Susan(quondame) Reads 2023-4

É uma continuação do tópico Susan(quondame) Reads 2023-3.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

Aderi ao LibraryThing para poder publicar.

Susan(quondame) Reads 2023-4

Set 4, 10:39 pm

Days late and rather short and somewhat lacking, here I am:

I'm Susan, lost in my mid-seventies, married to Mike who has just started returning to the gym after shoulder surgery, whose dog Gizmo only has time for me when I have a snack for her or when Nutmeg, my adult daughter Becky's French Bulldog, is close to me. We get along together pretty well in an almost big enough house in west Los Angeles. In addition to books, I like food, comfortable loud clothing, dolls, fiber crafting supplies, miniature tools and occasionally meeting up with friends.

Set 4, 10:39 pm

My 2023 Project, which I haven't forgotten but have neglected!

5 years ago I collected from a FaceBook group a list of favorite women F&SF authors. In addition up until 2018 I was maintaining a much longer list of women F&SF authors, many of whom I had only encountered on other peoples' lists or in advertisements. The first has 224 entries and I haven't counted the latter, but many, many more.
It is time to bring them up to date.

If you have favorite women F&SF authors who started publishing since 2015, let me know. I see a lot, but by no means most of what gets published in that field.

I include trans-women and individuals who present as women, though I'm sure I've make some mistakes and welcome corrections based on an individual author's statements.

Set 4, 10:40 pm

The status of >2 quondame:, which didn't change since it was posted on the last thread 6 months ago.

Editado: Set 6, 10:45 pm

What is sprang and why every would you care about it?

I have a class scheduled in mid September and there may be a class on Christmas ornaments - making covers for balls I suspect sort of tailored tubes which sound fun and also might make great little purses or (god forbid) potpourri bags. I can see using something like that to put outside a hollow split sphere holding a small present.

Editado: Set 6, 11:07 pm

I read The Terms and Conditions. Does it matter for what? But I did. It should count but I'm not counting it because who would believe me.

Running on Air if you know you know. It's M/M ff mood piece.

Editado: Set 4, 10:56 pm

228) I Have Some Questions for You

This deliberately paced, somewhat 2nd person narrative, examines a 25 year old murder of a 17 year old woman and a private and somewhat isolated New Hampshire high school. Originally satisfied with the conviction of an athletics teacher for the crime, when podcaster Bodie takes a mini-mester position teaching podcasting and film history her memories and others' efforts to exonerate the man convicted come together to have her re-evaluate more likely scenarios than the obviously flawed one pursued by the state police.
This is an attack of previously only occasionally challenged culture that accepted public groping and demeaning of woman as normal and stigmatized women who expressed anger over it and in fact rarely credited women with real grievance to the extent of not taking death threats or even deaths seriously - unless they could find the right sort of perp, not one of us.

BB lauralkeet

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #11: Read a book with 5 or more words in the title, at least two of them the same length

Editado: Set 4, 10:58 pm

229) Jade Dragon Mountain .75

This is an interesting story of the scholar Li Du exiled from Beijing who is detained at the mansion of his cousin, the local magistrate of a remote southern city a few days before the Emperor visits for a solar eclipse. When he finds that the death of an elderly Jesuit is a murder his cousin encourages him to leave. The story is competently told and the characters are well drawn though static and arraigned for the plot, which is in the de rigueur mode of layered indirection. The pacing lacked elegance but wasn't uncomfortable. It consciously plays against the Judge Dee mysteries and even references Dee in a story within the story.

BB drneutron

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #15: Read a book where one of the main page (primary) tags is a subject you might study in school

Set 4, 10:48 pm

Hello! Welcome!

Set 4, 10:51 pm

In addition to >5 quondame: I've been reading fan fic and following Victoria Goddard's Discord page. So at least I had something to do when LT was being bullied.

Set 4, 11:03 pm

>6 quondame: Hi Susan. I love the topper of a cake book! That looks like a lot of time to make. I added I have Some Questions For You to my tbr list.

Set 4, 11:23 pm

>10 Whisper1: Welcome Linda!

Yay! you can see a picture! LT is recovering!

I hope you can enjoy I Have Some Questions for You. I wouldn't call it a fun read at all, in fact somewhat depressing, so do note that.

Set 4, 11:29 pm

Happy New Thread, Susan! I love the library cake topper!

Set 5, 4:42 am

Happy new thread, Susan!

Set 5, 8:11 am

Hi Susan, and happy new thread.

From your last thread: Only read this if you want to be depressed. Only recommend it if you want someone else to be depressed. I should start keeping a “Never, Ever Even Think About Reading This Book” list. The Hole would definitely go on it.

I’m amused at how massage and coffee tables were being used on your last thread.

Congrats on 3 x 75.

>1 quondame: I’m highly amused by your ‘lost in my mid-seventies’. Love the library cake. From my cake decorating days when Jenna was little, I very unhappily remember fondant. Evil stuff.

Set 5, 9:26 pm

Happy new thread!

Set 5, 10:06 pm

Happy new thread Susan

Set 6, 7:52 am

Happy new thread, Susan. Sorry it has taken me a while but I have been trying constantly and with frustration aplenty to get onto the site. Completely blocked in Malaysia for the last 20 hours.

Set 6, 12:27 pm

Happy new thread!

Set 6, 12:59 pm

Happy new thread, Susan! I picked up a copy of I Have Some Questions for You recently and am looking forward to it.

Set 6, 1:18 pm

Yay! We're back! Welcome all rejoicing returned exiles!

>12 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deborah!

>13 FAMeulstee: Hi Meg!

>14 karenmarie: Good to see you Karen! Real fondant shares little with the stuff sold at cooking supply stores. My mother carefully tempered the sugar and cured it in that curious cupboard lined room between the kitchen and the dinning area. After that is was a dense silky liquid thickened with almond paste to make lovely painted fruit or exquisite flowers. Or otherwise enhanced used as fillings for hand dipped chocolates.

Thanks Figs, Arlie, Paul, Foggi, and Natalie!

Paul, I got through yesterday by regular checks of the site. The FB announcement by LT that they had take the site down for maintenance wasn't exactly a comfort but did partially calm my worry if not my frustration

Editado: Set 6, 8:01 pm

DNF Silver Silence

I should have dropped it when I read alpha bear or at least as soon as ice queen came before my eyes but I think I went on for at least a chapter or two. The writing had no flow and I could look forward to 400 more pages of it. It seemed to be using its magic scheme as an excuse for the stalker behavior of Mr stalker bear. Nope. There might have been an excuse for this a decade before it's 2017 publish date, but not really.

230) The Phantom Twin

A graphic novel about the surviving conjoined twin, the one pressured into the separation surgery by her dominating sister. Left with one leg and one arm she returns to the freak show her sister was so intent on escaping. Her sister, though dead is still with her and still deriding her choices. About having to live with the mistakes of others as well as our own and seeing the value and the hazards of the people around you. The art quite suits the story though some of the noses distracted me.

BB from foggidawn

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #2: Read a book with a headline character count of 23 or less

231) Winter's Orbit

Fundamentally silly with a spice of serious. A M/M royal marriage of convenience with two rather romantic young men, strangers to each other until the day of the wedding. One was widowed his former spouse a cousin of the other. Misunderstandings, murder, politics, betrayals, space opera. The characters we spend time with are pretty pleasant if not terribly interesting, and gender seems to be a matter of which pronouns are used and what is worn, and in the milieu of the story indicate by wearing either flint for F or wood for M or glass for U. But gender doesn't seem to have any other weight within the book in terms of rolls or expectations and no children are mentioned as being in the palace, at least at any of the events attended or spaces occupied by the main couple.

BB from LizzieD

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #5: Read a Debut Novel First Published Since 1 January 2020

Set 7, 8:56 am

Happy new one, Susan!

Set 7, 12:46 pm

Set 7, 2:37 pm

>6 quondame: i just got that one from the library yesterday, so I will be reading it soon. I am glad to see that you enjoyed it.

>21 quondame: The Phantom Twin sounds interesting to me. I will have to see if I can locate a copy.

Happy new thread, Susan!

Set 8, 3:02 am

>24 alcottacre: Thanks Stasia!

I'm still spending lots of my time reading Nine Worlds fan fic. Not only is there quite a lot of it there is even more every day. And discussions.
So many good writers.

Set 9, 11:42 am

Happy New thread!

Set 9, 12:40 pm

Happy new thread, Susan. I love that you put where you get the recommendations for the books you've read.

Set 9, 12:43 pm

>25 quondame: I may tackle the fan fic once I finish with the "official" books. Thanks for letting me know that such a thing existed!

Have a super Saturday, Susan!

Editado: Set 9, 4:06 pm

>26 Storeetllr: Thank you Mary!

>27 BLBera: Thanks Beth!
Only if I liked the book and if I think the recommender would be glad to know. But I keep track, mostly. Well if several people have mentioned a book here and on FB I may just put a hold on it without recording which mention was the trigger.

>28 alcottacre: Are you on AO3? It took me 2 weeks to get an invitation and a good deal of the ff is private to the server. There is a lot of M/M sex, quite understandable but I'm really fond of the ace version of Kip and don't need the entire G&D boy band in bed.

Editado: Set 9, 4:22 pm

232) City of Bones

Khat is a krisman, an artificially created adaption of human stock designed to live in the Waste that the planet has become, making a living in the semi-legal relics trade in the city of Charisat which is generally hostile not only to krisman but to all non-citizens, strictly restricting their livelihoods and living places. When he is pressured into assisting a couple of patricians to escape a debt he knows he might be taking too big a chance. He is, but it's even worse - as it always is, but also interesting. The pace and flow of this book was a bit slow for me, and the characters never quite felt "in gear" though they seemed to have potential.
(This is the 1995 edition text, not the Sept. 5, 2023 revised edition)

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #13: Read a book where you can make a word, with at least three letters, with the first letters of title and/or author

Editado: Set 9, 4:56 pm

Becky went to a play last night with her friends so Mike and I went out to try a newish (well 2019) Turkish restaurant. The set-up was fast food, order at the counter though the service was slow and food delivered to the table. I got neither of the 2 dishes I ordered - lahmacun pida and green salad, but the cheese & doner pida and the chobani salad were excellent as was Mike's interestingly sauced manti. Each dish was generous so we shared a lot and came home with almost as much as we ate.

As we were leaving to go to dinner we were waylaid by a dog walker whose pet was rolling on our lawn. Sonic, of course I asked the dog's name, not the person's, seemed a lovely miniature shepherd or mix of same, was adopted by her daughter a couple weeks back and not quite settled yet but a lovely fellow with a very talkative grand-owner. It's still too hot to take Nutmeg for walks so further encounters with Sonic are unlikely.

Set 10, 1:53 am

233) Loveless

Headed for university Georgia bemoans the fact that she's never kissed a boy. Her two best friends are in a separate college of the same university and she finds she will have a roommate, also a theater kid, the very social and sexually active Rooney. Deciding to take Rooney's advice can get her the experience she wants, yes? Well, nothing's simple and there's lots of angst and drama before our victims of standard expectations can feel they are doing their own thing.

Read at the request of my daughter, Becky. I swear I do not get on her case about finding a boyfriend or girlfriend, nope not at all.

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #2: Read a book with a headline character count of 23 or less

Set 10, 4:10 pm

Hi Susan my dear, Happy New Thread dear friend.

Set 11, 1:42 am

>32 quondame: Even I don't see myself picking up this one, your review made me smile, Susan.

Set 11, 1:48 am

>29 quondame: Not sure what you mean by AO3, Susan. Mary and I just started Love in a Mist, one of the Greenwing & Dart books, on Sunday.

Editado: Set 11, 2:11 am

>34 PaulCranswick: Um thanks? The review or my comment about Becky? (I did not include the Becky comment on my LT review)

>35 alcottacre: The fan fiction I've been reading is hosted on a server at the Archive of Our Own (AO3). The specific works I've read are mentioned on the HotE Support Group at Discord. In order to read fics the authors have set as private users need to have an AO3 account which takes 2 weeks. The discord also include liveblogging for those reading or re-reading Victoria's books. It's fun to see comments of readers somewhat real time.

I signed up for a Discord account last fall because of the promise of extra chapters for HotE and AtFotS, but it took until a week or so ago until I finally found them - not that I was looking once I realized it wasn't like an author's page that you just clicked on "bonus chapters".

Set 11, 2:12 am

>36 quondame: The comment about Becky on your thread review made me smile, Susan.

Set 11, 2:13 am

>37 PaulCranswick: Mission accomplished.

Set 11, 2:17 am

>36 quondame: OK, no I have not been on that server at all - at least as far as I know. I am not likely to use Discord at all. I have been on there several times, but it is just not for me.

Set 11, 3:06 am

>39 alcottacre: It's opaque business was a turn off for me, but I was determined to extract the bonus material. And I've found an amusing group of creatives who sound very like my daughter's milieu which quite interest me now. It's been more decades than any of them have been alive since I last wrote fan fiction (Howard Pyle/Walter Scott) so I doubt I'll be a contributor, but they are so earnest.

Set 11, 9:41 pm

234) The Art of Eating

All 5 books included are great treats for food lovers who are willing to allow other opinions to blossom. In one of the last sections of the very last book I was greatly amused to learn the salt free steak had been soaked in soy sauce, but I expect it was as delicious as stated. I learned much about oysters and about the region of Burgundy and the Lake Leman area of Switzerland and was filled with longing to have been there when. Best read when lightly hungry with bread and cheese - good bread and cheese - at hand and a glass of light wine would be welcome.

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #13: Read a book where you can make a word, with at least three letters, with the first letters of title and/or author

Set 11, 9:57 pm

>40 quondame: The last time I read any fan fiction was probably the mid-1980s. I have never written any.

Set 11, 10:05 pm

>42 alcottacre: I have some very different views than I did between 11 and 14. But I still love so many of the same story elements. A good bath and a lovely change of clothes always make me fill better for the poor abused MC.

Set 12, 2:03 am

There seems to have been an evolution in manners appropriate for games since Mike last played Hell with his late boomer friends. My daughter's late millennial milieu seems to do without insulting banter and histrionics which were firmly squelched on appearance.

Set 12, 7:31 am

Hi Susan!

>20 quondame: You’ve consistently mentioned your mother’s skills as a cook and baker, and the description of real fondant as being a dense silky liquid thickened with almond paste makes me wish I could get hold of some. Fruit and flowers would be the best use, of course.

>32 quondame: I don’t mention Jenna looking for a girlfriend either. Nope. Don’t go there. SomeGuyInVirginia told me a while back that Jenna needs to find a rich Savannah widow, but Jenna would have to hie herself off to Savannah to look for this mythical creature. *smile*

Editado: Set 12, 6:58 pm

>45 karenmarie: As I have been roundly taken to task for alleged bi-bashing and how it unhappy it made my daughter feel - among the openly stated motivations for the breakup of one of the base couples of my 30s social group was the need for partners of both sexes and I had perhaps concentrated my negative feelings about sexual irresponsibility on the bi rather than the behavior.

Which is to say that I have become determined to not be surprised by whatever gender the next individual admitted as of interest to my daughter should be.

Becky has always been perplexed by my declarations that certain individuals are attractive when I am talking about people I don't know. In that and in other ways she seems to be indicating she is on the ace spectrum at least so far as requiring substantial familiarity before attraction. Which really makes more sense than the whole across a crowded room scenario.

But that seems somewhat complicated for introverts in that clear attractiveness has motivated me to interact somewhat more than it has tied my tongue though I've seen it paralyze others. But without the motivation might two or three or however many tolerably compatible people just stew before their own screens rather than chancing an interaction?

The mere thought exhausts me. I shall grab a dog and a book for an hour or so.

Set 13, 5:25 am

235) The Murder of Mr. Wickham

An amusing outing with the leads of 5 of Jane Austen's novels and the daughter of the 6th. Apparently Knighley went to school with Darcy and is the distant cousin of the Bertrams. The Wentworths are temporary tenants and the newlywed Brandons have been invited to Donwell Abbey as Emma's cousin as has Miss Juliet Tilney, daughter of a novelist Emma met while at Bath! Beyond the freedom with which Miss Tilney and Mr Jonathan Darcy move about not too much damage is done to Austen's characters and the writing is light and humorous and, well, Mr Wickham dies, gratifying many a reader.

BB from 2wonderY

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #14: Read a book with a person or animal's name in the title

Set 14, 1:30 am

>47 quondame: I read The Murder of Mr Wickham earlier this year and really enjoyed it . It was a fun read. Great review, Susan.

Set 14, 1:46 am

>48 vancouverdeb: Thanks Deborah!

Editado: Set 16, 7:36 pm

236) Embers

Fan Fiction hosted on AO3

For fans of Victoria Goddard's The Hands of the Emperor alfgufu has filled in Cliopher's career between his return to Solaara and into the events of Petty Treasons. This is very much the Cliopher of The Hands of the Emperor, but in not so finished a form and as it is told very closely from his view point it is almost all about the work though the reader will be able to catch some clues that Cliopher misses. If you'd like hanging around with Cliopher for less glamorous times, this is very satisfying. The length of a short book, a credible version of "the joke" is included.

237) The Woman in the Library

This is an embedded novel, a story within a story, but how deeply is ambiguous. Well told and quirky, a bit un-credible as to characters and their actions and it isn't about character development though the created personalities are interesting.

BB from jnwelch

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #12: Read a book, F/NF, where either the word libraries or librarians is included in the initial tags section

Set 15, 11:30 am

>47 quondame: That one sounds fun. I will have to see if I can get hold of a copy.

>50 quondame: I read The Woman in the Library last year, so I am dodging that BB.

Have a fantastic Friday!

Set 16, 12:39 am

>51 alcottacre: Hi Stasia. Not a bad Friday and our delivery order of Oaxacan food was a complete success.

Set 16, 7:35 pm

238) Ithaca

It's 8 years after the Trojan war ended and Penelope has been using every strategy to keep herself Ithaca out of the hands of the ruthless and useless men who would kill her son and inevitably destroy it in a way with the other entitled suitors. It is a nearly relentless exposure to toxic masculinity as narrated by the goddess Hera who certainly knows her toxic males. Only Penelope's stratagems and the bitter humor of goddess and women forced to employ indirection make it palatable, but never becomes a comfortable narrator.

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #10: Read a book, fiction or nonfiction, about a war that took place before you were born

Set 17, 7:03 pm

239) Thornhedge

Sometimes a high hedge is meant to protect those on the outside. This inside out Sleeping Beauty is a sweet discourse on the nature of monsters and the myths of tales.

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book you were planning to read for one of the August 2023 challenges

240) The Road to Roswell

Playful and fun with one very annoying character, this book makes a great deal of fun at the expense of UFO believers while including aliens and UFOs. It assembles as implausible a resolution as any cheery alien encounter has come up with, otherwise I would have rated it rather higher because it is a very fun read.

BB from bell7

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #7: Read a book about contact with extraplanetary aliens or alien abduction

Set 17, 10:47 pm

>53 quondame: I am interested as to why there seems to be such a plethora of such books (updating or fictionalizing Greek mythology) - is it a newish phenomena or is it something that has always happened?

Set 17, 11:33 pm

>55 PaulCranswick: In a sense it has always happened Ulysses, and I've read fairytale and myth retellings and subversions since the 1970s, so these fit into a sort of women centric re-telling/subversion of pre-Classical Greek myth and legend. I mean all those heroes had mothers and most had a wife or two and sisters of whom men recorded next to nothing, so it's a wide open field in which to play.

Set 18, 12:23 pm

>54 quondame: Glad you liked Thornhedge! I have the Willis on my list.

Set 18, 11:29 pm

>57 foggidawn: Road to Roswell is definitely Willis-lite. Lighter than Bellwether.

Set 18, 11:47 pm

241) Grave Sight

Harper is aware of dead bodies in her vicinity and when close to one knows the cause of death. She has had this ability since being struck by lightning and has made it her profession. But there are drawbacks when finding a body reveals what someone does not want known. A fast moving stranger in a hostile town story.


Meets September TIOLI Challenge #2: Read a book with a headline character count of 23 or less

Set 19, 5:22 am

Hi Susan!

>55 PaulCranswick: and >56 quondame: Asked and answered – I’m glad the wide open field is beginning to be populated.

>59 quondame: I love the Harper Connelly series, and am sorry that Harris only wrote 4 of them. When I get off my MM romance binge, 463 books and counting, I’d like to think I’ll re-read it.

Set 19, 3:29 pm

Hi Susan,
I admit to skimming... because of thread explosion, like dandelions in the lawn when you go away for 3 weeks.

Had a great westcoast visit and *no smoke*, though there sure has been a lot in Saskatchewan since I went on holiday. Had a couple days of it on my return, too.

I read several e-books and one paperback (mostly in airport departure lounges).

~ The airline travel sure ain't what it used to be!

Set 19, 4:41 pm

>60 karenmarie: Hi Karen. I'm pretty sure the Harper Connelly book was a re-read, but from before 2007. It's kind of hard to forget a character who survived a lightning strike. I think I've read of one or maybe two others, but not many.

>61 SandyAMcPherson: It's great you had a smoke-free sojourn and I hope it had other agreeable aspects as well. I admit to doing a bit of skimming on my daily rounds. There are a number of topics that my brain isn't going to absorb whether or not I read the posts so...

Travel is so much better than 100+ years ago, but it still has it's trials. I don't think travel in north America is as good as the last 30 years of the 20th century.

Set 19, 4:45 pm

>54 quondame: I’m listening to Thornhedge and getting discouraged. The middle is over-long, m’thinks. I will keep on, with your encouraging rating.

Set 19, 4:50 pm

DNF The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies

When the "sensible" Augusta started getting fluttery over the wounded highwayman it was clearly not going to be a book I could endure. I like the idea and would have delighted episodes handled with patience, subtlety and forethought. But that in not this book.

DNF Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

This was utterly on message every sentence of every paragraph. I found it utterly uninteresting.

Set 20, 12:17 am

>64 quondame: I own The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies but I have not tried to read it yet. I know we are all different in what we enjoy, so fingers crossed. I've had to DNF one book this year so far.

Set 20, 4:43 am

>60 karenmarie: I enjoy fiction derived from mythology, Karen, so I am happy about this too.

>61 SandyAMcPherson: Sandy / Susan if the green new deal is implemented we will be flying nowhere. I will not get into an electric aeroplane! Maybe the zepellins will make a comeback. Still I suppose China and India will control the world economy then so we will be able to fly with them.

Editado: Set 21, 5:29 pm

>65 vancouverdeb: Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer which I read and re-read for decades before encountering any late 20th or 21st cent. Regency fiction have made it difficult for me to enjoy much of the modern stuff. I loved Sorcery and Cecelia and a couple of other, but often I nope books early.

>66 PaulCranswick: So much Percy Jackson!!! 😜

Editado: Set 22, 3:05 pm

242) Spirits Abroad

All of these stories are good, and some are excellent. Mixtures of family, spirits, ghosts, tumbled with wry humor and spread across the various landscapes to which those who have lived in Malaysia may have moved, at least temporarily - or in the case of hell, more or less forever until reincarnation.

Read for September TIOLI Challenge #4: The "Three's the Bees Knees" Challenge: Read a book whose author's either first or last name has only 3 letters in it

243) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Bitter and funny and hopeful and despairing, this is mostly the story of one wrenching year in the life of Junior who leaves his reservation to attend high-school in a white town twenty-some miles away. His family, precarious at the beginning is ravaged by deaths and his best friend becomes an enemy and he is treated as a traitor. And yet survives and finds a place to grow.

Read for September TIOLI Challenge #1: Read a book tagged "racism"

244) Cloudy

Pretty much content free. Too much for an incurious child, nothing for a curious one.

Read for September TIOLI Challenge #3: Read a book with a word in the title from the September Songs List

245) Fog Island

The illustrations are worth looking at though the artist never actually observed a woman spinning, but the story is a bit flat and if it echos with Irish legend that isn't conveyed in the language.

Read for September TIOLI Challenge #6: Read a book whose title would fit as a name for the posted picture

246) Paris

The drawings of Paris make this almost worthwhile. A lesbian longing story written and sketched by men, has penniless arts student Juliet painting a portrait of Deborah a British aristocrat smothered in convention.

Read for September TIOLI Challenge #9: Read a book with a place name in the title

Set 21, 8:03 pm

Happy almost Friday.

Phew! I managed to dodge BB's this visit mainly because I already read 4 of them ;)

Set 21, 8:16 pm

>69 figsfromthistle: Thanks Anita!

One of the benefits of reading a lot is that you've read a lot of what others are just getting a round to.

Editado: Set 23, 2:46 am

Since I skipped it I slipped Spirits Abroad into >68 quondame:.

247) Hands to the wheel

FanFic on AO3
Cliopher returns to Solaaris with the results of the Littleridge negotiations and finds while less time has passed there than has for the travelers, still changes are part of what he - and his staff - must contend with. But the change which will have the most impact is the change to his own position.

248) The Moorchild

This is the changelings tale. Expelled from underhill because as half human she cannot disappear properly and so endangers her community the moorchild is swapped with a human infant. Her babyhood is difficult and she is shunned and bullied by the other children. The flow is not sprightly which might not suit the telling of a difficult childhood though it would certainly help getting through it.

BB from fuzzi

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #15: Read a book where one of the main page (primary) tags is a subject you might study in school

249) Mammoths at the Gate

Chih returns to their abbey to find it threatened by mammoths, a beloved mentor dead, the mentor's neixin deeply depressed, most of the scholars absent for special research and their childhood friend in charge which results in interesting challenges, not all theirs to address. Lively and textured with humor and sadness.

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #13: Read a book where you can make a word, with at least three letters, with the first letters of title and/or author

Set 22, 9:30 pm

>68 quondame: What a beautiful cover to Spirits Abroad, Susan.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Editado: Set 23, 6:53 pm

>72 PaulCranswick: I like it too! Thanks!

250) The Heroine's Journey

The addressed audience is genre writers who want to satisfy their readers.
The definition of the heroine is someone who solves problems she encounters by networking and delegating in a story that ends with her happily embedded in the family she has established. The biological sex of the heroine need not be female.

The hero is strongest when he wins by his own effort and may end up on top, but without much company there. The biological sex of the hero need not be male. The the aimed at response to the story is excitement.

While the heroine's journey can have elements, plot points, archetypes, themes in common with the hero's journey, they start off differently and usually end even more differently. The the aimed at response to the story is comfort.

The book is chatty and maybe a bit defensive in tone, and several times I wanted 2-5 more paragraphs expanding or supporting the current topic but it was on to the next chapter.

This book was favorably reviewed on Goodreads by Lois McMaster Bujold, who is mentioned in the text.

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #15: Read a book where one of the main page (primary) tags is a subject you might study in school

Set 23, 12:41 pm

>73 quondame: Looks interesting. Onto the list it goes!

Set 24, 12:42 am

>74 Storeetllr: It's not deep, but it makes its points.

251) Warriorborn

Warriorborn Lieutenant Sir Benedict is sent on a mission which pits him and his team of 3 warriorborn criminals against completely unexpected antagonists as well as more expected ones. Fortunately he is able to be of service to some unexpected allies as well.

This is a little refresher for The Cinder Spires before The Olympian Affair comes out!

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #4: The "Three's the Bees Knees" Challenge: Read a book whose author's either first or last name has only 3 letters in it

Set 24, 12:56 am

Congrats on reaching, and even in passing the 350th books read.

I'm soldiering away to see if I can finish Twilight (my book #85). I think it was a completist hang up because I was really not liking how the author developed the series (The Mediator) after book 4. I can be pigheaded because of having the niggle that maybe the story will turn out the way it was like in the first three (hah, faint hope).

Set 24, 1:10 am

>76 SandyAMcPherson: Not there yet. Haven't ever as far as I know.

Set 24, 3:47 am

>68 quondame: Happy to see The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was a topper for you, Susan.
I read it in my early LT days, June 2009, and still remember it.

Set 24, 10:59 am

>77 quondame: You can tell arithmetic is not my forté. Or maybe, just poor reading skills late at night. But it *is* only September and 50 more books-read by Dec 31 seems very possible, no? Not that such a goal is the point of reading... just an admirable achievement.

Set 25, 2:01 am

>78 FAMeulstee: It is distinctive, which I find unfortunately unusual in stories by/about Native American life, probably because there are problems so screamingly critical that not to write about them would seem irresponsible.

>79 SandyAMcPherson: I do expect to get too 300, but not much beyond. We'll see.

Set 25, 2:07 am

252) The Star-Touched Queen

Borrowing elements from Beauty and the Beast, East of the Moon etc, and flavored with decorative elements from the Indian subcontinent, we have a despised princess promised love and power and taken away to a magical kingdom. But something is not what it seems (of course) and what she learns is as dangerous as not knowing. Sometimes told like a YA and sometimes like a fairy tale, the flow and weight are unbalanced, just barely serviceable.

BB from scaifea

Set 25, 2:54 am

I read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian a while ago and really liked it. I've read his other books which I also enjoyed.

You are amazing -- 252 books read this year!!!

Set 25, 3:06 am

>82 Whisper1: It is a great read! Good to see you drop by Linda!

Set 25, 3:41 am

>82 Whisper1: I will agree with Linda, Susan. The constant flow of reading here is jaw-dropping sometimes.

Set 25, 4:56 pm

Set 26, 11:29 pm

253) Silver Nitrate

In Mexico city in the early 1990s Montserrat is a horror movie buff and sound engineer being pushed out of her job by a new boss who favors younger, cheaper workers who do not get in his face. Her best friend from childhood is the handsome Tristan who is haunted by the memory the costar who died while driving from a party in a crash that injured his face and resulted in career damage because of spiteful and powerful connections. The two get ensnared, mostly by Montserrat in a tangle of film and magic which may result in the resurrection of a 1960s era mystic. It's not painful, but it's not compelling or convincing and a horror novel should be all of those.

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #14: Read a book with a person or animal's name in the title

Set 27, 11:48 am

>86 quondame: I’m looking for a few good (relatively new) horror novels for next month. Sadly, this one won’t be on the list. Thank you for reading it so I don’t have to.

Set 27, 12:32 pm

>64 quondame: Sorry to hear about your DNFs, Susan. I really hate those things, lol.

>68 quondame: Not familiar with that one by Zen Cho, but I do have her Sorcerer to the crown in the BlackHole. I will have to get to it and look for the other. Thanks for the review and recommendation of Spirits Abroad. I have already the Sherman Alexie book, so I get to dodge that BB.

>71 quondame: I already have The Moorchild in the BlackHole, also thanks to fuzzi. I see that Mammoths at the Gates is the fourth in a series. Do you need to read the entire series to be able to appreciate it?

Have a wonderful Wednesday, Susan!

Set 27, 1:24 pm

>86 quondame: Very much lines up with my opinion of Silver Nitrate. This one was a bit disappointing, her books are usually better.

Set 27, 2:05 pm

>87 Storeetllr: I'm currently reading Our Share of Night which has involved me at a much higher level though I'm only 16% in.

>88 alcottacre: Sorcerer to the Crown and its sequel really didn't click with me, but Black Water Sister did.

Mammoth at the Gates doesn't directly depend on the earlier novellas, but they are so good why would you want to miss them. And the world building does help.
Thanks Stasia!

>89 drneutron: Yes, Silvia Moreno-Garcia can do better. I'm not sure if I prefer authors who regularly deliver at a or near 3.5 level to those that float between 2.5 and 4.0. I've collected a lot of 4.5s and 5.0s over a lifetime but I don't feel entitled to those, they are a delightful gift.

Editado: Set 30, 3:24 pm

I am making slow work of Our Share of Night. OK I've been spending way to much time on (if you only read The Hands of the Emperor but not other Victoria Goddard books with Cliopher)Kip | Fitzroy smut over on AO3.

Dinner tonight was 6 varieties of boneless! wings. There were some leftovers but they'll probably all be gone before I'm ready for lunch tomorrow - it's getting late enough that they might be gone before I'm up for breakfast.

Set 30, 5:48 am

>90 quondame: I will look out for your thoughts on that slab of a book as I have it weighing down my own shelves at the moment.

Boneless wings and you had leftovers?! Impossible in my house, Belle and I would probably come to fisticuffs over the last one!

Editado: Set 30, 10:27 pm

I had to google Kip | Fitzroy and AO3. (My last name is Kip, so it caught my attention.)

Have a delightful weekend!

Set 30, 1:19 pm

HI Susan.

>62 quondame: The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, a gift from mckait in 2011 is the one I remember reading. Other books that I own that have lightning in the title: Blue Lightning, Lightning Men, and The Color of Lightning.

Wishing you a great weekend.

Editado: Set 30, 11:59 pm

>92 PaulCranswick: I'm not at all hating Our Share of Night, but it's not drawing me in or carrying me along at all and is due back at the library in a couple of days. Meanwhile.....

We ordered with an eye toward leftovers as we often do on Friday night. Still there were very few left.

>93 Storeetllr: Thanks!

>94 karenmarie: Metaphoric lightning but Too Like Lightning would be my contribution to that list.

Set 30, 7:41 pm

I must be too tired to be on LT.

I didn't understand a thing in the last 5 posts. 😵‍💫
Except about the chicken wings, boneless even!

Set 30, 10:28 pm

Out 1, 12:01 am

>96 SandyAMcPherson: I finished off the leftovers for breakfast rather than trying to have them later. That was good.

>97 Storeetllr: And thanks again! Properly covered now.

Editado: Out 1, 4:01 pm

Hi Susan! I'm just trying to catch up on threads - again. You're not far off your fourth 75 while I'm still working towards my first.

I have a vague memory of making fondant icing in cooking class as a child using egg whites and icing sugar. Marzipan is made with almonds, right?

Out 1, 5:26 pm

>99 humouress: Yes, marzipan is ground almonds sweetened.

The fondant my mother made was pretty much sugar and water cooked in an exact sequence of temperatures, which in the high desert, were not the sea level temperatures given in cookbooks. For some months she would fill a shopping cart with sugar from the PX and experiment.
Once the fondant was tempered it was poured onto a marble slab and worked until solid. Then it was place into flat containers and cured for a couple of weeks.

Out 1, 6:35 pm

Mmmm, marzipan!

Out 2, 2:31 am

>101 Storeetllr: I've found it can't be the only sweet on offer, but for those who like it it's good on occasion.

Out 2, 2:51 am

254) Dead Djinn in Cairo

I enjoyed my re-read mostly because of all the delightful ways early 20th century mixed with fabled elements less familiar than the northern European ones to which I've been amply exposed, and found plot and characters sufficient but not at the same level.

Read for October HotE Book Club on Discord

Meets September TIOLI Challenge #9: Read a book with a place name in the title

255) The Haunting of Tram Car 015

This mage-punk roar through the wire ways of 1912 Cairo as newly partnered agents of the Ministry of Alchemy try to de-spell the presence attacking passengers on the titular tram car. They find that it isn't the low-level djinn they were expecting, and keep encountering the cresting of the women's suffrage movement as they attempt to identify and control it. Lively and interesting, seeped in the spices of the orient.

Read for October HotE Book Club on Discord

Meets October TIOLI Challenge #4: Read a book that has a title word that starts with an O, an N or a D

256) Autobiography of Cassandra, Princess and Prophetess of Troy

Before Circe, before Ithaca, before my 30 year old daughter was born we have this screamingly blatant feminist retelling of Cassandra's story, and how she feels about what's been said about her. And what a complete shit Apollo is. And she's right.
The form is more like working notes for a novel than a novel, though there's still impact, and indeed Apollo is a shit and Achilles is a heel, Agamemnon an idiot, and Cassandra has fewer kind words for Odysseus than Circe.

Read for October TIOLI Challenge #9: Read a book with a title containing at least 2 of the following - a religious title, a royal title, and/or a political title

Out 2, 1:46 pm

>64 quondame: I found The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies different from the usual run of the mill Regency romance. Though not in the vein of Jane Austen it centred its episodes around issues facing women of the day (young, impoverished girls being kidnapped for the slave trade, for example)

Editado: Out 2, 9:02 pm

>103 quondame: Laugh out loud moment. Great review.
I've often had the eye:roll moment when reading these myths. I wonder what the original 'back-in-the-day' stories were like. No wait, probably even more appalling.

PS. I think I'd like to read Molinaro's work, but (of course), I'll have to hunt around the secondhand markets (in person). Ursule Molinaro's work does not appear in either the public library's provincial catalogue or the university's.

Out 2, 8:54 pm

>104 humouress: It's clear that The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies did collect fans, and I liked the idea of a pair of spinsters being effective at championing women, but couldn't come up to any belief that it could work as shown or that I would enjoy the showing.

>105 SandyAMcPherson: What I find most appalling is having no sense of what stories for women would have been - I can only imagine men as audiences for hero tales or Homer, which failure (my imagination's) is as dreadful as the possibility there were few to none.

Out 3, 3:31 am

>106 quondame: Oh, I have to seriously suspend disbelief when it comes to Regency (or I've just read a Victorian) romances because they irritate me within the first page otherwise. I thought this was a touch above the usual run of the mill.

Out 3, 4:45 am

>107 humouress: It wasn't quite the usual impatience with young women going out unaccompanied or falling into bed without consequences, but that the characters were behaving like utter idiots and throwing the noble-highwayman in with hints of potential romance, well, no. I didn't want to read the book that all my alarms said lurked in the following pages.

Out 3, 6:05 am

>108 quondame: Well, yes. There is that. Par for the course, I thought.

Out 6, 2:52 pm

>109 humouress: I do enjoy the ones that hit under par.

Out 6, 2:57 pm

So 2 days off LT and one with no online time at all. A book swallowed me. The Hands of the Emperor A re-re-re-read. But I put my first fan fic online. It's extremely short and really quite generic.

Out 7, 9:54 am

Hi Susan!

>100 quondame: Nice about your mother making fondant, experimenting, then using the marble slab. I have Bill’s mother’s marble slab but haven’t used it but a few times over the decades.

>111 quondame: Yay for a book swallowing you and your first fan fic. Thanks for sharing.

Out 7, 3:18 pm

>112 karenmarie: The marble slab was also used for puff pastry - cooled by sheets of ice to keep the butter stiff. A standing freezer on the deep porch just outside the door next to the stove made it convenient to freeze water in several baking sheets for the process.
Which makes me think that the architecture of our lives - and its setting - has such a huge impact on us. That house, with was so suited to the desert and made for both family and a certain style of entertaining, was a great loss for my mother when my father retired.

Always before I have thought of that freezer in terms of the delicious marvels of my late teens when I could raid it - discreetly - for unsweetened baklava or similar filo pastries, or petit four hardly more than and inch square frosted with ganache and even a larger French pastry with hazel nuts baked into the nevertheless light dough clad in rich butter cream - I was trusted with the decorative frosting elements and my mother sculpted the marzipan or fondant flowers and fruits.

OK, it's still the food, but I do think that house and the community she invited into it was the greatest loss of her life. It's surely been a loss to mine.

Thank you. I did say first didn't I. And it's the first I posted publicly. The Howard Pyle/Walter Scott fan fic of my early adolescence is possibly moldering in a notebook boxed in the garage.

Out 7, 11:51 pm

Mike brought home some new little friends for me from Great Western War!

Editado: Out 10, 3:45 pm

257) The Tomato Thief

An old woman finds out who is stealing her tomatoes, and falls into a story from another old world.

258) The Hands of the Emperor

I wasn't intending to re-read it for the third time, the second time this year, but I had to check something and then I had to commit a fic and then I had to start and read to where I came in.

Meets October TIOLI Challenge #11: Read a book with 300 pages or more

259) A Lady's Guide to Scandal

Eliza, young widow of an Earl with some month's left to her strict morning finds she has inherited a fortune contingent on not making her former husband's family look bad. The determination with which Eliza goes about enjoying herself within the limits of polite society and the lengths at which she is eventually required to go to defend her right to enjoy herself as she wants, raise this agreeable bit of fluff a bit above books with more outrageously behaved main characters.

Meets October TIOLI Challenge #1: Read a book with the number of title letters divisible by 5

Out 8, 8:44 am

>115 quondame: I really plan to read some Vic Goddard. This H of the Emperor looks like a good choice even if it is out of a series sequence.

I guess I liked L-G-to-Scandal a little better than you did. I rated it 4*'s. A good part of my rating was based on Irwin having more of her own voice here. I thoroughly enjoyed the characterizations, despite the slight trope in some supporting characters. Seemed to me that the story could be described as 'Regency chick lit', but sometimes I need to have some silly fun-reading time!

About the Fan-Fic, I did click the link. Do I have to create a sign in to see what you posted? I was in a time squeeze when I was on LY+T yesterday and didn't get sorted.

Editado: Out 8, 5:18 pm

>116 SandyAMcPherson: As to rating, I rarely give 4* to period romances or lite fantasy. Considering how picky I can be about Regencys (Eliza used the word ego!) 3.5 is very good.

I think The Hands of the Emperor really is the best Victoria Goddard entry book, though mine was Stargazy Pie. The first is contemplative and very internal especially at the start and of course very long, and the second is much more a jump into the middle of action and don't stop with broader humor. But the connections are very loose and it's a feature of the world building that time doesn't work for everyone quite the same and synchronizing stories is meant to be a challenge, or if not meant, it just is.

The A03 link should work if I set the permissions correctly. Getting an AO3 account didn't require anything beyond waiting in their queue, but that was 2+ weeks. I'll check again. (I did check and could find no access restriction) For convenience:

Out 8, 5:02 pm

I got up early for an online bookclub chat featuring Master of Djinn. I fail at the chat part, but was able to inject a couple of unshared opinions that revived the discussion.

And, because I was up I went to the Italian Deli of world wide fame (maybe search for The Godmother sandwich) and was able to bring home bread fresh hot from the oven less that 1/2 hour, which was much appreciated. The bread isn't really all that except when it's hot, but boy is it ever good then.

Out 9, 8:38 am

>117 quondame: I was impressed that you didn't DNF the 'Lady's Guide'. It must be decent.

Sadly, none of my 3 libraries on Overdrive/ Libby seem to have any Victoria Goddards.

I tried the first link and also got a request to log in. I'll have a look at the second one.

Out 9, 10:07 am

Hi Susan - I was interested in your comments on Fog Island. My granddaughter loves that book although I find, reading it aloud, that the language is stilted. I usually revise to make it flow better.

I taught The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and my students absolutely loved it. It was sad to see it on so many banned book lists.

Out 9, 10:22 am

>114 quondame: So adorable!

Out 9, 4:43 pm

>119 humouress: Stargazy Pie is included in this free collection on Amazon. So far it's the only one I've read of the 8.

SandyAMcPherson found she could get to it so it may be something to do with linking from LT rather than going directly, but no biggie. It's a depressing snippet in any case.

>120 BLBera: I can see that it could be a favorite if introduced at the right age, which alas I was not.

It is a good thing that banning books does not yet permanently delete them from the wider universe and may in fact draw attention to them.

>121 foggidawn: Aren't they!

Out 9, 6:54 pm

>90 quondame: OK, I will see if I can find the books prior to Mammoth at the Gates as well.

>103 quondame: Adding the Clark books to the BlackHole! I am pretty sure at least one of them may already be residing there. . .

>114 quondame: Nice!!

Editado: Out 9, 10:53 pm

Nothing to see here folks. Nope. Nothing.

Out 10, 3:47 pm

260) The Painted Drum

Lives can be broken in seconds or over years and healing is hard and rare. The impulsive decision to steal a ceremonial drum from the uncatalogued estate of a the descendants of a former Indian Agent, connects stories in past and present tense and takes the reader through the passages of several lives and generations and leaves them flowing forward.

Meets October TIOLI Challenge #5: Read a book with a word in the title that can refer to a non-written art

Out 10, 4:59 pm

>125 quondame: Looks like I'd better add that one to the list of Erdrich's books that I still want to read.

Out 10, 6:03 pm

Hi, Susan. Just checking in. I hope the week is off to a good start and I hope those current reads are treating you well. I have not read The Painted Drum. She is a favorite author of mine but I still have many of her books to get to.

Out 10, 8:03 pm

>127 msf59: Hi Mark! good to hear from you. I've enjoyed every Louise Erdrich book I've read.

Out 11, 4:37 pm

>122 quondame: Thanks; I've now downloaded it. It looks familiar but I can't find it in the various lists of e-books I have around the place. (I really have to find a way of corralling them all in time before I forget what I've got.)

Out 11, 6:49 pm

>129 humouress: Isn't that what LT does quite well?

Editado: Out 12, 10:37 pm

261) Our Sare of Night

This is as hard to get back to as it is to give up. Evil is bad for children and other living things. I'm not sure why I found it as readable as I did, but it was possibly because the gross happenings in the narrative are dwarfed by those recalled - except in one final incident, and we view the destruction from the point of view of those struggling against it. It is the characters and the care they occasionally have for each other as they struggle with themselves and their doomed entanglement.
Just about every trigger warning (well not tentacles) would be appropriate for this book although very little of the truly unspeakable is in-your-face.

Meets October TIOLI Challenge #4: Read a book that has a title word that starts with an O, an N or a D

262) Ramona the Pest

Ramona is eager for kindergarten, and finds it good if not quite up to expectations. However, kindergarten has some expectations of its own which prove problematical for Ramona.

Read for October TIOLI Challenge #3: Read a book by or about someone who died on or after February 29, 2020

Editado: Out 12, 11:12 pm

>130 quondame: Yes, LT does it quite well and I do have a couple of collections in my catalogue. But I have to remember to update my lists.

>131 quondame: Not tentacles? Actually, maybe I don't want to find out.

Out 12, 11:27 pm

>132 humouress: No literal tentacles. A few spots of oozing darkness. You probably don't. It wasn't a set of my nightmares, mostly, but I'm hoping my bad memory dumps some of the images out of short term storage soon.

Editado: Out 13, 3:34 pm

Out 13, 4:12 pm

263) The Game of Courts

We connect with Conju, properly The Cavalier Conju enazo Argellian, at a low point after the Fall when he has ceased his dissipations after the Fall and is trying to find something useful to do with his life. Slowly the newly awake Emperor catches his imagination and his efforts take on direction. Once he has found a place with the Emperor the next upheaval is the new secretary who, from what he hears, is not at all the sort of person of whom Conju would approve. But the Emperor is becoming more present, so Conju must know more.

Meets October TIOLI Challenge #1: Read a book with the number of title letters divisible by 5

Out 17, 2:48 am

Well, it has been a while. I've been reading through the threads here, but mostly have been too sleep lacking to come up with much to say.

264) The Long Ships

Hilariously acerbic this is the story of the somewhat hypochondriac Norsman and sometime viking Orm Tostesson, how he was captured and went with his captors viking along the European coast and followed a chance rescued Jew to Spain where he and a handful of crew members served on galleys and then as guards until they could head north again. Many further adventure, somewhat episodic follow though there are significant domestic interludes, often just as interesting as the adventures. This is best taken a few chapters, one or two adventures at a time, but it is quite the worthwhile journey.

By his introduction, you learn that this was a favorite of Michael Chabon, which is only as it should be.

Read for October TIOLI Challenge #12: Read a book that qualifies as a "saga"

Out 17, 10:56 am

Hope you manage to catch up on your sleep and stay caught up! I know I’m a total mess when I don’t get what I need.

Out 17, 3:00 pm

Hi Susan. I have also wandered around the threads and mostly not posted for much the same reason as you ("too sleep lacking to come up with much to say").
I have 4 books on the go and keep swapping them off because I seem unable to cope as the suspense builds. For this emotional situation, I blame my general anxiety level. These days, it is always at near brimful and so easily tips me into the murk that I want to escape.

Out 17, 3:06 pm

>138 SandyAMcPherson: I so sympathize with not getting enough sleep even if mine comes from a different source. I'm sort of on a manic upswing (depression later inevitable) frisking about in The Nine Worlds fan fic, writing as well as reading.
I was stuck on one book, >136 quondame:, from which I needed distractions.

Editado: Out 18, 12:15 am

2023 Halloween Treasure Hunt is up. Warning, reload your pages a time or two. I found two where banner didn't display and then I had to click through dozens of possibles before returning at longer length than I'd like to the right page.

For anyone who does watch horror movies this will be so much easier than it was for me googling hither and yon to find movies that fit the clues.

Out 18, 12:37 pm

>136 quondame: That's interesting. I bought this book a while ago but I can't remember why and it hasn't seemed tempting but your description makes it sound appealing so I'd better start it!

Out 18, 1:47 pm

>141 CDVicarage: Yes having your own copy of The Long Ships lessens the need to finish it in short order, and I would have preferred it more spaced out.

Out 18, 7:23 pm

>136 quondame: That looks fun -- and it's a NYRB edition! I love those.

I hope you are able to get some sleep. As a lifelong insomniac, I am 100% empathic with how wearing it can be....
Hang in there, Susan.

Editado: Out 19, 11:34 am

>143 EBT1002: Thanks Ellen. I am mostly jittered by my attempts at fan fic. First thinking about them then starting and starting a different one and another different one. I haven't ever used a plot I didn't steal and then I don't want anybody to get hit so ... And today I just gave one for a beta read, so if I don't (maybe if I do) get feedback tonight I think I see if Ambien can de-jitter me enough to get some sleep.

I do the whole manic-don't-sleep/depressed don't wanna cycle way less these days, and take it less of a personal failing when it happens, but it always hits when I try something new.

Out 19, 3:14 am

How times change. It wasn't so long ago that I was complaining about a very short TBR, now books are falling off it. The result of some very long not terribly absorbing books and spending my time "researching" for one of 4 of the Nine Worlds fan fics, which involves checking everything said about a character - fortunately not one of the 2 mains or the Emperor's staff - which gets me reading and I do not want to put it down.

Out 19, 7:03 am

HI Susan!

>140 quondame: I don’t have the patience any more to try to solve all clues in each Treasure Hunt and am happy if I get enough to earn the badge. This time I’ve gotten 3.

>145 quondame: A nice problem to have. My TBR of books on my shelves is 2686, and I have a different account, kairfa, for TBR books not on my shelves, currently at 253.

Out 19, 7:29 pm

I make a little headway on the TBRs and then I go an buy more books. It's really a hopeless situation (and I love it). Haha

Editado: Out 19, 7:50 pm

>146 karenmarie: Its a vestige of compulsion, fairly harmless if occasionally humiliating when I'm oblivious to the obvious answer.

>147 EBT1002: Ah, the lurkers on the Kindle? As I don't have to dust them (not that I dust anything) or trip over them, they remain countless. Only books checked out from the library or moved to the front of the Kindle list for TIOLI are officially TBR.

Out 20, 1:20 am

>147 EBT1002: Who, me? Of course not.

Out 20, 5:33 am

>149 humouress: But e-books are calorie free!

Out 20, 10:17 am

Hi Susan. I see froom the time stamp (03:30 am, my time) you were "here" pretty late!

I've been lurking around LT in a very desultory sort of way, just scrolling through posts. The threads keep lengthening too fast for my staying on top of the discussions.
Distractions (mental) ~ we are in such a bad drought here and there's my bro' in the UK, absolutely pounded by Storm Babet.

You did well in the Treasure Hunt, I think.
I am a lot like >146 karenmarie:, in that I don't obsess (much) over whether I finish it. I used to be quite the 'completist'.
I did finish this one, but I think it was relatively easy. Except for one (#4), which I only solved after Nina (humoress) posted a hint. I usually avoid the Talk hints except as a last resort.

Editado: Out 20, 1:02 pm

>151 SandyAMcPherson: In Southern California #4 was a freebie. But all the horror movie ones took a lot of work for scaredy cat me.

I hope my new keyboard arrives soon. I feel very off not being able to use a ⌘.

Editado: Out 20, 1:05 pm

265) Call Down the Hawk

The Lynch brothers live across the edges of dreams, which is not only dangerous in itself but puts them in the sights of those who believe they can save the world by killing the dreamers. The pacing is uninteresting and the whole is too long for the amount of character and inventiveness delivered. Not promising for the first of a trilogy. And I dislike plots where the whole world is at stake.

Meets October TIOLI Challenge #10: Read a book by an author you've read at least three books by in the past, but none so far in 2023.

Editado: Out 20, 10:41 pm

>152 quondame: I did know what dia de los Muertos meant in both languages but I simply never thought that was what I should post in the tags search. :D

As for horror movies, I never went to those although my Mum took me-aged 15 to an Alfred Hitchcock and that was that! Can't remember the title. But my school friends were all addicted to movies like Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window and later the Exorcist, so I had lots of ideas of which book/movie was being hinted.

I hope your new keyboard arrives soon, too. I like both 'control' and 'command' keys. fn on my new laptop is a useful one though I haven't totally figured out if there's scope for the settings.

Out 21, 12:01 am

>154 SandyAMcPherson: I'm using the new keyboard now!

I know the names of the big horror movies, but nothing much more about them Stairs conjured nothing, though there were usually enough clues in the verse to get a fix.

Out 21, 2:30 am

266) Deeds of Youth

Young people start off with so little information and so much feeling and expectation that it's quite amazing that any of them survive in a world as harsh as Paksenarrion's. But the young ones here do and get a chance to learn. These are of course competently told stories showing of various facets of the world building, but only one of them rises at all above that level and not even that one too far.

Meets October TIOLI Challenge #4: Read a book that has a title word that starts with an O, an N or a D (October, November & December).

Out 22, 12:21 am

>149 humouress: Calorie free, you say. So my shelves won't put on more weight?

I'm just starting my reshelving project as my books slowly come back from storage.

>151 SandyAMcPherson: I don't come up with the hints. I just collate them all (though you're welcome to jump in and help, too 😃).

I try to do the hunt and usually get about three without help and then collate the hints - so some of them might just stick in my brain and I can get a couple more. Then I go back and use the hints properly, though I only uncover one spoiler at a time.

Out 22, 12:31 am

I'm kind of a scaredy cat when it comes to horror movies, Susan. When I was 6 or so, I saw The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock and it scared me quite a bit for sometime afterwards. I didn't go to see The Exorcist , or Rosemary's Baby or anything like that when I was young. Still don't . Dave and I rented the video of Silence of the Lambs, but it struck me as so ridiculous , I went and wrote a letter to my grandma instead . Dave liked it, I think.

Editado: Out 22, 12:40 am

>157 humouress: Yep, books lite.

>158 vancouverdeb: I did see The Birds and Rosemary's Baby and many 1950s horror movies in the base theater when I was growing up, but wasn't keen on them and after Aliens that was about it.

Out 22, 12:42 am

>159 quondame: (but the TBR pile?...)

Out 22, 1:14 am

>160 humouress: Mine is 90% library e-books. I've less than no space suitable for paper books and they just join one pile or another and migrate around as we find them in the way of whatever we want their space for.

Editado: Out 22, 3:05 am

The Hugo Award for Novel
Nettle & Bone Winner
Nona the Ninth
Legends & Lattes
The Kaiju Preservation Society
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau
The Spare Man

From that field I would have chosen the same, with my second choice being Kaiju and my third Lattes. But I liked The Golden Enclaves and At the Feet of the Sun better than any of these and Siren Queen would have been above any but Nettle.

Editado: Out 23, 12:47 am

267) All the Dead Shall Weep .25

Felicia and Peter come for a summer's stay with Lizbeth (Gunnie Rose) and Eli, but things aren't going as well as they'd hoped and then a small army comes to Segundo Mexia looking for grigoiri. They leave without them, with Peter and Eli, grigori, following to see who they are. Things get even worse. A good part of this depends on Eli and Lizbeth having substantial communication problems and issues, which are not out of the bounds of possibility for characters of such different backgrounds but a bit limp. And there is an arbitrary and over the top level to the attacks - what mercenaries attack to the last man with no explanation? The body count is huge.

Meets October TIOLI Challenge #7: Read a book where adding or removing a letter makes a new title

Editado: Out 23, 8:41 pm

For those who enjoyed The Hands of the Emperor I finished my (first) fanfic about Ghilly, Where Ghilly Stopped. If you don't remember who Ghilly was that's a good reason to skip this, but I had a few things to say on her behalf.

Note: LT seems to be link blocking so maybe copy the link and use directly?

Out 24, 4:03 am

268) Master of Djinn

It's fun spending time with Fatma in 1912 alt-Cairo, but the novel lacked the smart pacing of Clark's novellas, and is somewhat mechanical in execution. I appreciate the idea of the characters better than the execution, not sensing who they are in the language and actions written though those do support their tell introduction. It is inventive and amusing as well, just not perfectly so.

Re-read for Reddit r/fantasy Bingo and the Book Club on the tHotE Discord site

Meets October TIOLI Challenge #2: Read a book whose title or subtitle includes the word “devil” or one of its synonyms

Editado: Out 24, 7:36 am

Hi, Susan. I read very little SF/fantasy these days but I am always curious about the Hugo winners. Have you read Nettle and Bone? I have not read her before.

Out 24, 12:29 pm

>166 msf59: I've read all the nominees for novel, and Nettle and Bone is by far the best of them, with real problems, good characters, different solutions and relationships. My review

I'd most highly recommend it to a woman fantasy reader to whom the last 30 years of fantasy fiction was known space, and to men with the same experience who shared a large portion of my reading preferences Bujold,Cherryh,Gene Wolfe. It stands on it's own well, but is very much a contrast statement to a large body of work, much done by women writers who have been writing answers to men's F&SF for the last 60 years rather than just joining the boys.

Editado: Out 24, 12:59 pm

>165 quondame: I'm hoping to get to this one this year. I enjoyed the novellas a lot.

I just read Nettle and Bone and loved it. Haven't been disappointed by Kingfisher yet!

ETA: Your enthusiasm for Goddard definitely makes me want to get to The Hands of the Emperor sooner rather than later!

Editado: Out 24, 3:58 pm

>168 curioussquared: My start with Kingfisher had pebbles on the path. Good solid path though, and A Wizard's Guide to Defensive Baking is an expressway.

Yes to reading Victoria Goddard. She offers such good company, if a bit heavy on delicious men and skimpy with women's VPs.

Editado: Out 27, 7:41 pm

269) The Mimicking of Known Successes

An intriguing story that starts with the mystery of an inexplicable disappearance on a remote stations of a man who neither seemed suicidal nor had any enemies on the station. Humans have settled "on" a gas giant, living at the intersections of world girding rings on platform connected by a rail system. The Investigator returns to the university settlement where she had studied and the missing man worked and connects with her former lover, who is the viewpoint character for all but the first chapter. The world building is integral to the plot and its unfolding, which while not a weakness in itself, does suffer some because it required from me fantasy levels of suspended belief while maintaining rigorous SF tones.

This one was about to fall off my Kindle and looked to interesting to let it drop.

Meets October TIOLI Challenge #4: Read a book that has a title word that starts with an O, an N or a D

I also re-read >163 quondame: The Game of Courts but twice in a month is too much to count.

Out 28, 6:45 pm

Well, that one sounds interesting!

Out 30, 9:37 am

>170 quondame: I was looking at that one the other day, for some reason. I may have to give it a try.

Out 30, 10:58 am

270) Moonlight and Vines

Old Review:
These stories with their often grim urban setting folded lightly with a whip of fantasy do bear up under repeated readings. Charles de Lint can almost make one feel that even when all real hope is gone, say after death, a step in a positive direction is still possible.

Well, maybe it isn't robust enough to stand up to a 4th re-read in less than 2 years.

Re-read for October TIOLI Challenge #6: Read a short story or collection of short stories with a supernatural theme

271) Jewel Heart

Simple, sad, and sweet this is a fable of two artists who are necessary for each other and each other's art.

Re-read for October TIOLI Challenge #13: Read a book with a family connection

Out 30, 7:47 pm

My retirement area:

Editado: Out 31, 7:25 pm

Yesterday was phase one of "addressing the mess in the living room"


The entry of our house leads past the kitchen to a larger room with French doors below a wide but short right angle triangle of a window, all framed in red gold stained wood. The floor is beech, the bookcase/cabinets along one wall Honduras mahogany. The dining table is mid-century modern at the kitchen end of the room, and a mess of packages and crafting supplies encrust the the left side of the room as you face to the doors and the back yard. But before you can get to those doors there are two additional if smaller crafting and support tables similarly encrusted with the detritus of things moved from elsewhere and suspended project - and have I mention the Metro shelving loom turned work space turned loom storage rack off to the left. It's even worse that that.

Chapter 1:

Yesterday I opened a package that held 3 of those clever cabinet/boxes that when unfolded become cabinets with lids! How cool is that. So into one went my Agnes Brush Winnie the Pooh animals, a large stuffed brown bear and a few pieces of large doll furniture.

1 Down, but no boxes unpacked.

queue 2.

2. Yarn. More yarn. More yarn than that. Too much yarn I'll never be able to find... of to Amazon ... order shelf racks and bins.

Unpack ebay purchases

Wow, I didn't know I purchased that.
What was I thinking
That's cool
Oh! That's why I could afford this.... How could I repair it. Maybe my brother's 3D printer would.....
Oh, I already had this and now I have 3

OK, clean up.....

Shit, the dog (Gizmo it was you) ate the doll's head. Good thing I bought her for the outfit and accessories.

Good grief this place is (even more of) a disaster area.

Damnit my pink bath duck with heart shaped sunglasses is delayed!

Editado: Out 31, 9:39 pm


Chapter 2.1:

Email - Your Amazon package has arrived!

Oh, good, my pink bath duck....No it's just shelf racks and bins...time to organize I wonder if these will work together.

Yay! Almost perfect, I couldn't have done better if I actually had measured anything.

Boy, they send an Alan wrench but I need a Phillips - no 0 is too small, 1 - just right. Damn I can't hold two pieces and a screw and screwdriver at the same time. A skewer. The short ones are too short to go all the way across and hold it easily - the long ones are too thick. Two small ones then. Works, but my hands are not loving this.

(Enlightenment, next time try a metal skewer, and if it falls to the floor, 1 always falls, a dog (as likely Nutmeg as not) won't make splinters of it)

Grump. I have to take ALL the yarn out before fitting the shelf in. OK, adjust length. Good enough. Start stowing. Hey this is pretty good but what about.... OK. that'll do pig. I can lift this but a well timed request for help might be better. Break now.

What a MESS!

Out 31, 7:27 pm

I just finished an audio Sue Grafton novel and as I read that first paragraph I could hear it being reading by Judy Kaye... I also just spent some time trying to sort out the huge trove of yarn scraps that I have but must admit I will never use so I can give them to an acquaintance who says she's sure she can use them. Both made your description really come alive. Good luck with the project. I admire you and I'm sure you'll be delighted when you finish.

Out 31, 9:39 pm

>177 RebaRelishesReading: I am not so ambitious as to expect delights, though opening some of the boxes that have accumulated over the past 4-6mo has revealed the delightful absurdity of my purchase compulsion.

Editado: Nov 1, 11:43 am

Chapter 2.2

I forgot to mention the massage table, totally crucial to this enterprise. After its initial purchase the massage table in its unfolded state made short appearances, retreating into sub-ottoman bulk. I opened it and remained up for 2-3 days before I reduced it once more. This was repeated, mixed with short appearances. All of this was at right angels to the dinning table between it and the Metro-loom-storage.

The massage table, being perfectly placed for sorting and the setting up and filling of cabinet boxes, immediately succumbed to FSS (flat surface syndrome any item you put down will be covered by 2-5 other items when you go to retrieve it). This lead to a marital objection, which required actual dates and times to be mentioned, always difficult when passive-aggressive natures are involved. Henceforth, the table will be clear in the mornings, but may not stay that way once I've finished, or am ready to take a break during, my online time, which means rarely before 2PM.

Well, day 3 will just have to start anew.

The pink bath-duck is proving hard to deliver - not that Halloween is a good time for deliveries, so I remain disappointed in my hopes. The Hawaiian and black ducks have neglected to report any progress on their itinerary.

Out 31, 9:59 pm

272) Fancy Nancy and the Sensational Babysitter

Fancy Nancy has plans, a whole list of them, for what she and Alex the new babysitter can do. She is surprised by who Alex really is, but it only takes her aback a short while and she finds many things to like about her new babysitter.

Read for October TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book where the MC performs one of the top 10 most popular Halloween activities

273) On the Fox Roads

A riff on Bonnie and Clyde and an unexpected 3rd. With a get-away mode that's out of this world.

Meets for October TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book where the MC performs one of the top 10 most popular Halloween activities

Editado: Nov 1, 9:35 am

>162 quondame: The theme of Nettle & Bone sounds enticing but even "mildly" horror is a no-go for me. A number of the LT reviews were well-written, something I usually don't read until *after* I've read the book.

Edited to add that "tidying up" is so difficult, no matter how interested one is in the 'zen' aspect of organized.
My stumbling block is always deciding what to edit and the perennial, "Will I ever *really* do anything with this"?
Good luck with your next chapter in this saga.

Nov 1, 9:35 am

Hi Susan!

>174 quondame: Thanks for sharing the pic of your retirement area.

>175 quondame: Phase 1, chapter 1 – a joy to read. Wow, I didn't know I purchased that. I say that, too, all the time.

When I emptied my mother’s house in 2017 after she’d passed, I took two huge black plastic bags of yarn to the Salvation Army. I saved the knitting needles to give to a friend, but I have the sneaking suspicion that she gave them away because I only see her using the round needle-things with long plastic-covered wire between.

>179 quondame: All flat surfaces here eventually get to critical mass and get cleared to within an inch of their inanimate lives, to slowly accumulate again.

Nov 1, 9:49 am

>179 quondame: Oof, Flat Surface Syndrome is real, and I have experienced it. Good luck with your continued tidying!

Nov 1, 10:34 am

>181 SandyAMcPherson: Huh. I loved Nettle and Bone, and I avoid horror at all costs. There is some darkness, but nothing I would consider horror. You don’t want to miss spending time with the dust witch.

Nov 1, 11:35 am

>184 2wonderY: I'll second that!

Nov 1, 11:44 am

>181 SandyAMcPherson: I agree with >184 2wonderY:! For fantasy readers, Nettle & Bone elegantly retools expectations and is very satisfying.

>182 karenmarie: You're welcome. And thank you. I'm getting what enjoyment I can from the ordeal.

>182 karenmarie: >183 foggidawn: I am very pleased with my invention of FSS and definition, though I hold the cosmos at fault for the reality. Surfaces are rarely naturally flat though, so it is human need that has brought us to this pass.

>184 2wonderY: >185 foggidawn: Yep. We are a clear majority!

Nov 1, 5:11 pm

The morning's adventures included going to the farmers' market to get basil and finding fava beans and a pomegranate but wimping out and not looking for green tomatoes.

Then as Becky has the afternoon off we had lunch plans. The Chinese place with the Taiwanese beef soup doesn't open until 5PM so we consoled ourselves with sushi at the good place. But had to stock up on cash first.

No sign of ducks, no reports of eminent arrival of ducks or other goodies.

Nov 1, 9:13 pm

274) A Theory of Haunting

Classic haunted house horror with real and fake oculists, atrocity driven spectral hatred and horror above horror bosses abusing the workers to satisfy the patrons. But anything novel remains in the subtext further down than i felt like seeking.

Meets for November TIOLI Challenge #2: Read a book where the title completes the phrase, "I am thankful for..."

Nov 1, 9:27 pm

No progress, no ducks. I wonder if there is a connection. Maybe later, it's not yet 7PM here.

Editado: Nov 1, 10:07 pm

>186 quondame: (and >184 2wonderY: 2wonderY: >185 foggidawn: foggidawn) Can't argue with that enthusiastic majority! I requested Nettle & Bone today. Looks like not too long a wait ~ 4th and there are 10 copies in the system.

Susan, good luck with with the effect of the Flat Surface Syndrome. Would be all kinds of wonderful if it is not affecting progress. Sometimes once such a situation is observed and then 'named', these problem-places are easier to manage. I hope so anyway.

Nov 1, 10:51 pm

>190 SandyAMcPherson: I do hope you enjoy Nettle & Bone!

FSS is stronger than all of us. I do not hope, but neither do I despair. It is survivable, and with patience and humor, does not have much impact except on time.

Nov 2, 8:04 am

Sweet Thursday, Susan. I like your "Retirement Area"! Nice big screen too. I had not heard of Flat Surface Syndrome but it sure seems to fit my wife. 😁

Nov 2, 3:37 pm

>192 msf59: Thanks. FSS has been with us forever, but I fancy I'm the one that named it and gave it the definition in >179 quondame:.

Editado: Nov 2, 4:05 pm

A scene from real life:

Late night reading

The scene: A modestly large bedroom, messy, smelling of dust and dog. A single small stand lamp with a rectangular fluorescent bulb provides the only light to one side of the bed, where a man lies reading from a Kindle. The other side of the king sized bed is a tangled ridge of comforters which stirs as, near the head of the bed, a hand emerges revealing a CPAP mask embracing a head.

“It won’t slow down and it won’t pause” says the nearly buried figure.


“Are you still reading The Hands of the Emperor?”


‘Well, it won’t slow down and it won’t pause.”

“Ah” the man exhales and closes the Kindle. “It is a very good book.”

Nov 2, 3:55 pm

>194 quondame: I am thinking of finally picking up The Hands of the Emperor on my 11 hour flight to Japan at the end of the month. Sounds like a perfect airplane book :)

Nov 2, 4:06 pm

>195 curioussquared: I give it with the following caution:

Nothing happens
A lot happened in the past.
Then some things happen.

Editado: Nov 3, 2:33 am

275) Girl, Serpent, Thorn .75

Inventively subversive, this tale of an imprisoned princess mixes the monsters and monstrous behaviors for a rich texture. The the story gets a bit over involved for the content and the points are not subtle nor is the flow quite mature, but overall worthwhile.

Read for the "Middle East" square of the Reddit Fantasy Book Bingo it

Meets for November TIOLI Challenge #6: Read a book where the last word of the title is an animal or plant

Nov 3, 2:31 am

Well, the "pink" duck showed up. It's really a bog standard mini yellow bath duck with pink accessories. I was expecting the standard 3-3.5" duck and this seems 1/2 of that. But cute.
I wonder if black duck and Hawaiian duck are full size or similarly small.

Day 3.

Some boxes got opened, some stuff organized, much less interesting than Tuesday.

I had a Dr. appointment and got a flu shot. I'm putting the other 3 on a bit of a delay since I'm now scheduled for a sleep clinic, an ophthalmology appt. to see about cataract surgery - the shorter days have made it clear that my nighttime peripheral vision is unreliable. Oh, and my blood pressure made them unhappy so I have to get it checked again in two weeks.

Also visited, the Italian deli and the library, so it was a busy day for me.

Nov 4, 11:10 am

>198 quondame: Busy times, Susan. I dislike having a filled schedule with health-related appointments. Never thought this end of life's journey would be so fraught in that regard.

I see you've achieved an amazing 275 reads now. Your progress is always so amazing.

Nov 4, 11:47 pm

>199 SandyAMcPherson: Most of my referrals are still in the potential stage, so it'll be a few days before I know what my schedule will be like for the rest of the month.

My ducks are all here. Hawaiian duck and black duck are pretty normal size, so mods won't be microscopic.

More organizing & box opening and the expected doll is still a no shoe. Perhaps I opened and sorted it when it came? Likely? Well, when some more spoons show up.

I finished off a bit of my fan fic of the same sort as >111 quondame:. Same story really, but more narrative and much less compact.

Nov 5, 3:14 pm

276) The Raging Storm

I would have thought a good deal more highly of this as a mystery if the mystery were more viscerally based. The community with the cohesins and divisions was well represented and the people were so real - until. Well. So definitely down 1/2 point maybe a whole one for how cleaver a solution that both suited me and encompassed all the clues would have been.

Meets for November TIOLI Challenge #5: Read a book where the author's name consists of 11 or fewer letters

Editado: Nov 7, 7:26 pm

So many health appointments as we age, eh Susan? I read The Raging Storm earlier this year. I did give it 4 stars, but it was a little slow paced for my liking, if memory serves.

Nov 7, 9:30 pm

>202 vancouverdeb: I seem to pile them up when I get around to them. Of course going to an Internist and talking about 4 distinct issues can get a flurry of appointments scheduled. Still waiting to hear back from the Ophthalmology office....

Nov 8, 2:22 pm

Not even trying to catch up, Susan, just checking in! I hope all is well there.

Nov 9, 11:08 am

>204 alcottacre: Happy to see you here Stasia!

Editado: Nov 9, 11:15 am

277) Chasing the King of Hearts

This is a holocaust survivor's story, which in bare and bleak prose follows the actions of one woman entirely focused on saving her husband from the concentration camp and re-uniting. Told from the time she is settled in Israel with the post WWII children and grandchildren whose lives and language are opaque to her.

BB from avatiakh

Meets for November TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book where a main character is at least 50 years old

Nov 11, 9:37 pm

278) Graceling

In a world where there were not so many somewhat more original, somewhat better constructed, and somewhat better paced books featuring young women with special powers and difficult relatives, I would have rated this somewhat more highly. Graceling Katsa, an exemplary fighter from childhood with speed, endurance, accuracy is used as a enforcer by her uncle the King but has her own agenda. After meeting Po a graceling with different but similarly effective talents she realizes that she can and must claim her own freedom.

Nov 12, 10:17 am

Hi Susan. Dodged the BB's ... not that I lack titles on my WL.
My reading is going so-so these days. I've tried some e-books lately and weirdly, the ones I've been reading don't engage me like novels in a physical book.
I only discovered this aspect when I had to return the e-book The Vintage Shop of Second Chances before I finished even 1/3 of the story. I couldn't get into it and was putting off reading it.

Then I had a long wait for the hardcover, which I can keep in view on the beside table (as a nagging reminder). So I restarted the book and quite enjoyed it, though I *did* add a 'chick lit' tag to my record. I think my enjoyment of physical book-reading stems from engagement at a different level when I am not dealing with an electronic version.

Nov 12, 1:16 pm

>208 SandyAMcPherson: Hi Sandy. My issues with reading this month or last have to do with spending my time mostly following Discord and reading fanfic on AO3 but also writing my own ff. Also efforts to sort stuff. And lack of sleep. I think last night was the closest I've come to 8 hrs for 3 weeks now and some nights were brutally short changed.

Format has never made much difference to my absorption of content, though because of physical issues I find the Kindle much more comfortable and I can look up words & places.

Nov 12, 6:08 pm

Sounds like you have a lot of appointments coming up -- good luck! And despite all that, you have almost make it to 300 books! You are amazing. : )

Nov 12, 8:05 pm

>210 Berly: Thank you! And I have to fit COVID & Tetanus and my other shots in there somewhere.
Up until Sept. I have encountered little that interferes with my reading. But writing does. With almost the same high.

Nov 12, 8:09 pm

As long as the writing is satisfying!! Enjoy!

Nov 13, 1:10 pm

>207 quondame: Back when Graceling came out, the field was not quite so crowded.

Nov 13, 2:40 pm

>212 Berly: It's been fun, but I'm having trouble character wrangling.

>213 foggidawn: But it's always been populated by entries I've found more compelling.

Nov 13, 4:24 pm

>207 quondame: >213 foggidawn: >214 quondame: I do think the Graceling Realm series gets better and better with each book. Nowadays I recommend the series by telling people that book 1 is a fairly standard, slightly above average YA fantasy adventure, but the writing improves with each book and they become delightfully twisty and complex reads.

Nov 13, 8:37 pm

>215 curioussquared: Thanks Natalie! My TBR currently has 3 books per day due between now and the end of November, so I'm unlikely to take on any Graceling sequels for this year. Next year, who knows!

Editado: Nov 14, 12:06 pm

>206 quondame: Sounds like one I need to read. Thanks for the recommendation, Susan.

>207 quondame: From what I have read from others here in the group, Graceling is the weakest book in the series. I have the books set aside to read at some point.

ETA: Well, I see that Natalie beat me to it in >215 curioussquared:.

Nov 14, 3:54 pm

>216 quondame: Very fair! That's quite the schedule. It took me almost a year to get to the latest one even though I had pre-ordered it and was very much looking forward to it. Too many books to read!

Nov 14, 7:01 pm

>218 curioussquared: I have been doing 3day/book lately rather than 3books/day so my holds list will persist for the rest of the year at least.

Editado: Nov 16, 1:30 am

This is probably not of interest to any but a few of the readers of Lays of the Hearth-fire as it is about a fanfic. One of my favorite Nine Worlds fanfic writers alfgifu did a serial in which Kip Mdang is pretty much destroyed. Needless to say it was a hard, heartbreaking read. It finished last night.

Today I had errands to run in the morning and on my way to the first I started tearing up and lines from a Requiem started flowing into my head. It was interesting completing 3 separate errands while simultaneously editing in my head, tearing up and shopping, banking, and driving.

I made it home save and was able to put together a coherent version of about 60% of what passed through my head into Requiem

Nov 16, 1:28 am

279) The Sunset Years of Agnes Sharp

Agnes Sharp lives in her families home with a handful of similarly retired not far from death adults of a similar background. They cover for each other's disabilities, mostly mental lapses. The story starts with one of their number in a shed, dead from a bullet wound and no mystery at all. But another shooting death at a house within walking distance is unexplained.
This book spends time inside the clouded, sometimes confused, and frequently forgetful minds of the household members as they try to maintain control over their own lives - and deaths.

Meets for November TIOLI Challenge #9: Read a book with a female detective character

Editado: Nov 17, 10:42 am

280) The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water

A sparkling tale of a group of bandits and the nun who joins them after they caused her to loose her waitress job.

Meets for November TIOLI Challenge #5: Read a book where the author's name consists of 11 or fewer letters

Nov 17, 2:17 am

After almost 2 years of waiting, a 99 Ranch Market opened yesterday a couple of miles up the road. Becky and I drove up when she got home from work and were able to park and have a look. It is very busy and full, but did not seem to have the large refrigerated flour-based yummies like scallion pancakes and various buns. I had to settle for frozen. I bought a few things. Really, only a few.

Negotiations for a new dog, seem to have stalled because I won't pay before I see the dog, and the service says that they have had dogs stolen. I have submitted a bribe (OK, I offered a donation). I have serious doubts as to the real status of this dog as ready for adoption. Alas. It's hard not to hope.

Editado: Nov 20, 6:25 pm

281) The Mysterious Key and What It Opened

Saccharine silliness slipped in as scary.

Read for for November TIOLI Challenge #10: The “Invincible Louisa” Challenge: In honor of Louisa May Alcott’s birthday on November 29th, read one of her novels, a biography of her, a pastiche or homage to her

Nov 17, 1:40 pm

>222 quondame: I need to get to this one -- I have it on my Kindle and everything :)

>223 quondame: Ooh, new dog? I hope the negotiations end up working out!

Nov 20, 12:40 am

>225 curioussquared: Alas, no new dog. When I refused to pay before even seeing the dog, I was ghosted.

Editado: Nov 22, 10:39 pm

282) Someplace to be Flying

It was this book that woke me to the fact that my favorite de Lint character was the city of Newford.
Yes I did read it twice inside 3 days
On this fourth read I found that the resolution and the ending after ending after ending combined with what felt like more characters than the story needed, dropped it a 0.5 star.

Meets November TIOLI Challenge #13: Read a book which features birds, flying, or migration in the title or text

Editado: Nov 20, 6:26 pm

283) The Abbot's Ghost

This is so bad it beggars description. Seriously plot, characters, setting, language.

Read for November TIOLI Challenge #15: Read a work of 100 pages or less

Nov 21, 11:47 am

>226 quondame: That sounds suspect. Pay to adopt before even seeing the dog? And their reason seems bogus. I’m with you on not playing that game, though sad you don’t have the dog.

Nov 21, 12:35 pm

>229 Storeetllr: Yeah, looking back on the interactions, I'd be very surprised if they were for real. Hope is difficult to control.

Nov 21, 9:46 pm

>222 quondame: A BB. On my to-be-requested list (trying to avoid an overload of holds arriving all at once).

>223 quondame:, >226 quondame: Sure sounds like a scam, doesn't it?
People are saying in the news (human interest opinions, etc) that the pandemic generated a demand for dogs that outstripped the supply. Then of course enterprising con artists stepped in and took unsuspecting buyers to the cleaners. I think this activity was mainly centred in Ontario.

I hope you can find a referral to somewhere legitimate. I sure understand about wanting another dog, but I must have missed the news as to whether one of your pets is no longer with you. Was it Nutmeg you had trouble keeping healthy?

Nov 21, 11:39 pm

>231 SandyAMcPherson: Both Nutmeg and Gizmo are in fine fettle. Neither is my dog and I get very few cuddles. So the quest goes on.

I thought I found the French Bulldog on my usual pet sight, but I think what happened is that a dog there was used as bait to redirect me to a different page. The dog I originally applied for was unavailable and would I be interested in this other one.....

Nov 22, 12:39 am

>232 quondame: Sounds like you dodged a bullet there. Best of luck with the quest.

Nov 22, 12:49 am

>233 humouress: Thank you. I checked, and the dog that was offered is on the Petfinder's web site, so maybe they are just super cautious, but I really don't think so.

Nov 22, 7:57 pm

Dear Susan, thank you for the constancy of your friendship in the group,

Happy Thanksgiving from an appreciative non-celebrator.

Nov 22, 10:38 pm

>235 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul. I hope you have a real day for thanks giving with your granddaughter in arm!

Editado: Nov 22, 10:44 pm

284) System Collapse

Murderbot has an issue associated with trauma that is refereed to as "redacted" for the first part of the story, so you can tell they are dealing with it properly. Right. Then concern that the colonists of the planet from Network Effect don't end up as corporate slaves, drives Murderbot and companions into communications black out zone, so you know things will get π shaped. They spend too long π shaped for my prefernece. But lessons learned.

Meets November TIOLI Challenge #7: Read a book you've been eagerly awaiting

Nov 23, 3:52 pm

Hi Susan my dear, Happy Thanksgiving dear friend.

Nov 23, 6:45 pm

>238 johnsimpson: Thank you John!

Best of the autumn to you and yours!

Nov 23, 6:54 pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Susan!

Nov 23, 7:44 pm

Nov 23, 7:47 pm

285) Tortilla Flat

This episodic paean to the paisanos living rough on the outskirts of Monterrey, does not glorify their life, but handles it with the tongs of humor and humanity. We are roused to sympathy with the unsympathetic, those who conspire with life running them over and leaving them by the way.

Read for November TIOLI Challenge #11: Read a book written by a Nobel Prize winner

Nov 24, 12:57 pm

>237 quondame: I think I enjoyed it a bit more than you, though we each enjoyed different parts more than others. I found it more enjoyable on reread, I think because I wasn’t rushing to find out what happened next and just went with the flow.

Nov 24, 3:55 pm

>243 Storeetllr: And I was not in the best reading state-of-mind, still way too sleep deprived and distracted by unresolved fics taking up processing cycles.

Nov 24, 4:05 pm

Thanksgiving was blissfully free of family drama - well except there was this wee scene:

Husband, desperate to put salad bowl in dishwasher enters kitchen to see wife and daughter on his left, potholders in hand, bent over the oven with the rack partially pulled out, two cooked pies at the back of the rack.

"What's going on?"
"Get out"
"I'm just putting this in dishwasher!"
"I'm not in your way"
"Yes you are! Out!"
Exit husband/father pursued by swear words.

He was directly between us and the racks we set out to hold the cooling pies and we were trying to decide which one of us would have burned hands from reaching in the oven deeply enough to securely retrieve the pies. Becky got them out and hasn't complained of burns.

Pickle soup is wonderful. Somehow Solidarity was able to capture the pickle taste without the bite of an actual pickle. 3 people demolished 2 salads, 2 soups (the squash was like liquid pumpkin pie only savory), a large plate of pierogies, bread, and 4 entrees, Stroganoff, pork schnitzel, goat cheese dumplings, chicken paprikash. The entire meal was near transcendent. Then home for the pumpkin pie.

Nov 24, 4:57 pm

>245 quondame: Major deliciousness and NO TURKEY!
My kind of gal, you are...
Goat cheese dumplings, sound to die for. Can the recipe use feta as a substitute?

Yeah, no turkey... In our house that's a rule. No one likes it, and roast chicken x 2 is even better, cause 4 (four❣️) legs and thighs.

Nov 24, 5:32 pm

>246 SandyAMcPherson: I'm sure feta would work! They were good, thought the standout main was the stroganoff with spaetzle. Mike and I had to clear the plates of broccoli to make them safe for Becky.

I was never able to convince my parents to give up turkey for Thanksgiving, though I sort of miss it after years without. Christmas I converted to exotic bird dinners - first duck then goose, pheasants and quail also made appearances. On my own it's always veal schnitzel and pasta al pesto.

Editado: Nov 24, 9:57 pm

The consequences of a series of random impulses -

1) Oh pretty, the 108 bead mala necklaces worn with the Christmas collection from my goto fashion designer -
2) Call local SCA jewelry maker to ask for quotes on her version of mala
3) Agree to consult with her the Saturday at SCA Medieval Marketplace not knowing it's in Camarillo
4) Let a friend headed to MM know I'll ride with her
5) Find out she's a vendor and needs to be there from set up to closing - so
6) I need to be ready to go at 7:00AM Aeeeeek!

Seeing if I fit in garb from 4 years ago....dum da dum dummm.

Well, I am now a sausage in a white linen undertunic and a blue linen full length over tunic. I can breath and have some range of motion in my shoulders and elbows.
Maybe if I wear them a few hours they'll stretch a bit and I can get them off - or I could just sleep in them and put it off till tomorrow evening, but I could use a shower and don't actually want to offend anyone tomorrow.

Oh, BTW - I have put many many things away in the living room and it is messier than ever. Go figure.

Nov 25, 1:36 pm

>247 quondame: Mr SandDune was enquiring at the butcher's today about the price of a goose for Christmas. Apparently last year's price was about £22 per kilo. We would need about a five and a half kilo bird ... I think possibly we might be having duck again.

Nov 25, 9:19 pm

That's a high price for that fowl. Duck does nicely.
I never had to pay for the family bird.

Nov 26, 12:41 am

I survived my first outing in this decade. The weather was lovely but windy in Camarillo and there weren't a lot of people I knew, but several and a couple who knew me only as the mythical "Mike's wife" - actually the statement started with - "Oh, you actually live with him?"

I bought some earrings and ordered a mala.

Nov 26, 8:09 am

>226 quondame: Who would pay before seeing a dog? It almost sounds like a scam. Sorry that your hopes were dashed. When the timing is right, you will receive a dog that is perfect for you.

>245 quondame: Those pies certainly look delicious!

Happy Sunday!

Nov 26, 6:51 pm

>252 figsfromthistle: That's what I felt. Short of paying out, there's no way to be sure.

Thanks, they are quite the family favorite.

Well, today Becky and I went for lunch at a local Peruvian restaurant. It's tiny and crowded and we sat at a wee table next to the curb, but the weather was lovely. The food was good, but Becky wasn't a fan. I think they go too light on the salt for us. I'd wanted to eat there or from there before but as we hadn't tried it and it's hard to get in, it remained untried until today.

Nov 26, 7:20 pm

>224 quondame: I didn’t realize it was an Alcott assignment; but I too read one of her saccharine stories - I even forget the title, but it was bad fairy learns to be good the long and hard way. It was awful.

Editado: Nov 27, 12:40 am

286) The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

Threats to her family and the lure of a fortune lure retired pirate captain Amina out of retirement and run her headlong into collecting her old crew and encountering a formidable new enemy along with encounters with supernatural beings both new and unfortunately familiar. Fast paced and interesting adventure in the little explored realms of 12th century Indian Ocean.

Re-read for The Hands of the Emperor Support group November Book Club on Discord

Meets November TIOLI Challenge #12: Read a book to escape your current situation

Nov 27, 9:56 am

>255 quondame: I just started that one last night, so I'm glad to see it gets good marks from you!

Nov 27, 7:37 pm

>254 2wonderY: When she was bad, she was very very bad.

>256 foggidawn: I hope you enjoy it!

Nov 28, 1:20 am

287) The Last Devil to Die

A friend of Stephen's is murdered and while Chris and Donna are the original investigators the case is taken away from them. So this adventure starts with two sets of unofficial investigators and some other confusions and sad losses. But by fictional mystery rules I found the original murderer glaringly obvious though there's enough going on to keep the book engaging in spite of that.

Meets November TIOLI Challenge #8: Read a book where a main character is at least 50 years old

288) NOPE!

Fun and delightfully illustrated account of an imaginative and anxious young bird's reluctance to fly.

Read for November TIOLI Challenge #16: Read a book that has either "yes" or "no" in the title

Ontem, 7:28 pm

289) Lavender's Blue .25

This book is too long. The characters are total norms with quirk makeup and really not very interesting in bed or out of it, whatever the claims of great sex are made, they aren't substantiated. Plus, the murderer wasn't all that obscures.

Jo Walton had good things to say about a sequel to this so I was hoping for more substance and/or invention.

Meets November TIOLI Challenge #3: Read a book where a color is part of the title