Berly's 2nd Thread, Aiming for 100 in 2009

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Berly's 2nd Thread, Aiming for 100 in 2009

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Sept. 13, 2009, 11:55am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 31, 2009, 5:05pm

Well, here I am on my second thread. How exciting! Thanks to all my friends for making LT so much fun. I look forward to seeing all of you here. If you are new and want to see what you missed before, check out the first thread here.

My original goal was 100 and I squeaked it in on December 31st. How fun!

My Rating System:
***** excellent, go get it!
**** very good
*** still enjoyable
** disappointing
* not worth finishing

2009 Books
100!!!! Fool, Christopher Moore *****
99. The Front, Patricia Cornwell **1/2
98. The Countess, Catherine Coulter ***
97. The Maze, Catherine Coulter ****1/2
96. Illustrated Green Guide, Reference ****
95. Annie Leibowitz at Work, Annie Leibowitz ****
94. My Life in France, Julia Childs ****
93. A Lion Called Christian, Anthony Bourke ***1/2
92. Charlie Bone and the Beast, Jenny Nimmo ****
91. Silverwing, Kenneth Oppel ****
90. Paul Newman, A Life, Shawn Levy **1/2
89. The Time Paradox, Eoin Colfer ****
88. Loving What Is, Byron Katie reading
87. The Cry of the Sloth, Sam Savage ****1/2
86. The Witch of Portobello, Paulo Coelho ***
85. Number the Stars, Lois Lowry ***1/2
84. Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom ****1/2
83. People of the Book, group read Geraldine Brooks *****
82. Half Broke Horses, Jeanette Walls *****
81. Spellbinder, by L.J. Smith ***
80. Daughters of Darkness, by L.J. Smith ***1/2
79. Secret Vampire, by L.J. Smith ***1/2
78. The Taking, Dean R. Koontz ***1/2
77. The Vampire Diaries, Dark Reunion LJ Smith ****
76. The Vampire Diaries, The Fury LJ Smith ***1/2
75. The Power Deck, Lynn V. Andrews ****
74. The Vampire Diaries, The Struggle, LJ Smith ***1/2
73. The Vampire Diaries, The Awakening, LJ Smith ***1/2
72. Tailspin, by Catherine Coulter **1/2
71. The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown ****1/2
70. Odd Hours, Dean Koontz ****
69. Simple Genius, David Baldacci ***1/2
68. Charlie Bone, The Shadow of the King ROL ****
67. How We Decide, Jonah Lehrer ****
66. Inkdeath, Cornelia Funke ***1/2
65. Into the Beautiful North, Luis Alberto Urea ****
64. The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold ***
63. The Twin, Gerbrand Bakker *****
62. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Austen and Smith *
61. A Will and A Way, Nora Roberts ***
60. Opposites Attract, Nora Roberts ***
59. Same Kind of Different as Me, Ron Hall & Denver Moore ****
58. The 39 Clues, One False Note, Gordon Kormon ***
57. The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett ****
56. The Lost City of Z, David Grann ****
55. Guarding the Rock, Ernest Larson **
54. Inkspell, Cornelia Funke *****
53. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, Sherman Alexie *****
52. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz *
51. Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors, Jenny Nimmo ***1/2
50. Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson ****
49. Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy ****
48. Always Looking Up, Michael J. Fox ****
47. Inkheart, Cornelia Funke *****
46. Lucky Girl, Mei-Ling Hopgood ***
45. A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick ****
44. Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 5, Diterlizzi ****
43. Second Glance, Jodi Picoult ***1/2
42. The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri **
41. Treasures, Nora Roberts **1/2
40. The Girls From Ames, Jeffrey Zaslow *
39. Blue Shoes and Happiness, Alexander McCall Smith **
38. Truth and Beauty, Ann Patchett ***1/2
37. Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 4 ****
(I do read out loud to my kids at night)
36. Last Night in Montreal, Emily St John Mandel ****1/2
35. The Last Bridge, Teri Coyne ****1/2
34. The Secret Scripture, Sebastian Barry ****
33. Handle with Care, Jodi Picoult ****
32. A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Diana Gabaldon *** 1/2
31. Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 3 *** 1/2
30. Sunnyside reading
29. Wall of White, Jennifer Woodlief ****
28. Yoga Anatomy, Leslie Kaminoff ****
23-27. House of Night Books 1-5 *** to ****
22. Passing Strange, Martha Sandweiss **
21. Nineteen Minutes, Jodi Picoult **** 1/2
20. The McKade Brothers, Nora Roberts *** 1/2
19. Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy, Nimmo ****
18. The River of Doubt, Candice Millard ****
17. The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 2, Diterlizzi ****
16. A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini ****1/2
15. The Omnivore's Dilema ***1/2
14. Lamb, Christopher Moore *****
13. The Spiderwick Chronicles, Book 1, Diterlizzi ***1/2
12. Tinkers, Paul Harding *****
11. Outliers, The Story of Success, M. Gladwell ****1/2
10. Dewey,The Smalltown Library Cat, Vicki Myron ***
9. The Book Thief, Marcus Zusak *****
8. Alcatraz, The True End of the Line, Darwin Coon **1/2
7. Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama ****
6. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, Julia Alvarez ***
5. Fugitive Pieces, Anne Michaels **
4. In Defense of Food, Pollan ****
3. The Shack by William P. Young *****
2. Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling **1/2
1. Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell ***

Sept. 13, 2009, 12:24pm

Berly- Good morning friend! Wanted to be the first on your new thread. Yippee! I plan on finishing Hummingbird today and then move on to The Eyre Affair and The Likeness. I'm afraid my tbr piles have been rumbling like Mt. St. Helens lately. I better tread carefully. Are you planning on joining us on the People of the Book read? Hope so! Stop by my challenge and hope you are having a great day!

Sept. 13, 2009, 12:35pm

Mark--Man, you are fast! You are here already!! I was just leaving you a message on YOUR thread to come stop by.

I am in on People of the Book. I have no idea what it is about, but you are in charge so I am in! (It does help that I so enjoyed the first group read of Pillars of the Earth.) Thanks. :)

I really enjoyed The Eyre Affair when it first came out. Thought is was wonderfully imaginative and playful. Enjoyed the next two as well. Then I think it got old, but I might just revisit the series and see what I think now.

Sept. 14, 2009, 10:15am

Hi Berly!

Sept. 14, 2009, 11:33am

Hi old man! Tee hee! I am glad the big 5-0 has not adversely affected you. :)

Okay, I took this quiz from Belva's thread. Obviously I enjoyed it or I wouldn't have stolen it! You have to answer the following questions with titles from books you have read this year.

Describe yourself: Lucky Girl

How do you feel: Always Looking Up

Describe where you currently live: Into the Beautiful North

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Last Night in Montreal

Your favorite form of transportation: A Reliable Wife. Wait, that’s me! How about a Reliable Car!

Your best friend is: (A)Treasure(s)

You and your friends are: Same Kind of Different as Me

What’s the weather like: A Thousand Splendid Suns (95 two days ago!)

What is the best advice you have to give: A Will And A Way

Thought for the day: Speak

How I would like to die: (With) Blue Shoes and Happiness

My soul’s present condition: Truth and Beauty

Sept. 14, 2009, 11:38am

I know I'm banging on about this, but have you been to avaland's new online journal/review about international women's writing yet?!? It's

It's way cool and it's a time-eater so watch out...but it's worth it. And I just discovered that "Belletrista" is an LT member in itself! I intend to shop its shelves rapaciously.

Sept. 21, 2009, 8:01pm

Beeerrrllly! O Beeeeeerrrrrrlllllly! Where aaare yooouuu?

Sept. 22, 2009, 3:29pm

I have turned into the Taxi-Cab mom and have no time left to myself. I really have to stop volunteering for all these school things and my kids have just got to stop doing all these afterschool activities!! Much love to all. I hope to be back one of these days. I am seriously thinking of down-grading to the 75 book challenge...

Sept. 22, 2009, 8:11pm

Missing you Taxi-cab mom!! Please come back! :-(

Sept. 27, 2009, 11:20am

No time for cows. (See McCait's thread....Although Castle Age sounds intriguing...) Relative who has cancer wound up in hospital after bad chemo reaction. Hosting more relatives coming to visit her. Three back-to-back back-to-school nights. Child miserable with springs added to her braces. Same child bit by a friends dog. No stitches, but traumatized. Another one home sick three days last week. Three varsity soccer games last week (How is she supposed to get homework done, I ask?!)

Definitely downgrading to 75 for the year. I don't need reading to be a pressure thing. It is supposed to be my joyous escape. I will keep my thread here so I don't lose any friends. :) Miss you all!!

Sept. 27, 2009, 3:32pm

I'm always here when you're here, Berly, even when I'm not talking. You're right about reading. It's definitely my favorite way to escape too. I'm really loving having no more challenges for the rest of the year. Hope all is going better with your relative. And, Gees! You're really getting hit on all sides. I know the Beginning-of-School rush is going to quiet down; I look forward to seeing your posts when you have the time.

Sept. 27, 2009, 6:03pm

Thanks Bonnie, Mark and Richard. Nice to know I am missed. :)

Just finished Simple Genius, by David Baldacci. No, the book does not live up to its title, but it was a perfect mindless spy/thriller novel to read right now. Action, adventure, a little romance, buff guys and pretty girls, CIA, FBI, a few deaths, code-breaking and a little history on WW2 thrown in. A good read. 3 and 1/2.

Sept. 28, 2009, 12:08am

Berly, you have been through the wars lately! Best of luck, I'm sure it'll settle down soon and you can get back into your reading.

Sept. 28, 2009, 1:55pm

Thanks Wookie! I feel like toast today. My middle child, who has the learning differences, is having a rough year. Trying to set up a meeting this week with her reading specialist and her teachers so everyone can get on the same page with their approach and with the amount of homework.

In honor of October and my favorite holiday, Halloween, I am going to try to read some spooky books and authors. I just started Odd Hours by Dean Koontz. It is apparently the fourth book for this characters, so I am starting it out of sequence, but it doesn't seem to be a problem. If I like it I will go back and read the others in order.

Sept. 28, 2009, 9:21pm

(Mmmm, toast.) Mr Bear is currently in "remedial reading", and the teacher has asked for a meeting (if we want one, it seems to be very informal and just to inform us of what we can do to help). Trying to schedule it around him, Miss Boo, work, and their dad does shift work - phew!

But we will try!

(Honestly, I think he's doing pretty well. But one never looks a gift horse in the mouth in terms of extra teaching! I'm mostly curious to find out where his problems lie, from the point of view of a teacher.)

I've got a couple of ghost stories lined up for October too. I'm looking forward to them!

Sept. 28, 2009, 10:49pm

>16 wookiebender: Hey, Tania! If you want to pm me some info. about what Mr. Bear is doing as a reader, writer, and speller, I'd be happy to to give you some ideas about how you can support him at home. It's what I do every day as a private Reading Specialist.

Sept. 28, 2009, 11:49pm

Thanks, bonniebooks! I'll send you some info asap. (Although I'm a bit vague, because I thought he was doing well, so there are obvious gaps in my knowledge! Or ability to diagnose problems, which might be more to the point.)

Sept. 29, 2009, 12:14am

Hey Wookie, take Bonnie up on her offer. The sooner you jump on a reading problem and make it better, the happier you and Mr. Bear will be! My sweetie has a long road ahead of her. She had open heart surgery at nine days old and crashed on her way into the operating room. So, she is now wired a little differently. ADHD, severe dyslexia, auditory processing issues. Her intelligence is fine, so this is highly frustrating to her. She is now in seventh grade and we continue to search for ways to help her. I hope your Mr Bear has just stumbled upon a wonderfully proactive teacher and all will be well! :)

Sept. 29, 2009, 12:20am

By the by...greatly enjoying Odd Hours. Odd, the central character, is very endearing. The mystery is good and the pace is quick. And special kudos to Mr. Koontz for an amazing use of vocabulary, so surprising in a modern thriller: fusillade, cacophony, paladin, tintinnabulation, abattoir, dyspepsia, and those were just within 5 or 6 pages! Creepy AND erudite. What a cool combo!

Sept. 29, 2009, 1:03am

Mr Bear's whole school is really quite proactive! They're very proud of their pupils and their pupils' achievements, and "sold"^ the school to us prospective parents by talking about their literacy and numeracy rates, and their excellent library (the assistant librarian is a published children's author, which I reckon is completely cool), and their permanent staff of extra literacy teachers. (And their drama, music, languages, and philosophy classes. And this is a public school!!! I'm flabbergasted.)

And this week is Showcase, and I get to see Mr Bear be a card soldier, since his class is doing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. *proud*

^ It's a public school, so if you're in the school zone, you're automatically in the school (although you can choose to go elsewhere, if there's another school that offers you a place). So it's rather funny that they had to "sell" the school to us, but I did also get an offer from another - smaller, closer - school, but that literacy program won me over completely.

Bearbeitet: Sept. 29, 2009, 10:14am

We just moved our son from a language immersion school to our local public school (because, as he put it, "Mom, I just want to learn in English next year!"). So far, it has been just great and the selling point for us was the science teacher and lab for additional cool science stuff! She works with all the regular teachers to supplement the classroom experiences. Very nice!

Hope Mr. Bear proves to be an excellent card soldier!

Sept. 30, 2009, 10:55pm

Mr Bear was an exceptional card soldier! (Ace of spades, to be technical.) He hit all his marks, did his moves without having to look around at the other kids, and obviously had a ball doing it all. (Although with a super-serious face at times.)

Okt. 1, 2009, 10:06am

Oh, nice job Mr. Bear!

Okt. 6, 2009, 2:27pm

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Okt. 6, 2009, 9:14pm

As I was explainin on another thread, my youngest has come down with the dreaded swine flu. He was posting a very high fever. Had to give him a cold bath to get it down below 103 so I felt safe enough to go back to sleep (that was from 2-4 in the am two night ago). He is at greater risk because he has asthma, but the other problem is that my middle daughter has a heart condition which makes her a real risk. So they are quarantined from each other and both on anti-viral meds. One to make well and the other to (hopefully) prevent. Nursemaid takes up a lot of time and so, although I have books lined up to read, I am not getting to too many of them. I did just finish up The Lost Symbol, which someday I will review. It was a page turner!

Best wishes to all. Wish me a good night sleep. LOL!

Okt. 6, 2009, 11:36pm

Good luck, Berly! Sounds like you're going to have your hands full for the next little while.

Okt. 7, 2009, 9:37am

Hi Berly- Sorry to hear about your son, poor little guy! I hope this all works out soon! My best wishes!!

Okt. 7, 2009, 3:17pm

Health and wellness for all in the Berly-verse. I'm sending long-distance healing!

Okt. 8, 2009, 10:54pm

Thanks for the well wishes. I am hanging in there and so is my little guy. The fever broke and now we are just trying to get the cough and sniffles to go away too. So far (knock on wood (and just where did that expression come from?)) no one else has come down with it. Starting Tail Spin by Catherine Coulter.

Okt. 9, 2009, 6:26am

Berly- Thanks for the update and glad you are joining us on the group read!! Hooray!

Okt. 9, 2009, 10:38am

It is hard on everyone when the little guys are sick, particularly in your situation with other health concerns. So glad that things are better at your house.

Now, as to knocking on wood...I have five answers for you from Morris's Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins. I'll try to keep them brief!
1) In a game of "tag," touching a tree frees one from capture,
2) Biblical symbol: forgiveness from the cross of Jesus,
3) Ancient belief that rapping on a tree will summon the good spirits within,
4) Irish belief -- thanking leprechauns for their good luck, and
5) Jews in flight during Spanish Inquisition (1490's) developed a code to knock on wooden doors to gain refuge.

Okt. 9, 2009, 6:20pm

I knew someone would know the answer! Thanks Donna. My little guy likes explanation #1, natch. LOL

Other big news...we are now a three car family!! My oldest is so excited (and so am I!). Freedom. :) It's a manual transmission and she is doing super! Only killed it once so far.

Okt. 12, 2009, 2:51pm

Tailspin by Catherine Coulter. Lots of action, but really awful writing. Stilted, forced, confusing. Not highly recommended.

Youngest recovered from the Swine Flu, back in school. Trying to catch up on everything I fell behind on last week...Oldest drove herself to school this morning. I am wildly swinging between a feeling of relief (less driving for me!) and sadness (less talk time with her). Okay, back to my 200+ emails...

Hugs to all!

Okt. 12, 2009, 3:00pm

Berlyner, many congratulations on the milestones passed! Your first kid-with-a-car, your first swine flu survival, and most difficult and arduous of all, your first Catherine Coulter read!

I can't make it to the Pearl-Rule point with any of her books so far. I keep groaning and snorting and swearing at them. It annoys the librarians.

Okt. 12, 2009, 3:12pm

Damn! I wish I'd remembered that Pearl-Rule thing.

Okt. 12, 2009, 3:23pm

It is a GODsend! I can usually make it to 50pp of ANY-damn-thing, except this broad's maunderings set me off for some reason.

Okt. 15, 2009, 11:06am

So, now I am reading My Name is Red for book club next week. Not terribly excited to read it. I think it is kind of a dark book. Anyone read it and liked it?

I started cataloging and bar coding the library at my daughter's school. Also trying to create a manual for my volunteers to help with this task. Training them next week. So glad to have their help--I had nightmares about it this summer! It's not like I get paid for this either. Just another volunteer hat I wear. :)

Okt. 16, 2009, 12:05am

My Name is Red is somewhere on Mt TBR. It looked intriguing, but I've never gotten around to reading it in the several years it's languished there.

Good on you for volunteering at the school! Although I do have to say that it sounds like almost a fun thing you're volunteering for there... :)

Okt. 16, 2009, 4:46pm

Ooh, big job, Kim! You're a good mom! Sounds like a satisfying job, though, in that your work is gonna live forever! Oh no, I'm singing that song now! Whoo! I have so many good books to choose from I'm spinning in circles.

Okt. 16, 2009, 5:37pm

Okay. Being in the library is fun. Reading books is fun. But data entry and putting bar code stickers on books...not so much. Ah well. I do get a nice sense of accomplishment every time I finish cataloging a row of books. And I (and my daughter) get first crack at new books when they come in. I like that perk!

Okt. 19, 2009, 3:59pm

aw, thanks for finding you for me Berlyboo

oh dear, is rdear being snobby about books again?

Okt. 19, 2009, 6:37pm

LOL! Hi Kath. Glad you found me again. Berlyboo is particularly appropriate for this month, dontcha think? And just when is Richard NOT a snob about books?! But then again, I like that about him. ;)

I am continuing with my October spooky theme and read two YA books by LJ Smith this weekend, The Vampire Diaries:The Awakening and The Struggle. Very light reading. Perfect for my sleep-deprived brain. My son had his birthday party this weekend and it included a sleepover, light on the "sleep." Most importantly, a good time was had by all.

Mark, you'll be glad to know I have my copy of People of the Book so I am now ready for the November read! Yeah.

Okt. 19, 2009, 7:21pm

Berly- Great news! We have to start spreading the word again, we have just 2 weeks! Without Belva, we are missing an important cheerleader! Pick up a pom-pom friend!

Bearbeitet: Okt. 20, 2009, 12:43am

Hear ye, hear ye!! A group read of People of the Book begins in November. For more details, check out this thread...

Okt. 19, 2009, 11:18pm

Oh here you are ... I sort of lost you too .... Glad to have found and starred you again.

Okt. 19, 2009, 11:19pm

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Okt. 20, 2009, 12:14am

Kimmers, don't bother too hard about My Name is Red because it's just not all that and a bag of chips. It's dark and dank and dismal. It's meant to be, of course, so the author succeeds admirably making it a gloomy read. I was claustrophobic and mildew-scented after reading it.

Unless you have some strong desire to smell like you've been locked in a disused root cellar, abandon ship.

And I am NOT a snob. I merely have erudite, well-informed opinions that you commoners haven't the equipment or acuity to appreciate.

Okt. 20, 2009, 12:31am

Are you calling me a commoner on my very own thread?! The audactiy!! I am appalled, dismayed, affronted, distraught and LMAO!!

Rdear, when I call you a "snob," with great affection, of course, the blatant underlying meaning is "connoisseur." And as such, it is your duty to be brutally honest with regards to the worthiness of books. Your startlingly clear discernment is one of the few stalwart safeguards I have: it keeps my TBR from falling over!

I shall follow the Pearl Rule for My Name is Red.

Okt. 20, 2009, 12:46am

Please check out message #45, because it took me an hour to get the @#*#! gif to show up. And I never could get the pom-pom girl to work. Sigh. Mark, give me some props!

Okt. 20, 2009, 12:47am

Hi Cameling!! How nice to see you again. Do try not to lose me next time. ;)

Okt. 20, 2009, 6:43am

Berly- Excellent job, friend! Big props here! Yep, group read starts Nov 1st!

Okt. 20, 2009, 9:34am

Thanks for your comment on my profile. I've starred you now so I can see what you're reading.

Okt. 20, 2009, 9:55am

Thanks Brenzi! Are you threading somewhere?

Okt. 20, 2009, 10:50am

Snob *ruffles feathers* indeed

>49 Berly: Well. All right. That explanation makes perfect sense. (Read: Pleases my vanity)

I was supposed to join a group read when I got a book as a prize from a previous group read, which I now can't remember what it was. Is People of the Book the one? Anywho, I think I'll have to skip all group reads in November since I'm doing National Novel Writing Month for the fifth time! 50,000 words in 30 days. It's quite a challenge!

Bearbeitet: Okt. 20, 2009, 10:57am

Yes Berly you can find me here

Okt. 20, 2009, 11:02am

Rdear--any topics in mind for your 50,000 word adventure?

Okt. 20, 2009, 11:03am

Brenzi--Thanks! Have to dash to a meeting at school--training the library assistants today! Will come say Hi when I get back. :)

Okt. 21, 2009, 9:27pm

So, I think the library training went well. We'll see how many phone calls I get when they try to input books on their own. Cross your fingers for me!

I have continued reading my trashy, quick read Vampire books: The Vampire Diaries, The Fury and Dark Reunion. It is a rainy, cold day outside and all the leaves are falling. Perfect reading day!

Brenzi-- coming to say Hi!

Okt. 22, 2009, 11:49am

The Vampire Diaries, The Fury (book 3) was good, but the ending pissed me off because a favorite character died. And then, much to my delight, the fourth book, Dark Reunion was the best of the bunch! It's a Young Adult series, but very light on the kissy stuff and high on adventure/mystery so all in all quite enjoyable. Also, they are such quick reads that they moved me towards my year's goal very nicely, which compensates for some of the tombs I laboriously read earlier this year.

Okt. 22, 2009, 11:54am

So, I purchased The Power Deck, by Lynn V. Andrews, and have been playing with it over the last couple of days. It is supposed to be a deck of cards (and accompanying book) that you use everyday to find some element of your life to pay attention to for the day. So far, it has been very helpful. Today I am supposed to focus on my Intuition. Yesterday, my focus was on Silence (something hard to come by with all the kids and activities!). A very nice daily reminder and I really like the artwork on the back of the cards.

Okt. 22, 2009, 1:27pm

Sounds like a good stocking stuffer or party favor. :-)

Okt. 22, 2009, 4:26pm

Ooh that sounds like an interesting deck of cards. *toodles off to go look for a set for herself*...

Okt. 22, 2009, 11:30pm

Wow, I could do with some silence at times! :)

Okt. 23, 2009, 12:07am

Bearbeitet: Okt. 23, 2009, 12:09am

Okt. 23, 2009, 12:13am

Wookie--# 65 is some silence just for you!! (I tried putting it inside parentheticals, but the computer kept condensing them to look this: (), which I did not think adequately expressed silence.) So just use your imagination and know it is there!! LOL

Cameling-- let me know if you find it and what you think of the deck.

Hi Bonnie. :)

Okt. 23, 2009, 12:39am

Berly, that's so sweet! Thank you, I am appreciating it. Especially once I zone out the coworkers on the phone, the tippy-tappy of the keyboard, the creaking of chairs, the hum of the airconditioner, the beepbeepbeep of the doorbell, the chatter of coworkers, the bump of the door closing, the distant rattle of traffic, the ping! of the microwave from the kitchen.

Okt. 23, 2009, 6:36am

Rdear, when I call you a "snob," with great affection, of course, I do mean snob...
but there you are.

Wookie.. I too tend to zone out when on the phone.. Thankfully not at work, I never get near a phone there!

Okt. 24, 2009, 2:02pm

I found some on Amazon. So does it work along the lines of a tarot deck?

Okt. 24, 2009, 3:17pm

Berlyboo, you asked if I had an idea in mind...go visit my NaNo page and see:

Unless for some reason you can't see it, in which case it's:

Synopsis: Death in Blue and White
What should a widowed gay man do about his stepson's stepfather's murder? Especially since it's the young man's mother who looks likely to be the killer?

Laugh unpleasantly?
Roll up his sleeves and find the real killer?
All of the above?

I know what my guy's gonna do, but I don't know what he's gonna find out yet....

Okt. 24, 2009, 4:14pm

Cameling. Yes, it has directions for use as a Tarot deck, but I am not using it that way. It also has suggestions for using it as a personal affirmation, self-exploration tool in the book and that is how I am currently playing with it. I took it to my monthly energy group today and it was well received with several Ah-Ha!s. Hope you enjoy it too. :)

Richard--I vote for "All of the Above!" I see lots of opportunities for your personality and history to shine through in this book, and I think that will be essential to the success of your book. Hurry up and write it so I can read it!!

Okt. 24, 2009, 4:20pm

#71 Hey Mudge! (Does that come from "Curmudgeon," me thinks!) I just want you to know that you are NOT expendable. Maybe your characters, but never you. And you need to update your age on your personal bio. *poke, poke* LOL

Okt. 24, 2009, 6:19pm

>73 Berly: Oh NO she didn't just say THAT, cause if she did just say THAT, it is so ON!!


So, the Expendable's a group of lefty nutballs I used to hang around with years ago. My main friend in that circle was killed by a careless driver while he was biking down a busy street in Queens not long ago, and I sorta lost interest in the rest of the nutballs.

Why does everyone assume it's from "curmudgeon"? It's actually not. It's's...

Oh hell.

Okt. 24, 2009, 6:40pm

50, 50...Tra la la la la!! Said with the utmost affection. *she smiles sweetly at Mudge*

Kidding aside, I am so sorry about your friend.

Okt. 24, 2009, 9:06pm

James, my dead friend, was one of life's lost souls. He was handsome, and smart, and funny. But he was wracked by self-doubt, he had no sense of the common variety, and he was seriously depressed and on meds for years and years because he couldn't imagine anything good could ever happen to him.

I loved him (in an impatient-older-brother way) and did what I knew how to do to make his life a little more fun. Mostly I listened. He never felt like he was heard, so I listened. He dithered and stammered and generally made it hard on me! But listen I did, and I know that meant a lot to him.

I miss James. I hope I'm right, and the laws of karma will bring him back...this time happier, please!

Okt. 24, 2009, 10:49pm

I am sure you were a bright spot in his life. It is so hard to find someone to "just" listen. What a precious gift; so simple and, unfortunately, so rare. I am a firm believer in karma, and wish him (and you) well, too.

Okt. 26, 2009, 10:30pm

The Taking by Dean R. Koontz. Another gross and ghoulish one for October. This one was far more macabre than the Odd Thomas series. More fog, more evil (extraterrestrial at that), more gore. I enjoyed the two main characters a lot and it was a quick read, but the main reason I like the book was the ending. Without losing the reader, the timbre of the ending was more high brow with some interesting biblical insinuations/explorations. Still not sure what criteria was used to differentiate between those taken laughing/screaming and those adults left behind. This book did not have the large vocabulary presented throughout the Odd Thomas book, but had lots of T.S. Elliot quotes. Still rather learned for a horror writer. A good read.

Okt. 29, 2009, 7:34pm

So, I have catalogued all the fiction A's at my daughter's school library. Phew!! But I am having trouble with the bar code scanner. The darn cable keeps falling out. Will have to get that fixed ASAP! It's so interesting that I am teaching everyone how to do this since it is a learn-as-I-go process for me. Next week we have our next meeting and I hope the manual I put together was self-explanatory enough! I know one other person has completed a whole shelf, so it can't be too bad. And no one has called me with questions, which A) bodes really well and I am a genius trainer! or B) no one has even tried to enter anything yet. (Come on A!) Spent 6 hours there today...not much reading happening here...

Okt. 29, 2009, 10:37pm

I think of myself as a creative person (with potential), but I actually love jobs like that--where I can just get into a repetitive groove. So much of our work as mothers is never ending; I sometimes volunteer to do cutting and pasting for my teacher friend just to have the satisfaction of have a stack of completed projects. Think of how much satisfaction you're going to have every time you look at those A shelves. Happy scanning, but hope you get some reading time in over the weekend! :-) I'm going to be reading City of Thieves as soon as I'm done with Small Island.

Okt. 29, 2009, 11:32pm

Oh, it is nice to turn the brain off, and just do something repetitive and menial. And then the brain gets to run off and relax and do its own thing for a while. :)

Berly, of course you're a genius trainer.

Okt. 30, 2009, 11:55pm

1) Genius trainer, of course.

2) Repetitive mindless task = laudry. Not to mention "Sisyphean" since it's endlessly recurring.

3) So when do I show up, and what's Walt getting for a single-malt?

Nov. 2, 2009, 8:47pm

Don't talk to me about Sisyphean laundry. I am really good at washing. It's just the folding I suck at!

I'll get back to you on Walt' collection. Show up ASAP, of course. ;)

So, I am starting the much anticipated People of the Book group read this week (yeah!)and I have started in with Jeannette Wall's Half Broke Horses. I loved Glass Castles also by her and love the way Horses is going.

We had balmy and dry weather for trick or treating this year, which was AWESOME and unusual. I have managed to do some serious candy trading with my kids (course I get to draw from all the leftover candy from the bucket, too) and so I am in serious candy heaven. They get to eat pretty much whatever they want, because I only let them keep the candy for a week and then we donate it or throw it out. 100 Grand or Milky Way are my faves, but I wouldn't turn down a Tootsie Pop. LOL

Hugs to all.

Nov. 4, 2009, 6:44pm

Berlyboo, dear one, over in "Le Salon Litteraire du Peuple pour le Peuple," Salon founder EnriqueFreeque started a thread called "Thanksgiving" in which he publicly gives thanks for his blessings.

I can't thank you enough for being my friend. It's a joy to see your posts, brimming with fun and joie de vivre, and to know that you, smiling and laughing thousands of miles away, are well and happy thereby. It's a warmer, friendlier world with you in it.

Nov. 4, 2009, 10:50pm

Richard, bless you. That was so needed today. I thank you deeply for the thanks. :) What an awesome idea for a thread!

I, too, enjoy knowing that over on the other coast you, my friend, are living life to the fullest, enjoying your food and wine, happily penning words we all want to read. Thanks for your wit, your vocabulary and your truly awesome reviews. Keep shining the literary light my way!

With love and laughter,


Nov. 5, 2009, 3:07pm

Can't wait to see what you think of Half Broke Horses; I loved Glass Castle :)

Bearbeitet: Nov. 6, 2009, 4:27pm

Hey Brenzi-- Thoroughly enjoying Half Broke Horses. Wow! Life is a cake walk compared to back then. And she was one tough dame, no nonsense, good sense of humor. Still reading...

So, I successfully installed the scanner at the library. It was logistically harder than one might expect because the school is part of a hospital system and we had to get around their really strict firewall. Right now the kids can't even research butterflies because the computer safety patrol sees B-U-T-T and cuts off the search.

I registered all the staff and students. I am training in the staff next week and we are aiming for a December dedication ceremony. My Volunteers seem to be doing very well inputting the books -- it's so exciting!! Kids keep popping in to ask when they are going to get their library card.
Since there is no full-time volunteer librarian, I create a dummy person called Check In/Out who only has search options and In/Out privileges, as the name implies. I couldn't use my name, for instance, because I have the capacity to change passwords and log in new books, run reports, etc, and that would be BAD in the hands of the students. So, I am learning as I go and it is really quite fun. I spent all day there yesterday. :)

Nov. 6, 2009, 8:53pm

Dear Berly -

It is great fun and so encouraging to read your posts about the project at the school library. What a difference the work you are doing and the training you are directing is going to make for the students and for the librarians.

I don't get to stop by your thread often, especially just lately, but I do want you to know that I benefit from reading your posts. We have many mutual friends here on LibraryThing and I consider you a friend also.

I picked up Half Broke Horses two or three days ago from the library, but, I won't get to start reading it for another day or two, as I need to finish Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for RL Book Club this coming Sunday.

Cheers to you, yours and to one of my favorite cities in the USA, Portland, OR .

With love,


Nov. 7, 2009, 7:03pm

Hey Berly, sounds like you are way techier (sp) than me. Awesome.

Nov. 10, 2009, 3:15am

>87 Berly:
My 9 year old niece had the same problem when she was trying to look up butterflies at the library. Luckily the computer let her type in mariposa (spanish for butterfly) and it brought up butterflies in English, so she was able to go from there. She added the experience to her paper.

Nov. 10, 2009, 5:21pm

#88 Big wave for Ruth! It is so nice to see you here. Thanks for sending some love my way. :) BTW, did you like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, because I just could NOT finish it. Maybe I lost my sense of humor that day...

#89 Brenzi-- I am just faking it, really!!

#90 -- Yes, that is what we had to do, too. Although we chose to put in specific types, like Monarch, and then branch out. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Come again!

Nov. 15, 2009, 2:58am

>#88 and your question about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

You know, Berly, I did get into it after a while. The author succeeded in what he was trying to do in a pretty straightforward way and stuck to it throughout the book.

It was funny to me, sometimes laugh out loud funny, because we are so lured by the original prose of Jane Austen and her terrific story, and here is this guy (the author), respecting Ms. Austen and the story, but, giving us enough distance on the characters to laugh at what he introduces, which is, of course the Zombies.

The Zombies do not play a major role and are not really characters in the sense that they have any dialog or bearing on anyone's life, with the exception that they are a huge inconvenience in regard to traveling safely and that they go about killing people left and right. The really entertaining part of turning this classic on its head, is that the women are such warriors, especially our Elizabeth. To me, that, and the fact that she continues as thoughtful and intelligent, take away the passivity of the women of that time period. It is just a spoof, and a cleverly written one.

I kept imagining what the Zombie version would be like with the cast of the best version of P&P that I have ever watched on DVD, Pride and Prejudice, TV Mini-series - 1995* interacting with all the new twists and surprises. It would almost be like the actors swatting at flies with irritation, if you can imagine, while holding true to to plot of the original.

Probably way too much information, but, you asked how I liked it. tee hee.

*Here is a link to the terrific DVD version with a great cast:

The DVD is definitely worth anyone's time.

Lots of love to you and yours, Berly


Nov. 15, 2009, 7:23pm

Ruth--So, essentially, that was how I felt about the Zombies, irritating flies, and they just did not add the the book in any sort of meaningful way. I am glad you enjoyed it though. :) On the bright side, the zombie film version just might be a great way to get kids who are not interested in the classics to take a peek! LOL

I finished People of the Book and loved it! I enjoyed Brook's forays into the past just as much and perhaps more than the present day scaffolding holding the story together. Just enough history and just enough unknown to allow the author some real fun with her imagination. Five Stars.

Nov. 16, 2009, 8:08pm

Big Wave to Berly!! So glad you loved "People"! I'm right there with you! I just finished "White Hair", another fascinating segment.

Nov. 18, 2009, 3:18pm

So here is my quick update. I am currently reading Loving What Is, Byron Katie and The Cry of the Sloth, Sam Savage. The first is supposed to be a series of four simple statements that help to let go of things that make us unhappy and look at them (and ourselves) in a new light. So far, pretty good. The Sloth is my latest Indiespensible book from Powells. Also, not very far into it, but I like the writing.

Number the Stars, Lois Lowry ***1/2 A children's story about the Holocaust in Denmark. Not as good as The Giver (one of my favorites), but not bad.

Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom ****1/2 By the author of Tuesdays with Morrie. Very short and sweet. I turned down a lot of pages.

People of the Book LT group read Geraldine Brooks ***** Loved this book! And Mark, my favorite section was "White Hair." Can't wait for the next group read in Jan!

Half Broke Horses Jeanette Walls ***** Also, a great book by the author of Glass Castles. Just love her voice, or in this case, her grandmother's. What a pistol! Makes me realize just how easy I have it. I would recommend reading Glass Castle first, although they really are stand alone books. It was interesting to try and see just what it was about her upbringing that made the author's mother so dysfunctional and the bottom line is, I think she just came that way.

Nov. 18, 2009, 3:53pm


I loved The Glass Castle and look forward to Half Broke Horses so I'm glad to see that you liked it. Her sense of humor is priceless.

Nov. 18, 2009, 3:58pm

Berly- It looks like you've been reading some good books, my friend! I'm looking forward to Half Broke Horses!

Nov. 18, 2009, 10:20pm

Me too!

Nov. 19, 2009, 12:50pm

Okay, my antibiotics seem to be working. Hopefully I can lick this sinus infection soon. I have really been feeeling kinda punk this last month. In addition, my hands and feet are killing me! It hurts to hold the steering wheel. I think it is another sign of inflammation in my body and I hope it goes away soon, too.

I started another book, The Witch of Portobello and have put all else aside to read it. Written from the point of view of a whole plethera of people who knew the main character. Similarities and differences from The Alchemist, another well-known book by this author. More later...

Nov. 19, 2009, 6:18pm

Berly- Good news! A friend and co-worker is currently reading Half Broke Horses and I have first "dibs"! Nice, huh? And she hasn't read The Glass Castle either! I'm going to try to rustle her up a copy! That's a must read!

Nov. 19, 2009, 11:26pm

Oh Mark! I think you will enjoy both immensely. And can I just say once again how much fun the People book read was?! I know I didn't comment much, but I loved lurking. Thanks for organizing it.

Nov. 20, 2009, 9:58pm

I went to get the dreaded H1N1 flu shot today and left my book at the doctor's office and they are closed for the weekend. Drat!! Well, back to one of my other books....I am taking a gaggle of girls tonight to see the much anticipated New Moon movie. I shall give a full report in the morning!

Nov. 20, 2009, 10:24pm

Those "events" like that with your kids are so fun--or at least memorable!

Nov. 22, 2009, 10:57am

Fun with girls helps to build great relationships with your daughter as she grows and becomes an adult. I know it did for me. My daughter and I have such a wonderful relationship now and I know those kinds of things we did when she was young helped to build it:-)

Nov. 22, 2009, 4:20pm

OK, I will officially state that as much as I LOVE my two boys I am totally jealous of you moms who have girls! Even though my oldest is a sensitive boy who is a talker, and has sometimes told me more about his personal life than I wanted to know, he still doesn't share as much as a girl would. I want a really good daughter-in-law (but then there's a conflict of interest if she's complaining about her husband) and/or some granddaughters!

Nov. 22, 2009, 5:53pm

Yes, I am blessed with children of both sexes and enjoy interacting with both in their very different ways. The guys went off to see Planet 51 and us girls saw the much anticipated New Moon. The second movie was better that the first and I really enjoyed it, but I have to confess I spent a lot of time laughing at the sighs and squeals of the love-sick girls in the audience. Oh my goodness! Every time one of the main guy actors came on the screen and ESPECIALLY when they had their shirts off, the audience went wild! It reminded me of the reels they show when Elvis used to perform. Personally, I like Taylor Lautner (the werewolf) better than Rob Patterson (the vampire), but my oldest daughter says she has dibs.

I am enjoying Cry of the Sloth. It is a story told through the main character's letters to all the people in his life: old high school friends, his ex-wife, tenants, and people who apply for publication in his literary magazine. So far, he is a man on the brink, but putting forth a brave face. Wonderful, amazing use of vocabulary (reminds me of Richard dear) and a quite delicious sense of irony. Not sure if Andrew will pull it together or self-annihilate...

What is everyone doing for Thanksgiving (those readers who are Americans)? We normally celebrate with my in-laws, but she just had her last chemo and is at rock bottom right now with few white cells to speak of, so they are wisely being reclusive just now. Instead we are going to a friends house and she has invited friends and family so there should be about 30 of us, which will officially make it the largest Thanksgiving I have been to. I am bringing a family recipe for yam souffle and mushroom rollups. It is just not the holidays without them and all three kids like to help make them. Yum!

Okay, well this probably the longest post I have ever made and I am signing off now. :)

Nov. 22, 2009, 6:54pm

I'm lucky that both my boys will be in Portland, so I'm going to have Thanksgiving dinner with them and my mom. I'm going to be bringing a holiday dinner from a grocery store--first time I've ever done that--but will be supplementing with family favorites. My sister is very, very sick. (Cancer treatments are no longer working and liver is so full of tumors, it's no longer functioning well and the tumors have now metastasized to her omentum (I can thank Dr. Oz for that term), so her abdomen keeps filling up with fluid. OK, enough of the yucky details. My mom and I are going down to Grants Pass the day after Thanksgiving. I sure hope the road won't be too bad to traverse. That twisty, up and down freeway makes me nervous even in the summertime!

Nov. 22, 2009, 7:00pm

P.S. I love my sweet potatoes! They're whipped up like mashed potatoes with lots of butter, but also a dash of vanilla and spices with a brown sugar and pecan topping. They're really like eating sweet potato pie. I don't care a bit about the turkey, but love the sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, fresh orange/cranberry sauce, fruit salad, and stuffing. Oh, and pumpkin pie for breakfast the next morning--that's the best! Happy Thanksgiving, Kim! :-)

Nov. 22, 2009, 10:14pm

Bonnie sweetie, I am so sorry about your sister. I have no great words of cheer. It just sucks.

I am glad that you will be with your boys and your Mom for Thanksgiving. I agree with you, the turkey is just an excuse for all the great stuff around it. I love the mashed potatoes with gravy, and on my turkey I make a spicy cranberry sauce and I have a family recipe for stuffing and then the rum in the yam souffle is not bad either! Oh, I can hardly wait. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Bonnie!

Nov. 23, 2009, 11:27pm

So, Cry of the Sloth continues to intrigue. This sad man is sliding further and further into his private little hole. Not quite sure how in touch with reality he is now. And mysteriously, his family photo albums show no pictures of him during childhood for about 7 years. Hmmm...

Nov. 30, 2009, 6:23pm

Slow week for reading. My family all went skiing and boarding up on Mt Hood several times during the past week. My oldest and I board (me trying to be the cool Mom) and the other three ski (my husband mostly so he can assist the other two as they learn). It is humbling to pick up a new sport on the mountain when I know I am perfectly capable as a skier (black diamond). I was getting all cocky linking together some 360s (on the ground not the air -- don't be too impressed!) when I caught an edge and WHAM! I thought I broke some ribs, but no, I was lucky, only deep bruising and some torn cartilage. Ouch. I hope to be good to go in two weeks, in time for Christmas break. But last night was seriously painful. I took Hydrocodone. Strong stuff I tell you! Worked like a charm and I got some good sleep. Well, hopefully I can get some reading in again now that I am temporarily banned from the mountain. :) Send some healing my way.

Nov. 30, 2009, 6:36pm

Hey, Berly- Sorry to hear about the injury! Hopefully you'll recover quickly! The first time I ever skied, (if you want to call it that!) was on Mt. Hood. I was visiting my folks in Salem at the time, probably early 80s. Had a great time!

Nov. 30, 2009, 6:38pm


That sounds awful. Take it easy for awhile. Sending up good thoughts for you to recover quickly.

Nov. 30, 2009, 10:40pm

Beautiful Mt. Hood! That's where I learned to ski. Well, actually Government Camp--not as nice. Torn cartilage sounds serious! :-( Hope you get better soon, Kim. It's going to be a great year for skiing!

Nov. 30, 2009, 11:54pm

OUCH! And what a cool mom you are! (I gobsmacked Mr Bear by discussing my snowboarding experience. Until he found out I'd spent most of the day landing on my rear, until I gave up and swapped my board back for my skis. Oh well, something you have to try once!)

Hope you heal fast!

Bearbeitet: Dez. 1, 2009, 8:21pm

Thanks for the well wishes. I can almost take a deep breath without crying now. Sigh. A soft one that is! Wookie, I am going to assume that gobsmacked is a good thing?! When I first started I also spent the first three days of my boarding experience on my a**. I am much more skilled now, but only a modest intermediate level on a good day. Black/advanced hills still make me desperately wish for my skis!

So, The Witch of Portobello started off strong. I enjoyed the exploration of the feminine side of God and religion and the thought that we all know the answers to our questions deep inside ourselves if we only listen. I like how the main character was described only through the voices of others and their direct quotations of her. Skillfully done. Unfortunately, I found the ending a let down, not from a religious point of view but from a plot fizzle point of view. Still, a good book, but no Aha moments like I had with Coelho's other book, The Alchemist. Three stars.

Dez. 6, 2009, 10:01pm

Berly, "gobsmacked" to me means "surprised" or "startled". With the added visual image of leaving the gobsmacked person with their mouth hanging open. :)

Dez. 6, 2009, 10:49pm

Words like "gobsmacked" give me such fond memories of the BFG. He added so many words to my vocabulary--like frobscottle and snozzcumber--but "gobsmacked" was the best! :-)

Dez. 7, 2009, 5:16am

Ah, Roald Dahl was such an excellent author!

Dez. 10, 2009, 9:31pm

I am gobsmacked to learn that Berly, Our Local Fount of Erudition, hadn't known "gobsmacked"'s definition before now! I must rethink this whole friendship....

I'm back, I won't even pretend to catch up on posts, it's too much. But hey, I don't want to cause collywobbles, I will be returning, so no kerfuffle over my joke.

Dez. 11, 2009, 1:29pm

berly.. sorry for my absence.. I will try to do better.. hope you are well and happy..

Don't let rd push ya around.

Dez. 12, 2009, 4:41pm

Thanks for the conversation on gobsmacked. I did have the correct definition for this lovely word in my head, but it was much more fun to hear it from Wookie! I shall have to reintroduce it into my everyday vocabulary (because it is just so darn fun to say!).

I love books by Roald Dahl! However, I just saw the remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp and it was AWFUL!! Very high creepiness factor. I adore the original movie with Gene Wilder.

McKait and Bonnie and Richard--So nice to see you. Don't be such strangers. LOL

Hugs to all (albeit gently as my ribs are still not healed). Off to decorate our Christmas tree. We got a hug 10 footer this year!

Dez. 12, 2009, 4:46pm

ribs? what happened?
i have missed a lot apparently :(

Dez. 12, 2009, 4:53pm

#111 above. Short version. I was a klutz on the mountain and caught an edge while boarding and WHAM!! I went down face first, put my hands out to try and protect aforementioned face, but my upper ribs landed on my fist and I essentially punched myself. I can almost take a deep breath without hurting but sneezing, laughing and coughing are still to be absolutely, positively avoided!

Dez. 12, 2009, 5:35pm

ouch! ouch!ouch!ouch!ouch!ouch!ouch!ouch!ouch!

Bearbeitet: Dez. 12, 2009, 9:13pm

So Berly I guess you'd say it only hurts when you laugh, is that it?;-)

Dez. 12, 2009, 11:17pm

That was so funny I forgot to laugh!!! Sigh. Ouch.

Dez. 13, 2009, 9:43am

Berly- I hope you are on the mend! Of course you want to be in "tip top shape" for the holidays! Try not breathing so much and have a great Sunday!

Dez. 13, 2009, 11:52am

Ha! Ha! You guys, sound like family! I wish I could remember what year it was that we were all saying that, Kim! Hope you're feeling good enough to enjoy all the winter festivities. I'll be down there for the Holidays, so I won't wish snow on you.

I'm looking for fun reads for the next month. Got any suggestions?

Dez. 13, 2009, 12:00pm

I was just poking around on LT today and found that you are reading Byron Katie. I hope you are enjoying Loving What Is. I like Katie's work and philosophy of life. If you get a chance, there are several YouTube videos of her doing "the work" with an audience. She is both profound and hilarious at the same time. Although with sore ribs, now may not be a good time :)

Dez. 14, 2009, 12:07am

Mark--Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, I'll just stop breathing until the ribs heal. That ought to do it!

Bonnie--I thoroughly enjoyed Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Wells, the author of Glass Castles. Good story, main character is a gusty little lady with a great sense of adventure and humor.

Tames--Nice to meet you! Not very far into Katie, yet, but looking forward to it. Will wait on the YouTube videos until my ribs heal a little more (thanks for the suggestion.)

All my decoration are up, and now I have a week and a half to get all my shopping done...AAAHHHHHH!!

Dez. 14, 2009, 8:38am


I'm in the same club. Funny it happens this way every year yet in the end it all works out. Of course by Christmas night I am exhausted and drowning myself in a bottle of wine with relief that it's over for another year. lol

Dez. 14, 2009, 6:15pm

Brenzi--I feel a very close kinship with you. We could hang out together!! LOL

Made a serious dent in the shopping. Haven't even started the cards yet...

My dear relative finished her chemo and is getting her port out today! Yeah! Waiting on radiation until after the holidays. Despite her current lack of hair, she looks good. We get to spend Christmas day together and my kids are very excited to see her. (Being a major germ house, with kids in three different schools, they have not really seen her for three months.)

Finished The Time Paradox in the Artemis Fowl series. It is a YA sci-fi magic book. I actually enjoyed the reforming evil genius teenager, his sidekick elf friend, and the dirt gobbling dwarf, appropriately called Mulch. They leap into the time stream headed for the past to capture a now extinct lemur with special healing properties. Of course, along the way, their simple plan meets with many difficulties. Fun, easy read.
Four stars.

Dez. 14, 2009, 11:29pm

Did I mention that The Time Paradox was my 89th book? Which means I am still short of the original 100 goal, but have surpassed my life-necessitated revised goal of 85. Yeah Me!

Now, I am cracking open Paul Newman, A Life. Haven't heard anything good or bad about the book, but I have always liked the man. Should be interesting.

Dez. 15, 2009, 6:57am

Berly- How are you my friend? On the mend? Paul Newman has been one of my favorites, since I was a kid. He led a fascinating life. The book should be great!

Dez. 15, 2009, 7:54am

>134 Berly:: Yeah, you! :-) I'm interested in reading about Paul Newman too. He was so beautiful and, yet, he didn't marry the most beautiful woman, he didn't live the Hollywood life. He was always a bit cool though. I'll wait to see what you think of the biography and the man before I put it on my wish list.

And how are you doing? Breathing better this week?

>133 Berly:: I actually took the time to translate the coded writing at the bottom of the first book of the Artimis Fowl series. Can't resist a "secret" code! :-)

Dez. 15, 2009, 9:06am

Hi, Berly -

I hope you are on the mend from your boarding accident. So sorry you were pounded, but, that comes with the territory of the sport, doesn't it. I bet you guys were having a blast up there together. Gathered some thrills before the fall, I hope.

It is good to breathe, but don't read ANY funny books or watch funny movies until the ribs heal a little more. I speak from experience, here.

>133 Berly: - That Brenzi/Bonnie. I feel the same way about her, you know? We three could meet up in the Mid-West somewhere in the Spring and have a mini-LibraryThing Face-to-Face Conference. Not to intrude, but I truly understand the whole kinship element you describe.

I'm looking forward to your experience of the book about Paul Newman. He was so much more than the roles he played. The son of a good friend of mine worked at one of the "Hole in the Wall Camps" for young people and said he really saw, first hand, the good that came from Newman's generosity and caring. I like the Fig Newmans his daughter "makes", too. Let me know if it's worthy of a read.

Here's wishing you comfort and joy.


Dez. 15, 2009, 11:44am

#135 Hey Mark! Thanks for the well wishes. I actually sneezed today without having to follow it with an involuntary "Ouch!", so that is a good sign. :)

#136 Bonnie! I am so impressed you decoded the message in the Artemis Fowl Book! Now (in my spare time which probably won't happen until after the holiday) I will have to go back and give it a try. I always do the Sudoku and the anagram puzzles in the daily newspaper.

#137 Thanks Ruth. Sounds like you have been down the broken rib path before. No funny movies is right! Only sad melodramas. LQ (That means Laughing Quietly, instead of the painful LOL.) I had a great time boarding and can't wait to get back up there. And I am a BIG fan of Paul Newman food products. My latest is the pineapple salsa. Yum!

Okay, off to do more shopping, which BTW is really a pain (ha, ha, literally) when I can only use one arm to hold all the packages. I think I need another Christmas music CD for the car so I can get my Christmas spirit going at full tilt.

Have a great day.

Dez. 15, 2009, 11:45am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Dez. 15, 2009, 12:47pm

>138 Berly:: Besides eating and reading, Sudoku is my next worst addiction. Actually, I should say "was" because LT has replaced that spot--though I'll still do the Washington Post's online version sometimes.

Dez. 19, 2009, 8:23pm

Not much reading going on here. Too much holiday stuff to do. Also, the Newman biography isn't exactly grabbin' me yet. I shall persevere though! Five days left to shop.

Dez. 20, 2009, 2:11am

Hey, Berly! Amazing how much simpler life is around the holidays when your kids are grown and you're going to someone else's house for Christmas, but I do miss the fun that kids bring. For awhile, we had a tradition of roasting hot dogs over the fire for our dinner on Christmas Eve--don't ask me why! The very last thing we did on Christmas Eve afternoon was to go to see The Christmas Carol which was great, because otherwise I would have been shopping until the stores closed! Hope you're enjoying yourself during the Christmas rush!

Dez. 20, 2009, 2:17pm

Think Christmas carols: Hot Dogs roasting over and open fire...That has quite a ring to it, doncha think?! LOL I love the quirky traditions we all come up with. The latest here is my kids have decided that flushing ice cubes down the toilet will help make it snow!! They are 2 for 3 so far.

Dez. 20, 2009, 6:05pm

Hi Berly,

Totally overwhelmed by the unbelievable # of threads now. I'm drowning. Help!

Dez. 21, 2009, 12:23am

Here Brenzi! I am throwing you a life saver (cherry). And remember, I'm not that prolific, so you can easily keep up with my thread. ;)

Okay, today's Christmas tradition was a ride through the racetrack. It's decorated with tons of lights and you get to drive, albeit at 5 mph, on the actual race track. The kids love it because they either get to sit on my husband's lap and drive the car or they climb up through the sun roof and sit on top of the car. They have light displays for the 12 days of Christmas and we all sing at the top of our lungs. Not in tune per se, but very joyous!

Dez. 21, 2009, 12:34am

Hi, 'Berly -

I couldn't resist posting after reading the three posts directly above.

Goodness, hot dogs sound good to me. I'm on a liquids only diet in preparation for an x-ray tomorrow. Just about anything solid sounds good.

I can't sleep either! Hence I'm here ... where else could I be? Bed? More likely the powder room,
not to put too fine a point on it.

YOU three are cracking me up. Bonnie in Seattle, good times and good memories.

Berly, I don't think that the nuts fall far from the tree ... ice cubes, flush ... = snow. Go figure.

Bonnie/Buffalo - time to cull the losers there dear one! I DO KNOW what you mean. Just three more days until vacation. Yea. Let's have some fun.

I wish all of you and all of yours well being. Be safe, comfortable and spread the joy.

Please stay in touch, my belly needs more laughing exercise.

With love,


Dez. 21, 2009, 12:38am

Ms. K -

Where is my lifesaver? Mango sounds good to me. Anything, anything ... I need food.

Just kidding. Not.


Bearbeitet: Dez. 21, 2009, 1:31pm

>144 brenzi:: Bonnie, I'm starting to feel overwhelmed too. Hope Berly has some more lifesavers--any flavor will do! This year I was following quite a few 75-ers along with 50's and 999's but now, it's like Wow! There are so many interesting people in this group who are talking about great books. Hope I'll be able to keep up. I am going to rely on my wish list and the library, though, so I don't go broke!

Oops! I didn't realize I was on your 100-book thread, Berly. As you can see, I follow 100's too! :-)

Dez. 21, 2009, 8:41am

100 book thread? Really? Well apparently I don't know where the heck I am . I don't really pay attention to those numbers and just gravitate toward people I seem to connect with. And there are far too many of those ;-)

Dez. 22, 2009, 12:18pm

Brenzi I am so glad you gravitate my way. Thanks! And Bonnie, and Mark, and Ruth and Richard, too, and anyone else who lurks but hasn't posted. Happy Holidays to all of you!

Ruth, here's a mango lifesaver for you, and Bonnie, how about grape and Richard, you haven't asked but it would have to be passion fruit for you dear sir. Mark, do you need one?

So, I was on track for 100, and then when life interfered, downgraded to 85, which I managed to meet and pass. I spent yesterday crosschecking my list of books. Some books I entered here, but not on my home page. Some I added to my library, but not the other two places, etc. So, after bringing everything up to date, I find that I am actually at book 96! I have 9 days to read four books....

Dez. 22, 2009, 12:22pm

My in-laws moved in to a condo this past year and with less space to decorate, they passed on their Snow Village collection of houses, etc to us. My kids and I had a great time placing them on the mantel (which runs the length of the room above the, yes, bookcases). We went a little bit overboard on the fake snow, but it didn't melt and we vacuumed it up. After I tucked the kids in bed, we turned off all the lights last night and just had the glow from the fire, the Christmas tree and the little houses. Then hubby and I sat down with a Baily's (me) and a scotch (him). Just lovely.

Dez. 22, 2009, 5:27pm

I miss those evenings when the kids are in bed and you turn off all the lights except for the tree and just sit in the living room and relax, and dream, and feel peaceful, and grateful...nice memories! Thanks, Berly! Glad you're having such a nice holiday. I know it's lots busier for you. One of favorite parts of Christmas Day for me was after the emptying of stockings and opening of presents, after cleaning up the living room and Christmas brunch, I could finally curl up with a new book and some Christmas candy and just read. Hope you continue to have those nice moments. Take care!

P.S. I'll be going down to my sister's in Grant's Pass after Christmas, so I'll wave to you when I'm driving through S.W. Portland. :-)

Dez. 22, 2009, 8:17pm

Ah Bonnie! I knew you'd understand. I feel very blessed indeed. My curling up with a book will have to wait a few days, until company leaves; I hope I have a new stack of books eagerly awaiting me then. Best wishes to your sister and, obviously, you. I'll look for your wave. And feel free to stop by one of these days!!

Dez. 22, 2009, 8:22pm

Berly- Sure I'll take one! Make mine cherry!!
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas!

Dez. 22, 2009, 8:31pm

Cherry it is! Merry Christmas to you and yours, Mark!

Dez. 22, 2009, 8:52pm

I could finally curl up with a new book and some Christmas candy

I'm into the countdown for that time. I'm thinking ...let's see...just about 72 hours from now.

Dez. 22, 2009, 9:07pm

'berly -

Kimberly and Company, and all dear readers present ... your memories are wonderful to read about. They contribute to reviving the sweet, pleasant feelings and memories of Christmas' Past for me. Loved people and pets around. A fire in the fireplace. A darkened room illuminated only by firelight, tree lights and maybe a candle or two.

Wonderful ... let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. Right? All is well with the world in those shared moments.

I hope each and everyone of us here on LT has a safe, relaxing and fun-filled Holiday.

You are the sparkly star on the on the very tip top of the tree, Miz 'berly. I will keep my eyes on
the prize of good health and having lots of fun soon! So there. *raspberry sound being made*

With love to you and yours -

Ruth aka Woofie aka womansheart

Dez. 24, 2009, 10:01pm

Dez. 28, 2009, 1:49pm

Read two more books, #97 and #98. More to say later...have to finish two more to make 100!!! Wish me luck.

Dez. 28, 2009, 7:32pm

The Countess, (originally The Autumn Countess) by Catherine Coulter. Okay, it was her first novel and it shows, even with her rewrite, but still worth finishing. This was written in the style of Regency Romance with the slight twist that the heroine is independent, both temperament and money. Three stars.

The Maze, an FBI Thriller, also by Catherine Coulter, was much more polished and actually quite good! Some serious plot twists and just an abundance of potential bad guys (I kept changing my mind as to "Who Dunnit"). Four and a half stars.

Paul Newman, a Life, by Shawn Levy. Still love Paul, but not keen on this book. It was a litany of names: movies, directors, producers, fellow movie stars, and to be quite frank, I knew very few of them. I would have enjoyed it nonetheless, if only it had offered more personal observations and insights. I already knew he was a method actor, blah, blah. It just seemed very flat. I really wanted to know more about his later interests, the racing, which was covered pretty well and proved a lot more exciting and interesting than Levy's recitation of movie credits, and his charitable food brands, which was adequately covered. Didn't feel any closeness to Paul, his wife or his kids and I blame that on the author. Two and a half stars. Bummer!

Dez. 28, 2009, 7:52pm

Berly- Sorry to hear about the Newman bio! Come on, that should have been a slam-dunk! What a legend and what a man! Maybe you could just throw the dvd of "The Hustler" or "Cool Hand Luke" in your player and leave it at that!

Dez. 28, 2009, 8:00pm

Mark--I have to agree! I think Mr. Newman was AMAZING and I am just going to go out and get one of those movies and some popcorn and be happy. I am intrigued to find that he was the father in the Empire Falls movie version. Haven't seen that and might just have to go get that one too. :)

Dez. 28, 2009, 11:00pm

Hi Berly,

Good luck making your goal. I remember Paul Newman inEmpire Falls and, needless to say he was very good (and oh so easy on the eyes) ;-)

Bearbeitet: Dez. 29, 2009, 9:43am

I can practically hear the pages turning madly here in Missouri. I applaud you for your perseverance. I'm on a mini reading hiatus. I am reading every day (just not posting on my overgrown thread) -- trying to finish up a book I started at the beginning of Lent and taking my time with A Passage To India with a bit of Faulkner thrown in for good measure -- kind of a reading smorgasbord. Yum. (That was for Paul Newman).

Dez. 29, 2009, 7:13pm

Berly- Yes, Newman was perfect in Empire Falls! He also was terrific in another Richard Russo adaptation, Nobody's Fool. If you haven't seen it, check it out!

Dez. 29, 2009, 8:30pm

Hey Berlooney...where y'at for 2010? Here in the hundred, or back in the 75 with the cool kids like Bonnie (brenzi AND bonniebooks), Mark, Kath, Donna, and--ahem--me? My review goal is 100 this year, 75 published 2008+ and 25 "Books off the Shelf" that've needed reading, reviewing, and passing along to new and welcoming homes. But *I* elect to be among the haut ton, the Royal Court of Reading, in the 75-Books Challenge forum.

Not that you should feel, oh I don't know, belittled in any way should you join the 100 Challenge rabble...I mean, group! preference to our little slice of heaven, you understand, but I *did* want to warn...I mean, advise! about your alternatives...with the highest and kindest of motives, of course!


Dez. 29, 2009, 9:37pm

Ditto what Richard said ;-)

Dez. 29, 2009, 11:54pm

So, we finally got the snow. Four to five inches. Which is HUGE in Portland, OR. Totally unexpected so, of course, I was out shopping for my daughter's birthday tomorrow. No chains on. Traffic was going 3 mph on the highway. Took me two and a half hours to get home (normally a 15 min breeze). At one point I had to go in reverse back down the oncoming traffic side so i could get back to the flats and get a running start to make it up a hill. Mind you it was two lanes in each direction. Totally crazy. Still couldn't make it home. Made it to our local grocery store and had to be rescued by my hubby and his tank. My car is still there. Will be 'till morning. Oh, and my son had to go so bad, that he peed into a cup while in the car!!! Whew! Glad to be home. We made a 8 foot tall snowman. Picture to be posted soon.

Dez. 29, 2009, 11:57pm

I think I would find reading to be much more enjoyable if I posted a goal of 75 next year and then wildly surpass it, rather than what I am going through this year...madly reading in the midst of the holidays to make 100! ARGH!!!! Richard, I am ready to be belittled! Besides, all my lovely friends will be on the 75 threads, so that's where I'm gonna be in 2010 :)

Just finished #99 The Front by Patricia Cornwall. Police, Detective stuff. Not macabre like most of her stuff, but then also not up to par with most of her stuff. Just fair. Two and a half.

Two days to read Fool, and then maybe I can watch a movie with Paul in it.

Hi Mark, Brenzi and Richard. Thanks for keeping me company. And Donna! Where you been girl? Nice to see you too. Yes, I am practically a fan I am turning the pages so fast! I am not a plug-in through, I am a plop-down. Just put me on any couch or chair. LOL

Dez. 30, 2009, 1:52pm

I missed my own birthday!! One year of LT on December 2nd. Great reads and great friends.

Dez. 30, 2009, 3:55pm

Happy Thingamaversary, Berly! I'm a widdle boy t'ree years ode on 13 Aug.

Link us to your 2010 75 thread soon, okay?

Dez. 31, 2009, 4:55pm

I did it!! 100 books!! Just turned the last page of Fool by Christopher Moore. That man is seriously twisted in the best of ways.

This is the retelling of Shakespeare's play King Lear, and not in iambic pentameter, thank goodness. It is bawdy, and tawdry (in the best sense of the word), and absolute fun! I was tempted to go back and read the original, until I realized that this interpretation blends in several other Shakespeare elements, such as the witches from MacBeth etc, so I think it best to take it as a stand alone endeavor. In fact, in the Author's Note at the end -- entitled "You Cheeky Git" -- Moore admits to pilfering from no less than 12 of the Great Bard's plays. He says, "I have done this largely to throw off reviewers, who will be reluctant to cite and criticize passages of my writing, lest they were penned by the Bard hisownself."

In case the modern day reader has trouble with occasional use of old English (usually the bawdy parts), Moore helpfully provides footnotes. For example:

"Did you hear, Mary? Heinous fuckery afoot. Ain't that the dog's bullocks(2)?"

"2. The dog's bullock!--excellent! The bee's knees! The cat's pj's. Literally the dog's balls, which doesn't seem to be that great a thing, yet, there you are."

Or, one of my personal favorites: "3. Cofishes--other fish in a group, coworkers, cohorts, etc. Shut up, it's a word."

Yes, Moore takes liberties with Lear, the English language and with history (but then so did Shakespeare and aren't we glad he did!). Highly recommended tale. Five stars.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 31, 2009, 5:17pm

Happy New Year to all my LT friends! I cannot tell you how much fun it has been to read the year away with you all. Here's to our leaning towers of TBR! If they fall, may it be into our laps. :)

(Forgot to give credit where it is due: I stole the gif from jdthloue!)

Dez. 31, 2009, 5:19pm

Berly-boo...where's your 2010 thread? Link, please!

Dez. 31, 2009, 5:32pm

Geez man, give me a sec! I just posted my last review and squeaked in my 100th book! I promise I will post it here, right after I go get some food and drink...I am parched and famished!

PS -- You should read Fool. I was reminded throughout of your intelligent, debauched, curmudgeonly wit (and I say that with the utmost affection!).

Dez. 31, 2009, 6:05pm

OMG cofishes no-- it is not a word. Sorry. Well Berly congratulations on accomplishing a feat that I can only imagine in my wildest dreams. Not sure how it's even possible but you certainly deserve a big pat on the back. It's been such great fun bantering with you this year and I look forward to 2010. I'll just scoot right over the heck is it.....I can't find your 2010 thread. HELP!!!

Dez. 31, 2009, 6:05pm


I think Moore's stuff is funny as hell, except when it's not, which isn't all that often thank goodness. I think I'd like him if I met him in RL.

Now if you'll pardon me, I must go await Turkish Delight's imminent arrival with pizza, cannoli, and his eager, smiling self. You really *can* get anything delivered here in New York.

Dez. 31, 2009, 6:06pm

Oh yeah...congratulations. A hundred books is one helluva milestone!

Dez. 31, 2009, 6:45pm

Berly- You are amazing and I'll leave it at that! Funny, I just finished listening to my first Moore book, You Suck, a comical vampire tale, that left me quite pleased! I think I will go with Fool, once I'm ready for him again. Happy New Year amazing person!!

Bearbeitet: Dez. 31, 2009, 6:57pm

R--Thank you for including a pat on the back. I am quite proud of this accomplishment! I am also furiously working on my 510 categories (as opposed to 1010). Will post the link soon...and thanks for caring where I show up in 2010. I look forward to seeing you there. ;)

M--Hi! Thanks for the "amazing" compliment. You are too kind.

I have not read You Suck, but Lamb was one of my first reads in 2009 and I LOVED it! Hope you enjoy further reads by Moore.

Okay, and finally, here is my new home in the 75 group:

Come visit me!!

Dez. 31, 2009, 7:57pm

Congrats on reading 100 books. With all the other things going on in your life, you must read while sleeping! Enjoy a short break tonight and then start hittin' the books again tomorrow. So glad you'll be joining the "fun guys" on the 75 Book Challenge. I'm heading over to your new thread right now. Party hearty!