Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I turned in my log sheet for the STDL Winter Reading Program and got a nice lined notebook and attached pen as the prize.

Most of the books I read seem to have been mysteries (including the Native American related ones for STDL). I've taken a liking to the Aaron Elkins mysteries and read three since January:
Curses!--Gideon Oliver takes part in a dig at an ancient Mayan site in the Yucatan Peninsula where a previous scandal at the site 5 years before is revisited when a dig member is killed
Icy Clutches--Gideon Oliver investigates when the remains of victims of an avalanche in Alaska are discovered
A Glancing Light--museum curator Chris Norgren takes on verifying the authenticity of recently recovered art stolen by the Nazis in WWII
I also read a couple of books by Donna Andrews from her Meg Lanslow series (very funny):
We'll Always Have Parrots--when the unpopular star of a fantasy tv series is murdered at a fan convention, Meg must cope with escaped monkeys and parrots, rabid fans, temperamental actors and writers, and a fencing demonstration (in skirts) as she tries to find the culprit
Owls Well that Ends Well--Meg and English professor/actor Michael have bought a house "as is" (full of junk) and hold a gigantic garage sale that becomes a media circus when an antiquarian bookseller is found dead in an antique trunk.
I read, finally, as well, the latest books by several popular authors:
The Cat Who Dropped a Bombshell by Lilian Jackson Braun--not much mystery, but still a cozy read as the town of Pickax celebrates its sesquicentenary.
Murder at Five Finger Light by Sue Henry--Jessie Arnold is stranded on a lighthouse island with a few other people while a murderer stalks them; lots of surprises.
S is for Silence by Sue Grafton--Kinsey Milhone investigates the disappearance of a woman and her car that occured in the fifties, 34 years previously.
I also read (and enjoyed) the latest [before March, anyway] in the Blackbird Sisters series, Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die by Nancy Martin--impoverished socialite Nora's obnoxious Society column writer boss is found dead on her porch and her mob-connected boyfriend is a suspect. I liked Veronica Heley's latest, too, Murder by Committee, an English cozy featuring Ellis Quicke, a widow finding her way as an independent person and still trying to rescue her selfish daughter who has been involved with a shady entrepreneur who is murdered. Lastly, I read a first novel by Elizabeth Becka, Trace Evidence--a Cleveland based forensic specialist, Evelyn James, gets personally involved in the deaths of two young girls, one who has been drowned after being thrown in the river with her feet encased in cement and one who has been strangled after escaping her cement shackles; not too gory, but very intense ending.

Friday, March 24, 2006


For the Elk Grove Winter Reading Program we only had to read three books: one set in the past, one in the present, and one in the future. For the first two I read two Christina Dodd books:
My Fair Temptress--impoverished former belle is assigned to teach an apparently foppish weakling how to be a "man" and win a wife
Close to You--conclusion of the Prescott trilogy, TV reporter is being stalked by the man who killed her parents and separated her from her siblings when she was a baby.
For the third I read
Jack McDevitt's Seeker--27th century antiquarian Alex Benedict and his pilot Chase Kolpath look for a derelict ship purported to belong to a long lost colony from Earth.

Some of the other books I read also fall into the SciFi/Fantasy categories:
Mel Odom's Lord of the Libraries--the exciting conclusion to the Vault of All Human Knowledge series wherein ex-Librarian Juhg and Wizard Craugh rescue Grandmagister Wick and prevent the Goblinkind from overrunning the world
Christopher Paolini's Eldest--continues the quest of reluctant Dragonrider Eragon to help dwarves and elves to vanquish the renegade Dragonrider, King Galbatorix
Catherine Asaro's Charmed Sphere--mages Chime and Lord Fuller use their flawed powers to help save their kingdom from their ambitious neighbor and his own evil mage
Mercedes Lackey's and Rosemary Edghill's Music to My Sorrow--unseligh elves, corrupt tv evangelists, mesmerizing rock bands, grasping parents, and more confront Bard Eric Banyon and his friends

A couple of the books I read don't really fit into a genre:
A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke--humorous fictional account of a British executive's attempt to work at a French firm and to live in Paris
The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason--four Princeton seniors attempt to help solve the mysteries of a famous Renaissance book [that actually exists] while coping with school deadlines, women, social duties, and a murder [fascinating page-turner; I read this while in France and on the plane home]


Wow! It has been a while since I posted here. I did finish Daniel's sweater in January and sent it to Iowa by mail. However, I don't think he has put it on yet (he's 3). His mom says she'll use it instead of a coat when the weather is a bit warmer.

Because we are getting ready to move and I was preparing to go to France for my youngest daughter's wedding--listening to Pimsleur tapes, scanning old magazines to-be-tossed, packing some stuff up, and reading over-due books--I haven't done much craft/needlework except for my AAUW Craft Group project which is a felt penny rug with a lighthouse and sailboat motif from the August, 2003, issue of Create & Decorate Magazine. Even after 2 meetings, I only have all the pieces cut out and a couple of them embroidered onto the background.

I have read a LOT of books (36) since January, though. The Schaumburg Library's Winter Reading Program had a theme of Native American characters and writers. The six books I read for that were:
Arthur Williams' Missing at Tenoclock--small-town Colorado female deputy is forced to take over a murder investigation when the Sheriff is killed
Jake Page's Stolen Gods--blind New Mexico sculptor helps solve the murder of an art gallery owner who dealt in historic Indian artifacts
James D. Doss's The Shaman Sings--newcomer sheriff investigates the vicious murder of a young graduate student at the local college in a small Colorado town
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Ogilvie, Tallant, and Moon--lawyer uses his shamanistic abilities to relive the last hours of a murder victim's life [recently republished as Bad Medicine]
Scott Young's Murder in a Cold Climate--Inuk Canadian Mountie travels by plane, helicopter, dogsled, and snowmobile in an effort to solve the murder of a prominent man
Kirk Mitchell's Cry Dance--BIA officer Emmett Parker and FBI rookie Anna Turnipseed search for a cold-blooded killer who mutilates his victims amidst Native American confrontations with opponents of reservation casinos

More on the books read later.