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.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Down and Out of it.

Just finishing my fourth Memorial Day weekend book. I have traveled no farther than between the bedroom and the deck for three straight days. The only time I've been without a book in hand is when the leash was in it. Okay, so I'm depressed, but I've done some good reading. I reached for an old friend - Jack Reacher in Lee Child's new 61 Hours. It was a barn burner and I raced through it. A bus trip halted by a mad winter storm strands Jack in a small South Dakota town in the midst of a good cop/bad cop scenario,a mysterious army installation, bikers and meth, a prison riot, a Mexican sadist and a stalwart old lady trying to do the right thing. An inferno of an ending leaves Jack's fate in doubt.

John Sandford'sStorm Preyfinds Lucas Davenport's surgeon wife Weather on the hit list after she glimpses the face of a killer. The intrigue heats up when another doctor is implicated in the robbery of the hospital pharmacy and death of a brave attendant. Weather meanwhile refuses to take precautions because of her participation in a rare proceedure necessary to separate conjoined twins. Where is Virgil Flowers when a real woman wants him?

Should be finished in the next hour with The Burial Place by Brian Freeman which I started this morning. Obviously a good read, involving a missing baby and a string of grisly murders, interesting cops, bad marriages.

Also finished today the Scent of a Dog by search and rescue trainer Susannah Charleson who adopts her own Golden Retriever puppy to train in the SAR field. Loved the dog relationship insights as well as the details of SAR ops.

Spent some time with The Essential Rumi, poet of love and separation. I'm feeling it. Working my pile down. Not manageable yet, but if I don't leave the house for another month or so, maybe.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Army Doc

I have a soft spot for military doctors and, although he is now a veteran suffering from PTSD and manning a mobile street hospital in D.C., Nick Garrity is a winning hero. Nick is carrying on a search for his best bud who saved his life in Afghanistan in the same disastrous suicide mission that killed Nick's fiancee. After four years, a slim clue surfaces that might lead him to his friend, and by following it, Nick and psych nurse Jillian Coates are embroiled with a psychopath in a complicated medical murder plot. The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer was a thriller that delivered.

Crazy Heart

I love this title. It resonated with me before I even knew what the book was about. No, I haven't seen the movie, but I can see why they made a movie based on it and I imagine it is good. Thomas Cobb's Bad Blake is the quintessential c/w singer boozing his way through the honky-tonks and his life. I don't know if it is stereotypical or true to life but it certainly hits all the right buttons. Gritty and colorful and sad.

The Autobiography of an Execution by David Dow recounts true experiences of a lawyer who handles only death row appeals. Not meaty enough for me.

The Way We Get By (dvd-documentary)investigates the lives and motivations of the veterans and other greeters at the Bangor, Maine airport who bid hello and goodbye to the military personnel on their way back and forth to combat.

Our Lady of Immaculate Deception by Nancy Martin is a weak imitation of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum. Didn’t finish it.

Saving Gracie by Carol Bradley is a heartbreaker and hopefully an eye-opener for pet lovers. True stories of puppy mills and one Cavalier King Charles spaniel who was rescued from a life of breeding. Informative, but tough to stomach.

How To Raise the Perfect Dog by Cesar Millan
This book was not very helpful and Millan is a jerk.

Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas After reading The Rainmaker I’m beginning to fall for these sappy tearjerkers as a pleasant way to waste an afternoon. In 1920’s Colorado mining town, kids are killed in an avalanche; this recounts their parent’s sad backstories leading up to the tragedy.

A Thousand Cuts by Simon Lelic
Didn’t like it, didn’t finish.