Archive for December, 2011

Books of 2011

So… it’s wrap up time for our reading year…. wow… hard to believe another year has gone by!..

Anyway, here’s the list I kept of the books I read…



1. Best Book You Read In 2011?

    It might be Moonstone by Wilke Collins. 

I’ve come a long way to like Wilke.

2. Most Disappointing Book that You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

     Dragons Time by Todd McCaffrey.  I so wanted Anne’s son to do Pern and the Dragons justice but after 7 books I have given up on them.  I expected a new time and new characters etc.. but some of the bigger basic facts I felt needed to stay the same.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

     I read a 562 page Biography on Charles Dickens by Fred Kaplan and was surprised that it held my interest for such a large book.


4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

    Maybe, A Walk in The Woods by Bill Bryson.


5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

    Argh, ok I will say The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries by Gyles Brandreth. (thanks Cath!)

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

     Ummm, Gyles Brandreth for the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries

     Alan Bradley for the Flavia mysteries

     and Patrick Rossfuss for his two books Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

    That would be A Walk in The Woods.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

    Well I always seem to rush thru Michael Scotts newest book on Nicholas Flamel, Warlock. But that’s a given anymore lol.  There were two books by new authors to me and a bit not my usual thing that I really enjoyed them both. They would be: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin and Waiting For Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk.

 51k3DbO5[1]            51mg[1]                 
9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?
    There are two: Michael Scotts :

61-e[1]            41LY[1]    

    and Jonathan Straud’s  : The Ring of Solomon

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?
Plucker by Brom

51P6[1]         51vk8[1]

      Map of Time by Felix J Palma

11. Most memorable character in 2011?

  I have to stick with the two anticipated books here and say Nicholas Flamel , Warlock and Bartimaeus.   The Ring of Solomon

12. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

       Moonstone.  I had it on my tbr pile for 2 years. *groan*

I guess that’s about all she wrote….  It wasn’t my best reading year but not my worst either, I guess this is about what I can expect as my eyes get worse.. so I’m not complaining!

I still have so many books in my tbr pile that I not only need to get to but want to get to!!  My problem is, I read 4 and I buy 4 and my tbr never gets lower!!!! (I’ve got to stay away from that used book store!…yeah.. right… sure!)

Cheers! And I raise my glass to a Happy New Year and to another year of good reading!!

Happy 2012 Everyone!


Read Full Post »

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (September 17, 1993)
ISBN-10: 0393311198


(my copy is a used hardback first edition 1974)

This is the final book that I will complete for the year 2011.  Incredible as it may be, another year has gone by….

Book Description

Series: Norton Paperback | Publication Date: September 17, 1993

Back in print to tie-in with The Canary Trainer, (but it also works well as a stand alone) this "rediscovered" Sherlock Holmes adventure recounts the unique collaboration of Holmes and Sigmund Freud in the solution of a mystery on which the lives of millions may depend.

First discovered and then painstakingly edited and annotated by Nicholas Meyer, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution related the astounding and previously unknown collaboration of Sigmund Freud with Sherlock Holmes, as recorded by Holmes’s friend and chronicler, Dr. John H. Watson. In addition to its breathtaking account of their collaboration on a case of diabolic conspiracy in which the lives of millions hang in the balance, it reveals such matters as the real identity of the heinous professor Moriarty, the dark secret shared by Sherlock and his brother Mycroft Holmes, and the detective’s true whereabouts during the Great Hiatus, when the world believed him to be dead.

What can I say?… Nicholas Meyer.  Nick to me..but that’s a whole other story…  is one fine writer. (and director and producer etc)

Nicholas, Nicholas, Nicholas..he deserves more notoriety than he gets.  Nick not only wrote The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (which became a movie) but he wrote two other Holmes books (all of which I am a proud owner)  He wrote The Canary Trainer and West End Horror… if you are a Sherlock Holmes fan you should put these on your list. I know many Sherlockians may not like any books that are not by Conan Doyle, but then they haven’t read Nick Meyer’s books.

can[1]   west[1]

Nick also directed two Star Trek movies..

nick1[1] (guess you figured I’d use this photo!)

nick2[1] (ok so here’s another shot)

..and just because I really like Nicholas Meyer I’ll mention that he wrote and directed a little movie called “Time After Time”.  Some of you may recognize the title.

Then…. there’s the movie from the book I mentioned above, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.


Nicol Williamson played Sherlock Holmes in that movie.. his name stuck in my head


when I realized why I knew it!… Merlin!!!!


and Robert Duvall played Dr. Watson…


But if I want to be honest… whenever I read anything that has Sherlock and Watson in it .. I keep hearing Basil Rathbone’s voice! And since this book is narrated by Watson.. I heard Nigel Bruce’s voice !

nigelbruce[1] (One must really see the old black and white movie with Basil Rathbone  and Nigel Bruce of The Hound and the Baskerville’s to realize just how good the actors were back then)

As for The Seven-Per-Cent Solution all I can say is… Nicholas Meyer should have written more Holmes books!  I will let the Amazon book description stand as my preview because I could never do it justice.

This is a book (and a movie) that all Sherlock fans should read (and see!).

Read Full Post »

From my “sis” across the pond, Cath, I received these wonderful things to remind me how much I’d love to see England! lol.. A beautiful nature calendar and a booklet and gorgeous leather bookmark from Tintagel Castle.. former home of King Arthur and Merlin’s cave!!!  (Cornwall is calling me!)  ..I can’t thank you enough sis!


Debi sent me all sorts of goodies!  From a Huge cup of Coco, to a funky kitty to a book long forgotten… I read this book probably when it first was in paperback …right after I had red the Riddle Master of Hed trilogy!  But do I remember what this book is about? nada..not one single thing and so I can’t wait to read it as a new book!… and talk about luck… my eyes won’t read small paperback print but this is larger print double spaced!!! Yesssssssssss!!!!!  

thank you thank you bunches and bunches Debi!


ahhhh, what can I say about my “son”? he loves his “Mama” lol.. look at the goodies! In there is a gingerbread man cookie, some sweet stuff for the Pond birdies, some DELICIOUS Pineapple jelly and…  Belgium Chocolates!… I do believe he wants to keep his Mama fat!

Love you baby boy… thank you again and again…


And then there is the challenge king of our blogs!  He saw what I saw and said it needed to be with Me.. and so  McCoy poppet found his way home to reside with me…and my De/McCoy/Cowboy collection.


 He is a wonder to behold… I will keep him forever and ever…

Thank you from the bottom of my heart Carl. 

I hope everyone had a most wonderful Christmas…  and will have an “Enterprising” New Year!

Read Full Post »

I guess this is the last book I’ll have finished in 2011… but before I get to that I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas Eve!… and/ or… Happy Hanukkah!


A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Bantam (October 18, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0385343469




From Booklist

Stubborn, precocious Flavia de Luce seems old beyond her 11 years, but readers of her previous encounters with dead bodies and mystery know she has a vulnerable side, as well. Nowhere is that more visible than in her relationships with her distant father and her sisters, who constantly taunt her. In her latest adventure, the family is on the verge of bankruptcy. Father is auctioning his beloved stamps and selling the family silver. In the midst of this crisis, the irrepressible young snoop investigates the beating of a gypsy fortune-teller and the murder of a local thief, which seem somehow connected to a group of religious eccentrics, an antique shop, a missing baby, and a strange, fishy smell. Sound complicated? It is, but Bradley handles it so well you hardly notice. Buttressed by consistently quirky characters and an English country-village backdrop, Flavia�s chatterbox narration reveals the amateur sleuth�s obnoxiousness as well as her intellegence and irrepressible curiosity. The upshot is a spirited, surprisingly innocent tale, despite murky goings-on at its center. Think of Flavia as a new Sherlock in the making

This is the 3rd Flavia de Luce book I have read, and probably the best so far.  Mr Bradley has created quite a unique character in Flavia.  Highly intelligent for an 11 year old, and yet typical in so many other ways.. like getting even with her older sisters.

I love that her “buddy in arms” is a bicycle named Gladys. (and remember my “Nellie belle” fondly). 

I think each book has gotten a little more substance to it and this time he outdid himself, involving one “near murder” and a murder…and a possible murder all rolled into on book!  The only thing that hasn’t happened so far that I thought would have is that she would age a little with each book.

One has to admit to Flavia’s charm.  Her descriptive way about her.. if I may quote a modest line from Miss Flavia: There are not many things I despise, but chiefest among them is skin on milk.  I loathe it with a passion.  Not even the thought of the marvelous chemical change that forms the stuff…the milk’s proteins churned and ripped apart by the heat of boiling, then reassembling themselves as they cool into a jellied skin…was enough to console me.  I would rather eat a cobweb.”  A “not so” typical 11 year old wouldn’t you say?!

I don’t like to give much away so I will just say that this one was very enjoyable.. unfortunately I don’t have the next book but eventually I’ll be sending for it!  I hope that if you like mysteries and could use a bit of laughter along the way…this may well be the series you should try!

Before I leave I’d like to put up a photo of something I had made eons ago and I used to frame it and set it under my tree… the “lustful Lil” part is what I was known as in the DeForest Kelley Fan Club…for reasons just like this!..


..and so .. from Santa and me…  Merry Christmas to All….


….and to all, ….. a good night!


A Very Merry Christmas from me and Boo !!

Read Full Post »

So, once again I am making room for the books I have.  In doing so I have to get rid of books I still like to make room for the newer books… it’s to the point I really am getting rid of books I might read again but since I don’t want to become a Hoarder like I see on television, this is all I can do…


I stand in front of the books and look at them and keep asking myself: will I really get back to reading this book again?..  I ask it several times, inhale a very deep breath, look over the ones I am not “able” to part with yet, and say “no”… and into the pile they go.

In this pile getting ready to leave the house are:

Weis and Hickman’s: Highlord Skies,

                                 Hourglass Mage,

                                 & Dwarven Depths (a trilogy) also Dragons lost star

Then there is:

Bram Stoker:   Dracula

Sara Waters:   Fingersmith

Carlos Ruiz Safron:   Shadow of the Wing & The Angels Game

Ransom Riggs:   Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Gyles Brandreth:   Oscar Wilde & the Dead Man’s Smile ,

                            Oscar Wilde and The Ring of Death

Bill Bryson:   The Lost Continent

Kate DiCamillo :   The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Coy Watson Jr: Keystone Kid:   Tales of Early Hollywood

Justine Picardie:   Daphne

Jo Walton:   Among Others

Laurie R King:   The Moor,

                         Beekeepers Apprentice

Alan Bradley: Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, 

                     Weed That Strings the Hangmans Bag.

I wrote this list yesterday and since then I am happy to say that I have a home for those in purple!  My sister-in-law (also named Pat) will take them to read !  As much as I  hate “thinning” by books like this all the time, I am glad to know where some of them are going.

*sigh*… I dislike getting rid of books!

Read Full Post »

Dammit Jim….

Ohhhh-myyyyy (if I may quote George Takai)…. look what arrived in the mail today!

It’s something I saw on Facebook that Lisa Snellings had made.  I happen to make a comment about it on Twitter when out of the blue Carl (Stainless Steel Droppings) commented back that he saw it and “just knew it had to be for Pat”.  *sniffle*  gosh, am I that obvious?  (fersure!)  And so I was informed that it was “purchased” and was on it’s way to me!!!   Wow, talk about someone feeling like a bowling pin having just been hit by a 16 lb ball!!

I said, “no you can’t”

and he said, “yes I can”..

any guesses who won? heh..  so let me show you what arrived in the mail today…

a tiny box with a bow.. and a small card signed by Lisa that indicated this was a “limited edition”… and a fabulous book mark!


so I opened the box …and low and behold!.. there he was!  McCoy Poppet!


(note how she captured his expression.. it lets me know that she may have seen the original Star Trek a few times lol)


Being a doctor, McCoy poppet when right out and gave Dr. visits to the other poppets in the house.   Everyone checked out ok except for “June”… he thought she might have a “bug”.. (don’t groan too loudly)


Then McCoy  poppet was put on display with Christmas decorations.  

He wanted to be by the Carolers where he could hum along….

after all… he’s a doctor not a singer!


“Dammit Jim… I’m a Doctor, not a poppet!”  (wanna bet?)


Read Full Post »

Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death by Gyles Brandreth.

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: John Murray (2008)
ISBN-10: 0719569508


Review/ Paul Anchetta

In the book, Mr Wilde is the toast of London’s high society. His "Lady Windermere’s Fan" is a critical and box-office success, and his popularity is unmatched amongst the cognoscenti. One evening, at an exclusive "Sunday Supper Club" dinner with such friends as Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, and Robert Sherard (who also narrates the story), Wilde introduces a parlor game involving a list of people that his guests would secretly like to kill. From the next day onward, each person on the "hit list" dies mysteriously, in the very order with which his or her name showed up during the dinner. Wilde, Conan Doyle, and Sherard begin to investigate independently, especially after failing to enlist the help of Scotland Yard . . . and especially since Wilde’s name itself appears on the "hit list!" Their ensuing adventures are as jolly as they are thrilling.

Well Gyles Brandreth has done it again!  I have to admit that the books seem to have the same type outline for each book but he has a way in his writing that makes the books very readable, very interesting, and quite the page turner!  This one was no exception!

I really enjoy that he uses known people in the mysteries. Conan Doyle keeps popping up as does Bram Stoker. In the books Oscar Wilde is friends with these and many others and Gyles manages to keep many facts about each accurate and informative.  Though they are slipped in very nicely among the fiction parts of the story!

I have enjoyed each and every one of the Oscar Wilde mysteries that I’ve read so far, and have yet one more sitting on one of my many shelves to be read!  I can’t thank Cath enough for getting me into this series of books.. they give me a lift.  Simple, basic reading but a good mystery to be solved.  Of course you never really figure them out until Oscar tells all in the last two chapters !!!

If you’ve read any of the Gyles Brandreth Oscar Wilde books feel free to add this one to your own collection!

Read Full Post »



I went to the thrift shop today (probably yesterday by the time I post this) .. and I found this old hardback copy of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  I thought, “oh cool!” and it’s only 1.00.  I opened the books pages… very brown… v.e.r.y. brown. *sigh* but ok for 1.00 let me get this… even if it seems like it will fall apart if I try to read it.. (too dark for ME to read)


This was, maybe, the lightest brown page in the book!  So brown it’s almost brittle.


…then I saw this.


…and I thought.. “no way”.  But on the off chance, I think I will definitely pick this up!  I checked google images… some I found looks exactly like this one… others, close but not quite… so I don’t know for sure if it is or not.. i did find one on ebay with the signature in her Jamaica Inn book and it looks exactly alike.

Either way the book is too brown to be worth anything…. but it would be neat if it is her signature!  Even if it only lasts a little while longer.  Anyone out there a du Maurier fan?

Read Full Post »

The Mailman has Been Busy!

The mailman has been busy!!  One day 2 boxes arrived!  The first box had my Amazon order in it which included Red Herring without Mustard (my next installment of “detective”  Flavia), my last installment of the Harry Potter movies (so now I have them all!) and a book called Elephant Man which I already read and posted about.

The second box was from Debi! (of Still Nothing of Importance fame) Once opened I found three Christmas wrapped boxes! 


Here they are again… I took this picture because the paper with the snowflakes is yet something else that Debi and the kids made! 


Along with a homemade Christmas Card that had already arrived!! Wonderful, Wonderful! Thank you! Thank you Debi!!!


Then on yet another day …another package!!  This one from my “sis” across the pond, Cath (of Read_Warbler fame)  In the package were 3 pressie’s!!!  One is a calendar of beautiful nature sights in England.  The other….


…is a book on Tintagel Castle!!!  (or what’s left of it lol) Tintagel Castle is in Cornwall and Cath and her hubby went there on  holiday and took some gorgeous photo’s for me (even better than the ones in this book!!) . So she picked this up for me knowing I’d be interested in it.  You can see the remains of the castle on the upper right of the photo. Tintagel Castle is linked to King Arthur and Merlin! Ahhh yes, see below in the photo the cave?… that’s Merlin’s Cave!  Need I say more?  I didn’t think so!  And not to be forgotten I received a beautiful blue leather book mark with Tintagel Castle at the top.


And yet another day brought a package from my “son” Chris!!! (from Stuff As Dreams Are Made On fame)  The box was rather heavy so I set it on the floor to open it.  (one can spot the Pineapple jelly, homemade by my son!!!!  I intend on sampling it later this morning!)  Mmmmm mmmm my baby boy knows how to take care of Mama!  Thank you sooooooooooo much Chris!


..as I began to investigate what was in the box… along came Boo and did his own searching!


So… that’s what the mailman has be busy doing!! 

Hey, he can stay as busy as he wants!! lol

I hope everyone else’s Christmas and Hanukkah are shaping up this good!

Read Full Post »

Quite some time ago I made a post or two or three about when I lived in California and did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren’s Shambala Preserve.  One of the people working there was (and still is) Chris Gallucci.  When I first met Chris I was told he wasn’t very friendly and would tell you to go “f” off as much as say hello.   So I watched Chris… Chris was the Elephant Man…he took care of Tippi’s Elephants.

I also took pictures of Chris and Timbo whenever I was there, and for what it’s worth..I liked Chris!  He was an X-hardcore biker.  He also, from stories I heard, had been in jail a number of times….but no matter what was said about Chris, he loved those Elephants..especially the big Bull, Timbo.  You could see it in how he cared for him and you could see that he put all his love and being into Timbo.  Anyone who couldn’t see that had to be blind.

I came across the fact that a book had been put out about Chris and Timbo.  It’s mostly photographs taken by a professional photographer named Nomi Baumgartl… Let me show you some of her photos from the book.. I took photo’s when the book is opened and they aren’t great and I apologize to her for that..but here they are..


When I worked at Shambala Chris didn’t have a white beard! ..gads when did I get so old?





When I saw this photo in the book I got a smile a mile wide… it’s MY photo!!!!!! I took the picture along with others and gave them to Chris.. I was thrilled that he was able to make use of it!


Now.. in comparison… below are photo’s I took of Timbo and of Chris some 15 or 18 yrs ago…


again.. these are snapshots of color Xeroxed pictures I have that are also in page protectors, so not the greatest but it was easier for me to do it this way.


This is the Chris I knew….


If an elephant can really love someone… Timbo loved Chris.


his back pockets were always ready with carrots for Timbo


So this is Chris.. he was a young man on a downward spiral that got saved by a big elephant.


and Timbo… his savior


Man and Beast… a love story.


A few years ago Timbo passed away.  Chris had to make a life altering adjustment, but in the end he stayed at Shambala and still helps Tippi with all the other wild animals , but I am sure there is a hole in his heart as big as a certain African Bull Elephant.

If you’d like to learn a little more about Shambala just click the link.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »