CBL (cbl_tn) reads more than 75 in 2021 - Part 2

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CBL (cbl_tn) reads more than 75 in 2021 - Part 2

mar 5, 8:07pm

My name is Carrie, and I've lost count how many years I've been a part of this wonderful group. I am a librarian living in Seymour, TN, with my 9-year-old shih tzu, Adrian. We found each other more than seven years ago, and he has been a bright spot in my life ever since, especially in the year that was 2020.

I'm a fairly eclectic reader, but I gravitate toward mysteries and history. I enjoy dipping into the British and American author challenges and the nonfiction challenge, and I look forward to dipping into those challenges again this year.

While I don't expect to be as active as I've been in some past years, I hope that I will be more active this year and not drop off the radar midway through the year. Thanks to the wellness program at work, I have been making an effort to walk a lot more. I reached the end of 2020 in better health than I was at the beginning of the year. All the walking has eaten into my reading time and thread time. I barely made it to 75 in 2020 and I'd like to do a little better than that in 2021.

My thread toppers usually feature Adrian. Here's a picture that Adrian's vet took yesterday as he patiently waited in the exam room. Mom hasn't been able to go inside the doctor's office in the last year. It's nice to know he has such good manners when mom isn't around to remind him!

Redigerat: Igår, 10:02pm

Books read in March
17. The Ravine by Wendy Lower (3.5) - completed 3/5/21
18. Hedy's Folly by Richard Rhodes (4) - completed 3/7/21
19. Chasing Vines: Finding Your Way to an Immensely Fruitful Life by Beth Moore (5) - completed 3/8/21
20. By Its Cover by Donna Leon (3.5) - completed 3/11/21
21. Striding Folly by Dorothy Sayers (3.5) - completed 3/12/21
22. We'll Meet Again by Philippa Carr (1) - completed 3/13/21
23. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan (4) - completed 3/18/21
24. Odds Against by Dick Francis (4) - completed 3/21/21
25. Four Women in a Violent Time by Deborah Crawford (2.5) - completed 3/27/21
26. Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit (3) - completed 3/31/21
27. Colonial Women by Carole Chandler Waldrup (2.5) - completed 3/31/21

Books read in April
28. D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose (3.5) - completed 4/5/21
29. The Baritone Wore Chiffon by Mark Schweizer (3.5) - completed 4/11/21
30. The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker (3.5) - completed 4/16/21
31. Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer (4) - completed 4/18/21
32. The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads by Robert A. Kaster (3) - completed 4/20/21
33. Just William by Richmal Crompton (3.5) - competed 4/21/21
34. The Foundling by Georgette Heyer (4) - completed 4/25/21
35. The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel (4) - completed 4/30/21

Books read in May
36. The Road to Urbino by Roma Tearne (3) - completed 5/6/21
37. Mabrook!: A World of Muslim Weddings by Na'ima B. Robert & Shirin Adl (4) - completed 5/9/21
38. Going to Mecca by Na'ima B. Robert & Valentina Cavallini (4.5) - completed 5/9/21
39. Ramadan Moon by Na'ima B. Robert & Shirin Adl (4.5) - completed 5/9/21
40. Falling in Love by Donna Leon (4.5) - completed 5/10/21
41. The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh by Ngaio Marsh (4) - completed 5/19/21
42. The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, A Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth by Karen Branan (3) - completed 5/29/21
43. The Stones of Florence by Mary McCarthy (2.5) - completed 5/30/21
44. Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz (4) - completed 5/31/21

Books Read in June
45. Sacred Treasure--The Cairo Genizah by Mark Glickman (4) - completed 6/6/21
46. Black Diamond by Martin Walker (4.5) - completed 6/9/21
47. Bonecrack by Dick Francis (3.5) - completed 6/13/21
48. Faded Coat of Blue by Owen Parry (3) - completed 6/18/21
49. The Body under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn (3) - completed 6/20/21
50. All but Forgotten by James L. Emch (3.5) - completed 6/25/21
51. The Passenger from Scotland Yard by H. F. Wood (3) - completed 6/27/21

Books Read in July
52. Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot by Margot Theis Raven; illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (4) - completed 7/3/21
53. The Secret History of Home Economics by Danielle Dreilinger (4.5) - completed 7/3/21
54. Drummer Hoff by Barbara Emberley; illustrations by Ed Emberley (3.5) - completed 7/4/21
55. Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? by Jean Fritz (3.5) - completed 7/4/21
56. Independent Dames by Laurie Halse Anderson; illustrated by Matt Faulkner (3.5) - completed 7/4/21
57. The Struggles of Brown, Jones and Robinson by Anthony Trollope (3) - completed 7/16/21
58. Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (4) - completed 7/16/21
59. The Wall by Eve Bunting; illustrated by Ronald Himler (4) - completed 7/16/21
60. After the Funeral by Agatha Christie (4) - completed 7/19/21
61. The Waters of Eternal Youth by Donna Leon (4.5) - completed 7/31/21

Redigerat: mar 5, 8:13pm

Books Read in January

1. The Address Book by Deirdre Mask (3.5) - completed 1/3/21
2. The Golden Egg by Donna Leon (3.5) - completed 1/6/21
3. Dead as a Dinosaur by Frances Lockridge & Richard Lockridge (4) - completed 1/9/21
4. Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton (3) - completed 1/10/21
5. The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey (4) - completed 1/17/21
6. Next to Last Stand by Craig Johnson (3.5) - completed 1/22/21
7. The Plague and I by Betty MacDonald (4.5) - completed 1/25/21
8. Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers (4.5) - completed 1/31/21

Books read in February
9. A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley (4) - completed 2/2/21
10. They Were Her Property by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers (3.5) - completed 2/7/21
11. Spring by Ali Smith (4) - completed 2/7/21
12. Race Against Time by Jerry Mitchell (5) - completed 2/14/21
13. Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope (3) - completed 2/26/21
14. Banker by Dick Francis (4) - completed 2/27/21
15. Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker (4) - completed 2/28/21
16. In the Teeth of the Evidence by Dorothy Sayers (3.5) - completed 2/28/21

Redigerat: maj 30, 7:43pm

Books Acquired in January

1. Wuhu Diary by Emily Prager (SantaThing gift)
2. They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer (free ebook)
3. Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope (free ebook)

Books Acquired in February
4. Radio's America: The Great Depression and the Rise of Modern Mass Culture by Bruce Lenthall (free ebook)
5. The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel (purchased ebook)

Books acquired in March
6. The Safe House by Christophe Boltanski (free ebook)
7. The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth by Karen Branan (purchased)
8. Stories of New Jersey by Frank Richard Stockton (free ebook)
9. The White Mouse by Nancy Wake (purchased ebook)

Books acquired in April
10. Who Reads Poetry edited by Fred Sasaki and Don Share

Books acquired in May
11. Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America by Rebecca Jo Plant (free ebook)
12. Piero's Light by Larry Witham (purchased)
13. The Piero della Francesca Trail by John Pope-Hennessy (purchased)
14. The Secret History of Home Economics by Danielle Dreilinger (purchased ebook)
15. Where There's a Will by Rex Stout (purchased)
16. Curtains for Three by Rex Stout (purchased)
17. The Black Coat by Constance & Gwenyth Little (purchased)
18. A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson (purchased)
19. A Fifty-Year Silence by Miranda Richmond Mouillot (purchased)
20. Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro (purchased)
21. Birthday Party by C.H.B. Kitchin (gift)
22. A Sherlock Holmes Devotional by Trisha White Priebe (gift)
23. Molten Mud Murder by Sara E. Johnson (gift)
24. The Dog at My Feet edited by Callie Smith Grant (gift)
25. 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die by James Mustich (gift)
26. Marcel's Letters by Carolyn Porter (purchased)
27. Midwest Made by Shauna Sever (gift)

Redigerat: jun 27, 10:21pm

British Author Challenge

January - Children's Literature
Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton (3) - completed 1/10/21

February - LGBT+
Spring by Ali Smith (4) - completed 2/7/21

Philippa Carr - We'll Meet Again (1) - completed 3/13/21
Vaseem Khan - The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra (4) - completed 3/18/21

April - Love is in the Air
The Foundling by Georgette Heyer (4) - completed 4/25/21

Na'ima B. Robert - Mabrook!: A World of Muslim Weddings (4) - completed 5/9/21
Na'ima B. Robert - Going to Mecca (4.5) - completed 5/9/21
Na'ima B. Robert - Ramadan Moon (4.5) - completed 5/9/21

June - Victorian Era
The Passenger from Scotland Yard by H. F. Wood (3) - completed 6/27/21

Redigerat: jul 16, 9:29pm

American Author Challenge

JANUARY - All in the Family
Dead as a Dinosaur by Frances Lockridge & Richard Lockridge (4) - completed 1/9/21
The Plague and I by Betty MacDonald (4.5) - completed 1/25/21

APRIL - Musicians who write books & authors who make music
The Baritone Wore Chiffon by Mark Schweizer (3.5) - completed 4/11/21

Mary McCarthy - The Stones of Florence (2.5) - completed 5/30/21

JULY - Native American authors
Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden (4) - completed 7/16/21

Redigerat: jul 4, 6:07pm

Nonfiction Challenge

FEBRUARY - Minority Lives Matter
They Were Her Property by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers (3.5) - completed 2/7/21
Race Against Time by Jerry Mitchell (5) - completed 2/14/21

MARCH - Comfort Reading
Four Women in a Violent Time by Deborah Crawford (2.5) - completed 3/27/21
Colonial Women by Carole Chandler Waldrup (2.5) - completed 3/31/21

APRIL - The Ancient World
The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads by Robert A. Kaster (3) - completed 4/20/21

MAY - Animal, Vegetable, Mineral
Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz (4) - completed 5/31/21

JUNE - Discoveries
Sacred Treasure--The Cairo Genizah by Mark Glickman (4) - completed 6/6/21

JULY - Cities
Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot by Margot Theis Raven; illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen (4) - completed 7/3/21

Redigerat: jun 21, 9:32pm


JANUARY - Nonfiction
The Address Book by Deirdre Mask (3.5) - completed 1/3/21
The Plague and I by Betty MacDonald (4.5) - completed 1/25/21

FEBRUARY - Memoirs/Biography
A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley (4) - completed 2/2/21

MARCH - Action & Adventure
Odds Against by Dick Francis (4) - completed 3/21/21

APRIL - Literary Fiction
The Road to Urbino by Roma Tearne (3) - completed 5/6/21

MAY - Short stories/Essays
The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh by Ngaio Marsh (4) - completed 5/19/21

JUNE - Historical fiction
The Body under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn (3) - completed 6/20/21

Redigerat: jul 4, 6:08pm


JANUARY - The Middle Ages
The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey (4) - completed 1/17/21

FEBRUARY - Modern (1800 to now)
They Were Her Property by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers (3.5) - completed 2/7/21
Race Against Time by Jerry Mitchell (5) - completed 2/14/21
Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope (3) - completed 2/26/21

MARCH - Early Modern (1500 to 1800)
Four Women in a Violent Time by Deborah Crawford (2.5) - completed 3/27/21
Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit (3) - completed 3/31/21
Colonial Women by Carole Chandler Waldrup (2.5) - completed 3/31/21

APRIL - Ancient (8th C BC-6th C AD)
The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads by Robert A. Kaster (3) - completed 4/20/21

MAY - Dynasties/Civilizations/Empires
The Stones of Florence by Mary McCarthy (2.5) - completed 5/31/21

JUNE - Military/War/Revolution
Faded Coat of Blue by Owen Parry (3) - completed 6/18/21

JULY - Social history
The Secret History of Home Economics by Danielle Dreilinger (4.5) - completed 7/3/21

Redigerat: Igår, 10:02pm

Group Reads

The Golden Egg by Donna Leon (3.5) - completed 1/6/21
Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy Sayers (4.5) - completed 1/31/21
Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope (3) - completed 2/26/21
Banker by Dick Francis (4) - completed 2/27/21
Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker (4) - completed 2/28/21
In the Teeth of the Evidence by Dorothy Sayers (3.5) - completed 2/28/21
By Its Cover by Donna Leon (3.5) - completed 3/11/21
Striding Folly by Dorothy Sayers (3.5) - completed 3/12/21
Odds Against by Dick Francis (4) - completed 3/21/21
The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker (3.5) - completed 4/16/21
Falling in Love by Donna Leon (4.5) - completed 5/10/21
Black Diamond by Martin Walker (4.5) - completed 6/9/21
Bonecrack by Dick Francis (3.5) - completed 6/13/21
The Struggles of Brown, Jones, and Robinson by Anthony Trollope (3) - completed 7/16/21
The Waters of Eternal Youth by Donna Leon (4.5) - completed 7/31/21

Redigerat: mar 5, 8:17pm

Reading Projects

Redigerat: mar 5, 8:21pm

Currently reading:

Voices of the Faithful by Beth Moore & friends
Chasing Vines by Beth Moore
Hedy's Folly by Richard Rhodes

mar 5, 8:29pm

>1 cbl_tn: What a good boy! Snazzy dresser, too.

mar 5, 8:32pm

Happy new thread, Carrie.

mar 5, 8:33pm

>14 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks, Linda! I have been feeling bad that I can't be with him when he undergoes these ordeals. It's nice to know that he has the situation under control!

mar 5, 8:33pm

>15 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!

mar 5, 8:58pm

17. The Ravine by Wendy Lower

It all started in 2009, when Holocaust historian Lower was shown a photograph depicting the murder of a Jewish woman and a small boy in Ukraine. Lower notes that, while there are many photographs depicting victims of the Holocaust, very few of these photographs show their killers in the act of murder. Lower set out to do what she could to pinpoint the location of the mass shooting depicted in the photograph, identify the photographer, identify the German and Ukrainian killers, identify the victims, identify what was happening outside the borders of the photograph and who else was present at the time, and find out if the killers were still living to be prosecuted for their crime or if any of them were brought to justice before their deaths. In answering these questions, Lower also educates readers in the methodologies that she and other Holocaust researchers use in their work. The emphasis on methodology and the extensive notes section will be useful to scholars and students of the Holocaust.

This review is based on an electronic advance reading copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

3.5 stars

mar 5, 9:57pm

Happy new thread!

mar 5, 10:00pm

Oooh, new thread, Carrie!! Carry on!

mar 5, 10:02pm

mar 5, 10:03pm

Happy new thread, Carrie! Cute topper!

mar 5, 10:18pm

>22 Carmenere: Thanks, Lynda!

mar 5, 10:43pm

Happy new thread, Carrie.

mar 5, 10:55pm

>24 BLBera: Thanks, Beth!

mar 6, 8:36am

Happy new thread!

mar 6, 10:54am

>26 drneutron: Thanks, Jim!

mar 6, 11:43am

Happy new thread, Carrie. And thanks for the advice on your other thread about Trollope. I forgot how quick one has to be here on LT to react.
>1 cbl_tn: - Adrian is so cute!

mar 6, 1:16pm

>28 Trifolia: Thanks Monica!

mar 6, 6:07pm

Happy new thread, Carrie!

>1 cbl_tn: Always happy to see a picture of Adrian.

mar 6, 7:38pm

Hi Carrie :) Just stopping by to say hello, and check out your reads. I have barely heard of your reads so far this year, bar the Ali Smith one.

mar 6, 10:55pm

>30 FAMeulstee: Thanks Anita! I am happy that Adrian seems to be getting back to normal. He's had a rough week.

>31 LovingLit: Hi Megan! I think you might like The Western Wind. It reminded me a lot of Harvest in that it's set in an isolated English village at a point when outside forces are upending the traditional ways of life.

mar 7, 2:55pm

18. Hedy's Folly by Richard Rhodes

Actress Hedy Lamarr was more than a pretty face. In her spare time from filming, she dabbled at inventing. One of her inventions, in collaboration with composer George Antheil, was a frequency-hopping radio control for torpedoes. Although the patent expired without implementation by the U.S. Navy, it was a step in the development of the spread spectrum technology that enables wireless communications like cell phones, GPS, Bluetooth, and wireless LANs.

The first part of the book explores the backgrounds of both Lamarr and Antheil, emphasizing the aspects of their early lives that contributed to their invention. Lamarr’s first marriage to an Austrian munitions manufacturer was a stepping stone to the invention. Her subsequent marriages were not, so they are barely touched on in this book. Her films are mentioned only as markers of time in between stages of the invention and the patent application process.

I found George Antheil’s background even more fascinating that Hedy Lamarr’s. He was a talented pianist, an avant garde composer, and an author as well as an inventor, yet for all of his talent he was barely able to provide for his family. His percussive musical style and his experimental composition for numerous player pianos provided inspiration for the patent he designed with Ms. Lamarr.

The invention is the real focus of the book. The technical details may put off some readers, while others will be disappointed with the scant details provided about Lamarr’s personal life, given the subtitle’s seeming promise that the book is about her life. Many readers will be surprised by George Antheil’s prominence, since he isn’t mentioned in the title at all. Readers willing to set aside any preconceived notions about the book’s contents will be rewarded with an introduction to two intellectually curious individuals and their innovations.

4 stars

mar 7, 3:04pm

>33 cbl_tn: - Excellent review, Carrie. I never knew Hedy Lamarr was an inventor. How special. They say to never judge a book by its cover, but apparently, one should never judge a movie star by her roles either.

mar 7, 3:06pm

>34 Trifolia: Thanks, Monica! It's a fascinating story.

mar 7, 7:17pm

>18 cbl_tn: I hadn't heard of The Ravine, but I will definitely seek it out. I like that she discusses the process of her research, not just the results.

>33 cbl_tn: Echoing Monica that I never knew Hedy Lamarr was an inventor. Not only don't judge a book by its cover, but also by its title.

mar 7, 7:52pm

>36 labfs39: I hope The Ravine is a good read for you! I just watched a documentary on Hedy Lamarr that was an episode in American Masters. It covers a lot of the same ground as the book, without the distraction of George Antheil.

mar 7, 9:47pm

Hi Carrie, and happy newish thread! I did know about Hedy Lamarr, but couldn't go into much detail. I'll put the book on my list. What a handsome boy up top!

mar 7, 10:46pm

>38 AMQS: Thanks Anne!

mar 8, 12:15pm

Hi Carrie!

Glad to see you've got some good reading going on!

mar 8, 6:49pm

>40 The_Hibernator: Hi Rachel! I'm having a good reading year so far. :-)

mar 8, 10:11pm

19. Chasing Vines: Finding Your Way to an Immensely Fruitful Life by Beth Moore

I am the vine, you are the branches; the one who remains in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5, NIV)

Beth Moore looks at what the Bible has to say about vineyards and fruit-bearing, from Genesis to Revelation. Moore firmly yet gently asks readers to engage in deep self-reflection, looking at past sorrows and regrets, present hardships, and future hopes through a spiritual metaphor of viticulture. Her message to women is that your life matters, and nothing is wasted. Your past, present, and future may all contribute to a fruitful life. This message resonates with me at my stage of life, as I think about aging well and what that means in practical terms. I want to be like the trees of Psalm 92:

The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

(Psalm 92:12-15, ESV)

5 stars

mar 11, 9:41pm

20. By Its Cover by Donna Leon

After the discovery of the theft of rare items from the Biblioteca Merula, its director calls the Questura for assistance. Commissario Brunetti is a reader, but he knows very little about rare books and the collectors who covet them. While Brunetti is still trying to understand the means and motive for the thefts, a murder sends the investigation in a new direction.

I enjoyed this series entry for its library setting, but I was a little disappointed with the execution of the plot. Leon introduced clues that weren’t fully explored and suspects that weren’t developed. Signorina Elettra was off kilter without explanation, although maybe Leon plans to give her a larger role in the next book.

3.5 stars

mar 12, 12:26pm

Belated happy new thread!
>33 cbl_tn: Good to see your review- it goes on the WL!

mar 12, 10:27pm

>44 mstrust: Thanks! I think you might enjoy Hedy's Folly.

mar 13, 6:03pm

21. Striding Folly by Dorothy Sayers

Only one of the three short stories in this collection is a murder mystery, and Lord Peter Wimsey appears only briefly in the one with the murder. The title story, “Striding Folly,” has an air of the supernatural about it, as the central figure escapes a murder charge only because of a dream he had the night before. Had he not acted in accordance with the dream, Wimsey would have had little to detect.

“The Haunted Policeman” takes place immediately following the birth of Lord Peter and Harriet’s first son. A shaken Lord Peter steps outside for a smoke and encounters a policeman new to the beat. The policeman is rattled about something he has just witnessed, and Lord Peter loosens his tongue with celebratory champagne. An easily solved puzzle is just what Lord Peter needs to relieve the stress that built up during his anxiety for Harriet’s well-being during her hours of labor and childbirth.

“Talboys” is my favorite of the three stories. Seven years after their honeymoon at Talboys, Lord Peter and Harriet are on holiday there with their three young sons. The eldest, Bredon, gets into mischief with a neighbor’s peaches. No harm is done and all is forgiven. However, the very next night all of the peaches on the tree disappear. Lord Peter and Harriet’s unwanted house guest, Miss Quirk, insists that she can prove that Bredon is guilty this time, too. Lord Peter must find out what really happened to the peaches in order to prove Bredon’s innocence. Father and son get into some shared mischief in the process. Lord Peter is at his best when he converses with children, and it’s satisfying to me that the Wimsey canon closes with this glimpse of Peter as a father.

3.5 stars

mar 13, 11:14pm

22. We'll Meet Again by Philippa Carr

This book follows fraternal twins Violetta and Dorabella through World War II, first in Cornwall and then in London and the Southeast. Violetta is engaged to Jowan, who was missing in action after the Battle of Dunkirk. She never gives up hope that Jowan is alive, to the dismay of two would-be suitors. Dorabella had been married to the heir of Tregarland when she faked her death and ran off to France with her artist lover, leaving behind a baby son. After the end of her affair, she is able to resume her old life in Cornwall, just as war breaks out, by claiming amnesia. Conveniently, her husband had died while she was away. Throughout the war, the two young women engage in random activities and conversations until the war ends.

This book was published by the author’s literary executor after her death. It would have better been left unpublished. It needed much more editing than it received. The book consists mostly of unconvincing dialogue, with little descriptive content either of the landscape or the characters. The writing was so bad that it’s actually what kept me from abandoning the book. I was curious to see what unbelievable situation would crop up next as I eagerly looked forward to the end of the war and with it an end to my misery.

1 star

mar 14, 1:06pm

I love "Tallboys" as well, Carrie.

mar 14, 1:20pm

>48 BLBera: Hi Beth! I wish Sayers had written more Wimsey stories with Harriet. I'm a bit leery of Jill Paton Walsh's sequels, but I will give them a try. I did read the first one years ago and I remember liking it OK, but I hadn't read Sayers for 20 years or so.

mar 15, 9:28am

>47 cbl_tn: 1 star reads are rare for you. May it be a long time until you find another.

mar 19, 2:01pm

>50 thornton37814: Thank you for the good wishes! I finished The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra last night and it was much better than 1 star. :-)

In other news, I managed to snag a first dose vaccine appointment for Monday morning!

mar 19, 4:49pm

>51 cbl_tn: Woot! My husband just snagged one on Tuesday. Hopefully this means we're getting closer to normal. Have a great weekend!

mar 19, 5:39pm

>52 AMQS: I hope so, too! I am having a hard time wrapping my head around it. In about 5 weeks I'll be fully vaccinated! I will start doing my own grocery shopping instead of using the pickup service. And I can have vaccinated friends over to watch a movie with me. I think I'll still be avoiding restaurants for a while, though. It won't be a hardship because I don't eat out a lot anyway due to food sensitivities. It's easier for me to cook at home.

mar 19, 6:13pm

I've gone into a grocery store a few times--mostly for produce or meat--or a desperate need for cat litter, but it worries me every time I do so. I won't go in if lots of cars are present.

mar 20, 10:21am

>54 thornton37814: I can count on one hand the number of times I've been inside a store in the last year.

mar 20, 10:23am

23. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan

As the story opens, Inspector Chopra is retiring early from Mumbai’s police force due to health reasons. On his last day of work, a distraught mother makes an impression on the good inspector. Since his replacement seems content to rule the death of the woman’s son as suicide, Chopra sets out on his own investigation. His sense of justice won’t allow him to enjoy his retirement until he knows how this young man died, and at whose hand. Chopra receives assistance from an unusual source – a baby elephant he has just inherited from an eccentric uncle. According to the uncle, Ganesha is no ordinary elephant. Inspector Chopra will soon learn the truth of this observation.

This is a promising start to a series featuring Chopra and his four-legged companion, Ganesha. I like Chopra’s honesty and his kindness to his wife, Poppy, and to Ganesha. I love the strong sense of place in Mumbai. The supporting cast is endearing, especially the baby elephant. I look forward to reading more of Chopra and Ganesha’s adventures as the series continues.

4 stars

mar 21, 8:52am

Hi, Carrie!

>55 cbl_tn: Me, too: Once, when I walked into CVS to get my flu shot last fall. I go to the library once a week, but that's it, and it's a tiny library with never any more than one or two other people in the building.

mar 21, 10:38am

Hi Carrie: I did read the Jill Paton Walsh sequels. It's been a while, but I remember thinking the first one was the best, but they were all OK. It was nice to be able to visit Peter and Harriet again.

mar 21, 10:50am

>51 cbl_tn: - Hurray for the vaccine appointment. It will be a while before it's my turn, because we get vaccinated according to the group we belong to. First the elderly who live in a care-home, then the disabled and other people living in care-homes etc., then the health-workers were vaccinated. Now the rest of the 85+ year olds (my mum is getting vaccinated by the end of the week), then people with chronic diseases and then probably according to age-group from top down. I'm not expecting to be vaccinated before July, unless I will be added to the group of the chronically ill because, in order to safeguard the privacy, otherwise healthy people will be added. Patience has proven to be a necessary virtue.

>56 cbl_tn: - Ooh, another BB. Although something completely different, it somehow reminded me of the Aunt Dimity-series.

mar 21, 5:07pm

>57 scaifea: Hi Amber! I had to go in Dollar General around Valentine's Day to get spray cheese for Adrian. It's how I get him to take his medicine. I hadn't been able to get it in my grocery store or Walgreens pickup orders and I was out. The DG near work is small and never very busy, plus they had the sliding doors locked in the open position so there was a lot of fresh air in the building. I didn't realize how much I had missed being able to do my own shopping until I was inside the store and started tearing up.

>58 BLBera: That's good to know, Beth! I read the first of the JPW sequels a long time ago and I have the second in my TBRs still unread.

>59 Trifolia: Hi Monica! The Inspector Chopra book had the same feel for me as the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books. They're not much alike, really, but they give me the same kind of emotional response.

We're being vaccinated by group here, too, but individual states have some leeway within the broad CDC guidelines for prioritizing groups. TN is now in phase 1c, which includes certain types of industries plus ages 16-64 with health risks like diabetes, high blood pressure, and autoimmune diseases. The age-based categories run simultaneously, and many locations in TN have just opened up for ages 55-64.

mar 22, 10:37am

Spray cheese! Thanks for the tip, as my Coral has to take four pills a day for the moment and she's sick of peanut butter and I'm tired of giving her my Laughing Cow cheese.
Wow, I don't know if I could handle still being home after all this time. I'll bet it really was a big deal for you to be back in a store.

mar 25, 10:13pm

>61 mstrust: I hope the spray cheese works for you! Adrian's first vet taught me that trick.

I am so looking forward to getting out more. I am still being very careful until I reach full immunity 2 weeks after my second shot. We have had an uptick of cases at work this week.

mar 25, 10:40pm

>46 cbl_tn: I like the "Tallboys" story too!

>49 cbl_tn: I really loved Thrones, Dominations but was profoundly unimpressed by A Presumption of Death. The dialogue was not particularly witty or charming, our very intelligent protagonists miss some painfully broad clues for far too long--unlike the original works that often left me guessing for way too long.

The Attenbury Emeralds has been on my TBR pile for awhile. I haven't had the motivation after the disappointment of the preceding book. But I want to get it done this year. Hardly a glowing recommendation for Jill Paton Walsh's continuation of Sayers' works. But you may find you have a different opinion.

mar 27, 11:03am

>63 justchris: Good to know! I believe Thrones, Dominations was an unfinished book that Jill Paton Walsh was hired to complete, so maybe there was enough of Sayers original material to make a noticeable difference between it and its sequels.

Redigerat: mar 27, 11:05am

24. Odds Against by Dick Francis

After a career-ending injury to his left hand a couple of years earlier, former jockey Sid Halley has a make-work position in a private security firm. When he is nearly killed in a sting operation gone wrong, Sid’s father-in-law, a retired admiral, provides him with a stimulating case involving the stealthy take-over of a race track. This proves to be exactly what the doctor ordered, and it becomes the catalyst for Sid’s transformation from former racing hero to successful private investigator.

Sid is not my favorite of Francis’s heroes, but I like him well enough to look forward to his further adventures. This book has a similar feel to Second Wind, which I liked just a bit more. Perhaps the difference is that this book is one of Francis’s earlier works, while Second Wind was written after Francis had years of writing experience behind him.

4 stars

mar 27, 11:35am

25. Four Women in a Violent Time by Deborah Crawford

This book provides biographical profiles of Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643), Mary Dyer (1591?-1660), Lady Deborah Moody (1600-1659) and Penelope Stout (1622-1732). All four women made a name for themselves in what was then a man’s world. Anne Hutchinson scandalized her Massachusetts neighbors with her belief that the Holy Spirit spoke directly to her through the Bible without a minister to interpret it for her. Mary Dyer was censured and finally executed for her Quaker beliefs in a Puritan society. Lady Deborah Moody founded the town of Gravesend on Long Island. Penelope Stout survived a scalping and Native American captivity to become the “mother of New Jersey.”

Since Penelope Stout is my 9th great-grandmother, I am more familiar with her story than that of the other three women. The stories about Penelope Stout are more legend than fact, with the earliest historical accounts of her life appearing several decades after her death. I was prepared for a dearth of footnotes/end notes since this book is aimed at young readers. However, I was not prepared to see quotation marks around Penelope Stout’s words, implying that these words are quoted from another source. Consequently, I would categorize this book as historical fiction rather than history.

2.5 stars

mar 29, 10:56am

Wow, what an interesting connection you have to history! I think surviving a scalping was a rare thing.

mar 30, 3:44pm

>66 cbl_tn: - Too bad that you did not like the book about your 9th great-grandmother. What a story! Are you planning to write your own family-history eventually?

mar 31, 8:29pm

You reminded me that I wanted to read Striding Folly, Carrie. It's now on my library hold list. Congratulations on getting an appointment for your first shot. Even when we finally get our first ones here it will be about 12 weeks before we get the next ones. So, being done in 5 weeks will not happen.

apr 2, 11:35am

>67 mstrust: Yes, it probably was rare! It's a good story, even though it may be entirely fiction. I found an interesting article in the journal of the Holland Society of New York that analyzes her story as a first encounter narrative describing the founding of New Jersey. Richard and Penelope Stout were among the first settlers of Middletown, which was one of the earliest settlements in New Jersey.

>68 Trifolia: I don't enjoy writing so I don't know that I'll ever write a family history. If I ever do write anything, it will be about my great-grandmother (paternal grandfather's mother) and all the challenges she overcame in her life. It would be quite a story.

>69 Familyhistorian: I am so sorry that you are still waiting for the vaccine. I struggled more with the restrictions once the vaccine became available to some and I still wasn't eligible.

apr 2, 1:42pm

26. Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit

This novel uses the lens of fiction to explore issues of class, religion, and gender in the young Plymouth Colony. The colony’s first murder trial and conviction serves as the central crisis of the book. Multiple voices tell the story, each from their own perspective, and the voices include that of Governor William Bradford’s second wife, Alice; the murderer, John Billington; Billington’s wife, Eleanor; the murder victim, John Newcomen; and William Bradford’s first wife, Dorothy.

I am not a fan of historical novels about real people and events, and this novel didn’t change my mind. It did leave me more aware of the tensions in the colony between the religiously motivated Puritans and the more secular laboring classes.

3 stars

apr 2, 8:17pm

27. Colonial Women by Carole Chandler Waldrup

This book profiles 23 European women who lived in the United States during the Colonial era. Some of the women made significant contributions in business and government at a time when few women had that opportunity. Others were known mainly through their husband’s accomplishments, and their biographical profiles were mostly about the men in their lives. There are some factual errors, such as the statement that printing was invented during Lady Deborah Moody’s lifetime (1586-1659). One of the 23 women, Penelope Stout, was my 9th great-grandmother. The details of her life are more legend than fact, with the first accounts appearing in print several decades after her death. Her profile presents this information as fact rather than legend. Each profile includes at least three bibliographical references to other secondary sources. The bibliographies are the most useful feature of the book, since readers will need to consult other sources to confirm the information presented in this book.

2.5 stars

apr 2, 8:30pm

March recap

Books owned – 3
Books borrowed – 1
Ebooks owned - 1
Ebooks borrowed – 6
ARCs - 1

Best of the month: Chasing Vines by Beth Moore
Worst of the month: We’ll Meet Again by Philippa Carr

apr 4, 11:58am

Happy Easter, Carrie!

>70 cbl_tn: - Now I'm curious to hear the story of your great-grandmother.

>71 cbl_tn: - Why aren't you a fan of this kind of book? Is it because of the blanks that are often filled in too freely or something else?

>72 cbl_tn: - Ouch, mistakes like these (about the invention of printing) are a turnoff for me. It makes me wonder about the quality of the rest of the book. But bibliographical references are good, provided that they are reliable, of course.

apr 4, 12:33pm

>74 Trifolia: Happy Easter!

My great-grandmother was born in 1868. Her father was a semi-disabled Civil War veteran, which qualified her for one of Pennsylvania's soldier's orphan schools. While she was at the boarding school at around age 12, her mother left her father and took up with an African American man in Harrisburg. She was also tried for running a "bawdy house." Sympathy was with the husband, not least of all because she took her daughter (my great-grandmother) into the "bawdy house." I believe the mother died in jail. She was likely alcoholic. The father later spent time in Pennsylvania's Eastern State Penitentiary for the attempted murder of his second wife. I think he was also alcoholic, possibly in an attempt to self-medicate after his hearing was damaged in the Civil War. I think it left him with a ringing in his ears. (He was in a heavy artillery unit.)

My great-grandmother had 9 children, with 6 boys and 1 girl surviving to adulthood. My grandfather was the youngest child. Her husband died when my grandfather was 5, and he was young enough to qualify for admittance to Girard College in Philadelphia. (Boys had to enter by their 8th birthday.) My great-grandmother, her daughter, and an unmarried son ended up in Miami in the early to mid-1920s. My great-grandmother remarried there and lived into her 90s. She outlived my grandfather and his next oldest brother. I've found lots of newspaper articles that show that she was very active in the Women's Christian Temperance Union (not a surprise if both parents were alcoholic) and in the Daughters of Union Veterans.

As far as historical fiction about real people and historical events, I would rather read a biography or history. I don't want fiction mixed up with facts in my knowledge of the person and events. I will happily read historical mysteries with real people as detectives because I know that really didn't happen. But historical fiction about real people and events, no. Give me history or biography.

apr 4, 1:03pm

>75 cbl_tn: - That is quite a story indeed! Thanks for sharing that. It's easy to judge the past with they knowledge of today, but indeed, if your great-great-grandfather suffered from something like tinnitus which appears to be extremely hard to live with, it's understandable that he tried to use the method that probably was available, namely alcohol. And your great-great-grandmother may not have seen another solution than to leave him and try to build a better life without success.
If genealogy has taught me one thing, it's that our ancestors often did not have an easy life and they often were victims of circumstances that they hadn't asked for.

I understand your concerns about historical fiction, although I may be more tolerant to read books with historical facts and fictional characters. E.g. I enjoyed both London and Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd because it gave me new insights into the rise and fall of families. Although it's fictional, it's very engaging. Yet, it's a thin line.

Redigerat: apr 4, 6:10pm

>75 cbl_tn: Two of my great grandfathers were Union veterans - I think they enlisted as teens. They both became quite prosperous middle class gents in Wisconsin and some of our family's prosperity dates to them as it was their money that provided my dad's education and extra funds to cushion the emergencies. The tag end of it financed some of my daughter's private high school and our life when I stopped working and my husband was unemployed.

apr 4, 6:24pm

>76 Trifolia: I have London on my shelves but its size is intimidating enough that I haven't picked it up yet! One exception to my "no historical fiction about real people" rule for me is Glastonbury by Donna Fletcher Crow. I really liked it when I read it about 20 years ago.

>77 quondame: That's really interesting! We had kind of the opposite effect in this line of my family. They were not prosperous and at a disadvantage, which qualified the children for free education in these special schools. My grandfather received an excellent education at Girard College and he went on to college and became a minister. My grandfather's mother had been educated at the soldier's orphan school. I know that her mother could read and write at 5 from a letter that her father wrote to one of his sisters. And her mother's father (my great-grandmother's grandfather) was deaf and mute and the state paid his tuition for the Pennsylvania Institute for the Deaf and Dumb in the 1830s.

Redigerat: apr 4, 6:43pm

>78 cbl_tn: I double checked, and while my grandmother's dad was born in 1843 my grandfather's father was 6 years older - and that grandfather was born when his dad was almost 40. There was at least one older sister and 3 others as well so it was a lot to provide for.
The only interesting bit was that one of those two was part of the artillery credited with decapitating a Confederate officer. Oh, and that gr-grandfather Reed's house became the headquarters of the Republican party sometime after they outgrew that wee cabin in Ripon. We couldn't convince my rich brother to buy it when it was put up for sale in the oughts.

apr 5, 8:29pm

>79 quondame: The war affected everybody, didn't it? And it changed so many lives.

apr 5, 8:30pm

28. D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose

Andrée Borrel, Lise de Baissac, Odette Sansom, Yvonne Rudellat, and Mary Herbert all worked as undercover operatives in France during World War II. At a time when women did not serve in combat, these women were trained in the use of arms and explosives. Some of the women served as field leaders. Journalist Rose tells their stories, including both these women’s voices and the voices of those who knew them well.

Having watched the British television series Wish Me Luck at least a couple of times, I was very interested in the true stories of the women operatives in France. The stories of these women were every bit as interesting as I hoped they would be. However, the book as a whole seems incomplete. Only one of the five women was still in active service by the end of the war in Europe. The first two thirds of the book is largely the story of failures, then suddenly it’s D-Day and the Americans and British land in Normandy and fight their way through to liberate all of France. More attention to the broader context in which these women served would have strengthened the book. I kept waiting for an explanation of why the author chose to focus on these particular women. Were they representative of all of the women who were undercover operatives in France? If not, how were they different? I found the answers to these questions not in the text, but in the interview with the author included in the book club guide at the end of the book.

3.5 stars

apr 11, 2:42pm

29. The Baritone Wore Chiffon by Mark Schweizer

Hayden Konig is a busy man. In addition to his full time job as chief of police of St. Germaine, North Carolina, he is also the organist and choir director of the Episcopal church. In his spare time, he writes cheesy hard-boiled novels on a typewriter once owned by Raymond Chandler. Hayden is called to England as a consultant after an American chorister is murdered at York Minster. On the home front, St. Barnabas has a new interim priest with a lot of ideas for changing things up with the liturgy. Hayden would normally push back at a proposal like the Clown Eucharist, but it’s Lent and Hayden has given up argumentativeness for the season.

I didn’t find this book quite as laugh-out-loud funny as the first book in the series, but it had its moments. The plot has a bit too much going on between suspicious deaths in England and North Carolina, and the connections strain credulity. And there were too many snakes in the book for my comfort. Like Indiana Jones, I hate snakes. Nevertheless, this is a series I’ll return to whenever I’m in the mood for a comic mystery.

3.5 stars

apr 12, 1:46pm

>82 cbl_tn: Snakes. I'll skip it!

apr 12, 3:26pm

>83 thornton37814: But you'll miss The Weasel Cantata and "Crown Him You Many Clowns"!

apr 12, 4:38pm

>84 cbl_tn: But I'll also miss the snakes--and that's more important.

apr 17, 3:49pm

30. The Dark Vineyard by Martin Walker

One early morning near the time for grape harvesting, Saint-Denis’s chief of police responds to the town alarm. All emergency personnel are needed to fight a fire in a field outside of town that could spread if not quickly brought under control. The investigation reveals that the field was being used for secret research, and the fire was likely set by one or more arsonists. The national government sends someone from Paris to take charge of the investigation, but Bruno’s local knowledge makes him an integral part of the investigative team. Bruno’s suspicion soon centers on a local resident, but he is reluctant to reveal his thoughts to the outside officials without more evidence. Meanwhile, a large international commercial wine company seems to have an interest in Saint-Denis, and its representative seems to be mixed up with the arson suspects. Then there are some suspicious deaths. Bruno has his work cut out for him.

The breathtaking descriptions of the Vezere valley in France’s Dordogne region satisfy the longings of an armchair traveler. Time seems to stand still as grapes are harvested and pressed to make wine, following the rhythms of millennia. The slowness of time seeps into the plot, which takes a long time to develop. I enjoyed spending time with Bruno and his community, but this book wasn’t a page turner.

3.5 stars

apr 19, 6:18pm

31. Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer

Great War widow Jane Wunderly is vacationing with her Aunt Millie at Cairo’s Mena House Hotel. On their first night in the hotel, Jane meets Colonel Stainton and his daughter, Anna, who takes an instant dislike to the slightly older Jane. The beautiful Anna likes to be the center of attention, and Jane is attractive enough to be viewed as a rival. Within a few days, Anna is dead, and Jane is near the top of the suspect list. Not trusting her fate to the Egyptian authorities, she sets out on her own investigation with the help of the handsome and mysterious Redvers.

This first novel is a promising start to a historical mystery series. Jane and Redvers’ relationship and the Egyptian setting reminded me a lot of Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson, while the 1920s era brings to mind Kerry Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher. This looks to be a series to watch for historical cozy fans.

4 stars

apr 20, 8:50pm

32. The Appian Way: Ghost Road, Queen of Roads by Robert A. Kaster

Princeton classics professor Kaster takes on the ancient Appian Way for the Culture Trails series. Kaster and his wife traveled the Appian way from Rome outwards to the ninth milestone, then started from its opposite end in Brindisi and traveled through southern Italy back to Rome. Along the way, Kaster reflects on the ancient history of Rome as well as the tribes that populated various regions of southern Italy. Each successive civilization has left its mark on the landscape, and Kaster peels back the layers for readers. This book is full of interesting historical facts, but they’re not assembled in a way that makes me long to visit these sites in person.

3 stars

apr 22, 8:30am

>88 cbl_tn: Too bad that one wasn't better.

apr 22, 9:27pm

>89 thornton37814: It was disappointing.

apr 22, 9:29pm

33. Just William by Richmal Crompton

I first heard of Just William through Morris Gleitzman’s Once series. I can’t say that I was as enamored with William as Gleitzman’s Felix is. I found William entertaining and terrifying in equal parts. A couple of the stories had me laughing to the point of tears, while William’s behavior in other stories made me so uneasy that I was tempted not to finish them. Eleven-year-old William has such a strong personality that his parents and older brother and sister are often powerless to curb his excesses. I picture William’s most enthusiastic reader as a preteen boy confined to his room as punishment for breaking the household rules, nursing his grievances in the pages of one of William’s adventures.

3.5 stars

apr 23, 4:27am

You have done some fine reading, Carrie. Too bad some books did not live up to your expectations. I also often find the premise more interesting than the outcome.

apr 23, 7:06pm

>92 Trifolia: Thanks! I hate it when that happens. I am excited about the historical cozy series. I hope the second one lives up to the expectations the author set with the first book!

apr 26, 8:03pm

>81 cbl_tn: Someday, I'll get to this one. I've got it sitting on my desk at work. Where I haven't been since March 13, 2020 and am not likely to access until late summer, at the earliest.

apr 26, 9:01pm

>94 lindapanzo: That's a long time to be away from your office!

apr 26, 9:57pm

>87 cbl_tn: Of all the recent reviews, this is the only book that sounds tempting to me...

apr 28, 7:39pm

>96 justchris: It's a good one if you like historical mysteries!

Redigerat: apr 28, 7:41pm

34. The Foundling by Georgette Heyer

Gilly, the young Duke of Sale, is nearing his 25th birthday when he will be of age to control his own estates and fortune. His father died before his birth and his mother shortly afterwards, so Gilly grew up under the guardianship of his uncle, Lord Lionel Ware. Due to his premature birth, Gilly was a sickly child. His uncle and all of his retainers are very solicitous of his health. Gilly chafes under their well-meaning protection. When an opportunity offers itself for an incognito escape, Gilly takes it. He finds more adventure than he bargains for, and in the process he discovers more strength than he knew he had.

I was expecting romance, and I was pleasantly surprised when this turned out to be more a coming-of-age story. There is a bit of romance as Gilly gets to know Harriet, the bride his uncle has chosen for him, and meets the beautiful but very air-headed Belinda. The parallels between Gilly and the young runaway, Tom, are a bit heavy-handed. Nonetheless, this was an enjoyable page-turner.

4 stars

maj 1, 7:13pm

35. The Glass Universe by Dava Sobel

Edward Pickering, the fourth director of the Harvard College Observatory, was its longest-serving director. During his tenure, he employed numerous female assistants as “computers” to record and organize notes and make calculations from astronomical observations and from photographic plates. Sobel picks up her story with the premature death of amateur astronomer Henry Draper and his widow’s subsequent funding of Pickering’s research in her husband’s memory.

The Draper Catalogue of Stellar Spectra and its successors were the result of methodical analysis and classification of the photographic images of the stars. Most of this work was carried out by women such as Williamina Fleming, Antonia Maury, and Annie Jump Cannon. These women had an incredible opportunity to contribute to the science of astronomy, yet they were underpaid and under-rewarded for their achievements. These women were known among the community of astronomers, yet the awards for their contributions primarily went to Pickering and his successors. It’s ironic that even Sobel, in writing a book about the ladies of Harvard Observatory, gives more attention to Pickering than to any of the many women who worked with him.

Although Sobel writes for a popular audience, I found parts of the book hard going with no background in astronomy. I was more interested in other aspects of the book, such as the personal lives of the astronomers, Pickering’s cultivation of donors for the work, the politics of academia, and the problems of organization and storage of the rapidly growing library of photographic plates. All of these aspects are more relatable to me.

4 stars

maj 1, 7:24pm

April recap

Books owned – 2
Ebooks owned - 3
Ebooks borrowed – 3

Best of the month: The Foundling by Georgette Heyer
Worst of the month: The Appian Way by Robert A. Kaster

maj 2, 6:10pm

>99 cbl_tn: You liked it better than I did, I think.

maj 2, 6:26pm

>101 thornton37814: I wouldn't say I liked it. My rating reflects my opinion that it's well written for a popular science book about astronomy, and readers who are more interested in astronomy than I am will appreciate it more than I did, I think.

maj 2, 6:27pm

>103 thornton37814: Will be an interesting discussion at book club.

maj 3, 8:18pm

>103 thornton37814: It was! Very lively.

maj 4, 10:38am

>104 cbl_tn: And the interesting thing is that two people, one of whom was very into astronomy and one of whom was very into Draper, seemed to enjoy it most.

maj 9, 6:38pm

The Road to Urbino by Roma Tearne

On the surface, this novel is about the theft of a painting by Piero della Francesca. At its heart, it’s a novel about relationships and trauma. A Sri Lankan refugee awaiting trial for stealing the painting talks to his barrister about his childhood, the trauma of civil war, his British wife and their daughter, the breakdown of his marriage, and the events leading up to the theft. An English author who crossed paths with the refugee in Italy adds more layers to the narrative.

Ras, the refugee, tells his story in second person. Perhaps the distance this creates is the reason I was drawn more to Alex’s story and his close friendship with art historian Charles Boyar and his wife, Delia, and the tragedy that befalls them.

While several women are important to the story, the reader only sees them from the perspective of the two men telling their stories to the barrister. Elizabeth, the barrister, is the most inscrutable character of all, as she listens but never speaks.

The characters resonated with me, and they have enough life that I think I’ll still remember them months from now. I cared what happened to them, and I wanted to see how their stories resolved. The technical elements, especially the second person passages, were a distraction from the flow of the novel. If the structure worked as it should, it wouldn’t be so noticeable.

This review is based on an advance reading copy provided by the publisher through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program.

3 stars

maj 9, 8:14pm

37. Mabrook!: A World of Muslim Weddings by Na'ima B. Robert & Shirin Adl

This colorful children’s picture book describes Muslim wedding customs in four different countries – Pakistan, Morocco, Somalia, and Great Britain. The colorful illustrations complement the brief and informative text, which includes a glossary of words from languages other than English. It would be a good addition to school and public library collections.

4 stars

maj 9, 8:27pm

38. Going to Mecca by Na'ima B. Robert & Valentina Cavallini

This children’s picture book follows a Muslim family on a pilgrimage to Mecca. It illustrates and describes the sacred sites and customs that are part of the Hajj (pilgrimage). The book would fit many public and school library collections. It might be useful to share with children before a journey to Mecca to prepare them for what they will see and experience.

4.5 stars

maj 9, 8:37pm

39. Ramadan Moon by Na'ima B. Robert & Shirin Adl

This beautifully illustrated children’s picture book describes the anticipation of Ramadan, the excitement of the season, and the sadness that comes with the waning moon signaling the end of Ramadan. The voice is that of a young Muslim girl explaining Ramadan to someone outside the Islamic faith. The book is suitable for public and school library collections.

4.5 stars

maj 21, 6:40pm

40. Falling in Love by Donna Leon

Diva Flavia Petrelli, who was introduced in the first of the Brunetti novels, has returned to Venice to star in Tosca. Her re-acquaintance with Commissario Brunetti is opportune. Flavia has an unknown stalker who knows far too much about Flavia’s movements for her comfort. Brunetti’s investigation becomes more urgent as the stalker becomes increasingly violent. Meanwhile, Signorina Elettra is the target for Lieutenant Scarpa’s underhanded office politics.

I found the outcome of this case more satisfying than most of Brunetti’s other investigations, which typically end with the murderers receiving less than full justice for their crimes, or even altogether eluding justice. Brunetti usually has to be content with merely linking the crime to the guilty party. This case ended with a better sense of justice having been served.

4.5 stars

maj 21, 6:58pm

41. The Collected Short Fiction of Ngaio Marsh by Ngaio Marsh

This anthology includes three Inspector Roderick Alleyn short stories as well as several other stories and a television screenplay. I have always been a fan of Alleyn’s wife, Troy, so my favorite of the three Alleyn stories is “The Little Copplestone Mystery” since it featured Troy, and also because it has a family history angle to the mystery. Many of the other stories are set in Marsh’s native New Zealand. My favorite of these stories is “A Fool About Money”, which is lighter fare than Marsh’s typical crime story. Marsh wrote the screenplay “Evil Liver” for an episode of Granada Television’s Crown Court. I would love to see a recording of this drama, not least because Joan Hickson, who later became famous as Miss Marple, played the accused.

4 stars

maj 26, 6:31pm

I made my first post-COVID trip to McKay Books & CDs this morning. I came away with this haul for less than $8 in trade credit!

maj 26, 9:23pm

>112 cbl_tn: How was McKays? Was it scary? I'm thinking of going one day next week.

maj 26, 9:28pm

>113 thornton37814: It felt normal. Not scary at all. I am fully vaccinated and I'm going to live like it. :-)

Aubrey's smelled like bleach.

maj 27, 11:17am

Good to hear you had a fun day out, and that you got such good deals!
Our book stores are open and the libraries finally opened up to browsing again.

maj 27, 11:35am

>115 mstrust: Thanks! It was my birthday yesterday. Very different from last year's birthday, when I had to celebrate alone.

maj 27, 11:56am

Happy belated birthday! I hope it was much better than last year!

maj 27, 1:42pm

>116 cbl_tn: Happy Belated Birthday, Carrie.

It's an awkward time. I got my second dose 2.5 months ago. When I go to a place where a mask isn't needed for vaccinated people, I keep mine handy and put it on if there are groups of people. Otherwise, I don't wear it. When I walked outside into Starbucks today, I didn't wear it. When I saw groups of people gathered at the pick up counter, I briefly put it on but, when I walked to a seat, I took it off.

maj 27, 10:25pm

>117 mstrust: Thank you! It was! :-)

>118 lindapanzo: Thanks, Linda! My county's case numbers have plummeted in the last couple of weeks. Knox County is way down, too. The first week or two when I went out, I was more comfortable wearing a mask in groups. I've become braver with time so now I only wear a mask if the business requires it. Most in our area aren't any longer.

maj 28, 11:55am

Happy belated birthday, Carrie. An outing to a bookstore sounds like a great way to celebrate.

maj 28, 2:23pm

>120 BLBera: Thanks, Beth!

I received some great presents this year. The used bookstore also sells vintage toys and games, and as we were talking about the games from our childhood I mentioned that the one thing I always wanted but never got was a Lite Brite. I wanted to make things with light. Guess what showed up at my house this morning? :-)

And my brother and SIL gave me this mug:

maj 29, 8:53am

Aw, excellent presents! I'm glad you had a great birthday!

maj 29, 11:21am

>122 scaifea: Thanks Amber!

jun 1, 6:20pm

42. The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth by Karen Branan

Journalist Karen Branan has deep roots in Harris County, Georgia. Everything she thought she knew about her family and the history of her community was upended when she learned of a 1912 lynching of three black men and a black woman. Not only was she related to some of the mob, she also learned that she was related to some of the victims. (Another of her discoveries was that many of the white community leaders of Harris County had a second black family, including some of her relatives.)

This is an important topic, and I had a high interest in reading the book. However, I had a hard time following the narrative. The book could have used a family tree diagram, a list of characters, or both. It was difficult for me to remember who was who, especially between reading sessions. It might have helped if Branan had consistently described people in terms of how they are related to her instead of (or maybe in addition to) how they are related to each other. The narrative might flow better if some of the details were provided in footnotes instead of in the main text.

3 stars

jun 1, 6:28pm

43. The Stones of Florence by Mary McCarthy

If I had read this history of Florence and its art and architecture before my trip to Florence 15 years ago, I might not have been so excited about my trip. McCarthy is knowledgeable with strong opinions on the topic. However, I found her complex prose dry and uninspiring. YMMV. If you’re going to read this book, try to get your hands on an edition with illustrations.

2.5 stars

jun 1, 6:40pm

44. Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz

Animal psychologist Horowitz, who specializes in dog cognition, explains dog behavior for lay readers. After reading this book, I have a better understanding of my dog, the bond we share, and how my dog’s experience of the world differs from mine. I wish I had known about this book when I adopted my dog nearly 8 years ago. I think it would have made the adjustment period easier for both of us.

4 stars

jun 1, 6:53pm

May recap

Books owned – 5
Books borrowed - 3
Ebooks borrowed – 1
ARCs - 1

Best of the month: Falling in Love by Donna Leon
Worst of the month: The Stones of Florence by Mary McCarthy

jun 1, 9:28pm

Sorry you didn't care for The Stones of Florence. I enjoyed my Mary McCarthy selection for the AAC, Birds of America, and I need to get a review posted.

jun 1, 9:30pm

>128 laytonwoman3rd: That's OK. I'm glad I gave it a try anyway!

Redigerat: jun 6, 5:43pm

45. Sacred Treasure--The Cairo Genizah by Mark Glickman

Janet Soskice’s excellent The Sisters of Sinai piqued my interest in the Cairo Genizah several years ago. Rabbi Mark Glickman’s introduction to the Cairo Genizah for lay readers provided the additional detail I craved, and his enthusiasm for his topic is infectious.

Since its discovery by the broader community of Jewish scholars in the late 19th century, the Cairo Genizah has contributed to Jewish textual history, religious history, the social and cultural history of the medieval Middle East, and Jewish-Muslim relations in the middle ages. Glickman provides a history of the discovery of the treasures in the Cairo Genizah and of the scholars who have dedicated their lives to its study into the 21st century. Glickman explains the significance of the discovery, highlights ways that the Genizah documents have challenged scholarly opinion (many of the surviving documents reflect the Palestinian Jewish tradition, which differed from the Babylonian Jewish tradition that more closely resembles modern Jewish practices and customs), and describes the work of current Genizah scholars and custodians to bring order out of chaos and make the documents more accessible to the next generation of researchers.

4 stars

jun 13, 5:45pm

46. Black Diamond by Martin Walker

Bruno is looking forward to a day’s hunting with his friend and truffle hunting mentor, Hercule. When Bruno and the baron arrive at the appointed meeting place, they discover Hercule’s body. Hercule had been an intelligence officer in Vietnam and Algeria, and his death seems to be connected to his past. Bruno suspects that the death may also be connected to recent acts of violence against Vietnamese vendors in the local markets. Or maybe it’s related to the irregularities in the truffle market that Hercule had just asked Bruno to investigate. Bruno and his colleagues will need to follow each trail to see where they lead.

Walker seems to have hit his stride with the third book in the Bruno series. The mystery unfolds at just the right pace. I had trouble putting this one down once I had started, and I resented interruptions that kept me from reading. Bruno is beginning to sound a bit too perfect. Hopefully his character won’t become static as the series progresses.

4.5 stars

jun 13, 6:01pm

47. Bonecrack by Dick Francis

Businessman Neil Griffon is filling in for his trainer father while the elder Griffon recovers from severe injuries from a car wreck. His plans to hire a temporary trainer are soon derailed when he is kidnapped and nearly killed. The kidnapper’s 18-year-old son wants to ride the champion horse Archangel in this year’s Derby, and it will be Neil’s job to make this happen. If Neil fails, the kidnapper will destroy the elder Griffon’s business. Neil has to figure out a way to save his father’s stables without compromising his integrity.

This was not my favorite Francis novel. I never really warmed up to Neil, and the bad guy was so over the top that he was more a caricature than a character. I did like that the head lad in the stables is female. This was probably groundbreaking at the time of its publication in 1971.

3.5 stars

jun 15, 9:24am

>131 cbl_tn: I'm making progress with the audio version. I should finish it this week.

jun 18, 10:13pm

Hi, Carrie. The thread topper of Adrian behaving so nicely at the vet is precious. (My kitty Sig is a terror at the vet.)

Have a good weekend,

jun 18, 11:44pm

>133 thornton37814: Finished it yet?

>134 tymfos: Hi Terri! Adrian loves everyone at the vet's office. He just doesn't like the things they do to him while he's there!

jun 20, 10:00pm

>133 thornton37814: I did finish it Friday.

jun 24, 6:44pm

48. Faded Coat of Blue by Owen Parry

Welshman Abel Jones, a veteran of the British Army’s mid-19th century Indian wars, had put his military past behind him when he married his childhood sweetheart and settled in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The outbreak of the Civil War in his newly-adopted country has Jones volunteering in Union blue to lend his military experience to raw recruits. A crippling injury in the Battle of Bull Run lands Jones in an administrative role, keeping accounts and procuring uniforms for the army. When a popular young abolitionist captain is murdered outside a Union camp, rumors fly that the Confederates are behind it. With evidence pointing toward the young man’s Union comrades as possible culprits, Jones is tasked with investigating the death and finding the truth before events spin out of control.

Author Parry successfully creates an authentic-feeling Civil War atmosphere from start to finish. Captain Jones possess admirable qualities, including a strong sense of justice and duty, and his love for his wife and infant son. However, he expresses strong prejudices against the Irish and other ethnic groups who hadn’t yet “melted” into the American pot, and he occasionally uses racial slurs that are as offensive today as they were to their 19th-century targets. The mystery plot would have benefited from the same attention to detail as the setting and characters received. Jones did not conduct a methodical investigation, and his first-person account of his search for the murderer suffered as a result.

3 stars

jun 24, 7:05pm

49. The Body under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn

12-year-old Aggie Morton is thrilled that her original poem has been selected for the Befriend the Foreigners program to benefit the refugees in Torquay. Aggie doesn’t have long to revel in her achievement. The next morning, Aggie and her companion are the first to arrive at the dance studio, where a woman’s dead body lies under the piano. It’s well-known that the victim, the widow Irma Eversham, didn’t get along with her suffragette sister-in-law, dance teacher Marianne Eversham. Aggie knows Miss Eversham well enough to be certain that she couldn’t have murdered her sister-in-law. With the help of young Belgian refugee Hector Perot, Aggie sets out to find the true murderer.

Aggie is a (purposefully) thinly-disguised young Agatha Christie, who really did live in Torquay as a child. The secondary characters, including Hector, aren’t developed quite as well as Aggie. Readers familiar with Christie’s detective novels will recognize Hector Perot as a young Hercule Poirot. Aggie’s Grannie Jane displays some of the characteristics of Christie’s Miss Jane Marple. Although the book targets middle grade readers, some of its themes seem more appropriate for YA or adult readers. Aggie’s character is similar enough to Flavia de Luce that many Flavia fans might want to turn to Aggie Morton once they’ve finished reading all of Flavia’s adventures.

This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers program.

3 stars

jun 25, 7:26am

Hi Carrie - I read and liked the first Bruno and have been meaning to get back to the series.

jun 25, 10:31am

>139 BLBera: Hi Beth! I am really enjoying the series. Several of us are reading the Bruno series alternately with Donna Leon's Brunetti series. We'll be reading the first five Bruno books this year, plus a Christmas short story from the series.

jun 25, 10:33pm

50. All but Forgotten by James L. Emch

During the siege of Fort Meigs in the War of 1812, American forces under the command of Colonel William Dudley were defeated by Native American allies of the British along the Maumee River in Ohio. Dudley’s men were supposed to disable the British cannons and return to Fort Meigs. Instead, after driving the British away from the cannons, the Kentucky militiamen pursued the Native Americans deeper and deeper into the wooded swamp. This was a fatal error. Only about a quarter of the men made it back to Fort Meigs. The rest were killed or captured, including Colonel Dudley.

According to my 4th-great-grandfather’s War of 1812 pension file, he was inside Fort Meigs on the day of Dudley’s Defeat. After the battle, my ancestor and several others “buried Dudley in the swamp where he fell.” I wanted to learn more about this battle, and my search for information led me to this book. Other than primary sources written by participants in the battle, this is the only book I found on this topic. I learned what I hoped to learn from it. The bibliography and footnotes include references to multiple primary sources and archival records. The illustrations are clear and well selected. The book was self-published, and it would have benefited from the additional polish of a professional editor. The writing isn’t bad, but a professional editor probably would have caught most of the grammatical errors, missing words, and usage errors that I spotted as I read the book.

3.5 stars

jun 30, 7:28pm

51. The Passenger from Scotland Yard by H. F. Wood

Five passengers bound for Paris sit in the same compartment on the London to Dover train. One of the passengers brings up the theft of the Wilmot diamonds and reveals a connection to the family. Of the four remaining passengers, one is a temperance lecturer, two are shady characters, and one is an inspector from Scotland Yard. By the time their train reaches Paris, one of the men will be dead. At Dover and again at Paris, a messenger has a communication to deliver to the passenger from Scotland Yard. Which one of the passengers is he? Will he reveal himself?

The passengers sort themselves out as the story progresses. Most of the action takes place in Paris. Inspector Byde’s Scotland Yard superiors assigned him to recover the Wilmot diamonds. He is interested in the murder only if solving it will lead him to the diamond thief. Byde fills in spare moments with proving geometry theorems. It seems like a strange hobby for a detective, but it’s a profitable one since the logic skills he’s honed help him to solve the case.

My edition of this book includes an introduction by E. F. Bleiler, who offers his opinion that “it is the best detective noel between The Moonstone and The Hound of the Baskervilles.” Readers should keep in mind that this book is an early example of the detective genre, and it predates the golden era of mystery novels. Byde and the narrator withhold some information from readers, so that readers who enjoy trying to beat the fictional detective to the solution may be disappointed.

3 stars

jun 30, 10:09pm

June recap

Books owned – 6
Ebooks borrowed – 1

Best of the month: Black Diamond by Martin Walker (4.5)
Worst of the month: The Body Under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn (3)

Redigerat: jul 4, 5:05pm

>141 cbl_tn: In doing some research on my husband's family line I recently came across a reference to his third great grandfather having been "a soldier in the War of 1812". That's all I've got so far, but I will be digging into this service to see what I can find. I know precious little about that war, and given the involvement of Native Americans on the side of the British, and the "treaties" generated in the lead-up and the aftermath, it would be a good subject for this month's AAC.

jul 3, 8:00pm

>145 cbl_tn: Oh, that's a good thought! I'd love to read a biography of Tecumseh. Probably not this month, but sometime!

Redigerat: jul 3, 8:26pm

52. Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot by Margot Theis Raven; illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen

Times were hard during the Soviet blockade of West Berlin. With roads and rail access closed, airplanes were the only way to get food and other supplies into West Berlin. An American pilot, Gail Halvorsen, dropped candy for the children on his daily runs, earning him the nickname the “Chocolate Pilot.” This is the story of the Chocolate Pilot’s gift to a young West Berlin girl named Mercedes that began a lifelong friendship. This sweet story illustrates how kindness toward strangers can have a long-lasting effect. Since it’s a historical story, it should have a long shelf life in libraries. It’s supposed to look old-fashioned!

4 stars

jul 3, 9:09pm

>145 cbl_tn: I have a biography of Crazy Horse I just started. Of course, that's another war entirely. I'm also reading excerpts from Henry Adams' History of the United States 1809-17, which has quite a lot about Tecumseh in it.

jul 3, 10:04pm

>147 laytonwoman3rd: The Henry Adams book sounds interesting, and it's just the right time period for Tecumseh to be a prominent figure.

jul 4, 5:47pm

53. The Secret History of Home Economics by Danielle Dreilinger

People my age thought of home economics as the class where you learn to cook and sew. But home economics is so much more than this. Journalist Danielle Dreilinger’s well-researched history of home economics follows the field from its birth through to the present day. The home ec pioneers were intelligent women who were shut out of opportunities in scientific fields. They used their talents to address issues that affected households such as food safety. According to Dreilinger, “they believed that improving the home could and would improve society.” Home economists provided nutrition advice and counsel during two world wars and the Great Depression between them, they helped launch the school lunch program and Head Start, they provided consumer education for buyers of electric and gas appliances, and many other services.

I had no idea how closely connected home economics is to my own field of library science. Melvil Dewey and his first wife, Annie, hosted the Lake Placid Conferences for home economists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The home economists influenced the placement of their own field within the Dewey Decimal System.

After working with college-aged students for about thirty years, I have noticed a difference in current students from the students of thirty years ago. They seem to be less resourceful than their parents’ generation. Now I am wondering if the lack of resourcefulness could be at least partly attributable to the decline in home economics education. Dreilinger concludes her history with five recommendations for bringing home economics back. If this book reaches the right readers, perhaps home economics will make a comeback.

4.5 stars

jul 4, 6:09pm

54. Drummer Hoff by Barbara Emberley; illustrated by Ed Emberley

This Caldecott medal winning picture book describes the loading and firing of a cannon. It’s a cumulative tale of the military men, private to general, who set up and load the cannon, but “Drummer Hoff fired it off.” The illustrations look very much like a product of the 1960s. It’s a book that will best be enjoyed as a read-aloud. The entertainment value will vary with the skill of the reader.

3.5 stars

jul 4, 8:04pm

>149 cbl_tn: Very interesting. I learned to cook at home, so most of what we did in the cooking portions of my high school home ec class was boring for me; sewing was a little better, and I actually made several outfits for myself during my senior year, and in college. I didn't keep it up, but I do think I learned how to judge the quality of workmanship on store-bought clothing from that experience---I always check that seam allowance!

jul 4, 9:41pm

>151 laytonwoman3rd: Ah, that's why this is the secret history of home ec. For a lot of us, home ec was cooking and sewing lessons. But it started out as so much more than that. Many of the pioneers in the profession didn't cook or sew!

jul 4, 9:42pm

55. Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? by Jean Fritz

This biography of Patrick Henry uses the title question to hook its middle grade audience. Patrick Henry was born on the 29th of May, and occasionally some important things happened on his birthday. But he did a lot of other things on days that weren’t his birthday. Young readers will learn all about Patrick Henry’s life and his role in the founding of the United States.

3.5 stars

jul 4, 11:00pm

56. Independent Dames by Laurie Halse Anderson; illustrated by Matt Faulkner

Most histories of the American Revolution focus on the soldiers and politicians. This book tells the stories of women who contributed to the American Revolution in myriad ways, from cooking, sewing, and nursing, to spying, acting as couriers, and fighting on the battlefield. The women’s stories are engaging. However, the book tries to pack too much content into a limited space. The book design is not conducive to the ebook format that I read. It was hard to enlarge the book enough to read the text even on a computer screen, let alone on a phone app, and I completely gave up on the timeline across the bottom edge of the page. The font crowds the letters together enough that I think the print edition would even pose a challenge for many readers.

3.5 stars

jul 5, 3:05am

>149 cbl_tn: When I was at school (mainly during the 90's), home economics (in Sweden) was mostly about learning how to cook and bake things, but we also had classes on nutrition in general and about balancing a home budget. I distinctly remember an exercise were we had 20 000 SEK (around $2000) to furnish and fill a first-time apartment. That was fun. I don't think things have changed much and the classes are about the same now as they were then. But you don't have home ec. post 9th grade (except for special education).
I do think there should be more lessons focused on how to take care of yourself and your home, like cleaning, laundry, paying bills, making repairs, etc.

Sewing and such things aren't done in home economics here, but in craft. There's textile crafts (sewing, knitting, crocheting, weaving, etc.) and wood and metal crafts and you have one semester of each for about 6 years and when I was at school you got to choose which one you wanted to do for the last year (9th grade).
Again, something I think there should be more of (and perhaps doing something more useful than sewing wonky plush animals).

jul 5, 8:52am

>155 PawsforThought: Nutrition and budgeting have both historically been covered in home economics. I had home economics in 8th grade, and I remember making a quilt square for that class. The other activity I remember is creating an advertisement for a product. We didn't have home economics in high school, but we did have vocational education where we learned some shop skills (woodworking especially) and basic car maintenance (changing a tire, etc.). We had to take an economics course (just economics, not home economics) and it covered personal finance skills such as balancing a checkbook. We had a required health class and it covered nutrition.

And home economics should be about more than making marginally useful objects. Cooking involves chemistry, and sewing involves geometry. At its best, home economics includes the practical application of the knowledge acquired in other courses.

I think a lot of younger adults recognize that they have missed out on something but probably haven't identified home economics as what they've missed. There is a growing demand for adulting courses and literature. I think adulting is actually home economics.

jul 5, 9:10am

>156 cbl_tn: Wholeheartedly agree with you that adulting is actually home economics.

jul 5, 10:26am

>149 cbl_tn: That one sounds interesting. In high school, circa 1977, we had to take a semester of either home economics or consumer economics. I opted for consumer economics.

jul 5, 10:58am

>158 lindapanzo: After reading this book, I think consumer economics would be a branch of home economics. A lot of home economists worked/work in business, and the professional association for home economists included a business subgroup. Once the business group split from the home economists association, it only lasted for another decade before folding. The business group had a preconference at the annual meeting where they got their professional development, then many of the attendees were vendors for the the main conference. Companies stopped funding their attendance when their conference no longer combined professional development and sales/marketing.

jul 7, 10:22pm

Good news! Adrian has had a gallbladder problem since the first of March. He's been on medication and I've made countless vet visits. At one point his gallbladder was about 85% full of sludge and his liver values were extremely high. He's been on medication for several months with periodic ultrasounds and bloodwork. He had an ultrasound this afternoon and the sludge is gone! His gallbladder looks normal! I am very relieved. I was sure he was better because of his behavior at home, but this news was even better than I expected.

jul 7, 10:46pm

>160 cbl_tn: Oh that is good news. It is so hard to watch the little dogs be ill and great when you know you helped them.

jul 8, 5:27pm

>160 cbl_tn: That is a big relief, Carrie!

jul 8, 6:50pm

>161 quondame: Yes! March and April were especially rough. I am glad he's doing well now.

>162 FAMeulstee: I feel like a weight has been lifted from me!

jul 16, 9:05pm

57. The Struggles of Brown, Jones, and Robinson by Anthony Trollope

George Robinson, the junior partner in the failed firm of Brown, Jones, and Robinson, offers an account of the company's rise and fall. Readers know from the outset that the firm is doomed to failure. George reveals perhaps more than he intended to in the story of their struggles. The senior partner, the widower Brown, has the capital and two daughters, one of them married to Jones and the other the object of George's affections. George's rival for Maryanne Brown's hand is the butcher, Brisket, if only Brisket can see his way. George has a tendency to view himself and his circumstances through the lens of Shakespearean tragedies, thus giving away his overestimation of his knowledge and abilities. While this isn't the best of Trollope's work, it's worth reading for the social and cultural insight it provides into corporate finance and the fledgling advertising industry.

3 stars

jul 16, 9:28pm

58. Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

Virgil Wounded Horse is an enforcer on Wyoming's Rosebud Reservation. His mission is to bring justice where the federal justice system fails to do so. One of the tribal leaders asks him to use his skills to bring tribe member Rick Crow to justice for introducing hard drugs on the reservation. Virgil's search for Rick Crow brings his ex, Marie, back into his life. Before Virgil locates Crow, he is sidetracked by his nephew Nathan's troubles. Nathan's mother was Virgil's sister, and after her death, Nathan is the only family Virgil has left.
I am glad that I gave this book a chance even though the publisher's description sounds like the type of crime novel I usually avoid. I liked getting to know Virgil, Nathan, and Marie, and the Reservation. As a seasoned mystery reader, I could tell early on how the trouble had started and where the plot was heading. However, the author did a nice job of illustrating the social problems of the reservation without a lot of information dumps. The book's ending suggests that readers haven't seen the last of Virgil, and I hope that's true.

4 stars

jul 16, 10:02pm

59. The Wall by Eve Bunting; illustrated by Ronald Himler

The son and grandson of a fallen soldier visit the Vietnam Memorial to look for their soldier's name. The young boy notices the sadness of other memorial visitors and the mementos left to honor the dead. Some of the characters are dated now more than 30 years after the book's publication. However, many families still live with the effects of this war and books like this will help successive generations of children understand its lingering sadness.

4 stars

jul 26, 7:07pm

60. After the Funeral by Agatha Christie

During the gathering after Richard Abernethie's funeral, the family is shocked when his sister Cora blurts out "He was murdered, wasn't he?" Richard's death was sudden, but not completely unexpected since he was terminally ill. But there is no doubt that murder was the cause of Cora's death the next day. Family attorney Mr. Entwistle, disturbed by the close proximity in these events, enlists the aid of his old friend Hercule Poirot.

I am always partial to mysteries like this one that begin with a family tree. The younger characters and their dialogue maybe aren't as sharply drawn as Christie ages, but she is still at the top of her form when it comes to hiding clues in plain sight.

4 stars

jul 26, 8:21pm

>167 cbl_tn: I really enjoyed this one. It's been awhile since I've read a Hercule Poirot.

jul 27, 9:33pm

>168 lindapanzo: I loved how she disguised the importance of the wax flowers by drawing attention to the green malachite table they sat on. It made it seem like the table was important, but all along it was the flowers instead!