Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Book List January 2023


Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (library)  I liked it. The characters definitely seem to be "on the spectrum" Dysfunctional family drama and while not really comedic, it was a fun read. 
Death in a Desert Land by Andrew Wilson (library) another fun one where Agatha Christie solves the mystery. I like all the hints at real people and places that Agatha encountered in real life. 
A Dangerous Business by Jane Smiley (library) I really enjoyed this one about a girl in a brothel in 1800's Monterey, CA. It's got all the historical atmosphere and a murder mystery element as well. 
Sitka by Louis L'Amour  a rollicking Alaska Adventure with a lot of the real history behind the Seward's Folly included. It takes half the book for you to actually get to Alaska. You begin with the protagonist as an orphan in the swamps? of the Susquehanna! And follow his adventures across the country to San Francisco. Enjoyable fluff
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair okay, so I say that I never want to read a book on a kindle or e-reader etc. But I was stuck on a flight and I did not have a back-up book in my bag and I was forced to see what I had on my phone!! And lo and behold, I had downloaded this free book ages ago (it is a favorite) - so I read it to pass the time on my commute to work. Still a great read in my opinion. But reading on the screen does give me a headache!
Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen His stories are sometimes so over the top crazy. But then again, they are set in Florida and some of the stories do have a "ripped from the headlines" feel to them!! LOL
The Last Flight by Julie Clark (library) interesting twist on a thriller where two ladies switch airline tickets and then one of the planes crashes into the ocean with no survivors! 
A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz I enjoyed Magpie Murders so now I am reading  more of Anthony Horowitz. If you like modern British mysteries, give these a try! 
Key West Connection by Randy Wayne White This was his first book that he got published back in the day and it is interesting to see how he evolved his characters from this beginning to what kinds of books he writes now. 
A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans The true story of a wolf who visited a community in Alaska and interacted with the people for several years. Spoiler alert: it is a book about dogs, you are gonna cry
Breakdown by Sara Paretsky (audiobook) I used to like the V I Warshawski books, but lately the last few I have read, I have not enjoyed very much. Suffered through this one in the car. 

Monday, January 30, 2023

Seattle Postcards: Salmon Fishing


We love our Salmon here in Seattle!

Monday, January 23, 2023

Seattle Postcards: Luna Park


These are some of my favorite cards from my collection. Very hard to find and often expensive. They are of a Coney Island style entertainment center that was on Alki Beach back in the day.  At night, the park was lit up brilliantly, with each building and ride outlined in light bulbs. The park could be seen from miles away and was advertised as a safe nighttime destination for women and children.  The rides were disassembled and removed in 1913, with the Zeum Carousel traveling to California (the carousel is now in operation at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco.)  Today all that remains of Luna Park are the original pilings, which are visible during extremely low tide and people often come from all over Seattle just to view these pilings!! The Luna Park Cafe just down the street was named after this, "The Greatest Amusement Park on the West Coast."

And here is a modern postcard celebrating Luna Park.

Monday, January 16, 2023

Seattle Postcards: Troll

The Fremont Troll used to be a sort of "local's only" secret treat. Now it is on the route of most city tours of  Seattle. Tour buses come by so everyone can get a photo op with the Troll.  The Troll is a statue, located on N. 36th Street at Troll Avenue N., under the north end of the Aurora Bridge. In 1989, the city asked the Fremont Arts Council to launch an art competition to rehabilitate the area under the bridge, which was becoming a dumping ground and haven for drug dealers. Therefore the Troll is considered an example of hostile architecture having been erected to deter the presence of homeless people and antisocial behavior under the bridge. It is clutching an actual VW as if it had just swiped it from the roadway above. Originally, the car held a time capsule including a plaster bust of  Elvis, which was stolen when the sculpture was vandalized.


Monday, January 09, 2023

Seattle Postcards: at night


I especially enjoy the antique postcards of Seattle at night. They are so atmospheric.

Monday, January 02, 2023

Seattle Postcards: Greetings

This year my postcards are all going to be from Seattle, WA! 
I collect lots of Seattle postcards and specifically, I love to find old ones from my neighborhood in West Seattle, but you will get to see many postcards from all over the Seattle area this year. 


Saturday, December 31, 2022

December 2022 Books I Read


Third Girl by Agatha Christie I like that Ariandne Oliver is in this book. I also appreciate the references to Colonel Race from Death on the Nile!  I enjoy when the books refer to the other books. 
A Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie Miss Marple goes on vacation!
Take a Look at the Five and Ten by Connie Willis (library) Such a lovely little book. A novella about nostalgia and a perfect little Christmas story.
Nemesis by Agatha Christie   Mr Rafiel, who we met in Caribbean Mystery asks Miss Marple to investigate a  murder after his death. This was the last Marple mystery that Christie wrote --although Sleeping Murder is published later, it was written in the 1940's. 
In The Clearing by J.P. Pomare (library) an Australian author, a really good thriller type book about a girl abducted by a cult. 
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner (audiobook) I really enjoyed this one --non fiction, a journalist investigates the Happiest places on earth, and does where you live, how you live make you happy? Are certain cultures predispositioned to be happy?
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie another collection of short stories published in 1960 and most of the stories are from years previous. It is fun to read the "holiday" themed one during the holidays. I think they actually used to publish her books to come out at Christmas time and the tag line was a "Christie for Christmas! "
Fairy Tale by Stephen King (library) very similar to Mr Harrigan's Phone. A boy works for an old man who dies and leaves him a disturbing legacy! 
Curtain by Agatha Christie  She wrote wrote Hercule Poirot's last mystery, and Sleeping Murder during World War II to be published after her death. It is interesting how she was so ready to kill off Poirot at this "early" point in her career. And I for one appreciate the books where she departs from Poirot. But he was much loved by the general public. 
Righteous Prey by John Sandford (library) A nice enjoyable break from all the Agatha Christie lately. I love the characters and it was fun to see Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers actually work a case together. 
No Plan B by Lee Child and Andrew Child (library) another break from Agatha Christie. The latest Jack Reacher, very much to the standard code, no surprises or deviations. I was reading this at the same time I also read Righteous Prey by Sandford and I totally preferred the John Sandford book, because of the interplay between the beloved characters in the Prey book. It also was very formulaic, but the enjoyment of hanging with the characters overshadowed that (also I find this with Agatha Christie too, her plots start to merge together in my mind, but I am there for the characters.) Child just has Reacher and he is just the same and probably could do with some growing and changing. My favorite Reacher books are where he thought he had a kid or he was inheriting a house and his life might change...but then it doesn't change and we get the same book over and over again. 
Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie A girl remembers a murder from her childhood and at first thinks that she is imagining it or she is going crazy, but they start to investigate to see if she really did witness a murder from 20 years ago! This is the last Miss Marple Mystery. 
The Memory of All That by Betsy Blair (library) Her autobiography. She was the wife of Gene Kelly during the 1940's-50's and her experiences with the Hollywood system and being blacklisted. Very interesting. 
A Different Kind of Evil by Andrew Wilson (library) another of these books where Agatha Christie is playing detective and solves the mystery. I do like how he weaves what was going on in Christie's life at the time with what was going on in the world and creates these books from that historical record. 

And Hurrah! I accomplished my resolution to read all the Agatha Christie books this year! I will admit that there are two short story compilations: Poirot's Early Cases and Miss Marple's Final Cases, that I did not get to yet but these contain stories that were in other compilations, so I don't feel like I missed anything. Also I did not read the plays, or her romance novels. Nor did I read her Autobiography or Come Tell Me How You Live about her life with Max on archeological digs. I might do that in 2023, but I will definitely be taking a break from Christie for a few months! Ha ha But I will continue to read the Andrew Wilson books where Christie is a character solving mysteries.