Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tony Hillerman

"You write for two people,
yourself and your audience,
who are usually better educated
and at least as smart."

Tony Hillerman 1925-2008

Mystery writer Tony Hillerman, 83, died Sunday, October 26, 2008. For those of us who read his mysteries we know what a loss it is; for those who haven't been introduced to Hillerman, take a chance. Hillerman wrote over 29 books, most of them mysteries, set in the Southwest and featured Navajo police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. Hillerman wanted to help the Anglo culture understand Navajo traditions while sharing his admiration of the Navajo culture. His love of the Southwest shone through in all of his books, fiction and non-fiction.

If you enjoy mysteries, the Southwest, and learning about the culture of Indians, you are in for a treat. Hillerman introduces us to his favorite passion, the Navajo and their culture, how they think, how the Anglo had changed their way of life, and how both cultures learn to except each other and live along side each other. His mysteries would take you deeper in the history of the Navajo and you will be amazed what you learn from reading about them in fiction style. The Navajo honored him with the Special Friend of the Dineh award to thank him for letting his readers know that were more then primitive people. On that, he succeeded.

Hillerman never forgot who he was writing for, his audience, and to entertain them. He was also a writer that you could read them faster then he could write them....which is important to me as a reader. Writers who push three, four or more books a year I feel are not considerate to their readers. (That's for another blog)
If you are looking for a new mystery writer, something different, I highly recommend Tony Hillerman. You will be glad you did.
Thanks Mr. Hillerman for some wonderful mysteries, books, and enabling us, as readers, to learn about the Navajo people. You will be missed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Check Out What's New!

A good book is the best of friends.
English Proverb

Hear hear! With that in mind...come check out what's new on our shelves!

Grab a book and...Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Some of my Favorite far!

"Oh, the places you'll go!"
Dr. Seuss

A good book can take you anywhere, a good book will make you want to come back and read it again. I enjoy what I do, reading books, and I get asked frequently...."What's your favorite book?"

There are so many! Here are just a few my favorites (so far) in no particular

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
I have read this book several times over the years and each time I get something different from it. This is one of my "comfort" books because it puts me in a good place when I read it.

Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane
One of the best ending to a book I have read.Two Boston private eyes go insearch of a little girl who has disappeared from her apartment. I still ask, what was the right thing to do?

ip Down by Richard Adams
Yes, I know it is a book about rabbits, but it may be one of the first books that describes the impact of man on the environment. Since man has intruded so much where the rabbits live, they decide to go in search of a promised land where they attempt to form the perfect society. This may be about rabbits, but it will give you pause to stop and think.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
A great book. Read my review to find out why. (Yes, I will
add this to my read again list)

The Unlikely Spy
by Daniel Silva
His first book and he had me hooked. Silva has never disappointed me since. This suspense novel is set in WWII England, Churchill, Hitler, the Nazi's, spies; if you like espionage, this is a book to read. His series that has Gabriel Allen in them are one of my all time favorites. (his book, the Confessor, is much better then the Di Vinci Code)

Fried Green Tom
atoes (at the Whistle Stop Cafe) by Fannie Flagg
Folksy charm, you can almost hear the Southern drawl and taste the fried green tomatoes. Full of humor, love, you are in a more gentler time where people where much more accepted as they are.
Loved it, never wanted it to end, every time I read it I find myself tearing up. The first time I cried.

The Shell Seekers by Rosamude Pilcher
The life of Penelope Keeling as her life in London is told in flashbacks from WWII to 1997. Another wonderful story that will bring tears.

How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
Sheer poetry in
writing, Llewellyn tells the story of a coal mining family and their young son who comes of age in South Wales in the early 1900's. I cried (sobbed) as I read this book, the lives, the hardships, and the love. Wonderful.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Kept me riveted when I read it when it came out. Gothic horror at its very best. If you haven;t read it and love supernatural thrillers, here you go. The best one I have read so far. Read it with the lights on.

Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough
McCullough is the best at what he does, non-fiction. Here he gives us a great biography by one of the most fascinating men of our history, Theodore Roosevelt. McCullough covers the years 1869, when Teddy was ten, to 1886, when Teddy finally recovers from horrible personal tragedy which made him the man he was to become. Teddy Roosevelt is one of my favorite people in history and reading this book, McCullough has done him justice.

Diana Gabaldon
If you love Scotland like I do, history, time-travel, romance, love, war, and a great story, this is the book for you. Claire Randall is married to two men: One lives in 1945 and one lives in 1743. Now there's a problem. Great entertainment.

A Walk in
the Woods by Bill Bryson
Laugh out loud funny memoir of Bryson's and his friend walking the Appalachian Trail. You will howl at some of the things that happen to them as they take this walk no matter how many times you read it. Another one of my "comfort" book. Laughter is a wonderful thing.

A book I am sad when I am getting to the last page, a book that feels like I am losing friends, a book that I go back to read again because of the joy it gave me, or the feelings it stirred up, a book that I remember fondly, a book that I learned something from, and a book that feels like an old friend...that's why these books are on my list. This list changes, but some are stalwart and will always remain on it. What's on your list? I would love to know.
Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Read, Then Read Some More

"Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere"
Mary Schmich

I don't know who Mary Schmich is but I do love her quote! Where else can you take yourself away from everyday without leaving your favorite reading spot? Where else can you go places you think about, hope to go to or dream about except in a book? Fiction, fantasy, science fiction, romance or non-fiction, whatever your feelings you can find them in a book.

I have been enjoying a classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I love the way the author makes me feel a part of Brooklyn in the early 1900's; you find yourself lost in the Nolan family and how they live their lives. The poverty they endure without complaining. Being so poor that they go to bed hungry. They weren't any different then their neighbors, all of them lived the same way. Making it to the end of grade school is a big deal, but when the children turn fourteen they must go out to work. Imagine being happy to bring home a quarter a week.

Funny, reading this book and listening to the news about what is happening with our economy makes me realize how much some of us take for granted. The bright spot in Francie Nolan's week is going to the library and getting a book to read. She vowed to read a book a day, she realized that reading was knowledge and she wants to know it all. The way Francie loses herself in the books she reads and the joy it brings her is a wonder. Sometimes it is forgotten how much you can take from a book, the joy it can bring and the wonder. What I have gotten from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is that there is always hope; hope that things will get better; hope that the future will be what you wish for; and that there is joy is every day when you look for it.

I have just finished this book and I am so glad I read it. I can't believe I waited so long! I found myself, as I realized that I was right there, observing the life of hte Nolans and feeling what Francie was feeling. That is what a terrific book can do...take you into it and make you feel part of it.