Archive for November, 2007

Part II:

The Subtle Knife…

Well… I finished Part II today!  And I have to say, although book I started off with a bit of disappointment, it hasn’t slowed down since ! 

After a scary beginning, when I thought they were going to do to me in book II what they did in book I (100 pages that could have easily been only 50).. the story introduced a new character in the form of a young boy named Will.

From the moment they met, in a world that was not Lyra’s nor was it Will’s, they managed to get in and out of trouble constantly!  When IN trouble it was a bit scary… and then the unexpected would happen to them and it was off to get into MORE trouble!

I like the character of Lyra (the star of the books) and they have brought in other interesting characters that make you like them despite who or what they are. (Witches for instance)

Eventually, Lyra and Will go in search for the Subtle Knife, not knowing why it’s so important.  They soon find out.. and after having two fingers cut off in a fight Will becomes the “bearer” of the knife.

Pursued by Spectors, Evil children, Lyra’s evil mother and creatures never before heard of they adventure out to find Will’s father.

I have to say that I do enjoy the characters and the adventure that’s being told.  As of the end of the Subtle Knife there are now Three “worlds” that are functioning in this story… and the Subtle Knife is able to “cut through” to any of them!

I’m glad I purchased this book.. and now I really want to see the movie!!!

Now, on to Part III:

The Amber Spyglass…

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Remember this?…

Well, I’m still wearing it!  Still on crutches… still miserable!

Two weeks ago I had a second xray.. the doctor said, it’s doing “ok”.. whatever that’s worth.  He did say I could use just one crutch as long as it’s just a small amount of walking around the house. (Finally, I can carry my cup of coffee !!)  But.. ah, yes, there is always a but… in two weeks I go for yet ANOTHER xray!  Pahleeze, don’t ask how tired I am of it all !

I took the below photo the other day.. since then I have read even more and am only one chapter away from finishing “book two”, The Subtle Knife!

Some time ago I purchase a book called The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, it has raving reviews.  Knowing this is going to be a Trilogy, I decided to set it aside in the TBR pile until I could get the second book,  which was due out next April ’08. I know I would still have a long wait for the final installment, but at least I’d have sufficient background to remember what it was all about.  Since then I have read that the second book, A Wise Mans Fear, will not get release until April of  09! ARGH!  I sure hope it’s worth waiting for!  For now, I guess I will set that book away where I can’t see it!

Kester also checked out a few of those TBR books in the pile…

… I finally have a copy of Hounds of the Baskervilles to read!.. sometime soon.. really!…honest!… soon!

..and I will continue two more stores from Laurie R King on Mary Russell. (So far my favorite is still The Moor.)  .. I can’t say I’m fond of the new covers for the new releases of these books.. If I didn’t know what her writing and stories were like I may have skipped these… I would have much rather had a used hardback copy with the original art work on the dustcovers.  Ah well, thankfully they will read just as well…

Ok, that catches up with any happenings here… time to go rest the foot and finish reading The Subtle Knife, and begin the last of that trilogy, The Amber Spyglass.

…’till next time…

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A Piece of a Book

His Dark Materials  by Philip Pullman

Paperback: 944 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books (April 10, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0375847227

Notice how many pages??  Heh.. well actually this book is a combination of all 3 books that make up the trilogy.. and I just finished the first part:  The Golden Compass.

(You will see this photo two more times as I read  The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.)

Anyway.. since The Golden Compass is due out any day now as a movie, I thought I’d read it first to see what all the fuss was over.

I was anticipating that it would grab me right up as many YA books have done.  But that didn’t happen and that really surprised me.  It wasn’t until around 100 pages into it that it finally grabbed me.. and then it took off like  shot!   From there until the end of book one I read fairly quickly because I always wanted to know “what next?!”.. it was very good, and I can see that if the movie studios did good by it where it would make a great movie.

The main character of Lyra is well defined and you are given information so that you feel as if you know her… but do you really?  (since she doesn’t know herself…)  The story begins with Lyra and her kitchen friend Roger always sneaking around  on roof tops and underground at Oxford where she spends most of her time ignoring lessons and having fun.  What she doesn’t know is her life, as she knows it, is about to change and the choices she makes could affect more than just herself and her daemon Pan.

Once I got past a certain point I really enjoyed this story… but I have to say, that the fact it didn’t make me love it instantly was a disappointment, and to be honest.. so was the ending!  It was wrapped up rather quickly and I found myself thinking that something felt missing .

Now I know it continues in two more books, and I’ve even begun book 2.. ansimilar to book one,  as I read the first few pages I found myself wondering if this was really the second book…., where did this come from?  What happened to the other characters? 

I know it will tie in sooner or later, but this is not what I am used to.  When I read trilogies, generally book two picks up where one left off and lets you know a little something more before surging ahead and putting in new characters and new places.

I know these books have won awards and now even a movie contract, so I know Im in the minority here when I say that I have a feeling I will enjoy the movies more than the books… but I will continue to read… at least I hope so.  Book one was only 296 pages so I have a long way to go  yet… I am generally pulled into a book before 100 pages, or before I start thinking, maybe this isn’t for me… I’ve got my fingers crossed here!   

…of course I’ll let you know how it goes.. or IF it goes.. :o)

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The Holiday is good for more than just food!  This is the time they decide to put on some old movies that they rarely show!….

  Judge Hardy

 Mrs Hardy

  Andy Hardy


Yesterday and today TMC has been running several of the  old Andy Hardy movies.. and I’ve watched a bunch of them!

It is a look back to when the movie studios actually made movies that would be considered something like a Young Adult book!   Some of life’s little lessons.

In today’s terms most younger folk would think these movies are corny (if they even use that term!) But I sure loved (and still do) these movies.  Mickey Rooney was such a great character, and although he also made some really good movies close to the same time.. I think it was this series of movies that made him a household name.

But who did I like best?  Lewis Stone!  Gosh how I loved his character of Judge Hardy, and probably even more as his role being Andy Hardy’s dad.  I wanted someone just like him to be MY dad!!  .. heck, anyone who could get away with what Andy got away with and have his dad still love him… well, he HAD to be a really special dad!!

I really enjoyed watching  these movies the past two days.  Most of them had  actress Ann Rutherford as Mickey’s girlfriend, but in the last one or two  his girlfriend was played by none other than Judy Garland.

I love when TMC station runs a series like this!!   I wish they would do it with the old Charlie Chan movies too!  But I seem to never see them anymore.

Warner Oland along with Keye Luke (number one son) made most of the Charlie Chan movies…

But Sidney Toler was my favorite of those who portrayed the oriental sleuth!

Number one son, Keye Luke, had to share the screen with number 2 son, Jimmy played buy Victor Sen Yung.  Though, Keye Luke became more famous in the end.. not just for playing in Charlie Chan, but he had quite a career after that!


One of the comic relief characters was Birmingham Brown.. this man could make me laugh so much!  His eyes said it all.. but he got the good lines, like when he was scared and those eyes would open wide and he’d be heard to say:  Feet.. don’t fail me now!

Today’s movies consider a Trilogy as something amazing.. having 3 movies made usingthe same characters …but long long ..long ago… there were movies like Andy Hardy and Charlie Chan.  These old series may not have had any special effects.. but they sure had memorable characters!

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Kester’s thoughts on the Turkey…


Later that night….

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The Last Dragon

The Last Dragon  by: Silvana  De Mari

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Miramax; Reprint edition (October 2, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1423104056

(review by amazon)

Yorsh is the last of his kind, an elf child in a world that despises elves. He seeks warmth, food, and shelter but has found only cold, rain, and despair. When he meets two unlikely companionships-humans who help him in spite of their prejudices-Yorsh learns of a prophecy concerning the last dragon and the last elf: when these two break the circle there will be a new beginning. 

 The trio experience a host of comical misunderstandings that offset the dangerous situations they encounter in the Dark Mountains. Almost by chance, Yorsh stumbles across the dragon, but he finds that fulfilling the prophecy is steeped in complications.

The second half of the book, set 13 years later, deals with these challenges.  Yorsh guesses the identity of the human orphan girl before it is revealed and champion her role in the struggle. The solution to the prophecy is wrenching, but young fantasy fans will appreciate the many humorous touches and get caught up in this tale of strength and sacrifice

I am trying to figure out how I actually feel about this book.

On one hand, as I read.. I enjoyed it.   On the other hand… when I set it down I did not have that feeling of: maybe I’ll read just one more chapter each time I saw the book.  So, although I enjoyed the book..at the same time, I don’t think it’s a book I will read over, like many of my favorite books.

This is a fairy tale.  I didn’t feel the closeness to the characters as I do in many books that I read.. but it was a good story.  Some life’s lessons learned, or in the case of us elderly.. reminded of.  There were some comical parts that made me smile.. and some sad parts that.. well.. made me sad.    … and it is a book I think my grandson would enjoy.   So I guess I’d say.. it’s a good book, but just wasn’t my thing.

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Holiday Countdown

Happy day-before!

I suspect many ladies are busy already.  Possibly baking pun’kin pie and preparing all those extra goodies that always seem to go along with Holiday eats.

Turkey!  Stuffing! and Gravy.. oh my!! 

Oh yes, I am addicted to stuffing and gravy!  And there has to be lots and lots and lots of gravy!  Cannot, I say, cannot (!) eat stuffing without the gravy!!  Are you a gravy person? Oh boy.. I am!  I can put any sort of gravy on bread and skip the meal!  heh.. we won’t discuss that my thunder-thighs were made from gravy and bread…

One of the things I am thankful for during this holiday is the fact that Rutabagas are abundant… mmmm, mmmm, mmmm… and baby brussel sprouts!  This is the only time of the year I eat them to satisfaction.  And with a side dish or jellied cranberry sauce I am one happy camper!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day tomorrow.. with family.. with friends… and with whatever makes your meal special!!

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.. Yet another snow photo

Here’s one more picture of the snow from out the back door…

after that you KNOW I had to put Kester out on the deck to see his first snow!

.. ok I’m done now.. no more snow reports for today!

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November 19, 2007..


What’s that white stuff??!!…

Talk about having a shock!  I was sipping my Cafe Vienna when I felt chilled.. I turned and this is what I saw out my window!!  Hello?!  It’s not even Thanksgiving yet!!

But I can be thankful..it will be turning to rain.. I just hope this isn’t an early preview of a bad winter!!

Happy Monday!

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Buzz, buzz..

The Beekeepers Apprentice  by: Laurie R King

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (October 2, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0312427360

This is the first book of many that Laurie R King has written about Mary Russell, the lady who eventually becomes Mrs. Sherlock Holmes.  I wanted to read this one (since I already read The Moor) to see how they met and what they were like then.  There were some differences between The Moor and this book.. mostly I didn’t find quite as much of the humor I found in the Moor.  But..  for one, I needed to see how it all began.  And two: I wanted to hear those voices in my head again of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce!!  (I can’t help loving those old  old black and white movies, Hound of the Baskervilles, was always my favorite!). 

But back to the book…

At age 15 Mary Russell meets Sherlock Holmes, retired in Sussex Downs where Conan Doyle left him retired and raising bees.

Mary, is an orphan rebelling against her guardian aunt.  She impresses Holmes with her intelligence and Holmes takes her under his wing and teachers her the mysteries of detection, allowing her to participate in a few cases .

The cases begin very simple but as do many things.. they progress, until one day they find both of their lives at stake.  It’s either solve the case or die trying.

During the story you get to meet Watson, who at the time is also retired.  Familiar characters and/ or mention of them (such as Moriarty) pop up during this story. This was  an excellent book to read and I wouldn’t have missed it! 

Were I to have to choose which of  the two books I’ve read as a favorite though.. it would still be “The Moor”.  Partly for the humor and partly because it brought back much of the old Hound of the Baskervilles!   I am sure that I will read more of Laurie R King’s work (I like this Mary Russell !).. and also checking on getting a copy of Hound of the Baskerville’s!

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