Saturday, May 9, 2015

Reads from 2014 and early 2015 Part 1

A stack of books to be donated to the local library book sale has been alongside  my computer and growing since March 2015 when we returned from our snowbird travels south the past winter.  I have been playing catch up with  multiple obligations and activities including financial analyses of our investments, tracking and data entering,  home activities, social, medical appointments, lots of things and now with springtime in full force, the outside beckons, no demands my attention.  So rather than looking at this box of books for months longer, I  will list each here and skip  scanning and reviews for the most part.  I am doing so in two phases as time is limited this morning again.   Once again, all my intentions to blog about my reads takes a backseat to lifestyle shifts and changes and to repeat a phrase that runs freely across my mind, where does all the time go?   I once envisioned retirement as sitting and reading several hours a day, I now spend only a mere hour or so  evenings before going to bed, reading.  I am far too busy with physical activities all day long to sit still and read, plenty of time for that when I become feeble, elderly, or perhaps plain lazy. My lifelong habit and love of reading remains but the stillness it requires doesn't suit me. Nowadays, sitting is dangerous to health, viewed as the new smoking, to be avoided physical activity is preferred.  This suits me fine as I have had 2 speeds all my life, on or off. I was called "Miss Antsy-pants as a child because I could not sit still for long, "what are we going to do now?" was my constant refrain if I was not on the move and in perpetual motion. Now years down the road all my activity was a good thing, healthful, so sitting and reading through the day is just not part of my retirement. Evidence here on this neglected book blog as well as on my other blog a;so neglected with no posting since February.  The shift to Facebook a more convenient outlet, where the whims of my mind are documented with photos and phrases of the moment.   Here is my  reading book list:

Title, author, date published, my star rating,  comments:

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid             Bill Bryson   2006    *****  One of the funniest books I have ever read, a partial memoir of the author's times growing up in the middle of the country, Des Moines, Iowa.  Beyond witty it is laugh out loud as his escapades and those of the boys in  a time of life I recall, rival Mark Twain's fictional Huck Finn. 

Masie Dobbs     and    Birds of a Feather        Jacqueline Winspear  2003 and 2004
A  two novel set in one book,  ****   I had read Masie, the first in this London post WWI era female sleuth series.  Because it was in this book I reread it, recalling some  activities but refreshing myself on her establishment as a private detective.  The Masie books are delightful mysteries,.  Nothing mysteriously circular nor  quizzical but easy enjoyable reading. 

Orphan Train                          Christina Bakker Kline           2013            ****    A fictional portrayal of characters in events that actually  occurred between 1854 and  1929 in the US when children were abandoned or given up to orphanages by immigrants or poor  parents, or by life tragedies.  I was interested in this because my genealogical research indicates my late Uncle John's father was adopted from similar circumstances.  It was not an easy life for the book's characters and the resiliency of human spirit can triumph.  

The Christmas Train       David Baldacci        2002   ****     A Baldacci fictional story, rather touching in parts but trite.  Simple reading.  The cross country winter train adventure of Tom Langdon, a mixed up globetrotting journalist. who must take thrain cross country from Washington DC to Los Angeles.  Some good lines as in any Baldacci book  as pg. 3, "being an only child he was truly alone now and that made him introspective:, or pg. 11, "I say that your  family  is where you find it."  pages 121-122, "Oh sure, if you're into the destination only as opposed to the trip itself.....most folk who ride trains could care less where they're going.  For them it's the journey itself and the people they meet along the way.....shouldn't there be room for a  train where you can just sit back, take a breath and be human for a little while?  Just a little while,?  Is that so bad?"        

The Forgotten        David Baldacci                 2012                       *****   Another great well developed thriller by this prolific author  about Army Special Agent John Puller who become key in an investigation into his aunt's death in Paradise Florida along the Gulf Coast, an area  with which we are  very familiar in our winter travels. Typical Baldacci the hints of the tale are set out very early for the astute reader, but only by the end of the book is the hint clearer.  For example, page 5, "They were not rich.  They were not powerful.  They were truly the forgotten.  And their numbers were growing exponentially as the world was settling swiftly into a permanent state of  the rich and thus powerful and then everyone else."