Book 2 of the Maisie Dobbs series. She’s still mostly perfect, but her detective work has a woo-woo element that I’m not sure I’ll like long-term. I was expecting pure investigation and deductive reasoning, with maybe some insight, but she practically has visions and gets feelings about things. I’m interested, but I’ll have to see where this goes.
We got an inch of snow, maybe a little bit more, the other day, and it’s been cold enough not to melt away. We haven’t left the house, so the only tracks are from the Amazon Prime delivery van. Every few hours, I look out the window to see a light flurry – pleasant to look at, but not enough to add to the accumulation.
I’ve had meetings during our play windows the last couple of days, so this afternoon was my first opportunity to get Jack out to play.
When it snowed in October, he was NOT a fan. He didn’t want to touch it, didn’t want to walk in it. Since then, we’ve watched some TV episodes where it snows. We’ve got a Thomas book from the library all about snowy train tracks, we’ve read a book about Little Owl experiencing snow for the first time, we’ve read about snowmen and snowballs, and his favorite episode of Thomas and Friends (after Diesel and the Ducklings) is about Percy and Thomas crashing into the snow.
With all of that, I was hopeful that he’d be more open to playing in the snow this time around. On top of that, he has brand new snow boots (no more rain boots with extra socks) and brand new tiger paw water-resistant mittens, AND he watched baby cousin Lucy enjoying the snow this morning. I said, “Look! Lucy’s playing in the snow!” and Jack said, “I play in the snow!” Progress!
And it paid off! I got him all bundled up and outside, and then he stopped at the edge of the snow. “Pick you up! Mommy, pick you up!” I suggested we go play in the meadow (side of the house), and he let me hold his hand. He took a few cautious steps, and then we were fine. Over the course of the next hour, he touched the snow, threw the snowballs I made, crushed the snowballs I made, crushed the tiny snowmen I made, leaned over to try to make his own snowballs, fell on his face once, fell on his butt once, and ran to the other side of the yard. He stopped short of tasting the snow, but (thank goodness!) he had a good time, and after we came inside, he told me he wants to do it again.
We have conquered the beach. We have conquered the snow. Next stop, paint! Ha, who am I kidding, I’m not ready for paint. Next stop, potty-training!
I keep forgetting to tell this story. And then when I think about telling this story, I keep getting bogged down in the most boring way to tell it. I’m out of practice (although that assumes I wasn’t telling boring stories back when I was doing this regularly, and I’m not ready to make that assumption).
Let me give this a try.
Cast your mind back to Christmas, which already feels like several years ago instead of barely a month ago. We were able to bubble up with Emily, Sean, and the kids for the month of December because Sean’s school closed for the holidays (and the pandemic) right before Thanksgiving. It was great – the kids got to play together several times a week, for hours on end, inside both houses. It felt practically normal.
They came over to our house Christmas Day to have dinner (Italian catered – SO GOOD) and exchange presents and play. It was a really nice day, and then a bird flew into our house.
They were mostly in the car, heading out, and I was waving out the open back door when it happened. This bird swooped in the back door (by the driveway) with lots of flapping and took an immediate left up the back stairs. I shouted something along the lines of “HOLY FUCK A BIRD JUST FLEW IN THE HOUSE!” I slammed the door shut and chased it up the stairs. It landed on the baby gate at the top, then hopped to the floor. I carefully opened the gate, and it took off down the hallway. It flew the entire length of the house, straight down the hallway, and perched on the baby gate at the top of the front stairs, which is directly across from the front door. I shouted to John to open the front door, and while he was doing that, I crept down the hallway. Once it was open, I shooed at the bird with my hands. I may have muttered something to it about getting out of my damn house.
It listened. It flew down the stairs and straight out the front door. I was starting to feel sorry for the poor thing when I got back to the back stairs and realized there was bird shit on two of the risers and the wall. I suppose it was scared, but COME ON. Why are you flying in my house?
The thing is, this wasn’t even the first time. A few days earlier, also when Emily and Sean and the kids were leaving, a bird (same bird?) flew in as we opened the back door. It flew right back out that time. We think it might have been sitting on the super-fake, not remotely real, glitter-covered wreath. The wreath came down pretty soon after Christmas, and we haven’t had any bird sightings since.
I’ve been meaning to read this for years, but I guess better late than never. This book is so good. Young adult can be hard to read. If it’s bad, it’s cringe-y bad, and I’ll usually put it down. This is good. And it’s hard. I cried, I got angry, I felt helpless, I cried some more, and I got angry some more. And then I cried again. I was so emotional, nearly the whole book, that I stopped reading it in bed. I switched to a friendly murder mystery before going to sleep because I’d be more able to wind down and fall asleep. I’m not going to tell you the plot, even the beginning – it’s easy enough for you to find that. And as awful as it is to know what prompted this book to be written, it’s so much worse knowing how much worse things have gotten since this book was published not even four years ago.
I’d heard of this series, but I didn’t start it until Jess recommended it. I LOVED this book by the time I was only 30 pages in, and I raced through it (as much as I can during the work week these days). I’m thrilled there are 15 more books so far. She’s a private investigator of sorts in England in the period between the world wars.
The only thing I’m hoping gets addressed later on is that she’s kind of perfect. Like, she has no flaws, she has lots of useful skills, and everyone loves her. I mean, I love her, but she needs to have SOMEthing to improve on, right? She did one not great thing, but a) we only find out about it at the end of the book, and b) we find out about it as she’s doing something to correct it.
For the last several years, I’ve spent a LOT of time trying to read brand new books so I can be up to speed when it comes to Hugo nominations and voting. I mean, by the time the Hugo packet comes out (with free versions of most of the nominated works), there isn’t enough time to read them all before voting, so I have felt compelled.
I’m letting that compulsion go this year. I will read as many of the nominated works as I can, but I’m okay with reading whatever I feel like, too, however old or not associated to the Hugo awards it may be.
Yesterday, I declared (to myself) that I would only read books I already own, and I would try to focus on the physical books first, not the Kindle books. So I finished my latest library ebook last night, and then immediately got an email from the library saying one of the physical books I had put on hold was available.
So much for that declaration. BUT after I finish these TWO library books (while I was picking up the one, I got a second), I will read books I already own.
I can’t say I liked this book. It was recommended by Sarah Gailey, whose writing I LOVE, and I can understand why they would have enjoyed it, but it’s not for me. First, I’m not that into memoirs, which is sort of is, but it’s also a book about David Starr Jordan, a scientist and head of Stanford who discovered and categorized thousands of fish for the first time.
Spoiler alert: don’t read the next paragraph if you plan to read this because I’m about to give away the whole journey.
First, he’s a misunderstood little kid who finds solace in science and categorization, and you feel sorry for him. Then he’s an adventurer/explorer/scientist and a superstar university administrator, and you want to celebrate his success. But then he’s possibly a murderer (!), and then he’s a big proponent of eugenics (!!), and all through this I’m finding it hard to care about the author’s troubles, which are being sprinkled through the details of Jordan’s life. Mostly, I can empathize with her, but I don’t understand her obsession with this guy, and I bounced off.
And yet, I didn’t put it down (although I considered it), and I read it in less than two days. So…read it? Don’t read it? I don’t know.
This is the first book I have re-read in years. It’s technically science fiction (it involves time travel and historians trying to figure out how not to break the space-time continuum), but it’s mostly a light, funny, mystery/romance.
Last in the Great Library series. It ends well, but there’s a magical element that feels…not shoehorned in exactly, but maybe not as well-developed as everything else. These books have a lot going on, and I think the series could have ended without it. BUT I liked them very much, and I’m planning to read some of the author’s other stuff.
NOT what I expected. I mean, the book cover says straight out it’s a Victorian/Regency novel but with dragons, and it would be ridiculous to expect dragons to behave exactly like humans even with that premise, but a couple of things still took me by surprise. Good surprise, if these two genres are your thing (and they are mine).