Day: May 2, 2017

Review: The Last Suppers

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The Last SuppersReview
3 1/2 (rounded up to 4) out 5 stars for The Last Suppers, the fourth in the “Gold Bear Culinary Mystery” series, by Diane Mott Davidson. In this book, Goldy’s about to get married, but unfortunately the wedding might be delayed when Tom calls about a murder. And it’s a priest!

Goldy’s close with other parishioners and the clerical folks in her Colorado church, but she is shocked to discover what’s lurking beneath the surface when she digs a little deeper this time. For a bride-to-be, she’s certainly not having any fun. Drama everywhere, both in her personal life and with the murder. Tom warns her to stay out of it, but she can’t help herself.

The book follows the normal pattern and is another good edition in the series. I enjoy the characters and there is growth… unlike some cozies where the main character tosses back and forth between two suitors forever. In this one, there is actually forward motion and a marriage. I like when love wins out a bit. A nice surprise in the latter portion of the book makes things better.

Smooth sailing with the series at this point… I had no real concerns
at this point
.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: Much Ado About Nothing

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Much Ado About Nothing Review
3 of 5 stars to William Shakespeare‘s play Much Ado About Nothing. We read this play in my 9th or 10th grade English course as a comparison to his more popular plays such as Macbeth, Othello, Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet, as well as something different from his historical fiction plays about various kings and queens. It was an opportunity to see his brilliance in writing something different and basically… about nothing. Well not really nothing, but you get the drift.

It was a decent play. And I can say that because I’ve read over 40 of his plays. It’s not like I just picked a few up and said “Eh, it’s decent,” not having read enough to know. It’s Shakespeare of course. Everyone loves/hates him, depending basically on whether you like this sort of thing or you do not. And scholars can argue for hours about what it all meant, who really wrote it, what was being hidden in the lines and characters. But for me… this was just a normal play.

Given I tend to like very character-driven stories or complex plots, this one doesn’t rank very high on my scale for what I’ve read. Yes, the plot is fairly low-key… some romance, some issues between couples… it didn’t have a tremendous amount of magic for me… say as something like “As You Like It” or “Twelfth Night.” Those were memorable characters whom you rooted for despite all odds.

It’s very strong in terms of language, innuendo, imagery and balance. But as far as a leisurely and enjoyable read, I didn’t take a whole lot from it. Of course, all English majors should read it. But if you want some light re-exposure to Shakespeare, I wouldn’t recommend this one as a starting place.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

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Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the BedReview
4+ of 5 stars to Eileen Christelow‘s children’s story Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, one of a bunch in a series about little monkeys and their crazy antics. This wonderful little book wasn’t published until I was around ten years old, but I still read it one summer in a reading contest held at my library every year. I was so excited to pick out new books… sometimes children’s books meant for kids younger than me, sometimes books meant for older kids… and by 12, I was reading the Scarpetta series about serial killers. What eclectic taste even at a young age!

Who would not adore these monkeys? I remember being called a little monkey when I was a youngin’. And I call my cousin’s and friend’s kids little monkeys now whenever I’m around them. But this one was the best in the series, at least in my opinion… they were jumping on a bed. And Momma Monkey just couldn’t control them… but when they got hurt, they learned their lessons.

It’s books like this that help make or break a child’s interest in reading. If you take the time and read the story over and over again… kids learn what it means to tell a story, to write a rhyme, to sing along, to behave, to listen, to see what happens in a book series over the course of a character’s journey… and this one is all about the numbers… and the countdown… 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1. Where’d all my monkeys go????

Writing this review makes me smile… I might have to go to the library this weekend just to re-read a copy of this one again. 🙂

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Body Farm

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The Body FarmReview
4 of 5 stars to Patricia Cornwell‘s fifth book in the Kay Scarpetta series, The Body Farm, published in 1994. The title alone tells you what kind of book this will be, and it is full of thrills and suspense. Scarpetta has an opportunity to try to capture a serial killer she’s dealt with sometime in the past. And with the history she needs to revisit in this one, you will learn a lot more about who she is and what’s happened to bring her to today.

Another good part of this book is the development of Scarpetta’s relationship with her niece, Lucy. Lucy’s now 21 and supposed to be an adult; however, her behaviors are still somewhat immature. I like getting to know the character more, even though she isn’t too likable at this point. Detective Pete Marino is prominent again, and you want to love him… but he still makes you angry.

As Scarpetta finds different body parts all over the place, she knows she’s close to meeting her match. The cleverness and complexity in this book makes it one of the better ones. It’s still early on in the series before the books get too “governmental” and “formal,” in regard to Scarpetta’s career.
The games being played are quite amusing and scary. Given the creepiness of the killer’s plans, this is another fine entry in the series.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Cat Who Turned On and Off

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The Cat Who Turned On and OffReview
3+ of 5 stars to Lilian Jackson Braun‘s The Cat Who Turned On and Off, the third book in her “Cat Who” cozy mystery series. In this adventure, Qwill and the cats take on the investigation of Junktown, an antiquing area of his hometown city. And as you’d expect, someone meets their maker. Qwill begins to come out of his shell in this book, making new friends and introducing us to some who will eventually follow him to Moose Country. Iris Cobb is one of my favorite characters and she’s in a lot of the early books.

I read this one when I was in a bit of my own antiquing phase, shortly after I bought a house and needed to fill it with a bunch of knick-knacks. Although the book delves into the whole business of antiques, you can bet it’s more about the murder in this one. And can you guess what it is the cats are turning on and off about? Only way to find out is to read it.

What’s good about this book is the relationships that Qwill develops with people around him, beginning to show us what his friendship with Arch Riker has been like in the past. Also, this was the last book in the series to be published in the 1960s… the author took a ~20 year absence and then wrote another 25 starting in the 1980s.

I always wondered what was it about this book that made her stop… poor sales? wrong time period? All in all, it’s a good book, and it actually sets the stage for some future connections to re-appear in his life.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

365 Challenge: Day 51 – Retentive

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Retentive: having the ability to remember facts and impressions easily

As I thought about the best word to describe the characteristic to share today, I was a bit stumped. The goal was to converse about my memory; sometimes it is fantastic, but at others, it is very peculiar. I am definitely not forgetful, especially when it comes to tasks, events, responses; yet, there are things of importance in my past that one would think I’d easily recall, but I do not.

I took an alternative path to locating today’s word. I entered “forgetful” into the Google search field and then selected “antonym.” A few words popped up, none of which felt right except for possibly “retentive.” And when I looked up the definition, it seemed most appropriate, as facts are what I am good at remembering. Feelings and actions are what fail to come easily for me.

My memory is very strong in a wide range of areas, especially if numbers are involved.

  • I have been known to recall the date and hour of something happening from years ago, even if it seemed like a minor event, e.g. normal dinner with friends at a restaurant where we talked about fishing.
  • I can tell you the amount due on my electric bills for the last two years for almost every month in that period.
  • I recall interesting facts about things I’ve briefly studied but have little interest in.
  • I know where people sat at a dinner in a restaurant from years ago.
  • I recall people’s names even when I only knew them for a short period of time over twenty years ago.

But then there are times when I am a bit worried that there’s something wrong with me:

  • I forget the word I need to use, or I simply say the wrong word. And it doesn’t even sound anything like the word I meant to say.
  • I recall very little about my childhood and have maybe only 10 memories prior to 13 years old.
  • I cannot remember going to see certain plays or shows, movies, restaurants or museums, even when I liked them.

When I step back to analyze this as a whole, I see a few things in common, but also a few things that don’t add up. I’m not really sure if there is a pattern, but I am a little worried about the future. It doesn’t seem like I have any sort of early signs id an illness, as I have very strong memories for things in the past and the current, so it’s not short-term or long-term loss. I forget things I like and dislike. I remember things both important and not important. So… what gives?

I’m not a doctor or subject matter expert, as I’ve noted in these posts before. And as much as I am concerned, I haven’t gone to a doctor or done any research mostly because it’s only been a minor impact and hasn’t seemed too intrusive. Plus, some people get a kick out seeing me recite information from years ago or forget what I’m trying to say. And I enjoy amusing others, even at my own expense.

It’s not a photographic memory, nor is is some sort of associative game I play to retain information. I’m good at things like the “Memory” game, but not exceptional. I’d suggest it was the aging process, but it’s been like this for a fairly long time (10+ years).

Why it’s good

  • I can blame it when I don’t remember something or forget someone.
  • I tend to forget when someone annoys me.
  • I get things done more quickly and don’t often repeat mistakes.

Why it’s not good

  • I am forgetting things I want to remember.
  • I’m afraid it may get worse.
  • I don’t like looking silly in front of strangers.

All in all, nothing to raise the flag about. And I bring it up today as it gives others insight into what’s going in my mind sometimes. Or maybe someone might have a suggestion or two on what could be happening… or perhaps we are all like this and I’m just thinking it’s only me. Yikes, what an ego I have. 😛

Anyone care to point me in the right direction, i.e. (a) am I losing my mind or (b) just go with it and I may find it makes the day more fun?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.