Saturday, January 31, 2009

Anything going on today? Sports maybe?

Starting out with the Blog/Website of the Day. The Superbowl is all about the ads, right? One of my favorites is the E-Trade baby commercials. The voice is perfect. Check out for outtakes and a couple of the classics. They just tickle me silly.

Puppy Bowl V starts earlier than the football game. Yay! Info about the whole schmoo can be found at Brilliant, brilliant idea they came up with.

Finished the fluffy book yesterday; it had even less substance than the previous books in the series so my brain turned to cotton candy for a while. Needing something more solid, I'm now reading Val McDermid's newest stand alone, THE DARKER DOMAIN. Here's a description:

Fife, Scotland, 1985. Heiress Catriona Maclennan Grant and her baby son are kidnapped. The ransom payoff goes horribly wrong and Grant is killed. Her son disappears without a trace—until 2008, when a tourist in Tuscany stumbles upon dramatic new evidence that reopens the investigation.

Fife, 1984. At the height of the politically charged national miners' strike, Mick Prentice abandons his family to join the strikebreakers down south. Labelled a blackleg scab, he's as good as dead as far as his friends and relatives care. Twenty-three years later, a young woman walks into a police station to report Mick Prentice missing. Detective Karen Pirie, head of the Cold Case Review Team, wants to know why it's taken so long for anyone to notice.

For Pirie, already immersed in the Prentice investigation, a second foray into a 1980s investigation gone cold—this time, the Grant kidnapping—offers an opportunity to make her mark. But it's sure to come at an extremely high price. As she works to unravel these mysteries, two decades of secrets will lead Karen Pirie into a dark domain of violence and betrayal—darker than any she has yet encountered.

It will be interesting to see where she goes with this, either way I will follow.

The Superbowl has become a national holiday surrounded by much indulgeance of food, partying, and in some circles, beer. I think it has replaced baseball as America's game. Did you know about the Superbowl:

Steve and I were invited to my BFF JodyO's house to watch the game but I declined. A) Steve will be REALLY loud and probably obnoxious because his team is involved, B) Our tv is bigger than theirs and has surround sound -- no way would Steve give that up, C) Have I mentioned the PUPPY BOWL?!? and D) I have control issues and one just can't take over the tv at someone's house.

Ayite, gotta do some laundry in the meantime and walk Tug in a couple hours. Still have several 4MA digests read (end of month reading lists making high traffic) and I haven't even checked out the roundup on Sarah Weinman's page yet.

I will leave you with this prayer: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, for peace in my house, let the Steelers win today!!

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

In which I amaze all and blog on a Saturday

Look! It's Saturday! And I'm blogging! (patting myself on the head)

So, yes, the library bent to my will and I have much-awaited books in my clutches. First up and jumping the queue of the Lincoln nonfiction is a bit of fluff. Sometimes you have to indulge in fluff in order to appreciate the more serious stuff. No really. It's not mine. I'm just palette cleansing. I don't even like it. Oh, nevermind. Even the title is fluffy: THE TEMPTATION OF THE NIGHT JASMINE by Lauren Willig. This is fifth of five in the Pink Carnation series. The basic premise of the series follows (steals) from the Scarlet Pimpernel-type story though set in the early 1800s and the war with France/Napoleon. The books are framed by the contemporary story of a grad student trying to discover the secret identity of the Pink Carnation and other flower-named spies for her thesis and in the meantime, she falls in love with some Darcy-like (aren't they all? And don't we all wish we had one?) Englishman whose family is in possession of the papers/journals she's studying. Anyway, silly but fun to read. Here's a description of the current tome:

After twelve years in India, Robert, duke of Dovedale, returns to his estate in England to avenge the murder of his mentor during the 1803 Battle of Assaye. Robert plans to infiltrate the infamous, secretive Hellfire Club to uncover the murderer’s identity— but he has no idea that an even more difficult challenge awaits him—one Lady Charlotte Lansdowne.Having cherished a romanticized view of Robert since childhood, Charlotte is thrilled by his return. To Charlotte, Robert is all the knights of the Round Table rolled into one. That’s not exactly the case, but she can’t help but search for the man she loves inside this less-than-pristine package. And while Robert works to dissuade Charlotte from her delusions, he can’t help but be drawn to her innocence and inner beauty. When Charlotte is approached by Lady Henrietta Selwick to join her in a bit of espionage—investigating a plot to kidnap the king—Robert soon realizes that Charlotte is not only the perfect partner in crime; she’s the perfect partner, period. Caught in a dangerous game with deadly flower-named spies and secret members of the Hellfire Club, Robert and Charlotte must work together to reveal the villain.

Lighthearted and romantic and a quick read. Perfect for a weekend. Actually, I'm halfway done. Yeah, yeah, I read fast and this isn't exactly War and Peace. Interestingly, as I'm looking up her website, it claims she is a historical romance writer -- which this could most definitely be listed as -- but I've typically seen it more in the mystery section. Well, it is both I suppose. Anyway, her official website can be found at

Today's Blog/Website of the Day is one I check out daily: The Old Faithful Webcam can be found at There's a link near the top that takes you to the live streaming feed. Sometimes they move the camera around and you can watch buffalo passing through or a geyser off to the side, etc. It is amusing to watch the tourists standing around waiting for the next event and (in winter) hustling away as quickly as possible before it's completely done because it's probably too fricking cold to standing around so let's go back to Inn and have some hot chocolate fergoshsake.

I can't convey in words how much I love jumping around web space. I find the most coolest of things (yes, I know that's not grammatically correct). Today: new blogs to add to my favorites, discovering the existance of steampunk London stories, a re-reading of The Wheel of Time blog (too bad that author self-destructed story-wise and along with the self-destruction of Martin made me stop loving SFF but that's a whole other rant) and more. Isn't the Internet just the best. thing. ever?

Okay, I'm spent. Go amuse yourselves and have a great Saturday. See ya tomorrow and all things Superbowl.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, January 30, 2009

In Which libraries fear me and do my bidding...

Ha!! After I got back from grocery shopping, there it was: four holds from the library were there for me to pick up. (nodding knowingly) They read my blog.... :)

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

History, love and murder

I WANT MY HOLDS FROM THE LIBRARY. They're just taunting me, the library is. I envision now a break-in: me in all black with my face smeared in black grease. A perfect throw of my rope hooks something solid on the roof and I scale to the second floor window. My glass cutter makes a perfect circle and I somehow (we edited that footage) remove the glass so I can enter undetected. I keep to the shadows as I edge toward the locked room of library holds. Using only a bobbypin, I quickly jimmy it open. There they are with the name "Madsen" written on the wrapping sheets of paper. The Kaminsky, McDermid, and Willig. Mine, all mine!

Okay, I think actually their holds are on a cart somewhere up there but it just didn't work into the scenario to not have to use a bobbypin somewhere. (sigh) They still make bobbypins don't they? I would like something fun to read this weekend, dammit.

Speaking of reading, in TEAM OF RIVALS I'm up to 1858 and I've crossed the 200 page mark. Woo hoo! One thing that amazes me is the description of the speeches these men made: three to five hours long! Okay, they didn't have tv or radio but they had newspapers, letter writing, and books and other diversions. Can you imagine standing in a crowd listening to a speech for three to five hours? Make your point and make it snappy, men, I've got cows to attend to! And the description of some of these speeches were masterpieces of logic that held the crowd spellbound and cheers erupted.

In all seriousness, the Nebraska Act seems to be the breaking point in America's history between North and South. And the election of blatently Southern President Buchanan and the arrogance of the completely South-leaning and not afraid to show it Chief Justice clinched the deal. And the unwarrented beating of Senator Stanton while he sat at his desk by a southern man pulled many fencers to the North. And something curious to me. Isn't it strange how the Democratic party then were the ones clinging to slavery and black people now mostly poll Democratic? Why would they do that? The newly formed Republican party in 1858 were the anti-slavery party. Why don't black people go that way? Just on principle? To me, skin color is irrelevent but wouldn't that mean something?

And I have to say, the division then over slavery -- the absolute difference in culture and beliefs -- seem similar to the divisions we experience now. Today we have different philosophies of life -- nanny state versus free markets. I don't think there is secession in our future but the split in thinking is painful to go through in our country. Haven't we learned anything? I guess we have to go through this battle every one hundred years.

I started the first episode of Wonderfalls last night. My initial assessment as to perhaps why the show didn't survive: The premise is interesting but the casting of the lead character is wrong. In buying into any story, you have to be somewhat sympathic to the main character; you want to like him/her. The actress in this show comes across too abrasive somehow. The character is prickly at worst but should be likeable at least to the audience and we have to want to care what happens to him/her. Just the wrong actress in the part. At this point, I think I will continue watching the show; I haven't been completely turned off.

Blog/Website of the Day: Okay, this is a fun one. You know I love crime fiction first and foremost, right? On very rare occasions, I read what is generally catagorized as straight romance novels. This website is a hoot even if you DON'T read that type of fiction (and for those who put it down and you know who you are, this is THE BIGGEST selling genre of them all so they outnumber us and could probably take us in a fight). (anybody who is snobby about books and what people like to read should just jump in a lake anyway) (be happy people read AT ALL because apparently it's a dying art) Ahem. Smart Bitches, Trashy Books can be found at It is snarky, funny and clever.

When I was wanting to open a bookstore of my own, I was going to call it Crime and Passion Books and sell only crime fiction and romance novels because those are the two top selling genres. And as I mentioned in yesterday's post, there was a period of time in grade school/early junior high that I read A LOT of gothic romances but that was the late 1970s/very early 1980s. Ancient history in the world of books. (Note: the very first gothic romance I ever read was a beauty: THE FLAME AND THE FLOWER by Kathleen Woodiwiss -- a classic). In researching for my hoped-for bookstore, I had to jump back into the romance genre to find out what was what in the present day. Just like crime fiction, there a number of sub-genres to appeal to every taste -- hetero, homo, paranormal, historical, chick-lit, etc. And there are a few authors out there that write a good, intelligent story about relationships. And why does this category of books get so maligned anyway? Why is writing about love looked down upon? When you're facing your maker at the end of your days, which would you be more proud of, that you contributed to love stories or murder? Hmmm? End defense of romance. :) Though I don't read a whole lot of it because I like crime and murder. Reading about it, people. Sheesh.

See y'all tomorrow. Oh wait, it's Saturday tomorrow and I have a history of missing them. I'll TRY, okay?

Much love (and murder)
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Christie and Lincoln

I didn't have long to wait to find out why Lincoln changed his views on slavery in TEAM OF RIVALS. A couple pages later: The Kansas-Nebraska Act. The South prevailed and got that act passed which wiped out a previous Act that was to keep slavery out of any newly acquired territories.

Steve came home this morning from work not feeling well. He's slept a couple times and is better. I'd like him to take tomorrow off just to get some extra rest. He always puts in long hours, being a family business.

Waiting on some holds to shake loose from the library (tapping fingers impatiently). Looking at them on the library's website, they've been moved through the system except for getting to the person on hold (me).

Kona was whining on the front door again at 4am. Though I vowed the last time not to do anything since he's not our dog, I got up and took him home. Must remain stronger if it happens again in the morning -- try to ignore him. I don't understand why he can't get himself the complete way back when he's been out roaming. He knows the way and it would take five minutes more. (sigh).

Current events: Gov. Blagojevich was impeached this afternoon. I watched his "defense"and wasn't impressed. Didn't address what he was being impeached for and was an organized ramble. An article in the local paper says the three area refineries may strike -- how stupid in this type of economic situation.'s fourth quarter profits went up 9% (this is good news -- remember the days when they were potentially not going to make it? Dark days indeed. This source of books is an addict's lifeblood).

Today's Blog/Website of the Day is for Agatha Christie: What I find the most resourceful on this site is the reading order link. Yes, she wrote gabillions but one can have a plan. Christie is what put me on the path of a lifelong love of mysteries. Yes, when I was young I read the usual: The Hardy Boys (preferable over Nancy Drew though I read those, too), Trixie Belden, Cherry Ames, Encyclopedia Brown, and other books like Lloyd Alexander's wonderful Prydain Chronicles and classics like Little Women, etc., etc. I started reading Gothic romances quite young (5th grade) by sneaking them out of Mom's book stash. In junior high I discovered Dune by Frank Herbert and the world of SFF was opened. But it was while babysitting and looking through the family's bookshelves looking for something -- anything -- to read one night that I started Christie's CURTAIN featuring Hercule Poirot. Actually, this was the last book to star Poirot so I pretty much started at the end. And that was that. Crime fiction is my first choice in reading anything. Christie has been somewhat maligned at times for not having as much depth as others but she is the puzzle master. Wouldn't it have been great to have discussions with her? I have to confess that I have yet to read a Miss Marple because I've always perferred Hercule. I should at least give the lady a try someday. My favorite Christie movie is Death on the Nile with Peter Ustinov and a cast of wonderful characters. I stage managed Ten Little Indians during a summer rep where I learned how to tie a hangman's noose for the show and cringed every performance because the actor playing the villain had a very long speach at the end where he confesses all and Gerry had a terrible memory even then and it was a LONG scene. I think the works of Agatha Christie are appropriate for all ages -- young readers who are just learning to love mysteries and older readers who don't want to have so much darkness and violence. The website listed above has a blog by Christie's grandson so isn't that cool? I have quite a few of hers in my TBR shelves I should get to.

Nothing much on tv tonight, I think, other than The First 48. I finished Veronica Mars last night. (sigh) The good news is that there is potentially a movie in the works (hey, it worked for Firefly). I've vowed to check out other quirky-by-reputation tv shows that I haven't taken the time to notice. First up is Wonderfalls. Here's a brief description:

Jaye (Caroline Dhavernas) is a graduate of Brown University who's opted not to put her education to work, and instead lives in a trailer and works at a tourist shop in Niagara Falls, to the consternation of her affluent, successful family. All seems to be going well for this self-proclaimed slacker, until one day a small toy lion speaks to her in enigmatic epigrams, commanding her to help people. Loath to deal in any compassionate way with the rest of humanity, Jaye warily obeys, if only to make the voices stop. Soon, though, she finds herself to be an unwilling humanitarian and accidental hero when more inanimate objects start talking to her, and more people turn out to need her help.

Wish me luck.

I know it's only January, but it is getting noticeably not as dark in the mornings and staying a little lighter in the evenings. Hope springs (don't say that) eternal.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mid-week Crisis -- okay, dilemna maybe

I'm so conflicted. We'll be watching the SuperBowl of course this Sunday and cheering on Steve's team the Steelers. It was so much easier the last time the Steelers were in this position: Steve was AT the Superbowl and I was home -- comfy, warm and able to watch Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl to my heart's content. This year with Steve staying home, I will have to probably tape it and watch it at a later date. I don't think there will be opportunities of sneaking that channel every once in a while. This is the fifth time they've done the Puppy Bowl, my favorite. (sigh)

Guess what? Still reading TEAM OF RIVALS by Goodwin. We're up to the 1850's and slavery is becoming the issue. It will be interesting to see in detail how Lincoln got to a place of the Emancipation Proclamation. Until then, he supported what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution said: that slavery wouldn't go past where it already existed. Most Americans (other than the South and Abolitionists) held on to the compromises that kept the power in balance -- for every state or territory added: one for them one for these guys. So, yes, I'm looking forward to the progression of this.

Put in another application for one I really want. Keep your fingers crossed.

Otherwise, Tug and I walked and then went for a ride to Wendy's. I got chili for dinner and Tug didn't get a cookie like they have in the past given to him. So I kinda hinted around and the second window lady gave him a couple chicken nuggets. He's that kind of powerful when he puts the Jedi mind trick on someone. Next time it could be a whole hamburger (minus the ketchup, he hates tomatoes and ketchup).

Back to watching Veronica Mars. I'm very sad that I only have a few episodes left until I'm done. No more new eps. Have to find another show to get addicted to. :) Let's see, one thing I love about that show is that they throw in cultural references without explanation and you have to be cool enough to pick them up. The show Chuck is the same way (which I also like a lot). You're in or you're out but if you don't get it it's still enjoyable.

Blog/Website of the Day: for those of you who like the covers of pulp fiction (and you know who you are) The Rap Sheet has created a separate page just for that. Killer Covers can be found at Honestly, the artwork for pulp fiction books is awesome no matter who you are. The art sells/tells the story. Check it out; they've just gotten started but there's a couple entries already.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Running out of January

Ah man, I am SO trying to get out of walking Tug today but I don't think he'll buy it. It's 17 degrees out there which wouldn't be too bad except the wind is 27-33 mph. I don't wanna go out there (boohoo). I don't think he'll let me off the hook though. He's looking at me in that way that dogs do to try to do that Jedi mind trick magic. Steve suggests that I put him in the back yard for an hour to see if that will change his mind. I don't think it would actually; this is his kind of perfect weather. (sigh)

So last night I watched the season premiere of The Closer, always a must see. I do wish they would pay more attention, however, to the solving of crimes like they used to than to Brenda's personal life. It started last season and it looks like they're continueing this trend; it makes me not happy. Then we watched the new episode of Paranormal State. Enjoyable in an unsatisfactory sort of way in that they don't really conclude much in a half hour. But what can you expect from television anymore? That's why I turned to the oldies but goodies like MI-5, Veronica Mars, and the The Wire. Yay Netflix. In fact, that's what I'm watching today: Veronica Mars Season Three. That show deserved more than three seasons. Good stuff. I still have to view Brideshead Revisited. I don't want to hang on to that too long but sometimes you have to be in the right mood for a movie like that.

Still working on TEAM OF RIVALS by Goodwin. I'm at the wopping 128 page mark. I'm not setting any landspeed records on this one I can tell you but I am learning something as well as enjoying what I'm learning so I'm not beating myself up too much about it. I believe I'm in chapter four. The story thus far: we're following four men -- Lincoln, Seward, Bates and Chase -- on how they came together in 1860 to vie for the nomination for President. In the first three chapters we have followed each of the men in how they were raised (some rather priveleged and Lincoln rather destitute), their schooling, beginning of their careers, and pull to politics. The difficult thing for me is to envision Lincoln as a young man and not just a younger person with that older craggy and sad face. He apparently was an amazing storyteller and drew fellows to him easily and very loyally.

Today's Blog/Website of the Day is the Scandanavian Crime blog found at I think Barbara Fister (Barfly) is running it. Good links are also available to further expand your international crime reading. But, IMHO and not just because I'm half Norwegian, Scandanavian crime fiction has been leading the way in translated good mysteries.

Let's see, I promised more current events. Author John Updike has passed away. I don't think I've ever read his works nor do I feel compelled to read any now. Just not my thang. Blago's impeachment trial continues. Consumer confidence has hit a new low. A woman gave birth to octuplets when they were expecting seven and the report said it wasn't known yet if she was taking fertility enhancements -- no really? It is believed to be only the second of surviving sets. Which reminds me: having managed a children's photo studio in the past I have come across some really terrible names with which parents torture their offspring. Why they do it, I don't know, other than they think it's clever. I saw the absolute worst a couple days ago. Ready? Abcde. Yes, the alphabet, isn't that clever? But do you know how to pronounce it? It's like rhapsody without the "r". absody. Abcde. They should be shot.

As I mentioned in another post, I signed up to receive press releases and other notifications from some government departments so I can keep abreast of things. I must say that the State department is on the ball and quite prolific. The White House still pretty much as fluff up on their website. Still no transcripts from press briefings. That was a daily occurance in the previous administration from the beginning. Controlling? Hiding?

Dinner has been cooking in the crockpot since this morning. The house smells very good. Mmmmm.

I've got a few more articles and email to read before playtime so I'll check in tomorrow.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blue Monday

The sun is out now though it is still in the single digits tempurature-wise. I've put in two today so I can say I accomplished something. But the panda is back because I'm feeling a little anxious this afternoon so instead of rambling and retrospecting here I'm going to take my mind off things with something diverting. Didn't help that I woke around midnight and couldn't get back to sleep for the longest time. This is just temporary and will most definitely pass. So, I'll check in tomorrow when it's brighter.
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A little extra (and naughty) Sunday fun...

If you can't see it clearly, the message in smaller print says "Yes, it's that important." :)

And a link to check out... If movie posters were honest:

What's there to do on a Sunday?

I like Sunday mornings. Steve sleeps in (and I know he was up VERY late last night, er, this morning so I know I won't see him for a while) and I have all morning to play on the Internet while I drink coffee. I jump around my bookmarks in news and books and sometimes take side trips from links just to see where it goes. This can take HOURS...

Currently taking up most of my reading time this weekend is the nonfiction bestseller TEAM OF RIVALS by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It reads very narratively rather than a dry stream of facts that one dozes over and then quickly sets aside. Here's a description:

Goodwin makes the case for Lincoln's political genius by examining his relationships with three men he selected for his cabinet, all of whom were opponents for the Republican nomination in 1860: William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, and Edward Bates. These men, all accomplished, nationally known, and presidential, originally disdained Lincoln for his backwoods upbringing and lack of experience, and were shocked and humiliated at losing to this relatively obscure Illinois lawyer. Yet Lincoln not only convinced them to join his administration--Seward as secretary of state, Chase as secretary of the treasury, and Bates as attorney general--he ultimately gained their admiration and respect as well. How he soothed egos, turned rivals into allies, and dealt with many challenges to his leadership, all for the sake of the greater good, is largely what Goodwin's fine book is about. Had he not possessed the wisdom and confidence to select and work with the best people, she argues, he could not have led the nation through one of its darkest periods.

It is a big book at 944 pages but I believe at least 150 of these are notes which I won't be reading. I hope I can stick with it before answering the call of crime fiction. The author's website can be found at and an excerpt of this book can be found on her publisher's website at
This book talks about the journals and letters and so forth the author used for her sources. Some -- I think in her estimation -- are better than others because they mention not just the personal stuff going on in their lives but also makes note of and has commentary on the happenings of their times. Which brings me to reflect that I don't really do that in my blog. Mostly, I've tried not to bring politics into this even though the goings on in the country affect me pretty much on a daily basis. I suppose one can discuss current events without bringing politics into it at all even though it interests me the most. Blogs are different that journals though. I COULD start a separate blog for the political stuff just for kicks and just for myself. Hmmm. Thinking to do.
Blog/Website of the Day: Sarah Weinman's Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind which sounds very non-mystery oriented but it is. It can be found at This is a staple of the mystery reading world which is why I haven't listed it previously because I think a lot of people know about it but just in case there are some who've missed it, this is a basic site to visit. She posts Sunday through Thursday typically.
Being a Sunday there are of course current events going on but the media take it back a notch in covering them because of the weekend. The quote unquote "stimulus" package to help the economic situation of the country is being discussed. Much commentary I could say here about the wrong direction this is going and what a mistake it has been since last fall but that's enough for now. The situation in the Middle East of course has become an "us and them" situation. Obama completed his first few days in office (just had to erase my commentary on that so I'll leave it as a simple short sentence there). Still talking about the jet landing on the Hudson -examination of the engine leads. New Miss America crowned last night. Markets are closed so no info today; I've signed up for email alerts from various government agencies because I want to keep an eye on this administration but today so far is quiet. The SAG awards are on tv tonight.
Not much else going on today. I'll read a bit and catch up on my WSJ and so forth and do some laundry. Maybe start a DVD, I'm not sure. Steve will wake up eventually, watch something on tv while playing Fallout 3. Tug will get all worked up about his walk around 1:30 (zero degrees out, oh boy). What else is there to do on a Sunday?
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, January 23, 2009

You hit the finish line -- It's Friday

Winter came back to town. Two days ago I walked Tug wearing a windbreaker as the temps were in the mid to high 50s. Today, the high was 5 degrees with windchill below zero. It's baaack. Have to wear multiple layers and thermals again. Fire up the pellet stove. It's supposed to be cold this weekend as well so I think we're hunkering down other than the required walks.

Finished BLUNT DART by Jeremiah Healy. A solid private investigator story. The element that I always heard about this series and is touching is that Cuddy's wife has died and he talks to her sometimes. I haven't really decided what to read next but it may the next in series for me from histmyst author Bernard Knight. I'm waiting for a couple holds at the library to shake loose. The new Kaminsky and one other that isn't coming to my mind right now.

Today's Blog/Website of the Day is Detectives Beyond Borders found at When one thinks of detectives, sometimes the image is narrowed only to the hard street of NY or LA or distinctly American, but there are some great crime fiction outside the US. And what an inexpensive way to experience other countries and cultures! So go explore!!

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The day before Friday

The Blog/Website of the Day is a story from BusinessWeek called "Autopsy of an Indie Bookseller" which can be found at I wanted to open a bookstore; it is why I got my MBA. But in working on my Masters, I figured out that it would not ultimately operate in the black without an ongoing angel. So, one dream set aside. This is an interesting article.

Watched a good show on tv last night. The Fox Channel is coming up with some good ones recently including Fringe and House. But the show I saw last night was called Tell Me Lies featuring Tim Roth. Side note, it is a trend to hire a Brit actor to lead American shows; Hugh Laurie led the way for Damien Lewis, Tim Roth, whoseewhatis the Mentalist guy, and I'm sure there's more I'm missing. Anyway, about Tell Me Lies. Tim Roth is a fine fine actor who I've watched since being amazed by him and Gary Oldman in Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Roth also in Rob Roy. "Dr. Cal Lightman can detect the truth by analyzing a person's face, body, voice and speech. Lightman is the world's leading deception expert, a scientist who studies facial expressions and involuntary body language to discover not only if you are lying but why. Lightman heads a team of experts at The Lightman Group who assist federal law enforcement, government agencies and local police with their most difficult cases." The REAL guy that this show is based on can be found at And you can watch the full episode on the Internet at as well as interviews and stuff.

There's a lot of layoffs going on countrywide and I was told of someone locally who'd been with the company for over 20 years who was let go along with 9 others. I'm such a trendsetter.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Day After

I went to the library today. Of course I went to the library today; I haven't been there yet this week and it is a rare week that I don't go visit the books in that building. It's just a book addict getting her fix of being around thousands of books even though they don't belong to her but SHE CAN CHECK THEM ALL OUT bwa ahahahaa! Actually, I had to return a few and checked out only a couple -- I'm currently in a history/political commentary mood so my choices reflected that. A for instance, I picked up TEAM OF RIVALS by Goodwin. I'm more into the Founding Fathers and the American Revolution in terms of US history (and in particular find US Civil War history to be boring but that's just me and probably the topic was done to death in school) but you just can't get away from this book so I'm looking at it.

I've kinda set aside the histmyst I was reading. I've figured out, I think, the whodunnit part and getting bogged down so it's time to move on. Currently reading BLUNT DARTS by Jeremiah Healy, the first of his Cuddy private eye series. I believe this was published in 1984. Here's a description:
The novel that introduces Cuddy, as he’s asked to search for the missing son of a suburban-Boston judge when the pillar of the community doesn’t seem to want his own child returned to him.

The author's website can be found at This series has always been listed as a favorite of mystery readers and I've read a couple under his pseudonym. It's quick reading.

I also had to run the errand of birthday gift shopping. Steve's niece is turning one year old the first day of February and his parents are driving down there tomorrow for a visit so there was a time element at play. I got her a stuffed critter from Gainans -- a supersoft pink unicorn. I liked the blue elephant better but figured that might not go over well with the adults because there are rules to be followed. :) Alice and Buford won't be there the actual day of the birthday which makes me glad. I remember talking to a friend of mine last year who had her first daughter and how invasive her in-laws were with every event. The grandparents wanted to BE THERE for everything for their first grandchild but Renee was saying this is my first daughter and this is our family and we want to make our memories. You HAD your time as a mother, let me have mine. So when the Madsens said they were going down there I had to bite my tongue about anything like that. I don't know if Carey's parents will be visiting during the time. I think they live in Palm Springs now though they've kept their house in Denver.

I've been listening to Glenn Beck a little today; hoo boy he's on a tear! Sometimes, he's just a crazy man.

Today's Blog/Website of the Day is for mystery magazine Deadly Pleasures found at Right now they're offering an online sample of one of their issues for you to check out. Personally, I subscribe to three mystery-specific magazines: Deadly Pleasures, Mystery News, and Mystery Readers Journal. These genre mags are good ways to tap in to what is out there to read and includes interviews, features, reviews, etc.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009

Four years ago, we participated in the the Inaugural parade. I am so glad we are not there today. It was such a painful trip from every point of view it took a very long time to recover from it and I still try not to think about it. Today's parade didn't even get started until it started to get dark. Crazy stupid. The parade is still going on as I write this and it's fricking DARK, it's NIGHT and those poor people have been out there since early this morning. And they still have to break things down and load up before they get to head back to their temporary homes tonight.

I had planned a media blackout today. This is not my guy and I'm most definitely on the other team. But I am a political junkie and caved. I only cried once: when President Bush and Mrs. Bush boarded the helicopter and left DC. Think what you will about the previous presidency, they are gracious and warm people. I wonder what it will be like for him tomorrow morning. Is he relieved? Is he anxious that he had to let go and trust the next guys to do what he had taken of? I would imagine that he will still be busy but will be able to enjoy his baseball again when the season starts up again.

I don't agree with the viewpoint of this party but I have to wish him well because the safety and success of our country depends upon it. I pray to God that he gets up to speed quickly and learns how to make (the right) decisions fast.

So not much else happening. Still reading the same; not much on tv except for political junkies of whatever they show of the parties.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's a beautiful day...

So yesterday's Blog/Website of the Day was Eurocrime which will get have the effect of getting one all excited about books that may not be available in the US yet, am I correct? Personally, I like a lot of books that are either available in the UK some time before they get here or they just don't even get published in the US. What's a bookeemonster to do? One solution is to go to the Book Depository website found at Good information there as well as the ability to order UK books WITHOUT SHIPPING COSTS. That's the humdinger. Learn it, love it, use it.

Got a call today from one of the places to which I applied for a job. It was a pre-screening type call asking me some questions and probably getting a general feel for who I am. So they didn't reject me outright which is step in the right direction. They said they would decide who they'd like to see by the end of the week and would be making calls in the next week or two to let one know if they are continuing in the process which involved testing at Job Service of one's knowledge of Microsoft applications, face to face interviews and perhaps testing of one's blood or giving up a first born, I don't know how in depth they go after that. So we'll see.

It's been in the 50s the past few days and supposed to continue until Thursday. People are out in their yard busy cleaning up and kids are out frolicking (no school today). There will be quite a shock when we get more snow in the next few weeks. It's only January, people. Don't go watering your lawns just yet.

Tonight, we have the return of Paranormal State on tv to watch. Otherwise, I believe I'll spend some time reading. I'm still in the same book and I get antsy if I'm in the same one for too long. It's time to move along.

BTW, Steve's diabetic doctor appointment went well this morning -- the doctor said Steve's lab results were "excellent." Yay!

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Why do I always miss Saturdays?

I have had a little bit of a reprieve. I had to take a class last fall -- one I had missed in my MNM -- and applied for financial aid. Didn't hear anything until two days ago (I thought I was turned down and facing a large bill from Regis) but I did get it and other than the inconvenience of having to take a class this spring, I will have some left over so there's a cushion for a bit. So I can take a little more time in finding the right job instead of the panic I was feeling this past week.

Speaking of jobs, one listing in today's paper worth applying for: at the library. Pays a little better than their last listing a couple months ago. Downside is the evenings and weekends being out of my control. But I applied.

Football is happening. We're hoping for an Arizona/Pittsburgh Superbowl.

Finished THE MESSENGER by Jan Burke. It had a good setup but the ending seemed to be lacking something. Yes, one knew how it was going to turn out but the execution was too comic book or didn't try so hard to be unique... something. I like woo woo and sometimes a touch of romance so those things weren't a problem for me. Overall, if she turned this into a series, I would read the next one. Her website can be found at and includes a blog. You can read the first chapter of this book on her publisher's website at -- the link for it is on the left.

Now I'm back to HANGMAN BLIND by Cassandra Clark. Now that I have been able to devote more time to it, the story has picked up for me by being more politically involved in the era it's based but a strange plot event has happened and even though the protagonist thinks the plot event isn't going to work, she goes along with it. Hmmm.

Blog/Website of the Day is one that many crime fiction afficionados know about but it is well worth repeating for them and if you don't know about it, now's the time: Karen Meek's fabulous Eurocrime found at This is her blog but her website is there as well; a great resource for all things Euro and crime fiction by posting reviews, new releases and just fine information.

Last night we had dinner at Outback with Steve's parents as a thank you for Steve helping with the Christmas parade. This is the second time in two visits that we've had really bad service there so I'm guessing that's the last time we'll go there for a long while.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be going with Steve for his doctor's appointment for his regular diabetes checkup. At noon I'll be having an informal meeting with Robyn and then at 3 I want to check out the new Glenn Beck tv show.

Not much else going on.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, January 16, 2009


Today's Blog/Website of the Day comes from Amazon: Called Omnivoracious with the tag "Hungry for the Next Good Book."

Picked up my hold at the library today (gave Tug a ride in the car which he likes to do and breaks up his day a bit). THE MESSENGER by Jan Burke is a stand alone that has elements of woo woo and suspense. Here's a description:
Beneath the Caribbean Sea, a salvage diver hears an eerie voice calling to him from the wreckage of a nineteenth-century ship. In return for promised riches, the diver becomes the servant of Adrian deVille, Lord Varre, the creature who has called to him. It's a bargain the diver will come to regret. Varre enlists him in a hunt for a man named Tyler Hawthorne. Ten years later, in a canyon in the foothills above Los Angeles, Amanda Clarke has become curious about her new neighbor, Tyler Hawthorne. He's not home much, but others tell her that her new neighbor is about her age -- twenty-four. He's also wealthy, handsome, and single. Amanda soon suspects that another description can be added to the list of Tyler's attributes: con artist. When Tyler shows up at the hospice room of her friend Ron and tells the dying man he'll live, Amanda angrily resents Tyler for giving Ron false hope. Until Ron begins to recover. Although Tyler continues to puzzle her, Amanda finds herself drawn to him. Tyler finds himself drawn to Amanda as well, but he has a secret he
must keep from her: he's been twenty-four for almost two hundred years. Two centuries ago, he bargained for his life. In exchange, he became a Messenger, one who hears the final thoughts of the dying and conveys those last messages to their loved ones. Since that time, his life has been nomadic and -- except for the companionship of a remarkable black dog -- solitary. The dying also convey messages to Tyler and now they are hinting that his long service may be coming to an end. He begins to hope that he can return to a normal, mortal life and allows himself to grow closer to Amanda, unaware that he is being pursued by an old enemy who will stop at nothing to destroy him and that he can only leave his role as the Messenger behind at a dreadful cost.
Oooh hooo. Shivers. This is definitely a departure from her Irene series. More about the author in the next day or so. Being a 14-day book, this will jump the queue -- if I like it.

Friday. End of the work week for those who are working. yeah yeah, we know who you are. Busy weekend a bit: Steve has a shooting tournament tomorrow and a gun show he'd like to visit. We're having dinner with his parents to make up for Christmas of them being out of town I guess. Sunday is the playoff game of Steelers and Ravens (go Steelers - please). Hmmm, I thought there was something else but it's not coming to me.

So to interfere with my mystery reading, I've decided to refresh my memory on the accounting stuff I learned about three years ago and see if I can do anything in that area. That's an evergreen job. I actually have several books on accounting and will spend more time doing that than catching fictional criminals even though I have a lot of those books to read. I suppose (read in sing song voice) that a job is more important than that. Reminder to self: I have to remember to put in my unemployment payment thingy on Sunday.

Uh oh. Getting close to walking Tug time and the dog knows how to tell time, I swear. It gets to be this precise time and he's sitting next to me putting his paw on my leg. Or staring. Or both. And the car ride doesn't count for nothing; that's a whole separate issue.

Which reminds me. I woke at 4:30 this morning because Tug was chewing on a knuckle bone. Loudly. So I got up to move to the couch because I didn't want him to wake Steve and Kona was at the front door. (Kona is the chocolate lab kitty corner behind our house). He hasn't been here for quite a while. So I got dressed, got Kona in the car, and drove around the block to put him in his yard. He used to do this a lot a couple years ago. And why on these occasions he can't get himself home, I don't know. He gets out of his yard frequently and goes roaming at night. So I got home and Tug was very worked up and chewing on his bone loudly again and then Steve got up at 6 as usual and I was TIRED. Oy.

I made the rounds of internet job sites and found nothing. I'll do some studying after I get back from the walk and then it will be evening. Another day.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, January 15, 2009

If I only had a brain...

I wish my brain weren't made of Swiss cheese. I have learned many things over the years and I can't make use of them. For instance, my MBA. I learned a lot of accounting, stats, economics, etc. but it is as if a black hole ate my brain. I'm sure there is a very scientific explanation for this phenomena -- perhaps I was only accessing short term memory when I learned it therefore it was just that: short term. But it is in my brain somewhere. We would be so powerful if we could access more of our brains. What is it, 4% of the brain is what we use? Criminy, what a lot of wasted resource and space. I've been pretty good with remembering book titles and authors and ever synopsi (is that a word?) but things I really want to use and could get me a job this month -- like accounting or something useful -- I can't have.

Yeah, speaking of which, I got another letter saying, "...despite your impressive education and experience, we've gone with another candidate who better suits our presents but we always have openings so please keep checking our website....." blah blah blah. This is getting ridiculous. I may just crack and become a very cynical person.

Not getting much reading done but still working on HANGMAN BLIND by Cassandra Clark though I will have to set it aside soon for a 14-day book I need to pick up at the library -- THE MESSENGER by Jan Burke.

Finished watching the movie Definitely,Maybe last night. Cute little movie about ... well, what is it about. I was going to try to describe it but Amazon does it better:

A romantic comedy that begins with a discussion about sex education and ends with a bit of an unexpected twist, Definitely, Maybe focuses on an engaging father and his 10-year-old daughter. She is curious about the women her dad loved prior to marrying (and separating from) her mother. Instead of telling her, "None of your business," he decides to tell her about them... Sort of. Will is played by Ryan Reynolds and his precocious daughter Maya is adroitly portrayed by Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine). Will figures out a way to tell Maya about his most meaningful relationships in a PG manner that also is interactive for her (Or as she describes it, "a love story mystery!"). Changing a few of their characteristics and disguising their names, Will tells her about three exceptional women and Maya tries to deduce which one became her mom. Was it Emily (Elizabeth Banks), the wholesome Midwestern girl afraid of the big city; Summer (Rachel Weisz), the exotic journalist; or April (Isla Fisher), the quirky copy girl? Hearing about all these women, Maya asks, "What's the boy word for slut?" Spanning 15 years, back to when Will was an idealistic young man with the hopes of one day becoming president of the United States -- and winds
up in advertising, the film has a nice light touch and deals with father-daughter bonding issues in a unique, if not completely realistic manner.

Not a bad guy in the bunch and kinda funny and nice. A nice change sometimes. Ryan Reynolds has done some silly comedies but he's grown up into more mature roles and has a nice "everyman" or "just a guy" quality that translates well on the screen. Next up is re-living my high school years with Robin Hood. Oh, how I loved that show -- it was on Showtime in the early 80s -- starring Michael Praed as Robin and a pretty redhead as Marion and Ray Winstone as Will Scarlet. "You are like a May morning" is still in my ears and oh how I cried and mourned when Robin was killed after that first season (the actor moved on to a better gig in the theatre I heard) and was replaced some blond ucky guy. Ah, being a teen.

I came across this "poster" this morning on the Weekly Standard website. I like it; it's funny. Steve wants one.

On that note...

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What, winter isn't over?

Brrrr. We haven't gotten the snow yet but the cold has been here all day. Temps are in the teens. Apparently the potential winter weather got pushed back a few hours so we may still see the white fluffy stuff. The only good thing was that it froze all the mud so walking Tug was a little easier today in that respect. I had to go the bank and then got some solid food supplies for the next five days and gassed the car in case things get snowy. We're set.

It's here! THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE by Steig Larsson, 2nd in the Millenium trilogy, arrived today. I think, however, I will read the dark horse contestant in my auditions from last night. Coming out of nowhere (except in my TBR), I think I'll read HANGMAN BLIND by Cassandra Clark. This is a new historical mystery series set in 1382 England featuring a nun called Hildegard. The front of the cover says "An Abbess of Meaux mystery." Here is a description:
November, 1382. The month of the dead. At the Feast of St. Martin in the fifth year of King Richards reign, a nun rides out for York and the Abbey of Meaux. But this is no ordinary journey. Rival popes, a boy on the English throne and a volatile peace in the savage aftermath of Wat Tylers murder. Travelling alone, Hildegaard encounters a gibbet with five bloodied crow-stripped corpses, and later the body of a youth, brutally butchered. Who is he? And what is his connection to the hanged men? Murder will touch Hildegaard and those she loves even more closely as she rides on to her childhood home. Castle Hutton is riven by treachery. Old loyalties are shifting. Hildegard will need all her courage to counter the dark forces in the land.
Right up my alley so I hope it is good.

Today's Blog/Website of the Day comes in the form of an author's official website. Sharon Kay Penman's webite can be found at She has links for her books as well as a blog that doesn't get updated too frequently but her most recent entry of just a few days ago mentions that she won't be writing another histmyst in her series but another straight historical fiction. She does it well so we can't blame her for letting Justin De Quincy go for a while. She writes what her next books will be about so it's worth checking out.

Steve's shooting night. I may watch Ghost Hunter's International on tv (they're in Brazil tonight) but otherwise entertain myself with DVD or book.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Moody Blues: Tuesday Afternoon....

Blog/Website of the Day: Random House Publisher has started a new suspense page called Blood on the Page found at Author Sean Doolittle is being host of the blog and is offering chapters 1-5 of his book SAFER.

Heard back from an application I turned in ... yesterday. Saying thank you but no thank you. Quick turn around. They make up their mind quickly there. I have to hope that there was nothing shady going on with one of the owners of this company being on the Board of the Symphony.

So.... in the event I may have to hire myself if no one will hire me... I have a new plan of attack but I'm not spilling the beans until I have to. I may have finally seen the light regarding what really is an evergreen job even if I don't like it very much. Sorry to be cryptic but I'm not going to jinx myself by talking about it.

I began talking to an art dealer today about some postcards I have from Yellowstone National Park from the early 1900s. I hope to sell them soon and for more than what he is saying they might go for. He know some collectors and will get back to me. He's indicating that I probably won't get more than $7 each for them but I've got to get AT THE VERY LEAST $10 each. It would be nice to get more and perhaps in a bigger collecting market they would but here we are.

Still holding auditions in the reading department. Tried several chapters of the Leonard Downie book but it just didn't click with me though the topic of journalists covering DC was interesting, the telling was a bit flat and didn't care about the characters or situation much. Read a few pages of AJ Hartley (suspense in the archeology/Indiana Jones type) called THE MASK OF ATREUS which is the first of three in series and I read the first several pages of the first Steven Havill police procedural series called HEARTSHOT. I thought I had read one of the Havills previously but I didn't remember that they were in first person like this one is. So I've not settled on one yet to really capture my attention.

Looks like a snow storm is headed this way. Severe winter weather warning from 6 am tomorrow until the following morning. Supposed to get 2 inches in the morning and another 2-3 inches by the evening. I guess it is still winter but it was in the 50s today and I so getting used to slogging through the mud when I walk Tug.

I've been watching some more Veronica Mars Season 2 and enjoying very much. I don't think there's anything on tv tonight so I'll probably read.

Tug is staring at me. I am so not a cool mom. "All you do is stare at computer screens and not pay attention to me. Daddy is way cooler than you and when is he coming home?"

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, January 12, 2009

I'm just not feeling like it today....

I was feeling low this morning about my employment situation and to combat it I applied for two jobs. Felt better until a few minutes ago when Steve called to say his brother had been laid off from Denver University after many many years of work and being the head of the department. He has been given a six month severence package and lives in a good job market so I am confident this set back will be temporary for him. No, I got low again because Steve was so mad it happened to his brother and kind of made me feel like he was more upset for him than for my situation. I don't know how to explain it -- like it was my fault for being let go and for some reason I'm just not making the grade in finding another job. I'm being silly, but I wanted him to care more for me. Maybe he does and just hasn't articulated it. I don't know. So I'm feeling like a failure again. It will pass.

Walked Tug today. He rewarded my being nice to him and letting off leash a little sooner by running after a rabbit and not coming back. So when I did get him back, he was on a short leash the rest of the walk and we went directly home - no extended walk today. He's napping in a sunbeam now.

I didn't go to the funeral this morning because it had snowed and the streets were a little dicey until it warmed up and the funeral was way out in the Heights and I was feeling down and knew a funeral wouldn't help. I'll send Linda a sympathy card; she wouldn't be in a position to process what's happening much today so I doubt whether I was there or not mattered.
So just plugging along. Do some reading, make dinner, start another day. :)
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Just catching up

Eek, looks like I forgot yesterday. Well, I did sort of lose focus on the day because I had to to drop some mail off because the mail came too early and then I had to get some grocery items and then I went to lunch spontaneously with Barb and Jody and we did spend an hour and half talking. And then I had to come home and walk Tug and then deal with laundry and vacuuming and then the day just was away from me.

Finished MOSCOW RULES by Daniel Silva. 'Twas a good entry in the series but ... The ending was mostly done off stage. The good guys are racing toward the border and then [poof!] it's later. The stuff that happened next was all told in retrospect. This was not a satisfying type of ending when you've invested time and 400 pages to the story. So anyway, time to choose another read and I've got about five contenders so I'll let you know after the auditions.

Today the Steelers play their playoff game. Keep your fingers crossed that it goes well for the sake of peace in my house. It's the later afternoon game so I asked Steve if he wanted something fun for dinner while the game is ending and he said he'd think about it which means I'll have to bug him again and it'll get decided at the last minute.

Yesterday and today I have been scouring the want ads on all the resources. More are being listed I think now that the holidays are past, but the options are still bleak so I torture myself wondering what I should do. I've invested so much in my graduate level studies that I HAVE to make use of it and get a job that pays better than $25k/year (note: which is actually decent and hard to get in this area - Billings sucks in the job market). I have the knowledge and the know how but I can't prove it by my resume. Why does it all come down to the resume? Because someone hasn't dedicated themselves to one job for the past 10-20 years doesn't mean they can't do the job and don't know how to work. I've been working, damnit, for over 20 years and I haven't found the thing I love to do or the opportunities to rise within the organization meant having to move somewhere when I can't. And I'm sorry I'm ambitious but I do want to rise within an organization. Right now I can't stay in the lower levels because I can DO MORE than that. I'm a good leader; I'm a good administrator of business. I just get so frustrated.

And when I talk about the ideas I have for starting my own business, I get this glazed look in the eyes or reasons for it to not work or someone will say that I've tried things before and they never worked out or get on me for not going for an opportunity that someone else started when I can see the flaws for it not working. I'm just frustrated. I know it takes time and the holidays hurt more than it helped. And taking a filler job right now (and there's a couple things listed in the classifieds that I could do for a three month period) hurts my resume more than it helps even though it may bring in more money for a short period of time. What's the answer?

So, one just gets through one day at a time. Need to do clothes laundry today. Vacuum downstairs. Walk Tug. Put time in on projects.

Options for the next-to-be-read are:
CITY OF SHADOWS by Ariana Franklin
A BITTER CHILL by Jane Finnis
THE WITCH IN THE WELL by Sharan Newman
THE RULES OF THE GAME by Leonard Downie (this one is a strong candidate)

Gave the Brit crime drama Waking the Dead a try on DVD. The premise is good -- a cold case squad solving crimes using forensics that are available now that weren't then -- but they yell at each other too much, so much hysteria it turned me off. I mean unprofessionally getting emotional when it wasn't called for. Drama drama drama and not the good kind. So I sent it back and awaiting my next in queue -- more of Veronica Mars Season 2. In the meantime, I've got Battlestar Galactica season two checked out from the library so I've got things to occupy that way.

The Blog of the Day is The Thrillionth Page, found at This is a blog by Carolyn Jean Jackson, who describes her page as a "reader/writer blog devoted to thrill and adventure reads of all kinds: fantasy, urban fantasy, romance, paranormal romance, erotica, historicals, mysteries, monstery intrigue and more." The entry for today is worth repeating here-- It's her book experience ranking levels:

  • Love affair: I crave it, it takes hold of my mind, it has me in its thrall. Very rare. I didn't care. I loved it.
  • Passionate crave read: Almost a love affair, but not quite. A passionate crave read is full of excitement and magic, and when I’m not reading it I wish I was. Paradoxically, though, I often try to read slow to make the goodness last.
  • Damn fine read: This is a rollicking good read that I look forward to. This might be a B+ for me. Most books I talk about here fall into the damn fine read range.
  • Serviceable: The book generally works, nothing special. Good enough to finish. Some serviceable books take me forever to finish, others are page turners but still, merely serviceable.
  • Hostage situation: I want to leave but it won’t let me go because I have to find out what happens goddammit! Extreme measures during a hostage situation may include skipping chunks, reading only dialogue or the first sentence of every paragraph.
  • ROI situation: (return on investment) This is where I force myself to finish a book because I invested a lot of time in the reading of it before I realized I wish I wasn’t reading it. Typically, a serviceable book will convert to an ROI situation when I'm pretty far along.
  • The cautionary tale: A DNF (did not finish) I still read a bunch of and get a lot out of, because it’s like a warning or lesson for me as a writer: don’t let this happen to your hero. Pay attention to the build up or you'll have this problem. This sex scene leaves me cold because of that problem. I read such a book with the sort of attention I give to scenes of car crashes or fires. A primal instinct forces me to look for a while, and then it’s like, enough.
  • The mercy kill DNF: This is a DNF due to boredom. Set gently on floor with a sigh.
  • The multiple vicious stab wound DNF: This is a DNF due to an intense negative reaction. If it’s a book I actually own, it usually involves some physical abuse, like hurling it across the room.

Just lovely, isn't it? So descriptive of what we go through. :)

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, January 9, 2009


Made some progress last night in MOSCOW RULES; I'm a little over halfway done. I enjoy this series though I don't normally go for espionage-types. And though it is very well told and feels like authentic details, the plots seem to built the same each time: Gabriel kinda wants out of "The Office" (Israeli Intelligence) because he's done so much for them (like personally hunt down and kill six of the hijackers involved in the incident at the Munich Olympics) but keeps getting dragged in for just a little thing that explodes into a huge operation; they call in the usual team to pull off the op -- usually including Sarah who's in love with him -- but he's now married to a hot Italian operative, everyone goes undercover and something usually goes wrong to build the suspense and then they fly by the seat of their pants to make plan B work and it does eventually. Like I say, I like these books, but he's gotta shake up the formula a bit now. I'll see it through to the end **because** I like it.

The Blog/Website of the day is one that I think a lot of mystery lovers know about, but just in case you've missed this fabulous resource: Stop You're Killing Me is a website devoted to listing authors and their entire list of works as well as links to for many of the books and authors' websites when known. I use this website constantly for finding out what is next in series for me by an author, the description of the series, when things were published, etc. I just can't say enough about this site and what a wonderful service they do.

Today: Went to the Museum to see my friend Jody who is feeling down. Had lunch with Jody B. and Candy from the Symphony at a mexican place that was very strange in that you didn't pay for your food until you were ready to go. I don't think I liked the food. Walked Tug; watched some Veronica Mars Season two.

My friend having a bad day kinda rubbed off on me in that I REALLY need to get a job soon. I know that I am trying to find a job and I shouldn't feel guilty when Steve goes to work every day and I stay home. I don't understand why I've put in over 20 applications, only two interviews, and no results. I know the holiday season screwed things up for a big chunk of that time. I know that for two months I also worked on the class I had to make up. I know I don't just sit around eating bon bons all day watching television. But why isn't something happening?! I have two master's degrees and they're apparently not helping (maybe hurting which would make Steve say I told you so). I'm not an idiot. Yes, I've had a lot of jobs but that is the norm these days and they've always been *good* jobs for career or school reasons. (sigh) Just feeling down and frustrated. It will pass in a little while. Not cracking yet.

Actually, Steve has been very good about my unemployment and hasn't complained so far, at least not to me. In fact, he was very very very sweet today: he got me the second season of The Tudors which just came out last week, knowing that I wanted it but couldn't get it. He's a good guy.

No plans really for the weekend other than the usual cleaning and so forth. Probably watch some football and pray the Steelers win. Gotta go figure out something for dinner. Talk to y'all tomorrow.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, January 8, 2009

MOSCOW RULES/BOD/Guilty Pleasures

I started MOSCOW RULES by Daniel Silva last night; actually just a few pages in so I don't have an opinion on it yet. But I don't want to leave you empty handed so.... The author's official website can be found at Among other information, it talks about his next book, THE DEFECTOR, being released on July 21st of this year. On his publisher's website, there is an interesting interview with him from around the release of his previous book which can be found here:,,1000038377,00.html?sym=QUE. The last couple books I've read in this series were audiobooks so it is actually a little strange to see the words again and try to know how to pronounce some of the unfamiliar terms (foreign names, places, etc.) in my head.

Blog/Website of the day is kind of interesting:, The Bookworms' Carnival. Their own description states, "The aim of the Bookworms Carnival is to build the community of book bloggers. You don’t have to have a books blog to participate, though; bloggers are welcome to submit any post relevant to the current theme from any blog.The Bookworms Carnival is held twice a month." The most recent one is called "Guilty Pleasures."

Guilty Pleasures is an interesting concept. It's a phrase used in to denote things (e. g. pop music, novels, films, television shows, books, food) that one really likes but often finds too embarrassing to admit to. I used to say JD Robb was a guilty pleasure but why? I'm happy to say I read this great series. I could say that the occasional read of a romance novel is a guilty pleasure by why? Reading ANYTHING should be a pleasure straight up and shout it out to the world that literature of any sort isn't dead; yes people still read and want more. The type should have nothing to do with it. Julia Child is known whenever she was asked what her guilty pleasures were, she responded: "I don't have any guilt." Guilt is suggested why? Guilty because someone caught us or found out that we enjoy something that isn't "approved?" By whom? Let's get past the thought that someone is watching us and saying yea or nay to what one likes. Life is hard enough day after day without adding these invisible judges. Unless you're breaking the law -- legally or morally -- then enjoy while you can. Sheesh.

Otherwise, today I applied for another job so we'll see. I called the job service about the web manager job and was told the chick who handled it was on the phone and will call back (2nd time). Still waiting. I'm getting not hopeful about this one. (sigh).

So a big "Blech" on the day (like this poor cat). Gotta go do some more reading research on the Internet. Catch ya tomorrow.

UPDATE: Finally got a call back from the job service: they don't HAVE my resume and cover letter that I sent in early December for this job. Fricking typical. I re-sent them. That makes me so damn mad.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Crime Thru Time/Veronica Mars/MOSCOW RULES

Todays Blog/Website of the Day is the official Crime Thru Time website: This is the companion to the Yahoo group of the same name. The site states, "Crime Thru Time is a web site dedicated to Historical Mysteries.We began as a discussion list and have since grown to a web site complete withinformation about upcoming releases, series/author book lists, timelines, and links of interest.Est. March 5, 1999."

I've been on a Veronica Mars binge, watching the last six episodes of the first season in 24 hours. Many times I gasped, said "Holy Crap!", and "Yes!" and had to know what happened next. This is one excellent series. Now I can't wait to watch the first episode of the second season to find out who was at the door.

Next to read will be MOSCOW RULES by Daniel Silva. This is the 8th book of a series of eight featuring Gabriel Allon, an art restorer and Israeli secret agent. This book was published this year and has 433 pages. Here is a description:

The death of a journalist leads Allon to Russia, where he finds that, in terms of spycraft, even he has something to learn. He’s playing by Moscow rules now.This is not the grim, gray Moscow of Soviet times but a new Moscow, awash in oil wealth and choked with bulletproof Bentleys. A Moscow where power resides once more behind the walls of the Kremlin and where critics of the ruling class are ruthlessly silenced. A Moscow where a new generation of Stalinists is plotting to reclaim an empire lost and to challenge the global dominance of its old enemy, the United States.One such man is Ivan Kharkov, a former KGB colonel who built a global investment empire on the rubble of the Soviet Union. Hidden within that empire, however, is a more lucrative and deadly business: Kharkov is an arms dealer—and he is about to deliver Russia’s most sophisticated weapons to al- Qaeda. Unless Allon can learn the time and place of the delivery, the world will see the deadliest terror attacks since 9/11—and the clock is ticking fast.

I've enjoyed this series throughout the last year but I had to take a break until now as I may have read them too closely together. When that happens, one notices similarities in plot or style or overuse of words so sometimes breaks are needed to refresh the brain and appreciate the author and the works again. Otherwise, I'm reading a website usability book.

Steve goes shooting tonight and not much on tv so I'll probably get in some reading time.

I'm having lunch with the Symphony ladies on Friday. The husband of a lady at the Museum died last night of the brain tumor he was diagnosed with not long ago so I'll be attending the funeral whenever that is decided upon. He was a good man and they were a devoted couple so I need to be present for her.

Ran a couple errands today and took Tug with me after our walk. The weather is strange -- it felt like Spring in January. The temp got over 50, the wind was blowing in the 30 mph range and the 2 inches of snow that fell last night turned to mush and standing pools of water. The drive tomorrow will be slick when all this freezes again overnight. Knowing all this is going to happen, I wanted to get my running around done today.

Another day gone by....

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Wire/A trip to the library

The Blog/Website of the Day is the episode guide to The Wire: I'm sure many have heard about this show that is now over -- all the raves are true. This is one amazing story told over five seasons. Life that is real, life that is on the streets, life that is not fair, day after day, so much depth and excellent characters. Like Band of Brothers, this is a testament to how good television can be and should be. I would also add HBO's miniseries Rome to that list.

The day has been busy with errands. Stopped by Borders to just get out of the house and be out with the rest of the world for a while. It is true that they have reduced their stock in a measure to get their chain back in black. A LOT of books were faced out.

Then I went to a Cost Cutters to get my hair trimmed. It has been since October and the ends were getting yucky and I was just hating it in general. I had been going to Sanctuary Spa for the past couple times (back when I was employed) where they give you a back rub before your cut. Is that cool or what? I know the owner there who is a terrific lady who I admire a lot but I can't afford to go there for a while when all I need is a trim. The lady who cut my hair at Cost Cutters today was telling me that her friend had shot (but not killed) her husband (at the time) because she found him in bed with another woman and invited her to join them. Her friend claims not to remember actually shooting him... She apparently spent some time in jail. And she was telling me she wanted to move to Alaska and would have no problems because she has no ties here after her mom passes and her skills as a hair cutter will allow her to work anywhere. It was a quick session but interesting. I love getting them to talk instead of asking me all me all the questions. :)

Then I went to Walmart for some groceries; one of the main buys had to be dog food as my big baby was getting low. And because they didn't have pig ears there (Tug gets one every night when we have dinner) I stopped by Pet Smart.

After lunch Tug and I had a very good walk and then I went to the library. So a good time was had by all.

Finished THE PLYMOUTH CLOAK by Kate Sedley last night. I'm on a pretty good roll here, four books in six days. Things will slow down very quickly but it's a good start. I had the killer picked out kinda early because it seemed to be the person who could do the most damage to the main character. And sometimes in court intrigue stories, the murder is more personally motivated and has nothing to do with politics. It was a pleasant read.

At the library, I picked up several "next in series" for me by several authors as well as a couple one offs. I'm well stocked again -- actually I doubled what I still had checked out at home. What did I get?

  • HEARTSHOT by Steven F. Havill (1st in series)
  • THE CROWN IN THE DARKNESS by P.C. Doherty (2nd in series)
  • BLUNT DARTS by Jeremiah Healy (1st in series)
  • AFTER THE ARMISTICE BALL by Catriona McPherson (1st in series)
  • A SAFE PLACE FOR DYING by Jack Frederickson (1st in series)
  • THE GOOD THIEF'S GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM by Chris Ewan (1st in series)
  • FOLLY by Laurie R. King (stand alone)
  • ROUGH TREATMENT by John Harvey (2nd in series)
  • THE POISONED CHALICE by Bernard Knight (2nd in series)
  • LONE CREEK by Neil McMahon (1st in series)
  • MASK OF ATREUS by A.J. Hartley (1st in series)
  • 361 by Donald Westlake (because he's gone)
  • STARDUST by Robin Pilcher (audiobook to listen to in the car so not too compelling but pleasant to listen to)
  • DON'T MAKE ME THINK by Steve Krug (about the Internet for research for my class)
  • Battlestar Galactica Season 2 disc one (because I fell away after the 1st season and would like to catch up now).

So there you have it. Holy cow, looks like a lot of firsts in series, huh. Ah well, these were on my list for some reason so got them and a couple spur-of-the-moments but remembered that I had wanted to read them at some time. It is sad -- though I want to read them all -- I will probably not do so. Right now they're all bright and shiny in my mind but the time will come when they are due back and I haven't read them but I'll let them go unread. I wish I were a speedier reader.

It was blessed hot in the library this afternoon. They always have the heat cranked so if you go in wearing a coat (like one does in winter) you are soon red-faced and sweating. And when you step outside, the cold air actually feels good. I waved to Dee but didn't have a chance to talk to her. The place was busy actually. It's good to see it used but heck if this town would add to it's taxes to improve the place. It SO needs an update and more room. (sigh) If **I** ruled the world....

So now, the work day is almost over. I've got an apples and cinnamon candle going. Tug is napping on his bed. The evening is getting deeper. Steve has a directors' meeting at the rifle club tonight so dinner will be fast. The forecast says rain mixed with snow approximately 1-2 inches tonight. It was in the 40s today and expected again tomorrow so I'm sure it will be rain and it will be slick in the morning for drivers going to work. Bwa haha ha, not me!

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster