I’ve recently found the “Joe Gunther” series by Archer Mayor. At the beginning of the series, Joe is a Lieutenant in the Brattleboro, Vermont, police force, a detective. I understand that as the series progresses he will move from being a city cop to a detective in one of the statewide divisions. I know there are at least 20 books in the series, and probably more.

I’m always delighted when I find a series with five or more books. I think that character development interests me even more than whodunit, or how it was done, and that usually requires more than one or two books.

My family tend to be readers. For her most recent birthday, I gave my oldest sister the first book in three series I love. She is not really into mysteries or science fiction, but I couldn’t think of anything better to share than three of my favorite books. If you’re interested, look up these series:

Donna Leon’s Commissorio Brunetti series, set in Venice, present day.

Louise Penney’s Chief Inspector Gammache series, set in Quebec, present day.

Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan saga, set in outer space, the future.

I’m also in love with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. The Drums of Autumn, and The Fiery Cross are probably my favorite books of the series. My sister discovered the joy of listening to these books, narrated by Davinia Porter, while she knits, the best of both worlds.

One more detective series to share: Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker, set in France, present day.

I’m sure there are more book series to share, but this is enough to whet your interest. If you have favorites let me know, please!

Three Books At One Time

I am the original “pick it up, and read it right through, one book at a time” girl.  I’ll start a book and be unable to put it down, staying up way too late into the night just to see how it ends.  I know I’ll be a wreck the next day, but I cannot reason with myself and PUT THE BOOK DOWN!

I’ve been reading “Fall of Giants” by Ken Follett.  It’s full of the details leading to WW I, and despite the fact that it is based on fictional characters, it’s still slow going, trying to understand all of the interactions between countries.  It’s a period where major change is going to take place politically and socially, and Follett has an amazing amount of information to share.

When I was about a quarter of the way into “Fall of Giants,” a shipment of books arrived from Amazon.  I wasn’t going to order any more books.  I was going to use the public library more.  I didn’t want to have to box up more books!  I couldn’t resist.  I picked up Donna Leon’s new book, “Jewels of Paradise.” and waded in!

I was at least halfway through that book when I needed to take Dear Husband to physical therapy, and I couldn’t lay my hands on the book.  One of the “Inn Boonsboro” trilogy from Nora Roberts was, though, so I had THREE books going at one time.

Okay, I’ve finished two of the “Inn Boonsboro” books, and I’m well into the third.  By the end of the weekend, I should be down to two books.  If it wasn’t for gift wrapping, I might even finish the Donna Leon book, too! *G*  GIft wrapping is important, and it can be fun.  It’s part of our celebration of the season, and I really don’t mind.  The books will hold.

I think the next book I need to read, and use, is Ina Garten’s “Foolproof Recipes.”  That woman knows how to cook, and how to entertain!  I need to take lessons!



World Without End

I’ve just finished re-reading “The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett. It was a book I thoroughly enjoyed a number of years ago. The story is of the plots and political intrigue involved in building a cathedral at Kingsbridge, England in the twelfth century.
I wanted to re-read it before I picked up “World Without End,” which is a sequel set two centuries later. I’m about three hundred pages into the story (the book is 1000+ pages), and I’ve been struck by the thought that all the machinations are extremely similar to what is being shown in the trailers for a TNT mini-series called “Political Animals.” Lying, back-stabling, changing political sides for personal gain, alliances for political gain, I’m sure you get the picture.
What grieves me is that things don’t seem to have changed in a millennium. I can only hope that this book, like the first, also ends with the good side finally winning the day after working through great strife. Too bad we can’t re-write our current political situation!


I came across this Book Meme at Moment After Moment (thank you, Adele!), and just SWIPED IT! I love books, but I can see that I need to get serious about my reading. If I counted right, I’ve read about 42 of the entries. I need to think about what I’ve been reading, and what I might want to add to a list like this.
Book Meme
I came across this Book Meme the other day and just couldn’t resist it.
1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Underline those you intend to read.
3) Italicise the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list
1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – J D Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan (No, but I’ve seen the film – that’s enough for me!)
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon (I think I might have read this one…a very odd book, if I remember correctly..)
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73.The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute (I think I’ve read this…)
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo


Bogie is my almost sister. We could be twins! Our bookshelves have the same problems. She knows about double layers of books, and paperbacks stacked up in front of the hardbacks! She knows about textbooks from years ago taking up valuable space. I feel we’ve bonded, sis! *G*
When we built this house, we realized that the architect (who had designed the house for himself), had omitted bookshelves of any kind. Who can live without bookshelves?? Actually, I wish someone would invent magazine shelves, too. I’ve got some of my magazines in binders, but I need more space for them.
At any rate, we sat down and talked with him about putting in some built-in shelves. He nixed the idea of the long wall in the living room. He apparently didn’t think I could fill 35 feet of book shelves, but he suggested that a wall of shelves would distract from the focal points of the room, and would make it difficult to organize seating in the room. I had a better reason, after we moved into the house. I wouldn’t have had a long wall for the display of quilts.if we’d made that wall into bookcase. I’d be better organized, but unhappy about the lack of display room.
We finally resolved the issue in two ways. First, in designing the cabinetry in the kitchen, we added the column of shelves just for books that goes floor to ceiling. Yes, that needs to be culled, too. Elegante Mother has filled the shelves with the little monthly cookbooks you get at the grocery store. She’s not the only one at fault. I have a lot of trouble passing up a cookbook, especially if it’s about soup or bread. We have TWO garlic cookbooks! *G* No werewolves here!
The second solution was to give up one foot of the length of our bedroom. The loss to the bedroom is minimal, but the gain for books was immense. I’m guessing that we added shelves roughly 10 to 12 feet wide and floor to ceiling in the hallway leading to the bedrooms. And those shelves are full to the brim.
Bogie, the books I’m planning to move are textbooks, and clock repair references, and odds and ends of books that we just haven’t been ready to give away. I think it’s going to be my chore for first thing tomorrow. We’ll have about 25 guests here on Friday, and I better get things squared away now.
It’s reassuring to know that someone else has the same bookshelf situation. *G*


My bookshelves are overwhelmed! My mother buys books and then puts them on my bookshelves. Periodically , I have to cull books to be given to the library, or shared with friends. We give the ladies of our exercise group first choice, and what remains goes to the library.
I realized that I need to cull some of the books we have had since we were in our twenties. I’m sure they have not been opened while we have lived in this house, but they provide ties to another part of our lives, and we’re loathe to let them go. I need to get several packing boxes and line them with garbage bags, and then empty the top shelf.
We have hardbacks pushed all the way to the back of the shelves, with paperbacks stacked on their sides taking up the edge of the shelf. In places we have paperbacks stacked two deep. I have three shelves filled with quilting and gardening books, and I need one more to be able to put all those books away!
In the kitchen, I have a floor to ceiling shelf that is filled with just cookbooks. I almost ordered one more….the Ultimate Soup Cookbook. But, I restrained myself!
I plan to pack up the books from two shelves, and then rearrange the books that are left. I have to decide what to put on the highest shelf because I’ll be the only one who can reach those books without a step stool.
When I have the books reorganized, I need to work on the problem of magazines and Christmas catalogs. We are drowning under a sea of paper. I send any catalog I know I’m not going to use right to the recycling bin. Unfortunately, that chore needs to be done daily, and I’m a twice-a-week kind of gal.
Thank goodness people come to visit us through out the Holidays, or this might never get done! I find impending visits great motivation for putting my house in order. Can’t you imagine the books and catalogs falling in slow motion, filling up the hallway and the kitchen, if I don’t get this chore done?? Timberrrrrrr!!
If we haven’t used it this year…’s OUTTA HERE!


Go visit Texas Trifles, and take a look at the book meme that Cowtown Pattie has published.
I was astonished to see how many books both she and I have read. Pattie has read 58 of a list of 100 books; I’ve read 54. I own several of the books on the list and am waiting to get to them.
There’s no rhyme or reason to this list, apparently. Just go browse and see how many of them you’ve read, and say “Hey!” to Pattie while you’re there.


Have you read Fred First’s new book??
I ordered one, and received it within three days, and was all set to read it, when I realized that it would make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift. Since my youngest sister was with us last weekend, with her husband and daughters, I gave it to her as a Mother’s Day present.
This week, I ordered two more copies. I’ll give one to Elegante Mother and keep one. I’ll FINALLY get to read it. Yes!!
Go see what Fred has to say about the life of an author living in the hills of Virginia.

Pride & Prejudice

I have FINALLY finished “Pride and Prejudice!” The group of readers from my exercise group decided that we needed to read one of the classics, and this is the one we settled on.
I really enjoyed “Emma,” the production with Gwyneth Paltrow, and “Sense and Sensibility,” with Emma Thompson. Both of those productions helped me to set a sense of cadence in the language, and the form of interaction that was acceptable early in the 1800s. I thought I’d be able to breeze through “Pride and Prejudice,” but it was slow going.

Continue reading


I believe that one of my stepsons gets the award for the Most Generous Stepson of the Year!
Last night he came in and plopped “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” into my lap. He said, “I have all the books, but I haven’t read any of them. I thought you might like to read this copy first.”
Wowwwwwwwwww!!! Is that cool, or what??
I just wish this wasn’t the week from He!!….and that I didn’t have two other books I need to read for my book club. I’ll read as much as I can until things calm down on Thursday. I may be AWOL from my blog for a bit! *G*