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Archive for November, 2010

The Distant Hours

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Atria (November 9, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1439152780

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A letter posted in 1941 finally reaches its destination in 1992 with powerful repercussions for Edie Burchill, a London book editor, in this enthralling romantic thriller from Australian author Morton (The Forgotten Garden). At crumbling Milderhurst Castle live elderly twins Persephone and Seraphina and their younger half-sister, Juniper, the three eccentric spinster daughters of the late Raymond Blythe, author of The True History of the Mud Man, a children’s classic Edie adores. Juniper addressed the letter to Meredith, Edie’s mother, then a young teen evacuated to Milderhurst during the Blitz. Edie, who’s later invited to write an introduction to a reprint of Raymond’s masterpiece, visits the seedily alluring castle in search of answers. Why was her mother so shattered by the contents of a letter sent 51 years earlier? And what happened to soldier Thomas Cavill, Juniper’s long-missing fiancĂ© and Meredith’s former teacher? Despite the many competing narratives, the answers will stun readers.

This makes the third book I’ve read by Kate Morton.  The first book, House at Riverton I don’t think I was overly thrilled with..but I also think my expectations were way high for that type of books since I had read The Thirteenth Tale, and it didn’t live up to that book.  I think I am going to have to read the House at Riverton again.

Anyway.. when the Forgotten Garden came out the review read well, and I didn’t remember that it was the same author and I bought the book and enjoyed it very much.

… and then came The Distant Hours.

…Kate Morton has made leaps and bounds with her writing with each book she puts out… I can’t imagine what her next book will be like!

Very enjoyable.. and for much of the book it was one of those that the book wasn’t set down for very long before picking it up to “read one more chapter”.

This book is a case of discovering all the secrets to the lives of a number of people.  The three sisters of Milderhurst castle, and even her own mother! I can’t begin to tell you how this book makes me want to find out about my own mother and father of which I know nothing about my father at all.

This is not a book that you will have all figured out.  Oh no! It is a book of many surprises, so if you like mysteries about family secrets to solve you will enjoy this book!

The castle gives the whole gothic feel to the book and makes you want to find castles and then discover the mysteries of those castles too!

I have to say that this book is a keeper to be read again at some date and time.  And yes, I would certainly recommend this book to those who like gothic style mysteries.  It may be 576 pages long but it will go fast!

And now I am anxious to find out what her next book will be about!

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Turkey Day

If  pictures says a thousand words… then here’s a few thousand about my Turkey Day.

(above: stock for gravy)  (below: da boid!)

(below: taking out the stuffing)

(below: the table.  Turkey.stuffing.gravy.brussel sprouts. cranberry sauce and salad)

(below: Boo made sure he got his share of handouts from my friend Ella !)

(below: mmmmm I see plenty of Turkey soup in my future!)

I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a most glorious, tummy filled, day!

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Happy Day-Before.

Snow in southern Florida??  I don’t think so! But I can wish right?  So now all I have are my memories of snow and this little snowman on my door!

 

I will admit to missing watching it snow outside… but, of course, I don’t miss shoveling it or even getting around in ice and snow… but I do miss seeing it!  And so, I went digging into old photo’s and found this one of my son George…

(now that’s some snow!) 

Meanwhile….

Tomorrow is “Bird-day”!!   Ok, ok.. Thanksgiving.  And I will cook a rather large turkey.   This is a “must” so that I have all the proper ingredients for Turkey soup made about a week after !

My friend Ella, who lives here in this compound, and a person I worked with some 25 or more years ago at Sears, will join me to eat.   I am not doing “fancy” this year… I planned on being alone (but the company is welcome!) and so only will cook a turkey   with stuffing and gravy, and will add baby brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce.  Ella will bring a salad and that’s more then I need to eat!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving! 

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I went back to the used book store for Edward Rutherfurd’s other book that I had spotted there : London.  As you see, I managed to get it… and then I began to look around…

So… a few people told me how good The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd was and that London would also be good.. so.. being me, I figure I’ll go back and get it!  Heck it’s only 1.00!! 

It was a bad move. It was also Mistake number one.

I  picked up The Book Thief by Markus Zusak  (1.00),

Middlesex (that everyone has read but me.. 1.00) by Jeffrey Eugenides,

and Welcome to the World Baby Girl by Fannie Flag (1.00). 

That’s 3 more mistakes!  So far, that’s four mistakes!  But four seems to be a decent number…

Four Books= four dollars!  (see?!)

But then there was a 5th mistake ……

I went into the kids section of the used book store … (yup, big mistake!)  and found a book I already have, A Christmas Carol !  So, you’d think I’d leave it right?… wrong….This one was illustrated by Hildebrandt .  

1.00.  

I got it.

(I bought and read A Christmas Carol with illustrations last year but not this version, so this goes well to sit by it..)

Hildebrandt Illustrations:

While in the young peoples section I spotted Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (a bit more kids version)..

Yet another mistake:  I picked it up.

It  has illustrations in it!!

I got it.   3.00. 

(can you hear me sighing??? I’ll be surprised if you don’t!)

Now… where do I put THESE??  (Not that I have found a place for the last group I got from the used books store!!!!!)

*Help me!  Help me! I’m drowning in books!!!*

Hey Chris.. how about you and me open a used book store?!!!!

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Coming to an End

My Desert Flower seems to be ending for this year… but I see a bud hanging on, hoping to open.

… my Geraniums have seen better days lol

…and all the acorns  have fallen… it’s still rather hard for me to think of this as “fall”, but it is what it is…

For some time now there have been no new baby Moorhens.  The parents used to always chase off the “youngins” as they matured but they didn’t do that this year and we now have a pond FULL of Moorhens!  They are beginning to resemble “Cornish Hens” and people are wondering how they taste!!   I do hope some fly off before the “new season” begins!!!

I  believe that every one of these chicks are still here as adults!!!! (and the pond is not that big ..trust me!)

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The Blame Game

Chris at Stuff As Dreams Are Made On, (my adopted son!) likes to play the blame game… well this one is for HIM!  I blame ever one of the 4 books below on Chris!  Yup all Four!  ‘Cause he was the one to open his mouth about the good sale over at BookCloseOuts!  ppplllsssstttttttttttttt!!!!!  

So lessee… what do we have here?  A book on Cary Grant!  (something I wouldn’t have splurged for had it not been a dang cheap price!!) called Cary Grant: A Celebration of Style.  Sheesh, everything Cary Grant did had style!!  This book is like a table top book!  A bit larger in size and with the very shiny paper inside. (and lots of pictures!!)

Next is Hide and Seek with Angels: a life of J.M. Barrie of Peter Pan fame.  Not the nicest of people but very interesting how he pushed himself into the lives of others. I became interested in his story after reading Neverland by Piers Dudgeon.

Then there is : We Bought a Zoo.  This is a true story that I thought about getting at one point then changed my mind and then changed it again!  .. obviously.

Last but not least is Tamsin!  Finally!  I have wanted this one a long time but just never got it.. Tamsin is a double blame on Chris.. one for the Bookcloseout sale and the other for enjoying it so much when he wrote a review long ago.

 

So.. now we look below at yet mooorrreee books! (help me! help me!*)  These I will blame on Carl!  Yeah! Carl made me do it!  He’s to blame for addicting me to book buying!!!  So ..Carl is to blame!

These I got at a used book store..

The hardback Biography of Dickens ,by Fred Kaplan, was the most expensive. at 3.00 (and like new) over 600 pages of Dickens life… *oh boy, dunno when I will get to that one!*.  Amazon sells the paperback for 23.00!! (wow! I did good!)

Then I thought I’d try something new the book called The Forest, by Edward Rutherfurd, (I have a “thing” about trees and forests and my own weak attempt at writing occurs in Kesterwood Forest).. Anyway I hear it is a historical book about the New Forest in England, it is yet another 600 pg book!

Then I found an autobiography of Sid Caesar, called Where Have I Been? which I grabbed up for when I feel like I celebrity biography. (.50 cents)

Stephen Kings book, The Dark Tower… (now, mind you I have not read a single Stephen King book).  I am not sure what made me pick up this book but when I flipped thru it there were some paintings by Michael Moorcock!… so for .50 cents, it came home with me.

And lastly a true story of a cowboy that adopts a baby elephant.  (The Cowboy and His Elephant:the story of a remarkable friendship) Sometimes I just feel like something different… so that would be it.

There you have it!  I can’t remember ever having so many books at one time!  I left the house today and went to a thrift shop and a used books store, spent 6.00 and came home with 5 books!  When I got home the mailman had just left and there sat the box of books from BookCloseOuts!  arghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Now the real trouble begins… where to put them!!!

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But until it is here… we can remember Thanksgivings from the Past…

back in the days of black and white film! My son George (whose face it whited out) was not a year old yet.. and now he’s forty-four!  Damn, that hurt to even say that!!

Then color came along.. and digital !  I hope you all have a great Turkey for the Holidays!!

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Fingersmith

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Paperback: 582 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Trade (October 1, 2002)
ISBN-10: 1573229725

Amazon.com Review

Fingersmith is the third slice of engrossing lesbian Victoriana from Sarah Waters. Although lighter and more melodramatic in tone than its predecessor, Affinity, this hypnotic suspense novel is awash with all manner of gloomy Dickensian leitmotifs: pickpockets, orphans, grim prisons, lunatic asylums, “laughing villains,” and, of course, “stolen fortunes and girls made out to be mad.” Divided into three parts, the tale is narrated by two orphaned girls whose lives are inextricably linked. Waters’s penchant for byzantine plotting can get a bit exhausting, but even at its densest moments–and remember, this is smoggy London circa 1862–it remains mesmerizing. A damning critique of Victorian moral and sexual hypocrisy, a gripping melodrama, and a love story to boot, this book ingeniously reworks some truly classic themes.

Wow!  I wasn’t sure when I started reading this book if I would like it or not.. but.. sheesh and holy cow!  I never read so many twists and turns in a book before!!!  It would be impossible for you to see them coming!

A very gripping and excellent read!

In the Amazon review it mentions “gloomy Dickensian”..  some of that would be in “nut house” i’m sure!!!    Of course the descriptions of the “lower part of London where thieves live” fit quite well into that category also!

Now I have read two of Sarah Waters books and I guess I will have to check out the others!  If the reviews sound anything like this or The Little Stranger I am sure they will find their way to my wish list! (groan)

I have not read nearly as many books this year as I did other years but I do believe that more of them are chunkier! 

If you have not read this book and like Victorian plots and mysteries you would certainly enjoy this book!

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November 2010

But in Florida we still has flowers! I found this White Mandevilla which isn’t all that common as the pink  (which I also have).

…and of course some Geraniums.

…and lookey here (below) When the sun is just right…  I believe this would be called a “manmade rainbow”!.. or.. you could call it a fountain, heh.

In the evening the sunset wasn’t bad ..

..and as I looked around, I found a little slice of heaven..

And as always… a new morning begins..November 11,2010, Veterans Day..

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The Gargoyle

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Doubleday (August 5, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0385524943

 

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. At the start of Davidson’s powerful debut, the unnamed narrator, a coke-addled pornographer, drives his car off a mountain road in a part of the country that’s never specified. During his painful recovery from horrific burns suffered in the crash, the narrator plots to end his life after his release from the hospital. When a schizophrenic fellow patient, Marianne Engel, begins to visit him and describe her memories of their love affair in medieval Germany, the narrator is at first skeptical, but grows less so. Eventually, he abandons his elaborate suicide plan and envisions a life with Engel, a sculptress specializing in gargoyles. Davidson, in addition to making his flawed protagonist fully sympathetic, blends convincing historical detail with deeply felt emotion in both Engel’s recollections of her past life with the narrator and her moving accounts of tragic love. Once launched into this intense tale of unconventional romance, few readers will want to put it down.

Well now.. yes, indeed I finished yet another gothic story!

The Gargoyle is was quite different from any I’ve read and I have to say, it held my interest. This is a great surprise to me because much of it talks about “old religion” and I’m not fond of books that put a lot of religion in them . (kinda feel that’s a private thing)..anyway… this one had it but still maintained my interest constantly picking up the book to read more and more.  I guess that means it was a good read!

I don’t want to say much about it.  The Amazon review does a good job of telling about the book.  I will say that both the lead characters,  were beautifully written.  If someone told me I’d like a coke head guy and a schizophrenic gargoyle carving female I’d have laughed pretty hard at them!.. somehow Davidson managed to make them both likeable!  That alone is worth the read!

The Gargoyle would have bode well for RIP and it was there among my choices..as usually I was not quite fast enough, but that’s ok.. cause I still am reading more gothic “stuff”!

And so, I bid farewell to The Gargoyle ..and hello to Fingersmith. 

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