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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.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The 6th Lamentation

The 6th Lamentation by William Brodrick.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books;(July 27, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0142004626

 

 

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This first-time novelist was an Augustinian friar before becoming a barrister; his chief protagonist, Father Anselm, was a barrister before becoming a monk. The two vocations offer fitting keys--logic and compassion--to unlock the doors of this labyrinthine tale. A suspected Nazi war criminal, Eduard Schwermann, asks for sanctuary at Anselm's home, Larkwood Priory. When the Vatican asks Anselm to investigate on its behalf, Anselm finds reason to suspect the church itself may have been complicit in Schwermann's long-ago escape to England. In nearby London, dying Holocaust survivor Agnes Aubret shares a secret with her granddaughter, Lucy: Agnes was part of a French Resistance ring broken by Schwermann. Schwermann's trial begins with both Anselm and Lucy still hurrying to make sense of the past. Sticky strands of deceit, loss, and betrayal bind together a large cast of characters, and untangling them is both difficult and painful. Though Brodrick builds tension slowly (he's better at foreshadowing than planting clues), he's mapped his plot masterfully, and his approach to the thorny issues of justice and punishment is thoughtful and complex. Keir Graff

So... if you like historical fiction you may well enjoy this book.

It's a mystery with more then plenty of secrets to be learned about.    As you have read from the Amazon review it's a story concerning a Nazi criminal who has taken up sanctuary with the Monks.   Also of a lady named Agnes with many secrets as she is told she will soon die and now thinks she needs to tell the truth about her past... but more went on than even she was aware of. 

Surprises emerge as you read and never stop until the last page of the book. 

The author was so good that at times I felt the story was not fiction!  He did his homework well!   While many don't want to be reminder of the Holocaust and mass murders, which I can't say would be my first choice for reading, it was not overpowering and I found the book very well written and the characters made interesting enough that I wanted to know their whole story.

So the book gets a thumbs up from me.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Before Star Trek There Were Westerns.

I thought I'd play a little game...

Before DeForest Kelley became known as Dr McCoy from Star Trek, he made westerns.

I've posted some photo's here and want to see if you can name the western that the photo is from!

Good luck! (and no cheating!)  Everyone should be able to get "one"!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Rose

 

The Dark Rose by Erin Kelly.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books (January 29, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0143122746

From Booklist

Kelly follows up her outstanding debut (The Poison Tree, 2010) with another suspenseful tale that keeps the reader on edge until the last page. Quiet and troubled teenager Paul has become tangled up with hooligan Daniel, and the two of them get rich selling scrap metal they’ve ripped off from construction sites around Essex. When a run goes bad, leaving a man dead, Paul rats out Daniel in exchange for community service. He’s placed with a social-services group renovating a public garden, where he meets the mysterious Louisa. Louisa is tormented by her past; as a goth teen, her volatile relationship with a musician ended badly, and she’s blamed herself for the past 20 years. Despite their age difference, Paul and Louisa start an affair. Trying to hide their relationship while escaping their pasts proves to be too challenging for the lovers; a bad end seems inevitable, but there is considerable tension as it approaches. Reminiscent of early Ruth Rendell, Kelly is a master at teasing her readers by doling out just enough backstory, a little bit at a time, to keep the suspense high. --Rebecca Vnuk

I'm not a lover of books that jump back and forth.  Although the chapter gave the year in which things take place, I always find them hard to follow until I am half way through the book!  That being said, the book gradually got more and more secrets to come out and you found yourself wanting to know answers to certain things.

The last number of chapters really pulled the story all together rather quickly and put some twists into it so that the ending wasn't quite what was expected.

It may not be my all time favorite book but I was pulled into the story, and having accomplished that, I read the book rather fast. 

I know I don't write my own "reviews" but I figure that most of the time it was Amazons review that made me want to read the book so it would most likely be the reason someone else reads it!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Death Comes to Pemberley

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Vintage;(January 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 9780307950659

pemberly

 

From Booklist

Really, gentle reader, there are limits. When mystery grande dame P. D. James felt the mantle of Jane Austen fall on her shoulders, why didn’t she simply shrug it off? Instead, she has produced a straight-faced mystery—no zombies—in which a murdered body is found on the grounds of Darcy and Elizabeth’s stately home, Pemberley. James places a template of Austen characters and Austen-like language over a traditional mystery plot and even takes on the role of the omniscient Austen narrator herself. The mystery is set in 1803, six years after the wedding of Elizabeth and Darcy, with ample space given to catching us up on the recent doings of the Bennet family. On the mystery side, there’s plenty of action, from the discovery of Captain Denny’s body, through a trial, assorted deceptions and mix-ups, and love affairs. Unfortunately, though, if this is meant as an homage, it’s a pretty weak cup of tea, starting with a greatly diluted version of Austen’s famous “truth universally acknowledged” opening. James’ many fans will be pleased to see any kind of new book from the 91-year-old author, but discriminating Austen devotees are unlikely to appreciate the move from social comedy to murder.

I am not sure why I picked up this book unless it was because I saw it often in reviews and then found it at a thrift store.  I've never read Jane Austen so I was surprised that I had no problem following the story.  

I am glad that it had a mystery attached to it, or I might not have read the whole book.  I love watching movies like Pride and Prejudice but unless there is a mystery or murder, reading it takes me too long!

I will say that one doesn't have to have read other Austen books to be able to read this one.  It was pretty good.  I know this because when I can read a book quickly that means it kept my interest!  But, for sure, if you like Austen books you will positively like this one!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Garment of Shadows

Garment of Shadows by Laurie R King.

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Bantam;(August 20, 2013)
ISBN-10: 055338676X

 

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Laurie R. King’s New York Times bestselling novels of suspense featuring Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, comprise one of today’s most acclaimed mystery series. Now, in their newest and most thrilling adventure, the couple is separated by a shocking circumstance in a perilous part of the world, each racing against time to prevent an explosive catastrophe that could clothe them both in shrouds.
In a strange room in Morocco, Mary Russell is trying to solve a pressing mystery: Who am I? She has awakened with shadows in her mind, blood on her hands, and soldiers pounding on the door. Out in the hivelike streets, she discovers herself strangely adept in the skills of the underworld, escaping through alleys and rooftops, picking pockets and locks. She is clothed like a man, and armed only with her wits and a scrap of paper containing a mysterious Arabic phrase. Overhead, warplanes pass ominously north.
Meanwhile, Holmes is pulled by two old friends and a distant relation into the growing war between France, Spain, and the Rif Revolt led by Emir Abd el-Krim—who may be a Robin Hood or a power mad tribesman. The shadows of war are drawing over the ancient city of Fez, and Holmes badly wants the wisdom and courage of his wife, whom he’s learned, to his horror, has gone missing. As Holmes searches for her, and Russell searches for herself, each tries to crack deadly parallel puzzles before it’s too late for them, for Africa, and for the peace of Europe.
With the dazzling mix of period detail and contemporary pace that is her hallmark, Laurie R. King continues the stunningly suspenseful series that Lee Child called “the most sustained feat of imagination in mystery fiction today.”

It's been some time since I read  a Mary Russell book by Laurie R King.  I think I read all of them up until the last 2 or 3.    Many of the books take place in areas like Morocco or Palestine.

After reading so many Mary Russell books I feel like Sherlock was really married to her and that they both solved international crimes! 

This one was another enjoyable read.  But if you have not read any of the other books there are some mentions in the book referring to other stories and other characters. However, I will say that I don't feel you have to have read ALL the Mary Russell books to enjoy this one too.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Just Because the Hobbit movies are coming to an End.

I was digging in old photo's for Thowback Thursdays and I came across these four photo's I had taken EON's ago!  What they are, in case you aren't sure, is:  I first drew these four drawings on my old "bellbottom" jeans and then embroidered them.

The drawings I copied from a book by Rankin/ Bass of Tolkiens Hobbit story which they had made a cartoon out of ... again: eons ago.  I purchased the book in 1977 .   That gives you and idea of how old these are... when the jeans wore out I cut them off and sewed them to a second pair of jeans before they finally were getting not worth saving.

What no one realized back then is how many hours it takes to embroider these!  I had one person tell me they would pay me to do Smaug on his jean jacket... I told him I would only charge 1.00 an hour but Smaug would then cost about 45.00... he changed his mind lol.

Below is a scan of the book I copied the drawings from.. back then it was all there was of The Hobbit.

Now, of course we have Peter Jackson and his fabulous versions of Lord of the Rings and .. The Hobbit!

I doubt Peter Jackson will ever really know how it makes me, and many others, feel to see it come to life so magnificently!  It's like he got inside my head.  But actually it's what was in HIS head!  His obsession to do it and do it like no one else could have done.

Thank you more than you know Mr Jackson!

Meanwhile, I still have the old book... but no longer have the old embroideries....except for one...that's rather large.  It would surely not fit on a pair of jeans!

  

(it's about 38 inches wide and took nearly a year to embroider it all)

Anyway.... enough of old memories...and on to December when we get to see the last installment of Tolkien/ Peter Jackson's, The Hobbit!

A Place of Secrets

 

A Place of Secrets by Rachel Hore.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks;(January 31, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0805094490

From Booklist

Antiquarian book appraiser Jude Gower takes an assignment in Norfolk to evaluate the collection of eighteenth-century astronomer Anthony Wickham. Hore embellishes the tale with the familiar elements of the genre—family secrets, a blending of romance and suspense, and, of course, the requisite family mansion, this time a slightly eerie manor house called Starbrough Hall. Jude, whose family is from Norfolk, discovers a connection between her grandmother and a gypsy girl who played in the crumbling folly tower on the Starbrough property. A frightening dream has haunted Jude for a long time, and now, with the help of the handsome artist Euan, she begins to connect the puzzle of Gran’s memories, her own dreams, the gypsies, and Wickham’s folly. This romantic suspenser is rescued from cliché by the story’s momentum and the affectionate and compelling characters. It’s compulsively readable and highly entertaining. Readers who long for the old-fashioned gothic romance of Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, and Barbara Michaels will rejoice in the U.S. debut of this popular English author, and fans of Kate Morton’s The House at Riverton (2008)and Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea (2009) will be delighted. --

This book is partly a "falling in love" story... but only partly.  I am not a love story person per say   however, when it's the "back story" it's enjoyable.

Jude goes to a mansion type home to evaluate a library full of old astronomer book, papers, and even a telescope.  I found it interesting how they get evaluated.  I know about "first additions" but past that I know nothing. (big surprise huh?!)

Of course there is a story behind the books in the library of the home that gets you hooked.  Then you get to "meet" the man and his daughter who's books and paper's they were originally.   Of course this comes with a mystery!  Hooray for the mystery!  Each thing uncovered leads to another and so you find yourself drawn back to the book to see what's next ..and what's next?...another mystery leading from the one you just discovered!

This was another enjoyable read.  I do like when a story only lets out secrets a little at a time so you have to keep reading!

The Amazon review is right about the fact that if you enjoy Kate Morton and Susanna Kearsley then you will most likely enjoy this book.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

A Half Forgotten Song

A Half Forgotten Song by Katherine Webb.

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks;(May 28, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0062234463

 

From the Back Cover

A spellbinding tale about the power of love, the danger of obsession, and the unfaithful nature of memory, A Half Forgotten Song is by turns haunting, joyous, and heartbreaking

1937. In a windswept village on the Dorset coast, fourteen-year-old Mitzy Hatcher has endured a wild and lonely upbringing. But the arrival of renowned artist Charles Aubrey, along with his exotic mistress and their two daughters, changes everything. Over the course of three summers, Mitzy develops a deep and abiding bond with the Aubrey household, gradually becoming Charles's muse. Slowly, she begins to perceive a future she had never thought possible—and a powerful love is kindled in her. A love that will grow as she does: from innocence to obsession; from childish infatuation to something far more dangerous.

Years later, a young man in an art gallery happens upon a hastily drawn portrait and is intrigued by its curious intensity. The questions he asks lead him to the seaside village—and to the truth about those fevered summers of long ago.

Another enjoyable read!  I'm on a roll!

Once again it takes place in England. (sigh)  When a young man, newly divorced, goes searching for information on an Artist that he was trying to write a book about, his life changes... a lot!

Most of the book is told a memories of an old lady who once knew the artist Charles Aubrey.   Her youth.  Her adoration. and her obsession with him.   All makes you wonder what's true and what's fantasy?!  You guess about half of the answers but that other half is doled out in small increments.  It keeps you coming back to see if you are right or wrong.    Sometimes you are right... for a while.  Then the story changes and maybe you aren't right!

Along with all her memories, there are some "new" Aubrey drawings that come up for sale of a man named Dennis.  Who is Dennis? No one seems to know.  I will say that eventually you find out, but I don't want to say too much or you'll know the who story.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit.  I believe this is the second book I've read by Katherine Webb.  The first being The Legacy, which I also enjoyed. And if I remember right, it also concerned old memories.  I like that format as you feel you are really learning  a lot about the character.

Monday, November 03, 2014

The Tutor's Daughter

 

The Tutor's Daughter by Julie Klassen.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (January 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0764210696

 

Emma Smallwood, determined to help her widowed father regain his spirits when his academy fails, agrees to travel with him to the distant Cornwall coast, to the cliff-top manor of a baronet and his four sons. But after they arrive and begin teaching the younger boys, mysterious things begin to happen and danger mounts. Who does Emma hear playing the pianoforte, only to find the music room empty? Who sneaks into her room at night? Who rips a page from her journal, only to return it with a chilling illustration?
The baronet's older sons, Phillip and Henry, wrestle with problems--and secrets--of their own. They both remember Emma Smallwood from their days at her father's academy. She had been an awkward, studious girl. But now one of them finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her.
When the suspicious acts escalate, can the clever tutor's daughter figure out which brother to blame. . .and which brother to trust with her heart?

A bit unexpected, and yet a very enjoyable read!

I must have chosen this book because I read the amazon review and saw it took place in Cornwall England!

It wound up being a sort of love story.  Something I don't generally read.  However Julie Klassen was so very excellent in her character building that any love story was secondary to all the other goings on.

I totally enjoyed getting to be in Cornwall, and getting to know all of the characters one fault, or one good part at a time.  The family mysteries that were involved kept me reading every time I sat down!   I never realized that I was so "nosey"! haha

Anyway..this is a very enjoyable book.  Easy reading.  And well developed characters.  I think, if you are like me, and not really gung ho for a romance novel but are character driven that you would enjoy this book!

Rip Has Come and Gone.....again!

 

This year, as before, I only sign up to read one book, but obviously I read more!

Once again Carl pulled off another RIP Challenge and once again those of use to love his challenges read a lot and left reviews on the RIP Review site.

This is a list of the books I read this year.............

1.Bone Bed..........................Patricia Cornwell.....(480 pgs)
2.The Unburied......................Charles Palliser......(400 pgs)
3.Others............................James Herbert.........(512 pgs)
4.The Witches.......................Roald Dahl............(240 pgs)

5..Red Mist..........................Patricia Cornwell........(544 pgs)
6.This House is Haunted.............John Boyne............(291 pgs)
7.Rustication.......................Charles Palliser............(323 pgs)
8.The Dark..........................James Herbert............(442 pgs)

This is the first time I've read Patricia Cornwell and enjoyed the books I read.  

I've read James Herbert before and liked him with The Others but found The Dark a bit overwhelming.

This was also my first time for Charles Palliser.    It seems I did "two" of many authors this time.

The books were all good or ok but nothing here to jump up and down about.   Of all these books I'd still put The Thirteenth Tale at the top of the list.

I hope everyone had a good time this year and found some really good books!  I know I added some to my wish list from reading reviews.

Until next year... Happy RIP !!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Dark

dark

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!)