Clam Devours Books & Shares Cheese ❂ 2023 ~ Part IV ❂

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Clam Devours Books & Shares Cheese ❂ 2023 ~ Part IV ❂

sep 23, 9:01 pm

New season, new thread!

Well now... I am a huge fan of Barbara Kingsolver's so I was unnerved when I started reading Pulitzer Prize winning Demon Copperhead a few months ago and found it too depressing. I decided to trade in an Audible credit for the audio book and try again. I had my socks blown off. There is a lot of dark humor in here which the narrator Charlie Thurston manages to convey perfectly. I think I was missing out on that when I tried to read it because a lot of it is written in dialect.

I really can't praise this one enough. It's a retelling of David Copperfield. Damon (Demon) is born in Appalachia, in the era of opioid addiction. I knew it was a bad problem in this area, but I really didn't know why, and now I do. I won't rant in here, but ruthless pharmaceutical companies, brutal physical labor (coal mining, etc) and a lack of decent health insurance combined to create this disaster. If you can stomach reading about heavy Rx drug use in parts of the book then I recommend this one. For some reason it didn't bother me the way the drug use in The Goldfinch* did. Perhaps because this is definitely not glorifying it. Five stars from me. I'd give it six if I could.

*This one also won the Pulitzer.

sep 23, 9:06 pm

Happy new thread! I'm glad your new thread is starting off with a book you thoroughly enjoyed.

sep 23, 10:50 pm

Happy new thread! I think I have to read the original before reading Demon Copperhead, though from your description I'm not sure it is my kind of book.

sep 24, 4:45 am

Happy new thread.

sep 24, 7:57 am

>2 jillmwo: & >4 pgmcc: Thank you.

>3 Karlstar: Before you decide to give it a pass read this LT review. It does a much better job of explaining what I loved about the book than I could:

sep 24, 11:31 am

>5 clamairy: Thank you, I was getting the sense that I would really like to read it, but then was conflicted by your experience. From your review I think there may be sections that I really won't want to read, it may be one of those books where I just skip small sections.

sep 24, 11:54 am

>6 Karlstar: She certainly doesn't glorify prescription drug abuse, and she casts the blame where it belongs and not on the victims. I was able to get through all it, even though my husband was one of those victims. He was prescribed Vicodin by a well-meaning but not well informed neurologist for his back pain. (Back pain is very common in people with MS.) Then the doctor just kept increasing the dose. It was a long stint in the hospital and rehab for a bowel obstruction caused by the Vicodin that hastened my husband's death. So I found the book very cathartic.

sep 24, 4:47 pm

Happy new thread! I know Demon Copperhead has been getting all the raves, but I’m still on the fence about reading it.

sep 24, 8:06 pm

>8 foggidawn: I understand. Perhaps you can try borrowing the audio through OverDrive.

Redigerat: sep 24, 9:52 pm

>1 clamairy: >5 clamairy: Since I've resumed a bit of activity around here, I've met a barrage of BBs. Now Demon Copperhead is another one. Unfortunately I can relate to your personal experience watching a family member go through that hell. Thank you for sharing that with us, together with your comments on this book. I'm not a huge fan of Kingsolver nor of books heavy with dialect (unless they're 19th c. British or Scots), but I'll go with your recommendation.

sep 25, 1:02 am

>1 clamairy: Kingsolver is a very hit and miss author for me. I have found several of her works hopeless and depressing. Then other times she can almost make me sing.

sep 25, 10:16 am

>10 Meredy: I hope it works for you.
>11 MrsLee: There has only been one book of hers that I read and didn't love, Prodigal Summer. I still have a few in my TBR stack, though.

Redigerat: sep 25, 8:55 pm

Another great read for me! Tom Lake by Ann Patchett is, on the surface, about one woman's memories of her short acting career. It's really about how precious the love of family can be. This one was another slow burn. I'm giving it 4½ stars because it seemed like it took a while to grab me. But when it did, oh boy. At it's center is the play Our Town by Thorton Wilder, and if you haven't ever read it, or been privileged enough to see it performed live, then you might want to brush up on it before reading this. I think this book might end up in the running for next year's Pulitzer.
She kept the red leather-bound dictionary her husband had given to her on their first anniversary on the bedside table where another woman might have kept a Bible.

sep 25, 8:59 pm

Yes, anthropology can be both humorous and informative! Who Ate the First Oyster was another great listen from Audible. My only complaint was that this was too short. I will be reading and/or listening to more by Cody Cassidy.

sep 25, 10:44 pm

>14 clamairy: That one is a good question. Who decided that the shell full of mucus was edible and took a chance on it? They thought it was a clam?

sep 26, 12:08 am

>15 Karlstar: *whispers* Shhh, we don't talk about eating clams in here.

Redigerat: sep 26, 9:08 am

>15 Karlstar: I happen to love oysters and clams (and scallops and mussels) so it all makes perfect sense to me.

>16 MrsLee: 😆

sep 26, 11:05 am

Happy new thread! I'm so glad you were able to get into Demon Copperhead on the second try, and ended up loving it. It really was such a good read, and Demon's narrative voice stopped it from being totally depressing.

sep 26, 1:57 pm

>17 clamairy: Ooops?? I can do scallops and mussels, though I don't eat them often and clams even less often, just can't do oysters.

sep 26, 2:26 pm

>17 clamairy: & >19 Karlstar:
I love oysters, mussels and cockles.

sep 26, 2:41 pm

>20 pgmcc: Do cockles taste like clams, I wonder? Because the shells look scallop-like, but animal inside does not.

>19 Karlstar: More for me, then!

sep 26, 2:42 pm

>18 Sakerfalcon: Yes. When I was reading it I couldn't find much humor, but as soon as I switched to the audio it was all there!

sep 26, 2:49 pm

>21 clamairy:
They have s stronger flavour and are gorgeous with buttered wheaten bread. Unfortunately I am finding it difficult to get them in the shops. I may have to start gathering some for myself.

sep 26, 3:25 pm

>23 pgmcc: They sound delicious. Why are they harder to find? Are people just not eating them as much or have they become more scarce?

sep 26, 4:11 pm

>17 clamairy: and >23 pgmcc: One of the joys of visiting New Orleans back when I was young was discovering the place that listed Oysters Rockefeller as part of its menu of "take-out" food. I think I must have had it three or four times that trip. So good.

Redigerat: sep 26, 6:06 pm

>25 jillmwo: Yum!!! There's a fish market in town that sells Oysters Rockefeller prepped and frozen. Since I am rubbish at shucking my own oysters these are the ones that I buy when I have company. Soooo good.

sep 26, 6:23 pm

>24 clamairy:
I do not know why they have become difficult to find in supermarkets. Tesco used to sell bags of frozen, shelled cockles and that is where I got mine. These disappeared from the freezers and I have no idea why.

My first cockles where in a bar on the south coast. They were provided free as nibbles at the bar.

sep 27, 5:35 am

>27 pgmcc: Because Molly Malone is no more, perhaps?

sep 27, 5:42 am

>28 hfglen: Molly M still exists, immortalised in bronze, in Dublin.

sep 27, 8:41 am

>29 haydninvienna: However, "she died of a fever / and no one could save her / and that was the end of sweet Molly Malone ..." and even if "her ghost wheels her barrow / through streets broad and narrow / crying cockles and mussels ..." it might be rather hard to stop her for a purchase ;-), despite the presence of The Tart With A Cart.

Redigerat: sep 27, 8:59 am

I think the reference to Molly Malone and her statue, "The Tart With A Cart", requires a picture for those readers not familiar with the bronze commemoration* statue in Dublin.

*Commemoration is probably not an appropriate term for a statue of a fictional character in a song, but I could not think of a better one. It could be argued it is a commemoration a past way of life for some people. There are still market stalls in Dublin and the ladies running them carry on the tradition of Molly, well, her goods selling traditions. There is at least one fish stall on Moore Street, but I have not noticed cockles or mussels on it.

sep 27, 9:40 am

>31 pgmcc: Are we sure mollusks were the only thing on sale?

sep 27, 10:03 am

>32 clamairy:
I see you noticed the between the lines message. She may have been selling crabs.

sep 27, 10:50 am

>32 clamairy: >31 pgmcc: >29 haydninvienna: >30 hfglen:. You all have me cackling when I should really be doing other things this morning. I'd never heard of such a statue. The Tart with a Cart - ROFL.

However, I will say that the Weather Channel this am was showing a chilly, rainy Dublin street from their Earthcam. Did no one think to offer the poor woman a shawl or perhaps a rain poncho?

sep 27, 11:21 am

>34 jillmwo:
It is indeed a wet and windy day in Dublin. It is Storm Agnes which I understand is a consequence of your recent Storm Ophelia. We had a Storm Ophelia a few years ago and it was devastating.

I suspect a shawl would not last long on Molly’s shoulders due to the wind.

sep 27, 11:24 am

>31 pgmcc: and the rest of you, made me snort.

Redigerat: sep 30, 3:41 pm

I've started reading spooky things for Halloween season. I found a list here on LT of Ghost Stories. And I spotted one that looked familiar. Turns out that sakerfalcon had recommended it a couple of years ago, and it was on my OverDrive list, so I snagged it.

The Broken Girls scared me so much that the first few nights I had to switch to reading something else before I fell asleep. I no longer have a dog to protect me. My cat is great company, but she also excels at staring at things I can't see, which can be unsettling. This book is about an abandoned (and haunted!) girls school in Vermont, and jumps back in forth in time between the 50s, and 2014. There are new owners of the property who are doing construction and uncover a body. It was a bit slow to grab me, and then got extremely creepy, and I couldn't put it down. Four stars.
There is no justice, Malcolm had told her once, but we stand for it anyway. Justice is the ideal, but justice is not the reality.

I have already started The Shadow Rising (Book Four of The Wheel of Time), because season 2 of the show is already messing with my memory of what happened in books 2 & 3!

okt 3, 8:38 am

>37 clamairy: I REALLY enjoyed that one! Glad you did too!

okt 3, 11:30 am

The Broken Girls looks intriguing. I put it on a list somewhere...maybe the library (overdrive) or maybe audible. Thanks for the bb.

okt 3, 4:00 pm

>37 clamairy: That one got me too. Not by the subject matter but by your strong reaction.

Redigerat: okt 3, 6:37 pm

>38 Sakerfalcon: Thank you... two years late. I will be reading more of her books. (I might take a break halfway through my Wheel of Time book to read something shorter and scarier.)

>39 Bookmarque: & >40 Meredy: I hope you both enjoy it. It's a lot more involved than I've indicated, but I didn't know how to dish the details without giving anything away.

okt 9, 5:10 pm

>37 clamairy: Maybe your home is haunted by a Greeble?

okt 9, 10:03 pm

>42 libraryperilous: Probably several!

Redigerat: okt 13, 12:59 pm

I've had a lot of good but time consuming stuff happening in RL. We've had several family gatherings, and I enjoyed a few outings with friends, and one of my brothers was staying with me for much of this week. So I haven't been posting much. Also, I have gotten somewhat stuck about ⅓ of the way through The Shadow Rising. It's good, I'm just not picking it up when I have free time during the day, like I would with a book I was fully immersed in. So, I think I'm going to return the eBook and get on the wait-list to borrow the audiobook. (I don't want to spend an Audible credit on any version that isn't narrated by Rosamund Pike). In the meantime, I think I'm going to borrow something suitably creepy.

okt 13, 2:18 pm

>44 clamairy: It is just me, or does the TV show feel like it is setting up to pretty much entirely skip book 4?

okt 13, 2:27 pm

>45 Karlstar: They might squish it all into one episode. :(

okt 13, 2:46 pm

>46 clamairy: I looked last week and I read that one in 2021 to get ready for the show, not knowing at the time they'd take so long to get season two out. Have you read New Spring?

Redigerat: okt 14, 7:28 am

>47 Karlstar: I have not. Am I missing anything?

okt 13, 10:46 pm

>49 Karlstar: I think you are at the right spot to read that one, especially with the focus on Lan and Moiraine in season 2. It is basically the story of how she started her quest and met Lan. One of my favorite books of the series.
It was originally published between book 10 and book 11, after Jordan wrote a short story/novella for the Legends collection. No reason to wait that long though.

okt 14, 5:48 pm

Put Broken Girls on my For Later shelf at the library.

Also, my cat sees things that aren’t there all the time. I swear we have a ghost cat in our house that hangs out in the kitchen.

okt 15, 8:07 am

>49 Karlstar: Okay, I might try that one. In the meantime I'm going back to listening.

>50 catzteach: I hope you enjoy it.

okt 15, 12:30 pm

>50 catzteach: Cats are what guard us against malicious spirits and fairies that would mess with us otherwise. At least that's what my cats told me.

okt 15, 12:39 pm

>52 MrsLee: I think the dog farts were keeping them away, now Belle must be on active duty again!

okt 15, 4:04 pm

>53 clamairy: Haha! If that were the case, one would think my husband would be protection enough, but apparently they become immune to gassing after 32 years in a home.

okt 15, 4:50 pm

>54 MrsLee: Bwahaha!!!

Redigerat: okt 15, 6:05 pm

I finished listening to Fossil Men: The Quest for the Oldest Skeleton and the Origins of Humankind, and I almost deducted a half of a star because the narrator appears to have attended the William Shatner School of Elocution. The delivery was oddly choppy, with some words bunched together and longer pauses than needed in between. I got used to it, so it wasn't as distracting. The book itself was a bit of a shock. I remember in Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything he talked about how cutthroat the archaeologists in the 'old days' were. Things haven't changed much, at least not in the study of physical anthropology. Tim D. White's team discovered the fossil remains of 'Ardi'- the most complete skeleton found so far of a proposed human ancestor. She dates from 4.4 million years ago. It took decades for her to be accepted by those who make these decisions. Everyone seemed to be in love with 'Lucy' who lived about 3.2 million years ago. Apparently Dr. White was abrasive and because of all the wars and revolutions in Ethiopia no one was able to see much of 'Ardi' for many years. There are now older fossils, but none as complete as this one.

okt 15, 6:17 pm

I snagged The Night Hawks from OverDrive for my Kindle, and finished it in 24 hours. I have enjoyed this series immensely, and now there are only two left. :o( This one was excellent, with a Bronze Age skeleton found, and various other people turning up dead. There is also a large black dog on the loose which may or may not be the Black Shuck*. I've gotten very attached to many of the regular characters in this series.

* It's a real thing!

okt 16, 10:05 am

>57 clamairy: Yes, I enjoyed some of the mystery plots in that series more than others, but I kept coming back to it because I was so involved with the characters.

okt 16, 11:29 am

>57 clamairy: I had a vivid dream with the Black Shuck in it, I was trying to get my brothers, sons and husband away to a l place of safety from the beach when I saw it. I had the feeling I was missing someone. The next day I found out the the man who had been the gardener at our house since my grandmother's time, 40 years, had drowned at his house. I don't much care for prophetic dreams.

Redigerat: okt 16, 11:39 am

>59 MrsLee: Oh, yikes! I've had a few of those over the years*, and I don't appreciate them much either. They rarely seem to tell me when something good is going to happen.

*None included the Black Shuck.

Redigerat: okt 16, 1:06 pm

>58 foggidawn: Can you think of any other series with a main character like Ruth? I just love her so much. I especially identify with her when she shows up for an event, and immediately thinks she's under dressed, or is trying to hide her hands, because she just came from a dig. LOL

okt 16, 1:16 pm

>61 clamairy: I can't think of any off the top of my head. If anyone else can, I'd definitely be interested!

okt 16, 3:19 pm

>57 clamairy: I have never encountered stories before about the Black Shuck. The Night Hawks sounds intriguing. And some part of me is wondering why I've never read anything by her before.

okt 16, 3:45 pm

>59 MrsLee:
Not a dream I would like to have.

okt 17, 10:03 am

>63 jillmwo: The hound in The Hound of the Baskervilles is a littermate of the Black Shuck. For some reason, there are extensive stories about spectral or demonic black dogs in the Dartmoor region as well.

Redigerat: okt 17, 11:25 am

>63 jillmwo: They are entertaining. I'm not sure if she's a match for you, but borrow the first one (The Crossing Places) from OverDrive and give it a shot.

>65 Marissa_Doyle: It's always amazing to me how different parts of the world, and even different parts of individual countries have their own myths and legends of the supernatural. Here in the Northeast the idea of ghost ships were a big thing when I was little. When I got a little older it was the hookman stories. Now I am reading Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire and learning all about the various types of road ghosts in the US. It's fascinating and very entertaining stuff.

okt 17, 11:31 am

>66 clamairy: There's a semi-famous (and very eerie) one in my general area--the Rte. 44 hitchhiker in Rehoboth, MA. I need to see if I have that McGuire in my Nook...

Redigerat: okt 17, 12:09 pm

>67 Marissa_Doyle: Oh, that's very cool. I seem to recall there was a woman in white on the road in Connecticut somewhere.

I don't know what I was expecting with the book, but this isn't it. This is so much better. The only thing I've read by her before was Every Heart a Doorway. Her writing style is kind of unusual and I greatly appreciate it.

Redigerat: okt 18, 9:48 pm

I just finished Scalzi's Starter Villain as read by Wil Wheaton. Wonderful stuff. I threw an extra half of a star at it, because it's not often something that is pure fun crosses my path. I want one of those cats. Maybe...

Up next is the Audio of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, which is free to Audible subscribers. It looks to be only about four hours long. Was that book a novella? (I looked it up. It's 198 pages.)

okt 18, 9:39 pm

>69 clamairy: I should have picked up Starter Villain already, thanks for the confirmation that it is worth it!

okt 18, 9:50 pm

>70 Karlstar: You're welcome. Narilka shot me between the eyes with that bullet. Not that I put up much of a fight.

Redigerat: okt 19, 1:06 am

>69 clamairy: I loved the movie of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Didn't know there was a book.

okt 19, 6:53 am

>72 MrsLee: I read it as a teen, I believe. The movie was a close adaptation. The TV show was not!

okt 19, 9:43 am

>72 MrsLee: and >73 clamairy: It's a nice book. Worthwhile reading.

okt 19, 11:22 am

>74 jillmwo: I remember it with fondness. I am hoping the Suck Fairy doesn't pay a visit.

okt 20, 8:37 pm

>69 clamairy: I read Starter Villain last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. Those cats were great. Not to mention the startlingly new take on dolphins.

okt 21, 8:07 am

>76 Meredy: Yes, I saw your comments. You seemed surprised to have enjoyed something of such little substance quite so much. His take on dolphins was perfect. Whenever I would have a conversation with my daughter about how smart they are, she would tell me how horrible they are to each other.

Redigerat: okt 21, 10:05 pm

Sparrow Hill Road was a very pleasant surprise. I found it on one of the many lists of ghostly books here on LT, and since I recognized the author's name and the rating was high I snagged it from OverDrive. I recommend this one if you don't mind a timeline that hops back and forth between the 1950s and somewhat more recent times. I was completely unfamiliar with the kinds of entities she talks about - route witches, women in white, hitchhikers, etc. That shouldn't be a surprise because it turns out that Seanan McGuire has created them all, or, more accurately, she just gave them their proper names. Many of them are very familiar. This is mostly the tale of Rose Marshall, who dies on her way to her prom, but it's also about America's love affair with roads.

Four stars from me, but I will wait a while before I continue with the series. I do like her writing style, though it can be a bit overwhelming at times.
Then again, stories and journeys are the same thing, aren’t they? Every one of them begins somewhere, trembling and frightened, like a green-clad ghost-girl who doesn’t even realize yet that she’s left her body in the burning wreck behind her. Every one of them moves onward from that point, little ghosts growing up to become full-fledged urban legends, letting their legs and their longings carry them from one side of the American ghostroads to the other.

But there is a bit of Humor!
Scrooge was right about one thing: most spectral visitations are actually dreams or indigestion.

Oh, I have to add that there is a large black ghost dog in this books as well!
Maggy Dhu - Black ghost dogs capable of taking on physical form. They can weigh over two hundred pounds, and their bite is deadly to the living.
Wikipedia refers to this beastie as the Moddey Dhoo.

Redigerat: okt 21, 10:08 pm

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was good fun, and a very pleasant spooky distraction from reality. It was nice to see that Lucy Muir developed a spine, pretty much out of the blue, when she decided to get out of the grasp of her in-laws and rent haunted Gull Cottage. She becomes besties with Captain Greg's ghost, and things proceed from there. I'd forgotten about the ill-fated romance with that nasty man the captain tricked her into meeting. That was a bit depressing. But the rest was humorous and charming.

I did find it fascinating that Martha, who was only two years younger, was still doing everything for Lucy, while she got to sit by the fire and knit. It seems Martha, despite being of the serving class (or, perhaps because of it) had much better genes.

So it seems that R.A. Dick was a pseudonym for Josephine Leslie, who wrote another book called The Devil and Mrs. Devine. It must be very rare as there are only 12 LT members with this one. A crappy paperback copy is almost $65!

okt 22, 9:54 am

>79 clamairy: I think one of the best lines in The Ghost and Mrs Muir is when Cyril -- the priggish son -- asks his mother "Are you displaying your naked mind in this book?" Now there's a question that any interviewer might wish to ask of an author on-air!

okt 22, 10:36 am

>80 jillmwo: Yes, that was awesome! Poor Cyril. He spent too much time with that aunt of his as a child.

Redigerat: okt 25, 8:31 pm

Ghost Stories: Stephen Fry's Definitive Collection was such good fun. Of course, some of the stories were much better than others.

The tales were:
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Lost Hearts by M.R. James
Was It an Illusion? by Amelia B. Edwards
The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Empty House by Algernon Blackwood
William Wilson by Edgar Alan Poe
The Open Door by Charlotte Riddell
The Judge's House by Bram Stoker

The best were the Washington Irving, the M. R. James, the Robert Lewis Stephenson and the Bram Stoker. My least favorite was the Edgar Allen Poe, believe it or not. All of these vintage creepy tales as read by Stephen Fry... what's not love?

I got about one hour into the audiobook for The Witches: Salem, 1692 and it was so dry that I bailed. I'm going to try the free Audible M.R. James collection of Ghost Stories. It's less than three hours long.

okt 26, 8:30 am

I'm sharing this article on where I live as a gift, no paywall. If you don't have time to read it just look at the photos:
36 Hours on the North Fork, Long Island

Redigerat: okt 26, 10:45 am

>83 clamairy: For no particular reason, the pictures in the article remind me of Knysna in the Western Cape. Thank you for sharing!

ETA: I have just added a picture of Knysna to my thread, to give a comparison.

okt 26, 4:59 pm

>83 clamairy: Looks like a great area for a weekend getaway.

okt 26, 9:36 pm

>83 clamairy: thanks for sharing - it makes me want to go there for a visit!

okt 27, 4:48 am

Clamming 101
First rule of clamming. Don’t tell people where you go clamming.

Be vague. Mysterious. Secret.

Quahogs are the type of clam we dig from our bays, latin name: mercenaria mercenaria.

oops. chow-der secrets uncovered.

okt 27, 8:24 am

>83 clamairy: You live in such a beautiful area!

okt 27, 10:36 am

>83 clamairy:
Lovely pictures. I also found the restaurant listings interesting. Are there any on the list that you would recommend?

okt 29, 5:16 pm

>89 pgmcc: The ones on the list are hard to get into on weekends, and that is when I usually have guests. I have had cocktails at the speakeasy mentioned in the article, (Brix & Rye) and it's very atmospheric! My daughter and I recently discovered this place: This tiny eatery is in the town of Greenport, and you have to sneak down a pedestrians only side street called Bootleg Alley to get to it. The outdoor deck is on the water. We stuffed ourselves on raw oysters.

okt 29, 5:19 pm

>88 Sakerfalcon: But wait, there's more good news!
I shared this as a gift, so there should be no paywall. If you haven't already watched this on my Facebook page it's worth the minute or so to watch:

okt 29, 5:34 pm

>90 clamairy:
The oyster place sounds nice. There is an oyster festival in Galway every year. It is traditional to have your oysters washed down with a pint of Guinness.

>91 clamairy: I watched that on you Facebook page. It is a super video and looks like good news for the environment.

okt 29, 7:11 pm

>92 pgmcc: There was an Oyster Fest in Greenport a few weeks ago. I went with one of my buddies, and she brought her own wine but I was enjoying one of the IPAs from the Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. The only mistake I made that day was to get an order of grilled oysters just to taste. They were not as good as the raw ones at all. I think we each ate several dozen raw ones.

okt 30, 2:30 am

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more —

okt 30, 9:27 am

>91 clamairy: That is wonderful news! What amazing footage of the cetaceans!

okt 30, 7:08 pm

>94 MrAndrew: Because one good quote deserves another...

O Oysters,' said the Carpenter,
You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none —
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one."

okt 30, 7:22 pm

>94 MrAndrew: & >96 jillmwo: This is one my favorite Lewis Caroll poem.

>92 pgmcc: & >95 Sakerfalcon: You have no idea how happy I am about this.

Redigerat: okt 30, 7:28 pm

I needed more scary stuff. (But not too scary!) I found Ghost Stories, Volume One by M. R. James, as read by Derek Jacobi, and it was free on Audible. Not bad. These haven't aged all that well, but still good for this time of year.

okt 30, 7:36 pm

Gobbelino London & a Contagion of Zombies was a lot of fun. It's feel good zombie fluff, if there can be such a thing. These books remind me a bit of Legends & Lattes, but the main character is a talking cat. A cat that I love, BTW. I will wait a while for the 3rd one.

Redigerat: okt 30, 7:55 pm

It's getting very close to Samhain and I wanted something creepy but not terrifying to round out the end of the month and bring me smack into the time of year when they say the veil between the worlds is the thinnest. So I went for the next to last book in Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series, The Locked Room. Good stuff. Only one more book to go, and I've already started it.

I have read or listened to 91 books so far this year. Hoping to make to 100 for the first time since I was a teenager.

okt 31, 12:27 pm

>98 clamairy: Thank you for the heads up on that! I recently read those, but having Derek Jacobi read them to me sounds great! They are now in my library.

okt 31, 3:35 pm

>101 MrsLee: Enjoy! It's very short, but I'm pretty sure there is a second 'volume.'

okt 31, 8:26 pm

>99 clamairy: The third one is just as much fun. Glad you're still enjoying the series :)

Redigerat: nov 1, 1:11 pm

So hey Clam, since you hit me with The Broken Girls recently, I figured I'd shoot back, albeit with blanks since this is part of the First Reads program on Amazon and is free with Prime I think -

The marketing speak mentions Simone St. James so it might be fun.

nov 1, 3:56 pm

>104 Bookmarque: Oh, that looks good! Kind of my 'stomping ground,' too! Thanks.

nov 1, 7:10 pm

Happy to be of service. I snagged a copy, too, and will have to stop dealing with video projects and spend some time reading!

nov 1, 7:50 pm

>106 Bookmarque: I noticed you haven't been posting any reviews. I hope you're still reading, but too busy with photography to share.

nov 2, 8:06 am

I've been doing so much audio that I don't keep enough notes to write long reviews for those. When I read a physical or ebook, I do more note taking and so my reviews feel more genuine to me. Things go in phases for me and video production has so many more moving parts and complexity than stills photography that it's a bit consuming just to get over some of the learning curve.

Redigerat: nov 2, 9:01 am

>108 Bookmarque: The end products are awesome, so you must have been learning a lot.

I rarely do long reviews these days.

nov 2, 9:16 am

>104 Bookmarque: You hit me with that bullet too! Adding to my wishlist.

nov 2, 9:26 am

Thanks clam. I have a special Halloween one up, but it might not be your cuppa. 8 minutes of a small spider taking down a huge June bug in her web. Filmed for an hour or maybe more and it was fascinating. I love spiders, but know they aren't everyone's favorite creature (although they should be!). I broke down and started using YouTube to host and so you can find it and others here -

nov 2, 12:14 pm

>111 Bookmarque: I will check it out later when I have a bigger chunk of time. I do enjoy watching spiders, and I am definitely not a fan of June bugs. LOL They devastate a lot of my flowering plants here each Summer.

nov 4, 4:14 pm

>111 Bookmarque: I finally got to sit and watch it! Very cool. I noticed her abdomen had what appeared to be two slight indentations that almost looked like eyeballs. They only showed up when the light was reflecting enough to highlight them.

nov 4, 6:22 pm

Glad you liked it. She was working hard that day I tell you. The indentations are a mark of the species, I think, and yeah, she had to be at the right angle to see them. Got some shots of a harvestman the other day -

These are not spiders precisely as they have a unified body structure - like footballs with legs. Collectively they are Opiliones and sometimes called daddy long legs, but these don't have very long legs as some so I just use harvestman.

nov 4, 6:28 pm

Crap, I forgot I was in YOUR thread. Let me know if you want to edit them out. Sorry.

nov 4, 6:46 pm

>115 Bookmarque: Leave it! The photos are awesome!

nov 6, 12:20 am

>115 Bookmarque: Can I have a big spider in my thread? Got anything in blue?

nov 6, 3:14 am

Hmmmm. Ma'am, i'm sorry to tell you, you appear to have a spider infestation in this thread.

I, for one, bow to our pseudo-arachnoid overlords.

nov 6, 8:22 am

>117 Meredy: Well I could fake it. Otherwise I have a lovely yellow crab spider if you want. The picture is big, but the spider is teeny.

nov 6, 9:34 am

>115 Bookmarque: Hahahahaha! This is the best thread hijack ever!

Redigerat: nov 6, 9:51 am

Well, continuing on with some more views of our tiny football with legs -

It's about 1 inch across with the longest legs.

nov 6, 10:21 am

It's a good thing I like spiders! When I find them inside I always catch them and put them back outside. And there are a few in some of the corners of the basement that I have just left where they are, because they take care of all those other bugs that sneak inside.

nov 6, 5:08 pm

>122 clamairy: I rescue spiders too. I keep a firm card (like the ones from real estate agents or politicians) and an empty prescription bottle in several places for a quick capture and then release outdoors. Sometimes with the teeny ones, I just pick them up by the thread and relocate them to a houseplant. Yesterday one of those dropped onto my glasses and walked around on the lens for a bit before I realized what was disrupting my vision.

The only ones I show no mercy to are the thick-bodied black ones. I don't rescue those. They can just stay out of my bedroom.

>119 Bookmarque: The yellow one sounds just great. Eagerly awaiting!

Redigerat: nov 6, 5:30 pm

I found this lady between my basement door and the storm door. I have a special bug catching gadget I bought on Amazon that has a magnifying glass built into the part that holds the bug. So I got a nice close up. She was at least an inch from leg tip to leg tip, if not more, though the magnifier makes her look even bigger. It's not the best quality. There was some reflection from the flash. I moved her outside to my Juniper bush.

nov 6, 6:34 pm

I love it! I might just have to get one. I do the scoop on cardboard or herd into a small box routine all the time, but I can't really see my captures unless I get my hand lens. This is so much more convenient.

Oh and go check your thread, Meredy!

nov 6, 7:07 pm

>142 Bookmarque: That may not be a book bullet, but Amazon thanks you. I hope to have good show and tells with my grandson.

Redigerat: nov 6, 7:25 pm

>125 Bookmarque: & >126 MrsLee: My son saw it in action when he was visiting, then I had to send one to his Condo. It does not work as well on smaller bugs, because they can escape while you're trying to close the hatch.

Here's the link to the gadget:

I love that it says that it's for "spider, children and adults."

Redigerat: nov 6, 7:54 pm

Back to books. :o)

I decided to just read the last of the Ruth Galloway books, and not wait any longer. The Last Remains was another solid read, and a very satisfying end to the series. I am extremely sad to see the last of Ruth, but I am happy with where/how she was left.

I have started Making it So, by Sir Patrick Stewart and so far it's simply awesome. I have always had a thing for him.

I am listening to Martin Short's book, I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend. It is both touching and hilarious.

Redigerat: nov 12, 12:55 pm

Martin Short's I Must Say was both hilarious and touching. I snagged this from Audible because I have become a rabid fan of the series Only Murders in the Building on HULU. I really knew nothing about him, and was only vaguely familiar with the stuff he did decades ago. He is remarkable funny and upbeat (at least in his book) despite having lost a lot of the people he loved before their time. This was written in 2007, so he doesn't mention any of his more recent projects. I am sure there are a few strangers out there who think I am deranged having passed me while I was laughing myself silly either while doing yard work or driving. This one is narrated by the author so there are a ton of impressions (his Kate Hepburn is fantastic!) and even a few songs.

I have started listening to John Green's Looking for Alaska.

nov 12, 4:42 pm

>129 clamairy: That sounds tempting! Are you saying you aren't a fan of The Three Amigos?

Redigerat: nov 12, 9:45 pm

>130 Karlstar: I was! But I have not watched it for 35+ years.

nov 13, 5:49 am

>131 clamairy: Same here and I suspect I should not watch it again. We are big fans of Only Murders in the Building, but my family has always been big Steve Martin fans.

nov 13, 3:15 pm

>132 Karlstar: Yes, I expected Steve to be the funniest one on the show, and was surprised to find Martin to be the one who made me laugh the most. I just finished Season 3 the other night. Great stuff.

nov 18, 2:54 am

>128 clamairy: Is Patrick Stewart's book a memoir?

nov 18, 6:42 am

>134 Meredy: yes, a recently released one.

Redigerat: nov 18, 10:18 am

>134 Meredy: & >135 AHS-Wolfy: Yes, and it's wonderful! I finally finished it last night, or should I say early this morning. I will be posting a mini review in a bit.

nov 18, 7:09 pm

Audible was having a two-fer sale, so I snagged Looking for Alaska by John Green as read by Wil Wheaton without checking to see what it was about. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I'd been totally disarmed by it starting out like a simple tale of teen angst, only to find it's about coming to terms with tragic loss.

nov 18, 7:17 pm

What can I say about almost 500 pages worth of Making It So: A Memoir by Patrick Stewart? I would have given it 5 stars if it had been just slightly shorter, but I don't know what could have been removed. There is A LOT of detail in here. I don't want to give much away, but his childhood was not idyllic. He struggled with self-doubt quite a bit, too, but he seems to have finally gotten over that!

I am very glad I spent the time on this, but I suspect the audio book read by Sir Pat himself would be a better route to go.

Highly recommended for both fans of all things Shakespearean or the British theater in general, and/or fans of Star Trek:TNG. (Also fans of The X-Men.)

nov 18, 7:27 pm

I am currently reading System Collapse by Martha Wells (YES!) and listening to The Shadow Rising read by Kate Reading & Michael Kramer. She's pretty good. I am not loving him. He sounds bored. After I am done with this I might wait for Rosamund Pike to catch up with her narrations. I don't think I have it in me to actually read these with my eyeballs, but they are great fun to listen to.

nov 19, 9:44 am

>138 clamairy: You've got me tempted with Making it So, but I think first I have to read My Effin' Life.

nov 19, 10:52 am

>140 Karlstar: Enjoy. I await your review because I'll be skipping that one. It's not that I'm not interested, there are just too many other books I'm more interested in.

Redigerat: nov 19, 10:56 am

Isn't it common wisdom that there are no female Rush fans? LOL.

Redigerat: nov 19, 11:01 am

>142 Bookmarque: LOL I will admit they are not very high on my list of favorites. (In fact they aren't on it at all.)

Redigerat: nov 19, 11:06 am

I won't turn them off if they come on the radio, but prior to meeting my husband, there were no Rush albums in my possession. They're his favorite band and symbol of his own distinct nerdiness which, oddly runs to Monty Python, but not to Hitchhiker's guide. A musical symbol of my nerdiness is Primus, a band he can tolerate for short periods, and I totally revel in anything Adams. Funny how things go. We both find it interesting that the polarization of our musical nerdiness - Rush and Primus - each have MOST outstanding bassists who are the bands' singers and who have such distinct styles that they are both instantly recognizable.

nov 19, 2:32 pm

>144 Bookmarque: I had to use Google to learn about Primus, so...

Redigerat: nov 19, 3:11 pm

>142 Bookmarque: It is, but in this case not true. I've been to Rush concerts, I've seen them! However, it wasn't a 50/50 split.

I commend your husband on his good taste in prog rock.

nov 19, 3:22 pm

Primus is definitely an acquired taste, but I love it and pretty much all things Les Claypool.

nov 21, 8:52 pm

Oh, you hit me with both Martin Short and Patrick Stewart!

nov 21, 9:41 pm

>148 catzteach: I hope you enjoy them.

nov 22, 6:49 am

That sounds dirty.

nov 22, 6:59 am

Redigerat: nov 22, 8:31 am

Shared as a gift:

New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2023

I have only read one* of the fiction books, although I started a couple of the others and bailed. I started two of the nonfiction books, and bailed on both of them.

*Tom Lake

nov 22, 10:17 am

>147 Bookmarque: Ok, you got me, I will check out some Primus.

nov 22, 10:36 am

>153 Karlstar: A lot of people will recommend starting with "Sailing the Seas of Cheese", which is a good intro to their style, but I prefer Pork Soda as a better representation of their evolution as musicians. Both are quite weird, and fairly polarizing to most listeners :D

nov 22, 10:53 am

>154 Darth-Heather: OMG, I go that way too! Pork Soda is the bomb - my favorite. Just so heavy and groovy and trippy. Cheese though, has Tommy the Cat and Jerry was a Racecar Driver so...there's that. It's all so great.

nov 22, 11:39 am

Did I read the word 'cheese'...

nov 22, 11:46 am

>154 Darth-Heather: >155 Bookmarque: Ok, thanks for the recommendations, so far listened to Jerry Was A Race Car Driver and The Devil Went Down to Georgia, which was a decent cover.

nov 22, 11:50 am

>155 Bookmarque: cool! Have you also been listening to Claypool Lennon Delirium? I've delved into "South of Reality" a bit but still getting the hang of what they are doing. I liked Sean Lennon when he was with Cibo Matto - it added a nice synth keyboard complement to their original sound. He's very talented, and its an interesting mix with Claypool.

Redigerat: nov 22, 12:41 pm

I'm afraid I haven't been in sync w/Les's latest stuff, although I probably should check out the Rush tribute thing...he and Geddy have SO MUCH in common, yet are so different in approaches and style. I'll also have to check out Delirium. Claypool can basically adapt to so many styles that it's no wonder tons of people want to jam with him. One of my dreams, which is not possible now without a resurrection, was to have a Les Claypool/Warren Zevon collaboration. Think of the lyrical possibilities!!!

Oh and the tribute to Rush thing reminds me that I think it's Frog Brigade Live Frogs 2 that is a complete note-for-note concert of Pink Floyd's Animals which is my favorite Floyd record. It's awesome.

nov 22, 9:28 pm

>159 ScoLgo: Nice, thank you!

>156 clamairy: Sorry for hijacking your thread.

nov 23, 6:49 am

clamairy, have a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope your day is everything you want it to be.

nov 23, 8:03 am

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Redigerat: nov 23, 8:05 am

>161 Karlstar: No worries. I did try listening to some Primus yesterday morning. I didn't last long. LOL

>162 pgmcc: Thank you! I hope your daughter and her family have a wonderful day as well.

>163 jillmwo: Thank you! The same to you.

And Happy Thanksgiving to all of the rest of you who celebrate it!

nov 23, 10:37 am

>164 clamairy: Happy Thanksgiving! I did give Primus a decent listen, but I have to admit I was more interested in their Rush covers than anything else.

nov 23, 4:28 pm

>152 clamairy: Thanks for the list. I haven't read any of them, but several are calling my name. Which did you ditch?

nov 23, 6:24 pm

Happy Thanksgiving!

nov 24, 7:56 am

>167 Narilka: I hope your day was awesome!

I ditched The Luminaries and Monsters, and I'll have to look at the list again for the 3rd. LOL

nov 24, 8:24 am

>168 clamairy:
Sorry to hear The Luminaries did not work for you, but delighted you ditched it when you were not enjoying it.

>164 clamairy:
My daughter had a great Thanksgiving, thank you.

Redigerat: nov 26, 7:56 pm

System Collapse lived up to my ridiculously high expectations! Murderbot becomes more human and relatable with each book in the series. Thank you, Martha Wells.

nov 30, 11:02 am

>170 clamairy: I'm saving this one for a few more days. I found this info delightful:

"my favorite question of the night: would you consider Murderbot and ART's relationship to be a romance? She said yes, definitely: it's an asexual, aromantic romance."

Reporting from LT member curioussquared's 75ers thread.

nov 30, 1:19 pm

>171 libraryperilous: Oh, that's awesome, and I can definitely see that being the case. But then what is the difference between a deep friendship and an asexual aromantic romance? I know there is one, but to put that distinction into words escapes me.

nov 30, 1:47 pm

It’s the frisson of liking and disliking at the same time.

nov 30, 2:37 pm

>173 2wonderY:
“I luv ya, but can’t stand the stink of ya!”

Like that?

nov 30, 7:38 pm

>173 2wonderY: Yes. I see it!
>174 pgmcc: Ha!

nov 30, 7:50 pm

Bookshops and Bonedust was good fun. I think I enjoyed the first book just slightly more. I especially loved Fern the ratkin bookshop owner who seemed to be able to discern exactly what books her customers needed to read. I'm still slogging through the audiobook of The Shadow Rising. I actually had to print out one of the maps from Tor for this series. Just about nothing was where I thought it was supposed to be.

I don't know what I'm reading next. I'm at 97 books read or listened to for the year.

nov 30, 10:22 pm

>176 clamairy: The Epilogue was my favorite part, because it opens up the chance for more of Fern!

nov 30, 11:13 pm

On the strength of comments made in this neighborhood, I'm trying out the first of the Murderbot series. Is there something I ought to know up front to help me get into it?

dec 1, 5:03 am

>176 clamairy: I can understand the map part, the locations of Tear and Tanchico always escape my brain.

dec 1, 6:30 am

>178 Meredy: yes. You'll be sad when you finish the available books.

dec 1, 9:10 am

>179 Karlstar: I thought of you when I was printing it. This is one area where ebook reading completely fails. The emaps aren't much help.

Redigerat: dec 1, 9:12 am

>178 Meredy: Are you have trouble getting into the first book?

>180 MrAndrew: Ha!!!

Redigerat: dec 1, 3:39 pm

>177 libraryperilous: I just assumed he would keep going, perhaps now in multiple directions!

dec 1, 9:04 pm

>182 clamairy: Yes. I keep forgetting what I've read, and the fact that our bot doesn't care about anything makes it hard to attach my interest somewhere. How long before I see something to invest in?

dec 2, 8:04 am

>184 Meredy: I got hooked right away. Murderbot is like an angsty teen at this point, acting like it doesn't care, but caring deeply, especially about its favorite series, Sanctuary Moon.

If you're not enjoying it I would set it aside and try again another time.

Redigerat: dec 4, 7:43 pm

Phew! The Shadow Rising took all three weeks of the Libby loan to finish. I believe I returned it about 8 hours before it was due. As I mentioned before there were two people narrating this, and while I enjoyed the woman, I was not thrilled with the man. It was recorded almost 30 years ago and the pronunciations are different from both the TV series and Rosamund Pike's audio books. (Which are consistent.) I don't think I will listen to any more until the new narrations catch up. (Or I might break down and read the fifth one.)

I did enjoy it, and I am interested in what is happening, but now we're covering three distinct story arcs. And I think I still have 11 books to go... 😵‍💫

dec 4, 10:49 pm

>186 clamairy: At least you are now solidly ahead of the TV series, so you have plenty of time. I'm really wondering how they are going to handle the next couple of seasons, they can't just do one book per season.

Igår, 10:57 am

>187 Karlstar: I don't even think they can do two books per season and make it work, if they only air them every two years. Rand and crew will be around 40! (They won't be done until 2035 at this pace.)