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Archive for September, 2013

 

I first spotted this meme on Cath’s blog who took it from Susan’s blog (You Can never Have Too Many Books) here.

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Author I’ve Read The Most Books From:
Well, that’s easy… it would be Anne McCaffrey! Her Pern books went on and on! (thank goodness!)

Best Sequel Ever:
Like my sis, Cath.. this question is hard due to trying to define the word “sequel”. I looked up the definition: a published, broadcast, or recorded work that continues the story or develops the theme of an earlier one. So it is more or less asking for the best “series” ever. Well, Pern would win this one too.. but there have been other series that I just felt grew with each book that followed and I wanted them not to end! Harry Potter, of course.. The Dragonlance series… The Nicholas Flamel series… The Bartimaeus series….and The Belgariad series to name a few!


Currently Reading:
The Black House by Peter May.

Drink of Choice While Reading:
I rarely drink anything so I will just say my morning Café Vienna!

E-Reader or Physical Book:
I haven’t tried an E reader yet.. but I will!

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Dated in High School:
ack! So this is asking who you’ve had a crush on… heh.. just how long do you have? I am very character driven so it’s easy to “fall in love” even when the stories are not love stories!! Let’s see now: There would be Masterharper Robinton, Gandalf, and Belgarath, and we could toss in Col. Brandon…. To name a few.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:
Drood!

Hidden Gem Book:
Stan and Ollie by Simon Louvish It is a biography I never expected to like so much.

Important Moment in Your Reading Life:
I don’t know how important a moment it was but without question I was shocked at my reaction to a book called Citizens of London by Lynne Olson. My only reason for even trying this book was the mention of a “familiar name” of Edward R Murrow. But honestly… this lead me to reading books on Eleanor Roosevelt and Franklin and other historical books …and I NEVER read historical book before!

Just Finished:
Dust and Shadows A Sherlock Holmes/ Dr Watson book of Sherlock searching for Jack the Ripper

Kind of Books I Won’t Read:
I doubt I would read “horror”.. those with Vampires and such.

Longest Book I’ve Read:
Oh my.. I am not sure on that. I’ve read a number of books in the 7-800 pages (like Drood)..but if you consider the 2 volume books on Eleanor Roosevelt they would be a combination of about 1,300 pgs. (2 books one story)

Major Book Hangover Because:
My “sis” said it best: Too many books, not enough time!

Number of Bookcases I own:
Three actual bookcases but many “shelves” of my own making (like crates) The house books I want to keep and 142 books I have not read yet..

One Book I have Read Multiple Times:
Once again.. there’s not just one book. The Dragonriders of Pern would top the list. I’ve reread the Dragonlance series more than once, and The Sword of Shannara series… there are others.. but I will just say for a stand alone book I’ve read Drood twice now and The Thirteenth Tale 3 times.

Preferred Place to Read:
My Recliner in the living room.

Quote That Inspires You/Gives You All the Feels From a Book You’ve Read:
I am drawing a blank at the moment

Reading Regret:
That it took me so many years to become an avid reader.

Series You Started and Need To Finish (All the books are out in the series):
So far I am up to date on all my series.

Three of Your All-Time Favourite Books:
Dragonrider of Pern Trilogy, The Sword of Shannara Trilogy, Stan and Ollie


Unapologetic Fangirl For:
Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books. Harry Potter. The Nicholas Flamel series.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:
none at the moment

Worst Bookish Habit:
Having more books then I can possibly read and yet continuing to buy more!

X Marks The Spot: Start at the Top Left of Your Shelf and pick the 27th Book:
Bookcase one: Deke by Michael Cassutt.

Bookcase 2: Belgarath the Sorcerer by David Eddings

Bookcase 3: The Hustons by Lawrence Grobel

Bookcase 4: Maggie Smith: A Bright Particular Star by Michael Coveney.

Your Latest Book Purchase:

A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern :Dragonwriter edited by Todd McCaffrey

ZZZ-Snatcher Book- Book That Kept You Up WAY Too Late:

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

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Dust and Shadow

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Book 4 for RIP!..

Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster(December 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1416583319

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• Sherlock Holmes is one of literature’s most beloved characters: Ever since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the character of detective Sherlock Holmes, fans have clamored for more. Numerous authors have taken up the task of keeping Holmes alive, but few have successfully delivered as faithful an offshoot as Lyndsay Faye. In Dust and Shadow, she brings an unveiled authenticity to the legendary hero..
• A thoroughly gripping, old-fashioned investigator: Penned as a pastiche by the loyal and courageous Dr. Watson, Dust and Shadow tells the harrowing story of Sherlock Holmes’s attempt to hunt down Jack the Ripper on the gritty streets of late nineteenth-century London. Brimming with impeccable historical detail, this astonishing debut novel explores the ?terrifying prospect of tracking a serial killer without the advantage of modern forensics and profiling. A tour-de-force, this promising debut signals the arrival of a tremendous talent in mystery and historical fiction..

Ok.. so.. if you like Sherlock Holmes and Watson you will like this book!  The author has nailed not only their speech (dialog) but the descriptions of the streets and times of Jack the Ripper.

I know those of you younger then me (that would be everyone!) will hear different voices but I heard Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce very clearly!    Really, really, well written!  I haven’t come a cross many Holmes books done as well as Doyle can do but this is one of them.  (two others would be written by Nicholas Meyer).

This was a great read for RIP and I”m glad I had it!  I hope others who like Sherlock and are familiar with Jack the Ripper, take a chance and read this book!  There’s just nothing more I can say about it !

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It never seems to fail.  I watch the Oscar’s and Emmy’s and inevitably  someone who I admired more then others has passed away and I didn’t know it.

Each time I find my jaw dropping and saying out loud, “oh no! not…”    And this year was no different.   I hate that in the midst of honoring actors that have given us joy with their talents and all the smiles …there always seems to have to be sad news.  Especially, when it “hits home” .

I am speaking of Harry Carey Jr. 

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As a kid I grew up on television and in the early years of television was the almighty western.   Not only the regular shows like Roy Rogers or The Lone Ranger, but plenty of Western Movies….. especially John Ford Westerns , many who starred John Wayne.

John Ford had a group of actors he used for nearly all of his westerns… one such actor was Harry Carey Jr.

Fast forward a number of years and along comes The Mickey Mouse Club.  One of the mini series they aired for the mouseketeers was a little show called “Spin and Marty”  about a poor boy and a rich boy both sent to a camp that had horses and riding.  The head of the camp was none other than Harry Carey Jr.!  Boy how I loved that little series!  I was in love with the “poor little rich kid” called Marty, played by David Stollery.  Spin was played by Tim Considine. 

So while living in California and helping out at autograph shows..who shows up but Spin and Marty!!  OMG! When they said they would be back for the next show in 6 months I immediately called SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and got an address to write to Harry Carey Jr and sent him the photo’s I had taken of David and Tim and to let him know about the show in case it would interest him…  Well he wrote me back!   And he showed up at the next autograph show and was reunited with David and Tim.

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He had his lovely wife Marilyn with him and we talked quite a bit.  He was very happy that I let him know about “the boys”.

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(wow I had hair back then!)

I also bought the little book that Harry wrote called: Company of Heroes. 

(When Harry Carey, Sr., died in 1947, director John Ford cast Carey’s twenty-six-year-old son, Harry, Jr., in the role of The Abilene Kid in 3 Godfathers. Ford and the elder Carey had filmed an earlier version of the story, and Ford dedicated the Technicolor remake to his memory.
Company of Heroes is the story of the making of that film, as well as the eight subsequent Ford classics. In it, Harry Carey, Jr., casts a remarkably observant eye on the process of filming Westerns by one of the true masters of the form. From She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Wagonmaster to The Searchers and Cheyenne Autumn, he shows the care, tedium, challenge, and exhilaration of movie-making at its highest level. Carey’s portrayal of John Ford at work is the most intimate ever written. He also gives us insightful and original portraits of the men and women who were part of Ford’s vision of America: John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Maureen O’Hara, Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen, and Ben Johnson.
Funny, insightful, and brutally honest, Company of Heroes is a rip-roaring good read that presents the remarkable life story of Harry Carey, Jr., and his many fine performances.)

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I enjoyed the book so much that when I finished it I dropped it off for DeForest to read, who loved it even more since Harry described what San Fernando Valley and surrounding area was like back when he was making westerns also.

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Inside are a number of photo’s of a young Harry Carey Jr with John Wayne and the likes of the John Ford stable or actors.

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I am sorry I didn’t know when he passed away instead of learning it on the Emmy’s.. but either way I will miss him and I am glad I had the opportunity to meet Harry and his wife and to spend just a little quality time getting to know him.

If you missed the part where they list (some) who passed since the last Emmy’s here is the list that they showed last night.

David Frost
Dennis Farina
Annette Funicello
Eydie Gorme
Dale Robertson
Larry Hagman
Leslie Frankenheimer (set decorator)
Conrad Bain
Maxine Stuart
Lee Thompson Young
Preston Davis (television executive)
Alan Kirschenbaum (writer, producer)
James Loper (ATAS executive director)
Lou Myers
Milo O’Shea
Fran Bascom (casting director)
Lois Smith (publicist)
Roger Ebert
Emily Squires (director, writer)
Bonnie Dore (producer)
Eileen Brennan
Bonnie Franklin
Russell Means
Milt Hoffman (producer)
Jack Shea (director, producer)
Jeanne Cooper
Allan Arbus
Henry Bromell (writer, producer, director, "Homeland")
David Connell
Charles Durning
Richard Matheson
Harry Carey Jr.
Ken Venturi
Pat Summerall
Steve Sabol
Alex Karras
Jack Klugman
Jenni Rivera
Eddie Michaels (publicist)
Michael Ansara
Charles Lisanby (art director)
Fay Kanin (writer, producer)
Emanuel Steward (sportscaster)
Ray Dolby (electronics pioneer)
Julie Harris
Deborah Raffin
Patti Page
Andy Williams

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A Time Capsule …

Sometimes things seem like they happened only “yesterday”. But actually… it was a lifetime ago.

I don’t know why I had grouped these photo’s together but I came across them as I searched for something else in my photo folders… a sort of time capsule.

I can’t believe it that the “model for my brother” (who made the bathing suit cover-up) was when I was 13 yrs old!  Gah!  Was I ever 13?  Oh yeah.. that’s when I couldn’t wait to grow up… What the Hell was I thinking?!!! (posted that phrase on FB)

Then there’s me and DeForest.  That was back in the days when I still laughed.

The photo of my brother James and me and David was the year I flew up to NJ because my brother had made me a gown for the Star Trek Cruise ..the very same Cruise where I first met DeForest.

Then there were the Drums.. ‘Nuff said. I did get in a small band called The Marvels.

Some photo’s are self explanatory.

The Family shot… I was about 13.

Me in the Antlers was in California on the Paramount Lots. The sweetheart of a man next to me is A.C. Lyles. If you don’t think it didn’t take “guts” to go on the Paramount lots looking like that you are sadly mistaken!

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(below).. I may never forgive my mother for the oversized bows that went in my hair when I was too young to fight her about it!

The Airforce hat and Coat were my brothers, home on leave.  The Jacket one got me a few Airmen to write to! heh.

I was about 16 in the crinoline dress.

The color photo was my senior Prom with date Jimmy Sicilano (not sure of the spelling) He was older than me and from Newark NJ and a fabulous dancer!

The last photo is me and my X-husband.

See, I told you they were photo’s from a life time ago!

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Like I said.. I don’t know why these pictures were together like this but I thought I’d post them.. what the heck..I wasn’t always this old!

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The Black Country

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Book 3 for RIP………..

The Black Country by Alex Grecian.

Series: Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad (Book 2) (however I find them good as stand alones)
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (May 21, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0399159339

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From Booklist

*Starred Review* In March 1890, Scotland Yard’s Inspector Walter Day and Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith bring their Murder Squad expertise to the Midlands, where a husband, wife, and son have disappeared; the couple’s three other children, left unscathed, tell conflicting stories about what happened. An eyeball, discovered by a neighbor child, is the only clue. From the beginning, the bleak stage is set: a coal-mining town in winter with its slag heaps and gray snow on glumly shadowed streets that are lined with buildings sinking slowly into deserted mine shafts below. The town’s denizens, taciturn and superstitious, believe Blackhampton is cursed, as the disappearances are followed by an epidemic of violent illness. The suspense grows exponentially while the detectives unearth clues to a bizarre and complicated crime, hoping their forensic specialist, when he arrives, will shed light on the baffling plague and the eyeball’s owner. In contrast to Day’s first case (The Yard, 2012), this second in the series moves at a brisk pace, with surprising plot twists right up to the very end. Grecian’s riveting novel is an intelligent historical thriller similar to Jean Zimmerman’s atmospheric psychological novel The Orphanmaster (2012), and as shocking as David Morrell’s Murder as a Fine Art (2013). –Jen Baker

Alex Grecian has done it again and The Murder Squad was out to solve another murder!

Right off the bat I will tell you .. that anyone who read his first book The Yard, and liked it will also like his second book of The Black Country. 

The characters of Day and Hammersmith were pretty well hammered out in the first book.  But even if you haven’t read that one you can still enjoy this one.   It feels, to me, that the “series” will be Scotland Yard’s Squad out to find the body and the killer.  In this respect, other than using the same people from the murder squad, each book pretty much stands alone.  I don’t feel any great need that one has to read them in succession to enjoy them.  But maybe that will change in future books, who knows?

I very much enjoy this book.  Very easy reading, nothing confusing, and quite descriptive of the people and place where they are investigating.  In this case a small, old, coal town, full of tunnels beneath the ground and houses above that are beginning to sink into the ground because of the tunnels.

This particular story starts off fairly straight forward, but as in any good mystery, as it goes on you begin to think you know the answers, only to find out there are quite a few twists and turns.

This book gets a double thumbs up!  If you want a murder mystery, that’s an easy and fast read, this book is for you!

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Mail Call!

Woot! Woot! Look what came in the mail!!……………

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Oh yeah! Oh Yeah!  here we go again!  It will be the 5th time seeing ST Into Darkness! (and I am sure it will not be my last!)

My first view of the book that is a Tribute to Anne McCaffrey was a little disappointing when I first held it in my hand.  It’s not a very good sized paperback and the paper wasn’t top quality……. :o(   But then I do the ol’ flip the pages and lookey what I found!

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Original sketches and painting by Michael Whelan for Anne’s books!  *sigh*.. I do love Michael Whelan’s work!  It did make me wish this was a tad bigger and a hardback on better paper……… but I’ll take what they offer!

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We are mid RIP and I am only on book 3 for RIP so this will wait a little.  I am happy to say that I did meet Anne once in NY at a Creation Convention.  I will always be glad for that!

Meanwhile, I hope you all have a great Mail Call soon!

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A Cast of Killers

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A Cast of Killers by Sidney D Kirkpatrick. 

(book 2 for RIP)

Publisher: 1986 Dutton, NY, 1st edition (1986)
ASIN: B001DSE0X6
301 pages

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King Vidor was a legendary film director largely forgotten by Hollywood at the time of his death. Sydney Kirkpatrick came to Vidor’s home after his death to research a well deserved biography but instead discovered a buried box full of dynamite. In the box were notes for a planned project which was to be the director’s comeback film. But the explosive nature of his findings had prompted Vidor to bury it, literally.

This book is based on what Kirkpatrick found in that box. It is full of mystery and murder, love and lust, and in the end, sadness at the solving of one of the most famous and sensational scandals in the history of tinsletown. It is a mesmerizing journey into the early days of Hollywood and the lengths it would go to to cover up its secrets.

In 1922 the murder of director William Desmond Taylor was so filled with scandal it ruined careers and nearly destroyed Hollywood. If the absolute truth had been known, it might have. King Vidor had been a part of this Hollywood in its formative years and planned to make his comeback film by telling the story of it. Kirkpatrick could have turned this into a pulp type expose but instead, and to his credit, takes a respectful and nostalgic tone, both for Vidor and a time gone by. He uses Vidor’s notes and findings to let this murder mystery unfold just as it did for Vidor.

For every film buff with a fascination for old Hollywood this is a book you can’t put down. It is juicy but never tawdry, Vidor sifting through the misinformation of Hollywood and the corruption of the police to slowly get a picture of the truth he himself couldn’t yet tell because some of the players were still alive. The homicide and the aftermath is filled with names like Mabel Normand, Alan Dwan, James Kirkwood, Gloria Swanson, Claire Windsor, and Charlette Shelby and her waif like daughter Mary Miles Minter, an early rival of Mary Pickford.

Well.. this I consider a real “who done it” story!

This would be the second book about a true Hollywood murder that I’ve read.  The first being The Black Dahlia.   When I found this book at a thrift shop and read the flap that it was a real murder mystery and it happened in early Hollywood, I figured I would give it a go, since I do enjoy reading about the early days in Hollywood.

The book was very straight forward, of Vidor researching information on a long ago unsolved murder for the possibility of turning it into a movie.   The more information (or lack of) that he came up against just made him that more determined to keep on searching. 

Naturally, in the beginning there were more questions than answers.  Somewhere along the way you begin having your own theories  but proof was the thing Vidor had the hardest time finding.  Many involved in the old murder where dead, and others would only produce hints and not facts.

I enjoyed this book very much.  Fast reading.  Always ready for the next chapter or two to see what is, or is not, uncovered.

Most of the people involved were not names that jumped out at me, but it didn’t make the story any less interesting.   It does leave one with the thoughts that an old saying that has been around for ages may have some truth to it… that with enough money you can get away with murder.

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