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, June 29, 2010

Oscar and more in June

The THIRD RAIL by Michael Harvey
Despite prominently displayed accolades by Michael Connelly and John Grisham, I didn’t find this crime novel to be above average. Standard cop turned PI, working with the FBI on sniper shootings on Chicago’s El, all relating to his own background.

Some thought provoking stuff in here. You can lose weight by just cutting 100 calories per day. Seems like next to nothing.

More mindless Stone Barrington antics, lightened by the inclusion of colorful Herbie Fisher.

The POACHER’S SON by Paul Doiron
Some meat in this one. A game warden in the Maine woods attempts to insert himself into the investigation for murder of his estranged father, jeopardizing his job, his life and his relationships.

SICK LIKE THAT by Norman Green
After PI Mary Stiles gets shot and paralyzed, two very different women team up to carry on his practice: Alessandra the ass-kicking Brooklyn girl and Sarah the meek receptionist. Not bad.

212 by Alafair Burke
I hate to complain because I love this woman’s father, but she just doesn’t compare to him when it comes to crime fiction. Not a bad read, but lacking his depth and descriptive powers.

GONE TIL NOVEMBER by Wallace Stroby
Deputy Sara Cross goes to the wall for her lover and former partner Billy Flynn in a questionable shooting death. Good character study of the good guys and bad.

This is not a cat book but a lose-your-loved-one-to-dementia-in-a-nursing-home book. The tears flowed from beginning to end. One of the best Alzheimer's memoirs I've read. Spot on.


Crazy Heart DVD
Down ‘n’ out c/w singer (perfectly played by Jeff Bridges in Rounds with Oscar themovie) loses his life in the bottle and trails down the road knowing he will never reclaim the glory.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Burning Wire

I have such admiration for Jeffery Deaver’s skills as a researcher, as well as a raconteur. The forensic details in all the Lincoln Rhyme books are amazing. I don’t know how one man could know so much without spending hours in the field or in the library. Electricity as a weapon was the subject of this caper and I certainly learned things, some frightening, others worrisome. There was a surprise at the end of this one concerning the players, but I won’t give it away.

Finished a true oldie called WITHOUT MERCY by Gary Provost - a bizarre case in Florida in the 80's about the murder of a gay businessman and, subsequently, his elderly mother. The murderers took over the man's identity, his restaurant, his home, sold all his property and assets, and managed to get away with this for many months. The woman involved - a mother, a waitress, a very well-liked person - was sorely messed up and never considered herself a killer. Either the woman was an accomplish actress, utterly stupid or just plain constantly drunk,but in any case you have little sympathy for her. She died on death row. Intriguing study of human foibles. Provost is good.

DECEPTION by Jonathan Kellerman
There is no shortage of suspects when prep school teacher Elise Freeman is “iced” in her home bathroom and secrets of her life and background begin to emerge. Dr. Alex Delaware seems to be more of the sidekick to colorful detective Milo Sturgis in recent books, rather than the intrepid hero.

Books were piling up and I didn’t feel compelled to finish this before moving on.

JUST LIKE FAMILY by Tasha Blaine
Inside the Lives of Nannies, the Parents They Work for and the Children They Love – pretty much sums it up. Followed three specific nannies. I learned some things. More than I wanted to know about the Nanny Association. Medium read.