Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Oh, baby.
Time for the Tuesday Teaser. Again the reminder of what this is all about. We are asked to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.
  • And again remember – avoid spoilers.

Giving money to the school system is like giving money to a bum on the street: It might briefly feel rewarding, but deep down you know they're not going to spend it wisely because they never have. In the case of the bum, your dollar is likely going to support some global distillery, while in the case of our schools, your dollar is going to support some politician's agenda.

Schools now enjoy four times more money than they did in the 1960s. Have they gotten four times better? No, they have not. Have math and reading skills improved? No, they have not. Have graduation rates improved? No, they have not. Do you think throwing even more money at the problem will improve all that? No, it will not -- though the teachers' union will probably send you a Christmas card.

The U.S. census bureau reports that we spend an average of $9,138 per public school student in 2005-2006. Other estimates claim the real number is actually at least double that amount. Either way, that's some serious money and we should demand some serious results. But we're not getting them.

from ARGUING WITH IDIOTS by Glenn Beck.

Food for thought... and then do something about it.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wachoo you looking at?

So making a little progress in THE NINTH DAUGHTER by Barbara Hamilton. I need to give it devoted attention. The good news is that the "current events" mood seems to be moving along and I'm getting back in the mood for historical mysteries more.

Tonight is the season premiere of Lie To Me. Yayyyyy!!! Good show. And my Cowboys are playing.

Kidney doctor says numbers are okay except the creatinine went up a tick. Will see her again in two months. Means drinking more water. Sigh.

Didn't take a Zyrtec this morning. After walking Tug, my eyes started bothering me again. I'm wondering if the eye allergy thing is somehow associated with the stuff in the fields. When it first struck last fall, we had just been out in the fields at a shooting tournament in Great Falls. Just trying to narrow it down somehow.

The good news is that I have a job interview next Monday. Pays pretty okay for this area (which is not that great) and will probably entail some evenings but it's a job and I'll do my best.

I've been listening Pandora.com while I write this and I've been distracted by songs by the Who and the Beatles. Might have to give in and sing along.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Twelve Years

A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year. Paul Sweeney

The most wonderful of all things in life, I believe, is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a growing depth, beauty, and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life. Hugh Walpole, Sr.

Love is what makes two people sit in the middle of a bench when there is plenty of room at both ends.

The world has grown suspicious of anything that looks like a happily married life. Oscar Wilde

It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. ~Mignon McLaughlin

The art of love... is largely the art of persistence. Albert Ellis

Love one another and you will be happy. It's as simple and as difficult as that. ~Michael Leunig

Saturday, September 26, 2009

See, Benedryl has no effect on m...zzzzz

Oh dear, another quick post today.

It's been a beautiful but hot day today and quite windy. Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler but Wednesday is the best-est -- highs in the 50s and rainy. Woo hoo!

Still reading the same stuff so no update there. I had the urge to go to a used bookstore this morning but let it go away without indulging. I've way too much to read right now anyway. Steve's been gone today, coaching a shooting class. I've been doing laundry. I took Tug for a walk this morning before it got hot and it was another good long one.

Last year, around this time of year I experienced some eye trouble which I think turned out to be allergies -- a new occurance. It's happening again so something gets stirrred up out there that bugs my eyes. I've been avoiding any medication because of blood/ui testing for doctors but I finally did take a Benedryl this afternoon to see if it would help. Getting a little sleepy now, as expected.

Enjoy your Saturday...

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's Friday aaaaa AAAA aaahhh!

Just started THE NINTH DAUGHTER by Barbara Hamilton. This is the first in a new series featuring Abigail Adams in 1770s American colonies. Here's a description:

1773: The Massachusetts colony is torn between patriots who want independence from British rule and loyalists who support the King. At the center is the educated and beautiful Abigail Adams-wife of John Adams, the leader of the Sons of Liberty, a secret organization opposing the Crown. When a murder occurs in the home of their friend and fellow patriot, Rebecca Malvern, John is accused of the gruesome crime, which was seemingly perpetrated to obtain a secret Sons of Liberty document. With both her husband's good name and the fate of the Sons of Liberty at stake, Abby must uncover a conspiracy that could cost them all their freedom-and their lives.

It was just published and has 368 pages. It's always very nice to find a new historical mystery series/author especially that covers a time period that I love a lot. The American Revolution isn't done very much for some reason. So I have high hopes for this one. Yet, I'd very much like to get back to my historical mystery series reading (Jecks, Tremayne, Knight, Alexander, Lake, Sedley, and on and on) but I'm not there yet. I do miss those characters.

I had to give blood for labs this morning. Kidney doctor appointment on Monday morning is the reason (fingers crossed that everything is still going in the right direction if not already in the "just fine" category). Stopped and got a couple items at the grocery store on the way home. Tug for some reason wanted to go walking early today. I usually don't take him until at least 11-ish because he somehow "forgets" about a walk any earlier and bugs for another one later in the day. But he started staring at me and following me around the house at 9 and I finally took him at 10. I didn't mind because it's supposed to be in the mid 80s today but he better know that this is the the one and only walk. It took an hour so maybe it will stick.

Otherwise today I should read and do some house cleaning. Tonight on tv is Say Yes to the Dress. Tomorrow Steve has volunteered to help a shooting class all day.

Take care and much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, September 24, 2009

We look smart in glasses

I finished WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS by Deborah Grabien. This is 2nd of 2 in series featuring John “JP” Kincaid, a member of Blacklight, a legendary British rock group. Here's a description:

Blacklight’s recent tour has been rough on guitarist JP Kinkaid: a heart attack in Boston and a significant ramp-up of his multiple sclerosis have left him more physically fragile than usual. With the tour over, JP is relaxing by sitting in as second guitarist for a new CD by his longtime local friends, the Bombardiers. The Bombardiers are breaking in a new frontman, singer/guitarist Vinny Fabiano. Self-absorbed and abrasive, Vinny is new to the Bay Area music scene. All anyone seems to really know about him is that he has some very expensive instruments, but no obvious source of income to pay for them. A few weeks into the sessions, Vinny is found dead in the Bombardiers’ rehearsal space, smashed over the head with a custom guitar. The murder leaves the Bombardiers--who are already in hot water with their record label--without a singer or a regular guitar player. JP, calling in a favor, asks Blacklight’s legendary frontman, Malcolm “Mac” Sharpe, to step in and sub for Vinny. But then Vinny’s cousin and guitar tech is found murdered in Marin County, and Vinny’s most valuable guitar---a $75,000 custom Zemaitis pearl-top--is missing.

This was just published and has 288 pages. It is an interesting look behind the scenes of rock but it is very light on mystery.

So what takes so long to get caught up on news every morning? These are the websites I check out daily:

I also check my local newspaper's website which is actually rather sucky. I also check out www.cnn.com to see what's going on in Tabloid Land. And I get the Wall Street Journal as a paper newspaper (comes in the mail) but I occasionally get a jump on that at their website www.wsj.com. And that's just current events; that's not counting any book blogs. Phew!

I don't really have anything going on today other than walking Tug. I could go to the library to pick up a couple holds. I should just plant myself down and do a lot of reading. So we'll see how the day turns out.

Have a good 'un.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hangin' out on Teaser Tuesday

The reminder of what this is all about. We are asked to:

  • Grab your current read.

  • Let the book fall open to a random page.

  • Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

  • Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.

  • And again remember – avoid spoilers.

From LIBERTY AND TYRANNY by Mark R. Levin:

As the word "liberal" is, in its classical meaning, the opposite of authoritarian, it is more accurate, therefore, to characterize the Modern Liberal as a Statist. The Founders understood that the greatest threat to liberty is an all-powerful central government, where the few dictate to the many.


from WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS by Deborah Grabien:

I suppose, really, that I was doomed from the moment I plugged that damned guitar in to my 50-watt Marshall stack. I honestly should have seen it coming.

Have a good Tuesday!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, September 21, 2009

Zen Puppy

Not much happening today. Some reading, some computering, listening to the radio ...

I'll take Tug for a short walk today. He apparently did something again with his arthritis in his leg on his walk with Steve yesterday and was limping the rest of the day. I gave him a doggy pain pill yesterday and this morning so we'll see how he does.

Do you know what's frustrating? After getting your courage up to write a letter to the editor of your newspaper and they publish it but they misspell your name. Bad day for football in the Madsen household: Steelers lost, Cowboys lost, Denver won.

Steve has orientation for the gun club tonight; nothing on tv for me so just more of the same.

So I'm just going about the day. Hope you have a good Monday.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It was a dark and stormy ...

It's supposed to be cooler and (hopefully) dark and stormy today. It has rained off and on this morning. Love it love it love it.

I finished THE LOST SYMBOL by Dan Brown last night. Overall I enjoyed it. People love to bash this author but he is no better nor no worse than a vast majority of writers out there. He is not professing to be Shakespeare, he's just telling an entertaining thriller-type story. And it delivers. The end discusses "new age" philosophies that may turn some people off but others will nod their heads and find things they've known for some time.

Though I finished this book, I hope to dedicate this day to reading. I have so very much to read it's ridiculous.

This is the kind of day -- if it continues into the evening and I hope it does -- that soup and grilled cheese sandwiches would be good to have for dinner.

Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet. ~Roger Miller

The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The best kind of rain, of course, is a cozy rain. This is the kind the anonymous medieval poet makes me remember, the rain that falls on a day when you'd just as soon stay in bed a little longer, write letters or read a good book by the fire, take early tea with hot scones and jam and look out the streaked window with complacency. ~Susan Allen Toth, England For All Seasons

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, September 19, 2009

You will do my bidding

At last I've been able to devote some time to reading this afternoon and I have made good headway into THE LOST SYMBOL. Tomorrow is supposed to be stormy and cooler so I've declared it "A Day of Reading." Let the news be proclamated throughout the land. There was much rejoicing.

Today I went back to the church book sale to see if they had the DUNE in hardcover but they didn't. They did however shove a bag in my hand and said "$2 a bag" so in my searching for the Herbert I picked up a couple more books, not even looking at the paperbacks or I would have been there forever again even though they were obviously down in stock from the past couple days. Then I had to go to the library again for two more holds. I have much to read now so no more slacking. Then I had to go to Walmart for water and such. I knew it was going to be hot today (93) so I walked Tug at 11-ish.

We watched Xmen: Wolverine last night on DVD. I've always like Hugh Jackman in this role because he is definitely drool worthy. I think it was in his contract this time to be shirtless 50% of the time in the movie. I'm not complaining, mind you. Steve said two great things about this movie: 1) he had rock star hair A LOT and 2) they tried to do too much in the movie that it made it weaker. I agree; that the brothers had lived a long time and fought in many wars over the centuries didn't seem relevent, etc., etc. For me, it was an eye candy movie. :)

Tomorrow night tv I have a dilemna. My Cowboys are playing and the Emmys are on at the same time. I'm not really interested in the Emmy awards, only in the part where they're going to be doing a Dr. Horrible production number. Dr. Horrible is soooo awesome!! Squeee!

All right, back to reading, people, the weekend is almost half over.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chorus: It's Friiiiii daaaaayyy

There is a conspiracy. I tried to sit down with Dan Brown's THE LOST SYMBOL last night and there was a conspiracy to keep me from reading. First my dog. He would not settle down (pawing at my legs) until I went out on the deck with him for an hour -- too dark to read. Then I went to read in bed and Steve came in and turned on the tv and said I had to watch this show he was watching, the one about oil rigging in Texas. Argh!

Last night's season premiere of Survivor was interesting -- there is a contestant who is reveling in evil-ness. In his solo confessionals, he states he's a multi-millionaire oil guy who isn't doing this for the money, he just wants to show everyone how easy it is to win. He's lied to his tribemates that he was a fireman who lived next to the levees during Hurricane Katrina and lost his beloved dog to the flooding waters. He dumped out all the water from their canteens. He burned one guy's socks. He's making "secret alliances" with all the girls: "It is day one now, and I got an alliance with the dumb short haired blond (Ashley), the even dumber long haired blond (Natalie), and the dark haired girl (Marisa). I like to call it my dumb-ass girl alliance." Only one person is on this guy: Betsy the cop. In reading his eyes, his body language, etc., she says she doesn't trust him.

Today, I'm trying not to run as many errands as yesterday but I should go to the post office. I'm doing laundry and I'll be walking Tug in a couple hours.

TV-wise, I have Say Yes to the Dress to watch but we do have a DVD to view so maybe that will be tonight. The X-Men Wolverine movie that we should have seen in the theatres but my infection/illness made movie-going impossible for a while, at least for us to go together. Anyhoo, we may see that tonight.

All everyone, go have a good Friday.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September 17

If I could only devote the time, I'm currently reading the sequel to Dan Brown's blockbuster THE DA VINCI CODE. This is called THE LOST SYMBOL and the 3rd of three in series featuring Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of symbology. Here is a description:

As the story opens, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned unexpectedly to deliver an evening lecture in the U.S. Capitol Building. Within minutes of his arrival, however, the night takes a bizarre turn. A disturbing object--artfully encoded with five symbols--is discovered in the Capitol Building. Langdon recognizes the object as an ancient invitation . . . one meant to usher its recipient into a long-lost world of esoteric wisdom. When Langdon’s beloved mentor, Peter Solomon--a prominent Mason and philanthropist--is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and never-before-seen locations--all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

It was just published and has 528 pages.

I've stated previously that I've always loved this type of story: political intrigue, etc. Dan Brown wrote such a story a few years ago that became wildly successful because he apparently trip upon themes that resonated with readers. He wrote a story to entertain readers. He wrote fiction; he made up a story. People revile this man and his writing -- why? Because he was so successful for no known reason? Because he touched upon story elements that were "sacred?" Secret? Many people will read this book because they like it; many people will read and say they do so oh so reluctantly. Just read a fricking book and enjoy it fergodssake. You are the only one judging you on what you read and if you like it, just like it and get over it.

I was busy this morning. First I went to a church book sale. I was a VERY good customer of theirs a couple years ago and now I'm on their mailing list. Lots of books but for me the pickings were mostly slim. I got there shortly after they opened at 8 and I still had a problem finding parking and the place was busy. I did get a few Rex Stout/Ellery Queen/Ed McBain to add to my classics. A found a history by Alison Weir I don't have yet. My biggest treasure to me were hard cover what-look-to-be first editions (and not reading club editions) of the DUNE series. I wasn't looking for them so I don't have the first book; I may have to go back to check. That took an hour and a half. Then I gassed the car, stopped by the library to pick up a hold and then the grocery store. When I got home I walked Tug before it hit the 90s today. That was all before noon. I admit I was a bit tired this afternoon after being on my feet so much.

Tonight is the new season premiere of Survivor. And Fringe.

The Constitution was signed on this date, September 17, 1787. The U.S. Constitution has 4,400 words. It is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world. When the Constitution was signed, the United States’ population was 4 million. It is now more than 300 million. As Benjamin Franklin left the Pennsylvania State House after the final meeting of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787, he was approached by the wife of the mayor of Philadelphia. She was curious as to what the new government would be. Franklin replied, “A republic, madam. If you can keep it.”

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Today's Blog/Website of the Day is Favorite PASTimes found at http://favoritepastimes.blogspot.com/.

It’s that time of week again, everyone, and time for the Tuesday Teaser. Here's the reminder of what this is all about. We are asked to:

  • Grab your current read.

  • Let the book fall open to a random page.

  • Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

  • Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.

  • And again remember – avoid spoilers.

THE LOST SYMBOL by Dan Brown (a little more than two sentences):

P r o l o g u e

House of the Temple8 :33 P.M.

The secret is how to die.

Since the beginning of time, the secret had always been how to die. The thirty-four-year-old initiate gazed down at the human skull cradled in his palms. The skull was hollow, like a bowl, filled with bloodred wine.

Drink it, he told himself. You have nothing to fear.

I'll be picking it up today.

The sting operation has caught on tape a fourth ACORN office in illegal activities, this one in California. When will the other media start talking about it? Any bets?

Steve has another YRC orientation to conduct tonight. I expect I'll be reading. :)

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, September 14, 2009


Today's Blog/Website of the Day is Overkill found at http://vandasymon.blogspot.com/

This will be another quick one as there is not much going on today. I've walked Tug before it got too warm today (mid 80s). I've been watching a DVD of a Masterpiece Theatre miniseries, Cranford which is very British and very enjoyable. Wonderful ensemble actors.

No doctor appointments this week. Going to the bookstore tomorrow to pick up the new Dan Brown. Applied for two today and sending off another tomorrow.

Have a good Monday!

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Are you ready for Sunday?

Today's Blog/Website of the Day is The Tome Traveller's Blog found at http://thetometraveller.blogspot.com/.

I finished both A DUTY TO THE DEAD by Charles Todd and EVIL AT HEART by Chelsea Cain this weekend. The Todd is a good entry in the historical mystery field and a good first to a new series. The Cain is 3rd of 3 in series featuring Archie Sheridan, a police detective, and Gretchen Lowell, a serial killer who tortured and released him, in Portland, Oregon. I won't be seeking out any more by this author. I thoroughly loved the first book but since then the darkness is just overwhelming and I have better things to read.

I'm currently reading A SLOBBERING LOVE AFFAIR by Bernard Goldberg. If you lived through the 2008 presidential campaign, you remember the complete media slant; this puts it all in the official record for future generations to shake their heads over. "This time journalists were not satisfied merely being partisan witnesses to history. This time they wanted to be real players and help determine the outcome.... In fact I could not remember a time when so many supposedly objective reporters had acted so blatantly as full-fledged advocates for one side -- and without even a hint of embarrasment." Throughout high school and my first year of college, I wanted to be a journalist. I revered Murrow and Cronkite, wanted to be like Woodward and Bernstein in All the President's Men. Journalism as an honorable profession pretty much died last year after a long slow slide. It's not news anymore; it's all commentary/editorializing; it's not checking facts, it's not getting two sources on record; it's get on the air even though we don't know what's going on; it's keep the real news from the (supposedly) ignorant public; it's agendas and egos and elitism, it's political and tabloid. No wonder people get most of their news from the Internet(end soapbox). Next up, hopefully THE LOST SYMBOL.

Tonight, I have the finale of HGTV's Design Star to watch. Who will it be; will the judges pick the right one? I've been cheering for Dan from the beginning. Football officially started on Thursday (thank GOODNESS the Steelers won), but today has the full slate of games. The Cowboys are playing now but the game isn't being broadcast. It may be a good season for da Boys: we got rid of TO and Romo dumped the Blonde. :)

It looks like another gorgeous clear fall day today. Temps in the 70s. Steve is going to walk Tug today, giving me a day off. I'm not sure what to have for dinner yet but perhaps inspiration will strike later.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Saturday Quickie

What the poster says: "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty". JFK Quote
Howdy, getting this in early. I'm pretty much done reading the news online and checking in on some book blogs. I still need to get caught up on my WSJ newspapers but I should get active for the day.

Still reading A DUTY TO THE DEAD by Charles Todd. I made some good progress in it last night. It has the feel of the traditional mystery -- dealing with death in a somewhat isolated manor with a mysterious family and their secrets. In fact, that feels gothic-y. I hope find time to finish it today. Next up is the new Chelsea Cain. After that, the new Dan Brown -- yes, I'll buy it on Tuesday. Even before the popularity of THE DA VINCI CODE, for years I loved that genre of story, so this is a no brainer.

The chores to do today: vacuum up and down and walk Tug. Don't know yet what to have for dinner.

I plan to watch the coverage of the Tea Partiers as they congregate in DC today -- wishing I could be a part of it but glad to not be dealing with the crowds. Nothing really on tv tonight for me so maybe I can get some good reading done. So much to read, so little time.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11

9/11, September 11 MySpace Comments and Graphics

Today's Blog/Website of the Day is Mrs. Magoo Reads found at http://www.mrsmagooreads.com/.

I'm currently reading A DUTY TO THE DEAD by Charles Todd. This is the 1st of a new series featuring Bess Crawford, a British army nurse in WWI. Here's a description:
Bess Crawford, a resourceful British army nurse is injured when her ship is sunk in 1916. While convalescing in England, Bess is tormented because she's put off delivering a message from Arthur Graham, a dying soldier under her care for whom she'd developed strong feelings, to his family. Her own brush with death prompts her to travel to Kent and transmit Arthur's cryptic last words to one of his three brothers. Bess becomes further enmeshed in the family's affairs after she learns the obscure message may relate to Graham's half-brother, Peregrine, who was committed to a local asylum for a girl's murder years before. The more Bess seeks to sate her curiosity, the more she suspects that the truth about the murder was suppressed.
This was published in August 2009 and has 336 pages. I'm liking it so far. The opening scene of the ship that she's on that sinks is well done.
I don't really have plans other than laundry and maybe going to the library again to pick up a hold, EVIL AT HEART by Chelsea Cain.
This is a day of remembrance, September 11th. Eight years ago the world changed for Americans. And for a while, we all forgot our differences and came together in shock, grief, and love of country. As much as the current administration is trying to change the focus, this is a day to remember those who were murdered in a terrorist act.
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oh yes

Today's Blog/Website of the Day is Between the Covers found at http://coversgirl.blogspot.com/.

I'm not really in a book slump. I have many books that I want to read, I just haven't made the time to do it yet this week. Between errands and listening to the radio and stuff on tv ...

Update on the doctor appointment this week: my lab numbers are going in the right direction slowly. It does look like the kidney situation was a result of the antibiotics. This doctor was the general doctor who says that he doesn't need to see me now for three months. woo hoo! Next up is the kidney doctor at the end of the month.

I'm walking more and being about more without feeling pain in the leg though I do occasionally have swollen ankles/foot. I've done errands and taken Tug for walks for 30 minutes each day and I'm feeling good. Another wa hoo!

This week I've sent some books off via paperbackswap.com, gone to the library, gotten groceries and had lunch with my friend Jody. Last night was my big tv-watching night (like four separate channel's worth -- why do they do that?) with nothing at all tonight for me except to maybe view the third part of three of the doc on the Beatles from last night.

I am so sick and tired of the main media channels not covering news that goes on this country. The arrogance is sickening and the ignorance is bliss mentality and elitism they feel toward their viewers is vulger. Someday, I hope, it will come back and bite them in the ass. It's coming.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

It’s that time of week again, everyone, and time for the Tuesday Teaser. Again the reminder of what this is all about. We are asked to:

  • Grab your current read.

  • Let the book fall open to a random page.

  • Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

  • Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.

  • And again remember – avoid spoilers.

This is from A BEAUTIFUL MIND by Sylvia Nasar:

John Forbes Nash, Jr. -- mathematical genius, inventor of a theory of rational behavior, visionary of the thinking machine -- had been sitting with his visitor, also a mathematician, for nearly half an hour. It was late on a weekday afternoon in the spring of 1959, and, though it was only May, uncomfortably warm.

I'm listening to the audio of this.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day

I watched on the History Channel a couple nights ago a show about a mathematician who somewhat "predicts the future" by employing his algorhythm. He is a game theorist, following in the footsteps of John Nash of A BEAUTIFUL MIND fame. This guy, Bruce Bueno De Mesquita, has been proven right 90% of the time in his predictions. I've been interested in game theory since seeing there was a course available through The Teaching Company on it. Game theory attempts to mathematically capture behavior in strategic situations, in which an individual's success in making choices depends on the choices of others. So, as an example, Bruce Bueno De Mesquita can predict statistical outcomes in the situation between the US and North Korea. He has assisted the CIA and businesses over the past 20 years. It was fascinating stuff on tv. I'm now listening to the audio of A BEAUTIFUL MIND.

We watched the DVD of The Soloist last night with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Foxx based on a true story of a Los Angeles Times reporter who starts off writing a column about a homeless man who years ago attended Juliard. Over time he tries to help the man more. It would be a better movie if the director didn't try to bash over the viewer's head the message he was trying to convey and inserting political commentary.

At 3AM this morning I was sort of not sleeping but was startled by a LOUD strike of lightening somewhere nearby. Holy schmoley, it was almost frightening. So it rained sometime after that and today is being lovely and cool in the 70s after being in the mid 90s yesterday.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Saturday, September 5, 2009

August Reads summary

Though listed on the side and cross posted on 4MA, here's a summary of my reads in August.

All descriptions are from Amazon.

1st of new series (?)What fortune awaited timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Considering how few of Queen Victoria’s Londoners knew of it, the great Romanesque fortress was dreadfully imposing, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met the mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadow, the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She knew simply that she was different, with her snow-white hair and uncanny gifts. But this arched stone doorway offered an education far from the convent—and an invitation to a dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death… This is labeled as historical fantasy in Victorian England with romance and a touch of the Ripper mystery thrown in. Overblown and over the top may have suited the melodramatic story. It was okay.

3rd of 4 in series featuring Bascot de Marins, a Templar Knight recovering from imprisonment in the holy lands, in the early 1200s, in England. This is becoming a common trope in medieval historical mysteries, but this is one of the authors who does it well. When a cake kills a squire, the castle governor enlists the help of Templar Bascot de Marins. But as murder spreads beyond the castle walls, he wonders if it is in fact the work of a lethal master of poisons. Very good.

IN A DARK HOUSE by Deborah Crombie
10th of 13 featuring Duncan Kincaid, a Scotland Yard superintendent, and Gemma James, Det. Insp., in London. When a nude, charred female corpse turns up in a burned warehouse, the police discover that the unidentified victim, one of four possible women, was murdered beforehand. Duncan and Gemma also look into the abduction of 10-year-old Harriet Novak, a pawn in her parents' ongoing acrimonious divorce. Young, eager firefighter Rose Kearny, who found the body in the burning building, works the case on her own and comes up with a theory that may explain the arsonist's unusual motive. Good.

THE GRIM REAPER by Bernard Knight
6th of 13 in series featuring Sir John de Wolfe, the crowner (coroner), in 12th century Devon, England May, 1195. Sir John de Wolfe is summoned at dawn to inspect a corpse that has been discovered in Exeter's cathedral precinct. Aaron of Salisbury, a Jewish moneylender, has been found dead, his head enveloped in a brown leather money bag, a scrap of folded parchment clutched in his hand. On it is written: "And Jesus went into the temple and overthrew the tables of the money-changers." This is just the beginning of a strange series of murders in which an apt biblical text is left at the scene of the crime. Setting out to track down a literate and Bible-learned killer in an age when only one percent of the population can read or write, Sir John deduces that he is looking for a homicidal priest. Excellent as always.

SAND SHARKS by Margaret Maron
15th of 15 in series featuring Deborah Knott, district judge in North Carolina. Discovering a murdered colleague isn't quite the adventure Deborah Knott anticipated during her getaway/conference in Wrightsville Beach, N.C. The judge agrees to aid local investigators with discreet inquiries among her fellow conventioneers. She quickly encounters plenty of folks none too distressed by the victim's demise, including one of her own exes, and escalating danger. Good.

4th of 13 in series featuring John Rawlings, an apothecary and associate of John Fielding, mostly in 18th century London. Summoned to attend a patient in a house near the lonely Romney Marsh, Rawlings does not suspect that he is walking into a web of conspiracy, intrigue and mystery. Until he discovers a body near a deserted church, bearing a coded document. Rawlings reports the case to London's famous blind magistrate John Fielding who identifies the victim as a French spymaster. So Rawlings returns to the marshes to investigate who, amongst the colourful local characters, could be harbouring politically explosive secrets... Excellent.

VANISHED by Jospeh Finder
1st in new series featuring Nick Heller, ex-Special Forces, now an international security consultant. Nick Heller is tough, smart, and stubborn. And in his line of work, it's essential. Trained in the Special Forces, Nick is a high-powered intelligence investigator--exposing secrets that powerful people would rather keep hidden. He's a guy you don't want to mess with. He's also the man you call when you need a problem fixed. Desperate, with nowhere else to turn, Nick's nephew, Gabe makes that call one night. After being attacked in Georgetown, his mother, Lauren, lies in a coma, and his step-dad, Roger, Nick's brother, has vanished without a trace. Nick and Roger have been on the outs since the arrest, trial, and conviction of their father, the notorious "fugitive financier," Victor Heller. Where Nick strayed from the path, Roger followed their father's footsteps into the corporate world. Now, as Nick searches for his brother, he's on a collision course with one of the most powerful corporations in the world--and they will stop at nothing to protect their secrets. Very good.

THE WHITE QUEEN by Philippa Gregory
First of “The Cousin’s War” series featuring Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen. This tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. Many historical inaccuracies and repetitions. I wanted more depth to the storytelling. Ugh.

THE DEVIL'S DISCIPLES by Susanna Gregory
14th of 15 in series featuring Matthew Bartholomew, physician, and his colleague Brother Michael, in 14th century Cambridge. In 1357, rumors of plague threaten Cambridge again, 10 years after the Black Death almost laid waste to the town. Neither the church nor its priests had defended people from the disease so now they turn elsewhere for protection, to pagan ritual and magical potions. It is a ripe atmosphere to be exploited by the mysterious Sorcerer, an anonymous magician whose increasing influence seems certain to oust both civil and church leaders from power. One murder, another unexplained death, a font filled with blood, a desecrated grave—all bear the hallmarks of the Sorcerer's hand, only the identity of the magician remains a mystery. Very good, love this series.

THE LAST EMBER by Daniel Levin
Stand alone. Jonathan Marcus a young American lawyer and a former doctoral student in classics, has become a sought-after commodity among antiquities dealers. But when he is summoned to Rome to examine a client's fragment of an ancient stone map, he stumbles across a startling secret: a hidden message carved inside the stone itself. The discovery propels him on a perilous journey from the labyrinth beneath the Coliseum to the biblical-era tunnels of Jerusalem in search of a hidden 2,000-year-old artifact sought by empires throughout the ages. As Marcus and a passionate UN preservationist, Dr. Emili Travia, dig more deeply into the past, they're stunned to discover not only an ancient intelligence operation to protect the artifact, but also a ruthless modern plot to destroy all trace of it by a mysterious radical bent on erasing every remnant of Jewish and Christian presence from the Temple Mount. Most excellent.

Memoir. Buzbee is a book lover. When he describes walking into a bookstore, feasting his eyes on the walls lined with stock, gravitating to the tables stacked with new issues and then discovering some volume so irresistibly beautiful he just has to buy it, you realize that he just doesn't love books, he's besotted. Buzbee tells the story of his lifelong obsession, from his elementary school Weekly Reader orders to his first jobs clerking in bookstores and his short career as a publisher's rep. Woven into these personal essays is a tangential discourse on the history of bookmaking and bookselling, from the ancient Romans and Chinese to the modern era. He describes the scriptoriums in Roman bookshops where the wealthy could order a book copied, the stacks of unbound quires a customer would have chosen from in a 15th-century bookshop (proto-paperbacks) and everything one would want to know about the modern business of bookselling, from ISBNs to remainders. On current hot-button issues, like predatory pricing by big-box stores and Internet vendors, he's careful where he draws his bottom line, which is "between bookstores and the absence of them." Good.

2nd of 2 in series featuring Miss Dido Kent in Regency England. It is Richmond, 1806. Miss Dido Kent has developed rather a taste for mysteries. Having solved the riddle of her niece's missing fiancé and the body in the bushes at Belsfield Hall, she is finding her quiet holiday at her cousin Flora's home rather unchallenging to say the least. And Miss Dido is a woman who likes to be challenged. So when a neighbor dies suddenly, leaving her entire estate to her young nephew, Miss Dido can't help but be suspicious. But is her over-active imagination making her look for murder where there is none? When the local doctor pronounces an overdose as the cause of death and publicly accuses the nephew of killing his aunt, Miss Dido feels her inquisitiveness is justified. And when Flora prevails upon her cousin's mystery-solving capabilities to prove the nephew innocent of the crime, she can hardly refuse to comply. After all, what harm can a little investigating do? With dirty dealings and death amongst Richmond's upper classes, she is ideally placed to observe her neighbors' behavior, and as she does so, she brings more to light than even she could have imagined. Very good.

CHAMBERS OF DEATH by Priscilla Royal
6th of 6 in series featuring Eleanor, Prioress of Tyndal in 11th century East Anglia, England. Eleanor and a group returning from a journey through Norfolk take shelter from a bitter autumn rainstorm in a manor house near Tyndal after one of their party, a young nun, falls gravely ill. Eleanor and her companions receive a warm welcome, but they soon realize all is not well at the manor, whose residents include the earl of Lincoln's steward, the steward's family and staff. When a groom is brutally butchered in the stable and the cook accused of his murder, Eleanor and her faithful friend, Brother Thomas, can't help investigating what they soon see is a convenient rush to judgment by the local sheriff. As the death toll mounts, they discover any number of suspects among the manor's household. Very good.

4th of 4 in series featuring Lucie Montgomery, operating her family’s winery in Virginia. When a tornado rips through Montgomery Estate Vineyard, it not only destroys some of Lucie Montgomery's newest grapevines but also unearths a grave in an abandoned field; the police inform Lucie that the odds are good someone in her family is responsible -- possibly for murder. Her new farm manager clashes constantly with her winemaker, and accidents, broken equipment, and injuries fuel the combustible atmosphere around the winery. Meanwhile, Lucie has granted permission to a group of Civil War re-enactors to use a field near the grave site to stage the local Battle of Ball's Bluff. Not very much crime solving in this outing, but a nice series to visit. Good.
Enjoy your Saturday!
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ooooooh yeah, it's Friday!

Today's Blog/Website of the Day is Author Magazine found at http://www.authormagazine.org/. "This on-line magazine is dedicated to writing and publishing and the creative process in general. Every month you will find video interviews with best-selling and exciting first-time authors, and book reviews, both fiction and non-fiction. We also feature articles by new and established writers. Focusing less on craft and more on heart, these essays deal with the daily struggles and inspirations of writing."

I finished TEARS OF PEARL by Tasha Alexander. I normally love these books (this is 4th of 4) but this one was a bit boring. The thing to me that made the main character interesting was her love of learning the art and books of Greece and so forth and being an independent widow in Victorian England and interesting friends around her. She's gotten away from that in these adventures -- she's sort of a globe trotting agent of the government now; the last one was starting this trend so this is two books now. I hope the author brings her back.

I'm currently reading the second of the two books I won at www.murderati.com, CHARMED AND DANGEROUS by Toni McGee Causey. This is the 1st of three in series featuring Bobbie Faye Sumrall, a Southern woman who is a "magnet for mayhem." Here's a description:

When Bobbie Faye wakes up on the morning of the Lake Charles Contraband Days Festival, she’s looking forward to balloons, booze, and babies in pirate costumes. Instead, she discovers that her trailer’s flooded, her no-good brother’s been kidnapped, and the criminals are demanding her mom’s tiara as ransom. Soon Bobbie Faye is committing (unintentional) bank robbery and (fully intentional) car jacking to retrieve her family heirloom. The one bright spot comes in the hard-muscled, impossibly sexy form of Trevor, the guy whose truck she just took hostage. Luckily, Bobbie Faye knows how to outsmart angry bears, drive a speedboat, and handle a gun. As for handling Trevor? No gun-shyness there. Now, if only that pesky state police detective, who also happens to be a pissed-off ex-boyfriend, would stay out of her way . . .

This was published in 2007 and has 352 pages. I usually steer away from humorous mysteries because humor is so subjective, but I'm enjoying it so far.

Hot again today, mid 90s. Took Tug for a walk in the field and my hair was soaking by the end of the 20 minute tramp through the grasshopper infested dirt roads. I wanted to give Steve a break on the last day of work of the week and a the beginning of a three day weekend. Before the walk I took Tug over to see Jody who loves him and to have her husband meet him since I talk about my baby puppy all the time. They have three little dogs that collectively weigh about 15 pounds to seeing Tug who weighs in at 135 pounds is a shock for him I'm sure. :)

Steve and I don't really have any plans for the weekend. We do have a DVD to watch, The Soloist with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jamie Fox.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Thursday, September 3, 2009

As well as contemplating navels...

Today's Blog/Website of the Day is Perpetual Prose found at http://perpetualprose.com/. It's a community for writers, editors and book lovers.

I'm not in a book slump but I'm definitely not making time for reading for some reason. Not in the mood or something. Perhaps taking a break from all the reading last month. It's not like I don't have great things read, I do: the new Tasha Alexander, and next in series of Jecks, Tremayne, Bruce Alexander, McIntosh, etc. I feel like I'm somehow doing the equivalent of staring at the wall while not actually doing that.

I'm not running any errands today to let my leg rest from the past couple days. Put in another resume. Doing some laundry. Doesn't look like anything on tv for me tonight. Not really settled on what to have for dinner. Supposed to be in the mid 90s today. As mentioned in THE NEVER ENDING STORY: the "nothing."

I'm also reading GLENN BECK'S COMMON SENSE by Glenn Beck which is really eye opening. And it is not one sided: he bashes both parties and truly hates what the adminstrations have been doing for a long long time. If you believe in the Constitution and freedom, this is highly recommended.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Today's Blog/Website of the Day is Jenny Loves to Read found at http://jennylovestoread.blogspot.com/.

Teaser Tuesday:

  • Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page

  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

from TEARS OF PEARL by Tasha Alexander:

Within moments of arriving at the palace -- the huge outer courtyard of which contained the Imperial Mint, the newly completed Archaeological Museum, and a bakery from whose windows wafted the most delicious yeasty smell of fresh bread -- I decided that should I ever be discarded, I would be quite content to find this the site of my banishment, although I did momentarily reconsider this position as a guard led me past the Execution's Fountain. I paused in front of it, imagining the men who, over hundreds of years, had washed in it their bloody hands and swords after public beheadings.

I finished last night THE STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL TALE OF MISS PERCY PARKER by Leanna Renee Heiber. Overall, I'd have to say it was a pleasant, diverting read and it had at times good bones to the story. I was irritated in the beginning of the overuse of adjectives; it completely took me out of the story. It was over the top melodramatic at times which admittedly may have suited the type of story. It was a good story that wanted to be told a little better. This is the debut for this author so hopefully she'll settle down into a solid writer. I'd give a second book a shot.

I went to Barnes&Noble today to pick up TEARS OF PEARL by Tasha Alexander. This is 4th of four in series featuring Lady Emily Ashton, a young widow in Victorian London. Here's a description:

Looking forward to the joys of connubial bliss, newlyweds Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves set out toward Turkey for an exotic honeymoon. But on their first night in the city, a harem girl is found murdered—strangled in the courtyard of the Sultan’s lavish Topkapi Palace. Sir Richard St. Clare, an Englishman who works at the embassy in Constantinople, is present and recognizes the girl as his own daughter who was kidnapped twenty years earlier. Emily and Colin promise the heartbroken father they’ll find her killer. As a woman, Emily is given access to the forbidden world of the harem and quickly discovers that its mysterious, sheltered walls offer no protection from a ruthless murderer. Soon, the Valide (mother to the Sultan) is found strangled with a silken bowstring and the head Eunuch is brutally slain. When the killer strikes again, kidnapping a concubine and threatening to kill her unless Emily agrees to meet him in secret, she cannot wait for Colin or the authorities to come to her rescue.

It was just published and has 320 pages. And yes, I'll be reading this today.

Much love,

PK the Bookeemonster