Saturday, January 28, 2017
kay's week - 1.28.17
Hello bookish friends! It's Saturday and so that must mean that I should share about my recent week. Hope all of you have had a good one - peaceful, joyful, restful - or the best you can of those aims. Me, I'm remembering my 'one word' - BREATHE. Yes, 'BREATHE, JUST BREATHE'...better now? Well, let's see what I've been up to...
I've been reading...
I completed 3 books this week - 2 of them read/listen combos and 1 on my Kindle. They were a bit of a mixed bag and my enjoyment was a little up and a little down.
Our mystery book group selection for next week's February meeting is Redemption Road by John Hart. I mostly listened to this one, but did pick up a copy at the library to read a bit faster as the story progressed. The audio was narrated by Scott Shepherd and I'm not sure I've listened to him before. That being said, he did a really good job, in my opinion. This is the first book I've read by John Hart, but I know his books have appeared on bestseller lists since his first was published. And he may be the only author to win back-to-back Edgar Awards. I'm not going to say too, too much about my experience because I want to write a blog post about our mystery group's discussion. I will say that I feel this author can write and write well. The story is grim, but somehow parts of the language are really beautiful and thoughtful. A story of flawed people and the things they've done or people think they've done. A story of sacrifice and pain and true evil. Stay tuned for more perhaps late next week.
Next I read After She Fell by Mary-Jane Riley on my Kindle. This is (note this part) the 2nd book in the Alex Devlin series and I have not read the 1st book. Did you note that I skipped a book? Ha! The reason why I chose this book was that Cleo, of Cleopatra Loves Books (do you know Cleo - you should), will be starting a 'Put A Book On The Map' feature on her blog. Mary-Jane Riley's books will be the ones to kick off this new event and I believe that it begins on February 4th. Keep that in mind and check out Cleo's blog. OK, in After She Fell, Alex Devlin, an investigative journalist, agrees to help one of her oldest friends, Catriona, find out what happened to Elena, Catriona's teenage daughter. The police say that Elena threw herself off a seaside cliff because she was depressed and lonely and dealing with an eating disorder. Her mother disagrees and asks Alex to check out Elena's posh boarding school, the teachers, the students. What Alex finds is complicated. I liked this book - somehow books that are set with boarding schools are always appealing to me. It reminded me a bit of Reconstructing Amelia. I'll go back and read this author's first book in the series, The Bad Things.
I also did a read/listen combo of Good As Gone by Amy Gentry, a local author for my area. It was narrated by Karen Peakes, another new-to-me narrator. Good As Gone, which is set in Houston mostly, relates the story of a kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl, Julie, witnessed by her younger sister, Jane. Time passes and no trace is found of Julie, despite billboards and exhaustive searches. Eight years later, a woman shows up at the door who says she is Julie. The parents are elated, as is Jane. And then...and then...maybe there are issues. Is this really Julie? The author tells the story in an interesting way that makes it a bit difficult to follow on audio. Several points of view and sometimes I found it tough to know exactly who was speaking. I don't want to spoil her storytelling method, but may I just say that though the narrator is good, reading this book in print might be the way to go. I did like it pretty well, though I guessed a lot of what would happen. Amy Gentry will be doing an event at a library close to me at the end of February and I'm going to try to go if I can. It's a fundraising event for the library, which is always good, plus I'd like to hear what she has to say about her writing process.
We did finally watch the last episode of Sherlock this week. All I can say is...so many thoughts....and creeeeeepy. Don't know if this is the end of this adaptation. I will say that I love Dr. Watson - no matter if the character is played by Martin Freeman or Lucy Liu or Jude Law. And I've never really warmed to Mycroft. We also watched an episode of Bones that we had recorded that included characters that lived in a retirement home. It was with pleasure that we saw Hal Holbrook (age 91 - wow!) and Ed Asner (who is 87, I believe) guest starring. And then, of course, this week saw the loss of Mary Tyler Moore, who connects with Asner in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Seeing Hal Holbrook made me think of his late wife, Dixie Carter, a great favorite of mine as Julia Sugarbaker on the series Designing Women. It makes one want to go back and revisit those wonderful TV shows.
Next week will be the February meeting for the Mystery Book Group I attend - and we are 9 years into our journey through mysteries together. It is so much fun! One of my better suggestions while working at the library, if I do say so myself. Ha! I began my additional duties as volunteer shelver at the library yesterday. I took it sorta easy - in case you didn't know, book shelving is a bit of a strenuous activity. Lots of up and down and grasping and shoving books down and bending. Anyway, I feel fine today and enjoyed myself so much. I just did 2 hours, but got 4 carts of books emptied. I only put Purell on my hands 3 times and washed my hands thoroughly at the end. I had forgotten just how 'dirty' books really are. I've never worked in a bank, but I've heard the same thing from tellers about money. It was fun to see a couple of former co-workers and I'll look forward to my weekly duty.
Otherwise, life has been pretty good. Our weather has not been too cold at all, but it's been cool enough. Spring is coming, though I know it will be a bit and we may still have some frigid days. Spring is my favorite season here in Central Texas - the wildflowers, you know. I'll leave you today with a shot of my beloved bluebonnets from last year, our state flower.
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Thanks for sharing your image of bluebonnets. I keep feeling Spring is just around the corner, but know it's still a while off. I shelved books in our library for awhile after I retired, but really did not enjoy it. It sounds like you had a good reading week. Enjoy your book group meeting!ReplyDelete
I find the bluebonnets cheerful, certainly at this time of year with all the brown grass and such. I think shelving books is something you either like or don't. :-)Delete
You'll see spring before I do - by a long shot! I absolutely loved Designing Women. Such great writing and the ensemble was perfect. Much like the MTM Show.ReplyDelete
Yes, Designing Women had a great cast. So many great lines and so funny.Delete
Bluebonnets are so pretty! The air has a little chill down here this morning...high 50s ;-) It's funny but I sometimes feel like a traitor to 'winter people' being down here in FL. I've battled snow all my life and finally just had enough... though this winter, with 70" of it before leaving, we didn't miss it all. Have a good week, Kay!ReplyDelete
I'm definitely not a snow person. Have seen little enough of it to be fascinated, but a bit wary of it. Probably because when it does come to our part of the world, chaos ensues. Glad you guys are taking advantage of warmer temps and enjoying your time in FL.Delete
And you know that I couldn't live without 'my' snow. Nothing prettier than an overnight snowfall and seeing new deer tracks.Delete
Yes, I love how pretty it is. Pristine. Even you, Nan, wouldn't like how it is here when it really snows. As I said, chaos!!Delete
We saw episodes 1 and 3--don't know how we missed 2--and liked the 3 and hated the first, too soap operaish. I love both Martin Freeman and Jude Law as Doctor Watson too, not Lucy Liu though.ReplyDelete
The bluebonnets are my favorite color of blue, I don't remember them from when we lived in Texas.
Bluebonnets are prevalent on sides of highways in late spring - April usually. You know, Lady Bird Johnson was the one who really pushed for Texas highways to be bordered by wildflowers in the spring. The Highway Department seeds them, in addition to what grows naturally. I love it.Delete
I was never as wild as a lot of people about Sherlock anyway, but I really couldn't watch the last one. That's good exercise shelving the books!ReplyDelete
Yes, I decided I might wear my watch thing that does heartbeat and calories, just out of curiosity. There's not much rise in the heart rate, but the stretching this way and that is definitely good for you.Delete
Oh my gosh. I was just going through some bookmarks and came across the book you wrote about RR. http://kiwicrime.blogspot.comReplyDelete
I took a look at that review - yes, definitely captures Redemption Road. I saw a short video interview of John Hart (which I'm going to share with my group next week) and he talks about his aims for this book and his writing heroes. Pat Conroy was one of his idols and I could see that influence in his writing. He also reminded me of Greg Iles. All of them great Southern writers.Delete
I love that your book club focuses on mysteries and has continued for nine years!ReplyDelete
Yep. Me too. When I worked for the library, I ended up, through some odd circumstances, being the staff member that ran the afternoon book group (which reads fiction/non fiction). It went well for a few months and I decided to ask my manager if I could start a mystery group - my favorite genre. There was (and still is) another mystery group at a branch in south Austin, but none in north part of town where we were. She agreed and we had 25 people at the first meeting. Scared me to death. The next one had a more manageable number, but 2 of the current members were at that first meeting of 25. We've had such a good time and have about 18-20 members that are truly engaged with the group at any one time.Delete
I love seeing the wildflowers along the side of Mopac when I'm on my commute to/from work. They make the drive a bit nicer! Looks like you had a good book week! I'm trying to finish up a couple of books this weekend so I can make some progress on my stacks!ReplyDelete
That is a great place for watching for wildflowers - well, if you can see the sides of Mopac right now. The north part is so torn up and crazy. My husband hates it and drives it every day and me, I just try to stay away from it. LOLDelete
Almost to the end of Redemption Road. Did you notice that the person who plays Mycroft is also one of the writers for Sherlock?ReplyDelete
I think someone mentioned it and then I noticed. Interesting.Delete
So sad to lose Mary Tyler Moore. I remember her so well with Dick Van Dyke and then in The Mary Tyler Moore Show which was so much a part of my teenage years. RIP.ReplyDelete
Yes, who could forget that scene where she throws her hat in the air. :-)Delete
The volunteering sounds great and I've never thought about books being dirty but I can definitely see it being an issue. I haven't watched the new series of Sherlock yet but I'm looking forward to it. I'd like to go back and watch the whole series since it's been so long but who knows if that'll happen. After She Fell looks really good and the Put a Book on the Map challenge sounds really fun. Have a great week!ReplyDelete
I've thought about that too - rewatching all the Sherlock episodes. I may do that at some point.Delete
The picture of the bluebonnet does my heart good! Here in southern Wisconsin, we have not seen the sun in sixteen days and counting. I fear spring is a long, long way off for us.ReplyDelete
Nine years with the same book group? That is awesome! Have fun this week!
Thanks, I will. And the flowers aren't out here yet, but they will be in a few weeks.Delete
I adored the Mary Tyler Moore Show. I also loved the spinoff Rhoda. That was a favorite of mine too. I don't think I realized Dixie Carter is gone too. It's so sad.ReplyDelete
Hope you have a great week!
Yes, Dixie Carter died several years ago. So sad. I remember Rhoda - that was a funny show.Delete
Good as Gone is on my TBR list- I think I better move it up the pile as I can just tell that I'm going to enjoy. Thanks for the reminder to just breathe- sometimes that is exactly what is needed. Have a great week Kay!ReplyDelete
Definitely 'just breathe'! Thanks and hope your week is peaceful!Delete
You picked a good word for 2017. I'm going to borrow it for today, if you don't mind. BREATHE. BREATHE. And once more...BREATHE. Yes. Thank you. Just what I needed.ReplyDelete
Deb, you are welcome to borrow BREATHE any time you need it!Delete
GOOD AS GONE has the same premise as a couple other books I've read lately. I do find it an intriguing premise, so I'll probably pick up GOOD AS GONE and do some compare/contrasting :)ReplyDelete
Oh, and I just finished RIVER ROAD. I really liked it. I'm reading another by the same author right now and enjoying it as well.
Oh good. You'll have to tell which other one you read and how it went.Delete
Just breathe sounds like a good plan! I think we could all do more of that.ReplyDelete
I completely agree.Delete
I love your OneWord! I think it is a great way to shake off all your worries and calm down.ReplyDelete
I've never been in a IRL book club though I've always wanted to be in one. I don't know why - I feel intimidated by it! Yikes. I have to change it sometime. Love hearing about your experiences with it.
I had never been in a face-to-face one until I worked with them at the library. Decided I loved them, mostly. LOLDelete
I miss my shelving days. But mine were in a bookstore so they were brand spanking new and clean :)ReplyDelete
Yes, that would indeed be different. Although, I used to be the one to process the new materials at the library and that was fun. We had another staff member who would only check out books if she was the first one to do so. Otherwise, no. LOLDelete