Getting the year off to an ice start...

How to make a white car blend into its background...

This has been an ice winter. (And no, that's not a typo.)

I imagine a good 2/3s of the US is sick of winter by now. I know we were sick of it all the way back in December. We're getting thunder sleet just now, preceded by freezing rain and to be followed by snow. Predicted low tonight of 4. Ugh. Good reading weather, though.

There is an interesting psychological thing that happens locally when icy stuff is expected. Freezing stuff usually stays on the ground a couple of days once it's fallen--usually the temperature is warm enough to melt it off quickly, though the last snowfall we had was on the ground for a week and a half. Not what you would think of as highly dangerous circumstances. But the few days before the storm often sees people in panic mode, buying enough food to survive a month of isolation in their homes. I'm very glad I don't work at a grocery store.

There appears to be some movement on the audiobook front. (Did I mention that Mundania bought a small recording company and is putting its books out in audiobook format? I can't remember.) We'll see how it goes.

Speaking of books, here's some recent reads:

Robert Goldsborough:

More Nero Wolfe~~

Murder in the Ball Park
Death on Deadline
The Bloodied Ivy
Fade to Black

C.S. Forester:

Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
Lieutenant Hornblower
Hornblower and the Hotspur
Hornblower and the Atropos
Hornblower During the Crisis
Beat to Quarters
Ship of the Line
Flying Colors
Commodore Hornblower
The Hornblower Addendum --Five Hornblower short stories

Michael Robertson:

Moriarty Returns a Letter --Latest in the Baker Street Letters series, and the first of these I've read.

Michael Pearce:

A Cold Touch of Ice --Part of the Mamur Zapt series. Good stuff.

John Mahon:

The Jamaican Affair of 1805 --I have to emphasize that I bought this out of curiousity. CS Forester died partway through writing Hornblower During the Crisis, so the story was unfinished. This book a) was written and published with the approval of CS Forester's sons to finish the story, and b) has a very fan-fictionish feel to it. There are many ways that Hornblower does not act and think like Hornblower in this, at least to my mind. There was an attempt to turn Hornblower's common dandelion-like wife Maria into a rose, and it was almost as if an effort was made to teach Hornblower lessons in humility. I stopped reading this at a certain point, and am uncertain if I will finish it. There is a second story out there that purports to finish Hornblower During the Crisis, but I'm already gun-shy about it and don't know if I'll risk the money on it.

Dean King:

A Sea of Words --This is a lexicon of words and terms used in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series that may be unfamiliar to modern readers, as they are often sea terms used in the 1800's, along with definitions of sails and rigging and stuff. Very interesting. A slow read, though. Nice in small doses. I have not finished this yet, but am working on it a bit at a time.

Current Read:

Lord Hornblower

If you haven't read the Hornblower series, you'll notice that the book that Forester didn't finish is in the middle of the series. That's because Forester actually began writing the series with Beat to Quarters, and eventually circled back to write the early career of Hornblower. It makes for a bit of a jolt when you start at the chronological beginning of Hornblower's career as a Midshipman and move forward until you reach Beat to Quarters. It can feel as if two different people were writing the series, since those first-written books are fuller of detail than the latter-written books.

Enough of this for now. I hope winter ends soon, and that you're not under a blanket of snow at this moment. Brrr.