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, February 7, 2011

Finishing out the year with 100

Made it to the century mark for 2010.

PAINTED LADIES by Robert Parker
Spenser dialogue kills again. Parker’s the best. But Hawk is missing.

****EMMA’S ROOM by Emma Donoghue
Excellent. Fascinating. Different approach to an unusual situation. Mostly related through the eyes of a five-year-boy who has never experienced the world outside the garden shed where he has been imprisoned with his young mother since before his birth.

SANTA FE EDGE by Stuart Woods
This was a little confusing because of all the hopping around the country on private planes with pilots named Bart and Teddy and Todd. Also, all the bad guys got away with a lot of clever stuff and were left unpunished. No main protagonist to root for.

MOONLIGHT MILES by Dennis LeHane (Kindle)
Lehane doesn’t disappoint. Patrick and Angie going on with their lives.

This is the hiker who chopped off his arm.

BROKEN by Karen Slaughter
Will Trent again. A dyslexic FBI agent?

by Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan
A psychiatrist’s stories of his most bizarre cases. Interesting final story on his mentor whose 183 IQ is assaulted by Alz.

SECRET HISTORIAN by Justin Spring (Life and times of Samuel Steward)
Huge book, quite fascinating, very sexual (homo-), but slow read. May buy it.

DEATH ON THE D-LIST by Nancy Grace
Much like her tv show, blah.

THE EDGE by Jeffery Deaver (Kindle)
Board gamer Corte plays deadly mind games with a heavy “lifter”, determined to kidnap and torture a police officer for information.

PRETTY LITTLE THINGS by Jilliane Hoffman
This was more than good. A cyberspace monster trolling for girls on the internet, kidnapping, murder and a FDLE agent with a missing teenage daughter. Solid read.


I returned a lot of stuff unread or partially read today. Is it me or is it the writers?

FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King
Short stories which I liked in varying degrees. King is a master of observing the human condition.

IN THE DARK by Brian Freeman
Jonathan Stride takes a sentimental, and torturous, journey through his youth and marriage, recreating the 30 year-old murder of his late wife’s sister. Too many suspects, too much pain. Good one.

the last time I saw you by Elizabeth Berg
Berg (who I met many years ago at a reading she did in Albany), author of Talk Before Sleep and other good ones, comes through again in her thoughtful way. Great characterization, reflections on life, at the approach of a 40-year class reunion. I have to be in the mood for Berg, but when I am she doesn’t disappoint.

Seems fitting that I should end the year with the final book from Tapply, who has been a consistently reliable writer of engaging stories. It is the last Brady Coyne novel and it was a good one as the lawyer addresses the murder of an old friend, but leaving unresolved the conflicts in his love life.

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