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.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Albany, O Albany

I always like novels set in the Capital District and this is no exception, made especially desirable by the fact that author Vincent Zandri will be here at the library in June. Zandri's new protagonist in the Concrete Pearl (yes, downtown Albany, Pearl Street)is Ava "Spike" Harrison, a tough-as-nails female construction company owner, battling to save her late father's business in the face of an asbestos scandal and murders. I love the references to the area - APL, Miss Albany Diner, etc., and the presence in the story of Tess and the Lark Tavern. Intend to ask how a writer goes about fictionalizing a real person, name and all. Permission? I read this on my Kindle and was distressed by the grammatical errors. Who to blame for that? I am eager to meet Vincent and ask some questions.

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