Fallen

I am swinging into my summer reading mode which means, mysteries, thrillers and of course romance novels.  I am starting off with my go to guy David Baldacci.  He has written another book, The Fallen with Amos Decker back again and I loved it!

It always seems like I read so much more in the summer which is kind of ironic since my amount of free time does not change from season to season.  I think it is the fact that the days are longer and I find it harder to fall asleep so I stay up and read. Please weigh in on this if you have your own theory.

The book opens up with a one two punch, a double murder.  Amos and his partner Alex were taking a much deserved vacation. They went to visit Alex’s sister who lives in Baronville, Pa.

Baronville is a dying town.  The businesses owned and operated by the Baron family have all been closed and the people in the town are struggling.  Many have turned to drugs and alcohol and drugs to ease their pain.  Others are just trying to do their best.

Baronville is not the only thing dying.  Bodies are beginning to pile up and Amos just happens to find two more.  When he discovers the crime scene it just doesn’t add up and the more he investigates the more he puts himself in harm’s way.

If you like Baldacci and haven’t read this book yet, Just Read It! Also don’t forget Memory ManThe Last Mile and The Fix.

 

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Warm weather on the way

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I belong to a wine club.  Well it started out as a wine club now it is an opportunity to get together, drink and have a good time.  We decided to hold our May wine club at the beach.  One of the members has a home and so we convened at her house lovingly known as “My Happy Place”.

Since the weekend consisted of walking the boardwalk, attending Springfest and of course eating and DRINKING, I didn’t bring my usual reading material.  Instead I picked a romance novel.  I love romance novels just like I love watching Hallmark movies at Christmas.

Even if the characters face adversity and what would a good romance novel be without adversity, they all end happily ever after. So for this weekend when I needed a break from the drinking and craziness I read  Silver Pine Trail by RaeAnne Thayne.  It is about a librarian who finds love at Christmas.  There is no twisted plot.  It doesn’t require a lot of brain power.  It is just a relaxing, nice story. Click on the book or link to get more info.

 

Do you ever see a person or persons and in your head make up a story about them.  I remember when my husband and I were first married we were walking hand in hand in New York City.  We found ourselves walking behind this beautiful older couple. They must have been in there late 70’s.

They too were holding hands and I turned to my husband and said, “Do you think we will be like them when we are their age?” We hoped we would be.  I then started thinking, how did they meet, did they have children, were they even married or had they just found each other and all these stories about them started forming in my head. We are not their age yet so who knows whether that will be us but I hope so.

This book reminded me of that moment .  One of the characters in the book was given a piece of jewelry by his Fiancée, something that meant a lot to her. Ironically she died the day she gave it to him and he lost it.

From that day forward he picked up and cataloged items he found and  became The Keeper of Lost Things He was an author and so he wrote short stories about the lost items many of which were published.

He always meant to try and return the items but died leaving the job to be done by his assistant.  As it turns out she was one of his “lost things”. She makes it her mission to find the owners of the lost things and finds herself along the way.  It is a very nice story.

Good Grief, I forgot my password again!

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I work in IT.  One of the most common calls that I get when I am on help desk duty is for a password issue.   No shock here since they require many passwords to gain access to their tablet or laptop and apps.

So for those of you who are working at 2:00 am in the morning and forget your password and call your help desk check this article out after you are given a password reset.  Good luck and I hope it helps!

Is it possible to remember your password?

You Are Wearing That?

Deborah Tannen is a Professor of Linguistics, more specifically Socio-linguistics.  She is one of my favorite non fiction authors.  I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar she presented and actually got to speak with her.

She writes about how people talk with each other.  It is all about the message.  I was talking to a friend whose daughter just graduated college and got her first job.  She came in and said to her daughter who was sitting on the couch watching something and said  “Isn’t it great that you can sit on the couch and relax?”  Her daughter got angry and thought she was being criticized.  All she meant was isn’t it great that you have finished school, don’t have to study and have a new job that you are getting ready to start.  The pressure is off you can enjoy your downtime.

I have had several conversations like this with my own daughter and I couldn’t understand why she was mad at what I said.  Tannen takes about Meta message which as an IT person I get.  The prefix meta originates from the Greek language meaning underlying definition or description. Meta data summarizes basic information about data which can make finding and working with particular instances easier.

If you make the analogy between the brain and the computer the meta message is like meta data.  The brain goes back to a memory where the daughter  was actually sitting on the couch and the same question or type of question was asked and the meaning of the question was completely different in context and tone.

Once I read this book I had what Oprah calls an AH Ha moment and things got so much better because I got it. I try to clarify and phrase things differently and it seems to work maybe just a little bit better.

 

This book deals with communication between a Mother and a Daughter.  My relationship with my daughter is one of the most important things in the world to me.  That is why I felt so compelled to read it. The book is filled with great examples and does a great job explaining why you are getting the unexpected  response back from your daughter.  My Mom use to tell me it is not what you say it is how you say it.  So true.

 

 

Book Club for Two: Brave Companions

It is hard to believe that my Mom passed away almost a year ago.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t reach for my phone and start dialing her number just to yak.

I remember when I was growing up, my Mom had shelves of books and one of my greatest pleasures was to take a book off the shelf and start reading.   My Mom and I had our own book club and sometimes we would talk on the phone for an hour discussing a book we read. I would bring her a stack of books.  She would read them and then we would talk.

So I should not have found it surprising when I recently went to visit my Dad and we agreed to pack up my Mom’s books that I found all the books I had given her and that we had discussed.  Tucked in with all the rest was this book, Brave Companions by David McCullough.

If you are like me, you may know the author from other things he has written, most notably, at least to me was John Adams.  This book was the basis for the HBO series John Adams.  Both are great.

So of course, I read through the night.  McCullough is such a good historical writer.  As I read the book the characters came alive.  This book is about people in history that I knew about like Harriet Beecher Stowe and some that I did not like Alexander Von Humboldt.

Sometimes when you are reading a history book or just a narrative on historical facts it can be dull and boring.  Not this book, at least not for me.

Thank you Mom for leaving this book for me to read.  I only wish you were here to discus it with me.

The Fix

It was a gloomy, wet weekend.  Perfect for a good read and it just so happens that David Baldacci has a new book out. It just so happens that I had the book on my kindle.  No coincidence, this was a well thought out plan on my part.

I was hanging out with my Dad. He was sitting in his favorite chair reading and I was sitting on the couch reading.  There is nothing better than curling up with a good book on a crappy day.

So Amos Decker is back!  Who is Amos Decker?  Well he just happens to be The Memory Man. Amos, while playing  his first game in the NFL, was hit hard in the head.  Even though he was wearing a helmet he suffered a significant head injury.  This head injury permanently sidelined him from playing football.  He also found he could remember EVERYTHING.  Professionally having an amazing memory is a gift but personally not so much.

In this book he witnesses a murder and a suicide that get him involved in a case that involves spying and a terrorist plot. Baldacci is a great storyteller. Read this book.