Tess Reads and Bakes the Final Batch page 4

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Tess Reads and Bakes the Final Batch page 4

Set 26, 2:48 am

Hi, I'm Tess. A once-retired high school history teacher and now part-time history professor and a very part-time (6 hours per week) private school history teacher. I tell people that I'm recycled! I live with my husband of 45 years on 3 acres in central Ohio. No, it's not "good" land, mostly clay; but I do manage to grow peppers, tomatoes and herbs. Going to try sweet potatoes next year. My flowers do quite well! I'm really into canning and dehydrating foods to have a sustainable pantry. I have about 300 quarts of canned chicken, beef, and pork and about 100 pints/quarts of green beans, kidney beans, green pea soup, ham and bean soup, and pinto beans. I also have 20 half pints of jam and 10 pints of canned cherries and blueberries. This weekend I processed about 30 pounds of apples and canned 8 quarts of apple pie filling and 20 half pints of applesauce (just the right amount for two people). I will have no spend November and December and eat from the pantry and freezer. I will allow myself $10 per week for things such a milk, lettuce, fresh fruits, etc. Since my Christmas shopping has been done since about July, I should be able to complete the no spend November and December (also aiming for January!).

I have never yet stuck to a CAT challenge since I've been doing this. I find the cats too confining no matter how broad I try to make them. This year I'm just creating cats each month with a favorite cookie recipe of mine.

How will I choose my reads? An assortment off my TBR, kits/cats, and an automatic number generator which will correspond to a TBR book number.

My goal is to read 100 books from my TBR.

Some of the cookie pics are mine (I have a digital cookbook) and some are courtesy of Google. Credit is given when it can be ascertained.

My rating system:
1 star--waste of paper and ink
2 stars-Is this literature? -major flaws or mind numbing boring
2 1/2 stars-not so bad I had to stop reading, but I wanted to!
3 stars-average
3 1/2 fun, informative, thought provoking
4 stars-excellent read
4 1/2 exceptionally good, among my favorites
5 stars-in all ways a superior read

My reading year runs from Dec. 25 to Dec. 24

I try to always read from my own TBR. I have whittled down my TBR from 1500 books to a little less than 500 in the past 10-11 years. My goal is to get down to somewhere around 200. New books are so tempting!

TBR on Dec. 25 2022 521

Kits/Cats I am hosting
Feb-ClassicsCat before 1900
March-KiddyCat YA historical fiction
August-GeoCat Central Asia/Mideast
October-RTT Traditions
November-Scaredykit-November I don't like spiders and snakes
December-Series Cat--Set in a country/region in which you do not live

Editado: Set 30, 8:29 am

January Cranberry White/Chocolate Chip

image from eat often live well

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 egg
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars together; beat in milk, orange juice, and egg.

In medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture. Blend well; stir in white chocolate chips and cranberries.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, store in a sealed container.

1. The Mountains Sing 3*
2. The Thirty-Nine Steps3*
3. Every Last Fear 4.5*
4. The Runaway Pancake, Make Way for Ducklings, Peter Rabbit, The Little Red Hen
5. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
6. The Housekeeper 5*
7. A Fire Sparkling 4*
8. The Berlin Zookeeper 2.5*
9. After Dunkirk 3*
10. All Quiet on the Western Front 3*
11. The Real Story of the 1914 Christmas Truce3*
12. The Light Through the Leaves 2.5*
13. Not my Mother 3.5*
14. Barnaby Rudge 2.5*
15. The Years of Rice and Salt 4.5*
16. Stubby the War Dog 4*
17. The Elephant Keeper's Daughter 4*
18. Billy Summers 5*
19. The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme: An Illustrated Panorama 5*
20. Oblomov 2.5*

Editado: Set 30, 8:29 am

February Molasses Sugar Cookies (my fav cookie of all!)

3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt

Melt shortening in saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; cool.
Add sugar, molasses and egg; beat well.
Sift together the dry ingredients. Add to first mixture. Mix well and chill thoroughly.
Form into 1 inch balls; roll in sugar and place on greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Flatten with bottom of glass dipped in sugar.
Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Servings: 48 (depending upon size of cookie)

22. The Open Window 3*
23. The Boarded Window 4*
24. The Open Boat 3*
25. In Distant Fields 3*
26. The Zimmerman Telegram 3*
27. The Boxcar Children Mystery Ranch 3*
28. Wuthering Heights 5*
29. The Dark Heart: A True Story of Greed, Murder, and an Unlikely Investigator 3.5*
30. A Single Swallow 3*
31. The Guns of August 3*
32. The Return of the Soldier 3.5*
33. The Spanish Flu of 1918 and the Pandemic History3*
34. Fever 4.5*
35. The 1916 Battle of the Somme Reconsidered 4*
36. The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax 4.5*
37. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 4*
38. Gas The Battle of Ypres 3-*
39. A Place to Land 3*
40. The Return of Captain John Emmett 2.5*
41. Uncovering the Truth About Meriwether Lewis 4*

Set 26, 2:49 am

March Lemon Crinkle Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 tsp. lemon zest (fresh lemon rind, grated)
1 TBSP. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Makes 3 dozen cookies

Borders by Thomas King 4*
Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter 4*
The Ardent Swarm 3.5*
There Will Come Soft Rains 4.5*
The Sniper 4*
The Other Wife 3*
The Silence 3*
49. The Journeyer DNF 1.5*
50. The Nowhere Child 3-*
51. Paint me Gone 3-*
52. The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax 3-*
53. Island Beneath the Sea 4*
54. Winesburg, Ohio 3-*

Editado: Set 30, 8:07 pm

April Mexican Wedding Balls

image from sweetandsavory.com

1 cup butter, softened
1⁄2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1⁄4 cups sifted flour
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
3⁄4 cup chopped walnuts or 3/4 cup pecans
powdered sugar (for rolling baked cookies in)

Cream together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy; stir in vanilla.
Whisk together flour and salt; add gradually to butter mixture; stir in chopped nuts.
Chill dough if it seems too soft.
Form dough into 1 1/4" balls and place onto parchment-lined or ungreased baking sheets. Will make 36 balls. Reducing size to 1 inch ball will yield 48 cookie balls.
Bake at 400° for 10-12 minutes or just until the cookies start to turn light golden-brown; remove from oven and allow to cool slightly; while cookies are still warm (but NOT hot) remove them from baking sheets and roll, a few at a time, in powdered sugar until evenly coated; cool cookies completely on wire racks.
Cookies may be rolled in powdered sugar a second time once cooled to room temperature. (This is optional, but I do it!)

55. The Brethren 3.5*
56. Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up: A New Look at Today's Evangelical Church in the Light of Early Christianity 2.75*
57. Savage Run 3*
58. The Gates of November 5*
59. 21 Sermons By Evangelist Billy Sunday With Biography, Photos, Newspaper Articles, and More Compiled From Internet Resources by
Bennie P. Blount 3*
60. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and Germany's Eastern Policy 5*
61. Knaves, Fools, and Heroes in Europe between the Wars 5*
62. Their Morals and Ours 3*
63. All The Rivers 3.5^
64. The InterWar Years (1919 - 1939): The Best One-Hour History by Robert Freeman 3*
Two Opposing Essays on "Help" During the Great Depression
The King's Grace 5*
65. The Price of Paradise 2.75*

Editado: Set 30, 8:30 am

May Orange Drop Cookies with Orange Icing This was my great Aunt Ivah's recipe. She was born in 1897. She only made these at very special times because oranges were very expensive throughout the wars and the great depression.

For cookies:
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 TBSP. grated orange rind (use only fresh)
1/2 cup orange juice
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

For frosting:
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 TBSP. butter, softened
1 TBSP. grated orange rind (use only fresh)
orange juice, enough to make the right consistency of

For cookies: Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and mix well. Blend in orange rind and orange juice alternately with dry ingredients. Bake at 350 until cookies are set, but don't overbake. (About 9 minutes) These cookies do NOT get brown. Cool and frost.

For frosting: Mix all ingredients together, adding either orange juice to thin out or powdered sugar to thicken, as needed.

Makes about 3 dozen, depending upon size.

1. The Schoolteacher of Saint-Michel: inspired by real acts of resistance, a heartrending story of one woman's courage in WW2 3-*
2. Cold Cases True Crime: True Murder Stories And Accounts Of Incredible Murder Mysteries From The Last Century 3*
3. Royal Mistress 5*
4. In the Garden of North American Martyrs 4*
5. Mao Zedong: A Political and Intellectual Portrait 3.5*
6. Scenes of a Clerical Life 3*
7. Hiroshima in History and Memory 4*
8. The Custard Corpses 3.5*
9. P.S. from Paris 3.5
10. Arsenic for Tea 3*
11. Romulus and Remus 3*
12. Mr. Finchley Discovers His England 3*
13. Murder at Teal's Pond 3*
14. The Tiger Came to the Mountains 2.5*
15. My Evil Mother 2.5*
16. Death of a Russian Priest 3*
17. Dr. Zhivago 4*

Editado: Set 26, 3:01 am

June- Kitchen Sink Cookies The easiest recipe here!

pic from nospoonnecessary.com

Make your favorite batter for chocolate chip cookies. Add 2 cups of anything! I literally clean out my chips, pretzels, nuts, when there are little bits left! Examples: any type of cookie chip (peanut butter, chocolate, vanilla, butterscotch, etc.), any type of nut (pecan, walnut, almond slivers, peanuts, pistachios), flaked coconut, any type of dried fruit (blueberries, cranberries, cherries, etc.), dates, figs, toffee chips, pretzels, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. My grandchildren always want to put potato chips in...thankfully I never have any!

1. The Four Winds 5*
2. Mask of Duplicity 5*
3. Ulysses 2.5
4. The Pastor's Wife 3*
5. Seven Words 5*
6. Hebrews Study 3*
7. The Mask Revealed 4
8. Saratoga Trunk 3
9. Sheep for Beginners5
10. No Man's Land 3
11. Ulysses 2.5
12. Burmese Days 3
13. Praying the Bible 5
14 The Puritans: A Captivating Guide to the English Protestants Who Grew Discontent in the Church of England and Established the Massachusetts Bay Colony on the East Coast of America 3*
15. Saturnalia 3.5
16. The Heart Shaped Box 3.5
17. Inherit the Wind 3
18. The Secret Life of Angels5*
19. they Came in Ships 5*
20. The Borning Room
21. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner 5*
22. Vermeer The Complete Paintings 5*
23. The Last Green Valley 4*
24. Duma Key 2.5*

Editado: Set 26, 3:00 am

July-Southern Tea Cakes (Mid 19th century cookie)
These were "popular" in the south amongst the poor as they could be eaten plain. I have included a recipe for butter cream frosting, also. They are good both ways. I have read that some in the south poured maple syrup over them. I prefer mine plain, but others much prefer them with the frosting.

Tea Cakes
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla

For the frosting:
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
6 TBSP butter, room temp
1/2 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
1 TBSP milk (perhaps a few drops

Preheat oven to 400. Beat eggs and stir in oil and vanilla. Blend in sugar until the mixture thickens. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into the mixture. Drop by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Press each cookie flat with the bottom of glass that has been dipped in vegetable oil and then sugar.

Bake 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Makes 24-36 tea cakes. If frosting, make sure tea cakes are completely cooled.

114. The Seventh Most Important Thing 4*
115. Dune 3*
116. Scaramouche 4 *
117. The Colorado Kid 3*
118. Murder on the Old Bog Road 3*
119. Old Goriot 4*
120. Little Kid Paper Plate Crafts 5*
121. The Passing Storm 2.5*
122. Churchill's Hellraisers 3*
123. The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared 3*
124, After the Black Death: labour legislation and attitudes towards labour in late-medieval western Europe (pamphlet)
125. The Hiding Place 5*
126. Within the Walls 3*
127. Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend 4.5*
128. The Singer's Gun 3-*
129. The Saracen Storm 5*
130. How to Astronaut 2 DNF
131. The Gold Rimmed Spectacles 3*
132. Blackout 3*

Editado: Set 26, 3:00 am

August-Cry Baby Cookies (teething biscuit) This recipe is from my great grandmother Edna Wright. She claimed these cookies were used in the 1930's-1940's when babies teethed and were fussy. They "massaged" their gums. She said they were used a lot during WWII, as women went to work and oftentimes babies were in play pens for a good part of the day and fussy. Grandma Edna said this about these cookies, “When baby has at least two teeth and begins to eat items by their self, they cry and cry – rocking don’t help, so give them a Cry Baby Cookie. It works.” Hence, the name of this recipe is: Cry Baby Cookies

pic from gfjules.com

1 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP shortening
2 eggs
1 cup white Karo syrup
1 cup milk, sweet or sour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
2-3 cups flour

Mix flour and dry ingredients together. Cream sugar and shortening, stir in eggs and Karo. Stir in by alternating the milk and dry ingredients until well mixed. Drop by Tablespoon on greased floured cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees about 10 minutes. If you notice that the cookies are bubbling up, stick some holes in the top of the cookie with a tooth pick.

134. The Guns of Navarone 4.5*
135. The Garden of Finzi-Continis 2.5*
136. A Conspiracy of Mothers 4.5*
137. Danger Close 3*
138. A White Bird Flying 4.5*
139. Beneath Devil's Bridge 3.5*
140. Dragonwings 3*
141. Goodbye, Mr. Chips 4.5*
142. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl 3.5*
143. The Half-Life of Ruby Fielding 2.5*
144. Field Marshal: The Life and Death of Erwin Rommel 4*
145. The Beantown Girls 4.5 *
146. The Cost of My Faith 3.5*

Editado: Set 26, 2:59 am

September-Tangerine Butter Cookies I was told this recipe was in the Better Homes & Garden Magazine sometime in the 1950's. However, seeing that an ingredient is olive oil, I sort of doubt that. I don't use olive oil, I just use vegetable oil.

pic from cooksrecipe.com

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
2 tsp. finely shredded tangerine peel or orange peel
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange extract
3/4 cup olive oil (I use vegetable oil)
1/2 cup cornmeal
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar

In a very large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.

Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat until light and fluffy.

Beat in eggs, tangerine peel, vanilla, and orange extract until combined.
Gradually beat in oil until smooth. Beat in cornmeal. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. If necessary cover and chill for 30-60 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar to coat.

Using a wooden skewer or toothpick, press an ex into each ball of dough.

Bake in oven for 9-11 minutes or until tops are very lightly browned.

While warm, lightly press with wooden skewer to make deeper the x indentations. Transfer cookies to a wire rack, let cool.

Makes 5- 6 dozen.

147. From Ashes to Life 4*
148. The Watchmaker's Daughter 4*
149. Dutch Girl 4*
150 Lonesome Dove 5*
151. Six Million Paper Clips 5*
152. The Work of Art 4.5*
154. The Crossing by Matt Brolly 4*
155. We Should All Be Feminists 4*
156. The Grownup 3*
157. The Bobbsey Twins at School 3*
158. The Road to Wigan Pier 4*
159. Collection of Golden Books
160. Stories From The Tenants Downstairs 2.5*
161. The Discoverie of Witchcraft 4*
162 The Grownup 4*
163 The Voyage of Pedro Alvares Cabral to Brazil and India
164 Early Church Fathers - Post Nicene Fathers II - Volume 1-Eusebius Pamphilius: Church History, Life of Constantine, Oration in Praise of Constantine (The Early Church Fathers-Post Nicene II) 3.5*
165 Inside the Gas Chambers 3.5*
166 Jane Eyre

Editado: Out 24, 3:12 pm

October--Vanilla Butter Meltaways You can change the flavor of these by substituting your favorite flavor for the vanilla (peppermint, orange, lemon, almond, etc.) I got this recipe from a B&B in Virginia that is now defunct.

For the cookies:
1 cup butter unsalted (I only ever have salted, so I use salted)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder

For the frosting:
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 TBSP. vanilla (I think this is too much. I use 1/2 TBSP)
3 TBSP. milk
1/2 cup butter, room temperature

For the cookies:
With mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy

Add the Egg and Vanilla to the sugar mixture.

Next add the Flour, salt, soda and powder and combine well.

Create 1 inch cookie balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.

Flatten the cookies using the bottom of a glass and bake at 350 for 7 minutes.

Pull the cookies out when they appear to not be cooked completely, they will continue to cook on the pan.

Ice cookies when cool.

168. The Nickel Boys 3.5*
169. The Trial of the Century 3*
170. Erasmus Ten Colloquies 3*
171. The Rule of Saint Benedict 4*
172. Ancient Egyptian Literature (World Literature in Translation) 2* DNF
173. Monkey: The Journey to the West 3-*
174. The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini 4*
175. A Feather on the Water 3-*
176. The Coroner's Lunch (A Dr. Siri Paiboun Mystery Book 1) 3-*
177. The Old Nurse's Story and The Poor Clare 3*
178. John Wesley: A Biography 3.5*
179. The Gardener of Baghdad 3
180. Agnes Grey 4*
181. Greek Lyrics: Second Edition 4*
182. The Making of a Marchioness 5*
183. The Fall of the House of Usher 5*

Set 26, 2:56 am

November--Pumpkin cookies with maple icing Recipe and picture from Martha Stewart

For the cookies:
2 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp. ginger
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 15-oz can pumpkin (1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup raisins, optional, but delicious

For the frosting:
4 TBS. (1/2 stick) butter (salted or unsalted)
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 TBS. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. maple extract (don't use real maple syrup--I tried and it was too

For the cookies:
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl, set aside.
In a mixing bowl, better butter and sugar on medium speed until fully blended and slightly fluffy. Mix in eggs and beat. Add pumpkin, raisins, and vanilla and continue to mix until well blended.
Add flour mixture, and mix until combined.
Chill batter in refrigerator at least 15 minutes (this will help the cookies from spreading too much while baking.)
Scoop batter onto parchment lined or lightly greased cookie sheet using a cookie scoop or large spoon. (About 1-2 to 1 tablespoon)
Bake cookies in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.
Cool a few moments on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack. Frost the cookies with Maple Icing while still slightly warm.

For the frosting:
Melt butter in a small sauce pan or in the microwave.
Mix melted butter with powdered sugar in a large bowl, using a whisk until well combined.
Add milk, and extracts. Whisk until smooth.
Use a small knife or the back of a spoon to spread icing on top of cookies. If you frost the cookies while they are still just slightly warm, the icing will dry with a nice smooth finish.

Makes 3 dozen

Set 26, 2:57 am

December--peanut butter fudge This is my most requested baking item by both family and friends. I make about 10-15 pounds of it between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is often a gift item. Follow this recipe exactly, no substitutions and you will have perfect fudge every single time! This is only good for peanut butter fudge. Chocolate fudge is a different recipe and they can't be swapped out!

4 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
3 oz. marshmallow creme
1 16 oz. jar peanut butter (plain or crunch)
1 tsp. vanilla

Grease a jelly roll pan with vegetable shortening (no spray!)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, brown sugar, butter and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture is at a boil stop stirring and boil for 7 minutes (234 degrees on a candy thermometer). Remove from heat; let stand 2 minutes; stir in marshmallow creme until well incorporated and melted. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth; spread in prepared pan. Let cool before cutting into squares
Yield: 3 lbs.

You must work quickly! I often do NOT let it sit for 2 minutes because it becomes so thick you can't add anything. Sets up very quickly.

Editado: Out 17, 10:41 am

As I am swamped this week with grading and the 90th birthday party planning for my mother (I'm the caterer), I won't get anything else finished this month. Here are September's stats:
Books Read-19
I had a multitude of 4-5 star reads--a very good month 13/19! Fav: Jane Eyre
Only one book less than 3 stars, The Tenants Downstairs.

October Plans/Possibilities
Finish Jane Eyre (audio) FINISHED
Finish The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead AOTM Oct. FINISHED
Finish Goliath by Richard Turner been reading since August!
Agnes Grey Women's ClassicCat FINISHED
Lois, the Witch GeoCat Canada/US
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew KiddyCat Siblings READ
The Gardener of Baghdad RTT 1946-current FINISHED
October treat--TBD
October trick--will wait to see which book "tricked" me into reading it!
The Coroner's Lunch (A Dr. Siri Paiboun Mystery Book 1) Oct Series Cat/Asia FINISHED

Set 26, 3:52 am

Happy new thread, Tess. And a happy birthday to your mother!

Set 26, 12:27 pm

Happy Birthday to your Mom, Tess. Enjoy the party!

Set 26, 10:51 pm

Happy new thread

Set 27, 8:21 am

Happy New Thread, and Happy Birthday to your mom!

Set 27, 8:28 am

Happy new thread and I hope your mom has a great birthday!

Set 27, 6:31 pm

>15 MissWatson:
>16 DeltaQueen50:
>17 lowelibrary:
>18 threadnsong:
>19 lsh63:

Thank you all! It is a blessing to have my mother around for 90 years in good health. She just quit driving and wearing heels this past summer.

Editado: Set 28, 7:08 am

167. Didn't think I would get anymore finished in September, but I was wrong! Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead wasn't as long as I had anticipated. Whitehead won a Pulitzer Prize for this book in 2020 and I expected much. I was slightly disappointed. Nickel Boys is the fictional account of a 1960's boys reformatory school in Florida. It is based on a true story, the Dozier School for Boys. I have no qualms with the writing and mechanics, they were all good. However, the story seemed very generic. I know that I have read something like this before, but I can't put my finger on it. The story was predictable and safe. I was left wanting. The subject matter is very worthy, but the characters and their plight were distant. Sadly, I have read better. I wanted this story to jar and shake me, but it didn't. I really did love the protagonist as he tried to live by Dr. King's precepts. 210 pages 3 stars

Editado: Set 28, 7:25 am

168. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte was a long overdue re-read for me. My favorite book of all time is Wuthering Heights and Jane wasn't even on my radar as an all-time favorite. However, it seems that I had forgotten many major episodes and characters contained in Jane Eyre, such as St. John Rivers, Jane's benefactor when she ran away from Thornfield. I'm saddened in the manner in which Mr. Rochester and St. John treated Jane. She is a more forgiving soul than I. Glad I re-read this after 40 odd years. I listened to this on audio and Emma Messenger was a superb reader. 21 hours 47 mins (435 pages) Now has a place in my top reads. 5 stars

Editado: Set 30, 12:45 am

169. The Trial of the Century by Gregg Jarrett is the non-fiction account of The Scopes Monkey Trial. Jarrett is fairly well known in the academia world, mostly for magazine articles and newspaper columns. This book really isn't anything new, the ever ongoing argument about who has the right to control the content of a student's education. I didn't learn any new facts, but this book was a refresher "course." The only downside was that it was obvious that the author was a Darrow champion. Yeah to me, I read a book that has been on my shelf less than a year! Woot! 301 pages 3 stars

Set 30, 12:51 am

>22 Tess_W: I've reread Jane Eyre more than any other book. It was a sort of comfort read when I didn't have any other book to pick up, like dropping in on an old friend.

And happy birthday wishes to your mother.

Editado: Set 30, 4:04 pm

Did some harvesting today. Carrot, sage, parsley. Did not harvest rest of carrots, want them to be a bit larger. Also Pontiac Red Potatoes and what I thought were Spanish onions, but they don't look like the ones I'm used to buying. Yet to harvest: Sweet potatoes. Sorry pics upside down...took with my tablet instead of phone! And now..........I can't even get them in this little box! Here is the link!: https://www.librarything.com/gallery/member/Tess_W

Set 30, 6:42 pm

Happy Birthday to your mum and happy catering to you, Tess.

Set 30, 7:37 pm

>26 pamelad: TY, Pam!
>24 VivienneR: TY, Vivienne!

Editado: Out 1, 6:27 am

170. Erasmus: Ten Colloquies by Desiderius Erasmus Another academic book off the shelf, read, going bye-bye! It is my understanding that Eramus wrote these discussions so that school boys could memorize them as part of their education. He started out serious, but by the time he got to about the 100th one, his tone became ironic--or so my old notes from 50 years ago say. Craig R. Thompson is the translator of this book (1957) and has been criticized for his selection of the ten. It would seem others have varying opinions on which ones were more significant. My favorite was "Cyclops or the Gospel Bearer." This was written in play form where Cannius comes upon Polyphemus, a known womanizer and drunkard. Cannius discovers that Polyphemus is actually reading the Gospels. Cannius goes on a long rant/rave about wolves in sheep's clothing. The dialogue ends much as it began, with Cannius fully accusing Polyphemus as being a drunkard and Polyphemus admitting to the same 208 pages 3 stars for educational purposes 2.5 stars for entertainment! Selling for about $40 on Amazon, going to list it for $30 and hope it goes quickly!

ETA: Just sold! Not bad, but 30% goes to Amazon in fees. Fees are why I don't sell on Amazon unless the cost is $30 or more...not worth it to me to wrap it (or box it) and go the post office for less than $20.

Out 1, 6:35 am

Since I have 10 pounds of sweet potatoes, I need to use them. I'm thinking a sweet potato pie (tastes like pumpkin), a sheet pan with Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, and kielbasa with a curry sauce. I've seen lots of recipes that include cheese, but I don't think the combo of sweet potatoes and cheese will work for me. Of course there are muffins and bread, but I just did that with 10 pounds of zucchini; I don't need anymore! Any suggestions?

Out 1, 9:06 pm

I have an old (1970's) recipe for baked sweet potatoes and apple, sort of a casserole dish. And a more modern Roy Overton recipe for Gingered Sweet Potato and Apple Soup, using crystalized ginger. Mighty tasty, and you could probably can a couple of batches.

The sweet potatoes with curry sauce sounds delish!

Out 1, 9:17 pm

>30 threadnsong: Can you post or message me the recipe for the gingered sweet potato and apple soup, please and thank you!

Out 2, 2:53 am

171. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte Definitely not on the level of her sisters, (Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights), but a good, simplistic tale of a woman trapped by time, religion, and passion on the Yorkshire moors. Tough life! I listened to this on audio and the narrator, Anne Flosnik was superb. 6 hours 49 minutes. 3.5 stars

Out 2, 3:14 am

My Thingaversary is in December. I don't need any gifts in December. So this is my partial list of Thingaversary books EARLY!:
Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell
A Disappearance in Fiji by Nilima Rao
Beyond the Door of No Return by David Diop
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
The Gardener of Baghdad by Ahmad Ardalan
The Library Window Mrs. Margaret Oliphant (short story)

Still due 7 books!

Out 2, 10:53 pm

172. The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sydney. This is the story of the Pepper family from the 19th century. A story of family love and overcoming poverty. I really enjoyed this as a child but it is so sugary now I could barely tolerate it! 284 pages 3 stars CAT: KiddyCat Siblings

Out 3, 7:26 am

>34 Tess_W: I read it a few years ago and agree it's pretty sweet. I thought the portrayal of poverty was interesting and gave it some ttension. I later read the sequel, Five Little Peppers Midway, and that has no tension at all.

Out 7, 1:08 am

MMMMMM! I made sweet potato cookies with a pecan/maple glaze!

Editado: Out 13, 9:46 am

172. Ancient Egyptian Literature (World Literature in Translation) by Miriam Lichtheim. (Volume 1-The Old and Middle Kingdoms) This is a supplemental textbook from a course that I regretted taking for my Master's degree. I was required to take 10 hours outside of my area of concentration (modern history) and I thought, Egypt, boy, that would be fun! NOT! Of course, I always bought ALL the books, much like now, thinking I would read them all. NOT! And I'm taking a DNF on this 872 page book. I've read 200 pages and I'm done! My favorite, which still was not good, was "From Instructions of Ptah-hotep", which were instructions from the mayor of the city, Vizier Ptahhotep, on social etiquette and laws. He also expounds on being virtuous in all relationships. Some great advice, "Conceal your heart, control your mouth." Hoping to sell on Amazon, although prospects don't look good! Will keep around for another week and then off it goes!

Editado: Out 7, 9:12 am

173. Monkey: The Journey to the West byDavid Kherdian is considered a classic Chinese novel of the 16th century. It is the story of a Buddhist monk, Tang Zang, who travels to India, by order of the Emperor, to worship the Buddha and bring back sacred texts. Tang Zang has four traveling companions, all fallen individuals who, by making this trip, are atoning for a sin and hoping for a better life (form) in the next life. From the critical reviews that I have read, the point of this novel is the travel toward enlightenment. The Chinese consider this an epic folktale. This book was 404 pages in length. When I had completed it, I discovered it was an abridged edition. Nowhere on the book did it say this was the case. The original version is 872 pages. I will not be rereading. 3 stars (barely)

Editado: Out 7, 9:17 am

174. The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini translated by John Addington Symonds What a raucous soap opera this book was! Cellini is best known as being a master goldsmith as well as a sculptor. His first noted great work was a silver salt cellar for the King of France. Cellini was a juvenile delinquent from the age of 12 when he roamed the streets of Florence. His parents were musicians and tried to reign him in and apprentice him to musicians, but he rebelled, and he was finally apprenticed to a goldsmith. He didn't like the instruction so at age 19 he ran away to Rome. While there he found an old friend who lent him a workspace and gave him a piece of silver which began his career. Cellini tells fantastic stories, although I'm not sure all are believable. He hobnobbed with the likes of Da Vinci and Michelangelo. According to his own writings, he took part in the sack of Rome in 1527, was sued four times for sodomy, and committed murder several times. He writes that he found those who sued him and "stabbed him so badly in the arms and the legs, that he would not be mobile again." He sought out the second subject for the same, but as the man repented during the stabbing, Cellini did not injure him as badly. Cellini also believed he could conjure up devils to do his bidding. He was imprisoned several times while in Rome and believed that he had a halo around his head indicating divine protection. Eventually, he was exiled from Rome and returned to Florence where Cosimo Medici became his patron. Per his own story, Cellini was quite a narcissist who exploited almost everyone with which he came into contact. 465 pages 4 stars

Out 7, 5:27 pm

>37 Tess_W: My Australian sister-in-law had a similar experience, thinking "Egyptian history, count me in". When I asked how she was enjoying the university course, her husband said "Don't ask". I'll never know what happened.

>39 Tess_W: Cellini must have enjoyed writing his autobiography! What a character!

Editado: Out 8, 8:02 am

>40 VivienneR: My prof had us tracing the evolution of religious temple worship. Snoozeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Editado: Out 8, 8:40 am

Added to my digital shelves (Audible has a 2 for 1 sale through Monday!)
The Phantom Tollbooth
Win by Harlan Coben--one of my fav "new" authors

And 2 romances (I have to be in the right frame of mind to read romance)
The Last Letter

P.S. I did check the library first and they did not have these books either in digital books or audio books.

Out 8, 4:49 pm

175. A Feather on the Water by Lindsay Jayne Ashford This was a story that took place in Germany, just 20 miles from Dachau in 1946-1948 at a camp for displaced persons (DP's). This book told the stories of three different women who worked there and the situations in which they found themselves. It seemed to me that it was a romance wanna be novel that took place in grim circumstances. Wished they had dropped the romances and just went more deeply into the stories. 345 pages 3- stars Free book of the month from Kindle July 2022.

Out 12, 10:24 pm

>43 Tess_W: I have a few of this author's books on my to read list - saving them for when I need a prompt where author's name is same as your own! Not many spell it my way! :)

Out 12, 10:47 pm

>44 JayneCM: Cool-great idea!

175. The Coroner's Lunch (A Dr. Siri Paiboun Mystery Book 1) by Colin Cotterill This story was set in Laos where Dr. Siri was the new communist installed National Medical Examiner. This mystery involved an official's wife and the bodies of tortured Vietnamese soldiers. Although the mystery was passable, I found a lack of anything cultural or historical--it did not evoke time or place for me. This same mystery could have been any mystery anywhere there is a body of water. This is book one in the series. I'm not inclined to read further. 287 pages 2.75 stars SERIES CAT OCTOBER-ASIA

Editado: Out 13, 11:28 pm

176. I have an Elizabeth Gaskell anthology and I'm not going to read all of it, just the "ghost" stories for October. I'll divide them into 2 groups. Group 1:
The Old Nurse's Story Is it the wind or the sound of a distant organ?
The Poor Clare Reminds me a lot of Evangeline by Longfellow.

To be honest, I find them, as most short stories, just mediocre; short on plot and/or character development. However, trying to broaden my reading, so will read the next three!

Out 15, 4:35 pm

For some reason I missed that you'd started a new thread, sorry I've not visited for ages! I now have you starred so I won't miss any more!

Agnes Grey is the only book I've read by Anne Bronte, I felt it was more like Jane Austen but without the humour. The older I get though, the more I appreciate her ordinary, not-abusive-or-fatally-flawed hero! (not a fan of Heathcliff or Rochester here! :D )

Editado: Out 15, 6:33 pm

>47 Jackie_K: Hi, Jackie! I'm not a fan of Heathcliff or Rochester, but I can actually feel Heathcliff's pain!

177. John Wesley: A Biography by Stephen Tompkins I really wanted a definitive bio of Wesley, but I'm not sure I read one. I think that this author fell on the negative side of the line. I was unaware of Wesley's infatuation with young women (not his wife), his supposedly emotional abuse of his wife, etc. I'm still unsure of it; first time I've heard about it. I would have to read more for me to be a believer. There is no doubt, however, that he did preach to the common man and woman and most of my religious views are indeed very Wesleyan in nature. I was also unaware that he opposed the American Revolution, again a first. There are still questions to be answered about Wesley, but they will have to wait. 296 pages 3.5 stars

Editado: Out 17, 10:37 am

178. The Gardener of Baghdad by Ahmad Ardalan is billed as a historical romance. I was hoping to get more "historical" and less romance, but twas not the case The story takes place in Baghdad in the 1950's, a time of the assassination of the royal family as well as the end of British "occupation." About the content: this was the best part of the book, the stories of the daily life, gardens, political situations, etc. About the writing: left much to be desired. The sentences were short and stilted. This may be due to translation. I listened to this on audio and the reader was very monotone. This was a short novel of 226 pages, so it was a quick read. (5 hours 21 mins) 3 stars

Editado: Out 24, 9:52 am

180. Greek Lyrics Second Edition: More than a Hundred Poems and Poetic Fragments from the Great Age of Greek Lyric Poetry Trans by Richmond Lattimore This was a compilation of Spartan society and values readings. The major work contained within was "The Spartan Creed" by Tyrtaeus and "From the Laws and Customs of the Spartans" most likely written by Xenophon. They were both good, however, Tyrtaeus was in a more poetic style, while Xenophon wrote a prose narrative, which I much preferred. Also contained some works by Sappho. Another academic book off my shelf and gone! 100 pages 4 stars

Editado: Out 24, 9:51 am

181. The Rule of Saint Benedict by Saint Benedict. I'm not sure if this is an academic book or one I just purchased to read because I was interested at the time. When I pulled it off the shelf to dust, I noticed it was shorter and looked fairly easy to read, so here it is! St. Benedict founded his monastery in Monte Cassino in southern Italy. He drew on Egyptian and Syrian traditions for his guidelines for his religious community. In theory, the monastery was a self-sustaining entity where all members prayed and worked. They valued: obedience, silence, and humility. I found the piece and defense of silence to be very interesting. It was taken from Psalm 39:1-2: "I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good..." I believe that is taken out of context, but what do I know?! Other advice: "..idle words, or such as move to laughter, we utterly condemn and ban them in all places. We do not allow any disciple to give mouth to them." How somber and sad--no laughter! 112 pages 4 stars

Editado: Out 24, 9:51 am

182. The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett I have read Burnett's Secret Garden before and thought this book was going to be sweet fluff. However, I was pleasantly surprised as the book progressed. It's definitely a story of good vs. evil and the power of positivity. Loved this book! A veiled criticism of Victorian society. I listened to this on audio and the narrator was superb. 8 hours 10 mins (252 pages). It's only 99 cents on Kindle currently! 5 stars

Editado: Out 24, 9:51 am

183. The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe This was a re-read for me and it was just as good, if not better, than I can previously remember. 52 pages 5 stars

Out 24, 10:26 am

>52 Tess_W: I really enjoyed that one as well!

Editado: Out 24, 3:06 pm

184. Two more short stories (counted as one listing)
The Grey Woman by Elizabeth Gaskell--An odd little story that takes place in Germany. A young woman is forced to marry a cruel and abusive man. I listened to this on audio and was lost. I had to secure a hard copy for comprehension. Not a favorite Gaskell for me!

Curious if True by Elizabeth Gaskell Was it a dream or not?

Not a fan of short stories, but thought I should get out of my comfort zone. Got out, don't like it, retreating!

Out 24, 4:27 pm

>52 Tess_W: I liked it too and have The Shuttle waiting on the Kindle. At $0.00 it's even better value than The Making of a Marchioness!

Out 24, 11:00 pm

>56 pamelad: TY! I just d/l Shuttle for free!

Out 25, 3:09 am

>56 pamelad: Never heard of this! Have to squirrel for it.

Editado: Out 26, 6:38 pm

185. A Castle in Brooklyn by Shirley Russak Wachtel What a slog this book was! I was ready to DNF half way through, but since it was only 255 pages, I bored myself silly with the last half. Lots of potential here, but never realized. The main characters were not likable and very distant. Other characters appeared for a chapter, didn't advance the plot, and were never seen again. The story began in Poland in 1944 where our protagonists escaped a Nazi firing squad and eventually ended up in New York City. The story ended, thankfully, in the 1970's. 2.5 Stars I got this free from Kindle in January 2023.

Out 30, 5:18 pm

186. Her Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll Billed as a psychological thriller, and it was until the last chapter! The tension build up was perfect, but the ending was anti-climatic. In this book it seems everybody had a story to tell, or not to tell, as was the case. This was a free Audible book. 9 hours 14 mins 3.5*

Editado: Dez 4, 10:43 pm


Books Read: 18
Cheers (4-5 star reads):
The Rule of St. Benedict
The Autobiography of Cellini
Agnes Grey
The Making of a Marchioness
The Fall of the House of Usher

Jeers (less than 3 stars)
Ancient Egyptian Literature (World Literature in Translation DNF

Plans for November
finish current reads: Goliath, Trust No One DONE , Colossians Rooted in Him
America's First Great Eclipse: How Scientists, Tourists, and the Rocky Mountain Eclipse of 1878 Changed Astronomy Forever November Randomkit-Light DONE
The Blue Sky by Galsan Tschinag November GeoCAT- East Asia
Classic Ancient World--ClassicsCat--select book DONE
Thursday Murder Club November MysteryKit-senior/kid sleuths
Either Bram Stoker's The Lair of the White Worm or Snake's Pass for Scaredykit-I Don't Like Spiders and Snakes DONE
Girl Waits With Gun (The Kopp Sisters #1, 1920's) November SeriesCat-Historical DONE
The Shuttle just because!
Attack of the 50 Foot Indian RTT Nov-Indigenous Peoples

Editado: Nov 1, 5:17 am

187. The Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker Oh my, it certainly isn't Dracula! This book seems to be a cross between fantasy and gothic horror. It is based on the myth/legend of Worm of Lambton, which is a giant worm that terrorizes neighboring villages. This book has been dubbed "the worst book ever." I really don't see that it is much different than many others of this genre. I could see this book as a very melodramatic silent movie. 217 pages 3 stars I listened to this on audio. (6 hours 19 minutes) Scaredykit-November-I don't like spiders and snakes

Nov 2, 4:35 am

>62 Tess_W: I've got this lurking on my Kobo. Guess I don't need to go there in a hurry...

Editado: Nov 2, 12:31 pm

188. The Enduring Vision from 1865: A History of the American People (Enduring Vision from 1865) by Clifford Clark Jr, et. al. This text is mainly about the changing nature of the Protestant Work Ethic from 1865-1920. A lot of the information dealt with the second industrial revolution. However, what I really found interesting was Henry Ward Beecher's treatise on the decline of traditional Protestantism. I believe the thesis of this book was that following the Civil War, people moved from the "survival" mode to seeking new paths to happiness and self-fulfillment, both in religion and in the workplace. Good in depth review of labor, work, and Protestantism from 1865-1920, and not overly long. Interesting that the rise of labor unions was only given sparse mention, even though its impact was significant on American labor. Also an odd chapter on conservation--didn't really seem to fit! 126 pages 4 stars

P.S. As this is bound by a plain brown wrapper (!), I believe this is a partial textbook and certainly not its entirety.

Editado: Nov 3, 8:49 am

189. Finished up my Gaskell reads:
1. Lois the Witch--Gaskell's version of the Salem Witch Trials (at least one of the characters has the same name)
2. The Grey Woman This woman is going to "save" another from an abusive marriage
3. Curious, if True Hmmm, contains known fairy tale elements

Enough gothic, supernatural, and short-stories for me this calendar year!

Editado: Nov 3, 10:15 pm

190. Trust No One by Debra Webb is book number one in the Devlin & Falco mystery series. It was just okay! I probably won't seek out the rest of the series. No time in life for just okay books! It was too long! 427 pages 3 stars

Nov 5, 8:30 am

I must be in a slump! Four and five star reads are not coming my way! I'm taking BB's for same, but they aren't working for me!

Editado: Nov 5, 10:46 pm

191. The Life of Alexander by Plutarch. This is an excerpt from Plutarch's larger works, Plutarch's Lives. The translator was John Dryden. I don't think Plutarch was unbiased in his praise of Alexander. However, some parts of the book were quite interesting, mostly the part about his personal life, and others were a bit dry, battle maneuvers and tactics. When Alexander was a young man, age 14-15, he was still a virgin. His parents purchased prostitutes for him, because they wanted to be sure of a successor. Alexander was not interested. He believed that a strong person could resist personal passion and it would make him a more competent and fierce warrior and leader. According to Plutarch, Alexander was still a virgin on his wedding night and he remained faithful to his wife until she died. He then became involved with one of his Greek captives, Barsine, who rumors held bore him a son. However, Plutarch doubts that because there no controversy on Alexander's death as to who was going to inherit the throne. Most of the book dealt with Alexander's conquests, in fulfillment of the prophet's (Aristrander) prediction that Alexander would conquer all of Asia and the Mideast. 96 pages 3 stars November ClassicsCat: Ancient

P.S. Copious endnotes, which I found much better reading than actual parts of the book. They, of course, led me down many rabbit holes.

Nov 5, 11:11 pm

192. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi is the autobiography of the author, a neurosurgeon, who is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at age 36. I admire both him and his wife for the courageous, yet calm, fight and then acceptance of the inevitable. The book is based on the question, "what makes life worth living?" 276 pages 4 stars

Nov 6, 2:34 pm

>69 Tess_W: When Breath Becomes Air is an extraordinary book. I must admit to crying while reading his wife's epilogue.

Editado: Nov 7, 12:22 pm

193. America's First Great Eclipse: How Scientists, Tourists, and the Rocky Mountain Eclipse of 1878 Changed Astronomy Forever by Steve Ruskin This was both a piece of history and a piece of science. Although short, this told of the preparations to document the 1878 eclipse and how western towns prepared for over a year to document such an event. Ruskin bases his research on what took place primarily in Colorado. I was surprised at the scientific efficiency at which observers had. They placed themselves every so many feet or miles, used watches with a second hand, timed the eclipse at their precise location, etc. The entire documentation, in Colorado, took place within 3 minutes. This was the beginning of "high-altitude astronomy." 167 pages 4 stars CAT: November random cat: Light

Nov 7, 2:33 pm

Boys! Kids! Yesterday two fourteen-year old boys approached me and asked if I thought the English teacher would approve this book for their next book report:

I advised them, without another word or smile, "you will have to ask her." They did not get the expected response from me, probably!

Nov 7, 5:07 pm

>72 Tess_W: Oh man...I have a lot of nephews, and now I'm thinking about Christmas gifts...

Nov 7, 6:31 pm

>73 christina_reads: LOL. I told my 44 year old son about it, and he said he would definitely read it!

Nov 7, 9:54 pm

>72 Tess_W: Ha! I read that one a couple of years ago and enthusiastically recommended it to my friends with kids.

Nov 8, 12:05 am

These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall This was a DNF....just wasn't interesting enough. Amazon free first read from August 2021

Nov 16, 11:24 am

194. Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart This is book # 1 in The Kopp Sisters mystery series. This was a sarcastic and at times hilarious read about a family of women who are trying to make it on their own (without a man) in 1890-1910 in New Jersey. Voted as best historical fiction book in 2015. 407 pages 4 stars

Nov 19, 9:04 pm

>78 Tess_W: The title, if nothing else, would definitely grab my interest!

Editado: Nov 21, 3:02 am

drain woes, but I'm blessed! Somehow my kitchen sinks/drain became clogged. Hasn't happened for years! Plunging did not help, Draino did not help, taking the pipes apart under the sink and using a 25 foot snake did not help! This happened on a Friday night. All attempts were futile. My son, who just had hernia surgery, was in no condition to crawl around in the crawlspace, take pipes apart, etc. We called and got a plumber on the same day (Monday!)...just wow! It took him 2 hours and a mechanized auger to clear the drain. It was just a mass of food, nothing in particular. He said grease from food builds up and sometimes just gets stuck. I was without a kitchen sink/drain from Friday pm until 3:30 pm on Monday. My kitchen looked like a hoarder's kitchen! My hubby cleaned everything while I was at work today---yeah! This evening I made the menu for Thanksgiving: turkey breast, baked steak with tomato gravy, mashed potatoes/gravy, sweet potatoes/carrots with a brown sugar/molasses glaze, green beans, mac & cheese (oldest grandson is a vegetarian and requested this), dressing, yeast rolls, and a veggie tray. This is the year of the pie: pumpkin, peanut butter, pecan, lemon meringue, and cherry. I will be having 18 at my house. The only thing I really have to buy is cheese, sweet potatoes, 2 lemons, and the fresh veggies for the tray. For the carrots I will be using my purple carrots I harvested from my 5 gallon buckets last month. They taste so good! Friends, please be blessed! We all have SOMETHING for which to be thankful!

This isn't my pic, but mine look just like this:

Nov 21, 3:07 am

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, Tess! And I hope it will be a long time before you need a plumber again.

Nov 21, 10:34 pm

>81 MissWatson: TY! Hopefully no plumber--$200 per hour!

195. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner was a historical fiction read with a dual timeline--1761 and modern day. The setting was London and a small shop that had desperate customers and concocted dangerous compounds. All is well until a 12-year old assistant places a "medication" in a marked jar which leads to the discovery of the business Meanwhile, in modern-day, a marked glass vial is found in the Thames. The story was very focused on only the "business" in both eras. I wish there was more of 17th century London contained within the novel, but all in all, it was a good read. 352 pages 3.5 stars

Editado: Nov 21, 10:56 pm

196. The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King This is a non-fiction read that mainly focuses on how land and resources were stolen from Native Americans/Indians/First Nations/Aboriginals from the 16th century onwards. Mr. King is a bit irreverent, however; I enjoyed that, as well as his dry humor. From the beginning, he explains his choices of using the word Indians and Whites. Also, the author has written a good chapter about authors and Hollywood and how North American Indians have been portrayed. Most of the material about the U.S. I already knew, but I did learn a lot about Canadian First Nations. Mr. King claims to be a "Native Indian", but doesn't allude from where. All in all, a good general read if one is knowledgeable about some Native American history, and almost like a "gentle" history book on the subject, if one is not. 266 pages 3 stars This was a rec by RP. RTT November Indigenous Peoples

Editado: Nov 22, 9:25 am

197. Philippians by Dr. Bill Creasy I like to listen to Dr. Creasy as a companion piece when I read a certain book of the Bible. (New Testamant) He is knowledgeable, especially about history and this complements the study. He gives a lot of background about the social and political cultures at the time. I will use Dr. Creasy for future companion New Testament reads. I listened to this on audio. 2 hours 5 minutes 5 stars

Nov 23, 10:33 am

May this day (and every day) be filled with blessings and joy!

Nov 23, 12:15 pm

>80 Tess_W: What a feast! I'm with your grandson and his Mac and cheese although I like fresh raw veggies too.

Happy Thanksgiving, Tess.

Editado: Nov 24, 1:08 am

>86 VivienneR: TY, Vivienne.

198. The Attack of the 50 Foot Indian by Stephen Graham Jones. This was a short story, I believe about pre-conceived prejudices and notions. I really can't say it was anything other than average, somewhat mediocre. 40 pages 3- stars CAT: RTT Nov. Indigenous Peoples (The author claims to be Blackfeet)

Editado: Nov 27, 12:50 am

2nd half of Thingaversary purchases (these are all audiobooks, most $1.99, nothing over $5.99)

Before I go to Sleep: A Novel
The Fair Barbarian
Testimony of Two Men: A Novel
The Claverings
Jude the Obscure
Beyond Scandal and Desire: Sins for All Seasons, Book 1 (Just 99 cents!)
The Silent Bride

That will end my purchases for 2023, for a total of 18 books purchased. Considering I will read about 200+ this year and 75% of those are off my TBR pile, I'm pleased!

Editado: Nov 27, 1:13 am

199. Goliath: Goliath (A Ryan Mitchell Thriller) (Volume 1) by Richard Turner I read 50% and going to mark at DNF. Been trying to read it since August, not interested!

Nov 27, 2:58 am

>88 Tess_W: That is a great achievement!

Nov 27, 10:20 am

>88 Tess_W: Wow! Good for you!

Nov 27, 3:15 pm

>88 Tess_W: Reading all those books from the tbr pile is an achievement. Congratulations!

Nov 28, 1:11 am

>90 MissWatson:
>91 clue:
>92 pamelad: Thanks!

199. The Meetinghouse Tragedy: An Episode in the Life of a New England Town by Charles E. Clark was a delightful non-fiction which traces the origin of the ballad which describes the collapse of a church-raising in New Hampshire in the 18th century. The details were well researched and there was such a depth of explanation that this read very smoothly. I enjoyed all the appendices that gave even more meaning to the "story." 147 pages 5 stars

Editado: Nov 28, 4:43 pm

200. Rabbit holes, rabbit holes! Spent the better part of two reading days down a rabbit hole. It all began with my ticking off the books I needed for my 2024 Hardy reads. I came across The Ruined Maid by Hardy. It was 3 pages, stapled, and inside another book on my shelf. No idea where it came from and I don't think I've read it before. After reading it a couple of times, I was intrigued with the rhythm of the poem. After doing some research (for I know almost nothing about poetic meter), ......rabbit hole! I thought the flow of Hardy's poem felt very much like Longfellow's The Ride of Paul Revere. According to experts, it's not the same meter, but to me, it flows the same. In that same rabbit hole, it gives some other examples of tetrameter, of which I read about 5 Dr. Seuss books as well as Shelley's The Cloud and Poe's Annabelle Lee. Then to top it off, several different, ostensibly reputable sites, have assigned Hardy's poem a different meter. At this point, I don't care about the meter--I don't want to figure it out! I just wanted to check similarities......final blow: 4 poems, 5 books. Only counting the Hardy.

Editado: Dez 1, 11:03 pm

201. The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett The title refers to a steamer that carried wealthy American young women from New York City to England to marry an English "gentleman" who was low on funds and whose estate was dilapidated. She brings her money, he offers status. The woman didn't really have status in the U.S. because their family money was "new." This story began as a meek and mild young woman was married to a bully of a man who cut her off from her family once he got her money. However, 10 years into the marriage, the headstrong sister arrives and sets things straight and even finds a down and out manor owner herself! My only criticism is that book is overly long. It could have ended at 350-400 pages and not the 512 as written. A tad melodramatic. 3.5 stars This was only $.99 on Amazon. Rec by Pam.

Editado: Dez 1, 11:44 pm

November Stats:

Books read-14

Cheers: (4-5 star reads)
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
America's First Great Eclipse: How Scientists, Tourists, and the Rocky Mountain Eclipse of 1878 Changed Astronomy Forever by Steve Ruskin
Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart
Philippians by Dr. Bill Creasy
The Meetinghouse Tragedy by Charles Clark

Jeers (less than 3 star reads)
These Toxic Things by Rachel Hall (DNF)
Attack of the 50 Foot Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
Goliath by Scott Westerfield (DNF)

Plans for December: Laid back!
Read the book with the tree on the cover........read the Christmas Carol, and that is all I am committing to! My year ends/begins on December 24, so we will see what December holds!

Time to make menu/schedule for Christmas cookies & candy. Let the baking commence!

Dez 4, 10:44 pm

Christmas Menu
Peanut Brittle
Chocolate Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge
Molasses Sugar Cookies
Graham Cracker Toffee
Thumbprint Cookies with Apricot & Raspberry Jam
Magic Cookie Bars
Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Icing
Ham or Prime Rib (preferred, but will depend on cost) Horseradish sauce if I have prime rib
Au Gratin Potatoes
Asparagus Spears wrapped in bacon (if I can find asparagus), if not, green beans with ham chunks
Brown sugar glazed carrots
Baked pineapple ( if I have ham), if prime rib fresh fruit salad with orange cream

Ontem, 1:23 am

Sounds delicious!

Ontem, 6:24 am

Your Christmas menu is making me hungry, and sounds delicious! I'm on the hunt for some gingerbread like cookies with not too much butter. I'm sure that there is something out there.

Ontem, 9:58 am

>99 lsh63: I've heard that you can substitute olive oil or nut butters for butter.