So I’m reading and working. Still in bed. The knee is okay. (It’s on ice.)
Oscar is taking amazing care of me. Jake’s going a little nuts but like I keep asking, when is Jake not nuts?
Plus we’re getting a some heavy soaking rains which is great.
Yesterday my sister (the non-exorcising sister) and I were talking about how when you get bored you start to look at celebrity gossip sites. Yeah. She’s so right. Just before her phone call I had been reading one site entitled Secret Smokers and I was heartbroken to learn that Kate Winslet and Jessica Alba are secret smokers. (I always knew Jennifer Aniston smoked, no big surprise there.) But Kate Winslet signed something or other regarding never getting plastic surgery which, if she continues to smoke she’s definitely gonna need. While Jessica Alba has always promoted herself as the epitome of good health habits. So it’s like I figured– every single article about how celebrities stay thin because they eat healthy and work out and take care of themselves is a bunch of crap. They stay thin by smoking. Done. And one of these days each of these beautiful women will morph into Bette Davis from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.
And how about that Beyonce? Oh god no! Let’s just say what little admiration I may have felt for her, and I can’t say I’ve felt a whole lot over the past few years, has evaporated entirely because I can’t un-see this or un-hear this. I need brain bleach, stat. It’s the lyrics, babies. Like I said before, Miley pushes the envelope, but she’s 21 and into publicity Madonna-style, and the truth is Wrecking Ball is a dang good song and she sings it well. But I think there’s something gross and more than a little disturbing about Beyonce upping the raunch factor. But to be brutally honest, I don’t really give a damn because I’m not into what’s becoming her trademark un-music.
Books- The Great, The Good, The Disappointing.
War, by Sebastian Junger
In WAR, Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm) turns his brilliant and empathetic eye to the reality of combat–the fear, the honor, and the trust among men in an extreme situation whose survival depends on their absolute commitment to one another. His on-the-ground account follows a single platoon through a 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. Through the experiences of these young men at war, he shows what it means to fight, to serve, and to face down mortal danger on a daily basis.
Very intense gripping nonfiction. Junger’s writing style is so visceral you can feel the bullets whiz by your head.
Revolver, by H.P. Oliver
In his second novel-length caper, H. P. Oliver’s wise-cracking Hollywood gumshoe tackles a mystery from history right in his own backyard when studio boss Jack Warner calls Johnny in to find out who is sabotaging the production of a film on the Warner Bros. Burbank lot. With a cast of characters that reads like a 1930s Hollywood Who’s Who and a plot with more dangerous curves than a sound stage full of Goldwyn Girls, REVOLVER takes readers on a deadly tour of Tinsel Town hotspots as Johnny describes the investigation in his own unique style. REVOLVER will keep you guessing who dunnit right along with Johnny until the final action-packed chapters!
This book is flat out old fashioned entertainment at its best. Great stuff! Besides, how can you not adore the cover? I’ve got these two to read as well. I’ve already started Silents:
Intriguing from word one.
Lillian Lawrence, the silent-era’s newest starlet, is found shot to death in her room at the Hollywood Hotel only days after she announces plans to leave motion pictures for the less glamorous roles of wife and mother. Lillian’s many friends at the studio and her legions of fans across America are all asking the same question: Who could have done such a dastardly deed?
That’s exactly what Los Angeles Police Department detectives Robert Winfield and C.K. Mackie are determined to find out as we follow them down the boulevards and through the back alleys of Hollywood in search of the one person who would profit from Lillian Lawrence’s death. What the detectives learn as Silents! reveals its twists and turns will leave you as baffled as they are.
Then the detectives catch a break in the case that brings Lillian Lawrence’s killer to justice . . . or does it? In typical H.P. Oliver fashion, the final solution to the murder comes as a surprise to all but the sharpest fans of mysteries in history!
And Goodnight San Francisco~
Nineteen-thirty-seven was a hell of a year for news. Japan invaded China, Amelia Earhart began her ‘round-the-world flight, the Hindenburg blew up, and the people of San Francisco were listening to the crime story of the decade on their radios. The man they were all listening to was Parker Atkins.
Atkins, the news reporter at station KDG, witnesses the hit-and-run murder of a young San Francisco socialite. He sets out to find the woman’s killer, but the deeper Atkins digs, the stranger the case becomes.
At the bottom of it all he uncovers a bizarre blackmail scheme concocted by a gang of cold-blooded killers. Suddenly the situation becomes a horrifying matter of life and death when Atkins’ girlfriend is kidnapped with the dead woman’s sister.
As a decorated former LAPD homicide detective, Parker Atkins has the skills to solve the case and save the kidnapped women, but as a former drunk, does he have the nerve to see it through? A bloody climax in the wilds of Marin County tells the tale. Goodnight San Francisco is classic H. P. Oliver from start to finish!
Just bought it. I’m telling you, H.P. Oliver gives great covers and weaves engrossing old-timey mysteries.
Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior, by Phil Jackson (yeah, that Phil Jackson)
An inside look at the higher wisdom of teamwork from Chicago Bulls’ head coach Phil Jackson. At the heart of the book is Jackson’s philosophy of mindful basketball — and his lifelong quest to bring enlightenment to the competitive world of professional sports, beginning with a focus on selfless team play rather than “winning through intimidation”.
Mr. Jackson’s philosophy is applicable in the wider world. I’m liking this book a whole lot.
The Good, or rather, the as yet Undecided, or maybe a work in progress with tremendous potential:
Finn McCool Rises, by Mark MacNichol
Told by her editor she must walk away from a politically sensitive story, intrepid journalist Fiona MacDonald is helped by Celtic legend Finn McCool. Under his protection her goal is to get the information into the public domain. Both the secret service as well as dark supernatural forces use all of their powers to try and stop them.
Mr. MacNicol is a new-to-me author. The good~ time travel and a Scottish hero from the Highlands of Scotland. A twisting-turning-intriguing mystery. Hard to go wrong there. The undecided~ the heroine. I have to be honest, sometimes I think it is difficult for male authors to get into the head of a female protagonist and make her seem, well, female. There’s a quote I’d like to use from Orphan Black but in order to find it I’d have to scroll through all the later episodes, so I’ll paraphrase. Beth’s partner, Art, says something along the lines of– Women fight differently, sound different, smell different… That’s the one thing I’m missing in Finn McCool Rises, the difference.
Which brings me to The Disappointing:
This book which did not work for me at all. Not no way, not no how. And I was especially disappointed because based upon reviews I’d read I expected to love this book.
Painted Faces, by L.H. Cosway
Come forth with an open mind, for an unconventional tale of love..
Dublin native Freda Wilson considers herself to be an acquired taste. She has a habit of making offensive jokes and speaking her mind too often. She doesn’t have the best track record with first impressions, which is why she gets a surprise when her new neighbor Nicholas takes a shine to her.
Nicholas is darkly handsome, funny and magnetic, and Freda feels like her black and white existence is plunged into a rainbow of colour when she’s around him. When he walks into a room he lights it up, with his quick wit and charisma. He is a traveling cabaret performer, but Freda doesn’t know exactly what that entails until the curtains pull back on his opening night.
She is gob-smacked and entirely intrigued to see him take to the stage in drag. Later on, Nicholas asks her if she would like to become his show assistant. Excited by the idea, she jumps at the chance. Soon she finds herself immersed in a world of wigs, make-up and high heels, surrounded by pretty men and the temptation of falling for her incredibly beautiful employer.
In this story of passion and sexual discovery, Nicholas and Freda will contend with jealousy, emotional highs and lows, and the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime.
Smokin’ hot cover. Intriguing blurb. The story fell flat, flat as a flat flat flat pancake that had been flattened by a steam roller. The characters, especially the female protagonist, were so unlikeable as to be grating in the way fingernails grate on a chalkboard. Sorry, that’s my take on Painted Faces. Feel free to disagree. Doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
I don’t often review books, especially when they are written by authors I’ve had some contact with. Today I’ve made a couple of exceptions. Most of the authors above I don’t know and I’ve had no contact with them. I hate publicizing the fact that I didn’t enjoy a book because I know how much sweat equity, how much heart, goes into everything we write. Just so you know~ I don’t plan to do this very often. Maybe once in a blue moon, if that.
I guess I feel like being real today. Sometimes a book is a fail for me. And that’s all there is to it. There’s no deeper hidden meaning and no agenda.