
Ene 1, 9:06pm

Hi Susan!

Happy New Year!

19jessibud2
Ene 1, 9:06pm

Happy new year and new thread, Susan.

20ronincats
Ene 2, 12:30pm

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

21BLBera
Ene 2, 1:34pm

Happy New Year, Susan. I hope 2021 is a good one for you.

22mahsdad
Ene 2, 2:38pm

Happy New Year Susan!

23johnsimpson
Ene 2, 4:17pm

Hi Susan my dear, i have starred you and will be a regular visitor dear friend.

24quondame
Editado: Ene 3, 3:53pm

1) Elatsoe



An interesting entry into the teen supernatural investigators category, this one has a the distinction of a Lipan Apache sensibility and an ace central character. The body count get way high and the impact of the body count stays low. And the magic is dangerous, but we use it and it works dynamic was a bit unbalanced. The tiny chapter heading illustrations are charming.

Read for January TIOLI Challenge #15: Read a book featuring juvenile detectives or adventurers

25quondame
Ene 3, 3:52pm

Well, I had a bit of a scare. On the 31st, returning from a 3 library drop-off run, I could not find my kindle in its bright orange new case, purchased because the black case kept disappearing into the upholstery (why do most cars come with summer-deadly black upholstery?!) and other dark surfaces. Becky checked for it and I checked for it, but last night Mike found it between the seats. He suggests I only take the old kindle when I go out.

26Whisper1
Editado: Ene 3, 4:30pm

Susan, What a pretty cover for your kindle. I can imagine your relief when it was found.

I note you collect dolls. I also have quite a collection.

My favorite are dolls crafted by Annette Himstedt
and Julie Good Kruger.

Both no longer are in the doll making business. Still, I find those I do not own on Ebay. As with books, I think I've collected far too many dolls.

Samples of some dolls made by Julie Good Kruger


Samples of some dolls made by German artist Annette Himstedt


27quondame
Editado: Ene 3, 5:11pm

>26 Whisper1: Thank you! It is fun isn't it. And very visible.

The dolls of my childhood, Madame Alexander and Barbie, were what I first sought. In the 1990s I replaced what I could of my childhood dolls and went wild with a rather large income with the 16" fashion dolls, Gene, Tyler, Alex, that came out then. With the dot com crash my random collection slowed almost to a stop, but now that I've re-found the Hitty group, I'm fitting her out with friends and furniture quite rapidly.

Alas, I'm afraid our taste in dolls is quite different. I do not care for sad faced dolls with reproachful expressions, however artistic and lovely. For me it's almost always all about the wardrobe. I've been known to spend more on a doll's outfit than on one of mine.

28Storeetllr
Ene 3, 5:24pm

>25 quondame: Whew! (I love the orange cover!)

Happy New Year!

29richardderus
Ene 3, 7:59pm

>25 quondame: What a completely wonderful cover! I can understand Mike's advice...I'd be forlorn for months if my Fire tablet went the way of all flesh.

30quondame
Editado: Ene 21, 11:20pm

2) Pirate Stew



Fun, silly, bright.

I'm reading The World Doesn't Work That Way, but It Could which is hard going. The first story was stunning, but ever since the so on message is beating me down.Then I tried Enchantment but I don't think evangelizing the next life changing product is in my future, and I remember that Xerox had GUI before Macintosh, so there's that.

Meets January TIOLI Challenge #12: Read a book by an author that you have read before

31humouress
Editado: Ene 4, 12:22pm

Happy New Year and happy new thread, Susan!

>25 quondame: That's a gorgeous cover for your Kindle (but it looks like it didn't do it's job) ;0)

32richardderus
Ene 4, 1:18pm

>30 quondame: The World Doesn't Work That Way, But It Could does feel a touch preachy if read in one go. I spaced it out over two days between the stories, that was easier on me.

33quondame
Ene 5, 7:25pm

3) Phoenix Extravagant



An aspiring artist in a recently conquered region tries to find work with the new regime causing their sister to disown them and making them subject to forces darker than they had imagined. Fast moving and interesting enough to be worth the time, but not working well enough in all its parts to convince me that it's worth recommending.

Meets January TIOLI Challenge #4: Read a book to help me celebrate my 50th birthday

34quondame
Ene 5, 7:37pm

>28 Storeetllr: Thanks!

>31 humouress: But it has worked already an embarrassing number of times already and can hardly be blamed for ending up edge up between car seats.

>32 richardderus: It's going to be more than 2 days for me. Probably more than 2 weeks. That and Reconstruction which first thought a GN and would read quickly because it wouldn't display properly on my kindle, just do not go down easily. Maybe I should skip to Piranesi.

35humouress
Ene 6, 7:56am

>32 richardderus: The title or the book?

36calm
Ene 6, 8:59am

Happy New Year Susan. Great Kindle case :)

37BLBera
Ene 6, 10:37am

I love the cover of your Kindle, Susan.

38quondame
Ene 6, 3:30pm

>36 calm: >37 BLBera: Thank you calm & Beth!

39quondame
Editado: Ene 6, 3:42pm

4) The World Doesn't Work That Way, but It Could



There are some treasures here, particularly the first story. If a shrill voice was appropriate for telling any story, the rape of the US by DT's administration is that story which is repeated here in fugues and variations. These stories hardly go down at all, much less easily.

Since I started it Christmas Eve and had to resolve to finish it, it
Meets January TIOLI Challenge #13: Read a book that fulfills a New Year's reading resolution

OK, I did manage to get through it before the library took it back from me this evening. Now for something frivolous (I wonder if I will ever get back to Reconstruction.

40quondame
Ene 7, 12:15am

Aside from our national drama I had a rather wrought day, starting with being woken up my Gertie retching on the bed. More loads of laundry than I care to count later, I've finally made it through the threads and got a bit of reading in. Gertie is sleeping calmly though her appetite is still a bit off, which is not at all her usual thing. Well, the sheets were pretty much due for a wash anyway, though my comforter wasn't nor the clothes I pile at the end of the bed.

41quondame
Ene 8, 5:33pm

5) The Burning City



This is pretty much my favorite Niven/Pournelle outing, but the cute anagram naming and the conceit that this is our prehistory were bigger drags this reading than the last. I would have loved a map.

Re-read for January TIOLI Challenge #17: Read a book which starts with a conflagration

42quondame
Editado: Ene 9, 1:00am

6) Banker



Banker Tim Ekaterin is one of Dick Francis more likeable, less physical protagonists and the mystery is not so obvious from the get go. There are certain similarities to others in this work, but over all it is a good outing in a somewhat different segment of the British working world.

Re-read for January-February Dick Francis read it
Meets January TIOLI Challenge #5: Read a book for the January Mystery Challenge Challenge as a shared read.

43karenmarie
Ene 9, 10:25am

Hi Susan!

>40 quondame: Poor Gertie, poor you. There's nothing worse than hearing your animal get sick on anything but linoleum, tile, or hardwood floors.

>42 quondame: Glad you re-liked Banker. I'm a little more than 1/3 of the way through, really enjoying it again. I got diverted yesterday to read Washington's Farewell Address and Daniel Webster's Bunker Hill Orations, almost finished now, and will return to Banker later today. Ugh. Touchstones not working.

44jessibud2
Editado: Ene 9, 11:07am

>40 quondame:, >43 karenmarie: -Only because I have had cats for nearly 40 years (and a dog for 15) and have been on the receiving end, myself. I know this to be true.



45quondame
Ene 10, 12:29am

>43 karenmarie: >44 jessibud2: Well Gertie has pretty much recovered, though I've spread her food out over the last 3 days which involves lots of small meals and having her agitate for more at all times of day rather than scheduled mealtimes. Nutmeg and her broken leg haven't been as much of an issue for these days for some reason, she seems calmer than last week.

46quondame
Editado: Ene 11, 4:46pm

6) The Psychology of Time Travel



An interesting accumulation of women characters for whom the men are quite the peripherals, the most pointless time travel I've yet encountered, but well employed, displayed with a sprightly moving narrative. I'd be a bit inclined to add a bit more than 3.5 stars, but not quite a 4.

Thus was a 2020 BB from richardderus and just barely
Meets January TIOLI Challenge #14: Read a book with a LT rating of 3.5 or more

47MickyFine
Ene 11, 9:06am

>46 quondame: I really enjoyed that one when I read it last year, Susan. Glad to see it was a solid read for you.

48Crazymamie
Ene 11, 3:10pm

>46 quondame: I have that one in the stacks - picked it up earlier this year in a Kindle sale.

49LizzieD
Ene 11, 3:26pm

I'm glad to be here finally, Susan. I always look forward to what you're reading and what you have to say about it.

I should ask everywhere. Have you read Gideon the Ninth? If so, what did you think? I'm hesitant to spend more money on books right at the moment, but that one is nagging at me.

50quondame
Editado: Ene 11, 4:45pm

>47 MickyFine: >48 Crazymamie: It was certainly worth my time, and though I will never be comfortable with predestination, I do like the efficacy with which it was employed. Thank you for dropping by.

>49 LizzieD: I'm so glad to see you here Peggy! Yes, and I think it and the second are definitely worth reading - I checked them out from the library because almost nothing is worth taking up space in my house. The last 3 physical books I purchased all fit within the palm of my hand.

51quondame
Editado: Ene 11, 4:54pm

6) Piranesi



An intriguing outing to an alternate world, where an unknowing but knowledgeable victim of abuse finds a place for who he is. Transgression as motivator or means of transporting persons to another world is an interesting concept. I'd be a bit inclined to add a bit more than 4.0 stars, but not quite a 4.5.

This has been so widely lauded that I don't remember whose mention was the decider, so you all take credit.
Meets January TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book from a best of 2020 list, name the list - Kirkus

52quondame
Ene 14, 12:39am

Gosh, I haven't got a completed book to add. And not because I'm stuck in something long and swamped in don't wannas. I keep starting a different book each time I open my Kindle, or iPad so far it's Reconstruction, Hollowpox, Enchantment, Wu, To Hold Up the Sky, When Gravity Fails, and The Book of Dragons.

Also today I had double my usual Nutmeg time, over an hour in the middle of the day because Becky just couldn't anymore and then 2 hours at the usual time I do 1 to 1.5 because Mike was out shopping for extra long. Things were destroyed. Also I went out first thing in my morning to get coffee from Peet's, then the plumber came to deal with our stopped up sink, and after my midday Nutmeg session I picked up books at 3 libraries and food at the Italian Deli. So, not much reading today and I'm spoiled for choice as to what to take to bed.

53Berly
Ene 14, 6:39am

>25 quondame: Love the Kindle cover! Still hard to find when wedged between seats. ; )

>33 quondame: Reading your challenge notes...Did you have a birthday?

>42 quondame: I enjoyed this one very much. Need to write my review....

>44 jessibud2: LOL. So unfortunate and true!!

54BLBera
Ene 14, 1:24pm

>46 quondame:, >51 quondame: Both of these sound interesting, Susan. I'll add them to my list.

55quondame
Ene 14, 3:13pm

>53 Berly: Well, yes, it happens every year.

>54 BLBera: I hope you enjoy them. They are both out of the ordinary run of F&SF even though within the trope lines.

56richardderus
Ene 14, 6:01pm

Heh. Piranesi's success had many parents, Mascarenhas's blahs had one.

Weekend rip-snortin' read *whammy*

57humouress
Ene 14, 10:34pm

>52 quondame: You have scheduled Nutmeg sessions? Granted, I have Jasper sessions but that's as and when either one of us feels like it (and things had better not be destroyed if he knows what's good for him) (and yet ...).

>54 BLBera: >53 Berly: >33 quondame: Oddly enough, that happens to me too ;0) Happy birthday?

>56 richardderus: Weekend already? Isn't it still Thursday where you are?

58justchris
Ene 14, 10:47pm

>51 quondame: Piranesi certainly sounds intriguing. I liked Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell quite a bit by the end, but the first half was a long, hard slog that I had to keep circling back to.

>44 jessibud2: Ha!

59quondame
Ene 14, 11:35pm

>58 justchris: Interesting, I enjoyed some of the first portions of Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell much more than the ending sections. Piranesi is a very different book, though still a bunch of academic men misbehaving basically, with one practical woman.

60quondame
Ene 15, 12:58pm

>57 humouress: Nutmeg is usually my responsibility starting at 4:00PM when Becky starts exercising. Often Mike takes over about 5. Before the broken leg I could let her run around outdoors. Nutmeg usually sleeps at least half the time, but isn't a restful sleeper at all. I often have her for a half hour to forty minutes during the day if she is too restless for Becky to work with her in the room. Tranquilizers help, but not always and there are limits.

61Crazymamie
Ene 15, 8:39pm

Hello, Susan! Stopping in to catch up with you. How old is Nutmeg?

62quondame
Ene 15, 11:16pm

>61 Crazymamie: Nutmeg is almost 7 months now. She has spent the majority of her puppyhood being carried around, first because she was small and Becky was working to attach her and got very firmly attached in both directions, and since she was spayed after Thanksgiving to keep her inactive and as soon as she was out of the cone we saw she was limping - broken leg. She has a check up on Sunday so we'll see what the forecast is.

63justchris
Ene 16, 12:36am

>62 quondame: Sorry to hear that such a baby is dealing with a broken leg. Glad that she's surrounded by loving humans.

64quondame
Ene 16, 1:02am

>63 justchris: She doesn't know it's broken - we just caught her limping and the x-rays showed a hairline fracture. We were told we were lucky to catch it before she did something to make it worse, but it is worrisome not having any idea how it happened.

65karenmarie
Ene 16, 9:47am

Hi Susan. Just cruisin' through without much to say except I'm sorry about Nutmeg's broken leg and happy Saturday to you.

66jnwelch
Ene 16, 1:22pm

Hi, Susan.

Given your topper comments, I have to ask: what books are your dolls reading these days?

We have "art dolls", which Madame MBH and I picked out over the years, e.g. by Charla Khanna. They're not everyone's cuppa! I put art doll photos up at the top of my thread a couple of years ago, and a lot of people got creeped out (my words). We get way more comments on our more traditional paintings than the dolls when folks visit.

I'm so glad you enjoyed Piranesi. I'm one of those who fell right under its spell.

67quondame
Editado: Ene 16, 10:20pm

>65 karenmarie: Hi Karen. Drop by anytime!

>66 jnwelch: Hitty is just sitting down with Pride and Prejudice and has Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Hobbit in her TBR pile. She's finished off her own autobiography, Eloise and The Lonely Doll.

I never recovered from 1) never getting the dolls, Cissette and Barbie, that my friends played with and 2) my mother giving away all my dolls while I was away at college. Something of mine vanished on several occasions when she felt reason to be pissed at me. So in 1990 my husband gets this call from a doll auction:
Me: "If you had $8000 and were at an auction where all your favorite comic books from the early 60s were on sale, how much would you spend"
Him: "You spent $8000!!!"
Me: "No, only $2500."
Him: "Oh."
Needless to say I have many Barbies, 1960s and modern, a number of Cissettes and nearly numberless dolls from the 1990s. My newest wee thing is a 3cm peg wooden doll, which, if it is authentic, is my oldest doll. It is actually Hitty's new doll, but you understand.

Yes, Piranesi is quite something.

68quondame
Editado: Ene 20, 10:28pm

7) Wu: The Chinese Empress who schemed, seduced and murdered her way to become a living God



There seem to be more recorded slurs against Empress then Emperor Wu than facts, though there are some facts - who her family was, when she went to be a concubine of the Emperor, that she did not stay in a nunnery after the Emperor's death but was returned to serve in the palace and eventually became Empress against the custom of not serving both father and son. A lot of people died who stood between her and power which was totally normal palace intrigue except that a woman was at the center this one time. Oh, and while the multitude of women thought necessary to maintain the vitality of an Emperor where essentially palace servants whose reward was to be sent out of the way upon the Emperor's death, the men she kept around her were given political power and were pretty much in constant conflict. Otherwise she seems to have been as good a ruler as most of the men who inherited the position before or after her. The book is interesting without being very involving as it threads it's way through facts, rumors current during the life of Empress/Emperor Wu, and rumors and tales which appeared in the decades and centuries after her death. An interesting appendix covers other biographies and fictionalizations of her life.

Di Renjie on whom Van Gulik's Judge Dee is based, seems to have been a singular figure in Wu's court, and one of the few high functionaries who died a natural death.

Meets January TIOLI Challenge #9: Read a book someone else picked out for you

69quondame
Ene 17, 1:56am

8) The Book of Dragons



A large number of interesting well told stories, full of imagination, many very good and no bad ones. The poetry could be worse. Unless you met variants I missed during the deluge of dragon books of first decade of the 21st century, you may find some unique and delightful depictions in these stories, and where the dragons are closer to tradition, well the dragon hunters show variations as well as the circumstances of the encounters. A dragon poses two riddles in the last story and I'm only satisfied with my answer to one of them - afaik no answers are given.

Meets January TIOLI Challenge #14: Read a book with a LT rating of 3.5 or more

70quondame
Editado: Ene 18, 8:24pm

9) When Gravity Fails



I'll cut this one a good deal of slack in the rating because it was written in 1987 and it is a good read with a real mystery, and the setting is a falafel flavored distillation of all the mean streets. You have to be willing to accept a version of the stumbles into a solution detective and to a good number of arbitrary juxtapositions. What it gains in acceptance of LGBT life paths, in my feelings it loses in the so male I fuck ex-males subtext of the protagonist. Nor can I find much fellow feeling with his max drugs as a first resort, head blind to consequences, approach to life's little stresses. Still, I'm glad I read this after a few years of getting used to our brave new world rather than when it was first released.

Because my acquaintance Barbara Hambly was married to him I've been curious about what George Alec Effinger wrote, but it was richardderus review that caused me to put this on my TBR list.

Meets January TIOLI Challenge #14: Read a book with a LT rating of 3.5 or more

71quondame
Editado: Ene 17, 10:56pm

Nutmeg has recovered sufficiently from her broken tibia to resume mild activity, but we have to keep her from jumping off beds, couches, and chairs. Those of you who have dealt with a puppy can imagine how simple the transition will be. Also her kneecaps (I didn't know dogs had kneecaps!) need careful watching as one is a bit loose. Her she is, sleeping in the mess she made in the excitement of returning from the vet:

72Crazymamie
Ene 19, 4:43pm

Aw, she looks so sweet! Keeping them from jumping is SO hard. Our Bella (toy poodle) had disk degeneration and was not allowed to jump in her final year, and it was very difficult because of course she did not understand at all. Wishing you good luck with the no jumping.

73richardderus
Ene 19, 4:53pm

>68 quondame: ...of course a woman gets vilified for scheming, backstabbing, and seducing; the men all did it, too, but that is "all within the norm" as David Lindley sang years and years ago.

Pfui.

>70 quondame: Well, yes, the gender politics of Marîd Audran's sexuality are...of their time. Acknowledging trans people at all wasn't!

Anyway, I'm glad it wasn't total tooth-rot for your head.

74FAMeulstee
Ene 19, 5:51pm

>71 quondame: That isn't easy, Susan, keeping a young dog from jumping. Good luck!

75quondame
Editado: Ene 19, 5:58pm

>72 Crazymamie: >74 FAMeulstee: Fortunately, while Nutmeg is energetic, she isn't overly bouncy.

>73 richardderus: Basically true about trans visibility, though Delany did have people transitioning in Nova, 1968.

76humouress
Ene 19, 11:22pm

>71 quondame: Oh, that should be easy ;0)

I'm trying to discourage Jasper from getting up on his hind legs too much because retrievers tend to have hip problems in later life (and though he's only 4, we've discovered from his last visit to the vet that he does/ will have issues). Of course, training the boys not to get him to stand and hug them is rather harder.

77Berly
Ene 20, 2:17am

>67 quondame: You must have quite the collection! Are they all on display somewhere> How do you have room for all the dolls AND your books? LOL.

>71 quondame: Best wishes to your cute little Nutmeg. : ( Good thing he isn't bouncy!

78quondame
Ene 20, 3:58pm

>76 humouress: Oh yes, easy. Well mostly Becky's problem, so not too hard for me. My first dog, Piglet, would not stop jumping off the furniture onto the cement floor of my parents porch. She died early of back trouble.

>77 Berly: A few dolls are on display in my bedroom mostly with sentimental vibes and some more downstairs which reflect what I was into the last time I had both energy and focus. For the last few years that has been a steampunkish collection of mostly 14-16" Tonner dolls based on actors mostly brown eyed brunettes, but with two Daniel Craig's from Golden Compass who is hanging out with Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman in civilian dress. Hitty, holding her Barbie was sitting on the lap of a different, less realistic, style of Tonner doll. Now she is in the center of an almost inexplicable mess of things on the dining room table with her specially sized furniture and a few companions. And her books. Most of my dolls are packed away in overhead shelves in the garage that I had put in pretty much for that purpose. I am seriously thinking of selling off lots of them, but that's effort and time that could be taken from reading, so maybe not.

Nutmeg has made a liar of me - she bounced quite a bit when she was left with me last night. In a strange inversion of custom, we keep a leash on her indoors as she can be very hard to catch among table legs and bed caves.

79quondame
Ene 20, 4:02pm

10) Jolene



The Elemental Master's books range from quite good to really bad. This entry which is a confabulation of the Dolly Parton song grafted onto the Queen of Copper Mountain, set in rural 1890s Tennessee is a bit peacemeal. The setup is the most interesting part, with Anna, a too poor to be quite credible, coal miner's daughter taken in by her aunt to restore her health and teach her.

Since it would be hard to find many more prolific living authors and since there are few of her books I haven't read this certainly

Meets January TIOLI Challenge #12: Read a book by an author that you have read before

80SandyAMcPherson
Editado: Ene 20, 9:35pm

Hi Susan. I even managed to read your whole thread. OK. Skim/read, TBH. I'm glad to hear Nutmeg is improving (and yeah, kneecaps? Who knew!)

>68 quondame: I *almost* might put this on my TBR/BB list. Except I suspect I am more taken with your review than I would be with the book... such enegy to keep track of the plot!

Do come and visit me. Although I might be off reading threads and take awhile to be back there...

81quondame
Ene 20, 10:32pm

>80 SandyAMcPherson: Being a bit off the beaten path offers some advantages.

I was very glad to learn about Wu, as it seems every fiction including her seems to want her to be the ultimate dragon lady or white wash her. A good solid, knows the stakes, your freedom for sure, your life very likely, political realist would be my preference for a fictional take, but the list didn't seem to include one.

Been there, did that.

82quondame
Editado: Ene 20, 10:51pm

I think I'm suffering from post-partum depression - Getting DT out of the White House is wonderful and all, but I'm just flat exhausted now that the tension of the last few weeks is relaxed I'm finding it hard to feel much of anything. Great poem though.

And then Becky was so concerned when Mike went out to do his usual Wednesday shopping. I really hate having her feeling worried about us when we are out of the house. This has been a rough ride and we are still shaking.

83LizzieD
Ene 20, 11:06pm

Wishing you some peace, then, Susan. Great day!

Nutmeg is a darling, and I wish you patience in dealing with a bouncy puppy. I wish you may find the perfect technique for dealing with her. I share your concern for Mike in the weekly shopping. My DH is finally doing grocery pickup from Wal-Mart, and we're both relieved.

84justchris
Ene 20, 11:30pm

>82 quondame: And what a difficult birth this has been. Breech for sure. But at least it didn't require surgical intervention. We got through this, and we'll continue getting through, day by day. It was a great poem!

>82 quondame: I'm sorry Becky is dealing with dread and anxiety about loved ones handling routine tasks of daily life. We now have any entire planet of people who are experiencing or will experience
2020 PTSD. I wish healing and nurturance for all of us.

85quondame
Ene 21, 11:15pm

>83 LizzieD: Thank you. There had been some violence back in May/June in the area he shops and the threats of 1/20/21 violence after the 6th really had her worried. And also Covid - she has, other than taking Nutmeg to the vets, only left the property a couple of times.

>84 justchris: No kidding difficult. Especially if measured by funds requests from groups I already sent funds to! I wish there was a shut up for 3mo and I'll pay you then button. Yes, it is PTSD or something like. It's just so hard to feel happy.

86quondame
Ene 21, 11:19pm

11) Movie Shoes



60 years ago I liked this book. It hasn't aged as well as I have and that isn't good. Middle child plain Jane, literally, staying in Santa Monica with her family for her father to recover from PTSD, is recruited to play Mary Lennox. Difficulties happen and are met and I wanted to strangle Peaseblossom every time she opened her mouth. What sort of family has an unrelated grownup living with them doing their work for no wages post WWII.

Read for January TIOLI Challenge #2: Read a book set in or about a year that is within 21 years of your birth year

12) To Hold Up the Sky



A few of the stories had something in them that touched me, but these are thinking men's stories mostly, working out huge ideas that to me just don't seem to be what matters.

Meets January TIOLI Challenge #12: Read a book by an author that you have read before

87BLBera
Ene 22, 9:49am

Too bad about Movie Shoes, Susan. I loved the Streatfield "shoes" books when I was a kind. I guess maybe it's best not to revisit them.

88lauralkeet
Ene 22, 12:59pm

>86 quondame: My experience with the "Shoes" books is similar to Beth's. I read a few of them as a kid and loved them. But Movie Shoes (can't find correct touchstone) sounds pretty awful and I suspect the books I read are probably best left alone, viewed nostalgically instead of re-reading.

89quondame
Ene 22, 1:50pm

>87 BLBera: >88 lauralkeet: A large part of my different take on the book is that I have a completely different attitude about what should be expected from girls - even though Noel Streatfield's girls are all ambitious and not wimpy, the adults around them, oh my. And the other part is having survived a life and raised a child keep me from being at all involved in what mattered to this young fictional girl.

90richardderus
Ene 22, 2:19pm

>86 quondame: It's a time-and-place book, then, and woe betide those of us who try re-reading them! Isn't it too bad about that. Can't put those eyes in this head.

I finished the trilogy...it was fine...and feel *zero* draw to reading more by Liu the farther I get from the reads.

91quondame
Ene 22, 3:25pm

>90 richardderus: I thought there was a powerful mix of wildly wacky and realistic technical material in The Three-Body Problem, and that was the best. The translation mostly didn't work for me.

It was mostly the same view from a different hill after that.

92quondame
Ene 22, 11:41pm

Yes! Can I order a great dinner or what!?! Mike wasn't up to the Himalayan restaurant that Becky and I had discussed for our Friday night feast, but mumbled about the other Indian place being OK. So I got busy, and really it was one of the best meals we've had in quarantine, birthday dinners included. Even though I more than over-ordered, he was totally pleased with the selection.

93justchris
Ene 23, 12:31am

>92 quondame: Yay food! Sounds like a lovely dinner.

94humouress
Editado: Ene 23, 1:24am

>86 quondame: I've read and re-read Ballet Shoes and even as an adult I've liked it but I've never read the others in the series - in fact, until recently, I didn't even know it was part of a series. Maybe the first one was such a success that she eventually decided to ride on its coat-tails?

>92 quondame: Sounds lovely - but what (dishes) did you order? Because now I want to have it, too.

ETA: Ah, I've just had a look at Wikipedia and discovered that Streatfeild didn't write the books as a series but the publishers have renamed a heap of her books to capitalise on Ballet Shoes. It looks like The Painted Garden was renamed Movie Shoes (and, to quote, 'significantly abridged' it); that's the one where they're filming The Secret Garden, right? In which case, I have read it; or at least, the original version.

95humouress
Ene 23, 1:29am

>94 humouress: (**%&! Lost the touchstones. Since I've highlighted the post above for the bug report and I can't work out how to get them back, anyway, I'll add them here:

Ballet Shoes
Painted Garden a.k.a. Movie Shoes
The Secret Garden

96quondame
Editado: Ene 23, 2:33am

>94 humouress: We had samosas and a sort of chicken popcorn and ground beef kabobs with lots of chutneys, palak paneer and Mushroom Palak, and I had a thin sour soup called Rasam Soup, which I hadn't had before, but which was very good with the samosas. We had left overs from everything but the samosas - are there ever left over samosas? and didn't even touch the Bhel Puri which Becky and I usually devour greedily before anything else.

>95 humouress: Oh, right, I meant to mention that Movie Shoes was a cut version of The Painted Garden. A couple of characters from Ballet Shoes appear in Movie Shoes, and there may be connections of the sort between other Shoe books. I can't imagine a longer version being a better read, although it could be better structurally and, for a young girl in the 1950s or 60s, a more complete experience.

97lauralkeet
Ene 23, 7:59am

>94 humouress:, >96 quondame: ah, that explains why LT gave me strange-looking touchstone for Movie Shoes.

---

The best part about ordering Indian food is over-ordering and having leftovers. Your feast sounds delish.

98quondame
Ene 23, 1:36pm

>97 lauralkeet: You are right about that! Rasmalai for breakfast is a great start for the day!

99johnsimpson
Ene 23, 5:19pm

Hi Susan my dear, i hope all is well with you and that you are having a good start to the weekend, sending love and hugs dear friend.

100quondame
Ene 23, 6:52pm

>99 johnsimpson: It's a slow day, and I've good leftovers waiting if my voracious family hasn't already got 'em. So pretty good, yes. Hope you Karen and Felix are cohabiting comfortably.

101johnsimpson
Ene 24, 3:17pm

>100 quondame:, Hi Susan my dear, we are cohabiting fine but it will be nice to have the daytime of Monday and Tuesday to myself as i can get some good reading done.

102quondame
Ene 26, 2:04am

13) The Dark Archive



Warning, mastermind plot. I am not a fan of mastermind plots, and this is one, though not the worst kind, but ticks off many of the inevitable boxes. The Librarian aspects relieve the inevitable to a good extent and the book is a good read, so there's that. I could use a new base world though, Vale's is a bit shopworn.

With all the flames and conflagrations in this book, only partially due to a fire dragon interfering, it's a shame it does not qualify for #17, but well yet another

Meets January TIOLI Challenge #12: Read a book by an author that you have read before

103quondame
Ene 26, 5:26pm

14) How to Pronounce Knife



Dismal stories of immigrant life of Lao in America, often from the point of view of a child born in Southeast Asia but growing up in North America. There is beauty in the language and in the clearness of the captured lives, of tenuous survival but little hope.

Well I'm hoping that this
Meets January TIOLI Challenge #5: Read a book for the January Mystery Challenge Challenge

104richardderus
Ene 26, 5:46pm

>102 quondame: Not as low as I was expecting. Yay.

>103 quondame: Wow! That's a yodel of delight, coming from you! And Mark liked it too? The Giller judges? I'm doomed, doooomed

105ronincats
Ene 26, 9:42pm

Your mention of The Debatable Land on Lori's thread reminded me to see if the library had gotten a copy since I checked it after you first read and reported on it. They haven't, but I was able to order a used copy for $10 total, so I did.

106quondame
Ene 26, 10:05pm

>104 richardderus: I may just be being generous this week, which is odd since I'm pretty purely annoyed in general. No specific cause, just for the sake of being annoyed I guess.

>105 ronincats: I do hope you enjoy it. I love how and were it goes. It is so history geeky in the bestess way.

107PaulCranswick
Ene 27, 11:18pm

Impressive reading as always here, Susan.

108quondame
Ene 28, 12:48am

>107 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul! I do keep plugging away.

109quondame
Editado: Ene 28, 12:56am

15) You Exist Too Much



A somewhat raw time sliced life of a young woman overshadowed by a dramatically attractive mother whom she cannot please in any case and in particular in the matter of her bisexuality. The present concerns her reaction to the failure of her current relationship and her choice to go to therapeutic retreat for her "love addiction" during which her earlier life is reviewed piecemeal. There are definite moments of wanting to hit the protagonist and others upside the head. I found the flow somewhat fouled and some of the way of overlooking some consequences of choices off putting.

110karenmarie
Ene 28, 9:00am

Hi Susan.

>82 quondame: I think I'm suffering from post-partum depression - Getting DT out of the White House is wonderful and all, but I'm just flat exhausted now that the tension of the last few weeks is relaxed I'm finding it hard to feel much of anything. I’m strangely enervated, with an underlying feeling of dread. However, we had a dusting of snow overnight and I’m reading a couple of good books.

>109 quondame: Congrats on 15 books read so far.

111richardderus
Ene 28, 11:47am

>109 quondame: Yay for 15 reads, and *sigh* for the unsatisfactory experience of You Exist Too Much. I was, as you know, exalted by it for many reasons, not least Feeling Seen by someone half my age and of a gender not my own.

112quondame
Editado: Ene 28, 6:56pm

>110 karenmarie: Even if you lose a painful relationship, it is still a loss of all you built up to deal with it. And then there's the thin margins in the house and senate. At least there is some will not to just go back to normal appeasement with our billionaire overlords and their lemming followers. But I've seen how easily we are diverted from the harder path of activism when we aren't hurting though others are.

>111 richardderus: I did rate it better than the dreaded average, but whining about relationships while cheating as a matter of course has never appealed. Cheating as a reaction to something actually going on in a relationship makes life and narrative sense to me, or even becoming overwhelmed by feeling as in the unconsummated passions of the main character. But I had to struggle through the book, not feel pulled through it which is the difference between 3 and 3+ or 4 which this would be with better narrative flow.

113quondame
Ene 28, 8:36pm

Is anyone else seeing - or not seeing - a lot of missing pictures and covers?

114figsfromthistle
Ene 28, 9:07pm

>103 quondame: Glad you enjoyed that one. I have to get my hands on that book soon!

115Whisper1
Ene 28, 9:13pm

Susan, I hope Nutmeg is coming along and healing well. We cannot help but be concerned when our pets experience something they are not accustomed to dealing with.

All good wishes.

116quondame
Editado: Ene 28, 10:38pm

>114 figsfromthistle: I think appreciated more than enjoyed. The stories are pretty devastating.

>115 Whisper1: Thanks! Nutmeg is almost back to normal activity, minus stairs and jumping off furniture. As far as she's concerned all is well, but her mommie (not me!) is a worrier.

I do hope Lily's mass turns out to be nothing much. We had one dog that collected an entire crew of harmless masses, but at 14 with no symptoms of pain we just let him be. He had a stroke or something like about 3 years later.

117justchris
Ene 28, 10:45pm

>110 karenmarie: "I’m strangely enervated"...I've heard 2 different people use that word this week, both incorrectly. The first one was a friend, and I told her I was surprised by her usage, and we had a discussion of meanings. The other was in a book club by a stranger to me, and I just let that go because doing anything else would be a derail. The sudden absence of terror does tend to leave an emotional vacuum that takes a while to heal up.

>112 quondame: Totally agree with you on the need to keep agitating before inertial reasserts the unsatisfactory status quo.

"But I had to struggle through the book, not feel pulled through it which is the difference between 3 and 3+ or 4"...That is a great description of the breakpoint between good and better, if not great.

>116 quondame: Glad to hear Nutmeg is much improved.

118humouress
Ene 28, 11:04pm

>113 quondame: Pictures and covers are fine for me - so far.

119quondame
Editado: Ene 29, 1:41pm

I've been having short days. Getting up about noon. Today I thought I'd do better, and was awake at 8 - but - I was too headachy, dizzy, and nauseous to do anything but go back to bed. Got up at noon. Still dizzy, but otherwise feeling better.

Oh, and the credit union just sent out a notice that someone who tested positive for Covid was in the office on the day I went. Well, everyone was wearing masks, so there's hope. It's very cool and rainy here. Normal for this time of year, but then again, not. I think I'll turn the heat way up before showering tomorrow.

120jnwelch
Ene 29, 9:44am

Eesh. I hope you start feeling better, and it's not covid.

I'm impressed with the high quality of Hitty's reading. All three of her books are among my favorites.

Needless to say, that was awful of your mother to give your dolls away while you were at college. I'm glad you splurged and got back what you wanted.

I buy graphic novels like, it sounds, your hubby buys comics. I bought comics as a kid, but I like having lots in one volume now.

121quondame
Ene 29, 1:51pm

>120 jnwelch: Thank you, I am feeling better.

Hitty is very good at taking recommendations, though she is set on some Tasha Taylor books her friends like that I haven't read.

Mike waits for GNs to come out in bound volumes as well and has many many reprint hardbacks with multiple copies of Hal Foster and Winsor McCay. He also still does a weekly run to the comic book shop and brings home 6-8 titles of DC and Marvel and occasional others. He got me reading Sandman and Book of Magic and Bone and Fables. Some Lumberjanes and a couple of others, and it was my daughter that brought in
A Bride's Story, which I want to read more of, but I have been sort of busy.

122richardderus
Ene 29, 4:45pm

Kathleen Anne Goonan has died. She was 68.

Just thought you should know.

123quondame
Ene 29, 8:03pm

>122 richardderus: Thank you. I have no memory of reading her books, she started when my daughter was 2, I had disconnected from active SF fandom, and was reading much less. There are a number of authors who got their start in the 90s that I've only read in the last decade. Well, I'll give her a try.

124richardderus
Ene 29, 8:15pm

Oh my heck!! Yes, please do, and start with Queen City Jazz! I'm not that good at chronology, I guess...she was active in fandom in the 70s and 80s, so I just assumed y'all'd run across each other.

125quondame
Ene 29, 9:03pm

>124 richardderus: It's already on reserve.

126humouress
Editado: Ene 29, 11:43pm

>122 richardderus: The link goes to an author page but there are no details filled in. So I don't know what she wrote :0(

ETA: Ah, got the link from the book title; looks like it's 'Ann', not 'Anne'.

127SandyAMcPherson
Ene 30, 8:43am

>113 quondame: On certain threads, I see many blank spots and the insidious ? in a blue square. But on your thread, Susan, all the images show properly.

This blue square thing doesn't resolve when I change browsers, so I don't understand at all, what causes the flakiness of the images appearing/not appearing.

128MickyFine
Ene 30, 9:25am

>127 SandyAMcPherson: Piping in Sandy: try switching the web address to https. I think that's probably your culprit.

129SandyAMcPherson
Ene 30, 9:30am

>128 MickyFine: Nope, don't think so. I always check whether the 's' is there... my Mac sends an "insecure" alert if I have plain 'http' when I'm on FireFox.

Sometimes the image problem seems to occur depending where someone grabs the photo. I work around this by using both Safari and Firefox. Since my Safari doesn't run AdBlock Plus, I wondered if that's why images that don't appear on FFox show okay on Safari. I'm so not a computer geek!

130justchris
Ene 30, 8:23pm

>123 quondame: I too stepped away from the genre and missed the new cohorts of authors who started emerging in the 1990s. But I was never a part of fandom. Only just started attending WisCon recently.

>122 richardderus: Richard, you really keep up to date on author vital statistics!

131quondame
Ene 31, 12:14am

>126 humouress: I went vie google which forgives a letter here or there, usually.

>127 SandyAMcPherson: >128 MickyFine: >129 SandyAMcPherson: I always custom my covers and do images from my junk drawer, so I'm glad they are visible.

>130 justchris: When I moved to Los Angeles I really had no friends here and though I made a few one of my regular buddies went into Reverend Moon's NSA, so when found the local SF club it was sort of a ready made social life and still is somewhat though I've branched out first with dancing (until plantar fasciitis) and costuming. But having a kid and a 1hr/day+ job does cut into reading and socializing. Within months of my daughter going to college I joined the SCA which is a whole 'nother ready made social group!

132quondame
Ene 31, 12:27am

16) Total Recall



If you know who Arnold Schwarzenegger is, and who doesn't, there aren't surprises here. The real accomplishment is the voice in which this is written, straightforward and easy to believe is Arnold's voice. It isn't enough to sustain over 600pgs of interest with lots of pictures that don't take up page numbers and 100pgs of index. Arnold is close to me in age and lived in Los Angeles when I moved here so the early chapters of the book are most involving to me. I even visited Munich while he was training there though unless he was one of those two jokers who spontaneously lifted and carried me half way under an underpass, I never encountered him.

Read for January TIOLI Challenge #12: Read a book by an author that you have read before

133justchris
Ene 31, 12:36am

>131 quondame: I found the SCA at 15, so I've had that ready-made social group for all of my adulthood. I'm now 50. But I decided when I was around 20 that it wasn't going to be the whole of my social life, and I've always pursued a lot of different interests with only some overlap.

The SCA is kinda like church in that for a lot of people it is the center of their world, and even when they lose their faith, they don't leave the church because that would mean abandoning the whole of their life and starting over completely. I've known a lot of people who've left the SCA, and plenty more who stay only because of social ties. And for a whole lotta people it's their found/chosen family.

>132 quondame: I can see why his early life chapters would be interesting to you. After the tawdriness of his having a child with the housekeeper, I'm not really interested in hearing more. I hope those 2 jokers didn't traumatize or inconvenience you. I'm a big believer in bodily autonomy and consent culture, and way too many guys (especially back then) just thought it was the funniest thing to manhandle petite women especially.

134quondame
Editado: Ene 31, 1:25am

>133 justchris: Getting into the SCA as a senior is a very different experience, and many people knew me from the dances I'd put on and attended as well as from the SF group and conventions. Few of the people in the SF group have children and I found a lot more people who had similar lives in the SCA, although almost everyone in both world had been divorced a time or three. I guess that's pretty common, among my 3 siblings there are 4 divorces.

I was walking under the underpass when two tall guys came toward me and each took an arm and carried me back a way laughing all the time. I was just surprised and laughing myself when it was over.
It took me a lot of time to relate to the idea of personal boundaries, though I took to it just fine. And I'm not the least bit petite at 5'6", though I looked a lot lighter than I was at the time. It happens that my family has a genetic mutation for heavy bones, for real, my sister the MD is into genetics.

135quondame
Ene 31, 1:28am

17) Arthur's New Puppy



It's Arthur, it's a puppy. It is what it is, an episode.

It would be too embarrassing not to have an entry for my own challenge, so I borrowed from my daughter's library and

Read for January TIOLI Challenge #7: Read a book with a word meaning new in the title or about someone starting or starting over

136richardderus
Ene 31, 1:18pm

>134 quondame: We're all very sturdily built as well. People think I'm 30lb lighter than I am, no matter what I actually weigh, and the same is true for my eldest sister.

137quondame
Editado: Ene 31, 5:46pm

18) City



A lovely illustrated guide to the building of a Roman city from planing to population limit, with temples, baths. apartments, shop, houses, gutters, sewers, and public toilets.

Read for January TIOLI Challenge #10: Read a non-fiction book with a picture of a building or man-made structure on the cover

138quondame
Editado: Ene 31, 5:51pm

19) Train Dreams



Mostly style, this is the life story of a man who never had much, lost what he had and continued on, in the Idaho mountains.

Read for January TIOLI Challenge #16: Read a book connected to an author who died in 2020, but not written by them

139justchris
Ene 31, 11:20pm

>134 quondame: Glad you found people in similar life stages to connect with. You are not alone in finding the SCA in later life. One of my good friends found it in her 50s, I think, and her younger daughter too, though they move through completely different circles in the hobby.

>135 quondame: When Arthur meets Pal? What's not to love. I've never read any of the books, but I watch the show on tv whenever I can. It never fails to charm.

140quondame
Feb 1, 12:18am

>139 justchris: We are the delighted owners of a puppy just now, and it's a long long haul. The episodic nature of Aurthur's problems wasn't appealing just now. Yes, the TV show was charming, though I'm more a Rug Rats fan.

141quondame
Feb 1, 12:20am

20) Into the Woods



A short heartfelt desecration of Audubon's work in sentimental verse and pretty pictures. The clear eyed respect for his subject that shines from Audubon's drawings is nowhere in this bit of fluff.

Read for January TIOLI Challenge #11: Read a book which has a characteristic of a passage in the title

142quondame
Feb 1, 12:24pm

Well, I scurried about a bit over the last 2 days and managed to paper over the gaping holes left in the TIOLI challenges by my dawdling over a few long or dense books. And it turned out I'd already filled one of them, so that was good.
I'm scheduled for the Covid vaccine just before noon PST, at the price of having to give out more info than I wanted to a health group which will no doubt haunt my in box. Well see how it goes. I have to remember to wear something so that my upper arm is accessible without striping.

143MickyFine
Feb 1, 1:42pm

Congrats on getting your first vaccination shot, Susan. Hope all goes smoothly!

144quondame
Feb 1, 5:31pm

>143 MickyFine: Well the Covid vaccination(Moderna) went smoothly. A bit boring really. As it should be. Poor Mike had to go through the whole thing with no shot because he is 64.6yrs old. But he got me vaccinated so he wouldn't worry so much - I hope it works.

145richardderus
Feb 1, 6:25pm

>144 quondame: Arbitrary rules are arbitrarily denying someone who lives with someone who's eligible for the vaccine a vaccination.

Mm. Love bureaucrats, yes I do.

146SandyAMcPherson
Feb 1, 11:44pm

>145 richardderus: Beancounters. Head up their A_ _.

At least *somebody* got immunized. I'm sure 2022 will roll around and the bureaucrats will *still* not have sorted out the 'no vaccine' mess north of the 49th.

Oh wait, I wasn't going to moan about stuff, excepting about crummy writing and DNFs. Yeah.
I really came here to see if Susan might like gold for her toenails. I mean, 'cause she said no to silver, over on Roni's thread, which was a reference to something in Sorcery and Cecelia.

147quondame
Feb 2, 12:47am

>146 SandyAMcPherson: I'm afraid my toenails are in poor shape. I occasionally make the effort to bend over and deal with them, but well it is a chore. Not that I went in for pedicures much at all, but I remember we had to convince my dad to get them, well, he had a sever case of old man foot that took my sister hours to trim down and she must have made threats about what would happen if she had to do it again.
She's pretty fearsome and really developed a unique bedside manner dealing with inner city couples coming in for VD or BC treatments. Mostly she'd bully the men into letting the women get treated adequately. One of her colleagues told a story about how she held a 6'3" guy with a "Penis Power" tee shirt up against the wall by his throat. She never got any grief over getting physical because how would it look, a man complaining about a perfectly ordinary looking woman? They didn't know about the bench presses.

148SandyAMcPherson
Feb 2, 9:25pm

>147 quondame: That was interesting!
Maybe your sister will write a fascinating memoir of her time in (what, a clinic?) dealing with the human race in the context of healthcare.

Apologies for the toenail teasing. I was really thinking back to the era of the chocolate pot and not being clear that my comment was all related to a back-in-the-day situation. I'm really curious though about what you meant by saying, "there's a reference to me (somewhat indirectly) in Sorcery and Cecelia". If that's not cheeky to ask...
It is awful not managing to keep the feet healthy. Mine are admittedly a mess, but I am fortunate in my very excellent podiatrist. OK. TMI, I simply wanted to admit I got personal without putting brain in gear.

149karenmarie
Feb 2, 9:42pm

Hi Susan!

>137 quondame: I have Macaulay’s Castle and Cathedral, both fascinating.

>147 quondame: Ah, toenails. I’ve finally stopped biting my fingernails after 59 years (started when I was about 8). I knew I wouldn’t go to a nail salon for the duration, although I thought the duration would be short, and somehow, miraculously, I stopped the vile habit. The problem is that I haven’t been able to get pedicures, so I whack at my toenails just enough to keep them under control, but they are not pretty at all. Fortunately, I never wear sandals or open-toed shoes in public even in the summer, so only Bill and the kitties have to avert their eyes.

150quondame
Editado: Feb 2, 11:16pm

>148 SandyAMcPherson: In Sorcery and Cecelia Kate mentions having gone to Miss Hazeltine's Drum. My monthly regency dance was called Miss Haseltine's Drum, but just about everybody, especially in the LA area spells the name with a "z". We're all cousins. Anyway, the hostess is described as painting her toenails silver.
It is also possible that a description of a second or third tier character in one of Barbara Hambly's mid 80's book is a reference to me, as my friends felt, though it could equally likely been to herself from my point of view, though it was no Mary Sue character.

>149 karenmarie: I haven't met a Macaulay book I wasn't charmed by.

I was never too bad about chewing the nails, but I sure did a job on the cuticles. Curse Thomas Mann! If I want any of my kneehighs to survive, and I do, I'd better do my own hatchet job on the toenails soon.

151quondame
Editado: Feb 2, 11:31pm

21) Teen Titans Go! (TM): to the Movies: Meet the Cast!



Just a little bit sillier than it had to be.

Read for January TIOLI Challenge #3: Read a book with a title or part of a title that will tell us what you will be looking for in the new year

22) The Slave Girl



Horrifying in the limits people can be made to see as their choices.

Read for January TIOLI Challenge #6: Read a book by someone from or with ties to West Africa

152quondame
Editado: Feb 3, 5:21pm

23) Ambient Conditions



Two more tales of Liad™, or maybe anti-Liad™, as both are directly based on the wrongs the current order on Liad™ commits against the protagonists.

Meets February TIOLI Challenge #6: Read a book in which a court case is important

153humouress
Feb 3, 12:31am

>150 quondame: *sigh* So now I have to know about that Barbara Hambly character. :0)

154quondame
Editado: Feb 3, 1:27pm

>153 humouress: Background information is that Barbara Hambly and I were both into Regency dancing in the 1980s and Barbara was a pretty dab hand at costumes, well made and with a certain flair - I believe she may have worked with the same couple whose income came from custom wedding dresses - they made mine - and who were world class costumers, Victoria Ridenour and Adrian Butterfield. In 1985 Victoria and Adrian made 3 outfits for me for a weekend long event. A day dress, a riding habit and a ball gown. As I recall Barbara also wore some drop dead gorgeous outfits to that assembly. So, not to long afterward in one of her novels, most likely in The Windrose Chronicles, the woman who be comes queen, marrying the homosexual King, is described as looking more suitable in her riding habit than in her finery.
The evidence:

155SandyAMcPherson
Feb 3, 10:57am

>154 quondame: I love this little saga, Susan. What an interesting life you've been having!
I'm perhaps fuzzy-headed, but is that you in the photos?

Will you tell us more? When I scroll back, I'm wondering who "Barbara Hambly" is.
(My memory rivals a sieve these days).

156BLBera
Feb 3, 12:58pm

>137 quondame: This looks lovely. I love the cover, anyway.

157quondame
Feb 3, 2:25pm

>155 SandyAMcPherson: Well this was all quite some time ago - those are pictures of me in 1985 and 1989. Here are some more:
Barbara Hambly 1992, author of fantasy and historical mysteries:


Frank Kelly Freas and daughter Jacqui Freas, 1992, Kelly was well known cover and Mad magazine artist


Melinda Snodgrass and Patti Nagle, 1991 Melinda worked on Star Trek next generation and writes SF, Patti writes westerns


and me, flirting with Larry Niven, 1991, Larry is about as prominent as an SF writer can get, was born rich, and throws great parties!


I started attending the Regency dances at science fiction conventions in 1979 as several of my friends were involved and Larry's wife Marilyn invited me to Larry's Regency themed birthday party at the Old Ship Inn in Brighton, England in August of that year during the World Science Fiction convention.
From 1980-2013, taking a bit of maternity leave for a couple of years, I put on monthly Drums, 8-10 times a year. From about 1984 I also organized an annual ball and later did a couple of weekend long assembles. These pictures are all from Assemblies.

>156 BLBera: I love David Macaulay's art and his way of showing how the past was built.

158richardderus
Feb 3, 2:36pm

Lovely costumes indeed!

159quondame
Editado: Feb 3, 5:21pm

>158 richardderus: Thank you. Those balls were such lovely events.

160quondame
Editado: Feb 4, 12:12am

24) The Invisible Life of Addie Larue



A remarkable book remarkably told, using some regular tropes of fantasy, the cursed immortal, the selling of souls, the problems of getting what you ask for. For once the split timelines of the story really are the perfect way to tell it, and the pacing is just right for the plot.

I'm ever so glad I did not check this author before starting this because I did not think much of A Darker Shade of Magic.

Meets February TIOLI Challenge #10: Read a book with a "4" in the number of pages

161MickyFine
Feb 3, 5:37pm

>160 quondame: Glad you enjoyed that one, Susan. I adored the Shades of Magic trilogy so I wasn't surprised when I loved this one too.

162humouress
Feb 4, 12:46am

>154 quondame: Ah, thanks.

>154 quondame: >157 quondame: Not jealous at all! Neither of your costumes nor of the company you keep/ kept. By the way, did you actually ride side saddle in that long-skirted costume? In snow?

'taking a bit of maternity leave for a couple of years, I put on monthly Drums, 8-10 times a year' Hmm? 🧐 ;0)

163quondame
Feb 4, 2:06am

>162 humouress: The dress was a riding habit, and not actual riding, just a turn around the coral. But yep, it was a real side saddle! When the Regency group in Albuquerque decided to put on our Annual Assembly - a weekend of regency lectures, workshops and a ball, I pointed out that they were the only group with members (Melissa Snodgrass) that owned horses and that an equestrian event was a must - since they'd already planned a balloon ascension (tethered) they were somewhat reluctant, but I was in fact quite pointed as were a few more who had riding habits but no pictures of themselves mounted wearing said riding habits. A hunt breakfast was scheduled and I met Scotch eggs for the first time. After the Albuquerque Assembly the local group dissolved, from pure exhaustion I believe, so I felt rather guilty.

Miss Haseltine's Drum was held on the first Saturday of the month excepting January and May and occasionally September and December. It was a social occasion held at a public venue with dancing, some dance instruction and excellent refreshments, provided by yours truly. It wasn't the only Regency dance in the Los Angeles area, but it was the longest lasting one. It rather disintegrated into endless teaching by our founder after I got plantar fasciitis and wasn't paying attention, and besides we'd pretty much aged out so attendance was quite sparse. Once recovered I was much more interested in English Country Dance, they had live music, a more fun crowd and lots of variety in their dances. I miss them.

164SandyAMcPherson
Feb 4, 8:56am

>157 quondame: This is so cool! And the costuming is fantastic. Thanks for the historical snippet. 1991 feels ...so recent... but I guess isn't. Funny how time does a collapse like that.

165quondame
Feb 4, 12:40pm

>164 SandyAMcPherson: My daughter was born at the end of 1992, so while 1991 may be recent in my mind, well, 30 years isn't just yesterday.

166Whisper1
Feb 4, 4:37pm

>154 quondame: and 155 What beautiful photos! The gowns are incredible as well.

167quondame
Feb 4, 9:31pm

>166 Whisper1: Thank you.

168quondame
Editado: Feb 5, 12:12am

25) An Illusion of Thieves



My rating is 3.75, but I've rounded up for stars graphic.

A good fantasy with steady momentum centering around the reluctantly discarded courtesan of the city of Cartegna's ruler. She and her brother are placed in a seemingly untenable position, but we watch her make it work and even triumph, with some pretty outstanding luck, but hey, she earned it, right.
I don't know why Carol Berg is writing under a new byline, but I'm glad I found this - and the sequels, the second of which comes out today!

Meets February TIOLI Challenge #4: Read a book where the author’s last name contains only one letter that is being used as a vowel

169figsfromthistle
Feb 4, 9:37pm

>137 quondame: That is BB for me. I love anything to do with architecture and urban planning.

Have a great Friday!

170ronincats
Feb 4, 10:53pm

>168 quondame: Ooh, I love Carol Berg. I'll have to check this out.

171humouress
Feb 4, 11:41pm

>168 quondame: >170 ronincats: I haven't heard of her, in either alias, but I could look into her works.

>168 quondame: And, since you highlighted your star graphic, I noticed it shows 2 rather than 4 (or 3.5) :0)

172quondame
Feb 5, 12:16am

>171 humouress: Thanks, fixed. Carol Berg's books have the main character go through all sorts of hell, but get where they need to go. Cate Glass puts her heroine in dangerous and difficult situations, but more straight adventure.

173SandyAMcPherson
Feb 5, 11:24am

>168 quondame: I think the BB winged me... it's on my WL.
I don't know the author under either name. I wonder what prompted the change? You'd think it would make it hard to catch the readership.

174quondame
Feb 5, 10:20pm

>173 SandyAMcPherson: The author does somewhat gritty traditional fantasy, but is also pretty distinct. I hope you enjoy.

Tomorrow Becky and I have scheduled a trip to Fair Foodie Fest at the Rose Bowl Stadium. Junk food here we come! Giant corndogs! Churros! Fried everything!

175jnwelch
Feb 6, 2:30pm

Good review of The Invisible Life, Susan. I had a similar experience to yours - the V.E. Schwab book I'd read before was a much inferior fantasy, and I was pleasantly surprised by how well-written this one was. I really enjoyed it.

Love all the photos from the Assemblies! What fun it must've been to hang out with Larry Niven. The photos made me think of the Jane Austen Society soirees, which I've read about but never been to.

176quondame
Feb 6, 2:59pm

>175 jnwelch: I've been to a couple of the JASNA AGMs, about the time dressing up for the balls took off, when the divide between those who thought cosplay beneath them and the ones who wanted to party annoyed me. From the newsletters there seems to be a lot more enthusiasm for dress up these days, but the divide persists. My own, irrational, anti-scholarly bias doesn't help.

177msf59
Feb 6, 5:34pm

Happy Saturday, Susan. Good review of The Invisible Life of Addie Larue. I have added that one to my list.

178quondame
Feb 6, 9:42pm

>177 msf59: Thank you, Mark. I hope you enjoy it.

The three of us went to the Fair Food Fest and got us some fair food. I'm not near as overstuffed as I intended to be because there were no onion rings and the curly fries were pretty dull. The giant corndog was good, a very well balanced combination of batter and hot dog, so that was good. As for the rest, Juicy's isn't bad for fair food, but it isn't the best either, and the selection wasn't quite large enough. Still, this is the first time all three of us went somewhere together since March.

179bell7
Feb 6, 11:00pm

Glad to see you enjoyed The Invisible Life of Addie Larue. It was one of my favorites in 2020 and I've been super pleased to see it go out from the library (I buy our adult fiction) in a community that tends towards mystery/thrillers and doesn't read a lot of fantasy.

180PaulCranswick
Feb 6, 11:06pm

Here I am grasping nettles and wishing my pal a great weekend.

181karenmarie
Feb 7, 11:49am

Hi Susan.

>154 quondame: How wonderful! The Regency period is one of my favorites, although admittedly mostly for reading romances. Beautiful costumes.

>157 quondame: Thanks for sharing. Fascinating times for you, marvelous costumes and people. Fan use can be quite intricate. Very nice.

182quondame
Feb 7, 6:16pm

>179 bell7: Yes, it deserves to be a favorite.

>180 PaulCranswick: Gloves are not only allowed, they are advised.

>181 karenmarie: I quite enjoyed many Regency adventures and an actual romance or two. Being able to dress real pretty and waltz about with a well turned out fellow is a great high. It took awhile to get Mike dancing, but he took to it well.
We had a member who taught our language of fans class and showed off her collection from time to time.

183quondame
Feb 7, 6:19pm

26) Libriomancer



OK, but the adventure of deactivated for lack of professional discipline libriomancer Isaac as he reactivates and saves everyone from an almost overwhelming power, doesn't have much to add to the meta-book sub-genre and both tries too hard and gets uncomfortable with it's sexual stances.

Even if it wouldn't if I were rating the author based on this book it still
Meets February TIOLI Challenge #13: Read a book by an author who has a rating of at least 3.5 on the author’s page

184justchris
Feb 8, 12:08am

>178 quondame: Yum! The only thing better than a corn dog is a chili dog! And churros! And funnel cakes?

>180 PaulCranswick: Nettles have a lot of nutritional value! And the stings are great for temporarily relieving arthritis symptoms, I'm told. Though why you think you'd get a prickly reception here, Paul. It's all good.

>181 karenmarie: Have you seen Barbra Streisand in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever? Her fan work was impressive.

185quondame
Feb 8, 1:18am

>184 justchris: There were funnel cakes, in fact a mini funnel cake was handed out at the entrance, still warm. We got two when there was a change over in the person handing them out. They're good, but not what we came for. I want more Navajo fry bread like I had in Arizona, that was so worth the calories.

I even know someone who has made yarn from nettles. It's kind of like linen but stiffer and more naturally white when processed to be so.

I love the movie, but the Regency costumes are more of a hoot than historical.

186justchris
Feb 8, 1:22am

>185 quondame: I do love fry bread too. Haven't had any since I lived in the Southwest.

Yes, I listened to someone extol the virtues of nettle fiber.

Oh yeah, that movie doesn't have much historical in it. But definitely a very interesting movie.

187quondame
Feb 9, 1:35pm

27) Straight Outta Tombstone



16 weird west tales, mostly in the strong fellow tradition. Some good, some yawn, some funny, some trying to be funny.

Meets February TIOLI Challenge #12: Read a book with an unsettling place name in the title

188richardderus
Feb 9, 5:42pm

>183 quondame: ...butbutbut Smudge...!!

189quondame
Feb 9, 6:10pm

>188 richardderus: Well he can't carry the whole book!

190drneutron
Feb 9, 8:59pm

>187 quondame: well, looks like I need to find that one!

191quondame
Feb 9, 11:28pm

>190 drneutron: And there are at least 2 more - the story/author I initially wanted is in the 3rd. This one didn't have any by Patricia Wrede, Laura Anne Gilman, Sarah Gailey, Gemma Files or Lila Bowen nor do the others, not to mention some of my other favorites, but I may get to the other volumes anyway. I've been spoiled for good weird westerns and this was like coming back to the saloon and putting up with the same old men's world.

192drneutron
Feb 10, 12:30pm

>191 quondame: Really? The authors missing are some of the best around, especially in the weird west area. That's disappointing.

193quondame
Feb 10, 1:44pm

>192 drneutron: That's what I felt. Both about their not being included and the book.

194quondame
Feb 10, 3:51pm

28) Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions



OK, so I'm sort of like an orc reading the Ranger's manual for this one, so not the target audience, but I've seen these ideas put into action and felt the effects, so I'm going to say there is really a good deal of very serious advice here, presented in a light seeming soufflé. But could a sever weighty telling demonstrate enchantment?

Meets February TIOLI Challenge #11: Mardi Gras rolling challenge

195justchris
Editado: Feb 11, 3:20am

>194 quondame: Sounds right up there with Atomic Habits. Added to my list.

196SandyAMcPherson
Feb 11, 6:06pm

>191 quondame: >192 drneutron:, was it the publisher contract's and copyrights that might have interfered?
I scrolled back and forth, and I'm not sure was an anthology mentioned which omitted these authors?

197quondame
Feb 11, 6:15pm

>196 SandyAMcPherson: Straight Outta Tombstone and the two follow on weird west collections don't include those authors. I don't say they are excluded, as short stories aren't for every author and some authors may have declined, but the weird west works of those five are quite notable and some of the other authors, not so much.

198jjmcgaffey
Feb 12, 12:49am

It's possible that they deliberately omitted authors who are already established as Weird West writers - trying to expand the field. Don't know. If so, I think it was unwise - there's quite a few anthologies that I bought for the story from (favorite author) and discovered some new ones to track down.

199PaulCranswick
Feb 12, 12:55am

Weird West sounds like an interesting genre!

200quondame
Editado: Feb 12, 2:21am

>198 jjmcgaffey: I don't think that's it - some of the inclusions were about existing series characters. I think it has more to do with who the editor felt like asking and who felt like accepting - can't know without further information whether any of those were asked.

>199 PaulCranswick: It can be, but it can also be zombies in the desert. Thirteenth Child and Silver on the Road are great stories, coming of age in the best way. River of Teeth is just flat out weird and wild.

201quondame
Feb 12, 2:28am

29) Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow



Morrian's hopes for her schooling are dashed when she's forced into a single class concentrating on how disastrous wundersmiths are. And even though things may get a bit better for her her problems only compile. A serviceable fantasy, not a wondrous one.

Meets February TIOLI Challenge #7: Read a book you heard about in Jan 2021

202quondame
Feb 13, 6:52pm

On to the next step of trying to wake up without pain - my MedCline wedge and pillows has arrived. I'll see if I can sleep on it and if it helps.

203SandyAMcPherson
Feb 13, 8:34pm

>202 quondame: Oh yes! Very best wishes, Susan. I hope this arrangement delivers what you need.

204quondame
Feb 13, 9:13pm

>203 SandyAMcPherson: Thanks, I hope so too!

205justchris
Feb 13, 9:24pm

>202 quondame: Looking forward to the report. Hope the pain becomes a distant memory.

206quondame
Editado: Feb 13, 9:25pm

30) The Long and Sort of It



Short stories of St. Mary's. Minimal fatalities, though there are references to one here and there and some awkward moments.

Meets February TIOLI Challenge #9 : Read a book that has a word from the title in the second sentence of the second paragraph in the second chapter

207karenmarie
Feb 14, 11:20am

Hi Susan.

>182 quondame: I couldn’t even get my husband to dance at our wedding. Small point in a successful 30-year marriage, but I remember how bad I felt at the time. Yay for Mike.

>184 justchris: I have not, Chris. Something to watch one of these days soon, for sure.

>202 quondame: Looks intriguing. I’m sorry you wake up with pain.

208RebaRelishesReading
Feb 14, 3:12pm

Good luck with the wedge, Susan. I hope it helps.

209quondame
Editado: Feb 16, 2:20pm

Hard Time by Jodi Taylor is on sale for 99¢.

>207 karenmarie: Mike actually asked me a couple of years into our marriage if there was something he could do that would help with my depression. I said he could dance with me. It wasn't an unqualified success, and I can't recall him ever asking again, but he does enjoy going to the dances and socializing and even helping with logistics if he isn't doing it at my instigation.

>207 karenmarie: >208 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks for the good wishes about the new sleeping aid. It does in fact, used as directed, take the strain off the shoulder. The weight of the head is supported by the structure, but the weight of the upper body is transferred to the rib cage which takes a bit of getting used to and might be a problem with a cold or flu.

210richardderus
Feb 16, 3:17pm

>202 quondame: How perfect! I hope it works.

Happy week's reads.

211SandyAMcPherson
Feb 16, 5:38pm

>209 quondame: sure hope you have some good sleeps now, Susan. Changes are really difficult when it comes to mattresses and pillows, aren't they?

212quondame
Feb 17, 1:13am

31) Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch



I re-reread it again because I forgotten I'd recently read it. It is still not the book I want it to be. Insanity. No matter how many times I read it will never be a buddy story, really it's not, as Crowley and Aziraphale rarely appear together on the page. And the action is just all over the place. Well, let's see how soon I forget again and hope for something more to my liking.

Read for February TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book with an increasing number of words in the title

213SandyAMcPherson
Feb 17, 5:52pm

>212 quondame: I remember your reading this (in 2020, no?).
The reason this small fact sticks in my mind (that you read it before): I think my review and subsequent talking about being somewhat disappointed in the story resonated with your commentary at the time you reviewed it. I was comforted that I had a fellow-feeling with at least a few other people that the book had a certain lack in the story.

214justchris
Feb 17, 11:34pm

>212 quondame: Have you read the fanfic Demonology and the Triphasic Model of Trauma? That was my intro to Good Omens, and IMHO, the original doesn't compare to the fanfic.

215humouress
Feb 17, 11:56pm

>212 quondame: >213 SandyAMcPherson: >214 justchris: But have you seen The Omen? I'm not into horror and I don't think I ever watched it all the way through but I do remember bits of it, which is what the premise of Good Omens is based on and knowing that story, it does lend the book a sense of portent. I read Good Omens close to when it first came out - before all the hype, certainly - and enjoyed it. I think you have to read it without expectations. Plus, there are a few in jokes that maybe you had to be living in England at the time it was written to really appreciate.

My favourite (which I always mention, so please excuse repetition) is a throwaway line by Crowley when he mentions that some of his best work was tweaking the design of the M25 to resemble the dread sigil odega (or some such). That really resonated with me at the time because the M25 had recently been built as a motorway that circles Greater London, ostensibly to ease traffic in the capital and allow traffic to go around without having to go into London. But, of course, it was always, always jammed, leading to extremely frustrated drivers ... you can see that it would resonate deeply with people who had suffered sitting on the M25 while, to others, it might not mean anything.

216quondame
Feb 18, 12:08am

>213 SandyAMcPherson: I think it's a guy thing, full of that sort of cleverness, which does sacrifice something for a sharp laugh and we may not be on the wave length for the humor much of the time.

>214 justchris: No, I haven't even heard of it before.

>215 humouress: I avoided the horror movies, but am familiar with the armageddon scenario, and really any contact with a big city ring road will resonate with demon begat menace. I have a very early paperback of Good Omens and had been reading Terry Pratchett regularly at the time, so I probably gobbled it down as soon as it was published. But it wasn't once of my favorites, and really it's a lot of 2 guys being quite cleaver, but other than a few riffs, nope, I'd trade it for Guards! Guards! any day and that's not my favorite Watch novel. Yes, after the TV series drew such raves, I expect something that's not there - even though I didn't see the series. I expect I'm over that now.

217justchris
Feb 18, 10:11am

>216 quondame: I started watching the series at the behest of a friend who loves it and was a little defensive at my lackluster review of the original book. The series, too, is better than the book, again IMHO.

I get that the humor resonates far more with people located within the landscape of the story. And I totally get why people love it. But for me, it was awfully puerile and racist, and the "love story" felt just a little too coercive in terms of the woman's role and lack of agency, and very much yet another mediocre white (every)man getting the prize sorta story, which to me defines Neil Gaiman's works in general (American Gods being an exception).

218quondame
Feb 18, 9:52pm

>217 justchris: So that makes three of us who weren't totally charmed. I think men are likely to find it funnier than I did.

219quondame
Editado: Feb 18, 10:10pm

32) Ink and Bone



A very readable story that gets of to a fast intense start but lags a bit later in the book. Interesting characters with real losses along the way. The world is grim dark especially in that it is the characters motivating impulse that makes them grist for the mill. And a very dangerous ambiguous mill it is.

Meets February TIOLI Challenge #2: Read a book for the February CFF Mystery Challenge Challenge

BB from MickyFine

220MickyFine
Feb 19, 11:40am

Glad to see you enjoyed it, Susan. Be warned the grimness doesn't let up in books two or three. They may be even grimmer.

221SandyAMcPherson
Feb 19, 2:38pm

>220 MickyFine: >219 quondame: Your reading falls into a realm only for the strongest strong!
Staring at my pile of bedside table books which I am sure are good options, but my brain isn't co-operating at all.
I'm cruising threads today, instead of reading. Lots of snow and ice remarks, and vaccine chatter. Tornadoes in NC, iiuc.

222quondame
Editado: Feb 20, 12:28am

>220 MickyFine: I'm not jumping right in, but partly because my TBR - that is books checked out from the library - has reached a record length.

>221 SandyAMcPherson: And speaking of the record length of my TBR list - I am actually having trouble finding time and concentration to read these last few weeks. And I keep picking too many long dense books. Maybe it's time to ravage my special re-read shelf of comfort.

My daughter's choice for our Friday feast was the local Philippine restaurant that rejoices in the name Big Boi. Quite delicious. I love LA.

223karenmarie
Feb 20, 10:20am

Hi Susan!

>209 quondame: The new sleep aid sounds like a qualified success. I suppose you should avoid getting a cold or the flu…

>212 quondame: I made the mistake of reading the book after seeing the series. The series was much better, IMO.

>222 quondame: Variety in what is now only take-out food and is usually restaurant food is one of the things I still miss about LA, even after 30 years here in the wilds of NC. I also miss my family in Rialto and Long Beach, a given, but I really miss kul-cha – live theater and music and a wide variety of movie theater offerings.

224SandyAMcPherson
Feb 20, 1:56pm

>222 quondame: >223 karenmarie: I had no idea LA was such a foodie place. I love hearing about the breadth of international cuisine *done well*.

225quondame
Feb 20, 2:58pm

>223 karenmarie: Sleep aid is high maintenance. I'm an indifferent maintainer. I really should watch the show.

Part of what separated me from my college boyfriend was his hatred for LA, back in the bad(er) smog era. Also I'd have had to leave my family behind, and though it probably should have been left behind, I wasn't there yet.

>224 SandyAMcPherson: We are criminally short of good Greek food and low on Jewish deli's of the NY kind - there is a lot of bland pastrami out there, though there a two excellent ones if we travel a half hour there and back. Persian, Bosnian and Lebanese food almost make up for no Greek, but when you want Greek shrimp to send you to ecstasy, well, other food just won't.
In the west side, where I live, there are other scarcities, but they are relative. I can order very good dim sum and it will arrive in 30min, but the selection is limited, and while we have over the top excellent Italian at a price, the beloved pizza and what everyone is happy with when they can't decide place closed a few years back. My quest for onion rings hasn't yet found perfection, and while the taco hunt turned up our new favorite Mexican, I still haven't found the deep fried shredded beef tacos of my early adulthood. And what's wrong with lard in Mexican food? It's supposed to be there. Sheesh!

226quondame
Editado: Feb 21, 12:40am

33) I'd Rather Be Reading



Short lightly intense memoir essays on reading and a life of reading.
There should be more book lists. More than I liked I wanted to know what book she was talking about but it wasn't named.

Meets February TIOLI Challenge #3: Read a biography/autobiography/memoir by or about someone who is currently living

BB from lindapanzo

227quondame
Editado: Feb 21, 3:41pm

34) The Bookshop



A simple seeming story of a widow who opens a book shop in a small semi-isolated town on the coast of Suffolk mid-20th century. She is opposed by the town's most active social force. It went by quickly, which is good for me because I wasn't getting anything but an uneasy mood from it.

Meets February TIOLI Challenge #13: Read a book by an author who has a rating of at least 3.5 on the author’s page

BB from richardderus

228SandyAMcPherson
Feb 21, 9:19am

>227 quondame: I didn't enjoy that book much, either.
Now having reread what I wrote, I'm surprised I even finished the story.

A sample of my commentary: "The characterisations are quick, brief pen strokes, populating the narrative with mostly not very nice people. The lack of empathy and the self-serving village ‘aristocracy’ were very trying to read about."

I see such acclaim for this author but I haven't tried another of her books.
BTW, your link in the BB leads to Joe's Cafe...

229quondame
Feb 21, 3:43pm

>228 SandyAMcPherson: Oops, I did under rate it in my review, it was only mildly uncomfortable, not painful, and I did appriciate the soggy village with it's soggy people. Violet was a nasty piece of work.

About the link, yes, to richardderus's comment about the book. Sometime this January I started copying the link to the message that decided me to check the library for each book. I did it sometimes before, but I've been much more regular about it lately. It might not be the first mention of a book, or the review but it's the one immediately preceding my trying to acquire a copy.

230SandyAMcPherson
Editado: Feb 21, 6:03pm

>229 quondame: Well, it was rather painful. I didn't enjoy the nastiness at all. Which just goes to show how effective a writer Penelope Fitzgerald was.

I think the book brought forward memories for me of an unpleasant coterie of people in a small community where I once lived for a couple years. I did manage to not be involved with the nasty side of this group but it could have been a much nicer experience in the place, had these people been more balanced in their socializing/ostracizing.

Ho hum...

231quondame
Feb 23, 2:23am

35) Ancillary Justice



Both mind bending and wonderfully readable. This is a serious space opera in a far far future with alien aliens and more alien humans.
210222 This reading I was not quite so blown away, but how could I be? Still very good.

Re-read for February TIOLI Challenge #15: Read a book with a color of Mardi Gras in the title or on the cover Purple, Green, Gold, Justice, Faith, Power

36) The Way of the House Husband



Sort of like Ranma with no magic but a dark(ish) twist. Not much more than one joke really, the deadly and feared ex-Yakuza does all the chores with excellence.

Meets February TIOLI Challenge #13: Read a book by an author who has a rating of at least 3.5 on the author’s page

232SandDune
Feb 23, 3:40am

>231 quondame: I’ve had Ancillary Justice on the shelf for ever. I must get around to it.

233quondame
Feb 23, 2:58pm

37) The Glass Magician



A romp with a bit of bittersweet and a whiff of danger in a world where Solitaires, Traders, and Silvestri all wear human forms but may not be quite what we call human. After a near fatal accident, Solitaire stage magician Thalia Cutler suspects she may be a Trader, but assured she is not, resumes her life without knowledge of the danger she is in and which she may bring to others.

Meets February TIOLI Challenge #11: Mardi Gras rolling challenge

BB from ronincats

234quondame
Feb 23, 3:06pm

>230 SandyAMcPherson: My small town memories are not good, but much more ambiguous. One reason I live in the big scary city.

>232 SandDune: Yes. Good idea. It's not quite the outlier it was, but if you haven't read Ada Palmer, and Kameron Hurley, it may have a chance of hitting you like it first hit me.

235SandyAMcPherson
Feb 23, 8:49pm

>233 quondame: That was a BB for me too, via Roni.
Nice review Susan, just enough hook in what you say to prompt move the title to a borrow status soon (I have it on my Overdrive wishlist).

236quondame
Feb 24, 4:17pm

38) Puck of Pook's Hill



Full of fancies an quirks, this exploration of 1500 years of Sussex history guided by Puck, the oldest spirit in England, is probably at the foundation of my fascination for history. Clearly written for children it is not childish in it's presentation of past milieu, though certainly of its time. The Guttenberg text did not include illustrations, but Wikipedia came to the rescue.

Read for February TIOLI Challenge #16: Read a Book Published by a writer from the then British Empire in the Reign of Queen Victoria

237ronincats
Feb 24, 11:23pm

>236 quondame: Still enjoy rereading this every Midsummer Day!

238justchris
Ayer, 10:42pm

>227 quondame: I saw the movie! It made me cry. I kept it.