lindapanzo's 2012 reading--chapter 4
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Time for a new thread. Finally!!
Welcome to my summertime reading thread!!
BOOKS READ IN AUGUST
59. If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout--finished on 8/3/12
60. 11th Hour by James Patterson--finished on 8/5/12
61. Death Comes Silently by Carolyn Hart--finished on 8/9/12
62. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot--finished on 8/13/12
63. Murder on Wheels by Stuart Palmer--finished on 8/15/12
64. Shadows of a Down East Summer by Lea Wait--finished on 8/20/12
65. Life Behind the Mask: Memoir of a Youth Baseball Umpire by Michael Schafer--finished on 8/21/12
66. Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb--finished on 8/27/12
BOOKS READ IN JULY
51. Hesitation Kills by Jane Blair--finished on 7/3/12
52. All the Pretty Hearses by Mary Daheim--finished on 7/7/12
53. Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams--finished on 7/13/12
54. A Natural Woman: A Memoir by Carole King--finished on 7/18/12
55. Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett--finished on 7/21/12
56. The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner--finished on 7/22/12
57. Raven Black by Ann Cleeves--finished on 7/26/12
58. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain--finished on 7/30/12
BOOKS READ IN JUNE
42. Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters--finished on 6/6/12
43. Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer--finished on 6/10/12
44. West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life by Jerry West--finished on 6/13/12
45. The Last Detective by Peter Lovesey--finished on 6/16/12
46. Adventures of a Surgical Resident by Philip B. Dobrin M.D.--finished on 6/17/12
47. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley--finished on 6/21/12
48. Tales from the Chicago Blackhawks Locker Room by Harvey Wittenberg--finished on 6/23/12
49. The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey--finished on 6/25/12
50. Death of a Kingfisher by M.C. Beaton--finished on 6/30/12
BOOKS READ IN JANUARY
1. The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka--finished on 1/1/12
2. Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich--finished on 1/2/12
3. Said in Stone by Steve Stone--finished on 1/3/12
4. Halfway House by Ellery Queen--finished on 1/4/12
5. 11/22/63 by Stephen King--finished on 1/7/12
6. A Free Man of Color by Barbara Hambly--finished on 1/11/12
7. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck--finished on 1/13/12
8. The Cleveland Creep by Les Roberts--finished on 1/14/12
9. And Hell Followed with It: Life and Death in a Kansas Tornado by Bonar Menninger--finished on 1/16/12
10. Chocolate Covered Murder by Leslie Meier--finished on 1/18/12
11. Amazonia: Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot.Com Juggernaut by James Marcus--finished on 1/20/12
12. Blood on the Moon: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Edward Steers, Jr--finished on 1/27/12
13. Tragic Toppings by Jessica Beck--finished on 1/29/12
BOOKS READ IN FEBRUARY
14. In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson--finished on 2/1/12
15. Dead Deceiver by Victoria Houston--finished on 2/4/12
16. Clark Griffith: The Old Fox of Washington Baseball by Ted Leavengood--finished on 2/7/12
17. Town in a Lobster Stew by B. B. Haywood--finished on 2/8/12
18. A Crafty Killing by Lorraine Bartlett--finished on 2/11/12
19. The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach--finished on 2/17/12
20. The Evil That Men Do by Jeanne M. Dams--finished on 2/19/12
21. Taft 2012: A Novel by Jason Heller--finished on 2/21/12
22. Killer Crullers by Jessica Beck--finished on 2/26/12
23. My First Ladies: Twenty-Five Years As the White House Chief Floral Designer by Nancy Clarke--finished on 2/28/12
BOOKS READ IN MARCH
24. Dead Tease by Victoria Houston--finished on 3/3/12
25. Cinnamon Roll Murder by Joanne Fluke--finished on 3/6/12
26. The Game: One Man, Nine Innings, a Love Affair with Baseball by Robert Benson--finished on 3/9/12
27. Agony of the Leaves by Laura Childs--finished on 3/13/12
28. Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews--finished on 3/15/12
29. Affairs of Steak by Julie Hyzy--finished on 3/21/12
READ IN APRIL
30. Sup with the Devil by Barbara Hamilton--finished on 4/6/12
31. Voyagers of the Titanic by Richard Davenport-Hines--finished on 4/23/12
32. The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck--finished on 4/23/12
33. Packing for Mars by Mary Roach--finished on 4/28/12
BOOKS READ IN MAY
34. Calico Joe by John Grisham--finished on 5/4/12
35. Dread on Arrival by Claudia Bishop--finished on 5/7/11
36. Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington--finished on 5/10/12
37. Drop Dead Chocolate by Jessica Beck--finished on 5/20/12
38. An East End Murder by Charles Finch--finished on 5/20/12
39. Age Is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life by Dara Torres--finished on 5/21/12
40. He Who Whispers by John Dickson Carr--finished on 5/27/12
41. Give It to Steve! by Will Bunch--finished on 5/31/12
I was just thinking about how nice it'll be not to have to pack any books for my St Louis trip next week. I'll just bring along my Kindle Fire and my smart phone. I can read whatever I feel like reading.
Just discovered(!) that it's possible to change the typesize and background color on the Kindle app on smartphone. I can even make white letters on a black background. Not that I would.
At lunch, I started reading the first Georgette Heyers mystery, Death in the Stocks. I'm enjoying it. It has that old-timey, golden age-type feel to it. Plenty of adjectives, too, if you know what I mean.
Plenty of adjectives, too, if you know what I mean. -- lol! I've only read her romances - and I know about the adjectives in those. How do her mysteries compare?
I don't know why anyone would want to read white letters on a black page, but I guess it's nice knowing that you can.
When do you leave for St Louis?
We leave on Tues morning. Back on Fri afternoon. This gives me the weekend, plus Mon, to lounge around.
I've never read any of her romances so I couldn't say.
I was just talking to a co-worker who loves mysteries. Mentioned that I'd just finished the first Elizabeth Peters. I said I felt a bit confused because there was no murder. She pointed out that it was originally presented as a romance. Who knew?
As for my Kindle app, I went with the medium-sized black letters with a sepia background. So far, I like the sepia background. Easier on the eyes than that brilliant white background I had before.
I see that a local native (from Waukegan, IL), author Ray Bradbury, died today. He's known as one of Lake County's most famous native sons.
My favorite Ray Bradbury quote: "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them."
I don't read much science fiction but did read his classic, Farenheit 451.
An article on Bradbury, from the local perspective, via the Daily Herald, is at:
I love what I've read of the Amelia Peabody series so far. I haven't read any lately, though, because I've been focusing on a couple of geographical challenges. Maybe September's Series & Sequels will be a good excuse for me to get back to that series.
I couldn't imagine why anyone would choose white letters on a black background, either, until a couple of years ago when I had a student worker who was legally blind. She would change the appearance of Word and other software to white letters on a black background because she could read it better that way.
Personally, I've found yellow letters on a blue background very easy on the eyes. But we've changed software at work so many times that I've gotten tired of configuring the new stuff.
When I taught PowerPoint as part of a computer applications course at the college, I always told the students that if they used a darker background that they should always use a wider font so that it was more readable. I did tell them that most people preferred to read lighter backgrounds with dark letters and that completely white backgrounds often created a lot of glare.
Hi, Linda! Sad to hear about Bradbury. He's -- or, rather, he was -- an amazing writer. His Zen and the art of writing: releasing the creative genius within you should be a must-read for aspiring writers, IMO. Maybe it's time for a re-read -- though I gave up my literary ambitions years ago.
People who have sensitivity to light find white on black easier than black on white.
#6 Please leave the city neat and tidy when you go - we'll be coming in right behind you, either Friday night or Saturday morning. We have Cardinals tickets for Sunday and Chris just discovered that Alice Cooper is in concert Saturday evening and is very excited. I don't know whether to hope he can get tickets (he would be thrilled) or to hope that he can't (I couldn't care less about seeing AC).
I know from trying to read the map on the navigation system in my car, that a black background automatically comes on when I turn the lights on for night driving. I think the darker background with light font is easier to read in the dark.....makes the writing pop right out!
But isn't it great that you can choose "whatever floats your boat"?
Looking forward to my week off. I rarely ever take an entire week, usually just a bunch of long weekends.
The only bad part is rushing to finish everything before I leave.
Still reading that Georgette Heyer mystery. Not sure what to make of it except that I do recall reading somewhere that, in the first two books of the series, the inspector is actually just a minor character. In fact, in this one, the focus is on the family/friends who know each other and keep inventing ridiculous alibis for themselves.
Hi Linda! I love the white letters on black background setup on my ereader. I find it's great for reading at night
Hi Linda- I'm sure you are looking forward to a vacation. Mine officially starts a week later. I can't wait.
I picked up the audio of City of Scoundrels today. It looks really good.
ETA- Congrats on the new thread!
Book #43 Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer--finished on 6/10/12
I expected this to be a traditional golden age mystery (it was written in 1935), featuring a professional investigator questioning suspects etc. There is a superintendent but this was quite an unorthodox mystery. I've already changed my mind several times on how to rate it.
In one sense, it was quite intriguing and I want to read more in this series. In another sense, it was quite tedious.
In it, the superintendent comes by to talk to the houseful of suspects (relatives of the murdered man and their friends) from time to time. However, the bulk of the sleuthing arises out of conversations that the "suspects" have with each other. They make up alibis, lies, and all sorts of odd stories and constantly comment on each other.
There's also quite a bit of 1930s era humor.
Mixed feelings on this one. If you want to try something different, give it a try. But be prepared for a slowish pace, at times.
A few things to report regarding my Kindle Fire.
First, as others suggested, the white letters on a dark background do work well in a dimly lighted room. I was surprised.
Second, also as has been suggested, reading it outdoors is not easy. Too much glare, even in the shade.
>15 Here's what you should do, Sandy. Come with My Chris & I Saturday as we wend our way home from Kansas City via wineries & Civil War sites. Your Chris can go see Alice Cooper, and we can hang out till he's done. Then you can re-unite. Sounds like a plan, doesn't it???
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>20..I didn't want to say anything about Death in the Stocks until you finished it, but I hated that book. I didn't want to influence you, but I see that you had the same reaction to the book. At least you are willing to read another one of her mysteries. I think I tried to read another and couldn't do it so I dropped it. It's been a couple of years so I can't exactly remember, but alas I think I hate Georgette Heyer's books.
#24 It's good to know that I'm not alone in thinking this.
Did you read anything in the other series? I may give one of those a try...
My friend and I are off to St Louis on Tuesday am. Thanks to the smart phone and Kindle Fire, however, I can easily stay in touch with LT.
During the long train ride and, in fact, during the whole trip, I ought to get plenty of reading in. Except for night ballgames and nice lunches, we both like R&R--reading and relaxing.
#26..actually I thought I had read another, but it looks like I didn't. I think it was that terrible it turned me off to Georgette Heyer. I have even been extremely reluctant to pick up her regency books and I love regency era stuff..I might have to give one of those a try one day. I'm just not really all that eager to do so.
#22 That sounds like a great plan! However, my Chris discovered that Alice Cooper is performing in KC on Friday, so he and one of his buddies are going to that concert instead. He already nixed my suggestion of wineries because he says I buy too much wine. My wine rack is still overflowing from the Hermann trip in April, but - really - can one have too much wine? We are going to the Missouri History museum in Forest Park Saturday afternoon to see the Civil War exhibit there. We're also planning to go to McGurk's for supper and Irish music that evening, if you and your Chris are interested in joining us.
#26 Have a great trip, Linda. Looking forward to hearing about all the books you'll be reading this week.
Definitely, you can never have too much wine!
Linda (whisper1) and I are meeting on Saturday and going to the National Watch and Clock museum. We've been commiserating about our aches and pains for nearly a year (since they are so similar) and so since we were both doing better, we decided it was time to hit the road to meet each other. The Museum even has a library! Where we are meeting is exactly halfway between our homes. I'm so excited!
Sounds good, Cheli.
I've started reading the first Peter Lovesey mystery, The Last Detective. A comfortable train ride so far.
Cheli, that sounds like fun! And good to hear that you both are feeling better. It'd be nice to see a picture or two...
Planning on taking my camera, and if I forget, I'll at least have my cell phone.
West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life by Jerry West--finished on 6/13/12
I've probably read at least 100 sports biographies (if not more) and this autobiography of legendary NBA player, coach, and general manager, Jerry West, is among the best. Be forewarned: It starts out slowly and tends to bounce around, topically and chronologically somewhat but, overall, it's excellent.
His insights to his teammates and opponents, during his playing career with the Lakers and with his coaching and GM duties, were to be expected. If West didn't comment on someone NBA-related during the past 60 years, they're probably not worth commenting on. If you're a basketball fan, you'll probably love this book.
Almost more interesting to me, however, is that West is a man with hidden depths, one who seems to have it all, yet one who battles his demons. Physically abused by his father while growing up in West Virginia, West had no love in his life. Normal human interactions were tough for him. He's suffered through depression.
This is a book I'd highly recommend to any sports fan.
That's one book finished during this vacation. An ER book that's been hanging over my head, well, pretty much forever. Nice to finally get that one read, though I read probably the last half until after 1 am today.
Next, I'll probably alternate between the Peter Lovesey mystery and the Chicago history book, City of Scoundrels. That's the one I heard the author speak about at a local library, about a month ago.
Just saw the last few innings...Matt Cain threw the first perfect game in Giants franchise history (and only the 22nd one in baseball history). Amazing!!
The Last Detective by Peter Lovesey--finished on 6/16/12
I thoroughly enjoyed this police procedural set in Bath, England, in 1987, featuring the technophobe police inspector, Peter Diamond. This is the first in the series and definitely won't be my last.
The body of a woman is found floating in a reservoir. Quickly determined to be a former TV star, suspicion immediately falls on her English professor husband (who is organizing a Jane Austen festival) and/or on a female friend of the professor, a woman whose son the professor saved from drowning.
I liked the interrogation and procedural scenes.
This is a book and series I'd highly recommend. It's probably my favorite new mystery series of the year, I'd say. My only gripe is that I thought the solution seemed too obvious. Very enjoyable book, though.
Thanks for LauraBrook for selecting this book for me for my "books chosen by friends" category for the 12 in 12 challenge.
Hi Linda, nice new thread. I hope you enjoyed your trip to St. Louis. We were thinking of you from the western side of the state. I would love to have a St. Louis meetup sometime. It seems to be a very book-friendly area.
Adventures of a Surgical Resident by Philip B. Dobrin M.D.--finished on 6/17/12
I love to read about doctors in training so I was eager to read this one, about a 5-year residency in surgery. I liked how the author talked about the various rotations, general surgery, burns and plastic, even anesthesiology. Informative yet understandable.
What I did not care for is that the author is a retired surgeon and this book describes his experiences in the late 1970s/early 1980s. For one thing, much has changed but, more importantly, it has the feel of a reminiscence and lots of detail has been omitted, I felt.
Especially annoying: One chapter is out of order. Grrrr.
Hi Linda- Hope you had a nice getaway in St. Louis. It looks like you've been cranking out the books. Yah! I have city of Scoundrels saved on audio, hopefully I can get to it, in the next few weeks. Keep cool!
Hi Donna and Mark: I had a great time in St Louis but, except for ballgames and some good meals, I didn't get out much.
I did get quite a bit of reading done, as you can see.
I've got three books going now. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is my mystery. I've got the Missouri Readers book, Clair de Lune by Jetta Carleton. Also reading the Chicago history book, City of Scoundrels by Gary Krist.
Just heard that Singing in the Rain, one of my all-time favorite movies, will be on the big screen on July 12th only, in honor of its 60th anniversary.
We're already getting a group together for this. Love it, love it, love it!!
It's one of my favorites, too. I saw the stage version in London years ago and was in awe of the way the rain poured down on the stage. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the technology is very simple, but it sure looks impressive!
Glad you had a good trip last week - it sounds nice and relaxing. We were going non-stop Saturday and Sunday when we were there. Our team won the game we went to, we had wonderful food, and got to visit with old friends, so it was a good time.
We talked about a St Louis meet-up - I think Terri is going to let us know when another of the independent book shop tours is scheduled.
St Louis has, or at least had, Big Sleep Books.
Outside of downtown, Laclede's Landing, and possibly the museum area (Forest PArk), I don't know my way around St Louis that well.
Sandy, we're you at the 15 inning game on Sunday?
Yes, I was at the 15-inning game on Sunday. It lasted 5 hours, and we were in the sun for 4-1/2 of them. It was hot and they stopped selling concessions after the 8th inning - including water. But we won!
I only know my way around St Louis in a general way - but Terri has gone on an organized book shop tour - a bus takes you from one store to another all day. We're hoping they'll do that again. Maybe in the fall, she thought.
It was hot and they stopped selling concessions after the 8th inning - including water.
I've been humming Singing in the Rain since I heard about the movie coming back to the big screen.
Also, I've been to many a concert in my day, starting with the Carpenters in the early 1970s. One person I've long wanted to hear in person, but thought she never toured, is Janis Ian.
Well, to my astonishment, she's coming to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, I think it's called, in Skokie, IL. Not only that, since we go there to Capitol Steps every year, they sent me a pre-sale offer!! Yay!!
As for reading, I'm about two-thirds of the way through The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. A cozy about the 11-year old girl who is a chemistry buff.
I'd picked this one and started reading it 2 or 3 times before but this time, I got past the place where I got bogged down.
I keep changing my mind about it but, overall, I pretty much like it.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley--finished on 6/21/12
I had mixed feelings about this cozy. Twice before, I started it, read a few pages, and then put it down. A precocious 11-year old girl is not something I wanted to read about for a mystery and a mystery sleuth.
The third time's the charm, I guess, and this time, I got past the overly precious parts and carried on. I actually like Flavia de Luce and her love of chemistry. In what other mystery does stamp collecting play so great a role?
I loved parts and disliked some other parts but, overall, I liked Flavia and hope to read more of these.
Our company had its annual booksale for charity on Wed and Thurs. I foolishly planned a lunch with an old friend on Wed so I missed the booksale that day.
I did go on Thurs but either we didn't have a lot of mysteries or someone bought them all. I managed to buy one hc (for a dollar). It's a book of Christmas-themed Sherlock Holmes stories called More Holmes for the Holidays. Somewhere, I think I've got the first one, Holmes for the Holidays.
Tales from the Chicago Blackhawks Locker Room by Harvey Wittenberg--finished on 6/23/12
Besides the Cubs, my favorite sports team is the Chicago Blackhawks, so I expected to love this book. While former PA announcer Harvey Wittenberg has some good stories about the Blackhawks from the 1960s glory years with Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, and Tony Esposito through the present, most of the items are, frankly, dull. Trades and statistics abound. There's no rhyme or reason to the stories.
I've also never seen a book with so many typos (how can he call it the Stanely Cup?) or wrong word choices, such as so and so "came threw in the clutch."
A true Hawk fan might enjoy some of these but this book was quite a disappointment.
Linda- Hope you are enjoying your weekend. I read and liked the 1st 2 Flavia books but I think I'm done with 'em.
Hi Mark: I hope You are enjoying your weekend.
Don't look now but it's supposed to be 105 on Thursday. Good thing I'm going to the ballgame on Wed not Thurs. Yikes!!!
The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey--finished on 6/25/12
I love mysteries from the golden age (this one is from the early 1950s) and I've enjoyed the other Josephine Tey mysteries I've read.
This one, the last of her Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant mysteries, was ok but did not hold my interest as well as the others I've read.
In this one, Grant, on sick leave to recover from overwork and stress, travels to Scotland to stay with old friends and go fishing etc to relax and clear his head. On the train, he stumbles on a dead man, finding a cryptic poem handwritten on a newspaper that includes a line about "the singing sands."
A casual inquiry such as this is just the tonic for Grant.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it but I'd call it only good, not great.
I won another ER book this month, once again, a baseball book. Life Behind the Mask by Michael Schafer. It appears to be a memoir of a youth baseball umpire, which is a bit of a different kind of baseball reading, for me.
As for my reading, next up is Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine.
His fictional town in this book is based on his hometown of Waukegan, IL, which is very near to me. I believe it's the Waukegan of the late 1920s, however.
When we moved from Chicago to our semi-rural area (now more suburban than anything), Waukegan in the late 1960s/early 1970s was the place to go shopping, out to eat etc. When we didn't want to go into Chicago, our "big city" was Waukegan.
Now, I hardly ever go there. Just a couple of times a year for concerts or lectures.
Oh no!! Pat, our neighbor for, well, forever, is a 10-year pancreatic cancer survivor. Virtually unheard of.
However, lately, she's been having severe liver and bile duct problems and has been in and out of the hospital.
My elderly mother reports that our town's Rescue Squad has been over at Pat's house for quite some time (it's her, not her husband, as he raced out to move his car earlier). A police officer usually meets the rescue squad (per village policy) and the lady officer has been running around.
Please say a prayer for Pat. She's been through so much...
Sorry to hear about your neighbour, Linda, and I will certainly say a prayer for her. We had an emergency on our street the other night, but luckily it ended well. Our neighbour has some difficulty with his heart and had a small scare with irregular heartbeats, they rushed him off to the hospital, but sent him home the next day to the relief of all.
Well, an ambulance came a second time. Her daughter and son-in-law also arrived (daughter his estranged from her father and has refused to set foot in the house) so this is indeed serious.
The daughter told us "this is very bad" but Pat herself yelled out "I'm ok."
Thanks, Sandy. I think it's liver failure. Probably not much to be done.
Hi Linda- Sorry to hear about your neighbor. Bummer. I hope you are enjoying DW. It's such a great read.
That is very sad, but it sounds as though her spirits are still good.
I first became aware of Dandelion Wine when I saw someone (not you) mention it on LT yesterday. Probably not one I'd be interested in, but I put it on the library list for my hubby. After seeing your reaction and his, then I'll reconsider whether I'd like to read it myself.
Pat is home from the hospital. They could find nothing to pin this on. It might be an infection. She's probably heading off to a major teaching type hospital, where she usually goes. Maybe they can help her there.
100+ here tomorrow. I need to stay inside where there's AC.
Today, I took mom and dad (both age 75) to the Cubs game. Not a great day to be at the ballpark...it was hot and the Cubs lost 17 to 1. Ugh.
I may get in a bit of reading this evening. Probably the latest Hamish MacBeth as I feel like a mystery right now.
Sorry to hear of Pat's troubles. I'll be praying for her.
100 plus? Ugh, double ugh.
Sorry your Cubs game was such a bummer, Linda.
100+ here, too. Double ugh is right! Linda, please order up some cooler weather before I come to town!
I had to come in early today, to help report on the health reform decision. It was already 90 degrees at 8 am.
Thank goodness for AC.
Whew. Hectic day. I'm glad that we weren't one of the news organizations that got the health reform ruling wrong today. That would've been embarrassing. Nobody wants that.
I can see how it happened though.
Mark, I left home extra early today and it was already 90 degrees at 8 am. It's been pouring here at the office, with some thunder, but unfortunately, we need the rain at home.
I've reading a page or two of the Chicago book. Hope to get farther into it.
Tonight's going to be a big reading night. I'm pooped from all the hcr reporting today. Take out pizza tonight, I think.
Pizza is a perfect supper after a long hectic day at work. Delivery is even better than carry-out.
Well, it was very tasty pizza. Sausage, mushrooms, green peppers and onions. It was take out--my glasses got all steamed up when I got out of the car.
Best of all, I call it my free pizza. Not free, not exactly, but a groupon where I paid ten bucks awhile back for $20 worth of pizza.
A Little words with friends, a little reading, a little pizza. Doesn't take much to make me happy.
Hi Linda - Sorry to hear about your neighbor as well.
And while I have very little baseball knowledge, 17 to 1 sounds dreadful. I'm sorry.
Death of a Kingfisher by M.C. Beaton--finished on 6/30/12
The Hamish MacBeth mystery series is one that I was starting to get tired of. However, the author now seems to be trying to do something about it. In this one, for instance, Hamish has a sidekick. While the whole series of murders/murder methods seemed wholly implausible, this was an entertaining mystery.
Plus, the sidekick let Hamish do more actual sleuthing while the sidekick dealt more with the locals.
Not the greatest mystery but one I liked.
I've only read two or three of those Hamish MacBeth mysteries. I have a friend who loves them, but I just never really connected with them.
I've been remiss in visiting threads. These last few months were very busy for me. I trust July and August will be better.
Congratulations on reading 50 books Linda!
81 Thanks, Linda. I had such a bad reading funk from mid-March til about mid-May that it's amazing I've read 50.
My current book is called Hesitation Kills: A Female Marine Officer's Combat Experience in Iraq, written by a female Marine officer who participated in battle in Iraq.
Very interesting stuff. Your e-reader is reading you, indeed.
Hope everyone's been enjoying their holiday today. We went to my sister's house for a cookout but it's too darn hot. Last I looked, it was 104. We pretty much stayed inside, except my BIL would run outside quickly to do the grilling.
Two more days of hot weather here, I think. This is likely to be Chicagoland's longest stretch of 100 degree days since the 1930s. Incredible.
Hi Terri: Hope you're having a great holiday.
Hesitation Kills: A Female Marine Officer's Combat Experience in Iraq by Jane Blair
This is an incredible book, the story of Marine 1st Lieutenant Jane Blair and her work during the Iraqi War on the front lines, in a "wing" unit that provided aerial scouting capabilities. She's got an interesting perspective as she first was an enlistee and then went to officer's school. Another interesting tidbit is that, when the war started, she was a newlywed, having just married a fellow Marine lieutenant who was in a nearby artillery unit so, not only was she worried for herself, but also for her close-by husband.
Never have I understood so vividly what it's like to go to war, what the anticipation, terror, nervousness, and everything else is like, mixed in with long stretches of boredom.
Another thing I liked is that Blair is a curious person. She researched Shi'Ites and their religion. During the lull, after hostilities were basically over, she led a group of 50 Marines to basically sightsee Babylon. She's an interesting person.
She also addresses the post-war psychological problems she faced, though I wished she would've delved into this in more detail. She greatly resented military personnel who were in the area but didn't face the front lines of battle or lack for facilities or food, as she and her fellow Marines did. I think she went a month without a shower and was lucky to get one MRE per day (she lost about 15% of her body weight over a fairly short period). She seemed to have a tough time readjusting to life in the U.S. but was pretty mum about that.
Despite this relatively minor problem I had with the book, I thought it was outstanding. It's probably a top 10 book for me this year.
Sounds like your 4th was about like ours - too hot to be outside. Everyone came to my house - the men would venture out to check on the grill, and the kids helped crank the ice cream and then ran through the sprinkler (to the delight of everyone but their parents), but otherwise we stayed indoors and ate and talked all day. And washed dishes.
I enjoy the Hamish MacBeth series - one of the few that I've happily read out of order, so I don't know whether I've read Death of a Kingfisher or not. I started reading the Agatha Raisin series, but lost interest in it after about 3 or 4.
Hesitation Kills sounds like a powerful book - one I probably should read.
Sandy, I thought it was very good.
While I've read a lot about WW2, I don't know all that much about our more recent wars so it was good to learn more about what happened there, almost 10 years ago now.
Third straight day at 100+ degrees here in Chicagoland. The first time this has happened in my lifetime. Last time was back in '47, I believe.
#89 Ugh. It's hot here, too, but I've heard that it might be cooler next week. I hope so.
Linda- Hope you are surviving the HEAT WAVE! This has been bad. I heard it's the warmest stretch since 1911. And I'm so disappointed, that tomorrow is supposed to be close to a 100 too! I thought we were going to get a little break. Booooo!
Y'all aren't the only ones suffering with high heat. 100 º here in DC area, whew, good thing that people are finally getting their power back.
Hot, hot, hot here in NE PA. Unfortunately, my grand daughter is playing softball in All Stars. They have one game tonight and three tomorrow...Brutal weather to be out there baking in the sun. If the coaches were sane they would cancel.
Hot, hot, hot. 95 degrees at 10 pm is insanity.
Personally, I went to a freezing cold movie theater and saw the new Woody Allen movie, To Rome with Love. Funny in an odd sort of way. Really enjoyed it. The place was jammed.
All the Pretty Hearses by Mary Daheim--finished on 7/7/12
I've read all of these Mary Daheim ultra cozy bed and breakfast mysteries featuring B&B owner, Judith, and her cousin, Renie. They are light-hearted and fun, sometimes in a slapstick sort of way. This one was not among the better ones. Okay but tough to keep track all of characters.
Drive by wave, Linda!
Oops, wrong kind of wave. I've got the Jersey Shore on my brain.
Hi Terri: Hope you're doing well.
I've been wrapped up reading a delightful first in a new cozy series book, Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams. I take an occasional break to read some of my first-ever Western, Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove.
I just realized that there are four books in the Lonesome Dove series. These may keep me busy awhile, but I'm enjoying them.
Who knows? Maybe next year's 13 in 13 or whatever we'll call it might include a Westerns category.
>97.. I've got Pies and Prejudice on hold at the library and I am just waiting on it to come in. Glad to hear it is good. Happy reading.
Oh, my - I had seen Pies and Prejudice and wondered if I needed to get myself into yet another series. If it's "delightful," I guess I do.
It's another culinary-type series set in the South. Some references to the real Pride & Prejudice, I think. Mr Darcy?
>100...now I am definitely sold..as a lover of cozies and Jane Austen, this book sounds like heaven..Now if only the library will hurry up and release it.
My library doesn't have it yet either, but maybe they study the searches made on their catalog that yield zero results. If so, I'm in business!
>102..my library has it..they just take FOREVER to release the book into circulation. Frustrating..good luck..here's to hoping your library gets it soon.
Linda- How are you? It's good to see you are reading one of my all-time favorite books, Lonesome Dove. It's an amazing book. The other 3 books are good but nothing comes close to the Big Daddy! Enjoy!
Ellery Adams, the author of Pies and Prejudice has drawn some terrific secondary characters. I hope this series is long running.
Met up with my sister and her family for Singing in the Rain at their local movie theater. Watching my 9 year old nephew laughing hysterically during Make 'Em Laugh was worth the price of admission. Afterwards, he got to ride on Auntie Linda's new car for the first time do it was a red letter day for him.
I LOVE Ellery Adams' stuff.....didn't realize she had a new series out. Just what I need, another series, but who on earth can resist her wonderful fun and BP reducing series? Thanks for letting me know.
The fact that it's taking me so long to read it is no reflection on the quality of the book. Just not much reading time, lately.
The NOOK can be hazardous to financial health and the TBR pile. I went to look up the Ellery Ames book to see if it was one that could be shared (it can't) and was presented with the list of "customers who bought this also bought" and I wanted every last one of them! WAHHHH
Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams--finished on 7/13/12
As I've been mentioning, I really enjoyed this first in the really cozy Charmed Pie Shoppe series. Ella Mae, while living in NYC with her husband, discovered him in a compromising position with a set of twins. In the elevator. She then hurried home to northern Georgia with not much beyond the clothes on her back and her beloved little dog, Charleston Chew, aka Chewy.
Ella Mae has a loving family consisting of her mother and a gaggle of aunts, all of whom help her in opening her own pie shop. Aromas and tastes are strong to her and she senses them and seems able to pour emotions into her baking, along with the aromas and tastes.
Oh yes, the mystery. This focuses on the local thoroughbred horse industry.
I love the colorful cast of characters Adams has set up here. The mystery wasn't bad though her handling of it was a bit nontraditional for a cozy. There was a bit too much supernatural to suit my tastes, too, but, overall, I throughly enjoyed it.
Be forewarned: I also spent much of the time drooling over the dessert and savory pies and other treats in the book.
Highly recommended to cozy fans.
Okay, Tina, since you are such a good sister I will lend you my Nook so you can read Pies and Prejudice when we're at the beach. I'll bring it with me. Then you won't have to buy it.
I wish my sister likes cozies, but she doesn't.
After raving about it, I hope you all like it.
Extremely tired today. Yesterday, a friend and I went to the Brewers night game in Milwaukee. We were sailing along on the expressway afterwards, when we learned it was closed. The detour signs kept sending us to other ramps to another expressway and those were all closed too. My friend's GPS was going nuts. We drove all around Milwaukee and suburbs for an hour, trying every place I could think of to get out. Eventually, I announced that I knew a way out of town but it'd take us 20-30 miles out of our way.
We did it and then stopped for pastries and coffee as a place was closing. Got home after 1 am and my poor friend, not til 1:45 am.
Today, I was actually sleepy at the Cubs game, though there was a nice cool lake breeze.
No reading time and I'm actually too tired to read. Whew.
Wow, Linda, quite an adventure getting home from Milwaukee! Do you know why so many roads were shut down like that? Seems quite a mess!
Those Encyclopedia Brown books were one of the first book series I truly loved. Sad to see the passing of the author, Donald Sobol.
Still poking along, reading three books and enjoying them all.
My western, Lonesome Dove, my nonfiction book, singer/songwriter Carole King's autobiography A Natural Woman, and the latest Lorna Barrett Booktown cozy, Murder on the Half Shelf.
I'm about 20 percent through both the western and the cozy and about one-third through the Carole King autobiography. Finally getting to the "good part," to me at least, since her Tapestry album is still the greatest one ever recorded, imo.
I think I may have to agree about Tapestry considering it's like a greatest hits album. I have the old LP and broke down and got the CD too.
I have a question... I'm thinking about buying a Kindle for audiobooks as well as some e-books and wonder if you have ever used the text-to-speech feature and if so, how well does it work? Have you ever used it for an audiobook?
Cheli, no, sorry, I've never used the text to speech feature. Only once in my life have I ever listened to an audiobook and I didn't care for it and never listened again.
Two years ago, I saw Carole King (for the second time) and James Taylor, together in concert. An amazing concert, possibly the best I'd ever been to.
At lunch, I was reading how Carole played piano on a brief tour for his album, Sweet Baby James, I think it was. She saw herself strictly as a songwriter and as a "sideman" (piano player). She did NOT want to be a star. The concert was at Queens College, where she went to school.
Moments before it happened, James Taylor asked her to be the lead singer on a song she wrote, Up on the Roof. He set her up perfectly...great song she'd written, at her alma mater, etc. She hit a home run with this performance and the audience went wild.
I left my book and went back to work after reading this but I imagine that Carole King never looked back, after performing that song, that time. Amazing.
I saw the Carole King/James Taylor concert on PBS - watched it a few times... it was great!
Argh. 100 degrees today and we had a power outrage. Went out to dinner, stupidly at a place without AC, then got home. Thankfully, it's back on. Whew
Hi Linda- Yeah, another scorcher! Did you lose power at your work or home?
At home, Mark. Nice and cool now though. The cold front came through and the temp dropped 15-20 degrees just like that. From almost 100, down to low 80s.
With the Cubs losing 7-0 in the 5th, I think it's time to pull out my book.
I turned off the game too! I'm looking forward to slightly cooler temps the next couple of days. We need a break.
Can you spare any of the miraculously cooler here for us over here in Iowa? It's 105 in downtown Iowa City right now! :(
Maybe doing the rain dance will have worked? We've had about a half inch of rain since Memorial Day but the weather channel says that there's a 100 percent chance of rain at about 9 tonight.
Oh, good for you! I even tried leaving my car windows rolled down all day (that always works, ha), and still no rain. :(
It rained. It poured. For hours and hours. The most rain we had in a year and the first real rain since before Memorial Day.
A Natural Woman: A Memoir by Carole King--finished on 7/18/12
I absolutely loved this memoir by singer, Carole King, one of my favorites. Carol Klein grew up in New York City and has lived in both Los Angeles and Idaho. Even without her musical career, she's lived a fascinating life, in both good ways, and in bad, such as her being a battered spouse.
I believe that her Tapestry is the greatest album ever made and I especially loved those parts. Also enjoyed her comments about meeting/working with such people as James Taylor, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, and many others.
An absolutely fascinating book!!
I love her music, Linda! I will have to see if our public library gets it.
Yikes, my reading pace is slow this year. Last year on July 20th, I finished my 81st book. Now, I'm at only 54, which means my pace is down by one third.
I seem so much busier this year, somehow.
Such a tragedy in Colorado this morning. My sympathies to the families of the victims.
A good friend is out there on vacation right now. Given that I was texting her and playing words with friends at 11 pm, mountain time, I figured that she was not at the theater. However, this morning I made sure she's ok. In fact, they passed through Aurora yesterday, on the way to their nearby destination.
Oh, that's awful about the shooting! I hadn't seen the news today, but I just googled it. What kind of sicko does that sort of thing? I'm glad your friend is OK, Linda!
>135..I agree wholeheartedly, it is a very sickening thing for someone to do something so horrible and tragic. My prayers are with the families. The main thing that bothers me is why no one says anything about these sociopaths who do things like this. I mean someone somewhere must have realized that this dude was a little off and yet no one does anything. I know it's sometimes hard to tell, but maybe there were hints of a deranged mind. Another thing that gets me if people do things like this, why don't they just kill themselves if they are that unhappy instead of taking it out on innocent people who do nothing to deserve something along the lines of this. Just so sad. I don't mean to sound heartless, I just think that its so wrong and cruel for innocent people to have to suffer from another person's unhappiness or mental issues. I am glad that your friend is okay, Linda...I'm off my soapbox now.
My elderly mother and I are joining her dearest lifelong friend (70 years) and her daughter for lunch today. After a craft store visit for mom, I'll probably have plenty of reading time today. I understand that Dial M for Murder is on PBS tonight so I may watch that.
Hearing the stories in the aftermath of a tragedy is always so tough. The one that got to me was the guy and his girlfriend and their kid and little baby and their panic. An aspiring sportswriter woman was involved in a Toronto mall shooting last month and survived that only to die at the movies.
The movies are a refuge from the real world but now, sadly, I'm not sure I'll ever feel entirely safe there.
Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett--finished on 7/21/12
I enjoyed this 6th installment in the Booktown cozy series featuring mystery bookstore owner Tricia Miles. In this one, Tricia's sister, a cookbook bookstore owner, wins a night at a new B&B in town and invites Tricia to join us. While walking the sister's dog, Tricia stumbles upon the dead body of the B&B's owner.
Lots of likeable characters, including a potentially terrific new bookstore employee, and a decent plot (though I did not like the whodunit part here) make this among my favorite cozy series.
The Case of the Velvet Claws by Erle Stanley Gardner
As a kid, I loved watching Perry Mason on TV and later read some of the books. However, it's been probably 35 years since I last read one so I thought I'd start with the first one, this one.
I enjoyed it but Perry Mason and the series weren't fully formed yet. Some of the regular characters weren't present yet, including Hamilton Berger, the DA, and Lt Tragg. Perry Mason, Della Street, and Paul Drake were in this book but their characters weren't quite what they'd later be.
Even so, I was happy to read a Perry Mason and hope to get to more of these.
I haven't read a Perry Mason book since at least the early 1980s, perhaps as far back as the 1970s. I read most of the ones available back in the day, but I have no idea which ones our local library may have been missing. I've thought about doing a re-read of the series, but I haven't begun it because I've got too many other books I want to read (or re-read).
Lori, there are 87 books in the Perry Mason series. I'd like to read them in order. I suspect there will be a lot of ILLs to get that done. Btw, I just started Raven Black, book you chose for me for my 12 in 12 " books chosen by friends" category.
I've got FOUR books going right now. A mystery, Raven Black, the Chicago history book, City of Scoundrels, the western, Lonesome Dove, and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.
I pick up and read whichever one I feel like. Lately, that seems to be the mystery of the introverts book.
Hi Linda- I'll be watching for your thoughts on City of Scoundrels. I have it saved on audio. Another muggy one today, huh? And worse tomorrow. Have mercy!
Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
I thoroughly enjoyed this first in a quartet of police procedurals set in the Shetland Island. Interesting plot and characters I want to read more about.
I intend to read the second one sooner rather than later.
My thanks for Lori for suggesting this one for my 12 in 12 Challenge "books chosen by friends" category. When Lori offered this one up as one of three options, she said she couldn't believe I hadn't already read it. After reading it, I can't believe that I hadn't already read it. It was terrific.
Glad you liked Raven Black, Linda. I've read the first three books of the Shetland Quartet, and enjoyed them all.
Did you hear about someone kidnapping Cal Ripken's mother? Didn't know whether it would have made your news or not. Bizarre!
Terri, I'd always heard that this Shetland Island series is a quartet. However, I saw on fantastic fiction today that she's got a fifth one due out in January of 2013.
Cheli, I didn't hear anything about Mrs Ripken until she'd already been found. Seems like a bizarre story. Was there a ransom demand?
There was no ransom demand. The kidnapper acted very strangely, lighting her cigarettes, stopping for food, and listened to Vi and put a blindfold instead of tape over her eyes because she told him she was claustrophobic. Weird....
148 Originally, I understand it was supposed to be a trio. Then she upped it to a quartet. So now a quintet? I guess as long as she keeps the quality up, I'll keep reading them!
My husband told me about Mrs. Ripkin after she'd been found. It all seems very strange.
I wTched the Olympic Opening Ceremonies last night. Always my favorite part of the Games. While I enjoying see athletes from all the countries walking in, I feel a big rush of pride when the U.S. walks in.
The best part, though, was the Queen's entrance. Hee Hee.
I suspect the Olympics will greatly cut into my reading time.
Us, too, Linda. We just went from the U.S. women beating Croatia in b-ball, to beach volleyball with May and Walsh playing the Aussies. Great!
And the Queen was a hoot. Good for her!
I figure I'm going to concentrate on audio books, I can watch and listen at the same time.
Local guy won a gold medal at the Olympics today. Woot, woot!!
If I finish book #58 today, I will just about be on pace to read 100 books for the year. Sigh. At least there've been a lot of good ones.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain--finished on 7/30/12
This is a book about introverts and introversion in various areas, such as the ministry, and how people can deal with this in themselves, their spouses, and their children.
Friends are often surprised that I'm an introvert. I'm quiet, but not shy, and often crave being with people, in large or, preferably small, groups. However, I gain strength from being alone.
So, anyway, this book was for me. I wish it had been available 30 years ago. However, I do have to say that I already do many of the things she suggests.
Interesting book, though.
Great game yesterday, Mark. I thought I posted to your thread on my I-phone but I couldn't get it to post.
Walk off homer in the 10th inning against the Cubs' archrivals. Who could beat that?
I yelled myself hoarse.
My next scheduled game is in two weeks but my 9-year old nephew might be coming over for a few days so I might need to rethink that. However, he did announce that he's going to "trade baseball cards with Auntie Linda" which is a good thing. He also told me he loves the Cubs. I think we need to take him to Wrigley some Sunday so he can run the bases after the game.
Just heard that Irish author, Maeve Binchy, has passed away at age 72. Sad to hear. I always liked her.
I heard that last night and it made me sad, too. I think I've all or nearly all of her books.
Not reading much as I'm spending all of my evening, at-home hours watching the Olympics.
However, I've usually got my current read, a Rex Stout (Nero Wolfe) book nearby for the commercials and/or boring parts.
I haven't been motivated to read much today. I probably won't finish one tonight. I'm reading one via Kindle and one library book. The library book is better, but I'm not sure either will be among my monthly favorites. I have several reviews to write when I get back to Tennessee.
Which Stout book are you reading, Linda? I've read them all several times; it's probably my favorite mystery series of all time.
#163 I love this series, too, but, for me, there's just a handful of books I've never read. After I read them all, I may start an organized re-read.
Right now, I am reading If Death Ever Slept, the one where Archie Goodwin goes off to act as a rich guy's secretary.
Very enjoyable though not my absolute favorite in the series.
Which are your favorites?
If Death Ever Slept is the book in which I first met my beloved Archie, so it holds a very special place in my heart. :)
Favorites are hard! Off the top of my head Prisoner's Base, Some Buried Caesar, The Golden Spiders, The Doorbell Rang are all pretty special. And of course, the very last one, A Family Affair, just because it is the last one and feels like it all the way through to me.
When I said it's not my favorite, that's not technically true. I like nearly all of them where Wolfe stays in the brownstone (and Archie heads out to hustle up facts).
I think I read one that was set in another locale and didn't care for it as much.
Hmmm, off to see which ones I haven't read.
Yes, I like the stay-at-home ones best as well. The others are fine as an occasional treat, but once I read several in a row that were outside the brownstone (this is one series that I didn't read in order and sure doesn't need to be), and I did not like reading several like that in a row.
You are close to completion, then!
Off the top of my head, I can tell you that Too Many Women, The Black Mountain and Death of a Dude are all "away games", so to speak. So you may not like those as much, although The Black Mountain is considered a classic of the series so you may want to tackle it sooner or later.
Even in the Best Families is the final book in the so-called Zeck Trilogy (with And Be a Villain and The Second Confession), so you'll want to read that one, too.
Too Many Women was the last one I managed to track down, and it took me YEARS to find it. I don't know if that's the reason, but it's one of my least favorites.
Die Like a Dog has a great canine character that you will love if you are a dog person.
Death Times Three is an interesting book that I believe was published after Stout's death, and contains 3 novellas of which at least two of them are rewrites (with different plot) of other Stout books.
Thanks for the info. I think I started The Black Mountain once but put it aside when I realized it wasn't a New York City book.
Oh, I also haven't read The Silent Speaker but already own that one on my Kindle.
Interestingly, the one you had trouble finding, Too Many Women IS available on Kindle so it won't be hard to track down.
That figures! I was looking for it back before the Kindle was even a gleam in Jeff Bezos' eye. :)
You know, I just realized that I mixed up in my head Too Many Women and The Red Box. I don't think Wolfe leaves the house in Too Many Women, but he does in The Red Box. That was another one it was a little tough to find, but not as tough as Too Many Women.
It's so great that these books are available as e-books. I would consider re-buying them all just for the convenience of being able to dip into one whenever I felt like it.
Okay, I keep hearing you talk about these Rex Stout books, I think I'm going to have to do some detailed investigation. What is the first one?
Cheli, I think the first one is Fer-de-Lance. I read these in no particular order, over the past 25-30 years or so, and was fine with that. There is little character development as the books progress, at least when compared to modern mysteries.
Nero Wolfe almost never leaves the brownstone. He works upstairs on his orchids for 4 hours per day, at specified times. He reads a lot. He drinks a lot of beer. He still weighs 1/7 of a ton. Archie Goodwin still runs around town gathering facts, which he brings back to Wolfe.
They're short. Around 200 pages and quick reads.
Rosalita, have you ever read the Goldsborough books that continued this series, for a time?
Whew. I'm at the library and have writer's cramp. The two-month long adult summer reading program ends on Monday. I have 18 books read so far so I had to fill out 18 slips with my long name, phone, and page count for each book. I'm giving them 5,600+ pages towards the goal. Some intern will add them all up, no doubt.
I also got credit for using the library's mobile app, placing an interlibrary loan request, and taking a walk on the path behind the library (it's located in a spectacular prairie location, near a lake).
If I win the Nook, I will likely give it to my newly unemployed friend whose Sony e-reader isn't working well. She could use it.
Note, the librarian just came over and said I have til cob on Monday to put in more entries. Maybe I can fit in another book or two. Except for the Happy Together concert tonight, with The Turtles, Gerry Puckett and the Union Gap, Micky Dolenz, and, I think the Grass Roots, my weekend is pretty free.
If Death Ever Slept by Rex Stout--finished on 8/3/12
The Nero Wolfe series has long been one of my favorites. As I've said elsewhere, over the past 25 to 30 years, I've read most of these, but in no particular order. I especially love the books, such as this one, that are set in New York City, at the Wolfe brownstone. This one is slightly different in that Archie Goodwin goes to work, for a time, as the secretary to their rich client.
Some might complain that the characters don't change, don't grow. I love this series for the fact that the characters are who they are, for the most part. These books offer a terrific window to New York City of a certain era (this one is from 1957).
With just a handful of Nero Wolfe books yet to read, I think I will make a push to track the rest of these down and read the remaining few. Perhaps I'll then start a re-read of the entire series, in order.
Linda, I read a couple of the Goldsborough books years ago, but they just weren't the same. I don't hate them the way some series fans do, but I didn't find them compelling enough to read more at the time.
And Cheli, Linda is absolutely right that this is one series that does not need to be read in any sort of order. The books were written between the 1930 and 1970s, and while the environment is always contemporary with the time in which it was written, Nero and Wolfe and the stellar supporting cast never age or change. It sounds weird, but it absolutely works.
Except for the Happy Together concert tonight, with The Turtles, Gerry Puckett and the Union Gap, Micky Dolenz, and, I think the Grass Roots, my weekend is pretty free.
Linda, that sounds like a dynamite concert!
Just thinking about that lineup makes me smile! Have fun at the concert!
11th Hour by James Patterson--finished on 8/5/12
This is the latest installment in the women's murder club series, featuring a cop, a district attorney, a crime reporter, and a medical examiner, in San Francisco. Fast paced. Not bad but not one I'd recommend.
I've started the Henrietta Lacks book about her cervical cancer cells and how they endured. Also started the new Carolyn Hart mystery.
I've got only a three-day workweek this week and then my nine-year old nephew is coming to visit for a few days.
I hope you have a great visit with your nephew, Linda. I also hope you like the Henrietta Lacks book as much as I did.
Five years ago today, 8/8/07, I was diagnosed with an early stage cancer.
I had surgery that day and the outlook was good, with about a 90% 5-year survival rate.
Thankful for every day since then.
If my results had not been good, I would not have found LT and met all of you, either.
Pretty amazing. My fellow LVDL patrons and I read 478K pages this summer (two months' worth). I contributed a measly 5,629 pages towards the total.
To think that their goal was only 60K pages. My phone did not ring so I assume that I didn't win the Nook...
I'll add my congratulations as well, Linda. I just marked my 4th year in remission. Sounds like I am in good company with you and with Chèli!
185, I had stage 1B endometrial. As far as cancers go, this was not a bad one to have. No chemo or anything.
Death Comes Silently by Carolyn Hart--finished on 8/9/12
I love the Annie Laurance Darling mystery series featuring sleuth who owns the Death on Demand mystery bookstore. I always love the characters and the charming ambiance. This one did not disappoint. I'd call it very good. Not great but as always, enjoyable.
Congratulations on 5 years, Linda! I am so very glad you survived so you could meet all of us! :)
#189: I do not think I have read any of the books in that series although I know I have read at least a couple of Hart's books. I will have to see if my local library has any of the Annie series. Thanks for the recommendation. What I really need is another series to read, lol.
I have the first in that Death on Demand series on my shelf (as well as an autographed copy of a later installment that I couldn't pass up when I saw it at a library sale). I must get to reading that!
ETA I thought I had the first in that series on my shelf, but it's the second. The first is in the public library . . . but not available now. Darn! I was going to start that series now!
Stasia, Terri, I love this series. It's the first modern-day mystery series I ever started reading. There are some now that I like better, such as Louise Penny's, but this one still holds a special place for me.
I am about 3/4 of the way through The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Wow, what an amazing book. I've got my usual monthly pizza dinner get-together tonight but I hope to finish it today.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot--finished on 8/13/12
This is the amazing story of Henrietta Lacks, a poor black woman who, when stricken with cervical cancer, had her cancer cells taken from her without her knowledge or consent. Since her death in 1951, these HE-LA cells proved to be incredibly strong and long lasting, aka immortal, and have led to numerous advances in medicine over the years.
This book recounts Henrietta's life story, with a particular emphasis on her medical condition, as well as that of her family, who never really understood what had happened and were totally shut out of any profits arising out of the use of her cells. Also of interest is the challenges the author faced in dealing with Henrietta's family in the writing of this book.
However, the book goes on to address numerous issues in medical ethics. Though the privacy issues raised in this situation have been legally clarified, most people still do not have any legal rights to any tissue taken from them during testing and/or procedures.
Though disjoined at times, this is an amazing book with an incredible story.
Thanks to Tina for recommending it to me for my 12 in 12 "Books Chosen by Friends" category.
Murder on Wheels by Stuart Palmer
This is the second Hildegarde Withers/Inspector Piper mystery, now back in print again, from 1932.
This clever little mystery involves the murder, by hanging, of a twin brother while in a car on Fifth Avenue in New York City during rush hour. A cabbie saw the victim fly up and out of the car backwards and then the driverless car crashed.
The schoolteacher and the police inspector take their own approaches to solving the case.
It's short (159 pages) and plot-driven. I love this series but can read them only when additional books come back into print.
I was just browsing through my favorite cozy website looking at the new September releases.
Looks like one of my favorites, author of academic mysteries, Joanne Dobson has a new series coming out. She seems to be the co-author, with Beverle Graves Myers of Face of the Enemy, which is the first book in the new Helluva War Mystery Series.
I haven't been buying many books lately, either real books or Kindle books. However, I did buy a new cozy, the first in the Soup Lover's series called A Spoonful of Murder by Connie Archer.
Awfully quiet around LT these days. Everyone must be on vacation or getting ready for back to school. Or something.
I am reading two books. A nice little cozy by Lea Wait, Shadows of a Down East Summer. This is the latest in her antique print mystery and is set in Maine.
My other book is a bit outside of my usual. I love to read about sports but boxing is not at all my thing. However, if a Joyce Carol Oates finds herself able to wax poetic about this "sport," I'm curious as to what she has to say. On Boxing
I had a lovely visit this afternoon with Terri from Pa (tymfos), her husband, and her son in downtown Chicago, at the tail end of their vacation. After lunch at The Artist's Cafe on Michigan Avenue in the Fine Arts Building, we took a manually-operated elevator up to Selected Works, a used bookstore in the same building. Besides browsing through the books, we also watched the antics of the grey-haired bookstore cat, Hodge.
Though they had quite a few used mysteries by authors I've read, these were ones I'd already read (boo!!). However, I did pick up two hardcovers. First, a book about old-time pro football players. What a Game They Played by Richard Whittingham. My other purchase is a travel narrative around the Great Lakes, called The Third Coast.
So nice, as always, to put a face with an LT name.
Hi Linda, I've been busy tonight letting everyone know the September Series & Sequels thread is up and open for business. Hope to see you there.
Among current mystery authors, I'd have to say that my favorite one is Louise Penny. I've long known that her newest mystery, The Beautiful Mystery is due out on August 28th.
What I did not realize is that the official launch for this book will be at Anderson's Bookshop, in Naperville, IL that day. This is only about an hour from the office.
Just pre-ordered the book and made dinner plans to meet my sister, niece, and nephew for dinner at BD's Mongolian BBQ beforehand.
#199 I'll be there with bells on. Always eager for that one. Not exactly sure which books I'll be reading for September but will certainly enjoy planning for this and then reading them.
Thanks for putting this together, Judy.
Shadows of a Down East Summer by Lea Wait--finished on 8/20/12
This is the fifth book in Lea Wait's Antique Prints cozy series set in Maine. It's among my favorite series currently being written.
This one blends present-day genealogy and art history issues with those of the past. Maggie, an American Studies professor and antique print dealer, is asked to look at an old family member's diary. This diary was written by a young girl who, with a friend, posed for artist Winslow Homer in Maine. Everyone who possesses this diary seems to be either (a) dying or (2) being attacked.
I love a good mystery that so skillfully blends the past and the present.
This is among my favorite mysteries of the year and is a series I'd highly recommend to cozy fans.
I love that series, too, Linda, and I'm looking forward to reading A Beautiful Mystery. I've never been to Anderson's Bookshop, darn it, and I hear it's a good one. I won't make it for this, but I'll look forward to hearing about it.
#203 Joe, I think there's an Anderson's in Downers Grove, too, in addition to their Naperville location. Next time we visit Mark, this might be worth a stop.
I made my dinner plans assuming that the Louise Penny event was at the bookstore, which is, apparently, in downtown in Naperville. Alas, the signing is at a location on the campus of North Central College, which makes sense.
Anyway, just got my number for the signing line.
I think I'll take the afternoon off and then go to the actual bookstore in Naperville and check it out. Meet my sister and the kids for dinner and then go over to the Louise Penny event. I've got some GPS programming to do.
Nerd that I am, the only time I can ever remember being on the North Central College campus was the first time I made the State Finals in the Illinois State Latin competition (the second time I made state, it was held at the University of Illinois in Champaign). The other two times, I did not make state.
That Lea Wait book sounds good. I'll have to catch up on the series so I can get to that one!
I thought you were my friend.
Now you have me looking at another cozy mystery series.
Why do you keep doing this to me? SIGH...
#206 Cheli, are you sitting down? I am going to take a close look at all the series I read, something I haven't done in years, and see where I've left off. Look at series I want to continue and even series I want to start.
You're sure to get plenty of new ideas.
For September, I'd like to compile a list of about a dozen I'd like to read for Series and Sequels (Judy's group).
I suddenly realized, for instance, that I haven't read the last two Ellen Hart books (Jane Lawless series) and a new one is due out soon. I'm sure there are plenty of others. JoAnna Carl, for instance.
Life Behind the Mask: Memoir of a Youth Baseball Umpire by Michael Schafer--finished on 8/21/12
The author has been a youth baseball umpire for 35 years. He loves the game and is certainly knowledgable and enthusiastic about the game. A reader who is knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the game will probably love this book. I did.
However, it might be just a bit too rules-oriented for the casual fan and probably not something a non-fan would enjoy. He's got some great stories to tell but, many times, he talks about fairly obscure baseball rules and how they interact.
I enjoyed it a lot but realize that it's probably not for everyone. His writing style is not exactly dazzling, which makes this a somewhat slow read.
Hi Linda, my Chicago Peep! Sorry, I've been absent some threads get lost in the shuffle. LT is becoming a BIG community.
I'm so glad you liked Henrietta Lacks and I'm glad you a successful LT Meet-up with Terri! Double Yah!
Hope you've been enjoying the weather. Another gorgeous one today and I'm off!
Hi Mark: Good to see you. Unlike most of the rest of the year, I'm suddenly reading more and visiting LT less.
It was nice visiting with Terri. Kind of a last minute sort of thing but great to finally get together. Plus I've now discovered a nice used bookstore near the Auditorium Theater in the Loop.
Cheli, I used that tool to see how many series I've read. Granted, not all are mystery series but still. 607 series were shown.
Sandy from KC (sjmccreary) is in town for a conference so tonight, we went out for Chicago deep dish pizza. So wonderful to finally meet her in person!!
We had lots of conversation. In fact, after we ate and were still going strong, the waitress came by and said they didn't mind if we stayed to talk but asked us to move to another table because they had a party of 30 coming in. We relocated to a park bench in front of the restaurant. Great night.
Turns out that the party of 30 was the Chicago Bandits women's pro softball team. They're playing in the championship game.
A terrific evening of good food and good conversation. We have an outing planned for tomorrow. Maybe we'll get some pictures too.
Sandy is at left
After our dinner on Thursday night, Sandy and I went to the Cubs game at Wrigley Field yesterday and saw a rare comeback Cubs victory vs the Colorado Rockies. I always like taking someone who's never been there before to Wrigley Field.
Then, we followed up with a tasty dinner at Basilico's in Norridge, IL, an old school, "neighborhood secret" type Italian place. Even after we finished our dinner, they were nice enough to let us sit and chat and just refill our water glasses from time to time.
Kind of funny but, at dinner the first day, it took the entire Chicago Bandits women's pro softball team to get us to budge from our seats. At the second day's dinner, it took them turning off the restaurant lights and closing up for the night to get us to budge. Heh-heh.
What a wonderful two day visit with Sandy!! She's one of the LTers I've long wanted to meet, in person, and I'm excited that I finally got that chance.
Hi Linda... greetings from another LTer whose not been spending as much time on the threads. I'm finally taking some time to catch up and see what everyone else has been up to. Thanks so much for the terrific pic of you and Sandy. Chicago is on of those cities I'm dying to spend some time in (two previous visits have been quickie breeze thru's icw business trips). Someday......
Enjoy your Sundays, and your Cubbies.
Morning Linda- Thanks for sharing another wonderful Meet-Up photo! And at Wrigley too! And a rare Cubbies win! Wow, it's a trifecta! Glad you had a good time.
Brrr, I'm at a chilly windy Wrigley Field. I bet the game gets rained out. At least I have my kindle app to keep me company til my friends show up.
Update: Friends encountered a "monsoon" and turned back. I am taking refuge in the ladies room, due to cold, wind and rain. My niece and nephew would call this an icky day.
Great picture, Linda and Sandy! Sounds like you guys had a great time!
#218 Terri, it WAS a great time. Linda is a terrific ambassador for Chicago - the Cubs game was great fun and I never doubted that they'd win in the end (how could they lose on my first visit?) The food was delicious at both restaurants Linda took me to and the company was even better - I'm glad I decided to stay in town the extra day. Of course, any trip that kicks off with a late-evening trip for fro-yo with a certain St Charles, Mo LTer is bound to be successful!
How great that you and Sandy had a meet-up, Linda, and went to Wrigley Field - and the Cubs even won! Thanks for posting the cool photo.
We had a friend who used to give tours of Wrigley (she moved to a farm in Michigan), and our neighbor is a former usher who finally retired. My son's tee-ball team got to play its championship in left field at Wrigley (hah! too small to play on the regular field). It was a hoot. Such a fun place to watch a game.
Sandy, I'm glad you had a great time!!
Kind of odd but there must've been a glare because the field, which should've been in the background of the picture, isn't visible at all.
Joe, we sat in the front row at the Cell the other day. That's a nice way to watch a ballgame, too. My friend gets these seats occasionally and I surprised my Sox fan cousin (didn't tell him anything besides "we're on the lower level").
Last year, we went on the field on season ticket holders table. That was a thrill. Went by the ivy, walked the bases, posed on the pitchers mound, visited the dugout, the press box and the press conference room, among other things.
Cheli, one of these years, I'm going to get back to Malice Domestic, the cozy mystery conference. I was there about 10 years ago, in Bethesda, MD and then went a few times when it was just over the river from Washington DC (Alexandria, VA?).
Cheli, I think that's right. I forgot but, at least once, maybe twice, I went to Malice when it was right in DC. I remember going to a Washington Capitals playoff game at the arena, just a few blocks away. I also went to The Three Tenors concert at the same arena.
Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb--finished on 8/27/12
I've read all the mystery novels in the long-running Eve Dallas series. All are set in the mid 21st century and these are almost always violent. This one is far less violent than usual. In fact, it's among my favorites, if not the favorite, in the series.
Based on Nadine the reporter's book, Hollywood is filming a vid featuring lookalikes of Eve Dallas, Peabody, Roarke, and all the others. During a gala party, someone is murdered.
Despite the futuristic setting, which seems to be less futuristic all the time, this book feels more like a traditional mystery for much of the time and less like a typical "In Death" book. Loved it. I think this was enough to get me eager for the next book in the series, for a change.
Hi, Linda! I'm glad you and Sandy had such a great meet-up. (I rather envy the chance to see a Cubs game, as the option wasn't there when I was in town, ;) Great photo! And glad you got to see the Cubs beat the Rockies.
What a lovely photo of your meet up with Sandy! These events are very special indeed!
Hi Terri and Linda: I had a terrific time during Sandy's visit.
Today's the long-awaited launch date of the new Louise Penny mystery. I'm taking the afternoon off to browse Andersons Bookshop. Then, after dinner with my sister and the kids, I'll be attending the book launch. Of course, I'll report back.
I snagged an Early Reviewers book today. Elvis and the Blue Christmas Corpse by Peggy Webb, the most recent book in the Southern Cousins mystery series.
If it's any good, maybe I'll go back and start at the beginning of the series.
Joe, at first, I didn't like the futuristic elements. I'm not a science fiction reader. Over the history of the series, these seem to have gotten more minimal. Or else I've just gotten used to these.
It takes some doing to get ahead of her as she releases two of these each year.
Two a year?! Wow, I'm actually glad to hear it. I've caught up on an awful lot of series, and have to wait for the next one, so it's fun to have one staying out ahead like that.
I do read sci-fi, so its futuristic bent was a pleasant surprise for me. I agree though - even early in the series, that aspect doesn't play a big role.
Jeez, the writing must just pour out of Nora Roberts, no problema. Her output is staggering.
I'll be at The Tattered Cover in Denver Thursday night to see Louise Penny and purchase The Beautiful Mystery and A Trick of the Light. I managed to score the rest of her books for birthday gifts. I've listened to them all on audiobook because Ralph Cosham does such a fabulous job--even when I read Bury Your Dead in book form, all the voices were his!
HI linda, just dropping by to say hi. It was great seeing pictures of you and Sandy, sounds like the two of you have a fun time.
Had a fabulous time at the Louise Penny book launch but it's late and I'm tired. More later.
This topic was continued by lindapanzo's 2012 reading--chapter 5.
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