Tuesday, June 30, 2020

June 2020 Books I read

Prague by Arthur Phillips I do not recommend. maybe it is because I am reading this during the whole corona virus thing, but I thought it was elitist and it was just about spoiled white people living in Buda or Pest and being assholes. 
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver  (audio book) Loved it and loved the environmental message
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon part mystery, part coming of age set in 1970's England. I really enjoyed it. Highly recommend
Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham Memoir in the form of little essays by the actress from the Gilmore Girls. She has a BA in English and wrote another book, so I am going to have to look for it! 
The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle fabulous movie with Helen Mirren and Ian McKellan and the book was very good as well. Lots of twists and turns. I had seen the movie first. so I knew what to expect in the book, but it was still a pleasure to read. 
Heartburn by Nora Ephron again, because I was reading this during corona virus times....I thought it was a little entitled.  Get over it. was what I was thinking a lot. 
The Case of the Blonde Bonanza by Erle Stanley Gardner fun mystery about an attractive woman who is getting paid to gain weight--yeah, something fishy going on there!! LOL
Devils Tower Stories in Stone by Mary Alice Gunderson I always buy books like these when I visit National Parks and Museums. I have a huge collection. So since I have not been able to visit a library in a while, I am delving into my stash. A nice collection of the geology,  history and mythology surrounding Devils Tower. 
Idolmaker by Jonelle Patrick I am enjoying these mysteries set in Japan. The details of modern Japan are fun. In this one, an earthquake and tsunami provide more atmosphere in addition to the regular foreignness
They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer an amazing book about the average German folks during the Nazi regime. Why they joined the Nazi Party, Why they really did not know what was going on, or just ignored what was going on in their country. The scary part is that you can see so many parallels in what is happening in the USA today. 
The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett dystopian novel about a world where after the "destruction" no city can exist of more than one thousand people. (how does this seem to be so current right now???!!) 
The Crow Trap by Ann Cleeves The British TV show Vera is based on these books. I quite enjoyed it and will be happy to read more (and I have actually never watched an episode of Vera, but I need to do that now too!) 
So Much for That by Lionel Shriver I am a fan of Lionel Shriver and this book is no exception. Here she takes on Cancer and healthcare and retirement.  
Force of Nature by Jane Harper 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach Comic Postcards

Here is a selection of comic postcards that are really generic and could come from any coastal beach town. They have Wrightsville Beach and specifically Johnnie Mercer's Pier printed across the top to let us know that they are from Wrightsville Beach in North Carolina.

A reminder to folks who are fans of my postcard posts. Coming in 2021, I will be highlighting the cards that you guys send to me. So send me a postcard! And you will see it on the blog in 2021.  Amanda Arkebauer PO Box 16131 Seattle, WA  98116

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys Super mysteries Fan Favorites

Fan Favorite Super Mysteries High Survival and Process of Elimination  Published Jan 2020

I am usually super disappointed with the super mysteries, but they do have their fans and I have asked for feedback as to what were your favorite super mysteries so that I can see if I like them any better than the others. So two of the fan favorites are High Survival and Process of Elimination.
High Survival was published in 1991
Nancy and George are on a wilderness survival course. We are told that Frank and Joe Hardy were supposed to come also, but did not get their applications in in time. A group of other kids in the course are from a private high school near Chicago. Nancy says, " We are from near there too."  The kids recognize Nancy Drew as a detective. They know that she and the Hardy Boys solved a diamond theft case.
When sabotage starts happening, Nancy calls Frank and Joe and asks them to follow the group into the wilderness. There is a lot of action in this book. Nancy and George get to prove that they are just as competent in the wild as any boy would be.  The mystery itself starts to get a little wild and I had to suspend belief near the end of the book when they build a raft from logs and a tent while a forest fire is raging so that they can ride the rapids to safety.  I had no problem with Frank and Joe dangling from the skids of a helicopter like something out of a Mission Impossible movie, but when they build a raft from a tent, I had to draw the line!
Nancy was represented well in this book and was on equal footing with the Hardy Boys. There was not a lot of romance in the book either, so I will agree that High Survival is one of the better super mysteries.
Process of Elimination was published in 1998 and is the last of the super mystery books.  It starts immediately with a murder and gun play factors in much of the book. Both Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys are shot at and involved in shootings! Nancy and Bess are attending an environmental conference and the Hardy Boys are on vacation while their father is attending a security convention.
Bess gets a concusion and is in the hospital for much of the book, so it is just Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys solving the mystery. Nancy tricks a forensic police officer into letting her see him match a bullet and Frank breaks the speed limit while driving through a deserted neighborhood.  Frank, Joe and Nancy are trapped in a burning warehouse and all work together to save each other.  Both Nancy and the Hardy Boys call their fathers for help on this mystery. Both books had a lot of action, I could totally see them filmed as TV episodes and romance was not a priority. Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were portrayed as equals, with the girls and the boys doing the same amount of sleuthing.
The detectives work together as equals, romance is not a huge factor, and is only used to further the plot so I can see why these books are fan favorites.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach 50's-60's

These cards are from the 1950's-60's The first highlights the drawbridge over to Wrightsville Beach crossing over the intracoastal waterway. And the second is folks frolicking in the surf. The third is just a view of the beach from the ocean side.

When I first thought of doing postcards from one destination all year, I had no idea that we would be sheltering in place and being restricted in our travel this year!!  It is almost like I predicted that my entire year of 2020 would be in only one place. How weird is that?? I do not live at Wrightsville Beach anymore, but I figure folks who live in such places are very lucky. Where I live now, I can see the water and the snow covered mountains at the SAME TIME.  I know folks who are looking out their windows to hummingbirds and gorgeous sunsets and amazing clouds and storms and part of my postcard message this year is that there is so much history, beauty and nature wherever you are....and I hope that while staying at home, everyone is appreciating their places in the world. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach Sun Bathing

Pretty Generic views of folks enjoying the beaches. My cards from this period have postmarks from the 1940's and 1950's.

A reminder to folks who are fans of my postcard posts. Coming in 2021, I will be highlighting the cards that you guys send to me. I post once a week, so I need at least 52 postcards!! So send me a postcard! And you will see it on the blog in 2021.  Amanda Arkebauer PO Box 16131 Seattle, WA  98116

Monday, June 08, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach 1907/1911

Another illustration of the differences between postcards in only a few years in the early 1900's. The first card, the message is written on the front with only an address on the back and the next card allows message and address on the back.

Monday, June 01, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach Marine Corrosion Testing Station

The Marine Corrosion Testing Station at Wrightsville Beach, NC  and an odd subject for a postcard. This card is postmarked Aug 6 1966. And it was sent to a lady in La Junta, Colorado. It says that the International Nickel Company operated this station, the largest of its kind in the world! Metals, paints, ropes and woods are being studied for their resistance to marine degradation. 

The message on the back of the card is also interesting: "Dear Mother, We just took off hardly packed- we had to get away for a few days. We called Donald this A. M.  He was in bed hadn't gone to work. Love, Grace."