richardderus's sixteenth 2023 thread

É uma continuação do tópico richardderus's fifteenth 2023 thread.

Este tópico foi continuado por richardderus's seventeenth 2023 thread.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

Aderi ao LibraryThing para poder publicar.

richardderus's sixteenth 2023 thread

Nov 17, 12:07 pm

Why the heck not?

Editado: Dez 1, 9:53 am

2023's madness
Reviews 018 through 025 (out of order) linked here.
Reviews through 025 linked here.
Reviews 026 through 033 linked here.
Reviews 034 up to 039 linked here.
Reviews 040 to 045 linked here.
Reviews 046 through 058 linked here..
Reviews 059 through 068 linked here.
Reviews 069 up to 075 are linked here.
Reviews 076 up to 092 are linked here.
Reviews 093 through 098 are linked here.
Reviews 099 through 104 are linked here.


105 THE WORLDS OF DUNE: The Places and Cultures that Inspired Frank Herbert in post #173.
106 THE SPICE MUST FLOW: The Story of Dune, from Cult Novels to Visionary Sci-Fi Movies in post #175.
107 Dolly Parton: 100 Remarkable Moments in an Extraordinary Life in post #188.
108 The Who & Quadrophenia in post #191.
109 In the Groove: The Vinyl Record and Turntable Revolution in post #198.
110 David Atherton’s Baking Book for Kids in post #232.
111 Tree Spirits in post #233.
112 Legends of Norse Mythology: Enter a world of gods, giants, monsters and heroes in post #234.
113 MAHAHAA in post #246.
114 The League of Lady Poisoners: Illustrated True Stories of Dangerous Women in post #248.
115 Jaguar Century: 100 Years of Automotive Excellence in post #267.
116 Triumph Cars: 100 Years in post #275.

My Last Thread of 2009 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2010 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2011 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2012 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2013 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2014 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2015 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2016 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2017 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2018 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2019 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2020 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2021 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.
My Last Thread of 2022 Is Here:
Reviews are back-linked there.

Editado: Nov 17, 12:14 pm

All previous Burgoine reviews linked here.



Editado: Nov 17, 12:15 pm

All previous Pearl Rule reviews linked here.



Editado: Nov 17, 1:05 pm

#Booksgiving is my own version of Iceland's Jolabokaflod. As holiday celebrations go, few rival Yule (Christmas, Noël, Wiehnacht, Solstice celebrations all) in the economic reach. The reason today, the Friday after US "Thanksgiving", is called "Black Friday" is not just an acknowledgment that retail workers are in a justifiably horrible mood today but because their corporate masters are "in the black" with the sales rung up today. Later additions, like "Cyber Monday" and the like, are also based around the consumers of the country getting their shop on.

This year, I'm going to be posting the usual couple of weeks of book reviews...the things I've read this year that I particularly liked. I'll be using the hashtag #Booksgiving. At first I'll focus on things I think you'd give as Yule gifts, then switch to things you can feel good about gifting to yourselves. The idea's to make your own lists and your own versions of the "Yule Book Flood" come together in your minds.

Adopt/adapt this lovely gemütlicht custom for your own!

Nov 17, 12:11 pm

Very well, your post is welcome now.

Nov 17, 12:17 pm

Hey do I get a crown again?

Nov 17, 12:17 pm

Had to get that one posted quickly -- now...happy new thread Richard!! Hope you're well and have a fine day today.

Nov 17, 12:21 pm

Happy new thread, Richard!

Nov 17, 12:34 pm

Happy new one, Richard!

Nov 17, 12:40 pm

Happy new thread, Richard dear!

>1 richardderus: I love Snoopy!!

Nov 17, 1:09 pm

>8 RebaRelishesReading: Your Wintertime crown awaits, Thread Queen Reba!

Nov 17, 1:11 pm

>9 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, Reba! You're quick on the draw.

Nov 17, 2:04 pm

Happy new thread, RD!

Nov 17, 3:40 pm

It was Party Week! The good bit first: Matty won star baker, because of one bake...the signature...that he smashed and Josh did not.

Sadder news: Cristy had a HORRIBLE week, poor execution of mediocre ideas. She has gone home. I'm a bit surprised because her capabilities are up to executing each of the ideas she had very, very well.

The signature bake was a sausage roll, of their choosing, inside pastry of their choosing. In season 14, no one in the entire UK should be in excused from having made rough-puff by now, and as it's a PHols original recipe, you'd be an eejit not to use it. Cristy was not an eejit, but just didn't bake her pork, sage, cranberry, garlic and onion filled roll long enough. The pastry looked *ghastly* and ghostly and soggy, and she didn't roll it out thinly enough. Tasha made a frankly stellar-sounding cider-glazed pork filling with apricots that would've won her the seg...if she'd baked her rough-puff longer. The dough looked raw inside, to me anyway. Dan went Asian again, making a shrimp-and-pork filling that sounded tasty; but really was not quite to the judges' taste. He basically got his pastry spot-on and his entire flavor profile, down to the soy dipping sauce and the sesame seeds on the pastry, wrong. Josh, bless his cotton socks, did Yule-dinner flavors in every bake. The turkey-sausage and cranberry rolls were, consistent theme warning!, underbaked rough-puff that made the filling gap under the pastry because they weren't through laminating.

Matty made the only basic, original sausage rolls in the tent. He made the rough-puff perfectly, rolled it thinly enough to allow it to bake into perfect lamination, and the chili flakes he added for kick kicked PHols into handshaking him! Excellent work, ringing only the slightest change on a well-made classic.

Come the showstopper: A chocolate swiss roll with cocoa swiss meringue buttercream filling, cut in a fancy little fussbudget design to look like a caterpillar when it's frosted with dark-chocolate ganache and ornamented with brightly colored meringue doodads to look like legs and spiracles and a chocolate face to give the little kids whose birthdays this will adorn nightmares. Matty came third. Tasha, first mostly because she mad th face look like Noel Fielding (!). Josh put a stake in his hopes for star baker by coming fourth; Dan came last becuse he didn't understand the instructions on how to cut the swiss roll into a caterpillar shape, so ended up with a terrible, tiny mess. Cristy's well-deserved second place finish was, sadly the first and last thing she did right.

Showstopper time! "Don't Be Beige" party buffet with at least three items, at least one savory. All of them must be colorful and very decorative when presented. Cristy was dooooomed, dooooomed! from the get-go because her Willy-Wonka-themed items were all beige doughy things, with the exception of a swiss-roll lollipop shaped slice coated in pink chocolate. Just not enough *oomph* and none of it very well executed. She looked to me like, about halfway through the four-and-a-half hours, she realized this was just not going right. Oh, and she made lemon-meringue CUPCAKES! As in a cupcake paper cup filled with pie filling topped with a baked meringue lid that all had to be eaten with a spoon! No buffet in the world would serve such a guaranteed mess-maker.

Dan, bless!, went way OTT with his dinosaur-themed reasonably colorful desserts in the shape of white chocolate dinosaur eggs, curry-filled pastry dino tracks, cookies shaped like fossils, ankylosaur-shaped mallomars, and the whole beautiful display just...slapdash. Matty made sportsball stuff: Filled crême-brulee flavored donuts decorated as basketballs, curry-filled pies decorated as cricket balls, lime macarons decorated as tennis balls, and chocolate-orange cupcakes iced like golf-course grass. The execution was okay, though his donuts didn't quite get cooked all the way through (it was the first time he'd ever used a deep fryer!), but his cupcakes (filled with orange curd) and macarons were spot-on. Tasha made a farmyard-themed birthday buffet with za'atar and sumac-flavored milk-bread pink pigs; wise of her, because she was star baker in bread week. This worked because they got praise. Her choux-bun lambs filled with blackberry crême diplomat were okay; the raspberry-pistachio viennese whirls that made wheels on her (unbaked) fruit wagons were so underbaked they crumbled at the touch.

Josh, had he done well in the signature, might've made star baker because his "It's Christmas!!!" buffet with white-chocolate and coconut snowman macarons were executed well, christmas-pudding flavored choux buns were properly baked, and a spinach and feta mini-couronne made into a beautiful green individual wreath, were flawless. Just that pestiferous sausage roll...! But honestly Matty deserved the honor because he was the ONLY baker to get the entire sausage roll challenge right in each element. Creditable performances in all the other challenges will lift you up to within grabbing distance of the crown!

On to Pâtisserie Week. It's Matty or Dan for outs there, if I had to guess it'll be Matty because he's not as arty as Dan.

Nov 17, 3:41 pm

>15 katiekrug: Thanks, GBBO thoughts are up for when you've watched this week.

Nov 17, 3:48 pm

>17 richardderus: - I will return to read them. We probably won't watch until sometime this weekend, as our usual Friday-evening viewing has been preempted :)

Nov 17, 3:52 pm

>18 katiekrug: Party hearty!

Nov 17, 3:52 pm

>1 richardderus: Cute.

Have a good weekend RD.

Nov 17, 3:55 pm

>20 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caro! *smooch*

Nov 17, 4:51 pm

Happy new thread, RD! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. ((Hugs)) and **smooches**

Nov 17, 5:23 pm

>13 richardderus: Oh that's a real beauty!! Thank you Sir Richard :)

Nov 17, 5:30 pm

>22 alcottacre: Thank you, Stasia, I hope your weekend's as wonderful as the one you're wishing for me. *smooch*

Nov 17, 5:32 pm

>23 RebaRelishesReading: That creator, Thuriell, has a whole bunch of stunning crowns on Tumblr. No idea why, but hnoestly who cares when they're that beauteous?

Nov 17, 6:16 pm

Happy New Thread!

Nov 17, 6:37 pm

>26 SilverWolf28: Thank you most kindly, Silver. Happy to see you here.

Nov 17, 7:26 pm

Salutations on your sixteenth thread, dear fellow. Great to see you in such good trim.

Nov 18, 6:44 am

‘Morning, RDear! Happy new thread and happy Saturday to you.

>1 richardderus: Given how much you love turkey, it’s a viable alternative.

>6 richardderus: Great idea, I look forward to your reviews.


Nov 18, 7:48 am

>29 karenmarie: Toast...popcorn...jelly beans...what's not to love? Turkey *ptooptoo* is as dry as unbuttered toast and popcorn, not half as yummy as jelly beans.

Thanks for all the lovely wishes, Horrible! *smooch*

Editado: Nov 18, 9:19 am

Happy new thread, RD.

Nov 18, 9:27 am

>31 Helenliz: Thank you, Helen! Happy weekend-ahead's reads.

Nov 18, 10:10 am

Happy New Thread, Richard! I'm looking forward to Booksgiving listings - great idea!

*smooch* for the day

Nov 18, 11:59 am

Happy new thread, Richard! Also looking forward to your Booksgiving suggestions. *smooch*

Nov 18, 12:30 pm

>34 bell7: Thanks, Mary! *smooch*

Beautiful shot of the ocean in one of its Moods.

Nov 18, 2:58 pm

Happy new thread, Richard.

Nov 18, 5:02 pm

Happy New Thread Richard.

Nov 18, 6:07 pm

Hello, Richard! I have finally made it over to your thread. Thanks so much for visiting mine!

I have to confess that I did stop by your thread way back when I first re-found my way to LT. Unfortunately, that was in the middle of January when you were missing due to your illness, and your thread was full of good wishes from all your LT friends. That was obviously not the time for me to try to introduce myself. And then when you made your recovery and were back on LT, your threads flew by so fast that I knew I couldn't keep up, so I felt a bit intimidated and didn't want to try to jump in. Of course, I've seen you around other threads, and I've been very impressed by the great range of your knowledge, which is also rather intimidating. But I was very pleased to see you drop by my thread, and I'm glad to return the visit. I know I won't be able to keep up, but I will keep visiting.

>1 richardderus: I love the Peanuts topper!

>6 richardderus: Jolabokaflod. That's a new one to me, but it sounds like fun! I look forward to your #Booksgiving.

Nov 18, 7:41 pm

>37 SandDune: Thank you, Rhian! How lovely it is to see you here! *smooch*

Nov 18, 7:41 pm

>36 ArlieS: Hi Arlie, welcome!

Nov 18, 7:47 pm

>38 atozgrl: Howdy do, Irene! I'm glad you stopped by and said hi. There's no such thing as keeping one's taking roll here. Come by any time you like and you'll always be welcome. The conversation is eclectic and moves fast so jump in when you want.

The Peanuts topper made me giggle so I'm really glad you liked it too.

#Booksgiving will, I hope, be useful and informative. Let me know what you think!

Nov 18, 9:06 pm

>16 richardderus: I was glad to see Christy go. She was vapid and boring. I did expect that Dan would get the heave-ho, but I don't mind seeing him survive to bake again.

Nov 18, 11:15 pm

>41 richardderus: Thank you so much for the warm welcome! I will definitely jump in when I can. I'm sure #Booksgiving will be informative; the comments I've seen from you around the threads always have been. I look forward to seeing your suggestions.

Editado: Nov 19, 8:02 am

Happy Sunday, Richard. Happy New Thread! We have been enjoying Jackson the last few days. He returns home tomorrow. Have you read Blackwater Lightship? I just started it. Toibin is a fine writer.

>35 richardderus: I love that!

Nov 19, 8:41 am

>42 katiekrug: Given the mess and slapdashery, that surprised and pleased me, too. On both prongs.

Nov 19, 8:42 am

>43 atozgrl: ...and see them you shall, starting Friday. I hope your flatteringly elevated opinion survives contact with reality, Irene!

Nov 19, 8:46 am

>44 msf59: I remain astonished that a mean old man like you is so pleased to have a toddler out of character for you...:-P

I read it in the Aughties. TBH, I remember nothing about it because I never reviewed it for some reason. Maybe it was in one of my periodic anti-Irish phases...? At all events, enjoy the read.

Editado: Nov 19, 10:12 am

'Morning, RD. Happy Sunday.

Reading and T-day shopping list will be finalized today, with 3 abandoned book explanations to add to my Lightning Round.

>37 SandDune: Beautiful photo of the moody ocean.


Nov 19, 10:15 am

Good morning, Richard! I do believe that November is finally here. I wish you some sunshine along the way. *smooch*

Nov 19, 10:53 am

>48 karenmarie: Morning, Horrible. I'm pretty sure that genre overload is setting in chez vous. You're a story-abandonin' fool these days!

Isn't that a gorgeous image? I liked thid one, too:

Nov 19, 10:54 am

>49 LizzieD: Morning, Peggy! It's November chilly here, but the sun's out so it's pleasant (for me, anyway).

Have a lovely!

Nov 19, 3:15 pm

>46 richardderus: I suspect my opinion will survive!

>50 richardderus: That gave me a good laugh! Love it!

Nov 19, 4:48 pm

Sunday *smooch*. That is all.

Nov 19, 5:56 pm

Happy New Thread, Richard, and week ahead! *smooch*

Nov 19, 7:49 pm

>52 atozgrl: Aren't those glasses perfect? *smooch*

Nov 19, 7:50 pm

>53 bell7: Sunday *smooch* back, Mary.

Nov 19, 7:51 pm

>54 vancouverdeb: Thank you most kindly, Deb. You have a great week ahead, too. *smooch*

Nov 20, 3:58 am

>16 richardderus: woah! So much to tempt I go there? It is about the Great British Bake Off though, no? In which case, I may not be as tempted. Just to illustrate my heathen-ness when it comes to baking, I actually ate/drank half a carton of instant custard while sat in the car *in the supermarket car park* today. I blame hormones.

Editado: Nov 20, 8:31 am

‘Morning, RDear! Happy Monday to you.

>50 richardderus: New authors are out there, new ways of finding them are still working for me. So far, so good. I love those specs.


Nov 20, 9:00 am

>58 LovingLit: Hormones? Sounds like common sense to me...there it is, there you are, so...

Don't sweat the small stuff, Megan. I hope you're doing well (apart from that nascent custard addiction) and happy in life.

Nov 20, 9:32 am

>59 karenmarie: *smooch* Hoping your New Sunday has lovely discoveries in it!

Nov 20, 10:16 am

We're gorgeous again this morning, Richard, and the weather is pretty spectacular too. (I'm not sure how to punctuate that so that the world recognizes a joke of sorts.)

"Walk in Beauty" anyway! *smooch*

Nov 20, 10:18 am

Missed the last thread almost entirely.
Looks like life is good where you are...
I'm not reading much these days and wasn't up for posting on Talk threads but trying to skim past a few to assuage my readerly addictions.

Nov 20, 10:21 am

>62 LizzieD: The gorgeous weather's here, too, so I think the weather goddesses put the whole thing on autopilot for a while while they dream up some horrible shocks to our systems for the rest of the year.

...who, me? Cynical? Maybe better described as "experienced." Possibly also "bitter."

*smooch* for my sunshiney friend

Nov 20, 10:23 am

>63 SandyAMcPherson: Hi Sandy! I'm glad to see you whenever you care to be seen, so no worries. Those readerly addictions are a bear, aren't they? Anyway, hope all's well there on the great prairies. *smooch*

Nov 20, 12:24 pm

((Hugs)) and **smooches** for today, RD! I hope you have a marvelous Monday!

Nov 20, 12:51 pm

>66 alcottacre: Happy New Sunday, Stasia...hoping it's a beautiful day there like it is here. *smooch*

Editado: Nov 20, 1:26 pm

Much giggling when my YGC sent me this.

Nov 20, 4:22 pm

Happy new one!

Nov 20, 4:26 pm

>68 richardderus: Love businesses (and people) with a sense of humor.

Hope you're having a fine Monday, Richard.

Nov 21, 7:42 am

Morning, Richard. Getting ready to go pick up my "kids". Raining steadily at the moment. Nothing else planned until I pick 'em up later. Books & Juno time.

>68 richardderus: Love it!

Nov 21, 7:55 am

>69 drneutron: Thanks, Doc!

Nov 21, 7:58 am

>70 RebaRelishesReading: It was a perfectly fine Monday indeed, Reba, so your mojo clearly worked, thanks! *smooch*

Nov 21, 8:00 am

>71 msf59: This sounds like a perfect day to spend flipping pages and schmoozling ears without the nagging sense of should be doing" guilt. Enjoy it!

Nov 21, 8:13 am

‘Morning, Rdear, happy Tuesday to you.

>68 richardderus: Giggling understandable.


Nov 21, 8:43 am

>75 karenmarie: Tuesday, is it? I seem to have fast-forwarded in my mind to Friday...deeply unsettling. Understandable, though, since I'm getting the Booksgiving gift-book stuff ready.

I needed that chuckle, and it seems others did, too. *smooch*

Nov 21, 11:54 am

Happy new(ish) thread!

>35 richardderus: Gorgeous!

Hope you’re staying warm! I’m still sleeping with the window cracked open, but I think that’s going to end soon.

Nov 21, 1:04 pm

>77 Storeetllr: Hiya Mary! It is pleasant here just now, not more than a hint of cold...basically seasonably chilly still. Thank goodness it's not as sticky-icky humid as a week ago was.

I love that image, it looks like the kind of thing Ivan Aivazovsky painted:

Garish example, but it's got the intensity of color and light-on-water effects.

Nov 21, 1:11 pm

>78 richardderus: Love it. Garish is good when it comes to sunrise and sunsets. And summer gardens. (Wish I could paint half as well.)

Nov 21, 1:19 pm

>79 Storeetllr: I was looking for this one when I found that:

I love this artist!

Nov 21, 1:19 pm

>73 richardderus: Any time, Richard, any time :)

Nov 21, 4:15 pm

>80 richardderus: I can see why you love that artist even though I know absolutely nothing about art. I know what I like though, and I like both of those paintings.

((Hugs)) and **smooches** for today, RD.

Nov 21, 4:21 pm

The first all-male final since season 3: Matty, Josh, and Dan. Like Brendan, John Whaite, and Dr. James Morton, all have some serious strengths but one is consistently above all the others. It is Josh's prize to lose.

I am so so sad that Tasha had such a *horrible* weekend. Unlike Cristy, Tasha has always come through under pressure except this time. She made serious errors of judgment and failed to execute up to standard. Terrible time to have a crap weekend but there it is.

Nov 21, 4:23 pm

>82 alcottacre: Hi Stasia! I am not surprised you like the paintings, he was very famous for his seascapes in the 19th century even here in the US. Glorious, aren't they? *smooch*

Editado: Nov 21, 9:03 pm

>68 richardderus: This is amusingly clever.
I had to re-read it as the quick skim didn't quite convey the irony (if irony is the word I should use.)

Nov 22, 4:02 am

>80 richardderus: That water looks very wet. Tough trick to pull off well. Not familiar with the artist, that's why I love LT, full of erudition as well as fun & frivolity.

Nov 22, 7:18 am

>78 richardderus: Wow! That is quite the green color. Interesting painting. I have to look up Aivazovsky. I could stare at this painting all day. Stunning!

Happy mid week * smooch*

Nov 22, 8:13 am

>86 SandyAMcPherson: Humo(u)r is, like martinis, best served dry.

>87 Helenliz: It does look wet, Helen, and it's just astonishing how hard that effect is to pull off. As witness the infrequnce of its achievement in art. He and Turner and, to a lesser extent, Whistler all could do it. Fun fact: Turner and Aivazovsky met in 1842. The Russian scholars think so, anyway. Wrote him a love poem, too, did old JMW.

Nov 22, 8:22 am

>88 figsfromthistle: He painted a LOT of seascapes, Anita, so happy hunting. The problem is, for me at least, even when I love an artist's signature style, after the first fifty, I just quit seeing the work. My little tiny brain says, "What, MORE?!" and goes into cold-lizard mode.

Have a gorgeous, dear lady. *smooch*

Nov 22, 9:46 am

'Morning, RDear. Happy Wednesday.

Jenna and I will be doing lots of prep work today, paced, of course.


Nov 22, 9:47 am

>91 karenmarie: ...but it'll be worth it...enjoy the process, Horrible, and recharge well on Friday. *smooch*

Nov 22, 10:14 am

The only thing I will say regarding tomorrow's holiday:

Enjoy your feasts.

Editado: Nov 22, 10:18 am

>78 richardderus: I don't care if this may be garish, I love the colors! I've never heard of that artist before, but I like those paintings. I'll have to look him up.

ETA >93 richardderus: posted while I was writing this comment. Colbert nailed it with that one.

Nov 22, 10:21 am

>94 atozgrl: Morning, Irene! I am so pleased so many of y'all like Aivazovsky's art! He's unjustly ignored in my never-humble opinion. An Armenian painter of Black-Sea port origins who found his métier early in life, became world-famous, and is now people. Sad, really.

Nov 22, 2:42 pm

>89 richardderus: Thank you for the (u)

Nov 22, 3:43 pm

>96 SandyAMcPherson: de rien, ma amie. A painless way for me to indulge y'all's weird overcomplicating fetish.

Nov 22, 4:16 pm

>85 richardderus: Yes, they are glorious! Makes me wish that I had even the slightest amount of talent regarding arts, crafts, etc.

>93 richardderus: Very true, unfortunately.

((Hugs)) and **smooches** for today, RD!

Nov 22, 5:06 pm

Hi Richard dear friend, a belated Happy New Thread.

Nov 22, 5:10 pm

Lovely seascapes, Richard! I'm big fan on Colbert and his humour. Thanks for adding the " u". It's so important on this side of the border. I trust you say " touque' rather that beanie, as well ? I have also seen it spelled "tuque" which IMO, is completely wrong.

Nov 22, 6:53 pm

>93 richardderus: Perfect, RD. Big wave from chilly Chicagoland.

Nov 22, 7:59 pm

RD, much to be thankful for in a difficult year - you have your recovering health which I am relieved to celebrate with you and I have my little snip of a Granddaughter.

Happy Thanksgiving from an appreciative non-celebrator.

Nov 23, 5:07 am

I hope it is a happy Thursday for you, Richard dear.
Mine isn't as yesterday's election results in my country make me very sad. Back to ignoring climate change, and blaming immigrants and refugees :-(

>68 richardderus: Thanks for the chuchle, much needed and appriciated.
Also liked the Aivazovsky paintings.

Nov 23, 7:34 am

>98 alcottacre: It would be so great to be able to convey emotional reality in those ways...alas, we can't...we can appreciate, and audiences are necessary.

Sad, no?


Nov 23, 7:34 am

>99 johnsimpson: Hi John! Happy to see you whenever you're here, so no belated required.

Nov 23, 7:47 am

>100 vancouverdeb: "tuque"? *shudder* Given where I live, "beanie" is a loaded insult so it doesn't exist in polite conversation. The headgear itself is very common, though not until deep December as it's not really cold enough. Knitted caps aren't called "touque" here because there are so few French-speaking people compared to the population as a whole.

Nov 23, 7:49 am

>101 msf59: Agreed! Colbert is routinely correct, but that one's uniquely apt.

Not-chilly waves back!

Nov 23, 7:51 am

>102 PaulCranswick: Thank you, PC, it's very true that we both have a LOT to be very grateful for. We're old enough to know celebration is the best appreciation, so cheers! To Pip!

Nov 23, 7:54 am

>103 FAMeulstee: It is awful how much the wave of nasty, selfish stupidity is rising around the world. Argentina elected a Trump-equivalent, and the problems they face are epic, so one can only shudder at the misery to come.

Y'all won't be nearly so wretched, though more trying to come there will be. I hate this.

Nov 23, 8:08 am

‘Morning, RD. Happy Thursday, Happy Thanksgiving.

>93 richardderus: God, yes. A friend of mine’s parents were devout Christians, and walked the walk. They volunteered tirelessly AND tithed to the point where the IRS audited them every single year because they couldn’t believe it. Lots of talkers out there, lots of just plain whack jobs who cherry pick, also lots of people who claim to be Christians who haven’t read the entire Christian Bible, all 27 books. It seems to me that if you’re going to claim a religion, you should know its teachings.

I’m listening to Lost Christianities by Bart D. Ehrman in my car these days, so am a bit riled up and learning all sorts of new things.

>106 richardderus: I’m a proud beanie wearer when I wear the one my mom knit for me in high school to go along with the 8’ scarf I have already brought out for fall/winter/early spring. Otherwise, I have a few cute hats.


Nov 23, 8:28 am

>110 karenmarie: Bart Ehrman is a very interesting scholar of the subject. It's not one I follow religiously (!) but his influence is sufficiently broad that I have heard about him.

Your touque from high school will no doubt be of great interest to the Smithsonian, as there are so few textiles surviving from Antiquity. Care for it well!

Nov 23, 9:31 am

>109 richardderus: Just when Brazil was giving us some breath, Argentina elected a new horror... A bit of positivity in Poland and Spain, and fascists in power in Italy. Now nationalists/populists/climate deniers winning the elections here. The world is a mess...

Nov 23, 9:34 am

>112 FAMeulstee: ...and the mess could easily kill us all...

Nov 23, 10:31 am

Turkey Holocaust blessings, everyone.

...makes about as much sense as the usual names for stuff in space...what are these folks smoking when they name stuff?

Nov 23, 11:22 am

Fowl blessings, amigo. Hope you have a relaxing day.

Nov 23, 12:00 pm

>115 jnwelch: Thanks, Joe! I'm honoring the dead avians by not eating them. Grilled cheese for me! (with a big ol' salad with tomatoes, cukes, olives, and les oignons)

Nov 23, 12:18 pm

>93 richardderus: *sigh* Don't forget the need to hurt as many people as possible in gawd's name.

I won't wish you a happy Thanksgiving - neither of us celebrate it. But have a great end of week and into the weekend, and good luck avoiding the chaos that is Black Friday, as well as the rest of the lead up to Giftmas. (This is the month I avoid all malls, except that one does have to buy groceries somewhere.)

>106 richardderus: A toque is a specific type of knitted hat; IMO the shape is important.

>110 karenmarie: My maternal grandparents were sincere Christians. I try to remember them whenever the antics of some loud and vicious self-described Christians tempt me to stereotyping all Christians as just like the worst and loudest.

Nov 23, 12:22 pm

>112 FAMeulstee: One thing that has always puzzled me, Anita, is why the right wing are always referred to as "populist" when in general terms they are appealing to the baser parts of human nature to derive their support. To me the opposite of a Progressive is a Regressive and that is what most of them are.

Nov 23, 1:08 pm

>117 ArlieS: Thanks, Arlie. Not celebrating is, as Jews and Muslims know, very weird in this strange culture. Your Yule should be as you want it, including not at all.

I think toques and touques are differen animals, at least that's how I learned it....

The Quest for the Great Gray Mossy, from the website The Art of Tomislav Tikulin

I am inflamed with a burning lust to possess this artwork.

Nov 23, 1:26 pm

>118 PaulCranswick: It seems a strange thing to make into a slur to me as well, PC. "Reactionary" fills that spot for me.

Nov 23, 3:40 pm

>118 PaulCranswick: >120 richardderus: Can live with calling them both regressive/reactionary.
But in this case the winning party is more nationalist with social tendencies, so not a complete right winged agenda, thus populist fits more. They are against anyone islamic and targeting refugees, although they say they will drop that for the short term to enable their place in the government. They also support workers rights (Dutch workers that is) and social security.

Nov 23, 4:16 pm

((Hugs)) and **smooches** for our non-turkey day, RD!

Nov 23, 4:31 pm

Hi Richard, Happy Thanksgiving dear friend.

Nov 23, 5:44 pm

Happy Thanksgiving, Richard, or non-turkey day, as the case may be!

>106 richardderus: I've never heard the term "touque" before, that's a new one on me. We never called them beanies growing up either. I can't think of anything we called them except maybe knit hats. Bizarrely, when I moved to NC I discovered that people down here call them toboggans. Toboggans?!? That creates the bizarre mental picture of people wearing sleds on their heads.

Editado: Nov 23, 6:49 pm

Dare I ask what Beanie means in your part of the world? I even googled it and could not find an answer. Do you not like turkey, or is a food that makes your gout worse? I don't love eating turkey, but it's not bad with gravy, and I eat it at Christmas and at Thanksgiving. Enjoy that grilled cheese! Those are good. I am enjoying The Creak on The Stairs and I'm about 1/2 way through. I should be able to give you my final verdict soon.


Nov 24, 7:33 am

>121 FAMeulstee: That's a lot better than our lot, Anita, but still pretty horrible.

"Regressive" is, goodness knows, a coldly accurate way to label these people.

Nov 24, 7:34 am

>122 alcottacre: My salad was yummy! *smooch*

Nov 24, 7:34 am

>123 johnsimpson: Thank you, John, hoping your Thursday was a good one.

Nov 24, 7:40 am

>124 atozgrl: Toboggans? Sledrunners behind my ears?! NO!!

The tuque/touque/toque thing is, it seems on further delving, um...contentious...though I learned a "toque" was a sort of a fez-like headgear, many others think of them otherwise. If I call my various headgear anything at all, it's "hat." I assume a glance up will inform my conversation partner which one I'm referring to.

Hoping Leftovers Day will see your dagwoods bulging, Irene! *smooch*

Nov 24, 7:54 am

>125 vancouverdeb: Turkey, Deb, is blah, dry, stringy stuff. I like dark meat and, unless one is extremely persistent and insistent about it, one only gets breast meat. Then, in a facility, there is no choice's industrial breast-meat rolls, a kind of log of offcuts that is plain ol' ghastly. So, why work that hard for something that's just not that good to start with? I'll have extra dressing, gravy, other stuff I like...except this is a kosher facility, so no dressing, certainly no stuffing, and what they call gravy I call consommé. Plenty of yams! Problem is I hate yams.

Salad, please, I have my own salad dressing and olives, I'll be fine.

"Beanie" is an insulting way to refer to yarmulkes. I don't think I'd heard the word outside refernces to Beanie and Cecil until I got to New York, to be honest. I know I got, by urgent request, a propeller beanie for my 40th birthday. That is still the only time I've ever owned something I've called a beanie.
Happy Leftovers Day!

Nov 24, 8:24 am

Happy Friday, Richard. Of course, I was going to ask you about your Thanksgiving dinner but your reply to Deb up there answered that question. It sure doesn't sound appealing. Bummer. My cousin's wife put on a lovely spread, as usual, with vegan choices too, since her BIL's family is vegan. She also always has good beer and now has a good bourbon or two to choose from. We were happy.

Nov 24, 9:37 am

>131 msf59: Hiya Birddude, Turkey Day was perfectly fine for all that I don't like the menu. Nothing dreadful, just the usual kind of day, so hooray for that. Good bourbon and beer sounds perfectly lovely. I'm amazed that there are vegan Turkey Day dishes! Good on her for finding them.

Nov 24, 10:14 am

>100 vancouverdeb: Yeah, in our neck of the woods, it's 'toque'.

For the Wordlers, that would stump them, huh?

Nov 24, 10:22 am

Behind 70 posts? Sheesh. I wish you a very good day after. I look forward to the personally dull and normal. *smooch*

Nov 24, 1:14 pm

Farewell, Tasha! I honestly expected you to be a finalist. The upside is you made it to the semis, better than eight other bakers, and did it in BSL!

Our first all-male final since season 3. Matty would've gone home this week...his two financiers were tiramisu-adjacemt, coffee-walnut sponge (that absolute classic British combo, so delish and I don't like walnuts!) with chocolate ganache through them and a vanilla buttercream piped (!) neatly(!!) on top; secondly mango, line, and coconut financiers with white chocolate ganache inside. The second ones got praise from both judges for being the proper texture, but the tiramisu ones were a wee bit overbaked. Then the technical, a bog-standard tarte aux pommes with a blind-baked flaky pastry case, baked frangipane middle, then apple purée atop that and super-thinly sliced (by hand! with a knife not even a mandolin!) apples decoratively set atop the purée and coated in home-made apricot napage (heated jam) for the patisserie sheen, where Matty came second to Josh. The showstopper was a miglie-foglie dessert, like the millefeuille we're used to on the show but served as a whole not in portions. Matty really screwed up, not in flavors or presentation but in crucial technical knowledge: His beautiful round pastry sheets were presented on a lovely tiered stand, filled with crème diplomat flavored in each layer with one being limoncello, one marsala wine, and one amaretto (a zabglione combo!) and topped with lemon and plum curds...goddlemitey does that sound deVOON!...and beautifully presented with various fruits. The issue is he used a cake tin to press the pastry into rounds before he baked them, so they never had a chance to properly laminate and were seriously underbaked in the middle. Had Tasha not had a total mare of a weekend, he'd've gone.

Tasha's financiers were hazelnut and coffee, and pistachio and fillings, just raspbery buttercream and coffee-chocolate ganache piped atop them. The coffee ones were perfectly baked and blandly pleasant to look at, but the pistachio ones, while tasty, were overbaked and poorly decorated with split buttercream. Her technical was DRAMATICALLY underbaked therefore the dreaded soggy bottom was present; the decorative apple-slice spiral was, frankly, horrible looking, her frangipane was underbaked and the puree too heavy; and the inevitable happened as a result when the sides actually fully broke open. The showstopper problems began when, inexplicably, she made INVERSE puff pastry (with miglie-foglie you can't use rough-puff as any normal mortal would because the sheets of pastry that are part of the presentation won't turn out right no matter what, so it MUST be full puff)! The idiot!! It is ***EXPONENTIALLY*** harder to make inverse puff and while the reward is supremely flat, ultraflaky pastry if absolutely nothing goes wrong, you're in the tent! That stuff needs a pastry marble, a full day to chill, and the fastest hands in the world to come close to being right. Honestly once I heard what she was planning I knew it was goodbye. Her flavors, mango and mojito, sounded icksome to me as a combo. Then the mango curd was gritty...happens with underpuréed mango...and her "decoration" was a mango rose in a misshapen white-chocolate cup that she made too thick, sitting atop a top pastry layer dusted with icing sugar. Not up to standard for patisserie week, even without it being predictably behind time and misshapen. To be fair, the judges liked the flavors and her pastry was gorgeously flaky, just not smooth, flat, and beautifully squared off.

Dan made financiers from GAWD! Matcha, pistachio, and pink-peppercorn sponge topped with yuzu gelée and tonka-bean whipped cream for one, and orange and vanilla topped with macerated peaches and raspberries for the other. The latter won him a handshake from Paul, and the judges liked both of them very much. Impressive because Paul, like me, hates matcha (nasty stuff, like lawn clippings with a soupçon of dirt added). His technical was absolutely abysmal, and as a result he came next to last. His pastry was underbaked, his frangipane underflavored, his decorative spiral looked like it was done while he was chemically impaired. Last place earned, had Tasha not imploded. The showstopper was shaped like an electric guitar and flavored like tiramisu with coffee and chocolate créme diplomat and amaretto mousse piped between full-puff layers. He decided to use a blue mirror glaze on the top, which was (of course) a failure since puff pastry isn't smooth enough to make that a good bet. It was gloopy, looked like hell, and added nothing to a fun presentation that otherwisw tasted fine and flaked well enough to guarantee him a deserved slot in the final.

Josh...well. Everything went his way, he planned and executed beautifully, he earned top marks on each bake and was star baker. Prue even said of his showstopper, "I want to clap, it's so perfect." You can watch him and his Nan fetish go all the way because nothing went wrong. It's his crown to lose. This time being all men, and all double star-baker winners, is as evenly matched as any I've ever seen in fourteen years. But Josh is so extremely good at finishing touches and at presentation, it seems to me that, barring one of the others having the weekend of his life, it's going to be his win.

On to the final!

Nov 24, 1:17 pm

>133 SandyAMcPherson: Where I am a "toque" looks like a fez made of fur. Funny how we're so close geographically and culturally so disparate.


Nov 24, 1:18 pm

>134 LizzieD: Dull and normal *aaahhh* I do love a dull, normal day. *smooch* for a very welcome visit.

Editado: Nov 24, 2:49 pm

For me, a tuque, or toque, is a warm winter hat, usually knit, with or without a big pompom on top. I have always thought of it as a uniquely Canadian word, specifically from Quebec. I had no idea the word was even used outside of Canada. But then, I never wear hats of any kind so I am probably just out of the loop

Nov 24, 3:04 pm

>138 jessibud2: This is fascinating! Maybe more unusually than us and the Brits (given geographic proximity), us and the Canadians are divided by a common language.

Nov 24, 3:22 pm

I just tend to call it a woolly hat, or a beanie if it's more close and slightly less woolly.

Nov 24, 4:43 pm

>127 richardderus: I thought you were having grilled cheese?

I received a couple of books that you recommended in this week. Not sure when I will get around to reading them though, lol.

((Hugs)) and **smooches**

Nov 24, 5:44 pm

>140 SandDune: "Hat" always works, doesn't it, Rhian.

Nov 24, 5:46 pm

>141 alcottacre: That was lunch, not dinner...that was the standard stuff, so I requested a salad. I have my own dressing and olives, it was okay....


Nov 24, 6:40 pm

>143 richardderus: The salad sounds much better than whatever they others were eating anyway! I am glad you had your own way of fixing it up. I love olives, lol.

Nov 24, 8:55 pm

My DIL would agree with you that white turkey meat is not worth much. She also prefers the dark meat. I had to look up yarmulke. I was not sure if that was prayer scarf or what. I do see people around here wearing what I would call " a skull cap" . Learned a new word today, thanks RD. Interesting that Shelley would spell toque " tuque" as well.

As for my current read , The Creak on the Stairs, I have just about 30 pages to go this evening. I would say, yes, I think you will enjoy. I'm quite confident. I'm loving it.

Nov 25, 5:00 am

>126 richardderus: We do have some like your lot, Richard dear, but only a few parliament seats for them.
Most reactionary is a small far right christian party, with two or three seats for decades. And two new ones, one says he wants to go back to the times before the 'Age of Enlightenment', pretty regressive I think...

Nov 25, 7:41 am

>145 vancouverdeb: Oh no! I'm sure I misread meant to say I'd hate it, I'm quite sure, because I'd have to buy a copy and you're aware of how thinly stretched my "resources" are. There, confusion and poverty averted.

Your DiL sounds like a lady of refined taste and sound practical intelligence.

The hat's name and the spelling of same is just such a strange, garbled mess, it's a perfect example of how hard human communication really is. We all have different pictures attached to that word, and different words attached to the simple as a hat! Other stuff is even tougher to get consensus on...the wonder is we ever get anything agreed on in "consensus reality."

Nov 25, 7:43 am

>146 FAMeulstee: before the 'Age of Enlightenment'
...but that's IMPOSSIBLE! It can not be done! Restore the Divine Right of Kings? Bring back the dear old corvée system of taxation? The man's an idiot!

Nov 25, 8:16 am

>148 richardderus: Well, at least he wouldn't have a seat in parliament back there!
(although we Dutch would have our Republic back...)

Agreed, these are impossible, even unthinkable thoughts of an idiot.

Nov 25, 9:03 am

>149 FAMeulstee: I can but roll my eyes at them all.

Nov 25, 10:54 am

>121 FAMeulstee: I hope that you mean that they are against Islamists and not Islamic but most people are now unable to tell the difference unfortunately, Anita and all muslims are going to become tainted as zealots and terrorists in Europe if we are not more careful.

Nov 25, 10:56 am

By the way, RD, you have passed 5,000 posts on your 2023 threads today dear fellow. Quite an achievement considering you, erm, missed a scary chunk of it.

Nov 25, 11:07 am

>151 PaulCranswick: Such a subtle distinction isn't likely to be made by the kind of people who hate based on fantasies.

>152 PaulCranswick: Wow! That *is* a surprise since, as you say, I missed a lot of the year. Good gravy.

Nov 25, 11:12 am

‘Morning, RDear! Happy Saturday to you.

>111 richardderus: Bart Ehrman is a professor up the road at UNC Chapel Hill, of course, and the Friends of the Library probably get more of his books in donations than we might otherwise. I take advantage at sales and by snagging them during book sort and paying for them at the next sale.

Ehrman went from Episcopalian to born-again evangelical to liberal Christian to agnostic atheist after “struggling with the philosophical problems of evil and suffering.” according to Wikipedia.

Heh. I just took a selfie of me w/scarf and beanie, not toque/tuque and posted it on my thread.

>130 richardderus: I like dark meat and that’s why I always make a whole turkey. I’m the only one who ever wants dark meat in our family except for one cousin we rarely get to see at Thanksgiving, but I’m selfish that way.

*smooch* from your own Horrible

Nov 25, 12:08 pm

>154 karenmarie: Astonishing how well that tuque held its color after all this time...looks lovely on you, of course.

Ehrman's approach to religion is, like his journey, what mine would've been absent the gay-intolerant abuses of the religious nuts I knew. I was always, always going to end up an atheist but it would've taken longer.

Considering the hugeness of modern turkeys, I don't think anyone suffers from dearth in your cooking of a whole bird. An alternate-history story series I liked a lot had caucasians moving across the Pacific instead of the Denisovan/Siberian folk who did in our timeline. They didn't bring domestic fowl because they wouldn't've had them yet when that migration began. They domesticated turkeys instead, and the hero was very surprised when he ate his first scrambled egg....

Editado: Nov 25, 12:31 pm

>151 PaulCranswick: I am afaid not, Paul, they would like the Koran forbidden, same for headscarfs, and all muslims to leave the country. And yes, that would include you, if you lived here :'(
But that part would be put aside (they say) for a chance to get into the government.

Nov 25, 12:31 pm

>156 FAMeulstee: Put aside for how long, and to what extent? That's the problem with hate politics, there's no reason to trust the haters will not act out their hatred at the very first opportunity.

Editado: Nov 25, 12:33 pm

>157 richardderus: No clue on that, Richard dear, I don't trust them either. They give me an eerie Germany in the 1930s feel...

Nov 25, 12:58 pm

>158 FAMeulstee: Exactly that. Unnerving to those who read, and understood, history.

Nov 25, 1:01 pm

Happy weekend, Richard! Though for us, every day is a weekend, eh? Delurking to push into your conversation with Anita.

>146 FAMeulstee: That idiot only wants to go back to before the Enlightenment because he imagines he would be one of the aristos and live like a king. If he were like the majority of people back then, i.e. peasants, it wouldn’t be fun at all. Honestly, he’s fantasizing and needs to read more history, and not of the historical fiction variety.

>154 karenmarie: Coming over to your thread to see.

Nov 25, 1:21 pm

>160 Storeetllr: A little more complicated than that, Mary, as in that time we had the Dutch Republic, where aristo's didn't have that much to say. The rich traders (and some ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church) ruled the country, that was almost as much polarised as it is now.
Indeed, still in the majority were the poor workers, and small farmers, who didn't have much to say.

And indeed, he is an idiot.

Nov 25, 1:29 pm

>125 vancouverdeb: To me a beanie is more or less symmetrical (round), and not large enough to cover the ears. Extra points if it has something in the center. It should also be made of materials not optimized for warmth. It also shouldn't have a significant brim, which would make it a sunhat. A skullcap is similar but smaller, and generally minus any center decoration.

A toque is designed to keep your head warm, including your ears. Like a beanie, it's radially symmetrical, and should have something noticeable in the center.

These definitions come from Montreal in the 1960s or so, though beanies pretty much didn't exist locally.

>154 karenmarie: It's hard to believe in a _good_ deity that's also omnipotent, given the human condition, or for that matter the condition of all life. Every terrible thing that happens is necessarily "god's will". There's only so much rationalization one can do, either that anything else possible would be worse, or that all this misery serves a greater good - particularly if that greater good is supposed to be good for everyone, including the sufferers.

>155 richardderus: My religious journey was shaped by radical parents, with an anti-Church father and a mother in her atheist phase during my childhood. It was also shaped by grandparents who took me to Anglican services whenever I stayed at their house over a weekend.

If I hadn't had "religious experiences", I'd have stayed the atheist I was raised to be, in spite of finding some of the details fascinating. As it was, my experiences turned me into a seeker, and my feminism ruled out just about all the choices on offer. (If your god requires that clergy be male, as e.g. better resembling deity, then to me it's obvious you should have no female members of your sect. Ditto if the sect has rules for females which are onerous and don't apply to males, with a possible exception for rules dealing with biology - menstrual taboos, post-childbirth rituals, etc.)

Net result: I'm something of a theologian, find polytheism more plausible than monotheism, but mostly get read as a dyed-in-the-wool atheist. (I can't possibly be serious about the polytheism, from the POV of most monotheists, so I *must* be affecting it in a spirit of parody....)

If I have to label myself, I'm a polytheist agnostic, who sometimes practices the "hard polytheistic" sub-branch of the heathen branch of neo-paganism. When it comes to the mono-gods, I'm a hard atheist, except emotionally - how can one hate something one truly doesn't believe to exist? No matter what the worshippers say, their imaginary friend is imaginary, and so cannot possibly have committed the evils they attribute to Him, nor demanded that they commit additional evils in His name.

Nov 25, 1:43 pm

>161 FAMeulstee: Sorry, I meant wealthy, not necessarily nobility. And it’s not only the lack of a say in governance, it was also the filthy living conditions and backbreaking work most had to endure 24/7. Although things might have been better in the Netherlands back then, it still would be offputting to most modern first world citizens of any country.

Nov 25, 2:45 pm

>163 Storeetllr: You are right, Mary.
Only slightly better/different here, traders are a larger, more differentiated group.
But no serfdom, or required days to work for an owner.

And I think he was just boasting when he said wanting to go back there.

Nov 25, 2:45 pm

((Hugs)) and **smooches** for today, RD.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Nov 25, 5:18 pm

>158 FAMeulstee: That is ominous for the future of your wonderful country, Anita.

Would be quite ironic if I was shown the door, Anita, given my passionate dislike of organized religion, fundamentalism of all kinds and my views as a self-created Social Libertarian.

Nov 25, 5:36 pm

>162 ArlieS: "Polytheist(ic) agnostic" sounds a lot like the only religion I don't disparage: Shinto. Feminists as a group ought to be the most atheistic part of the population, given religion's attitude towards women in such huge swaths of its varying expressions. Likewise LGBTQIA2S+ people, for the same reasons. I do not know of a religion with an historical record of supporting the right of my personal minority-membership group to exist, still less be full participants in their fantasy fandom.

Nov 25, 5:37 pm

>164 FAMeulstee:, >163 Storeetllr: Political professionals never seem to identify with the lower orders for very long, or very consistently.

Nov 25, 5:37 pm

>165 alcottacre: *smoochiesmoochsmooch* The same wishes heartily returned.

Nov 25, 5:40 pm

>166 PaulCranswick: The problem with membership in a religion is that you, as a member, are liable for all the beliefs and behaviors publicly espoused by that religion's mainstream, its minority opinions, its historical track record, all of it. There's no cherry-picking. If you don't agree with all of them, don't identify as one of them or you are them.

Nov 25, 11:01 pm

>129 richardderus: Today was our Leftovers Day, as yesterday was the home-cooking Thanksgiving, and yes, our dagwoods are bulging! *smooch*

>168 richardderus: So then why do the Trump cultists, most of whom are among the lower orders, continue to be mesmerized by him? That's one of the things about his continued popularity that has me most bumfuzzled.

Nov 26, 7:31 am

>171 atozgrl: I'm glad, if a tiny bit envious, that y'all had good ol' bulging dagwoods, Irene. Someday maybe you will feel adventurous and try my leftovers day favorite: buttered corn tortilla, dressing, and cranberry sauce with a scrambled egg. I know it's weird. It's also yummy.

Why doe 45 have cultists? That's where I completely lose the thread. He's repulsive, sleazy, and a complete sociopath. What makes that a good thing to anyone?

Nov 26, 7:44 am

105 THE WORLDS OF DUNE: The Places and Cultures that Inspired Frank Herbert by Tom Huddleston

Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: Some writers build worlds. Others birth entire universes.

In the decades since its publication, Frank Herbert’s Dune has become arguably the best-selling and certainly the best-known science fiction novel ever written. So how did an ex-Navy newspaperman from Washington State come to write such a world-conquering novel? And how was he able to pack it with so many layers of myth and meaning?

Herbert’s boundless imagination was sparked by a dizzying array of ideas, from classical history to cutting-edge science, from environmentalism to Zen philosophy, and from Arabic texts to Shakespeare’s tragedies.

Beginning on Arrakis and going planet by planet, The Worlds of Dune offers a supremely deep dive into Herbert's universe—detailing along the way the many diverse strands that he wove into his epic creation to offer a visually rich accompaniment to this sci-fi legend.


My Review
: Glorious illustrated companion to the Duneiverse was published in October 2023 to coincide with the pre-WGA/SAG strikes release of Dune Part Two. Now scheduled for release on 1 March 2024 in the US (per IMDb), the companion film to 2021's gorgeous Dune means we can finally show the marketing case for a beautiful, informative arty book about how Frank Herbert came up with the ideas, and examined the cultures, that he based his utterly engrossing work on.

Take a gander at this table of contents...the in-book design's beautiful to my eye, the clarity of information presentation is usable, and the synopsis is amply supported by the part and chapter titles:

  • Chapter One Desert Planet

  • Chapter Two The Fremen

  • Chapter Three The Spice

  • Part Two: CALADAN
  • Chapter Four House Atreides

  • Chapter Five Paul Muad'dib

  • Chapter Six Lady Jessica and the Bene Gesserit

  • Part Three: GIEDI PRIME
  • Chapter Seven House Harkonnen

  • Chapter Eight Piter De Vries and the Mentats

  • Chapter Nine The CHOAM Corporation

  • Part Four: KAITAN
  • Chapter Ten House Corrino and the Padishah Emperor

  • Chapter Eleven The Landsraad

  • Chapter Twelve The Spacing Guild

  • An introduction to Herbert's life whizzes along in just over ten pages, and there are the usual things in the back matter: An Epilogue, notes, credits, sources, etc.

    This is not a long book, nor is it a scholarly evaluation of Dune in all its genre glory. This is a book for the aficionado of the world of to have for their display and their aesthetic pleasure. It will not elucidate matters of great debate within the Duneiverse, nor will it enlighten most long-time fans about most matters around the creation of the Duneiverse in print or on screens. The point of it is to make the reality of the great work beautiful and ready to seduce the eyes:

    A gift to give that shows you listened, a gift to yourself if you're a genre fan, a beautiful object to have and enjoy.

    Nov 26, 10:16 am

    ‘Morning, RDear. Happy Sunday to you.

    >155 richardderus: hugeness of modern turkeys. Yup.

    >173 richardderus: Excellent review, and I'm almost tempted to get it for Jenna for Christmas. I read Dune a very long time ago and loved it, but never continued reading the series.


    Nov 26, 10:17 am

    106 THE SPICE MUST FLOW: The Story of Dune, from Cult Novels to Visionary Sci-Fi Movies by Ryan Britt

    Rating: 4* of five

    The Publisher Says: Geek-culture expert Ryan Britt takes us behind the pages and scenes of the science-fiction phenomenon Dune, charting the series' life from cult sci-fi novels to some of the most visionary movies of all time.

    Using original, deep-access reporting, extensive research, and insightful commentary, The Spice Must Flow brings the true popularity of Dune out into the light for the very first time. With original interviews with the beloved actors and directors behind the films—including Timothée Chalamet, Kyle Maclachlan, Denis Villeneuve, Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Newman, and many more—The Spice Must Flow also examines the far-reaching influence of Dune on art, music, politics, and, most notably, its status as the first ecological science-fiction story specifically concerned with climate change.

    Britt skillfully and entertainingly guides readers through the history of how the Dune universe has unfolded, including the novel’s unlikely evolution from a failed piece of journalism about Oregon sand dunes into an epic science-fiction story, the way Herbert’s work inspired George Lucas, untold stories from the 1984 David Lynch film, the knife-edge balance between blockbuster hit and indie film Timothée Chalamet brings to the 2021 movie, and the exciting future of the franchise. Through a blend of narrative, oral history elements, and fascinating trivia, The Spice Must Flow is the new essential guide to the behind-the-scenes story of Dune. The fiction of Dune is deadly serious, but the real-life story of how it came into existence is full of wonder, surprises, and spice.


    My Review
    : What I said the book above wasn't this book is. It's by archgeek Ryan Britt of Luke Skywalker Can't Read: And Other Geeky Truths fame, so he's got the chops and knows both the beat and the drill. Plume's published three of his books now, so clearly he commands the geek-culture street cred to make it profitable. Plus he's got a witty way with words that makes his deep familiarity with the subject less...creepy, more fun and funny.

    This fictional universe has a lot of hot-button topics in it: Religion, climate change, religion, anti-technological bias, religion, and sheer unsurpassed-in-SF canon-guarding/gatekeeping/incel-friendly detail. Britt doesn't exactly dwell on the toxic parts of the fandom but neither does he ignore them. There are lots of worldbuilding details that he discusses and there are lots of ideas pinned under them, set in stories that are brimful of unapologetically partisan points of view. This is guaranteed to make some people go into full-on rages when their preferred interpretation of some detail is argued against.

    This makes me sad, and reminds me of Kit Connor (of Heartstopper fame) feeling forced to reveal his private sexuality to stop muttered accusations of queerbaiting. As he said at the time this was occurring:
    "I'm bi. Congrats for forcing an 18-year-old to out himself. I think some of you missed the point of the show. Bye."
    (emphasis added to point up the disconnect between messages in the original and fannish gatekeeping)
    That's the downside of passionate fandom. Anyone who has been in the Geek Culture world for more than A Minute has seen/been caught up in a pile-on when someone dares to be/say/assert an opinion or a take or even present a closely-reasoned analysis of that fandom's shared object that somehow rubs (some of) the fans the wrong way.

    Quite a lot of people, myself included, stay away from fandoms for this reason. This book is a gentle, explanatory rebuke of our skittishness in the form of a reasonable geek-culture maven's informed, excited (almost besotted) explainer of just why this fandom came to be. Also a gentle chiding of the obsessive gatekeeping by some groups of fans. The book makes the point that Frank Herbert, and his son Brian after him, have created and are curating an immense, expansive Duneiverse of fiction, films, comics, and cosplay that contains literal multitudes. There is such astonishingly varied information in this fiction! Letting new players into the sandbox is Author Britt's aim in much of what he's doing...yet he never loses sight of the established fan's desire to see the whole Duneiverse from a wide-angled least as far as the 2021 film...the 2024 one was filming as he wrote, so details and gossip were all embargoed.

    I need to be reminded from time to time that fandom can be fun, and fascinating, and an all-around good experience. I hope this book will do the same for you, as a gift to yourself, and your other giftees

    Nov 26, 10:23 am

    >174 karenmarie: Happy Sunday, Horrible. I don't at all recommend you read any more of the Dune saga. The writing was never the point, but it gets incredibly wearing to read clunk after clank upon plonk after a while. Maybe Jenna would like >175 richardderus: better?


    Nov 26, 10:56 am

    >172 richardderus: - Why does 45 have cultists? That's where I completely lose the thread. He's repulsive, sleazy, and a complete sociopath. What makes that a good thing to anyone?

    The only answer to that question, other than the obvious *I can't fathom*, is that he legitimizes, normalizes and validates scum of the earth behaviour for all those of that ilk and other such low life. What I will never understand is the so-called *intelligent* humans who drink that kool aid. Surely not ALL members of the republican party can be that ignorant and disgusting. I would never fall into the cesspool of that party, if I were American, but I do know that there are members of that party who have some values and some, if only a tad, intelligence. Yet still they support him, are afraid to call him out or turn their backs on him. Do they truly not see or understand that he will never be *good* for them or anyone because he cares for no one but himself? That by supporting him, they are creating a future for themselves that they will never truly benefit from. It's terrifying to witness, even from this distance.

    Nov 26, 12:28 pm

    >177 jessibud2: I've spent my entire adulthood defining myself by being "not Republican" yet I could still see that their wrongheadedness had within it some granules of common sense. Once. That time, to my sorrow has gone. I wanted to get the Greens off the ground back in the 80s...nothing with the word "socialist" in it will fly in the US...banking on environmentalism to get the social programs I wanted, and worked for, and voted based on, into law.

    Forty years on, the kids are about ready for it. *sigh* Like being an abolitionist in the 1790s. (Of course, now I've moved on to being an abolitionist when that's even unpopular among the kids. Still forty years in front, me.)

    Nov 26, 4:14 pm

    >177 jessibud2: It may be useful to think about the various ways humans commonly misperceive and misunderstand their experiences.

    That tends to explain a lot of counter-factual beliefs.

    Add a few virtues, like loyalty (to a group), presumption of good intent, etc. and you get a lot of people believing and doing self-destructive things.

    Fortunately humans also come complete with extra circuitry for detecting cheating, as otherwise abusing other people's perceptual distortions and virtues would be even more of a winning strategy than it currently is.

    And since this is LibraryThing, there's clearly a need for book references. My collection contains 6 books I've tagged with "human perceptual distortions". It probably contains others I've simply omitted to tag.

    Daniel Kahneman Thinking, Fast and Slow
    Hans Rosling Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World -- and Why Things are Better Than You Think
    Dean Buonomano Brain Bugs: How the Brain's Flaws Shape Our Lives
    Barry Schwartz The Paradox of Choice: why more is less
    (social scientist)Keith Payne The broken ladder: how inequality affects the way we think, live, and die
    Steven Pinker Rationality: what it is, why is seems scarce, why it matters

    Nov 26, 6:35 pm

    >176 richardderus: I read Dune way back when and remember very little of it. I did see the 2021 movie. I was just thinking I should go back and re-read it, as well as pick up the sequels, but from what you say, maybe the sequels aren't worth it? You certainly made The Worlds of Dune sound enticing!

    Nov 26, 6:39 pm

    As I predicted, Prophet Song won the Booker this evening.

    Nov 26, 6:39 pm

    >179 ArlieS: Great list, Arlie!

    Nov 26, 6:44 pm

    >180 atozgrl: The book series is pretty much the Superfan effort. If you aren't superultra in love with the story telling, maybe use the library?

    I hope you get The Worlds of Dune before the new film hits. So much good stuff to add to the pleasure.

    Nov 26, 7:59 pm

    >155 richardderus: What series is that? It sounds interesting.

    Nov 26, 9:36 pm

    >184 SilverWolf28: H. Beam Piper's Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen as finished by John Carr

    Editado: Nov 26, 11:10 pm

    >183 richardderus: Trying the library is a good suggestion. I don't need to keep buying too many books! The question always is, do they have everything in the series? I'll have to check.

    OK then, onto the Wishlist with The Worlds of Dune. One more added to the ever expanding TBR list.

    Nov 27, 8:16 am

    Happy newish thread Richard!

    Editado: Nov 27, 8:20 am

    107 Dolly Parton: 100 Remarkable Moments in an Extraordinary Life by Tracey Laird

    Rating: 5* of five

    The Publisher Says: Dolly Parton: 100 Remarkable Moments in an Extraordinary Life is a beautifully illustrated celebration of a timeless icon who has shaped what it means to be a superstar.

    Explore 100 remarkable moments in the extraordinary life of Dolly Parton with this illustrated retrospective of her most amazing achievements.

    Everyone’s favorite country music star and American icon, Dolly Parton, has accomplished incredible things in her life, from releasing the hit “I Will Always Love You” to creating a nonprofit for children. This beautiful volume will take you on a journey through Dolly’s life. Look back on her star roles, hit songs, and philanthropic aspirations, all accompanied by photos from throughout the years.

    Some of the notable moments you will find include:

  • At 13 years old, Dolly graced the stage at The Grand Ole Opry, easily the most prestigious country venue in Nashville
  • Dolly’s start in show business: Dolly launched her first country album, Hello, I’m Dolly, in 1967

  • Dolly’s rise to superstardom: her famous song “I Will Always Love you” hits the country music charts

  • Classic movie moments from 9 to 5 to The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas to Steel Magnolias

  • The creation of her incredibly popular resort and theme park, Dollywood

  • Dolly’s philanthropy efforts and her $1 million donation for COVID vaccine research

  • And so much more!

    Dolly Parton: 100 Remarkable Moments in an Extraordinary Life is a stunning tribute to your favorite all-American icon.

    Each book in the 100 Remarkable Moments series is a stunning tribute to a different pop culture icon, visually chronicling 100 extraordinary events that define their legacy. Interviews with friends and colleagues, and over 100 magnificent photographs, combine to create an illustrated retrospective of achievements and contributions readers of all ages will enjoy.


    My Review
    : If you hate her music...think she's a crap actress...believe COVID vaccines are a should still revere Miss Dolly. She created The Imagination Library, distributing books free to its 2.8 million (and counting) registered children in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Ireland...with intentions to expand to even more countries.

    I, for the record, think she never got the credit she deserved as an actress, love her music, am grateful as hell for the COVID vaccines I've gotten that she helped fund, and think the Imagination Library is the crowning achievement of a long lifetime of making a positive difference in the world.

    Think that's just hot air? I am far from the only person to think very, very highly of Miss Dolly, and the interviews collected by Editor Tracey Laird (a professor of music at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia; the author or editor of four books, and has contributed a chapter on “Country Music and Television” to the collection The Oxford Handbook of Country Music) come from every moment of the past sixty years Miss Dolly's been in the public eye.

    This is definitely an illustrated gift book, make no mistake; but it is also a wonderful, involving overview of the life and times of an American icon. The casual country-music fan, the Dolly superfan, and the serious reader of lives of businesswomen (though this is vastly less thorough on that subject than UNLIKELY ANGEL: The Songs of Dolly Parton (q.v.) will all find a lot to enjoy in this book. If I hadn't already read this book, I'd be asking for it for Yule this year.

    A sample illustration for you.

    Nov 27, 8:41 am

    >186 atozgrl: ::nail-buff:: My aim is true, he boasted smugly.

    I seriously doubt your library will have all ~27 of the books, but the first three will almost certainly be there as they are the famous ones. Enjoy the exploration!

    Nov 27, 8:42 am

    >187 humouress: Thank you, Nina! I am, as always, happy to see you here.

    Nov 27, 9:18 am

    108 The Who & Quadrophenia by Martin Popoff

    Rating: 5* of five

    The Publisher Says: The Who & Quadrophenia offers a generously illustrated deep dive into all aspects of one of the most popular rock albums of all time. Take a deep dive into one of the best-selling albums ever on the 50th anniversary of its release with this beautifully produced and authoritatively written slipcased edition.

    Veteran rock critic Martin Popoff leaves no stone unturned in taking apart The Who’s generation-spanning masterpiece, Quadrophenia, while exploring each of the album’s 17 tracks and their themes of identity, anxiety, and mental health. Chapters cover:

  • The state of The Who as of 1973, including their role in Mod culture
  • The recording sessions at famed Olympic Studios and the band’s own Battersea location, including techniques used
  • Song-by-song studies of each album side, including analyses of lyrics and the guitars, drums, keyboards, and synthesizers employed by members Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon
  • The 1979 motion picture based on the album’s song cycle
  • The continent-hopping tours that supported the album
  • The rock group’s trajectory post-Quadrophenia, including notable albums and tours

  • Popoff also takes you on side journeys examining each band member, mod vs. rocker culture, the album’s famous graphic design, manager/producers Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert, Quadrophenia collectibles, and more.

    There’s even a brief discography and complete LP tour dates.

    Presented in a 10" × 10" slipcased book, The Who & Quadrophenia is illustrated with stunning performance and candid off-stage photography as well as rare memorabilia.

    The result is a richly presented celebration and your ultimate tribute to the rock opera masterpiece.


    My Review
    : They're rising 80, Daltrey and Townshend, and yet The Who are still touring. People are still buying the album discussed here FIFTY YEARS LATER.

    Getting old is as simple as just not dying, but nothing can prepare you for the weirdness of your youth being History to most of the world's population. My parents remembered the 1930s vividly and felt that the Second World War was a recent event my whole life. To me, of course, they were History. I knew somewhere in my logic circuits that, if I just didn't die (not a sure thing as a gay man in the early 1980s) it would happen to me, too.

    But one of my most coveted albums, one I begged for all during 1973 (didn't get it), is now historically important enough to warrant an expensive, lavishly produced, slipcased hardcover book. That feels...weird, unsettling, a little shocking. Millions upon millions of us Boomers are left in the world sitting atop a vast pile of pilf to plonk down for gift items like this. We can afford, most of us, to give it to ourselves as well as to other old people.

    Old People! Books about ROCK MUSIC for Old People!

    The book itself is on-brand for Author Popoff, he of Rush: The Illustrated History and Queen: Album by Album and Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers: The Rise of Motörhead among others. He does an admirable job of delving into the songs, the ideas in, the people behind, and the legacy of this astoundingly influential and important album, treating it with the historian/fan's eye that it as a concept and as an item can easily support. The photographic documentation of the Who began before this album was released, but it definitely makrked a sea change in the intensity and the completeness of that documentation.

    The table of contents, as you see above, is a beautiful design. It's also demonstrating Author Popoff's characteristic completeness of view. His analyses, and takes on the events of the day, his credibility as a rock writer with publication credits in the likes of Revolver, Guitar World, Goldmine, and Record Collector assures the fussy reader of an informed, well-presented opinion. Let me end with a page spread, which (let's be honest when it's just us here) is the real reason you'll buy the book whether for yourself or someone you really, really want to spoil:

    Nov 27, 10:31 am

    ‘Morning, RDear! Happy Monday to you.

    >176 richardderus: - >173 richardderus: or >175 richardderus:.

    >177 jessibud2: and >178 richardderus: Friend Karen in Montana assures me that the Gang of Psychos US Senator and his wife, who live ‘next door’ – i.e., live a mile down the road – are good neighbors, meaning that they all help one another when needed, but Karen quails at how awful Daines is politically. I don't see how he can look at himself in the mirror. He is power hungry and ambitious. Not a good look, especially for someone who says he’s Christian.

    >184 SilverWolf28: and >185 richardderus: Should have asked, but didn’t, but realistically, I won’t ever search it out.

    >188 richardderus: I loved Parton in Steel Magnolias and 9 to 5. She’s a good actress and a genuinely good woman whose generosity is from the heart.


    Nov 27, 10:34 am

    Nov 27, 10:43 am

    >192 karenmarie: New-Sunday orisons, Horrible. Is Jenna a serious-dive-level fan of Dune? That's what >175 richardderus: is offering. Really getting into the machinations and social stuff.

    Being in the GOP and being A Christian are equivalents in awfulness to me.

    Miss Dolly's amazing. It is less and less about what she *does* for me, more and more about who she *is* that impresses me.

    I don't think you would like the Kalvan books, TBH. They are very high-context reads and never on sale or free-to-read because he knows he has the audience power to do that.


    Nov 27, 12:25 pm

    >173 richardderus: I am definitely not an " aficionado of the world." I thought Dune was boring and never went beyond the first book, so I am giving that one a pass. Thanks for the review in any case, RD.

    >175 richardderus: Passing on that one too.

    >181 richardderus: I was extremely happy about that!

    >188 richardderus: Adding that one to the BlackHole! Although I am not a country music fan, I am a fan of Dolly Parton (as a person). Thanks for bringing the book to my attention, RD!

    >191 richardderus: I think that one would probably go over my head completely. I know pretty much nothing about popular music - all of Paul's suggestions go over my head too.

    ((Hugs)) and **smooches** for today, RD!

    Nov 27, 12:27 pm

    "I, for the record, think she never got the credit she deserved as an actress, love her music, am grateful as hell for the COVID vaccines I've gotten that she helped fund, and think the Imagination Library is the crowning achievement of a long lifetime of making a positive difference in the world." - right you are Richard!! I'm not a big country-western fan but there is so much quality behind her facade that I just love her

    Nov 27, 2:05 pm

    >195 alcottacre: I think you will really take to the Dolly book, Stasia. She is the kind of person we all love to hear about, and her life story really reads like a movie plot.

    You are wise to pass on the Dune books as they'd be wasted eyeblinks...nothing to offer you except some insights into a geek culture I think you'd find tedious. The almost-80-year-old men in The Who would LOVE you for calling their music "popular"!


    Nov 27, 2:12 pm

    109 In the Groove: The Vinyl Record and Turntable Revolution by Various Authors (listed below)

    Rating: 5* of five

    The Publisher Says: Celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first commercial LP with this authoritative, highly illustrated, and multi-faceted look at the history and culture of vinyl record collecting and turntables.

    Vinyl records continue to be hot commodities among everyone from obsessive audiophiles to newbie collectors getting their toes wet. In the Groove: The Vinyl Record and Turntable Revolution is the book for both—and everyone in between. Published to mark the 75th year since the introduction of the commercial LP, In the Groove is written by a roster of well-known music journalists, vinyl junkies, and stereophiles teaming up to present a gorgeous tribute to the vinyl LP and the culture it has spawned:

    Richie Unterberger explores the history of the 33 1/3 LP, including its predecessor, the 78rpm record, the first commercial LPs, the pressing process, stereo vs. mono, and formats like the 7-inch/45rpm record.

    Gillian Gaar tackles those temples to the turntable: record stores. Inside, she examines the history of LP merchandising everywhere from department stores to headshops, Record Store Day, the artist in-store appearance, and swap meets and record shows.

    Martin Popoff pens a paean to the physical object itself, discussing the advent of the sleeve, the great LP covers, famous sleeve designers, liner notes and packaging, colored vinyl, and more.

    Matt Anniss looks at the collecting hobby and topics like obsessive collectors, what makes a great listening space, playing and caring for vinyl, collecting and vinyl in DJ and hip-hop cultures, and the mixtape phenomenon.

    Ken Micallef, a top hifi journalist, has the gearheads covered with explanations of turntables from portables to audiophile-quality units, the workings and parts of a turntable from motors and tonearms to plinths and cartridges, and the components of a system.

    In the Groove is illustrated throughout with images of gear, listening spaces, record stores, sleeve art, and celebrities and musicians enjoying the vinyl hobby through the decades. Brief, entertaining sidebars cover topics like famous labels from Stax to Sub Pop, famous EPs, well-known record stores, milestone LP covers, a beginner’s guide to grading, and formats that have challenged the supremacy of the LP, including 8-track, reel-to-reel, and cassette.

    Feel the groove with this effervescent ode to vinyl.


    My Review
    : Collecting vinyl records was about listening to the recordings to me, back when they were ubiquitous, and had mass-market stores dedicated to their sale. There have always been people who collected the objects as objects but, back in the 1970s when I worked in a record store, I was even then not tempted to join their ranks.

    Foley's records looked a lot like this in 1979
    All that said, I was not the most likely person to read this book cover to cover, or drool over the photos in it. It seemed to me to be one of those love-it-or-leave-it things. I was surprised at how piercingly sweet the nostalgia for that wonderful feeling of being surrounded by things I had no idea what they were about, and having the chance to discover whole new-to-me areas of music, would be. The infrastructure of turntables, speakers, speaker wires, amplifiers, needles! many needles...came rushing back. It was a lovely, immersive experience.

    The record stores the authors discuss were mostly familiar as names to me. I loved my time in the world of vinyl because I wanted the music in my ears. The vinyl collectors will, I feel sure, be just as transported just for other reasons.

    Enjoy some lovely page spreads below.

    The collector, the older relative, the nostalgic Boomer are all likely to enjoy the read, and the look, of this book.

    Nov 27, 2:19 pm

    >196 RebaRelishesReading: I don't like country much either, Reba, with a few exceptions, and Miss Dolly's only one because I love *her* and therefore support her every way I have to do so.

    Lovely to see you! *smooch*

    Nov 27, 5:33 pm

    Out in Kansas we call knitted winter hats "stocking caps or stocking hats." It doesn't matter if it is a Beanie (which I thought was a term for a stocking hat that originated in Boston, MA), a toque (which is a term for a stocking hat that came from Canada - the Voyageurs and the knitted cap that they wore), or a bobble hat (a term that orginated in merry old England). Even Santa Claus wore a stocking hat - according to Kansans.

    When I moved to Alabama I was caught off-guard several times when people down there called a stocking hat a tobogganer. Lately, I have heard that term shortened to 'Boggener. Another name for them that I have heard more in the Northeastern U.S., and seen used in knitting pattern books is "watch cap."

    Nov 27, 8:30 pm

    >200 benitastrnad: I have never once heard the term "tobogganer" anywhere I've ever lived. Weird how many names these things have, though "watch cap" is one I haven't heard since the last time I talked to one of the really old ladies here.

    Happy to see you, Benita!
    My #Booksgiving blogfest of reviews, despite the fact that I've been working on them since JUNE, is proving to be harder to schedule than I expected. This Wednesday just became Juvenile & YA day. Then Thursday became Enviromental/Green/Nature day. Kinda flows from the young person day in my mind. Arty stuff on Friday? Maybe...I've got years worth of stuff tagged #Booksgiving, so there's no shortage of ideas to be had. Just the organizing that's harder for me now.

    Editado: Nov 27, 9:37 pm

    >201 richardderus: My husband is not a "really old lady", but he has a woolen knitted watch cap...standard issue to Coast Guardsmen in the 1970s, apparently. It hasn't fit his head since they let him grow his hair out, though.

    Charles Emerson Winchester, III (of Bahstun and Cape Cod) referred to this as his "toboggan cap".

    Nov 28, 7:42 am

    >202 laytonwoman3rd: He isn't a really old lady? Why do you kee him around then, Linda3rd?

    Come to think on it, that's a very logical explanation why the older folk around the Northeast call them watch caps. There woulda been lots more Coast Guardsmen around before the automation of lighthouses and general reduction of the military footprint in this part of the country in the 1980s.

    I probably ought to know who that guy is, but I don't, sorry.

    Nov 28, 8:29 am

    Hi RD! Happy Tuesday to you.

    >185 richardderus: First one’s $.99 for Kindle, second one’s on Kindle Unlimited or $2.99, the rest $8.49 or more. Hardcover and paperback are ridiculously expensive. I just made a note to check out our SF/fantasy section for next book sale to see if we have any that snuck through and should be up-priced.

    >198 richardderus: We have hundreds of vinyl albums upstairs, no serious sound system to listen to them on although we have a very good portable turntable we got Jenna. It’s currently upstairs in the Media Room. Sigh.

    >200 benitastrnad: I’ve also heard it called simply a toboggan.

    >202 laytonwoman3rd: and >203 richardderus: TV show M*A*S*H.


    Nov 28, 8:52 am

    >204 karenmarie: The later ones of the Kalvan series are the ones where Carr has full copyright so he keeps the prices up...he scrapes Alibris and Paperback Swap the like and requests or buys copies that are "too cheap" and resells them more to his liking. I'm glad he's had to cheapen the Kindle edition for the second one! It was $8.49 for years.

    It makes me a little sad to think of all the vinyl I've left in my wake being basically unplayable except by hobbyists. Time marches over the graves of our youths, no?

    Toboggan! In a place where one can almost never actually toboggan! (A truly terrifying experience, let me tell you.)

    M*A*S*H was one of the reasons I stopped watching TV in 1974. After the Watergate hearings I realized the "entertainment" I was getting from those shows was negligible compared to the information I needed to pack into my head in order to make sense of my world. Reading became my obsessive focus and the library my sacred space for the rest of the 1970s and into the 1990s. I inherited a TV in 1992, and discovered Star Trek: The Next Generation, so started watching again. Never much, usually just to know what the hell people were talking about...much like today.


    Nov 28, 9:36 am

    I just call them hats :-P

    Occasionally, ski hats.

    Editado: Nov 28, 10:18 am

    Hey, RD. I am back and trying to make the rounds, albeit at a snail's pace. I hope you are doing well. I see that you are reading, per usual, some interesting books. Who doesn't love Dolly Parton? An absolute American treasure. I just saw that she just surpassed the 2 million mark on donating children's books. Wow.

    The WHO book also sounds interesting, although Quadrophenia was never a favorite of mine, that belongs to Who's Next.

    When I was picking up my "kids" this AM, it was 15F. WTH? At least I am not having to trudge around in it for several hours. Whew!

    Nov 28, 10:33 am

    Good morning, Richard. I can't catch up although I tried.

    The hat's a toboggan here. I thought a beanie was the little cloth hat with the suggestion of a brim that college freshmen were forced to wear long ago.


    (I think I need to have a session with Nine to Five.)

    Nov 28, 10:36 am

    >201 richardderus: I recently (in the last few months) came across the term 'toboggan' as headwear in a book. I remember remarking in my review that it seemed strange to put a sled on your head to keep it warm. If we came across such things (they weren't the height of fashion when I was growing up) when I lived in England, I think we called them ski hats or bobble hats ... since I have no need for such things now, I can no longer remember. I've heard my Aussie cousins refer to 'beanies' but I couldn't tell you what one looks like.

    Nov 28, 11:36 am

    >208 LizzieD: "I thought a beanie was the little cloth hat with the suggestion of a brim that college freshmen were forced to wear long ago." Yes! And I still have mine.

    >203 richardderus: "Why do you keep him around then" Well, among other things, he can keep a full sound system functional so we can continue to listen to our vinyl and CD collections; he can make repairs when the little plastic elbows in the piano crack and crumble; he knows how to select all sorts of electronics, connect computers to a home network etc.; he loves my cooking; he's a financial wizard AND he's cute as the dickens. So...

    Nov 28, 11:59 am

    >198 richardderus: That one appeals to me. I still have my record collection from when I was younger. Thanks for the recommendation, RD!

    ((Hugs)) and **smooches** for today, RD

    Nov 28, 12:04 pm

    >210 laytonwoman3rd:
    I love those reasons for keeping the "really old lady" around. They sound like very good reasons to me, as I have trouble doing all of that. And making repairs on the little plastic elbows in the piano are way beyond me.

    Nov 28, 12:26 pm

    >206 katiekrug: ...and hats they are!

    I hope I will see you on juveniles day tomorrow....

    Nov 28, 1:12 pm

    >207 msf59: Lunch proved to be complicated, Mark, so I am just now getting back to my thread. I can see the bus would be less bone-chilling than the old postiemobile.

    The Dolly book is a treasure! I hope you can source a copy. Be as slow as you need to get around, after all we'll all still be here.

    Enjoy the beautiful winter day.

    Nov 28, 1:14 pm

    >208 LizzieD: 9 to 5 will give you such a chuckle! I hope it makes it onto a screen near you soon.

    That definition of a beanie is why it's used as an insult to yarmulke-wearing Jews.

    Keep on keepin' on, Peggy me lurve. *smooch*

    Nov 28, 1:18 pm

    >209 humouress: I'm guessing the Aussie beanie is the tuque/toboggan thing. I suppose I could go ask one of the Aussies I know...might do that yet, but I'd have to remember.

    No guarantees, then, but still thinking.

    Nov 28, 1:20 pm

    >210 laytonwoman3rd: I suppose, all things considered, the pros outweigh the con, then. I don't know anything about piano innards...are these things prone to breakage?

    Nov 28, 1:21 pm

    >211 alcottacre: It's really cool, Stasia, but it's also a cool $40. THINK of how many Kindlebooks on sale that would get you!


    Nov 28, 1:22 pm

    >212 benitastrnad: LOL

    Did you know pianos had little plastic elbows before today, Benita? I didn't....

    Nov 28, 1:23 pm

    >191 richardderus: As a fellow old person (TM) I second this. Aspects of "history" seem to me to have happened just yesterday; things my grandparent's recalled still seem like they are "in living memory". They were both born in 1902, so somewhat more than a century seems "recent" to me. Meanwhile, plenty of young people proudly announce "no one remembers that" for things I clearly remember. And worse, they tell just-so stories about the unremembered-by-them past, that would be have been laughed off as blatant rubbish by the people who lived through it. (A certain Canadian politician blew a lot of hot air about Canada's participation in World War I, as part of its centennial anniversary. My father's off-hand recollections of his father's comments primed me to disbelieve, and historians gave me the details. Wall to wall rubbish, but I bet the politician's version is now being taught in Canadian K12 schools...)

    >194 richardderus: There's a huge range among Christians, both in what they do and in what they believe. Some of them believe their God wants them doing things that actually seem good to me; some of them do good themselves, whether motivated by what they believe God wants or in spite of it. Sadly, of course, the loudest ones in the US rarely seem to belong in either category.

    Nov 28, 2:03 pm

    >220 ArlieS: I've corrected any number of oddball "ideas" my YGC had about space exploration. The quite appalling readiness of people in general to believe absurdities (a favorite of mine is that the Three Gorges Dam in China caused the Earth's orbit to wobble. No. Really) that have no evidence anywhere to back them up (or the historical farrago about Elagabalus having gender-reassignment surgery, though they put it in cruder terms, and surviving!) honestly just...stuns me.

    Spectra of belief are always and forever the norm in all areas of human knowledge and opinion. The fact is, you put your name to something, you own your piece of it for good and/or ill. I don't belong to the Democratic Party because I will not sign my name to their venal and corrupt dealings with billionaires. I vote for 'em, I donate money to the candidates most likely to unseat GOP idiot bastards, but joining their merry band of plutocrats? Perish forbid!

    Editado: Nov 28, 2:13 pm

    >217 richardderus:, >219 richardderus: Spinet pianos made in the 50s and 60s, like mine, have those plastic parts at the base of the hammer mechanism.

    That old plastic is prone to getting dry and brittle. When one breaks, you have a dead key. Apparently the newer stuff he uses to replace them is expected to last longer, but I doubt if it will be something I can ever attest to, since even the inferior stuff has lasted over 60 years in this particular piano.

    Nov 28, 3:53 pm

    >222 laytonwoman3rd: Sixty years, in the life of a piano, really is not that great...but as we are not pianos, it sure as heck works.

    Nov 28, 4:29 pm

    >223 richardderus: Yeah, I neither expect or desire to stick around for the next 60 years...even my daughter may not hang on to the piano that long. (She has asserted her right to inherit it, not that there was anyone else in line.)

    Nov 28, 8:00 pm

    >224 laytonwoman3rd: More a reminder that, say, selling the item would cause much disgruntlement...or she's concerned new siblings could still arise...

    Nov 28, 8:22 pm

    A picture of a picture of a young Dolly with Porter Wagner taken in Studio B, Nashville. The photo is from 1967. One of my favourite movies is 9 to 5 and her acting has a lot to do with that.

    Weighing in on the hat discussion. I know a toque as a knitted winter hat often with pom pom but I grew up in Quebec. Never heard it being called a toboggan though, that was something you placed your body on to go down hill.

    Nov 29, 4:57 am

    >188 richardderus: She's quite a gal. She even supports children's reading projects in the UK RD.

    Nov 29, 5:04 am

    Dolly Parton is beautiful now, but even more gorgeous as a young woman. I don't think I have seen a picture of her soon young, prior to this.

    Nov 29, 7:44 am

    >226 Familyhistorian: The very idea of placing a toboggan on my head makes me squirmy. It is simply not an item of headgear. It is an instrument of the induction of terror that runs on snow.

    >228 vancouverdeb:, >226 Familyhistorian: That look is so foreign to the Dolly we know now, but she, the being I admire so much, is still in that face.

    Happy Humpday, Meg!

    Nov 29, 7:45 am

    >227 Caroline_McElwee: ...and Australia, and Ireland, and Canada...I love that about her generosity. Borders? So what?

    Enjoy the day, Caro.

    Nov 29, 7:48 am

    >228 vancouverdeb: The amazing thing to me, Deb, is that she's never once lied, or tried to hide, who she was. She's always herself, and you can deal with it because it's not her problem. That's a quality I admire and attempt to emulate.

    Nov 29, 7:56 am

    110 David Atherton’s Baking Book for Kids: Delicious Recipes for Budding Bakers by David Atherton (illus. Harry Woodgate

    Rating: 5* of five

    The Publisher Says: Winner of The Great British Baking Show David Atherton delivers his eagerly anticipated next baking book, jam-packed with kid-friendly recipes for budding young bakers.

    Preheat the oven and get cracking—there are bakes to make! This third serving from Great British Baking Show winner David Atherton guides readers through a veritable feast of sweet and savory baked treats. From snacky samosas to hot cross hedgehogs, from loaves baked in flowerpots to an ombre cake (your friends will think it came from a fancy bakery), these recipes are so delicious and easy to follow, they’ll have the reader named star baker in no time!

    Featuring oven-hot tips, a review of a baker’s cupboard, an equipment list, step-by-step instructions, and delightful illustrations by award-winning illustrator Harry Woodgate, this collection of mouthwatering recipes from David Atherton will bring little bakers and their loved ones together in the kitchen again and again.


    My Review
    : I'll assume you know what GBBO is, and who 2019's brilliant winner of same is. Having written for The Guardian on healthy cuisine and eating, he's been dedicating time and energy to starting the young people of the world out on a healthful and sustainable, as well as fun, lifetime of food habits. This is his third book for young bakers and, well, as badly as it's needed it's also presented with the clarity of a professional explainer. Candlewick Press has done its part by making sure the design and the illustrations are clear, readable, easy to scan and comprehend for the target audience, and completely adorable:

    Nothing outrageous, nothing too complicated, but always challenging enough to keep the usual eight- or nine-year-old from feeling babied. Even younger bakers still won't find it impossible to succeed at these tasks. I expect a lot of us have grandkids or nephews who will groove on the chance to do a whole kitchen project by themselves! (with all the usual layers of supervision you, or their parents, know is appropriate, of course)

    Nov 29, 8:28 am

    111 Tree Spirits by Louise Wannier (illus. April Tatiana Jackson)

    Rating: 5* of five

    The Publisher Says: Tree Spirits is an interactive picture book that encourages creativity, social emotional intelligence, and seeing the world with fresh eyes. Encouraging children to develop their imagination, creativity and emotional intelligence.

    With 25 color photographs of trees, the rhyming text asks, “What do you see when you look up at this tree?” inviting a child to use their imagination. Turning the page reveals an illustrated overlay of a charming animal inspired by the lines and shapes of the tree bark. Each animal introduces a different emotion helping children to understand their own inner spirit and feelings.

    For parents and grandparents and friends and family it is a fun book to read with the children in their lives. The book includes 4 sheets of tracing paper to invite them to begin drawing what they see and ends with encouraging children to go out and look at the trees in their neighborhood and keep noticing, “What do I see?”

    LOUISE WANNIER “Safta”—“Safta” is Hebrew for grandmother and, as of this printing, she is very lucky to have five grandchildren. As an artist, Louise is fascinated by observing patterns and loves the discovery of how the camera shifts the focus and emphasis from what our eyes natively see. Beautiful illustrations by talented Graphic Artist April Tatiana Jackson.


    My Review
    : Cool little book for very, very young readers, and pre-readers with grandparental help. Accustoms kids to observing, and interpreting their observations, not just staring at things in their worlds. It's got beautiful images of trees, which is always a good thing to expose a child to; it's got drawn overlays to point up the author's intended images to be found when looking at the tree photograph...and because it's an overlay it is a separate experience from just looking at how beautiful the trees are.

    This is an absolutely delightful lap-book for your smallest family member. Start at about two or three, it seems to me.

    Enjoy the first pages of the book.

    It's beautiful, it's got a great message all our descendants need to hear, process, and internalize, and it's exactly right for Yule gifting.

    Nov 29, 8:48 am

    112 Legends of Norse Mythology: Enter a world of gods, giants, monsters and heroes by Tom Birkett (illus. Isabella Mazzanti)

    Rating: 5* of five

    The Publisher Says: Legends of Norse Mythology is a fully illustrated anthology of Norse gods, giants, monsters, and heroes retold anew.

    Featuring beautiful and otherworldly portraits of mythological characters from Isabella Mazzanti and enchanting text from Old English scholar and Norse mythology expert Dr Thomas Birkett, this collection of timeless tales is the perfect gift for lovers of Viking myths as well as readers looking for an introduction to this epic world of mystical power, battles, quests and intrigue.

    With this book, readers can take an adventure through time to a realm of ice and fire, magic and mischief. They’ll meet a cast of characters from Norse folklore and be swept up in their epic deeds and fates.

    Inside, there are more than 30 profiles of Norse figures—from gods and goddesses, to giants, elves, monsters and other mythical beings. Each profile introduces the figure, including their defining attributes and a new retelling of their story, along with sidelights of extra facts and details. Figures include familiar gods like Thor to lesser-known legends such as giant sisters Gjálp and Greip.

    A captivating visual portrayal of each figure helps crystallize these beings in readers’ imaginations. Isabella Mazzanti’s evocative artwork perfectly express the fantastic traits and powers of the mythical figures within.

    Interspersed with the profiles are summaries of four famous Norse tales and events:

  • The story of Ymir and the Nine Worlds

  • How Thor’s Hammer Was Made

  • The Mead of Poetry

  • The Tale of Ragnarök

  • A visual feast and a journey to another world this book is perfect for the whole family to explore and enjoy. From the trickster god Loki and his mischievous ways to the powerful Norns—the three women who weaved the destinies of all living beings—discover why these incredible stories are still a part of our culture today.


    My Review
    : Written by a scholar for non-scholarly readers, this is a terrific overview of the pantheon and mythos of the Norse peoples. I know I was a mythology hound starting at about six years old, and would've loved this book had it been around in the 1960s! I won't recommend that you hand it to anyone under eight, or a very mature seven-year-old, but rather read it to/with them. Norse mythology contains ideas and events that, even made age-appropriate, are permaybehaps just a bit too much for the very young. By fourth grade, they should be hardy enough to process this level of conflict without it causing issues. The illustrations are gorgeous to my eye:

    Lovely object, packed with well-told myths from a culture Westerners owe a lot to, and just right for Yule gifting to your elementary-school aged giftee.

    Nov 29, 10:34 am

    Good morning, Richard! I hope that Linda Whisper is over here soon to see your latest postings with illustrations!

    >222 laytonwoman3rd: and other places... We have a lot in common, Linda, including a husband each with his Coast Guard watch cap and our spinets with plastic joints. My parents bought my Lester spinet in 1953 after I proved that I'd practice in my first year of lessons. I bought a bunch of those replacements, but I think I've used them all..... I can't get rid of the piano, but I don't have to play it either, assuming that I were home and playing. I have a small Chickering grand that I love and adore.

    I'll simply add that "toboggan" is pronounced "TOE-boggan."

    Nov 29, 10:59 am

    ‘Morning, RDear! Happy Wednesday to you.

    >205 richardderus: Dare I admit that I do not like M*A*S*H* the TV series, but loved the book and the movie?

    >214 richardderus: postiemobile *smile*

    >221 richardderus: … a fun trip down the rabbit hole (so to speak) of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus.

    >221 richardderus: I’m a registered Democrat, join the party at one point, got tired of the literally hundreds of fund-raising emails I got from every state, county, city, and unincorporated area of the US, and cancelled my membership.

    >222 laytonwoman3rd: We have a piano, Bill’s Mama’s, here at the house, taking up wall space, frankly. None of us have a sentimental reason to keep it, and I need to consider selling it (probably no takers) or donating it to a high school or college.

    >235 LizzieD: I’m sure I heard toboggan used to describe a hat here in NC, but I don’t recall the TOE-boggan bit – I call it a tuh-BAH-gun.

    *smooch*, RD!

    Nov 29, 11:29 am

    >225 richardderus: yeah, the first half of that is the thing. She's always telling me such-and-such thing better not be purged from the house...or "ask me before you get rid of....whatever-it-is". And if she's still waiting for that little brother to show up, she's doomed to disappointment (or relief).

    Nov 29, 11:39 am

    Well, I just have to say one last word on toboggan. THIS is a toboggan:
    . Is there a Canadian kid who did not have one, as a child? Or, at the very least, zip down a hill on one (usually with a few other kids squished together), and then trudge back up the hill, pulling it behind?

    I have never heard the term toboggan hat. One thing has nothing to do with the other except that most sensible people wear toques in winter whether tobogganning or not (I will add that that does not include me. I do not wear hats. I did, as a child, though, of course because I had no say in the matter). And I have also never heard that pronunciation as Lizzie mentions in >235 LizzieD:. We always called it a T'boggan. But maybe that was just us, who knows.

    Nov 29, 12:31 pm

    >235 LizzieD: Peggy me lurve! Happy you're here!

    I don't think I even thought about spinets needing special kinds of parts to keep working before y'all brought it up. We never had one. A Baldwin baby grand in our Los Gatos house that my father sold was the only one I knew personally.

    TOEboggan. This gets weirder and weirder.

    Nov 29, 12:43 pm

    >236 karenmarie: I'm glad you enjoyed your trip down Elagabalus's rabbit hole, Horrible. Mary Beard made some commonsensical observations about him in a lecture series I watched on YouTube, which was the first time I'd ever thought at all about him and the blackening of his memory with the absurd and outrageous calumnies on him...this is the University of Edinburgh lecture series but I don't remember if this is the exact one the comment was made during. It seems likely since it's about "Murderous Games".

    Didn't like the movie of M*A*S*H. The scene where they humiliate Hot Lips made me so mad I left the theater. Never read the book, that I can recall anyway.

    Good gracious, Horrible, sell the piano! If all it's doing is sitting there, it's being abused with silence and its spirit needs freeing!


    Nov 29, 12:44 pm

    >237 laytonwoman3rd: Heh. My mother made it easy, she left everything to me, and I gave my sisters what they wanted unless I wanted it to sell for survival money.

    Nov 29, 12:47 pm

    >238 jessibud2: "Zip" is such a weak-kneed word for the unspeakably terrifying vertiginous RUSH down the hill, nothing to hang on to except the goofball who talked you into going on the damned thing in the first place, as gravity does her dead-level best to wrench you off and fling you into a tree. There's a reason Edith Wharton ended Ethan Frome the way she did.

    Nov 29, 12:58 pm

    >242 richardderus: - Well, you have a point there. We tried to avoid hills with trees anywhere along the path down. And I tried never to be in the first position, although, I am not so sure *not seeing* was better than seeing what was ahead and getting larger in view on the descent! And of course, no one wore helmets then. I don't even think they were invented back then!

    Nov 29, 1:00 pm

    >243 jessibud2: Certainly THOSE kinds of helmets were unknown in our youth. Statistically we're just flat lucky we didn't get thrown off and break anything!

    Nov 29, 1:10 pm

    >218 richardderus: Yeah, the $40 price tag gives me pause :)

    >233 richardderus: I am going to have to buy that one for my grandson, Axel. He is 3 and according to the Amazon page for the book, it is for 3-8 year olds. Thanks for that recommendation, Richard!

    ((Hugs)) and **smooches** for today!

    Nov 29, 1:46 pm


    Rating: 4* of five

    The Publisher Says: A bilingual retelling of a traditional Inuit story from the North Baffin region, and illustrated by celebrated Inuit artist Babah Kalluk.

    Aulaja must stay alone in camp with only her dog to protect her. She has heard about dangerous land spirits from her father, but she has no idea she will soon encounter one—Mahahaa the Tickler, a being from Inuit mythology who can tickle you to death.


    My Review
    : Short for a graphic novel, but far too intense for a reader under 10 to read alone so definitely not a picture book. This Inuit myth is actually quite disturbing, but does not contain violence but rather unease and menace...the last illustration I've put on the page is Mahahaa herself, in all her maleficent glory.

    The artwork is stunningly beautiful:

    I trust that last image shows you why I think it's best for this to stay out of hands younger than ten years. By fifth grade, I would expect that level of uneasiness with such a deliberately wrong-looking humanoid figure to be established as fantastical and exaggerated for effect in the reader's mind. The artwork suits the deep unease of the young girl left alone to face the possibility of confronting Bad Things.

    This is one I would, if I planned to gift it to a kid, read first and discuss with the parents. The fascinating writing system, so different from our alphabet, could be a very big draw for a fifth grade reader. I would've been enchanted by it, maybe even inspired to look into the Inuit language. It seems to me like something that challenges the juvenile reader to make a fictional context for the fear of being left alone.

    It's a worthy aim, and a wonderful story for a young person interested in other cultures to safely explore, and create, and expand their own storyverse.

    Nov 29, 2:00 pm

    >245 alcottacre: Axel is the *perfect* age for it, Stasia, and what a great message to get into his head now while there's time for it to root.

    Forty bucks ain't chicken feed...but it is so gorgeous, and informative, that it could be worth it...if someone else gifted it to you....

    Nov 29, 2:09 pm

    114 The League of Lady Poisoners: Illustrated True Stories of Dangerous Women by Lisa Perrin

    Rating: 4* of five

    The Publisher Says: A feast for the senses, this sumptuously illustrated book will introduce you to some of the most infamous women throughout world history, united by their shared taste for poison. Welcome to the League of Lady Poisoners.

    This riveting and well-researched volume by Lisa Perrin weaves together the stories of more than twenty-five accused women poisoners, exploring the circumstances and skill sets that led them to lives of crime.

    You might find yourself rooting for some of them—like Sally Bassett, who helped poison her granddaughter’s enslavers in Bermuda, or Giulia Tofana, who sold her name-brand concoction to women wanting to be rid of their abusive (or otherwise undesirable) husbands. Other stories, though—including that of Yiya Murano, one of Argentina’s most notorious swindlers and serial killers, or the terrifying Nurse Jane Toppan—may prove less palatable.

    Organized into thematic chapters based on the women’s motives, the book also includes an illustrated primer that delves into the origins and effects of common poisons throughout history, as well as a foreword by Holly Frey and Maria Trimarchi, creators and hosts of the podcast Criminalia. It is a treat for true crime fans, feminist history buffs, and any curious readers fascinated by the more macabre side of human nature.

    TRUE CRIME Women can do anything—even commit murder. This thoughtfully researched and insightful survey into the lives of the poisoners explores the toxic events that put these women in the spotlight, the deceptive methods and substances they used, and their legacies today. The League of Lady Poisoners is a thrilling deep dive for fans of true crime podcasts, docuseries, and books.

    EYE-CATCHING Illustrator and author Lisa Perrin’s beautiful and distinctive art style blends the romantic allure of these pop culture legends with the disturbing and twisted facts of their lives. The hardcover is decorated with shining foil, and the interior contains clever Victorian-inspired lettering, borders, and diagrams that complement the text. Readers and illustrated book collectors will love all the details honoring the Golden Age of Poison.

    FASCINATING, DIVERSE STORIES OF WOMEN WHO KILLED These women lived in different time periods and had varying cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds that influenced their motives. Some acted out of defiance—like the Angel Makers of Nagyrév, who taught women how to dispose of their abusive husbands in Hungary. Others schemed their way to power and money, including Empress Wu Zetian of China and Belle Gunness, who killed more than 14 people in the American Midwest. Discover all their stories in this engaging collection . . . if you have the stomach for them.

    Perfect for:
    • Lovers of true crime podcasts like My Favorite Murder, Morbid, and Criminalia
    • Readers who enjoy historical biographies, especially of women
    • Readers who love a good villain, antihero, or underdog story
    • Murder mystery fans
    • Art lovers and illustrated book collectors
    • Fans of Lisa Perrin's beautiful illustration
    • Shoppers looking for a unique feminist gift book
    • Fans of period dramas like The Serpent Queen and The Borgias
    • Readers who enjoy books like Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History and The Trial of Lizzie Borden


    My Review: This book has gorgeous artwork:

    ...and a clear, unfussy yet decorative design.

    I loved reading the stories of these murderous women...the vast majority killed men, but most of those men needed killing...taking power into their own hands when there were few avenues for them to get or exercise power.

    I would rate this a full five stars but for one thing...I found the author wrote in a flippant tone about what, in the end, is the taking of human life. It would not have been bothersome to me had it not been about real, living, breathing human beings, not fictional characters. This likely is a crotchet unique to me, but it was as time went by, clearer and clearer to me that I did not enjoy the flippancy.

    I am still recommending it as a gift for your teenaged budding feminist because the underlying message...when you are backed into a corner by the world, you use what you have to exert your one I fully agree that young women need to learn. As these crimes are not lauded, or held out as good solutions to the problems the murderers faced, I think a mid-teen woman will be able to navigate the subject matter with her own moral compass.

    Besides, a little bloodthirstiness in the women of the world will do everyone a power of good. Plus this stuff is just flat-out fun!

    Look at this! It is beautifully designed to echo classical art, and it is graphically reminiscent of the period's Roman mortuary sculpture...witty, lovely, in fine taste, and informative.

    Paracelsus wrote centuries ago, and the truth of his observation is eternal. Let's not shy away from teaching morally gray lessons about Power and how it is wielded to young women who need countermessaging to helplessness, powerlessness, and eternal victimhood that are ubiquitous in entertainment and social structures surrounding them.

    If it takes learning about the horrors of Belle Gunness and Empress Cixi to prevent more women from becoming E. Jean Carroll and Anita Hill, so be it.

    Editado: Nov 29, 3:08 pm

    >229 richardderus: It is only Wednesday, isn't it? Almost lost that in the weeds somewhere. Hope your day/week is a good one, Richard.

    ETA The book about women poisoners looks tempting.

    Nov 29, 3:18 pm

    Great reviews, RD, and I appreciate your including some of the illustrations. I particularly like the look of the Norse mythology one...

    Editado: Nov 29, 3:30 pm

    Tempted by the lady poisoners one. Never say information doesn't come in useful...

    We're currently dealing with his mother's house. In the study it has a boudoir grand piano. Who knew such a thing existed, we're always called it the baby grand. No idea if it has plastic widgets, but I doubt it, it probably predates them. Regardless, it will be going, no one has a room big enough.

    Nov 29, 4:51 pm

    >249 Familyhistorian: That's the one I'd say is the best bang for the buck, Meg, and makes a...conversation starter shall we say, on your coffee table.

    Ptui all over Humpday.

    Nov 29, 6:02 pm

    >250 katiekrug: The Norse myths one is amazing! I grew up on the D'Aulaire's books of bowdlerized myths and this is sooo much better. The poisoners book is fun, and funny, but has a serious undertone that I think you'd be glad to have.


    Nov 29, 6:04 pm

    >251 Helenliz: No grand piano needs suchlike gubbins, Helen. They're needed in spinets, I found out, because the strings are upright not horizontal. Do either of y'all even play the piano? Mostly they seem like relics in a private home, to me, at least.

    Nov 29, 10:19 pm

    >252 richardderus: *hands RD a fresh wet wipe*

    Wow! All these baby grands everywhere. In England it's rare to see even an upright piano in homes (in my experience).

    You're having a good run with the books Richard.

    Nov 30, 3:22 am

    >60 richardderus: thanks for your support! Just a little post script here, I told my colleague the same story (about the custard in the carpark) and she bought me *another* carton of custard to satiate my work custard needs. LOL. I can safety say I am on a custard hiatus after all that.

    >248 richardderus: wow- this book looks amazing.

    Nov 30, 3:41 am

    >254 richardderus: He used to play, I don't. There is an upright piano as well. His grandfather used to play piano & the church organ and was a piano teacher, hence the profusion of pianos.

    My grandparents had a piano, which they sold in 1953 to buy a television set to watch the Queen's coronation. But they kept the piano stool, which always struck me as bizarre in the extreme. I can remember sitting on it, with my brother, for Boxing day dinner at grandma's, when we squeezed us all in around the table for dinner. As we got older, the youngest two were consigned to the piano stool, until even that wasn't practical.

    Nov 30, 4:46 am

    Happy Thursday, Richard dear.

    You have been busy with your reviews!

    We had a piano, upright type, in soft green, the color was picked by my mother.
    My sister needed it when she went to study at the conservatory. Her violin had already been rather expensive, but she also needed a piano as second instrument. I didn't play any instrument, so it was decided I had to go and play piano, so it could be bought for me, while my sister could use it. I hated the lessons, but wasn't allowed to quit for years. Last piano teacher had a dog, so I went out to walk her dog after five minutes, and we didn't tell my parents.
    The piano was sold when my parents went to the retirement home.

    Nov 30, 7:49 am

    Sweet Thursday, RD. Not much planned for the day after I drop off the "kids". Books & Juno time. I am wrapping up Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World, a perfect companion piece to Hiroshima. Important reading.

    I like the headline in the Huffington Post today: Henry Kissinger- Notorious War Criminal Dies at 100.

    Nov 30, 7:54 am

    >255 humouress: England's homes are a good deal smaller than US homes, Nina. Most suburban homes since the end of WWII are more or less 185M² so there's more space in general.

    Why they felt the need for a piano I do not venture to guess.

    I saved them up all year!

    Nov 30, 8:00 am

    >256 LovingLit: On custard hiatus? Better that than custard ingestus! That stuff packs on the avoirdupois.

    >248 richardderus: was a really fun read, and so pretty to look at! I'd recommend it, but it is $30 *here* so I can only imagine how exenpensive it would be there!

    Nov 30, 8:11 am

    >257 Helenliz: More people played piano at home back before TV and hifi sets were common. My mother wanted a piano to show off, I think, since my sisters rebelled in the early 60s and refused more lessons. I never had a shred of talent, so was never forced to do much beyond the basics.

    Did the bench have a hinged lid? I kept my stash of kid-stuff...neat-looking rocks, cool sticks, the bench so Mama wouldnt find them. She did, of course, but it took a long time.

    Editado: Nov 30, 8:23 am

    >258 FAMeulstee: It was green? Wow! I never saw one that was not black or just wood colored. I am SO with you on hating the lessons. I understood nothing and cared not at all about it. Nice looking thing, the piano, but that was the extent of my interest.

    The reviews themselves have been written over a few months time. Getting them scheduled and reposted here and there, promoted on Twitter etc., is the bit that is effortful now!

    Thursday *smooch*

    Nov 30, 8:20 am

    >262 richardderus: yup, a padded lid that lifted up. It still had the piano sheet music in it. No opportunity for stashing anything else in there!

    Nov 30, 8:22 am

    >259 msf59: I was so very chuffed to see that he was no longer with us. Should have been in the Hague facing war crimes charges, of course, but that was not gonna happen. If no one faced war crimes charges after Nagasaki, that system was shown to be about the US getting revenge and nothing more.

    Anyway. Have a lovely Thursday with books and the lovely Juno!

    Nov 30, 8:24 am

    >264 Helenliz: Lacking enterprise, were you then...I chucked the sheet music into the family room closet!

    Editado: Nov 30, 9:14 am

    115 Jaguar Century: 100 Years of Automotive Excellence by Giles Chapman

    Rating: 5* of five

    The Publisher Says: Jaguar Century chronicles one of the auto industry’s most revered car brands, from the Jaguar SS sporting saloon to today’s F-Type sports cars, F-PACE SUV, and X-Type sedans—filled with images, history, and in-depth analyses of the incredible cars created year after year.

    Automotive historian Giles Chapman showcases how company visionaries William Lyons and William Walmsley developed the brand in the trying economic times leading up to World War II before resetting Jaguar during England’s bleak postwar years, first with its XK120, then the XK140 and XK150. Sporting saloons (i.e., sedans) like the Mark 2 and Mark X established further standards for four-door luxury in the 1950s and ’60s, while the stunning E-Type unveiled in 1961 became a holy grail of automotive design and gave Jaguar a genuine 150-miles-per-hour sports car. The story continues to the present, tracing all of Jaguar’s ups and downs right up to the acclaimed all-electric I-PACE. Chapman also covers Jaguar’s rich motorsport heritage, including open-wheel Formula 1 racers and the sports cars that went head-to-head with Ferrari, Porsche, and others at legendary circuits such as Le Mans over the decades.

    From pre-Depression motorcycle sidecars hammered out in a modest shop in Coventry to the cutting edge of 21st century automotive technology, Jaguar Century offers a full review of British design and engineering at its finest. The book is illustrated with hundreds of historic, contemporary, and racing photographs, as well as detailed text. It is a definitive volume no Jaguar enthusiast can be without.


    My Review
    : My stepmother was the Jaguar-lover's Jaguar lover. Her XJ12L was the first, and to date only, Jaguar I ever got to drive...a silver-grey lovely with oxblood red interior leather. My teenaged self was in absolute Nirvana pottering about behind that wheel! I obeyed her strict instructions to heed the speed limit and to be very defensive as a driver, because I knew how much it cost to fix damage to the beast. (Those rules were for me, not her, and the results were predictable.) The one time I got to open it up on Highway 17 between our house in Los Gatos and Santa Cruz, with her in the passenger seat, was...indescribably delightful.

    That connection was why I hopped on this DRC the second I saw it. The person who has no direct experience of driving a Jaguar is still going to get a lot out of reading about the history and the ideas behind the company's scrappy independent years, through today's automobile conglomerate-owned, technological powerhouse days. The Table of Contents will show you the track the author takes to get the reader in the know with him, sharing his depths of knowledge and opinions about the storied Jaguars of past and present.

    The history of the various corporate entities, and the owners and operators of same, fascinated me. I am and always have been a passionate follower of car culture because, well, I grew up in 1960s California and Texas...go fight those odds. Design is one of Jaguar's historical strengths, but those designs had to be thought up and then thought through, to get to the place a kid could groove on them. I was aware of that early...again, California I really liked reading about the whys and wherefores of the gorgeous machines I saw (and see) on the streets, like these:

    I confess that I miss my now-gone stepmonster (in-joke between us) when I read this book, as I've done twice now. I'd've give it to her, so we could delight in looking at and learning about the cars we both loved so well.

    Whoever your gearhead giftee is, they will look on this gloriously designed and produced celebration of automotive beauty and history with delight. Triple that if Jaguar is their very favorite car.

    Nov 30, 6:26 pm

    Dermatologist visit was very painful. I passed out twice. I'll see y'all tomorrow.

    Nov 30, 6:28 pm

    >268 richardderus: oh, no, Richard! How horrible…hoping to send you hugs and warm wishes for feeling better.

    Karen O

    Dez 1, 7:39 am

    >248 richardderus: This one looks to be fascinating! A BB for me. Really with all the stellar reviews you have been churning out these last few days I was bound to get hit by a BB.

    >268 richardderus: I hope you are feeling ok today.

    Dez 1, 7:39 am

    ‘Morning, RDear, and happy Friday to you.

    I had read through post 249 yesterday, especially enjoying your review of The League of Lady Poisoners, intending to add it to my wish list, then getting diverted and not even posting. Too groggy. Anyway, it’s on my wish list now, and here I am, less groggy than yesterday morning for sure.

    >262 richardderus: Bill’s Mama’s piano bench does have a hinged lid, and at a minimum there are front page headlines and sheet music in there, perhaps other treasures. I’ll definitely go through it prior to selling it/giving it away.

    >268 richardderus: Oh, no! I’m so sorry to hear that you passed out twice.

    Hugs and *smooches*

    Dez 1, 8:24 am

    >269 klobrien2:, >270 figsfromthistle:, >271 karenmarie: The doc had used lidocaine to numb the area...I said "I have a Fentanyl patch, it'd going to last less than ten minutes. Do it quick." She didn't, and had to use four times as much numbing to get it to the point where I didn't pass out. Then the cautery (blood thinners make for fun bleeding control) completely freaked me out and I passed out again. After recovering from that, the throbbing burn and ache hit.

    It was a crappy night.

    I'm going to attempt a nap now.

    Dez 1, 9:04 am

    {{{soothing and healing vibes}} to you, my friend. Naps are good

    Dez 1, 9:10 am

    >272 richardderus: Oof, hope the nap helps and you heal up quick.

    Editado: Dez 1, 1:35 pm

    116 Triumph Cars: 100 Years by Ross Alkureishi

    Rating: 5* of five

    The Publisher Says: Triumph Cars is a comprehensive, gorgeously illustrated history of the Triumph sports cars sought by today’s collectors and admired by automotive enthusiasts.

    Experience the entire history of Triumph sports cars in this comprehensive volume featuring stunning studio photography, rare archival images, and period advertising.

    Triumph Cars chronicles the company and its remarkable vehicles, from the first 10/20 through a string of automobiles sought after by collectors, from the early Supers and Glorias through the entire TR and Spitfire ranges, and on to the legendary GT6 and the latter-day 1300, 1500, and Dolomite sedans—filled with images, history, and in-depth analyses of players, tech, and styling.

    With roots extending to a London bicycle importer established in 1885, Triumph built its first car in 1923: the Triumph 10/20. By 1930, the Triumph Cycle Co. had become Triumph Motor Company and was on its way to establishing seven decades of automotive heritage.

    Author Ross Alkureishi showcases how company visionaries developed the brand—and how the brand changed hands—in the trying economic times of the 1930s and during the war years. The Standard years beginning in 1944 are also examined, along with associations with Jaguar and the range of roadsters and saloons developed, arguably peaking with the introduction of the TR2 sports car in 1953.

    Alkureishi proceeds through the stylish 1950s cars and on to the Leyland years beginning in 1960, and associated engine and styling developments. The story ends with the last Triumph model, the Acclaim introduced in 1981, and the marque’s subsequent mothballing. Along the way, Alkureishi also highlights Triumph motorsport exploits, particularly in the realm of rally cars.

    From the 1923 steel-paneled 10/20 through a range of roadsters, saloons, and sports cars, Triumph Cars offers a definitive review of an iconic British marque. The book is illustrated with hundreds of historic, contemporary, and racing photographs, as well as detailed text. This is the one volume no sports car enthusiast can be without.


    My Review
    : When I was a kid in Austin of the 1970s, my friend Mike's much-older sister had a Triumph Spitfire that, a couple times, she let him drive me around in...what heaven that was! A little zippy car in the hilly, fun-to-drive city! It was hot, of course, being Texas and a roadster without air conditioning, but such was the price for being able to whip around the Cadillacs and F150s the choked the roads then—and now, I'll bet.

    It was the same color as this one, even!

    What makes Triumph an interesting make of car to learn about is the extent of its history in the UK car market, the sporting niche it occupied for much of its existence, its racing legacy...but here in the US, it was one of the British Invasion little, nimble, fun-to-drive cars that came along with the Beatles.

    I loved revisiting the Spitfire, and the TR6 that one of the guys I dated in the 1980s had:

    ...but I also learned about the motorsports heritage of the marque:

    ...that was largely unknown to me. The Triumph nameplate is, as of now, not applied to any modern cars. BMW owns it, so if it is revived we can expect the product wearing it to be a badge-engineered sporty BMW. Given how well BMW has done with its ownership of the Mini marque, they'll only use Triumph if there's some pressing advantage to doing so. Maybe we'll see some electric cars that look like the older models of Triumph's past!

    It could happen....

    A great Yule-gifting treat for your gearhead!

    Dez 1, 9:46 am

    I'm so sorry for the terrible dermo appointment. I hope you can get some rest today.

    Dez 1, 9:56 am

    >276 katiekrug:, >273 jessibud2:, >274 bell7: Right now, even napping is not happening. Well, might as well do something productive.

    >276 katiekrug: I will refrain from making any comments about GBBO, Katie, until you've seen the final.

    Dez 1, 10:08 am

    Hiya, RD. Way behind on the threads with little hope of *ever* staying caught up. Hope you are well and improving in quality of life as time goes by.

    >238 jessibud2: I'm with Shelley on this one. On all aspects. Except I had a Red Flyer, with iron-rails (originally all painted red). And you could steer it with a movable bar on the front ... not that it had much manoeuvrability --->

    from a wiki page.
    Gave the old sleigh away years ago because the boards were in poor shape.

    Dez 1, 1:21 pm

    >272 richardderus: OMG how awful!! Sorry you've had to endure this and hope you are manage a nap later and feel better when you wake up.

    Love the story about the Triumph. I remember those although I never got to ride in one :(

    Dez 1, 1:37 pm

    >278 SandyAMcPherson:, >279 RebaRelishesReading: I've had that much-needed nap, so I feel more human. Still hurts but at least it's manageable after some shut-eye.


    Dez 1, 1:54 pm

    >247 richardderus: Axel is the *perfect* age for it, Stasia, and what a great message to get into his head now while there's time for it to root. I used that point with my husband, Richard. I pointed out that the book is recommended for ages 3-8, so he can continue to return to it for years!

    >248 richardderus: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the review and recommendation!

    >267 richardderus: When I was younger, my dream car was a Jaguar XJ11. I still want one, lol.

    >268 richardderus: Oh, no. I hope you feel better soon!

    Happy Friday, RD! ((Hugs)) and **smooches** for the day

    Dez 1, 2:33 pm

    >281 alcottacre: You'll be glad that Axel has the book, I'm sure, and so will Kerry.

    The XJs were lustable-after, weren't they? Jan (stepmother) adored her despite its many crotchets and breakdowns. It was a dream to drive.

    I'm a bit better after some sleep, and plan to sack out quite early. This was such a minor thing and it's proved to be really terrible. Unusual, but there it is. A surprising confluence of bad details going wrong. *smooch*

    Dez 1, 2:41 pm

    >282 richardderus: I am glad to hear that you are feeling at least a bit better. I hope that continues after further rest!

    Dez 1, 3:21 pm


    What a month. Twenty books read and reviewed. The #Booksgiving review-reading boost has been in line with previous years, and might get bigger as there are some bigger books coming up. My goal for 2023 was not to have fewer reviews blogged than the 109 I managed to write in 2020, the first Plague Year. If I get eleven more posted in December, I'll have written 110 for this year, and that's okay given how the year started. I hope I'll get to 124, one better than 2013. That was the year I started blogging; it's been ten years (with one year, 2015, a void because of the mental breakdown). That means I've averaged 100 posts a year for ten years! The only pay I receive is free books, so it's clear that I love what I do.

    The best book of the month is one I really wish had won the National Book Award, Chain-Gang All-Stars. What a gut-punch of a book. It was, I expect, too strident in its klaxon blaring for the prize-givers. It is a book that advocates unsubtly for abolition and against capitalist greed. It is also a first novel, and has certain longueurs that militate against the top prizes being awarded. It is astoundingly ambitious in its swimming against the tides of what the majority are comfortable hearing said out loud...but he's added his ergs of energy to the breakwater and, like Uncle Tom's Cabin, might be remembered as one of the writers whose vehement opposition to the status quo helped turn those tides.

    Onward to Yuletide! Enjoy your Solstice celebration of choice.
    Este tópico foi continuado por richardderus's seventeenth 2023 thread.