Terse and to the point!

No zombies. No vampires. No angels. No self-help. No horror.



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They Just Don't Write Them Like This Anymore
Brat Farrar - Josephine Tey, Carole Boyd

My mystery reading friends, you MUST read this one.

Timely Topic: The Great Debate
The Great Debate: Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution - Professor Thomas L. Pangle, The Great Courses, The Great Courses

Interesting information and quite timely considering that the new presidency is less than a week old but the lecturer's voice drove me up a wall; he broke up his phrases in some of the strangest....places. I am going to have to put this one in the re-read pile because I didn't get everything he had to say (mind wandered) and I do want to know more.


If it weren't for the lecturer, I would mark this one "highly recommended."

Support Your Local Libary

Media has already made him famous. But I'm sharing this here because it is really about books, reading and libraries.




Dinner Table Talk
Speaking American: How Y'all, Youse , and You Guys Talk: A Visual Guide - Josh Katz You're Saying It Wrong: A Pronunciation Guide to the 150 Most Commonly Mispronounced Words--and Their Tangled Histories of Misuse - Ross Petras, Kathryn Petras

We are a linguistically blended American Family. DH and I grew up in Philadelphia but raised our children in Boston, thus our children speak a mix of regional dialects. Now add to the mix my son-in-law who is from Connecticut.


I brought these two books out at dinner time (dessert actually) and we had a hoot going through both of them, especially the very graphic Speaking American. It was interesting to listening to my children commenting on the various words that they used and didn't use and even more on the words that we used but that they later discovered when they went off to college that nobody else used.


For me, the most interesting page was the one about telling time. How do you say "3:45"? Do you say "Three forty-five" or "Quarter to four" or "Quarter of four" or "Quarter til four"? I decided that I would say "It's quarter to four" but that I would also say "It's quarter of" if not specifying a given hour.


I still haven't sat down to read it cover to cover but sharing it with my adult children was a lot of fun.

2017 Reading Challenge

I'm back from vacation and already two weeks behind on my reading.There was so much else to keep me busy that I just never had time to plug in and listen.


But, I'm back and ready to catch up, which means it is time to publish my reading goals for the year and to see how I did last year. My goals are pretty the much the same for this year as they were last year:


  • Total books -- 130
  • New books --50
  • Hours --no longer tracking
  • History/Bio -- 6 new
  • Expanding my horizons -- 10 new authors and 2 outside normal genres
  • Literary Bucket List -- 2
  • Great Courses -- 5 new
  • Additional Non-Fiction -- 5 new


As for last year, wow did I surprise myself. I read 186 books in 2016 including some DNFs but only 179 discrete titles because I finished my annual re-reads and started over again. I read 71 new titles including 6 new history titles and a bunch of Great Courses (which I am now hooked on).  I went down my list of reads from last year to see if I could choose one as my favorite read of the year but alas could not choose one that so utterly stood out above the rest.


P.S. My reading challenger widget says 100 because it is easier to figure out percentages. ;-)

2016 Books --189 Titles

This list is now history. These are the books that I started in 2016, some of them I even finished and a couple of them I even read twice in 2016. It was a very booky year for me and hopefully I will be able to say the same for 2017.




  1. Bolt -- re-read
  2. Blood Sport -- re-read
  3. Black Sheep -- re-read
  4. Arabella --re-read
  5. The Day the Rabbi Left Town --71NEW
  6. The Secret Life of Pronouns -- re-read
  7. The Maltese Falcon -- re-read
  8. Stormy Weather -- re-read
  9. Stories I Only Tell My Friends --re-read
  10. Saturday the Rabbi Went Hungry -- 70NEW
  11. Nicholas Nickleby -- not gonna finish
  12. The Other 1492 -- 69NEW
  13. The Lost Constitution -- re-read -- (DNF; I just got bored with the story)
  14. Murder on the Orient Express --re-read --
  15. The Big Sleep -- re-read --
  16. Naughty in Nice -- 68NEW
  17. The Hunt for Red October -- re-read --
  18. A Hole in Texas -- re-read
  19. Hopscotch --re-read 
  20. Friday The Rabbi Slept Late -- re-read --
  21. Behold, Here's Poison -- re-read
  22. Bath Tangle --re-read
  23. Banker -- re-read
  24. April Lady -- re-read  
  25. What's So Funny -- re-read 
  26. Somebody Owes me Money -- re-read
  27. Skin Tight -- re-read
  28. The Hot Rock --re-read
  29. Good Behavior -- re-read
  30. Get Real --re-read
  31. Bank Shot -- re-read
  32. Pastoral -- re-read
  33. Agatha Raisin and the Terrible Tourist -- 67NEW
  34. Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage- 66NEW
  35. No Highway -- re-read
  36. Profiles in Courage -- 65NEW
  37. Precious and Grace -- 64NEW
  38. Lonely Road -- re-read 
  39. Landfall --re-read 
  40. In the Wet -- re-read
  41. The Far Country -- re-read
  42. This Just In -- re-read
  43. Failure Is Not an Option -- re-read
  44. The Chequer Board --re-read 
  45. The Breaking Wave -- re-read
  46. Beyond the Black Stump -- re-read
  47. Dead Heat -- re-read
  48. For Kicks -- re-read
  49. Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley --63NEW
  50. Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener -- 62NEW
  51. Skinny Dip -- re-read
  52. Agent to the Stars -- re-read
  53. Wonder Boys -- re-read
  54. Our man in Havana --re-read
  55. The Marriage Bureau for Rich People -- re-read
  56. The Dispatcher -- 61NEW
  57. Pietr the Latvian -- 60NEW
  58. Off to be the Wizard -- 59NEW
  59. Edward R. Murrow....  re-read  HISTORY10
  60. A Woman in Charge -- re-read  HISTORY9
  61. Excellent Women -- 55NEW
  62. Ready Player One --re-read
  63. Engines of Change --re-read HISTORY8
  64. Artemis Fowl -- re-read 
  65. Trustee from the Toolroom --re-read
  66. Ruined City --re-read

  67. Round the Bend -- re-read
  68. The Rainbow and the Rose -- re-read
  69. 10 LB Penalty -- re-read
  70. Whip Hand -- re-read
  71. Venetia -- re-read
  72. Razor Girl -- 54NEW
  73. Equal Rites -- 53NEW
  74. The Unknown Ajax - re-read
  75. Twice Shy -- re-read
  76. Drama --re-read
  77. Trial Run -- re-read
  78. John Quincy Adams -- 52NEW HISTORY7
  79. The Toll Gate -- re-read
  80. Design for Dying -- 51NEW
  81. To the Hilt -- re-read
  82. These Old Shades -- re-read
  83. Sylvester -- re-read
  84. Sprig Muslin -- re-read
  85. Smokescreen --re-read
  86. Shattered -- re-read
  87. Second Wind -re-read
  88. Risk -- re-read
  89. The Reluctant Widow -- re-read
  90. The Yiddish Policemen's Union -- 50NEW --Goal Reached: 50 New titles
  91. Shades of Grey --49NEW 
  92. As You Wish -- 48NEW
  93. Regency Buck -- re-read
  94. Reflex --re-read
  95. Britt-Marie Was Here--47NEW
  96. Scents and Sensibility -- 46NEW
  97. Rat Race -- re-read
  98. The Quiet Gentleman --re-read
  99. Proof -- re-read
  100. Powder and Patch -- re-read
  101. Turning Points in Modern History -- 45NEW -- HISTORY6 (Goal reached: 6 history books)
  102. Odds Against -- re-read
  103. The Secret Lives of Words--44NEW
  104. How to Read and Understand Shakespeare -- 43NEW
  105. Great World Religions: Judaism --42NEW
  106. Bunker Hill -- 41NEW -- HISTORY5
  107. Bricking It - 40NEW
  108. The Nonesuch -- re-read
  109. Nerve -- re-read
  110. The Masqueraders -- re-read
  111. Longshot --re-read
  112. Lady of Quality --re-read --
  113. In the Frame -- re-read
  114. Death of a Dreamer --39NEW
  115. Hot Money -- re-read
  116. Women of Will --38NEW --DNF
  117. High Stakes --re-read --
  118. The Grand Sophy --re-read
  119. Friday's Child -- re-read --
  120. The Day the World Came to Town --37NEW
  121. Pinpoint --36NEW
  122. You Shall Know Our Velocity -- 35NEW, Bucket List, EMH
  123. Frederica -- re-read
  124. The Foundling --re-read --
  125. Flying Finish -- re-read
  126. Faro's Daughter -- re-read
  127. False Colours -- re-read
  128. Even Money --re-read
  129. What We See When We Read --34NEW (started in 2014)
  130. Enquiry -- re-read --
  131. Driving Force -- re-read --
  132. The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax -- re-read --
  133. Drawing Conclusions -- 33NEW --
  134. The Vanishing Velazquez --32NEW --
  135. No Wind of Blame -- 31NEW
  136. The History of the Ancient World -- 30NEW --HISTORY4 --DNF
  137. Along the Way -- 29NEW
  138. The Sound and the Furry (not a typo) -- 28NEW
  139. A Doll House -- 27NEW --
  140. Destiny and Power -- 27NEW --HISTORY4
  141. Dick Francis's Bloodline --re-read --
  142. Devil's Cub -- re-read
  143. Decider --re-read
  144. A Red Death -- 26NEW
  145. Lost Horizons -- re-read
  146. How to Bake Pi -- 25NEW -- SCIENCE2
  147. Dinner with Buddha --24NEW
  148. The Fall of the Ottomans -- 23NEW -- HISTORY3 --DNF
  149. The Danger --re-read --
  150. Crossfire -- re-read --
  151. Cotillion -- re-read --
  152. The Corinthian --re-read --
  153. The Convenient Marriage -- re-read --
  154. They Found Him Dead --22NEW
  155. The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra -- 21NEW
  156. Groucho Marx, Private Eye --20NEW -- DNF
  157. Come to Grief --re-read --
  158. A Civil Contract -- re-read --
  159. Charity Girl -- re-read --
  160. Break-In -- re-read --
  161. Bolt -- re-read --
  162. Once a Crooked Man -- 19NEW
  163. Friends in High Places --18NEW
  164. Blood Sport --re-read --
  165. The Hirschfeld Century -- 17NEW --DNF
  166. Black Sheep -- re-read --
  167. The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine --16NEW
  168. The Year of Lear --15NEW -- HISTORY2
  169. Mrs. Queen Takes the Train -- 14NEW
  170. The Black Moth -- re-read --
  171. Bath Tangle -- re-read
  172. Ex Officio -- 13NEW --
  173. The Vital Question -- 12NEW - SCIENCE1
  174. Banker -- re-read --
  175. April Lady -- re-read --
  176. Shall We Tell the President? --re-read --
  177. The Roman Hat Mystery -- 10NEW --
  178. Comeback -- re-read
  179. Crucible of Command -- 9NEW -- HISTORY1
  180. The Rosie Project -- 8NEW --
  181. The Rolling Stones -- 7NEW -- (not about Mick Jagger)
  182. Great Courses: Language A to Z -- 6NEW
  183. Mrs. Polifax Unveiled -- re-read --
  184. Straight -- re-read -
  185. Etymologicon -- 5NEW --
  186. Crime and Punishment -- 4NEW (reading suspended indefinitely) -BucketList
  187. Breakfast of Champions -- 3NEW --
  188. Drowned Hopes --2NEW -- (started in 2015)
  189. A Woman in Charge -- 1NEW -- (started in 2015)
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Found on Facebook

Abandoning after 1 hour
Nicholas Nickleby - Simon Vance, Charles Dickens

As much as liked David Copperfield, I am abandoning Nicholas Nickleby --and may even decide to return it and get my money/credit back. It is beautifully written but I don't think I can listen to another 34 hours of it. It is just depressing. The people aren't nice and they don't treat children very well. Even if it is satire and an exaggeration, I just don't want to read about it.


I'm off now, to choose a more up-beat book to read while I spend the next few days baking holiday cookies.

Venting!! Big time.

It was a long weekend while the Booklikes website was down for repairs but I am thrilled that it is up and running again. In the down-time, I worked a bit on GR and was just so disheartened. I imported my book list and a whole big bunch did not import because the ASIN number was not in the database. Then I went to add a title and it wasn't in the database either. What a pain in the ass it will be to have to contact GR each time I want to add another title.


It was wonderful to read Booklikes' Katie on Friday afternoon and then so disheartening to read the replies. I remember how my father would react after a long day at the office and my baby sister would confront him the moment he walked in the door demanding that he punish my brother for some transgression or other when all he wanted was a big hello from all of his kids and a chance to unwind after another thankless day at the office. So, during this weekend's outage, all I could think was that the owner's, after reading all of the thankless, self-centered demands to their Friday afternoon post had simple said, "Fuck it. Who needs this aggravation." Some people just don't know when to shut up; Friday was one of those times.


Listen up everybody! The owners do NOT owe you any sort of explanation. You don't pay a penny to use this website. If you don't like the way it is being run, you are free to leave. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. The owner's built this website once and I am sure that they will be able to do it again.





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2016 Reading Goals --Progress Report

Even though I easily surpassed them in 2015, out of sheer laziness--I won't have to change the sticky hanging on my desktop monitor-- I'm setting the same goals for 2016:


  • REACHED: At least 130 books total, although my stated BL challenge number is 100.
  • STOPPED TRACKING HOURS: Last year, I crossed the 1300 hours-listened mark, this year, I'd like it to cross the 1400 hours-listened mark
  • REACHED: 50 New Titles
  • REACHED: History challenge -- 6 new titles including bio and autobio
  • REACHED: "Expand my horizons" challenge -- 10 new authors and 2 books outside my normal tastes --but still no zombies, no vampires, no angels, no self-help, no horror!
  • REACHED: Two more books from the literary bucket list


And I'm adding two more challenges, just to keep my reading well rounded ;-):


  • 10 new science titles (that includes linguistics and Great Courses lectures)
  • 2 political science/current events titles (because it is an election year in the US).
Reading to Soothe the Soul

Don't look for anything high-brow from this quarter. I know that the next few months I will be filling the time with soul-soothing, light-hearted and purely escapist reading as we all collectively hold our breath and wait for the other shoe to drop in the new year. 

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