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lady narcissa

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  1. @ants Ah okay, sorry then. I will be more careful going forward. Don't know if you saw Maas has teamed up with Ron Moore for a potential show on Hulu based on the series. Oh and speaking of Aaronovitch's novellas, I should add I finished What Abigail Did That Summer and I found it very enjoyable and satisfactory. I do like how he expands the universe with these novellas and they show how the universe works with multiple characters outside of Peter. If he wanted to, he could come up with a successful middle grade / YA fantasy series with Abigail as a main character. I could see him not wanting to get locked into that. But an occasional novella like this would be enjoyable.
  2. Oh I am sorry if I spoiled something for you but confused...are you talking about me talking about the Sarah J Maas "Court of" series? Because if that is what you are referring to, I think I was under the impression that other than Kair no one else here reads that series and I think we were more chatty in our discussion as a result. But I did try to avoid saying anything really spoilerish about the plot and tried to limit myself to the more window dressing items which are what I liked best. And if you are asking about that series, yes, the most recent book has firmly stepped into the Paranormal Romance category. The bulk of the story is the romantic relationship of the main couple and there are lots of fairly detailed sex scenes. The fantasy aspects are just the window dressing. If you were referring to being spoiled on another series, I'm totally confused but still sorry if I spoiled anything for you. Regarding the Aaronovitch novellas...I buy those as ebooks from amazon. They are only a couple of dollars here which is reasonable for their length, they are a decent length. But I get that unfortunately that is not an option worldwide.
  3. Well I finally read Robert Galbraith's Troubled Blood. I wasn't sure if I would. I really really really disliked the previous book in the series, Lethal White. And all the things with the author and everything from that really did not sit right with me and I wasn't sure I had any interest in reading this based on that. Plus the fact that a serial killer is part of the storyline also led to my reluctance as I tend to avoid such stories. But I got a free copy and I like closure so I decided to read it. I ended up reading it twice in a row - finished it and just started it right again. And its been a few weeks and I still just find myself thinking back on it. I hate to say I really enjoy a book such as this with its subject matter, but the book really took me in. It's very long. This is literally a year plus several months in Strike and Robin's lives with lots of stuff besides the main investigation. There is Strike's personal life with family and his former girlfriend. There is Robin with her personal life and her divorce. There is the Agency with its employees and multiple investigations for multiple clients. We get a lot of story about all these other things. But then there is the mystery itself at the heart of the story - an investigation into a woman who disappeared many decades ago and now her daughter is all grown up and wants to see if she can get any closure and find out what happened to her mother. Without being spoilerish I will say you find out what happens. That whole story of what happened comes after the very long investigation with multiple interviews with anyone still alive who remembers the woman plus all sorts of personal issues amongst everyone. There is lots of walking around locations and driving to other locations. It was pretty satisfactory how it all comes together. This is why I went back and read it a second time to see if the clues were all there, and they were. It is a work of fiction, I don't think a cold case like this could really be solved without the coincidences an author is allowed to create. But it was well created for the purposes of a story. I do not like where the characters are heading with their personal lives. I pretty much loathe Strike as a person, although I enjoy him as a character. I would like to see Robin in a different situation. But there we are. Like the daughter, I got the closure I needed with this series with this book.
  4. mccormickcharlie is his handle. I actually am more into following his husband who is an architect/interior designer and posts lots of building pictures. But I like to look at the pretty flowers in their garden too. Also oldhouseintheshires seems to be a good one to follow if you like to garden. Personally if I had outdoor space I would be all into topiary. I'd have an avenue of topiary pyramids.
  5. I like to look at pictures of flowers and gardens but I tend to avoid having flowers myself. Their short lived nature always just makes me sad and I hate having to throw them out at the end. But instagram has been great for following people with larger plots of land and seeing all their hard labor pay off with gorgeous results. Is anyone on instagram and have any gardening accounts they like to follow? @Elder Sister @Mlle. Zabzie Regarding dahlias...there is this...I guess I'll call him "gentleman gardener" (since he seems to do it for leisure) in England on instagram and he grows amazing dahlias. Regarding tomatoes I am already torn between starting from seed or cheating and getting a plant already started. And they what variety to get?!?! There are too many choices!
  6. @larrytheimp Thanks, that is super useful information! I'm somewhat bored with my low maintenance don't need to be watered that much plants. I think a high maintenance needs to be checked on frequently and fretted over plant would be more my thing so that is good news. At least it seems worth experimenting with this summer.
  7. I have no access to outdoor space but I do face south and get a lot of light so I've had a few indoors plants these past few years. This weekend I decided to deal with them and ended up tossing three. A jade plant was all droopy and sad looking. The parsley and mint plants I started growing a year ago from seeds just were jungles of messiness and never looked right. So out they went. I took my second jade plant and broke it up between two pots because it was getting out of hand...waiting with baited breath to see if they survive after the initial trauma. Then I took my snake plant and this palm plant out of their pots and stripped out the outer layers - they were getting too bulky and needed to be thinned out. Repotted them with new soil and hope they will survive. And then did a new pot of basil and a new pot of mint and they seemed happy immediately. The basil looked like it doubled in size in a couple of hours. I mean I know it didn't but it really just bulked up after being put in new soil and watered. Anyone have any success/experience with growing tomatoes indoors? A small amount in a not huge pot?
  8. I happened to notice yesterday that Ben Aaronovitch has a Rivers of London novella out last week focusing on Peter's cousin Abigail - "What Abigail Did That Summer". It takes place during that earlier book when Peter is out of town so he is not around. It's mainly set in and around Hampstead Heath. It's about 200 pages so enough to get a story. I started it and its enjoyable. I'm actually thinking I might give it to a friend's teenage daughter who enjoys fantasy as a gateway to the Rivers of London series as so far its pretty appropriate for younger readers. @kairparavel I've been meaning to come back to report on A Court of Silver Flames. It was about what I expected it to be. I knew I would absolutely hate Nesta at the beginning so that was a slog. I really had no interest in her romantic relationship with Cassian so I skimmed a lot of that. So what was the point? I love Maas's locations and story settings. I absolutely loved the house Nesta stayed in and how it developed a personality and would deliver food and books to her. And those endless stairs and Nesta's training to conquer them. I loved the library and the levels and the darkness down there. That woodsy swampy place Nesta went to to get the first item with that pool of water and that creature down there. And then the two new female friends for Nesta and their friendship and how they bonded in training together and supported one another and how they went through the challenge at the end together. I enjoyed all those moments. Overall the story was a mess and the ending with what Nesta gives up and keeps for herself...omg that was quite a ridiculous. But I will keep reading the series for the things I like. I've accepted I'm never going to like an entire book of Maas's the way I did A Court of Thorns and Roses.
  9. The swearing is what makes it Paranormal Romance instead of YA!
  10. I'm starting it tonight. I am not expecting to love it. SJM would have to work words craft miracles to make me enjoy reading about Nesta. Btw I saw a post on twitter by the author Samantha Shannon who had jumped from reading ACOTAR to this one and was like what happened to Tamlin?
  11. I think extra birds fly into your copies of the books!!! I mean I remember some birds in some of her books but not them being a dominant feature like this. I suppose we all just notice certain things more than others depending on our interests and experiences. As for Shardlake, obviously with them taking place during Henry VIII's reign there is going to be religion in the background with Anne and the Reformation and his dissolution of the monasteries but the first one with the monastery setting perhaps amplifies it a bit more.
  12. Clinton with Penny is an interesting combination. I am 100% positive my mom will purchase and read it (because of Penny and the topic) so I might check it out if she enjoys it.
  13. @kairparavel I stopped after Iced which I hated which depressed me because I loved the first five. And I thought Shadowfever was a fantastic conclusion. A rare instance where I was surprised and satisfied. I wonder if KMM will really be able to stop after this latest one. Btw, did you see ACOSF hit #1 on the NYTimes Adult hardcover list? I still haven't started it yet.
  14. Okay I am all caught up. The holidays really interrupted the tv viewing. I still feel like I am finding my footing with this cast. So many unknowns. I had to watch the episodes with the Wikipedia listing of the cast so I could keep cluing myself in on who is who. I do watch Big Brother and Survivor so I recognize those but couldn't necessarily remember which show I knew them from. I've decided one of the biggest problems is everyone wearing all black. Didn't they previously give teams different colors to wear? I realize with the switching around of partners it would be hard to maintain team colors. But once everyone suits up and puts on their helmets, its really hard to tell who is who. It doesn't help that they seem to have given a grey muted wash to the video. Iceland can be so blue and green, I wish they had used brighter colors. That daily challenge on the third episode...the one on the moving truck...holy shit! At first I didn't realize the nets were on either side and I thought they were going to be throwing each other off to the ground! But even with the nets that was one dangerous challenge. I felt really bad for...*looks their names up*....Nicole and Liv with their injuries. But these daily challenges are pretty good and I do like the Iceland backdrop. I actually have Comcast and they have The Challenge available for free viewing On Demand. Maybe that is why its not listed on the MTV website? I am very old school with my tv viewing so I can't record and I don't have any streaming services, just my basic building provided cable. So I was pretty pleased to find this there. I was pretty sad about Wes being booted and considering how much I used to hate him I can only imagine its because there are so many new people and he is one of the familiar faces and I will cling to familiarity in the face of all those newbies. I'm sure I will be over it in a few episodes as I get more comfortable with the rest of the cast. If CT goes, however, I don't know what I will do. OMG right now I hate Devin. What is this show he was on? Are You The One? Is this another MTV show that they hardly ever air? Because I cannot remember ever passing it and they have somehow had 8 seasons. I feel sorry for that woman he apparently hates but has partnered with. And poor Josh. I remember seeing him on Big Brother but honestly cannot remember if I liked him then or not but maybe have some vague notion he did better than he should have on the show. But I guess just for old times sake I'll root for him over Devin. But what is up with all the guys going and telling other guys they have made the girls cry when the girls are never crying. And apparently calling another guy pussy is like the greatest insult they can come up with since they repeatedly seem to use that.
  15. Well I almost thought I wasn't going to be able to watch this. Unlike back in the past when it seemed you could never turn on MTV without encountering a Real World or Road Rules marathon, it seems they are barely showing this? Only one rerun a week and its at a unobtainable hour on a weekend morning. Yet Ridiculousness is on every single day. In any event I have discovered its available on demand so I have been able to catch up. Not sure what I think yet. I never take to new-to-me people immediately and there are so many new-to-me people! You know I am desperate for oldies when I'm actually rooting for Wes, who I used to despise, but am now I guess sentimental about. It's funny how some things can stick with you over the years - even before I clearly saw his face, I recognized his voice when he started talking. Same with CT. Although I am always a bit sad when I see CT as I can't see him without thinking about Diem. I like the challenges so far and I love the location. I guess I am so sick of seeing people in swim wear on Survivor sweating to death so its nice to have a change of scenery with Iceland and people freezing in the water and having to chop ice.
  16. How many episodes have aired so far? I saw an article the other month that said this would be coming out and then forgot about it until today when a video montage of Diem taking off her wig was going around Twitter today and remembered it. I will probably tune it. I used to love to watch this and might try it for nostalgia again. But I don't know how many of the people I will remember if a lot of the regular crew is gone.
  17. As a lawyer I sometimes do estate planning for clients and its always interesting how people want to spend a lot of time planning and talking about what will happen to their possessions - money, houses, jewelry - but refuse to even make any decisions about their physical bodies. You start talking to them about life sustaining treatments and burial/cremation and funeral services and most all but cover their ears and start humming to avoid having to think about it. I'm a planner. I've made these decisions for myself and included them in my Power of Attorney for Health Care so no one else will have to decide what to do for me. I'm not married and I do not have children so I've had these discussions with my parents and my cousin (who would be my agent in such a situation once my parents are gone). I've talked with my parents about what they want done and its somewhat comforting to know that when those horrible days come, I won't have to be thinking this over and trying to guess what they would have wanted. We even have the plot where our ashes will be buried...my dad is from a small town in Michigan and the cemetery there has four generations of my family buried there (back to my great great great great grandparents) and with my parents and I that will add two more generations. Even though I've never lived in this town I like the idea of being surrounded by family. That being said, I do dread death. But mostly I think because I am not big on change in general. I am sure one of the reasons my mother was in labor so long with me is I had no interest in coming out. I was probably pretty content hanging out in there and was like, nope, things are good, I'm staying here. I do sometimes take some comfort in thinking about the transition into life from the womb - in the womb, you have no idea what is on the other side and you could not even imagine it if you tried, but then you are born and its okay. I hope death will be the same.
  18. @Xray the Enforcer ROTF! Umm I am sorry? Gosh my memory was that there were some bird things in the Vera books which is one of the reasons I thought you might enjoy them but I guess in my mind they were more passing background than being so prevalent. I hesitate to say anything about the other Vera books or the Shetland books or her new Two Rivers series because I would say there are no birds but I am probably completely wrong! I think Cleves' husband had something to do with birds which is probably why they sneak in there so much. I did want to say I am glad you are enjoying the St. Cyr and Elizabeth Peters books so much. Elizabeth Peters who also published as Barbara Michaels was luckily a prolific writer so luckily there are lots to read. Of course since she published so many over so many years, the quality varies. But even when the stories are overall subpar they usually have fantastic locations and interesting things to learn. Two of her Vicky Bliss books are probably my most favorite of all - Trojan Gold and Night Train to Memphis. They are enhanced by the fact that I have audio versions of both books narrated by Kathleen Turner who is really Vicky Bliss personified. I am just sad that these audio versions no longer seem to be available because they are fantastic. I have taken a break from the Donna Leon series (which I almost finished!) to read several cosy Halloween mysteries. Nothing too great but they are very light and subpar easy and about all my brain can handle at the moment as we are preparing for a trial in a couple of weeks which has me very stressed.
  19. OOooo intrigued by Batman and wacky larger than life characters and adult Hardy Boys. So more Joel Schumacher Batman than Christopher Nolan Batman? I am put off slightly by the high price of the ebooks here, however. I will keep my eye on the first one to see if the price goes down.
  20. Yeah I don't like gory or horror or pretty much anything with serial killers. I know a lot of series mystery authors will at least do one serial killer mystery - especially if they are the sort to work their way through different mystery types. In those instances I might read them. But on a whole I stay away from them. I know I have talked in this thread about my love of the Shardlake books and I don't want to just repeat myself...but its been a few pages since I last said how much I love these so...I absolutely love these! The last one was more than I ever wanted to know about Kett's Rebellion but I happily slogged through it. And yeah they are by no means cosy especially since I am always stressed and worried for Shardlake (and yet highly annoyed at him) but they are "cosy" for me in that they involve some of my most favorite things and what could be more cosy than that? Enjoy! I love the Amelia Peabody series. I perhaps love Elizabeth Peters' Vicky Bliss series a tad more but you are in for an enjoyable journey with Amelia. And there are a lot of books in the series so lots of enjoyable reading ahead. Warning: They do make you want to jump on a plane and take a cruise down the Nile and explore all the fantastic sites she writes about. And Peters does have a couple of books about a librarian that I also enjoyed including one that takes place at a romance novel convention which is highly relatable and enjoyable for anyone who has ever been to a book related convention as we have.
  21. @Xray the Enforcer you might want to give Anne Cleves Vera series a try: https://www.panmacmillan.com/blogs/crime-thriller/ann-cleeves-vera-stanhope-book-series-crime (Note to anyone who enjoys this series - a new one just came out last week!) Also, X-Ray, I do not necessarily recommend this next series to you to read because it really is light and cosy and has crazy family members and not great mysteries but I do want to bring these titles and covers in the series to your attention because I think you might get a hoot out of them. *punintended* https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074BQB7BH?searchxofy=true&ref_=dbs_s_aps_series_rwt I personally have spent the past three months reading Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series. I think I have 21 of them now? So only 8 more to go! They have sort of been the perfect thing to just read continually when there hasn't been anything new thats called my name. Its just been nice to have them all lined up and to just go from the next to the next. Not being able to travel anywhere its been great to "travel" to Venice. I keep my map handy as I read and just follow along as Brunetti goes out and about the streets and canals of Venice. I feel like I could just step off the the train in Venice and head off without a map and follow along in his footsteps. I like how the author manages to find new areas and buildings for each book so no matter that you are confined to a fairly small city, there is always something new to see and explore. I have enjoyed some more than others but I have enjoyed the range of crimes and people involved. Perhaps the only downfall of the books is the food...there is some much yummy food and I am always reading these books late at night and they make me so hungry!
  22. Like a million other people this week, I found myself falling down the youtube hole of those twin guys from Gary, Indiana who post videos of themselves listening to older songs (for them) for the first time. They do have some good reactions but I have found I am less interested in their reactions than I am in all the songs they have been listening to. Although I am familiar with all the artists and most of the songs, there are actually a number of songs I've never listened to myself and then there are some I haven't heard in ages. It's been a good reminder how much I used to just sit and listen to music and how I haven't done that in a long time and I admit I spent a good couple of hours watching/listening to the music in the videos and have really enjoyed it. It's also reminded me how much I miss albums and listening to albums as a whole. I tend to listen to everything as a mish mash of singles these days. And as I was watching them listen to Yaz (Yazoo)'s "Don't Go" - and their reaction to Alison Moyet's voice was great! - it just reminded me that "Don't Go" itself is fine but that they were missing out by just listening to it as a single instead of part of the album "Upstairs at Eric's" as a whole. Some songs really are stand alones but others are best appreciated when listened to in the context of the album they were created for.
  23. I noticed that this week "Tales from the Folly: A Rivers of London Short Story Collection" by Ben Aaronovitch was released. It contains the following short stories that were previously published: The Home Crowd AdvantageThe DomesticThe CockpitThe Loneliness of the Long-Distance GrannyKing of The RatsA Rare Book of Cunning DeviceA Dedicated Follower of FashionFavourite UncleVanessa Sommer’s Other Christmas ListThree Rivers, Two Husbands and a BabyMoments One-Three I can't recall having read any of the short stories, I certainly don't own any of them so will probably pick this up. Has anyone read any of them? I assume they would be enjoyable for anyone who loves the series?
  24. Well naturally I am happy. I hope by 2022 the virus is behind us and the borders are open again and that people will want to come to the US. I also hope that the skyrocketing crime we have had in downtown Chicago this summer goes back down to normal levels of crime. Just outside the Hyatt Regency this past month along Wacker Drive we've had armed robberies, carjackings, stabbings, and shootings. Very unusual for this neighborhood.
  25. Well seeing as a couple of you are reading, or at least planning on reading the book...Kim Harrison will be appearing online to discuss her latest novel on July 30th as part of Penguin Worlds Book Club. I have no idea if they will upload the video afterwards, they seem to upload about half of them to youtube afterwards so a 50/50 chance. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/penguin-worlds-book-club-american-demon-by-kim-harrison-tickets-109002210546
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