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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

These Few Precious Days by Christopher Andersen.

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books (August 6, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1476732329





Amazon....

“The days dwindle down, to a precious few . . .” —from “September Song,” JFK’s favorite
They were the original power couple— outlandishly rich, impossibly attractive, and endlessly fascinating. Now, in this rare, behind-the-scenes portrait of the Kenne­dys in their final year together, #1 New York Times bestselling biographer Christopher Andersen shows us a side of JFK and Jackie we’ve never seen before. Tender, intimate, complex, and, at times, explosive, theirs is a love story unlike any other—filled with secrets, scandals, and bomb­shells that could never be fully revealed . . . until now. Including:
· Stunning new details about the Kennedys’ rumored affairs—hers as well as his—and how they ultimately overcame all odds to save their marriage
· The president’s many premonitions of his own death, and how he repeatedly tried to pull out of his last fateful trip to Dallas
· Shocking revelations about how the couple, unaware of the dangers, became dependent on amphetamine injections, the real reason— according to his longtime personal physician— for JFK’s notorious libido, and how the White House hid his many serious medical problems from the public
· How the tragic death of their infant son Patrick led to an emotional outpouring from the president that surprised even their closest friends—and brought JFK and Jackie closer than they had ever been
· Touching firsthand accounts of the family’s most private moments, before and after the assassination
Drawing on hundreds of interviews conducted with the Kennedys’ inner circle—from family members and lifelong friends to key advisors and political confidantes—Andersen takes us deeper inside the world of the president and his first lady than ever before. Unsparing yet sympathetic, bigger than life but all too real, These Few Precious Days captures the ups and downs of a marriage, a man, and a woman, the memories of which will continue to fascinate and inspire for generations to come.


This book was a very personal view of JFK and Jackie during the final year of Jack Kennedy's life.  The title alone made me know it would not be a "happy" book to read, yet in many ways... it was.

Nothing is left untouched in the book and yet nothing that is said changes my mind that JFK and Jackie were the very last in the White House that I found I looked up to and and glad I was old enough to remember them.

The book doesn't let you forget that JFK was a womanizer but because Jackie knew and never gave up on him I always found that I forgave him too.. It just did not effect what he did as President.  I admire how he continued to work thru pain that was crippling but felt sorry that the only way he could go on was because of "Dr Feelgood".. who shot him up with pain killers.  My true feeling is that he wouldn't have lived long enough for a second term had he not been assassinated.

Of course the happiest for the two of them was cut short by his murder.  So the book had sad and happy times, most would say: like everyone else, but truly it wasn't like everyone else.

I have always said that whenever I read a book about Kennedy I learn at least one thing I didn't know.. this time among my enlightenments is this: "Much to the amusement of those who knew him, the President groused constantly about money..even though he had such little need for his $100,000. Presidential salary that he donated the entire amount to charity."

Somehow I don't think any of those hoping to become President would do the same.

Although through the years "rumors" told a lot of the Kennedy's private life this book seems to confirm or deny most of them. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Jack Kennedy Elusive Hero

Jack Kennedy Elusive Hero by Chris Matthews.

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster;(November 6, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1451635095


 



Amazon:

What was he like?”
Jack Kennedy said the reason people read biography is to answer that basic question. What was he like, this man whose own wife called him “that elusive, unforgettable man?” In this New York Times bestselling biography, Chris Matthews answers that question with the verve of a novelist. We see this most beloved president in the company of friends. We see and feel him close-up, having fun and giving off that restlessness of his. We watch him navigate his life from privileged, rebellious youth to gutsy American president. We witness his bravery in war and selfless rescue of his PT boat crew. We watch JFK as a young politician learning to play hardball and watch him grow into the leader who averts a nuclear war. Matthews’s extraordinary biography is based on personal interviews with those closest to JFK, oral histories by top political aide Kenneth O’Donnell and others, documents from his years as a student at Choate, and notes from Jacqueline Kennedy’s first interview after Dallas. As Matthews writes: “I found a fighting prince never free of pain, never far from trouble, never accepting the world he found, never wanting to be his father’s son. He was a far greater hero than he ever wished us to know.”


 

I finally found this book at Friends of the Library for $1.oo!    So I had to get it!

JFK always interests me.  I loved that he got us in Space and he will always be a "hero" to me because when my brother was in the Air Force JFK was President, and my mother and I, fearfully, lived thru the Cuban Missile Crisis.  So now and then a get a book about JFK to read, sadly most cover his death rather then his life.

This one is about a very young Jack who felt unloved by his parents and admired his older brother who was killed in the war.  It talks of his slow introduction into politics and his climb to the Presidency.  It's filled with quotes from JFK which makes you feel more like you know the man rather then the President. His having to cope with Addison's Disease and his painful back and hiding it from the public is really quite dramatic.

I found out in this book that one of his hero's was Winston Churchill, and it showed in his inaugural speech...

 

"Kennedy and Ted Sorensen had been devoting a good deal of that Palm Beach time writing Jack's inaugural address

Given the ongoing challenge of the U.S.-- USSR relationship and its immense significance in the election, that theme would command the heart of the speech. Its focus was on strength- not as a prelude to war, but as an instrument for peace? "Man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life."

The Churchillian notion of peace through strength had echoed throughout Jack's adult life. " We dare not tempt them with weakness.  For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed" America would arm not to fight, but to parlay its power into protection. "Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversaries, we offer not a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest fort peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self-destruction."

Those decisive phrases have not lost their resonance. "Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for the inspection and control of arms- and bring the absolute power to destroy other nations under the absolute control of all nations.  Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors.  Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the oceans depths, and encourage the arts and commerce."

The one domestic policy reference would be Kennedy's commitment to "human rights" at home as well as abroad.  At the end came the words that passed into the world's consciousness: " And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country."

Most of us remember the last sentence but not much else.

Many also thought our "race for space" was nothing more then "beating the Russians".. but it was a lot more in America's power struggle then "just" a race for space.

I enjoyed this book.  As always I learn one or two more things about Kennedy with each book, although this one wasn't just about his death... and for that I was glad.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Vanishing

The Vanishing by Wendy Webb.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Hachette Books (January 21, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1401341942


 



(Book 4 of 2016)

From Booklist

Webb follows The Fate of Mercy Alban (2013) with another spooky supernatural tale. Julia Bishop is at her wit’s end after the fraudulent business dealings and subsequent suicide of her husband, Jeremy, leave her penniless and reviled by their former friends. When Adrian Sinclair shows up on her doorstep and offers her a job as a caretaker for his elderly mother, horror novelist Amaris, the opportunity for escape from her life is just too good to pass up. Julia journeys to Havenwood, the Sinclairs’ Minnesota estate, with high hopes for a fresh start, but she soon finds life at Havenwood unsettling and at times downright frightening. The airy mansion appears to be haunted by sinister spirits, and a menacing intruder begins spying through the windows. And Julia is deeply unsettled by her own resemblance to pictures of a beautiful medium who visited Havenwood over a century ago. A late-in-the-game revelation feels somewhat improbable, but Webb expertly builds suspense and offers a thought-provoking tease in the final pages. --Kristine Huntley

And so... this is the third book by Wendy Webb that I have read... and all of them have been good!

The Fate of Mercy Alban, The Tale of Halcyon Crane and now The Vanishing.  It also makes this 2 books in a row that deals with "ghosts".. hmmm not sure how that happened!  But, still this is a good read.  You find yourself trying to figure out just what the heck is going on, only to find that you hadn't really figured it out until you were supposed to! 

Any and all of these books makes for enjoyable reading.   Wendy Webb might be someone who's books you may want to try!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Haunting of Maddy Clare

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James.

Paperback: 329 pages
Publisher: NAL;(March 6, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0451235681


 



 

Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah's task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair's assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, whereshe came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?

I am not usually a person for ghost stories but happened by this book.. wow.  much more then I expected.  I've read a few ghost books over the years but none were like this one.    This would be an excellent book to consider reading around Halloween!!

It's a book that's hard to stay away from once you get into it.  Of course there is a back ground love story with it. 

There are a few mentions of things more "up to date" than I am used to, since it seems most of my reading is back in the 1800's. But over all I was surprised that I enjoyed the book as much as I did.. I think if you like a ghost story you will like this book.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Strings of Murder

Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel.  Book 2 of 2016.

Paperback: 406 pages
Publisher: Michael Joseph (March 31, 2015)
ISBN-10: 071817982X








A spellbinding concoction of crime, history and horror - perfect for fans of Sherlock Holmes and Jonathan Creek. The First Case for Frey & McGray. Edinburgh, 1888. A violinist is murdered in his home. The dead virtuoso's maid swears she heard three musicians playing in the night. But with only one body in the locked practice room - and no way in or out - the case makes no sense. Fearing a national panic over another Ripper, Scotland Yard sends Inspector Ian Frey to investigate under the cover of a fake department specializing in the occult. However, Frey's new boss, Detective 'Nine-Nails' McGray, actually believes in such supernatural nonsense. McGray's tragic past has driven him to superstition, but even Frey must admit that this case seems beyond reason. And once someone loses all reason, who knows what they will lose next... * * * 'This is wonderful. A brilliant, moving, clever, lyrical book - I loved it. Oscar de Muriel is going to be a name to watch.' Manda Scott 'A great cop double-act ... It's the pairing of the upright Frey and the unorthodox McGray that notches up the stars for this book. Like de Muriel, they're going places.' Sunday Sport 'One of the best debuts so far this year - a brilliant mix of horror, history, and humour. Genuinely riveting ... with plenty of twists, this will keep you turning the pages. It's clever, occasionally frightening and superbly written - The Strings Of Murder is everything you need in a mystery thriller.' Crime Review

Once again I find myself across the pond, as I do more often then not.  This time the story takes place in Scotland.  The book is filled with murders but also has a light side to it with bits of sarcastic humor.

The pairing of a most UNlikely pair of detectives.. one from London and one from Scotland, each thinking the other "inferior" for being English or Scotch rather then because of how well they do their jobs.

The bickering is humorous but not to the degree of thinking it's to funny for the topic of murder.

I enjoyed Strings of Murder , but a bit disappointed that a sequel is out but not in "book form"

I am finding quite a few very enjoyable books.  Mainly because they are making their characters interesting.  Some have medical issues, some marriage issues, some mental issues... but no matter what the character is like, they seem to make me want to know them more and read more mysteries involving them.

A good start to the new year...

Monday, January 04, 2016

The Murder Man

The Murder Man by Tony Parsons.

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (October 7, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1250052327




Book 1 for 2016..........

 

Meet London police detective Max Wolfe. Insomniac. Dog lover. Coffee addict. Boxer. Single parent. And every murderer's worst nightmare.

Someone has been violently killing members of London society. The killer is strong enough and smart enough to kill with a single knife stroke, and bold enough to kill in public. The victims span all levels of London society, and appear to have absolutely nothing in common. As Max begins following the killer's bloody trail, it takes him from the bright lights and backstreets of London all the way to the corner offices in the corridors of power. But when Max realizes that the victims may have all crossed paths decades ago at their exclusive private school, the case changes. Suddenly, the murders look less random and more personal, and Max finds the killer's reach getting closer to everything―and everyone―he loves.

Award-winning journalist and international bestselling author Tony Parsons brings his talent for rich characterization and propulsive storytelling to The Murder Man, his stunning crime fiction debut.

And so.... another series begins, lol.

As a debut book I think, if you read it to the end you will say it was a good read.  Good characters being built. Easily, you may want to read more from this author.   Since I am character oriented, I learn toward, "do I like the characters? are they interesting? do I want to know more about them?"... fill that criteria and most likely I will read more books by the same author...

This book began slow for me.. but then, I have to say I just finished a book that was a "keeper".  It is always hard on the next book to measure up, and hard for me to toss aside the last great book and see if this one is great also.

I do think I will read more by Tony Parsons. 

This was a very good first of a series.  Setting up and getting to know the main characters that will go book to book.  When you can feel you know them... or want to know them.. then it's safe to say it was a good book.

This one was good.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Books Read in 2015

So... holy cow.. it's 2016!!

Time for the post telling what books I read..  I read 72 books last year!  This was a good reading year.. I think last year was 51.  If I have any number I sorta hope to reach each year it would be 52.   But to be honest if I only read 1 book a month I'd be ok with that too...  I find the fact that I read at all is amazing since I didn't get much reading when I was young.. nor while raising my family.  I did "some" but not a book a month.

Of the 72 books, only 8 were non fiction...but they were really good non fiction! heh.

David Bell, Peter May, Caleb Carr and David Morrell came out on top as authors I repeated a number of times.. or "will be" repeating!

I would have a heck of a time picking out "favorites".. most all I read I wound up enjoying a lot.

Only 2 rereads this year:  Touchstone by Laurie R King, and The Alchemyst by Michael Scott.

I hope everyone has enjoyed their  year of reading as much as I did!.....  Onward to 2016!

 

January...

1 ..The Hills is Lonely................Lillian Beckwith....(271 pgs)


2 ..A Fatal Likeness...................Lynn Shepherd.......(363 pgs)


3 ..The Bedlam Detective...............Stephen Gallagher...(305 pgs)

4 ..In the Garden of Beasts............Erik Larson.........(448 pgs)

5 ..Rattling the Bones.................Ann Granger.........(320 pgs)


6 ..The Misbegotten....................Katherine Webb......(544 pgs)

7 ..What Angels Fear...................C.S. Harris.........(341 pgs)


8 ..The Complaints.....................Ian Rankin..........(480 pgs)

9 ..Mixing With Murder.................Ann Granger.........(352 pgs)







February...

10..Death of a Chimney Sweep............M.C. Beaton........(247 pgs)


11..The Pale Blue Eye...................Louis Bayard.......(448 pgs)


12..The Black Tower.....................Louis Bayard.......(352 pgs)


13..The River of No Return..............Bee Ridgway........(452 pgs)


14..Touchstone..........................Laurie R King......(560 pgs)


15..Risking it All......................Ann Granger........(314 pgs)



16..The Winter People...................Jennifer McMahon...(336 pgs)








March...

17..Snow Falling on Cedars..............David Guterson.....(460 pgs)


18..The Splendour Falls.................Susanna Kearsley...(384 pgs)


19..Never Come Back.....................David Bell.........(448 pgs)

20..Companion to LOtR...................various authors....(104 pgs)


21..C S Lewis a Biography...............Morton N Cohen.....(577 pgs)


22..Girl on the Cliff...................Lucinda Riley......(416 pgs)


23..The Screaming Staircase.............Jonathan Stroud....(390 pgs)


24..Grimpow.............................Rafael Abalos......(452 pgs)







April...

25..The Alchemyst.......................Michael Scott.......(400 pgs)

 
26..What She Left Behind................Ellen Marie Wiseman.(321 pgs)



27..The Forgotten Girl..................David Bell..........(448 pgs)



29..The Lewis Man.......................Peter May...........(320 pgs)


  
30..Firedrake...........................Richard Knaak.......(234 pgs)


 
31..The Chessman........................Peter May...........(308 pgs)



32..Gaudy Night.........................Dorothy Sayers......(544 pgs)








May...

33..The Fifth Heart.....................Dan Simmons.........(623 pgs)

34..Behind the Bookcase.................Mark Steensland.....(263 pgs)

35..Deep & Dark & Dangerous.............Mary D. Hahn........(192 pgs)


36..What Alice Forgot...................Liane Moriarty......(488 pgs)





June...

37..The Road from Gap Creek.............Robert Morgan.......(352 pgs)

 
38..Devoured............................D.E. Meredith.......(291 pgs)


  
39..When Gods Die.......................C.S. Harris.........(352 pgs)


  
40..Ape House...........................Sara Gruen..........(303 pgs)



41..Moriarty............................Anthony Horowitz....(285 pgs)








July...

42..Close To Home.......................Peter Robinson......(400 pgs)

43..Fatal Enquiry.......................Will Thomas.........(293 pgs)

44..The Quincoux........................Charles Palliser....(800 pgs)

45..Somebody I Used to Know.............David Bell..........(432 pgs)


46..Where Serpents Sleep................C.S. Harris.........(368 pgs)







August...

47..When Maidens Mourn..................C.S. Harris.........(341 pgs)

  
48..The Asylum..........................John Harwood........(272 pgs)


  
49..Aftermath...........................Peter Robinson......(400 pgs)



50..Strange Affair......................Peter Robinson......(384 pgs)


  
51..The Fate of Mercy Alban.............Wendy Webb..........(337 pgs)


  
52..The Alienist........................Caleb Carr..........(496 pgs)



53..The Lavender Garden.................Lucinda Riley.......(399 pgs)








September...

54..The Devil in the White City.........Erik Larson.........(447 pgs)

55..The Woman in Black..................Susan Hill..........(200 pgs)


56..Mayhem..............................Sarah Pinborough....(352 pgs)

57..The Italian Secretary...............Caleb Carr..........(350 pgs)


58..The Harvest Man.....................Alex Grecian........(400 pgs)


59..The Tale of Halcyon Crane...........Wendy Webb..........(328 pgs)





October...

60..The Angel of Darkness...............Caleb Carr..........(629 pgs)


61..Rosemary the Hidden Kennedy Daughter.Kate Larson........(320 pgs)


  
62..Sons & Brothers.....................Richard D Mahoney...(441 pgs)


  
63..Eleanor: The Years Alone............Joseph P Lash.......(367 pgs)


  
64..The Girl on the Train...............Paula Hawkins.......(323 pgs)






November...

65..The Storied Life of A J Fikry.......Gabrielle Zevin.....(288 pgs)


66..Thirteen Days:Cuban Missile Crisis..Robert F Kennedy....(185 pgs)


67..The Hidden History of JFK Assassination.Lamar Waldon....(400 pgs)





December...

68..Churchill Defiant....................Barbara Leaming....(368 pgs)


69..At the Water's Edge..................Sara Gruen.........(348 pgs)


  
70..The Girls in the Woods...............David Jack Bell....(344 pgs)




71..The Dead Will Tell...................Linda Castillo.....(352 pgs)


72.. Murder as a Fine Art................David Morrell......(368 pgs)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Murder As A Fine Art

Murder as a Fine Art by David Morrell.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Mulholland Books;(May 7, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0316216798


 



 

From Booklist

*Starred Review* At the start of this exceptional historical mystery, an artist of death prepares himself for his greatest creation—the gruesome slaughter of a young shop owner and his family. In 1854, East Londoners hadn’t seen such horrific murders since 1851, when John Williams also killed a shopkeeper and his family in a nearby neighborhood. The new crime finds Detective Inspector Shawn Ryan at the grisly, chaotic crime scene, where evidence is trampled as the killer blithely escapes. Visiting London at the time, for reasons he can’t fully understand, is Thomas De Quincey, scandalous “opium eater” and author of the 1827 satirical essay, “On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts,” and two newer essays in which he lauds various horrific details of the Williams killings as sublime art. DI Ryan initially treats the drug-riddled, elderly writer as a suspect but eventually accepts his help, if grudgingly. Military-thriller writer Morrell switches genres here in a riveting novel packed with edifying historical minutiae seamlessly inserted into a story narrated in part by De Quincey’s daughter and partly in revealing, dialogue-rich prose. The page-flipping action, taut atmosphere, and multifaceted characters will remind readers of D. E. Meredith’s Hatton and Roumonde mysteries and Kenneth Cameron’s The Frightened Man (2009). Sure to be a hit with the gaslight crowd. --Jen Baker

Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!!  What a way to end my 2015 reading!   This book had me so hooked, I was sorry when it was over.  So much history in this book!  What a great one! and just found a sequel to it.. well, some of the same characters.. so on the wish list it went!!

Anyone who like 1800's mystery/ murders etc. will love this book!

Oh! Did I mention that this is the same author who wrote Rambo and Rambo II?  ..ah well.. he did.

He's been writing for some time but this is the first book I've read by Mr Morrell.  I looked through older books of his but this was the first using certain characters that I really enjoyed... thus I will eventually get the second book he has out using them! (titled: Inspector of the Dead)

I can't say it enough.. I never expected to read another entire book before January but this one was not going to let me leave it on the table!!

Highly recommended!!! 

 

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Dead Will Tell

The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (March 31, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1250059852




 

Everyone in Painters Mill knows the abandoned Hochstetler farm is haunted. But only a handful of the residents remember the terrible secrets lost in the muted/hushed whispers of time―and now death is stalking them, seemingly from the grave.
On a late-night shift, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of an apparent suicide―an old man found hanging from the rafters in his dilapidated barn. But evidence quickly points to murder and Kate finds herself chasing a singularly difficult and elusive trail of evidence that somehow points back to the tragedy of that long ago incident. Meanwhile, Kate has moved in with state agent John Tomasetti and for the first time in so long, they're both happy; a bliss quickly shattered when one of the men responsible for the murders of Tomasetti's family four years ago is found not guilty, and walks away a free man. Will Tomasetti be pulled back to his own haunted past?
When a second man is found dead―also seemingly by his own hand―Kate discovers a link in the case that sends the investigation in a direction no one could imagine and revealing the horrifying truth of what really happened that terrible night thirty-five years ago, when an Amish father and his four children perished―and his young wife disappeared without a trace.
And, as Kate knows―the past never truly dies


Well.. this is not the norm for me!  Amish murder? Pennsylvania?.. nope not my usual mystery!

But..

A surprisingly really good one!   The book covers an old case of murder and kidnapping and slowly Chief Kate Burkholder finds herself blending the very old case... with a very new case.  I have to admit that she did some nice hiding of clues and I found myself wondering right up to the end, how it would end.

There was not a lot of Amish mentioned except for some of the language so I tended to not remember Amish facts that might have given me more hints.

A very well written book.. although there are 5 others before this book I can say with certainty that you don't have to have read the other books first.. so no matter which one you begin with, if you like her writing you can go on from there.  I put her future book on my wish list but have no big desire to go backwards to see what her stories were like before... but that could be just how my mind has been lately.

This is a thumbs up .. enjoyed the book to the bitter end!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Girl in the Woods by David Jack Bell.

Paperback: 344 pages
Publisher: Delirium Books (August 18, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1929653107








When Diana Greene leaves her hometown for a new life, she thinks she has left the past behind: her sister's disappearance, her mother's illness, and the visions Diana used to see...a clearing in the woods...a moonlit night...and human bones buried in the ground. And her past remains dormant until the day a mysterious woman appears on Diana's doorstep, promising Diana something she can't resist. "If you help me find my missing daughter, I'll tell you what happened to your sister." Soon Diana is digging into the past, uncovering secrets the town has long since buried, secrets that the powerful wish would stay hidden. But when another girl disappears and the visions return to Diana with a vengeance, she knows she is on the brink of solving more than just a few missing person's cases. She is on the brink of discovering the dark and violent covenant that the town itself was founded upon.

Excellent books, as has been all David Bell books that I have read before. (5 others: Someone I Used to Know, The Forgotten Girl, The Hiding Place, Cemetery Girl , and Never Come Back....)

As good as this book is I am still confused .. all of David Bells Paperback run about the same price.. THIS ONE, however.. can run a mini fortune, and I don't know why!  Of course I waited a long long time to find this used one at a price I could afford (cheap) and the condition was just fine, but if you search on Amazon you will find many of "The Girl in the Woods" at a very expensive price.

Unless it has something to do with "collecting" I don't get it.

The book is excellent, like I said, but all his books are!

I actually found one I haven't read!... but also found out it's because it hasn't been released yet!  heh...



Anyway, I can say just one thing.. any of David Bell's books are going to be a very good read.. so if you come across any, I'd pick 'em up and give them a chance.  They are especially good around "Halloween time"!

 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

At the Water's Edge

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (November 10, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0385523246

 

In this thrilling new novel from the author of Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen again demonstrates her talent for creating spellbinding period pieces. At the Water’s Edge is a gripping and poignant love story about a privileged young woman’s awakening as she experiences the devastation of World War II in a tiny village in the Scottish Highlands.
After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year’s Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son’s inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonel’s favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed—by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster—Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.
The trio find themselves in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Yet she finds herself falling in love with the stark beauty and subtle magic of the Scottish countryside. Gradually she comes to know the villagers, and the friendships she forms with two young women open her up to a larger world than she knew existed. Maddie begins to see that nothing is as it first appears: the values she holds dear prove unsustainable, and monsters lurk where they are least expected.
As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but of life’s beauty and surprising possibilities.

This is my third book by Sara Gruen.  The other two I have read are: Ape House, and Water for Elephants (which became a movie).  She is a really well written story teller.  I've enjoyed all her books.  Each a little different but each with a "story" to tell.  No Murders, no deep mysteries.. but interesting life stories.

Admittedly, this one is a bit of a love story, which generally is not up my alley.  But she surrounded it with the close ending of WWII and her and her husband and friend being filthy rich, and so despite the war, they go to Scotland in search of the Loch Ness Monster.   But everything begins to fall apart when she over hears the men talking.. and then realizes lies that have been told to her and others.

The romance part is not throughout the entire book, which is nice.  So there is plenty of atmosphere to be had and genuinely really great characters.

It was a fast read and I totally enjoy it, as I have her other books.  Sara Gruen and her books gets a thumbs up!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Churchill Defiant: Fighting On 1945-1955

Churchill Defiant by Barbara Leaming.

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Harper (October 12, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0061337587

 

 

From Booklist

Expelled from power in 1945 by the British electorate, Winston Churchill could have retired, written memoirs, and basked in national esteem for his wartime leadership. The Second World War did come out, but Churchill also clung to politics for another decade, frustrating the ambition for the top spot of the Conservative Party’s younger, glamour-boy heir apparent, Anthony Eden. Leaming’s absorbing chronicle depicts Churchill’s conviction of his indispensability and Eden’s exasperations within a sequence of schemes and cabals of Tory factions to replace the former with the latter. Such plots the wily Churchill repeatedly circumvented by reneging on promises to retire and by public speeches that effectively (though deceptively) allayed rumors about his health, diminished by several strokes. Illuminating Churchill’s determination to defy time, Leaming alludes to his previous comebacks and to his belief that he alone could negotiate with Stalin and his successors, a conceit with which the author makes some sport. In the context of Britain’s grim postwar years of austerity and the ascension of Elizabeth II, Leaming produces eminently readable political history. --Gilbert Taylor

I liked reading about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and WWII, and so because Churchill resided in those books so much that I needed to read something about the man himself.

Obviously, I had read of the war years and so I decided on reading this particular book because it was about the years following the war.

Churchill was quite the politician.  After the was and after being expelled from power, Churchill did NOT retire.  He set his mind to getting back the power he once had.  The ten years following, he was exposed to much bad health but still persisted.  Always of the mind that they needed him to stay and to lead .

The book lets you know the sort of man Churchill was, not just what he did in the war, where he lead so extraordinarily well.

If one reads of the Roosevelt's and the Churchill's one begins to wonder what happened to leaders who really care?

Books read in October & November

I did well in October and came to a screeching halt in November!  My excuses are:  decided to crochet another afghan, did not feel well,  depression and anxiety in greater quantity then normal.. and.. the holidays..

Slow as I get I haven't quit yet! I may skip a day or only read 10 pages in a day.. but the books are always by my side. I don't expect any great increase for December but I hope the enjoyment of it picks up.  If not, I know exactly what to do... I reread a favorite book that I KNOW makes me want to keep reading it!  

Anyway... this is my list from October and November.. hard to believe December is here!  

 

60..The Angel of Darkness...............Caleb Carr..........(629 pgs)


61..Rosemary the Hidden Kennedy Daughter.Kate Larson........(320 pgs)


62..Sons & Brothers.....................Richard D Mahoney...(441 pgs)


63..Eleanor: The Years Alone............Joseph P Lash.......(367 pgs)


64..The Girl on the Train...............Paula Hawkins.......(323 pgs)

65..The Storied Life of A J Fikry.......Gabrielle Zevin.....(288 pgs)


66..Thirteen Days:Cuban Missile Crisis..Robert F Kennedy....(185 pgs)

67..The Hidden History of JFK Assassination...Lamar Waldon..(400 pgs)

I read 4 books on the Kennedy family.  I have to say that Sons and Brothers ( JFK and RFK) and Hidden History of JFK Assassination were both quite enlightening!  I liked all 4 of the books.

Then I read Eleanor: The Years Alone.  Eleanor Roosevelt .. the woman, who is she were alive, I'd vote for to be President!! (certainly better than anyone running at the moment!)

Caleb Carr is an author I have read before and manages to write long books that keep me reading.

The Girl on the Train has had a lot of hype.  At first my one celled brain was confused, as the author continually wrote in "first person" no matter who the person was, so I would be reading and suddenly wonder who it was that was talking!  But eventually I "got it" and the book was very good.

The Storied Life of A J Fikry was an enjoyable read.  It's a feel good book for sure.

So that's it for 2 months.. not a one I didn't enjoy reading!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination

The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination by Lamar Waldron.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Counterpoint;(November 12, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1619022265

Amazon Review.

November 22, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the tragedy that has haunted America ever since. For the first time, this concise and compelling book pierces the veil of secrecy to fully document the small, tightly-held conspiracy that killed President John F. Kennedy. It explains why he was murdered, and how it was done in a way that forced many records to remain secret for almost fifty years.
The Hidden History of JFK’s Assassination draws on exclusive interviews with more than two dozen associates of John and Robert Kennedy, in addition to former FBI, Secret Service, military intelligence, and Congressional personnel, who provided critical first-hand information. The book also uses government files—including the detailed FBI confession of notorious Mafia godfather Carlos Marcello—to simply and clearly reveal exactly who killed JFK. Using information never published before, the book uses Marcello’s own words to his closest associates to describe the plot. His confession is also backed up by a wealth of independent documentation.
This book builds on the work of the last Congressional committee to investigate JFK’s murder, which concluded that JFK ‘was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy,” and that godfathers [“Santo] Trafficante [and Carlos] Marcello had the motive, means, and opportunity to assassinate President Kennedy.” However, it also draws on exclusive files and information not available to Congress, that have only emerged in recent years, to fully explain for the first time how Marcello and Trafficante committed—and got away with—the crime of the 20th century.
Some of the book’s revelations will be dramatized in the upcoming Warner Brothers film Legacy of Secrecy, produced by and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which also stars Robert De Niro as Carlos Marcello.
The Hidden History of JFK’s Assassination is the definitive account of the crime and the secrecy which has surrounded it.

This is not the first book that I've ever read on JFK's assassination.. but it it the most informative.

There have been many theories over the years but the Warren commission insisted it was "one nut".. Oswald.

This book releases much information that has been declassified over the years.  Some of the information had trickled out thru over the years but without proof, of a conspiracy. This book "tells it as it was".

I have to say the book makes a lot of sense.  So much so, that I find it hard to think that some of the same things are still going on today.  Which could be why I am not very politically minded.   "I" cannot stop corruption.  Even good people get corrupted over money.. and this country is built on "money".. ergo .. not hard to figure out eh?

This was an excellent books for details.  Sadly, knowing the details do not change the ending.

I remember exactly where I was when the news came that Kennedy was dead.

And horribly, I was watching television when Robert Kennedy was also killed.  Some things you never forget.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Thirteen Days

Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Robert F Kennedy.

Paperback: 185 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (November 17, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0393318346

"A minor classic in its laconic, spare, compelling evocation by a participant of the shifting moods and maneuvers of the most dangerous moment in human history."—Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

During the thirteen days in October 1962 when the United States confronted the Soviet Union over its installation of missiles in Cuba, few people shared the behind-the-scenes story as it is told here by the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. In this unique account, he describes each of the participants during the sometimes hour-to-hour negotiations, with particular attention to the actions and views of his brother, President John F. Kennedy. In a new foreword, the distinguished historian and Kennedy adviser Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., discusses the book's enduring importance and the significance of new information about the crisis that has come to light, especially from the Soviet Union. 

For some time I have wanted to read more on the Cuban Missile Crisis.  After all I was old enough to remember it happening.  Mostly I remember that my brother was in the Air Force at the time stationed at the Azores, and I remember one evening especially, that my mother and I (and the world) was waiting to hear if we were going to war or not, knowing war would be nuclear and probably end most of our lives.

We were terrified.

Even knowing the decisions of President Kennedy were based on opinions of many, didn't help the stress and anxieties of  those of us who remember. 

I know there are much larger books that are written on the matter, but knowing how close the Kennedy's were and how they learned on each other, I wanted to read Bobby's view.   And many times he hit the nail right on the head.

When one reads books on history, I believe each of us learns something we didn't know before reading it.  So it was for me with Thirteen Days. 

No matter what others thought of Kennedy as President.. I was darn glad he was our President in 1962! 

This is a really good, short, account of that terrible time.  If you have an interest, but don't want to read a tome, this would be the book for you.

Thirteen Days

Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis by Robert F Kennedy.

Paperback: 185 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (November 17, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0393318346

"A minor classic in its laconic, spare, compelling evocation by a participant of the shifting moods and maneuvers of the most dangerous moment in human history."—Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

During the thirteen days in October 1962 when the United States confronted the Soviet Union over its installation of missiles in Cuba, few people shared the behind-the-scenes story as it is told here by the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy. In this unique account, he describes each of the participants during the sometimes hour-to-hour negotiations, with particular attention to the actions and views of his brother, President John F. Kennedy. In a new foreword, the distinguished historian and Kennedy adviser Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., discusses the book's enduring importance and the significance of new information about the crisis that has come to light, especially from the Soviet Union. 

For some time I have wanted to read more on the Cuban Missile Crisis.  After all I was old enough to remember it happening.  Mostly I remember that my brother was in the Air Force at the time stationed at the Azores, and I remember one evening especially, that my mother and I (and the world) was waiting to hear if we were going to war or not, knowing war would be nuclear and probably end most of our lives.

We were terrified.

Even knowing the decisions of President Kennedy were based on opinions of many, didn't help the stress and anxieties of  those of us who remember. 

I know there are much larger books that are written on the matter, but knowing how close the Kennedy's were and how they learned on each other, I wanted to read Bobby's view.   And many times he hit the nail right on the head.

When one reads books on history, I believe each of us learns something we didn't know before reading it.  So it was for me with Thirteen Days. 

No matter what others thought of Kennedy as President.. I was darn glad he was our President in 1962! 

This is a really good, short, account of that terrible time.  If you have an interest, but don't want to read a tome, this would be the book for you.

Monday, November 02, 2015

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Algonquin Books;(December 2, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1616204516

 

From Booklist

In this sweet, uplifting homage to bookstores, Zevin perfectly captures the joy of connecting people and books. A. J. Fikry, the cantankerous owner of Island Books, is despondent after losing his beloved wife and witnessing the ever-declining number of sales at his small, quirky bookstore. In short order, he loses all patience with the new Knightly Press sales rep, his prized rare edition of Tamerlane is stolen, and someone leaves a baby at his store. That baby immediately steals A. J.’s heart and unleashes a dramatic transformation. Suddenly, the picture-book section is overflowing with new titles, and the bookstore becomes home to a burgeoning number of book clubs. With business on the uptick and love in his heart, A. J. finds himself becoming an essential new part of his longtime community, going so far as to woo the aforementioned sales rep (who loves drinking Queequeg cocktails at the Pequod Restaurant). Filled with interesting characters, a deep knowledge of bookselling, wonderful critiques of classic titles, and very funny depictions of book clubs and author events, this will prove irresistible to book lovers everywhere. --Joanne Wilkinson

This is exactly what the title tells you.  It's a story.  No murders. No big adventures. Just a story of a part of a man's life who owns a small bookstore. ("bookstore" was the keyword to perking my interest)

It was a nice read.  Calming. Relaxing. A bit of a love story. (there's more than one kind of love). A background story. Interesting friends and relatives.  Not necessarily a book I would normally read.  But I liked it anyway.  There was one part I didn't like.. but it's a small book and you wouldn't want to know everything should you decided to give it a read.  For the most part I found myself engaged in the story...and I can't say that for everything I read.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Girl on the Train

The Girls on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Books (2015)
ISBN-10: 1594633665

 

 

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut

As I purchased this book from Friends of the Library, the lady leaned over and said: "you won't be able to put this down".   Ohhhh, says I, this sounds good!

So I started reading it the same evening.   I always give a book about 50 pages and if I haven't gotten into it by then it's on to the next book.

Ten pages...

Twenty pages...

Thirty pages... hmmmmm.

Forty, then fifty pages.  by now I am confused.  Each chapter has a persons name on the top.. but every page as you read them is "in the first person"... I, I, I, I.... *sigh*

There's got to be more to this, because the lady said it was .

Sixty pages... finally!  I am beginning to see what's going on!   The "I's" were driving me insane! I couldn't follow "who" I was reading about!  gah!

From page 60 on the story grew.  And it turned into a really good Who Done It?!

I am glad I went beyond the first 50 pages... once past it.. the rest was definitely worth it!   A very good mystery.  My only draw back would be that I didn't care for the "style" of writing.

.. but I would recommend it to people who like a good mystery!