Amber's (scaifea) Thread #9

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Amber's (scaifea) Thread #9

aug 18, 11:03 am

Hey, everybody!

I'm Amber, a one-time Classics professor, turned stay-at-home parent/lady of leisure, turned part-time library assistant, turned once again Classics professor, and turned librarian again. I spend my free time sewing, writing, knitting, baking, and, of course, reading.

My reading life is happily governed by lists, which means that I read a healthy variety of things across various genres.

I'm 48 going on 12 and live in Ohio with my husband, Tomm; our son, Charlie; Mario, the Golden Retriever; and Agent Fitzsimmons, the Border Collie.

Here I am modeling the gorgeous headband that Ana (the library patron for whom I'm learning Spanish) brought back from Guatemala for me:

Favorite Books from 2022
Solutions and Other Problems
Beat the Reaper
Hyperbole and a Half
We Ride Upon Sticks
The Prestige
The Ogress and the Orphans
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
A Fatal Grace
The Ghost Writer
In the Woods
This Book Is Gay
A Court of Thorns and Roses
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Waiting for the Flood
Alice I Have Been
Cemetery Boys
The Plot

Redigerat: sep 24, 3:59 pm

What I'm Reading Now:
-Starfish (Printz Honor Book)
-Lemon Drop Dead (mystery)
-Let It Snow (romance)
-Black Butler volume 1 (manga)
-Towing Jehovah (wishlist book)
-The Phoenix and the Mirror (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books)
-If You Deceive (Beauty & the Beast retellings)
-Promise Boys (audiobook)
-Shakespeare for Squirrels (Moore Bibliography)
-The Librarian of Boone's Hollow (from the library displays)
-Evil Under the Sun (Christie bibliography)

aug 18, 11:03 am

The books I have going at once and the On Deck books nearly all come from the following categories and lists:

-14 years ago I started working my way through a handful of awards lists for children's books. I've finished a fair few of those, but I'm still working through the 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Die list, and I try to stay up to date with several of the YALSA awards each year.

-A mystery

-A romance novel


-A book from my wishlist (it's *so* long)

-A book from the Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy List

-A Beauty and the Beast retelling

-An audiobook, which I listen to as I knit/sew/otherwise craft/clean/drive/pack and unpack cargo at work

-Agatha Christie's bibliography

-Stephen Fry's bibliography

-John Boyne bibliography

-Neil Gaiman's bibliography

-Christopher Moore's bibliography

-Maggie Stiefvater's bibliography

-The NEH Timeless Classics list

-The National Book Award list

-The Pulitzer list

-An unread book from my shelves

-A book from my Read Soon! shelves

-Book-a-year challenge: A few years ago I made a year-by-year list to see how far I could go back with consecutive reads. I've since been trying to fill in the gap years.

-A full-on re-read through Shakespeare's stuff.

Redigerat: sep 24, 4:00 pm

Books Read

1. A Face for Picasso (Schneider Honor Book) - 7/10
2. The Devotion of Suspect X (audiobook) - 9/10
3. Heartstopper vol 4 (series read) - 9/10
4. Elatsoe (audiobook) - 9/10
5. A Court of Silver Flames (a Beauty and the Beast retelling) - 10/10
6. Shuna's Journey (manga) - 9/10
7. Still Alice (audiobook) - 8/10
8. My Hero Academia vol 7 (manga) - 9/10
9. Summer Bird Blue (audiobook) - 8/10
10. A Heartbeat Away (audiobook) - 8/10
11. A Parcel of Patterns (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10
12. Jacquard's Web (wishlist) - 6/10
13. Spider Sparrow (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10
14. Radio Silence (audiobook) - 10/10
15. I Am Not Esther (1001 Children's Books) - 9/10
16. The Day the World Came to Town (audiobook) - 9/10
17. When He Was Wicked (romance) - 9/10

18. Tarnished Are the Stars (audiobook) - 8/10
19. A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns (for a couple of my category challenges) - 8/10
20. Assassination Classroom vol 3 (manga) - 8/10
21. Drums Along the Mohawk (NEH list) - 7/10
22. My Hero Academia vol 8 (manga) - 10/10
23. In the Ravenous Dark (audiobook) - 9/10
24. The Beauty and the Beast (B&B retellings) - 9/10
25. So Cold the River (audiobook) - 9/10
26. The Joy Luck Club (unread book from my shelves) - 9/10
27. Taken at the Flood (Christie bibliography) - 8/10
28. The Secret Life of Bees (Books I'm Reading with My Friend, Rob) - 7/10

29. The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (audiobook) - 9/10
30. Given Vol 1 (manga) - 10/10
31. Sophie Go's Lonely Hearts Club (audiobook) - 9/10
32. Last Night at the Telegraph Club (Stonewall Award) - 9/10
33. Sarah's Key (audiobook) - 9/10
34. Almost Flying (Stonewall Honor Book) - 8/10
35. The Cat Who Saved Books (audiobook) - 10/10
36. Assassination Classroom vol 4 (manga) - 8/10
37. Killer Research (mystery) - 8/10
38. The Weird Sisters (audiobook) - 9/10
39. Lest Darkness Fall (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 6/10
40. The Call of Cthulhu (editing job for my classicist friend) - 2/10
41. Heartless (audiobook) - 8/10

42. My Hero Academia vol 9 (manga) - 10/10
43. Ape House (audiobook) - 8/10
44. The Screwtape Letters (audiobook) - 7/10
45. Strange Objects (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10
46. Two Night in Lisbon (audiobook) - 8/10
47. The World Without Us (audiobook) - 8/10
48. Mrs. Stephen Fry's Diary (Fry bibliography) - 8/10
49. Given vol 2 (manga) - 10/10
50. On the Road (books I'm reading with my friend, Rob) - 7/10
51. The Ghost Drum (1001 Children's Books) - 9/10
52. It's in His Kiss (romance) - 9/10
53. The Woman in White (audiobook) - 9/10
54. A Gentleman in Moscow (wishlist) - 7/10

55. Bad Feminist (audiobook) - 10/10
56. Destination Unknown (audiobook) - 9/10
57. Pi: A Biography (wishlist) - 6/10
58. The Strain (audiobook) - 7/10
59. Freewater (Newbery Medal) - 9/10
60. My Hero Academia Vol 10 (manga) - 10/10
61. Assassination Classroom Vol 5 (manga) - 8/10
62. The Young Elites (audiobook) - 8/10
63. Blizzard of Glass (audiobook) - 8/10
64. The Witches (audiobook) - 8/10
65. Silverlock (Green Dragon 1001 Fantasy Books) - 6/10
66. The Night Strangers (audiobook) - 9/10
67. Ash (audiobook) - 9/10
68. The Changeover (1001 Children's Books) - 8/10
69. Lunatics (audiobook) - 8/10

70. Avalon High (audiobook) - 8/10
71. Hollow Kingdom (from my Read Soon! shelves) - 8/10
72. The Darkness Outside Us (Stonewall Honor Book) - 9/10
73. The Things That Keep Us Here (audiobook) - 8/10
74. The Plot and the Pendulum (mystery) - 8/10
75. My Hero Academia vol 11 (manga) - 9/10
76. The Coming of the Dragon (audiobook) - 9/10
77. Beauty and the Werewolf (B&B retelling) - 9/10
78. Mother May I (impulse library checkout) - 8/10
79. They Came to Baghdad (Christie bibliography) - 8/10

80. The White Devil (audiobook) - 8/10
81. The Jumbies (audiobook) - 8/10
82. The Martian (audiobook) - 10/10
83. Kon Tiki (NEH) - 6/10
84. Assassination Classroom vol 6 (manga) - 7/10
85. The Looking Glass Wars (audiobook) - 8/10
86. Snow, Glass, Apples (Gaiman bibliography) - 10/10
87. When She Woke (audiobook) - 8/10
88. The Hawkline Monster (from the library displays) - 8/10
89. Premeditated Peppermint (mystery) - 8/10
90. The Lost Sun (audiobook) - 8/10
91. Wildwood (unread book from my shelves) - 6/10
92. Ordeal By Innocence (Christie bibliography) - 7/10
93. Sin in the Second City (audiobook) - 8/10
94. Notes on a Nervous Planet (from my Read Soon! Shelves) - 7/10

95. On the Way to the Wedding (romance) - 8/10
96. The Snow Child (audiobook) - 8/10
97. Firekeeper's Daughter (Printz Award) - 9/10
98. The Tiger (audiobook) - 7/10
99. My Hero Academia Volume 12 (manga) - 9/10
100. Forgotten Bookmarks (an unread book from my shelves) - 8/10
101. The Star-Touched Queen (audiobook) - 8/10
102. Throne of Glass (mother's day present from Charlie) - 8/10
103. The Agathas (audiobook) - 8/10
104. The Thief of Time (Boyne bibliography) - 8/10
105. Toxic Toffee (mystery) - 8/10
106. Queen Charlotte (romance) - 7/10
107. Making Faces (B&B retelling) - 4/10
108. The Lodger (audiobook) - 8/10
109. Greywaren (Stiefvater bibliography) - 10/10

110. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher (audiobook) - 8/10
111. Concrete Rose (Printz Honor Book) - 9/10
112. The Great Gatsby (unread book from my shelves) - 9/10
113. Les Miserables (Book-A-Year Challenge) - 9/10
114. Beastars vol 1 (manga) - 7/10
115. The Moving Finger (Christie bibliography) - 8/10
116. Tiger Lily (audiobook) - 9/10
117. Floodland (library display book) - 7/10
118. The Neil Gaiman Reader (Gaiman bibliography) - 10/10
119. The Ugly Duchess (audiobook) - 3/10
120. Wrapped (audiobook) - 9/10
121. Glitterland (romance) - 8/10
122. The Deep (audiobook) - 8/10
123. Marshmallow Malice (mystery) - 7/10
124. Eleanor & Park (audiobook) - 8/10
125. I'm Glad My Mom Died (Alex Award) - 9/10
126. My Hero Academia vol 13 (manga) - 9/10

aug 18, 11:04 am

Simmons and the Babushka:

Mario Being Mario (aka: adorable and happy and adorable):

Charlie the High Schooler:

aug 18, 11:05 am

The next one is yours - come on in!!

aug 18, 11:18 am

My goodness, Simmons in the babushka is an image for the ages! Happy new thread, Amber.

aug 18, 11:18 am

Happy new thread!

aug 18, 11:23 am

Happy new one!

aug 18, 11:30 am

Happy new thread.
>5 scaifea: that's a very forgiving dog, letting you do that to him! It does suit well though...

aug 18, 11:41 am

Lookit you with another new thread awready!

aug 18, 11:43 am

Happy new one, Amber!

aug 18, 11:50 am

Happy new thread, Amber!

aug 18, 11:54 am

Happy new thread, Amber! Love Simmons being a babushka, and that you can see Simmons being a goober in the back of Mario's glamor shot 😂

aug 18, 12:10 pm

Happy new ones, Amber. The dogs warmed my heart and made me smile. Please give each a cuddle from me.

aug 18, 1:09 pm

>7 rosalita: Right?! Such a stinking cutie.

>8 foggidawn: >9 katiekrug: Thanks!

>10 Helenliz: As long as she's focused on a ball, she'll tolerate any manner of possible distractions.

>11 laytonwoman3rd: >12 drneutron: >13 FAMeulstee: Thanks, folks!

>14 curioussquared: Classic border collie pose there in the background!

>15 RebaRelishesReading: Aw, thanks, Reba! Will do!

aug 18, 1:10 pm

Checking in before I get hopelessly behind again, Amber.

Have a wonderful weekend!

aug 18, 3:03 pm

>17 alcottacre: Thanks, Stasia!

aug 18, 3:09 pm

First Friday After School Treat of the year - Chai Snickerdoodles:

aug 18, 3:10 pm

Happy new thread, Amber! Lovely pictures and a great reading list!

Karen O

aug 18, 3:16 pm

Happy new thread Amber!

Your household members are looking fine!

aug 18, 3:16 pm

>19 scaifea: Oh, yum!

aug 18, 7:37 pm

Happy new thread, Amber! (And I have to say, each time I read "48 going on 12" at the beginning of a new thread of yours, it makes me laugh. 😀)

aug 19, 9:54 am

aug 19, 9:55 am

>22 rosalita: They're really good! And super easy, which I appreciated this week, especially (it seemed to go on *forever*).

aug 19, 9:55 am

>23 PlatinumWarlock: *snork!* Well, it's true - just ask Tomm and/or Charlie.

aug 19, 9:58 am

On the Agenda for Today:
Laundry, some baking (Maple Walnut Apple Pie), some house cleaning, and hopefully some reading time. Tomm's in charge of dinner tonight, and he's making his famous Chicken Caesar Salad.

On the Reading Front:
I got some excellent reading time in during the football game and made good progress with Throne of Glass. Still listening to The Star-Touched Queen.

The Crafting Report:
News, everyone! I actually did some knitting yesterday!!

What We're Watching:
The marching band!! I think Tomm also watched some football, but I was reading.

aug 19, 2:45 pm

I'm excited about how the pie turned out - we'll see how it tastes later...

aug 19, 4:57 pm

Happy new one!

>28 scaifea: Looks delicious. Those maple leaves look great!

aug 20, 10:05 am

>29 figsfromthistle: Thanks, Anita!

aug 20, 10:09 am

On the Agenda for Today:
A low key Sunday here at Scaife Manor. I'll be doing some laundry, a little bit of house cleaning, and getting ready for the week ahead. Walnut Pomegranate Chicken Stew for dinner tonight. I made some Apple Orchard Muffins for breakfast:

On the Reading Front:
Still working on Throne of Glass and still listening to The Star-Touched Queen.

The Crafting Report:
More progress has been made on Project Death Star. I'm hoping to get the sewing room somewhat tidied over the next couple of days, too.

What We're Watching:
Some Arrested Development, some Psych, and the the 70s Jaws knock-off classic: Tentacles. Ooof. So bad, and yet so good.

aug 20, 1:53 pm

101. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (audiobook) - 8/10
An Indian princess is set up by her father as a sacrifice to save the kingdom from war, but at the last minute she is saved by a mysterious suitor who takes her away to another realm entirely. He remains cagey about who he is and insists that she only need wait until the new moon before learning everything, including why she belongs as queen by his side. She…doesn’t wait, though. Because of course she doesn’t. And so there’s trouble.

This one is touted as a retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth, which is why I chose it, but I’m not convinced that there aren’t similar tales in India as well, so I’m hesitant to say that’s actually the case. At any rate, it’s a good little story, nicely told.

aug 20, 8:53 pm

>32 scaifea: BB. Fortunately all 3 of my libraries have it as and ebook. Unfortunately, none of them have available copies.

aug 21, 7:24 am

>33 quondame: Here's hoping the waitlist moves quickly for you.

aug 21, 7:29 am

On the Agenda for Today:
A bit of house cleaning - including tidying up the sewing room - some laundry, some crocheting, and I'm going to try to get myself back into writing. I also need to schedule a haircut. Corn, Potato, and Sausage Soup for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I'm nearly finished with Throne of Glass, and I started listening to The Agathas this morning. The high school librarian runs a book club that Charlie has been excited about joining, and she orders the books through us, so I've gotten to know her a bit (and she is super cool). The first book of the year for the club is The Agathas, so I decided I'd listen to it so I could chat with Charlie and her about it when they read it.

The Crafting Report:
I did some knitting yesterday on the Death Star, which is coming along nicely, I think.

What We're Watching:
Some Arrested Development, some Jessica Jones, some Psych, and some Drunk History.

aug 21, 12:41 pm

The Agathas sounds fun -- I'll keep an eye out for your thoughts :)

aug 21, 4:09 pm

Hi Amber my dear, Happy New Thread dear friend.

aug 22, 7:21 am

>36 curioussquared: So far so good, Natalie.

aug 22, 7:21 am

>37 johnsimpson: Thanks, John!

aug 22, 7:25 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working the Dolly Shift, so that's pretty much my day sorted. It's also Tomm's birthday! So he'll be opening presents this evening. We'll also go out for a couple of celebratory meals this weekend.

On the Reading Front:
I finished up Throne of Glass yesterday, made some progress on The Thief of Time, and listened to more of The Agathas.

The Crafting Report:
I feel like I got some good things accomplished around the house yesterday, especially on the crafting side of things: I tidied up the sewing room, dusted off the crochet mummy project I abandoned last year and got some work done on it, and also worked on the Death Star some. Progress!

What We're Watching:
More Psych and some Agents of Shield.

aug 22, 7:49 am

Happy birthday, Tomm!

aug 22, 12:16 pm

>41 rosalita: I'll pass along the birthday wishes!

Redigerat: aug 23, 3:56 am

Happy birthday Tomm!
Where y'all going for dinner?
And good to see the crafty news - tidying and progress is always good.

aug 23, 8:12 am

>43 Helenliz: We're thinking about a new (to us) sushi place on Friday - he loves the stuff, but this place also has non-sushi menu items for me - and then we'll go on Sunday morning for breakfast at our favorite breakfast place, Northstar Cafe.

aug 23, 8:21 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working 12-8, and before that I'll do a bit of cleaning and maybe some writing.

On the Reading Front:
I'm nearly finished with The Thief of Time. Still listening to The Agathas.

The Crafting Report:
At the library booth I'm co-running at the Pride Fest in October, we're going to be giving away some little trinkety prizes, so yesterday I browsed for appropriate patterns and came up with this:

So I'll be switching to crocheting up some of these for a bit. I suspect the library will be dead in the 6-8 hours, so hopefully I'll make good progress then.

What We're Watching:
Arrested Development and Psych.

aug 23, 10:06 am

>45 scaifea: The hearts are so cute! Perfect for the Pride Fest!

Have a great day!

Karen O

aug 23, 10:12 am

>46 klobrien2: Right!? Woot for Ravelry!

aug 23, 10:14 am

102. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (mother's day present from Charlie) - 8/10
Teen girl with a Tragic Back Story and Badass Abilities is up against the world/The Man. There’s a love triangle. And lots of danger. And she’s involved in a high-stakes competition. And she lives in a fantasy/magics-type world. So. It’s a YA fantasy novel. And I’m good with that because I love those. This one isn’t my favorite, though. I like the main character alright, but I don’t *love* her, and I didn’t really feel any chemistry between any of the triangle members. And the high stakes didn’t really feel all that…high? I dunno. I adored Maas’s Court of Thorns and Roses series, so it’s very likely I’ll keep going with this series, and I suspect it’ll get better as it goes along.

aug 23, 1:04 pm

Love the hearts!! They look stuffed which made me think they could be sachets. I can't imagine having the patience to make them though.

aug 23, 4:13 pm

>49 RebaRelishesReading: They are, in fact, stuffed, and yeah, you could definitely add smelly stuff to make them sachets. They don't really need much patience, though, I've already almost finished one here at work, and that's with fairly steady interruptions at the circ desk...

aug 24, 7:44 am

On the Agenda for Today:
It is very rainy here this morning, plus it's also supposed to get dangerously hot? I don't quite understand how those two things work together, but we'll see. It won't affect me much, though, since I'm pretty much staying inside today. I'll do some cleaning, do the menu planning and get my grocery list ready for tomorrow, do some writing, and maybe work on the crochet hearts. Baked potatoes for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I'm thinking I may be able to finish The Thief of Time today, and maybe also The Agathas. I'm about 3/4 through the latter, and I think I've figured out whodunnit. We'll see.

The Crafting Report:
I finished a rainbow heart and started crocheting a pansexual flag one.

What We're Watching:
Attack on Titan last night.

aug 24, 1:50 pm

103. The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow (audiobook) - 8/10
Two high school students are thrown together in an unlikely partnership: Alice is one of the Rich Kids. Last year when basketball star boyfriend broke up with her for her best friend, she disappeared, launching a massive hunt for her, and becoming a notorious sensation when she showed up completely fine and refusing to talk about it five days later. Iris lives on the other side of the tracks and tries her best to stay under the radar. She’s a good student, keeps to herself, and doesn’t mind that no one seems to notice her, since that makes it easier to keep her abusive father a secret. These two are forced to start hanging out together when the school counselor assigns Iris to be Alice’s tutor. When Alice’s former best friend goes missing and then her ex-boyfriend is accused of murdering her, Iris and Alice start poking around to find out what really happened.

A solid YA mystery with all sorts of great references to Christie and her books. I figured out the culprit before the end, but still enjoyed the process immensely.

aug 25, 9:13 am

On the Agenda for Today:
Busy day: I've already dropped Charlie off at school, did the grocery shopping and put the it all away, and made the Friday After School Snack (rice krispies treats) and here in just a bit I'll leave for a doctor's appt (nothing serious, just a check-up), then I'll run a couple of errands (a Target run, a pop into the fabric shop for some knit fabric and some yarn, and the pick up an Rx), then pick up Charlie from school, sit and chat with him over some RK treats, then take him *back* to school for the band bus to the away football game, then Tomm and I will head out for a date night dinner. Whew.

We're going here for dinner, for those of you interested (*cough*Katie*cough*):

On the Reading Front:
I should finish up Toxic Toffee today, and I started listening to The Lodger yesterday.

The Crafting Report:
I'm nearly finished with the second pride flag heart! Progress!

What We're Watching:
Some Arrested Development and some Psych.

aug 25, 9:50 am

I'm not the only one who likes to see menus! But I do love it...

I'd probably go for a couple of sushi rolls, but I know you don't like sushi. I bet you're going to get Pad Thai? I do love me some Drunken Noodles, so I'd get that for dessert :) Oooh, and basil fried rice is another favorite! Excellent menu. Thank you for sharing :)

aug 25, 10:11 am

>54 katiekrug: You could definitely make a full meal out of a selection of appetizers, too: edamame, shrimp tempura, crab rangoons, oh my!

aug 25, 10:26 am

>55 rosalita: - Oh, for sure. Add some pork dumplings and miso soup? *chef's kiss*

aug 25, 1:16 pm

>54 katiekrug: >55 rosalita: >56 katiekrug: Ha! You know me so well; I suspect I'll get the crab rangoon appetizer, and then the Pad Thai. We'll probably not get desserts there because there's a place nearby that has excellent milk shakes...

aug 26, 7:47 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working the Saturday shift (9:30-3) and ooof, it was difficult to get out of bed this morning. After my busy day yesterday, the band didn't get back from the away game until after midnight! All our butts are dragging this morning. So, the chances that I'll come home from work and straight up for a nap are very, very high, especially since Tomm is in charge of dinner (burgers on the grill).

Dinner last night was great! The restaurant (new to us) was a bit of a hole in the wall and I love that. The food was excellent. Tomm got, well, sushi, and I don't know anything about the stuff so I can't really tell you what it was, but he also got an order of panko-fried veggies that looked and smelled great. And he ordered the edamame for his appetizer. I had the crab rangoon and the pad Thai, both of which were delicious, and also a Thai iced tea. Yum.

On the Reading Front:
I finished up Toxic Toffee and Queen Charlotte yesterday (a bit of a wait at the doc's office means lots of good reading time), and I'm close to finishing Making Faces. Still listening to The Lodger.

The Crafting Report:
No actual crafting yesterday, although I did manage to find what I needed, fabric wise, to bedazzle Charlie's band section t-shirt this year. He's not best please with it because the seniors in his section designed it (always the case) and it sort of reeks of redneckism (it's a black shirt with a black and white American flag, with the stars replaced with tenor saxes). He wants me to turn the flag into a Gay Pride one with with strips of knit in the proper rainbow colors sewn in between the white stripes. I'm happy to oblige but needed a couple of colors in plain knit that I didn't have in my stash. So I may be working on that tomorrow. We'll see.

What We're Watching:
After dinner last night, Tomm and I had a bit of a Psych marathon.

aug 26, 8:36 am

104. The Thief of Time by John Boyne (Boyne bibliography) - 8/10
aging in his 50s. The story vacillates between different parts of his past and the plot line in the present, in which he runs a successful television studio and looks after his (great-great-great-…) nephew, which is a TV star and a drug addict.

I generally adore Boyne’s work, but this one was really slow to get going for me, and I felt like the bouncing back and forth in the timeline was more obtrusive than anything else. I never really discovered the point of the story, but I’m sure that’s just me being obtuse. I stuck with it, though, and in the end it was a fair enough read.

105. Toxic Toffee by Amanda Flower (mystery) - 8/10
The fourth installment in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series, and now someone’s been poisoned in the town square and it’s up to Bailey and her cop boyfriend to solve it. There’s also a giant toffee rabbit involved.

Hm. I liked it well enough, but I’m not sure that the series is aging well. I’ll give it another volume, but I may very well be nearly done with this one.

106. Queen Charlotte by Julia Quinn (romance) - 7/10
A prequel to the Bridgerton books, this one tells the story of how Charlotte became queen and the struggles she faced, especially early on in the marriage.

My least favorite of the series, but that’s mostly because I don’t really like the character of the queen, especially in the show.

aug 26, 9:38 am

I love Charlie's idea for improving his band section T-shirt. What a brilliant way to reject the redneckism.

aug 26, 9:59 am

>58 scaifea: Wow...good onya, Charlie. That black and white flag has its origins in the Confederacy...not sure that's what everyone who uses it means to evoke, but still...not a great choice, I feel.

aug 26, 10:21 am

I won't read Queen Charlotte because it was just written as a tie-in to the show and isn't part of Quinn's original Bridgerton-verse. And also because the show was, IMO, pretty boring. I do still want to read the "real" prequels, though. Maybe next year. If you haven't read them, the Smythe-Smith books are pretty enjoyable (about the family known for their terrible musicales...).

Also, good for Charlie.

aug 26, 12:47 pm

>60 lauralkeet: Right?! I love how that kid things through things, although I admit that I'm very slightly worried about the improved shirt will be received if he wears it to practice (he can't wear it to school because uniforms).

aug 26, 12:48 pm

>61 laytonwoman3rd: Yeah, I'm hoping that the reference was unintentional, but in this neck of the woods it's difficult to say. I'm a little surprised that the band director let it happen, to be honest.

aug 26, 12:49 pm

>62 katiekrug: I really struggled with whether to read it or not in the first place. I have zero interest in watching the show, but the pull of completely the series is strong. I like the sound of the prequels, though! I'll add them to my list.

aug 26, 1:02 pm

>57 scaifea: Usually I have fun picking my menu, but I know virtually nothing about sushi, so I'm just feeling a bit bamboozled on that one.

>63 scaifea: Hope Charlie's improvements on the shirt design are welcomed. It's hard to know what goes on in teenager's minds at times. Hopefully when he gets a say in the design stage it will be something more inclusive. In fact, I bet my last Rolo it will be.

aug 26, 1:11 pm

>66 Helenliz: Yeah, I don't know a thing about sushi, either. And I'm okay with that.

Yep, I suspect when he's a senior, the shirts will be *fabulous*!

aug 26, 3:37 pm

French knitting sewn up into a scarf. Piccy on my thread.

aug 26, 5:30 pm

107. Making Faces by Amy Harmon (B&B retelling) - 4/10
Fern – the ‘homely’ girl at school, who spends her time with her best friend/wheelchair-bound cousin – is in love with the handsome wrestling star, Ambrose, but of course he barely knows she exists and instead is dating Fern’s friend, Rita. Then they all graduate and Ambrose and his buddies go off to fight in the war in Iraq, but they’re all in a roadside bombing and only Ambrose comes home alive, and significantly disfigured. He now falls for Fern, but she still has to convince him to date her because he’s hung up on how ‘ugly’ he is now.

Ugh. Honestly, I’m a little angry with myself even for finishing this one. It’s so sappy and uninteresting, and there is absolutely no chemistry between the leads. At all. But there’s plenty of Big Man Needs to Feel Macho and It’s Up to the Little Lady to Provide Damosel-in-Distress-ness so He Can Feel Needed and Big and Macho. Ick. And an even bigger ick: lots of barely veiled God Works in Mysterious Ways malarky. Just…ew. Oh, and the only reason I read the book was because it showed up on a Beauty and the Beast retellings list, but beyond the idea that the dude gets some shrapnel scars, I don’t see it. Gah.

aug 27, 10:27 am

On the Agenda for Today:
We went out for breakfast this morning to Tomm's favorite spot:

I had the biscuits and gravy, Charlie had pancakes, and Tomm ordered the country breakfast. So, so good.

I've got a long To Do list today: several loads of laundry, dusting, brushing the dogs (with Mario that particular task takes *forever*), some baking (Chocolate Nutella Loaf), some lunch prep for the week (Charlie has taken to the idea of chicken wraps for his lunch, so I'll go ahead and cook the chicken up today and possibly also make a pasta salad for an alternate lunch option), pack some meat I bought on sale for the deep freeze, and maybe - maybe - some sewing. Pot Roast for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I read a bit more of Greywaren, which is excellent so far, and I'm still listening to The Lodger, which is pretty good, too.

The Crafting Report:
I finished up another pride heart yesterday and started a third, and I also got some work in on the Death Star.

What We're Watching:
Fast and Furious 2. Wow. So unintentionally hilarious.

aug 27, 12:16 pm

Hi Amber! I'm not 100% sure, but I think we've been to the North Star in Short North! It was for dinner though, so we had burgers or something similar. Nice place.

Chocolate Nutella Loaf sounds absolutely fabulous, as does pot roast. Good luck getting your to do list done!

aug 27, 12:25 pm

>71 lauralkeet: Yep, there's one in the Short North! I prefer their breakfast food, but their other stuff is pretty tasty too.

The loaves are out of the oven and smell great! We'll see how they taste...

And thanks! So far so good on the list.

aug 27, 12:47 pm

108. The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes (audiobook) - 8/10
Mr. and Mrs. Bunting, after years of working in service, put their savings into running a lodging house. But things haven’t worked out as profitably as they’d like, and they find themselves very near to starvation when one day the perfect lodger knocks on their door. He wants to rent out all the rooms – he claims he needs peace and quiet for his work – and pays a large sum up front. At first the Buntings are ecstatic, but their eccentric lodger’s arrival in their lives coincides with the beginning of a string of murders near their London neighborhood, and Mrs. Bunting begins to suspect that it may not be a coincidence at all.

Inspired by the theory that Jack the Ripper was himself a lodger of this kind, the story does a great job of exploring the gamut of emotions and thoughts and fears that someone in Mrs. Bunting’s position might experience. Lowndes strikes a nice balance of good story and eerie atmosphere as well.

aug 27, 2:48 pm

>32 scaifea: OooH! BB ~ I want to read the physical book, though. I WL-ed it because, book cascade.

aug 27, 5:49 pm

>74 SandyAMcPherson: I hope you like it!

aug 28, 7:55 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working 12-8, and before going in I'll so some laundry, a bit of cleaning, And possibly some writing.

Yesterday I honest-to-goodness got through my entire To Do list! #soproud A nap was sacrificed to the cause, though, and I'm a little mad about that, but still.

On the Reading Front:
I'm about halfway through Greywaren and I started listening to Starling yesterday.

The Crafting Report:
I even made it into the sewing room yesterday and worked a bit on one of the three (!!) quilts I've got going at the moment. Some progress was also made on the Death Star.

What We're Watching:
Some Arrested Development, an Agents of SHIELD episode, and an ep of Drunk History.

aug 28, 1:47 pm

>52 scaifea: You got me with The Agathas!

aug 28, 5:19 pm

>77 foggidawn: I think you'll enjoy it, foggi!

aug 29, 6:38 am

On the Agenda for Today:
Another 12-8 shift at the library. Before that I'll putter around the house some, probably do a load of laundry and maybe some sewing.

On the Reading Front:
Greywaren is turning out to be a great ending to the trilogy. I'm not surprised, though. Stiefvater is amazing. I listened to a bit more of Starling, too.

The Crafting Report:
I finished another pride heart yesterday, and I'll probably get another one done today.

What We're Watching:
An episode of Attack on Titan. Such a happy show. Yoicks.

aug 29, 6:42 am

Here's a photo of a couple of the hearts I've made so far. I'm pretty happy with how they're turning out:

Oh, and I started a new instagram account to post about working at the library. If you'd like to follow me, I'm themarylibrarian.

aug 29, 10:24 am

>80 scaifea: The hearts are gorgeous! Great job!

I haven’t been on Instagram, but I might check it out now.

Have a great day!

Karen O

aug 29, 12:59 pm

>80 scaifea: Didn't you just learn to crochet recently? This are beautifully done!!

aug 29, 5:09 pm

>82 RebaRelishesReading: Aw, thanks so much, Reba! I think it's been about a year or so since I started crocheting? This is a pretty simple pattern, though.

aug 30, 7:22 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working 9-2, the heading straight to school to pick up Charlie, then we'll hurry home for a snack and time for him to get changed into his band uniform, then we'll scurry back to school to drop him off for the bus, then I'll hurry back home to pack a quick supper for Tomm and me (PB sandwiches, likely), then we'll leave for the Sweetcorn Parade (in a town about 45 minutes from here). It's one of my favorite events that the band participates in because the parade is almost all bands - 18 in all! - from all over this part of Ohio. Bands and a few old tractors, and that's pretty much it. It draws a pretty big and enthusiastic crowd and it's a complete hoot. Can't wait!

On the Reading Front:
I'm nearly finished with Greywaren and OHmygosh it's so good! It's turning out to be a most excellent end to one of my favorite series ever. *happy sigh* Oh, and I gave up on Starling (I just couldn't get into it) and am now listening to The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher.

The Crafting Report:
The crochet hearts continue.

What We're Watching:
A weird but very cool short film that Charlie wanted to show us, which he first saw when one of his teachers showed it to his class. It's called The World of Tomorrow and you can find it on Youtube. It's animated and very strange, but packs a huge punch, message-wise.

aug 30, 7:27 am

Good morning Amber! I think I remember you mentioning that parade in previous years. It sounds like a blast. I love marching bands. I have fond college memories of walking home from class in the late afternoon when the marching band was practicing. You could hear them from anywhere on campus and it always made me feel energized.

aug 30, 7:40 am

>85 lauralkeet: Yes! It's so fun to cheer them on. I love that you could hear the college band practicing! Very cool. When we first moved to Wisconsin, we rented a house just down the street from the middle school, and on fall mornings the MS marching band would meet before school to practice and would march right down our street. It was a fun way to start the day, listening to them.

aug 30, 7:17 pm

>84 scaifea: I liked other Stiefvater series and books so I should check The Dreamer Trilogy.

aug 30, 11:04 pm

Happy New Thread, Amber!
>28 scaifea: Ermuhgawd. Would that I could request a slice through the computer. That crust is grogeous and I can practically smell it here.
>31 scaifea: These look so good too! Man, I haven't baked enough this month. May this be the fire I need under me to turn my oven back on.
>40 scaifea: Returning to an old project is always a challenge. You gotta "resurrect" were your brain was when working on it.
>45 scaifea: Aw :)
And I forgot in the early reply, Happy B-Day to Tom.
>51 scaifea: Been meaning to ask how AOT has gone with you. It's a lot.
>84 scaifea: The parade sounds like a hoot. That's funny; we have a sweetcorn event around my neck of the woods too (and here I don't like corn very much, lol.)

aug 31, 8:05 am

>87 quondame: Make sure that you read the Raven Boys cycle books first, if you haven't already - The Dreamer books are a continuation of that story.

aug 31, 8:09 am

>88 Ravenwoodwitch: I won't lie: I'm really proud of how that pie turned out.

You are so right about resurrecting your brain for old projects, and with my brain, it's a real struggle sometimes.

I'll pass on the birthday wishes to Tomm!

Titan is, yes, a LOT. But it's so good, too. I just need to take it in small bites.

Ha! I love sweetcorn, but for some reason I've convinced myself that it's a lot of work to cook? And it's really not? Anyway, I don't get it very often at all for that reason. And we didn't have any last night because we just went for the parade and left immediately after so that the fair food wouldn't tempt me. Charlie, however, had fun walking around with his band friends before they all came home. Apparently there were pulled pork sandwiches that were pretty good. And he got a Boba Tea, which he loves for some bizarre reason. (just...ew.)

aug 31, 8:13 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I have my annual eye check up today, and I suspect that I'll be getting new glasses with an even stronger bifocal Rx. *sigh* I also need to do the menu planning and prep my grocery list for tomorrow's shopping, some cleaning, and possibly some writing. Leftovers for dinner tonight, I think.

On the Reading Front:
I finished Greywaren and it was SUCH a fabulous ending to the entire storyline. I loved it and I love Maggie. She can do absolutely no wrong in my book, so to speak. Then I resisted the urge to just sit and stare out the window and wallow in the amazingness of that one, and instead started Concrete Rose, which I've been looking forward to. Still listening to The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher.

The Crafting Report:
I'm afraid I didn't do anything crafty today. I'm hoping to do a little Death Star construction today, at least.

What We're Watching:
The Parade! And a episode of Psych.

aug 31, 8:31 am

>91 scaifea: I meant to ask, what are we writing if you don't mind sharing?

aug 31, 10:53 am

>92 Ravenwoodwitch: Right now I'm working on a...thing (chapbook? Reeeeeally long article?) about my experience reading through the Newbery Medal & Honor Book list.

aug 31, 12:59 pm

>90 scaifea: corn a lot of work to cook?!? So...bring pot of water to boil, put corn into water, remove corn three minute later, serve...not too hard really

aug 31, 1:41 pm

>94 RebaRelishesReading: Yeah but the shucking. Ew.

aug 31, 2:18 pm

>95 scaifea: That's what kids are for.

aug 31, 2:18 pm

109. Greywaren by Maggie Stiefvater (Stiefvater bibliography) - 10/10
Greywaren is the last book in the Dreamers trilogy and the finale for the story arc that started in The Raven Boys. I loved this ending for the plot and the characters so much that I don’t even know, really, how to talk about it. Plus, it’s nearly impossible to do so without lots and lots of spoilers. Such good twists and reveals here, and the story is just as wild as ever. Stiefvater remains one of my absolute favorite authors. I adore her stories and her style.

aug 31, 2:18 pm

aug 31, 3:46 pm

I was sure I'd posted to asked how the parade went. #forget my head if it wasn't screwed on.
Good luck with the eye appointment. I had the same thing earlier in the year, stronger reading prescription, although mine was mainly so I could see to stitch. Took my stitching with me to the appointment as well. It took a week to get used to the new prescription.

aug 31, 4:11 pm

>99 Helenliz: Yep, my eye doc told me to expect it to take about a week to get used to the new glasses when they come in, my eyes have changed so much. Awesome.

Redigerat: aug 31, 6:23 pm

>89 scaifea: Even better! I have read The Raven Boys! The touchstone is weirding~~~

>90 scaifea: >94 RebaRelishesReading: Not hard, but there is mess. I love it when we can just pop it on coals wait, turn, wait, yum. Or get elote at one of our favorite Mexican places.

aug 31, 7:45 pm

Hiyah, Amber! Just breezing through as I’ve been negligent for a while… hope the new glasses thing sorts soon.

sep 1, 8:01 am

>102 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! I'm used to the adjustment time for glasses since I've had progressive lenses for a while, so hopefully it won't be that bad.

sep 1, 8:03 am

On the Agenda for Today:
Grocery shopping this morning, then some baking (Lemon Cookie Truffles) for the Friday After School Snack. This evening is a home football game and it will be the first one for which I'll be helping out as a Uniform Mom (I just made that title up, but I like it). We'll see how that goes. Concession food for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I'm nearly finished with Concrete Rose, which is excellent so far, and I'm also getting close to the end of The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher.

The Crafting Report:
Nothing Yesterday, since my eyes were dilated from the doc appt. Maybe some knitting today...

What We're Watching:
Some Arrested Development and some Psych.

sep 1, 1:37 pm

Good afternoon Amber :)

>97 scaifea: First book, now in my "to-read" pile.
>104 scaifea: Oh boy, I remember when my mom had to get hers dilated for both checkups and the cataract surgeries. Best of luck and be safe!

sep 1, 1:39 pm

>95 scaifea: Ah, the shucking -- but you're a Hoosier! You should have that down pat ;>

sep 1, 1:40 pm

>101 quondame: don't you have to remove the silks before you put it on the grill? I've never tried but that sounds more difficult than shucking to me.

sep 1, 1:48 pm

>105 Ravenwoodwitch: I hope you love the Raven Boys as much as I do!

The dilating, at least the last couple of times I've had it done, seems less extreme than it used to. I wonder if they've advanced the science of the drops so that they don't completely dilate but only as much as they need, or something.

sep 1, 1:49 pm

>106 RebaRelishesReading: A Hoosier who grew up on a working farm, even. But I was the bookish child who stayed inside all summer reading.

sep 1, 1:51 pm

>109 scaifea: I can relate to that. My mother used to literally lock me out of the house to make me play outside lol

sep 1, 2:46 pm

>109 scaifea: I can relate as well -- but I sometimes read outside! There was an apple tree I liked to sit in.

Redigerat: sep 1, 10:52 pm

>107 RebaRelishesReading: I don't thinks so. I just leave it in the husks and when it's done chop off the stem end and pull the silks with the husks off and it's yummy. I put it directly on the coals and the one time it burnt a bit it was still fine eating.

>112 quondame: I wonder why it's always an apple tree. My sister even put one in her first book and I know the only one we ever had was a spindly specimen though the few apples made great pie.

sep 2, 9:17 am

>110 RebaRelishesReading: Ha!

>111 foggidawn: I never did when I was a kid. I will occasionally now, but only with there are no bugs and the temp is in my three degree window of comfort.

sep 2, 9:21 am

On the Agenda for Today:
Some laundry, some baking (Peach Cobbler), and maybe some sewing. Tomm's in charge of dinner tonight: steaks on the grill.

On the Reading Front:
I finished up Concrete Rose and started The Great Gatsby, which I've never read despite my various humanities degrees. I'm excited. I also finished listening to The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher.

The Crafting Report:
I did a little work on the Death Star yesterday.

What We're Watching:
The Big Red Band!

sep 2, 9:27 am

Oooh, I luuuurve peach cobbler!

And I'm a Gatsby fan. Well, not the character, but the book :)

sep 2, 10:18 am

>115 katiekrug: So far I'm really enjoying the book!

sep 2, 10:59 am

I hope Gatsby lives up to the hype for you. It's one of the few books I read in high school that I loved.

sep 2, 12:08 pm

>117 MickyFine: I'm very much enjoying it so far.

sep 2, 1:36 pm

110. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale (audiobook) - 8/10
An account of the murder of a 4-year-old boy in his English countryside home in the 1860. The book tells the story of the murder, the detective who worked the case and nearly lost his reputation because of it, and the inspiration both the case and the detective had on the murder mystery genre. Summerscale strikes a really nice balance between all the elements of her account, and does justice to a fascinating subject.

111. Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (Printz Honor Book) - 9/10
A prequel to The Hate U Give, this YA novel follow’s Starr’s father as a 17-year-old trying to figure out his life between school, wanting to leave the King Lords gang, and new fatherhood. Like THUG, Concrete Rose is so wonderfully written and also powerful and important. It’s another one for the list of books that all high school students should read – and a lot of adults, too.

sep 2, 2:28 pm

>112 quondame: Most interesting. We should try that some time.

sep 3, 9:10 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I made some Pecan Pumpkin Waffles for breakfast this morning, and later I may try my hand at making pita bread for the first time. Otherwise, laundry, some cleaning, and some time in the sewing room, likely. Pork roast and broccoli for dinner tonight. All of this may fly out the window, though, because my dad is in the hospital with covid and it's likely that my mom has it, too (she's getting tested today although as of yet she doesn't have symptoms). Right now my siblings are saying I should just stay put (which is my inclination as well - I don't think there's much I could do to help and it feels irresponsible to add myself to the bubble, as it were, and potentially bring it back to Charlie and Tomm), but if things get worse, I may need to head to Indiana on short notice. We'll see how it goes.

On the Reading Front:
I finished The Great Gatsby yesterday. I also started listening to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

The Crafting Report:
I worked a bit more on the Death Star.

What We're Watching:
The first half of Jurassic World.

sep 3, 9:12 am

I'm sorry to see this update about your parents, Amber. I think you're right to stay put for now, but oh my what a worry. Keeping you in my thoughts ...

sep 3, 9:38 am

>122 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. My dad is 90 and my mom is in her late 80s and has all sorts of medical issues, so yeah, it's definitely a worry. And, of course, I have tons of guilt for being so far away and not there to help.

sep 3, 10:44 am

Oh, Amber...I'm so sorry to hear this about your parents. It IS an awful feeling to think you should be in two places at once, and to have very good reasons for choosing either way. You will not be wrong, whatever you do.

sep 3, 10:50 am

>124 laytonwoman3rd: Thanks so much for that, Linda. It's just what I needed to hear.

sep 3, 10:51 am

Nothing to add to what Laura and Linda have said, but I'll be keeping you and your parents in my thoughts, Amber.


sep 3, 11:22 am

>121 scaifea: So sorry to hear about your parents. Sending best wishes that your Dad gets better quickly and that Mom doesn't come down with it.

sep 3, 11:31 am

>121 scaifea: Oh God, I'm so sorry.
I felt the same way when my mom caught COVID during the pandemic. And it sounds like your parents have a bigger risk than mine did too so from the bottom of my heart I'm so sorry. I agree with the others that whatever decision you make on the matter is the right one.

sep 3, 11:47 am

Thanks so much for the kind thoughts and words, everyone. I really appreciate it.

sep 3, 11:56 am

112. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (unread book from my shelves) - 9/10
I still can’t quite believe that I somehow graduated high school and earned a BA in English lit without ever being assigned this novel. And why it took me so long to read it on my own, I’ll never really understand either. But it was worth the wait. The plot itself wasn’t all that riveting to me, but the writing was gorgeous.

sep 3, 12:59 pm

>130 scaifea: I waited forever to read Gatsby too. It's sooo good and I agree with you about the writing vs. the plot. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

sep 3, 10:49 pm

>130 scaifea: I know I read The Great Gatsby back in that era when I was subject to assigned reading, and have only whiffs of common culture version left in memory. The Chosen and the Beautiful which is one of my most current reads examines the characters and events from a rather different POV.

sep 4, 8:42 am

Sending all my well wishes for your parents, Amber. And for you as well, as I know how awful long distance worrying can be.

>130 scaifea: Glad to see you enjoyed this one. Fitzgerald could definitely turn a phrase.

sep 4, 10:49 am

>131 lauralkeet: I'll definitely be reading his other stuff, just for the writing. Honestly, when it's that good, I don't really care what's happening in the plot!

sep 4, 10:49 am

>132 quondame: That one, I think, is already on my list somewhere.

sep 4, 10:50 am

>133 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky.

Redigerat: sep 4, 11:43 am

Parental Update:

Dad is doing fine and is staying in hospital until he's no longer contagious, since my mom is at home and not showing symptoms. So, whew. So far so good.

On the Agenda for Today:
I need to do a little housecleaning, some laundry, brush the dogs, and maybe try the pita bread that I didn't do yesterday. And then some sewing room time, if I have the energy. We'll see.

On the Reading Front:
I started The Moving Finger yesterday and am enjoying it so far. I listened to more of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. before deciding to abandon it. Too sappy and good lord, someone needs to tell that author that not every single sentence needs a simile. Joyce just seems to be trying too hard and it's tiresome. So, I've moved on to listening to Tiger Lily. Oh, and I finally finished Les Miserables; I've been reading it a little every day but never remembering to report it here.

The Crafting Report:
Still with the Death Star.

What We're Watching:
Some Arrested Development, some Psych, and the rest of Jurassic World (aka: T Rex vs MechaT Rex, apparently. Still, I loved it.)

sep 4, 11:49 am

>137 scaifea: Happy to hear the good report on your parents. Hope Dad recovers quickly and Mom stays well.

sep 4, 11:57 am

>130 scaifea: I never had to read Gatsby in high school or college either.

>137 scaifea: Well, that's good news about your parents. I hope they both continue to do well.

sep 4, 12:02 pm

>137 scaifea: I'm so glad to see this update on your folks, Amber.

sep 4, 12:20 pm

Thanks, everyone! I'm really relieved at the news.

sep 4, 1:59 pm

I'm glad your folks are doing good. I hope things continue on a positive path!

sep 4, 2:02 pm

>142 Ravenwoodwitch: Thanks, Angela.

sep 4, 2:05 pm

113. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (Book-A-Year Challenge) - 9/10
Long, but worth it. I’ve known the plot for years, but it was great to sink into the language and enjoy it as it slowly unfolded.

114. Beastars vol 1 by Paru Itagaki (manga) - 7/10
Meh. Weird (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but also not very well written (probably not a good thing). So I won’t continue with this one.

sep 4, 4:25 pm

Parents can be a worry. Glad the news on yours seems to be better.

sep 5, 6:26 am

>145 Helenliz: Thanks, Helen.

sep 5, 6:29 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working 11-8, including the first Teen Tuesday program of the fall. I probably won't get much done before I go in today, just some puttering around.

On the Reading Front:
I finished up The Moving Finger and listened to some Tiger Lily.

The Crafting Report:
I'm nearly finished with the first phase of Project Death Star! Next up is the blocking (which involves a beach ball)...

What We're Watching:
Some Arrested Development, some Psych, and we started a rewatch of Bee & Puppycat.

sep 5, 7:00 am

>147 scaifea: What have you got for the teens to do this Tuesday?
I always like seeing your fabulous ideas - you're really very inventive.

sep 5, 7:17 am

Sorry to read your parents got Covid, Amber. Glad the latest report was more optimistic.
Worrying here to, at a bit smaller distance from my father, who also got Covid last week.

sep 5, 7:52 am

>148 Helenliz: Aw, thanks for that, Helen! This week they will be 'improving' a painting. I put a call out to all staff to check their attics and storage spaces for crappy paintings they didn't really want, and I was amazed at the response I got! So now I have a healthy stack of bad (and in some cases, not all that bad at all) paintings for the teens to embellish however they please (with paint). I'm hoping for some aliens in the landscapes sort of thing; we'll see what they come up with. That is, if anyone shows up; I had pretty good attendance this summer, but schools on now and I know they all have tons of extracurricular stuff to do. So, we'll see.

sep 5, 7:53 am

>149 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. Yesterday my mom tested positive, too, which is a bit more of a worry even than with my dad since she had type 1 diabetes and some other health issues. I haven't had an update from my siblings since yesterday afternoon, so we'll see. I'm so sorry that your dad is battling it, too.

sep 5, 8:01 am

Oh shoot, sorry to see that your mom now has covid too Amber. I hope her case is a mild one.

sep 5, 9:06 am

>152 lauralkeet: Thanks, Laura. I really hope so, too.

sep 5, 9:27 am

115. The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie (Christie bibliography) - 8/10
A brother comes to a small country village with his sister to recover from a flying accident, seeking peace and quiet, but finds a town where all is astir from a batch of anonymous hate mail going around. It seems silly to the siblings at first, but when first one then another villager dies, things get serious.

Oh, this is a good one. Told from the point of view of the brother, I didn’t realize it was going to be a Miss Marple mystery until almost the end, when she gets called in by an old friend to help solve the case. I was fumbling around with guesses right up until the end.

sep 6, 6:46 am

On the Agenda for Today:
It's the Dolly shift for me, plus I'm giving a library talk on Women in Mythology at 1. Should be a good time. Leftovers for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I started Pale Fire but I'm not sure I'll make it very far. I know it's considered his masterpiece but many, but I'm generally not a fan of this sort of 'meta' thing. So far it's reading as really forced to me. On a better note, I'm enjoying Tiger Lily on audio quite a bit.

The Crafting Report:
I didn't have time for any crafting myself yesterday, but the teens (I had three show up - woot!) had a blast with improving a painting!

What We're Watching:
Some old Conan clips on Youtube, just to wind down a bit before bed last night.

sep 6, 11:01 am

Sorry to hear about your parents. Wishing them a speedy recovery!

sep 6, 12:36 pm

I hope your parents get well soon, Amber! The painting activity sounds really fun :)

sep 6, 2:05 pm

Joining the good wishes for your parents to have a light case and quick recovery.

sep 7, 6:50 am

Thanks, all, for the well wishes - my parents are both home, on the Covid meds, and are doing fine!! WHEW!

sep 7, 6:52 am

>159 scaifea: Glad to read your parents are both doing fine, Amber. Such a relieve.

sep 7, 7:30 am

>159 scaifea: I'm so glad!! What a relief this must be for all concerned.

sep 7, 9:39 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I need to do my menu planning for the next week and get my grocery list ready for tomorrow's shopping, then I'll probably do some cleaning and maybe some writing before heading out for my haircut appointment. It's been a little too long and I have a *lot* of hair right now. Some of it needs to go. Spaghetti for dinner tonight, I think.

On the Reading Front:
Charlie gave me The Neil Gaiman Reader for my birthday and I started it yesterday. It's thick but won't take me too long since I've read large chunks of the selections already. I may finish up Tiger Lily today.

The Crafting Report:
No time for crafting yesterday, but I may work on getting the Death Star blocked today.

What We're Watching:
Arrested Development, Psych, and Jessica Jones.

sep 7, 9:40 am

>160 FAMeulstee: >161 lauralkeet: Yes! It's been a rollercoaster, so it's nice to be able to relax about it a bit.

sep 7, 10:39 am

>159 scaifea: Oh, good news!

sep 7, 11:41 am

sep 7, 12:12 pm

116. Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson (audiobook) - 9/10
An interesting and inventive retelling of Peter Pan from Tinkerbell’s point of view, and with Tiger Lily as the main character. I really enjoyed this one for its unique twist on the original story and for the depth of Tiger Lily’s and Pan’s characters.

sep 7, 12:42 pm

>159 scaifea: So happy to hear that, Amber.

sep 7, 1:11 pm

>159 scaifea: So glad to hear it!

sep 7, 1:47 pm

>159 scaifea: - That's excellent news!

sep 7, 2:39 pm

So happy to hear your parents are home!

I'm curious about your Death Star: is it in two halves you have to pin around the beach ball or is there a gap in one spot you're supposed to insert a deflated beach ball and then blow up?

sep 7, 3:16 pm

So glad your parents are home and doing well!

sep 7, 3:24 pm

3 teens for the first week back at school sounds like a good start. There's always a lot going on that week, can take time to get into a routine.

Glad to hear the parentals are home again. That must be a relief

I had hair cut yesterday. I had far too much hair too. My trigger to get it done is I start to look like my mother! In me that's not a good look.

>166 scaifea: hmm, tempted.

sep 7, 4:04 pm

Thanks so much, everyone, for the good wishes for my parents! I appreciate it.

>170 MickyFine: It's knit up all in one piece except for a circle left open, which, after blocking and mostly-stuffing, I'll knit closed as the 'laser dish' part. (For those not 100% remembering what the DS looks like, a quick google image search will show easily show you what I mean.)

>172 Helenliz: Yeah, I'm pretty pleased with 3. And those three had a blast, so I call that a success.

I like the idea of long hair, but mine is so thick and coarse that it's just too heavy.

sep 7, 5:05 pm

Current State of Project Death Star:

sep 7, 5:25 pm

>174 scaifea: Delightful!

sep 7, 6:58 pm

>130 scaifea: Me too! I also was an English major who somehow never read Gatsby, finally got around to it this year and wished Is read it earlier

sep 8, 1:05 am

>174 scaifea: What a hoot!

sep 8, 6:27 am

>175 MickyFine: Thanks!

>176 swynn: I'll definitely be rereading it at some point. I'm honestly not that sad that I didn't read it in high school, because I don't think I would have appreciated the writing as much back then.

sep 8, 6:27 am

>177 quondame: Right?! It's been a really fun project.

sep 8, 6:32 am

On the Agenda for Today:
Busy Friday. I'll take Charlie to school, then do the grocery shopping before heading home to put the groceries away and then head out again with a trunkload of Charlie's old picture and chapter books to take to Half Price Books, and the back home to make the Friday After School Treat (I'm keeping it super-easy this week and popping some of those Pillsbury ready-to-bake Pumpkin Sugar Cookies in the oven), then head out again to pick up Charlie from school, bring him home for a quick snack and change into his uniform, and then back to school again to drop him off for the band busses heading to the away football game. Tomm and I are going to have a quiet night in watching Psych and eating leftovers, and then sometime before midnight (hopefully), I'll go back and pick Charlie up at the school. Whew.

On the Reading Front:
I am *loving* the stories I've not read before in The Neil Gaiman Reader. He's just...SO good. I also started listening to House, which is, well, not very well written, but just thrillery enough that I'll probably stick with it to see what happens.

The Crafting Report:
See above for what went on yesterday with PDS.

What We're Watching:
More Arrested Development, more Psych, and a Bee & Puppycat.

Redigerat: sep 11, 10:53 am

117. Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick (library display book) - 7/10
A middle-grade short novel about a post-global-warming world in which much of what was England is now under water. Ten-year-old Zoe and her parents struggle to survive in Norwich, now an island, until the last supply ship is set to take them away. But Zoe gets separated from her parents and misses the boat. Months later she finds a small boat and sets out to try to find them.

Meh. S’okay. It felt like it could have been fleshed out much more than it was; honestly it reads more like an outline of a story rather than the finished product.

sep 9, 7:54 am

On the Agenda for Today:
This morning we're going suit shopping for Charlie - his first high school dance is coming up (!!) and he needs some appropriate duds. This afternoon I need to sort through the weekly bills, brush the dogs, and possibly do some baking. Cube Steak Parmesan for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
Still working through The Neil Gaiman Reader, which is thick but very good. I'm abandoning my audiobook, though, because I just can't take it anymore. I don't even care how it ends at this point. The writing is just not good and the plot is too nonsensical. So, I'm giving up on House and will start The Ugly Duchess today.

The Crafting Report:
The Death Star was still a little damp yesterday, so no new developments.

What We're Watching:
A couple of Psych episodes and then a rewatch of Singing in the Rain.

sep 10, 9:12 am

On the Agenda for Today:
Not a whole lot. I'd like to spend some time in the sewing room today, but other than that, I don't really have any plans. Broccoli Cheese Soup for dinner tonight, and possibly some rolls.

On the Reading Front:
Still reading The Neil Gaiman Reader, and I started listening to The Ugly Duchess yesterday.

The Crafting Report:
Nothing yesterday, but the Death Star is dry now, so I may work on that today.

What We're Watching:
More Psych, and we started watching Only Murders in the Building with Charlie (Tomm and I have seen the first season, so it's a rewatch for us, but Charlie wants to join us, so we're starting over).

sep 11, 6:43 am

On the Agenda for Today:
A bit of cleaning, some baking (chocolate chip cookie bars for Teen Tuesday tomorrow), some writing, some crafting. Panera-style Mac & Cheese for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I finished up The Neil Gaiman Reader yesterday. Still listening to The Ugly Duchess.

The Crafting Report:
I did get into the sewing room yesterday but only managed to clean things up a bit and then to wrap Charlie's birthday presents. I also didn't work on the Death Star yesterday because I was distracted by my Mummy crochet project - I finished the body and am now working on his wrappings.

What We're Watching:

sep 11, 10:54 am

118. The Neil Gaiman Reader by Neil Gaiman (Gaiman bibliography) - 10/10
This collection of short stories and excerpts from some larger works of fiction was just as wonderful as I knew it would be. If there is any such thing as real magic in the world, Gaiman knows it and deals in it deftly. I mean, is it really possible for someone to write like he does without the use, at some point in his life, of pixie dust, or a talisman he found in a steamer chest in his grandfather’s attic, or a wish given by a djinn and wisely used? Honestly. At the very least, reading his stories always gets me as close to the magic of other possible worlds as I’ll likely ever get, and for that I’m grateful.

sep 11, 11:07 am

>185 scaifea: I'd listen to that man read the phone book. AND he can write, what's not to like?

sep 12, 6:46 am

>186 Helenliz: I didn't listen to this one, but I agree that he has a gorgeous voice.

sep 12, 6:47 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working 12-8 and running Teen Tuesday in there somewhere. Before work I'll putter around here, but probably won't accomplish much.

On the Reading Front:
I started Glitterland yesterday and finished up The Ugly Duchess.

The Crafting Report:
The crochet mummy is coming along...

What We're Watching:

sep 12, 10:35 am

119. The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James (audiobook)
A regency romance retelling of The Ugly Duckling.
I made it through this one, but only barely. I’m generally willing to look the other way at a bit of misogyny here and there in the genre, but I draw the line at writing toxic possessive behavior as romantic. The heroine is put forth as one who rises from trauma to make herself into a strong and independent woman, but all that character growth is abandoned when she gives in to the hero’s (who, of course, caused the trauma in the first place) gaslighting and sexist behavior. Gross.

sep 12, 3:18 pm

Oh ew

sep 12, 3:28 pm

sep 13, 6:43 am

On the Agenda for Today:
Pretty much the same story as yesterday: working 12-8 (minus TT), puttering around before then.

On the Reading Front:
I read a bit more of Glitterland yesterday and listened to more Wrapped.

The Crafting Report:
I worked more on the mummy, which is coming along nicely. I think he'll be pretty cute when he's finished.

What We're Watching:
More Glee, of course.

sep 13, 2:24 pm

>192 scaifea: How did TT go?

sep 13, 4:03 pm

>193 MickyFine: Good! We had a really fun, animated chat about books - favorites, worst book ever read, go-to comfort genres, things they'd like to try more of,...

sep 13, 8:05 pm

>194 scaifea: That sounds lovely!

sep 14, 6:22 am

>195 MickyFine: It really was. I was happily surprised. Next week we're going to play an escape room type game...

sep 14, 6:24 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working 9-2, then I'll pick Charlie up from band practice, then we'll come home and make his birthday cake (he wants to make his own this year, so I'll just be sous chef). After that I need to do the menu planning for the next week and put together my grocery list for tomorrow. Chinese takeaway for dinner tonight, I think.

On the Reading Front:
Still going on with Glitterland and Wrapped and enjoying both.

The Crafting Report:
More work on the mummy yesterday, plus I crocheted another heart at work.

What We're Watching:
More Glee. We have one more night for it before Tomm get back from his trip...

sep 14, 8:01 am

Morning, Amber! I've been following along, just don't seem to have much to add to the conversation. But I thought I should at least say hello :)

I'm having Chinese for dinner tonight, too. *clinks chopsticks*

sep 14, 8:48 am

>198 katiekrug: Hi, Katie! I've been awful about making the thread rounds lately. Things are just too busy around here. So I'm flattered that *anyone* comes round these parts these days. It's good to see you!

Charlie and I only get Chinese food when Tomm is out of town because there is absolutely nothing on the menu that he can have. It's our consolation treat for his being away, I suppose. Do you have a usual? Charlie and I almost always get beef lo mein.

sep 14, 9:01 am

I don't have a usual - sometimes I get wonton soup and an appetizer like fried dumplings, sometimes I go for lo mein (roast pork), sometimes a combination plate that includes sesame chicken, fried rice and an egg roll...

Now I'm hungry!

Redigerat: sep 14, 9:02 am

Good to hear the TT session went well. Lovely that you have an an engaging group. Long may it continue.

Love me a chinese. Himself doesn't like it so it's a treat when he's away here too. I'm a fan of king prawns with ginger & pineapple or beef & green peppers in black bean sauce.
I'm now hungry, despite having had lunch earlier.

What cake is on the agenda? I made a vegan apple cake last week, which needs some work to perfect. Tasted fine, had a tendency to not cut well and fall apart.

sep 14, 1:57 pm

>200 katiekrug: Ha!

Oooh, I do like a good sesame chicken, too...

>201 Helenliz: He's making chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, and I bought a few little tubes of decorating gel so that he and his friends can decorate it before digging into it.

sep 14, 8:02 pm

>199 scaifea: Everyone here loves Chinese, but alas our last favorite failed to provide good enough food last Friday. Becky and Mike said nothing, but there were no yums either. It's too soon to try a new place, but Peking Duck is on the menu that caught my attention. The chefs at Chinese restaurants do change jobs frequently and those in the know (never me) know where to go. I just have to try, try again.

sep 15, 10:38 am

>203 quondame: We have only one Chinese place in our small town, so thankfully it's really good. Columbus is only a short drive for dining out and there are TONS of options there, but for takeaway, it's a little too far.

sep 15, 10:42 am

On the Agenda for Today:
It's a holiday here at Scaife Manor: Charlie's 15!! (!?!?!) He opened presents this morning and we frosted his cake, then I went grocery shopping and now we're just awaiting the arrival of his friends for his low-key hang-out/party, after which Tomm and I will drive them to the home football game (they're all in the band). Should be a good time.

On the Reading Front:
Still with Glitterland. Finished up Wrapped yesterday.

The Crafting Report:
No time for crafting yesterday. I may get some work in the mummy done today. We'll see.

What We're Watching:
More. Glee.

sep 15, 10:43 am

No school in honor of Charlie's birthday? NOICE.

sep 15, 11:08 am

Happy birthday to Charlie!

sep 15, 11:49 am

Happy birthday, Charlie!

sep 15, 11:55 am

>206 katiekrug: It's really funny that it almost always works out that way for him. His birthday tends to be near the weekend, and it generally falls, when on a school day, on a Teacher Professional Day. Very accommodating of them.

sep 15, 11:56 am

>207 foggidawn: >208 rosalita: I'll pass on the good wishes! His friends are here now and it sounds like they're having a blast already.

sep 15, 12:12 pm

120. Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury (audiobook) - 9/10
A YA mystery/romance with regency vibes, spies, Napoleon, and mummies. I mean, what more could you possibly want? It’s light on the romance and there’s virtually no teen angst, and the plot is unique and fun. Definitely recommended.

sep 15, 12:25 pm

It's so hard to believe Charlie is 15 now! Hope he enjoyed his chocolate cake!

sep 15, 3:01 pm

Sounds like a great day for Charlie! Wishing him happiness and a good year to come.

sep 15, 3:18 pm

Happy birthday Charlie! I hope the hang out/party was successful (how could it not be?), and that you all have fun at the football game tonight.

sep 15, 3:23 pm

Thanks, everyone!!

Redigerat: sep 15, 7:13 pm

Happy Birthday to Charlie!

>204 scaifea: I sometimes feel that the sheer numbers of Thai/sushi/Chinese places foster a certain sort of race to the bottom. The first 5 Thai places I tried in the 70s were all excellent, but it's been 4 misses to a hit ever since.

sep 15, 7:33 pm

Happy birthday Charlie!

sep 16, 3:38 am

Belated happy birthday to Charlie. I hope he had a good time with his friends.

sep 16, 8:34 am

>216 quondame: Aw, that's too bad. We have some fabulous Thai places here in Columbus.

sep 16, 8:34 am

>217 curioussquared: >218 FAMeulstee: Thanks, folks! He had a great time all day.

sep 16, 8:34 am

Late happy birthday to Charlie. Sounds like a great day all around!

sep 16, 8:44 am

On the Agenda for Today:
Charlie has a band festival today, so we'll drop him off at the school to catch the busses at 1pm, then they won't be back until around 1am (!), so it'll be just Tomm and I for most of the day. We're not going to this festival because it's a 3 hour drive one-way and that's a really long day for the dogs to be home alone unless we just drive up for Charlie's 10-minute show (which we just saw last night) and then get right back in the car for a second 3-hour drive. So. Not this time. Instead, if the weather's as nice as it was yesterday, we'll probably hang out on the patio and enjoy the fire pit tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I finished Glitterland at the football game last night and started Marshmallow Malice.

The Crafting Report:
The Mummy is coming along - legs and arms are wrapped; now I just need to make the wrapping for the head a torso.

What We're Watching:
The band halftime show!

sep 16, 6:53 pm

A belated happy birthday to Charlie! Glad to hear he had a grand time.

I hope you and Tomm have a lovely evening together and Charlie has fun hanging out with the band all day.

sep 17, 9:22 am

Thanks, Micky!

sep 17, 9:29 am

On the Agenda for Today:
Not much. I'm completely knackered. Charlie and the band didn't get in until 1:30, so it was a late night. Tomm and I did have a lovely evening by the fire pit, and Charlie said he had a great time, too. Almond Crusted Pork Chops with broccoli for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I made some progress on Marshmallow Malice by the fire last night. Started listening to The Deep.

The Crafting Report:
The mummy now has fully wrapped arms and legs, and I'm working on making the wrapping for the head and torso.

What We're Watching:
I love a good disaster movie, so Tomm and I watched 65 last night. It was really good!

sep 17, 9:30 am

My view last night:

sep 17, 1:17 pm

121. Glitterland by Alexis Hall (romance) - 8/10
A bipolar Oxbridge writer type pulls an Essex-bred glitter pirate at a club and, despite himself, falls in love. And then massively screws it up, as he knew he would. If he can manage to stop the self-loathing long enough, he may be able to salvage things with an apology and work his way to believing it possible that someone could love him when he has trouble liking himself.

A sweet story, sometimes funny, sometimes quite steamy, and always teasing out complex emotions in the reader (or, at least this one).

sep 17, 6:29 pm

Oooo. Nice fire pit!

sep 18, 6:39 am

>228 drneutron: Thanks, Jim! We're really happy with the crew who built our patio and matching fire pit, and I'm so glad the weather's turning cooler so we can enjoy it again!

sep 18, 6:42 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm off today, so I'll be puttering around the house, mostly. I'll do some laundry (as always) and some cleaning, and I'd like to do some writing and maybe read a little Latin - it's been a little while and I'm missing it - and then maybe get into the sewing room for a bit. I also need to see if I can pick up my new glasses today. Pea Pasta (Charlie's choice for his delayed birthday dinner) tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I'm about halfway through Marshmallow Malice and still listening to The Deep.

The Crafting Report:
Still working on mummy wrapping.

What We're Watching:
Some Arrested Development, some Psych, and a couple of Attack of Titan episodes.

sep 18, 11:44 am

122. The Deep by Rivers Solomon (audiobook) - 8/10
Yetu is the Historian for the underwater tribe descended from African women thrown overboard from slave ships. She holds the collective memory for the entire tribe, for all of their history, so that the rest of her people need not suffer the trauma of remembering their violent past. But those memories are slowly killing Yetu, and she flees from that burden and her people. On her journey, she meets one of the two-legs and learns about the world above and what her tribe must do to survive.

Strange but powerful. I love the neo-mythic feel to the story, and I think it’s an important read. It goes on my list of books that should be required reads for high school, and could spark come great conversations.

sep 18, 12:21 pm

>231 scaifea: I listened to this one too and thought Daveed Diggs did a fantastic job. I was really glad I listened instead of physically reading it.

sep 18, 3:46 pm

>232 curioussquared: I always listen to my audiobooks at double speed and with Diggs it worked out perfectly - sounded pretty much like he does in Hamilton. Ha!

Redigerat: sep 18, 4:39 pm

>231 scaifea: You got me with this one. Daveed Diggs? Okay, it'll have to be the audiobook, then!

sep 18, 4:13 pm

>233 scaifea: Same 😂

sep 18, 5:05 pm

So I did a little more research about The Deep, and it started as a song by the same name by Daveed Diggs' band, clipping. You can listen to it here, and I definitely recommend it; it's fantastic:

sep 19, 6:34 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working 12-8 and running Teen Tuesday, of course (today we'll be doing an escape room type game). Before I go in I'll do some laundry, maybe some sewing, possibly some writing.

Charlie and I put up the Halloween decorations yesterday, and I am loving the fall vibes. My favorite time of year.

On the Reading Front:
Nearly finished with Marshmallow Malice, and I started listening to Eleanor & Park yesterday.

The Crafting Report:
Still with the mummy wrappings, but I also managed to get into the sewing room yesterday and started working on a couple pairs of fingerless gloves.

What We're Watching:
An episode of Jessica Jones.

sep 19, 3:38 pm

Popping in to say hello. I've had to quickly skim threads. They bloomed like mushrooms after the rain and I hope all is well and that I haven't missed anything crucial in your life. Must scroll back later to see what you've rated highly in the reading department.

sep 20, 6:36 am

>238 SandyAMcPherson: Hi, Sandy! No worries - come round when you can. I've been really awful lately about getting to other people's threads; life is just very busy these days.

sep 20, 6:39 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working the Dolly Shift, which means not much else will happen today. And thankfully there are leftovers in the fridge for dinner.

On the Reading Front:
I didn't have much reading time yesterday, but I did manage a bit of Marshmallow Malice and I listened to some more Eleanor & Park.

The Crafting Report:
I finished the mummy and have named him Montague Mumford:

What We're Watching:
A Bee & Puppycat episode.

sep 20, 8:18 am

Love Montague Mumford!

sep 20, 9:45 am

>240 scaifea: Love the mummy! Is this your first time through Eleanor & Park? I should do a reread of that one sometime.

sep 20, 10:13 am

>240 scaifea: Your mummy is so great! How clever!

Karen O

sep 20, 10:31 am

>240 scaifea: Handsome! Is he *the* Mumford, or one of the Sons? ;-)

sep 20, 10:58 am

Love the mummy! So fun :)

sep 20, 12:33 pm

Thanks, everyone! He was a hoot to make.

sep 20, 12:34 pm

>242 foggidawn: First time. I'm very late to the Rowell train.

sep 20, 12:35 pm

>244 rosalita: Careful, Monty gets huffy about references to that band. He says he was here waaaaaaay before them. And he doesn't like mandolins at all.

sep 20, 12:49 pm

>248 scaifea: Well, then! Apologies to Monty for smearing his good name.

sep 20, 5:15 pm

>240 scaifea: So cute.

sep 20, 5:30 pm

>249 rosalita: *snork!* He has graciously forgiven you.

sep 21, 7:35 am

On the Agenda for Today:
Some cleaning, some laundry, maybe some writing, hopefully some sewing. I also need to do the menu planning and get my grocery list ready for tomorrow. Baked potatoes for dinner tonight.

On the Reading Front:
I finished Marshmallow Malice and started I'm Glad My Mom Died. Still listening to Eleanor & Park.

The Crafting Report:
I started working on another crochet heart at work yesterday.

What We're Watching:
Agents of SHIELD and an episode of Drunk History.

sep 21, 4:55 pm

123. Marshmallow Malice by Amanda Flower (mystery) - 7/10
Bailey, the chocolatier helping her grandmother run the family candy shop in Amish country, Ohio, struggles with the absurdity that is the bridesmaid’s dress her boyfriend’s mom has her wearing, worries about her Hot Cop boyfriend’s potentially psycho high school sweetheart, and of course, stumbles upon another dead body. Again she finds herself as a mediator between the police and the Amish community as she works to help Hot Cop find the killer.
The series is starting the flag, I think, but I like the characters juuuuust enough to stick with it for at least another book. It’s starting to show the shoddy signs of too-long running cozies, though: repetitive writing, sloppy/clunky phrasings, overexplainings. *sigh*

sep 22, 8:11 am

On the Agenda for Today:
Grocery shopping and errand running this morning, then cookie baking, then picking up Charlie from school, bringing him home for a quick snack, and taking him back to school for band practice before the football game tonight. I'm not really jazzed about the game tonight (other than watching the band, of course), because it'll be a bit of a nightmare: it's band alumni night, and also homecoming, and then after the game the town is putting on the fireworks that they canceled on the 4th of July (because of storms). So it'll be absolutely PACKED. Parking won't be a problem for us, I don't think, since Charlie and I have to be there early (as a Uniform Mom, I get there with the kiddos in case they have wardrobe malfunctions), but leaving after the fireworks will be interesting. Plus, I kinda hate fireworks but have to stay because the band has to stay. I may just go sit in my car after the post-game band show. Ugh.

On the Reading Front:
I read some I'm Glad My Mom Died yesterday, and I just finished up Eleanor & Park this morning. I'll try to get to my review today, but we'll see if that happens...

The Crafting Report:
Project Death Star is finished!! Photos later.

What We're Watching:
Some Arrested Development, some Psych, and a Bee & Puppycat episode.

Redigerat: sep 22, 1:38 pm

124. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (audiobook) - 8/10
Eleanor is the new girl at school, who’s quiet and who dresses weird and whom everyone calls Big Red because of her hair and her weight. Park is a fairly popular kid with a fairly normal life. Their two very different worlds come together when Park scoots over to make room for Eleanor on the bus one morning. They slowly become sort-of friends, and then more-than friends. But Eleanor is difficult to get close to, because her home life is awful: shitty mom, shitty dad, and even shittier stepdad. Because of them, she doesn’t even have a toothbrush, not to mention the capacity to believe in the good in other people. When Eleanor can hardly believe that Park could possibly like her, and when Park feels much the same about her, how can such a relationship be anything but doomed?

It was…okay. I think my reading of it suffered from hearing so much hype about it for so long. I was expecting miraculous and instead got a good, but not exceptionally so, YA romance. Yes, Eleanor’s story is important representation, and yes, I suspect that if I had read it when I was in junior high I would have had heart eyes for it, but now the romance bit was just too heavy handed for me. So, I think it’s probably spot on for its intended audience, but it’s not a YA that carries over well to older audiences (or at least this particular member of said audience).

sep 22, 1:56 pm

The finished Death Star:

sep 23, 4:03 am

Montague Mumford looks fab. (not cute, noted)
I assume the Death Star is on a balloon or something similar ? Either that or there's some magic in them there knitting.

sep 23, 6:33 am

>257 Helenliz: Thanks! Nope, it's just stuffed with polyfil.

sep 23, 6:37 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working the Saturday shift, but oooof, it was difficult to roll out of bed this morning after last night's late home-getting. The football game was *packed* (annoying) and with fireworks after, it was also *long.* So I'll be dragging my butt some today. I suspect there may be a nap when I get home. Then tonight it the Homecoming Dance - Charlie's first. There WILL be photos.

On the Reading Front:
I nearly finished up I'm Glad My Mom Died at the game. Still listening to Black Water Sister.

The Crafting Report:
Nothing for yesterday.

What We're Watching:
The halftime band show!

sep 23, 3:39 pm

Hi Amber my dear, your knitting is fabulous and i just love Montague Mumford, i also love your Instagram handle. Hope all is well with you, Tomm, Charlie, Mario and Agent Fitzsimmons, sending love and hugs from both of us and Felix.

sep 23, 3:43 pm

>258 scaifea:, in that case it is admirably round.

Reading another Euripides play, the volume I have has 5 of them, starting with Electra. Anything I need to know going in? I know she's the daughter of Agamemnon & Clytemnestra and that C killed A on his return from the Trojan wars with her (C's)lover. Assuming Electra might be a tad miffed at that. There may be questions later.

sep 23, 4:10 pm

>260 johnsimpson: Thanks so much, John! It's good to see you!

sep 23, 4:18 pm

>261 Helenliz: Ooof. That question has a very long answer. To get the best idea of what Euripides is doing with this character (and he's doing A LOT with her), you should read Aeschylus' Oresteia and Sophocles' Electra. He plays off (and mocks) both of these earlier versions of Electra throughout. And, as he almost always does, he makes her much more believably human than either of his predecessors do. Bring on the questions as you read. I'm happy to oblige.

sep 24, 6:34 am

>263 scaifea: Ahh, yes, I remember that conversation. Unfortunately, the library service has let me down & only provided the Euripides version. Oresteia is an overdue loan, due back in November 22 - I suspect that's one's lost without trace. Renewed the reservation for the Sophocles, there seems to be one in stock.

sep 24, 9:10 am

>264 Helenliz: There are free translations online, too, if you're interested.

sep 24, 9:13 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I am completely beat from the two late nights in a row we've had, so I'm not planning on doing much. I may do some baking, and I need to do some laundry. But otherwise, I'd love to just putter around today.

On the Reading Front:
I finished I'm Glad My Mom Died, listened to more Black Water Sister, and read through My Hero Academia vol 13.

The Crafting Report:
No crafting time yesterday.

What We're Watching:
While Charlie was at the dance, Tomm and I watched Coco for the first time.

Redigerat: sep 25, 6:24 am

125. I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy (Alex Award) - 9/10
I’m too old for the show and Charlie is too young, so I don’t really have any experience with iCarly nor did I know who Jennette McCurdy was until I picked up this book. Nevertheless, I loved her story and the drollness she brings to a fairly horrific upbringing and young adulthood. I may not know anything about her acting credits, but I am now a huge fan of the woman herself, her strength, her resilience, and her sense of humor. Highly recommended.

126. My Hero Academia vol 13 by Kohei Horikoshi (manga) - 9/10
Another great entry in the manga series.

sep 24, 5:27 pm

>240 scaifea: D'aw thats so precious.
>252 scaifea: The Jenette McCurdy book has been on my list for awhile. I'll be looking to see if you think its worth it.
>256 scaifea: That's no moon... but it's a job well done :)
>267 scaifea: nm, there's my recommendation right there.
I watched a little of the show and my niece was a big fan. But hearing just the premise of this just breaks my heart.

sep 24, 10:31 pm

>267 scaifea: You have “…but I am not a huge fan of the woman herself…” in your review— typo, maybe? Sorry to nitpick, but it does change your meaning considerably! I also was the wrong age for the show, but I’ve been eying the book anyway.

sep 25, 6:25 am

>268 Ravenwoodwitch: Oh, do pick up the McCurdy book when you get a chance. It's excellent and I think you'll like it.

sep 25, 6:25 am

>269 foggidawn: Typo fixed.

sep 25, 6:29 am

On the Agenda for Today:
It's a Dolly Shift day, so work is pretty much all that will get accomplished. Rocky Ford Chili for dinner tonight, I think. Sorry this thread is getting a little long - maybe tomorrow I'll get round to making another one.

On the Reading Front:
I read some Evil Under the Sun yesterday, decided to quit Black Water Sister (way too slow to get going), and started listening to Promise Boys.

The Crafting Report:
Charlie and I finally got started on his Halloween costume yesterday - he wants to use the project for me to teach him how to sew. I also started a new knitting project: a cowl for me.

What We're Watching:
Some Arrested Development, some Psych, and some Attack on Titan.

sep 25, 10:27 am

>272 scaifea: Ooh, I love a good cowl.

I hope the shift flies by!

sep 25, 9:27 pm

Montague Mumford and the Death Star both look fantastic! I'm Glad My Mom Died was a good read, wasn't it? I'll be super interested in seeing if she does any more writing in the future.

sep 26, 6:34 am

>273 MickyFine: Thanks, Micky!

sep 26, 6:36 am

>274 bell7: Thanks, Mary! If you want more McCurdy, she does have a podcast...

sep 26, 6:40 am

On the Agenda for Today:
I'm working 12-8 and running Teen Tuesday (today they'll be created book spine poetry and staging their creations for insta-worthy photographs). Before work I'll mostly be puttering, with some laundry thrown in there somewhere.

On the Reading Front:
I didn't get much reading time yesterday, but I did manage a few pages in Evil Under the Sun and listened to more Promise Boys.

The Crafting Report:
I finished another pride heart and started on another one. I also convinced a couple of my work colleagues to crochet some Star Wars things to go along with my giant Death Star; I'm going to make a SW-themed picture book display, probably in January.

What We're Watching:
Jessica Jones.

sep 26, 7:20 am

Hi, Amber! Just checking in. How are things going? I see the books are treating you well. I remember really enjoying Eleanor & Park but it has been a decade or more since I read it.

sep 26, 8:51 am

>278 msf59: Morning, Mark! Things are busy around here but in a good way. You know, it's funny: I just read a Book Riot article yesterday about books from 2013 that haven't aged well, and Eleanor & Park was on the list. I think I agree with that assessment.

sep 27, 4:49 am

Electra: OK, I'd not realised the gap between the murder of Agamemnon & the events in here. A throw away line of 10 years took me by surprise and explained why the siblings didn't recognise each other.
I got a bit confused in Castor's speech towards the end about the aftermath. Took a few goes to work out who was going on the journey to atone (Orestes, right?).
They may suffer exile, but might you expect that they would then suffer from the deaths they caused. Another example of his female characters who step out of the bounds of normal behaviour getting away with it (to some extent). I mean, she goes provided with a new husband of more fitting status than she starts the play with. How does that work, btw, was divorce or putting aside a marriage a thing?

sep 27, 10:54 am

>280 Helenliz: The whole recognition scene is a send-up of Sophocles' and Aeschylus' versions. Euripides makes fun of them for wanting their audiences to believe how slow Electra is in recognizing her brother and the ridiculous 'evidence' left for her to figure it out. Without that context, yeah, that scene is a little obscure.

Yep, Orestes needs to do some ritual purifications, but he gets off way more easily here than he does in the Aeschylus version.

Electra was married off earlier to a farmer, someone with no real status, and she's from a royal family, so technically the marriage isn't really legit from the start. Plus, he never slept with her (she's very clearly sex-starved throughout). For all her complaining (and there's LOTS of it), she actually hasn't had a rough life at all here. Honestly, the most tragic figures in the entire play are her current/former and her to-be husbands. She's...a handful.

sep 27, 10:59 am

sep 27, 11:03 am

>281 scaifea: I was going with she's "decided" and "knows her own mind" and "a character" - but, yup, that cap fits too. They both had her landed on them, as well. Not like they chose that fate.

Will bear all that in mind.
Den här diskussionen fortsatte här: Amber's (scaifea) Thread #10