Fiction on the Rise Thursday, Jan 22 2009 

Auntie M is one of those people who want to hold a book in hand, hard cover, paperback, it doesn’t really matter.  And I get pretty annoyed with people who announce the book is dead and we will all be reading online only in the future.

That’s why I was so heartened to read Ann Patchett’s article in the weekend Wall Street Journal’s Culture page, The Triumph of the Readers.

The author of Bel Canto and the recent novel Run shares a details of a board meeting from her local Nashville Public Library Foundation.  Her library has noted a trend supported by a recent report from the National Endowment for the Arts: for the first time in 25 years, the number of people reading fiction is on the rise.

She goes on to say she’s not the least surprised, as when she travels around the country giving talks, the audiences are packed with readers hanging on her every word about the process an author goes through to produce a novel.  They want to talk about literature, they love literature, there is no death of literature.

Patchett adds that whenever she sees someone floundering in a bookstore, she helps them find a good book to read. And she is always giving out lists to others of books she’s read and enjoyed, to spread the wealth of what is out there and share a great find.  My kind of gal.

Phew! For a moment there I worried a Kindle was the only way I’d get to read in the future.

~~~~~~

Today Doc ‘hopped’ around our bedroom twice and it’s only afternoon!  He’s sleeping better at night, and although the pain is still intense, there is a definite upward movement, after a long, long month.

And for those of you who worried, yes, I DID get to shave my legs this weekend!

Mozilla Firefox Start Page Sunday, Jan 18 2009 

Auntie M has been reading a ton lately, mostly at night between doses of pain med to Doc, when he’s hurting and neither of us are sleeping.

Ellie Hatcher is Alafair Burke’s new homicide detective in the second of this Manhattan-based series.

Readers were introduced to Hatcher in Dead Connection, a midwesterner who has grown to love New York except for the killers and crime she finds there.  In Angel’s Tip, Hatcher has a new partner and a new killing spree to investigate.

https://i2.wp.com/www.alafairburke.com/images/AngelsTip_home.jpg

With a suspect quickly in their sights, most New Yorkers start to relax, until Hatcher realizes the murders are far too reminiscent of a string of killings from a decade ago.  She does not make friends as she pushes to keep the investigation open.

These thrillers combine a fast pacing and enough quirks and twists to keep you reading to the last page.

~~~~~~~~~

On a different note, thanks to all who have sent good wishes and prayers to Doc, and to all of your for being so understanding that my time is limited right now.  He is healing very slowly, much to his chagrin, and in bed 23 1/2 hrs out of 24 most days.  Our MN son came in this week for a long weekend and has been doing tons of “Doc” chores around here.

Today Doc walked six steps on his good leg with the walker and that indeed progress.  He’s doing arm exercises in bed every few hours, too.  Pain is still a big issue but we think we’ve got him on a better regimen now.

Thanks for all the positive energy you’ve sent our way!

A Cure For All Diseases Wednesday, Jun 4 2008 

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had one someday? But no, this is the title of  Reginald Hill’s 560+ page novel I’ve just finished reading.  Hill just seems to get longer and better with each outing.   He’s  a great plotter and his dialogue is a hoot! This is one of the Dalziel and Pascoe series, (also televised at some point years ago on BBC and well worth a look if you ever come across the DVD’s.)  When he has Andy Dalziel speak, I have to laugh out loud sometimes, he had that voice nailed so perfectly.

This one centers on a small town on the Yorkshire coast which is trying to build up itself as a health resort.  Our Andy finds himself ensconced there as he rehabs from the blast that almost killed him in the last book (The Death of Dalziel).  And rehab he does, all of his pertinent parts and then some.

I love reading Hill because he knows so darn much and shares it so willingly through his characters.

Auntie M is in awe of someone who can pull an opus like this together consistently, over and over, can you tell?

Sunday, Sunday Sunday, Apr 13 2008 

so good to me, as the Mama’s and the Papa’s said. Remember them? Mama Cass’s smooth voice, the best of the group, Michelle’s high soprano, those 60’s songs that take me right back to high school and making out with John Maydan, he of the heavy-lidded brown eyes who taught me to French kiss…but I digress. It’s the kind of day I love: sleeping in, great shower, dogs adorable, fundraiser lunch so no cooking a big meal, then home on the porch enjoying the breeze and watching the birds and waves, actually getting work done, pausing only to blog a bit…and Wire in the Blood to watch tonight followed by the cutest blood spatter guy ever, Dexter. I just that sociopath. Last week he started to have, gulp, feelings! So cute. If you haven’t discovered Dexter, Sundays at 10pm on CBS.

Finished the Mgt. Duffy series and now have to wait for the next installment of Ingrid Langley and Patrick Gillard novels. If I have one complaint, it’s that these two don’t seem to spend enough time at home with their kids. But then I realize they HAVE been home and I’m just privy to the bits of time when they go off on one of their jaunts, finding spies or murderers, restoring right to the world, having sex on top of furniture…see where my mind is??? I’m treating myself to brain candy today, Mary Higgins Clark’s newest: Where Are You Now? You can whip out one of these babies in a day without guilt and plunge on to the next one waiting on your bookshelf.

Enjoy your Sunday; I plan to enjoy mine.

Domestically challenged tells me she didn’t know any of the shows I mentioned and is still waiting for the Purple Martini to arrive. Anyone have a recipe? My Purple Martins have chosen their respective apartments and are waiting for their better halves to arrive. Radar the Spinone weighed in at 99.6 lbs on Friday and is asleep on his king-sized ottoman, Murray on her bed. All is right with the world–for this minute.

The Great Hockey Rink in the Sky Monday, Mar 31 2008 

Auntie M has just returned from the wilds of the midwest, visiting her 4 Grands and far too many hockey rinks…where she picked up a stomach flu…in the middle of a hockey tournament (I leave the details to your imagination, but trust me, the ladies room is NOT like yours at home)…which the 16 mos old had two days later.  Reminded me why younger people have babies,  as I did those three baths and changes of clothes in one 8AM to 1 PM shift when Mom was teaching.  Since 3 of 4 Grands plus Mom play hockey ( you are in serious trouble out here if you don’t), and  since hot chocolate wouldn’t stay down, it was not my favorite part of the trip.  But I digress.

Being around children who remind me of the natural curiosity and wonder of this world is  worth a few trips to the ice rink.   Taking a trip to the bookstore was my favorite outing.  Along with Green Girl of Wisconsin’s blog last week, I agree that there are plenty of non-fiction books that rival those of the storied kind.  My 7 yr old g-dtgr. asked for The Dangerous Book for Girls for her May birthday, and you know it’s coming to her.  9 yr old g-son is reading a series where he can design his own ending for the book!   That they are all in love with books is a real delight to this Nana.  Reading aloud the original Peter Pan, chapter one, the G’s were astounded to find that “Nana” was the Darling children’s dog nanny.  Score one for this Nana.

We also took the three bigs to see “Horton” and where else can a couple laugh with delight at an animated movie with abandon unless they are surrounded by the kids the movie is designed for.  Too loud, a pet peeve of mine at cinema’s, but well done.

I did manage to reada few by Claire Curzon, the Mike Yeading series, and R. M. Kinder’s An Absolute Gentleman, which neatly illustrates everything you wanted to know inside the mind of an academic serial killer, as opposed to the purely sociopathic one of the Dexter novels.  Which is coming on CBS tonight.  So if you want to wander around for a bit with a serial killer, read either or the above or tune in at 10Pm EST.  You just can’t make this stuff up.

Yee-Haaaa! Friday, Feb 29 2008 

Hello fellow readers and writers.  I’ve returned from Texas which was a hoot: borrowed a cowboy hat, imbibed too many tequila drinks to mention, ate tons of Mexican food & Texas BBQ, and hardly slept.  Heard some great music, esp. Albert & Gage, whose CD’s I would recommend. She is 1/2 French and has a lovely voice and does some songs in Eng/Fr, including my wedding song, “La Vie en Rose” so I’m a fan.  Learned to two-step, saw the countryside, the downtown and the UT campus, all thanks to my good friend and Shakespeare scholar, Susan.  This is one neat place, stuck in the 60’s and swinging on all counts.  And Susan’s kids helped to make our stay a great one, taking us on drives, entertaining us at home, joining us for music and food.   A fun time.

But now back to work and revisions have commenced on the newest novel, featuring RN Trudy Genova, who works as a medical consultant for a movie studio and is usually found helping out at soap operas filmed in the Big Apple.  Behind-the-scenes stuff at soaps mingles with her helping to solve the murder of actor Griff Kennedy, who may or may not deserve his fate, depending on your point of view.   Lead detective Ned O’Malley would rather she left the sleuthing to him, but our Trudy knows better, she thinks.

On the reading front, and since I’m revising Trudy in first person, I’ve kept reading Margaret Duffy’s series featuring novelist Ingrid Langley and Army Capt. Patrick Gillard, as they are written in first person and also highly engaging.  Duffy has a host of stand-alones, too, but this series is identified as having some kind of bird in the title: A Murder of Crows, Death of a Raven, Brass Eagle, etc.  They take place in the UK and I enjoy her description of the male-female relationship as much as the action.

Cotswolds Idyll Monday, Jan 28 2008 

For those of you who enjoy a mystery set in the very English Cotswolds, check out Rebecca Tope’s trio set in that golden area. Her unusual heroine has an interesting mindset and empathy with the people she meets, and of course, she has an adorable dog…what more could you ask for in entertainment?

T is for Trespass Monday, Jan 14 2008 

is Sue Grafton’s latest entry in her Kinsey Milhone series.  This one alternates between Kinsey’s first person POV and the third person POV of a nurse taking care of Kinsey’s neighbor.  This approach made for a slow beginning, but the book settled down and is packed with sly humor in Kinsey’s voice.  What will Grafton do when she hits Z–any guesses?

Aunt Dimity (no relation) strikes again! Thursday, Jan 10 2008 

For those of you who love Nancy Atherton’s series, watch soon for her newest, Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter. Lori and her family are back in England and the twins are starting school. Sounds cozy, right? But Atherton’s readers know better…the author will be touring in February and signing books, so check out her website aunt-dimity.com for her schedule.

New Year’s Reads Thursday, Jan 3 2008 

Happy 2008 to all, as I pass on my first book recommendation of the New Year.  For a different voice, filled with wry wit and cutting observations, try Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read.  Her debut novel was nominated for an Edgar, and although it must fall into the mystery-suspense category, it is filled with social commentary as she contrasts Long Island society with the upstate New York farming community.  “And never the twain shall meet” is something protagonist reporter Madeline Dare hardly seems fixed to dispel as her two worlds clash.  Maddie soon finds herself enmeshed in tracking down the twenty+ year old murder of two sisters whose rose-garlanded bodies were found in a farm field.   Watch out for the Reader’s note at the book’s end, where author Read describes the real-life events that inspired the novel, plus questions for book club discussions.  Her next, The Crazy School, follows Maddie’s next pursuit.

Pamela J Castrucci

Navigating self-publishing without a net.

Lee Lofland

The Graveyard Shift

Being Author

Book promotion & authors BLOG

S L Hollister, author

Welcome to Leeward

Liz Loves Books

The Wonderful World of Reading

The Life of Guppy

the care and feeding of our little fish

dru's book musings

Reading is a wonderful adventure!

JoHanna Massey

"I tramp the perpetual journey." Walt Whitman

MiddleSisterReviews.com

(mid'-l sis'-tǝr) n. the reader's favorite sister

My train of thoughts on...

Smile! Don't look back in anger.

Emma kayne

interior design student - maker

K.R. Morrison, Author

My author site--news and other stuff about books and things

The Wickeds

Wicked Good Mysteries

Some Days You Do ...

Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

Gaslight Crime

Authors and reviewers of historical crime fiction

Crimezine

#1 for Crime

Mellotone70Up

John Harvey on Books & Writing - his own & other people 's - Art, Music, Movies, & the elusive search for the perfect Flat White.

A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

...now being made into a radio drama

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

The best mystery and crime fiction (up to 1987): Book and movie reviews

Pamela J Castrucci

Navigating self-publishing without a net.

Lee Lofland

The Graveyard Shift

Being Author

Book promotion & authors BLOG

S L Hollister, author

Welcome to Leeward

Liz Loves Books

The Wonderful World of Reading

The Life of Guppy

the care and feeding of our little fish

dru's book musings

Reading is a wonderful adventure!

JoHanna Massey

"I tramp the perpetual journey." Walt Whitman

MiddleSisterReviews.com

(mid'-l sis'-tǝr) n. the reader's favorite sister

My train of thoughts on...

Smile! Don't look back in anger.

Emma kayne

interior design student - maker

K.R. Morrison, Author

My author site--news and other stuff about books and things

The Wickeds

Wicked Good Mysteries

Some Days You Do ...

Writers & Writing, my own & other people's; movies, art, music & the search for a perfect flat white - the bits & pieces of a writing life.

Gaslight Crime

Authors and reviewers of historical crime fiction

Crimezine

#1 for Crime

Mellotone70Up

John Harvey on Books & Writing - his own & other people 's - Art, Music, Movies, & the elusive search for the perfect Flat White.

A thrilling Murder-Mystery...

...now being made into a radio drama