Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Sad Farewell to Tony Hillerman

Hello Everyone,

As posted on DorothyL on Sunday evening, October 26, 2008:
Hello all:
Family in New Mexico sends along the sad news that Tony Hillerman passedaway on Sunday. He was 83, and had been in poor health for some time. He wasa great mystery writer, an MWA Grand Master, a decent poker player and oneof the finest people I've ever known.
Last time I saw him was nearly a year ago at the writers' conference inAlbuquerque that is named for him. I interviewed him before all attending, andhe was, as always, a great storyteller. He will be missed.
An Albuquerque television station has a brief news item at:_
Steve Brewer

I'm very sad. Tony Hillerman was one of my favorite writers. I liked the slower pace of his mysteries, the inclusion of Navajo and Hopi cultures, and the characters of Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee. I learned a lot about the Southwest from his books, and thought of Mr. Hillerman and his books a lot when we were moving out to Arizona. I have not yet made it to Shiprock or the the Four Corners, but am looking forward to seeing in person the part of the country that Mr. Hillerman wrote so fondly about. I am so glad we have so many books to read (if you have not yet done so), or in my case, to go back and reread.

Thanks for letting me share.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

In the Woods by Tana French

Hello All!

In the Woods by Tana French, swept all the awards it was eligible for this year in the mystery field: winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, the Anthony Award for Best First Mystery, Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, and the Barry Award for Best First Novel. Whew! As I like to give the award winners at least a try, it was time to read this one.

I liked the Irish setting, how it was just a bit dark, but not too dark for me, and I liked the connection it had with a past crime. The story is told from the viewpoint of Detective Adam Ryan of the Murder Squad, outside Dublin. He was one of three children who went missing in a small woods near his subdivision, and was the child who was found; his best friends were never seen again. Twenty-plus years later, an archelogical dig is going on near those same woods, and a little girl is found murdered and assaulted on the site. Detective Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox are assigned the case. Ryan knows that if his past with the location were found out, he'd be taken off the case, but he keeps quiet, and the case goes forward. There are some points where the book goes on a bit, but I felt this gave the reader a more honest insight to how frustrating a murder case can be, and how long they can drag out. In the end, some questions are answered, and some are not, and some books, like this one, are the better for that kind of ending.

This book reminded me a lot of Val McDermid's A Place of Execution, and since the beginning of the book, I've been trying to pinpoint exactly why. I think that it's because both books are so atmospheric, and also that both books take you inside the methodical work of the police. There was also one of the Charles Todd's Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries where a small woods and the crimes, past and present, dominate the story.

Another atmospheric Irish mystery is Erin Hart's Haunted Ground--one of my favorites.

Here are the links to the awards named above, and nominees and winners for this year:
Anthony Awards
Barry Awards
Edgar Awards
Macavity Awards

Happy Reading!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Finding Time to Read, and Places to Read

Hello All!

Recently on DorothyL, there were threads on finding time to read, and where is everyone's favorite place to do their reading. As I was reading through over a month's worth of posts, I decided to write about those threads rather belatedly here.

I believe the thread regarding how people find time to read really started as how do people find time to read as much as they do. There are readers on DorothyL who seem to post a review almost every day, which amazes those who read more slowly, or have different demands on their time. I am one of those who reads about 3 books a week, less if I'm reading any nonfiction.

I read constantly, when I'm not out and about, when I'm not online, when I'm not job-hunting. As I don't currently take a newspaper, I read with breakfast, lunch and dinner. I read in the evenings, and yes, I am one of those who reads while watching TV. Isn't that what the commercials are for? I once had a library patron, who works, has 5 kids and a husband, and was amazed that people even say "I don't have time to read"! I don't get that either, but different strokes. I pretty much have to read, at least a little bit, every day, or I actually get cranky. I feel like something's missing in my life if my day doesn't really permit time to read. That's when you make sure you read a little bit before you go to bed.

As far as my time goes, I am currently not working, so my lunch break can last as long as I want it to. I also have a husband who works out of town during the week, so I have my evenings to read. I don't have pets, or children, and we live in a small apartment--all of this gives me more time to read than many. I try not to read from basically 9-5, as I use that time for my job search, and to research Web and Library 2.0, as I feel that those things are my work right now.

Where I prefer to read: right now, in or on our bed. I just keep rearranging the pillows, and I'm extremely comfortable. I also like the end of the couch next to the lamp--it's very comfy, and a good place to hold a glass of water and maybe a snack. Someday, I would like a chaise, or one of those very big chairs that I call a chair & a half--both seem like they'd be great to curl up in with a good book. My husband, romantic that he is, would like us to have a love seat, with lamps perhaps at either end, where we could read together, and be close to one another, closer than we are on the couch.

So, the obvious questions I have for you are: How do you fit reading into your day? And where is your favorite place to read?

Happy Reading!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Note: Patti's Pen & Picks Slightly Refocused

Hello All!

After an enlightening and interesting conversation with my wise spouse, I have decided to refocus this blog, and add two more, each with their own focus.

Patti's Pen and Picks will be all about books, including commentary, readalike suggestions, and author appearances I attend.

Patti and Library 2 point 0 Explorations will be my technical, library centered blog, as I research all that is Library 2.0, and other web applications of interest to librarians.

Patti's People & Places is more personal, relating to friends and acquaintances in my life, and places here in AZ, in addition to any traveling I may do. I'm also planning to include a list of DVDs I watch, or that Ken & I watch together. We'll see how other things develop.

Just FYI :)!
Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Hello All!

Wow, what a wonderful book! I have read reviews that compares this book with 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, and I can definitely see that comparison. Not so much with the bookstore part, but with the time period, just after World War II in England, and with the knowledge people have of English literature.

Sorry to start off by drifting into a tangent :). The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is about how a group of friends lived through WWII on the Channel Island of Guernsey occupied by the Germans. A few were walking home after curfew one night, and when confronted by the Germans, invented the Literary Society. The potato peel pie was added as it was refreshment at their gatherings.

Juliet Ashton, author of a series of newspaper columns during the war, is in need of a new idea for a book or articles, and researches how people kept themselves in a positive frame of mind during the war. She is contacted by Dawsey Adams, one of the members of the Guernsey Literary Society, and learns of their stories as each member corresponds with her with their individual story. Juliet's relationship with this wonderful group evolves throughout the book, continuing to be told through letters. People were wonderful letter writers then.

I admit to not knowing anything about the Channel Islands overall before reading this book, though I know I have heard of Guernsey and Jersey before. I enjoyed the historical information I received while reading this book.

In addition to 84 Charing Cross Road, I connect this book with the mystery series shown on PBS, "Foyle's War". I am in the middle or so of watching episodes of this series, and I have a clearer picture of how things were during that time period in England. Both 84 Charing Cross Road and "Foyle's War" are good complements to The Guernsey Literary Society. Another wonderful book about book lovers with eccentric characters is The Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast by Bill Richardson (soon to be a Friday's Forgotten Books blog post).

This is such a wonderful, enjoyable book--I encourage everyone to at least give it a try. I will be purchasing this book, as I borrowed this copy from the library; this is one I definitely want to own and revisit!

Happy Reading!

PS Any mistakes in the above post re: plot points are mine--I returned the book before writing this post.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Banned Books Week: A Wrinkle in Time

Hello All,

It's Banned Books Week, and I, like many other librarians, and all sorts of other readers, read banned books.

One of my favorite authors of all time is Madeleine L'Engle. My first favorite of hers was Meet the Austins, where I identified very strongly with the main character of Vicky Austin. I don't recall for sure, but I don't think I read A Wrinkle in Time until I was in college, as part of a children's literature class. I identified with the main character in this series too, Meg Murry, and I remember loving the time travel in the book and all the challenges that Meg, her friend Calvin O'Keefe, and her very brilliant young brother, Charles Wallace take on to save Meg's father, a scientist being held prisoner on a faraway planet.

It is my understanding that A Wrinkle in Time has been challenged due to its religious content, or for its un-Christian content--depending on who's challenging it. All I saw in this book was the love in the Murry family, and the inclusion of Calvin into that circle of love; Calvin comes from what we now call a dysfunctional family.

I highly recommend this book for its family orientation, its intelligence and its exciting adventures. I bet this will only be the beginning of your enjoyment of Madeleine L'Engle's books :). Enjoy, and read other Banned Books--you don't have to wait until next year's designated week--start now, and then you'll have books to talk about then!

Happy Reading!