Ellen (EBT1002) reads what she can in 2023 - Thread 4

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Ellen (EBT1002) reads what she can in 2023 - Thread 4

Ago 6, 10:38 am

Hello all. Ellen here, an unreliable but enthusiastic member of the 75ers since 2011.
I'm in my last year of working. While I manage the pressure and stress, I'm giving myself permission to read what I want when I can. I have started learning to sketch and paint (a bit) with watercolors and that is occupying a lot of my free time these days. I also do jigsaw puzzles, play Wordle every day, spend time with partner Prudence and ginger cat Carson...

My last day of work will be the Winter Solstice!

Editado: Ago 6, 10:46 am

Carson, my favorite laptop (and yes, that is a heated bed in which he snoozes in the winter when not occupying my lap)

Editado: Ago 6, 10:44 am

Our little T@B trailer. Yep, that is a sketch I did during our most recent camping trip.

Editado: Set 24, 2:49 pm


1. The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O'Farrell 4.5 stars
2. Out of Bounds by Val McDermid 4 stars
3. The Thirteenth Tale: A Novel by Diane Setterfield 3.5 stars
4. The Furrows by Namwali Serpell 3 stars
5. The Candy House by Jennifer Egan 4.5 stars
6. The Magic Kingdom by Russell Banks 4 stars


7. What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez 3.5 stars
8. Horse by Geraldine Brooks 4.5 stars
9. The Cape Cod Mystery by Phoebe Atwood Taylor 2.5 stars
10. A Death in Vienna by Frank Tallis 4 stars


11. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver 5 stars
12. I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai 4.5/5 stars
13. The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff 4.5 stars
14. Dinosaurs by Lydia Millet 4 stars
15. Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett 2.5 stars

Editado: Ago 6, 10:53 am

Editado: Out 6, 12:06 pm


29. Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt 4 stars
30. Galatea: A Short Story by Madeline Miller 5 stars
31. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 4.5 stars
32. A Children's Bible by Lydia Millet 3.5 stars
33. The Wind Knows My Name: A Novel by Isabel Allende (Frances Riddle, Translator) 3 stars
34. The Queen of Dirt Island: A Novel by Donal Ryan 4.5 stars


35. Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson 4 stars
36. Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton 4.5 stars
37. Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris 5 stars
38. If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery 3.5 stars
39. 11/22/63 by Stephen King 4.5 stars


40. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks 4 stars
41. This Other Eden by Paul Harding 4 stars
42. Tom Lake by Ann Patchett 5 stars
43. Prophet Song by Paul Lynch 5 stars


44. Old God's Time: A Novel by Sebastian Barry 4 stars

Editado: Ago 6, 11:00 am

Current events:

Reading: Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beacon

Sketching: Working through Lesson Four of Liz Steele's online Foundations course.

Life: Nephew Frank is staying with us this evening, stopping by on his way home from paddling the Missouri River from Great Falls to somewhere (we'll learn more later today) in a fold-up kayak. He was celebrating his 40th birthday.

Work: I have 20 weeks to go. Three of them will be spent in...

Travel: In two weeks we fly to Dublin!

Editado: Ago 6, 10:46 am

Another photo of my boy, Carson.

Ago 6, 10:39 am

The next one is yours -- welcome, friends!

Ago 6, 11:33 am

Wordle 778 4/6*


trade, pious, poppy, polyp

Ago 6, 11:37 am

Happy new one, Ellen. I love your sketch! You are inspiring. Wow, I can't believe your trip to Ireland is so soon. You will love it. I'm glad you liked the latests Atkinson; I have it to look forward to.

Ago 6, 11:53 am

Happy new one, Ellen. Amazing sketch! And of course, adorable Carson.

Ago 6, 12:05 pm

yes, great sketch. You are inspiring me to (maybe) take a look at the course you are taking.

Ago 6, 3:49 pm

Happy new thread, Ellen.

Ago 6, 5:00 pm

Happy new thread Ellen!

>3 EBT1002: That's charming!

Ago 6, 5:34 pm

Happy New Thread, Ellen! Great sketch, Ellen!

Ago 6, 8:09 pm

Happy new thread dear Ellen.

>3 EBT1002: Like our other pals, I have to give credit for that cute little sketch especially from someone incapable of drawing even the curtains.

Ago 6, 10:23 pm

Happy New Thread, Ellen! Loving the Carson pictures and wow! nice sketch!

Ago 7, 3:16 am

>3 EBT1002: Excellent to see something you feel proud enough of to share! Looks terrific - you've already got a shadow anchoring it to the ground, making it a real "scene" instead of just a floating trailer. I hope you enjoyed the experience of sketching it. I always have such detailed memories of the places where I spend some time sketching.

Ago 7, 8:47 am

Wordle 779 3/6*


Ago 7, 8:58 pm

Happy new thread, Ellen!

Ago 7, 9:29 pm

Happy new one!

Ago 8, 12:59 am

>11 BLBera: Hi Beth. I'm glad you like the sketch. I'm really enjoying the process of learning, using the right side of my brain more. It does detract from my reading time, though.

I'm so excited about our trip to Ireland. I had hoped to read more books by Irish authors and/or set in Ireland in 2023 but didn't get to that.

>12 jessibud2: Hi Shelley and thank you. I always love it when my Carson gets some love. ❤️

>13 ffortsa: Hi Judy. I'm really enjoying the online sketching course. It's challenging and I have my moments of frustration or discouragement but I feel like I'm learning in a space that I've always wanted to explore. It's self-paced and that works for me (for now).

Editado: Ago 8, 1:04 am

>14 katiekrug: Thanks Katie.

>15 quondame: Thanks Susan. I'm glad you like the sketch.

>16 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deb!

>17 PaulCranswick: Hello Paul and thank you. I don't feel like I have much in the way of talent but I'm learning to sketch requires four things: Paper, pen, patience, and practice. Lots of practice!!!

Ago 8, 1:09 am

>18 ronincats: Thanks Roni! You're one of my inspirations -- I love your ceramics work and have long wanted to find a creative outlet myself.

>19 ursula: Thanks for your comments Ursula. I did indeed enjoy the process of sketching the trailer and I'm finding myself wanting to sketch so much of the time. I'm planning to take a sketch book to Ireland later this month. I'm still deciding which tools I'll take along but my hope/plan is to do one sketch each day.

Ago 8, 1:10 am

>21 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

>22 figsfromthistle: Thanks figs!

Ago 8, 1:12 am

Long day tomorrow at work with an evening dinner thing so other than my morning Wordle post I probably won't be checking in. I'm almost finished reading Ducks. Whew. It's a good one but heavy. Her drawings of the scenery is remarkable.

Ago 8, 5:19 am

Happy new thread Ellen. Love to see sketch work and definitely makes me want to get back to drawing, I'm so bad at keeping up with it consistently. Also, I just finished Ducks last month and agreed, was a good read with some beautiful scenery work, but heavy and I had to take breaks throughout it.

Ago 8, 7:46 am

Happy New Thread, Ellen. I hope you both are doing well. Did you notice our topper pics are slowly fading out? I wonder what the deal is?

Ago 8, 11:53 am

Wordle 780 4/6*


haste, flour, lucky, bully

Ago 8, 2:20 pm

Ellen, is Carson naughty? How old is he? Inquiring minds need to know. Theo is now 3 and a half and is as naughty as he is adorable. I'm sometimes having a hard time keeping up..... latest escapade, on my thread.....

Ago 8, 5:13 pm

Photos at >3 EBT1002: and >8 EBT1002: have disappeared Ellen.

Hope you survived your busy day.

Ago 8, 5:25 pm

>32 Caroline_McElwee: I think this is related to an ongoing LT issue noted on the site's Facebook page earlier today, to wit: "Attention Thingamabrarians and Littens: LibraryThing and Litsy have been experiencing an outage impacting loading of some web content, including cover images, over the night and into this morning. The issue should be mostly resolved on the web and LibraryThing app, but we are still working on the Litsy app. Stay tuned for updates, and please reach out to us at info@librarything.com or litsy@librarything.com with specific concerns."

It happened on one of my threads, and I was able to reload the photos from my LT junk drawer.

Ago 9, 8:48 am

Wordle 781 4/6*


learn, liter, lower, lover

I’m kind of disappointed that this took me four.

Ago 9, 8:56 am

>28 WhiteRaven.17: I finished Ducks last night, Kro. Such a great graphic narrative. I feel like I got a glimpse of a world about which I knew nothing.

>29 msf59: I had not noticed that, Mark, but I'm seeing comments about it. I'll try to reload those two pics when I'm on my laptop (easier than on my iPad).

Ago 9, 8:59 am

>31 jessibud2: Hi Shelley. Carson is 7 years old, still playful but not as energetic as he was. His main naughtiness is occasionally nipping at or swiping at my ankles to get my attention. He sometimes follows me around the house like a little dog (Prudence calls him my "trailer"). Right now he's making biscuits on my lap. I need to make rounds of people's threads, I'll look for your Theo story. 🥰

Ago 9, 9:03 am

>32 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline. I need to reload those two photos, I guess. They're my newest additions to my photo gallery.

>33 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks Linda. I've been saving photos to my gallery rather than my junk drawer (one fewer click) but that shouldn't matter. When you say "reload" them, did you delete them and then download them again? It's the two photos I just added last weekend that have disappeared.

Editado: Ago 9, 9:21 am

>37 EBT1002: I didn't delete them from my junk drawer, but I did delete them from the post, and then copied the link code in again. And you're right, Gallery vs. Junk Drawer, no difference.

Ago 9, 9:14 am

>36 EBT1002: - The story is at the end of my last thread. ;-) I just started a new one.

Ago 9, 12:24 pm

>38 laytonwoman3rd: Got it. Thanks Linda.

>39 jessibud2: Heading over there now, Shelley!

Ago 9, 12:34 pm

I finished reading Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands last night. It is a heavy but excellent graphic narrative/memoir. I learned a lot about the oil sands in northeastern Alberta. Definitely recommended reading.

I started Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris this morning and I'm already sucked right in. I love that Zora is a painter. I looked up the image of the Goat's Bridge in Sarajevo and I can see why she would want to paint it!

Ago 9, 1:02 pm

What a string of good books, Ellen. I loved both Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands and Black Butterflies.

Ago 9, 6:13 pm

Ah. The photos on my thread are back. So maybe you won't have to reset them.

Ago 10, 8:55 am

Wordle 782 4/6*


scale, toner, piety, empty

I felt a bit like I was grasping straws here.

Ago 11, 8:57 am

Wordle 783 4/6*


plead, smile, cello, hello

Ago 11, 12:03 pm

>42 BLBera: Even with my busy schedule and diverting some of my free time to learning to sketch, I feel like I'm in a good book groove, Beth. I am loving Black Butterflies. More about that in a moment!

>43 ffortsa: It looks like mine revived all by themselves, too, Judy. Yay!

Ago 11, 12:08 pm

I'm loving Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris. It is set in Sarajevo in 1992 so it's heartbreaking. The descriptions of the city and surrounding landscape are intriguing to me. It's not that a lot of narrative is dedicated to the scenery, but since Zora, the main character is a painter, the scenery is palpably relevant. I keep finding myself looking up references: Goat's Bridge, Vijećnica, Mostar Bridge.... All so visually interesting!

As someone who is recently very interested in art, especially the creation of art and the translation of 3-dimensional scenes into images on paper, I'm loving this element of the novel. Zora is famous for her series of paintings of bridges in and around Sarajevo and I love the idea of doing a series of something like that. The Willamette Valley is vaguely famous for its covered bridges. Maybe when we move back to that area, I'll explore sketching some of them. Of course, here on the Palouse, I have my choice of barns to sketch. :-)

Ago 12, 8:52 am

Wordle 784 4/6*


haste, proud, funky, quick

Ago 12, 8:54 am

Today is Move-in day so I’ll be spending most of it helping new students move into the residence halls. We’re going into a hot week and most of the halls are without air conditioning.

This is my problem for the last time.

Ago 12, 11:03 am

>47 EBT1002: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the mention.

>49 EBT1002: Congratulations on it being your problem for the last time, Ellen!

Have a wonderful weekend (and stay cool!)

Ago 12, 11:11 am

"This is my problem for the last time." Sounds like the birth of a mantra to me. Good luck with the moving!

Ago 12, 5:45 pm

>51 laytonwoman3rd: Yes! I love it and look forward to celebrating these "last time" milestones with you, Ellen.

Ago 13, 10:44 am

Wordle 785 2/6*


shale, wrath

Ago 14, 2:41 am

>47 EBT1002: I really enjoyed Black Butterflies earlier this year, Ellen, and I am glad you are too! Happy reading!

Ago 14, 8:56 am

Wordle 786 4/6*


alert, chain, guano, snaky

Ago 15, 9:27 am

I’ve just finished Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris with my morning coffee. This was a five-star read for me. Deceptively simple storytelling, and so moving I wept a bit at the end. It’s the story of a city under siege and it’s a complex and resonant love story. For me, it’s also a reminder of the tremendous danger of fervent nationalism, a cautionary tale for any who think the worst “can’t happen here.” It also made me want to visit Sarajevo and the Balkan region.

Ago 15, 9:31 am

Wordle 787 3/6*


stone, diner, index


Ago 15, 9:12 pm

>56 EBT1002: And it was a debut novel!

We missed you today. Were your ears burning? TwinK and I met face to face.

Ago 16, 8:54 am

Wordle 788 3/6*


beach, climb, scrub

Ago 16, 8:56 am

>58 BLBera: Yeah, it will be interesting to see how she follows it, Beth. This one had such personal connection for her. What will she write about next?

I wish I could have been there!

Ago 17, 8:58 am

Wordle 789 3/6*


heart, manic, amiss
I had to stare at this one for a long time to come up with it.

Ago 17, 9:00 am

I’m reading If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery, my first of the Booker long list nominees. The first chapter/story was excellent.

Ago 17, 9:41 am

>62 EBT1002: I really enjoyed that one, even though I'm not usually a fan of short stories. I do like the idea of linked short stories though.

Ago 17, 5:39 pm

Nice artwork up top!!

>60 EBT1002: And, yes, we missed seeing you! You sure you can't swing down for the November 4th Literary Arts Bookfest? Pleeez?!?!

If not, there's always your first year of retirement. : )


Ago 18, 8:46 am

Happy Birthday, Ellen. On your next one, you will be retired! Many happy returns. I hope you get to celebrate.

Ago 18, 8:59 am

Wordle 790 3/6*


least, enact, exact

I was hoping for a two….

Ago 18, 9:05 am

>63 vivians: I’m generally lukewarm about short stories, Vivian, but these linked ones are working for me. I’m not sure any of the first three would be “complete” as a stand-alone but I like how they are collectively telling the family story across generations.

>64 Berly: Kim — it’s Literary Arts in 2024 or bust!!

>65 BLBera: Thanks Beth. I’m going to a wine tasting gathering this evening and then I think we’ll go to Ireland. It’s my birthday-almost-retired trip. 😀

Ago 18, 9:34 am

Happy birthday, Ellen!

Ago 18, 9:52 am

>66 EBT1002: But your Wordle-in-three is great! Beautiful solving!

Karen O

Ago 18, 9:57 am

Happy birthday!

Ago 18, 11:02 am

Happy Birthday, Ellen!

Ago 18, 11:35 am

Adding to the birthday wishes Ellen.

Ago 18, 12:50 pm

Birthday? Happy birthday!

Ago 18, 3:08 pm

Ago 18, 3:32 pm

Happy Birthday Ellen! May you have hoards of good years coming!

Ago 18, 4:21 pm

Ago 18, 5:33 pm

Happy Birthday! Hope you did something special - or are planning to!

Ago 18, 7:51 pm

Happy birthday, Ellen! Here's to many more. :)

Ago 19, 10:20 am

Wordle 791 5/6*


share, faint, madly, mamma, magma


Ago 20, 9:53 am

Wordle 792 3/6*


heard, louse, quest


Ago 20, 9:57 am

>69 klobrien2: Thanks Karen. I really enjoy Wordle.

Thank you Katie, Shelley, Roni, Caroline, Ursula, Kim, Susan, Stasia, Judy, Lavinia for the birthday wishes!

Ago 20, 10:00 am

Today we fly to Ireland!

The smoke levels here in eastern Washington are really bad. Too many fires. A brush fire ignited on the south side of town last night; luckily they got it out pretty quickly. The Medicine Lake fire near Spokane is raging and wreaking havoc. Ugh.

If I Survive You continues to be good but not as compelling as I first thought. Still, very good.

Ago 20, 10:42 am

Have a great holiday Ellen. I've just finished Neil Jordan's The Well of Saint Nobody which I enjoyed

Ago 20, 10:49 am

Have a fabulous holiday! How long will you be away?

(you better bring back something nice for Carson!)

Ago 20, 1:47 pm

>82 EBT1002: I thought of you when I heard about the Medicine Lake fire. Glad to know you are winging your way to Ireland and won't have to breathe that stuff in.

Ago 20, 9:13 pm

Safe travels, Ellen. I can't wait to hear about your trip. It's a well deserved holiday.

Ago 21, 11:16 am

Wordle 793 3/6*


trade, leash, beach

I truly almost had this in one. P and I were walking around in Dublin (we’re here!) and I said “I need a vacation related starter word and I told her I was thinking about beach. But it didn’t seem like Ireland — more like Hawaii or something.

Editado: Ago 21, 11:50 am

We’re safely in Dublin. We had a bit of misadventure— P lost her wallet. We think she didn’t zip her back pocket and lost/left it on the plane. We’ve canceled the debit and credit card she was carrying and I’ll be doing all the driving since she’s without her license. It could be worse.

Now we’re heading out for dinner.

Ago 21, 1:43 pm

I’ve started 11/22/63 by Stephen King, a shared read with Kim and Beth.

I also bought a nice softcover signed copy of Prophet Song by Paul Lynch in a bookstore here in Dublin.

Ago 21, 1:49 pm

>83 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks Caroline. The Well of Saint Nobody sounds interesting.

>84 jessibud2: Hi Shelley. We’re here in Ireland for three weeks!

And silly me, I miss Carson. 🙄💕🐈

>85 ffortsa: The Medicine Lake fire is just awful, Judy. One of my colleagues graduated from MLHS (long ago, as she is my age) and we know a couple WSU folks who lost their homes. Rain is forecast for Pullman today and Spokane tonight/tomorrow. The remnants of Hilary which is the silver lining of that terrible climate event. Fingers crossed that the rain does materialize.

>86 BLBera: Thank you Beth!

Ago 21, 2:06 pm

Sorry to hear about P's wallet. :( I hope the rest of the trip goes smoothly. What's the temp in Dublin?

Ago 21, 5:05 pm

You are going to love Ireland. I hope you make time for Belfast on this trip. If you do - take time to do a Black Cab tour of Belfast. It is worth every penny it costs. The murals there are fascinating.

My sister in Bozeman says that the smoke is bad there from all the fires. Here in Kansas we are just baking. It was 105 yesterday and today is the same.

Ago 22, 1:20 am

Wordle 794 4/6*


roast, shelf, since, spice

Pretty good for a woman who slept for about two hours. Jet lag.

Ago 23, 1:42 pm

Wordle 795 5/6*


shale, drone, quire, verge, verve

A tough one!

Ago 23, 2:41 pm

I hope you have fun despite the wallet incident Ellen. Three weeks, wonderful.

Ago 24, 2:51 am

Wordle 796 4/6*


heard, drown, rowdy, wordy

As often happens, I second-guessed myself resulting in a four instead of three. Oh well.

Ago 25, 3:21 am

Wordle 797 3/6*


sauce, clear, ocean

Whew. I kind of needed a three.

Ago 25, 4:17 pm

Just posting that we’re having a wonderful time in Ireland. I finished If I Survive You on the plane. 3.5 stars.

And I’m slowly making my way through 11/22/63 — Stephen King is a great storyteller and I’m enjoying it but it’s a door stopper!

Ago 25, 4:29 pm

I am glad to hear that you are enjoying your trip despite P.'s misadventure!

Have a wonderful weekend, both of you!

Ago 26, 2:56 am

Wordle 798 2/6*


share, choir


Ago 26, 11:44 am

>100 EBT1002: Congratulations on the Wordle-in-two! I got it in two, too! Very nice !

Karen O

Ago 27, 4:16 am

Wordle 799 3/6*


learn, teach, peace>

Kind of a nice theme going there. 😀

Ago 27, 11:18 am

>102 EBT1002: I love your Wordle words! And such a beautiful solving!

Karen O

Ago 27, 11:47 am

Ellen, there is a new NYT word puzzle. Called Connections. Just saying....;-)

Ago 28, 4:11 am

Wordle 800 3/6*


leant, tower, write

Back on track.

Ago 28, 4:37 am

Puzzle #78

Ago 29, 3:37 am

Wordle 801 3/6*


steal, drape, caper

Ago 29, 10:53 am

Dropping in to say hello!

What a bummer about the wallet. Thankfully, the passport was not lost!

Hope you are having a nice trip

Editado: Ago 30, 3:05 am

Wordle 802 3/6*


shake, manic, audio

Once again, I was just looking for more information, feeling pretty stumped. And it turned out to be today’s word!

Ago 30, 3:11 am

We are back in Dublin. No more driving in Ireland for me, although I had gotten much more comfortable and confident. Driving on the left takes some concentration but navigating the *narrow* winding roads and locals’ tendency to drive them *fast* was the real challenge. Anyway, today we’ll see the Book of Kells and maybe the Guinness Storehouse. We’ll find an art supply store because I lost one of my most-used colored pencils.

Tomorrow is the last day of August so we’ll find a wine bar and have a glass of bubbly.

I’m almost through 11/22/63 and it is so good. Stephen King is truly a great storyteller and I want to know how he wraps up this ride.

Ago 30, 7:09 am

Congratulations on your successful driving experience, Ellen. I find my brain adjusts pretty quickly to driving on the left (probably because you're also sitting on the other side of the car, so it's like a mirror or something), but I completely agree with you about dealing with very different types of roads. So nerve-wracking!

Your trip sounds great though.

Editado: Ago 30, 5:09 pm

I'm not usually a big fan of time-travel or alternative history novels but 11/22/63 gets 4.5 stars from me. The moral of the story is predictable but the story is propulsive, the detail exquisite, and the ending made my eyes mist over. Well done, Stephen King.

Ago 30, 4:50 pm

Ago 31, 2:47 am

Stayed up a bit late reading last night. I am already loving People of the Book! Having a good book to read is such a treat.

Ago 31, 2:55 am

Wordle 803 4/6*


steam, older, pride, bride
I wanted my third guess to be right!

Ago 31, 2:59 am

Puzzle #81

Ago 31, 4:45 pm

In Waterford, Ireland.

Editado: Ago 31, 5:09 pm


Both in Dublin

Ago 31, 5:12 pm

So cool! Did you get to go inside those buildings, are they museums or something?

Ago 31, 7:42 pm

Oh, cool!

Ago 31, 7:54 pm

Did you get to see the writer's museum in Dublin?

Set 1, 2:26 am

Wordle 804 2/6*


scone, space

Set 1, 3:32 am

Puzzle #82

Ugh. I knew what 3 of the categories were but I could not see the fourth which was key. And I was impatient and just started guessing. Oh well.

Set 1, 3:43 am

>119 jessibud2: They’re not open to the public, just placards on the wall.

Set 1, 3:59 am

>120 drneutron: The Irish are quite proud of their literary heritage, Jim, as well they should be.

>121 BLBera: We didn’t fit that in, Beth.

Set 1, 7:49 am

>110 EBT1002: Wow! That must be quite an adjustment. Good for you that you drove. I'm not sure I would of been able to adjust as well as you did.

Glad you are having a nice vacation.

>113 EBT1002: I read that one a very long time ago and recall that I enjoyed it. Hope it continues to be a great read for you

Set 1, 7:54 am

Happy Friday, Ellen. I am so glad you are enjoying 11/22/63. It only started to falter for me in the final third but still a terrific read. I hope you also enjoy The People of the Book. I think that was my very first Group Read.

Set 2, 3:14 am

Wordle 805 5/6*


haste, flour, wonky, bingo, onion

Wasted that fourth guess due to lack of concentration.

Set 2, 3:23 am

>126 figsfromthistle: At age 63 I keep getting reminded that, with courage and practice, you can learn many things. It applied to the different driving environment just as it applies to my sketching. Lol.

>127 msf59: 11/22/63 was a good read. Yes, it ran a bit slower near the end. I’m quite enjoying People of the Book although I mostly watched out the window during yesterday’s 2.5-hour train ride from Dublin to Cork.

Set 2, 3:24 am

Today we meet our hiking group and guide. I hope we like them!

Set 2, 3:25 am

I pulled a shoulder muscle herking my heavy backpack onto my back. P has to help me put it on now but once it’s in place I’m good to go. I just have to be very careful what I do with that arm. Aging is tough.

Set 3, 2:20 am

Wordle 806 4/6*


trade, shaft, plait, await

Set 3, 9:52 am

>131 EBT1002: Enjoy the hike, Ellen. I hope the shoulder doesn't bother you too much.

Set 4, 4:28 pm

>114 EBT1002: Someone recommended that at my book club's annual book-choosing session yesterday. We didn't choose it, but it sounded so good that I added it to my list anyway. :) Glad to get another thumbs-up for it!

Set 6, 7:51 pm

>112 EBT1002: Not a giant Stephen King fan, but I loved 11/22/63 and I thought the ending was perfect.

Set 6, 9:28 pm

I finished and very much enjoyed People of the Book.

Started This Other Eden by Paul Harding, my second of the Booker long list nominees.

Now if only I could sleep.

Set 7, 1:43 am

Wordle 810 3/6*


lathe, model, dwell

I wasn’t able to log on to LT for the past couple days. I’m not sure why; I was able to do other things online at the last hotel. Anyway, it seems to work here in Dingle.

Set 7, 1:50 am

>137 EBT1002: LT was suffering a Denial of Service attack. That accounted for most of the down time and some of the other was LT countermeasures.

Set 7, 2:39 am

>138 quondame: Ah — it wasn’t just me. Thanks Susan!

Set 7, 2:43 am

I’ve bought three books in Ireland:

Prophet Song by Paul Lynch
A Spell of Good Things by Ayòbámi Adébáyó
How to Build a Boat by Elaine Feeney

All are on the Booker long list and all are softcover.

Set 7, 2:47 am

>133 BLBera: The shoulder is only a problem if I try to toss my backpack on without thinking, Beth. Luckily, it hurt enough the last time I did that, I’m remembering to be cautious!

>134 PlatinumWarlock: It would be a good book for a group discussion but I hope you also just enjoy reading it on your own!

>135 arubabookwoman: Same, Deborah. I really ended up liking it.

Set 7, 2:48 am

Last hike today!

Set 8, 2:46 am

Wordle 811 4/6*


trade, spore, gorse, rouse

Sometimes my tendency to focus on consonants leads me astray.

Set 8, 10:43 am

>140 EBT1002: Nice book haul. Enjoy your last hike!

Set 8, 6:58 pm

>140 EBT1002: Great book haul, Ellen! I just received a soft cover copy of Prophet Song from amazon a couple of days ago and I have read and enjoyed A Spell of Good Things. This Other Eden just came in on a hold from the library. Now, if I could just read a little faster.

I am so glad your trip to Ireland going so well! The pictures are gorgeous.

Set 9, 2:38 am

Wordle 812 4/6*


plane, broil, gully, lucky

I was rushing a bit as we’re heading to the Dublin airport (sad face).

Set 9, 5:47 pm

Sitting in the Boston airport waiting for the flight to Seattle. We’re going to be SO tired when we finally get home. I’m ready to see Carson!

I finished This Other Eden which is beautiful and heartbreaking. Now I’ll start The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride. It’s for RLBG.

Set 9, 6:51 pm

Holidays just fly by Ellen. Enjoy your snuggles with Carson.

Set 10, 6:32 am

Welcome home, Ellen. I hope the final leg of your trip was uneventful and that you had a good night's rest (with Carson, of course).

Set 10, 6:50 pm

>144 BLBera: Thanks Beth!

>145 vancouverdeb: Hi Deb. This year's Booker long list is interesting to me.

>148 Caroline_McElwee: They do indeed, Caroline! It was a good holiday and it just flew by.

>149 lauralkeet: We spent last night in a hotel in seattle, Laura, and we both slept well. Caught the 11:15am flight to Pullman and it feels good to be home. It was about 25 straight hours of travel, then a few hours in a hotel, then a last quick home stretch. We both feel like we're in this time zone already, although exhausted.

Set 10, 6:52 pm

I've read about a third of The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. I'm quite enjoying it so far.

Set 10, 7:52 pm

I just finished the McBride, Ellen. I thought it took a while to get moving but then it really picked up speed and I couldn't put it down. (Welcome home!)

Set 10, 8:05 pm

Welcome back! It won't be long now until you are the mistress of all the time!

Set 10, 9:11 pm

Great to see you obviously had such an adventurous time in the Emerald Isle. I long to go back to the West Coast of Ireland and meander down from Donegal (where my maternal family hail from) to Cork and Kinsale in particular.

No place like home though so I am also pleased to see you are safely back.

Set 11, 6:56 am

>150 EBT1002: You were wise to stay overnight after such a long journey, Ellen. I am sure you'll be back to your usual energetic self in no time.

Set 11, 8:46 am

Wordle 814 3/6*


arose, toner, older

Set 11, 8:48 am

I was in bed by 8:30 last night, slept soundly (with Carson on my head) for a good eight hours. I’m skipping my morning walk and going in to the office early to start digging through three weeks of emails 😱.

Set 11, 9:05 am

>157 EBT1002: I’m betting this is the last time you’ll need to do that Ellen. Have you started a countdown yet?

Set 11, 11:11 pm

Welcome home - and good luck with the emails! I hope we get to see some pictures at some point. I'm about 10 percent into 11/22/63.

Set 12, 9:12 am

Yesterday was fine but I'll say this: nothing that happened made me even the least bit sorry I'm retiring. Fifteen weeks and I'm done. So done.

Set 12, 9:15 am

>158 lauralkeet: Yes I have, Laura. 100 days to go. Or 4 weeks and 2 days.

>159 BLBera: I'll try to post some photos this weekend, Beth. Honestly, I find uploading new photos to LT a bit tedious but I'll select a half dozen or so to share some highlights. There were so many!

Set 12, 9:16 am

Set 12, 9:18 am

>152 vivians: I'm enjoying THAEGS, Vivian. I agree, it starts a bit slow. I'm halfway through and finding myself chuckling now and then. The humor works well even as he is exploring serious matters.

>153 quondame: Thanks Susan. I know the next 15 weeks will fly. I'm ready.

Editado: Set 12, 9:23 am

>154 PaulCranswick: I loved Cork and Kinsale, Paul. Ireland is a beautiful country. And yes, there is no place like home.

>155 lauralkeet: Around 4pm yesterday, I was starting a meeting and the colleague said "wow - you look great, so energetic when you must be exhausted." I was starting to feel the tiredness (last night was another early night for me) but I remembered what my SIL said 8 years ago when Prudence told her I'd had a stroke: "Ellen does everything with more energy than I do anything." I don't know if it's a compliment, exactly, or just a comment on my way of being. But I love that I'm generally an energetic person. Imagine how much fun I'll have with that energy in 100 days! Yay!

Set 12, 9:26 am

Wordle 815 3/6*


spite, brisk, whisk

Set 12, 10:36 am

>164 EBT1002: I can feel your excitement all the way over here, Ellen. I look forward to seeing the ways you burn all that energy.

Set 13, 9:00 am

Wordle 816 3/6*


stale, plead, clear

Well, I caught whatever has had Prudence in bed for the past 36 hours. Ugh. I have to go to work — masked up, of course — but I’ll likely be bringing my laptop home to finish the day here. No one wants me coughing around the place, even with a mask. Terrible timing.

Set 13, 9:26 am

Sorry you are sick, Ellen. I wish you a speedy recovery!

Set 14, 9:05 am

Wordle 817 5/6*


alone, nomad, banjo, wagon, rayon

Tough one.

Set 15, 8:50 am

Wordle 818 3/6*


tread, overt, exert

This cold has really slowed down my reading. It’s a doozy. Wednesday I read not at all. Last night I managed a longish chapter of Heaven and Earth Grocery Store before sleep. Hopefully I can finish it this weekend.

Set 15, 9:29 am

Well crap. I was just sitting here reading and my kindle froze. It’s not responding to anything. Grrrr

Set 15, 3:09 pm

>171 EBT1002: Hopefully you can restart it, and it will work.

Set 16, 10:25 am

>172 thornton37814: That is exactly what I did, Lori. I had to Google how to restart it (press the start button for 40 seconds!), but it worked!

Set 16, 10:26 am

Wordle 819 3/6*


roast, abide, angel

Set 16, 5:16 pm

I finished The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride. I really liked it although I had spells of boredom throughout. Still, it was wryly funny, sweet, and ultimately downright joyful.

Set 16, 5:17 pm

Next up: Tom Lake by Ann Patchett.

Set 16, 5:40 pm

I hope you enjoy Tom Lake, Ellen . I’m sure you will . I’ve only read two books by Ann Patchett, Patron Saint of Liars, which I really enjoyed , and The Dutch House which , honestly, bored me . So I have mixed feelings about her books . I’m currently trying to make progress with the Booker Long List, and have read 3 from the long list and am starting a fourth. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!

Set 16, 8:09 pm

>177 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deb. I've not read Patron Saint of Liars but I very much enjoyed State of Wonder and I loved Bel Canto. I was less enthusiastic about The Dutch House than most.

Set 16, 8:18 pm

Hope you are feeling better!

Set 17, 6:42 am

I loved Tom Lake, Ellen. I'm pretty sure you will as well. Happy reading!

Set 17, 10:05 am

This darn cold is a lingering one. And now P feels like she’s relapsing. Ugh. Quiet Sunday for us. She’s planning to make Carolina pulled pork on the grill. I’ll finish up the laundry, read, and I’d like to spend some time with my sketchbook.

Wordle 820 2/6*


scone, music

Editado: Set 17, 11:12 am

>179 figsfromthistle: Thank you. Not feeling as much better as I had hoped but I’ll rest again today.

>180 lauralkeet: I’m 26% into Tom Lake and I’m loving it.

Set 17, 11:20 am

Take care. I hope you feel better soon. I look forward to your comments on Tom Lake; I'm #53 on the waitlist, so it might be a while.

I am reading 11/22/63, about 40% through. Also reading Take What You Need and loving it so far. I have loved all the books by Novey that I have read.

Set 17, 2:38 pm

Feel better soon! There are some nasty bugs out there.

Editado: Set 17, 8:12 pm

As my energy and inclination allows, I'll post some photos from the Ireland adventure.

On Day 2, we visited a very small goat farm on Clear Island. We tasted delicious goat-milk ice cream and I got to bottle feed this little 3-month old orphan named Mona.

Editado: Set 17, 8:18 pm

This is P and two of our co-hikers in front of her, heading out on the trail around the perimeter of The Great Blasket island. It's hard to tell from this picture, but this one was scary. That slope off into the ocean had me hiking head down, breathing deeply. And ... it was beautiful!!!!!

Editado: Set 17, 8:22 pm

This is along the Old Kenmare Road. You can see the trail meandering ahead.

Editado: Set 17, 10:25 pm

These are from our hike on Sheepshead Peninsula -- the most challenging in terms of footing (some use of hands required) -- and SO amazing!!

In this one, you can see our group spread out ahead on the rocky trail.

Editado: Set 17, 10:25 pm

Also from the hike on Sheepshead Peninsula

Set 17, 9:18 pm

Wow, beautiful!

Editado: Set 17, 9:22 pm

>186 EBT1002: I feel the steep! Lovely territory and vistas!

I once froze going across and up a significant slope and had to be cajoled along at close range for several meters.

Set 17, 9:45 pm

Lovely, lovely photos, Ellen. Kenmare is on the Ring of Kerry and the Ring of Beara and great places to walk.

Up at >161 EBT1002: You have a typo (possibly a Freudian one) as you typed 100 days or 4 weeks and 2 days. Regretfully you omitted ten weeks!

Editado: Set 18, 7:51 pm

This is the group we hiked with. From left: Becky, Karen, Prudence (kind of in the back), me (plaid shirt), Barby and John with Helen behind them, the other Ellen. Total stranger in the back looking out to sea.

This was on Sheepshead Peninsula.

Set 17, 10:29 pm

>190 jessibud2: It really was, Shelley.

>191 quondame: I've had that same experience, Susan. This became a single track trail and I had to keep reminding myself that I walk every day without falling.

>192 PaulCranswick: Yes, the hiking all around Cork and Kerry was really spectacular, Paul.

And you're the first, including me, to notice that typo!

Set 17, 10:32 pm

>194 EBT1002: You know I can't help it when it comes to figures - just a shame it wasn't a typo! xx

Set 17, 10:38 pm

>195 PaulCranswick: I think it was a typo, Paul. I meant 14 weeks and 2 days, left off the 1. And now I've fewer than 14 weeks to go! 😀

Editado: Set 17, 10:44 pm

These are along our longest hike: 11 kilometers of steady up and then steady down through Dunloe Gap. It was along this single-track road with only the occasional "jaunting car" (horse pulling a buggy). It was a hot, sunny day and the half-pint of Guinness at the pub at the end was very welcome!

Editado: Set 17, 10:55 pm

Lunch spot on Clear Island. I'm standing and surveying the view. You can see some of the purple heather and golden gorse in bloom.

Set 17, 10:59 pm

More Clear Island. So breathtaking.

Prudence and yours truly.

Set 17, 11:33 pm

Thanks for sharing the photos, Ellen. What a great trip!

Set 18, 12:20 am

Fabulous pictures, Ellen! What a great trip!

Editado: Set 18, 12:27 am

Thank you so much for the posting of the photos. It looks like it was a really lovely vacation and so very much a way to get away from everything for two weeks. I love to be able to share in peoples trips via photos and conversations about their trips. I always learn something from them. I am so glad that you were able to do this trip at this time in your life.

Set 18, 12:51 am

Great photos!

Set 18, 6:26 am

Love the travel photos, Ellen! It looks like a great vacation.

Set 18, 8:52 am

Wordle 821 4/6*


leant, brand, prank, frank

I’ve got to get better about going with my first instinct. I’d have had this in three but for second-guessing myself.

Set 18, 8:54 am

Still sick. Thinking I should take a COVID test. I know, I should’ve done that a few days ago…. We have some but they’re not new. Need to check the expiration date.

Set 18, 8:56 am

>206 EBT1002: Sorry to see you're still not feeling well, Ellen.
Be sure to check this information about test expiration dates. Many have been extended beyond what's printed on the package.


Set 18, 9:02 am

>207 lauralkeet: - Oh, thanks for that link, Laura! We have some old ones, too, and I'm wondering if I should pick up new ones.

I'm sorry you're not feeling any better, Ellen. Do take the test. And don't go into the office!

Set 18, 10:06 am

Sending more wishes for your speedy recovery from please-not-covid, Ellen.

If you can get your hands on a copy of Twenty Years A-Growing, I think you'll enjoy the account of what life was like on Great Blasket in the early 20th century.

Set 18, 10:27 am

Lovely pictures from Ireland. They make me want to go myself.

Sorry you and P. are still sick. If it is Covid, I hope you have a mild run of it.

Set 18, 6:28 pm

Tested negative. Whew.

Set 18, 7:39 pm

Beth, Deb, Benita, Rhonda, and Laura — glad you enjoyed the photos. We were in Ireland for three weeks, all of which were lovely, but the final week spent on the hiking adventure is what I find myself savoring over and over again.

Set 18, 7:41 pm

>207 lauralkeet: Thanks for that link, Laura. I purchased new tests for us but will look at that before I toss the old ones.

>208 katiekrug: Same, Katie. And I’m glad our tests were negative!!

Set 18, 7:44 pm

>209 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks Linda. And I will find that book. The Great Blasket island has an interesting history about which we learned a little. There are now fewer than a handful of seasonal residents. What an isolated place to live!

>210 ffortsa: Ireland is a beautiful country, Judy. I’m so glad we got to explore it.

Set 18, 7:58 pm

Since Linda mentioned Twenty Years A-Growing, a book about growing up on Great Blasket Island, I thought I'd post a few pics of the island as it is in 2023. This is looking at the island as we approached it via boat.

Set 18, 8:01 pm

The boat that took us across to Great Blasket (with the island behind it).

Set 18, 8:04 pm

The bit of Great Blasket with structures on it. There is a little cafe and two (three?) residences, currently only occupied for the summer months.

Editado: Set 18, 8:08 pm

Great Blasket

Set 18, 8:11 pm

Great Blasket

Set 19, 6:04 am

Beautiful photos Ellen. Thanks for sharing. Such blue skies.

>185 EBT1002: Ha, Mona, such an Irish name.

Sorry you are both sick, but I guess better after than during the holiday.

Set 19, 8:07 am

Wow!! The photos are amazing. The absolute perfect way to tour Ireland. I would much rather hike and explore the landscapes than visit shops, although there is nothing wrong with getting a cold brew afterwards.

Sorry, you are both not feeling well. Hoping for a quick rebound. Yes, let's plan The House of Doors for December.

Editado: Set 19, 10:41 am

Wordle 822 1/6*




Getting Wordle in one is oddly fun and not-fun. No chance to actually puzzle. This is my second time ever.

Set 19, 10:32 am

>222 EBT1002: Yay! How wonderful, to get Wordle in 1! Good for you!

Karen O

Set 19, 12:29 pm

>222 EBT1002: Wow. And for the second time! I can see how it's "not fun" but I would also do a happy dance for sure.

Editado: Set 19, 1:45 pm

>222 EBT1002: I keep waiting...it seems that no matter what word you choose to begin with, it MUST be the answer sometime, right?

I'm so happy to see pictures of Great Blasket---I imagined it pretty well while reading Twenty Years A-Growing, but seeing it for real---wow. Even as a "get-away" spot, that is isolated beyond what might appeal to me, gorgeous as it is.

Set 19, 2:16 pm

Thanks Ellen. I hope you are feeling better.

Set 20, 12:14 am

>222 EBT1002: Wow! Congratulations! It happened to me once, and I didn't change my starter word, so once is all that will happen for me.

Beautiful pictures! Great Blasket is indeed gorgeous!

Set 20, 8:53 am

Wordle 823 4/6*


abide, lathe, scare, snare

Set 20, 9:08 am

>222 EBT1002: - WOW! I hope you are feeling better today, Ellen.

Set 21, 8:51 am

Wordle 824 2/6*


heard, stone

I did not see that coming!

Editado: Set 22, 9:50 am

Wordle 825 3/6*


leash, crush, brush

Another coin toss.

Set 22, 10:59 am

>215 EBT1002: Thanks for posting all the lovely pictures, Ellen!

Have a fantastic Friday! How many days until retirement? :)

Set 23, 11:00 am

Wordle 826 3/6*


cloud, color, carol

Set 24, 8:25 am

Happy Sunday, Ellen. I wanted to let you know that I am reading Eyes of Rigel. I know that you have also been reading this series. Have you read the third one?

Set 24, 8:48 am

>217 EBT1002: The photos are awesome, thanks for sharing! Not a place I would go but it is certainly striking and pretty!

Set 24, 10:15 am

Wordle 827 4/6*


paint, fruit, rivet, right
It took me a while to see this one.

Set 24, 12:05 pm

Hope you are feeling better, Ellen.

Editado: Set 24, 2:40 pm

>223 klobrien2: and >224 lauralkeet: Thanks Karen and Laura. Getting Wordle in one definitely results in a happy dance.

>225 laytonwoman3rd: Hi Linda. Living on The Great Blasket would require a fortitude I don't think I have. We were there on a lovely summer day but I imagine it's pretty brutal in the winter. And SO isolated. You can see the mainland of the Dingle peninsula from the island but still....

>226 BLBera: Thanks Beth. I'm feeling better but definitely not well. This has to be the worst cold ever.

Set 24, 2:44 pm

>227 vancouverdeb: I have a friend who always starts Wordle with DREAM and PIOUS, in that order (she will bail on PIOUS if DREAM gives her lots of info). She got it in one when DREAM was the solution but has not switched the order. I think she finds DREAM to be the more helpful of the two.

I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.

>229 jessibud2: and >237 jessibud2: Thanks so much, Shelley. Better but not 100% -- not even close. This has been a ferocious cold.

Set 24, 2:46 pm

>232 alcottacre: Hi Stasia. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos!

88 days left!!!

Set 24, 2:47 pm

>235 ursula: The coast of Ireland is indeed breathtaking, Ursula. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos.

Set 24, 2:59 pm

I'm finally getting around to posting comments about Tom Lake by Ann Patchett which was a 5-star read for me.

"It's not that I'm unaware of the suffering and the soon-to-be-more suffering in the world, it's that I know the suffering exists beside wet grass and a bright blue sky recently scrubbed by rain. The beauty and the suffering are equally true."

This is not a new or original theme but Patchett's treatment of it in Tom Lake is perfection. As Lara tells us the story of her summer at Tom Lake, a summer stock theater in Michigan, she is also telling her three young adult daughters. They've heard most of the story before but, as the family spends their days picking cherries by the gazillions - they own a cherry farm and it's the pandemic so they are doing all the labor themselves - Lara discloses a bit more to them, and even more to us. The movement back and forth between "then" and "now" is subtle and nimble. The shift between "out loud" and internal dialogue is exquisitely rendered. The characters are delightful, the story both universal and specific, the ending ... well, I just loved it.

Editado: Set 24, 3:10 pm

>234 msf59: Hi Mark. I've not yet read the second or third in the series by Roy Jacobsen. I own the second, White Shadow, and I need to read it soon. His evocation of the setting is stunning.

(Sorry my responses are a bit out of order)

Set 24, 3:15 pm

Some of you may know that I've been getting into sketching -- pen, watercolor pencils, and just now finally being brave enough to play with "real" watercolors. I'm loving this new activity but it's cutting into my reading time a bit. This morning I sat here with my current read, Prophet Song by Paul Lynch, thinking about all the ways I want to spend my time: reading, sketching, hiking, jigsaw puzzling, crossword puzzling, cooking more, travel to the degree that we can afford it.... I will not be bored. 😀

Set 24, 3:25 pm

I can't wait to get my hands on Tom Lake. My daughter told me that she had a copy, and will lend it to me, so I might get it sooner, rather than later. I'm # 50 on the library wait list.

Set 24, 3:25 pm

I look forward to our King discussion. I hope you feel better soon.

Set 24, 5:08 pm

>245 BLBera: and >246 BLBera: I'll be interested in how you like Tom Lake, Beth. And I'm also looking forward to our discussion of 11/22/63.

I know we tested negative but I'm starting to question it. Probably another test this afternoon.

Set 24, 5:42 pm

I've just done a wee bit of thread-cruising and I'm reminded how many books there are that I want to read! 88 days and counting. 🙂

Set 24, 10:03 pm

Yay for 88 days until retirement, Ellen! Dave will retire next year, when we don't know yet. There is a " voluntary separation package" of 1 years salary, but the company has yet to announce when in 2024 that will be available. So we are waiting on that. I'm glad you are enjoying Prophet Song. And a signed copy!Swoon! It's a very riveting tale. I have just 20 pages or so left in This Other Eden so I should finish it tonight. I had to purchase Prophet Song too. I was able to get Western Lane from the library, and it was good one too, and This Other Eden is also from the library.

>242 EBT1002: I'm glad you enjoyed Tom Lake so much. I hope to get to it eventually.

Set 25, 8:54 am

Wordle 828 3/6*


drone, roast, rocky

Set 25, 10:11 am

Hi Ellen! Long time no visit.

>1 EBT1002: Sweet boy, great pics.

>3 EBT1002: Wow. Your learning to sketch and paint ‘a bit’ is impressive.

>7 EBT1002: 20 weeks to go, in August. Yay.

>8 EBT1002: Carson looks like a very well fed cat, or is it just the angle? If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was my ginger boy Wash.

>23 EBT1002: I still have the book, Drawing on the Right Side of The Brain by Betty Edwards, from sometime in the ‘80s when I lived in SoCal. I started it, proved that her techniques worked by successfully drawing something upside down, then didn’t continue for some reason.

>131 EBT1002: Sorry about the pulled shoulder muscle. Aging is tough.

>222 EBT1002: Wordle in one. !!!!!! indeed.

Wonderful pics of your trip, thanks for sharing.

Sorry about the ferocious cold.

Set 25, 3:19 pm

>240 EBT1002: 88 days left!!! Woot!! I think my husband has about the same length of time before he retires too.

>244 EBT1002: Staying away from boredom is probably going to be an issue for Kerry - the man has no hobbies, so I am going to have to come up with ways to keep him occupied :)

Editado: Set 26, 8:51 am

Wordle 829 3/6*


grace, modal, loyal

Puzzle #107

Set 26, 2:21 pm

>249 vancouverdeb: Hi Deb. Yes, Prophet Song is indeed a riveting tale -- that is the perfect description. I had to force myself to set it aside this morning and get ready for work! I haven't yet pursued a copy of Western Lane; I need to see if the library has it since it made the short list.

Set 26, 2:27 pm

>251 karenmarie: Hi Karen!

"Carson looks like a very well fed cat, or is it just the angle?" LOL -- to hear Carson tell it, we deprive him of adequate sustenance. He is actually at a pretty good weight, a bit on the chubby side but not bad for an indoor cat. He once got up to 15 pounds, the vet says he should be "a 10-pounder," and we keep him between 12 and 13 pounds. He is definitely a lover of food (which I can hardly fault). I always love seeing pictures of your Wash on your thread; they could most certainly be cousins!

I used to have the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and I seem to have let it go. It is a good one although I am finding that the online courses and the freer approach of "urban sketching" are working better for me. Still, as a heavy reader/analytic thinker, the shift from left- to right-brain activity is definitely an important element of my newfound pastime. The other day I found an image I had drawn upside down and it's a powerful way to overcome the brain's natural interference with drawing what you actually see rather than what you think "a chair" (or whatever) looks like.

Set 26, 2:28 pm

>252 alcottacre: I know the weeks will fly, Stasia, and I still feel on a daily basis like it will take forever to get to that finish line. I'm working hard on Being. Here. Now.

Editado: Set 26, 5:05 pm

I feel like I'm developing a daunting list of shared reads for the last three months of my working life. I may be forgetting something but I'm going to try to capture my reading "plans" here:

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray with Mark, Stasia, et al.
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood with Kim and Beth
Prophet Song by Paul Lynch (currently reading) for RLBG
Weyward by Emilia Hart for RLBG

The Fraud by Zadie Smith with Beth and Kim

The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng with Mark, Stasia, Beth, Kim, et al.

Okay, it's not really daunting, I just want to be sure I keep track of my commitments!

Set 26, 3:37 pm

>257 EBT1002: I am one of the et al for Skippy Dies and The House of Doors and am looking forward to them both. I echo the praise for Prophet Song and hope you continue to be engrossed in it!

Set 26, 5:06 pm

>258 alcottacre: Yay! I added you to my post. :-)

Set 27, 8:53 am

Wordle 830 5/6*


alone, while, guile, stile, smile

As a friend says, my vocabulary is too sophisticated for Wordle. Hahaha

Set 27, 9:02 am

Puzzle #108

That’s better.

Set 27, 9:15 am

Prophet Song is hard to put down.

Set 27, 9:45 am

A quote from Prophet Song:
“…time is at once addition and subtraction, time adds one day to the next and always takes away from what’s left…”

Set 27, 12:08 pm

My library hasn't even ordered this one yet. :(

Set 27, 12:12 pm

>263 EBT1002: There is so much quotable in Prophet Song . . .

>264 BLBera: I gave my personal copy to my local library, Beth, so that other people could read that wonderful book. Move down here! lol

Have a wonderful Wednesday, Ellen!

Set 28, 8:53 am

Wordle 831 4/6*


heard, chant, clash, coach

Set 28, 8:57 am

Puzzle #109

Set 28, 11:55 am

I just "favorited" my own post >257 EBT1002: so I can find it and keep track of what I'm doing.
It's also time for me to start a new thread. I should be able to get to that this weekend.

I read some more in Prophet Song this morning. There are moments when I look up from the reading and am surprised to find myself in this reality instead of that one. It is so very palpable.

I'm wondering about the title but perhaps that will come clear when I finish. I have about 70 pages to go.

Set 29, 8:58 am

Wordle 832 5/6*


leash, after, arena, auger, azure

I hate when I lose my concentration and make a mistake like that fourth guess!!!

Set 29, 9:04 am

Puzzle #110

Editado: Set 30, 11:06 am

Wordle 833 4/6*


alone, chair, bawdy, daddy

Puzzle #111

Out 1, 10:45 am

Wordle 834 3/6*


later, tired, beret

This time I won the mental coin toss between beret and egret.

Out 1, 11:30 am

I finished Prophet Song by Paul Lynch yesterday and it gets an enthusiastic 5 stars from me. This is one of the most affecting novels I've ever read. Written in the third person, it is told from a space so deeply inside Eilish; her human experience is evoked such that I would look up from reading and be surprised to find myself in this reality instead of that one. As Ireland comes apart at the seams under a newly imposed authoritarian regime, Eilish's husband is taken away. Eilish tries to keep her family safe and together, also managing her increasingly senile father who lives on his own. The story kept me thinking about people in Ukraine, ordinary people living in the center of a war.

Unflinching, beautiful, propulsive, terrifyingly heartfelt. The title only becomes clear near the end and when it does, it is subtly profound.

I've read three of this year's Booker shortlisted novels. All three are excellent; this one may be a masterpiece.

Out 1, 11:31 am

Currently reading:
God's Old Time by Sebastian Barry

Out 1, 11:59 am

>273 EBT1002: Wow. That's a phenomenal review, Ellen.
>274 EBT1002: I'm waiting for a library hold for this one, thanks to recommendations on the threads.

Out 1, 4:38 pm

>273 EBT1002: This sounds wonderful; I'm waiting for my library to get a copy.

Out 2, 6:14 am

>273 EBT1002: Should land on the matt soon Ellen. Great it was a 5 for you.

Out 2, 8:55 am

Wordle 835 3/6*


false, ebony, merry

Out 2, 9:59 am

>273 EBT1002: Wow - can't wait to read this one. I'm glad it was such a home run for you.

Out 2, 6:52 pm

Hi, Ellen. I really enjoyed Old God's Time. I will finish The Singapore Grip tomorrow. It has been a bit exhausting but it also such an impressive novel. I am then going to read This Other Eden, (a much shorter read). I plan on starting Skippy Dies over the weekend. I hope you can join us then.

Out 3, 1:49 am

>273 EBT1002: A wonderful review. I agree, I also found the book deeply affecting. I finished the book and wished I could share it with politicians. It reminded me of Warsan Shire
“No one leaves home unless / home is the mouth of a shark. You only run for the border / when you see the whole city / running as well.”

Out 3, 1:55 am

>273 EBT1002: Great review of Prophet Song, Ellen. I agree, it is the book to beat. I hope you enjoy Old God's Time. I really did.

Out 3, 8:26 am

Wordle 836 2/6*


dealt, while


Out 3, 11:00 pm

P's surgery went well but they had to make a 2-inch incision -- no laparoscopy here -- so she's spending a night in hospital.

Old God's Time is good so far.

Out 3, 11:19 pm

Best wishes to P.

Out 4, 12:20 am

Best wishes to P. for a quick recovery. Glad you are enjoying Old God's Time.

Out 4, 7:42 am

Glad Ps surgery went well Ellen.

Out 4, 8:40 am

Sending healing vibes to P. Glad the surgery went well.

Out 4, 9:03 am

Wordle 837 3/6*


house, stuck, spurt

Out 4, 9:33 am

Hi Ellen. I think I missed any mention of P's surgery. Sorry. Wishing her well and a speedy recovery!

Out 4, 10:22 am

>284 EBT1002: A relief to have the surgery over...all the best for P's recovery.

Editado: Out 5, 8:48 am

Wordle 838 3/6*


talon, shine, bunch

Another reminder that gray/black squares are information.

Out 6, 8:55 am

Wordle 839 2/6*


arise, chime

It helped to have ruled out both the S and the R, but this still had the potential to be a rabbit hole.

Out 6, 10:19 am

>293 EBT1002: Fantastic Wordling, Ellen!

Karen O

Editado: Out 6, 12:13 pm

I finished Old God's Time by Sebastian Barry this morning and I'm giving it four stars. It is a lovely exploration of grief -- overwhelming and profound grief -- and memory and aging. It touches on themes of guilt and redemption. Set along the southeast Ireland coast, it is the story of Tom, a retired police detective who is leaning into the peaceful space of ease in older age. We learn early that he has experienced significant loss; we also learn that he and his wife, June, were both survivors of terrible child abuse at the hands of priests entrusted with their care. It all comes around as Tom is pulled into a cold case investigation of a priest with a long history of said abuse.

Trigger warning: the passages harkening back to the abuse are evocative -- not as vivid as some, but realistic in expressing the suffering of the victimized.

Still, highly recommended.

Out 6, 12:19 pm

>275 lauralkeet: and >276 BLBera: and >277 Caroline_McElwee: and >279 vivians:
Thanks Laura, Beth, Caroline, and Vivian. I hope you enjoy Prophet Song as much as I did when you get to it.

>280 msf59: Mark, I will start Skippy Dies this evening, having just finished Old God's Time. I hope you enjoy This Other Eden. I thought it was excellent and worthy of the Booker nomination, although my vote so far goes to Prophet Song for the prize.

Out 6, 12:21 pm

>281 charl08: Thanks for sharing that passage of poetry, Charlotte. It is perfect. And I agree -- Prophet Song is a deeply affecting cautionary tale of the true impact of war.

>282 vancouverdeb: I did enjoy Old God's Time, Deb. It took me a little while to warm up to it but once I did, it was really powerful. Lovely writing.

Out 6, 12:24 pm

Beth, Deb, Caroline, Laura, Shelley, and Linda,
Thank you for the kind words for Prudence's recovery. I wasn't sure if I had even posted anything about it. In any case, the "alien" has been removed, we're 99% sure it's not cancer (but of course waiting for final results from the post-surgery tests). Even though they were not able to do the surgery laparoscopically, this recovery is SO much easier than the knee replacement was!!!

We are having gorgeous weather right now, a real retro-summer. It is supposed to last through the weekend. I will be hanging clothes on the line, hopefully reading and sketching some on the back deck, maybe going for a slow walk or two with P.

Oh, and I'm now just under eleven weeks to go. :-)

Out 6, 12:24 pm

>273 EBT1002: Prophet Song got an enthusiastic 5 stars from me too. I am going to be very disappointed if it does not win the Booker prize especially given some of the titles that made the shortlist.

>295 EBT1002: I am going to be reading that one this month too.

I hope P is on the upswing!

Out 6, 12:25 pm

>294 klobrien2: Thanks Karen! I felt like my second guess was a good one from a strategic perspective; it was kind of fun to watch those green tiles flip over!

Out 6, 12:27 pm

>299 alcottacre: I've read three of the short-listed titles so far, Stasia, and I think the other two (This Other Eden and If I Survive You) are worthy nominees, but Prophet Song.... It deserves the win as far as I'm concerned.

Out 6, 12:29 pm

>301 EBT1002: It deserves the win as far as I'm concerned. I completely agree and I have not even finished the shortlist. I am still wondering how If I Survive You ever made the longlist, let alone the shortlist!

Out 6, 12:46 pm

I'm very curious to hear your thoughts on Study for Obedience, also Booker short-listed, about which I've read very little LT chatter. I really struggled with it and feel like I totally missed the point.

Out 6, 10:47 pm

>302 alcottacre: I gave If I Survive You 4 stars, Stasia, but in retrospect I think I was over-generous. It's not even in league with Prophet Song.

>303 vivians: I've not yet acquired a copy of Study for Obedience, Vivian, and your comments (on your thread) did not make me want to hurry. Honestly, I don't have copies of the other three short-listed novels and I may not bother unless one of them wins. I do have two from the long list that I'll read. I brought them back from Ireland. 😀

Out 7, 5:46 am

Glad that P's surgery went well! May the recovery be quick

Hope you have a great weekend.

Out 7, 8:08 am

Happy Saturday, Ellen. I also was quite impressed with Old God's Time. Unfortunately, my library system hasn't picked up Prophet Song yet. I will have to be patient. I will start Skippy Dies today. Have a good weekend.

Editado: Out 7, 9:53 am

I hope Prudence is recovering apace from the invasion.

I have to get to some of these new books now and then, even though they are not on my shelves!

Editado: Out 7, 10:07 am

Wordle 840 4/6*


chaos, moral, along, viola

Whew. My first guess somehow ended up feeling spot on. Haha

Out 7, 10:21 am

It’s a gorgeous Saturday. On the docket: laundry which I’ll hang on the line, reading Skippy Dies, finally starting the first exercise in Jane Blundell’s “Mastering Watercolor” class, and watching the 4-0 Cougs play UCLA. Oh, and I’ll probably see if I can get the current jigsaw puzzle closer to done.

Out 7, 2:38 pm

>304 EBT1002: Yeah, for me If I Survive You was not even a four star book. I think I gave it either 3.5 or 3.75 stars. I cannot remember which. Not anywhere close to Prophet Song!

Butting in a bit on the Study for Obedience conversation, I abandoned that one. I made it 50 pages in and decided life was just too short.

>309 EBT1002: I am starting Skippy Dies tomorrow. I am currently reading The Bee Sting by Murphy, so it will be an interesting juxtaposition of the two books, one older and one newer.

Editado: Out 7, 3:38 pm

>305 figsfromthistle: Thanks on both counts, figs!

>306 msf59: Hi Mark! I don't think Prophet Song is yet available in the U.S. I'm looking forward to our group read of Skippy Dies!

>307 ffortsa: Thanks, Judy. As we always say, so many books, so little time!

>310 alcottacre: That seals it -- I won't even bother with Study for Obedience. You mention The Bee Sting -- I do think I want to get my paws on that one but maybe I'll wait until I see/hear a few more comments one way or the other.

I'm not very far into Skippy Dies yet so it's definitely too early to say how it's going to land for me.