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Robin M

Book a Week 2020 - BW7: Sunrise on the Coast by Banjo Patterson

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It’s mid February and we’re experiencing our false spring. Twenty degree changes in temperature are quite common and you never know from one day to the next whether you need a coat or just flip flops to meander out and about. There’s a meme going around for the 12 seasons of California.

 

Winter
Fools Spring
2nd Winter
Spring of Deception
3rd Winter
Road Construction
Actual Spring
Summer
Fire
False Fall
2nd Summer
Actual Fall

 

We’re in Fools Spring right now and I’m in the mood to go to the coast for a long walk on the beach.  Although I’m sure the water is freezing right now. What is your go to nature preference when you want to get away:  Coast or the mountains? 

 

Sunrise on the Coast

by

Banjo Patterson

 Grey dawn on the sand-hills–the night wind has drifted
All night from the rollers a scent of the sea;
With the dawn the grey fog his battalions has lifted,
At the call of the morning they scatter and flee.

 Like mariners calling the roll of their number
The sea-fowl put out to the infinite deep.
And far over-head–sinking softly to slumber–
Worn out by their watching, the stars fall asleep.

 To eastward, where resteth the dome of the skies on
The sea-line, stirs softly the curtain of night;
And far from behind the enshrouded horizon
Comes the voice of a God saying “Let there be light.”

 And lo, there is light!      Evanescent and tender,
It glows ruby-red where ’twas now ashen-grey;
And purple and scarlet and gold in its splendour–
Behold, ’tis that marvel, the birth of a day!

Hope all who have been sick are feeling better and sending loads of virtual chicken soup to all who aren’t. Hugs!

 Link to Week 6
 

Visit  52 Books in 52 Weeks where you can find all the information on the annual, mini and perpetual challenges, as well as share your book reviews if you like.

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We were up late last night watching the movie Avatar which was really good and exciting which made it impossible to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. 🙂

I finished Mary Stewart's Crystal Cave which I thoroughly enjoyed. Her narrative style of writing pulled me into the story and I enjoyed it so much more than I did when I was younger.  

Dove back into the world of the Class 5 with Michelle Diener's Dark Matters.

Breakfast read:  The Lost City of Oz.

 

Edited by Robin M
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@Robin M I live in mountains and that is usually my preference—or at least it is easier to get to nature by walking outside. 

I haven’t been to coast in maybe 10 years and that would be nice for a change though.

The coast is coastier in PNW than in California.  Windier, colder, rougher usually.  The water has been freezing all but once I have ever experienced. 

We are in a mud season but already headed into road construction .   Our seasons are ice, flood, mud, short spring, fire, fire, flood, mud     Road construction overlaps when not flood or ice.  

 

On the sickness front, we are well, but I’ve been browsing through Buhner’s Herbal Antiviral book as well as Secret Teachings of Plants. 

Wishing everyone wellness also!!!

and adding some virtual oregano, garlic, onion, and lemon juice to that virtual chicken soup 

 

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I'll take a serving of that virtual chicken soup, @Robin M and @Pen; it sounds delicious!

** 

Some bookish posts ~

A bookstore in Canada is filled with adorable foster kittens that customers can adopt

https://www.insider.com/otis-and-clementines-bookstore-kittens-up-for-adoption-2020-1?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CYS - 021420&utm_term=BookRiot_CheckYourShelf_DormantSuppress

8 of the Swooniest Fantasy Romances

https://www.tor.com/2020/02/12/8-of-the-swooniest-fantasy-romances/comment-page-1/#comment-853459

Top 10 golden age detective novels

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/nov/13/top-10-golden-age-detective-novels-agatha-christie-josephine-tey

Five Sword-Wielding Women in SFF

https://www.tor.com/2020/01/15/five-sword-wielding-women-in-sff/

WORLDBUILDING: CRIME AND FANTASY BOOKS HAVE MORE IN COMMON THAN YOU MIGHt THINK

In noir, as in fantasy, it's all about finding the right details. BY KELLY BRAFFET

https://crimereads.com/worldbuilding-crime-and-fantasy-books-have-more-in-common-than-you-might-think/

Regards,

Kareni

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Yes, the virtual chicken soup sounds delicious!

I read Home: A Memoir of My Early Years - 4 Stars - I’ve always loved Julie Andrews and truly enjoyed this genuine and heartwarming memoir. It covered Julie Andrews’s childhood during the WWII years, her turbulent childhood, her dysfunctional and yet loving relationship with her mother, as well as her years on Broadway.

Since I can’t post photos here, this is a link to my Good Reads review

This was all before “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music”, which really are the parts that most of us are familiar with. It was only then when I realized that the rest of her memoir is in another book. I want more and am waiting for the second part to go on sale. There being no libraries in my country, I try to get most of my Kindle books on sale. If, by the way, you’re interested in reading this, I have heard that the audio version is superb, since it’s narrated by Julie Andrews herself.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“Remember: the amateur works until he can get it right. The professional works until he cannot go wrong.”

“Early one beautiful summer evening, when everyone else was drinking indoors, Tony and I walked down to the river. We lay on the grass under a tree and chatted. At one point, Tony said, ‘Look at the pattern of lace the leaves make against the sky.’ I looked at the canopy above us, and suddenly saw what he saw. My perspective completely shifted. I realized I didn't have his ‘eyes’ -- though once he pointed it out, it became obvious. It made me think, ‘My God, I never look enough,’ and in the years since, I've tried very hard to look -- and look again.”

“’When you get older, darling, buy property. You will never lose on property. You can always trade up, and it will always be something to fall back on. It’s a wonderful investment for your money.’ I have tried to follow her advice.”

The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man's Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America - 5 Stars - I couldn’t put this one down. This is a memoir that’s partly about Tommy Tomlinson’s life as a journalist, but mostly about his struggle with food. He was over 400 pounds when he started on a path over the course of a year to work on his weight. This man can write!

There are so many things that I love about this author – his love for his wife and his incredible heart. He’s ever so open and genuine without being whiny or indulging in self-pity. He’s amiable and now that I’ve finished the book, I miss him so much.

Although I’m nowhere near Tomlinson’s weight, I have struggled with weight for most of my adult life and will struggle forever since I love food like you wouldn’t believe. I could relate to many of the challenges he described. This book is a fabulous read whether you struggle with weight or not. If you have never struggled with weight or any addiction for that matter, you probably know someone who does. This book will help you to gain insight into how hard it truly is. More than anything, it’s such an enjoyable read.

Here are some of my favorite quotes. There were so many. I have included a few here and the rest are in my Good Reads review

“At some point we have to own our choices. If not, we’re eternally children.”

“Most of the time what I feel is sadness over how much life I’ve wasted.”

“In our fractured country, we all agree on one thing: second helpings.”

The Blue Castle - 5 Stars - Oh, this darling, darling book! It’s the ultimate comfort read. This is the first book that I have read by L.M. Montgomery.

Valancy Stirling wakes up on her 29th birthday realizing that she has never been happy or lived much at all. I loved her spirit and was rooting for her throughout. What awful relatives she had, although they had me laughing with all their weird and quirky ways.

The story takes place in the Muskoka region of Ontario, Canada. Montgomery describes it beautifully. Valancy’s fantasy of her Blue Castle was delightful. Without giving away anything, let me just say that this book filled me with happiness and faith in the world.

Here are some of my favorite quotes. The rest are in my Good Reads review.

“If you can sit in silence with a person for half an hour and yet be entirely comfortable, you and that person can be friends. If you cannot, friends you'll never be and you need not waste time in trying.”

“The trouble with you people is that you don't laugh enough.”

“Isn't it better to have your heart broken than to have it wither up? Before it could be broken it must have felt something splendid. That would be worth the pain.”

9780753825686.jpg   9781501111624.jpg   9781402289361.jpg

Some more pictures from our time in NYC. We always love visiting Balto in Central Park. This was one of my children's favorite books. The last picture is of Rizzoli's bookstore. Loved that place. Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures of my absolute favorite bookstore there

 

19 - 31.jpg

19 - 32.jpg

19 - 33.jpg

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@Pen I have finished Caffeine. It might have been bettered titled, "Coffee" as that is what he talks about the most. It is about caffeine's effects as a drug, but mostly in the form of coffee (with some tea & one section on soda). I felt he put coffee (caffeine as a drug) up on a pedestal a bit, which is understandable considering that has been his experience and he did have enough evidence from his research to ascribe it the subtitle of creating the modern world. Since I don't find coffee itself to be as mythically amazing as he did, much of his description and grandeur of caffeine was lost on me. I am addicted to caffeine, but mostly in the form of soda. I went through college without caffeine in any form and did not find myself as dull or slow-witted as he appears to feel non-caffeinated folks can be. As SWB already informed me of some of the history he covered about tea, China, and opium, I did not find this Audible original to be that interesting. Well, other than the fact that many researchers into sleep insist on being non-caffeinated at all times. It was worth just about exactly the $0.00 I paid for it.

@Negin I am glad you enjoyed LM Montgomery's Blue Castle. It is a delightful read! Love your pictures. Beautiful! I've put the Tomlinson book on my list.

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@Kareni Love the Top 10 golden age detective novels link - I think I've only read 2 or 3 of them and the rest are going on my tbr list!

I reread The Weaver Takes a Wife by Sheri Cobb South last week. What a fun story! It was just as good this time around. 

I listened to Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by MC Beaton. I loved how she changed for the better throughout the book and the mystery was good, too. 🙂 I'll be reading/listening the next in the series soon.

I'm about halfway through Before the Fall by Noah Hawley and should finish in a day or two. 

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Peter Schweitzer’s Secret Empires is getting my 5 star rating.  He does a good job explaining complicated international business interrelations, and his writing keeps my attention despite what could well be a very dull book in less capable hands.  Parts almost seem like James Bond espionage, especially as a shark tank appears in someone’s office.  Unlike in fiction I don’t expect it will become an important plot element — but hmm wasn’t there a shark tank in a James Bond book?

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@Negin I didn’t know that Montgomery wrote anything other than the Anne of Green Gables books!  That looks good!

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I can't remember when I last posted, but I'm having a good reading year. Just finished How to be an Antiracist which was instructional for me. I am currently reading This is How You Lose the Time War. I'm enjoying the short chapters and epistolary element and I think I will enjoy the short length (~200 pages). There are details in the time travel fantasy that elude my understanding, but overall I'm enjoying the book. My 2020 reads thus far:

image.png.7f53695705151ef3b17f0f2898d8a4cd.png

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What is your go to nature preference when you want to get away:  Coast or the mountains?   Definitely Coast,  I am honestly not sure that I have ever spent more than a couple of months, willingly, away from the water.  I enjoy mountains but watching the water is definitely my happy place.

Last week I finished Waypoint Kangaroo https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26114364-waypoint-kangaroowhich was entertaining but not great.  My library has more in the series and maybe someday I will read more...........the main character in this Sci Fi series is sort of a cross between James Bond and Macgyver.  Clever but one was enough.

Ok,  I think I am having a negative week........Dorothy Sayer’s Have Her Carcase  was a bit irritating.  It took them so very long to figure out a very obvious point in this mystery,  I remember figuring that part out pretty quickly the first time through and the second time was a bit of “seriously, how could that elude all those people”.........maybe today’s culture has read too many Romanov histories because anyone familiar with Russian Romanov royalty would clue in.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37906597-have-his-carcase

Finally, I finished First Cut https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44284641-first-cut last night.  It’s a recently released pathologist mystery by .........yes, a real pathologist and her husband.    As a fan who has read almost all of the Patricia Cornwall and Kathy Reich pathologist mysteries I think this series has potential.  It isn’t perfect and it took the whole book to unpack what I think will end up being the backstory if the series continues.  That said it ended in a good place with lots of potential for future story lines.

Currently reading a Jane Yellowrock/ Faith Hunter.  Still listening to Charles Lenox but will probably switch back to Julia Spencer Fleming’s series as soon as I finish Woman in the Water.

I also finished two of my books with red covers so Dh is really happy with his idea! ❤️  I had forgotten that I can read a Harlequin in under two hours........he offered to source more.............😳🤣🥰

 

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3 hours ago, Negin said:

Yes, the virtual chicken soup sounds delicious!

I read Home: A Memoir of My Early Years - 4 Stars - I’ve always loved Julie Andrews and truly enjoyed this genuine and heartwarming memoir. It covered Julie Andrews’s childhood during the WWII years, her turbulent childhood, her dysfunctional and yet loving relationship with her mother, as well as her years on Broadway.

Since I can’t post photos here, this is a link to my Good Reads review

This was all before “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music”, which really are the parts that most of us are familiar with. It was only then when I realized that the rest of her memoir is in another book. I want more and am waiting for the second part to go on sale. There being no libraries in my country, I try to get most of my Kindle books on sale. If, by the way, you’re interested in reading this, I have heard that the audio version is superb, since it’s narrated by Julie Andrews herself.

Some of my favorite quotes:

“Remember: the amateur works until he can get it right. The professional works until he cannot go wrong.”

“Early one beautiful summer evening, when everyone else was drinking indoors, Tony and I walked down to the river. We lay on the grass under a tree and chatted. At one point, Tony said, ‘Look at the pattern of lace the leaves make against the sky.’ I looked at the canopy above us, and suddenly saw what he saw. My perspective completely shifted. I realized I didn't have his ‘eyes’ -- though once he pointed it out, it became obvious. It made me think, ‘My God, I never look enough,’ and in the years since, I've tried very hard to look -- and look again.”

“’When you get older, darling, buy property. You will never lose on property. You can always trade up, and it will always be something to fall back on. It’s a wonderful investment for your money.’ I have tried to follow her advice.”

***

The Blue Castle - 5 Stars - Oh, this darling, darling book! It’s the ultimate comfort read. This is the first book that I have read by L.M. Montgomery.

***

 

How is it possible that you have never read L.M. Montgomery?  So many people love the Anne books.  My favorite is The Story Girl.  I've not read The Blue Castle yet.

Oh, and I enjoyed the Julie Andrews memoir and will probably read the second one as well.

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Coasts or Mountains?  I used to think oceans were best but now I think I could not choose.  Both is best.  I like forests, lakes and deserts too.  Hopefully, the near future will allow me to spend more time in nature because it is one of the things I love most.

I finally finished Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  I got more into it than his One Hundred Years of Solitude. I am now reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us  (non-fiction) by Paul Tough (Was this recommended here?).   I am finding this second book really interesting.  This is the most engrossing non-fiction book I have read in a while.  

For homeschooling, we finally finished Moby Dick.  We also finished L'etoile du sud by Jules Verne and we are now reading Voyage au centre de la terre.  We are also reading The Wanderer by Sharon Creech.

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I finished the Marsh daughters King, and Unvisible Women. The latter seems to be a hit for me as I want to talk about it with everybody.

Currently I am reading Becoming by Michelle Obama

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8 hours ago, Kareni said:

@Negin, is that lovely picture of you and your daughter? You both look so happy!

 

Kareni, thank you! Yes, it's my daughter and I. 

7 hours ago, Junie said:

How is it possible that you have never read L.M. Montgomery?  So many people love the Anne books.  My favorite is The Story Girl.  I've not read The Blue Castle yet.

Oh, and I enjoyed the Julie Andrews memoir and will probably read the second one as well.

Junie, I hadn't even heard of her or her books until I started college in Portland, Oregon, many years ago. Having grown up in Iran, South Wales, and then Grenada - I'd never heard of her until I was channel surfing one evening at college and they were about to show the series on PBS. I didn't watch, since it was a series and took too much of a commitment with my heavy study load. Then when I had children, we were going to read the books together, but never got around to it. I'm going to look into "The Story Girl". 

Yes, I can't wait to read the second Julie Andrews memoir. I think that I heard about the first one from you. Thank you!

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@Negin you and your daughter are lovely!

I had to look up Balto—considering we had major dog related books and films etc etc for homeschooling, I’m amazed I didn’t know about Balto before this! 

 

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7 hours ago, loesje22000 said:

Unvisible Women. The latter seems to be a hit for me as I want to talk about it with everybody.

 

I don’t know it—by all means talk!  when I tried Amazon there are so many similar titles, I am not sure what book you mean. Author name? 

 

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36 minutes ago, Pen said:

I don’t know it—by all means talk!  when I tried Amazon there are so many similar titles, I am not sure what book you mean. Author name? 

Typo - she means Invisible Women by Caroline Criado-Pérez,  which I also just read and can't shut up about. So everyone just go read it, already, lol. (The audio read by the author is also great, imho, but I know at least one person who said they had a bit of trouble with her British accent, so know thyself on that one).

Edited by Matryoshka
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4 hours ago, Negin said:

Kareni, thank you! Yes, it's my daughter and I. 

Junie, I hadn't even heard of her or her books until I started college in Portland, Oregon, many years ago. Having grown up in Iran, South Wales, and then Grenada - I'd never heard of her until I was channel surfing one evening at college and they were about to show the series on PBS. I didn't watch, since it was a series and took too much of a commitment with my heavy study load. Then when I had children, we were going to read the books together, but never got around to it. I'm going to look into "The Story Girl". 

Yes, I can't wait to read the second Julie Andrews memoir. I think that I heard about the first one from you. Thank you!

@Negin, my post about L.M. Montgomery came across as scolding and I apologize for that.  I meant for it to be more incredulous.  I knew that you didn't grow up in the U.S., but I was surprised that you had never read Anne of Green Gables.

It is interesting to me what literature is taught or is available in other places in the world.  And when you said that there weren't libraries in your country that was so different to me.

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Wow, what reading vitamins did I take last week - apparently I finished 5 books, if you include the one I finished yesterday, which I'd normally count towards this week, but since I'm just updating now...

15. House of Names by Colm Tóibín (audiobook) - Another story covering the aftermath of the Trojan war, though the Trojans are never mentioned.  The Greeks really were big on the revenge killings!  Agamemnon starts it off by sacrifice-killing his daughter Iphigenia, which causes his wife to spend years plotting to kill him in revenge, which causes his other two children to plot to kill the mother to revenge that.  And added side-revenges for dessert.  Told from Clytemnestra's, Orestes', and Electra's points of view, in the audio version each narrated by a separate narrator.  I didn't know that much about this particular part of the story, so can't speak too much on how well it stuck to the source material or not, but I thought it was well done.  4 stars.

16. Cien años de soledad/ One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez - Yes, I finished it!  Was not as much of a slog as I was worried it would be, but neither did it blow me away a la Moby-Dick.  Glad I read it, finally.  I tried reading the introduction and some of the footnotes in my annotated edition after I was done, but I was not enlightened by what makes this so awesome other than the magic realism thing hadn't really been done that way before, so it was groundbreaking.  Having read sooo much magic realism before, it didn't do the same for me, although I guess props to García Márquez for starting the whole thing.  3.5 stars.

17. Wilder Girls by Rory Power (ebook) - a quick YA read; read it because it was written by the niece of a friend and made a bunch of end-of-year lists last year.  Bunch of girls at a an all-girls boarding school on an island in Maine are quarantined after some mysterious ailment causes them, and all other life on the island, to metamorphose in strange and violent ways.  The cause is not left completely mysterious at the end like Annihiliation, but I wasn't wholly satisfied by it.  3 stars.

18. The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull - had a sudden revelation mid-week that SciFi book club was this Tuesday and I hadn't started either book.  So this was the first.  Aliens arrive over the US Virgin Islands.  They say they come in peace, but they'd also just as soon kill you as look at you, and it isn't at all clear what they're really here for.  It covers the time leading up to their arrival, a period a few years in where the main characters are the mysterious alien ambassador and her human assistant, and his family and friends who we met in the pre-arrival part.  I thought it was a well-done and interesting book, much, much better than Lagoon, where aliens perch above Lagos, Nigeria.  4 stars.

19. Golden Child by Claire Adam (audiobook) - I decided to ditch The Mosquito and instead pick an 'available' audio while waiting for my other holds to come in. This one continued my sojourn in the Caribbean, this book is set in Trinidad.  A family has twin sons, one of which was oxygen-deprived at birth and considered 'slow', and the other who is a star student.  Plot overview from GR: "When Paul goes walking in the bush one afternoon and doesn't come home, Clyde is forced to go looking for him, this child who has caused him endless trouble already, and who he has never really understood. And as the hours turn to days, and Clyde [the father] begins to understand Paul's fate, his world shatters--leaving him faced with a decision no parent should ever have to make. Like the Trinidadian landscape itself, Golden Child is both beautiful and unsettling; a resoundingly human story of aspiration, betrayal, and love." 3.5 stars.

Currently reading Gehen, ging, gegangen/Go, Going, Gone, and have started An American Marriage and The Last Policeman, which is supposed to be done by SciFi book club tomorrow night(!).  I'd been thinking of skipping it, but then I noticed on GR how many of you had liked it, and when I started reading I realized the setting is quite near to me...  And listening to The Other Americans, which finally arrived on Overdrive.

Edited by Matryoshka
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Bringing these over from last week's thread.

 

On 2/14/2020 at 4:56 PM, RootAnn said:

 

I'm currently listening to The Two Towers, the Audible freebie on Caffeine, and Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness

 

On 2/14/2020 at 7:34 PM, Pen said:

 

I loved Rhys Bowen’s Evan Evans series, but could not seem to get into her others.  I’ve also got the Caffeine freebie, what do you think of it?

I was enjoying Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness on audio until I reached Queen of Hearts (the one on the ship to the U.S.) I don't even remember why it annoyed me but it did. I didn't finish it and never went back to the series. I think I was getting annoyed with Georgie the previous few books anyway and that one was just the last straw. 

I'm starting to feel that way about Agatha Raisin and am not sure if I'll keep going with that series either.

On 2/15/2020 at 9:15 PM, RootAnn said:

@Pen re:  Caffeine Audible freebie

I am only about 30 minutes into it. Interesting but not interesting enough to hold my attention too long. Next time I'm baking I might finish it.

I enjoyed the James Taylor Breakshot freebie quite a bit as I've enjoyed his music for years & saw him in concert just last year.

 

22 hours ago, Pen said:

 

I got the James Taylor too, but haven’t read it yet.

I have to decide now whether to continue my Audible membership or cancel for a while.  It reloads for a yearly in March.  

I got both of those books as my free Audible Originals for February. I normally don't find the originals worth even the $0.00 price and in fact didn't even get a second Feb. book (Break Shot came free on top of the 2 monthly choices). I thought both were mildly interesting but nothing more. They were quick listens. I think Caffeine took me two days because of what I had going on at the time and I finished Break Shot in one listening session. 

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Today only, free for Kindle readers ~

From the Earth to the Moon and Round the Moon by Jules Verne

 "A team of nineteenth-century American engineers builds a rocket to the moon in this visionary novel from the author of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days

During the Civil War, the members of the Baltimore Gun Club delighted themselves by designing artillery the likes of which the world had never seen. But when the South eventually surrenders, the gun club languishes, until its president, Impey Barbicane, conceives of a project so preposterous it must be attempted: to build a gun large enough to fire a rocket to the moon.
 
From raising the money to casting the cannon to readying it to fire, the gun club overcomes one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after another. But when a rival engineer and an intrepid French adventurer join Barbicane on the spaceship’s inaugural voyage, the three men soon discover that getting to the moon is only half the battle: Making it home will be their toughest challenge yet.
 
From the Earth to the Moon and its sequel, Round the Moon, were published nearly a century before the Apollo missions. Suspenseful, humorous, and prophetic, these captivating adventure stories sparked mankind’s enduring fascination with space travel. "

Regards

Kareni

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20 hours ago, Robin M said:

It’s mid February and we’re experiencing our false spring. Twenty degree changes in temperature are quite common and you never know from one day to the next whether you need a coat or just flip flops to meander out and about. There’s a meme going around for the 12 seasons of California.

 

Winter
Fools Spring
2nd Winter
Spring of Deception
3rd Winter
Road Construction
Actual Spring
Summer
Fire
False Fall
2nd Summer
Actual Fall

 

 

There is  a similar meme for Florida but change Road Construction to The Pollening and Fire to Hell's Front Porch. The rest is the same. We are currently in The Pollening and it's brutal this year.  

 

20 hours ago, Robin M said:

What is your go to nature preference when you want to get away:  Coast or the mountains? 

Considering that the closest mountains are a 9 - 10 hour drive I'm going with coast. 🙂 I can be at the beach in 10 minutes. If I wanted to stay at a beach resort that would be 30 minutes. In fact there's no place in the state of Florida that's more than 60 miles from a beach. 

There aren't many things I'll miss about where I live but there are a few. One is that I'm just 10 minutes away from one of the few totally unspoiled beaches in the state - Canaveral National Seashore. I'm not going that far (we're moving about 40 minutes south) but far enough that I'll have to think about going there instead of going on a whim. And I'll have other beaches close to our new house but none without condos, restaurants, etc. 

 

Edited by Lady Florida.
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23 hours ago, Pen said:

 

I have to decide now whether to continue my Audible membership or cancel for a while.  It reloads for a yearly in March.  

I meant to reply to this part of your quote. I was going to cancel my membership and when I went to cancel they offered me a different level - a credit every other month and a lower cost. I decided to try it and have been on that membership for about a year. I might still cancel eventually but for now the every other month level is reasonable for me.  You still get member deals and the free originals, though like I said previously I don't find many of the originals worth it. I do often take advantage of the member sales though. 

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23 hours ago, Robin M said:

We’re in Fools Spring right now and I’m in the mood to go to the coast for a long walk on the beach.  Although I’m sure the water is freezing right now. What is your go to nature preference when you want to get away:  Coast or the mountains? 

Yes!  We are in Fool's Spring as well!   Coast or Mountains?  It depends on my mood.  If I could only choose one, it would have to be the coast.  I enjoy the sand between my toes and hearing the water lapping at the shoreline.  It doesn't hurt that my mother lives 1/2 way across the US 5 minutes from the coast!

@Negin I loved your post!  

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I'm a few pages from finishing Black Robe Fever and about to begin A Weed in the Church.  I also plan to begin The Testaments by Margaret Atwood.  The reviews are fairly negative, so I am not beginning with high hopes.  Our family's current read aloud is Ember Falls, the second book in The Green Ember series.  The Green Ember was one of the few books that kept all my children engaged from teen boys to barely tween girls.  As Princess Bride is to children's movies so is The Green Ember to children's literature.  It has sword fighting, family loyalty, a secret prince, and soldiers.  

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Coast or mountains...  Both. 🙂  Nature is what I want/need/must have.  I also live where I can get both woods and water but it's freshwater lakes and dense boreal forest.  Here's where I live:

https://www.northernontario.travel/sunset-country

Below is a pic my daughter took a few years ago when she was out kayaking on a lake 20 minutes from our house.  There is no filter on this pic - those were the colours (we're not called Sunset Country for nothin' :)).  Those are loons on the lake.

image.thumb.jpeg.4849e35268ece984869dc108df0992d1.jpeg

Hearing loon calls on a summer evening is one of my favourite sounds ever.  Here's a Cornell recording, if anyone is unfamiliar with loon calls:

 

We're not in false spring.  Or any kind of spring. 😜  It was -37C the other morning.  We've got a couple of feet of snow on the ground and the temps won't go above freezing (other than a weird day or two of +1C or +2C) for a few months yet.

And I still haven't finished any more books. 😞  But I'm still reading a few pages here and there whenever I can.  I'm calling that a win for me at this point in time.

 

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3 hours ago, Lady Florida. said:

I was enjoying Rhys Bowen's Her Royal Spyness on audio until I reached Queen of Hearts (the one on the ship to the U.S.) I don't even remember why it annoyed me but it did. I didn't finish it and never went back to the series. I think I was getting annoyed with Georgie the previous few books anyway and that one was just the last straw. 

I got both of those books as my free Audible Originals for February. I normally don't find the originals worth even the $0.00 price. 

I finished Her Royal Spyness and enjoyed Kellgren's narration just as much as I thought I would. I miss her voice in my life. I did not enjoy the gratuitous $€× mentions (nothing graphic, just mentions of losing virginity/ groping/ romping sprinkled frequently in a book that did not need to have any such mentions). I thought the writing was mediocre and noticed inconsistencies in the character personalities/ actions. I did enjoy the bits of history of that time in England (1932) that are interwoven. I was thinking of trying one more of the series to see if the author tones down the extraneous material, but I might just move on. Thank you for mentioning your opinion.

Re: Audible originals

In the last few months, I enjoyed You Can Thank Me Later, Junkyard Cats, and Interview with a Robot. All were Audible Originals. I lean toward sci fi, so the latter were both up my alley. Robot threw me some curves, but had me interested until the end. You Can Thank Me Later was a bit out of my wheelhouse, but the characters were compelling & the plot was good for what was basically a short story of a woman who couldn't move on after the death of her best friend. So, I'm willing to try them since they are free.

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@Dicentra beautiful photo and thanks for the loon song link!   -37 brrrr!!!!    Hope you stay warm!!!   

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So, I cancelled Audible.  I could have waited till into March and chosen my freebies before canceling but was afraid I’d then forget to cancel.  Probably March will have the best ever freebies!

 

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This evening I finished my book group book which I've been reading since the end of January...yay!

Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art by Mary Gabriel

I think this book would most interest those who like Art History, the study of women, US history from 1930 to 1960, or New York history. The book was incredibly well researched; it has 716 pages of text and almost 140 pages of dense endnotes. It was easy to read; it just went on...and on...and on! I definitely learned about five women of whom I'd been unaware; there were also many people mentioned whose names I did know. One thing I discovered, @Violet Crown, is that Edward Gorey was an American; I'd assumed him to be British. He was the college roommate of Frank O'Hara, a man who played an important role in the life of one of the artists.

I will definitely be interested to hear what others in the book group think of the book when we meet on Thursday.

Here's the blurb:

"Set amid the most turbulent social and political period of modern times, Ninth Street Women is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating chronicle of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting -- not as muses but as artists. From their cold-water lofts, where they worked, drank, fought, and loved, these pioneers burst open the door to the art world for themselves and countless others to come.

Gutsy and indomitable, Lee Krasner was a hell-raising leader among artists long before she became part of the modern art world's first celebrity couple by marrying Jackson Pollock. Elaine de Kooning, whose brilliant mind and peerless charm made her the emotional center of the New York School, used her work and words to build a bridge between the avant-garde and a public that scorned abstract art as a hoax. Grace Hartigan fearlessly abandoned life as a New Jersey housewife and mother to achieve stardom as one of the boldest painters of her generation. Joan Mitchell, whose notoriously tough exterior shielded a vulnerable artist within, escaped a privileged but emotionally damaging Chicago childhood to translate her fierce vision into magnificent canvases. And Helen Frankenthaler, the beautiful daughter of a prominent New York family, chose the difficult path of the creative life.

Her gamble paid off: At twenty-three she created a work so original it launched a new school of painting. These women changed American art and society, tearing up the prevailing social code and replacing it with a doctrine of liberation. In Ninth Street Women, acclaimed author Mary Gabriel tells a remarkable and inspiring story of the power of art and artists in shaping not just postwar America but the future."

Regards

Kareni

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I also recently finished Principles of Spookology (The Spectral Files Book 2) by S.E. Harmon which is a contemporary paranormal mystery romance; I enjoyed it. (Adult content)

"No one said being a medium would be easy.

Rain Christiansen, former FBI agent and current cold case detective, is starting to think it's the hardest job he's ever had—and the most important. He's determined to accept all the changes in his formerly well-ordered life, but that means embracing a whole lot of weird. There's no instruction manual for meshing his work with his medium duties, and he's painfully aware that he's flubbing the job. So are the ghosts, who are becoming increasingly impatient. And stronger.

To complicate matters, he's not sure what these spooktacular developments mean for his relationship. It certainly seems like Daniel McKenna, his partner in work and life, is in it for the long haul. But Rain can't help but wonder how long that patience will last...and what he'll do if Danny decides the intrusive ghosts are just too much.

Rain thought accepting his supernatural gifts would be the solution to his troubles. But he's starting to realize his problems are just getting started."

Regards,

Kareni

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Nothing finished this week; still reading Memoirs of Vidocq. Vidocq's criminal life seems to have wrapped up with the first volume, and he's now acting as an occasional informant for the police. 700 pages to go!

Middle Girl picked as my next random book Five Books on Consideration: Advice to a Pope by St Bernard of Clairvaux, but it turned out to be less interesting than I'd thought and I bailed after the first book. She replaced it with Graham Greene's The Honorary Consul. So now I have 5 books going: Vidocq, another poetry collection, Graham Greene, Great Expectations (with Wee Girl), and Lautreamont's Maldoror, because I can't get enough French weirdness.

Edited by Violet Crown
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On 2/17/2020 at 9:58 AM, Pen said:

@Negin you and your daughter are lovely!

I had to look up Balto—considering we had major dog related books and films etc etc for homeschooling, I’m amazed I didn’t know about Balto before this! 

You are so sweet. Thank you. 

Balto's story is a lovely one. It would make us cry almost every time. 

23 hours ago, Junie said:

@Negin, my post about L.M. Montgomery came across as scolding and I apologize for that.  I meant for it to be more incredulous.  I knew that you didn't grow up in the U.S., but I was surprised that you had never read Anne of Green Gables.

It is interesting to me what literature is taught or is available in other places in the world.  And when you said that there weren't libraries in your country that was so different to me.

Junie, no, never! I never thought you were scolding or anything. Love you dear friend. 

17 hours ago, Dicentra said:

Coast or mountains...  Both. 🙂  Nature is what I want/need/must have.  I also live where I can get both woods and water but it's freshwater lakes and dense boreal forest.  Here's where I live:

Gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous! You are truly blessed. 

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I finished The Secret Teachings of Plants by Stephen Harrod Buhner 

Here’s an interview with its author: https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/468/living-medicine

btw if anyone knows a source for the swervia / green gentian (growable seeds, powder, ...) mentioned in interview as being good for treating skin cancer, I am trying to find that 😁

 

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On 2/16/2020 at 2:24 PM, Robin M said:

What is your go to nature preference when you want to get away:  Coast or the mountains?

Coast! In fact we spent last weekend in Galveston, enjoying the sand and seashells and birds straight out of Audubon. What's a mountain?

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On 2/16/2020 at 3:24 PM, Robin M said:

What is your go to nature preference when you want to get away:  Coast or the mountains? 

Neither. 😉  I prefer my backyard.  There is no preparation involved (other than grabbing a book) and I don't have to take anyone with me.

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I finished a couple of books yesterday:

The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie -- I enjoyed this, but it had some occult activity (a seance, etc.) that bothered me.

The others were pre-reading for my girls:

a couple of Rainbow Magic fairy books. :eyeroll:

Unschooled by Allan Woodrow -- I would have bailed on this book if I weren't pre-reading for one of my girls who has a hard time finding books that she enjoys.  I *think* she'll like this one.  The story is ok, but it drags on forever.  It makes a week of school feel like a whole school year.  Which is actually very schoolish. 😉  And I have no idea why this book has the title Unschooled.

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman -- This was my favorite book of the week.  A Newbery Award winner that I had somehow overlooked all of these years.  

 

I'm still working through El Hobbit (trees/wolves); Les Mis (I'm bogged down in a section about Napoleon); The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson; and the Bible -- The Old Testament (KJV); The New Testament (in Spanish).

Also, I just began C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces.

Edited by Junie
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Regarding Principles of Spookology (The Spectral Files Book 2) by S.E. Harmon 

12 minutes ago, questionlover96 said:

Now I’m intrigued! 

Should you read it, I hope you'll enjoy it. Be aware it contains a male/male romance with adult (explicit) content. It's the second in a series, and I enjoyed the first as well.

Regards,

Kareni

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Some bookish posts ~

From Patricia Rice on the Word Wenches site: How Do Authors Get Paid?

VIOLENT DELIGHTS, VIOLENT ENDS: 5 SAVAGE CINEMATIC VISIONS OF ROMEO AND JULIET

https://crimereads.com/romeo-and-juliet/

WORLD WARS

Why mystery writers are drawn to the 1920s and 30s.
BY DONIS CASEY

https://crimereads.com/5-mysteries-set-between-the-world-wars/

A QUICK AND DIRTY GUIDE TO ESSAYS (WITH ESSAY EXAMPLES!)

https://bookriot.com/2020/01/20/essay-examples/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=True Story&utm_term=Suppress_Disengage_BookRiot_TrueStory

Five Books About Artists and the Magic of Creativity by

Maggie Stiefvater

https://www.tor.com/2019/11/04/five-books-about-artists-and-the-magic-of-creativity/

Regards,

Kareni

 

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2 hours ago, Junie said:

Neither. 😉  I prefer my backyard.  There is no preparation involved (other than grabbing a book) and I don't have to take anyone with me.

I giggled at this, @Junie, because that's pretty much my favourite place to be, too - where ever other people are not. 😉  My "backyard" is a 1/4 section of land so if I go out to my "backyard", I REALLY don't have to see other humans. 🙂

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On 2/17/2020 at 12:40 PM, Dicentra said:

Below is a pic my daughter took a few years ago when she was out kayaking on a lake 20 minutes from our house. 

What a lovely photo, Dicentra. Kudos to your daughter...and Mother Nature!

Regards,

Kareni

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Finished Nora Robert’s Year One. It wasn’t bad - ease of reading helped it go fast - but it did not feel very original. Felt like I was reading The Stand, 2020 Edition. I personally feel like the author mashed together too many tropes - a fantasy with dark/light, witchcraft, but also woodland elves and fairies. Prophecy that blends up the author’s fantasy realm and the Bible (which seems irreverent to me). The book threw me back to the days when my kids would create epic playscapes with their LEGO peoples and the playmobil peoples and all the stuffies at the same time. The second book of the trilogy is on hold for me at the library, but I’m not sure I’m going to read it. Because if I do, I’ll feel obligated to finish out the saga by reading the third book. (Or maybe not, she thinks, remembering the third novel in the Divergent series that got flung aside about halfway through...)

Next up is Little Fires Everywhere, and another short story collection, this time Daniel Woodrell’s Outlaw Album. 

And, coast. I enjoy a mountain vacation every few years, but thrive on being near water. 

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I've read Darynda Jones and Elizabeth Hunter over the years, but recently they have gotten together with some other authors and formed a group of Paranormal Woman's Fiction.  The FAB13 each dropped a book today and they are available at discounted prices, many on Kindle Unlimited for a short period of time.  If it's your genre, or you're interested in paranormal this list might be for you.  

Grave Magic Bounty by Shannon Mayer https://amzn.to/2UYlRfh
Magical Midlife Madness by K.F. Breene https://amzn.to/2wrmi7N
Sucks to be Me by Kristen Painter https://amzn.to/321XjDT
Wrong Side of Forty by Jana DeLeon https://amzn.to/37BL9me
Let it All Burn by Denise Grover Swank https://amzn.to/2uTnhgA
Betwixt by Darynda Jones https://amzn.to/325Gacp
Cloudy with a Chance of Witchcraft by Mandy M. Roth https://amzn.to/39JnKRm
Writing Wrongs by Christine Gael https://amzn.to/2uaU40k
Second Chance Magic by Michelle M. Pillow https://amzn.to/38Fto6I
It’s a Wonderful Midlife Crisis by Robyn Peterman https://amzn.to/39KnCkG
Suddenly Psychic by Elizabeth Hunter https://amzn.to/2SUKO8O
Halfway There by Eve Langlais https://amzn.to/326bJCR
Witching for Grace by Deanna Chase https://amzn.to/2wqqp40
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The ocean, yes, and the mountains and high desert of my childhood. But I've also got a small piece of nature outside my kitchen window as I have planted my backyard to invite nature, specifically the birds, to come to me. And false spring? Shoot, it's just another February in Southern California, where we're loving the weather but beginning to worry it won't rain again.

Over the weekend I finished a really excellent Italian mystery, Bloodcurse: The Springtime of Commissario Ricciardi by Mauricio de Giovanni. It is an Europa edition I picked up on a kindle sale, and an author I will definitely read again. What makes it so excellent? The setting of Naples in the 1930s and the cast of well drawn out characters, especially our hero Commissario Ricciardi. He sees dead people, which instead of being a silly gimmick brings a nice touch of magical realism to the story. The dead don't tell him whodunnit. They leave enigmatic clues. The only problem with the book was the kindle formatting which didn't leave any space between paragraphs about completely different strands of the story. You'd be reading about one character, then the next paragraph it would take a sentence or two to realize that "she" refers to a different person than the one you were just reading about. 

I'm almost done with Roadshow: Landscape with Drums, which I'm really enjoying. My other audiobook, Winter of the Witch, isn't quite as compelling, though I'll probably finish it while using it as background noise to my day. And I'm impatiently waiting for the next Rivers of London installment which is due out next week. I'm planning on listening to it.

I'm stunned over the idea of dropping an audible membership!! I've had mine for, goodness, 15 years? From before it was bought by Amazon. Of course our membership deal is one they don't offer any more:  2 books/month for a fairly cheap monthly membership fee. I've only listened to a couple of the Audible original freebies, but those freebies aren't why I keep our membership. They are an occasional fun perk, but nothing more. I love the huge library we've amassed, and we do re-listen to some of the titles -- we being my dh, ds and I. They do have great sales. And the book I mentioned above, Roadshow: Landscape with Drums was available for free after the author, the drummer Neil Peart from Rush, died. 

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