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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.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Dark

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The Dark by James Herbert.

Paperback: 442 pages
Publisher: Pan Macmillan;(April 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0330522078

A blackness leaves its lair, and begins slowly to spread

It came like a malignant shadow with seductive promises of power. Somewhere in the night, a small girl smiled as her mother burned, asylum inmates slaughtered their attendants, and in slimy tunnels once-human creatures gathered. Madness raged as the lights began to fade, and humanity was attacked by an ancient, unstoppable evil.

This is my third book by James Herbert and I am sorry to say my least favorite.

The Dark seems to represent the evil in all our minds.  And we do all have good and evil in us. 

He writes very creepy and scary but this time I felt it was overkill.  I got tired of the mass descriptive killings.  But I read the whole book and intend on finding others by James Herbert.  For some reason, other than on Amazon I don't seem to find any of his books.

This is a really short review because I have so much to do to get this computer back to "normal" if it's even possible !!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Letters from Skye

Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole.

Publisher: Ballantine Books (May 28, 2014)
ASIN: B00N4EKOXC  (287 pgs)

Review:

A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.

March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.

June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.

Thank you Cath.  (my "sis" from across the pond)

Cath read and wrote a review of Letters from Skye and when I said it sounded like I might like it she agreed.... and so I found a used copy.

I sat down and read the first 30 pages and emailed Cath.. "30 pages in and I love it".

Later that evening I finished the entire book!   That is a first for me!  I have never read a whole book in one day! (ok, so maybe if you count comic books!)

I am not a person to read "love stories".  But I think when they come into my reading, in this case the format of letters intrigued me, that they are such a refreshing change that I like them. 

This one began innocently as a fan writes an author about liking her book. (hmmm, I've done that and now friends with Michael Scott of Ireland who wrote the Secrets of Nicholas Flamel series of books!..but he's way to young for me LOL)  Anyway..  A friendship blossoms and then slowly you learn of both of their lives.  Then comes WWI and their lives change.  I don't want to say much even though the above review does.

I found this book captivating from the first "letter" and now, like Cath, I would love to see the Isle of Skye!

Great book.  Fast read.  A book just to make you feel good!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rustication

 

My 7th book for RIP

Rustication by Charles Palliser.

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (November 4, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0393088723

Amazon.com Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, November 2013: "Rusticated" was the polite 1800s term used when young men were suspended from school, and that's what’s happened to 17-year-old, opium-addicted Richard Shenstone at the start of Charles Pallister's creepy and addictive fourth novel. Shenstone is "sent down" from Cambridge and forced to return to his rural, rainy home, where he finds his family on the verge of losing their run-down mansion. His father has recently died, and his mother and sister are acting jumpy, sneaky, and strange. Told in the form of Richard's journal--"discovered" by the author 150 years later, in a county records office--we view the story, of desperate families acting desperately, through Richard's opium-fogged eyes. Pallister is an evocative writer, moody and lovely and atmospheric. At times, reading about life on the moors, I felt I should’ve been wrapped in an afghan blanket in front of a fire. As Richard once puts it, being stuck inside during the rain "felt frowsy, cabined, cribbed, and confined." Though the characters aren’t very likable, many of them self-absorbed and deceitful, the story is very catchy, a smart and spooky page turner. It's like reading a BBC Masterpiece Theater mystery, with a heavy dose of Downton (more like downtrodden) Abbey, with saucy maids and prude dowagers, earls and lords and priests. The dark, terrible truths slither out slowly, at times too slowly. “None of us can face the truth,” Richard says. Still, I’m always impressed by a writer who can keep me guessing for 300 pages and pull off one more twist on the last page. --Neal Thompson

This book was a bit different from other mysteries as it is written mostly as  "journal entries" of a young man named Richard Shenstone.

I'd say the first third of the book was not a huge page turner, although as with any book written similar to "private letters", it does entice you to be nosey and read on.

Then it picks up greatly and you, along with Richard Shenstone, try to figure out just what the heck is going on.  ... and then there's a murder. (knew there had to be one sooner or later!)  

One does find oneself thinking about "who did what, and when" and the fact that this has got to be the most gossipy town ever! 

Set in the 1880's the home and atmosphere is what you might call Dickenish.  Especially many of the characters.  The book is enjoyable, not top of the list, but still, if I find I don't skip a day reading at least some of the book, it can't be to badly written.

It is a good read for RIP.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Look What Can Be Found for Fifty Cents

So...

My girlfriend, Dottie and I go thrift-shopping now and then.  (ok.. maybe more than now and then).

She mostly collects Christmas stuff and I mostly collect books.  Key word is mostly..we seem to get other things now and again. heh.

Anyway.. we went to one of "our places" knowing there would be lots of books.  Thankfully, I am getting fussy at my choices ONLY because of space in this small apartment.  Dottie, on the other hand has a whole house AND a hubby that like to read too!

Between us she managed to pick up about 14 books for about 7.00.  cha-ching!

She came across one quite old book that looked pretty bad on the condition but when she opened it there were prints of old presidents.  Knowing I have been doing a lot of reading on them she called me over to see it.  I asked if she was getting the book.. she was unsure at the moment, so I said, ok IF you don't want it I will take it and I went back to digging thru these humongous boxes of books.   An hour later she said, you can have the book because I know you would like it.  Ok *smirk *  thanks Dottie.  I think she felt bad cause she had 14 books and I had 1 which is not for me but my son. 

So today I tried to do some research on this book.  Let me show you what little I found.................

 

Language
English.
Imprint
[New York, Bureau of national literature and art, c1901]
Physical description
28 l. illus., 24 ports., facsims. 52 x 42 cm. (this copy has only 23 ports, some with damage)

 

Subject
Presidents > United States > Portraits
Gravure company of America
Gravure company of America

Bibliographic information

Publication date
1901  (the copyright in this says 1907)
Note
Title from half-title.
Added half-title: The presidents.
First leaf printed on both sides.
The ports. are by the Gravure company of America. Each port. accompanied by guard-sheet with descriptive letter-press.
"The artists proof edition is limited to five thousand copies, each numbered and registered."

(below are just a few samples)............

 

I think they are fantastic!  There are rips on some and a number of them are missing but still.......... I love this book!

So.. Thank you again Dottie!  You can borrow it anytime! 

Isn't it amazing what fifty cents can get sometimes!... to be honest, you can't even get a cup of coffee for fifty cents!...  and yet..there's this book. *smile*

This House is Haunted

My 6th read for RIP.

 

This House is Haunted by John Boyne.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Other Press (October 8, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1590516796

From Booklist

Eliza Caine is orphaned at 21 when her father succumbs to the flu after he insisted on attending a reading by Charles Dickens in cold, wet weather. She is bereft and, like most heroines of the time, without resources. She has lost her home, and so she leaves her teaching job to take a position as governess to two children in Norfolk. The advertisement is somewhat irregular, but she summons her courage and travels to what should be her new life. But secrets and mysteries abound. There are no parents present, and no servants to speak of. No one will share any information, and terrible things keep happening. Isabella seems old beyond her years, while Eustace is sweet and lovable. Through dogged pursuit, Eliza ferrets out the horrific truth and survives the malevolence of the presence that haunts the house. As the fearful situation grows worse, Eliza finds a strength that is unexpected for her time and place. Does she solve the puzzle, and do she and the children survive? A perfect, shivery gothic tale. --Danise Hoover

Well now, this book was easy reading and quite enjoyable! 

Good background material so you never get lost, and just an all-'round quick "ghostly" read!  Can't ask for anything more during RIP!  Wow , I might even get one more read this month so that I don't embarrass myself on the book count for "things that go bump in the night"!   

This one did not go bump in the night though.  It more went, shove out the window, strangle, push down stairs.. in general: not all nice stuff  :o).  Like I said, perfect for RIP!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Five Came Back

 Five Came Back by Mark Harris.

Hardcover: 528 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press HC(February 27, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1594204306

From Booklist

*Starred Review* It’s hardly news that the movies affect and are affected by the broader canvas of popular culture and world history, but Harris—perhaps more successfully than any other writer, past or present—manages to find in that symbiotic relationship the stuff of great stories. He turned that unlikely trick in Pictures at a Revolution (2008), about the five Best Picture nominees in 1967 and how they defined a sea change in Hollywood and in society at large, and he does it again here. The number is once more five, but this time it’s five acclaimed directors who went to war in the 1940s to make propaganda films and came home changed by what they saw and what they did. The stories of what John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler, and Frank Capra did in the war are dramatic (Ford filming the opening salvo in the Battle of Midway from a rooftop; Wyler riding along on bombing missions over Germany; Stevens filming the horrific scenes at Dachau), but they are also stories of personal redemption, frustration, and even dishonesty (Huston receiving acclaim for the authenticity of his documentary San Pietro, which was made up almost entirely of reenactments). Every chapter contains small, priceless nuggets of movie history (Joseph Goebbels thought Wyler’s Mrs. Miniver was “an exemplary propaganda film” and hoped the Germans could copy it), and nearly every page offers an example of Harris’ ability to capture the essence of a person or an event in a few, perfectly chosen words (describing Huston as a “last-call bon vivant”). Narrative nonfiction that is as gloriously readable as it is unfailingly informative. --Bill Ott

Since my dear "sis" in England got me reading the Mitfords, and their lives contained a LOT of history, especially around WWII, I think I have become slightly obsessed with reading versions of that time period in America.  I've read more than I care to remember on Eleanor Roosevelt and Franklin, I have more books waiting about them and about Eisenhower and now I found this book about Hollywood and WWII !

I have to admit this was no "page-turner"... but... I did find it very interesting how Hollywood legends "went to war" with their camera's ..which is why when we now watch historical things about that war we see many parts that were filmed by these men.

In doing so much of WWII is also covered with a different perspective .  It's like saying (the truth) that there is always many sides of the same story depending on whose seeing it.

So.. if you want excitement and a fast paced book , this would not be for you, but if you hold interest in WWII and Hollywood..then you might like this book.

I, for one, am glad I didn't give up on it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Red Mist

(my 5th book for RIP)

Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell.

Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Berkley;(September 4, 2012)
ISBN-10: 9780425250433

 

 

On her quest to find out exactly what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, murdered six months before, Scarpetta drives to the Georgia Prison for Women to meet a convicted sex offender and the mother of a vicious and diabolically brilliant killer. Against the advice of her FBI criminal intelligence agent husband, Benton Wesley, Scarpetta is determined to hear this woman out.
Scarpetta has both personal and professional reasons to learn more about a string of grisly killings: the murder of a Savannah family years earlier, a young woman on death row, and then other inexplicable deaths that begin to occur at a breathtaking pace. Driven by inner forces, Scarpetta discovers connections that compel her to conclude that what she thought ended with Fielding’s death and an attempt on her own life is only the beginning of something far more destructive: a terrifying terrain of conspiracy and potential terrorism on an international scale.
And she is the only one who can stop it.

Of the few "Scarpetta" books I have read I found this one the most enjoyed so far.

Scarpetta , while trying to find out information of her friend Jack Fielding, finds herself as a target for a possible murder. 

This is a well driven mystery with a few more twists and turns throughout.  Although I am thinking all of the Scarpetta books will have a lot of similarity, I am finding reading some of them is a nice change.  You might want to try a few for yourself! 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Bone Bed

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Book 4 for RIP.

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult(October 16, 2012)
ISBN-10: 9780399157561

The Bone Bed by Patricia Cornwell.

 

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A woman has vanished while digging a dinosaur bone bed in the remote wilderness of Canada. Somehow, the only evidence has made its way to the inbox of Chief Medical Examiner Kay Scarpetta, over two thousand miles away in Boston. She has no idea why. But as events unfold with alarming speed, Scarpetta begins to suspect that the paleontologist’s disappearance is connected to a series of crimes much closer to home: a gruesome murder, inexplicable tortures, and trace evidence from the last living creatures of the dinosaur age.
When she turns to those around her, Scarpetta finds that the danger and suspicion have penetrated even her closest circles. Her niece Lucy speaks in riddles. Her lead investigator, Pete Marino, and FBI forensic psychologist and husband, Benton Wesley, have secrets of their own. Feeling alone and betrayed, Scarpetta is tempted by someone from her past as she tracks a killer both cunning and cruel.
This is Kay Scarpetta as you have never seen her before. The Bone Bed is a must read for any fan of this series, or an ideal starting point for new readers.

This is the first “Scarpetta” book I have read. But not the first Patricia Cornwell book.  In 2002 she put out a book called: Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper--Case Closed.  Which was her version of searching who the real Jack the Ripper was, and it was a very good book.

Although she has about 20 Scarpetta books out, and this is far (far) from the first, I did not find it hard to follow the characters.  The book is about  6 pages per chapter and 1 1/2 spacing, so reading it is easy and clear.

I found the book engaging but I wouldn’t say it is going to be an “all time favorite” but I will read a second Scarpetta book that I have here in the house , and if it’s as good as this one I have no doubt that somewhere down the road I will read others.

I do have to say there are books in which the characters grab me harder and make me want to read stories with them in it more than this did.. but as I said, it was engaging enough that I didn’t put it down and will read another to see if the characters grow on me more.

It’s a good “forensic mystery” and a fast read for anyone wanting such a book.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Happy Anniversary DeForest & Carolyn

Today, being the Anniversary of DeForest and Carolyn Kelley, I thought I would post a few photo’s of them.  They would have been married 69 years today. (married in 1945)

There are no words that can express how much they mean to me or how much I still miss them…

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(the  black and white photo is not mine.. the rest are my photo’s)

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I still love you with all my heart.

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Friday, September 05, 2014

The Unburied

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Book 3 for RIP.

The Unburied by Charles Palliser.

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux(November 24, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0374280355

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There are three separate tales interwoven in this novel-three tales that could be called ghost stories, for their mysteries can never be resolved, the victims and the perpetrators never laid to rest.
Dr. Courtine, an unworldly academic, is invited to spend the days before Christmas with an old friend. Twenty years have passed since Courtine and Austin last met, and the invitation to Austin's home in the cathedral close of Thurchester is a welcome one. When Courtine arrives, Austin tells him a tale of deadly rivalry and murder two centuries old. The mystery captures Courtine's donnish imagination, as it is intended to do.
Courtine also plans to pursue his research into another unresolved and older mystery in the labyrinthine cathedral library. If he can track down an elusive eleventh-century manuscript, he hopes to dispose of a deadly rival of his own. Doubly distracted, Courtine becomes unwittingly enmeshed in the sequence of terrible events that follows his arrival, and he becomes witness to a murder that seems never to have been committed.

First off, I think I grabbed this book at a thrift shop for 1.00.  I saw the title and thought this looks like it’s a good one for RIP.. and it was!

Seriously, I wasn’t sure if I’d like this or not since the historical parts were way earlier than most I read, and I don’t generally read about “religion” history.  But, something about it grabbed me right away and although I felt lost now and then I kept picking up the book to read more. I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did.

It read rather quickly (even when I was lost) and it slightly reminded my of television when they do “cold cases”… you sure can’t get much colder then this was! lol   So it is now onward and upward to the next book! (and no.. my tbr pile never EVER seems to get smaller!)

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Others

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Book 2 for RIP…

 

Others by James Herbert.

Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Forge Books;(October 14, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0312872933

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Amazon.com Review

Author of such classic chilling tales as The Fog and The Rats, Britain's foremost horror master James Herbert now cleverly transcends the boundaries of detective fiction and the supernatural for Others, a book that begins in the bowels of Hell. In this fiery underworld we meet a former Hollywood movie star, thrust there for a lifetime of depravity. But now this damned soul is given one more shot at redemption, a chance to live again as a human. Begging for a new judgment, he is sent back to earth, without memory of his past life or death. However, his new existence will be a wretched one, living in the body of Nicholas Dismas, a brilliant and tender-hearted private investigator sadly afflicted with horrendous physical deformities. Shunned by strangers, Nicholas struggles not only with his malformed body, but also with a troubling sense of self. Staring in the mirror, other eyes stare back, "too blurred for recognition. That ill-defined but handsome countenance had hinted at something too evasive to remember properly, too vague to focus upon, yet still filled me with a strange, elusive regret." It isn't until Dismas takes on a seemingly run-of-the-mill missing person's investigation that he begins to understand the origins of his own hellish identity.

Others is a dark exploration into the psyche of the eternal outsider, a tormented freak in a cruel society. Gory, but brilliantly conceived, Herbert will leave you feeling haunted long after reading his final words. --Naomi Gesinger

The last book I read by James Herbert was The Secrets of Crickley Hall.. and I enjoyed that one very much..  Now comes   “Others”.  ..and I have to say, once again, I enjoyed Mr. Herbert’s writing.

In this book he came up with such an unexpected protagonist (Nicholas Dismas) that I wasn’t sure in the beginning where this was going.  But he was so unexpected and unusual that he alone held my interest.

The first half of the book was good.

The second half was one of those when each time you sat down you grabbed the book to read “at least one chapter”… and with each chapter it picked up speed!

Most all books have “good and evil” in them… and the “evil” in this book was really disgusting!  ..which only means:  James Herbert has one heck of an imagination!!  I was glad he extended the book by letting me know why and how the whole thing came about .  I know I wouldn’t have been happy not knowing lol.

This is surely a read for RIP!  (and so is The Secrets of Crickley Hall, should you come across a copy)

Monday, September 01, 2014

The Witches

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My first book for RIP..

The Witches by Roald Dahl.

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux(August 27, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0374384592

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From ERICA JONG'S review in THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW:

“ ‘The Witches’ is a heroic tale. A schoolboy is transformed into a tiny mouse (with, however, the mind and language of a very bright child), and through his extraordinary bravery, he manages to save all the children of England from the same fate. Under the surface of this deceptively simple tale, which whizzes along and is great fun to read, lurks an interesting metaphor. This is the equation of childhood with mousedom. A child may be smaller than all the witchy, horrifying adults, but he can certainly outwit them. He is tiny and crushable, but he is also fast and well-nigh invisible. With the assistance of his benevolent Grandmamma (who hoists him up to things he can’t reach, secretes him in her handbag, feeds and cuddles him), he is able to outsmart nearly the whole adult world . . . The boy doesn’t mind being a mouse, he says, because ‘It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like so long as somebody loves you.’ And, indeed, the hero of this tale is loved. Whether as a boy or a mouse, he experiences the most extraordinary and unqualified approval from his grandmother—the sort of unconditional love adults and children alike crave.”

Well … it would seem that the review above says it all! 

Roald Dahl has written many books for children and I have yet to find a “bad one”.   When my children were very young I remember reading out loud to them James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. .. and here I am at 70 reading yet another of his children's books!

The book was given to me by my “adopted son”, Chris long ago..I knew I’d read it one day for RIP… I finally read it Chris!!!

Now I think I should read something a bit more adult-ish for RIP !   But, this is certainly a good book to read out loud to young children!

(oh, and if you want something really, really, really RIP-ish, and if you haven’t read it already, I recommend The Thirtheenth Tale!)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rip IX

Holy cow!  Nine years?!!!!..   Goodness gracious… Carl is at it  again!

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This year I am choosing……

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Read two books of any length that you believe fit within the R.I.P. categories.

Let me quote our Imperial Leader about the categories…

September 1st is right around the corner. It is time to begin.

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

As time has wound on I’ve honed this event down to two simple rules:

1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.

Here are a few books I will choose from..

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Or……. I may choose something else!

No matter what, the RIP challenge is always fun!  So come join us!  The link to join us is at the top, just click on “Carl” and the magic will begin!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Witch Wraith

Witch Wraith by Terry Brooks.

Series: The Dark Legacy of Shannara
Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (December 31, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0345523547

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For centuries the Four Lands enjoyed freedom from its demon-haunted past, protected by magic-enhanced borders from the dark dimension known as the Forbidding and the profound evil imprisoned there. But now the unthinkable is happening: The ancient wards securing the barrier between order and mayhem have begun to erode—and generations of bloodthirsty, monstrous creatures, fueled by a rage thousands of years in the making, are poised to spill forth, seeking revenge for what was done to them.
Young Elf Arling Elessedil possesses the enchanted means to close the breach and once more seal the denizens of the Forbidding in their prison. But when she falls into the hands of the powerful Federation’s diabolical Prime Minister, her efforts may be doomed. Only her determined sister, Aphen, who bears the Elfstones and commands their magic, has any hope of saving Arling from the hideous fate her captor has in store.
Meanwhile, Railing Ohmsford—desperate to save his imprisoned brother—seeks to discover if his famed but ill-fated ancestor Grianne is still alive and willing to help him save the world . . . no matter the odds or the consequences.

As always Terry Brooks ramps up his last book of the trilogy so that you tend to read it faster then the first two books! 

Of the 3 books I enjoyed this one the best.  Usually it is the first book because it grabs you and makes you start reading it… but he did a lot in this last book to give you things you didn’t expect.  Or if you did expect it.. it didn’t happen the way you thought it would.  So.. three cheers for yet another trilogy concerning the original Shannara books..   oh.. and I see a new book has just come out!  Obviously this man will write until his hand is a “stub” like his pencils!… oh wait, writers use computers.. until his fingers are “nubs” from typing!

Thank you Mr. Brooks.. I do like returning to Shannara with new reads now and then.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bloodfire Quest

Bloodfire Quest by Terry Brooks.

Series: The Dark Legacy of Shannara
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Del Rey(March 12, 2013)
ISBN-10: 9780345523501

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The adventure that started in Wards of Faerie takes a thrilling new turn, in the second novel of Terry Brooks’s brand-new trilogy—The Dark Legacy of Shannara!
The quest for the long-lost Elfstones has drawn the leader of the Druid order and her followers into the hellish dimension known as the Forbidding, where the most dangerous creatures banished from the Four Lands are imprisoned. Now the hunt for the powerful talismans that can save their world has become a series of great challenges: a desperate search for kidnapped comrades, a relentless battle against unspeakable predators, and a grim race to escape the Forbidding alive. But though freedom is closer than they know, it may come at a terrifying price.
Back in the village of Arborlon, the mystical, sentient tree that maintains the barrier between the Four Lands and the Forbidding is dying. And with each passing day, as the breach between the two worlds grows larger, the threat of the evil eager to spill forth and wreak havoc grows more dire. The only hope lies with a young Druid, faced with a staggering choice: cling to the life she cherishes or combat an army of darkness by making the ultimate sacrifice.

And so I finish book two of the trilogy! 

Terry Brooks has been one of those constant writers that seem to pop into my life every now and then, and even if you think, “hmmm I've read something like this before” he continually puts in these little gems that you are sure you never heard of before in any other book.  Bits that tell you Terry Brooks is not done creating! 

You know I don’t do good “reviews” which is why I always use the one from Amazon.  But I do like to say if I am enjoying the books or not (seldom “not” because if I am not I don’t finish the book!).   I sometimes fine it hard to read long series of books because the “main characters” in the first books are gone and replaced with new characters.  So then the new ones better be well defined and a good story for them to keep my interest. 

That being said… it’s time to move on to book 3!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Wards of Faerie

Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks.

Series: The Dark Legacy of Shannara
Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: Del Rey;(February 26, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0345523482

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Seven years after the conclusion of the High Druid of Shannara trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Terry Brooks at last revisits one of the most popular eras in the legendary epic fantasy series that has spellbound readers for more than three decades.
Tumultuous times are upon the world now known as the Four Lands. Users of magic are in conflict with proponents of science. The dwindling Druid order is threatened with extinction. A sinister politician has used treachery and murder to rise as prime minister of the mighty Federation. Meanwhile, poring through a long-forgotten diary, the young Druid Aphenglow Elessedil has stumbled upon the secret account of an Elven girl’s heartbreak and the shocking truth about the vanished Elfstones, which once warded the lands and kept evil at bay. But never has a little knowledge been so very dangerous—as Aphenglow quickly learns when she’s set upon by assassins. Yet there can be no turning back from the road to which fate has steered her. Whoever captures the Elfstones and their untold powers will surely hold the advantage in the devastating clash to come.

I have followed the Shannara series from the beginning, and like many long running series I still feel the first trilogy was the best.  That might well be because of how character driven I am and I really liked the characters in those books.  Now many new characters appear but live in the “same land” and have many adventures surrounding familiar things:  re: the Elfstones.  Having familiarity helps you want to stay with the series and his adventure writing and land building is of high quality.

It’s hard to recommend this trilogy (beginning book 2 right now) only because so much has come before, and it’s hard for many people to come into a series knowing that it’s almost “never ending” lol.  So my strong recommendation is, if you think this is a series you might like… begin at the beginning with: The Sword of Shannara, The Wishsong of Shannara, and the Elfstones of Shannara.

I intend to finish this trilogy and …not surprisingly.. Terry Brooks just had a new Shannara book released last month called: The High Druid's Blade: The Defenders of Shannara .

This whole series carries a likeness to the Lord of the Rings.. that sort of adventure along with some very nasty looking vile villains…  nuff said.     Ok, that’s it for now… off to begin book 2!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Washington Square Press (October 9, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0743298039

(guess what I just finished reading… again!)

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Amazon.com Review

Settle down to enjoy a rousing good ghost story with Diane Setterfield's debut novel, The Thirteenth Tale. Setterfield has rejuvenated the genre with this closely plotted, clever foray into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies, and half-truths. She never cheats by pulling a rabbit out of a hat; this atmospheric story hangs together perfectly.

There are two heroines here: Vida Winter, a famous author, whose life story is coming to an end, and Margaret Lea, a young, unworldly, bookish girl who is a bookseller in her father's shop. Vida has been confounding her biographers and fans for years by giving everybody a different version of her life, each time swearing it's the truth. Because of a biography that Margaret has written about brothers, Vida chooses Margaret to tell her story, all of it, for the first time. At their initial meeting, the conversation begins:

"You have given nineteen different versions of your life story to journalists in the last two years alone."
She [Vida] shrugged. "It's my profession. I'm a storyteller."
"I am a biographer, I work with facts."

The game is afoot and Margaret must spend some time sorting out whether or not Vida is actually ready to tell the whole truth. There is more here of Margaret discovering than of Vida cooperating wholeheartedly, but that is part of Vida's plan. The transformative power of truth informs the lives of both women by story's end, and The Thirteenth Tale is finally and convincingly told. --Valerie Ryan

So… I felt the need to reread something that I know I liked so that I really didn’t have to be “spot on” with my comprehension as I already knew what happened.   This is my fourth reading of The Thirteenth Tale.

Since it has been at least 2 years since I last read the book I knew there would be some things I hadn’t remembered.  Not long ago Diane Setterfield came out with a second book called Bellman and Black.  I think I was expecting something along the lines of Thirteenth Tale, which it was not, and so I was disappointed in her second book, but if she puts out a third one day I will certainly read it.

This book is the type I like for mysteries.  Vida Winter asks Margaret Lea to write her biography.  She comes to  learn that there are many family secrets to discover. Many she gets told by Vida (slowly) and some she stumbles upon and manages to find for herself. 

Of course, unless you are extremely sharp, the end has a bit of a twist…which I did start to figure out, but still came as a surprise. (well ok.. not a surprise since I have read it before).   Setterfield’s writing in this book is just fabulous.  No matter how many times I’ve read it, I figured it would be a slow go for me they way I have been lately with my reading. But, she hooked me good and even with my problems I could never let the book lie for very long without picking it up again for yet another chapter.. or two… or three. (short chapters!!)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… if you want a creepy, try to figure it out mystery… this is a book you should read!

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 .