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.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

VIncent Zandri

An Albany writer - I met him on Facebook. Not familiar with his name, I googled him and found he has published three novels with a fourth coming out soon. I was embarrassed. I am a crime book afficiando and I work in a library. My list of favorite authors is at least half crime writers and I was very surprised to find one right in Albany that I hadn' t heard of. I remedied that as soon as I could get my hands on a copy of his first book, As Catch Can. The protagonist is the warden of Green Haven prison, right down the Hudson. I loved the area references, as I do with Richard Strachey and Elizabeth Brundage. Elizabeth, btw, lives in New Scotland and is a lovely and successful author, with two great books out, The Doctor's Wife and Somebody's Daughter. She has been at the Voorheesville Library to do book signings, talks and workshops. Zandri's book was just the right combination of plot and action and I enjoyed it. I'll be waiting for the next.

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