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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.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt by Eleanor Roosevelt.

Series: Quality Paperbacks Series
Paperback: 504 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press(February 2000)
ISBN-10: 030680476X

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The long and eventful life of Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) was full of rich experiences and courageous actions. The niece of Theodore Roosevelt, she married a distant relative and Columbia University law student named Franklin Delano Roosevelt; he gradually ascended throughout the world of New York politics to reach the U.S. presidency in 1932. Throughout his three terms, Eleanor Roosevelt was not only intimately involved in FDR’s personal and political life, but led women’s organizations and youth movements and fought for consumer welfare, civil rights, and improved housing. During World War II she traveled with her husband to meet leaders of many powerful nations; after his death in 1945 she worked as a UN delegate, chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, newspaper columnist, Democratic party activist, world-traveler, and diplomat. By the end of her life, Eleanor Roosevelt was recognized throughout the world for her fortitude and commitment to the ideals of liberty and human rights. Her autobiography constitutes a self-portrait no biography can match for its candor and liveliness, its wisdom, tolerance, and breadth of view—a self-portrait of one of the greatest American humanitarians of our time.

So………

July turned into a month of doctors, tests, and not feeling well..so the fact that this one book even got read is a small miracle!

I am sure I would have read this a lot faster had it not been for the things mentioned above and then add to it that I have read numerous books on Eleanor Roosevelt and I have to admit that this book didn’t have anything I didn’t already know.

I will say though that as a writer you had the feeling that you were sitting down with Eleanor and listening to her talk.  Very relaxing and very “I feel I know you”.

A small disappointment is that she actually had a good part of this book talking of Franklin and his Presidential choices and decisions.  Again, I had already read a number of books on them both and I was ready for “just Eleanor”.

I will always wish I had written to her when I was in High School, since she passed after I graduated. Such a fabulous lady. Such empathy. More people should be like her.

If you would like to read about her there are many books out there.. but if you want to “hear her voice” then this would be a good book.  (It’s also much shorter then most books on the Roosevelts!!)

I know history is not for everyone.  And it took me until maybe 2 yrs ago before it interested me.  But I think my next “history” book will be on someone else. Not sure who yet  :)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Bookman’s Tale

The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books(May 27, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0143125389

 

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From Booklist

Antiquarian bookseller Peter Byerly immerses himself in his trade to overcome grief from the loss of his beloved wife a few months earlier. Now plying his trade in England’s Cotswolds instead of the North Carolina site of his tragedy, Byerly happens across a small watercolor portrait of a woman who looks startlingly like his late wife. And so begins an obsessive hunt to find out the origins of this painting. Lovett shifts his narrative around in both time and setting, recounting the lovers’ first meeting, in the library at a southern college, and the blossoming of their seemingly improbable love affair: he a bookish, repressed teen, and she an heiress. Byerly discovers the portrait’s Victorian provenance, and then the author moves his story even further back, to the time of Shakespeare. Fans of mysteries, of love stories, and of rare books will all find moments in Lovett’s novel to treasure. --Mark Knoblauch

A person obsessed with the authenticity of old books and documents…  how could this NOT be a good read?  The answer is:  it’s a good read.

It jumped around a bit and I wasn’t sure I could keep straight where I was when, but I did manage and that alone says it couldn’t have been too hard because one of my favorite words is :  huh?.  

This was a good incorporation of a mystery, murder and love…not much left when you have all that!

I can’t say I have any big interest in “first editions” or “authenticity” of things..but this book absolutely kept me opening it over and over.  I was also glad it had short chapter, which is another thing that makes me read more, and more often.

Happily this is my 4th book for June and seeing as how badly my reading has dropped off due to “doctors” and such, I feel quite accomplished that the four books were interesting enough to keep me reading!

My books for June were:

Get Happy.........................Gerald Clarke.........(528 pgs)(Judy Garland)
This Time Together................Carol Burnett.........(288 pgs)
The Devil's Workshop..............Alex Grecian.........(386 pgs)(Scotland Yard Murder Squad)
The Bookman's Tale................Charlie Lovett........(384 pgs)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Devil’s Workshop

The Devil’s Workshop by Alex Grecian.

Series: Scotland Yard's Murder Squad (Book 3)

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult (May 20, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0399166432

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They thought he was gone, but they were wrong. Jack the Ripper is loose in London once more.
Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad faces the most shocking case of its existence, in the extraordinary new historical thriller from the author of the acclaimed national bestsellers The Yard and The Black Country.
London, 1890. A small group of the city’s elite, fed up with the murder rate, have made it their business to capture violent criminals and mete out their own terrible brand of retribution. Now they are taking it a step further: They have arranged for four murderers to escape from prison, and into the group’s hands.
But the plan goes wrong. The killers elude them, and now it is up to Walter Day, Nevil Hammersmith, and the rest of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad to hunt the convicts down before they can resume their bloody spree. But the Murder Squad may already be too late. The killers have retribution in mind, and one of them is heading straight toward a member of the Murder Squad, and his family.
And that isn’t even the worst of it. During the escape, one of the killers has stumbled upon the location of another notorious murderer, one thought gone for good, but who is now prepared to join forces with them.
And Saucy Jack has learned some new tricks while he’s been away.

This is the 3rd book by Alex Grecian about Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad that I’ve read.

I have to say I’ve liked ALL the books and glad to know there will be more along the way!

However, having said that I have enjoyed this latest book, I will say that it may not be to everyone’s liking, even if they have read the first 2 books.  This book (since the evil character is “maybe” Jack the Ripper) is  a lot more descriptive in the murders and what is done to the bodies.  

And having said that… if you’ve ever read anything on Jack the Ripper before then the descriptions in this book are no worse then any other.   Surprisingly, I may have said a mental “ewww” here and there but it didn’t stop me from reading every word of the book.

I like this “murder squad” Grecian has created.  I think it’s created lol, it may have been true for all I know!  Walter Day and Nevil Hammersmith are excellent characters for this type of book… and I look forward to the next edition…whenever that may be!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Perfect Pair

Meet Pete and Theresa.  You won’t find a more perfect couple.

I’ve know them for a super long time..and they’ve always been part of each other since I’ve known them.

When they were younger they adopted a baby girl named Angel.  Later they added a set of twin girls.  I have always been amazed at Theresa being a mom to them all, the perfect wife for Pete, and holding down a job at the same time. And then still finds time for her friends.

And Pete….. well, Pete has been my savior more than once.  Most recently just the day before my cataract surgery when he drove 1 1/2 hrs to help me once again.  Pete has also the most calming personality. He can make ME, who is on anxiety pills, able to stay calm.  I think Theresa should rent him out..he does better then any counselor!

On his most recent trip to save me once again, Theresa, proving that she and Pete are not 2 people but 1 single entity, sent me a gorgeous Orchard! (see photo’s below)  I have to admit to being dumb about Orchards even though Theresa talked to me on the phone about it’s care.  I can now research some now that I can see enough to read !!

How do you thank people like this?  Especially when I know any time I get in a panic over my computer or other techy stuff all I have to do is call Pete and he calms me right down.  Definitely better then any pill a doctor has given me!

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Two most special people to me.  (And their daughters I am sure)

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Thank you Pete and Theresa … more than I can ever say .

Friday, June 13, 2014

This Time Together

This Time Together by Carol Burnett.

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press(March 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 030746119X

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From Booklist

In her second book, comedy legend Burnett looks back fondly on her long and successful career in short, easily digestible chapters that part the curtain on her private life. Told in a chatty, intimate way, the stories encompass the star’s childhood; early days as an actress doing bit parts in New York City, appearing on game shows and various variety shows; her 11 years hosting The Carol Burnett Show; and life after the show ended its run. Readers will enjoy the comical reminiscences included, such as how she once used her famous Tarzan yell to disarm a mugger, funny interactions with fans who recognize her on the street, and the origin of famous scenes from the show, such as Scarlett O’Hara in a curtain-rod dress. Burnett doesn’t shy away from sad subjects and occasionally touches on personal losses. She also dishes about her famous costars and friends, including Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant, Julie Andrews, and, of course, Carol Burnett Show regulars Harvey Korman, Tim Conway, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Waggoner. Fans of both the show and the actress will enjoy this mostly lighthearted though sometimes poignant look back at Burnett’s career. --Kathleen Hughes

You can’t ask for an easier read than this book.  Most chapters are only one or 2 pages long. And many pages wind up having a chuckle to even some guffaws before those 2 pages are over.

As the above review tells you, Carol keeps this book on the positive side, but there are also moments that can tug at your heart.

The chapters fly by as she speaks of all the people involved in her show and many of the guests that went from making her a “fan girl” to a life time friend.

This book was totally enjoyed and if you ever watched her show I think you’d like this book too. 

Carol is iconic, and in her show she always let her talented cast have center stage when things “got out of hand” ..which just means Tim Conway and Harvey Korman being in uncontrolled laughter .

Go ahead..

Read it..

You’ll enjoy it!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Blue Angels…

As most who follow my blog or facebook knows, not so long ago at the small airport of Vero Beach was an air show.  The guest stars were the Blue Angels.

I had never seen them before (or any like them). I live close enough that many of them flew right over where I live.  I was thrilled no end!  For reasons, I assume are from my depression and anxieties, I cried.  But then, something happened to me that hasn’t happened in well over a year… I looked forward to “tomorrow” to see them again!

The simple fact that for 4 days I looked forward to looking up in the sky and to feel the rumble and hear the sounds of their jets, led me to write them a letter after they had gone.  I wanted them to know that besides being “fancy jets” and besides doing shows to entice young men to join the service, that they made a very old lady smile and “look forward” to the next day.

It may not mean a lot to these young men, but it meant a lot to me and so I wrote them and told them so..

Today as I went out to check my mail this large mailing envelope leaned against the wall of my door… when I opened the envelope..I cried…again! geez!  The Blue Angels had done it again.. Needless to say, I wish they were here !  I still can’t believe that someone in their office took the time to send this old lady such a gift… I can never thank them enough. Never.  And I hope some day I get to see them again!

 

 

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Get Happy

Get Happy by Gerald Clarke

Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Delta (March 6, 2001)
ISBN-10: 0385335156

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From Publishers Weekly

Judy Garland's on-screen longing for a land where "sorrows melt like lemon drops away above the chimney tops" was answered with a life plagued by emotional agony, dependency on drugs and alcohol, exploitative relationships, suicide attempts and physical violence. This exhaustively researched and illuminating biography by Clarke, whose bestselling 1988 life of Truman Capote won critical praise, is as compassionate as it is wrenching. It follows the basic themes established by the best of the more than 20 biographies and memoirs of Garland that have appeared since her 1969 death (in particular, Gerald Frank's 1975 bio, authorized by her family). But while most portray Garland as tormented by inexorable and sometimes inexplicable inner demons, Clarke brings to his work a far harsher evaluation of how the singer was treated by her employers, family and lovers: her mother gave her amphetamines at the age of four; producers at MGM sexually harassed her as a young teen; husband Vincente Minnelli cheated on her with men soon after their marriage; husband Sid Luft stole millions from her; fourth husband Mark Herron had an affair with Garland's son-in-law, Peter Allen (then married to Liza Minnelli). Many of Clarke's revelations are of a sexual nature--he mentions affairs with Sinatra, Glenn Ford, Yul Brynner and Tyrone Power as well as with women. Other revelations, such as of Garland attacking her young son, Joey, with a butcher's knife, are simply shocking. Yet Clarke never exploits this volatile material as cheap gossip; instead, he deftly weaves it into a detailed, respectful and haunting portrait. (Apr.)

It’s sometimes strange how you think you know a lot about a celebrity and yet, of course, you don’t.

Oh, I knew that Judy’s mother was the one who started her on her problems with “drugs”. Her excuse was that Judy earned money that they needed so it was ok to give her pills to sleep and pills to vitalize her .

Then when MGM came along they “owned” Judy and basically the pills just continued.

As I read this book it seemed her whole life she searched for love …love like she had from her father.  Unconditional love.  Not the sort her mother doled out.  Most all the men Judy thought she was in love with and married were much older then she was.  Always searching for the father figure. And someone who would take care of her and her money.  Instead they all used her and spent her money and this multitalented lady ended up (more than once)  broke.

Her choice of men stunk.  Liza’s dad, Vincente Minnelli was gay. But back then everyone hid that fact and married so they seemed “normal”.  How horrible to have to live like that.  But that’s how it was. One of her other husband’s, Sid Luft, father to Lorna and Joey really went through Judy’s money like it was never ending. 

I felt somewhat like this author wanted to shock people with all of Judy’s “affairs” and “marriages”, and yet they were what always caused her breakdowns and always left her feeling unloved and unappreciated.

Judy Garland had a very hard and sad life.  She had moments of glory and happiness, but they never lasted long. I find that to this day I feel sad for Judy Garland.  She gave all she had and got little in return but drugs, getting used, and unhappy.  But the book did make me feel I understood how this all happened to her..and there were people along the way that really thought they could help Judy .  It’s too bad they didn’t succeed.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

What’s so Funny?

What’s So Funny by Tim Conway.

Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Howard Books;(May 13, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1476726531

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Six-time Emmy Award-winning funny man Tim Conway, best known for his roles on The Carol Burnett Show, offers a straight-shooting and hilarious memoir about his life on stage and off as an actor and comedian.
In the annals of TV history, few entertainers have captured as many hearts, tickled as many funny bones, and brought as many families together in living rooms across America as Tim Conway. In What’s So Funny? he brings his hilarious hijinks from the screen to the page.
Conway’s often-improvised humor, razor-sharp timing, and hilarious characters have made him one of the funniest and most authentic performers to grace the stage and studio. As Carol Burnett has said, “there’s no one funnier” than Tim Conway. Now, Conway takes us on a seventy-year, rags-to-riches journey that is touchingly comical and ultimately inspiring, from his pranks in small Ohio classrooms during the Great Depression to his pitch-perfect performances on national TV and in major motion pictures. Along the way, Conway shares hilarious and often moving accounts of the glory days of The Carol Burnett Show; his famous partnerships with entertainment greats like Harvey Korman, Don Knotts, and Dick Van Dyke; and his friendships with stars like Betty White, Bob Newhart, and, of course, Carol Burnett, who also provides an intimate foreword to the book.
As Conway continues to tour the country giving live comedy performances that enchant his always eager audiences, What’s So Funny? brings his warmth, humor, and heart to delight and inspire fans everywhere.

There is no one who can make me laugh so hard I cry and not even say a word… except Tim Conway.   So when he wrote this book I knew I wanted to have it, and my girlfriend Michelle made sure I had it for my birthday!

Along with serious things Tim’s humor is far from silent throughout the book! 

I remember seeing many appearances that he did.  The movies with Don Knotts , McHale's Navy other guest spots and of course Carol Burnett, which is where I see him in my mind even when I just hear his name.

He talks about the “elephant” routine and the “dentist” routine like they happened yesterday and lord knows I would laugh as much now as I did back then.  One scene he didn’t mention but always stuck in my mind is one with Tim and Harvey Korman on the Carol Burnett Show where somehow Tim winds up “hung up” (sitting) on the door knob of the door.  My memory sucks but my guess is that Harvey did not expect to see him on the door knob…and so starts the uncontrolled laughter.  It became a game with Tim, “how long will it take me to get Harvey to laugh?”…generally it wasn’t very long!

Tim’s huge ability to improvise at the drop of a hat would throw off everyone on the show and then it became a challenge of who could “not laugh”…yeah right.

This is a good book giving you background information on Tim’s life and also filled with comical stories that helped fill that life.  Many of those stories I remember seeing for myself… but if you don’t know them.. you might want to read this book.

Thank you Tim Conway for always making me laugh..how I wish you were my neighbor !

Sunday, May 18, 2014

You Must Remember This

You Must Remember This by Robert J Wagner.

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult;(March 11, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0670026093

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From Booklist

Wagner and Eyman, who coauthored Wagner’s 2008 autobiography, Pieces of My Heart, this time tell the story of a place and a time: Hollywood from the 1930s through the ’60s. Divided into topical chapters, including “Houses and Hotels,” “Style,” and “Nightlife,” the book follows Hollywood from its early days—until Cecil B. DeMille arrived in 1913, Hollywood was just another place outside Los Angeles—through its heady decades as the trendsetter in style and popular culture, and ending with the collapse of the studio system, when profits were in steep decline and many of the Golden Age stars were dying or aging out of the spotlight. You can tell that Wagner, whose acting career started when the Golden Age was its most golden, truly misses that time and place; his fondness for it and his distaste for the modern way of moviemaking come through on almost every page. For Wagner, the emblems of Hollywood at its grandest—the mansions, the stars, the parties, the watering holes—evoke a better world, and his account of how it was then just may leave nostalgic readers similarly affected. --David Pitt

I can’t say I am a “die-hard” fan of Robert Wagner's, though I  have enjoyed parts of his career .  But the write up on this book sounded like something I would enjoy.  I do like reading things about early Hollywood, and this was actually pretty interesting.

It was nothing like a Biography although his comparisons  could only be from “what he heard it was like” and when he was finally in Hollywood himself.

For a small book he did pack a lot of info, along with a lot of namedropping, which in this case was more informative then an ego boost.  Re: who bought what property when and for how much and how quickly prices went up to make someone even richer then they were.   Also information on the old “hangouts” for celebrities such as Restaurants and places to maybe gamble. (many before Wagner’s time).

It also included old Hotels and Houses and the people who were stars back then.

All in all I did enjoy this book.  I always enjoy learning about old Hollywood..not sure why but I do.  Just like I still enjoy the old stars and their black and white movies.   I guess it’s because I’m old … but I won’t stop enjoying it all!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The Titans Curse

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This is book 5 for Once Upon a Time.

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion;(April 8, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1423101480

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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Just after finding Bianca and Nico, two newly discovered half-bloods, Percy, Grover, Annabeth, and Thalia end up trapped between a helicopter and a manticore. Artemis and her Hunters save the day, but Annabeth disappears over a cliff; then Artemis rushes off to hunt a dangerous monster. Back at Camp Half-Blood, the Oracle foretells that Artemis must be rescued and makes a prediction that bodes ill for one of their number—but which one? Percy, who is supposed to remain behind while others pursue the quest, follows in search of the missing Annabeth. Their adventures range widely across the U.S., taking them to locales that include Washington, D.C., and the deserts of the Southwest and pitting them against the usual assortment of colorful adversaries. The Percy Jackson & the Olympians series is built around a terrific idea—that the half-mortal offspring of Greek gods live among us, playing out struggles of mythic scale—and Riordan takes it from strength to strength with this exciting installment, adding even more depth to the characters and story arc while retaining its predecessors' nonstop laughs and action. Tixier Herald, Diana

First off, I have to admit that these three Percy Jackson books were all very enjoyable.

Not only did they have fast paced and continual adventure and excitement but they had comedic moments too.  You can’t ask for much more can you??  Oh and did I mention Olympus and all (ALL) the gods?? oh yeah..even outing their dirty laundry on having children with humans! (Somehow having a… ummm… relationship with a 15 ft high God seems a bit ..ummm impossible, but then when one is a God I guess there are no limits! lol

Oh! and let me not forget that during their adventures there a monsters of all sorts trying to kill them!  (“are we having fun yet?”)  But then, on occasion Mama or Papa God will help… just a little.  :o)

I can’t say a lot ..the review says it all.. I can only had that they are enjoyable, very easy reading, and the characters quickly grow on you .

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Sea of Monsters

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This is book 4 for Once Upon a Time.

 The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion;(March 20, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1423103343

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From Booklist

In this second adventure in Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Percy is anticipating the end of seventh grade and a summer at Camp Half-Blood with kids who are the offspring of Greek gods and mortals. He dreams that his pal Grover, a satyr, is in danger. After monsters attack in his school gym class, Percy and Tyson, a homeless kid, are picked up by Annabeth, a half-blood friend, and rushed to the camp, which is under attack. The tree that guards the camp is dying, and Chiron, the activity director, has been dismissed. Another dream reveals that Grover, whose peril is increasing, is on the same island as the legendary Golden Fleece, which may be the cure for the troubled camp. With the help of Hermes, Percy and his pals set off to the Sea of Monsters, where they encounter legendary dangers. Riordan's clever mix of classical mythology, contemporary teen characters, and an action-packed adventure will bring new readers to the series. Diana Herald

Well, Percy and his friends seem to get into trouble as fast as some “hobbits” I know!

I am finding all the referrals to the Mythical Gods has kept it all very interesting.  And as I said it’s action packed and fast paced, hard to leave the book down for very long.

I think I needed some easy reading with good story telling since my ability to do anything for very long is limited.

I know the first two books have been made into movies but I did not see them..I can see where they would be super filled with special effects.

This was an enjoyable read and I have book 3 here so I will read that and at least I will have read 5 books for OUaT!  I am sure young adults will enjoy these books very much… and heck they are a good change for us “not so young” too!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Lightning Thief

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This is book 3 for Once Upon a Time.

 

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion;(March 21, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0786838655

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From School Library Journal

At first glance, Perseus Jackson seems like a loser (readers meet him at a boarding school for troubled youth), but he's really the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. As he discovers his heritage, he also loses that mother and falls into mortal danger. The gods (still very active in the 21st-century world) are about to go to war over a lost thunderbolt, so Percy and sidekicks Grover (a young satyr) and Annabeth (daughter of Athena) set out to retrieve it. Many close calls and monster-attacks later, they enter Hades's realm (via L.A.). A virtuoso description of the Underworld is matched by a later account of Olympus (hovering 600 floors above Manhattan). There's lots of zippy review of Greek myth and legend, and characters like Medusa, Procrustes, Charon, and the Eumenides get updates. Some of the Labors of Heracles or Odysseus's adventures are recycled, but nothing seems stale, and the breakneck pace keeps the action from being too predictable. Percy is an ADHD, wise-cracking, first-person narrator. Naturally, his real quest is for his own identity. Along the way, such topics as family, trust, war, the environment, dreams, and perceptions are raised. There is subtle social critique for sophisticated readers who can see it. Although the novel ends with a satisfying conclusion (and at least one surprise), it is clear that the story isn't over. The 12-year-old has matured and is ready for another quest, and the villain is at large. Readers will be eager to follow the young protagonist's next move.–Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI

So… I had forgotten that i bought these three books  long ago.   Since you attention span and comprehension and eyes have, let’s say… not been the best, I thought reading something easy might work.   And it actually did!    So, for now it’s YA books to keep me reading i guess.

I know this was made into a movie, which I haven’t seen, but I certainly can see how young people could enjoy this as a movie.

For adults it is double spaced and fast reading.  I don’t think too many pages go by when you find yourself utter..”what next?”   

I was surprised with parts of the ending and even more surprised to read that it “could have been” a stand alone book…but we all know it isn’t.   I just wanted to mention that in case you want a quick enjoyable read with likeable (and non likeable) characters but not necessarily want to read the whole series.

I did enjoy this and even though my past learning much about “the Gods” I guess I knew enough to not have a problem.  (that would be embarrassing for a 70 yr old to have a problem with a book written for the very young..duh…but then again some teachers I had I can honestly say I didn’t learn very much from!)

If you want quick and enjoyable and easy..this may be a book for you.  OR.. for you to read to a child or grandchild?  Check it out.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Xanth by Two

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I read this book for Once Upon a Time..

 

Xanth by Two by Piers Anthony (two complete books in one)

Series: Xanth Novels
Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (February 16, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0765324156

(cover art: Darrel K Sweet)

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Demons Don’t Dream begins a Xanth sequence as young adventures play for the highest stakes of all: the future of Xanth--and of Earth as well!
Dug thought that the disk he got from his friend was just a fantasy game.  He didn't particularly like fantasy games, but he'd made a bet with Ed, and a bet's a bet.  So he loaded the game and…
Within moments he had left Mundania and was standing in a forest glade in Xanth, with his Companion in Adventure Nada Naga -- a beautiful Princess who just happened to be a shape-changing serpent.  For a long time Dug thought that this was just an incredibly convincing virtual world.  Then he began to believe in Magic.  Which was a good thing, because the prize in this Game is the Power of Magic in Xanth.
In the next installment, Harpy Thyme, Gloha must brave a demoness and snow dragons, malevolent clouds and musical volcanoes, on a wild odyssey that takes her not only across the length and breadth of Xanth, but on journeys through Time, Space, and the perilous realms of Madness and Mundanity.

Many years ago I read a number of Piers Anthony’s Xanth books but along the way I guess I got to busy with family and stopped reading for a long time.

I found this book in a thrift store and decided it would be good for OUaT and grabbed it up.

Some might say that Piers Anthony is a genius.  Right from the beginning his books about Xanth, are full of “puns”.  After my first few books I wondered how he could possibly keep up the puns and keep finding new ones!  So, although years (eons?) have passed I found myself  rolling my eyes to the heavens as he once again managed to write, not just a story, but a game, using as many puns at before.  (re: a Humble Pie bush grew pies that made you humble if you ate it)

The first story Demons Don’t Dream was very original in that instead of just a story of someone (and some things) that live in Xanth having a story, he took someone from Mundania (that would be us) and brought them into his book via a game they had to play.

One thing I would say is that if you  have never read any Xanth books you wouldn’t enjoy this book because  knowing about Xanth and it’s magic's  would leave you wondering just what was going on.  But if you  have read some and want a trip back in time this would be a good book to read.

Unfortunately even reading this one book took me a very long time.. I was/ am dealing with much depression and anxiety and the passing of the love of my life, BooBoo Kitty.  So I have to admit that the book didn’t have enough of “something” to keep my mind off of other matters and so I didn’t jump back to the book each time I sat down.  But please know it was not the fault of the Author or the book.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Once Upon a Time VIII

Every year I wait for Carl to do my two favorite challenges. With the beginning of Spring  the first of the two begins… Once Upon a Time VIII.

My hopes may be more than I can even accomplish..but I will surely try!

onceup8200_zpsae373bec[2] You have a variety of choices as to how many books you want to read, and as always all Carl hopes for is that you all have fun!

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The Journey is a promise to read one book…so that’s what I will try.

It’s a toss up so I might get more then one (I would like that).  The Piers Anthony book called Xanth Two actually has 2 of his books in one.

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The other book is a birthday present from my friend Michelle who took a sneak peek at my wish list on Amazon.  I have a number of “Official Movie Guides” by Brian Sibley and so the Desolation of Smaug was on my list.  I hope he puts a third one out for the last of the series.

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On big photo in the book was a bunch of Happy Dwarves in Barrels.

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I generally write a much longer post but this is better then none!

Happy Once Upon a Time everyone!  I hope you all enjoy every book you read!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

In the Arena

In The Arena by Charlton Heston.

Hardcover: 592 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster(September 12, 1995)
ISBN-10: 0684803941

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From Booklist

You'd hardly expect Chuck Heston--as decent a guy as any American actor's ever been--to produce a racy tell-all, and he doesn't. Rather, he recounts his career, although only after glowingly recalling his rural Michigan childhood and poor adolescence in contrastingly tony Wilmette, Illinois--then as now among Chicago's wealthiest suburbs. A drama scholarship to Northwestern University set him on the road to success and a string of distinguished films rivaled by few other actors of his generation. The stories of making those movies are the meat here, with seasoning coming from Heston's parallel stage accomplishments, his activism with the Screen Actors' Guild (he succeeded Ronald Reagan as SAG president), words of wisdom on the crafts of acting and filmmaking, tart asides on current cultural foibles (like Reagan, he's a former Democrat turned staunch Republican), and loving references to wife and children. But there's no gossip, which movie lovers who especially admire the grand-style filmmaking of Heston's 1950s^-1960s heyday won't miss a bit, so enthralled they'll be with the production anecdotes about The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur, and El Cid, among others. Ray Olson

First off I will say I bought this book from the Friends of the Library for one dollar. (later, at home, I found it was autographed!  I know it’s a true autograph because I have a photo of “Moses” signed by Mr Heston and it’s a perfect match)

Anyway, I bought the book because of the price, and because it was in mint condition (never looked like it was read) and because I actually met Charlton Heston at an autograph show when I live in California.  He signed his skinny little butt off for two days all for charity.  I thought that was nice of him.

I also admit that Mr Heston didn’t win any “good votes” from me with his love of guns. But that’s a personal thing.  I’ve loved his movies over the years but never considered myself a “Heston Fan”..must have been those guns.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind if someone likes to Skeet Shoot or  Target Shoot etc I just don’t like how easy they are to get and I’ll drop the subject because the subject here is his autobiography.

I think he did a very good job writing the book.  Most of the time I felt as if I was sitting in a room and he was telling his story, which made me feel comfortable reading it.

I also found  he had a good sense of humor, and often wrote tid-bits in parenthesis which made him even more human.

Although the bulk of his book was about his movies he did it in a way that made them interesting.  He would talk about how he got the movie, who was going to be in it with him and what he thought of them.  Who was directing and how did he get along with him   It felt more like “behind the scenes” rather than a “list of my movies”.

Some stories were worth a chuckle like the one about Mr DeMille while shooting The Greatest Show on Earth….

The actors did very well, but it was a tricky shoot.  De Mille was giving last minute instructions one morning before a matinee when he noticed 2 extra girls chattering near the back of the tent.  “young lady,” he said, pointing, “no, you with the red scarf, miss.. yes, you.  I’m trying to explain to everyone what we have to do this afternoon, but you clearly feel what you’re saying to your friend is more important.  Please come down here and use the microphone, so we can all hear your vital message.

Very reluctantly, the girl came down, shyly took the mike and announced, “I just said , I wonder when that bald-headed old son of a bitch is gonna call lunch.”

DeMill knew when he was licked, when the laughing died , he took the mike back, “Lunch” he said.”

While reading his book I learned many small things like: a second unit director is the unit assembled to shoot all the action scenes. The first unit directors would shoot all the dialogue and close ups with the principles.

I guess I didn’t even realize how many movies he made and how many I had seen!  I do remember seeing Ben Hur as a class trip from school and was amazed that it had an “intermission” because the movie was so long!  (but I have to admit that as handsome as Heston was….. Stephen Boyd made my heart go pitty-pat lol

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Ok… so this took me forever to read..not because I didn’t find it a good  book, but because of health issues.   But slow or not I hope I never quit reading a good book!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Night Watch

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters.

Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Trade(September 27, 2006)
ISBN-10: 1594482306

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From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Waters (Fingersmith) applies her talent for literary suspense to WWII-era London in her latest historical. She populates the novel with ordinary people overlooked by history books and sets their individual passions against the chaotic background of extraordinary times. There are Kay, a "night watch" ambulance driver; her lover, Helen; two imprisoned conscientious objectors, upper-class Fraser and working-class Duncan; Duncan's sister, Viv; Viv's married soldier-lover, Reggie; and Julia, a building inspector–cum–mystery novelist. The novel works backward in time, beginning in 1947, as London emerges from the rubble of war, then to 1944, a time of nightly air raids, and finally to 1941, when the war's end was not in sight. Through all the turmoil on the world stage, the characters steal moments of love, fragments of calm and put their lives on the line for great sex and small kindnesses. Waters's sharply drawn page-turner doesn't quite equal the work of literary greats who've already mapped out WWII-era London. But she matches any of them with her scene of two women on the verge of an affair during a nighttime bombing raid, lost in blackout London with only the light of their passion as a guide

This is my third book by Sarah Waters.  The review from Amazon (long ago) made me pick it up and put in ye ol’ tbr pile.  It took forever but I finally got around to reading it.

It had many things in it that I enjoy reading about, especially reading about WWII.  I am not sure when or how I got so interested in a war that ended close to the time I was born, but somehow it happened. 

I also just love reading about England, most especially the Victorian times , and as I said times around WWII.  It’s also managed to make me read about Churchill .

This book had a bunch about how it was to survive during the war, and then trying to get back to life and try to feel as if it never happened, but those things are never forgotten and even change you for the rest of your life.  

As in Waters other books she brings many interesting characters to light, and with life being hard because of the war, the fact that they all struggled just to stay alive let alone keep secrets or doing the unthinkable to survive is very compelling reading.

Although I enjoyed this book, I have to admit that  I liked Fingersmith and the Little Stranger more.  However, that’s not to say you wouldn’t enjoy this book, especially if you have read others by Sarah Waters.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Accidents Happen

Accidents Happen by Louise Millar.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books(June 25, 2013)
ISBN-10: 145165670X

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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Kate Parker’s extraordinarily bad luck—both parents killed in a freak traffic accident on her wedding day, her husband murdered at home five years later—has left her wary about everything and overprotective of her 10-year-old son, Jack. Even her concerns about such warning flags as recent burglaries and a creepy neighbor’s behavior are considered just skittish Kate’s overreactions, especially by her in-laws, who threaten to raise Jack themselves. Kate’s sole and virtually obsessional solace lies in finding statistics showing the probability of danger in everyday life. So she’s instantly attracted to the book Beat the Odds and Change Your Life, left casually in a juice bar, and to its author, Jago Martin, an Edinburgh professor guest-lecturing at Oxford, who offers to help Kate deal with her anxiety. The risky activities Jago proposes actually make Kate feel alive again—the unlikely result of a pathological plan fueled by revenge. Fans of Millar’s accomplished debut, The Playdate (2012), won’t be surprised to find that things are not always what they seem here and that paranoia may indeed be just increased awareness. As Millar makes truth elusive and builds suspense, she is establishing herself in the top tier of writers of psychological thrillers. --Michele Leber

This was one of those “unexpected books”…  Of all things for me to be reading about with my problems, is someone who is “sick with anxiety”!  Needless to say I had bought the book a while ago and forgotten what it was about. The cover didn’t give anything away so I just jumped in.

At first one thinks that as bad as things are for ourselves this woman has got it worse!  And just when you begin to think she can beat her obsessions…. the total unexpected things begin to happen!

I actually enjoyed the book.. I found myself picking it up more often then other books just to see what was going to happen next !  Overall this was a good read, and I liked how it turned into a mystery more then just a “bad luck story”.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Never Come Back

Never Come Back by David Bell.

Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade (October 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0451417518

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Amazon Review

Elizabeth Hampton is consumed by grief when her mother dies unexpectedly. Leslie Hampton cared for Elizabeth’s troubled brother Ronnie’s special needs, assuming Elizabeth would take him in when the time came. But Leslie’s sudden death propels Elizabeth into a world of danger and double lives that undoes everything she thought she knew....
When police discover that Leslie was strangled, they immediately suspect that one of Ronnie’s outbursts took a tragic turn. Elizabeth can’t believe that her brother is capable of murder, but who else could have had a motive to kill their quiet, retired mother? 
More questions arise when a stranger is named in Leslie’s will: a woman also named Elizabeth. As the family’s secrets unravel, a man from Leslie’s past who claims to have all the answers shows up, but those answers might put Elizabeth and those she loves the most in mortal danger.
 

This is the 3rd book by David Bell that I have read. (Cemetery Girl and Hiding Place were the others) Every one of them has been easy reading (double spaced), enjoyable stories, and each was a book I couldn’t leave set down for too long.

Once again I would tell anyone who wants a fast reading enjoyable book to maybe take along with them to a doctors office or trip to pick up a David Bell book!

This particular book was a quick mystery on the death of  Elizabeth Hampton’s mother. Immediately the police suspected the son who is a special needs young man.  The story includes Elizabeth finding out things about her mom that she never knew, and the ending of the death of her mom has a quick twist at the end.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Walt Disney…

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler

Paperback: 912 pages
Publisher: Vintage (October 9, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0679757473

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From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Few men could be said to have as pervasive an influence on American culture as Walt Disney, and Gabler (Winchell) scours the historical record for as thorough an explanation of that influence as any biographer could muster. Every period of Disney's life is depicted in exacting detail, from the suffering endured on a childhood paper route to the making of Mary Poppins. The core of Gabler's story, though, is clearly in the early years of Disney's studio, from the creation of Mickey Mouse to the hands-on management of early hits like Fantasia and Pinocchio. "Even though Walt could neither animate, nor write, nor direct," Gabler notes, "he was the undisputed power at the studio." Yet there was significant disgruntlement within the ranks of Disney's employees, and Gabler traces the day-to-day resentments that eventually led to a bitter strike against the studio in 1941. That dispute helped harden Disney's anticommunism, which led to rumors of anti-Semitism, which are effectively debunked here. At times, Gabler lays on a bit thick the psychological interpretation of Disney as control freak, but his portrait is so engrossing that it's hard to picture the entertainment mogul playing with his toy trains and not imagine him building Disneyland in his head. 32 pages of photos.

ARGH!  I was beginning to think I would never finish this book!   And yes it says it’s 912 pages (which it is)..however.. the part you read is 633 pages.. the rest is the appendix and “names to pages”.

Anyway..I wanted to finally read about Walt Disney.  I had wanted to for some time if the truth be known.  You see, I grew up watching The Mickey Mouse Club with “Uncle Walt” and then the other Disney show “in living color”.  So when I was married and had 2 sons and we came to Florida to visit a friend we made a special trip to Disney World… something I dreamed of since I was a kid, and something I never thought would happen.  So when we got on this “Tram” and we headed towards Fantasyland and I started seeing the “hedges” cut into animal shapes from Disney movies… the tears began to flow!  A Dream come true.

Over many more years I would hear things like: working for Disney was not so nice as one would think.  Then I even met an artist who worked there during the years from sleeping beauty up to beauty and the beast.  He didn’t speak harshly about Walt himself but the business didn’t seem to be the happy loving place that was expected.

Reading this book cleared a bunch of that up.  I think I understand Walt Disney more now and although I can’t say I understand all his “mood changes”..I can say that I do believe he was a genius in kids body.  It was almost like he was born just to do the things that he did. 

But..it was not a book written in such a way that you rushed back after you set the book down. Parts were a little long in the tooth, but still I felt I was always learning to understand the mind of Walt Disney…but I am also sure NO ONE could ever really understand his genius mind.

So…bad eyes and all I am finally going to being another book!  This one was so big and I have been reading so slow that I only read 2 complete books last month!  Had I finished this one day sooner !….lol  isn’t that always the way? lol

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sometimes I Really DO Like Florida!

About 2 days ago I took some photo’s but then didn’t feel up to making the post..sigh.

Anyway.. it was a very grateful change in Florida’s weather that made me smile and get out the long pants and even a sweatshirt!  (happiness is wearing anything besides shorts!… only because it happens so seldom)

So.. lookey, lookey!………………… 

 

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..the, not so frequent cold, affords me to own ONE Pair of Flannels!  Just so I can feel a change in the temps!  I love when I have to drag the flannels out of the bottom of the pile!

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On the news of the cold temps, I do feel badly for our Manatee’s who do feel the chilly waters and gather near the nuclear plants for warmth each year.

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Proof of cold… Even Boo has his tootsies curled under to keep warm!

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We have since warmed up to nearly 80 for today but another cold front is coming and will get “nearly” as chilly as the last one.. Glory be! I get to wear the flannels a second time! hoot! hoot!

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books;(March 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9781400052189

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Amazon.com Review

From a single, abbreviated life grew a seemingly immortal line of cells that made some of the most crucial innovations in modern science possible. And from that same life, and those cells, Rebecca Skloot has fashioned in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks a fascinating and moving story of medicine and family, of how life is sustained in laboratories and in memory. Henrietta Lacks was a mother of five in Baltimore, a poor African American migrant from the tobacco farms of Virginia, who died from a cruelly aggressive cancer at the age of 30 in 1951. A sample of her cancerous tissue, taken without her knowledge or consent, as was the custom then, turned out to provide one of the holy grails of mid-century biology: human cells that could survive--even thrive--in the lab. Known as HeLa cells, their stunning potency gave scientists a building block for countless breakthroughs, beginning with the cure for polio. Meanwhile, Henrietta's family continued to live in poverty and frequently poor health, and their discovery decades later of her unknowing contribution--and her cells' strange survival--left them full of pride, anger, and suspicion. For a decade, Skloot doggedly but compassionately gathered the threads of these stories, slowly gaining the trust of the family while helping them learn the truth about Henrietta, and with their aid she tells a rich and haunting story that asks the questions, Who owns our bodies? And who carries our memories?

Wow.  Just … wow.

What an incredible story of both Henrietta Lacks and her entire family.

If you read this book and don’t come away having so many different feelings at nearly every chapter, then you don’t realize that this book is NOT fiction!

Many wrongs were done, but many rights happened because of them…however.. it never really makes it right.  I know that may not make sense, but you really have to read this story to know what I mean.

This story really did need to be told.. I am glad I came across this book and decided to read it.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni by Helen Wecker.

Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial(December 31, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0062110845

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Amazon.com Review

Imaginative and meticulously researched, this enchanting debut novel from Helene Wecker is, in reality, an historical fiction. Set primarily in turn-of-the-century Manhattan, it deliberately details the immigrant experience--the wonders and hardships of being in a new country and the discoveries, triumphs, and failures that follow--while bringing the city itself to life with such passion that New York of yore seems like a magical land. Beyond reality, however, The Golem and the Jinni, as the title implies, is also a fantastic work of fantasy. The Golem is an insatiably curious clay "woman" that was created to seem human while serving only her husband; the Jinni is a magical "man" whose fascination with mortals has left him nearly stripped of his own nature and forced to live as one. These mythical characters from otherwise clashing cultures not only coexist, but come to rely upon one another in order to exist at all. In turn, their story finds us not only rooting for them to find peace and happiness, but gaining a better understanding of our own human nature in the process. --Robin A. Rothman

This is my first book of 2014!…………..

Many times I read a review for a book and then get it....and then by the time I get to many of the books that I have on my shelves I’ve forgotten the reviews and am not completely sure what to expect!

The book began a little slow for me..but something about it kept my interest.

I think it was very different from anything I’ve read before.  Although, once again there was some history interlaced with mythical creatures.  One is made of clay the other a Jinni forced to be in the guise of a human male.

In the book you lean something about both creatures (being made by a wizard), the country they came from and where they wind up in olden times of Manhattan, what it was like back then is also interesting.

I might not ever pick up a book to see what “old Manhattan” was like but when things like that are in a book with an interesting and enjoyable story written around it I find I enjoy the book even more.

So if you like Wizardry and Golems and Jinni’s, and toss in a little history… you will certainly enjoy this book!