Sunday, May 31, 2015

Books I read in May 2015

Blaze by Richard Bachman (Stephen King) the Stephen King version of Of Mice and Men. I liked it.
World War Z by Max Brooks (library) made into a movie, which I have not seen yet.  I liked that it was written in the style of transcripts of oral histories.
Rear Window and other stories by Cornell Woolrich I just found this author who was one of the major noir writers during that era. So I really liked reading his stories and I will definitely read more of his stuff!
Don't Point That Thing At Me by Kyril Bonfiglioli (library) the basis of the movie Mordecai.   This is probably one of the rare times where I liked the movie better than the book
West of Sunset by Stewart O'Nan (library) F. Scott Fitzgerald's years in Hollywood. I quite enjoyed it
Death Comes to Pemberly by P. D. James ( library audiobook) I like to listen to books that I have previously read on audiobook, because I have them to listen to while I drive and I don't want to have to concentrate on them too much.   If I am already familiar with the story, I can pay attention to my driving and not get distracted by the book!
Close to Shore by Michael Capuzzo (library) Non-fiction account of shark attacks that occurred in 1916 (and I believe many of these stories were the basis of the book Jaws by Peter Benchley.
Murder on the ICW by Ellen Elizabeth Hunter I only read this because it is set in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach, NC. The book and mystery are okay, but I get all my enjoyment out of her setting.
A Dog's Journey by W. Bruce Cameron (audiobook) sequel to A Dog's Purpose, LOVE it!!! Must read for anyone who loves dogs
Silent to the Bone by E. L. Konigsburg just okay, I think I liked her historical stuff the best
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon The real story of Highclere Castle during the late 1890's through the 1930's. I really liked this alot and highly recommend it. Especially to fans of Downton Abbey.
Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright (library) Learning more about this crazy religion. It is really fascinating
Dream Birds by Rob Nixon Part History of the Ostrich and Part Memoir, but I learned a lot about these interesting birds
Washed Up: The Curious Journeys of Flotsam and Jetsam by Skye Moody (library) As a life long beachcomber, I found this book a must read. Very interesting!! Highly recommend
The Second Mrs. Giaconda by E.L. Konigsburg I do enjoy her historical books more !! This one is about why Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa.
Gathering Prey by John Sandford (library)  I always enjoy these and can't wait for the next one. it's like visiting with an old friend at this point.  I enjoy the interaction between the characters more than the mystery almost!  The evolution of the relationships, and jokes and themes that are woven from book to book in this series are what I enjoy about this series.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Maryland

America's national anthem was written by Francis Scott Key a Maryland lawyer. It is believed Key wrote the anthem on September 14, 1814 while watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor. Since May 30th, 1949 the United States flag has flown continuously over the monument marking the site of Francis Scott Key's birthplace.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Maine

Maine is the only state that shares its border with only one other state. Maine produces 99% of all the blueberries in the country making it the single largest producer of blueberries in the United States. Acadia National Park is the second most visited national park in the United States. I'm looking forward to visiting Maine this year when Ryan completes his Appalachian Trail hike!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Louisiana

The world famous "Mardi Gras" is celebrated in New Orleans. Mardi Gras is an ancient custom that originated in southern Europe. It celebrates food and fun just before the 40 days of Lent: a Catholic time of prayer and sacrifice. Louisiana is the only state in the union that does not have counties. Its political subdivisions are called parishes. The Saint Charles streetcar line in New Orleans and the San Francisco, California cable cars are the nation's only mobile national monuments

Monday, May 04, 2015

Monday's Postcard 2015: Kentucky

The Bluegrass Country around Lexington is home to some of the world's finest racehorses. The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in the country. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville on the first Saturday in May. Thunder Over Louisville is the opening ceremony for the Kentucky Derby Festival and is the world's largest fireworks display.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Books I read in April 2015

The Diplomat and the Gold Piano
by Margaret Scherf  Margaret wrote a Nancy Drew book as Carolyn Keene (The Secret of the Wooden Lady, 1950) and this was one of her own books featuring adult sleuths, Emily and Henry Bryce who are decorators and provide the Gold Piano in the title. It was a fun read obviously written in 1964 and you get a very "Mad Men" feel from it.
The Stranger by Harlan Coben (library) great thriller, one of his best. lots of twists and turns
At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon (audiobook) listened to while driving around Appalachia
A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E.L. Konigsburg well this was an excellent way to learn about some English History. The life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. I still have a bunch of books by Konigsburg to read, but I have been enjoying them all.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (library) inspired me to get rid of several boxes and bags of stuff, but I still need to weed through my clothing again!!
The Clue in the Crumbling Wall by Carolyn Keene reading this to prep for my Nancy Drew convention in Iowa at the end of the month.
Something Rich and Strange by Ron Rash (library) loved this collection of short stories mainly set in Appalachia this author wrote Serena which I enjoyed.
Never Turn Your Back by Margaret Scherf This one was written in 1959 and Reverend Martin Buell, an Episcopalian minister in Montana is the sleuth. 
The Black Box by Michael Connelly (audiobook) listened to this one while driving from Asheville, NC to Damascus, VA and all around the AT in Virginia while doing Trail Magic for Ryan
The Bankers Bones by Margaret Scherf This book features Dr. Grace Severance as the sleuth and is set in Arizona. Dr. Severance is a retired pathologist. This was my favorite of the Scherf books I read this month.
Father's Arcane Daughter by E. L Konigsburg Yuck, my least favorite of Konigsburg's books so far and it seems this one was made into a Hallmark movie called Caroline. It was okay, but I would not rave about it.
What Came Before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George (audiobook) such a depressing story, but I loved the idea of this book. It takes what happened in George's previous book With No One as Witness and sees it from another angle. Really fascinating. Reminds me of exercises we would do in creative writing class. (like write about a car crash from the driver's point of write the same crash from the point of view of a woman walking her dog along the road)
Scarlett Slept Here: A Book Lover's Guide to the South by Joy Dickinson Bought while I was tooling around the VA mountains. And there was not much about Virginia in it unfortunately.
Nameless Night by G. M. Ford Ford's version of Bourne Identity
The Secret of the Spotted Shell by Phyllis A. Whitney a childhood favorite that I liberated from a thrift shop in the mountains of Virginia.
The Goodbye Body by Joan Hess I really like her Maggody series, which I think is more fun than this series.  This one is a "Claire Malloy Mystery" and Claire is a bookstore owner.