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2021 Reading Challenge πŸ“š

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    4. The Colonel's Lady by Laura Frantz
    National Craft Month: 200/500 yards
    Gardening Zone: 9a


    • Pegg Thomas
      Pegg Thomas commented
      Editing a comment
      Oooh! I *loved* that one!

    • TeaNSugar
      TeaNSugar commented
      Editing a comment
      That's the second one of hers I've read, and I've liked them both. (I'm not good at giving great descriptive reviews. lol) Thank you for mentioning this author. I had not heard of her before.

    • Pegg Thomas
      Pegg Thomas commented
      Editing a comment
      My favorite of hers is still "Courting Morrow Little." Not her best writing, it's one of her earlier books, but the STORY! Oh-my-gosh ... the story.

    25: City of Spies by Mara Timon. A thriller set in WWII Lisbon. I'll be honest, this one left me totally cold. Too many sex scenes, not one character I cared about, and I thought it wasted the potential of a place and time that was crammed with real excitement and adventure. 1/5


      Catching up on what I have finished.

      2: Silver Silence by Nalini Singh (Psy-Changling Trinity, #1) Paranormal Romance
      3: Ocean Light (Psy-Changling Trinity, #2) re-read
      4: Wolf Rain (Psy-Changling Trinity, #3)
      5: Alpha Night (Psy-Changling Trinity, #4)
      6: Faithless in Death by J.D. Robb (In Death Series, Book 52) Murder Mystery

      Faithless in Death is the newest "In Death" release. It does have some coarse language and a couple of scenes between a husband and wife. I started it in the evening and could not put it down. It is not-entirely stand-alone. The mystery begins and is solved in this book, but the characters vaguely refer to previous events, expecting you to understand what happened and why. I have read all the main novels, and most of the short stories, in the "In Death" series, so I knew what was going on between the characters.
      National Craft Month Challenge: 3,434 of 5,000 yards
      Stashbuster MAL 2021: WTD = -10, YTD = -93
      Stashbuster MAL 2020: -61


        A Year Without "Made in China" by Sara Bongiorni 5/5 - Humorous book about a family that tries to live for a year without buying anything made in China. They have small children and buying toys was nearly impossible. This is not an anti-China book, but rather a telling account of how so much of manufacturing has left the country for cheaper labour prices. This was written in 2007 so I can almost guarantee that the pervasiveness has increased dramatically in the last 14 years. We are a consumer-driven population wanting everything, wanting it now, and wanting it cheap. I read this book when it first came out and wanted to read it again as I am on a personal journey of buying little (I've never bought much - don't wear cosmetics, don't drink or smoke, buy used clothing etc. and don't care about gifts. My husband thinks he hit the jackpot with me.) and trying to become more aware of what it is that I'm purchasing. Our blender broke last year - I surveyed five stores in our small town and every single one, including the high end one, was made in China. Now our toaster is dying (less than four years old, two pieces of toast a day a few times a week) and I know what I'm going to find - more cheap stuff that will once again break down. Maybe I should try the antique shops for those old fashioned flip it yourself kind! A good light-hearted read with a serious message.
        Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Ian Maclaren (misattributed to Plato)


        • hereami
          hereami commented
          Editing a comment
          This sounds like a great fun book.

          As for toast...i have been knows to use my flat cast iron pan to quickly toast bread.

        • KnitsWithHorses
          KnitsWithHorses commented
          Editing a comment
          I've been looking online for hammocks to put out here since heaven knows we have plenty of trees to hang them from. Mostly for the grandkids. Mostly. And I have been surprised at how hard a time I'm
          having finding any that aren't either made in China or grossly expensive. A hammock!
          hereami that is how I make my toast all the time. We are on a generator and toasters pull a lot more power than you would think! And with coffee makers which is how I got started making my own fresh ground coffee in a French press. Wouldn't go back for anything! Plus I don't like starting that noisy generator early in the morning. I enjoy the quiet on the morning.

        • annekepoot
          annekepoot commented
          Editing a comment
          After seriously thinking of sewing new underwear I came across a "second at half price" sale and scored - Bangladesh - yes, I know it's likely not well paid labour but for some impoverished countries (which Bangladesh definitely is) any job is a bonus.

        26: Katherine Parr by Alison Weir. The sixth in a series about the wives of Henry VIII, but this one does stand alone. Quite interesting and enjoyable. 3/5


          Haven't posted in a while so this will be long
          #49 1Samuel, commentary by Feidhlimidh T Magennis (nonfiction #12)
          #50 1 Corinthians, commentary by Mary Ann Gettu R.S.M. (nonfiction #13)
          # 51 Three Act Tragedy by Agatha Christie
          # 52 Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown
          #53 Rest In Pieces by Rita MAe Brown
          #54 Murder at Monticello by R M Brown
          # 55 Pay Dirt by R M Brown
          #56 Murder She Meowed by R M Brown
          # 57 Murder on the Prowl by R M Brown
          # 57 Cat on the Scent. by R M Brown

          As you can see I've been on a Rita Mae Brown kick. These are quick reads and I've been doing lots of stockinette stitch so I can read them on my NOOK while I knit.

          2021 Stasbusting week ending 4/17 WTD = -2 YTD = +66
          2020 Stash busted +160
          Book Challenge 57/100; 13 non-fiction

          "All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost.
          The Old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost" JRR Tolkien


            #12 - Bent Tree Bride

            I love this type of story! Lots of real history, a healthy sprinkling of historical characters, and woven all through it, a beautiful love story filled with all the angst and danger and difficulty that keeps the reader turning each page. A clash of cultures with the backdrop of war is not the place to fall in love, but few people on the early 1800s frontier had the luxury of picking the time and place. Sometimes love happens amid the chaos and against the rules.

            If you've read Weimer's "The Witness Tree," you will recognize a few of these characters. While a stand-alone novel, it is nice to revisit some of the friends made in that novel as well. If you haven't read "The Witness Tree," you should.
            Spinner of Yarns
            Author and Fiber Artist
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              27: Lost Civilisations by Bill Price. A rather badly written book about ancient cultures which have disappeared (which apparently includes the Roanoke colony and fictional places like Shangri-La), with a lot of typos and some glaring factual errors. 1/5
              28: The Dragons of Archenfield by Edward Marston. The third of his Domesday book mysteries. 3/5


                29) The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith – No 1 Ladies Detective Agency book #4. This book gives a more active role to Mma Ramotswe's secretary, which I really enjoyed. (Sorry I use the audiobooks so I'm not sure how her name is spelled.)
                30) The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith, No 1 Ladies Detective Agency #5
                31) The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick. This book is an absolute joy to read from beginning to end. It is about an elderly widower and his unexpected journey (both a real, physical journey as well as an emotional one) that he goes on after finding a piece of jewelry in his late wife's belongings that he doesn't recognize. When he sees a phone number engraved on it and calls the number, he can't resist finding out more about the woman he mistakenly thought he knew everything about. (New-to-me #13)
                32) Triggered by Donald Trump Jr – (Warning – this review is political because the book is political.) Not surprisingly, Don Jr is very snarky and definitely uses profanity and you can definitely sense a man defending his dad. But I still found this interesting to read. I was intrigued by the title since I was diagnosed with actual PTSD years ago as a result of real, physical trauma so the gross overuse of the term β€œtriggered” these days really annoys me. Apparently Don Jr shares my view. The views he presents are nothing that hadn't occurred to me already but it's still an interesting read. Nota bene: I was NOT a Trump fan before he became President but I admire a lot of what he did as President and could easily recognize how false some of the claims about him were if you judge by his actions so I was really curious to read something from Jr, whom I had never paid any attention to whatsoever before all the insanity. Understandably, a significant percentage of this book is a son writing about his father who has been the subject of more hate and ugliness than most people could bear. (#14 New-to-me)
                33) Liberal Privilege by Donald Trump Jr – (Warning – again, political book and political views in review) I enjoyed this one more than Triggered. Don Jr seemed to be kind of blowing off steam/frustrations in Triggered but his writing has matured a bit in this book. We've been inundated with the β€œwhite privilege” narrative for a while now. I figured the title was just sarcasm but he made a REALLY good case for the actual problematic β€œprivilege” in America these days being Liberal privilege! He did indulge in a lot of talk about the difference in the ways the main stream media treats the Trump offspring with the way they treat Hunter Biden. But he is not wrong! That has been even more apparent this past couple of weeks than before he wrote the book. And I didn't even know about President Biden's brother til I read this book. I looked it up to make sure the info on him was accurate and was completely appalled. Imagine ANY conservative politician, let alone president, having a brother in that situation – TO THIS DAY - and nobody talking about it in the media! Wouldn't happen. I'd say that is liberal privilege. And he talks a lot about all the cancel culture stuff going on which is one of the things that this country really must get a handle on. People on the liberal side of things can say literally anything on any of the social platforms, liberal professors can say the most outrageous things etc but those saying even very centrist things and attempting to unify people on common ground are doxxed, badgered, put out of a job or a business and de-platformed. I'd say it's pretty clear that liberal privilege is real and it's harmful. If one were going to read only one of his books, I would recommend this one by far. (New-to-me #15)
                34) A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James bk 1. I've read this one before several years ago but I really wanted to re-read it so I could continue with the series with the beginning fresh in my mind. This series is fairly laid back compared to some. It is set in the UK, which I love. Not sure why but I really love things set in the UK or Europe. This one doesn't feature Gemma nearly as much as future books but still an enjoyable read. Not sure it qualifies as cozy but it is pretty clean and not terribly brutal.
                35) The Innocence of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton (New-to-me #16) This is really a series of short stories. It's the basis of a tv series that I absolutely love. I've read Chesterton before so I am used to his style of writing so it really shouldn't have surprised me that he doesn't spend time on character development but after watching that tv show for so long it was a bit of a letdown, nonetheless. This is one of the very few times I have preferred the screen adaptation to the books. One thing I did like in the short stories was the much more active (and different) role that Flambeaux played in the books. I wonder why they didn't incorporate that into the tv show more. They have kept him much more β€œcriminal” and adversarial in the tv show. Father Brown on the other hand, is a bit too passive for my taste in the book. He is a humble and gentle man on the tv show but dang.... there is humble and kind and then there is … Father who?
                36-39) Miss Julia Books 1-4 by Ann B Ross:
                Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind
                Miss Julia Takes Over
                Miss Julia Throws a Wedding
                Miss Julia Hits the Road
                Miss Julia is an older woman who is suddenly widowed after many years of being the kind of subservient and dutiful wife that she was raised to be, especially as a small town woman of the South several decades ago. Shortly after the death of her husband she learns some shocking things about the things he was up to while she was at home being the perfect little wife. Who knew there was such a little spitfire under that sweet little church lady exterior. These books are super fun but be aware they are written with the values and attitudes of a different time and place. These almost read like books that were written in the 50s but kind of updated (and kind of not) to appear to be written more recently. It is hard to explain what I mean. She reads more like someone from my mom's generation (born in the 30s) than mine. But I just don't care. Miss Julia is making up for lost time and I am here for it!

                Natalie from Oklahoma

                "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom - go from us in peace. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
                ~~Samuel Adams

                Stashbuster MAL 2021 YTD -24 WTD +4
                2021 50 New-to-me Books: 16
                National Craft Month: 2503 of 1760 yards


                • Pegg Thomas
                  Pegg Thomas commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks for the scoop on the Don Jr. books. I'm with you, I wasn't a Trump fan, but the blatant hypocrisy in the media and with the Democrats (arguably the same thing), really made me sick. That's what turned me into a Trump fan. I voted for him in 2016 only because he wasn't Hillary Clinton. Seriously. The only reason. But I voted for him again in 2020 because I didn't want the hypocrites back in charge. Oh well. They are. *sigh*

                • KnitsWithHorses
                  KnitsWithHorses commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Pegg Thomas Same. Lol My kids could tell you how much I hated voting for him in '16 just because I thought he was a douche. We have family and friends in Scotland and his dealings over there were pretty crappy. I didn't like him on that level. But by golly he was a truly an America first President and actually did a LOT for minorities. Calling him and anyone supporting him (nearly everyone I know - I'm in Oklahoma. Lol) white supremacists made it very clear that his opposition wasn't interested in truth. At all. My vote in '20 was way more enthusiastic.

                A Killer in King's Cove by Iona Whishaw. 3/5 This is the author's first book and quite good, if a bit wordy. She writes along the lines of Jacqueline Winspear whom I really liked. A British ex-intelligence agent after WW2 moves to Canada and is involved in a murder. I generally don't read fiction as I find it time spent when I could be gaining information from non-fiction works, but over this past year of mind-numbing hysteria, I needed something for my mind to coast through. I've started her second book so will be interesting to see if her writing style develops. I still rue the time "wasted" but have gotten to the point where I recognize that my emotions needed some down time, much like occasionally needing to go to Dairy Queen when you're on a plant-based lifestyle but still miss the ice cream!

                Edit: Read this a day later - wow - I'm more needing a break than I thought - kind of a negative post - apologies!
                Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Ian Maclaren (misattributed to Plato)


                  29: The Not Terribly Good Book of Heroic Failures by Stephen Pile. A very funny collection of snippets about people who - well, failed hilariously. 5/5


                    Death in a Darkening Mist by Iona Whishaw 4/5 The author's second book and, I think, a maturing since her first one. Found the characters from the first book repeated so this seems to be a series with recurrent actors although the story stands well enough on its own. I think I may be warming up to reading fiction again.
                    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Ian Maclaren (misattributed to Plato)


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