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, August 19, 2011

Mother California

This was a totally excellent book by Ken Hartman, who was convicted at the age of 19 for murdering a man in a park, and sentenced to life without parole. He has traveled throughout the California prison system - Soledad, San Quentin, Folsom and others - and remains incarcerated 30+ years after his conviction. He met and married and fathered a child now in her teens who he adores. The quality of his writing displays talent, intellectual curiosity and a refreshing honesty about his own situation and the corrections system in general. Really, really good read.

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