Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March 2020 Books I read

Desert Queen by Janet Wallach (lbrary) The story of Gertrude Bell who in the early 1900's traveled all over the middle east and was instrumental in negotiating with Bedouin tribes and putting King Faisal on the throne in Iraq. One of my favorite quotes from the book is from an Arab chief, who considers women inferior to men and says of her, "if the women of the Anglez are like her, the men must be like lions in strength and valor. We had better make peace wtih them."
Louisa May Alcott: The Woman behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen (audiobook) I really enjoyed listening to this one in the car. I learned a lot about Alcott and her family (although I had been to Orchard House before!)
Processed Cheese by Stephen Wright (library) I wanted to like this one more, but it just did not do it for me. It is a satire about consumerism....I have read Carl Hiaasen that do it better.
The Longing for Less by Kyle Chayka (library) I enjoyed this one, about Minimalism and our current obsession with it. Spurred by the Marie Kondo movement. But he traces the roots of minimalism thru architecture and art and sound. Very interesting.
Wild Horses by Dick Francis Murder and a movie made about horse-racing. I really enjoyed the movie set location for this mystery.
The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber (library) a memoir from a girl who has a Jordanian father. I was reading it for my Jordan trip. It is really good and has great things to say about how food makes us feel at home.
Hope in the Mail by Wendelin Van Draanen The story of how Wendelin became an author and her keys to a writing life.
A Spy in The House by Y. S. Lee (library) start of a series about a young girl thief who is trained to be a spy in 1800's London. This might be considered YA fiction. It was a fun read and I will be reading more of these when I can get them from the library again.
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson believe it or not, I had not actually read this book before! Published in 1962 and really has so relevance even today.  I highly recommend.
The Edge by Dick Francis A Train ride across Canada for Horse Racing enthusiasts and of course there is murder.
The Seashell on the Mountaintop by Alan Cutler part of my latest obsession with paleontology and geology. This is the story of Nicolaus Steno who first looked at the fossil record and decided to not continue with the idea of what the Bible and the church considered the age of the earth. He is basically the father of the science of geology.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High by Cameron Crowe The book that the movie was based on. Cameron Crowe was 22 when he went back to high school for a year to find out what really goes on with kids in high school.
Trudge by Lori Oliver-Tierney 50 year old Tierney decides to hike the John Muir Trail and this is her story. It was pretty good (I thought it better than Wild for sure)
The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen (library) I enjoy the mystery series by this author so I was excited to see a stand alone novel by her. Set during the war
This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger (library) I just read Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead and this was very similar to me. Instead of black boys in 1960's Florida, we have Native Americans in 1930's Minnesota. And the Native American story is a bit diluted by the two main protagonists being two white boys at the Indian School, however I really enjoyed it.
Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie I was trying to get into the mood of the middle east and really enjoy Agatha Christie's murders that are set in that area.
Bad News Travels Fast by Gar Anthony Haywood  Cute mystery about a couple who are retired and living out of their RV to avoid living with their adult children. Fun
Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz I was actually looking for the Dean Koontz about the Virus and that one cannot be found for love nor money, so I settled on this one about the aftermath of a plane crash. I have decided that I should not be reading depressing books at this time and I need more light hearted fare.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach: Banks Channel

Banks Channel separates Wrightsville Beach from the mainland and gives a protected mooring space for boats. I learned to sail on a sunfish in Banks Channel

An example of a postcard (the one third from the top) that does not have a divided back and the message had to be written on the front of the card (It is postmarked 1906) The card on the bottom is later and has the divided back for both message and address.
Unfortunately, folks aren’t practicing their social distancing  while boating during this virus !!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Nancy Drew Hardy Boys Super Mystery: Dead on Arrival

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys Super Mystery: Dead On Arrival

Dead On Arrival is a Super Mystery that was written in 1995. It capitalizes on the popularity of "Emergency" style tv shows involving Emergency Medical Technicians and combines it with the horror genre of body snatching. Bodies are being stolen from rescue squad ambulances and Frank and Joe Hardy have been asked by Chief McGinnis of River Heights to go undercover to try to foil the thieves.  In River Heights, they are staying at Nancy Drew's house and enjoying Hannah Gruen's cooking, while Nancy and Ned try to enjoy a candlelight dinner on their own.
Bess and George are away with their parents on vacation, so they do not make an appearance in this story, instead, we have Brenda Carlton. Brenda is an investigative reporter and a rival to Nancy. Brenda comes to Nancy to get her help in finding a missing reporter named Pam Harter. They need to find out what Pam was investigating and hopefully find her before it is too late. Brenda is a spoiled, annoying version of Penny Parker. Her father owns the newspaper and she just puts her nose into everyone's business, jumps to conclusions and throws her weight around with no consideration of consequences.
This book contains all sorts of clues as to the location of River Heights.  Pam Harter dates an architect who lives in Chicago. When Pam is found dead at a construction site that her boyfriend was working on in River Heights, he becomes a prime suspect.  Blaine, the boyfriend, was supposedly waiting on Pam at a restaurant in Chicago at the time of the murder. We find out that it is an hour and a half drive from River Heights to Chicago.  At another point in the story, after Nancy and Ned have been investigating at the restaurant in Chicago, it was only 2 hours later that they arrived at her house in River Heights.
They discover that Pam was investigating Margaret Cavallo, a state representative who is considering running for governor.  Cavallo's brother was one of the bodies stolen from a rescue squad ambulance after he died in a car crash.  So now the body snatching and the murder of Pam Harter are related.
Both Nancy and Ned and Frank and Joe Hardy get chloroformed by the bad guys. Frank and Joe try to rescue Nancy and Ned, but also get captured. Can Brenda Carlton, the obnoxious nosy reporter save the day? I will let you read the book and find out.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach: Fishing

In these days when you are supposed to keep your distance from other folks, I think fishing is a great way to pass the time. Even if you are on a pier with other folks, you can maintain your distance. Unfortunately, Wrightsville Beach has closed all beach access until March 31st.

The first postcard is a reproduction of a photograph from 1911 from Arcadia Publishing. The second postcard is what I consider a generic postcard of the time of a Big Fish...hard to tell if it is an actual spot on Wrightsville Beach and it is not used, so I have no message on the back and no postmark. The last postcard is from Johnnie Mercer's Fishing Pier --On the back it says, "For the best in fishing--especially Sheepshead, Blues, Drum, Mullet, Mackerel and Pompano. Tackle, Souvenirs and Refreshments shop at the Pier. Well lighted for night fishing. "

Monday, March 16, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach: Boat Racing

Two postcards representing the popularity of boat racing at Wrightsville beach from Canoe Races in 1912 to motorboats in the 1940's

On the back of the Canoe Racing postcard, the person says that they will be going out in a boat like that the next day!

Monday, March 09, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach: Arriving at the Beach

Both of these postcards represent the approach to Wrightsville Beach from Wilmington, NC.  The second one says on the back "One of North Carolina's splendid highways, from Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach skirts the mainland for two miles or more, and then extends directly along the beach for a considerable distance. Wrightsville Beach is a splendid island resort, eight miles east of Wilmington. "

Monday, March 02, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach: Surf

The Surf Postcard is from 1910 and the Lady in the Surf is a reproduction of a photo from 1937 made into a postcard by Arcadia publications. And the last postcard is from 1975