.

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January 22, 2021

Looking Back - The Honk and Holler Opening Soon

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals. 



Fiction
1999 Grand Central Publishing (first published 1998)
Read in March 2000
Rating: 4.5/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

Caney Paxton wanted his cafe to have the biggest and brightest sign in Eastern Oklahoma-the "opening soon" part was supposed to be just a removable, painted notice. But a fateful misunderstanding gave Vietnam vet Caney the flashiest joke in the entire state. 

Twelve years later, the once-busy highway is dead and the sign is as worn as Caney, who hasn't ventured outside the diner since it opened. Then one blustery December day, a thirtyish Crow woman blows in with a three-legged dog in her arms and a long-buried secret on her mind. Hiring on as a carhop, Vena Takes Horse is soon shaking up business, the locals, and Caney's heart...as she teaches them all about generosity of spirit, love, and the possibility of promise-just like the sign says.

My Original Thoughts (2000):

Fantastic book! I think I enjoyed it even more than Where the Heart Is. Wonderful, quirky characters. Memorable and humorous. Letts is a great storyteller.

My Current Thoughts:

While I don't remember the details of this novel, I do remember that it was one I loved and one that I have always planned to read again. This is my year for rereading, so it's going on the stack!

I have read all four of Billie Letts' novels and would love to read more, but sadly, she passed away in 2014. Click on the titles for my reviews of her later books.



January 21, 2021

Listen Up!

 



I don't know about other readers, but unless I can see what's on my shelves (whether that be print books, audiobooks or ebooks), I quickly forget what I own. So, I created these two collages in order to have a visual reference for my two (yes, two) audiobook accounts. Some of these books have been lingering for several years, but many are shiny and new. I listen to audiobooks while riding the Peloton, walking, running errands, working in the yard and performing household chores. You would think my numbers would be quite high, but last year I only listened to 17. I doubt I'll finish all of the above (there are a few that are very long!), but I'm hoping to make a big dent in my collection.

Click here for my favorite audiobooks.

Click here to learn more about Libro.fm

January 19, 2021

All the Devils Are Here

 



All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #16
Mystery
2020 Minotaur Books
Finished on January 15, 2021
Rating: 5/5 (Outstanding!)

Publisher's Blurb:

The 16th novel by #1 bestselling author Louise Penny finds Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec investigating a sinister plot in the City of Light.

On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand’s godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man’s life.

When a strange key is found in Stephen’s possession it sends Armand, his wife Reine-Marie, and his former second-in-command at the Sûreté, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, from the top of the Tour d’Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art.

It sends them deep into the secrets Armand’s godfather has kept for decades.

A gruesome discovery in Stephen’s Paris apartment makes it clear the secrets are more rancid, the danger far greater and more imminent, than they realized.

Soon the whole family is caught up in a web of lies and deceit. In order to find the truth, Gamache will have to decide whether he can trust his friends, his colleagues, his instincts, his own past. His own family.

For even the City of Light casts long shadows. And in that darkness devils hide.

Bravo!! It would have been so easy to devour this latest installment in the Armand Gamache series, but I wanted to savor each and every page. Unlike The Long Way Home, I did not mind the change of location, which takes the Gamache family away from their friends in Three Pines. It was actually refreshing, as I've grown somewhat weary of the repetitive nature of Penny's more recent books. It was also nice to learn some background details of Gamache's family dynamics, although Daniel's storyline was a little annoying. I wanted to tell him to grow up!

Looking back on my reviews of the previous books in this series, I think this is one of the most exciting and suspenseful. There are many twists and turns and a couple of surprises toward the end of the book (one of which is a bit far fetched, but not completely improbable) and Penny continues to impress. My husband and I are both amazed that she keeps coming up with such interesting mysteries. She is truly a master!

Not only this an outstanding mystery, but the book's jacket and endpapers are lovely, bringing to mind the beautiful artwork of Vincent Van Gogh. The acknowledgements, which are full of love and warmth, are a joy to read as well.

Highly recommend!

January 17, 2021

Time for Serenity, Anyone?

Time for Serenity, Anyone?
by William Stafford


I like to live in the sound of water,
in the feel of mountain air. A sharp
reminder hits me: this world still is alive;
it stretches out there shivering toward its own
creation, and I'm part of it. Even my breathing
enters into the elaborate give-and-take,
this bowing to sun and moon, day or night,
winter, summer, storm, still—this tranquil
chaos that seems to be going somewhere.
This wilderness with a great peacefulness in it.
This motionless turmoil, this everything dance.

January 15, 2021

Looking Back - The Rector's Wife

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals. 

Fiction
1994 Random House
Read in February 2000
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

For twenty years Anna Bouverie, as a priest's wife (£9000 a year and a redbrick rectory that looked like a bus shelter) had served God and the parish in a diversity of ways. She had organised the deanery suppers, made cakes for the Brownies' Easter Cake Bake, delivered parish magazines, washed and ironed her husband's surplices (not altogether perfectly according to Miss Dunstable), grown her own vegetables and clothed herself and her children in left-over jumble-sale items. When her husband failed to gain promotion to archdeacon and retreated into isolated bitterness, and the bullying of her younger daughter at the local comprehensive reached unendurable proportions, Anna suddenly rebelled. Taking a job in the local supermarket she earned money, a sense of her own worth, the shocked disapproval of the parish, and the icy fury of her husband. As her loneliness and isolation increased, she was observed with passionate interest by three significant men, each of whom was to play a part in the part-tragic, part-triumphant blossoming of Anna's life.

My Original Thoughts (2000):

Fair. I didn't care for any of the characters and didn't find the storyline very believable. In spite of this, I'd still like to try more of Trollope's books.

My Current Thoughts:

I can't imagine why I would choose to read such a depressing book. Completely forgettable.

January 14, 2021

2021 TBR

 





I've enjoyed reading numerous Best Of 2020 posts and have added many of your favorite books to my 2021 TBR list. I already own a few (either in print or audio), but decided to create these collages so I don't forget any that have piqued my interest. If you could only recommend two, which would you choose? I need to make a couple of nominations to my book group later this week and I'm having a hard time narrowing down my selections.

January 12, 2021

Favorite Audios of 2020


 

These were all so good! While American Dirt earned an overall 5/5 rating, Nothing to See Here was my favorite audiobook of the year. 

Click here for links to all the books I read & listened to in 2020.

For more audiobook favorites over the years, click here (for nonfiction) and here (for fiction). 

January 11, 2021

The Fireman



Fiction/Dystopia
2016 HarperAudio
Narrated by Kate Mulgrew
Finished on January 5, 2021
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman. The fireman is coming.

Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

I came across Joe Hill's debut novel (Heart-Shaped Box) over a decade ago and quickly became a fan. I read 20th Century Ghosts (his collection of short stories) and Horns a couple of years later, but never got around to reading The Fireman when it was released. It wasn't the premise of the book that made me hesitate, but rather its heft! The print edition has 768 pages and the audio clocks in at over 22 hours of listening time. I really needed to be in the mood for this chunkster!

I began listening at the beginning of October, but had to pause when it came time to listen to American Dirt for my upcoming book group discussion. I was actually at a point in The Fireman when I was tempted to call it quits, so it was probably good to have a little break and listen to something else. I didn't resume listening right after finishing American Dirt, but went on to another audiobook that had been in my queue. When that was over, I decided to see if I could finish The Fireman since I had already invested so much time in it. Surprisingly, I was able to pick up right where I left off without any confusion or need to refresh my memory on the plot or characters.

Going into The Fireman, I had no idea that book centered around a pandemic and as I listened, I felt as if Hill could be writing about our early days in the COVID pandemic. Confusion about how the virus spread, as well as the division between members of society on prevention and treatment, sounded all too familiar. Thank goodness we don't have to worry about bursting into flames!

Kate Mulgrew does a fine job with the audio narration, but I never felt completely hooked and wonder if a different reader would have pulled me in better. I'm thinking of someone along the lines of Scott Brick, who did an outstanding job with The Passage and The Twelve by Justin Cronin. Or, maybe this is one which should have been enjoyed in print rather than audio. I'm not sorry that I read the book, but it was far too long for my liking, losing steam around the halfway mark. Heart-Shaped Box remains my favorite, but I still haven't read NOS4A2, so that may change.  

January 10, 2021

Kindred

 


Fantasy/Time Travel
1979 Beacon Press
Finished on January 2, 2021
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. After saving a drowning white boy there, she finds herself staring into the barrel of a shotgun and is transported back to the present just in time to save her life. During numerous such time-defying episodes with the same young man, she realizes the challenge she’s been given...

Finally! I first heard about this book from a couple of friends many years ago and always intend to read it, but for some reason, I never got my hands on a copy. A few months ago, I decided to request it from the library and I've finally read it. I wanted to love it, and I did think it was quite good, but near the halfway point, I was getting a little ansty to be finished. The early chapters were pretty intense, but as the story progressed, the pace began to drag. I grew impatient with the strange relationship between Dana and Rufus and would have liked to read more about Dana's time back in her present day world. Unlike other time travel books I've enjoyed (The Time Traveler's Wife, for instance), Kindred is essentially a social commentary with time travel as a literary device.

Published in 1979, it is somewhat dated:
He got up and went to the living room. Moments later, he came back and dumped an armload of books on the bed. "I brought everything we had on black history," he said. "Start hunting."
There were ten books. We checked indexes and even leafed through some of the books page by page to be sure. Nothing. I hadn't really thought there would be anything in these books. I hadn't read them all, but I'd at least glanced through them before.

"We'll have to go to the library then," said Kevin. "We'll go today as soon as it's open." 

Ummm, why not just do search on Google? Oh, yeah. No Internet in 1979.

All in all, Kindred a worthwhile read and one that I'd recommend. 

January 9, 2021

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

 


Fiction
2019 Brilliance Audio
Narrated by Amy McFadden
Finished on January 1, 2021
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

Overworked and underappreciated, single mom Amy Byler needs a break. So when the guilt-ridden husband who abandoned her shows up and offers to take care of their kids for the summer, she accepts his offer and escapes rural Pennsylvania for New York City.

Usually grounded and mild mannered, Amy finally lets her hair down in the city that never sleeps. She discovers a life filled with culture, sophistication, and—with a little encouragement from her friends—a few blind dates. When one man in particular makes quick work of Amy’s heart, she risks losing herself completely in the unexpected escape, and as the summer comes to an end, Amy realizes too late that she must make an impossible decision: stay in this exciting new chapter of her life, or return to the life she left behind. 

But before she can choose, a crisis forces the two worlds together, and Amy must stare down a future where she could lose both sides of herself, and every dream she’s ever nurtured, in the beat of a heart.

Meh.

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler is a very light, fluffy read. Normally, this would have been a perfect choice for December, when I'm typically too busy to focus on a meatier book, but with so little going on at the end of 2020, I should've gone with something with a bit more substance. The narration by Amy McFadden is fine, but the storyline is more romancy than I care for. And yet, I kept listening. I don't remember why I chose to purchase this audiobook, but I need to remember that romantic comedies really aren't my thing. Don't waste your time.

January 8, 2021

Looking Back - Crazy Ladies

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals. 


Fiction
1990 Longstreet Press
Read in February 2000
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

From the author of Mad Girls in Love comes this lively multigenerational tale of six charming, unforgettable Southern women -- a novel of love and laughter, pain and redemption.

Though she was born in Tennessee, Miss Gussie is no country fool. A woman who can handle any situation, she has her hands full with two headstrong daughters who happen to be complete opposites -- dour Dorothy and sweet Clancy Jane. Hoping money will heal childhood wounds, Dorothy marries the owner of a five-and-dime, while Clancy Jane gets into a mess of trouble, running off with a randy tomcat who pumps gas at the Esso stand. And then there are Gussie's granddaughters, the smart but plain Violet and fancy-talking Bitsy -- a new generation whose lives will reflect a nation's tumultuous times. From Tennessee to New Orleans, from psychedelic San Francisco to a remote Southwestern desert ranch, this funny, poignant novel spans more than four decades as it vividly recounts the universal loves, sorrows, and joys of women's lives.

My Original Thoughts (2000):

Held my interest enough to finish, but rather depressing. I didn't care for any of the characters and had no sympathy for any of them. One was rather irritating. Definitely not as good as The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (to which it was compared).

My Current Thoughts:

I have no recollection of this book. 

January 4, 2021

2020 Year End Survey & Top Ten List


Well, that's pretty amazing. I read the exact same number of books in 2020 as I did in 2019! I missed my Goodreads goal of 75 books, but I'm still quite pleased with my year of reading. I participated (unofficially) in three reading challenges (20 Books of Summer, RIP XV and Nonfiction November), which helped motivate me to read more from my own stacks. I listened to a lot more audiobooks than last year, knocked a few of the older ARCs off the stacks, but didn't read a single ebook. Contemporary fiction and mysteries (look at all those favorites by Louise Penny!) were the main focus of the year, but memoirs and historical works were also favored.

Books Read: 55

Print:  39
Audio:  17 (one read/listen combo)
Ebooks:  0
ARCs: 6
Rereads:  1

Fiction:  42
Nonfiction:  13

Mystery:  15
Series: 3
Science Fiction/Fantasy:  1
Classics:  0
Poetry:  1
Teen/YA:  0
Children's:  1
Memoirs:  8
History: 4
Graphic Novels:  0
Books in Translation: 1
Epistolaries: 0
Culinary Memoirs: 0

Male Authors:  12
Female Authors:  43
New Authors:  28

From My Stacks:  34
Borrowed:  21

Ratings:

5 stars:  7
4.5 stars:  3
4 stars:  19
3.5 stars:  1
3 stars:  15
2 stars:  8
1 star: 2




Top Ten of 2020:

The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett Graff (5/5) - Favorite Nonfiction

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (5/5)

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (5/5)

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (5/5)

Glass Houses by Louise Penny (5/5) - Favorite Mystery

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (5/5) - Favorite Novel

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (5/5) 

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson (4.5/5) - Favorite Audiobook

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (4/5)

The River by Peter Heller (4.5/5)


Honorable Mentions:

Two Girls Down by Louise Luna (4.5/5)

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center (4/5)

The Janes by Louise Luna (4//5)

Oona Out Of Order by Margarita Montimore (4/5)

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (4/5)

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (4/5)

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4/5)

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (4/5)

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny (4/5)

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (4/5)

A Better Man by Louise Penny (4/5)

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (4/5)

The Summer Guest by Justin Cronin (4/5)

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (4/5)

When My Time Comes by Diane Rehm (4/5)

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (4/5)

Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton (4/5)

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (4/5)

A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (4/5)


Find my complete 2020 list (including all reviews) here



Books Read in 2020


The River by Peter Heller (4.5/5)

The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett Graff (5/5)

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (5/5)

The Girls by Emma Cline (2/5)

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Muratan (1/5)

Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna (4.5/5)

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall (3/5)

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan (3/5)

The Long Way Home by Louise Penny (3/5)

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genalogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro (3/5)

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (4/5)

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center (4/5)

The Janes by Louisa Luna (4/5)

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore (4/5)

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger (3/5)

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle (3/5)

Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant (5/5)

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (4/5)

The Sight of You by Holly Miller (3/5)

The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (4/5)

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4/5)

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (5/5)

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson (4.5/5)

Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood (3/5)

The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (4/5)

Glass Houses by Louise Penny (5/5)

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (3/5)

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (5/5)

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (3/5)

Women Rowing North by Mary Pipher (2/5)

The Confession Club by Elizabeth Berg (2/5)

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny (4/5)

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (4/5)

A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler (3/5)

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes (3/5)

A Better Man by Louise Penny (4/5)

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (4/5)

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (3/5)

Normal People by Sally Rooney (1/5)

The Summer Guest by Justin Cronin (4/5)

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough (4/5)

Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica (2/5)

When My Time Comes by Diane Rehm (4/5)

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (4/5)

Elevation by Stephen King (2/5)

Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton (4/5)

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (4/5)

A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read (4/5)

Educated by Tara Westover (2/5)

Under a Wing by Reeve Lindbergh (2/5)

Once Upon a Town by Bob Greene (3/5)

The Rural Life by Verlyn Klinkenborg (3/5)

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (5/5)

Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson (3/5)

Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill (2/5)

January 1, 2021

A Month in Summary - December 2020 (and Happy New Year!)

Little Whale Cove
Depoe Bay, Oregon
December 2020


What. A. Year.

Who knew that on January 1, 2020 we would be heading into such an agonizing year. 

The pandemic: Social distancing, masks, hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer, sheltering in place and quarantining, Zoom happy hour and distance learning, singing from balconies, grocery deliveries and take-out, streaming movies and TV series, baking bread, doomscrolling, but most sadly, more than 342,000 Americans dead.

George Floyd's death and the subsequent protests across the nation.

Wildfires burning across most of the western states.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.

The presidential election (and the post-election drama from the White House).

Rod's bike accident and shoulder replacement surgery.

My mom's emergency hospitalization and surgery for a umbilical hernia.

Oh, and let's not forget the murder hornets. ;)

On the positive side, I am grateful for:

Safe travel (nearby) in our RV.

Celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary.

Biden and Harris win!

A healthy household (surgeries aside!).

My Peloton and great workouts.

Weekly Mah Jong games (outdoors) with my "pod."

Game nights with my mom and Rod.

Curbside pickup at the library.

The L.A. Dodgers win the World Series.

Financial security.

Zoom visits with friends and family.


Discovering some great TV series.

Book club via Zoom.

Puzzles.

My overflowing shelves of unread books.

Audiobooks.

Take-out from favorite restaurants.

My blogmates.


Living in a semi-secluded area on the Oregon coast.

Walks in the forest and on the coastal path.

I am hopeful that 2021 will bring more joy than worry, more time with family and friends, zero trips to the Emergency Room, and more road trips with my husband.

Adios 2020. 

Now, on to my December summary!

Books Read (click on the title for my review):

Once Upon a Town by Bob Greene (3/5)

The Rural Life by Verlyn Klinkenborg (3/5)

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (5/5)

Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson (3/5)

Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill (2/5)

On Interstate 80, three or four hours into the long westward drive across Nebraska, with the sun hovering mercilessly in the midsummer sky on a cloudless and broiling July afternoon, there were moments when I thought there was no way I'd ever find what I had come here to seek:

The best America there ever was. Or at least whatever might be left of it. (Once Upon a Town)

Every year about now, I feel the need to keep a journal. (A Rural Life)

One of the very first bullets comes in through the open window above the toilet where Luca is standing. (American Dirt)

Throughout the night of Friday, September 7, 1900, Isaac Monroe Cline found himself waking to a persistent sense of something gone wrong. (Isaac's Storm)

It began like this. I went to the shelves on the landing to look for a book I knew was there. It was not. But plenty of others were and among them I noticed at least a dozen I realised I had never read. (Howards End is on the Landing)

Movies & TV Series:


The Undoing - Wow. Great series. The last episode was very suspenseful! Kidman, Grant and Sutherland are all excellent. 


The Crown - This season rather depressing, but Olivia Colman is still great to watch.


The Missing - A good series with lots of red herrings. Kept me guessing!


Baptiste - We enjoyed this one a lot.  Tcheky Karyo is marvelous!


Wonder Woman 1984 - A silly, loooong, superhero movie that missed its mark. 


The Midnight Sky - We didn't love this one. Somewhat predictable and on a few occasions utterly implausible, wrapped up with a manipulative ending... Caoilinn Springall (Iris) made it worthwhile. Probably should've read the book instead.


Away - Watched the first episode and probably won't watch any more.

Puzzlemania:



This was probably the most challenging puzzle we've done! I think we'll stick to 500-1000 piece puzzles from here on out.



Another challenging puzzle!



I love Charley Harper puzzles from Pomegranate Puzzles! The colors are great and this one was very easy due to the oversize pieces. We finished it in one day.


Spotted this cute little guy as we were driving through Philomath on our way home from a post-op appointment in Albany. You can read about DAX here


A beautiful homemade Christmas bouquet from a friend.



I wish you all a safe and healthy 2021!