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Archive for February, 2012

Mystery Monday – Die Buying

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio

 

 

Review by reacherfan1909

 

 

Allow me to say that Amazon has seriously profited from my membership in PBS.  I have found lots of new authors and books just looking at the wish lists of friends with similar taste.  Mystery swaps always find me adding new authors and books.

That said, cozies run hot and cold for me.  I almost hate trying new authors, because I get 50 pages in and end up disliking the characters so much, I quit reading.  That happened with Pepperoni Pizza Can Be Murder by Chris Cavender, book two of the Pizza Lover’s mystery.  Never read book 1, and now I never will.  I was so bored and irritated, I quit at page 35 because I wanted to smack the irritating Eleanor Swift for excessive wallowing in post death depression and immature selfishness (10 years of marriage and 3 years of wallowing?) and spit on the ‘pizza’ – any North Jersey/NYC native would do the same.  It was with some trepidation that I picked up Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio.  The cutesie title was a bit off-putting, and the book was a debut novel for the author and the series, so it was a dark horse.  But with Amazon’s 4-for-3 sale, I went nuts and got a bunch of new authors all of whom are wish listed on PBS.  More books for swaps!    Luckily for me, Die Buying was a winner.

EJ Ferris was a veteran MP and investigator in the USAF until an IED ruined her knee and lower leg and ended her military career.  At lose ends in Walter Reed rehab, she couldn’t see going back to live the Hollywood elite high life with her parents, despite loving them both.  But Grandpa Atherton, a long retired CIA operative living in Virginia, needed someone to keep and eye on him and that helped EJ too.  Her disability kept her off police forces, so the only job she could find was as a mall security.  Not the excitement or challenge of her former job, but it paid the bills.  Her childhood friend, Kayla, a former silver medal Olympic athlete and current roller derby player, owned a shop in the Fernglen Galleria, and having an old friend around helped.

The story opens with animal activists breaking into the Herpetology Hut and setting loose the snakes, lizards, and tortoises.  A cleaning man ends up with one leaping on his head, and the hunt is on for the other scaly denizens.  Grandpa Atherton needs to stop playing spy and alarming customers, so EJ has him find some equipment that will help locate the coldblooded animals before any more shoppers attack the critters.  Then a woman starts screaming.  Imaging a corn snake or iguana was the problem, EJ aims her Segway toward the screams and finds a young woman with a stroller having hysterics.  But it’s no snake or lizard.  It’s a dead man in the window of an upscale woman’s clothing store posed in a beach chair stark naked.  The cop in her wants to investigate, but she knows better and calls the cops.

EJ is a serious irritation to her boss, Captain Woskowicz, a man with no police or security background who drinks too much and thinks he’s a ladies man.  He dislikes having having an experienced investigator on his staff.  She’s a threat.  Barely getting along, EJ does her level best to avoid him.  Right now, she just has to point him to a camera crew looking for an interview and he’s a happy camper and she’s, temporarily, off the hook.  But Detective Anders Helland has a low opinion of ‘mall cops’ and won’t even listen as EJ tries to explain her background.  This is police business.  A part of EJ understands, but resents his attitude.  Another even bigger part hates being on the sidelines.  It’s frustrating.

Jackson Porter was not a loved man.  He was a developer, a womanizer despite being married, and a future threat to Ferglen with his new resort/golf course/mall development right next door.  But he’s not EJ’s only problem.  There’s been a rash of tagging on cars parked in the mall lot, all of them with biblical verses.  EJ sics her grandfather and his spy toys on them when the mall manager has his beloved Karmann Ghia tagged.  But the suicide of a planning board member shuts down the investigation as ‘solved’.  Too many loose ends for EJ.

The rude Det Helland and EJ cross paths again and again – including over a dead body of another mall guard.  He’s infuriating and shuts her out completely, though he does have the grace to apologize when he learns of her service and experience as an investigator.  But that’s all she gets, no info or inside track, just another firm rejection putting her in her place.  Then there’s the gun toting new owner of the food court cookie concession.  He keeps showing up at odd times and ducks her every question about his background in law enforcement.  Whatever he is, he isn’t some simple baker looking to date Kayla.

The story is told in a no nonsense fashion and Ms DiSilverio does a terrific job with her lead characters.  EJ was three dimensions without ever playing for cheap emotions or angst.  When her leg gives out in a chase, her frustration and anger at her injury ring true, as does the way she chafes at not doing ‘real’ police work.  I like, too, that there was no angsty, emotionally battered childhood.  Her dad might be a famous movie star, but he’s still happily married to her mom and they love both of their children – the daughter the cop and the son, the globe trotting investigative reporter.  Her Grandpa Atherton might be a bit contrived, but he’s well done and likeable without being over the top.  Her friend Kayla also feels right, including the rough spots in their relationship.  Det Helland will likely get fleshed out, as will Jay Callahan, the cookie man, though both needed a bit more attention and slightly bigger roles in the story.

The plot and story flows well, neither breakneck, nor dragged out. The prose is a bit more spare than most cozies, but it works in favor of the character EJ.  Ms DiSilverio is herself a former USAF Intelligence Officer, so spare prose is likely natural.  Any cop, civilian or military, would be direct.  The mystery itself ended up being a good one with a clever solution.  It did lack some of the excitement and originality than Karen E Olsen’s Tattoo Shop mysteries have, but that was mostly balanced by greater realism.  What impressed me most was the way EJ’s injury and subsequent forced retirement was played.  No bitterness, no resentment, except for her own frail flesh, and a believable sadness and almost desperation to be a real cop again.  It was all there and felt more real for the low key way it was handled.  I am impressed with this first time author.   Overall, this is a cozy that’s more than worth the time and money.

Die Buying, despite its cutesie title, gets a solid B+ to A- (4.3*) from me and is recommended to those who like the Tattoo Shop mysteries.

 

 

Fiction Review – The Year of Fog

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond

 

Review by Vicky T. (VickyJo)

“There was a girl.  Her name was Emma.”  And so begins Michelle Redmond’s haunting novel, “The Year of Fog.”  This is a story about love and loss, blame and forgiveness.  It explores memory and all the ways we try to remember important events in our lives, and all the ways we try to forget.

Abby Mason has a good life.  She is a free lance photographer with a thriving business; she is engaged to a wonderful man named Jake, a high school teacher; and she is getting closer and closer to Jake’s six-year-old daughter Emma, who officially will be her stepdaughter in just a few months.  Emma loves Abby; she’s the only mother the little girl has known, since her biological mother left when Emma was only three.

Jake takes a weekend trip and leaves Emma in Abby’s care.  They are walking on San Francisco’s Ocean Beach one foggy morning when Abby stops to photograph a dead seal.  After only a few seconds, she looks up and realizes that Emma is gone.

The frantic, panicked search begins.  There is no one else on the beach, and only a few people back in the parking lot.  Abby finally must face the facts: Emma is really, truly gone.  She calls the police…and then makes the worst call of her life, to tell Jake.

Imagine the horror of losing a child; now, imagine the crushing guilt of losing someone else’s child.  Abby and Jake each deal with Emma’s disappearance in their own way.  As the days turn into weeks, and the odds get worse and worse, Jake eventually comes around to the police’s theory: that Emma wandered into the ocean and got caught in the powerful undertow, and drowned.  He eventually holds a mock funeral for Emma, burying an empty coffin and (he hopes) his grief in a small plot.  Abby refuses to accept this idea.  She knows Emma was afraid of the water, and would never have gone near it.  She believes that Emma was kidnapped.  Abby is certain that if she keeps searching, and never loses hope, that she will find Emma and everything will be right once again.  But how can anything ever be the same?  Jake can’t even make eye contact with Abby; she isn’t surprised at all when he suggests they postpone the wedding…indefinitely.  And a month into Emma’s disappearance, when Jake’s ex-wife Lisbeth suddenly appears to hold a news conference and play the grieving mother, the tension between Jake and Abby only gets worse, if that’s possible.

A potential break comes when Abby is hypnotized by a therapist, and remembers a new detail about that morning on Ocean Beach.  Armed with a new clue, she takes off in a new direction, hoping against hope that she can find Emma for everyone’s sake.  Is she wasting her time, chasing a ghost through the fog?  Is she too late?  Or do miracles really happen?

This story is so compelling; it’s hard to put it down.  The author lets you feel Abby’s grief, her determination, her despair.  I kept putting myself in Abby’s shoes: what would I do in such an awful situation?  I also kept thinking, “This author better solve this mystery and tell me what happened to Emma!”  but then I realized that there are people whose children have disappeared that have to live with that uncertainty every day, who have to live with never knowing the end of the story.  I can’t imagine how hard that must be.  And so, I’m not going to say whether or not the author reveals Emma’s fate; you’ll just have to read the book to find out.

 

 

The Places Where We Live – New Jersey

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

by Brenna B. (demiducky25)

 

Lately the first thing that people tend to think of when they hear the words “New Jersey” is the MTV show Jersey Shore.  Personally, I’ve never seen more than 5 seconds of the show so I cannot attest to the accuracy of how they present life in the Garden State (heck, I’m not a beach person and I’ve only been “down the shore,” as we say, a handful of times so I really cannot speak to life along the actual Jersey Shore at all).  Whether you love or loathe Jersey Shore, I hope that reading my entry about my home state will give you new insight and perhaps bring new images to mind besides Snooki going crazy. 🙂

In terms of size, New Jersey can be described a number of ways.  It is one of the smallest states in terms of land area (only Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware are smaller).  In terms of total population, New Jersey is currently the 11th most populous state, and for as long as I can remember it is the most densely populated state (my 4th grade social studies textbook had a map of the United States showing the size of each state in terms of population density, and I recall being amazed at how little NJ was suddenly the largest one on that type of map projection).  Yet what it lacks in size, New Jersey makes up for with presence and style!

Nicknamed “The Garden State,” New Jersey has had a very interesting and colorful history.  Prior to the American Revolution, the area that would later become New Jersey was originally a Dutch colony and was later acquired by the British, making it one of the original 13 colonies.  As with New York and Pennsylvania, the colony of New Jersey became a popular location for immigrants, making it a fairly ethnically and religiously diverse colony.  During the Revolutionary War, New Jersey was the site of several battles and winter encampments, earning it the nickname “The Crossroads of the Revolution.”  In fact, the commemorative state quarter for NJ showcases George Washington crossing the Delaware River to surprise the Hessian soldiers at the Battle of Trenton (though the image on the quarter, as well as the original painting, isn’t exactly accurate, but that’s a story for another time).

Fast-forward past the Revolutionary War and New Jersey kept its pulse on the changing landscape of American culture.  Despite the “Garden State” moniker, NJ became a booming center of factories and production during the Industrial Revolution and beyond.  Although the silk mills are no more, I grew up hearing stories about them and how nearby Paterson was once one of the biggest silk producers in the world.

As with the Industrial Revolution, modern New Jersey is still doing its best to keep up with the times.  The educational systems in New Jersey, from K-12 all the way to our many colleges and universities, are top-notch, thus preparing young minds for the future challenges our country will face.  Other ways New Jersey stays current with the times is in terms of entertainment.   Perhaps that has a bit to do with Thomas Edison (originally from Ohio, but I think NJ claims him anyway due to his work being done in Menlo Park, NJ) and his entertainment contributions of the motion picture projector and the phonograph (and of course the light bulb which would make our form of entertainment, reading, a bit more challenging without it).  In terms of professional sports, New Jersey has the Devils (hockey), the Nets (basketball, but I’ve heard that they might be moving to New York), and both the New York Giants and the New York Jets football teams actually play in New Jersey even though they are considered New York teams (personally I never really considered that fair, but that’s just me).   We also have a number of minor league baseball teams as well.  Besides sports, New Jersey is also home to other forms of entertainment.   There have been a number of entertainers, past and present, who have been proud to call NJ home (in fact, some of them appear on the list at the end of this piece).  How different the world would be without the impact of some of these great performers!  New Jersey has also been the setting, filming location, or both for many TV shows and movies: The Sopranos, Ed, Jersey Shore, House, Cake Boss, and The Adventures of Pete & Pete are just a few shows that fall into those categories.  Movies like Lean on Me, In & Out, Be Kind Rewind, Coneheads, and pretty much anything by Kevin Smith were all either about NJ, filmed scenes in NJ, or both.  I’m sorry if the movie list consisted of films mostly about or filmed in northern NJ, but those are the ones I’m familiar with.

That last sentence about northern NJ reminds me of something else that seems fairly unique to New Jersey.  Ever since I can remember, there has always been this strange rivalry between North NJ, South NJ, and the possible existence of Central NJ (some people argue that there is no Central NJ and that there is a clear dividing line between North and South, others see Central NJ as its own entity separate from North and South NJ).  I never really thought much about it until college when I lived with roommates from other parts of the state.  Apparently we all had a different dividing line depending on where we lived, and we also had different words for certain terms depending on where we lived.  The two biggest  examples are the night before Halloween (Goosey Night,  Mischief Night, and Cabbage Night seemed to be the top ones, though I never knew it as anything other than Goosey Night.  Our international roommate always found this argument hysterical because she never called the night before Halloween anything at all).  Also for a very long sandwich the terms “sub,” “hoagie,” and “hero” were deemed equally acceptable depending on which part of the state you were from (as someone from north NJ I went to elementary school where we had “hoagie days” then moved a few towns over and suddenly they were “subs” so that might not even be a “North vs South” thing).  For such a small state it is certainly strange that New Jersey has a number of different terms for the same thing!

One final set of quirks that I couldn’t seem to fit anywhere else (and I really can’t prove this one), but I feel like there are more malls (and sizable ones) and dinners (especially 24 hour ones or what is the point, hehe) in at least my little patch of New Jersey than anywhere else!  From where I sit now, I could get into my car and drive to at least 3 different malls in 5 minutes, and there are two 24 hour dinners walking distance from my house.  My international roommate, who has since moved back to her home country, has stated on Facebook before that the diners are probably one of the things she misses the most about New Jersey.

And that’s what New Jersey is to me, a wonderfully strange yet cozy and comforting nook in the world.  I don’t pretend to be a traditional “Jersey Girl,” whatever that really is, but I am certainly proud of my home state.  It’s hard for me to imagine living anywhere else.  I’m sure I’m forgetting some other tidbits that should have been noted, but I did my best, and I hope you liked hearing about my corner of the universe, and feel free to check out some of the books below (I hope the links worked this time, it was giving me some difficulties so be warned):

 

 

Notable New Jerseyeans

Grover Cleveland (1837-1908)- only US president to serve non-consecutive terms (he was #22 and #24)

Thomas Edison (1847-1831)- inventor (from Ohio but did much of his world changing work in Menlo Park, NJ)

Bud Abbott (1895-1974)- actor/comedian

Lou Costello (1906-1959)- actor/comedian

Frank Sinatra (1915–1998)- singer/ actor

Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (born 1930)- NASA, astronaut

Jack Nicholson (born 1937)- actor (born in New York City, grew up in Neptune City, NJ)

Debbie Harry (born 1945), singer/actress (born in Florida but raised in NJ)

Bruce Springsteen (born 1949), musician

Anthony Bourdain (born 1956) chef, author and television personality (born in New York City, grew up in Leonia, New Jersey)

Jon Bon Jovi (born 1962), musician

Kevin Smith (born 1970)- filmmaker

Lauryn Hill (born 1975), singer/rapper/songwriter

The Jonas Brothers (birth years vary depending on the brother)- boy band

 

Books!

 

 

1776 by David McCullough (provides a very detailed look at the American Revolution and highlights many of the events happening in NJ at that time)

It Came from New Jersey! My Life as an Artist by Tim Jacobus (the artist responsible for the covers of the Goosebumps books)

 

The Houseguest by Agnes Rossi (a novel about 1930s NJ)

 

The Lost Legends of New Jersey by Frederick Reiken (a novel about 1980s NJ)

 

Weird NJ:  Your Travel Guide to New Jersey’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets by Mark Moran, Mark Sceurman (highlights the wonderful and strange of the Garden State)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantasy Friday – A Game of Cages

Friday, February 17th, 2012

A Game of Cages by Harry Connolly

Review By Bowden P. (Trey)

 

Ray Lilly is back, this time investigating an auction of a predator in a remote small town. The hope is that the auction can be stopped, and, well, if everything went according to plan, it would be a much shorter novel wouldn’t it?

The tone in Game of Cages is different than Child of Fire. Washaway, the small town, is much more sympathetic than Hammer Bay, which makes what happens to it and its population that much more  horrible as the predator gets loose near and then in it. We also get a look at the other players in the occult underground besides the Twenty Palaces. They range from Triads, to very nasty sorcerer and his helper, to snobby and very short sighted occult investigators. And, oh yes, then there is the family trying to sell off the predator. As a whole, I wouldn’t want to meet them – ever.

Readers also get some more insight into the magic of the setting, and the Twenty Palace Society. Apparently, the closer a spell is to its original writing, the more powerful it is. So a Primary user is much more powerful than a Quaternary and so on. It also looks like the Twenty Palaces may be in some trouble…

Again, Connolly hits the horror and action buttons without necessarily bringing the gore. The action moves along quickly giving the sense of very high stakes and keeps the book from dragging. The horror comes in with what the predator (called a sapphire dog “a beautiful creature that destroyed anyone who saw it.”) does. What it does is not gross or obvious and can even be hidden, but its still horrible. In contrast to this, Connolly plays up the positive aspects of small towns. Ray wouldn’t have made it at all without the help of the constable and the genuine kindness and sacrifice of others.

Did I like it? 4 and half stars worth.

Likes: Well drawn minor characters; Ray’s continuing development as a character; Seeing a bit more of Annalise that’s not a sorcerous killing machine; Seeing more of the magic and the Twenty Palaces Society.

Dislikes: The fates of those well drawn minor characters.

Suggested for: Fans of the Dresden files, Stross’ Laundry series (The Atrocity Archives, The Jennifer Morgue and The Fuller Memorandum), Kadrey’s Sandman Slim and horror fans in general.

PBS Cruise, Day 2 continued – Jeopardy PBS Style

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

 How many did you know?

General Trivia

100. The number of candles on the PBS Birthday Cake in September 2011. What is 7?

200. Where ALL of your transaction details are stored. What is the Transaction Archive?

300. Your source for the latest and greatest PBS news. What is the PaperBackSwap NewsWire?

400. PBS calls this state home. Where is Georgia?

500. The name of the program which featured 27 schools with a total donation of over 25,000 books. What is the Books For Schools Program?

 

Features

100. 200, Gold Key 300. What is the Wish List?

200. To add books to your Book’s I’ve Read List, do this. What is give the book a Star Rating? 

300. Start your day here for a thought provoking quote and picture. What is Message of the Day?

400. DAILY DOUBLE. Where our live feed of site activity is shown, including, books being swapped and posted, member registrations, etc.  It updates every 15 seconds. What is Under The Hood?

500. Magazines, Comic Books, Coloring Books, Calendars, Blank Journals. What are Unpostable Items?

 

Acronyms & Icons

100. The entity used to get our books to and from other members. What is the USPS?

200. MoM. What is Member of the Month?

300. How books are queued at PBS. What is FIFO (First in, First out)?

400. TGL. What is Tour Guide Leader?

500. This is the unique number that identifies books in the PBS system (abbreviated ISBN). What is the International Standardized Book Number? (10 or 13 digits)

 

Books

100.*No Missing, Torn, Loose or Chewed Pages. *Front and Back cover must present. *No Writing, Highlighting or Underlining. *Binding Intact. *No water damage, stains or mold. What is a Postable Book?

200. Paperback, Hardcover, Audio CD, Audio Cassette, Large Print Only. What are Binding Types?

300. Author. Title. ISBN. Binding Type. What must match exactly to Post a Book?

400. 5 Million +. How many books are currently available to order at PBS? As of this morning there are 5,112,898

 

Under the Community Tab

100. Where you can find helpful members to assist you. What is the Questions About PaperBackSwap Discussion Forum?

200. Subscribable feature that lets you swap books for books with other members without credits. What is Box-O-Books?

300. See the most posted book, the most Wish Listed book, the most Requested book, the member who has the most referrals and the member who has swapped the most books. What is the Top 100?

400. Find Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Book Grab Giveaways, Member Musings and the Vostromoscope. What is the PBS Blog?

500. You can print a customized bookmark with the PBS logo here. What is Spread the Word?

 

Miscellaneous

100. Yellow and Blue. What are the PBS Colors?

200. The names of the PBS Sister Sites. What is SwapaCD and SwapADVD?

300. This feature allows members with public profiles to communicate with their PBS friends. What is the Bulletin Board?

400. New Member Questions. Lounge A. Lounge B. Over 45 and picking up speed. Games. What is Live Chat?

500. How to Swap Books, Browse the Help Docs, Ask the Librarian, Live Help. What is the Help Center?

 

Final Jeopardy

Who is the author with the most posted books in the history of PBS?

Who is Dan Brown?

With Angels and Demons, The DaVinci Code, Digital Fortress and Deception Point, Dan Brown is by far the author with the most posted books here at PBS. As of this morning there are 12,386 Dan Brown books available to order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st Annual Cruise for PBS Members – Day 2, Morning

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

On Sunday, February 5th, we had a full day at sea and a full day of PBS events

10AM: Our PBS Volunteers and Team Get-Together. This was the first time many of the Tour Guides and Team Members had gotten a chance to spend time together face-to-face.

Photo by Guy S.

 

11AM: PBS Jeopardy!

Photo by DK S. (dkstevenson1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Emcee: Who is Mary (kilchurn)?

 

 

Photo by Guy

 

Our Contestants: Who are Judy, Lori and Gail?

Our PBS Team Contestant “Phone a Friend” Crew: Who are Josh, Len and Zack?

(Neither folded hands nor flamingos were requirements)

 

Our Exultant and very PBS Savvy Winner: Who is Lori S. (Ethelsmom)?

Lori is now our newest PBS Volunteer Tour Guide! We are so very lucky to have her!

 

Here are the PBS Jeopardy Answers. How many can you get right?

General Trivia

100. The number of candles on the PBS Birthday Cake in September 2011.

200. Where ALL of your transaction details are stored.

300. Your source for the latest and greatest PBS news.

400. PBS calls this state home.

500. The name of the program which featured 27 schools with a total donation of over 25,000 books.

 

Features

100. 200, Gold Key 300.

200. To add books to your Book’s I’ve Read List, do this.

300. Start your day here for a thought provoking quote and picture.

400. DAILY DOUBLE. Where our live feed of site activity is shown, including, books being swapped and posted, member registrations, etc.  It updates every 15 seconds.

500. Magazines, Comic Books, Coloring Books, Calendars, Blank Journals

 

Acronyms & Icons

100. The entity used to get our books to and from other members.

200. MoM

300. How books are queued at PBS.

400. TGL

500. This is the unique number that identifies books in the PBS system (abbreviated ISBN).

 

Books

100.*No Missing, Torn, Loose or Chewed Pages. *Front and Back cover must present. *No Writing, Highlighting or Underlining. *Binding Intact. *No water damage, stains or mold.

200. Paperback, Hardcover, Audio CD, Audio Cassette, Large Print Only

300. Author. Title. ISBN. Binding Type.

400. 5 Million +

 

Under the Community Tab

100. Where you can find helpful members to assist you.

200. Subscribable feature that lets you swap books for books with other members without credits.

300. See the most posted book, the most Wish Listed book, the most Requested book, the member who has the most referrals and the member who has swapped the most books.

400. Find Book Reviews, Author Interviews, Book Grab Giveaways, Member Musings and the Vostromoscope.

500. You can print a customized bookmark with the PBS logo here.

 

Miscellaneous

100. Yellow and Blue

200. The names of the PBS Sister Sites.

300. This feature allows members with public profiles to communicate with their PBS friends.

400. New Member Questions. Lounge A. Lounge B. Over 45 and picking up speed. Games

500. How to Swap Books, Browse the Help Docs, Ask the Librarian, Live Help

 

Final Jeopardy

Who is the author with the most posted books in the history of PBS?

 

The Questions

Tune in on Thursday!

 

   

 

 

Member Memories – Our Love of Books

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

by Cynthia F. (frazerc)

 

 

 

                    

I loved books but I had trouble reading in school.  They wanted me to do the whole “cat, bat, rat” thing when we were reading Swiss Family Robinson at home.

“The fat cat ate the rat” just didn’t stand up against shipwrecks and pirates.  Kind of like being forced to take Home Economics in 7th grade and they wanted to teach me to make cinnamon toast – when I was helping cook dinner every night.  After awhile they figured out the lessons were annoying me…

Besides checking books out of the libraries [both school and public] I spent my $.25 allowance on comic books.  They were 10 cents in that day [yeah, really showing my age there] so I could buy two comic books and some penny candy each week.  Then they went to 12 cents – less candy but still two books.  Then they went to 15 cents and my dad introduced me to thrift stores.  I could get books for a dime [and sometimes he paid for them, a real win-win situation!]  So over time I accumulated all the Louisa May Alcott books, the Anne of Green Gables books, and so many more wonderful [and re-readable] stories that dad had to build me more bookcases.

 

                   

Both my parents read to me when I was little but Dad kept on with me as I discovered Andre Norton and Heinlein‘s juveniles, reading many of the same books so we could discuss them.

               

 

                   

Since he had to do ‘dad’ things like earning a living and cutting the grass I read a lot more than he did, but we read Zane Grey and Edgar Rice Burroughs and Ernie Pyle and  mysteries galore.

 

                  

Mom would offer reading suggestions but was too busy doing ‘mom’ things to read much beyond the sales in the newspaper.  [My grandmother lived with us and needed extra care so her time was limited.]  But I told her about them and she listened in while Dad and I talked and she sewed.

So – do I love books?  A definite yes.  I grew up surrounded by them and people who read them.  [But I sure wish I had kept the comic books, they’d have been worth a mint!]

 

 

 

Note from Blog Coord. Click  on any cover image here to go to the book information page. At the time of publishing this blog, all the books referenced had copies available to order except Here is Your War by Ernie Pyle.