Used Bookstore

Image result for old books

I found this article that  Used Bookstores are making a comeback.  I can’t tell you how excited that made me.  One of my favorite things to do was to go into a bookstore and just browse. I rarely made a visit without a book jumping off the shelf and right into my hands.

It wasn’t like a needed another book since I always have a stack next to my bed.  It was more like I wanted another book. That stack must stay stocked.  Amazon effectively removed most of the brick and mortar stores.  I am guilty of assisting with the retail store’s demise. I buy most of my books online from Amazon.  It is convenient, economical and quick and there are no bookstores near me.

Then I read an article that Used bookstores are making a comeback.  Here is the irony.  Used bookstores can beat or meet Amazon prices and here is the benefit for me, I can browse the shelves again. The only thing I wonder about is will they have the books I want to read.  I guess I can take this opportunity to catch up on books I might have missed.  Anyway there seems to be two used bookstores pretty close to where I leave.  I guess I just might have to check them out.  What do you think?  Care to join me by checking one out by you?




The Quartet an interesting Orchestration

I am not a history buff but I am fascinated by the Revolutionary period and the early days of the colonies. Reading the first few pages of this book changed my whole perspective of that time period.  I learned in my history classes that the thirteen colonies no longer wanted to be ruled by a country that was so far away and had very little knowledge of what life was like there. And I naively thought the decision to revolt against England was a decision made by all the colonies acting as one.

The fact is that all the colonies wanted freedom from taxes and rule by England but as individual states not as a collective.  Naive me, I thought it was one for all and all for one.  Not even close and Ellis put things in perspective.

First of all it could take days to get from one State to another. Horseback and carriage not trains, planes and automobiles. So a person travelling on horseback could average maybe twenty or thirty miles a day on a good day.  Secondly most people lived and died within a thirty mile radius of where they were born. It took three weeks to receive a letter.  So you can readily see why people were more concerned about their immediate community rather than between Massachusetts and New York  or Pennsylvania and Virginia. They did not care about one nation under God with Liberty and justice for all.

The colonies won the Revolutionary War but it was in the 1780’s that a group of men worked hard to steer away from the Articles of Confederation and a State based government to a Federal government whose job was to look out for all the American people. In fact the only thing the Articles of Confederation did was to draw all 13 colonies into a friendly pact.  Kind of like the UN where things are discussed but each state is responsible for itself.

Ellis brings a little different slant as to why the “Founding Fathers”  followed the path away from State rule. Rather than looking at the formation of a United States for economic purposes he looks at it as formed for political purposes.  The protagonists of his story were George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison along with a supporting cast that included Thomas Jefferson.

These guys worked together to set the agenda for the what would become the present day Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  They “conspired” to mold the States into a National entity with one government.  This was quite an undertaking since people at that time really had little interest in one government to rule all.  They were just focus on their communities and their States’ agenda.

What has always fascinated me about this group is how this handful of people created a government that still is in place today roughly two hundred and thirty five years later.  It is mind boggling that a government was formed  in the 1780’s that was designed to govern about two million seven hundred people (give or take a couple thousand people) and thirteen states on one coast. That same structure for lack of a better word is still what holds our country together. Amazing.



The Boys in the Boat

First let me say before reading this book I knew nothing and I mean absolutely nothing about the sport of Crewing.  Second while I had some knowledge of the Great Depression I did not realize that it was accompanied by dust storms that literally made the sky gray from coast to coast.  Nor did I know about the bad weather conditions during the 1930’s making life even more miserable.

So I picked up the book The Boys in the Boat tentatively after all it is a non fiction book and I am very selective when it comes to reading non fiction. I am so glad because it is in my top ten best reads of this year.

The book, in case you are unaware of the subject matter, follows the University of Washington crew team on its journey to the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin.  I worked and went to college but jobs were somewhat plentiful during my years, at least if you wanted to work in retail and food service.  But to read about how hard these men worked to scrap together enough for tuition and board is incredible. This determination to get through adversity was the same stuff they needed to row and win.

Since the Olympics were to take place in Berlin, the author does a good job talking about what was happening in Germany and who were some of the main players.  The reader gets enough from the text to know that Hitler deceived everybody.  For the Olympics he literally scoped people off the street and placed them in camps and white washed everything so it looked all clean and bright.  He put on a dog and pony show and the world fell for it.

If you have not read this book yet than I hope you put it on your must read list. If you have a reader on your holiday list this is a great book for them.


If you have read Cokie Roberts Check this out

I have read several books by Cokie Roberts and I have enjoyed them.  That is why when I saw the book Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington I couldn’t resist checking it out and when I saw that Amazon had the kindle addition on special for $1.99 at least for today, I clicked download and it is now waiting for me to read it.

So now I am adding this onto my must read list.  By the way I have read some very good books which I plan to share with you.  I will be talking more about this book soon, but if you have a person on your list that loves history I just finished The Boys in the Boat which I found to be an exceptional read about the 1936 US Olympic Crew Team.. Put it on your list.

Winter Stroll

I am continuing to read holiday based fiction.  Winter Stroll is the second book in a series. Winter Street was Hilderbrand’s holiday themed book from last year. Check out my post on this blog.  All the characters are in this new book Winter Stroll and like the previous book really nothing has changed.  The characters are still in a chaotic state.

This isn’t your typical romance where everything works out in the end.  It doesn’t so if that is what you are looking for, Forget about it!

While it appears as if some of the characters have moved on in their life, events happen that throw them in turmoil. Mitzi is with George but she is so unhappy.  Kelley seems to have moved on but he still misses Mitzi.  All the kids have found significant others with the exception of the youngest who is in the military and MIA but their lives in one word, Crazy.

When I finished this book I certainly could see another holiday themed book being written for next year.  But I liked this book because it is more than holiday fluff and I like this author.  Give it a try.


Winter Street

 It is Christmas time and Kelley and his wife Mitzi run the Winter Street Inn.  They host a party every year with a man playing Santa and Mitzi playing Mrs. Claus.  To his surprise he walks into one of the guest bedrooms to find Mitzi on Santa’s lap.  Not a good thing. She then informs him she is leaving him for George (Santa) who has been playing Santa at the Inn for years.  To Make matters worse, she tells Kelley that she has been having this affair with George from the time she met him. This is Kelley’s second marriage and he is definitely caught off guard.

His three children from his first marriage have been living with he and Mitzi since they were married because their Mom a famous TV Anchor thought it would be better to have the kids live with their father. The children are all adults now including the one son Mitzi and Kelley had together. He is in the military and has been sent to the Middle East.  Up until a few days before Christmas they all had been in contact with him and now nothing.  This has put them all on edge. The other children all have problems of their own and they seem to be hitting a head right at Christmas.  How will things work out. I guess you will have to find out.

Elin Hilderbrand has written a continuation of this book called Winter Stroll check out my blog post coming up