In the beginning...

...there were The Flyaways, a family who traveled in their miraculous flying machine having daring adventures with Goldilocks and Cinderella. The first in the 3-book series by Alice Dale Hardy was published by Grosset and Dunlap in 1925 and copies are almost extinct. Few people remember Ma and Pa, Tommy and Susie Flyaway now.

I became acquainted with them on my grandfather's lap, my dear Grandpa Baker who read and read and read to me every evening for as many years as I can remember. I would hold my breath as each chapter ending neared, hoping he would not stop. I would keep begging for "just one more" chapter until his voice got so hoarse I would have to run to his room to get his throat lozenges.

Over the years we covered all of Uncle Wiggly and Honey Bunch, the Bobbsey Twins, the Five Little Peppers, the Wind in the Willow series, some of them more than once. He read to me until long after I could read everything for myself, until I was into Beverly Gray, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I was safe and happy snuggled up on the couch with him and that feeling has never left me. I still read and read and read, and it still makes me feel safe and happy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Marcus Sakey

Marcus Sakey is one cute dude (all the cute ones are married) as well as a terrific storyteller. I am on the last chapter of his new crime novel The Amateurs which I could easily have finished it on the deck in the sun after work, but I stopped just short of the conclusion because I didn't want it to end.

Sakey is a relatively new discovery. I've read a couple of his others and was waiting, not too patiently, for a new one. It did not disappoint. Great plot: four drinking buddies - a bond trader, a bartender, a doorman and a travel agent - who play the "what if" game at their favorite bar once too often. Sakey superbly explores each of their motives and the consequences for committing a serious crime that swiftly becomes a deadly game. The action is riveting and well plotted, the characters well drawn.

I had already joined his fans on Facebook when I sent my boss to meet the author at the ALA convention in his home base of Chicago. She brought me back an autographed galley copy of his soon-to-be-released book. I hurried through James Lee Burke to get to it and already I want more. Thanks, Marcus. Please write faster.

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