Friday, May 22, 2015

The shortest distance between two points ... is ... never mind.

I am fully planning on executing my plan for this 3-day weekend: I will not go on the computer. No Netflix. No Facebook. No emails. No surfing.

Nor will I cheat with my Kindle Fire. I am going to read.

I am also going to clean up my book piles throughout the house and organize.

No, I really want to do this. Here's the books:

I'm closing in on finishing THE MAYFAIR AFFAIR by Tracy Grant:

 About a quarter of the way into ANATOMY OF EVIL by Will Thomas:

Next up is THE GHOST FIELDS by Elly Griffiths.

This is 7th of 7 in series featuring Dr. Ruth Galloway, a forensic archaeologist, and Harry Nelson, a detective chief inspector, in the Saltmarsh area near Norfolk, England. Here's a description:
Norfolk is suffering from record summer heat when a construction crew unearths a macabre discovery—a downed World War II plane with the pilot still inside. Forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway quickly realizes that the skeleton couldn’t possibly be the pilot, and DNA tests identify the man as Fred Blackstock, a local aristocrat who had been reported dead at sea. When the remaining members of the Blackstock family learn about the discovery, they seem strangely frightened by the news.  Events are further complicated by a TV company that wants to make a film about Norfolk’s deserted air force bases, the so-called Ghost Fields, which have been partially converted into a pig farm run by one of the younger Blackstocks. As production begins, Ruth notices a mysterious man lurking on the outskirts of Fred Blackstock’s memorial service. Then human bones are found on the family’s pig farm. Can the team outrace a looming flood to find a killer?

Published in 2015, it has 384 pages. 

On Monday, THE LEGER CONNECTION by Estelle Ryan will be on my Kindle.

This is 7th of 7 in series featuring Dr. Genevieve Lenard, nonverbal communication expert, art insurance investigator, and high functioning autistic. Here's a description: 
A video call from her dad leads top white-hat hacker Francine to four stolen masterpieces. And to a possible murder--in Brazil. Her frustration at being so far away is turned into anger when her loved ones are attacked and corrupt law enforcement officials stonewall their inquiries. Blackmail, a kidnapping and a blatant heist in their backyard in Strasbourg reveal a plan to use unregulated drone technology in a daring escape. Francine's concern for her best friend and her parents' safety has to take a back seat to her determination to save the lives of bystanders. Together with her team, she will do anything to stop these criminals from executing their brutal plan. If she's not already too late.
And I will nap. Because I know I will.

And because it's TGIF at last and to sneak in a little Arrow fix:

And, more seriously, remember what the holiday is about:

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, May 21, 2015

*sigh* Guess I'll have to go torture the dog. Again.

Hey! I actually READ A BOOK yesterday. Yes, it was a fluffy romance but I read it in one day. Getting back to normal.

I hope so anyway. I have the Tracy Grant and Will Thomas to finish. The Elly Griffiths to read and the new Estelle Ryan will show up on Monday. Woot!

I was thinking about music this morning. The Eagles are coming to town this summer. Now, in 2015.  I do love the Eagles' music but I don't want to see these 60+ year old men performing. I want to see the bands I love when they were in their prime. So I made a list.

The Beatles
If you know me, you know that I love and adore the Beatles but there are no live performances I would have wanted to see because when they did tour, there was so much screaming going on you couldn't hear anything. They stopped touring in 1966 and only released albums.  But maybe, just maybe, I'd like to go back in time and see them perform in 1962 at the Cavern Club. This clip in from August 1962, one week after Pete Best left the band and Ringo became the drummer.

The Who
I would have loved to see The Who when they were touring with the songs from Tommy. It was just the four of them and their instruments playing great songs. No special effects or synthesizers. This clip is from August 1970, the Isle of Wight Festival.

The Eagles
I love the original line up of the founding members of the Eagles: Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Glen Frey, and Randy Meisner. They were country rock and their harmonies and voices blending were unbelievable. So I would like to see the Eagles somewhere around the 1973/1974 range. Desperado is my favorite of their albums. Here's a clip from 1973 singing a cappella -- those harmonies!

Paul McCartney and Wings
I would love to see the Wings over America tour in 1975/1976.

So I need a time machine.

And not just for concerts. I would love to see what Anne Boleyn was really like. Her ambitions caused Henry VIII to change the world. I would love to see Shakespeare's plays originally. I'd love to see the founding fathers hashing it out over the Declaration of Independence. I'd like to see what Jesus was really like. I'd like to see the golden age of Athens, circa the fifth century BC. I definitely want to see the library at Alexandria....  Come on, scientists, let's get this done.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Yeah, but you should have seen us last millenium

Wow, last night's episode of The Flash was really good. I'm going to have to watch the entire season now. The guy playing Flash is just a puppy of a guy in his enthusiasm but can also break your heart with tears in his eyes (though Arrow still has my heart). This was the end of their first season and per Berlanti usual, the sweet, not-masked guy too pure for this world died saving someone he loved. But in this series, is he really dead? They're playing fast and loose with time in this show which is lovely in a mind-boggling way and I love those kind of stories but, in general, in this super hero-land no on is REALLY dead. They keep being not dead in some way and his body did get sucked into the singularity along with the super villain. And I loved this little throw away:

Oh, those important scientist problems when you're turning on a particle accelerator and having a metahuman (Flash) run at Mach 2 to collide with a hydrogen atom so he can create a worm hole in time. 

And, yes, I did read for a bit last night, thank you very much.

 And a funny:

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Why are "cook" and "transport" buttons so close together?

Tonight I'll watch the season finale of The Flash.

"Fast Enough"
When the particle accelerator is back online, Barry will have to go back in time to stop Eobard Thawne on the night of his mother's murder 15 years ago.

And then I'm done with regular season TV. Next up: reading. I looked ahead into June for new releases. I've got nothing. NOTHING! Gack!
But, of course, I am really and truly not hurting for lack of reading. I have A LOT to read.


And May has been a fantastic month for new releases for me. In fact, I have another today and another on Monday. So this will spill over into June but still... the thought of a month-long drought ....

This weekend is a three-day holiday. Woot! And I'm thinking of making a vow. I will not binge watch anything. I will not ... gulp ... go on the Internet....for three days ....

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, May 18, 2015

Realizing the weekend is over ... followed by a Monday

So. Did the birthday work? I'm not sure. Maybe. It is always hard to tell. But we move on.

It rained all weekend which was lovely. We need the rain here, yes, but you know how I love cool, dark, and rainy days. :)

I surfed the Net a lot. Read a little. Watched Outlander and Game of Thrones.

Nothing on TV for me tonight. Woot!

Thirty-five years ago today, Mount St. Helens blew. Thirty-five years.

I remember that event vividly and the date; it actually happened on a Sunday morning. I was in the 7th grade. There was ash, not a whole lot, here in Billings but they cancelled events like my chorus concert which was on Tuesday.

As always, trying to end on a light note:

And back again. I tell you, life was hell back then. :)

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, May 15, 2015

My secret identity is a panda.

Tomorrow is Steve's birthday -- he catches up to me for six months number-wise. But I'm still the boss.

Birthdays for Steve can be .... iffy.

So I don't really know what we'll be doing to celebrate other than bringing dinner in probably, watching Outlander (more on that later). He will sleep in massively, I'm sure. I got a major present for him this year; keep your fingers crossed that it will be acceptable.

No, my gift for him is AWESOME. But yes, that is always a concern with him. Sigh.

Okay, it won't be THAT bad.

A new release showed up today on my Kindle. Woot! THE MAYFAIR AFFAIR by Tracy Grant. This is 5th of 5 in series (if you don't count the short stories) featuring Malcolm and Suzanne Rannoch, a diplomat and his wife in early 1800s. Here's a description:
Malcolm, a former diplomatic attaché and intelligence agent, is a rising Member of Parliament. Suzanne is fast becoming one of London’s most sought hostesses. But even their closest friends don’t know that the Rannoch’s marriage is still reeling from the revelation that Suzanne was a French spy when she met British agent Malcolm and that she married him to gather information on British plans. Malcolm and Suzanne are hoping for private time to repair their marriage. But their peace is shattered by a late night visit from a Bow Street runner. The powerful Duke of Trenchard has been found murdered in the study of his St. James’s Square house. And Laura Dudley, governess to the Rannoch children, was standing over the dying duke. Malcolm and Suzanne are convinced the woman they trusted with their children is not a killer. To prove Laura’s innocence, they are drawn into an investigation that will test their wits and the fragile truce between them. But whether or not she murdered the Duke of Trenchard, Laura Dudley is certainly not what she seemed. Revelations about her identity cut dangerously close to Suzanne’s own past. Malcolm and Suzanne realize more is at stake than Laura’s life and liberty. The investigation into the Duke of Trenchard’s murder will either prove the resilience of their bond–or snap it in two.

Published 2015, it has 374 pages. It supposed to be a rainy weekend which will be just lovely for reading.

Tomorrow night's episode of Outlander is the most difficult one. Ever. Truly. Jamie's descent into darkness after being imprisoned, tortured and raped by Black Jack Randal. Reading it in the book is disturbing enough but to SEE it?

"Wentworth Prison"
A visit from Black Jack causes Jamie to realize a fate exists that is worse than his death sentence.

Here's an explanation from Diana Gabaldon herself as to why this scene is included in the book:
There always is a reason why things happen or are necessary in a story, whether I know what those things are while I’m writing or not. So—returning to my reader’s question—what were the reasons for the terrible things that happened to Jamie in Wentworth Prison?

So Outlander is a high-stakes story—on an individual level—throughout. It’s a love story, sure, and it’s all about what people will do for the sake of love. Claire, for instance, chooses to abandon the life she knew (and was about to reclaim postwar), the safety of the twentieth century (and she of all people would value that safety, having come through such a war), and the husband she’d loved. She chooses hardship, danger, and emotional pain, in order to be with Jamie.
Okay. This has to be a credible threat. Ergo, we have to have seen (and heard about) the real damage Randall has done to Jamie thus far; we have to be in no doubt whatever that he’d do real damage to Claire. We can’t just say, “Oh, he’s such a nasty person, you wouldn’t believe . . .” We have to believe, and therefore appreciate, the enormity of what Jamie is doing when he trades what’s left of his life for Claire’s.
And because we do believe that, we share both Jamie’s despair and Claire’s desperation.
Throughout the book, we’ve seen that love has a real cost. Jamie and Claire have built a relationship through honest struggle, a relationship that’s worth what it’s cost them. This is the final challenge, and Jamie’s willing to pay what will apparently be the ultimate cost.
Why would I throw that away? To have him escape rape and torture (he—and we—know what’s coming) by the skin of his teeth would be to undercut his sacrifice, to make it of little moment. (It would be like someone turning up in Gethsemane and telling Christ, “Hey, buddy, you don’t really have to do this. Come with me, I got a secret way outta here. . . .”)
So love has a cost, and it’s a real one. But they do rescue each other, and Claire saves not only his life but also his soul. (Yes, it is redemption and resurrection, and, yes, there’s Christ imagery all through the story—it was my first book, okay?) His soul wouldn’t have been in danger had he not been really and truly nearly destroyed by his sacrifice.
I.e., had Claire shown up with reinforcements in the nick of time and saved him before he’d been put through such pain and suffering . . . well, then it would have been a nice, heartwarming story in which Hero and Heroine conquer evil and ride off into the sunset together. But it wouldn’t have half the power of a story in which Jamie and Claire truly conquer real evil and thus show what real love is. Real love has real costs—and they’re worth it.
I’ve always said all my books have a shape, and Outlander’s internal geometry consists of three slightly overlapping triangles. The apex of each triangle is one of the three emotional climaxes of the book: 1) when Claire makes her wrenching choice at the stones, 2) when she saves Jamie from Wentworth, and 3) when she saves his soul at the abbey. It would still be a good story if I’d had only One and Two—but, see above, the Rule of Three. A story that goes one, two, three, has a lot more impact than just a one–two punch.

And from what I hear, the show doesn't pull any punches on this either. Not only is it something that has never really been portrayed in this way on television before. But it is raw. It's detailed. It's horrifying and it is, at times, even hard to watch. The ugliest scene ever on TV.
Followed by the most beautiful scene ever on TV. Next episode. The finale.

Phew. Okayyyyy. Let's end on a happier note, shall we?



Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Geez, lady, enuf already

Last night's Arrow finale. Oh the feels. Happy ending (for now).

Best snarky line of the night:

Other good lines:

Felicity: Barry!
Flash: Thank you, Felicity, you just outed my secret identity to a supervillain. (To Malcolm) No offense.

Ra’s al Ghul: ….I handed you my crusade, my holy mission.
Oliver: I already have one.

(After giving everyone of Team Arrow directions and they just stare at him doing nothing:)
Malcolm: I'm sorry.... did I mumble?

Most unbelievable scene of the night - Felicity saved Oliver in the Atom super suit:

Best frickin' scene of the night:

She was referred to by a blogger as "the hero whisperer" because she always has a scene with Oliver like this. I thought it was apt.

And by now you guys are like:

Yes, I'm done. Until October. <October?!>


Hey! Reading!

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster