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Archive for January, 2014

About 2 days ago I took some photo’s but then didn’t feel up to making the post..sigh.

Anyway.. it was a very grateful change in Florida’s weather that made me smile and get out the long pants and even a sweatshirt!  (happiness is wearing anything besides shorts!… only because it happens so seldom)

So.. lookey, lookey!………………… 

 

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..the, not so frequent cold, affords me to own ONE Pair of Flannels!  Just so I can feel a change in the temps!  I love when I have to drag the flannels out of the bottom of the pile!

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On the news of the cold temps, I do feel badly for our Manatee’s who do feel the chilly waters and gather near the nuclear plants for warmth each year.

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Proof of cold… Even Boo has his tootsies curled under to keep warm!

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We have since warmed up to nearly 80 for today but another cold front is coming and will get “nearly” as chilly as the last one.. Glory be! I get to wear the flannels a second time! hoot! hoot!

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books;(March 8, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9781400052189

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Amazon.com Review

From a single, abbreviated life grew a seemingly immortal line of cells that made some of the most crucial innovations in modern science possible. And from that same life, and those cells, Rebecca Skloot has fashioned in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks a fascinating and moving story of medicine and family, of how life is sustained in laboratories and in memory. Henrietta Lacks was a mother of five in Baltimore, a poor African American migrant from the tobacco farms of Virginia, who died from a cruelly aggressive cancer at the age of 30 in 1951. A sample of her cancerous tissue, taken without her knowledge or consent, as was the custom then, turned out to provide one of the holy grails of mid-century biology: human cells that could survive–even thrive–in the lab. Known as HeLa cells, their stunning potency gave scientists a building block for countless breakthroughs, beginning with the cure for polio. Meanwhile, Henrietta’s family continued to live in poverty and frequently poor health, and their discovery decades later of her unknowing contribution–and her cells’ strange survival–left them full of pride, anger, and suspicion. For a decade, Skloot doggedly but compassionately gathered the threads of these stories, slowly gaining the trust of the family while helping them learn the truth about Henrietta, and with their aid she tells a rich and haunting story that asks the questions, Who owns our bodies? And who carries our memories?

Wow.  Just … wow.

What an incredible story of both Henrietta Lacks and her entire family.

If you read this book and don’t come away having so many different feelings at nearly every chapter, then you don’t realize that this book is NOT fiction!

Many wrongs were done, but many rights happened because of them…however.. it never really makes it right.  I know that may not make sense, but you really have to read this story to know what I mean.

This story really did need to be told.. I am glad I came across this book and decided to read it.

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The Golem and the Jinni by Helen Wecker.

Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial(December 31, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0062110845

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Amazon.com Review

Imaginative and meticulously researched, this enchanting debut novel from Helene Wecker is, in reality, an historical fiction. Set primarily in turn-of-the-century Manhattan, it deliberately details the immigrant experience–the wonders and hardships of being in a new country and the discoveries, triumphs, and failures that follow–while bringing the city itself to life with such passion that New York of yore seems like a magical land. Beyond reality, however, The Golem and the Jinni, as the title implies, is also a fantastic work of fantasy. The Golem is an insatiably curious clay "woman" that was created to seem human while serving only her husband; the Jinni is a magical "man" whose fascination with mortals has left him nearly stripped of his own nature and forced to live as one. These mythical characters from otherwise clashing cultures not only coexist, but come to rely upon one another in order to exist at all. In turn, their story finds us not only rooting for them to find peace and happiness, but gaining a better understanding of our own human nature in the process. —Robin A. Rothman

This is my first book of 2014!…………..

Many times I read a review for a book and then get it….and then by the time I get to many of the books that I have on my shelves I’ve forgotten the reviews and am not completely sure what to expect!

The book began a little slow for me..but something about it kept my interest.

I think it was very different from anything I’ve read before.  Although, once again there was some history interlaced with mythical creatures.  One is made of clay the other a Jinni forced to be in the guise of a human male.

In the book you lean something about both creatures (being made by a wizard), the country they came from and where they wind up in olden times of Manhattan, what it was like back then is also interesting.

I might not ever pick up a book to see what “old Manhattan” was like but when things like that are in a book with an interesting and enjoyable story written around it I find I enjoy the book even more.

So if you like Wizardry and Golems and Jinni’s, and toss in a little history… you will certainly enjoy this book!

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Who’da Thunk It?

Sherlock.

Masterpiece Theater has done it again and obviously, once again, I am last to know it!

Last night I saw that Masterpiece Theater (on PBS) was going to show “Sherlock”.. it said nothing of “who” was in it…nor what it was about.  So, since weekend nights on cable, for the most part.. suck, I decided to see what it was about.

Did I expect to see (Khan) Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock? 

Did I expect  to  (Bilbo) Martin Freeman as Watson?

Did I expect (or ever want) a modern day Sherlock Holmes, when the ONLY Sherlock Holmes I ever really liked was the old black and white ones with Basil Rathbone?

Go ahead.. ask!

NO, NO, and NO!!

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The episodes I saw were from 2010 so I know I am behind the times, even in America where things don’t show until after they view in England.

But from the way Cumberbatch looked compared to when he was in Star Trek was a bit of a shock.  With longer curly hair he looks waaaay tooooo young to be Sherlock!  But his acting abilities changed that quickly.

And who knew Bilbo (Freeman) could do anything but fight Spiders?! lol.. he was also excellent as Watson.  I have to say the casting is superb and the writing is outstanding!

Never…NEVER.. would I have even considered watching a modern day Sherlock Holmes !  But (if my sis over in England doesn’t mind my borrowing an English expression I’ve heard her utter a number of times…) This show (writing and casting) is bloody brilliant!!!

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A “season” for this show consists of 3, 1 1/2 hr episodes.  I only saw two as I just couldn’t stay awake.  I am hoping that they will show season 2 (3 more episodes) next Saturday .. and then the following week would begin season 3.

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What a shame it’s only 3 episodes… It’s beyond my depressed thoughts that for a few weekends (starting this one) that there is actually some fantastic things on Cable, even if it is PBS and not high paid stations!   Saturday was Sherlock and tonight (Sunday) is Downton Abbey!!!  If this keeps up I will have to move to England to get more then two nights of something good on cable!

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Ok.. now that I raved about the show.. and I still cannot believe a modern day Sherlock would be enjoyable..so it must have to do with the actors and the scripts ..which I have to say, they DO make me feel like I am watching the “old” Sherlock Holmes. 

The Holmes movies that came out a few years ago, sure didn’t do it for me nor our own tv version . But someone across the pond sure got it right!

I can’t say I am a true fan of either Freeman or Cumberbatch just yet.  I mean, seriously I only remember seeing Freeman as Bilbo (which I love) and Cumberbatch came to my attention from Star Trek (and I still have a little reservation of him as Khan. Just too many years of remembering Ricardo as Khan) but he won me over by the end of the movie. So they ARE on the fast track to actors I can’t get enough of.

I am thrilled with this new series (new to me) if you haven’t seen it before (and if you HAVE why didn’t you let the rest of us know of it??!!) Be sure to check out Masterpiece Theater on PBS and watch for SHERLOCK.  Then post about it ! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show!

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(just as a off the wall comment here…  have any of you ladies noticed Benedict Cumberbatch’s lips?!  Gah! to die for! I can’t imagine a woman not wishing they had the same full shaped lips!  … the lips don’t help his acting.. but .. hey… got to mention those assets! )

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The Year 2013

…was not my finest year of reading but I’m still happy with what I did read!

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My top 10 favorite reads would be: (in no particular order)…….

Eleanor Roosevelt, books 1 & 2 ..by: Blanche W Cook  (1,293 pgs)

Jarka Ruus, Tanequil & Straken.. trilogy by: Terry Brooks (1,141 pgs)

Chekov’s Enterprise.. by: Walter Koenig (222 pgs)

The Black House.. by: Peter May (368 pgs)

Before I go to Sleep.. by:  S I Watson (360 pgs)

Jack .. by: Geoffrey Perret (400 pgs)

Cemetery..by: Girl David Bell (400 pgs)

The Hiding Place..by: David Bell (400 pgs)

The American Heiress..by  Daisy Goodwin (496 pgs)

 

Favorite book:  Before I go to Sleep  S I Watson.  This one I could hardly set down! If you haven’t read it you should!

To be honest there were very few that I didn’t enjoy. One or two got “long in the tooth” but overall this was a good reading year.

I only read 53 books but 23 of them were 400 or more pages!  wow.. I didn’t even realize that..makes me feel better that I didn’t read so many books!

18 books were history or biographies.  I was never big into “history” but I sure have gotten into parts of it in my old age!  WWII, Kennedy, and Victorian England being my driven favorites.

Overall I am pleased with my reading this year and as always love doing Once Upon a Time and the RIP Challenges that Carl does for us each year.

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