Cammykitty's Reads 75 in 2014, second try

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Cammykitty's Reads 75 in 2014, second try

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Bearbeitet: Jan. 22, 2014, 5:14pm

Oopsie! I somehow posted my 75 thread under "Book Talk" and then wondered why the 75ers seemed quieter than usual. Now, I'm wondering how so many of you found me! Thanks to those who found me anyway. So, I'm going to start the thread properly here.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 22, 2014, 5:15pm

I'm back for more. Last year was my first year in the 75ers group, and I enjoyed "meeting" lots of you, and yes, my WL grew. I'm scaling back on my Category Challenge (just 4 main categories) and hoping to do more TIOLIs this year. I have Suite Francaise from the library right now, which would be TIOLI #5 set in France before the 21st Century, and #16 a book with an ugly cover. !!! I'm sure I can find a candidate. Just may be hard to get my enthusiasm up to read it!

And here are my reading companions. You'll hear a lot about them on this thread.

Sage takes a break from doing the laundry to read a book. He learned that from me!

Wanda says "read me more about that dog Saloop that doesn't like Dr. Siri."

Bearbeitet: Jan. 28, 2014, 11:15am

TIOLIs January
January TIOLI:

1. Suite Francaise is 5. Read a book set in France before the 21st Century
2. Toning the Sweep is #16 a book with an ugly cover

3. Angels and Insects for #6 a Yorkshire Borne Writer AS Byatt
4. Darkness, Take My Hand for #12, a mystery novel with pro detective not member of law enforcement.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 24, 2014, 8:14pm

Tiolis February

1. Hard Love is #22, book with lgbt characters
2. There Never Was a Once Upon a Time is #3 short stories
3. One Day of Life is #18 read a book originally written in a romance language
4. Trash Sex Magic is #1 read a book from the library of the LT member with the greatest weighted number of books which match your own.

Bearbeitet: Jan. 22, 2014, 5:17pm

Tiolis April

Bearbeitet: Jan. 22, 2014, 5:18pm


Bearbeitet: Jan. 22, 2014, 5:22pm

#7 is a book that has been on my radar for a long time, but I finally got a copy of it in December, Lads before the Wind: A Diary of a Dolphin Trainer. This is Karen Pryor's account of how she became a dolphin trainer and how she trained. Her methods, based on operant conditioning and the work of BF Skinner, became the basis for clicker training that is used now on dogs. The book has taken on a life of it's own. At first, it was a book on dolphins. Later, it became popular as a book on training. The book originally came out in the 70s and much has been done with this kind of training since, so there are better books on clicker training including Pryor's now hard to find Don't Shoot the Dog which wasn't about dog training at all. It was about using operant conditioning on humans, such as your gloomy mother in law. Lads before the Wind is of interest to the well-seasoned trainer who can read between the lines to see what she was doing. It provides some history behind the method. As a book on dolphins, animal cognition and shaping behavior, it has much to offer. At times, it's fascinating. However, the book took a broad scope and talked about her marriages, people she worked with, people she had to fire etc. I wasn't interested in managing the people, only the animals. So I skipped a couple of chapters. Still, it was worth the price of a copy.

Jan. 22, 2014, 6:56pm

Oh, good. You made it!

Jan. 22, 2014, 8:10pm

Sad to be a lost soul in LT!!!

Jan. 22, 2014, 11:16pm

Hi Katie, I was wondering where you were! My husband has been making his way through the Dr. Siri books -- wasn't that on your other thread? I look forward to them. I also have Suite Francaise on my shelf.

Jan. 23, 2014, 6:21am

Aha! Here you are! Whew!

I, too, have been eyeing the Dr. Siri books, but not wanting to start any new series. Hmm...

Jan. 23, 2014, 6:29am

Katie - I was rather beginning to think it may have been something we had said! Great to see you back and I'll be following along as usual.

Jan. 23, 2014, 8:04am

Whoo-hoo! Dog pictures! Reading a book! More, please. ;)

Jan. 23, 2014, 3:28pm

211 Yes Anne. Suite Francaise is probably my best read so far this year.

Yes, we started the year off with Dr. Siri and I enjoyed it, not for the mystery but for the setting and characters. I loved puttering around with Dr. Siri and his ghosts.

Paul! I'm harder to scare away than that. I work in a middle school after all!

Dog pics! When it was warm (it's so cold the cancelled school today) a friend and I took 4 Water Spaniels to an off leash dog park. One is old and didn't get in the picture, but here you are:

Eugenie (belongs to breeder), Wanda and Sage in that order

Bearbeitet: Jan. 23, 2014, 9:41pm

Oh, yes -- if you work in a middle school, then you are made of strong stuff!

A snow day! I love those, except that we have to make them up in June. Then I don't like them so much. Great photo -- looks like fun!

Jan. 24, 2014, 11:46am

Anne, I love snow days, but we're having cold days - no snow in sight! In Minnesota, we add a few days in to the calendar so we don't usually have to make them up, but this is our third one, and looking at the forecast, we'll have one on Monday too so looks like we may have to add on a few days! I'm sure the kids will be just rotten in June if we have to. Bad thing is this is the end of the quarter. Not that it makes much difference to me, but it's going to add stress into the teacher's lives. I've never, ever had school cancelled just for the cold before. It's weird.

Jan. 25, 2014, 4:46pm

#8 and my third January TIOLI - Paul, it looks like this one is your suggestion, a book by a Yorkshire born writer. I read AS Byatt's Angels and Insects. I can see why they made a movie out of the first novella, the Insect one, called "Morpho Eugenia." Period piece, beautiful costuming, tense undercurrent between what is meant to be seen and what is. It was a little slow going at first, as Byatt often is, but it did pay off well although the ending had a steampunky feel of rewriting history to include SPOILER spunky women. The ending is what rose the story out of a comparison of communal insects to manor life, and Darwinism vs deism though.

End of SPOILER. The second story I really loved, "The Conjugial Angel." It is one of the only stories I've read that walk the fine line of Spiritualism between belief and fraud. Reading this, I can see why so many learned people including Arthur Conan Doyle, became such a part of the Spiritualist movement. It is sort of a story about lost loves, but it is also a thinking story involving poetry, Swedenborgian angels, the place of man in the world, men's worlds vs women's worlds and the nature of soul mates.

Thanks Paul, for giving me an excuse to pull this one off my shelves.

Jan. 25, 2014, 5:50pm

Hi, Katie! I found you ~ a bit late, but better that than never! What adorable dogs! Love that they enjoy reading. I know I prefer reading to laundry. :) I guess you must be in the Arctic Vortex, or whatever it's called. Not envying you at all ~ I'm finding Colorado to be cold enough! Although today was unseasonably warm here in the Denver area, it's supposed to snow on Monday.

Jan. 26, 2014, 1:09am

Pleased to be of assistance, but it was put up as a challenge selfishly enough so that it would force me to read Novel on Yellow Paper and also because I am, after all, a Yorkshireman.

Have a lovely weekend.

Jan. 26, 2014, 6:54pm

20 Aha! I knew you had an ulterior motive!

Jan. 28, 2014, 11:24am

Yesterday, I finished reading book #9 Darkness, Take My Hand which is a book I've been looking forward to reading for years but for some reason never getting to it. I read the first book in the series A drink before the war while taking a class on mystery writing and was very impressed. Thanks to Tioli #12, I picked it up. As for Darkness, the characterization was great for the main characters, little more than red shirts for many of the clients and victims - which is right for a book with such a high body count, but we should care about at least one client. Nope. The setting is fabulous, an Irish neighborhood in Boston filled with triple-locked apartments, booby-trapped abandoned buildings and a playground that has seen it's share of dead bodies stuffed in the garbage barrels. If the intent of this book is to build suspense, enter a world where everything is wrong and end feeling dirty, Dennis Lehane succeeded. That's what I loved from the first novel, but I took it for granted in the second and instead had time to notice what felt contrived. Certain things felt like they happened for the plot. They weren't logical outcomes out of characterization or circumstance. For example, why SPOILER would you take your idiot friend who can't even hold a gun to meet some mobsters you're threatening if you know he can't keep his mouth shut and can't handle the situation, even if he threatens you with the gun that he can't handle? Puhleeze! Patrick isn't an idiot, and what he did toward the end of the novel was perfectly idiotic and the same results could have been accomplished a different way.

Feb. 3, 2014, 9:10pm

#10 Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment was a book I'd been looking forward to for quite some time, but alas, it seemed kind of silly to me once I read it. Lots of not the brightest decisions, lots of chapters that provided a lot of action but didn't really further the plot. YAs love this book. I guess I don't always read like a YA.

Feb. 8, 2014, 7:29pm

#11 Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger #2 has received a Lambda award for it's depiction of a lesbian/straight friendship. It is based on a beautiful song by Minnesota's own Bob Franke. I've known and loved the song for years and never imagined it as the book does, but it fits as it fits many situations. You can find the song sung by June Tabor here: Bob Franke is an excellent folk song writer, but a horrible singer so he isn't well known. I'd love to hear someone like June do a collaboration with him.

Well, on to the book. I gave it a 5 star rating. It's a story about a straight boy who becomes close friends with a lesbian, and all the awkwardness that comes with that. If he hadn't been a teen and dealing with his sexuality, it may have been easier for him but he surprises himself. He thinks he can be friends with her as though she were just anyone. Very well done. Great characterization and it doesn't have the "oh too bad" feel of Make Lemondade that borders on the offensive. That said, it isn't appropriate for the same age level as Make Lemonade. Make Lemonade is a safe book. Hard Love is not.

Feb. 8, 2014, 10:00pm

Never finish a book once you've started thinking about pearl ruling it. Learn from my mistake. I just did. 2 star read. At least I understand why I was disappointed with it now. #12 There Never Was a Once a Time is from a Costa Rican poet and author who has been much praised, at least in her own country. There Never Was a Once upon a Time was a set of short stories written as fairy tales, mostly without the magic element. Once in a while, the politics of Central America would get a line or two in the stories but mostly the stories were anyplace happening to anyone. One story even kept changing the genders of the characters, and I was reading in translation so I'm not the one confused. I'm wondering how she did that in Spanish, because that is a much more gendered language than English. I only sort of liked two of the stories - one about a girl who wants to be like her uncle, the clown - one about a Utopia. The other stories felt a little like punch line stories that hinged on a twist, sometimes clever but not enough to carry the vagueness of the writing style.

Feb. 11, 2014, 11:53pm

#13 The Confusions of Young Törless (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) by Robert Musil. Sexual extortion in an Austrian boys' school. I think I was supposed to be shocked but have seen/heard enough about the stereotypical British boys' school that it failed to shock. Torless's philosophizing about the act didn't do anything for me either. I just finished with a feeling of "ick, why did I finish this?" At least I can clear out one of the books I got at a library book sale.

Feb. 14, 2014, 10:19pm

#14 Blacksad: un lugar entre las sombras was the first Blacksad. It was of course, beautifully done kitty noir. A former flame of Blacksad's is found dead, and he feels compelled to avenge her. This takes him to the depths and heights of presumably New Orleans society. The story line, however, seemed to have a few loose ends in it - which is not something I've seen in the other books of the series. One thing I found interesting - the Spanish version was all English in the illustrations, so even though this was written and illustrated (water colors) by two Spaniards, it was always intended for a US audience. Sadly, I had to get this book through interlibrary loan. There are a lot more in the series, but I won't be able to get my hands on the Spanish versions without shelling out big bucks. :(

Here's a scene from it:

Bearbeitet: Feb. 15, 2014, 5:27am

Katie - I think everyone is still a little confused as to where to post! Have a lovely weekend and I am impressed with the pictures ~ looks like something Kyran would draw. xx

Feb. 15, 2014, 2:41pm

Thanks Paul. It's a 3-day weekend here in the US for some of us. Presidents day. Reading time?

Feb. 15, 2014, 6:36pm

Hi Katie! Amazing illustrations in #27. And why, oh, why is it so hard to abandon a book? I only rarely do it -- something makes me slog through it even though I know I dislike it and it's keeping me from something I might really enjoy. *sigh*

Enjoy your 3-day weekend! It's coming at a very good time, and I definitely plan to read!

Feb. 15, 2014, 6:51pm

Anne, I know! Dropping a book should be as easy as picking it up, but alas... I blame school, all those books we "had" to read even though we didn't like them. Billy Budd in 9th grade.

Feb. 15, 2014, 6:54pm

Crime and Punishment in 11th grade!

Feb. 15, 2014, 7:10pm

#15 One Day of Life is the fictional and Salvadoran counterpart to I, Rigoberta. Unlike There Never Was a Once Upon A Time, there were plenty of details and a strong sense of place. It follows a day, with all it's reflections and memories, in the life of a middle-aged peasant woman who is struggling to take care of her children and granddaughter while her husband hides in the hills because he has tried to organize the peasants into a union. Anyone who is involved in such "communist" activity is in danger from the "authorities," a foreign trained military of young men who came from the peasant class. A couple times, it verges on preachiness and the sections from the soldier's point of view seem perhaps a bit exaggerated but that's nit picking. It is a very well done novel on a terribly difficult subject. Warning, the author doesn't spare us details on the brutality. Or probably he does, and I'd hate to think about what it would be really like being there. I'm glad I read it, I enjoyed it, but I'm ready for something lighter now.

In my school, the second most common country of origin for the Latinos is El Salvador. This book has raised some questions for me about them. I know they've been coming to Minnesota since the 80s because of war and political instability in their country. Now, I think it's mostly because other family members are already here. I've heard many families have taken seven or nine years to get the money and papers together needed to bring the rest of the family over. So, are the kids I'm working with sons and daughters of peasants? In the book, it made it clear that most of the peasants were taught in a Catholic school and attended when they could, not regularly. They often dropped out by second grade and if you could stay in until sixth grade, you were lucky and considered educated. Often they wouldn't use their skills at reading, so they would eventually forget to read. Is that the background of some of the parents of kids I'm working with? If so, how did they get to this country? I'm thinking scraping up the resources to emigrate must be difficult, whether it is done legally or not. I'd expect to find that most of them came from the cities instead, and in the book, it did mention that a lot of the children left their homes and went to the cities to try to get ahead.

Feb. 17, 2014, 8:29pm

You guys - I LOVE both Billy Budd and Crime and Punishment! :-) I do understand school ruining novels though (or more like reading things at the wrong point in life). It's hard to imagine me picking up Hemingway after suffering through The Old Man and the Sea in 10th grade. I'm pretty much scarred for life.

#33 - This sounds fascinating. I'll put it on the wishlist.

Feb. 17, 2014, 10:04pm

LOL, Kerri, glad to hear you love both books -- that they haven't been published expressly for the purpose of punishing high schoolers. I was so determined to read To Kill A Mockingbird aloud because Callia was required to read it in 8th grade, and it just killed me how many people told me they hated it after having to read it in school.

I think perhaps the English department at my high school was not very well organized, because somehow I ended up reading The Crucible twice. The first time was in 10th grade, and it was sheer torture from beginning to end. The next year I read it with a profoundly gifted teacher who brought it to life in ways I had not thought possible. That made an impression on me -- how a teacher can make a huge difference. Time of life is important, too.

Feb. 19, 2014, 6:49am

#35 - Yes, a gifted teacher can make all the difference!

Regarding Billy Budd and Crime and Punishment, I read both as an adult. I'm quite sure I would have hated Billy Budd in high school (or any Melville, for that matter), but I've always thought Crime and Punishment would have appealed - creepy, murder-filled, grim. Like most teens, I either had to directly relate to the characters in terms of age/experience (The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird), or it had to be weird and creepy (Jane Eyre). I remember loving Jane Eyre in 8th grade!

Feb. 19, 2014, 10:28pm

Kerry & Anne, how true! Both of you. I don't know if I would like Billy Budd now but that turned me off Melville for life. No chance of convincing me to read Moby Dick now, even though I know what I couldn't stand as a teen I might like now. But yes, Crime & Punishment probably would have worked. That's still on Mount TBR for me though. I thought my teacher at the time was pretty good, but not good enough to make me love Melville. Or William Faulkner either. The class split into groups once and I was in the group reading Light in August. In hindsight, a whole novel by Faulkner? As a teen? At least it wasn't The Sound and the Fury. We would've been completely lost!

I wish I'd had the chance to read The Crucible with your teacher. I read it as an adult, but have heard later that it's also a response to the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities and the blacklisting of so-called Communists. I totally missed that when I read it.

Feb. 23, 2014, 5:53pm

Hi, Katie! I'm glad you stopped by, because your clever strategy of posting your first thread in a different group had completely thrown me and I would never have found you otherwise.

Feb. 24, 2014, 8:16pm

Hi Roni! Glad you found me. It seems like we have a lot of shared interests and will probably have a lot of overlap in reading. It was very clever of me to pick a random place for my thread, wasn't it. ;) I'm still surprised at how many people found me anyway.

Feb. 24, 2014, 8:30pm

#16 was Trash Sex Magic by Jennifer Stevenson. I got this at WisCon years and years ago. WisCon is a feminist science fiction convention and that year there was a lot of talk about slash and erotica. This was the hot book at the convention, so I bought it. Then realized I wasn't drawn to it for any other reason than everyone else was buying it. I hadn't gone to the panel that talked about slash and erotica. So I went looking for a TIOLI book to read and decided to do #1 "Read a book from the library of the LT member with the greatest weighted number of books which match your own." "Candiss" is that person, and I assumed she went to that same convention or followed Kelly Link/Small Beer Press that published Trash Sex Magic. Nope. The similarities in our libraries are completely random and largely books from my WL rather than my library. We don't even hang out in the same groups on LT. As far as I know, we've never crossed paths. Weird.

And as for Trash Sex Magic, weird. I'm not really sure what to think of it. Generally positive, just because everything in it was so unexpected. It involved yes, trailer trash, lots of sex and a wild earth magic. There was so much sex in it that it ceased to be sexy. Really. Gnats having sex? Ick. Basic plot is a developer has bought the land across from a dilapidated trailer park that has become as strange as the small town in Deliverance. The developer cuts down a tree, not knowing that the tree controls the river and the generative energy of the land and the human women in the area. I can't say much more without supplying spoilers. If you are looking for a strange ride, this may just be the ticket. If you got a problem seeing the n-word though, avoid this. It was a little over-used, as was the word Okies. Okies? They weren't from the Great Depression and they weren't from Oklahoma. I don't get it.

Feb. 28, 2014, 12:03am

have heard later that it's also a response to the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities and the blacklisting of so-called Communists.
I didn't catch that, either, but I get it now! I miss Mr. Knight.

Mrz. 12, 2014, 9:57pm

This winter is making me feel like a hypochondriac. I've got a cold trying to turn into a sinus infection again! On top of the time change which is making everyone groggy and crabby. Sorry I haven't been around as much as I want, or reading as much as I want. I just realized the Three Musketeers read already started. Dingnabbit!

So here's my recent reading:
#17 is an ER novel The Well's End. It was a fast paced science fiction thriller. The too good to be true love interest was SORT OF SPOILER in fact too good to be true, but I'm sure he'll redeem himself in the sequels. END SPOILER It also has the mad/semi mad scientist father figure going on. He's either a hero or a villain, but either way, there are a lot of secrets around him.

The plot, a fake reporter comes to Mia's elite boarding school. He is pretending to interview her, but obviously he is really there to send a message to her father. Her father works in "the cave" doing something secretive "for the government." After this meeting, a virus that ages people rapidly (and to death) is unleashed on the campus and her father somehow knew it was going to happen. Mia and her friends have to escape campus, find her father and figure out what is going to happen.

Warning: the novel ends with almost as many questions as it answers. It is obviously a set up for a sequel. I really enjoyed it, and the ending didn't bother me too much, but only because I'm getting used to the trend in the industry of writing books in trilogies. If I hadn't read plenty of books that were bigger offenders, the ending would certainly lower my 4 star rating. But it's YA thriller/sf so of course they expect the kids to plow through three books to get all the answers. Geez, am I becoming complacent? This kind of ending would usually make me want to tear a publisher to shreds. What if Fishman never writes the next book? Or what if it stinks? Ugh.

Mrz. 12, 2014, 9:57pm

#18 The Dog at the Door is part of the Animal Ark series for middle grade readers. They all follow a girl whose parents run a vet clinic. I was reading this one at school, when I had to model reading for the students, but of course wouldn't get the concentration time needed for something like One hundred years of solitude. It was cute, and it does do a fairly good job of covering what it is like to assist the birth of puppies. Obviously Baglio has done it or did his research, unlike other... oh I want to whistle in their direction... authors who write ridiculous things about the puppies first crawling and then walking. Part of the novel was a mystery, why did the owner abandon the dog? This is where the book fell down. SPOILER: The kids assumed the dog had been much loved. The owner kept making anonymous calls to the clinic, so I suppose it's a reasonable assumption. They assumed the dog would be better off reunited with the owner. Okay, I've worked with rescue. That's being idealistic. And the reason the owner abandoned the dog without saying anything? Her landlord was in the hospital and the landlord's nephew said the dog had to go and he would call authorities and take the dog. Maybe I'm being naive, but I think the average person would tell everyone what was going on and ask for help. They wouldn't just leave the dog tied up on the doorstep of a vet clinic for fear they would send her away.

Mrz. 17, 2014, 6:29pm

Happy St. Paddy's Day

from my Irish Water Pirates

Mrz. 18, 2014, 12:39am

Ooh, love your water pirates!

Mrz. 18, 2014, 12:52am

Thanks Anne. Wanda didn't want to keep her "eye patch" on.

Mrz. 19, 2014, 11:59am

>40 cammykitty: - Hmmm. I'm going to skip Trash Sex Magic, but thanks for the report!

>44 cammykitty: - Adorable!

I'm hoping you're feeling better!

Mrz. 19, 2014, 10:08pm

Kerri - really? I turned you off of Trash Sex Magic? I can't imagine why. I'm being sarcastic here. You don't want to read about gnats?

I am starting to feel better, but my voice is still gone! At school, I've been writing my conversations down, mostly on a whiteboard but sometimes on paper. Here's a paper I found from the first day "Way cool! Wish I had that. Sheep eyeballs." Really, it made sense if you heard what the kid said too.

And as for Wanda! She says she's been neglected.

Mrz. 21, 2014, 9:53am

>48 cammykitty: Hahaha Katie, great photo. Are there any books in there?

Have a lovely weekend.

Mrz. 21, 2014, 10:53pm

Hi Paul. Nope. Only the smell of salmon kibble, all gone. Poor Wanda. But the crate in the pirate photo is covered with a stack of books, so if I ever crate her, she will have plenty to read. Sage's reading lessons haven't gone very far with her yet. She still needs the pictures to help her understand. ;)

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 29, 2014, 9:41pm

19-20. The Three Musketeers was a bit of a let down. I read The Count of Monte Cristo last year, and it was one of the best books of the year - a page turner with depth. The Three Musketeers wasn't as dark, nor was it as deep as the Count. We picked sides arbitrarily, and once the sides were picked, it was loyalty to the death! Quite the romance, and I mean chivalric romance like The Song of Roland. It was fun, but not a book I grew from reading. Now to see the movie versions to see what I think. I remember Wishbone did a Three Musketeers. When Wishbone/Dartagnan has one of his discussions with the evil cardinal, you can tell the camera crew had to film just the top half of him because his tail was wagging. No. His whole butt was wagging. The cardinal must have been one of Wishbone's favorite people. And Milady says to D'Artagnan "I never take offense. I take revenge. Your a dead dog." Oooooo

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 30, 2014, 6:09pm

#21 Magic Dogs of the Volcanoes was a children's book by a Salvadoran writer. Beautifully illustrated! Sweet tale about how the dogs help the villagers but the landowners want to do away with them. No subtext here? No politics?

This is stained glass that was made from one of the pages of the book.

And speaking of Magic Dogs, here's what mine did today. They found water where there usually wasn't water and played in it. The tennis ball was floating there already. I didn't encourage them. No need to.

Mrz. 31, 2014, 6:58am

>52 cammykitty: Oh, I like the sound of that children's book. And it looks like your own dogs had a good day!

Mrz. 31, 2014, 11:03pm

53 Amber, it is a cool book. Hopefully it will fall in your path some day. & yes, the dogs loved being somewhere they could run!

Apr. 4, 2014, 2:52am

#22 The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes I read this because I got a random blood sugar test that I didn't like the looks of. Not conclusive, but if I can scare myself into getting healthier, so much the better. The book is what it says it is, a basic overview and guide for someone who is just too sweet. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but I did try a tomato feta frittata out of its sister cookbook and that was easy and yummy. The frittata looked, past tense, like this

Apr. 4, 2014, 9:36pm

>55 cammykitty: Katie, That frittata looks delicious. I might have to try one of those!

Apr. 5, 2014, 12:59pm

Lori, it was super easy too. I'm thinking about trying it with spinach added or with bell peppers and onions instead of tomato. It's one of those things that once you know how to make one frittata, you can play with the recipe and make a million variations.

Apr. 10, 2014, 12:36am

Yes, frittatas are fun and flexible and much easier than omelets!

Apr. 11, 2014, 2:17pm

And if a frittata gets messed up, you just call it scrambled eggs. I tried making it again, and well, flipping it was a problem.

Apr. 11, 2014, 3:32pm

The secret to the omelet is having a good quality skillet that isn't too big. The heavier bottoms make it conduct heat better.

Apr. 11, 2014, 10:09pm

Yup, good equipment helps! I haven't graduated to omelets though. I'm just proud of myself for making one flipped frittata that looked good. I've done a lot of the kind that you finish off under the broiler. Those work, but mine have always looked weird, like too many potatoes floating near the surface. They come out looking dull instead of eggy yellow.

I suppose it's time for a reading update. Not much activity this month. I'm reading The Pre-Diabetes Diet Plan which wasn't too painful until it got to carb counting. Shoot me, I'm not going to count carbs. Watch them, yes. Count them. No. That's just too fiddly and mathematical. & I'm a little over 100 pages in to Lies of Locke Lamora. It has two timelines going, and I'm much more interested in the young timeline (interludes) than the main plot timeline. I hope that isn't a fatal flaw! The author, Scott Lynch, is going to be a guest at CONvergence and I'm on the decor committee. We've been joking, or maybe not quite joking, about making a cardboard photo shoot - the kind with a hole for the face - of Chains, the blind priest that has chained himself to his church.

Apr. 12, 2014, 10:24am

>61 cammykitty: - I love omelets as a quick busy week night dinner option! I make one big omelete to feed both of us so I don't attempt to flip it.... I more or less cook the egg enough that I can add the cheese, veggies, etc to one side and then I lift the other half of the partially cooked egg and fold it over, and then continue to cook it under a lid. It is more of an interesting stuffed egg sandwich that has to be eaten with a knife and fork but sooooo yummy!

Apr. 15, 2014, 1:59pm

Lori, that does sound yummy! I need to do some more experimenting!

Apr. 23, 2014, 1:49pm

#23 Still healthy eating. Finished reading The Prediabetes Diet Plan last week. Just now getting around to telling you what I think. Useful info with lots of menu options, but all that carb counting stuff. Geez! I ain't going to do that. At least it gave another, simpler eating plan as an option.

Apr. 27, 2014, 11:54am

24-25 The Lies of Locke Lamora had a pace problem. Other than that, it was a good book - fantasy thief world.

Apr. 27, 2014, 3:38pm

De-lurking to say that my father very successfully controlled his blood sugar for several years by following what was essentially the Sugar Busters diet - no white sugar, no white rice, no white flour, no white potatoes, no white pasta, and limited amounts of corn. He didn't count anything except his blood sugar. :) He finally had to start insulin injections when he had to start taking prednisone for an autoimmune disorder.

Apr. 27, 2014, 10:34pm

Thanks Carrie! That gives me hope. I can give up most of those things pretty easily! Prednisone is a wonder drug, but it sure does have evil side effects!

Jun. 7, 2014, 2:56am

Having trouble finding you...where'd ya go?

Jun. 14, 2014, 9:31pm

Berly, I don't know what has happened to me! Reading slump. Hiding under a rock. Last book I was reading got lost at a picnic. How is that for pathetic? I'll come back. I promise. How have you been?

Jun. 15, 2014, 2:23am

You're here! Hate reading slumps. And lost books. Come out from under your rock though--it is the only way to move on. Come on. Here's my hand....Okay. Now what sounds good to you? Fiction right? Forgotten classic or something new?

Jun. 15, 2014, 3:12pm

LOL! You're right. Doesn't care if it fits my most neglected category. I'll go try to trip over a book.

Jun. 16, 2014, 12:37am

There you go! : )

Jun. 16, 2014, 8:50pm

It's summer! Something light and frothy!

Jun. 17, 2014, 11:06pm

Mmmm, Strawberry Smoothie!!! Might involve frothing, but I don't think it's light. I picked up Fight!: A Practical Guide to the Treatment of Dog-dog Aggression by Jean Donaldson. I think I've now approached the dog geek point where a book written for the lay dog person won't cut it. This book looks like it is for the general dog owner, but it keeps talking about "owner compliance." It says things like the dog owner will tell you "....." but what you really need to focus on is the number of fights/severity of injuries ratio.

Yup, this is up my geek alley, and I'm grateful that Sage and Wanda don't fit any of the severe cases in the book. They don't really fight. Occasionally they'll squabble over a rawhide, and Wanda doesn't like Eugenie, the puppy she used to live with. Other than that, no fights. I'm partly interested in Fight! because of my work at a doggy daycare. Preventing and breaking up fights is all part of the job, and except for the dog who just loves to fight, I've seen lesser versions of all the types she profiles. Don't worry. I do a lot more preventing than breaking up fights!

Bearbeitet: Jun. 18, 2014, 5:47pm

So doggy daycare hmmm? So where does the "kitty" come from in your LT name? Maybe it should have been "puppy?" LOL Yay for reading!

Jun. 18, 2014, 11:42pm

Yup, it should have been puppy. I'm a dog person, but my nickname is Kat and we had a cat named Cameo. Cammykitty is in honor of her.

And as for reading slumps, I better get out of it now! I'm in 3 summer school reading classes and have to be an eager reader to get the kids going. Being surrounded by all those books and having to think about recommendations is kind of infectious.

Jun. 21, 2014, 8:08pm

I finished reading Fight!: A Practical Guide to the Treatment of Dog-dog Aggression by Jean Donaldson. Poorly written and probably not edited at all, it's still worth reading if you're a true dog geek and work with dogs. It might be worth glancing at the resource guarding section if you've got a pair of dogs that squabble over stuff. I enjoyed it despite the oddly phrased sentence or glossed over parts because it is Jean Donaldson. She has star status in dog circles for her work The Culture Clash. She approaches dog behavior and training as a humane science, and like Temple Grandin says what she means even if it might offend. It also helps me be the mellow, patient voice at the doggy daycare that reminds people that dogs act up because they are freaked out.

Jun. 21, 2014, 10:17pm

A book AND a review!! Bravo! I think you are well on your way to recovery. Welcome back. : )

Jun. 21, 2014, 10:40pm

Yup Berly! I've started Salt Sugar Fat now. Reading about rats high on fruit loops.

Jun. 21, 2014, 11:48pm

Uh-oh! Don't want to hear bad news about Fruit Loops. I have fond memories from childhood and I like some every now and then. : )

Jun. 22, 2014, 9:31pm

Well, the cute little white lab rats have fond memories of fruit loops too! Nothing too terrible about them, other than what you already knew. They are irresistible because they are sweet.

Jun. 23, 2014, 2:34am

Phew! ; )

Jun. 30, 2014, 7:11pm

Popping in to say Hi! And that Middlemarch is really just 3 books under one cover. Does that help?! Remember, I am only a definite maybe!

Jul. 1, 2014, 12:05am

So how many pages per book then? I'm one of those people who never finishes trilogies - except Lord of the Rings. I finished that all when I had mono in my 20s.

Jul. 1, 2014, 12:11am

Well, Middlemarch is over 900 pages so that means if you kid yourself into thinking of it as 3 books, it is only 300 or so pages a book. That's not bad.

Or I could join you on the Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle....

Jul. 1, 2014, 9:46pm

A team read of Cat's Cradle would be fun. I've got a couple books in from the library that I'd have to read first, but I could probably do it in August. Maybe July.

Jul. 2, 2014, 2:24am

Just let me know!

Jul. 3, 2014, 10:40pm

Will do!

Jul. 4, 2014, 10:57am

Middlemarch is a favorite of mine, so I hope you give it a try.

Jul. 4, 2014, 8:32pm

Must... gain... courage...

Jul. 4, 2014, 8:34pm

#27 Finished Salt Sugar Fat. Some of it was very interesting, but after awhile I was thinking, I get it, lots and lots of marketing. Free market punishes health initiatives. So I skimmed some of the stuff. The brain/taste research mentioned was very interesting. The wiles of the food giants, I've worked in marketing communications. One of my bosses was an ex-Pillsbury exec. I wasn't too shocked there, and the main villains - sodas and soft drinks, breakfast cereals, cheese (whimper) and red meat, pretzels and snack foods - were no surprise. Some of the book was very well worth reading, other parts didn't hold my interest. As for added incentive to eat healthier, oh yes, it helped a lot - except for the day I hit the first chapter on salt. I know salt is bad for me, I know you get used to less, but reading about it still made me crave it.

And Happy 4th!!! Dog lovers in the US hate this holiday though! I'm in the basement with my pooches because the neighbors are shooting off fireworks.

Jul. 5, 2014, 12:36am

I had forgotten that some areas still allow sales of fireworks to the general public. BC stopped that practice somewhat recently - I am thinking within the last 10 years - so the only fireworks that go off now during our holiday celebrations are official fireworks displays. Occasionally one hears the odd 'pop' and 'crack' from someone setting off a fire cracker but each year less and less of those types of activities can be detected.

Here is hoping the fireworks are not too disruptive for your pooches and Happy July 4th!

Jul. 5, 2014, 2:27am

Happy Fourth!! Although I am sorry you had to spend it in the basement. Our kids were both at other people's housed for the fireworks. Hubby and I sat on our back porch and watched the stars come out and listened to all the pops and booms. It was actually quite lovely.

Jul. 5, 2014, 8:52pm

Hi Lori & Berly - I'd like the 4th if it weren't for the dogs! They weren't too bothered, but I didn't sleep. My old dog got left home alone one 4th and was terrified of firecrackers and storms after that. As for the legality of fireworks, we went the other way around. They were banned except for professional displays in Minnesota when I was a kid, but some people always went to Wisconsin and bought them. Now the little ones are legal and some people still go to Wisconsin to buy the more ballistic ones. & now they shoot them off for New Years too, which always blows me away. Shooting fireworks off in the snow just doesn't sound like fun to me! Florida on New Years, sure, but Minnesota?

Jul. 5, 2014, 10:21pm

We have the same thing. Everyone goes to WA to buy fireworks and the sneaks them back to OR. I vote for fireworks when it is warm out. ; )

Jul. 6, 2014, 12:49am

My cats were pretty unhappy about the 4th, too. Especially since I live 2 blocks from my city's carnival/parade/fireworks display. This is a pretty scary holiday for animals.

Jul. 6, 2014, 2:56pm

I love a good fireworks show. Luckily our pets are pretty good with loud noises. They ought to be, considering how much noise the cats make themselves, play-fighting and knocking things over.

I probably OUGHT to read Salt, Sugar, Fat and try to improve my diet. I don't feel much motivation to do so, however...

Jul. 6, 2014, 5:04pm

Hi everyone - Fireworks - the dragons should all be scared off for another month or so... Anybody seen that Chinese movie Red Firecracker Green Firecracker? Since the 4th, the scene where the guys have a firecracker duel for the hand of the firework manufacturer heiress keeps going through my head, almost like a tune that gets annoying. But the scene is well done, and can hardly be compared to "It's a small world after all" which is the quintessential bad tune that get stuck in your head. Ack! Now I've done it to myself.

Rhonda, if you're putting Salt, Sugar, Fat in the "ought to" category, skip it and read a real nutrition/health book if you truly need info or support.

I was at CONvergence this weekend and went to a how do you know the science is sound panel, and they talked about two books Bad Science and Pharma Science that sound like they cover the same ground as SSF, only for the pharmaceutical companies and the panelist raised a good point. In the US and parts of the Commonwealth, drug companies can advertise their products directly to the public and apparently in these places the marketing budget is higher than the development budget for drugs. Then doctors get push from their patients to prescribe something that maybe isn't necessary or even helpful. That advertisement can't be for the general good. Not saying communism is great, but some things in a capitalist society are definitely broken.

Jul. 8, 2014, 11:17pm

#28 in the Lambda awards category Slow River. Wow. Science fiction novel set in near future about sexual exploitation, corporate greed and family politics. Premise is a young heiress of a water purification family is kidnapped, falls into the criminal world and then... It's hard to talk about this book without spoilers. The characterization is excellent. Lore, our heiress, is victimized often but never plays the victim. She doesn't allow herself more than a few moments of self-pity, and as for the bad things she does? There are several of them, but she doesn't try to justify them either. The novel felt emotionally and scientifically feasible to me, and there were also a few surprises. Griffith managed to avoid several tropes and stereotypes. At times an uncomfortable read, but well worth it in the end. My only quibble is the last chapter felt rushed. A few emotional and plot elements needed a little more attention than they got in the last few pages.

Jul. 9, 2014, 1:09am

Very nice review! I am adding it to my very tall TBR tower! Thanks.

Jul. 10, 2014, 11:12pm

Thanks! I think you'll like it. It did get a little uncomfortable from time to time, but that's actually something I seek out in books. I want my comfort zone challenged.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 12, 2014, 7:54pm

#29 Our Lady of Assassins by Fernando Vallejo Columbia. It took me awhile to realize what I was reading, a dark comedy with an unreliable narrator. Just how unreliable, I didn't know until the end. Now that I'm done reading it, it reminds me a little bit of an interview I saw with an IRA member. The member insisted that he didn't murder a particular mailman, but the longer the interview went on, the more you knew he did it but didn't consider it murder. Our Lady of Assassins is set in Medellin, which at one time was the drug capital of the world. At the time of this novel, its drug trade is slipping. The chief employer of hit men is in jail, which gives our narrator, a sort of South American Humbert Humbert, an opportunity to help out a young unemployed hit man. Our narrator is sound sensitive and especially hates taxi drivers who refuse to turn down their vallenatos. I didn't know what a vallenato was before I read this, but serendipity, I've been going through the Latin Grammy nominations and had just gotten to the Cumbia/Vallenato award. Here's a link to a Vallenato by one of Columbia's most respected artists, Jorge Onate, who also is a politician. I would hate love to see what our narrator would say about Jorge Onate. I don't want to say too much more in fear of going into spoilerland. I'll just say that Our Lady of the Assassins is an amusing and biting commentary on the violence that plagues Columbia. BTW, it's on the revised 1001 Books to read before you die list.

Jul. 13, 2014, 11:22am

#30 The Ice Owl by Carolyn Ives Gilman. Gilman is the Guest of Honor at this year's Diversicon. Sadly, I liked the story but didn't love it mainly because I know all too well what she was basing her story on. I'm a middle school paraprofessional, and have helped teach the Holocaust during at least 5 school years. This would be an awesome read for YAs, but for me the genocide was based too much on the Holocaust and wasn't fleshed out enough with details that made it seem like history repeating itself on a different planet.

The Ice Owl has an interesting world, one where religion separates class and a tone like music from the spheres separates the day. Teen-age Thorn has lived over 100 years, but not really. That's her planet-hopping age. When persecution shuts down her school, she finds a new teacher and that new teacher is somehow linked to her past on a planet during a genocide. The teacher's characterization, the description of lost artwork, Thorn's relationship with her mother and her Gminta Hunter (think Nazi Hunter) boyfriend are great. I just wish she'd gone the extra mile to flesh out Till's story more.

Jul. 13, 2014, 11:25am

You are definitely over your book funk!! Happy Sunday.

Jul. 13, 2014, 12:10pm

Happy Sunday to you too! I was just over at your thread. Like, just! While you were here. Cat's Cradle?

Jul. 13, 2014, 2:10pm

Great reviews! I am going to try to read Our Lady of the Assassins. It was actually already on my wish-list.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 13, 2014, 4:12pm

I hope you like it, Rhonda. There was a movie made of it. I usually hate movies made from books, but I'm tempted just to see who they cast as "baby boy" and how they handle the voice. The voice the story is told in is what makes it. My hunch is they blow both - Alexis will be too old and the voice will be impossible to recreate.

Jul. 19, 2014, 11:07pm

You mentioned on Julia's thread perhaps skipping over Curse of Chalion on your shelves to get Shards of Honor. The two are very different, other than their excellent characters. The first is what I believe to be Bujold's finest fantasy novel while the second is her first book, a science fiction novel which also has excellent characters if not her most mature writing. Either would be a great place to start with her books.

Jul. 19, 2014, 11:44pm

Thanks Roni. So either way, I can't go wrong.

Jul. 19, 2014, 11:46pm


Jul. 25, 2014, 12:33pm

Katie, just a flying visit to wish you a wonderful weekend and to thank you for your visits to my humble abode during my last few difficult weeks. xxx

Jul. 25, 2014, 10:48pm

Thanks Paul. It's always a pleasure to swing by your thread.

Jul. 25, 2014, 11:05pm

This weekend I'm at Diversicon and will be doing a panel on books you read that aren't fantasy and science fiction. Thank heavens I have my LT threads to look back to for that! & I've met L Timmel Duchamp there - LT member, editor and awesome short story writer. And discovered that Greg L Johnson is hiding behind an LT name too. Fun so far, but I decided to come home to feed the dogs before they decided to feed themselves.

Also finished book 31 a couple days ago The Pawprints of History by Stanley Coren. Compared to the only other dog history I've read, A Dog's History of America, it is history Lite. It is mostly anecdotes from China, Europe and North America, about people who were (mostly) positively affected by dogs. A Dog's History of America has few anecdotes and covers Native American dogs, conquistadors dogs, the import of dog fighting etc. After reading A Dog's History years ago, I remember thinking that dogs accompanied us in every awful event in history. Coren includes some of the not-so-good moments in history such as Custer's Last Stand and the Red Baron, but it doesn't feel so awful because his focus is on the relationship between the human and the dog. Also the positive stories, such as Freud's use of dogs in psychiatry, outweigh the other ones. Of course there are a few naughty dogs, and these stories are worth the price of admission. I'm dying to tell you, but won't but Napoleon and Pope Clement VII weren't big hits with the pooches.

Jul. 27, 2014, 6:28pm

Have you started Cat's Cradle yet? I am ready if you are, but slightly worried after reading Morphy's review: "Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut - Classic, Green Dragon (111 Science Fiction), 6/10- great writing, interesting story, no humor, slit my wrists ending, depressing." Still game or no?

Jul. 27, 2014, 9:44pm

Still game and ready to start. slit my wrists ending How bad can it be? We shall see.

Jul. 28, 2014, 10:22am

Ok. Starting it later today! Wrapped my wrists in duct tape just in case. ; )

Jul. 28, 2014, 12:13pm

LOL! Thick duct tape ought to protect you!

Jul. 29, 2014, 12:04am

#32 is Marina. It's sort of a gothic novel set in Barcelona complete with zombies. Sort of. But there is something about the story that doesn't sit just right, even with the usual suspension of disbelief one uses for well-written zombie stories. Once you get to the end though, it all makes sense and it's fantastic. Or it's a huge cheat. You decide. I'm predicting reviews will be mixed on this, all hinging on what people feel about the ending. My official review is here:

Jul. 29, 2014, 11:14pm

Pawprints of History sounds like a book I would like. It is now on the tbr pile.

Jul. 29, 2014, 11:29pm

Pawprints is really fun. I hope you enjoy it, Linda.

Jul. 29, 2014, 11:59pm

I've also added A Dog's History of America

Jul. 30, 2014, 1:44pm

Pawprints is a much easier read than A Dog's History of America, but A Dog's History is definitely the more significant bit of historical scholarship. I was surprised not to find it in the bibliography of Pawprints, which probably means that Pawprints is the older book.

Jul. 30, 2014, 7:47pm

How I wish I had the time and energy to read all the books on the tbr pile. I must stop bringing books home from the library because they keep me away from those I own. But, the two you mentioned are calling to me, and I think the library has, off to the library I go tomorrow.

Jul. 30, 2014, 8:46pm

I know what you mean about reading the books you own, but I found when I put a moratorium on library books I bought more. Totally defeated the purpose! The library should have them.

Jul. 30, 2014, 9:09pm

#33 Cat's Cradle is understandably a classic, filled with cold war dark humor. It starts when our hero (for lack of a better term) decides to do a book about the day the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. He starts by contacting the children of "the father of the atom bomb" and soon finds himself floating along in an adventure that involves an invention far worse than the bomb. Along the way, he discovers religion - one that is clearly made up and it's first tenant is all this is lies. I don't know what else to say about it that isn't a spoiler. It's quite an experience, such an odd little book.

Jul. 31, 2014, 12:06am

No fair! You finished. : P Okay, I am on it tomorrow.

Jul. 31, 2014, 6:11am

Hi Katie! I hope you're doing well!

>99 cammykitty: - So glad you liked Slow River! I haven't been disappointed by Griffith yet. I'm looking forward to the next Hild book.

>102 cammykitty: - This sounds good. I hadn't heard of it.

Jul. 31, 2014, 10:06am

My enjoyment of a book is purely subjective. I am easily depressed by a book especially if it doesn't have a HEA (or at least some hope of a HEA) ending. Cat's Cradle is well-written but hit too many of my buttons. I'm sure others will like it a lot more than I.

Jul. 31, 2014, 9:45pm

Berly - I chowed that book down whole. I'll love to hear what you think when you're finished.

Morphy - I understand totally. It is a thoroughly depressing book dressed up like a clown - sort of. I think Bokononhad an HEA ending where everyone else experienced Jamestown .

Dors - I loved Slow River! I bought a small book of her short stories when I was at Diversicon. Aqueduct Press was there and they forced books on me. (yeah, sure. you believe me.) I'm looking forward to reading more of her writing. & yes, read Our Lady of the Assassins if you get a chance. I had a little trouble getting hold of a copy in English. I had to request it from the library because my branch library doesn't have it. It's worth reading though, and I hope more South American works get translated into English. I can read Spanish, but my Spanish certainly wasn't up to that novel.

Aug. 1, 2014, 1:01pm

I have Marina also, your review is intriguing.

Aug. 2, 2014, 12:52am

Rhonda, I hope you like it! Once I got into it, it was a fast, compelling read.

Aug. 2, 2014, 8:49am

>129 cammykitty: - I think her short stories are the only things I haven't read. What is the collection called? Also, there may be a memoir too, but I can't remember.

Aug. 2, 2014, 1:07pm

I have misplaced my Kindle and can't finish CC until I find it!! Argh.

Bearbeitet: Aug. 2, 2014, 8:16pm

Dors, it's called With Her body. Hopefully I'll get to it soon so I can let you know what I think. I'm sure it's fabulous.

Kim - Argh is right!!! That's the worst thing about e-readers. When they go missing, they go missing with tons of books. It's worse than misplacing the novel of the day. I wonder what Bokonon would have to say.

I just got back from a Geek Partnership Ice Cream social - no need for dinner now. Someone made some awesome hot fudge. & Di and I recruited a convert from Good Reads to join this group. Or at least he said he was going to come over here. If & when he does, I'll let you know so we can all welcome him.

Aug. 2, 2014, 8:42pm

Bokonon wisdom--"Today should not be spent reading." Wait! That's sacrilege!! How about "Today you are meant to read another book."? Yes, that sounds better.

Aug. 2, 2014, 8:55pm

And, of course, as soon as I said that, I found my Kindle!!! Your turn. What Bokonon wisdom say you now?

Aug. 2, 2014, 9:51pm

"Once you feel you know what Bokonon would say, remember, Bokononism is all lies."

Aug. 2, 2014, 11:31pm


Aug. 3, 2014, 12:09pm

Want to join our LT Book Club (The_Hibernator, eeblue, and katelisim and me)? We meet at the Ridgedale Barnes & Noble at 2pm the third Saturday of each month. We're reading Storm Thief by Chris Wooding for August. We tend to read a lot of fantasy and YA though we have read other stuff as well. I'll give you the list if interested. Warning: Although we do talk about the book and books in general, I have to admit that much of it is social!

Aug. 3, 2014, 12:43pm

I'll be interested in your opinion of With Her Body. I am thinking of reading something else by Griffith, but wasn't sure. Short stories might be the way to go.

Aug. 3, 2014, 11:08pm

Morphy - sounds like fun! I just put Storm Thief on hold at the library. I look forward to meeting all of you!

Rhonda - I'm curious too. I've heard that Slow River is her "best" work so I started at the right place. I've gotten the impression that she writes with wildly different styles so reading one book means I don't know her writing style at all.

Aug. 4, 2014, 7:54am

If you wish, you can PM me your Facebook name and I'll add you to the club chat for updates.

Aug. 6, 2014, 9:03pm

YAY! I had no idea you lived in MN Katie. I mean, I probably knew at one point, but that was probably a point in which I lived in Ohio, so....

Aug. 6, 2014, 9:49pm

Rachel, totally looking forward to meeting you in real life!

Aug. 7, 2014, 12:22am

Oh, an LT book club -- love it! Take pictures if you go, and say hi to everyone!

Great reviews here, Katie, though I have to say that a zombie book that shares a name with my daughter is a little creepy:)

Hope you're having a great week.

Aug. 8, 2014, 3:54pm

Anne - At least Marina isn't one of the zombies! & thanks for mentioning pictures! We totally should post some and I never would have thought of it.

Bearbeitet: Aug. 8, 2014, 3:56pm

#34 Barrio on the Edge, side-by-side English/Spanish. Blah title, even worse than the original title Caras Viejas Y Vino Nueva which translates to Old Faces and New Wine. As for the novel, it was an experimental novel that jumped between two viewpoint characters and even more time lines. As for the plot, we get to hang out with a drug addict doing drugs and getting drunk with his friends who are also doing drugs and getting drunk. His mama is disappointed and dies of a bad heart and his papa is disappointed too, but who cares about his papa because he's a cabron. Do you want to know why I finished this one? Frankly, the language. It had the filthiest Spanish I've ever seen in print. I'd heard the male body parts before, but the female ones were new.

Aug. 8, 2014, 8:44pm

>147 cammykitty: Love the reason for finishing the book! I will probably skip it though.

Aug. 9, 2014, 10:57pm

Rhonda, it's the real reason. I have a bookmooch request from a charity that gives books to prisons and I'm debating adding that one to the package. Someone might connect to it better than I did, but will I ever want to look up the slang word for "un parte de mujer?" Perhaps, especially if I think the kids at school are talking about that around me. They usually just talk about girls being "fea" though.

Aug. 19, 2014, 10:01pm

#35 Storm Thief. Sorry. Hated it. Moa is such a G-d-Help-Us. I don't do well with novels that feature females as creatures that constantly need rescuing. Will say more at book group, or maybe not. Looks like most people love the book.

Aug. 20, 2014, 10:13am

I didn't hate it but it didn't impress me much.

Aug. 20, 2014, 8:04pm

Phew Morphy! All the reviews on it are good. I was beginning to think I was a space alien. I just want to know where his writers group was. The book had a lot of potential, or in other words, he missed a lot of opportunities.

Aug. 21, 2014, 2:12pm

#36 Double You is a YA James Bondesque thriller. Whereas this book is less imaginative than Storm Thief, it makes me much happier. Young Adam Murphy's grandfather has died and left behind passports with fake identities, lots of foreign currency, and a letter with an address in Bermuda. Adam goes down to Bermuda to find out what this is all about and walks into a situation out of Edgar Allen Poe. Typical of James Bond, there's a girl involved; one who he wants to protect but impresses him because she's more savvy on this spy game than he is. Wow, how refreshing!!! A boy+girl relationship that doesn't have the power all on one side!!! The book isn't great and it isn't bad. I feel it will do what it was meant to do quite well, which is to entertain middle grade boys and some girls.

Aug. 24, 2014, 5:48pm

>134 cammykitty: - Ok, got it. There's another Winterson I'd like to read that doesn't involve magic or fantasy elements, but I can't remember the title.

How cool that you've connected with people to join a real life book club! That's awesome!

Aug. 24, 2014, 10:55pm

Hi Dors! Yes, it is real cool. We didn't get to meet last month due to illness. Morphy has been hit with the megayuckvirusfromh.e.double.toothpicks. Next month, though, we'll meet and we're reading Octavia Butler's Bloodchild. I'm excited to find a group where when I say a book has a "high ick factor" they say "cool, let's read it."

Aug. 26, 2014, 2:04am

Hi! Did you miss me? RL has been in the way. : ) Jealous that you get to be in a RL book club with Morphy. Cool!

Aug. 26, 2014, 11:30am

>155 cammykitty: Oooh, I love Octavia Butler, but haven't read that one.

Aug. 27, 2014, 10:47pm

Hi Kim - So good to see you! & yup, you should be jealous of me. I'm in a cool book club. ;)

Dors, I love Octavia Butler too. I just read the title story. I'd read it before but all I remembered was the eeeyou feeling. It was interesting reading it again knowing what was coming.

Aug. 29, 2014, 7:01pm

I've been doing daycare for some friends' kids. Dad works at a school and is back two weeks before I am. So today, I introduced them to Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends which debuted on TV ten years and 15 days ago. Happy belated birthday Foster's!

Sept. 1, 2014, 3:19am

I love Foster! A great intro for the kids. : )

Sept. 1, 2014, 9:50pm

Berly, anyone ever told you that you have great taste? No wonder we get along.

Sept. 1, 2014, 9:53pm

: )

Sept. 2, 2014, 7:16pm

:) :)

Sept. 5, 2014, 9:26pm

Happy Thingiversary to me!!! And like most of my celebrations, I've managed to spread it out over a few days. I decided to bookmooch most of my thingiversary books. Two arrived today.

So the book haul is off bookmooch:
The Tenderness of Wolves
Slow Dancing on Dinosaur Bones
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
Skeletons on the Zahara

And two to grow on from B&N:
Cuentos en el exilio by Victor Montoya for next years category challenge. Got it used!!!
Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture by Ytasha L. Womack on my Nook - She will be next year's Guest of Honor at Diversicon.

Now, is there a moochiversary??? And if you're in the Books off the Shelf challenge, can you do this Hobbit style where you give away a book for every year you've been a part of LT?

Sept. 6, 2014, 7:06am

Happy Thingading!! Nice haul!

Sept. 6, 2014, 11:28pm

Thanks Amber!!! It's nice to have an excuse to shop.

Bearbeitet: Sept. 6, 2014, 11:40pm

#37 The Rat by Elise Gravel was my latest Early Review book. I was hoping for David Mitchell, but I'm sure this took far less time. It's a picture book in the "disgusting creatures" series that tells basic facts about rats. Nothing I didn't already know, but it was cute in a disgusting sort of way.

Sept. 6, 2014, 11:33pm

Happy thing-a-versary!

Sept. 6, 2014, 11:35pm

Thanks Rhonda!!! I'm still celebrating because there are three books still to come.

Bearbeitet: Sept. 6, 2014, 11:39pm

#38-39 is Sacrament by Clive Barker received the Lambda Award and several other awards. What a strange book. I really enjoyed it but I'm not sure what to say about it. It started out like a horror novel, and Clive Barker is known for writing horror so that's what I expected, but the ending is not typical of horror. Horror usually is about the loss of control and ends with the protagonist being smashed on the rocks of something he can't control. Sacrament seems like it might do that up until the last two chapters, but instead their is more order and understanding of the world rather than less. For me this was a very satisfying book with a question that I'll still puzzle over. What happens when one decides to be male or decides to be female and goes about it by trying to do all the things society tells one to do? When one doesn't have the natural instinct to be either gender? When one constructs a self and is aware that they don't know their true nature. I may reread it with these questions in mind some day.

Plotwise, we follow Will Rabjohns, a photographer of dying animals and extinctions, through his travels back and forth through memory and through the world - Canada, San Francisco, England, the Hebrides. His friends are going extinct too from the AIDs epidemic, but he finds himself unable to be whole and deal with it until he confronts an undying, charming killer from his childhood. Plot may not sound that great, but believe me, Barker pulls it off. I haven't read enough of his work to say this for sure, but this felt like the novel that he was meant to write, the one that is nearest and dearest to his heart.

Sept. 6, 2014, 11:57pm

Happy Thinaversary! Looks like you are doing it in style. Way to go!

Sept. 7, 2014, 10:26pm

Thanks Roni! Now I'm trying to clear some space in the house for the new books to go. ;)

Sept. 8, 2014, 1:10am

Happy Thinga!!! Nice book haul. I am sure you can find the space. ; )

Sept. 9, 2014, 9:32pm

>173 Berly: Yup! Who needs counter space in the kitchen, or a clear surface to eat on.

Sept. 11, 2014, 8:32am

>167 cammykitty: - Hrm. I think I'll skip this. :-)

>170 cammykitty: - That sounds interesting. I've only read Weaveworld and not his more horrorish horror, as I can't take it.

Sept. 11, 2014, 10:25pm

Dors - I know. He can really write harsh horror, especially short stories. Some things of his I really like and some I can't get into at all. I tried Abarat on audio and I quit listening. It might have been my mood at the time, but it just seemed stupid.

Bearbeitet: Sept. 11, 2014, 10:49pm

#40 I just finished a team read of The Professor and the Madman and am a bit torn on what to say. It is the story of the friendship between the editor of the OED and one of the most prolific contributors. It's also about the making of the OED, and a bit about dictionaries as well. It's come to me highly recommended. I enjoyed reading it, but once I finished and started thinking about it critically, I feel it was a flawed book that didn't reach its potential. He told a few apocryphal stories about Dr. Minor. One of them, the first meeting of James Murray and Dr. Minor, he even tells twice. Many pages are spent on this story before he tells us that it was a fiction on the lines of a National Enquirer article made up by a journalist and the real first meeting went like... I could see telling this once or quoting a large text from the papers of the day and then rebutting them, but twice and to that length? It made it seem as though Winchester had trouble finding material about his subject to write about. He did mention once in a while that not many letters remain etc etc, so I'm sure that he did have trouble finding a lot of material but why then pad it out with misinformation? He could have fleshed out the book another way. Also, his comments about schizophrenia seemed off to me, like he hadn't done his research. Pop psychology time! I know this is a "popular" biography rather than a scholarly one, but it is about scholars and conjecture just weakened the work.

Sept. 12, 2014, 10:41pm

Sage and Wanda got a package of dental chews and

They have replacement squeakies. Which is good, because the beaver has already used up its first life.

Sept. 12, 2014, 11:09pm

#41 The African Shore by Rodrigo Rey Rosa. It is set in Tangiers and one of the main characters is a Columbian who some how manages to avoid getting involved with drugs in Columbia but really needs the money when he is stuck in Tangiers so... I was a bit disappointed in this one and I don't know why. It is by a writer who is well respected in Latin America but virtually unknown in the English speaking world. It was beautifully translated and well written, with lots of subtlety but I didn't connect with any of the characters except the owl which you knew was likely to be killed for the use of its eyes. Apparently owl eyes are powerful talismans in Tangiers. I'm sure I was supposed to make a connection between the owl and the Columbian, but his care for the owl was about the only likable thing about him which meant I didn't feel the ending the way I was supposed to. Matter of fact, I thought he got what was coming to him but what the owl got was kind of pathetic.

Sept. 14, 2014, 5:07pm

>177 cammykitty: I have The Professor and the Madmen lying around here somewhere and just haven't gotten to it. When I do, I shall try to read it less analytically so that I can enjoy it more. Thanks for the heads up. Poor beaver! Bye, bye beaver. On to the next chewie!

Sept. 15, 2014, 10:11pm

Berly, poor frog also has an alternate hole to get to the squeaky now. To sew or not to sew? I'm thinking tying a squeaky in an old sock or two may work just as well.

Sept. 18, 2014, 12:12am

Wanda says "All those treats for me?" She had her first obedience class tonight and was the star of the class. Really, she was a ringer. Doesn't really count when Mom is an assistant instructor who has put off official training for 1/2 a year because the other dog has more issues. Well... Wanda has her issues too, but they magically go away when hot dog is involved.

Sept. 19, 2014, 7:45am

>178 cammykitty: LOL, that didn't take long!

Sept. 19, 2014, 12:57pm

Hooray for squeaky toys!

Too bad about The African Shore--it sounds like it OUGHT to be good, but isn't.

Sept. 20, 2014, 8:43pm

Hi Morphy & Rhonda! Yes, we love squeaky toys! And it's about time for me to revive the toys by replacing the squeakies! We have a guest dog this weekend. I'll probably wait for her to go home, just so she doesn't have to witness the mayhem again. She was here last weekend and participated in the initial mayhem.

And yes, Rhonda. It should have been good. Perhaps if I'd been a guy... Or hadn't read that underbelly of the drug world novel more than once already.

Sept. 20, 2014, 8:49pm

#42 Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts was an interesting book to read, especially if you want to look at what has already been done with an eye on what might be mined for science fiction. I was a little surprised about what has already been done. I've seen the biotech zebra fish enough times that I don't think twice about them. They are in one of our science class's aquariums. But I hadn't heard of people make moths and beetles "remote control" and didn't know much about cloning after Dolly the sheep. Frankly, especially when it comes to dogs, it seems easier to get them the old-fashioned way. Not that there isn't already a lot of biotech commonly used in dog breeding. My old dog's sister mated with the frozen sperm of a dog that had won all his championships in the '70s. Unfortunately, she was killed by a car before the litter was born. Frankensteins Cat was obviously a biased book, very pro biotech although she does mention some of the objections people have to it. Sometimes she followed up the objections with the statistic that 90% (where'd that number come from?) of people eat some form of meat. It's also a very "pop" science book, showing what science has done but not spending much time on how it has been done. This book is meant for adults, but I think it would appeal to advanced readers in middle school as well. I may ask my school library to get a copy.

Sept. 20, 2014, 9:02pm

Okay, did a little research on her statistics for vegetarianism. If you are talking the US, she is saying 90% eat meat so that would leave 10% that don't. That's actually high. According to Gallup, the statistic is between 5-7% depending on demographic with about 2% vegan. Vegetarian Times reports the numbers as even lower. However, if you look world wide, the numbers would be higher partly do to economics rather than conscious choice. I know so many vegetarians that the low % surprises me.

Sept. 20, 2014, 10:47pm

That is surprising, Katie. I would have thought the number would be higher, too.

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Sept. 21, 2014, 10:10pm

Hi Anne, I even looked to see if I hung out with a demographic that had a higher % of vegetarians. Nope. I am an uneasy omnivore. At times, eating animals bothers me, but then I get cravings too. I've never made it longer than a week as a vegetarian, although I own a mean set of vegetarian cookbooks and eat a lot of vegetarian meals.

Weekend is over, but it was good. Hope yours was too!

Sept. 26, 2014, 10:02pm

#43 Bloodchild by Octavia Butler.The book was as I knew it would be. Fabulous, filled with stories that are uncomfortable. I especially loved Butler's simple comments, usually about the origin of the stories, that followed each story. I met her about a month before she died, so I can picture her in my mind and hear her talking when I read those pieces. Such a loss. She was such a down-to-earth person in an intimidating body and with an intimidating talent. Or skill. My father always hated the word talent because it implies something you are born with and doesn't give due credit to the hard work put in to learn a craft. Octavia obviously worked hard to become the writer she was.

Sept. 27, 2014, 9:59pm

#44 The Censors by Luisa Valenzuela - Just the first part. I was reading it in Spanish and feel a little wimpy counting this as a whole book, but it was the logical place to break the book and, hey, it was in Spanish which takes me roughly 6 times longer to read than English. Luisa Valenzuela is an Argentinian author whose writing career began during Argentina's Dirty War, and her writing reflects that. Her short stories seem perfectly Orwellian. I can't imagine she wrote at least the earlier stories while living in Argentina. It wouldn't have been safe. I'll finish the book eventually and am looking forward to it, but wow the stories are much stronger in English! In other words, I need to practice my Spanish if I ever want to be a comfortable bilingual reader.

I'll have to say, reading in Spanish has helped me when I work with kids who are learning reading strategies. Reading came so naturally to me that I had forgotten, if I ever knew, what it was like to learn to figure out vocabulary from context clues, make predictions, make connections etc. Now I know what it's like to spend so much time trying to figure out the words that the sentence structure is something that needs to be puzzled out and predictions/connections don't always happen. Many of the kids speak Spanish but don't read it and are very amused when I start talking about my experiences reading their language while they are trying to read my language.

Sept. 29, 2014, 1:10am

>191 cammykitty: Great insights. You get full credit!!

Sept. 29, 2014, 5:38am

>191 cammykitty: Impressed mightily with your reading prowess, Katie, that you are able to read such serious works in Spanish.

Have a lovely week.

Sept. 29, 2014, 5:01pm

Thanks Paul and Berly. I'm not sure I deserve so much credit for reading "such serious works in Spanish." It was a bilingual book so when I got stuck, I compared the Spanish with the English. I've read some books without translations available, but not sure I could've gotten through this one without help.

Okt. 7, 2014, 12:04am

The Censors sounds really interesting---I have wish-listed it.

Okt. 7, 2014, 8:43pm

It's good. You'll like it Rhonda.

Okt. 8, 2014, 12:11am

Hi Katie,

I loved your description of re-learning reading strategies while reading in Spanish. Good for you!

Hope you're having a great week.

Okt. 8, 2014, 2:46pm

Thanks Anne!

So far the week is so good, but I'm supposed to become the Future Problem Solving coach for my Middle School. Things have been going slowly, and now I'm told I should have already started with my teams (what teams?) and I need to go to coach training and was told the website and the weekend, but there isn't coach training on the day I was told??? And I've got no $ or PO and it costs $? And I'm terribly confused and wondering why I agreed to this!!! Oh, and the deadline to register is today. Confusion!!!

Okt. 8, 2014, 7:05pm

Phew! First problem of Future Problem Solving solved. I'm registered for coaches training! Still confused, but the confusion with a deadline is solved.

Okt. 10, 2014, 8:30pm

>198 cammykitty: Ummmm....good luck, Coach?!

Okt. 10, 2014, 8:37pm

>200 Berly: Thanks! Next Future Problem - the position wasn't properly posted and human resources as quite concerned and don't know if I should get paid or not for the day of training, and more importantly, which budget the $ to pay me should come from. Ha! Glad that's their problem, not so much mine.

First real problem for the group looks like it is on processed food. I've only glanced at the research articles so far. Now I'm really glad I read Salt Sugar Fat earlier this year!

Okt. 10, 2014, 8:38pm

You must be psychic! ; )

Bearbeitet: Okt. 10, 2014, 9:11pm

202 Nah! Nutrition is always a hot topic!

#45 Regarding Ducks and Universes was fun but not fabulous. Felix A is a middle aged man who writes cooking tool manuals but really wants to write a mystery. He goes to alternate Universe B to make sure his alter hasn't gotten around to write the mystery before he has. Quite the middle agey type of book. Someone is trying to kill him. He loves the "tree" murder mysteries of Universe B finds romance which he pursues in a middle agey sort of way. The world she creates is interesting - two alternate universes that are linked together - but what will make or break the novel for you is the main character. If you connect with him and like hanging out with him, you'll love it. If not, don't bother.

Okt. 10, 2014, 9:11pm

#46 Building Blocks is a short novel, but I've read it five or ten minutes at a time for several weeks at school during the kids' reading workshops - which is the way a lot of kids read books. No wonder they are sometimes a little luke warm on reading. I love Cynthia Voigt and especially Homecoming, but reading a book this way isn't the best way to enjoy a book. That said, Building Blocks also isn't Voigt's best. It is a time travel book that is more about the father's problems than the protagonist's problems. Brann travels back to when his father, Kevin, is ten and is able to understand and help his father because of it. Yup, we've seen that plot skeleton before. The father's life during the great depression is quickly, but well sketched. That is the strength of the book.

Okt. 10, 2014, 10:45pm

I also enjoy the books of Cynthia Voight.

Okt. 11, 2014, 9:59pm

Linda, she's a great writer. She is so good at characterization.

#47 Boxers! I don't know if I'm going to go on and read Saints, but Boxers was very good. It is about a serious subject, China's Boxer Rebellion but

the beautiful illustrations gives this book a sort of Justice League feel. No wonder it attracts middle school boys like a magnet attracts iron. Each of the Chinese members of the Righteous and Harmonious Fist are temporarily possessed by a god when they go into battle. What made this book for me was how Little Bao is forced to question his values because of the circumstances he finds himself in (and because of his god, Ch'in Shih-huang).

Okt. 12, 2014, 6:53pm

Boxers looks great! I should read it. I don't understand the Boxer rebellion, even though I did watch the Buffy episode.

Okt. 12, 2014, 10:00pm

LOL! I didn't know Buffy taught history. I don't know how much you'll understand about the Boxer Rebellion if you read just this one, but if you read Saints too it might do it. Last year, I worked with a social studies teacher who liked giving cynical summaries of historic events, comparing them to middle school boy behavior as much as possible. Most of what I know about the Boxer Rebellion comes from him. Apparently a bunch of European nations carved up China into trade zones and said that each of these zones had to trade with the particular nation that "owned" the zone. The US came late onto the scene and wanted China open to trade to all nations whether China wanted to or not. The Boxers were Chinese who didn't like any of this and decided to kick all the foreigners out of China, but the US military went in and wiped them out. I took a bit of the snark-panache out of my summary, but that's sort of his version of the Boxer Rebellion. Of course missionaries and Christianity are part of the story too.

Okt. 14, 2014, 8:06am

Hi Katie!

>177 cammykitty: - This actually sounds kind of fascinating to me, despite your reservations. Actually pop biographies are fun to consume as audiobooks, so I'll see if I can find it.

>190 cammykitty: - Oh, good! I must get to this one, as I love Octavia Butler. I know someone who interviewed her for a master's thesis and she was apparently wonderful and very gracious. Such a loss.

Okt. 14, 2014, 9:13am

Kerri - It is a fun bio, it just could've been better but I think he may have had trouble finding a lot of good primary sources??? Cool, for your friend! I got a chance to speak with her at a book signing for quite a while. There weren't a lot of people who came so I took advantage of it. I'm sure she was very gracious. She was a very shy person, but she believed in giving back to the community that had helped her become what she was. She told me she didn't like teaching (Clarion) but felt it was her duty because people had taken the time to teach her.

Okt. 15, 2014, 11:56am

Well, I had my Future Problem Solving training yesterday. The instructor was all excited about me, almost like I was an antique. They are coming up to their 35 year anniversary and I was the first year of the Edina team. She wanted to know what happened to the other members and I knew Barb was an archaeology prof somewhere but I went online to find Steve. Poor Steve is memorialized with a special library collection at Stanford. He died at the age of 29. :( I'm happy his brief life left a mark, but sad that it was so brief.

So, sigh.

On to FPS! I'm overwhelmed! First thing to do is put together a timeline for myself. Another thing I want to do is to give them a targeted fiction reading list. The qualifying problem (shhh, it's a secret) is on propaganda so, can you recommend any books suitable for good readers between 6th and 8th grade that feature propaganda!

Current list is:
Animal Farm??? I haven't read it and have a friend who read it in high school and hated it. I think she saw herself as one of the animals.
Hunger Games
Fahrenheit 451 (which is more censorship?)

Okt. 15, 2014, 9:31pm

#48 Guyana by Bob Temple was a quick overview of Guyana's geography, history and culture. It was meant for kids. Not terribly exciting, but a good overview - although it skirted around the politics. The picture of the slave rebellion seemed daring in it's pages.

Okt. 17, 2014, 11:44am

#49 Future Problem Solving Coach's Handbook - mostly boring, and somewhat confusing in e-book format. There numbered bullet points and bullet points didn't work. Since it was 175 pages that could have been Eleanor and Park, I'm counting it as a book.

Okt. 17, 2014, 1:18pm

Would Frindle by Andrew Clements work for propaganda? Maybe not advanced enough for your group.

Bearbeitet: Okt. 18, 2014, 10:35am

Frindle would be perfect. I'll have a range of reading levels. I know some are reading at an adult level already, but they are still just kids too. Thanks!

Okt. 25, 2014, 5:33pm

Got kind of behind!

#50 Eleanor and Park I see why people want to ban it, but hey, kids don't live in a cuddly world. & if I can say something rude, time and energy spent on banning this book would be better spent on preventing/treating the problems the book talks about. Just saying.

#51 Homesick by Jason Walz was a graphic novel/autobiography about losing a mother to cancer. Not really a subject I wanted to read about right now, but it was very well done and worth the time.

#52 Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - geez louise! What a weird book. Duh. Of course it's weird. It's Garcia Marquez. It is the story of how a town reacts to a murder that is about to happen. Every one knows about it but the victim, so who is going to tell him?

Okt. 26, 2014, 1:36pm

Some great reading. I keep meaning to try Eleanor and Park, but it hasn't happened yet. And hooray for GGM!

Okt. 27, 2014, 4:19pm

Hi Rhonda, if you grew up in the 80s, Eleanor and Park will look really familiar! It's worth it but I kept feeling like there was a cloud over me while I was reading it, like something really bad was going to happen in the end.

Okt. 27, 2014, 4:21pm

#53 The Lives of Christopher Chant - Speaking of bad things happening! Christopher kept dying. He gets involved in a shhh spoiler spoiler spoiler in alternate worlds and keeps spectacularly dying over and over again. Fun, but he doesn't begin protagging until the last half of the book.

Okt. 28, 2014, 12:27pm

>210 cammykitty: - Yeah, I heard she was shy and maybe slightly reclusive, so it's impressive that she taught. Again, what a loss!

>211 cammykitty: - I'm interested in learning what your final list of propaganda novels for 6th through 8th graders was!

Okt. 28, 2014, 9:08pm

Kerri - definitely slightly reclusive!

I'm still batting around the idea of the propaganda list, but I haven't met the kids yet and am feeling a bit daunted by the thought of reading all of them first. I don't want to get side swiped by some naked something scene I'd completely forgotten about! I'm much more conservative about what I recommend as a representative of the school and what I'd recommend as just plain me.

Okt. 29, 2014, 1:14am

Hi Katie! I have been MIA from LT, but popping in. : )

Okt. 29, 2014, 7:22pm

Hi Berly! I think I lot of us have been a bit MIA or at least scarce. I haven't had the LT time I want lately either.

Rhonda - Isn't Christopher Chant fun! Have you read Charmed Life? I guess that's the next one but it sounds like it has a very different cast.

Okt. 30, 2014, 12:55am

Yikes, Katie, I mixed my books up. I was actually thinking of Charmed Life. I liked both books, but IMO, Charmed Life is better.

Okt. 30, 2014, 9:13pm

I'll have to read Charmed Life. Christopher Chant was called a prequel, and that kind of implies that it wasn't as compelling a situation as the "main" story. It does mean that someone thought the "main" story was good enough that they wanted to know it's back story.

Okt. 31, 2014, 9:08pm

Happy Halloween! Wanda is celebrating with a new zombie squeaky ball.

Nov. 4, 2014, 10:28am

>221 cammykitty: Good point! I can never remember when something contains inappropriate material either. Ha!

>227 cammykitty: Adorable! I wish Geezer understood toys, but he doesn't (we got him when he was 4 or 5 and he probably lived in a kennel his whole life). He just looks at us like we're nuts when we try to engage him with toys. :-(

Nov. 4, 2014, 10:03pm

Dors - well, one of them is reading Game of Thrones. I don't think I have to worry about books being "school appropriate" for her, but another girl is enamored with The Invention of Hugo Cabret. That's far more normal for a 6th grader.

I've known a few dogs that just don't understand toys. It's kind of sad. I keep hearing you can teach them, but for the life of me I don't know how. Maybe a zombie ball? They sure got my two going! Sage isn't into balls unless they squeak. He grew up in a multidog house and I don't think the bigger dogs let him get the tennis ball. So when there are tennis balls around, he chases the dog chasing the tennis ball. Pathetic!

Nov. 8, 2014, 1:56pm

#54 Brave New World Hmmm, is there as much sex in Game of Thrones as there is in Brave New World? And odd thing about BNW - lots of sex, but none of it is sexy.

Nov. 8, 2014, 2:47pm

My daughter was assigned BNW in high school, so it's probably not too much sex. GOT, on the other hands, is full of disturbing sex, and I discouraged my daughter from reading it until she was 17 or 18.

Of dogs and toys, Chica didn't have any interest in toys when we got her, and we got her lots of toys, which she ignored. But then, about a year later, we got Francis the cat, who loves chasing crumpled paper, and got lots of attention for it. Chica then began to try carrying paper around and you could see her wondering what Franny liked about this. Then she started defending her toys from the cat, and actually playing with them

Nov. 8, 2014, 11:15pm

I love the photos of your lovely dog!

From my house to yours, Happy Fall:

Nov. 9, 2014, 3:37pm

>230 cammykitty: Brave New World is one I haven't read, but feel I should (I try to hit all the sci-fi classics). I may try it on audio one of these days.

Nov. 9, 2014, 4:16pm

Rhonda, I think in BNW the sex is "okay" for highschoolers because it is contained sex. ??? It is sex in a society that is portrayed as dysfunctional and the style of casual and frequent random sex is meant to not appeal to the reader. Matter of fact, the style of sex is a function of the society to keep the individual happy and communal. "Good" sex is an implicit concept, shown as married monogamy among the "savages." It confirms our culture's values on sex instead of testing them. Even with the S&M ending where John Savage brings pain into the Brave New World by whipping Lenina, taking drugs and engaging in an orgy. After all, this is too much for him and he kills himself. Thus, the stick with your wife message remains. It's a very different treatment of sex than in Dhalgren or, although I haven't read them, Game of Thrones.

Linda, Thank You!!! What a beautiful house. Love your puppy. Things are looking more on the wintery side of fall today, so bright flowers is a welcome sight!

Nov. 9, 2014, 4:16pm

#55 Siberiak This is the kind of book I hate giving a bad review. It's for the Early Review program, and it's an autobiographical account of one of the teens that visited the Soviet Union toward the thawing of the cold war. It didn't explain what the cold war was, and teens and middle school kids these days don't know. She mentioned the general fear of the "Russians" and "the bomb" but it went by quickly because that wasn't her purpose. It's hard to know what her purpose was. Was it to tell how a shy, awkward teen made friends during a strange adventure? Was it to show that people who are culturally different still have warm hearts? I found myself bored while reading this. I'm not sure if teens will be bored or not when reading it. Either way, the story could have had more depth... or the depth was lost on mean.

Nov. 12, 2014, 9:53pm

Just saying HI! I hope Wanda knows what great owners she has. : )

Nov. 15, 2014, 7:13pm

Hi Berly! I think Wanda knows, but sometimes she says I'm a bit boring. Like when I'm sitting in front of this computer thing.

#56 V is for Vendetta was a little bit different from the movie and I like the differences. It's an uncomfortable book. When V fakes the concentration camp environment and tortures Evvie "for her own good," I know that V truly has gone insane. That's a hard one to forgive, and if we didn't know about Stockholm Syndrome, the whole plot would fall apart because no one would believe Evvie trusting him again. I knew it was coming because I'd seen the movie, but it was still so hard to take that for awhile I was thinking Evvie had been captured and treated that way and V had taken her and recreated that torture so she wouldn't realize she had really been captured etc. . I still really like it though, and would probably miss this scene if it were gone.

Nov. 16, 2014, 5:43pm

>237 cammykitty: I loved the movie and have always wanted to read the graphic novel. I have Watchmen on the shelf and want to get to that too.

Nov. 17, 2014, 5:01pm

Yup, Kerri. You've got some good reading ahead of you!

Nov. 17, 2014, 10:42pm

#57 Eccentric Circles by Rebecca Lickiss. This one sat on my shelf for so long that I started actually avoiding it. I enjoyed it a lot, although it looks like most reviewers didn't. It's an urban fantasy metafiction - yes it does use a lot of the tropes - girl inherits grandmother's house, house is gateway to faerie, handsome elf at kitchen table. Eh, guess I was in the mood for a handsome elf.

Nov. 22, 2014, 11:38pm

We had our real life LT book club today and talked about Eleanor and Park. Everyone liked it, and when we talked about why it was banned, interracial relationships came up. Really? We all thought that was one of the least "dangerous" topics of the book. Next book will be The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. I'm looking forward to it.

Nov. 23, 2014, 1:38am

Just a quick pop in to say Hi!

Nov. 23, 2014, 1:53pm

>240 cammykitty: Eh, guess I was in the mood for a handsome elf. Ha! Who could blame you? I imagine it's those ears.

Nov. 23, 2014, 2:04pm

"In the mood for a handsome elf"


Nov. 23, 2014, 6:52pm

Hi Kimmers!
Dors, I always did have a thing for Spock, but for this particular elf, I think it was his "dark red" hair which I imagine to be almost black with red highlights when the sun hits just right, which in my world would be all the time.

Rhonda, I went looking for a handsome elf for you, but all the ones on line are the blond variety or they look like they have foul tempers! Here's the closest I could find for you. Switchblade ears!

Nov. 23, 2014, 7:47pm

That's funny! Here is my mental elf-image:

Nov. 24, 2014, 4:57pm

Ah, he's sweet. Wonder what's baking at the tree house?

Nov. 26, 2014, 10:12pm

Well, I decided to pearl rule Deerskin. I was about 100 pages in, so didn't pearl rule it soon enough, but oh well. Not a bad book, but it dragged and the protagonist wasn't protagging. I read a review and it sounded like that wasn't going to change, so basically I'd be reading it for the dog, Ash.

Nov. 27, 2014, 10:01am

Hmm, you made me curious to see what I thought about Deerskin. I gave it 7/10 stars, so thought it pretty good.

WARNING: Mini-review might be a tiny bit spoiler-ish.

"I found the fairy tale writing style a little off-putting and the heroine was a little wimpy. She didn't do anything really strong until the next to the last scene in the book. There was a character that I suppose you could call a fairy godmother that helped about a third of the way through the book, but it felt jarring - more of a plot device. The story itself kept me interested but I've read better McKinley's."

Huh, it seems like it should have gotten a 6/10 review at the max.

Nov. 27, 2014, 10:21pm

Katie, we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Malaysia but I wanted to mark the occasion by saying a hearty thank you to my friends in the group for their continued friendship this year. xx

Nov. 28, 2014, 10:34am

Morphy, That's what I was guessing the rest of the book was. I read a review that said a "goddess" helped Lissar by giving her a new appearance and she didn't remember anything about the incident. Fine, it's realistic that she wouldn't remember something that traumatic, except that the belief in goddesses/fairy godmothers needs to show up in the beginning of the book and it didn't. Editor should have caught that if McKinley didn't. That's why you said it felt jarring. I think the "little bit wimpy"ness of the character comes from the original fairy tale which sounds appalling. I hear that in the fairytale, she escapes from one abuser to go to another. Blech! At least McKinley unites her with a dog lover. I have to give her some praise for that!

I'll also admit I've kind of had a blah feeling about Robin McKinley since she was the Guest of Honor at WisCon, and was just about the worst GoH ever. She hid in her room. She is very shy and I'm sure she did the best she could, but I have to fault her for accepting the invite and for WisCon for hounding her to come. I suppose I should forgive and forget! That's part of why I dropped the book though.

Nov. 28, 2014, 10:39am

Paul, and a hearty thank you to you too! You were one of the first people to make me feel welcome in this group.

To be honest, I didn't do much to celebrate Thanksgiving either. I spent it with the dogs boarding at the daycare. Crazy puppies!!! And then celebrated our new national holiday of consumerism by going to Barnes and Noble and buying a new e-reader. Saturday, I'll dig into the obligatory turkey. Not much turkey in Malaysian cooking, is there?

Nov. 28, 2014, 10:41am

>251 cammykitty: That's the way I feel about Stephen Brust. He and two friends stayed with us for several days years ago and they were awful guests. I can't read anything by him anymore and every time I see someone reading one of his books I want to get up on a soapbox.

Nov. 28, 2014, 3:52pm

Um yeah, I'm that way with Stephen Brust too. Not such personal contact, but I know his reputation. He is "controversial" in the MN SF&F community.

Nov. 28, 2014, 4:48pm

>253 Morphidae: Oh, I don't have problems with his "kink." It's his manners that leave a lot to be desired.

Bearbeitet: Nov. 28, 2014, 8:18pm

His rep has nothing to do with "kink." There's plenty of that in the MN Ren Fest and SF&F community. Not much of that would shock me. It's more his manners and leadership skills, or lack thereof. We can take this conversation real world in January, Morphy.

Dez. 6, 2014, 3:45pm

58-59 Melmoth the Wanderer is an Irish Gothic Horror novel from 1820. I've read scarier, but this one is good once you get over thinking it is structured like a modern novel. It isn't. The book contains several stories, one told twice two very different ways, and the point of the book is the wandering stories that account for Melmoth's life. It is a little like The Arabian Nights in the way it frames a story with a story with a story, only these stories are about religion and people pushed to the brink by misery.

Dez. 11, 2014, 10:23pm

#60 I still don't think I'll make it to 75, even with vacation in there, but never say never. #60 Afrofuturism was an interesting book on the music, literary and art trend that started with the Jazz musician Sun Ra. Since it talked about the internet, I found myself wishing it was a hopped up form of e-book with links to music, art, short stories all over the place. It was sort of a place to begin your exploration.

Dez. 12, 2014, 8:38pm

Maybe not 75, but you've read some good stuff!

Dez. 12, 2014, 10:54pm

Thanks, Jim, for stopping by. Reading good stuff is all that really matters, right?

Dez. 19, 2014, 9:42pm

Over a book a day? Probably not going to happen, but I did finish my first Edgar Rice Borroughs. Now I'm thinking about Tarzan. A Princess of Mars. At first I thought our Captain Jack (inspiration for our other Captain Jacks?) was going to fall for a 15 ft green woman with tusks. Even Captain Kirk would have trouble with the logistics of that. Instead, he found an egg-bearing sexy human-enough female. The science in this science fiction left a lot to be desired, even circa turn of the previous century, but hey, if you're ready for a western in space, it's a romping good read.

Dez. 19, 2014, 9:57pm

It is fun, though, and just right for young teens, which is when I first read it.

Dez. 23, 2014, 12:36am

Roni, you're so right. It's totally teen boy wish fulfillment. Kind of too bad we know enough about Mars now to know it isn't that way. I loved the dog/warthog type thing.

Dez. 23, 2014, 12:42am

#62 The Eye of God Meh. Maybe I didn't like it so much because it was an audio book and the choice of accents the reader used bothered me and I didn't pay enough attention. Maybe it was just meh. Either way, I'm not giving it a second chance. It struck me as a thriller where a lot of people run about on errands that don't have much significant purpose. They are just there to thrill.

Dez. 23, 2014, 10:55pm

It's Chrismas Eve's eve, and so I am starting the rounds of wishing my 75er friends the merriest of Christmases or whatever the solstice celebration of their choice is.

Dez. 23, 2014, 11:08pm

Hah, I think my strategy for finishing out the year is not going to work if the goal is reaching 75. I'm reading more books at a time than ever before.
Arabian Nights
Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.
All Art is Propaganda
and since Orwell's review of Henry Miller was so intriguing
Tropic of Cancer
+ Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 and I picked up Blacksad: Amarillo today. In English, not Spanish, but it's my copy, not the library's! I'm not sure I could find a Spanish copy for sale around here.

So, I very well may not finish a single book by the end of the year.

Dez. 23, 2014, 11:09pm

Roni, what a cute "card." I love the cats! Have a great Xmas too!

Dez. 24, 2014, 10:39am

I'll be getting round to Tropic of Cancer soon myself - I hope we both enjoy it! Ha!

Happy Holidays!

Dez. 24, 2014, 11:10am

Amber, I'm really enjoying Tropic of Cancer. I know it was put on trial as "pornography" but the sex isn't sexy enough to be that! It's profane, but not sexy. Sometimes I can't tell if the author is wallowing in depravity or being tongue in cheek, showing the gulf between the men's intentions and their actions. Hope you like it, Amber.

Dez. 24, 2014, 11:45am

I'm reading it soon because it's next on the Banned Books list I'm working through, so yeah, I'm not surprised about the 'sexy'/not sexy part. Ha!

Dez. 24, 2014, 4:07pm

Amber, I suppose it is right after The Well of Loneliness on the list. I keep expecting to meet Radclyffe Hall as one of the characters, but I'm not really sure they were contemporaries. I think she might have been a little earlier. Anais Nin does show up under a different name and paired with a different character.

Dez. 24, 2014, 4:39pm

I've been making purchases here and there and got a bunch of books from a friend who was making room for more books. Haven't gotten around to entering them until now. Looks Cranswickian, but this is over a period of six months... but doesn't include the e-books. naughty naughty e-books. They get you at your weakest point, in the middle of the night when nothing is open and you've just been reading about a great book that you don't own, but can with just a click and sleep isn't coming so... Cataloging the e-books is at least a year backlogged. So the real books are:

Effortless Bento - a Christmas present from a friend who knew just what I wanted!
African-American Religion: Interpretive Essays in History and Culture
The Good Women of China - bookmooch
Skeletons on the Zahara - bookmooch
Solar Storms by Linda Hogan
The Spirit Catches you and you fall down
The Day it Snowed Tortillas
Cuentos en el exilio by Victor Montoya
Barrow, poems by Bryan Thao Worra
Blacksad: Amarillo
And the housecleaning help:
Bright of the Sky
Gumshoe Gorilla
The Gumshoe, The Witch and the Virtual Corpse
Just Ella
The Princess Diaries
Hunting Ground
Cooking with Herb, the Vegetarian Dragon
Essentials of Asian Cuisine

So, does that get me to 75 books in spirit?

Dez. 24, 2014, 4:44pm

Have a happy Christmas and a great new year.

Dez. 24, 2014, 7:50pm

Thank you! You too!

Dez. 24, 2014, 9:57pm

Stopping by now to wish you a happy holiday season and all the best in 2015!

Dez. 25, 2014, 3:15am

Dear Katie, best wishes to you for a very Merry Christmas!

Dez. 25, 2014, 11:21pm

Hope you are having a fabulous holiday!

Dez. 26, 2014, 12:58am

Thanks for all the Christmas wishes. I went to my brother and Sister-in-law's house where they stuffed me full with my favorite dinner which is a chicken bacon sour cream etc kind of dish, asparagus and my favorite cookies. Then we watched Guardians of the Galaxy, so I now understand why Beren (3rd grade) says "you made me beat up grass." Matter of fact, Beren and his sister told me the entire plot of Guardians of the Galaxy before I even saw it, but it makes a lot more sense now.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 26, 2014, 1:20am

#63 Tropic of Cancer Orwell described the events of this book as "amoral" and "irresponsible." It is all that, but it isn't too. It also achieves immoral and rarely and briefly, moral. It is a fictional autobiography of Henry Miller and his fellow expatriate "artists" in Paris during the early 20th Century. I put artists in quotes because there was more effort in finding the next lay than there was in producing art in this novel. Orwell also said he'd love to give a quote from the book, but he couldn't, because it was all obscene. I'm sure Orwell could have found a sentence or two that was clean, but since the novel was on trial for it's obscenity, I'm sure that comment was hard to resist making.

The book doesn't sound very appealing, and to be honest, I finished reading it feeling soiled. But, it is also a fascinating and fun read. His descriptions are so alive and dead on and his characterizations so unkind but loving that it is hard not to admire the writing. Orwell also points out that Miller is a happy person and that the book describes a happy man. Broke and starving, not always sure where he was going to sleep, but happy. Quite happy. Which is the counterpoint to my thought all the way through, that the misery was somewhat self-inflicted. These starving artists could've found jobs. Really. They could've. Occasionally they did, but often the employment didn't last long. Looking for another job never seemed to be much of a priority though.

Another point I just have to make - the whores. At some point I made a link with sex and artistic creativity. The point of sex and creativity is to create, but in Tropic of Cancer the sex only creates the clap and as for the artists, they aren't having much better luck with their arts. When someone does actually finally create something, the Miller character feels that the person has lost their joy to do so and must be saved from the situation. Then I found myself having dreams about an old boyfriend of mine. He was a painter and print maker who lived on the financial edge, more due to alcoholism than artistry. He wasn't too dedicated to his art, and often didn't complete projects. For example, he didn't finish his college degree until years later and then he didn't really finish it. He wrote the college and said he didn't do his senior show because his professor was a drunk and therefore should be given credit for completing college anyway. They agreed. Which I think means the prof really did have a drinking problem, but I think that wasn't what kept him from finishing. It was the fear of failure. The fear of putting yourself out there, trying really hard but failing anyway was a baseline in Tropic of Cancer. Well, Miller succeeded. What a humble, embarrassing, warty book.

Dez. 27, 2014, 12:56am

Dez. 27, 2014, 10:53pm

I love it, Paul!

Dez. 28, 2014, 1:16pm

#64 In the House of the Seven Librarians was a sweet, quiet little story about a magic library that is shut down but seven librarians stay and keep it running, until one day a woman pays her long, long overdue fine for a fairytale book by leaving her first-born child in the returns slot.

Dez. 28, 2014, 4:13pm

>282 cammykitty: Added to my "Maybe" collection. Sounds fun.

Dez. 28, 2014, 10:03pm

Remind me and I'll bring it for you at the next book club meeting. It's a quick read, just right for people in library school.

Dez. 30, 2014, 8:58am

I'm not in library school - eeblue/Liz is. But I'll take you up on the offer anyway!

Dez. 30, 2014, 9:17pm

I figure we can pass it around the whole group.

Dez. 30, 2014, 9:20pm

#65 Looks like I'm going to end ten short! The Autobiography of Martin Luther King Jr It was kind of an odd experience reading this. It wasn't very personal. It was more his experience as a leader, and I knew about almost all of the major protests. Sometimes I knew more than he was telling. The speeches were all familiar too, but I'd forgotten parts. Still, it was an eloquent and moving book. I read something like that and feel like I must go out and make the world a better place, even if only by tiny actions.

Jan. 1, 2015, 9:02pm

Back on the LT wagon and here to wish you Happy New Year!!! May 2015 be a year of health, happiness, friends and books. : )

Jan. 1, 2015, 11:36pm

Thanks Berly!!! Have you been able to set up a 2015 thread yet? Doesn't matter if you actually make it to 75 books - as I demonstrated here. W.w.w.wipeout

Jan. 2, 2015, 12:39am

I was 7 short. No worries. And you already found me. ; )

Jan. 2, 2015, 12:36pm

I was roughly ten short, but not so bad if I included my 1/2 read Arabian Nights and other 1/2 read projects. I'm not sure I'm ever going to finish the Arabian Nights. Last night, Sinbad was bopping people over the head with a human femur and stealing their food and water. All the time praying to Allah as the people he stole from died.

Jan. 2, 2015, 12:38pm

Lol. Are you calling Sinbad a hypocrite?

Jan. 2, 2015, 12:41pm