Jul 21, 2009

Born to Run by James Grippando: Teaser Tuesday review

Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck finds "intrigue and murder" at the top levels of government. The vice president of the U.S. goes hunting for alligators in the Florida Everglades and doesn't survive. Jack becomes the lawyer for the new vice president and discovers dangerous secrets that go back fifty years.

Jack was seated in the chair that was normally for clients, his forearms tied tightly to the armrests with the cord that the Greek had yanked from the lamp. The Greek sat on the desk, his gun aimed at Jack's chest.

"You must be Anthony Quinn," said Jack. ( p. 176)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Choose two sentences from your current read, and add the author and title for readers.

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Jul 20, 2009

More Awards! (updated)

Thanks to Tea at
Living Life and Reading Books for the Friendship/Let's Be Friends Award and also for the Heartfelt Award! Also thanks to Michael of A Few Minutes With Michael for the Kreativ Blogger Award and for the Let's Be Friends Award, and to Natalie of The Book Inn for the Proximidade Award. (See Awards, Awards, Awards below).
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From an older post: I am passing on the Friendship Award to some friendly bloggers who I don't think have this award as yet!

Sue at Book By Book
BookBitch (Don't let the name throw you; this site is very book friendly.)
Shannon at Confuzzled Books
Colleen at Foreign Service Library
Melissa at Shh I'm Reading
Nise at Under the Boardwalk
Kelly at The Novel Bookworm

Please check out these blogs!!

Jul 18, 2009

Book Review: Death Loves a Messy Desk

Death Loves a Messy Desk (Charlotte Adams Mystery, Book 3) Death Loves a Messy Desk by Mary Jane Maffini

This funny cozy and feng shui-interior decorating mystery gets four stars for being witty and entertaining. I also read Maffini's "The Cluttered Corpse," but think this book is more clever.

In Death Loves a Messy Desk (2009), the main character Charlotte is trying to relax after recovering from solving a murder, The Cluttered Corpse. She signs up to train her two miniature "wiener" dogs to become certified therapy dogs in a volunteer program and meets another volunteer, Fredelle, who hires her on the spot to organize her work office and especially the untidy, unsightly desk of a new coworker, Barbara.

Charlotte runs her own business as an organizer in a small town and is well known. She has to deal with crazy office politics in the company, Quovadicon, to do this new job. Trying to help tidy Barbara's desk becomes a task when coworkers clash and Barbara disappears.

Charlotte, however, is too organized to let this job go and just drop it, even when she is fired by Fredelle, who had hired her in the first place. She snoops as any serious amateur detective would, and gets herself into trouble. Attempts on her life and on Quovadicon employees, including the self-effacing son of the owner, doesn't get Charlotte much sympathy from her closest friends until she is over her head in trouble and the bodies start to pile up, about three in all.

The plot is good, though I guessed the mystery behind Barbara's disappearance about two-thirds of the way through. The culprits were a big surprise tho.

If you love cute, disobedient dogs who are averse to training, plus long girlfriend talks (some of them should have been shortened), and a lot of humor in a good mystery plot, you'll like Death Loves a Messy Desk.

View all my Goodread reviews

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Jul 16, 2009

I Cannot Tell a Lie meme

I was tagged for this meme by Mark at Hawaiian Eye: Mark Troy on Crime Fiction. I don't hope to match his hilarious answers. You must read them; I guarantee laughs. His post will also lead you to others who have done this meme.

Here's what it's about:

I Cannot Tell A Lie meme:
"Sometimes you can learn more about a person by what they don’t tell you. Sometimes you can learn a lot from the things they just make up. If you are tagged with this Meme, lie to me. Then tag 7 other folks (one for each deadly sin) and hope they can lie."



Pride: What is your biggest contribution to the world?
I helped to ghost write an international best selling novel about old world pirates, called Shillings on Your Chest. To research, I had to go to the island of Jamaica. I visited the old town of Port Royal, a real pirate's haven, in those days anyway. The great earthquake of 1692 destroyed the town and the pirates both. I had a grand time drinking Captain Morgan rum and coke and chatting with the locals.

Envy: What do your co-workers wish they had that is yours?
My vast knowledge about pirates, piracy, and my huge cache of Jamaican rum.

Gluttony: What did you eat last night?

I had two large milkshakes, three hamburgers, and a huge pile of fries at Johnny Rockets while listening to 60's music by The Four Seasons. My better half sat and shook his head. Well, I was hungry!


Lust: What really lights your fire?
A roomful of books and genuine fake antiques at cheap prices.


Anger: What is the last thing that really pissed you off?
A bunch of workmen came in to fix the the leaky roof and the squeaky floor last month. They left with my $1300 pair of binoculars and my set of exercise tapes when my husband wouldn't pay them.


Greed: Name something you keep from others?
I don't share my sakura tea or my bottle of Osaka saki with anyone. In fact, the bottle has never been opened. Also, I secretly count ducks in a row when I go to sleep.

Sloth! I forgot Sloth! How slothful of me!
What's the laziest thing you've ever done?


It's not filling out memes and passing them on and notifying people - that is Not Slothful. The laziest thing I've ever done is affect a limp and wear a pair of crutches so that my neighbors would snow plow my driveway and sidewalks after a long hard snowfall.


Want to lie? Leave a comment, and you are automatically tagged. Or just go ahead and do it on your own!

Tagged are (more than seven. But these days there may be more than 7 deadly sins):
Carol's Notebook
Beach Bum
Life in the Thumb
Stacy's Book Blog
Bibliophile By the Sea
Alternative Read
The Narrative Causality
Jenny Loves to Read
Chick with Books
What Was I Reading?

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Jul 14, 2009

Awards, Awards, Awards

Awards from some very nice bloggers!



Thanks so much to Michael of A Few Minutes With Michael and also to Jessica of A BookLover's Diary for the Kreativ Blogger Award!


To accept this, I am to list seven of my favorite things and send the award on to seven blogs.


My favorite things (doubled because I like lists):

1. Checking to see which new country arrived on my blog. Getting new awards.

2. Checking the robin's nest just outside the front window to see if she's still flitting in and out, fixing up the nest for the second clutch of eggs. Update: She's back and settling in for the long haul. Watching to see when the eggs will hatch!

3. Having a rum and coke in the summer. Having one in the winter.

4. Having a pina colada in the summer, and in the winter.

5. Reading a really good book without interruptions. Getting a new book in the mail.

6. Watching my neighbors coo over their two little dogs. Watching my neighbors plant a bright pink hydrangea and other flowers.

7. Lying on a beach all day (if I could find one close by). Reading on a beach all day if I can get there.



I nominate :
A Book A Week
A Bookworm's Blog
Absorbed In Words
Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings
Sassy Brit and Her Gang
Barney's Book Blog
Bibliophile By the Sea

Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing your favorite things!


The Proximidade Award


This unique award comes from Natalie of The Book Inn and also from Mari of MariReads

This blog invests and believes in the Proximity – nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award.

I'd like to pass this on to

Reading at the Beach
Enchanted by Josephine
Everything Distils into Reading
A BookLover's Diary
Dolce Bellezza

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Thanks to Vicki of Reading at the Beach for this very generous award!

The Humane Award is in order to honor certain bloggers that I feel are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn’t for them, my site would just be an ordinary book review blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendships through the blog world.”

I nominate: There are so many really nice and generous bloggers who visit and make comments. I pass this on to all of you - you are tagged! You know who you are! Let's start off with just a few:

Living Life and Reading Books
Kathi Harris's Book Corner
Jenny Loves to Read

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Please check out all these blogs!

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New Books: Hispanic Literature


Frida Kahlo: The Still Lifes by Salomon Grimberg, and Hayden Herrera
2008 - Merrell
A book about the still life paintings of Mexican painter Kahlo (1907-1954). I saw the movie based on her life and her paintings figured a lot in the film.



Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America
By Boudin, Chesa
2009 - Scribner Book Company
A young man's trip to South America. I'd love to read about this trip and how it helps his "coming of age." I've visited only two countries in S.A. and would love to see more.


More Than This
by Margo Candela
2008 - Touchstone Books
A love story by a Latina author.

Take Me with You: A Memoir
By Carlos Frias
2008 - Atria Books
A Cuban-American's trip back to Cuba. Now this memoir I certainly want to read. I'm very curious about life there.



Midnight on the Line: The Secret Life of the U.S.-Mexico Border by Tim Gaynor
2009 - Thomas Dunne Books
Reuters reporter Tim Gaynor details his trip along the 45-mile "illegal alien superhighway" at the U.S.-Mexican border.It deals with a Native American group on the border as well as Mexican nationals trying to cross over. I also think it covers the Border Patrol, that controversial group of volunteers. The title "secret life" promises new info.

Thank you Book Letters of the LLC for this list of current Hispanic books.


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Jul 13, 2009

Book Review: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

 Memorable characters and story are a prerequisite for literary fiction, according to Literary fiction vs genre fiction.

The Housekeeper and the Professor  is definitely literary fiction based on those criteria. The housekeeper and the professor aren't named, as names aren't important in the book. Nor is time. What matters are the personalities, their interactions, and the relationship they develop.

The professor is a math genius who remembers nothing that happened after 1975 because of head injuries in a car accident. His short term memory lasts only eighty minutes. His new housekeeper has to remind him who she is every day when she comes in to clean and cook. The professor keeps track of his chores or work schedule by pinning reminder notes to his suit.

In spite of the strange situation, the Professor and the Housekeeper and her young son develop a caring friendship. He teaches them math concepts and math formulas, and becomes concerned about the son's welfare. How this is possible given his short term memory is the basis of the novel.

A five star book, definitely. Also short and easy to read, so long as you don't stop to solve the math problems!
"The thing the Professor hated most in the whole world was a crowd, which is why he was to reluctant to leave the house. Stations, trains, department stores, movie theaters, shopping malls - any place people gathered in large numbers was unbearable for him. there was something fundamentally incompatible between crushing, random crowds and pure mathematical beauty." p. 64
(Japanese Literature Challenge 3, Lost in Translation Challenge. and Support your Local Library Reading Challenge)

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Book Beginning: The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim

  The Last Story of Mina Lee  by Nancy Jooyoun Kim, September 1, 2020, Park Row Source: library  Genre: Asian-American fiction, immigration ...