Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer of Darkness on Turner Classic Movies

Only one Friday left of the Summer of Darkness on TCM featuring film noir!

We have really enjoyed watching these old "hard boiled" detective movies from the 1940's and '50's.

The host is Eddie Muller. He has great commentary on the movies, actors, producers and trivia about the movie, before and after each one. He calls himself "the czar of noir". :)

Wish I could just watch movies all day....I will tell you that I have only seen The Wrong Man. But I find that I usually like any of them I watch. I am particularly interested in watching Criss Cross. And I will tell you why - did you ever see Throw Momma From the Train with Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal? (It is a comedy and I find it hilarious.) The movie is about DeVito's character trying to have him nagging mother offed and he cites the movie, Criss Cross, as the example of how he can get it done. So this is my chance to see the real movie.

I don't know why everyone wants to end summer on 7/31/15. We just hit 100 this week here in Central Texas and we have a long way to go. No rain for 30 days now and just more "triple digits" in the forecast. And certainly nothing on t.v. now. And no sports. So good time to READ and watch old mysteries.

Cool website too:

Here is the line up for tomorrow 7/31/15:

Friday, July 31

6:00 AM
7:45 AM
9:30 AM
11:30 AM
1:00 PM
3:00 PM
4:45 PM
6:15 PM
8:00 PM
9:45 PM
11:30 PM
1:00 AM
3:00 AM

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Recipent

The Recipent by Dean Mayes is an excellent psychological thriller that I just read. The story takes place in Melbourne Australia. Not only is the story excellent but the author and how this book came to be written is very interesting also. My mystery book club is reading books that take place in Australia or the Pacific for our August meeting and I serendiptously found this book.

It is about a young woman who receives a heart transplant but she seems to have acquired some of the donor's memories. These memories lead her to helping solve a cold case and make a gruesome discovery.


Casey Schillinge is a vivacious young woman on the verge of making her mark on the world. While backpacking, she is struck down by a tropical disease and suffers cardiac failure. But at the eleventh hour, Casey receives a life-saving heart transplant - and a rare second chance to begin again.

Three years later, Casey has become a withdrawn shell of her former self: she is estranged from her loved ones, afraid of open spaces and rides the line between legitimate and criminal work. The worst of her troubles come in the form of violent night terrors; so frightening that she resorts to extreme measures to keep herself from sleeping. When she can take no more, she embarks on a desperate search for the source of her dreams. ​In so doing, she makes a shocking discovery surrounding the tragic fate of the donor whose heart now beats inside her chest. As she delves deeper into the mystery of her donor, she realizes her dreams are not a figment of her imagination, but a real life nightmare.

I was initially attracted to this book as a nurse - I always like a good medical mystery. Also I have heard the stories/rumours of transplant recipients having memories of their donor, which the recipients never know of, typically. Dean Mayes is an ICU nurse and got the idea for this book from hearing some of these stories. He also researched case reports of murders where the recipients acquired memories actually helped solved the case.  Makes you think.

This book isn't out yet but is set to be published October 2015. Here is a trailer for it. There is also a Giveaway on Goodreads right now.  Put it on your TO READ list. Really good.

 Disclaimer: This Advanced Readers Copy was given to me for free in exchange for a review.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Onyx Webb Book Two

Update on the Onyx Webb series!

I wrote a post in June about Onyx Webb book that included Episodes 1, 2, and 3. Maybe you read it or maybe it is on your To Read List. If you like a good ghost story, check it out. It is a" supernatural soap opera". I really liked Book One. I could see it is a series on Showtime, HBO or Netflix....

Book Two was released this week and includes Episodes 4, 5, and 6. I haven't read it yet but just wanted to share this deal with you on Amazon if you were thinking about it.

Book One is .99 through this weekend for Kindle and if you have Amazon Unlimited, you can get both Book One and Two for $0.00!

The authors are interesting also. Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz are husband and wife and business partners. They are motivational speakers and authors on fear of rejection and failure. They have also written a few screen plays.

In the series they also have a purpose of sharing an inspirational message for the readers. Interesting right?

The series will have a total of 27 episodes in 10 books.

If you like supernatural stories, I recommend this series.
Product Details

Thursday, July 16, 2015

9 Things People Who Love Books Are Tired of Hearing...

Got this on FB today from Goodreads. I got a few chuckles out of it. I think you will too.

(Of course I looked at the titles in the picture to see if I have read any of the books. Tana French. Check! Oh do you study the books on shelves in movies or television shows to see if you have read any of those? I do. Sometimes to the point I miss the dialogue. lol)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Will you read "Go Set a Watchmen" Harper Lee?

The much anticipated "other book" by Harper Lee came out July 14th. Go Set a Watchmen.

When I first heard another novel by Ms. Lee was found and would be published, that was about the same characters in To Kill A Mockingbird, I thought to myself; Oh yes. I want to read that.

It came out the 14th and has been all over the news. Some of the publicity and comments have been confusing to me. A couple of things I heard around:
  • Atticus is a racist
  • The real Harper Lee comes out - she was a racist
  • Harper Lee didn't want this book published but "they found it" in her belongings when she was sick and senile and took it and published it against her wishes.
  • Sluggish first attempt
Well, these things made me think, no I don't want to read this book. I think we all have read To Kill a Mockingbird in middle school (Jr. High when I was that age) and many have seen the movie starring Gregory Peck as Atticus. Atticus was such a hero, defending Tom Robinson. It made us all proud.
I also have been thinking that I don't want to find out anything bad about Atticus. And I don't want to have my memories of Mockingbird tarnished, I guess.

So what is all of this about? I decided I would rather check out more of the "facts".

First, why the name Go Set a Watchmen? That sounds like bad English to me.
It is actually from a bible verse: Isaiah 21:6 "Meanwhile, the Lord said to me, "Put a watchman on the city wall. Let him shout out what he sees."

The story is indeed about Scout and Atticus but Scout is an adult living in New York and comes back home to visit Atticus. As an adult, she sees her father and herself in a different way. Many of the same characters are in the book.

To Kill a Mockingbird came out of Go Set a Watchmen. During the revisions, Ms. Lee was encouraged to write a separate book about Scout as a child and Atticus. Of course, Mocking bird was published first and has never been out of print.

Watchmen was apparently put away and forgotten until "found" in 2011 in an appraisal of Ms. Lee's assests. It was assumed it was a first draft of Mockingbird and again put away. In 2014, at a family gathering, Ms. Lee's lawyer learned of a second book. She went back to what she assumed was a draft of Mockingbird, and discovered it was a different book . It has been published as written by Harper Lee in 1957.

Also, I did not know that Harper Lee is still living. She is 89.

I will eventually read it. Will you?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

2015 "Staff Picks"

Looking for something to read this summer? 

Here is a list of "Staff Picks" from my local library for mysteries. I have read several of these books. but they all sound good. The full list can be found at the link at the end. I will just mention a few that I have read.

1.  Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr. We read this in the mystery book club earlier this year, There's a good book to take with you if you are camping this summer....not. Very suspenseful.

2. How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny. 9th book of the Chief Inspector Gamache series. All of the books in this series are good.

3. A Fatal Winter: A Max Tudor novel by G. M. Maillet - English village mystery, I have read several in this series and enjoyed them all.

4. Defending Jacob by William Landay - this will leave you wondering at the end.

5. Don't Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman - humorous and a good mystery

6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flyn -psychological thriller and a motion picture

7. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust: A Flavia de Luce novel by Alan Bradley. I haven't read this particular book but have read several of the Flavia de Luce books and really enjoy them. They remind me of one of my favorite books as a child, "Harriet the Spy". Flavia is always where she shouldn't be and gets in the middle of a mystery.

Also on this list are other authors I have read but not the specific book are Elly Griffiths, Tana French, Judith Flanders, Patricia Cornwell, and Lee Childs.

My bet is all of these are worth reading. Have a look.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Dog Days of Summer

I feel like we are in the "dog days of summer", because it is at least 90 F every day now with a higher heat index. At least we haven't had 100 yet.

We hear the saying "dog days". Did you ever wonder where that phrase came from? I never really thought about it but pictured big old hound dogs just laying under a porch or a tree, trying to keep cool. :)

Well, I looked it up. This phrase has been around a long time and the story is pretty interesting.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The phrase dog days refers to the sultry days of summer. In the Northern Hemisphere, the dog days of summer are most commonly experienced in the months of July and August, which typically observe the hottest summer temperatures. In the Southern Hemisphere, they typically occur in February and March, in the midst of the austral summer.
The Romans referred to the dog days as diēs caniculārēs and associated the hot weather with the star Sirius. They considered Sirius to be the "Dog Star" because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog); this linkage first appeared in the Greek poem Phaenomena by Aratus (~310-260 BC) while Sirius's association with summer heat is found in an earlier Greek poem, Works and Days by Hesiod in ~700 BC. Sirius is also the brightest star in the night sky. The term "Dog Days" was used earlier by the Greeks (see, e.g., Aristotle's Physics, 199a2)
The Dog Days originally were the time of the year when Sirius rose just before or at the same time as the sun (heliacal rising, in Conjunction (astronomy) with), which is no longer true, owing to precession of the equinoxes.

Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time "the Sea boiled, the Wine turned sour, Dogs grew mad, and all other creatures became languid; causing to man, among other diseases, burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies." according to Brady’s Clavis Calendaria, 1813.

It was classically depicted as Orion's dog. The Ancient Greeks thought that Sirius's emanations could affect dogs adversely, making them behave abnormally during the "dog days," the hottest days of the summer. The Romans knew these days as dies caniculares, and the star Sirius was called Canicula, "little dog." The excessive panting of dogs in hot weather was thought to place them at risk of desiccation and disease. In extreme cases, a foaming dog might have rabies, which could infect and kill humans whom they had bitten. Homer, in the Iliad, describes the approach of Achilles toward Troy in these words:
Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky
On summer nights, star of stars,
Orion's Dog they call it, brightest
Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat
And fevers to suffering humanity.
In Ancient Rome, the Dog Days ran from July 24 through August 24, or, alternatively, from July 23 through August 23.] In many European cultures (German, French, Italian) this period is still said to be the time of the Dog Days.

The Old Farmer's Almanac lists the traditional period of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11, coinciding with the ancient heliacal (at sunrise) rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. These are the days of the year with the least rainfall in the Northern Hemisphere.

According to the 1552 edition of the The Book of Common Prayer, the "Dog Daies" begin July 6 and end August 17. But this edition, the 2nd book of Edward VI, was never used extensively nor adopted by the Convocation of the Church of England. The lectionary of 1559 edition of the Book of Common Prayer indicates: "Naonae. Dog days begin" with the readings for July 7 and end August 18. But this is noted as a misprint] and the readings for September 5 indicate: "Naonae. Dog days end". This corresponds very closely to the lectionary of the 1611 edition of the King James Bible (also called the Authorized version of the Bible) which indicates the Dog Days beginning on July 6 and ending on September 5. A recent reprint of the 1662 edition of the Book of Common Prayer contains no reference to the Dog Days.

Given that the traditional period of the Dog Days is forty days (a scripturally significant number), the error could be read as being September 5, as the time between July and August does correspond to that number of days and would also be in line with the common European tradition.

Due to introduction of the modern Gregorian Calendar, 10 days must be added to each of the 16th and 17th-century dates referenced above for them to correlate correctly with modern-day dates as concerns astronomical observations and climate. Therefore the Dog Days would begin on July 16 and end on August 24.

The Book of Common Prayer would have provided the official liturgical calendar for Jamestown."

July 3, July 24 or July 5th, I say we are in the "dog days". It is pretty hot out there and going to get hotter.

Fortunately, I have a couple of good books to read this month.

Stay cool!