Mary/Storeetllr Reads Through 2023-Ch. 3: Summertime & the Reading is Easy

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

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Mary/Storeetllr Reads Through 2023-Ch. 3: Summertime & the Reading is Easy

Jul 1, 2:01 pm

Welcome to my Q3 Summer Thread!

Reading keeps me going, but my grandkids are my life!

Huh. I just noticed that most of my pics of Rowan involve him at the table in his booster seat and food. Probably because it's one of the few times he's not in motion. And there's Ruby, lurking in the background. She takes after me in that respect, though she seldom remains quietly in the background for long.

My darlin' girl snuggling with me, apres shower. That hair! Those eyes! When she looks at me like that, I just melt.

Nickel, wondering when I'm either going to give her head skritches or a treat. if I'm going to make her fly back to her cage.

Editado: Set 4, 2:06 pm

Haha, just noticed the name of the counter changed. I'm going to think of it in the context of a fertile imagination, which is, of course, fostered by reading!

ETA Heh. Looks like they caught the error and changed it back.

Editado: Set 25, 11:18 pm

Books Read in July

61. Elder Race by Adrian Tchiakovsky. 3.5 stars. Audio. I wasn’t blown away by this novella, though it held my interest enough to want to know what happened at the end. Might have enjoyed it more in text format, as the reader’s voice annoyed me.

62. Eversion by Alistair Reynolds. 3.5 stars. Audio.

63. Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost. 4 stars. Graphic Audio.

64. Slow Time Between the Stars by John Scalzi. 5 stars. Audio. Short story.

65. The Long Game by Ann Leckie. 4 stars. Audio. Short story.

Books Read in August

66. I Swear: Politics Is Messier Than My Minivan by Katie Porter. 4 stars. Audio.

67. One for the Money by Jeaniene Frost. 3.5 stars. Graphic Audio. Novella.

68. Just Out Of Jupiter’s Reach by Nnedi Okorafor. 4 stars. Short story.

69. Void by Veronica Roth. 3.5 stars. Audio. Short story.

70. How It Unfolds by James Corey. 3 stars. Audio. Short story.

71. Resonance Surge by Nalini Singh. 4 stars. Audio.

72. Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart. 3 stars. Audio.

73. Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary American by Kathleen Belew. Audio. Rec by Nancy Richardson. CHILLING.

Books Read in Sept.

74. The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman. 4 stars. Audio. Dark fantasy.

75. A Traveler’s Guide to the Stars by Les Johnson. 3.5 stars. Audio. Physics/astrophysics/tech

76. Translation State by Ann Leckie. 4 stars. Audio.

77. Payback in Death by J. D. Robb. 4 stars. Audio.

78. The Third Circle by Amanda Quick. 3.5 stars. Audio.

79. All Systems Red by Martha Wells. 2.5 stars. Graphic Audio.

80. A Night in the Lonesome October by Zelazny. 4.5 stars. Audio. I love this novel and was excited to discover they’d made it into an audiobook (I bought it right away for my audio library). I was going to save it for Spooktober, which is right around the corner, because it’s one of my annual Spooktober reads, but I just couldn’t wait. It’s a very well done audio, and I will be listening to it again, probably often, but I have to say I prefer the book, in large part for the illustrations. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it as a light-hearted horror story that gives nods to all the classic horror books and films of the past, plus The Great Detective.

81. All the Dead Shall Weep by Charlaine Harris. 4.5 stars. Audio. Latest installment of the Gunnie Rose saga is set in Texoma, mostly in Segunda Mexia. Most of the book centers on Lizbeth Rose and Felicia, who is besieged by suitors all of a sudden due to her powerful magical abilities.

82. Running Hot by Amanda Quick. 3 stars. Audio. Arcane Society Paranormal Romance part 3. Characters: Grace Renquist, aura reader and Luther Malone, hunter. Location: Maui.

83. Sizzle and Burn by Amanda Quick. 3 stars. Audio. Arcane Society Paranormal Romance part 5. Characters: Raine Tallentyre, aural sensitive, and Zack Jones, visual sensitive. Villains: mundane-witch burner; paranormal-Nightshade operative “January.” Location: Washington State.

84. Second Sight by Amanda Quick. 3 stars. Audio. Arcane Society Paranormal Historical Romance part 1. Characters: Venetia Milton, aura reader and photographer; Gabriel Jones, Arcane Society master’s son and Hunter. Villains: Mundane-rival photographer; paranormal-darwinist and his lover. Location: Victorian London.

85. The Road To Roswell by Connie Willis. 3.5 stars. Audio. Other than a couple of the characters, who I really disliked, and the l-o-n-g roadtrip that seemed neverending, and the tired and overused “misunderstanding due to lack of communication” trope, and an odd twist at the very end, this was fun. I really liked Indy, the alien, who kept me reading.

Editado: Set 28, 11:00 am

What's Up?

Currently Reading

The Book of Paradise rec by Richard
Thornhedge rec by Susan, I think
Mars Adrift by Kathleen McFall. Dead-tree book. (!)
Foundation, the history of England from its earliest beginnings to the Tudors by Peter Ackroyd. Hardcover.

Up Next

Everyone in my Family Has Killed Someone rec by DrNeutron

In the Queue

Flatland rec by ?

On My Holds List

System Collapse due 11/14/23
The Hands of the Emperor Kindle.
John Dies at the End
The Bullet that Missed
The Serpent Sea by Martha Wells. Kindle
It's a Wonderful Woof by Spencer Quinn. Audio.
City of Bones by Martha Wells

Last Ranger by Peter Heller. (Rec by Donna and Mark)
Cleopatra, a Life by Stacy Schiff. Audio.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. Audio.
The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett. Audio.

Editado: Set 16, 12:52 pm


Some Desperate Glory by Emily Tesh. Audio. Not for me. Too angsty. Didn’t like the characters.
Ascension by Nicholas Binge. Too much talk about religion and philosophy when they are in a fight for their lives. Story told in a series of graphic letters written by an introverted physicist to his young niece =cringe.
When Things Get Dark: Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson. Edited by Ellen Datlow. Audio. Read about 6 of the stories. Good writing but too much darkness and doom all at once.

Jul 1, 2:57 pm

Just thought I’d put this out there for anyone interested. Amazon is offering six short stories to all Prime members. These are short sci-fi stories by John Scalzi, Ann Leckie, James S. A. Corey, Nnedi Okorafor, Veronica Roth, and Rebecca Roanhorse. Here’s the link.

Jul 1, 4:06 pm

Happy new thread, Mary. Wonderful pictures of your happy grandkids to open!

I recently noticed that the counters were labelled "fertility" but thought it was just something I'd failed to notice before. Maybe I'm not as unobservant as I thought.

Editado: Jul 1, 5:03 pm

Happy new thread Mary!

>1 Storeetllr: Oh, the darlings!

>7 Storeetllr: Thanks!

Jul 1, 7:50 pm

Happy new thread! Sweet children, indeed!

>5 Storeetllr: Are you enjoying the Ackroyd?

Jul 1, 8:24 pm

Happy new one, Mary!

Editado: Jul 2, 12:46 am

Happy new thread! I think some of your touchstones might be wrong in your holds list...

The Hands of the Emperor
System Collapse
The Serpent Sea

...because I share an interest in those authors!

I swear: Politics is messier than my minivan - ok this caught my eye, it might be great!

Jul 2, 1:20 am

>12 reconditereader: I Swear: Politics is Messier Than My Minivan DOES sound great! (And, one of the better titles ever.)

Jul 2, 7:41 am

Happy new thread, Mary!

Jul 2, 10:11 am

Happy new one, Mary!

Jul 2, 1:09 pm

>8 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg! Those kids are more adorable each day!

I hadn’t been to the counter site to update it for a month, so they must have changed it sometime in June. I wonder why.

Jul 2, 1:12 pm

>9 quondame: Thanks, Susan! I love posting pics of the kids.

Most of those authors are ones I’ve read before and love, so I’m happy. Also, it gives me a chance to try out the ones I haven’t read before without too much of an investment of time.

Jul 2, 1:15 pm

>10 witchyrichy: Hi, Karen! Thanks. They are sweet, even when they’re being mischievous.

I’m only dipping into the Ackroyd occasionally. I’m not sure why, but I tend to put books I own last on the list of things I’m reading.

Editado: Jul 2, 1:15 pm

>11 PaulCranswick: Thank you, Paul!

Jul 2, 1:19 pm

>12 reconditereader: Oh! Thank you! I try to always double check to be sure I’ve got the right Touchstones, but I was pressed for time and forgot. I’ve fixed them.

I’m really looking forward to Porter’s book.

Jul 2, 1:20 pm

>13 PlatinumWarlock: I love that title! I’ve heard good things about the book.

Jul 2, 1:20 pm

Hi Mary, those pictures at the top of your thread show just how gorgeous your grandkids are! That picture of Ruby is priceless!

The "fertility" ticker makes me smile as well. I will have to start thinking in terms of a fertile imagination as well. :)

Jul 2, 1:20 pm

>14 FAMeulstee: Thank you, Anita!

Jul 2, 1:20 pm

>15 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

Jul 2, 1:27 pm

>22 DeltaQueen50: Aw, thanks, Judy. I think so, but it’s nice when others feel the same. And yeah, that one of Ruby is a keeper.

Haha, “fertility” can’t be anything else for me at my age.

Jul 2, 3:57 pm

Hi Mary - Great pics of the kids. Grandkids are the best.

Jul 3, 1:38 pm

>26 BLBera: They are, Beth! Thanks. I love looking at their little faces in photos, especially when they are away, as they are now.

My daughter took the kids to visit a friend in Arkansas for a couple of weeks. I miss them so much!

Jul 3, 3:13 pm

HAppy new one! Your grandkids are adorable

Jul 5, 9:22 pm

Happy new thread, Mary!

>1 Storeetllr: Nickel and the kids are adorable, as usual. Does Nickel hang out with Rowan and Ruby?

Jul 6, 8:44 am

Sweet Thursday, Mary! Happy New Thread. I miss seeing you around. I LOVE the grandkid toppers. They are gorgeous. I recently finished and enjoyed Tomorrow and Tomorrow? Have you read it? If not, it might be your cuppa.

Jul 6, 12:24 pm

>28 figsfromthistle: Anita! Hi! Nice to see you!

Thanks, I think so. 😄

Jul 6, 12:29 pm

>29 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne! And thanks for coming over to visit!

Rowan adores Nickel. Every time he sees me, it’s all “Nickel! Nickel! Nickel!” We’ve been face timing, and that’s all he says. I have to turn the camera on Nickel so he can see her. It’s so cute! Nickel’s not too sure of him yet. As for Ruby, she is a little more cautious around the bird, for which I’m grateful. That beak could take off one of those little fingers if Nickel got frightened.

Jul 6, 12:34 pm

>30 msf59: Mark! I’m so happy to see you here! Thank you! I love sharing pics of the kids. I know you get that. 😉

I haven’t been keeping up with all the threads, though I do visit many without commenting. It’s a lot, that’s for sure. I’ll try to do less lurking and engage more.

I have not read Tomorrow and Tomorrow but will check it out on your recommendation. Thanks!

Jul 10, 12:33 pm

Mary, just wanted to check in on you after the terrible rains and flooding in your neck of the woods. Are you all ok?

Jul 10, 4:21 pm

I am behind on reviews and threads after a somewhat chaotic few weeks. Hope you are well. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow keeps showing up on my "you should read this" lists.

Jul 11, 12:20 pm

>34 katiekrug: Hi, Katie! Thanks so much for checking on me. What an awful storm that was! I hope you guys are okay. You don’t need another flood like last year’s.

I’m okay, just had one relatively sleepless night when I had to keep getting up to run the pump. Turned out, after the rain slowed and I finally got to sleep (around 4 am), the stairwell flooded and water got in the “vestibule” outside the kitchen, but it didn’t make it into the kitchen. I’m still drying out.

Worse was on Sunday, when the kitchen sink upstairs (mounted under the counter—I didn’t even know that was a thing) fell down when it was full of water and flooded the laundry room down here. No real damage, but I had a few fraught moments checking for seepage into my apartment, which is right next to the laundry room. So far, no signs of it. The sink should be repaired by the time my daughter gets back with the kids later today. (They have been away visiting friends in Arkansas; my son in law had to stay home to work.)

I’m a Leo, and my sign is the Sun. Although I love the beach, Water is definitely my nemesis. 😂

Jul 11, 12:43 pm

Mary, what nightmare! And so stressful. I hope it's better from here on forward

Jul 11, 1:58 pm

>36 Storeetllr: - We ended up not getting too much rain at all, thank goodness. I'm sorry for the hassle you're experiencing but so glad it wasn't worse!

Jul 11, 5:50 pm

>36 Storeetllr: Water damage is a real pain to deal with. I hope that your house recovers mold free.

Jul 12, 12:30 pm

>37 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley. It is stressful. Whoever built this 103-year old house didn’t bother to grade it properly and didn’t provide proper drainage for the landing outside the walk-up basement entrance that leads into the kitchen, so flooding happens whenever it rains more than a quarter inch. I bought a pump for it, but it’s not automatic so I can’t be away from home overnight if there’s a chance of rain or I’ll come home to a total disaster.

Jul 12, 12:33 pm

>38 katiekrug: Oh, that’s good! I’m glad you escaped the flooding! We’re toward the top of a slope, so the chance of flooding in the general area isn’t great. It’s just localized flooding due to a bad building plan.

Jul 12, 12:37 pm

>39 quondame: Thanks, Susan. I hope mold doesn’t result too. As for flooding, mine isn’t as bad as some folks’. The way things are headed, we are all likely to have worse flooding (or drought, depending on location) to deal with as time goes on.

Jul 12, 7:47 pm

Glad to hear you didn't have any major flooding!

Jul 13, 1:45 pm

Thanks, Joanne! Me too!

Jul 27, 8:33 pm

62. Eversion by Alistair Reynolds. 3.5 stars. Audio. Very weird scifi that reads more like fantastical horror until a twist at the end.

Jul 28, 11:07 pm

Hi Mary, I'm so sorry that you had to deal with some water issues - what a pain! We are lucky this year in that we are having a nice summer with some warm days but nothing too hot. Last week we had a couple of rainy days which was badly needed and now we are back to sunshine. Nevertheless, I am counting the days until Fall!

Editado: Jul 29, 4:22 pm

Thanks, Judy. It was stressful but we’re all dried out now. And it was a good test of the new automatic pump which I bought so I could go out of town without worrying about flooding in case of rain. My daughter’s father-in-law rents a B&B at the Jersey Shore for a week in August, and I’m going to join them for two nights. Nickel’s going to birdie camp (boarding at a place I found that was recommended by the vet), so I won’t have to worry about her either.

ETA I’m glad you’re having a good summer!

Jul 30, 10:35 pm

63. Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost. 4 stars. Graphic Audio. I read and enjoyed the Cat & Bones Vampire Huntress series a few years ago. Listening to the Graphic Audio productions is, therefore, an added pleasure.

Jul 31, 7:38 pm

64. Slow Time Between the Stars by John Scalzi. 5 stars. Audio. Short story. A bittersweet story of an AI exploration ship searching for a habitable world in the vastness of the universe to save humanity packs a punch. The narration was perfect.

Jul 31, 8:36 pm

65. The Long Game by Ann Leckie. 4 stars. Audio. Short story. An alien life form interacts with humans. Interesting.

Ago 4, 5:09 pm

Have fun at the Jersey Shore, Mary. I'm glad you found a good temporary home for Nickel. Your beach time will be much more fun when you don't have to worry about a lonely/hungry bird baby. Take lots of pictures of the kiddos! Ruby and Rowan are so photogenic. You will ALL have a blast!

Ago 6, 10:58 am

Thanks, Donna! I always do enjoy the beach - er, shore. Sorry, can’t help it. I’ma California girl, and there we say beach. 😂

After I return, I’ll be getting ready for hip replacement surgery. Finally!

Ago 6, 10:59 am

66. I Swear: Politics Is Messier Than My Minivan by Katie Porter. 4 stars. Audio. Hard to believe a memoir about politics could be so enjoyable, but there it is. Katie, who reads her story, gets down and dirty. And she names names and doesn’t hold her punches. I was going to save my political donations to local candidates and President Biden, but, after reading this, I’m adding Porter to the list. We need a Katie Porter in the House. Highly recommended.

Editado: Ago 6, 9:17 pm

Have fun down the shore!!! (I am a Jersey girl and very jealous stuck here in a landlocked state).

Which town are you going to? (You do "go to the beach" but only once you're down there).

Ago 13, 1:48 pm

Thanks, Joanne. I think it’s Long Beach Island, but I’m not sure I’ll be going. My hip and knee arthritis is acting up, and I was scheduled for a hip replacement, but that’s been postponed after a lower back diagnosis that may require work first. I’m a right mess. I was really looking forward to getting a new hip. It’s depressing.

Ago 13, 2:04 pm

I haven’t been able to concentrate lately, so the short stories mentioned in >7 Storeetllr: have been real lifesavers.

67. One for the Money by Jeaniene Frost. 3.5 stars. Graphic Audio. Novella. Cat and Bones are babysitting a spoiled heiress whose cousin put out a hit on her. Justine “helps.”

68. Just Out Of Jupiter’s Reach by Nnedi Okorafor. 4 stars. Short story. Story of space exploration by a half dozen humans melded with other space-faring life forms. Weird, but I loved the narrator’s voice.

69. Void by Veronica Roth. 3.5 stars. Audio. Short story. Life on an interstellar spaceship, complicated by a murder mystery. Each trip is a few years for the passengers and crew, a few decades for the worlds they travel between. Not much science, so I had to suspend my disbelief way high to get past the fact they were traveling such immense distances.

70. How It Unfolds by James Corey. 3 stars. Audio. Short story. I have no idea, except it involves a kind of cloning. The embedded love story was kind of lame. (Not a romance, so no worries about this being a kissing book.)

Ago 14, 10:26 pm

Saw this on Facebook. Apparently a teacher gave a poetry prompt—“anger”—to his students, and one 8-year old boy wrote this:

The swan sings beautifully in the light
But I am not the swan.
I am the real wolf
And I. Know. How. TO. Howl.

Hard to believe it was written by a child, but it gives me shivers every time I read it.

I’ll edit this to add an image of the post when I’m on my laptop next.

Ago 15, 11:41 pm

>57 Storeetllr: Oh, that is something. Howl away kid!

Ago 17, 1:47 pm

>58 quondame: It really is! On one hand, I have a hard time believing it was written by an 8-year old. On the other, it certainly encapsulates how it feels sometimes to be a child.

Ago 17, 1:49 pm

71. Resonance Surge by Nalini Singh. 4 stars. Audio. Latest Psy-Changling book, this is the story of twin brothers Pavel and Yakov of the Stonewater Bears. Arwen, Silver Mercant’s empath brother, loves Pavel but is unsure of his place in the relationship, the clan, the Mercant family, and the world, so he resists the mating bond. Theo, Pax Marshall’s twin sister and granddaughter of former councilor Marshall Hyde, hides dangerous secrets from they world of the Psy but can’t hide them from Yakov. Doesn’t move the story arc forward a lot, but it’s a really sweet love story that had me smiling more than a few times.

Ago 24, 11:45 am

>55 Storeetllr: Hi Mary. So sorry that your back issues have postponed knee surgery and possibly your trip to the Jersey Shore. Aging is no fun at all.

I am lucky in that my joints are in good shape (so far) but my energy levels are low these days. I have to prioritize physical activity these days. Thank goodness my eyes are holding steady and I can read as much as I want with a little help from artificial tears.

Take care, friend. I am thinking of you.

Ago 30, 11:33 am

Thanks, Donna. I was sad to miss going to the Shore, and watching the grands play in the ocean, but I hope next year will be a different story.

I’m glad your joints are treating you well, and your eyes, and hope your fatigue passes. I think Long Covid is was blame for my extreme fatigue, which eventually went back to my pre-Covid levels after about 6 months. What’s left is, I think, the result of the constant joint pain. Once that gets dealt with, I hope the fatigue goes away completely.

Ago 30, 11:34 am

72. Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart. 3 stars. Audio. Perhaps this would be better if read as text, but, although the descriptions of China during the Qing Dynasty are lovely, the story—which was actually a murder mystery—was sooooo slooow. I nearly gave up a couple of times, but I’m glad I didn’t, because, other than a weird Poirotesque denouement, the ending was quite satisfying.

Ago 31, 8:03 pm

Stopping by to say hello. I am sorry to hear you had to miss the shore. I am sending lots of healing energy to you. Here's to next year.

Ago 31, 10:15 pm

Thanks so much, Karen. Yes, it was disappointing. I’m hoping I can go next year.

Editado: Ago 31, 10:30 pm

73. Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary American by Kathleen Belew. 4 stars. Audio. Rec by FB friend Nancy Richardson. CHILLING. It would have been a 5-star read if not for the reader, who read too slowly, paused jerkily in unexpected places and seemed uncertain of pronunciation of some of the words, or like she wasn’t paying attention and stumbled frequently. As for the book itself, the writing could have been more polished, I guess, but it worked for the subject matter, which was the proliferation of whacko white supremist extremist groups in our country. The author begins with Vietnam, which anyone who lived through it knows what a hot mess that was, and how some soldiers returning from fighting a losing war only to be faced with anger and contempt, and how that disaffected them. Anyway, I lived through all the events she wrote about—Ruby Ridge, the Oklahoma bombing, etc.—but having it all put together in one narrative really brought home how appallingly widespread and pervasive that violent movement was and still is. Highly recommended.

Set 1, 1:15 am

Hi Mary, I am also very sorry that you didn't get a chance to go to the shore with the grands. Getting older is no picnic. My younger daughter and I are heading over to Vancouver Island to visit my family but unfortunately it's not for happy reasons. My brother had a heart attack a couple of weeks ago so we are going over to make sure he is doing ok.

Set 1, 7:51 am

>57 Storeetllr: Oh wow! What a talented kid...may publish a poetry book one day!

>55 Storeetllr: Sorry to hear that health issues are keeping you from going to the shore. How frustrating!

Set 1, 7:56 am

Happy Friday, Mary. Checking in after a long absence. I hope all is well on your end. I am sure you are busy with those grandkids and I hope those books are treating you fine too.

Set 2, 1:12 pm

>67 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. It was a disappointment, that’s for sure, but I’m looking forward to next year when I hope to have a new hip, at least, but August.

I’m sorry to hear about your brother and send good wishes for a complete and speedy recovery for him and that you have a lovely visit with him. I’m sure seeing you will cheer him up!

Set 2, 1:14 pm

>68 figsfromthistle: Right? Every time I reread the poem, I like it more. So brief, and no flowery language, but it sure packs a lot of emotion in it.

Thanks. Frustrating is exactly the right word. Next year.

Set 2, 1:16 pm

>69 msf59: Hey, Mark! How’s my favorite bookmeister? Thanks for stopping by!

Set 4, 1:33 pm

Well, September has begun promisingly. I hope my reading streak continues!

74. The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman. 4 stars. Audio. Dark fantasy set in a post-apocalyptic world after a series of wars between goblins and “kith,” which some believe to be the descendants of elves. In this world, nobody and nothing is innocent, and nothing and nobody is to be taken at face value. Against all odds, I really liked it and the title character, a thief with a little magic indentured to the powerful guild of wizards where he learned his trade.

75. A Traveler’s Guide to the Stars by Les Johnson. 3.5 stars. Audio. As with most books about physics and tech, I was lost as often as I understood what was being said, but it’sa cool look at the possibilities for interstellar space travel, most of which hinge on new and as yet uninvented tech/undiscovered laws of physics. My favorite was the last chapter, which discusses scifi: what it got right, what it postulates that might be possible, and what—as far as we can say from what we know—is pure fantasy. It discussed two of my favorite scifi novels: The Sparrow and The Martian. As I was reading, I couldn’t help thinking of Project Hail Mary.

Set 6, 6:08 am

>73 Storeetllr: Congratulations on reaching 75, Mary!

Set 6, 12:11 pm

>74 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. It was looking iffy there for awhile. Glad I’m out of the reading slump! *touch wood *

Editado: Set 6, 4:22 pm

76. Translation State by Ann Leckie. 4 stars. Audio. Translators are some kind of strange, that’s for sure. Set in the Imperial Radch Universe, this is part love story, part political thriller, all weird and fun, especially the end. The Ancillary is there, but all the other characters are, I think, new. Can’t wait for the next in series.

Set 6, 7:00 pm

Congratulations on 75 reads!

Set 7, 8:34 am

>77 quondame: Thanks, Susan!

Set 7, 8:48 am

Sweet Thursday, Mary. Congrats on hitting #75. Our magic number. I plan to read The Fourth Wing this month. Have you heard the buzz on this one? It sure seems like your cuppa.

Set 7, 9:01 am


Set 9, 11:07 am

>79 msf59: Thanks, Mark! There was a time I wasn’t sure if make it, so deep in a reading slump was I. I think that’s over now, touch wood.

It sounds a bit YA, so I’ll await your review. I hooe it’s good, because dragons!

Set 9, 11:07 am

>80 drneutron: Thank you kindly, sir!

Editado: Set 9, 11:14 am

77. Payback in Death by J. D. Robb. 4 stars. Audio. More police procedural than the last, which was more thriller, this installment was still emotionally satisfying. It continued to show, more quietly, the pain and trauma experienced by victims and survivors of violence.

Set 9, 12:05 pm

I slept 12 hours last night. That may seem a lot, except that yesterday I got up at 6 am and granny-nannyed the kids till 4 pm. That included driving Ruby to and from school, getting lunch for Rowan and snacks for them both, playing baseball with Rowan when he wasn’t napping, and going up and down the stairs numerous times to get things and to check on Nickel and to make sure the water pump was working when the downpour happened. (We had a magnificent thunderstorm yesterday afternoon! Shook the house a couple of times.) I know I did it when my daughter was young, plus had a full time job where I had to commute at least an hour each way, but this really took it out of me. I suppose it will get easier (I’ll be doing it 2x a week), but yikes!

Set 9, 12:22 pm


Set 9, 12:43 pm

>85 richardderus: Richard! You came by and left me smooches ! *swoon*

Set 9, 12:45 pm

>83 Storeetllr: I liked that one slightly more than you did, but either way, it was a very satisfying read. Looking forward to the next while I continue to read my way through the rest of the series.

Have a super Saturday, Mary!

Set 9, 4:28 pm

>81 Storeetllr: I haven't read The Fourth Wing primarily because the non-fans are very loud about its YA features. But I've liked a good deal of YA classified books in my time, so it doesn't equate to dismissal.

Set 9, 9:29 pm

>87 alcottacre: I enjoy all of the In Death books, Stasia, though I admit that I enjoy some more than others. They are even better on reread, imo. I hope the series goes on for a long, long time!

Set 9, 9:31 pm

>88 quondame: I have a hard time with most YA books, usually due to all the angst and mooning over boys/girls when they should be running for their lives. So I'll wait to see what Mark thinks and then decide.

Set 9, 9:35 pm

>90 Storeetllr: All the angst and then the angst-less body count. Of the two, I dislike spending reading minutes on overdrawn angst but find the humongous body counts deeply disturbing.

Set 9, 9:55 pm

Picture Time!

Ruby's first day of her last year of preschool (the school suggests uniforms, and she went for it in a big way. They are very Madeline.

Sorry for the blurry pic, but it's a frame from a video I took of Rowan batting the ball, one of his favorite activities. He's got his eye on that ball and hits it 4 times out of 5. Loves balls: catching them, throwing them, bouncing them, batting them. He keeps up like this, kid's gonna be a ball player of one kind or another!

Nickel enjoying a late summer afternoon outdoors in the garden

The family at the Jersey Shore

Set 9, 9:57 pm

>92 Storeetllr: What fabulous pictures! Everybody seems so happy and playful!

Set 9, 9:58 pm

>91 quondame: Heh. I'm with you, though, for some reason, the high body count doesn't bother me quite as much as the angst.

Set 9, 10:02 pm

>93 quondame: Thanks! Yes, they do and actually are happy and playful most of the time. Of course, I don't take pics of the meltdowny times. Ruby's gotten mostly past the worst of that, and Rowan's meltdowns seem to happen only when he's tired (or hungry, and then he lets us know he wants food, so it's easier to catch that before it causes an upset), not when he's not getting what he wants when he wants it, like hers were.

Set 9, 11:59 pm

>95 Storeetllr: Meltdowns and crankiness are always on queue with children, life takes a lot of getting used to. It's great when there are plenty of good times and some fun, and limited adult drama, cause there will be the meltdowns in any case.

Set 10, 6:25 am

>92 Storeetllr: Lovely pictures! Thanks for sharing. I particularly like the purple crocs with the Madeline-esque uniform!

I do not normally read YA or Sci Fi but a new younger friend highly recommended Fourth Wing and I liked it. Enough that I am looking forward to the sequel. There was angst and a high body count, indeed, but the story was solid with a quirky narrator and lots of action.

Set 10, 9:46 am

>92 Storeetllr: What a wonderful photo! All those happy smiles. Nickel looks pretty pleased, too, with that attentive eye-cocking at you.

*smooch* for a happy Sunday.

Editado: Set 11, 6:03 am

Love the photos Mary. The last one of all of you at the beach is cleaver and cute.

Slightly belated congrats for passing 75 already.

Set 11, 12:33 pm

>96 quondame: Your so right, Susan! (Especially the part about adult meltdowns. 😂 I often have to apologize to the kids for that.)

Set 11, 12:37 pm

>97 witchyrichy: Thanks, Karen. Those purple crocs make the outfit. (Actually, she’s getting school shoes. They just haven’t arrived yet.)

Good to know you think Fourth Wing is worth reading. I’ll request it from the library and give it s try.

Set 11, 12:40 pm

>98 richardderus: Thanks, Richard! The kids’ smiles do my heart good, but I’m afraid Nickel’s eyes are more “Get me away from here and back inside or I’ll bite you.” She’s not a fan of outdoors unless she’s sitting on my shoulder.

Set 11, 12:44 pm

>102 Storeetllr: I'm with Nickel vis-a-vis the outdoors in summer weather, bar the shoulder-sitting. *smooch*

Set 11, 12:52 pm

>99 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!

That’s my daughter and son in law with the kids. I wasn’t with them at the beach this year. I had to miss it because my bad back and hip wouldn’t allow me to walk down to the water on the sand. I’m hoping it’s a different story next year. 🥺

Set 11, 12:54 pm

>103 richardderus: Yeah, my too, though for me it’s the mosquitoes and other bitey insects.

Set 11, 6:49 pm

>92 Storeetllr: Love the photos, Mary. I hope you had a good weekend and I hope that book slump is in the rear-view.

Set 11, 9:05 pm

Congratulations on reading 75 books already, Mary!!

Great family photos! Ruby looks adorable in her uniform. Such a charmer!

Set 12, 6:39 pm

>106 msf59: Thanks, Mark! Glad you like them, because I like sharing them. Also glad the slump seems to be over for now. Hope you’re enjoying your week!

Set 12, 6:41 pm

>107 Copperskye: Thanks, Joanne! Every day she gets more charming. And she loves her uniforms! We can thank Madeline for that.

Set 12, 6:44 pm

Congratulations of reading 75 books!Wonderful pictures of your family! :-) Ruby and Rowan are both so cute!

Set 12, 6:49 pm

So, today is my last day before my stint as granny-nanny starts again for this week. I was supposed to be doing chores and prepping my breakfast and lunch and Nickel’s breakfast for tomorrow—I have to be upstairs with the kids by 6:45 am which doesn’t leave me much time in the morning. What was I doing instead? Connections. From the very beginning. Gack.

Here’s today’s results

Puzzle #93

Not great, but at least I got it eventually.

Set 12, 7:37 pm

I got Connections in six today, too. Wordle in 3 made up for it.

Have fun with the Grands! Sleep well!

Set 13, 9:52 am


Set 13, 10:25 am

A little better today, but it took me awhile.

Puzzle #94

Puzzle done while watching Ms. Rachel with Rowan. My life is soooo exciting!

Set 13, 10:33 am

>112 Copperskye: Have you been playing long? I just started playing it, thanks to the encouragement of my sister. It’s rather addictive. I stopped playing Wordle awhile back, tho I still do Quordle, Dordle, and Phoodle, and Phrazzle. I may pick Wordle back up.

I do enjoy my time with the grands, tho it can be exhausting.

Editado: Set 13, 10:33 am

>113 richardderus: Smooches back!

Set 13, 12:20 pm

>110 vancouverdeb: Whoops! Missed your post somehow! Sorry.

Thanks! I think they’re the cutest, but I’m biased. Glad you enjoyed the pics.

Editado: Set 13, 8:04 pm

78. The Third Circle by Amanda Quick. 3.5 stars. Audio. I may have read this back in ’08, when it was first published, because back then I had Amanda Quick books on speed borrow, but I don’t remember it. In this one, Leona is a crystal reader who can help people deal with their nightmares. She is trying to recover her mother’s rare and powerful crystal from a thieving collector when she runs into Thaddeus, a hypnotist, standing over the dead body of a courtesan. They find the crystal, but a poisonous fume is triggered when Thaddeus picks it up, and it is a fume that causes terrible nightmarish visions that it turns out Leona can neutralize with the crystal. After the crystal is stolen back by the collector, they hook up to find it and foil a group of psychical villains from doing dastardly deeds with it. A bit trite and dated, but it was a light, easy, fast read, and sometimes that is all I really need.

79. All Systems Red by Martha Wells. 2 stars. Graphic Audio. What a disappointment! I have loved all the GA adaptations I've listened to until this one. First, the voices are all wrong for the characters. I mean, Ratthi as a Scotsman? Mensah as a 20-something college student? Honestly, it beggars the imagination. Plus, ALL the female characters sound alike. Also, the actor who plays MB mispronounces a lot of common words and sometimes skips over a word. I gave it 2 stars because, well, Murderbot, but the production itself? 1 star, at best.

Set 13, 8:17 pm

>115 Storeetllr: Yes, for a while. I guess I started while it was still in beta. Some days it's fairly straightforward, other days, not so much.

Sorry your latest Murderbot was a disappointment. The right narrators are so important, especially in a beloved series. :(

Editado: Set 13, 8:30 pm

>119 Copperskye: I've noted that as I work through the archives of Connections. Some days I get all four of the sets of connections without any trouble; other days, I can't even get one set.

I love Kevin R. Free's narration of the audiobook version of the Murderbot Diaries. The Graphic Audio version is a performance with different actors doing different characters' voices. I've loved a few series done by Graphic Audio: The Innkeeper Chronicles; the Gunnie Rose series; the Midnight Texas trilogy - great actors sounding exactly right, even if they weren't exactly the way I imagined them, and decent sound effects. This one, though. Ugh. Graphic Audio is doing the first four novellas, and I'll probably listen to them, but I'm not at all excited about it.

Edited to clarify my meaning.

Set 13, 9:03 pm

>120 Storeetllr: There's archives??

One of these days I'll try the Murderbot Diaries. I know you and Anne and Donna (at least!) are all big fans!

Set 13, 9:32 pm

>121 Copperskye: Hahaha, yes, but the archive only starts in June, which is, I guess, when Connections became a thing, so it's not like one must work through hundreds of puzzles, only about 90.

As soon as I get my phone back (I loaned it to my son-in-law whose phone died and whose new phone hasn't arrived yet and who had to pick up someone at the airport tonight), I'll post the link on your thread.

Do it! The first four Murderbot books - which together make up a full story arc - are short, so it's not like it's a huge investment of time and energy. But I really think you'll find it so much more than a simple scifi romp (though it is that too). It's a strongly character driven story that questions what it means to be a person.

As an NPR article put it: "There are subtexts to be read into Murderbot — that its experience is a coming-out narrative, that it mirrors the lives of trans people, immigrants, those on the autism spectrum or anyone else who feels the need to hide some essential part of themselves from a population that either threatens or can't possibly understand them. Or both. And I get all of that because every one of those reads is right.

"It's the wonder of the character — that something so alien can be so human. That everyone who has ever had to hide in a crowded room, avert their eyes from power, cocoon themselves in media for comfort or lie to survive can relate. It's powerful to see that on the page. It's moving to ride around in the head of something that is so strong and so vulnerable, so murder-y and so frightened, all at the same time."

Mostly, though, it's fun.

Set 13, 9:45 pm

>122 Storeetllr: Fun. I like fun. I'll request the first book (and audio) from the library (which I've done before but just didn't get to) and try harder this time! :) They do sound like something I'd like.

Set 14, 11:22 am

This could get addictive.

Puzzle #95

Set 14, 11:24 am

>123 Copperskye: Oh, the pressure! I really hope you enjoy it, now that I’ve bragged it up so much. 😅

Set 14, 2:27 pm

>92 Storeetllr: Great photos! Too bad you couldn't go this year.

Congrats on reaching 75.

Set 16, 12:27 pm

Ugh! What a mess!

Puzzle #97

Set 16, 12:38 pm

>126 BLBera: Hi, Beth! Thanks for visiting! Yes, I was really disappointed, but I’m hoping for next year.

Editado: Set 16, 5:25 pm

Congrats on reading past 75 books!

Set 18, 12:11 pm

Thanks, Anita!

Editado: Set 18, 6:32 pm

80. A Night in the Lonesome October by Zelazny. 4.5 stars. Audio. I love this novel and was so excited to discover they’d made it into an audiobook that I bought it right away for my audio library. I was going to save it for Spooktober, which is right around the corner, because it’s one of my annual Spooktober reads, but I just couldn’t wait. It’s a very well done audio, and I will be listening to it again, probably often, but I have to say I prefer the book, in large part for the illustrations. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it as a light-hearted (Yes, seriously) horror story that gives nods to all the classic horror books and films of the past, plus The Great Detective.

81. All the Dead Shall Weep by Charlaine Harris. 4.5 stars. Audio. Latest installment of the Gunnie Rose saga is set in Texoma, mostly in Segunda Mexia. Most of the book centers on Lizbeth Rose, who’s recovering from a major personal tragedy, and Felicia, who is besieged by suitors all of a sudden due to her powerful magical abilities. It gets pretty intense in parts, but the characters of the sisters are so wonderful it lifts me up.

Set 18, 6:51 pm

Hiya Mary. New-Sunday orisons! *smooch*

Set 18, 7:51 pm

>131 Storeetllr: I just sent Chris a copy of A Night in the Lonesome October. Not my copy, though, I plan on reading it again for the third time!

I finally got today's Connections in 4 after two days of getting skunked. (Yesterday I didn't get 4 of anything!) :(

Set 19, 12:16 pm

>132 richardderus: Hi, Richard! Happy Tuesday! Looks like another lovely day! Enjoy!

Set 19, 12:24 pm

>133 Copperskye: His first time reading it? How fun! This year will be my third annual Spooktober reread of A Night in the Lonesome October. My other annual reread will be The Girl With All the Gifts. Can’t wait! (If I sound giddy, it’s because I am.)

Same. Some days, Connections is easy. Some days it’s hard. And sometimes (like two days ago), it’s impossible. Unfortunately, it’s also addictive.

Set 19, 12:37 pm

Like today. Took me a few minutes of contemplation, and I reshuffled s couple of times, but they all seemed to just come together for me. Unlike a couple of days ago when I got nothing.

Puzzle #100

Set 19, 6:41 pm

Hi, Mary. Congrats on hitting #75! Sorry, All Systems Red fell flat for you. I am a big fan and I don't read much SF. I am missing Jackson. One of my rare stretches of not seeing him. I will remedy that on Thursday.

Set 19, 8:43 pm

>135 Storeetllr: I just have my fingers crossed that he'll read it! I think he'll like it if he starts it.

>136 Storeetllr: I got today's in 4, too (purple, green, blue, and yellow for me). I'll bet we both got nothing on the same day.

Set 20, 9:15 am

>137 msf59: I love Murderbot, and All Systems Red is a favorite, as read by Kevin R. Free. It’s the Graphic Audio version that fell flat, which is a huge disappointment since some of the Graphic Audio productions I’ve listened to were fantastic.

Come on Thursday!

Set 20, 9:18 am

>138 Copperskye: Yes, if he starts it, even if it’s “just going to read the first page,” I’m sure he won’t be able to put it down.

Yes, it was that same days puzzle. We aren’t alone having crashed and burned on that one.

Set 22, 7:44 am

Oh, no! Not another addictive game.

🦙 Animal #53 🐦‍⬛
I figured it out in 8 guesses!
🔥 2 | Avg. Guesses: 11

Editado: Set 22, 6:08 pm

Hi Mary. I have been lurking a lot more than posting. And you got me with >141 Storeetllr:. I am now working on it. Still have 6 guesses left (though I did exchange 3 for a hint, which wasn't all that helpful, apparently...) I think I may add this to my morning brain jog! Thanks (I think!)

Edited to add, I got it! One guess left to spare, sheesh. Maybe I need to brush up on my biology(?). Science in any form was never a strong suit but I'll try it again.

Set 23, 11:43 am

>142 jessibud2: Yay, you! I gave up the first time I tried it. It just seemed so complicated. The second time, I did ok so of course it’s now part of my morning brain jog.

Editado: Set 23, 11:49 am

>89 Storeetllr: I agree that the In Death books are better on rereading and I am perpetually doing so. I certainly hope the series goes on forever.

>92 Storeetllr: I love the pictures! Thank you for sharing them, Mary.

>118 Storeetllr: I had to read further when I saw a Murderbot book given 2 stars because well, Murderbot. I am glad to see it was not the book itself, lol. I have found that narrators can make or break an audiobook for me.

>131 Storeetllr: I am going to have to check, but I think I own the Zelazny book. If I do, I will have to set it aside to read next month.

Have a wonderful weekend, Mary!

Set 23, 11:51 am

Had to buy a guess, because today’s puzzle was a tough one. (Turned out, I had already guessed the answer on the 10th try but didn’t put it down for some reason. Some stupid reason.)

🐮 Animal #54 🪰
I figured it out in 15 guesses!
🔥 1 | Avg. Guesses: 15

Editado: Set 23, 12:11 pm

>144 alcottacre: Hi, Stasia! Yes, I love Murderbot, so it was a bitter disappointment that the Graphic Audio version turned out so awful. It was like the performers never even read the book but were just given their lines and their first read through was recorded as the final.

I’m always reading the In Death books too. They are definitely comfort reads for me.

Glad you enjoyed the pics!

Is it the hardback with the wonderful cover?

I want this for my bookshelves.

Editado: Set 24, 1:02 pm

It was Rowan’s birthday last Wednesday, and we had a lovely party with all the grandparents. The kids’ best friends whose kids are the same age as Ruby and Rowan were also there. Rowan asked for a pizza party, and that’s what we had. My daughter made a cake from scratch, and Rowan blew out all the candles himself with no prompting.

He got some pretty cool presents: a scooter from his parents, a peewee golf set from the friends, a Thomas the Train rider from one of his gramps, and all the grandparents gave him (and the family) a year’s membership at the Bronx Zoo and Aquarium. He also got a plastic toy ukulele, which turned out to be his favorite present and which he hasn’t put down since he opened it except to sleep.


Card I painted for all the grandparents to sign. (He loves balloons, which he calls “uppies.)

Set 24, 1:21 pm

For someone who doesn’t watch TV, I feel pretty amazed at myself.

Puzzle #105

I also didn’t do too bad with this one.

🐹 Animal #55 🐘
I figured it out in 6 guesses!
🔥 1 | Avg. Guesses: 6

Now I’ve done all my morning puzzles. Time to get to my chores and then my painting.

Editado: Set 24, 8:17 pm

>147 Storeetllr: - Happy birthday, Rowan!

>148 Storeetllr: - I also did well in metazooa today, not so much connections. ;-p

Set 24, 7:04 pm

>147 Storeetllr: *baaawww* such a punkin pweshus! I love your card, which will (of course) result in it being on his wall until he's 21 and finally takes it down.


Editado: Set 24, 7:24 pm

>141 Storeetllr: I tried this one before work but it is best to save this for after work when I have more time. Too early to tell if it will be part of my regular routine but I like it....makes me think a little harder. If it becomes a regular puzzle in my routine I will have you to blame um I mean thank.

>147 Storeetllr: What a wonderful card!

Happy week ahead

Set 24, 8:39 pm

>147 Storeetllr: Terrific card! Best to Rowan for his brand new year!

Set 25, 2:52 pm

I’m going to lose at Connections today. I’ve only guessed one level and have only one wrong guess left. It happens. I’m going to try again later and hope my brain clicks into gear. It’s hard to concentrate with a low-level headache which I blame on the weather. Why not? 😝

As for my new favorite puzzle, I figured it out With only a few guesses left. Whew!

🪳 Animal #56 🐌
I figured it out in 14 guesses!
🔥 1 | Avg. Guesses: 14

I wish I knew what all the colors mean.

Set 25, 2:55 pm

>149 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelly! His birthday won’t be over till he has his birthday party at the zoo with his friends. They were supposed to go yesterday but got washed out by the rainy weather. Next weekend.

I’m really enjoying metazooa!

Set 25, 2:57 pm

>150 richardderus: I know, right? Too cute for words.

Thanks. He wasn’t all that interested in the card, but he did enjoy the “uppies.” His mom will save it or put it up, though she hasn’t put up any of the other cards I’ve painted for them.


Set 25, 2:59 pm

>151 figsfromthistle: You’re welcome! 😘 It does make one think hard.


Set 25, 3:00 pm

>152 quondame: Thanks, Susan!

Set 25, 3:00 pm

>147 Storeetllr: Cute, indeed!

Set 25, 3:01 pm

>158 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul! I sure think so.

Set 25, 3:03 pm

>159 Storeetllr: Just becoming a Grandpa myself attunes me much more somehow to those glorious first few years when everything they do is precious.

Set 25, 3:10 pm

>146 Storeetllr: No, my copy is a paperback in a rather garish color.

>147 Storeetllr: Thanks for sharing the pictures, Mary! Happy belated birthday, Rowan!

Set 25, 3:42 pm

>153 Storeetllr: - Ditto for me, Mary, re Connections. I got one category easily but can't see any common ground in the remaining words. Or rather, I do, but they tell me I'm wrong, lol. I am walking away today, too much else on my plate.

Set 25, 4:51 pm

>160 PaulCranswick: I hear that, Paul! I was over to your thread earlier but didn’t see any pics of your little bundle of joy, then I had to run out on some errands. I’ll check again in case I missed it.

Set 25, 4:53 pm

>161 alcottacre: Ah, well, the story is good no matter the cover, but I do love the hardback cover that I posted.

Thanks, Stasia. As I mentioned, his birthday celebrations aren’t over yet, so your birthday wish is still timely.

Set 25, 4:57 pm

>162 jessibud2: Connections is very hard today. I find that obscure references to movies and TV shows trip me up the most, because I don’t watch a lot of TV or movies. I wouldn’t do well with Trivia either.

Set 26, 1:29 pm

But when it clicks, it clicks!

Puzzle #107

On the other hand, I got this one too, just not as easily.

🐶 Animal #57 🦆
I figured it out in 12 guesses!
🔥 2 | Avg. Guesses: 13

Now that I’ve awakened my brain, Time to get dressed and drive over to Traders Joes. It’s about a 25 minute drive, so I usually only go there every couple of weeks. I’ll also be stopping at A Taste of Health for fresh organic turmeric and ginger and whatever produce I didn’t find at TJs. Then home to rest up for tomorrow’s granny-nanny gig, which always takes a lot out of me but which I love because I get a lot of time with my favorite people.

My daughter’s dad is here, visiting from California. Here’s a photo of him and Ruby. They’re making a picture book together. And my heart just melts.

Set 26, 1:37 pm

85. The Road To Roswell by Connie Willis. 3.5 stars. Audio. Other than a couple of the characters, who were really irritating, and a l-o-n-g roadtrip that seemed neverending, and the use of the tired and overused “misunderstanding due to lack of communication” trope, and an odd twist at the very end, this was fun. I really liked Indy, the alien, who kept me reading through the times I wanted to Pearl Rule it. (I still think Andy Weir created the best alien in Rocky, but Indy’s not far behind.)

Set 26, 3:12 pm

>167 Storeetllr: That's just the most frustrating combination of good, and ~meh~, and just plain inadequate! The tired trope usage is just a big ol' nope for me. *smooch*

Set 26, 3:24 pm

>166 Storeetllr: Aw, I do not blame you for your heart melting!

>167 Storeetllr: I enjoyed that one more than you did, Mary, but we cannot all like the same things, can we? I hope your next read is better for you!

Set 26, 5:54 pm

>168 richardderus: I was just thinking that part of the problem might have been the narrator. It might have worked better if I’d read it on the kindle.

Set 26, 5:57 pm

>169 alcottacre: Yes, I think I got the BB from you. I actually enjoyed it, even if there were things I didn’t like about it. Also, I might have liked it more as a book. The narrator got a but shrill at times.

Set 26, 7:43 pm

>167 Storeetllr: I think listening to it - even if I could - would have driven me crazy. I enjoy Connie Willis' zany comedies best at warp speed.

Set 27, 8:03 am

Happy Wednesday, Mary. Happy belated birthday to dear Rowan. Sorry I missed it. Would you have any interest in reading Fourth Wing? I know you read fantasy now and then. I have a copy I could pass on.

Set 27, 9:32 am

>147 Storeetllr: Happy Belated Birthday to Rowan. Love the “uppies’ card!

Set 27, 9:48 am

Wednesday general-purpose *smooch*

Set 27, 11:35 am

>166 Storeetllr: Great photo, Mary. I can't believe Rowan is two already! The grandkids grow up too fast.

Set 27, 11:47 am

>171 Storeetllr: I hate when narrators mess up a book for me!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, Mary!

Set 27, 12:19 pm

>172 quondame: Yes. I prefer listening to audiobooks these days, but some of them definitely should be read as print books. This is one of them, imo. (I did increase the speed of playback to 1.20 because it was just too slow otherwise.)

Set 27, 12:24 pm

>173 msf59: Thanks, Mark! Rowan’s still celebrating and will till he has his Zoo birthday party, which has to be postponed due to rain.

Thank you so much for the offer! I’m planning to read Fourth Wing, but I’m going to wait for the audiobook. I’m not doing much actual print book reading these days—my eyes aren’t what they used to be and get tired too quickly.

Have a great rest of the week!

Set 27, 12:25 pm

>174 Donna828: Thanks, Donna! Painting cards for the kids is so much fun!

Set 27, 12:27 pm

>175 richardderus: Love those general purpose smooches! And a big smooch right back atcha!

Set 27, 12:29 pm

>176 BLBera: I know! I was looking at the pic of Rowan when he was less than a minute old and wondering how the heck 2 years have happened already.

Set 27, 12:41 pm

Reporting in on the scores for my new favorite puzzles for today. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

Puzzle #108

🦜 Animal #58 🐲
I figured it out in 6 guesses!
🔥 1 | Avg. Guesses: 6

I usually watch the kids today, but my daughter’s schedule changed for this week, so I’m back-to-back tomorrow and Friday, which means no day for recuperating in between. So, today I’m going to try to get all my chores that I scheduled for today and tomorrow done today: feed outside worms, bath tillandsias, replace filter on air purifier, mop floors, clean bathroom, cook meals for the rest of the week. Then I hope to get in a little painting before going to bed by 9 pm. Wish me luck!

Set 29, 1:06 pm

Cool and rainy today. Ruby’s at school and Rowan’s taking his nap. What a great time to sit inside, snuggled under a cozy blanket, and solve puzzles.

Didn’t do too bad with Connections today.
Puzzle #110

Metazooa wasn’t all that easy today for some reason.
🐩 Animal #60 🪽
I figured it out in 14 guesses!
🔥 1 | Avg. Guesses: 14

Set 29, 1:08 pm

>184 Storeetllr: Cool and rainy today. Ruby’s at school and Rowan’s taking his nap. What a great time to sit inside, snuggled under a cozy blanket, and solve puzzles.

Sounds like a great idea to me! Have a wonderful weekend, Mary!

Set 29, 1:12 pm

Thanks, Stasia! You too!

Set 29, 3:38 pm

We had a minor water disaster from this intense rain. Nothing awful, but quite surprising indeed. *smooch* for the prettier weather starting tomorrow night.

Editado: Set 29, 4:58 pm

>187 richardderus: Glad it wasn’t too bad! We has quite the deluge here too! On my way home from picking up my granddaughter from school, the road was closed due to flooding, and we were shunted off onto some side street, but my GPS kept steering me back to the closed road from which I was again shunted off. For awhile it was like being in The Twilight Zone, then I decided to drive in the opposite direction from where I live for awhile. Eventually, the GPS figured out an alternate route and took us home. It only took an extra half hour to get home.

Set 29, 5:20 pm

>166 Storeetllr: What a wonderful picture and memory!

I have gotten sucked into Connections as well and it seems like I either get it right away or end up bottoming out. I will not begin playing Metazooa. I will not...oh, look!

Hope all is well. Granny nanny sounds fun but exhausting, indeed! At least you don't have a long commute.

Set 30, 11:26 am

>189 witchyrichy: Thanks so much for stopping by, Karen!

They are still working on the book. I’m so impressed as well as charmed. He might not have been a very good husband, but he was a good dad and now a really good gramps!

Yes, I know what you mean. I still do all the word games, but my current favorites are Connections and Metazooa. They really make me think—sometimes hard.

I’m coming off two days in a row of watching the kids. Last night, I was in bed and asleep at a little after 9 pm and didn’t get up till 8 am. Between that and the joint pain I’ve got going, I was exhausted. Started another round of physical therapy on Thursday. Hope it helps!

Have a lovely weekend!

Editado: Set 30, 11:47 am

Just a couple of missteps, but I got it eventually!

Puzzle #111

I did better with Metazooa.

🦤 Animal #61 🦓
I figured it out in 6 guesses!
🔥 1 | Avg. Guesses: 6

Out 1, 12:51 pm

Well, yesterday was supposed to be a day of R&R for me, but a flat tire on my daughters SUV changed all that. I watched the kids all afternoon while their parents dealt with getting new rear tires.

Today, the first dry, sunny day in a week, they’ve gone to the zoo for Rowan’s birthday party with his friends, so I definitely have today off.

Just finishing up breakfast and puzzles. Now to tackle the chores that got put off yesterday.

Puzzle #112

🦒 Animal #62 🐕‍🦺
I figured it out in 6 guesses!
🔥 1 | Avg. Guesses: 6

Out 1, 1:08 pm

September Round Up

Books read: 12


—Dark: 1
—Paranormal: 4
—Alternate history: 1
—Horror: 1

Mystery: 1

Scifi: 3

Nonfiction: 1


A Night in the Lonesome October by Zelazny. 4.5 stars. Audio. I’ve read this as a hardcover book and on the Kindle. This is a new audio version, and it is very well done.

81. All the Dead Shall Weep by Charlaine Harris. 4.5 stars. Audio. Latest installment in the Gunnie Rose series. Features the sisters. Really enjoyed it.

Biggest disappointment: The Graphic Audio version of All Systems Red by Martha Wells, which garnered only 2 stars, and those were for the story, not the performance.

Out 1, 2:35 pm

>193 Storeetllr: You began your Deathtober reading early, Mary! Good stuff, thank goodness, bar the big disappointment.


Out 1, 6:42 pm

>194 richardderus: I did, Richard; I couldn't resist.

Graphic Audio usually does excellent work, and I love Murderbot. Thus, the terrible disappointment.