Terse and to the point!

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



Next in the re-read parade...
Sacred Treasure, the Cairo Genizah: The Amazing Discoveries of Forgotten Jewish History in an Egyptian Synagogue Attic - Marc S. Glickman

From now until January, it is all re-reads. My mind is just not up for processing new material. Besides which, I'm saving the new stuff for 2018.


For the next day or two, I will be immersed in the story of the discovery of the Cairo Genizah, its signficance, its value to scholarship, the problems faced (by librarians and the scholarly community) in cataloging and preserving what was in the genizah. Over one hundred years after the discovery of this trove of documents and books, scholars have barely begun to plumb its depths. 

16 Tasks for the Festive Season --6

Square 12 --Book themes for Saturnalia:  OR– a book with a mask or masks on the cover. –OR– a story where roles are reversed.


This is one of my favorite Georgette Heyer books. Of course, the whole premise is silly but GH pulls it off with such eclat and they all live happily ever after. A delightful romp, especially if you don't take it seriously in the least. 


16 Tasks for the Festive Season --5






Here's to International Human Rights Day !!!!   


Cook a dish from a foreign culture


Once a year or so, I cook a paella, a Spanish dish. I would do it once a month if it I didn't gain weight just looking at a box of Uncle Ben's!! 





Please excuse that fact that this is an old picture but I don't remember if I got a picture of this year's adventure and this one was already up on a server that I could link to.


And please excuse this avalanche of posts but I am trying to get as many of these done while I have the time to do them--although a couple of them will have to wait until later because named tasks actually coincide with things that I have on the docket already for December -- like baking ginger snaps (which is as close to gingerbread men as I get).


16 Tasks for the Festive Season --4

Square 5


Tasks for Advent: ...OR– “Advent” means “he is coming.” Tell us: What in the immediate or near future are you most looking forward to? (This can be a book release, or a tech gadget, or an event … whatever you next expect to make you really happy.)



My friends, this task is without a doubt a complete "NO BRAINER." 

Having finally reconciled myself to the fact that, after so many years of trying, there would be no grand-child, my daughter announced on Mother's Day that they were reaching the end of the first trimester and due at the beginning of December. We are busily preparing for the birth, scheduled for just two weeks from today. 





16 Tasks for the Festive Season --3

I finally sat down with the complete list and marked off the tasks that were in my bailiwick. Here is my next contribution, for Square 4.




Post your favourite turkey-day recipe:


Here are two recipes that have been on our Thanksgiving table for the past 50 years. Mom worked, so she found recipes that she could make ahead and freeze.



Both are cooked in 2-qt casserole dishes (that go from freezer-to oven (after defrosting!) to table).



Mrs. Breit's Rice Casserle


1- large yellow onion—diced

2/3-- stick of butter

1 -- large can of mushroom stems and pieces (drained)

2 cups -- Uncle Ben's converted rice (not instant rice)

3 1/3 – boiling water with 2T Chicken Bouillon granules or 6 cubes (taste test to make sure that it strong enough)



Pre-heat oven 350°. In a large frying pan, saute the diced onion in the butter until golden. Add the rice and stir until it is coated. Add the mushrooms and stir. Scrape rice and mushrooms into the casserole and add the bouillon.


Cover and bake for 1 hour.

Cool before freezing (I like to stir it up before I freeze it because sometimes the mushrooms float up to the top) . To re-heat, defrost completely (1-2 days in the fridge, take out morning of to finish defrosting), add ¼ cup water, cover and bake for 1 hour at 350°.


(Serves 6 people per cup of rice but for Turkey-day, with all the other starches on the table, 2 cups serves 20 people). (To clean the casserole, fill it with water and vinegar and let it stand over night).



Sweet Potato Puff



(Prepared in a food processor)


1 large can plus one small can of Bruce's Yams –drained

1 small can crushed pineapple with the juice (I use the unsweeten packed in its own juice)

dash of salt

orange juice



Process the yams in a food processor until very, very smooth. Transfer to a big bowl. Add the crushed pineapple and dash or two of salt. Stir well. Add orange juice (start with ¼ cup, you don't want it too liquid-y, just “nice and smooth.”)


Place in the casserole, smooth the top and cover with marshmallows ( if you are using the big ones, allow some space between them and make sure that they are below the rim of the casserole as the marshmallows will puff.)


Cover to freeze. Defrost 1-2 days in the fridge. Take out morning of to finish defrosting. Bake uncovered at for 1 hour at 350° having placed the casserole on something to catch the marshmallow overflow (hard to clean burned sugar out of the oven).



Found on Facebook

16 Tasks for the Festive Season--2
The Breaking Wave - Nevil Shute

Posting task 2-- Square 3


Book themes for Veteran’s Day/Armistice Day: Read a book involving veterans of any war, books about WWI or WWII (fiction or non-fiction). 


A WWII story of a WREN ordinance officer and two Australian brothers, one a pilot and the other a frogman, in the lead up to the Normandy Invasion. 


Oddly enough, this book also counts for the Penance Day read in Square 4: ...where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).



16 Tasks for the Festive Season

This my first task of the season: Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle), 


We are at Nordcapp, Norway.  As far north as you can travel on the European Continent. It is 71 degrees north, just one third of the way to the North Pole. 



But, it was such an amazingly beautiful cruise up the coast of Norway, that I can't stop at just one photo, or even just two. Nordcapp sits on the same coastal island as Honnigsvag. 




Further south, on the Geirangerfjord:


Murrow at the Newseum
Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism - Bob Edwards

We did a very quick trip to Washington, D.C. to see an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art and knowing that we could not spend two days wandering around the NGA, we also went to the Newseum, where I kept wondering how come in the various exhibits there was not more mention of legendary broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow. That was, of course, until I finally made it into the BLOOMBERG INTERNET, TV AND RADIO GALLERY where there is an entire exhibit dedicated to the man. It includes a film narrated by Bob Edwards, author of the book seen pictured here, with dialogue lifted verbatim from the book. 

Reblogged Quote
“If sacred places are spared the ravages of war... then make all places sacred. And if the holy people are to be kept harmless from war... then make all people holy.”

― J. Michael Straczynski, Silver Surfer: Requiem
Reblogged from Lora's Rants and Reviews
Today's Daily Deal
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Jeff Woodman, Mark Haddon

I might have passed this one by if it weren't for the $10 credit I earned last month that expires in a couple of days--use it or lose it! So, I suppose that this one should really be put on the "expanding my horizons" shelf because it really not within my (ab)normal range of reading.  :-)

2017 Books---- 173 and counting....
  1. Sacred Treasures, the Cairo Genizah --re-read 
  2. The Masqueraders --re-read -- 
  3. Charity Girl -- re-read
  4. The Breaking Wave -- re-read
  5. Break In -- re-read
  6. Bolt -- re-read --
  7. Blood Sport -- re-read
  8. Black Sheep -- re-read 
  9. The Black Moth -- re-read
  10. Beyond the Black Stump  -- re-read
  11. Behold, Here's Poison -- re-read
  12. Bath Tangle -- re-read
  13. Banker -- re-read
  14. Arabella --re-read
  15. April Lady -- re-read
  16. A Man Called Ove -- re-read
  17. Murder on the Orient Express -- re-read 
  18. Tragedy of Z -- NEW69
  19. Sourdough -- NEW68
  20. The Year of the Hare -- NEW67
  21. Engines of Change -- re-read
  22. Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast News -- re-read
  23. They Do It with Mirrors --re-read
  24. Splendid Solution -- re-read
  25. The Secret Adversary -- re-read
  26. The Remains of the Day -- re-read
  27. Prisioners of Georgraphy -- NEW66  HISTORY15
  28. Hickory Dickory Dock -- re-read
  29. The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam -- re-read
  30. Magyk -- NEW65
  31. Safe Passage -- NEW64  HISTORY14
  32. Einstein -- re-read
  33. Drama -- re-read
  34. Packing for Mars -- NEW63 SCIENCE6
  35. Evans Above -- NEW62
  36. Death on the Nile -- re-read
  37. Alexander Hamilton --re-read
  38. And Then There Where None -- re-read
  39. The Sirens of Titan -- NEW61
  40. Secretariat -- NEW60 HISTORY13
  41. My Favorite Universe --NEW59  SCIENCE5
  42. American Ulysses -- NEW58  HISTORY12
  43. Gulp -- re-read [book club read]  SCIENCE4
  44. After the Funeral -- re-read
  45. Rocket Men -- re-read  HISTORY SCIENCE
  46. The Day of the Jackel --re-read
  47. 13 Things that Don't Make Sense -- NEW57 SCIENCE3
  48. The Stranger -- re-read 
  49. Murder Most Frothy -- NEW56
  50. 4:50 from Paddington --NEW55
  51. A Man of Some Repute -- NEW54
  52. Latte Trouble -- NEW53
  53. 10 Lb. Penalty --re-read
  54. Whip Hand -- re-read
  55. Venetia -- re-read
  56. The Unknown Ajax  -- re-read
  57. The Unfinished Clue -- re-read
  58. Twice Shy -- re-read
  59. Trustee From the Toolroom --re-read
  60. Trial Run -- re-read
  61. The Toll Gate --re-read
  62. To the Hilt -- re-read
  63. These Old Shades --re-read
  64. The Talisman Ring -- re-read
  65. Sylvester -- re-read
  66. Great Courses: The Mysterious Etruscans --NEW52 HISTORY11
  67. Great Courses: A Skeptic's Gide to American History --NEW51 HISTORY10
  68. Great Courses: Privacy, Property and Free Speech --NEW50
  69. Great Courses: History's Greatest Voyages of Exploration -- NEW49 HISTORY9
  70. Great Courses: An Economic History of the World Since 1400 --  NEW48 HISTORY8
  71. Persons of Interest -- NEW47
  72. The Portrait of Dorian Gray -- re-read
  73. Great Courses: Cycles of American Political Thought -- NEW46 HISTORY7
  74. The Invention of Nature --NEW45 SCIENCE 2
  75. Great Courses: Cultural Literacy for Religion NEW44
  76. Great Courses: Industrial Revolution NEW43 HISTORY6
  77. Sprig Muslin -- re-read
  78. So Disdained -- re-read
  79. Smokescreen --re-read
  80. Shattered --re-read
  81. Second Wind --re-read
  82. Ruined City -- re-read
  83. Round the Bend -- re-read
  84. Risk -- re-read -
  85. The Reluctant Widow -- re-read
  86. Regency Buck -- re-read
  87. Reflex -- re-read
  88. Rat Race -- re-read
  89. The Rainbow and the Rose -- re-read
  90. The Quiet Gentleman -- re-read
  91. Proof -- re-read
  92. Pastoral --re-read
  93. An Old Captivity -- re-read
  94. Odds Against - re-read
  95. The Nonesuch -- re-read
  96. No Highway --re-read
  97. Nerve -- re-read
  98. The Masqueraders -- re-read
  99. Longshot -- re-read
  100. The Lonely Road --re-read
  101. The Relic Master --42NEW
  102. Louder Than Words -- 41NEW
  103. Notorious RBG -- 40NEW HISTORY5
  104. Landfall -- re-read
  105. Lady of Quality -- re-read
  106. Starman Jones -- 39NEW
  107. The Secrets of Wishtide -- 38NEW
  108. Hidden Figures -- 37NEW HISTORY4
  109. Nothing to Fear -- 36NEW HISTORY3
  110. Bad News -- 35NEW
  111. Mrs. Fortescue Steps Out --34NEW
  112. Great Courses: American Ideals: Founding a 'Republic of Virtue' --33NEW HISTORY
  113. Anansi Boys -- 32NEW
  114. The Great Decision --31NEW HISTORY2
  115. What The F -- 30NEW
  116. The Crime at Black Dudley -- 29NEW
  117. Great Courses: The Illiad of Homer --28NEW
  118. Cairnaerie --27NEW
  119. In the Wet -- re-read
  120. In the Frame --re-read
  121. The Illiad & The Odyssey -- 26NEW  Bucket List
  122. Great Courses: The Odyssey of Homer  -- 25NEW
  123. Hot Money -- re-read
  124. High Stakes --re-read
  125. Spaceman --24NEW SCIENCE1 HISTORY
  126. Tess of the d'Urbervilles -- 23NEW
  127. Luck and Judgement -- 22NEW
  128. The Jungle Book --21NEW
  129. The Grand Sophy -- re-read
  130. Words on the Move -- 20NEW
  131. Frederica -- re-read
  132. Friday's Child --re-read
  133. Double Whammy -- re-read
  134. The Foundling -- re-read
  135. Flying Finish -- re-read
  136. The Spaceship Next Door --19NEW
  137. Great Courses: From Plato to Post-Modernism -- 18NEW
  138. Great Courses: English Grammar Boot Camp -- 17NEW
  139. Faro Daughter -- re-read
  140. The Far Country -- re-read
  141. False Colours -- re-read
  142. Even Money -- re-read
  143. Enquiry -- re-read
  144. Driving Force -- re-read
  145. Bloodline -- re-read
  146. Devil's Cub --re-read 
  147. The White Cottage Mystery -- 16NEW
  148. The Eyre Affair -- 15NEW
  149. On What Grounds -- 14NEW
  150. But for the Grace -- 13NEW
  151. Great Courses: The High Middle Ages 12NEW HISTORY
  152. Decider -- re-read
  153. Dead Heat --re-read
  154. Dead Cert --re-read
  155. The Danger --re-read
  156. Crossfire --re-read
  157. Cotillion --re-read
  158. The Corinthian -- re-read 
  159. The Readers of Broken-Wheel Recommend -- 11NEW
  160. Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home -- 10NEW
  161. An Accidental Death --9NEW
  162. A Convenient Marriage --re-read
  163. Come to Grief -- re-read
  164. A Civil Contract -- re-read
  165. The Chequer Board -- re-read
  166. Charity Girl -- re-read
  167. The Breaking Wave --re-read
  168. Bret Farrar -- 9NEW
  169. Great Courses: Find Your Roots -- 8NEW
  170. Break In --re-read
  171. Great Courses: The Great Debate -- 7NEW HISTORY1
  172. Great Courses: 36 Books That Changed the World -- 6NEW
  173. Speaking American --5NEW
  174. You're Saying It Wrong --4NEW
  175. We are Legion (We are Bob) --3NEW
  176. Great Courses: English in America --2NEW
  177. Midnight Riot (aka A River in London) --1NEW
  178. Bolt -- re-read (continued from 2016)
Audible 2 for 1 Sale Pile
Evanly Choirs - Roger Clark, Rhys Bowen Evan Help Us - Roger Clark, Rhys Bowen

Tiresome bunch of choices this go round but I did manage to find two that I wouldn't mind having in my permanent library. 

Another re-read
Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio - Michael Prichard, Jeffrey Kluger

I grabbed this one out of the re-read pile to fill in time while I try to figure out what new book I want to read. I have read this one a couple of times already but not in the past five years, so it was time to trot it out again and give it a listen. Author Jeffrey Kluger is in the business of making science and recent events in the science world accessible to non-scientist (like me). He wrote this book in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the development of the polio vaccine in 2005. It is a well-crafted story that combines biography, history and even a little science. If you haven't read it yet, I do recommend it.

3.5 Stars
A geopolitical view of the world
Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World - Tim Marshall, Scott Brick

All throughout this book I kept asking what he now had to say about this and that because it is three years since he wrote the book and Korea has a nuclear weapons capabilities now and the US has a new president and a number of other significant changes. Fascinating book. It will give you a whole new understanding of the world we live in.

I am abandoning this one
Privacy, Property, and Free Speech: Law and the Constitution in the 21st Century - Jeffrey Rosen

Calling it quits on this one. I can't make myself go back to it. I got his point in lecture one and I don't need to hear it over and over again.