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Robin M

Book a Week 2018 - BW30: Bookish birthdays and News

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Happy Sunday and welcome to week thirty  in our Open Roads Reading Adventure. Greetings to all our readers and everyone following our progress. Mister Linky is available weekly on 52 Books in 52 Weeks  to share a link to your book reviews.

It's time for another round of bookish birthdays and interesting book news!

The Man Booker Prize just celebrated its 50th anniversary and awarded the Golden Man Booker Prize to Michael Ondaatje for The English Patient. 

The 32nd winner of the Arthur C Clarke Science Fiction award is  Anne Charnock for her novel Dreams Before the Start of Time. 

Check out the next generation of Instant Pot Cookbooks.

Barnes and Noble's reads present 10 Books That Will Make You Smarter in Every Way

Debbie Macomber, one of my favorite authors, shares her summer reading list. 

The Conversation's Playing Detective with Canada's Female Literary Past.

 

Author Birthdays 

July 22 -  Emma Lazarus, whose poetry is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty:

 

The New Colossus

 

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"



July 23 - Mystery Writer Raymond Chandler and literary novelist John Nichols .

July 24 - French author Alexander Dumas and Danish Author Henrik Pontoppidan who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1917.

July 25 -  American novelist Robyn Carr and  Bulgarian Elias Canetti who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981.

July 26 -  Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925 as well as English writer Aldous Huxley

July 27 - Italian Poet Giosuè Carducci who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1906 as well as Anglo-French poet Hilaire Belloc.

July 28 - English writer Beatrix Potter  and victorian poet Gerard Manley Hopkins



Our Brit Trip is taking us to Gloucestershire this week:  

 Gloucestershire is the picturesque home to the Cotswold towns and villages. The area is also the country residence of Princes Charles at Highgrove.

 Rabbit trails: Badminton House (yes, like the sport) Tewkesbury Abbey  

 

Have fun following rabbit trails this week! 

What are you reading?

 

Link to week 29

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22 minutes ago, Faithr said:

I haven't been here in ages and ages, not since they repaired or overhauled the boards, whenever the last iteration of that was.  But then I realized I am going into my last year of homeschooling (my youngest child is going into 12th grade), so this is the last year I can hang out here as a an official homeschooler.  So I plan to be around some.  I really missed these weekly book discussions, even though I am very erratic about participating.  

I am only on book 20 of the 52 book challenge.  Hopefully I'll catch up some over the next couple of weeks.  I am trying to read through the Poirot mysteries in order.  I just finished The Mystery of the Blue Train which by the goodreads list I'm going by is #6.  Unrelated to that, I also just finished Tuesdays with Morrie.  I posted about both on my blog. 

I just started Anne Tyler's A Spool of Blue Thread.  And I am also currently reading The Crucified Rabbi by Taylor Marshall, which is all about the Jewish roots of Catholicism.  

Happy reading everyone!

 

Good to see you Faith!   

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25 minutes ago, Faithr said:

I haven't been here in ages and ages, not since they repaired or overhauled the boards, whenever the last iteration of that was.  But then I realized I am going into my last year of homeschooling (my youngest child is going into 12th grade), so this is the last year I can hang out here as a an official homeschooler.


Welcome back!  There are many of us here who are retired homeschoolers, so do stick around.

Regards,
Kareni

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I'm reading new to me author  - SA Magnusson and her paranormal story Flatline, the first book in her Medicine and Magic series.  

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28 minutes ago, Kareni said:

 

 
 
Regards,
Kareni

I guess this means I need to try the Laundry Files because I have read and enjoyed all the series on the list. ?

40 minutes ago, Robin M said:

I'm reading new to me author  - SA Magnusson and her paranormal story Flatline, the first book in her Medicine and Magic series.  

Looking forward to your review.  I have looked at that series but haven't tried it yet!

Faithr,  Glad to see you!  I am another retired home educator who hangs out here.......

Gloucester is lovely.  We used to attend a church located near Birmingham and would spend our afternoons exploring the Cotswolds.  I will see if I have pictures that can be posted from one of my old Fires.  Now books..........There appear to be several new to me options for series mystery books set in Gloucester.  I have ended up checking out Stella Cameron's Folly and Rebecca Tope's Malice in the Cotswolds.  I also have an Aunt Dimity and a book from Ann Granger's series on hold.

I am currently reading Ken Follett's  Column of Fire.  It's the third book in the Pillars of the Earth series.  So far it's not outstanding but at 150 pages of a 900 page book I suspect I am still reading backstory.  It's a easy read so far and quickly.

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Finished just one book this week: 

65. Kältezone / The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indriðason - A good entry to the series.  The crime has to do with Cold War intrigue (skeleton was discovered decades later under that draining lake). :)  3.5 stars.

And while I didn't finish much, I started a bunch of books:

- MIss Subways by David Duchovny (audiobook) - got this on audio because someone on GR said they really liked the author & family narration, but for some reason Téa Leone's voice doesn't 'fit' that character so much for me.  This is a book on CD, so I'm only listening to it in the car.  Just finished the first disc (1/6th done).  I think the main plot is just about to go somewhere, but I'm not sure where yet...

- The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd (audiobook) - this came in on Overdrive, so I'm listening to this around the house and keeping the other audio for the car.  Set in early 18th century South Carolina, and apparently based on a real-life woman who revolutionized agriculture there, I am liking the story but was a bit bugged that this British-citizen born in Barbados and living in colonial SC has an accent (on audio) that seemed... not British, nor American. I was getting an Aussie-ish vibe.  Looked up the narrator - yep, she's from New Zealand!  Apparently she doesn't 'do accents' as well as she thinks she does.  Trying to ignore it!

- The Will to Battle (Terra Ignota #3) by Ada Palmer - This story is getting ever-crazier (and Mycroft seems to be as well), but I seem to still be enjoying the ride...   ? 

- The Golden Days (Story of the Stone vol. 1) aka "Dream of the Red Chamber" by Cao Xueqin - only a couple of chapters in, but so far glad to have to decided to 'reread' this (read what I suspect was a very abridged version in college).  I'm liking this translation, and the translator's introduction/foreword was actually really interesting. I think I'll aim for a volume a year till I get through the whole thing (5 volumes). 

- King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild (ebook) - reading this slow kind of on purpose, as I'm running out of Overdrive ebooks that look interesting enough to get to this year, so prioritizing print and audio...  Really liking the book, though...

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1 hour ago, Kareni said:


Welcome back!  There are many of us here who are retired homeschoolers, so do stick around.


Yes!!  Technically my youngest still has a year before she graduates, but she's pretty much attending CC full time with maybe a Bravewriter class thrown in, so I'm not doing much 'homeschooling' anymore.  And I'm not planning on going anywhere after next year!!

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I read Life's That Way - 5 Stars - These days I’m truly out of touch when it comes to TV and popular culture. I’d never heard of Jim Beaver until reading this book. Whether you’ve heard of him or not, it really doesn’t matter. Jim Beaver’s wife was diagnosed with Stage Four Lung Cancer. 

Around the same time, their two-year-old daughter was diagnosed as autistic. Rather than calling every single friend and family member, he started sending emails, since that was more efficient. This book is a collection of all those open, honest, and heartbreaking emails that he wrote over the course of a year (2003-2004). I would recommend it to pretty much anyone – those who are grieving especially. I feel so grateful to have found this book. It reminded me even further of what’s important in life. It can change one’s perspective. I love it. Perhaps you will too.

I’m sharing my top three favorite quotes here. There are far too many quotes to include. All the other quotes that I love can be found on my Good Reads review

“On the other hand, comfort of a sort is providable. It consists in large part of copping to the inability to be comforting. As contradictory as this seems, I (and, I’m told, many other people) have found it immeasurably more helpful for someone to say, ‘I have no idea how you must feel,’ or ‘I can’t imagine your pain.’ Just saying this and making clear that you hear and acknowledge the pain, though you have no answers, goes light-years beyond any attempt to repair a griever’s spirits. The knowledge of a loving soul’s presence and willingness to be present and to hear and absorb one’s grief is a powerful resource for the griever. I’ve had more comfort from people saying, ‘I don’t know what to say,’ than from a hundred people telling me good reasons I shouldn’t feel as bad as I do. I know that whatever is said to a griever by concerned friends, whether ultimately helpful or distressing, comes from the very best of intentions. But if you happen on a broken heart, stand nearby, whisper, ‘I’m here,’ and never, ever, tell it you know how it feels.” 

“With all the thousands upon thousands of people suffering from this disease, how can I find her pain and mine so surprising, so unexpected? How can we not all know about this stuff on a daily basis, if so many go through it? Are we all really so isolated from the trauma and torment around us? People in my own family have gone through this. I’ve sat by the deathbeds of friends who lived every moment of this. Yet this is all so utterly unexpected and so much more than I believed it could be. It’s like having lived all one’s life in a cavern, only to have the harsh light of a thousand suns blasted in upon you. Except this light is dark, pitch-dark, and throbs rather than pierces. How can I not have known what so many people have gone through? The only answer I can conjure is that a kind Providence keeps us blind to the intensity of suffering so as to keep us sane, until that day when the suffering is our own or that of someone we love beyond imagining.”

“Pray, hum, and give a ferocious hug to the ones you love most. You never know when you might want that hug with all your soul, and not be able to give it or get it.”

Alone - 5 Stars - This graphic novel is simply remarkable. There is almost no text, but the story is so powerful, that it speaks for itself. 

Cider with Rosie - 1 Star - I was looking forward to reading this memoir, the first in a three-part series. I was especially looking forward to it since this part of the series was based in one of my favorite places in England – the Cotswolds. Unfortunately, this book was so dry and boring. I didn’t care for the writing style. Towards the end, I really didn’t like how he and his friends tried to rape a mentally handicapped girl. Granted, they were young, but that was so disturbing. They weren’t successful. What bothered me especially was a seeming lack of shame and remorse. Other than that, nothing much happens, given the awful attempted rape, that’s a good thing. 

9780425232507.jpg   9781501153327.jpg   9781567923551.jpg

MY RATING SYSTEM
5 Stars
Fantastic, couldn't put it down
4 Stars
Really Good
3 Stars
Enjoyable 
2 Stars
Just Okay – nothing to write home about
1 Star
Rubbish – waste of my money and time. Few books make it to this level, since I usually give up on them if they’re that bad.

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Negin, I had not heard of Alone but it looks really interesting.  

This week I read Magpie Murders, by Anthony Horowitz, which I enjoyed immensely.  It's one of the best mysteries I've read in ages.  I also read Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life, by Suhas Kshirsagar.  I have been very into the subject of chronobiology and circadian rhythms lately, so I was already familiar with much of what the book had to offer.  However, the author is a doctor of Ayurvedic medicine and he had some interesting things to say about how recent research on chronobiology overlaps with some traditional Ayurvedic ideas.  

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Hi everyone! Negin, I just put Alone on hold at the library and Life's That Way sounds intriguing, too. I also tried to read Cider With Rosie and just couldn't get into it. I'm glad I missed the almost r*pe part at the end. ?

JennyD, yay! you liked Magpie Murders, too! I have the author's newest one on hold at the library and hope it is as good as MM. 

Last week I finished listening to The Woman in White and loved it. I also read And Both Were Young by Madeleine L'Engle, a story about a young teen being sent to a Swiss boarding school shortly after WWII and her struggle to fit in and feel accepted by the other girls. 4 stars

I also finished Death at Gallows Green by Robin Paige and enjoyed it. I thought the inclusion of Beatrix Potter as a friend to the main character was done fairly well and in keeping with what we know of her. I do want to continue reading this series!

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9 minutes ago, Mothersweets said:

Hi everyone! Negin, I just put Alone on hold at the library and Life's That Way sounds intriguing, too. I also tried to read Cider With Rosie and just couldn't get into it. I'm glad I missed the almost r*pe part at the end. ?

JennyD, yay! you liked Magpie Murders, too! I have the author's newest one on hold at the library and hope it is as good as MM. 

Last week I finished listening to The Woman in White and loved it. I also read And Both Were Young by Madeleine L'Engle, a story about a young teen being sent to a Swiss boarding school shortly after WWII and her struggle to fit in and feel accepted by the other girls. 4 stars

I also finished Death at Gallows Green by Robin Paige and enjoyed it. I thought the inclusion of Beatrix Potter as a friend to the main character was done fairly well and in keeping with what we know of her. I do want to continue reading this series!

I am so glad you enjoyed both Woman in White and Death at Gallows Green.  I can’t remember.......have you already read the Susan Wittig Albert Beatrix Potter series?  I am looking forward to it after I finish the Robin Paige books......

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Not much reading here. I'm pretty much only reading when I'm on the treadmill 30 minutes in the morning. I finished Born a Crime and thought it was very good, well worth reading. I have something waiting for me at the library--Letters to the Dead or from the the dead? Can't quite remember. I really need to get to some that my dds were assigned for summer, and one of them is really thin--you know that's how I make my reading decisions these days!

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6 hours ago, Matryoshka said:

- MIss Subways by David Duchovny

 

Fox Mulder? Who knew.

Started on the Fosse Way part of BritTrip this week with Thomas Hardy's first official novel, A Pair of Blue Eyes, set in Cornwall. It was written serially and the writing improves dramatically as it goes on, though even later in the book there are some laughably bad literary moments. In the famous scene where Knight (really) is hanging from the cliff (literally) at the end of the installment:

Quote

The sea, rolling direct from the shores of North America, has in fact eaten a chasm into the middle of a hill, and the giant, embayed and unobtrusive, stands in the rear of pigmy supporters. Not least singularly, neither hill, chasm, nor precipice has a name. On this account the precipice may be called the Cliff without a Name.

Dum-dum-dummm!

But namelessness is not the worst of the terrors of the cliff from which our hero dangles:

Quote

What gave an added terror to its height was its blackness. And upon this dark face the beating of ten thousand west winds had formed a kind of bloom, which had a visual effect not unlike that of a Hambro' grape.

It's not just that he's hanging from a tuft of heather 700 feet above the ocean; it's that the cliff is so very black. Like a grape.

Honestly though it's a good enough read, and I gather he recycles some of it for Tess of the d'Urbervilles, which ought to be up soon. Perhaps for the revisit to Dorset. If I ever get to this week's Gloucestershire, it's Evelyn Waugh's The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold. Unfortunately there's a 1000-page Trollope standing astride the road through Devon that needs to be dealt with first.

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mum, I’ve heard of that series but wasn’t sure if I would enjoy having Beatrix Potter as a main character. It’s kind of hard for me to have a real person placed into a book so that’s why I was surprised at my liking it in Death at Gallows Green. Maybe I’ll wait and see what you think of it ?

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7 minutes ago, Violet Crown said:

Fox Mulder? Who knew.


Yep, the man himself.  Never thought I'd be reading (or listening to) a book by him - heck, I've never even watched the X-Files!

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I don't know why I keep thinking summer will be low-key and relaxed.  We are always so busy!  It's been almost a month since I logged in to report my reading, so I hope I don't forget anything.

56. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" by J.K. Rowling (Audio) Also continuing on with our family bedtime listening.  DH sets up his bluetooth speaker in the hall between all the bedrooms, everybody is supposed to turn off all electronics (some sneaking in that regard!), and we listen until anyone is too drowsy to follow.  He just left for Harmony University in Nashville, though, so we'll wait to start book 7 until he's back.  (I'm waiting for him to text how he liked the Deke Sharon keynote this evening.)

55.   "The Mighty Miss Malone" by Christopher Paul Curtis. (Audio)  I really liked this, and so did my older two.  The youngest complained that it wasn't as good as "Bud, Not Buddy," but she still was quick to point out we needed to change CD's so I know she was following.

54. "How to cheat a Dragon's Curse" by Cressida Cowell.  Yep.  She's still letting me read aloud, but I need to convince her that it's a good daily routine.  She still turns me down when she's "not in the mood."

53. "Understanding Temple Symbols through Scripture, History, and Art" by Jack M. Lyon. (LDS)

52. "Temples" by David J. Ridges. (LDS)

51.  "Setting the Record Straight: Mormon Temples" by Dean L. Larsen.  (LDS)

  • 50.  "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. 
  • 49.   "Hidden Figures" by Margot Lee Shetterly.
  • 48. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl.
  • 47. "Frindle" by Andrew Clements.
  • 46.  "Poppy" by Avi.
  • 45.  "The Tale of Despereaux" by Kate DiCamillo.
  • 44.  "Bud, Not Buddy" by Christopher Paul Curtis.
  • 43.  "Candy Bomber" by Michael O. Tunnell.  (Jr)  and "Christmas From Heaven" by David T. Warner
  • 42.  "After the Train" by Gloria Whelan.  (Jr)  
  • 41.  "Nora Ryan's Song" by Patricia Reilly Giff.  (Jr) 
  • 40.  "Breaking Stalin's Nose" by Eugene Velchin.  (Jr)  
  • 39.  "The Book Whisperer" by Donalyn Miller. 
  • 38.  "The Man in the Brown Suit" by Agatha Christie.
  • 37.  "How to Speak Dragonese" by Cressida Cowell.
  • 36.  "Reading Magic" by Mem Fox. 
  • 35.  "Murder on the Links" by Agatha Christie. (France, London, Warwickshire)
  • 34. "The Grave's a Fine and Private Place" by Alan Bradley.  (Fictional England)
  • 33. "The Read-Aloud Family" by Sarah Mackenzie. 
  • 32. "Poirot Investigates" by Agatha Christie.  (London, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Sussex, Kent, Devonshire) 
  • 31.  "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" by J.K. Rowling.  (London and Surrey) .
  • 30.  "The Skull Beneath the Skin" by P.D. James. (Dorset, London)  
  • 29. "How to Be a Pirate" by Cressida Cowell.
  • 28.  "Simply Classical" by Cheryl Swope
  • 27. "Partners in Crime" by Agatha Christie. (London, Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire, Suffolk, Devon)
  • 26. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" by J.K. Rowling. (London, Surrey, and Devon)
  • 25. "Give Your Child the World" by Jamie C. Martin.
  • 24. "Vanishing Girl" by Shane Peacock. (London, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Bedforshire, and Hampshire! --  I'll have my choice, and I've finally left London on my Brit trip!)
  • 23. "Honey for a Child's Heart" by Gladys Hunt.
  • 22. "How to Train Your Dragon" by Cressida Cowell.
  • 21. "Death in the Air" by Shane Peacock. (London) 
  • 20. "Her Royal Spyness" by Rhys Bowen. (London)
  • 19. "Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire" by Rafe Esquith.
  • 18. "Every Falling Star" by Sungju Lee. 
  • 17. "The Nature Fix" by Florence Williams.
  • 16. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" by J,K. Rowling. (London and Surrey)
  • 15. "Why Don't Students Like School?" by Daniel T. Willingham.
  • 14. "Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd" by Alan Bradley. (London and fictional Bishop's Lacy)
  • 13. "Eye of the Crow" by Shane Peacock. (London)
  • 12.  "Secret Adversary" by Agatha Christie.  (London, Dorset, Kent,  and fictional England, and WWI at the beginning -- The opening scene is set on the sinking Lusitania.)
  • 11.  "Mysterious Affair at Styles" by Agatha Christie.   (London, Essex,  and fictional England, and WWI -- Hastings is home from the war for convalescence.  So to go with it, I read the poem, "In Flanders Field" by John McRae, and several of the other poems on the same site.)
  • 10.  "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling. (London or Surrey)
  • 9.  "An Unsuitable Job For a Woman" by P.D. James. (Mainly Cambridge, some London)
  • 8. "Creative Schools" by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica.
  • 7.  "CopShock: Surviving Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)" by Allen R. Kates.
  • 6. "Rethinking School: How to Take Charge of Your Child's Education" by Susan Wise Bauer.
  • 5. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling.  (London or Surrey)
  • 4. "Guerrilla Learning: How to give your kids a real education with or without school" by Grace Llewellyn and Amy Silver.
  • 3. "Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety" by Daniel Smith.
  • 2. "Mother had a Secret: Learning to love My Mother & Her Multiple Personalities" by Tiffany Fletcher.
  • 1. "Life's lessons Learned" by Dallin H. Oaks. (LDS)
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We need the retired homeschoolers here, so we know we WILL live through this and have a life after homeschooling.   I hope no one ever feels like they shouldn't stick around!   We all care about children being well educated, that's what we have in common.

I didn't finish any books this week.   Quill said she was reading The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden and wasn't sure she liked it, so naturally I had to pick it up at the library and start reading it...and not really like it.    I think part of the problem is the subject matter, and the way that things are referred to that make me (maybe as an American?) uncomfortable.   The original title was something like, The illiterate who saved the king of Sweden, and they changed that when it was translated.   Also, the main character is a teenager who empties latrines in South Africa, is illiterate and has no parents.   Somehow it's not as funny as the crabby 100 year old who went out the window and had Forrest Gump like adventures.

I also am reading a book by Kristin Hannah, which is so so,  Angel Falls.    The audiobook I am listening to is Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea which isn't great either.   It takes place on the "idyllic" Maine coast.  The narrator is doing a terrible Maine accent, which is annoying to listen to.

The last book I am working on indefinitely is A Suitable Boy.   I've set a weekly page goal in an effort to actually finish it by 2019.  ?

Happy reading everyone!

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Finished Hardy's A Pair of Blue Eyes, and rather than plod straight to Devon with another Victorian novel, let's take a quick taxi to Gloucestershire to catch up with the Bus and the 20th century. So next is Evelyn Waugh's The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold.

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Tossing a quick post in so that this thread hits my inbox...  I still haven't finished reading last weeks posts.  ?  

Nothing much new being read/listened to here, still chipping away at last weeks line up.  My one new title is Latter End: Miss Silver ~ Patricia Wentworth.

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I haven't finished anything but I've been making slow progress in my current books -

-non-fiction - Beating Back the Devil - I'm still finding this interesting and it makes me feel better to know that these people are out there and what they do.  I thought about them and the EIS when I was reading about the most recent salmonella outbreak.  It flips around in the timeline and locations but somehow that works. The current section is covering the anthrax attacks after 9/11.

-The Voyage of the Beagle - We finally made it to the Galapagos!  Some of the flora and fauna descriptions get a little dry but I try to remember that to people reading it at the time, these were exotic plants and animals they probably never heard of unless they were in the naturalist field. It's also kind of interesting to see the wheels turning in Darwin's head as he realizes these animals are different from others and to see the beginnings of On the Origin of Species forming in his head. It was the same after the earthquake. IIRC there were some competing theories about mountains and other formations at the time, and he's beginning to realize how earthquakes, volcanoes, and wind/water erosion played a role in the land formations. When I get to the really dry parts I try to approach it from trying to discern what he's thinking and how it's going to lead to more in his later years.

-non-fiction audio - Washington: A Life. The more I read about the Founding Fathers the more angry I get that they didn't end slavery when they could, especially those who claimed to be against it like Washington and Jefferson. They knew it was wrong. They said so in some of their letters. They took the easy way out hoping it would either die out or would end legislatively in their near future. I keep hearing more Hamilton lyrics from this too. It seems early on (French and Indian War) George really did realize that "history has its eyes on me". Also, though it was before he even became president (so not when he chose not to run again) he did look forward to sitting under his own vine and fig tree. Metaphorically of course, but he did refer to that Bible verse when longing to just be at home and enjoying his life there.

-Fiction (historical based on actual events) - An Officer and a Spy - I'm enjoying it but it's slow going. I don't know if that's because I know the outcome and the general timeline so it doesn't feel like I just have to find out what happens next or if it's the writing. 

We finally had our book club meeting last week for This Is How It Always Is, and everyone liked the book. It's the first time in quite a while I chose a book that we all liked. I think it helped that our kids all grew up together in the homeschool group and there are a couple of people in their extended young adult social circle currently going through some stuff trying to understand their sexuality and gender issues. The next book, which I haven't started reading, is Next Year in Havana. It looks good and has decent reviews.

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I am still working on A Column of Fire by Ken Follett.  It’s the third in his Pillars of the Earth, Kingsbridge, series and it is not as good as the others.  I don’t care about some of the characters and am finding the sections focusing on them boring.  I need to get it done because I have two other Tudor era books in my stack which will be due soon......only one Tudor book at a time!

I finally have Murder on the Orient Express on audio.  So far I have really enjoyed comparing it to the new movie.....do the descriptions match the movie characters etc.  Not as well as they could but the storyline is being followed.

I read a fluffy cozy yesterday.  The First Lady Helena https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38589263-lady-helena-investigates.  Apparently the first in a new series which reminded me of the Lady Emily series.  It was OK.  Several adult topics touched on, incest etc.  Not super descriptive so fine for probably all the adults here but not for their 13yo daughters! ?  This is a series I will continue reading if it is easily accessible......

 

 

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Some recent reads here ~

I quite enjoyed  J.A. Sutherland's science fiction novel  Into the Dark (Alexis Carew Book 1)  which happens to be currently free to Kindle readers.  This would be suitable for teens as well as adults.

"At fifteen, Alexis Carew has to face an age old problem - she's a girl, and only a boy can inherit the family's vast holdings. Her options are few. She must marry and watch a stranger run the lands, or become a penniless tenant and see the lands she so dearly loves sold off. Yet there may be another option, one that involves becoming a midshipman on a shorthanded Navy spaceship with no other women."
**
I also liked  Eli Easton's The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle Book 3).  This is a contemporary male/male romance.  (Adult content)

"Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it's cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.

James Gallway’s life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of eighteen, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by twenty-eight, he's lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can’t believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.

Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations."
**
I enjoyed a re-read of Anne Bishop's Lake Silence (The World of the Others)
**
Also enjoyed a re-read of Kim Fielding's not scary ghostly male/male romance Motel. Pool. (Adult content)
**
By A Thread  by L.A. Witt was a pleasant male/male romance with a supernatural element.  (Adult content)
**
Joran: Star-Crossed Alien Mail Order Brides (Intergalactic Dating Agency)  by Susan Hayes is currently free to Kindle readers. Overall, I found this rather ho hum.  (Adult content)

Regards,
Kareni

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Books read last week:

  • Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. Horror. A group of scientists travel to the deepest crevice in the ocean looking for rumored mermaids. A few too many TSTL (too stupid to live) characters - don't go out alone, at night, when you know monsters from the deep attack at night. Good horror read from Seanan Maguire under her Mira Grant pen name.
  • Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder. Social Problems. A reporter follows a group of "vandwellers" who travel the country looking for jobs while living out of mobile housing.

I'm working on The Savage City, a history of New York City in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.

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Jumping in without having read any posts in a month. I have been offline busy with house guests and traveling for this past month. Did not get a lot of reading done either. I did read Gaiman's Norse Mythology which I loved. Nothing other than that. The next few weeks should be nice and slow after weeks of go go go. Looking forward to joining the conversation again. 

 

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I finally finished Tulip

T-Title Wave-Lorna Barrett
U-A Name Unknown - Rosanna M. White
L-A Fatal Chapter - Lorna Barrett
I-The Invention of Sarah Cummings - Olivia Newport
P-Pop Goes the Murder - Kristi Abbott

I have no idea where I am in the England Road Trip!  "A Name Unknown" is set in Cornwall.  I am currently reading "An Ocean Away" by Lisa Harris.

I plan on completing Jasmine next.

 

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Hello friends! Just popping in to say howdy while I wait for some documents to print.

I can sum my reading the last two weeks up simply ... Three Pines. I finished the sixth Gamache novel as an audiobook and then proceeded to read/listen to the next five. Obviously, I'm enjoying them. I'm going to go through and listen to the first five again. Luckily I can listen while I work which is good because that's the only reading I'm getting in.

I'll try to catch up on last weeks thread and then come back here soon.

 

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4 hours ago, aggieamy said:

Hello friends! Just popping in to say howdy while I wait for some documents to print.

I can sum my reading the last two weeks up simply ... Three Pines. I finished the sixth Gamache novel as an audiobook and then proceeded to read/listen to the next five. Obviously, I'm enjoying them. I'm going to go through and listen to the first five again. Luckily I can listen while I work which is good because that's the only reading I'm getting in.

I'll try to catch up on last weeks thread and then come back here soon.

 

Yeah!  I have missed you!

3 hours ago, loesje22000 said:

Progressing my Bonhoffer Biography and Birdsville.

 

How are you doing?  It’s hot here and the curtains are shut,  yuck!   

How is everyone else doing with the heat?

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3 hours ago, mumto2 said:

How are you doing?  It’s hot here and the curtains are shut,  yuck!   

How is everyone else doing with the heat?

 

Friday will be 37 here, and yes I hate those curtains shut.

But Friday dd will also come home from German Language camp ? I hope she enjoyed it...

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I haven't been able to keep up with the thread!

My reading life has gone from 60 to zero very quickly. I started working and so am out of the house for hours at a time, and... tired!  I did finish a 2nd reading, this time via audiobook, of The Likeness by Tana French.  Such a great book. Now I've got a couple of things going, but I'm slow: In the Woods, which was Tana French's first book, and also a reread (though not on audio).  And, the audio of The Magpie Murders which I am loving so far, but only getting in about 30 minutes per day on my drive to and from work. I know not everyone has loved it or made it through, but I'm hopeful. I did get the hardback from the library so maybe I can sneak in a little on my lunch break.

Oh, my long-term read of War and Peace is on hold. I just don't think to pick it up when I'm tired and want some entertainment. And I'm not doing so great on the daily Bible reading either... but continue to move along.

I'm hoping that once I get a routine going with this work thing, I can do more reading. I am only scheduled to work 32 hours each week, Tuesday - Friday, but so far have worked more days and more hours.  The good news is my family is learning (relearning in the case of my husband) how to cook. I'm told that a rice recipe I handed off to my son to make last night was delicious. I see there are some leftovers.  My shifts go over dinnertime which is unfortunate because family dinners have been a staple for us. But we are adjusting.

Yikes, much more than book talk in this post.  Oh, Magpie Murders is a Brit-Trip read!  I'm sure I won't finish all the counties but I'll continue to press on even though the bus passed me by long ago.

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18 hours ago, Mom-ninja. said:

I have been offline busy with house guests and traveling for this past month.

Welcome back!

12 hours ago, aggieamy said:

Just popping in to say howdy

and howdy to you!

3 hours ago, marbel said:

My reading life has gone from 60 to zero very quickly. I started working and so am out of the house for hours at a time, and... tired! 

I hope that life will soon settle into a new normal that allows you some reading/relaxation time.  Best wishes with the new job.

Regards,
Kareni

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Some currently free books for Kindle readers ~

one day only: The Silent Bullet by Arthur B. Reeve

this is Wendy from Peter Pan:  The Wendy (Tales of the Wendy Book 1)  by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown

The Madness of Grief  by Panayotis Cacoyannis  

"A well-written, richly complicated, and deeply engaging coming-of-age tale." Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 

Once & Forever. Book One: The Children   by Stella May

Regards,
Kareni

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I just finished a collection of four contemporary romance stories; this was an okay read but not something I'll likely re-read.  It's currently free for Kindle readers.

One Week in December (One Week in Love Book 3)  by Alexis Anne, Audra North, Julia Kelly and Alexandra Haughton
**

I also re-read with pleasure Kim Fielding's male/male fantasy romance Brute  which I enjoyed once again.  This is currently on sale for 99 cents for those reading on a Kindle.  (Adult content)

"Brute leads a lonely life in a world where magic is commonplace. He is seven and a half feet of ugly, and of disreputable descent. No one, including Brute, expects him to be more than a laborer. But heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and when he is maimed while rescuing a prince, Brute’s life changes abruptly. He is summoned to serve at the palace in Tellomer as a guard for a single prisoner. It sounds easy but turns out to be the challenge of his life.

Rumors say the prisoner, Gray Leynham, is a witch and a traitor. What is certain is that he has spent years in misery: blind, chained, and rendered nearly mute by an extreme stutter. And he dreams of people’s deaths—dreams that come true.

As Brute becomes accustomed to palace life and gets to know Gray, he discovers his own worth, first as a friend and a man and then as a lover. But Brute also learns heroes sometimes face difficult choices and that doing what is right can bring danger of its own."

Regards,
Kareni

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I quite enjoyed the non-fiction Making Art From Maps  by Jill K. Berry.  Robin, I requested this from my library after you mentioned another book by the author in a recent cartographic themed week.  I recommend reading this in a format in which you can admire the pictures (of which there are many).  The flexibound version is now $5.52 versus $11.99 for Kindle.  The projects do vary from relatively simple to quite complex.

"Journey through the craft of Making Art with Maps.

From origami to paper cutting and decoupage, love of paper crafting has soared, and with it the variety of paper types used by artists. Among these are maps - an apt choice for any crafter: they're easy to find, often free, meant to be folded, and their colorful surfaces add an allure of travel to every project.

Making Art from Maps is equal parts inspiration and fun. Jill K. Berry, author of Map Art Lab returns, bringing her expertise in maps and her wide-ranging skills as an artist with her.

With her cartographic connections, she takes you on a gallery tour, introducing you to the work of some of the most exciting artists creating with maps today. Designer interviews are accompanied by 25 accessible how-to projects of her own design that teach many of the techniques used by the gallery artists."

Regards,
Kareni

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Currently 100 and supposed to get to 105 today so did all my running around early this morning and hibernating at home now.  My crazy hubby is out getting his 10k steps right now.  I don't have any curtains on our kitchen / dining room windows but we do have 10 foot laurel bushes which run along our back fence and do a great job of keeping the sun from boiling in. 

Finished S A Magnassum's Flatline and wasn't too terribly impressed. Most of the characters acted quite juvenile for their ages and kept doing the stupidest things.  Currently reading Ben Aaronovitch's Foxglove Summer which has taken me to Herefordshire.  

Stay cool my dears. 

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1 hour ago, Kareni said:

I quite enjoyed the non-fiction Making Art From Maps  by Jill K. Berry.  Robin, I requested this from my library after you mentioned another book by the author in a recent cartographic themed week.  I recommend reading this in a format in which you can admire the pictures (of which there are many).  The flexibound version is now $5.52 versus $11.99 for Kindle.  The projects do vary from relatively simple to quite complex.

Looks like fun and glad you are enjoying it.  The other book, Map Art Lab, is all about making creative maps instead of creating art from maps.  Equally fun as well. 

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37 minutes ago, Robin M said:

The other book, Map Art Lab, is all about making creative maps instead of creating art from maps.  Equally fun as well.

I've requested that one from the library.  Thank you!

Regards,
Kareni

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I finished A Column of Fire early this morning.  It wasn’t bad really, it simply didn’t live up to some pretty high expectations. ?.  Here is a review I found that sums up my basic feelings  http://www.historiamag.com/a-column-of-fire-by-ken-follett/.  The truly modern slang occasionally intermixed was jarring.  It wasn’t frequent but spoiled those sections because it took me out of the story.  I have defended repeatedly the use of modern language in historical fiction but this book occasionally had me thinking that there was just not way they would be saying that!  

This book hit a large number of Brit Tripping places but I sort of forgot to write them down or highlight......Devonshire, Staffshire, York’s, Northumberland, London for sure.  Many countries also including France, Spain, Belgium, Holland. I am using it for Devonshire........Part of a trilogy but could easily stand alone.

Basically this book is about the Reformation using two fictional Kingsbridge boys and their rivalry to illustrate the story and make it Kingsbridge.  Very little of this book actually takes place in Kingsbridge which was a disappointment.  Many more characters but oddly no real character confusion which was quite an accomplishment.  This book spans Mary Tudor’s decline through James and the Gunpowder Plot.  The history is done well,  I didn’t spot any real flaws beyond the fictional characters.  

Because this book was so chunky and spanned both the 16th and 17th century I am going to let myself count it for my 17th century Bingo Square.  My next book Margaret the First will be completely in the 17th century but I need it for my Feminist Square.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25943007-margaret-the-first

 

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My, some of you are having, energy draining, hot temps, contributing a wry grin at the DHs who are walking and biking in those heats. We are navigating chilly blasts though I'm not complaining   ? as it's more user-friendly for me to be working physically hard in colder temps. (Thanks for the encouragement last week kareni, and, mum2two.   22 moving boxes sorted, marked and taped shut yesterday.)

Books finished so far this week (Friday lunchtime here):

  • Sprig Muslin ~ Georgette Heyer (audio) (4)   Cambridgeshire/ Bedfordshire/ London   (Extra: Hester’s uncle, Fabian Theele, is a lecherous creep. )
  • Latter End: Miss Silver Bk11 ~ Patricia Wentworth  audio &  free ebook  (4+)     Wildcard        “Rayle” faux English village is 10 miles from, the equally faux, Crampton/ “ the station for Rayle is Weston [Lincolnshire], a slightly larger place some three miles away”/ London  (Anthony travels to Oxfordshire)         Paintings mentioned gracing Miss Silver’s walls as prints:  The Black Brunswicker ,   The Monarch of the Glen     Hope,   The Soul’s Awakening,  and The Huguenot (close up).     The author does tend to wallow in Freudian’s dream rhetoric a bit much yet I really enjoyed the twist Wentworth gave to this who-dunnit, I didn’t see that coming at all.
  • To Destroy You is No Loss ~ Joan Criddle, Teeda Butt Mam,  narrated by Christina Moore   (5) Biographical    Audible Audio   This was a recommended homeschool history book that I never got to read with the children.   A sober, harrowing, and gritty listen. The love, care and respect this family have for one another is heartening – along with their deeply held Buddhist faith – they seem to undergird the incredible resilience these people required to endure each next heartache and hardship.  The fact that all, bar one member, of their family group make it through that holocaust seems miraculous.  Although the writing may not rank as the very best in literary terms, I felt compelled to keep reading.  This is a story that stays with you, long after the last word is read.        (Extra: while the author/s detail the atrocities of a despotic, genocidal, regime it is done in a more sobering, factual tone without “glorifying” the very real horror or the gore of the events taking place.  Beheadings, mass murders, the horrors of slavery, an account of gang rape, the desperation and vulnerability of fleeing refugees.)

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, tuesdayschild said:

...contributing a wry grin at the DHs who are walking and biking in those heats.

Count my husband in as one who biked sixteen miles today going to and from a couple of tutoring appointments in mid-nineties weather.  He's a brave man!

3 hours ago, tuesdayschild said:

Thanks for the encouragement last week kareni, and, mum2two.   22 moving boxes sorted, marked and taped shut yesterday.

Yay!  You have been quite productive.  Sending good wishes for more of the same tomorrow.  Will you be moving far?

Regards,
Kareni

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Over the last couple of days, I read two linked science fiction books. A number of reviews for the first book mentioned a surprise ending which had me arrogantly thinking that I'd not be surprised.  Ha!  I quite enjoyed these books.  (Significant violence.)  Both of these books are currently free for Kindle readers.

Shoot the Humans First  by Becky Black

"On Earth, everyone is a soldier. Like all humans Jadeth was trained from birth to kill. Humans are the best soldiers in the galaxy and they fight for whoever pays the most. With no family, no country, no tribe, their lives and their loyalty belong to High Command. But when Jadeth meets Ilyan, a man they call The Prophet, he learns he’s been lied to all his life.

Brilliant intelligence analyst, Ilyan, is certain humanity and Earth itself is in imminent danger. High Command refuses to believe it, forcing Ilyan to go on the run, desperate to spread the truth. If he can’t make High Command believe in the threat, then he will take his message to the soldiers on the ground.

Infantryman Jadeth is one of those soldiers. He doesn't know if it’s accident or fate that has brought him to Ilyan, but he knows he has only one mission now. He must protect Ilyan and his small band of followers as they travel through hostile territory, spreading the truth. High Command has betrayed humanity, and Jadeth has nothing left to believe in—except The Prophet. Ilyan is determined to reach Earth’s mercenary army, scattered across the galaxy fighting other people’s wars. His new guardian Jadeth must keep him safe him from agents of High Command determined to silence him. If Jadeth fails he will have nothing left. If that happens Earth will learn how far a man can go when everything he believed in is lost."

and

The Battle of Hollow Jimmy  by Becky Black

I won't post the blurb as it may give away information from the first book which should be read first.

Regards,
Kareni

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On 7/25/2018 at 12:22 AM, Mom-ninja. said:

Jumping in without having read any posts in a month. I have been offline busy with house guests and traveling for this past month. Did not get a lot of reading done either. I did read Gaiman's Norse Mythology which I loved. Nothing other than that. The next few weeks should be nice and slow after weeks of go go go. Looking forward to joining the conversation again. 

 

Waving!  Looking forward to having you back.....

On 7/25/2018 at 12:53 AM, LuvToRead said:

I finally finished Tulip

T-Title Wave-Lorna Barrett
U-A Name Unknown - Rosanna M. White
L-A Fatal Chapter - Lorna Barrett
I-The Invention of Sarah Cummings - Olivia Newport
P-Pop Goes the Murder - Kristi Abbott

I have no idea where I am in the England Road Trip!  "A Name Unknown" is set in Cornwall.  I am currently reading "An Ocean Away" by Lisa Harris.

I plan on completing Jasmine next.

 

I have been on and off the buses so many times that I don’t know where I am either!  I am still working on Edelweiss and need to have a look on Goodreads to see if I have made more progress for my notebook.

On 7/25/2018 at 10:20 PM, Robin M said:

Currently 100 and supposed to get to 105 today so did all my running around early this morning and hibernating at home now.  My crazy hubby is out getting his 10k steps right now.  I don't have any curtains on our kitchen / dining room windows but we do have 10 foot laurel bushes which run along our back fence and do a great job of keeping the sun from boiling in. 

Finished S A Magnassum's Flatline and wasn't too terribly impressed. Most of the characters acted quite juvenile for their ages and kept doing the stupidest things.  Currently reading Ben Aaronovitch's Foxglove Summer which has taken me to Herefordshire.  

Stay cool my dears. 

Thanks for the review on Flatline.  There are so many new to me paranormal series available that I will probably skip that one. ?

How do you like the Peter Grant series books?

@Violet Crown  I believe I promised to listen to a Hardy the next time you were reading one.  Which one is up next so I can hopefully source an audiobook.  I am back to hand quilting.......

@tuesdayschild Great job on all those boxes!  Are you moving far?  One good thing about my 200 yard move is I just sent the kids back and forth with laundry baskets with instructions like kitchen counter, your bed, etc. lol  no taping required.

I just finished my Gloucester book so I am on the bus currently.  Malice in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2465702689 was a really good cozy mystery.  I believe @loesje22000 mentioned buying several of these while in England this summer.  I definitely plan to read a few more!  Nice and light ........

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17 minutes ago, mumto2 said:

Waving!  Looking forward to having you back.....

I have been on and off the buses so many times that I don’t know where I am either!  I am still working on Edelweiss and need to have a look on Goodreads to see if I have made more progress for my notebook.

Thanks for the review on Flatline.  There are so many new to me paranormal series available that I will probably skip that one. ?

How do you like the Peter Grant series books?

@Violet Crown  I believe I promised to listen to a Hardy the next time you were reading one.  Which one is up next so I can hopefully source an audiobook.  I am back to hand quilting.......

@tuesdayschild Great job on all those boxes!  Are you moving far?  One good thing about my 200 yard move is I just sent the kids back and forth with laundry baskets with instructions like kitchen counter, your bed, etc. lol  no taping required.

I just finished my Gloucester book so I am on the bus currently.  Malice in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2465702689 was a really good cozy mystery.  I believe @loesje22000 mentioned buying several of these while in England this summer.  I definitely plan to read a few more!  Nice and light ........

 

I bought Rebecca Shaw’s Turnham Maples Serie ?

 

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I am bound and determined to finish reading Homecoming by Yaa Gyasi by the end of this weekend.  It is an interesting story but the constant change of characters, locations, and time periods (it is set from 18th century Ghana to present day Harlem) just makes it much harder to read if I am tired or foggy. It is for a book club which meets next Friday. I also started reading Hype (a non fiction medical book) before that book and am almost done with that.  Also, reading The Wife Between US too which also was started before I was able to get Homecoming from the library.

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1 hour ago, mumto2 said:

 

I have been on and off the buses so many times that I don’t know where I am either!  I am still working on Edelweiss and need to have a look on Goodreads to see if I have made more progress for my notebook.

 

I actually lost my sheet that I used to keep track of the Brit Trip.:blush:  I an skipping Edelweiss and moving straight to Jasmine.  

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3 minutes ago, LuvToRead said:

I actually lost my sheet that I used to keep track of the Brit Trip.:blush:  I an skipping Edelweiss and moving straight to Jasmine.  

Oh no!  I hope you find it or are able to reconstruct via Old BaW posts or Goodreads.

 

Btw,  my ipad has taken up random capitalization.  As in Old not sure how to permanently fix, sometimes my temporary fixes don’t stick either, like now.

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Just now, mumto2 said:

Oh no!  I hope you find it or are able to reconstruct via Old BaW posts or Goodreads.

 

Btw,  my ipad has taken up random capitalization.  As in Old not sure how to permanently fix, sometimes my temporary fixes don’t stick either, like now.

I do keep track using Goodreads.  

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Mum or Loesje - Did you get to see the blood moon lunar esclipse in your area?  

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