jjmcgaffey reading in 2019, second tranche
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My fourth year in Club Read - hope I can bring in more conversations in my thread. Last year I actually got some posters, thank you! I do enjoy thread discussions.
I'm Jennifer; I live in Alameda, CA, with two cats. My parents live down the street (about a mile and a half away); one sister in Mountain View, about 45 minutes away, and the other in Reno, about 4 hours' drive away. I'm a Foreign Service brat who grew up moving around the world (more or less literally); it's very strange to me to be living in the same house for the 14th year this year. I cook, garden, stitch, do ceramics (taking a ceramics class, again, from my local senior center), sew, weave, braid, program, fix computers (run a home computer repair business) - and oh yeah, read.
I read mostly genre fiction - primarily science fiction and fantasy, which get grouped together as SF (speculative fiction). Then romances, mysteries, animal books, children's books (which include examples of all the genres...). I also read a lot of non-fiction - biography, sciences, history, words, etc. And craft books and cookbooks, which don't so much get _read_ but do get used and referenced. I don't read horror, and I don't read literary fiction - in both cases, because I don't enjoy being depressed by my reading.
Last year I blew away my goals - books read, which I expected to, and also my discards and BOMBs (Books Off My Bookshelf). So I'm going to up my goals; 200 books read (again, I expect to easily pass that), 60 BOMBs and 60 discards. I'm still working on my boxes of books, so those goals may be easy again...or not. I'm keeping the same rules - one BOMB read for each reread I want to do, and five BOMBs a month; try to match them with discards, but those are more variable. I'm not counting any other kind of book, even books for review (Early Reviewers, Netgalley, etc) - they'll count only if they're over a year old (and I have way too many of those...) and paper (ebooks never count as BOMBs or for discards).
1 BOMB read for every reread; cannot read in arrears.
At least 5 BOMBs read every month (or read nothing but BOMBs at the beginning of the month until caught up).
1. Leather Crafting Starter Book - @! - by Studio Tac Creative.
2. The Kingdom - @! - by Benoit Feroumont.
3. The Language of Spells - @! - by Garret Weyr.
4. The Ne'er-Do-Well - * - by Rex Beach.
5. Rocket Ship Galileo - # - by Robert Heinlein.
6. The Spirit Ring - @# - by Lois McMasters Bujold.
7. The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook - ^ - by Coco Morante.
8. The Missing Ingredient - @^ - by Jenny Linford.
9. Startide Rising - @* - by David Brin.
10. The Bartered Brides - @^ - by Mercedes Lackey.
11. The Curse of Chalion - @# - by Lois McMaster Bujold.
12. Paladin of Souls - @# - by Lois McMaster Bujold.
13. The Hallowed Hunt - @# - by Lois McMaster Bujold.
14. Kilmeny of the Orchard - @* - by L.M. Montgomery.
15. Penric's Demon - @# - by Lois McMaster Bujold.
16. Penric's Shaman - @# - by Lois McMaster Bujold.
17. Trolley to Yesterday - @* - by John Bellairs.
18. Rivers of London: Body Work, Issue 1 - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
19. Rivers of London: Cry Fox, Issue 2 - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
20. Rivers of London: Body Work, Issue 2 - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
21. Rivers of London: Body Work, Issue 3 - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
22. Rivers of London: Body Work, Issue 4 - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
23. Rivers of London: Body Work, Issue 5 - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
24. Leadership Lessons - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
25. Rivers of London Vol 2, Night Witch - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
26. Alice's Adventures Under Ground - * - by Lewis Carroll.
27. Rivers of London Vol 3, Black Mould - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
28. Rivers of London Vol 4, Detective Stories - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
29. Rivers of London Vol 5, Cry Fox - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
30. The Hanging Tree - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
31. Bound to Rise - @^ - by Horatio Alger.
32. Risen from the Ranks - @^ - by Horatio Alger.
33. Herbert Carter's Legacy - @^ - by Horatio Alger.
34. In An Absent Dream - @^ - by Seanan McGuire.
35. The Road to Farringale - @^ - by Charlotte E. English.
36. Skellig - @^ - by David Almond.
37. Faerie Fruit - @^ - by Charlotte E. English.
38. Understood Betsy - @^ - by Dorothy Canfield Fisher.
39. A Bone From a Dry Sea - @^ - by Peter Dickinson.
40. Stormfront - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
41. Getting the Most Out of Life - ^ - by Reader's Digest.
42. Amulet Rampant - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
43. Only the Open - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
44. In Extremis - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
45. From Ruins - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
46. Beyond the Black Stump - @^ - by Nevil Shute.
47. Book Love - @^ - by Debbie Tung.
48. Legacies - @# - by Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill.
49. Skip-Leveling - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
50. Kris Longknife's Replacement - @^ - by Mike Shepherd.
51. Kris Longknife's Bloodhound - @^ - by Mike Shepherd.
52. Kris Longknife's Relief - @^ - by Mike Shepherd.
53. Who is Willing - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
54. The Levin-Gad - @^ - by Diane Duane.
55. Nine Goblins - @^ - by T. Kingfisher.
56. Poor Tom's Ghost - * - by Jane Louise Curry.
57. Tears of the Salamander - * - by Peter Dickinson.
58. Beautiful Joe - @^ - by Marshall Saunders.
59. Webster's Leap - * - by Eileen Dunlop.
60. The Boggart - # - by Susan Cooper.
61. Roughing It - @* - by Mark Twain.
62. The Boggart and the Monster - # - by Susan Cooper.
63. The Hedgewitch Queen - @* - by Lilith Saintcrow.
64. Diggers - @^ - by Terry Pratchett.
65. Wings - @^ - by Terry Pratchett.
66. A Little Princess - @# - by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
67. What Janie Wants - @^ - by Rhenna Morgan.
68. Snowspelled - @^ - by Stephanie Burgis.
69. Heart of Briar - @^ - by Laura Anne Gilman.
70. Kavik the Wolf Dog - ^ - by Walt Morey.
71. A Pocketful of Stars - @^ - by Margaret Ball.
72. Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes - @^ - by Jonathan Auxier.
73. The Bread Book - ^ - by Linda Collister & Anthony Blake.
74. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry - @^ - by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
75. Andy Grant's Pluck - @^ - by Horatio Alger.
76. Girl on Fire - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
77. Family - @# - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
78. Healer's Wedding - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
79. The Lawrence Browne Affair - %^ - by Cat Sebastian.
80. The Ghost in the Gardens - @! - by H.L. Carpenter.
81. Kat, Incorrigible - @^ - by Stephanie Burgis.
82. Fortune's Favors - @^ - by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller.
83. Down & Dirty - @^ - by Rhenna Morgan.
84. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - @^ - by Becky Chambers.
85. Never After: Thirteen Twists on Familiar Tales - @! - by Marie Brennan.
86. Spellswept - @^ - by Stephanie Burgis.
87. Preserving with Pomona's Pectin - @^ - by Allison Carroll Duffy.
88. Lies Sleeping - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
89. The Summer Queen - @^ - by Elizabeth Chadwick.
90. The Children of Green Knowe - @# - by L.M. Boston.
91. The River at Green Knowe - @# - by L.M. Boston.
92. The Lady - @* - by Anne McCaffrey.
93. Saving the Sheriff - @! - by Kadie Scott.
94. February Thaw - @^ - by Tanya Huff.
95. That Ain't Witchcraft - @^ - by Seanan McGuire.
96. Linnea in Monet's Garden - %^ - by Christina Bjork.
97. The Elders are Watching - %^ - by Roy Henry Vickers.
98. The Penderwicks - @^ - by Jeanne Birdsall.
99. The Man Who Would Be Kling - @! - by Adam Roberts.
100. It Takes a Thief - @^ - by Kay Hooper.
101. Points of Departure - @^ - by Patrica Wrede & Pamela Dean.
102. A Closed and Common Orbit - @^ - by Becky Chambers.
103. Kris Longknife's Assassin - @^ - by Mike Shepherd.
104. The Uncommon Reader - @^ - by Alan Bennett.
105. It Takes Two to Tumble - %^ - by Cat Sebastian.
106. Shiftless - @^ - by Aimee Easterling.
107. Pack Princess - @^ - by Aimee Easterling.
108. Moonwalking with Einstein - ^ - by Joshua Foer.
109. The Hub: Dangerous Territory - @* - by James Schmitz.
110. Telzey Amberdon - @# - by James Schmitz.
111. The Hawk of the Castle - %^ - by Danna Smith.
112. ...And Then You Die of Dysentery - %^ - by Lauren Reeves.
113. Original Edition of Edited Schmitz Stories - @* - by James Schmitz.
114. The Casual Quilter - ^ - by Robin Strobel.
115. The Cottages on Silver Beach - ^ - by RaeAnne Thayne.
116. Nobody's Victims - @! - by Leslie Fish.
117. The Iron Wyrm Affair - @* - by Lilith Saintcrow.
118. The Monarch of the Glen - @^ - by Neil Gaiman.
119. Two Years Before the Mast - @* - by Richard Henry Dana Jr.
120. Farmer's Crown - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
121. Claws and Starships - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
122. Dragonhaven - @# - by Robin McKinley.
123. In the Line of Duty - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
124. The First Men in the World - * - by Anne Terry White.
125. Sword of the Alliance - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
126. Joe's Luck - @^ - by Horatio Alger.
127. The Telzey Toy and Other Stories - # - by James H. Schmitz.
128. Earwig and the Witch - @^ - by Diana Wynne Jones.
129. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - @* - by Susanna Clarke.
130. Enchanted Glass - # - by Diana Wynne Jones.
131. Alpha Ascendant - @^ - by Aimee Easterling.
132. The Fire Bird - @^ - by Gene Stratton-Porter.
133. Musicophilia - * - by Oliver Sacks.
134. The Hippo at the End of the Hall - ! - by Helen Cooper.
135. Marilla of Green Gables - @^ - by Sarah McCoy.
136. Michael O'Halloran - @^ - by Gene Stratton-Porter.
137. T'N'T Telzey & Trigger - @# - by James H. Schmitz.
138. Nights of the Round Table and Other Stories of Heroic Fantasy - @^ - by Tanya Huff.
139. Cold-Forged Flame - @^ - by Marie Brennan.
140. Lightning In the Blood - @^ - by Marie Brennan.
141. Today I Am Carey - %^ - by Martin L. Shoemaker.
142. The Collectors - @^ - by Jacqueline West.
143. The Grey Seas Under - * - by Farley Mowat.
144. The River's Gift - ^ - by Mercedes Lackey.
145. The Prisoner of Limnos - @^ - by Lois McMaster Bujold.
146. The Orphans of Raspay - @^ - by Lois McMaster Bujold.
147. Nanya of the Butterflies - @^ - by Barbara Hambly.
148. Minor Mage - @^ - by T. Kingfisher.
149. Season's Meaning - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
150. Dark Lighthouse - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
151. Nerve - # - by Dick Francis.
152. Knife Children - @^ - by Lois McMaster Bujold.
153. Hazard - @^ - by Barbara Hambly.
154. Degrees of Separation - @^ - by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller.
155. Block Party - @# - by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller.
156. Today I Remember - @%^ - by Martin L. Shoemaker.
157. The Landlady - @^ - by Diane Duane.
158. Eye Spy - @^ - by Mercedes Lackey.
159. The October Man - @^ - by Ben Aaronovitch.
160. Best of British Fantasy 2018 - @! - by Jared Shurin.
161. The Unkindest Tide - @^ - by Seanan McGuire.
162. The Library of Ever - @^ - by Zeno Alexander.
163. One Fell Sweep - @^ - by Ilona Andrews.
164. In Small Things Forgotten - * - by James Deetz.
165. The Tropic of Serpents - @^ - by Marie Brennan.
166. Accepting the Lance - @^ - by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller.
167. Nurk - @^ - by Ursula Vernon.
168. (Sur)real - @^ - by Melissa Haag.
169. Miss Hickory - ^ - by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey.
170. Here Is Your War - * - by Ernie Pyle.
171. Revision 7: DNA - @! - by Terry Persun.
172. The Twisted Ones - @^ - by T. Kingfisher.
173. A Single Shard - @^ - by Linda Sue Park.
174. Fairest in the Land - @^ - by Barbara Hambly.
175. Third Time Lucky - @^ - by Tanya Huff.
176. Jack and Jill - ^ - by Louisa May Alcott.
177. Arcanum 101 - Welcome New Students - @# - by Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill.
178. The Long List Anthology 2 - @^ - by David Steffen.
179. The Wicked Earls Club - @^ - by Tammy Andresen.
180. The Story Girl - @* - by L.M. Montgomery.
181. Sweep of the Blade - @^ - by Ilona Andrews.
182. The Trespassers - @* - by Zilpha Keatley Snyder.
183. One Day on Beetle Rock - ^ - by Sally Carrighar.
184. Elemental Magic - # - by Mercedes Lackey.
185. If You Didn't Bring Jerky, What Did I Just Eat? - @^ - by Bill Heavey.
186. The House of Green Turf - @^ - by Ellis Peters.
187. Mourning Raga - @# - by Ellis Peters.
188. The Grass Widow's Tale - @# - by Ellis Peters.
189. Death and Relaxation - @^ - by Devon Monk.
190. Pat of Silver Bush - @* - by L.M. Montgomery.
191. Uncommon Carriers - * - by John McPhee.
192. First Year Out - %^ - by Sabrina Symington.
193. Waves - %^ - by Ingrid Chabbert.
194. Mistress Pat - @* - by L.M. Montgomery.
195. Renegade - @^ - by Justine Davis.
196. The Trouble With Tribbles - @* - by David Gerrold.
197. The Flying Witch Vol 1 - @%^ - by Chihiro Ishizuka.
198. Devils and Details - @^ - by Devon Monk.
199. Major Pieces - @^ - by M.C.A. Hogarth.
200. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill - @^ - by Abbi Waxman.
201. Emily of New Moon - @* - by L.M. Montgomery.
202. Tales of Ethshar - @^ - by Lawrence Watt-Evans.
203. Val Hall: The Even Years - @! - by Alma Alexander.
204. Flu - * - by Gina Bari Kolata.
205. Seasons - @^ - by Mercedes Lackey ed.
206. Tom's Tower - * - by Janet McNeill.
207. Mountain of Fire - * - by Alice Steffan.
208. The Case of the Spellbound Child - @^ - by Mercedes Lackey.
I actually sort of did a Black Friday thing - though only because Black Friday starts at the beginning of Thanksgiving week and isn't over yet. On Saturday I went to Target and got a new tablet - it's been a long time since I got a new one, mostly I get my family's castoffs (and then I fix whatever made my parents discard the tablet (cracked screens, mostly) and I have a good tablet...). But they've been rather careful of their tablets lately, aside from the one that Dad crunched up in the recliner sofa (which even I couldn't fix), so I haven't had a new(ish) tablet in several years. I still have three which are at least semi-functional, but battery life is rapidly declining in all three. So now I have a new Galaxy Tab A 8"; right now it's somewhere between useless and a pain, but once I get the right apps installed and the data passed over it will be quite nice. It's not the greatest tablet - medium to low specs - but I don't game or stream, it should do me just fine. And the price was good.
Tomorrow I go and get my permanent crown - not before time; despite chewing carefully I've squashed the temporary rather flat and wide, and it's chewing on my cheek.
Also tomorrow Mom and I sign up for the next semester of ceramics.
Next weekend I get stuffed to the gills - on Saturday, Mom and I are going to an AAUW lunch which is actually a high tea in a historic house. Should be interesting. And that evening my condo is having a potluck party, so I'll be eating another big meal... Three parties in one day, though the first one (with our church) we won't get fed because we're leaving early to go to the AAUW event.
The weekend after that is our caroling party - on Friday the 13th, my parents will hold their 50-somethingth annual caroling party, at which we will eat Cossack Stew and all the desserts and sides that people bring, and sing carols ranging from medieval to pop. On Saturday we will lie flat and moan (it's about 7 hours on our feet and running around arranging things), and on Sunday we go to Christmas Revels (it's a fantastic show, every year, with songs and dances from different areas - it's in many places, the only ones I know for sure are Boston and Oakland but I'm pretty sure it's all over the US. Different people in each place, of course).
And the weekend after _that_ the first of the family arrive for Christmas. Aaagh, how did it sneak up on me so fast? It does this every year, of course...
So Monday I got my permanent crown; that worked fine, yay it's done.
Today I was supposed to meet up with my mom at the senior center for the Ceramics workshop - I usually ride with her but today I had a doctor's appointment afterward so I was driving myself. I pulled out of my street, drove along for half a block and a car pulled out of a driveway directly in front of me. All I remember is a flash of gray in front of me, and then I was coughing on air bag smoke.
His car took damage to the front wheel, and the driver's side door (and he hit his head, though apparently not badly - the EMTs passed him. I wasn't injured, just shaken up and a little achy, mostly from the shock I think). Mine got the front squnched in - it looks like the frame is bent. And given it's a 12-year-old car with 140000+ miles on it, the insurance company is probably going to total it. I repeat, ghahh.
There's a silver lining, though - I've been wanting an electric car for some time (like my parents' cars). Assuming I get a decent settlement, I think I'm going to buy a used Chevy Bolt - there are some good ones available for about $20k, which is twice what a normal used car would probably cost (and half the price of a new Bolt) but they're newish (it only came out in 2017, I see '17s and '19s available), most of them are very well checked and warrantied, and I expect I can get a loan to cover it - which means no more gas, no more smog checks, no more oil changes or 90% of the other things a car needs fixed. Still will need alignment and rotation of tires, though, and some fluid refills. But not much, compared to a gas car. And there's various state and city rebates on getting an electric car, so that should help too.
There are several free and more pay electric chargers around town - I live in a condo, so I don't think I'll be getting a charger installed at home (my parking space is nowhere near my unit or the electrical line...it gets too complicated). But I think I can manage, again the same way my parents do - though they have a free charger in the mall across the way, and often leave a car overnight there. More difficult for me, I don't think there's any within easy walking distance. But within long walking distance, yes, so I may do that.
Anyway. Lots of possibilities. But in the short term, I'm dealing with a lot of paperwork and waiting on people. My insurance covers a rental car, so they'll be contacting me tomorrow; my car needs to be inspected so they can pronounce the final disposition on it...etc.
Oh - and I finished my application for the Census next year - I actually got a call from them saying "We see you've got an uncompleted census application - were you going to finish that...?" So I did. Finally found the info I needed in an old resume - exactly when did I work for the census last time, and what was my job title? So next year should be interesting.
I spent quite a bit of time researching various grants and loans and rebates and stuff for buying an electric car...and as far as I can tell I don't qualify for _any_ of them. Many are only for new cars, and at double the price I'm sticking to used. Others are for people with bad credit (mine is excellent) or with cars over 15 years old (mine is 12). Bah. Oh well. Ah, I will have the stickers that let me use the HOV lanes any time, though! Nice. The car I'm looking at already has them, good until 2022.
I woke up with a very stiff neck and back this morning, and I've a lovely bruise on my chest. But I don't think there's any long-term damage. I will be going to a chiropractor to have things checked out, and get a massage - which will be very nice, but probably won't happen until Friday.
Hope you are safe and can get the new car you want.
Christmas season has attacked with a vengeance - today I went to three different events; a church get-together that we left early, the AAUW high tea (the tea was excellent and the house is amazing - I want to go back in the spring and see their garden), and my condo potluck. I got the time wrong on the potluck, but that's OK - it started at 5, I got there at 7 and it broke up at 8, and that hour was about as much as I could have managed. But both the AAUW lunch and the potluck did Secret Santa - the kind where people choose a gift either from the unopened pile or stealing one from someone else who's already opened it. I got a set of Christmas dessert plates at the AAUW one, and no one wanted to steal them from me; I regifted them to the potluck (I had a different gift already wrapped, but I want that more than I wanted the plates!) and ended up with a big box of Almond Roca (yum). A definite success.
Tomorrow is church - the scheduled lector has a sore throat, so I'm doing it, and by chance my dad is the other lector. Oh, right, I should check the reading tonight so I'm not coming at it cold tomorrow. Then the Basilica Choir (including my mom) has a Christmas concert at 3. Aside from that, there's reading the paper, doing the crossword with Mom, and our usual family video hangout that night.
Monday...I really hope to hear from the insurance company!
Sometime this week we need to get meat for the Cossack Stew Mom will make for the caroling party; get stuff for Dad to make eggnog ditto; buy a tree (though we won't set it up until after the party - but if we don't buy until then, the trees available are pretty sad). And...something else. There were four things we needed to do this week. Hmmm. And I need to bake for the party, though I may just bring the rest of the brownies I made for tonight's potluck - the recipe makes 8 dozen (small) brownies, and I brought 3 dozen. Which means I've got _plenty_ left over and need to take it somewhere to get it out of the house... Plus I have the chiropractic appointment (to check, after the accident), and an appointment to be evaluated for a CPAP. It will be nice to have one that actually fits me.
Stuff! Going on! But I want a car buying to also happen in the very near future...hurry up, guys!
190. Pat of Silver Bush @* by L.M. Montgomery. Review - Cute, somewhat pointless. Another imaginative girl on PEI - not at all Anne's story, but similarities.
191. Uncommon Carriers * by John McPhee. Review - Not terrible, but no arc to this collection of essays. OK to read once.
192. First Year Out %^ by Sabrina Symington. Review - Very interesting graphic novel of a transwoman - lots of good info, and a good story as well.
193. Waves %^ by Ingrid Chabbert. Review - Kind of depressing but rich story - a woman miscarries, after trying for a long time to have a child. Her and her partner's reactions. Lots of surreal dream bits, making it rather confusing.
194. Mistress Pat @* by L.M. Montgomery. Review - My, that's stupid. The whole book is about Pat's romances, all of which fail, until magically her first romance comes true...It's a good thing Silver Bush couldn't block her any more.
195. Renegade @^ by Justine Davis. Review - Lovely, like the rest of this series (and most of Davis' stuff) - an excellent SF story and a good romance.
196. The Trouble With Tribbles @* by David Gerrold. Review - Mildly interesting, more for the Star Trek backlot info than for the details of the script.
197. The Flying Witch Vol 1 @%^ by Chihiro Ishizuka. Review - Cute manga, too slow to keep my interest.
198. Devils and Details @^ by Devon Monk. Review - A middle book - things get worse, basically. Though Ryder and Delaney do manage to shake out their relationship a little (and then things get more complicated…).
See current post
Four! I actually got four BOMBs read (three eBOMBs and one paper). I hit my goal for the month! Now I'm only 33 (just over half) my goal short...with almost a month left in the year...ghahh.
Four discards, too - all the BOMBs are discards. Glad I read them, if for some reason I want to reread I have the ebook.
All new - the four BOMBs, three library books, and two new ebooks. 17 rereads paid for - I actually got some numbers past my transferred-from-last-year lot.
I finally got around to reading BOMBs - probably too late to make my goals this year (especially as I've fallen away from reading them again) but at least some progress.
17 books read
14 new books
17 rereads paid for
4196 pages read, average 246.8
5 BOMBs - hit my goal for the month (finally!)
0 ER books
0 Netgalley books
12 ebooks, 5 paper books
6 discards - passed my goal for the month
1 animal stories
1 general fiction
3 graphic novels
13 F, 5 M authors
199. Major Pieces @^ by M.C.A. Hogarth. Review - Expectedly magnificent. _Not_ a place to start with this series, this is short stories filling in events we were told about in the mainline stories, or knew happened behind the scenes. The author Kickstarted it, both the money and the structure of the book - what stories people wanted to see, and editing passes on them after she'd written them. Fun and a wonderful result.
200. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill @^ by Abbi Waxman. Review - Hmm. I pretty much liked it - and I guess Nina really wanted a relationship. I identified more with her at the beginning than at the end, though.
Flu by Gina Kolata - still reading this, I kind of stalled for a while. I haven't picked the next ebook, I'll try to make it an eBOMB.
Nope. Work on this.
Both new, so still 17 paid for.
Two enjoyable books, but not BOMBs so whip myself back on track...
Sunday was busier than expected, because there was also an Our Lady of Guadeloupe party at the church. So back and forth a lot.
Monday Mom and I went to Costco, then I called to bug the insurance company and got the determination (which is actually for more than I expected, yay). So we put away our purchases and drove straight down - it's about a 50-minute drive _not_ in rush hour. We left at 2, got to the dealer at 3 (Dad couldn't come, he was grading papers), did a quick test drive (since I'm familiar with the car, I just needed to make sure this one was good), then took care of details and signed papers and stuff. At 5:15 I owned a car. But rush hour was in full swing, so we went a short way to my sister's house and hung out with her for a bit until things started to calm down; it was still a long drive, in the dark which Mom hates, and my car and phone were not yet talking to one another so I had my map in my lap. Got back to the parents' house, took my Costco stuff, went home and collapsed.
Today is Tuesday; farmers market in the morning, Mom and I went to ceramics workshop and I did small things (glazed a couple plant markers, I'm experimenting). Mom worked on her mug, antiquing the wood-grain - you paint underglaze (color, not shiny) over a texture, then wipe it off and it stays in the sunken bits. She'll do a mostly-transparent glaze over it on Thursday. Then I returned my rental car (all done! I have car!), went and did a job for a client (her computer hates her router, apparently, and keeps pretending there's no wifi around), went back to the parents' and ate and helped Mom make fruitcake (no, it's yummy. Really. No candied fruit and no alcohol, just a very dense, rich, delicious date/raisin/nut cake). Home, did chores, and now fall into bed.
Tomorrow early I have that chiropractor appointment, then I'm driving up to Martinez (another 50+ minute drive) to get the one thing I missed out of my old car. It's useless, but lovely, so I want it - mahogany gear shift knob. The Bolt has a complex knob that does things and has buttons, so I can't install it on my new car - but I still want it. And I have some other stuff that belongs to the car (the manual, mostly).
After I get back from that, we're going to get a Christmas tree - as I said above, we won't put it up until after the caroling party this Friday, but it's better to have it.
Thursday we have ceramics class, then I have the CPAP evaluation appointment. And I may have to bring the gadget back on Friday morning...have to check that. I'm taking something home so they can tell if I need a machine.
Friday is the caroling party - planning and setup and party and cleanup and collapse.
Saturday I'll do laundry, as usual, and then we have Ethnic Dining in the evening. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres - I plan to make pao de quejo, yummy little Brazilian cheese breads. They're gluten-free, made with tapioca flour, and very easy - time-consuming, a bit, but easy and tasty. Whiz the batter in a blender, pour it into mini-cupcake silicon cups, and bake.
Sunday, after church, we're going to Christmas Revels - that's always fun.
Next week currently looks lighter...but I suspect stuff will come and fill in. It's a fun time of year, but really tiring too.
I want to make Almond Cloud cookies - I made the almond paste today (making it takes all of 20 minutes, and is a heck of a lot cheaper _and_ better than the stuff in cans). And snickerdoodles, because one brother-in-law loves them - and molasses snickerdoodles, because I hate snickerdoodles. These are more like molasses cookies, which I love. And maple shortbreads, and baci di dama - both filled cookies, one maple-flavored shortbread with maple cream filling and the other small hazelnut cookies with chocolate (not chocolate cream, just melted chocolate) filling. Not sure all those are going to happen, but Grandma's cookies and almond clouds will.
My sister and her family come down tomorrow (inshallah - rain and snow all the way from Reno to the Bay Area). Her younger son flies in Monday. My other sister and her husband will be coming up on Christmas Day, for presents and dinner - and then the Reno sister and her family disappear to visit her husband's family. I believe they'll be coming back to us before they head north, but I may be wrong. It'll be fun, if short.
Dad and I are reading at the Christmas Vigil Mass, that's always fun. At 11 pm, the Basilica Choir (including Mom) sing Christmas carols with the congregation; the actual Mass starts at midnight, and ends around 1 am. And then we go collapse so we can be up early for Christmas...
The tree is up and decorated, but we haven't put up the creches yet (los padres kind of collect them - they have...8? Something like that, depending on how you count. But the big one goes on the table that is currently occupied by the Advent wreath, so it'll get put up Sunday evening, probably - and all the others along with it.
For Christmas dinner, I'm making the pies, and (new this year, we'll see if it returns) a parsnip-and-roasted-garlic puree. I had it in a restaurant and loved it, going to try to make it. The meat is coming down from Reno, the potatoes and some of the veg with my other sister, and Mom (and probably all of us) will make the green bean casserole and a couple others. Hmm, I should bake some rolls too, or the pull-apart bread. Not that we'll need it in terms of food or starch, but nothing else is as good at sopping up gravy.
And I really should wrap some presents, too! I don't have many, but some. Usually I give food (cookies, candy, etc) as presents, but this month has been so insane I haven't had time to make most of my usuals. Oh well.
And I may well make my number-of-books goal, but I won't come close on either of the other two. Oh well.
Many years ago I also made mini gingerbread houses - about 3 inches square, with a base - and put candy or mini meringues in them. That was fun, but a lot of work, and I have to think about it about mid-November to get things going in time. Ditto a Buche de Noel, Yule Log; not a gift for anyone, just for everyone. That worked better when people were around for longer, though.
So this year - made Grandma's cookies, with raisins and with chocolate chips (I like them with raisins!). I've made the almond clouds up to the baking point - they're chilling at my parents', I'll bake them tomorrow. Also more Grandma's cookies, the wedding cookies, and the maple shortbreads. I baked the pies tonight; tomorrow morning I'm going to make the two snickerdoodles doughs and take them to the parents' for baking, and roast the parsnip and make the puree. It will reheat just fine, and the oven will be busy on the 25th. I'll also make some more almond paste, for future almond clouds - but I don't think I'll make more this season. And I may make the baci di dama, or skip it for now.
Also need to wrap presents in the morning. And I need to get to bed now, so I can wake up in good time and get all this stuff done.
Merry Christmas to all!
Basically no reading happening. I may get some in after Christmas, but right now too much else going on.
Again, Merry Christmas! And thanks, quondame, that's pretty, and funny.
A very pleasant Christmas, with the whole family at my parents. Only minor disasters (I forgot the pies at home - fortunately I live very close, so my sister and I ran home and got them). A nice haul - a Seanan McGuire I didn't know existed, Laughter at the Academy. It's short stories. Two things for my KitchenAid stand mixer...which I may have replaced, it depends. I Freecycled (three days ago) a bowl-lift model that's stronger than my tilt-head, but has some problems; if I can fix it (and I think I can), I'll keep that and get rid of the tilt-head. So I'll keep my new spatula-sided beater and Precise Heat Mixing Bowl in their boxes, and if I end up with the bowl-lift I'll return them and get the lift types. Which will also push me to try the fix quickly, rather than putting it aside for ages as I probably would have... Also a t-shirt to replace one the clothes washer ate recently - "I'm not Weird, I'm a Special Edition". And a money gift which will help with paying off the car. I think I'm forgetting at least one thing but I don't remember what.
The together time was too short, except that I was utterly wiped at the end of it - I love being with my family but I really am an introvert. So I'm sitting quietly at home and relaxing. The Reno contingent leaves tomorrow morning; in the unlikely event I'm awake early, I'll go over long enough to say goodbye (and probably help carry stuff to the car). But probably I'll say bye by text.
I have _no_ plans, none at all, for tomorrow (OK, a few chores). Friday things start happening again but I'm going to focus on resting, and doing some reading, tomorrow, starting with getting to bed early tonight.
So what I actually plan to do is fix it, and then test it out and see if I like the tilt-head or the bowl-lift better. Then I'll sell the one I don't want (as much). Testing which one I want more is definitely on the agenda.
My parents both got new computers (did I say?) last week - on the 22nd. Dad was looking for one to replace his aging ultrabook; when he found it, Mom decided to get one too. It's got as much memory, though a smaller drive, than her computer - and its drive is an SSD vs the old one's hard drive. More importantly, it's a _lot_ lighter, which means both that it's easier to carry around the house and that it will be easier to take on trips. Once we get them set up, it will be lovely. Until then...ghahh. Need Firefox. Need Adobe (don't want to use Edge for PDFs, it's dumb). Need their passwords - so both the password program and Dropbox to share the database (which meant unlinking a bunch of devices - but she does have only three she actually uses. Most of the unlinked ones she no longer has at all). Next project is putting Office on - which means figuring out what version of Office they have on their old computers and transferring it. Dad has 2016; I'm not at all sure what Mom has, but it's probably on disc (and the disc is...somewhere). And so on and so forth. I am a computer tech by vocation and avocation; I'd actually enjoy setting them up (though two at once is a bit much). But my parents want to have large amounts of input, or do it themselves...so it's taking a while. Ah well, the end results will be worth it.
201. Emily of New Moon @* by L.M. Montgomery. Review - Cute - she's much less annoying than Pat, so far. Yet another imaginative orphan brought up by stern but (eventually) loving foster parents…
202. Tales of Ethshar @^ by Lawrence Watt-Evans. Review - Various and assorted short stories, more or less set in Watt-Evans' fantasy world of Ethshar. Some were excellent, the worst were slightly dull.
203. Val Hall: The Even Years @! by Alma Alexander. Review - Short stories of retired super-ish heros - one power used once, or not so much used as using (power not really controlled). Interesting, though for a world with superheroes it's rather too similar to ours - same disasters (Challenger, 9/11, etc).
204. Flu * by Gina Bari Kolata. Review - Hmm. I learned quite a bit, but it was ultimately unsatisfying - it was framed as a heroic "we found a solution"...except we haven't.
Struck by Lightning by Jeffrey S. Rosenthal - library book due back tomorrow, so I may not finish it. If not, I'll check it out again - want to read this! An interesting treatment of probability. Seasons, edited by Mercedes Lackey - a Valdemar short story anthology, with the usual serial stories (and I haven't read the previous book yet, so I'm confused, also as usual). I don't know if this was a themed anthology or what, but the stories all seem to be focusing heavily on "love", in one form or another. Romantic love, friendship, family - mostly slightly mishandled, to make the conflict of the story. Good stories, though - each individually is good to excellent, it's only en masse that the theme of LOVE (that should be pink and flowy) shows up and bugs me.
Two more, Emily and Flu, bringing my total to 29 for the year so far. Less than half my goal, annoying.
The same two are discards (I have Emily as an ebook, and am not interested in rereading Flu). 36 for the year, over half my goal but only just.
All new. 19 rereads paid for - more than the 14 that rolled over from last year, good.
So I passed my books-read goal of 200, but totally failed on books-discarded and BOMBs. I'll try to read a couple short BOMBs in the next few days, to at least reach half my goal, but no way I'm hitting the full thing, bah.
Still reading - I have now read a BOMB and a half, so I've gotten to the half-way mark on my goal, at least. I'll post my last few reads tomorrow, along with stats for December and the year.
205. Seasons @^ by Mercedes Lackey ed. Review - Mildly interesting as usual; also as usual, most of the stories are serials (and I haven't read the previous book).
206. Tom's Tower * by Janet McNeill. Review - Neat story, rather surreal in spots - was it a dream? Or not? Might be worth rereading.
207. Mountain of Fire * by Alice Steffan. Review - Mildly enjoyable, though I'm uncertain about the accuracy of the (Native American) viewpoint. Not much to it.
208. The Case of the Spellbound Child @^ by Mercedes Lackey. Review - Pleasant interlude in the Elemental Masters series - what are the girls up to these days. They solve a mystery or two but nothing earthshaking, much to their relief. It reads like a couple vignettes and one longer story, stuck together into a novel.
Started (restarted) Bad Astronomy - that will show up in next year's thread.
Tom's Tower and Mountain of Fire, bringing me up to 31 BOMBs for the year, just over half my goal.
Mountain of Fire, only - so 37 for the year. Actually more than that, but it's hard to track my few discard-without-reading books.
All new. 21 rereads paid for - actually, 7 paid for with reading this year (14 rolled over from last year). I won't be doing the rollover again, it makes for bad habits (not reading BOMBs!).
Last lot of reading for the year - I meant to post last night, the 31st, but I had to do some cooking and time ran out. Not bad, and three-and-a-half good books to end the year (Mountain of Fire is the half, it's kind of marginal).
10 books read
10 new books
21/7 rereads paid for
3068 pages read, average 306.8
1 ER books
0 Netgalley books
7 ebooks, 3 paper books
0 animal stories
1 general fiction
0 graphic novels
9 F, 2 M authors
A little light, but it's been a busy month. At least I managed half my goals for BOMBs and discards.
208 books read
184 new books
21/7 rereads paid for (14 rolled over from last year)
49432 pages read, average per book 237.7, average per month 4119.3
31 BOMBs this year, 29 short of my goal
9 ER books
3 Netgalley etc books
165 ebooks, 43 paper books
37 discards for the year, 23 short of my goal
4 animal stories
9 general fiction
16 graphic novels
138 F, 77 M authors
Serious imbalance towards SF - just barely less than half the books I read. Take for given the grumble about not hitting my goals. A good lot of ER books, though I'm still well behind - and worse on Netgalley. But a pretty good year overall. On to the next!
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