Are you an earnest listener?

We made two of our closest friends seventeen years ago.  Yes, I have a strong memory for dates, personal moments, the stories of novels and films….  details generally.  The only aspect at which I am less strong is memorizing a list string, which demonstrates that a different brain neuron works with those.  As evidenced by board game trivia, I ace retrieving memories.  If I have ever absorbed it, I can get it out, with patience and a prompt!  Therefore when this wonderful friend seemed to have a habit of laughing off her inability to retain information “for old age”, it made me angry.

I have never abided a defeatest attitude, the impossibility of making some contributions and possessing some control.  Age 43 recently, was as far as I could go to avert reading glasses but by gum, age is not an automatic declarer of brain and body health!  I pointed out to her a couple of years ago, that I am older than she was when we met.  I am glad she has not made that distasteful joke again.  In her case:  an intelligent, educated, successful, and loveable woman….  attention span is the key!  I need to alert her about this because it has grown hard to have a conversation.

She is one of those folks you might have encountered, who drops the person speaking to her for whomever walks by.  Not “Excuse me, I’d like to catch them before they leave” but dropping me and turning to them!  How can she remember a thing, if she tunes into the room instead of the person facing her?  Every subsequent shiny object is more interesting than her present focal point.

It doesn’t work to be like my Dad, so geared-up about what he wants to say, that he can’t be paying attention.  People who break in as soon as your sentence ends (which would be a step up with my dear friend!) are a sure sign.  They say they heard you but barge on, closing the conversation you offered.  Being good, invested listeners is the first step to memory strength.  My philosophy is that we all win, if we are most interested in what the other person has to share!  Make emotional exclamations, validate feelings, pose questions to show earnest interest.  It’s a shame my folks bicker to speak and that we need to firmly clear sentence space.

My beloved spouse is a unique case in its own way, less frustrating if it didn’t require a daily effort to overcome.  Instead of listening to my simple queries and answering the plain words, he inexplicably drums up an interpretation of what he thinks I want.

Gadgets must go when we are visiting!  Phone calls, e-mails, voice mails, text messages are for keeping in touch with someone who isn’t in your house.  Don’t answer phones or messages when you are in someone’s house!  Enjoy the person in front of you.  It is impossible to engage yourself fully and concentrate sufficiently well.  Even if you ignore messages but have gadgets on and can hear or see what’s incoming.  It serves nothing but to make you curious about what the message is.  The moment your guest or host leaves the room, most people can’t contain their curiousity.  The beauty of visiting someone’s home is that when your host steps away, you absorb their atmosphere, their life!  Make friends with their pets, gaze at their portraits and art objects.  When is the last time you perused anyone’s shelves of books, music, or movies?

Leave calls and messages for home, or emergencies!  It goes without saying that parents with young children necessitate a gadget tuned in.  We are discussing the need to establish conversation and visiting etiquette, especially in the era of people’s answering machines and e-mail being hauled with them.  It used to be that you checked your internet and answering machine when you got home, or asked to check-in remotely on a long visit.  We dearly need to preserve the “catch up at home” mentality and manners!

Ron & I got so aggitated about our land line disturbing us, when we were enjoying cats on our laps and other lovely couples moments, that we keep it unplugged.  I favour the unobtrusiveness of e-mail.  People can leave you messages at any time and you set aside time to check it when it’s convenient.  My parents who don’t have the internet, can leave a voicemail on my cell phone, which only has emergency minutes.  It sits in a drawer unless I go out.  If I hear it, I answer and look for voicemails every few hours.  I am not interrupted, nor apprehensive about being disturbed.

My reading, writing, and special home time is wholly invested.  Ron leaves his emergency cell phone on the counter.  His Mom and mine occasionally call.  We don’t watch movies and listen to CDs often enough and savour that.  Because I am focused, if I see a film or television scene again, I know the dialogue by heart.  It feels splendid when we occasionally read books together on the same couch.  I treasure all of these moments.

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Birth Year Reading 2018

I am rejoining J.G. for her most well-known reading group too, making me a member of all three!  It is my pleasure.  I was a prize-winner of a book from her collection, which thrills me and which was good news when I needed it.  I hae several books ready and plan to read at least three.  Note that I work entirely with books we already own, in abundance in our home.  I don’t shop for 1972 literature.  The purpose of reading challenges is to enjoy books we own, with fun themes and relaxed scavenger hunts for sharing them.

One consideration I suggest, is that finding a book in our birth year is specific enough, that their page number shouldn’t matter.  J.G. allows switching to a relative’s birth year if we don’t have literature in ours, so it follows that securing even small books in our own, answers the mission more accurately.  I’m speaking of the whole prize tally, the overall description.  We do list all of our books of any size, outside the grand prize draw.

Here are the ones I have on hand!  Please visit again, for replies to comments, that I assure you are quite immediate and for review links I add, to finished books.  All of my reviews can be found in an alphabetized menu at the top of my blog.

 

“Scuffy The Tugboat”  Tibor Gergely  1972
“Surfacing”  Margaret Atwood  1972
“The Late Mrs. Fonsell”  Velda Johnston  1972
“Uncle Robert’s Secret”  Wylly Folk St. John  1972
“Nobody Likes Trina”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1972
“The Seventh Sinner”  Elizabeth Peters  1972
I will not likely read this one because it is well into a series I have not started.

– – – – – – – – – –

Jane:  short of mailing a postal letter, I’ve been endeavouring to let you know communications have been missed.  Among my WordPress comment boxes as well as e-mail.  Using blogspot is too hard, as you know.  I will give the address to use and erase it when you know it:  RonCar[at]Prairie[dot]ca.  I can’t tell how often you check e-mail.  Further, Prairie has been rejected, unless folks write to me there first.  Please send any old note, then I will forward what you missed.  If you search your junk folder for my Prairie e-mail address, you should find the two you missed.  One of them thanks you for your package!

I hope you got the note at Gmail, specifying”The Soul Of The Octopus”.  The day you asked me to review all of the Orion titles!  I went through all of them thoroughly and was stunned you missed that e-mail.  Relieved you waited for me to repeat my selection!  I’d also like to know if you found “Service For Two”, so I can continue asking other people to help find a good copy.  In lieu of that, I said I would be thrilled for my “Dread & Read” treats to be other books I liked in your second-hand collection instead.  The one about handwriting and eithe rof the water ones.

Also, please note that “Dread & Read” was joined a while ago and my post looks forward to your welcome blessing.  Hehehe!  I ran out of the gate in 2018 and have finished two impressive entries already!  I will erase these personal bits when I know I have finally reached you.  Sincerely, Carolyn.

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My blog’s seventh anniversary!

My blog spends a lot of time on the subject of literature and the four related groups I run but the original purpose remains, that it is my place to write:  publically.  As a matter of fact it is my RIEDEL Fascination anniversary, the day when I posted something fretting my mind and was glad to have this forum for pouring it out.  I had decided to give a home to four kittens and their Mom, born of a youngster I willingly fostered.  I will let you read about, as I do every February, how the prudent intentions of a shelter’s policy broke down, into a propostrous fight to keep them from a shelter they had never seen.

They are the lights of our lives.  Now seven years old and their little Mother eight, one is missing.  Please know that your prayers and “my cat came back after so many months” stories, encourage us tremendously.  I know our joint request, faith, and positive energy have kept Conan safe!  I know it IS also ensuring the outcome that he is reunited with us at home this spring!  May someone notice his tattoo, local or internet alerts, or free him to walk home when it is safe this spring.  He is the baby against my cheek and baby Love is the white boy upon my shoulder.

Conan is the orange sweetheart, in between his white sister, Angel and brother, LovePetal is our orange girl at the left of her Mom, Marigold.  If my youngest children of seven cats are seven, I guess that is the anniversary of my blog!

In honesty, I have not had the shower of comments I hoped, which did not improve with hosting reaching challenges.  I am working towards inviting participatory people, to keep on visiting long-time peers as much as it is feasible with dial-up internet, and am writing more of the plain articles my original subscribers like.  Silent or not, thank you for staying with me.  I love books but like writing about a lot more than that.  Today, I am.  It works out that if I keep up with my book groups, it frees me to talk of other goings-on and things.

I have not hesitated to share the most personal concerns of my life and were grateful for the few who stepped up to give a comforting hand about them;  sometines non-subscribed strangers.  Three years ago, one of those cherished kittens suddenly died at four years-old and I absolutely had to have my WordPress blog, to grieve and reach out to you.  We are healed from Love’s passing now and when we have his brother, Conan home safely, that is all that matters.  We will be the happiest we have been in those three years.  We can’t do anything but remember Love.  We can and have very determinedly been working towards bringing Conan home!

As an author-in-progress, this is a place to learn and make connections.  I want readership and publicity when I triumph at finishing a piece of work.  However I am too, a girl who likes making friends and who wants to share.  This community, also associated with Goodreads, means a lot to me personally.  I guess I am a real writer, if life’s difficulties raise the urging to write my feelings and thoughts out!  In honour of my anniversary:  here is a post just about me, with my endeared thanks to all of you!  Especially folks finds this spot of mine for the first time, which is finally drawing many more of you:  welcome and thank you, genuinely!

I am going to host some special features, likely just for fun, that are for everyone who stops by and is interested.  Please stay tuned:  my festivities are called “Show Your Seasons” and “Show Me Your Stash”!  I am a gardener, nature lover, amateur photographer, and music-lover too and there is a lot of mutual interest in those passions.  Interacting with you, from my rural home and despite slow speed internet, is one of my dearest pleasures.  Life is for sharing with loved-ones and friends who are close and for telling people at a further distance about it!  Wouldn’t you agree?  :)  Yours Truly, Carolyn and family.

Do you recognize this?  I am showing the full picture, from which my blog’s banner is a part!

 

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Carolyn’s Gentle Spectrums 2018!

 

Here are the books I finish and foresee reading, for my theme, Gentle Spectrums 2018!  This is the review page with everyone’s links to have fun browsing (when I make it).  Here are my books for my group last year.  Please join all of my themes.
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/headquarters-2018/

I am excited about brainstorming a lot of great new topics and beneficial ways to expand the ones we are reprising.  I hope everyone is as pleased with them as I am.  This logo is not my photograph, like the gorgeous Manitoba marsh vista last year but I hope everyone derives peace and happy thoughts from its beauty.  I really like it.

Please visit for review links as I finish.  Below them are drafts I make of books that fit, which I have queued.  My selections go by my moods and I constantly score fresh book bargains, which is important when one reads nearly all physical literature.  However I normally read the ones I list for myself soon.  Goodness knows we are blessed with good stock.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

 

(01)  LIMITLESS PALETTE
Also: colourful, colour, bright, light, iridescent, iridescence, dark, shade, hue, spectrum, rainbow, prism.

Bluegate Fields”  Anne Perry  1984

(02)  TREASURE OR HIGH ADVENTURE

The Secret Treasure Of Oak Island”  D’Arcy O’Connor  2004
The Mystery Of The Lost Lemon Mine”  Ron Stewart  1993

(03)  TOYS OR HOBBIES
One could call nearly anything a toy or hobby, so let’s make these well-established toys and hobbies.

(04)  HEALTHFULNESS
Happy feelings, drink, food, exercise, medicine, energy: you decide!

(05)  ANIMALS
I always include birds, fish, and insects. I love them all.

(06)  NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

(07)  THE ARTS

The Tin Flute” Gabrielle Roy  1945

(08)  FASHION & FURNISHINGS
We needn’t stop at sewing and knitting.  We can expand to curtains, doilies, linen, and quilts!

(09)  CANADIAN

The Murder Stone”  Louise Penny  2008

(10)  HISTORY

“Sense And Sensibility”  Jane Austen  1811

(11)  THIRD TIME CHARM?

Poirot Investigates”  Agatha Christie  1924
I disliked this third Hercule Poirot novel!  I liked the character before and after a break, am sure of liking him anew.  I think it is especially the short story format that brought low regard.  I am not a short story fan and there were poor standards in the attempt to apply these ones as “you solve the mystery” exercises.

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Carolyn’s My Kind Of Mystery

 

My reading groups are started for the year, this very month!  Here is my own post, where I will keep track of my mystery reading, further to this group’s review page!  I hope you will visit both to see how we do.  This post comprises a list of books in this genre I am conteplating this year.  Atop, with links as I review them, is my sequenced list of what I have finished reading.

It isn’t all fiction.  My theme includes everything, including mysteries of real life like the two below, about Oak Island and the Lemon Mine.  Please enjoy and spread the word so others discover this happy group.

Here is what I read last year.
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/carolyns-mykindofmystery2017/
Join all four my my relaxed, easy reading themes!
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/headquarters-2018/

 

~ READ ~
The Murder Stone”  Louise Penny  2008
Poirot Investigates”  Agatha Christie  1924
The Secret Treasure Of Oak Island”  D’Arcy O’Connor  2004
The Mystery Of The Lost Lemon Mine”  Ron Stewart  1993

 

PROPOSED ~
“Death At Buckingham Palace”  C.C. Benison  1996
“Cirak’s Daughter”  Charlotte MacLeod  1982
“The Missing Madonna”  Sister Carol Anne O’Marie  1988
“The Old Fox Deceiv’d”  Martha Grimes  1982
“Grey Mask”  Patricia Wentworth  1928
“Mystery Mile”  Margery Allingham  1930
“The House On The Roof”  Mignon G. Eberhart  1934
“A Dry Spell”  Susie Moloney  1997
“The League Of Frightened Men”  Rex Stout  1935
“Death At The President’s Lodging”  Michael Innes  1936
“Mystery Of The Black Diamonds”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1954
“Secret Of The Samurai Sword”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1958
“Cast, In Order Of Disappearance”  Simon Brett  1975
“A Nice Class Of Corpse”  Simon Brett  1986
“The Body On The Beach”  Simon Brett  2000
“The Street Of The Five Moons”  Elizabeth Peters  1978
“Secret Of The Tiger’s Eye”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1961
“Mystery Of The Angry Idol”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1965
“Secret Of The Spotted Shell”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1967
“Secret Of Goblin Glen”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1968
“The Mystery Of The Crimson Ghost”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1969
“Secret Of The Missing Footprint”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1970
“The Vanishing Scarecrow”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1971
“Mystery Of The Scowling Boy”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1973
“Secret Of The Stone Face”  Phyllis A. Whitney  1977
“The Mysterium”  Eric McCormack  1992
“The Trickster”  Muriel Gray  1994

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Carolyn’s Celtic Coasts 2018!

 

It is my pleasure to reprise my newest theme, for its third year:  Celtic Coasts 2018!
I love Irish and Scottish places, authors, lore, and have been learning more about Wales.  I am first to give Welsh-related literature somewhere to go in reaching challenges!  A few of my novels at home are finally sampling it.

I would love to visit Ireland, loved Scotland wholeheartedly, and our 2010 vacation schedule had us reluctantly drive past Wales. Reading about places you know and increasing knowledge about places and cultrues through books, has us enjoying them as subjects and settings increasingly.  Like most Canadians, I am very multicultured and two Celtic countries comprise a large part of that.

I am in the mood to renew my Celtic reading with refreshed vigour.  Favourites in whom I haven’t indugled for awhile, like Maeve Binchy and Lillian Beckwith, are going to be rejoined and there is no shortage of new Celtic authors and plots that I come across.  Like all of my reading themes, we have the stock at home to ably fulfill all of them for years, with what we have on hand.  This is the literature I matched with Celtic Coasts last year.
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/carolyns-celtic-coasts-2017/

 

Here is what I propose to give a whirl this year.  The more I think on it, the more authors, sequels, and books come to mind!  Please visit again to see the links of books I finish and the review page too, is always available to browse.

“Bluegate Fields”  Anne Perry  1984
“The Sea For Breakfast”  Lillian Beckwith  1961
“Bridge Of Friendship”  Mabel Esther Allan  1975
“Central Line”  Maeve Binchy  1978
“Victoria Line”  Maeve Binchy  1980
“Echoes”  Maeve Binchy  1985
“The Silence”  Sarah Rayne  2013
“Death At The President’s Lodging”  Michael Innes  1936
“Into The Fire”  Jodi McIsaac  2013
“The Trickster”  Muriel Gray  1994

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Dread & Read 2018!

I am back for 2018!  I pray the same about our cat.  We kept our babies in too much, while I helped my parents move.  Praying we see him again is the meaning of dread but we are sure he wintered with someone:  wisely.  We know he wants to be home.  Safe is better!  All discomfort will stop as soon as Conan is home.  See him here!  I didn’t recall he is with me in my “About Me” webpage.  It is a boost to see his beautiful face.

Also to stay calm in full white winter, I am a member of all of Jane’s groups.  It is a pleasure that she began joining mine last year as well.  Looking forward to the day soon, when all there is is minor dread:  here is Jane’s literary theme!  Choose three or more books we are unsure we would like, or which we are unenthused to try for various reasons.

I am a fiction fan, the mystical and “Ethereal” above all, which extends to non-fiction.  (I created a theme with that name).  Secondly, I love mysterious mystery;  the rare, creative kind, in which crime is not the focus.  (That is why I created another of my groups, “My Kind Of Mystery“).  Therefore no matter how award-winning or famous;  big names like Jane Austen and the Brontë trio might be (in my own Manitoba, Gabrielle Roy);  general or historical fiction is not my fare.  Not without a great ghost story or mysterious mystery in it

I am a writer working on being an authoress.  I am reading some of these greats to properly educate and enrich myself for my craft.  I have loved Gabrielle Roy’s short stories but her first novel, despite garnering accolades to the moon and back, is my most dreaded.  I was a French immersion pupil and saw the film in school.  I have long hesitated because I know “Bonheur D’Occasion” is heavy.  But going in knowiong that, let’s see if I can enjoy something about the writing or characters.  A lot of war-type movies hit theatres, so this novel that brougt attention to Canadian literature in 1945 and after it was translated into “The Tin Flute” in 1947, must have merit.

Jane Austen is a writer’s must but especially, because I visited just inside this lady’s house, in 2010!  If I do well with her, I will be geared up for “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë.  I think it is deemed a gothic.  That atmosphere *is* my forté.  Authors I am going to give a second try are Kate Collins and Ellis Peters.  I did not dig their first novels.  I enjoyed Kate’s, after pushing myself to the 60% mark.  That is not praise but far better, than detesting Ellis’s writing style wholly.  Second novels are often better.  I hope the same of Ontario’s popular Alan Bradley.  I joined the many who couldn’t stand his insolent child sleuth, Flavia DeLuce but I had bought the second hardcover with the first, at a charity sale.

Bottom of the barrel, maybe I will hunker down and revisit Gabriel García Márquez, by reading a full novel.  “One-Hundred Years Of Solitude” won’t be any more depressing than the short stories and to my pleasant surprise, some scrutiny of the synopsis hints at mystical contents.  I am prepared to like this better than I imagined too.  So there we are:  I plan to read three of these!

Kate Atkinson is a new author I have read before and I enjoyed “Human Croquet”.  I had it behind a shelf, actually, for years.  What brought it forward is a friend’s gift of her recent novel, “Life After Life”.  This one seems more up my alley but being a person who likes to follow literature and music releases in order, I sought out “Behind The Scenes At The Museum”.  It is an award-winner and will probably pan out to be fun.  However Kate writes with a stream of consciousness style that can be like following an especially energetic rabbit hither and thither;  with an “out there” style and perception.  We can’t guess where it will go and it is verbose.  Pages above 450 are more numerous than my norm as it is.  So I’ll add this to my list this year, not as dread but as uncertainty and minor hesitancy.

The Tin Flute(“Bonheur D’Occasion”)  Gabrielle Roy  1945
“Sense And Sensibility”  Jane Austen  1811
“Slay It With Flowers”  Kate Collins  2005
“Wuthering Heights”  Charlotte Brontë  1847
“Behind The Scenes At The Museum”  Kate Atkinson  1995
“One Corpse Too Many”  Ellis Peters  1979
“The Weed That Strings The Hangman’s Bag”  Alan Bradley  2010
“One-Hundred Years Of Solitude”  Gabriel García Márquez  1967

I will establish “sweetener” treats later.  I need to see what Jane has travelling to me in the mail!  Happy new year 2018, everyone!
– – – – – – – – – – – –

Update, January 29.
Before Jane has visited this opening post, I have finished a Canadian classic on my list, probably the book pushed back the longest.  I am happy to discover that I like it much more than I thought I would and that after the first few chapters, it becomes a very readable story!  See my review in my list.  Other books, which I am uncertain I will like, have occurred to me that could easily be added.

Update, February 13.
While awaiting the warm welecome benediction from my dear hostess, I feel triumphant to declare my first Jane Austen work finished this morning!  I liked it enough for four stars, too!  I said when Ron & I were in Bath, England, that we ought go on the tour of her entire house, without having read something of hers.  If we go to Europe anew, I should be pleased to view her home entirely.

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Reading Naturally 2018!

 

Exposed to nature:  1-3 books
Engaged with nature:  4-6 books
Immersed in nature:  7+ books.

It is my sincere pleasure to rejoin Jane’s new nature reading group for the second time.  I am partial to fiction, which fits herein as well.  What works out to suit me especially is that when I do read about real, educational things, it is almost always animal, plant, or spirit-related.  Further to that, my spouse, Ron & I are gardeners, flower-growers, and animal rights defenders.  We pray that our cat who has been missing, all children to us:  will be safely home this spring.  His name is Conan and he ranks highly as one of the lights of our life.  We thank everyone for their prayers.

It has been a long wait for this son and the results of all three of Jane’s groups cheered me up, right when I needed it.  I won this new reading challenge in its premiere and prizes in her two others, as well as in a Canadian group!  I ask for signs from time to time, to maintain our certainty that Conan is all right and reuniting with us soon and I receive them.  Winning in four groups, the news told to me the same day, is quite a positive sign to be sure.   Books about intuitive communication and plainer, factual ones about how well cats survive and travel, sustained me too!  All this fit into Jane’s group.

Receiving Jane’s and the other mail will be happy days too.  I can’t wait to see what she sends me.  I know what some of them are but the rest of her mail will be greeted by me with the thrill of anticipation and suspense.  Just so you know Jane, I answered all of my blog comments the same day and you must have had my e-mail.  I do hope we pick up those conversations, further to the subject of books.

I hope you got my update that, given time to tally:  I saw that I hit all of your topics except the Orion one!  I had a dystopian one after all.  I am glad you are giving us time to finish you agree with the ease of running from February 1st.  I am reeling from too much to do in November and December;  with still one review page to make for my 2018 quartet.  I know you will join at least two of them:  lovely to have you as my guest too!  See my blog menu at the top.

Here is what I propose to read this year.  Two books are already finished!  I make sure a book fits each category, then pile more into the best matches as they come along.  In my own “Gentle Spectrums” 2018, I have a “Healthfulness” category!  I am looking forward to this and earning verbal and mailed rewards makes an activity particularly worthwhile.  My readers know I go to a lot of effort in my write-ups and motivation to strive higher.  A hostess who reads these write-ups is gift #1.  The chance to push ourselves to win prizes, internationally, is gift #2.  I am very definitely aiming for the maximum.  Happy nature reading!

(01)  Written by a giant in animal advocacy, environment protection.

“Lost In The Barrens”  Farley Mowat  1956

(02)  Outdoors activity or gear on the cover.

(03)  ANIMAL-RELATED

“The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be”  Farley Mowat  1957

(04)  OUTDOORSY HEROINE.

(05)  Current Issue: climate change, biodiversity.

(06)  Water-related.

“The Secret Treasure Of Oak Island”  D’Arcy O’Connor  2004

(07)  New:  published in 2015 to 2018.

(08)  Dystopia-flavoured: emphasizing consequences.

“The Tin Flute”  Gabrielle Roy  1947
“Timescape”  Robert Liparulo  2009

(09)  Extreme element:  sailing, mountain climbing.

(10)  Season-related.

The Murder Stone”  Louise Penny  2008

(11)  Plant-related.

(12)  Set in a wilderness locale.

(13)  Spiritual:  emphasizing connection.

(14)  Skills-related.

(15)  Advocacy-related: speaking up for nature.

“Owls In The Family”  Farley Mowat  1961

(16)  Biography, memoir of an environmentalist.

(17)  An Orion award-winner.

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Carolyn’s “Ethereal” 2018!

 

Happy new year 2018!  Soon:  happy St. Valentine’s day too!  My groups are raring to go for February 1.  For those who like to tally their reading from January to December, without the rush of having to tidy everything up until the following January:  sign-up at the link in my logo, and get started!  This is a very flexible theme for the spiritual, paranormal, metaphysical, and magical:  everything from real concepts, to fantasy fiction.

This was the 2017 review page, which addttionally lists what I read last year.
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2017/02/01/carolyns-ethereal-2017/

Here are books from our home, that I think I will read this year.  When I have finished them, I will link reviews to this personal progress post.  Please do come back and visit.  I anticipate inspiring conversations in this group.

“The Missing Madonna”  Sister Carol Anne O’Marie  1988
“Shattered Silk”  Juliet Blackwell  2016
“Timescape”  Robert Liparulo  2009
“Into The Fire”  Jodi McIsaac  2013
“Owls In The Family”  Farley Mowat  1961
“The Darkest Road”  Guy Gavriel Kay  1986
“A Dry Spell”  Susie Moloney  1997
“The Mysterium”  Eric McCormack  1992
“The Dragon & The Dry Goods Princess”  David Arnason  1991
“More Strawberries, Reflections In Fiction”  Joseph S. Banel  1990

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Dread & Read Update.

Jane’s group is for diving into books we were uncertain we would like!  I joined her nature and birth date themes too.  Those are easy to update at my original posts.  This theme entails explanations.  Most of what I read is a 300-page investment of time.  I read at night and unless I am swept away at a gallop, I read in a few sips;  2 to 3 nights.  If I finish three of these, I will be happy.  J.G. offers prizes and this forum, for me to dig in.


~

(1)  “Death Of A Cad”  Marion C. Beaton  1987

Marion Chesney Beaton is a very popular authoress, whom I collected vastly, including first editions.  I treasured Scotland with my spouse in 2009 and maintain a love for the Celtic countries.  It is the reason I created “Celtic Coasts“.   When I finally read “Death Of A Gossip“, I loathed it!  I try to find the good.  I loathed it like I seldom loathe other books, in every aspect.  My review tactfully itemized. them   I waited two years to try this second book, which took even more trouble to obtain that the first.

The update is that I glanced 24 pages into “Death Of A Cad” and still couldn’t bear the writing or external characters.  They dominate the first chapters, so even though I still have no skepticism about falling in love with village constable Hamish Macbeth and his case-solving talent;  I can’t bear wading through the other garbage.  People arguing, the stereotypical aristocratic snobs, Marion still did not quickly introduce the atmosphere of a mystery….  I sighed at the 30 books I must own by this author, flipped a few later pages, and decided the best use of my time is to sell the Hamish series unread.

I *am* willing to try the first Agatha Raisin series.  I am worried the writing style I loathe, of pointless description and brawling characters, might be present nonetheless.  However I will not dismiss a whole other series.  In order to afford the sometimes 200 books Ron & I score in a year, I do a lot of collecting before I try them.  I have seldom disliked, to the point of not wishing to read any more, my selections.  I have done well since last year, reading a suite of first volumes.  I like what I am collecting.  I don’t believe in not finishing, so I glanced through this novel’s first several pages as an audit.  I do not consider this a “Did not finish”.  Please mark this:  “Confirmed that is is not for me“!
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(02)  “The Roman Hat Mystery”  Ellery Queen  1929

Mysterious premises are too few, even though they should be easier to drum up!  A hidden room or floor, a code, a diary, an artifact or treasure, someone’s past or heritage, a quest…  This was a bore to get through and indulgent.  Here is another rare case of putting a whole bunch of books by an author out for sale, unread.  These New York detectives as stereotyped as they could be, in the crime genre I like least.  I expected that of a pioneer in this genre.  I have nothing against old times.  I love a plethora of literature predating me;  grew up on gothic mysteries!  I flock to those kinds of oldies.

  The men writing these crime cases exemplify the worst of what I dislike.  People are berated and handled roughly by police.  Richard Queen, the senior, grabbed by the neck a manservent”, who lived with them since age 19!  I recoiled.  The denouement had to do with the stain” of having a small amount of black heritage.  This, I excuse for popular opinion of the time.  None of the rest is exusable, ever.  There are always people who know what is right.  https://www.amazon.ca/review/R2QHUJ74EZDXZK/ref=cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv
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(03)  “Body Of Evidence”  Patricia Cornwall 1991

Her first novel and that of this long Kay Scarpetta series, “Postmortem”, was violent and disturbing.  Kathy Reichs was so much worse, I decided to give Patricia another try.  With Kathy’s first novel, I barely avoided something I do not do;  not finish a book.  She is another author I am selling without reading anything more.  I peeked at her next introduction and the topic is even more horrific;  a well of slain villagers.  I fortunately started with Patricia’s less popular trilogy.  I liked “Hornet’s Next” much better and loved her writing.  It was the main reason I endured “Postmortem” and thought I would continue.

Thankfully sexual assault does not pertain to the story.  “Body Of Evidence” much more traditionally focused on case-solving.  Although the murder was unfortunately brutal, the book’s tone wasn’t depressing.  I was surprised to find Kay moaning about a lost love that occurred long ago when she is independent and respected today but the suspicion of a love interest lent a personal angle that made the threads of this case matter.  The police inspector is becoming a friend and we even travel to Florida, which we discover is her home.  I think the book was brisker and brighter because we only see one hasty part of an autopsy and seldom enter her workplace.  The whole book was about her being a sleuth and Frank Marino helping;  with a series of small leads that grow into excellent detecting.  I will continue this series I have almost entirely bought!  https://www.amazon.ca/review/R3HWM53P9TI0VB/ref=cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv
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Update, January 5, 2018
Even though I targeted three novels for this theme and named others potentially, I got to 150 books this year.  I was less keen about some, pushing myself with a good quantity of literature overall that I didn’t name.  There was no failure and I tackled three that I named.  I dismissed one assuredly and read the other two in earnest.  I loved one enough that I enjoy both of Patricia Cornwell’s series.  That its background is not only police but an autopsy team is saying something, when I am no fan of crime mysteries!  I am bolstered for Jane’s new year, glad she has this unique forum for reporting about books we were unsure we would like and giving them a chance.
~

  Jane requests treat ideas.  Who wouldn’t be delighted!  Mine are bizarre, modest, and fun.

*  I would love to locate “Service For Two” by Kate Kingsbury!  However, I have seen Jane’s giveaways, as a winner this new year 2018!  After choosing one, I have my eye on Masaru Emoto’s revelations about water, the oldest one first and Kitty Burns Florey’s information about handwriting.

*  I love flowers!  Whether in pots, or outside everywhere;  I love seeds.  I offer seeds as one of my prize choices.  I have ample Marigolds, cosmoses, bachelor’s buttons, and regular “tall” sunflowers.  The giant “Grey Stripe” and other varieties would be lovely and anything not named.  I can’t seem to find Poached Egg Plants this year.  Thank you!  This is generous and fun!

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Ethereal Summary 2017!

I can’t believe we have had Christmas and begun new year’s, 2018!  I hope yours were merry.  Ours were very nice, in a sombre year.  We had Christmas story-reading, nice food and presents.  My brother’s & his wife’s 1 1/2 year-old kitten, Bella, enlivened us.

A new apartment isn’t easy for my folks.  Folks need to reorganize over the years, instead of sorting belongings quickly upon a house sale.  I put in the time to save everthing personal but after a week of confinement, our precious cat took a trip.  We expect Conan home by spring and have our community keeping watch too.  We know that everyone’s prayers have kept Conan safe!

My brother’s & wife’s cat elder passed away a month before Christmas.   We cheered them up about our dear Lopez.  Respect, not avoidance of a subject, brightens us.  Yesterday, we honoured my friend’s 60 year-old animal-loving brother:  with modern music and an especially great sermon.  It became a celebratory, warming, reunion among she & I and her relatives, with my parents as well.  I came home feeling good.  She believes in the spiritiual like me and her sources are certain our Conan is alive.  That is the boost of all boosts!  Suddenly, there were also happy cat stories Ron & I need to hear:  “My cat got home after 5 months.  My cat got home after 9 months”.  I met my friend’s new husband, thrilled with his earnest urgings that we visit.  Reestablishing bonds feels wonderful.

Riding along on this warm feeling today, I find that I won prizes in four reading challenges!  I am thrilled, re-energized, and believe this is another positive sign for the situation dearest in my heart.  Good signs have kept us afloat all along.  It is time to share the love with group participants!  Since activity of all four of my reading groups overlaps, here is an updated general summary, as well as a close-out of Ethereal.

The overall, year-end winner representing all four is:  NEERU ARNAND!  Her choice, a 1975 mystery by Pierre Audemars, is already on its way to India.  Congratulations, Neeru!  I e-mailed members a while ago about drawing in early December, to avoid a rise in postage and so we focus on our renewed challenges by February.

It is time to answer the riddle of this book cover logo!  The Canadian male author, by whom I read several books viewable in my review menu, and who passed away as recently as 2015:  is ERIC WRIGHT!  The specific book is the first of his well-loved Toronto police series:  “The Night The Gods Smiled“!  It isn’t the version I have but I thought this colourfully-saturated cover was gorgeous, isn’t it?  I am happy to tribute an author who is fondly remembered.  If you don’t know enough Canadian fiction or authors of any type, I would be thrilled if my review menu steered you to great discoveries.

Two people solved this logo riddle:  Puss Reboots and an acquaintance at Goodreads, who is not in these groups.  She worked it out for fun.  Bravo, ladies!  I don’t know how difficult Puss Reboots found it but if you are e-mailing to make guesses, or commenting to request hints, the plan is always to leave increasingly clear clues.  One thing more:  if I find time to update more regularly, my summaries will be brief and not like diaries!

 I finished 83 books for ETHEREAL!
I finished 11 books for CELTIC COASTS.
I finished 67 books for MY KIND OF MYSTERY.
In GENTLE SPECTRUMS, I finished 7 colours and
4 to 27 books per title-matching category!

I made a very good journey in ETHEREAL books.  My learning spectrum redoubled animal communication, with our Conan in mind certainly.   These workbooks often show how to heal, through our God-given energy and loving souls.  Meditation too, better attunes us to all healing skills.  I read of nature like never before:  speaking with and learning from plants, such as trees, who are beloved to me.  My home is a forest and my childhood home has a lovely, tall Cottonwood tree!  His offspring branches are growing well here at my own home.  I will be excited to see how they look in spring.

I loved “The Mystical Life Of Jesus”, discussing parts left out of the gospel and highlighting things we don’t think of, that it contains.  For example, if one knows who is responsible for replenishing wine at Jewish weddings, the identity of the groom at Canaan is no mystery.  The parts where Jesus said:  “Look:  I am not dead”!  Amazingly obvious.  This was one of the most uplifting, fascinating books I have ever read.  Why?  Because it feels freer, that religion does not own access to the Lord.

Ethereal is a group that I feel very good about building because I balance typical spirituality with the spectrum of metaphysical concepts.  My new year’s reading will include the power of flowers and all kinds of wonderful literature I own.  Non-fiction and story-wise, I enjoyed a good dose of spirit reading too!  I own the last novel I need by Simone St. James, the latest few by Amanda Stevens, and the next one I need by Sarah Raine.  Standouts are “The Girl On Legare Street” by Karen White, “The Olden Days Coat” by Manitoba’s dear Margaret Laurence.  Get this book if you can.  I am going to find the movie!  “A Life In Folklore” is Dr. Helen Creighton’s fantastic autobiography.  Not least, is a stellar masterpiece that needs to return to print availability:  “Prairie Ghosts, True Manitoba Ghost Stories” by Lois Forsberg!  It is the best ghost collection I have ever seen and what good fortune, that it is local.

I did well and hope to learn and be entertained by the wonderful array of literature I have in mind, brightly standing all over our home!  How about you?  Some like to track reading January to December, so this is our summary!  Please know you have well past January 31, a couple of months, to populate our review pages.  Please browse what everyone read and comment as the mood inspires you.  HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018, with love from Carolyn!

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Celtic Coasts 2017 Summary!

BIRTHDAY GIRL! ~
So fast, it is winter and December.  My mind was on my parents selling our family homestead and then worrying about our cat, Conan.  I can’t describe how important he is to me.  Our other cats don’t do the things he does and you bet that I love them all.  I had a lovely home birthday on November 18th with my parents, now apartment-dwelling, three other friends, and of course my spouse, Ron.  The music mix CDs I had ready were appreciated as highly as I hoped, even if we didn’t get around to dancing this year.  But the atmoshere was enjoyed and we tried a new music trivia boardgame that Ron & I found at a thrift shop.  It is called “Encore” and I did win.  It might be partly due to reading challengs that I mentally think of titles in categories so well!

Subduing everything, I hope resolved by Jesus’s birthday, is Conan’s absence.  Your prayers, abilities, and power you know of to send out a positive outcome, boost our spirits very much.  I believe all of your caring energy is drawing our cherished cat safely home.  Telling us stories you’ve heard about cats missing four months or more who were reunited at home all right, are exactly what is encouraging for us to here.  Please keep it up.  Imagine the joyous celebration Christmas will be, to tell you that our cat son is back home with us?

We would celebrate and praise more than ever before.  We will thank our whole town for keeping posters up and spreading the word.  We would thank whomever have kept conan safe, warm, and fed when it has been cold;  even though he hunts easily and it is frustrating that those folks are taking a long time to notice his tattoo and posters.  Just so you know replies to this personal stuff matters:  thank you very much with all our hearts.

~ THE PRIZE DRAW! ~
Don’t forget to e-mail me to put your name in the bowl for the year end prize draw.  I would like to draw by this Monday and avoid a change in postage in January.  One member asked to be in the draw, three said they don’t need additional books.  However let me be clear that second-hand books are one option.  There is a whole prize page of other fun little options and as a matter of fact, choosing things would make for lighter mailing!  Plant seeds, post cars, a couple of second hand CDs, some of my photography prints or greeting cards.  I would be delighted to mail one of those intead!  If that changes your mind, do put in your name.

~ THE MYSTERY LOGO! ~
May I remind you?  Guessing the 2017 My Kind Of Mystery logo is for everyone, whatever challenge they are in.  Since you earn an extra name in the prize draw bowl, it makes sense to open it to all of my challenge players.  If you assumed it was difficult, let me say that two people have solved it.  One declined to be in the draw and one solver is not in any of my challenges!  You truly only need to look at my Canadian review page, a menu tab atop this blog and glance at the small quantity of male authors I read.

I said he is a Canadian who died fairly recently, by whom I have read a lot of books.  Eric Wilson is alive and Leslie MacFarlane died long ago.  It doesn’t leave much else;  really, a piece of cake.  I will even add that he was English but emigrated here as a young adult, coming from poor parents.  The only tricky part might be finding my cover version of the right book but two people sniffed it out easily.  I will announce the answer by Monday, December 11th as well.

~ CELTIC COASTS! ~

We might have a humble quantity since we opened last year but CELTIC COASTS has been praised from the beginning as a great idea.  I am certain people would love our outlet for Wales, Ireland, and Scotland because Irish and Scottish literature is popular but there has been no place for Wales and no group putting the Celtic countries together.  All we need to do is let people doing individual challenges, know about us!  Also please tell the folks who join “Rose City Reader” that we provide a place for Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.

I also need to erect sign-up posts this month, even though I firmly argue that December is too busy to start or finish clubs of any kind.  January there is suddenly an openness of free time to browse and think about literature, which is why I continue to encourage hostesses to start February 1, instead of January 1.  At any rate, my four groups do.

How have you fared?
I did not get around to Maeve Binchy or Lillian Beckwith yet but have been reading eleven Celtic books.  It is fun that most of them are from new authors to me.  See my Celtic Coasts post.  Only two books stretch the criteria.  Anne Perry qualifies by living in Scotland for years.  Dr. Helen Creighton was a Canadian who saved and publicized Nova Scotia folklore.  However the heart of a lot of Nova Scotia heritage, especially music and tales, are Celtic in origin.  Her autobiography, which I found by wondrous chance in a closing out book shop, is well worth knowing.

Did you dip into Wales?
I am pleased that I had a book in queue that was all about Welsh culture and politics, by Phil Rickman, even if I did not like “Candlenight” very much.

Any pleasant Celtic surprises or plans?
I plan to read more Maeve Binchy and Lillian Beckwith.  I thought Josephine Tey’s first novel was alright.  My Mom has “The Incredible Journey” by Sheila Burnford, whose belongings I have stored as she sorts them out.  Even though those pets had a planned route and were only away a month, the discussion of a cat’s ease of survial especially, succeeded at cheering me up regarding Conan’s survival and return.  Sarah Maine is a new discovery, received for my birthday three weeks ago.  Among used books I scored recently, I have several more Celtic authors and settings that I will be excited to try next year.  I have read very leisurely this year but ample Celtic content came into play very naturally.

My Celtic coasts post is here.
https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/carolyns-celtic-coasts-2017/

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