Thursday, December 19, 2013

Books, Books, Books

I've done so much reading that I'll only list those that I think you might like, if you get a minute to sit down after Christmas:

Spider Woman's Daughter by Anne Hillerman - Tony Hillerman's daughter has picked up where her father left off in the Leaphorn/Chee series.  She is a capable wordsmith and has also introduced Navajo weaving and local art to the dialogue.  I say I don't read mysteries but this series is an exception.

Benediction by Kent Haruf - This is considered the end of a trilogy.  I don't know about that, but his writing is absolutely lyrical, as always.  It's a small book if you're looking for something satisfying and quick to read.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Samsion - I loved this and gobbled it up quickly.  At first I thought he was trading on the TV series The Big Bang Series, until I realized that it was originally a play in Australia and he wrote it first.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter - This was a nice piece of escape fiction.  I am one of the 1200 people who gave it a rating of 4 stars.

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg - I picked this up at Costco in hard cover and then used it for my "white elephant" exchange at our book club Christmas party.  I had a little trouble getting into it at first as I thought her lead character was a stereotypical Southern belle, my bad. Yes, it's chick lit but with the underlying theme of woman pilots in WWII.  Fabulous!

Goldfinch by Donna Tartt - This is not a quick read at 755 pages.  I bought it on my Kindle for $7.50 thinking that's a pretty good deal for that much book.  It's a lot of book, any way you look at it.  One reviewer said that he felt like it was five novellas in one cover.  My criticism would be that she should have written it as a trilogy. Her writing is brilliant and I would have been so much happier if she had written it as three books so I could look forward to the next one.  I find myself still thinking of it, wishing there were more.  Oh well, I'll just back and read her two earlier books.

Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller - I read this on my Kindle from the Amazon Prime lending library.  It's a fascinating and horrifying insight into the lives of hoarders.  She's living proof that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson - I read this on my Kindle checked out from our public library.  He's always worth the read and somehow I had missed reading this life and times of Des Moines, Iowa in the 1950s, also the life and times of the US of A - sobering and humorous.  It makes me wonder how we've survived ourselves so far.  In all of my books I also read Command and Control by Eric Schlosser.  I didn't recommend it because it gave me nightmares, about how close we came on many occasions to blow ourselves up.

Speaking of blowing up, Ian and I heard an explosion just before 5:00 on Monday.  It even woke Madeline up.  We looked at each, trying to think of a source.  Finally Ian thought it might be from the Army weapons depot at Herlong, to the north of us.  About 5:15 I let the dogs out to pee and saw a fire truck making it's way up Red Rock Road, so stepped out to take a peek.  Brrrrr - so cold but the shooting flames held my attention until I turned into a Popsicle.  Ian came out too but we could only see the flames shooting above the hill to the north of us.  I called Sandy, a CERT (certified emergency response team) team lead who lives closer the fire.  She hadn't heard the explosion but once she stepped outside, she saw it and heard the fire engines.
This is what greeted fire trucks when they arrived.  The house was completely engulfed in flames. The picture was released by the fire chief and was promptly posted to the local news.  We immediately started getting text messages from worried family and friends so I posted something on Facebook, explaining the situation, that we were safe.

Sandy took this picture the next day on her way to town and sent it to CERT members.  There is absolutely nothing left.  The owner was home, was treated for smoke inhalation and is lucky to be alive.  We are all in shock.  There is some thought that the recent installation of a new furnace might be to blame?  Sandy and I have already requested a VFD training on how to live safely with propane.  The good news is there's a huge rally from the community to help the owner get back on his feet.  His horses and dogs were unharmed and he's moving on.


Two Guys and a Loom said...

When I saw that picture, I thought the worst.... glad that you folks are OK, and also that the owner of the other home made it out safely.
I always look forward to your "book reviews", and always find something to add to my list.
Merry Christmas!!!!!

Wool Enough said...

Thanks for the book reviews. I read a lot and explore new authors a lot, but you always come up with authors and books that are completely new to me. Are you on Goodreads?

Leigh said...

Very scary about that fire. It's a miracle it wasn't worse and what a great tribute to your community, that you have so much support to offer.

I'm somewhat drooling over your reading list. I only wish I wasn't such a slow reader (actually wish I had more time to read.) Would you believe I've actually contemplated getting a kindle?