Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Girl in Hyacinth Blue

The novel Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland traces a fictional 17th century Dutch painting from its present owner, the schoolteacher son of an SS functionary who looted it from a Jewish home, back to its genesis in the brushstrokes of the offspring-laden Vermeer. I am spoiling this for you, dear reader, in so many ways, but I myself came into the novel unaware of this structure. Imagine my confusion as the third chapter began, but I quickly caught on. It was still delightfully disconcerting at the beginning of every chapter to be transported back a period and then brought up in time to where the previous chapter had begun. Along the way, Vreeland explores the history and landscape of the Netherlands through the various voices of her characters.

I picked this book up because someone chose it for my monthly book/wine club. That is probably why I was unaware of what it was about and how it was constructed when I began reading. I finished it to preserve my honor in book club and because I almost always finish a book that I start. However, it wasn’t a chore. It was a lovely read, particularly as an interlude between the textbooks I’m reading this month. I have already recommended the book to my walking/reading co-worker Monica! I hope she reads the book before she reads this review.

The image I’m sharing here is NOT the painting in the novel, which, as I mentioned, is fictional (as far as I can determine). I chose it because of the color blue that figures throughout the novel. Image credit: akg-images / Universal Images Group. Vermeer / Woman in blue / c.1663/1664 Vermeer, Jan (Johannes), called Vermeer van Delft, 1632-1675. 'Woman in blue reading a letter', c.1663/1664. Oil on canvas, 56.6 x 39.1cm. Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Our September Numbers Have Been Reported and Tallied...

The Numbers for the District Look Like This...
15 People
72 Books
18,326 Pages
Let me break it down for you, shall I?
FV                    HP                    MC
4                       4                         7               people
18                     18                       36             books
5902                 4922                  7502          pages
For those that like to see what is being read.....
The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
Bonk! The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Son of Bitch by Elliot Erwitt
The Storied Life of A J Fickry by Gabrielle Zevin
Personal by Lee Child
Stieg Larson's The Girl Who Played with Fire, graphic novel adapted by Denise Mina
The Hilton's: The True Story of an American Dynasty by J Randy Tanaborelli
A Dangerous Mourning by Anne Perry
Dark Assassin by Anne Perry
Funeral in Blue by Anne Perry
Pentecost Alley by Anne Perry
The Shifting Tide by Anne Perry
The Silent Cry by Anne Perry
Traitor's Gate by Anne Perry
Weighed in the Balance by Anne Perry
The Kept by James Scott
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Joni: The Creative Odyssey of Joni Mitchell by Katherine Monk
Light of the World by James Lee Burke
Is Water H2O? by Hasok Chang
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
How to Live, or A Life of Montaigne by Sarah Bakewell
Blues Mandolin Man: The Life and Music of Yank Rachell by Richard Congress
Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich
Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78RPM Records by Amanda Petrusich
Wild Tales: A Rock and Roll Life by Graham Nash
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
An Event in Autum by Henning Mankell
Death Comes to Pemberly by P D James
The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
The Devil in the White City by Eric Larson
Ruby: A Novel by Cynthia Bond
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
Rogue with a Brogue by Suzanne Enoch
How the Scoundrel Seduces by Sabrina Jeffries
Soldier's Heart by Leslie Lynn
Suitor by Mary Balogh
Stormy Persuasion by Johanna Lindsey
Miss Miranda's Marriage by Claire Lorel
Rake's Redemption by Leslie Lynn
Loving Rose by Stephanie Lauren
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Great Green Heist by Varian Johnson
Statute of Limitations by Tamar Myers
A Week at the Airport by Alain de Botton
Dreams of the Reiki Shaman by Jim Pathfinder
Hopscotch by Brian Garfield
The Cat Whisperer by Mieshelle Nagelschneider
Just Tell Me What to Eat by Timothy S Harlan
Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Book of Common Prayer
Caring and Curing: Health and Medicine in Western Religious Traditions
The Manger is Empty by Walter Wangerin
Prague Panoramas by Cynthia Paces
I Saw Heaven Opened by Michael Wilcock
Warring Maidens, Captive Wives and Hussite Queens by John M Klassen
Rosie's Project by Graeme Simsion
Mirian's Way by Cissy Lacks

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Paw and Order

Paw and Order by Spencer Quinn

It’s so much fun to read the Chet and Bernie series, which started with Dog On It, mainly because we get to see things from the point of view of a big, loveable, easily-distracted dog. Paw and Order is the seventh in the series about Bernie Little, private detective, and his partner Chet the dog. Chet’s internal dialogue is believable and full of humor. He sometimes picks up clues that others miss, but he leaves the thinking to Bernie, who is – in Chet’s opinion –always the smartest person in the room. In Paw and Order, the duo head to Washington, DC to patch things up with Bernie’s reporter girlfriend Suzie and wind up investigating the murder of one of her sources. The book stands alone, so if you haven’t read the others, don’t let that stop you from enjoying this one.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Alright gang, I'm just going to lay out the numbers this time around.  If anyone wants a list of books read, contact me and I'll get that out to you. 

20,121 PAGES

FV                                  HP                                 MC                                 WW
5 people                         4 people                         8 people                       1 person
17 books                       13 books                        26 books                        5 books
7341 pages                   3641 pages                   7376 pages                    1763 pages

No Abby this time around. 

Friday, August 15, 2014


Well, it took a while, but I finally have our numbers for the month of July.  In the district we had: 
14 people 
54 books
16320 pages

The break down by campus:
4 people, 11 books, 3267 pages

4 people, 16 books, 5281 pages

5 people, 22 books, 6009 pages

1 person, 5 books, 1763 pages

Books read:
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
Lucky Us by Amy Bloom
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor Part 2 by Robert Kirkman
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J K Rowling
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
Quest for Reality by Merton B Osborn
Espresso Tales by Alexander McCall Smith
The Bees by Laline Paul
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Dark Side by Jane Mayer
The Gravedigger's Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates
Kindred by Octavia E Butler
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
Another Time, Another Life: The Story of a Crime by Leif GW Perrson
Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich
Harper's (June 2014)
Gay Nineties Melodramas by Lawrence M Brings
Black Lies, Red Blood by Kjell Erikson
Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich
The Whole Enchilada by Diane Mott Davidson
When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
The Little Girls by Elizabeth Brown
The Quick by Lauren Owen
The Arsonist by Sue Miller
The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison
The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball
Nonpareil by Dawn Lindsey
Treasured by Candace Camp
Proper Proposal by Dawn Lindsey
Impromptu Charade by Isobel Linton
Margaret Truman's Undiplomatic Murder by Donald Baur
Escape by Mary Balogh
The Arrangement by Mary Balogh
Tuesday the Rabbi Saw Red by Harry Kemelman
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
Cat Sitter's Nine Lives by John clement
Waverly by Sir Walter Scott
Emma by Jane Austen
Being Dead is no Excuse
Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks
O Pioneers by Willa Cather
Badenheim, 1939 by Aharon Appelfeld
The Preached God by Gerhard Forde
Marriages and Infidelities by Joyce Carol Oates
Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter by Randall Balmer
Accidental Species by Henry Gee
Plover by Brian Doyle

Friday, July 11, 2014

June Numbers Are Here

Well, our numbers for the month of June aren't as cute as the baby on the left, but it's what we're stuck with.  Actually the numbers look pretty good, especially when you consider some of our participation numbers are a bit down.  I was noticing at one of the campuses we only have one full time employee participating regularly.  It would be nice if that were to change once the Fall semester begins.  Okay, here's where we stand as a district...

16 people
85 books
23,413 pages

That's a mighty nice page count we got there.  Think what we could do if everyone jumped on board!

Numbers by campus are as follows:

4 people
21 books
6821 pages

4 people
19 books
4119 pages

7 people
40 books
10929 pages

1 person
5 books
1544 pages

Books we read:

Let's Just Say it Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton
Accused by Lisa Scottoline
King & Maxwell by David Baldacci
Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagus of Baseball by John Feinstein
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom
The Complete Short Novels by Anton Chekhov
The Spanish Queen by Carolly Erickson
Mythology & History in the Great Paintings of the Prado by Rosa Lopez Torrijos
Bluegate Fields by Anne Perry
Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry
Rutland Place by Anne Perry
A Day in the Life of Spain by Rick Smolan and David Cohen
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
River Marked by Patricia Briggs
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J K Rowling
The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor Part 1 by Robert Kirkman
The Walking Dead Vol. 20: All Out War, Part 1 by Robert Kirkman
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Mudwoman by Joyce Carol Oates
Seven Up by Janet Evanovich
Free Falling as if in a Dream by Leif G W Persson
Kill or Cure: An Illustrated History of Medicine by Steve Parker
Harper's (May 2014)
Why We Left: Untold Stories and Songs of America's First Immigrants by Joanna Brooks
The Sun (March 2013)
Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich
Ravens in the Storm: A Personal History of the 1960s Antiwar Movement by Carl Oglesby
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler
A Fair Maiden by Joyce Carol Oates
Dust by Patricia Cornwell
To the Nines by Janet Evanovich
A Colony of the World: The United States Today by Eugene J McCarthy
Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
A Dark and Twisted Tide by Sharon Bolton
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Masterful Mr. Montague by Stephanie Laurens
Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride by Victoria Alexander
Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
Sarah Gives Thanks by Barbara Walsh
Notorious Lady by Dawn Lindsey
Accidental Duchess by Madeline Hunter
Spider Woman's Daughter by Anne Hillerman
The Circle by Dave Eggers
Magnificent Yankee by Emmet Lavery
Not Quite a Wife by Mary Jo Putney
Delicious by Ruth Reichl
Educate Your Brain by Kathy Brown
Yarn Over Murder by Maggie Sefton
History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor
By Its Cover by Donna Leon
Art Made From Books by Laura Heyenga
Traveling Through Illinois by LuAnn Cadden
Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn
The Devil You Know by Liz Carlyle
Gilt Trip by Laura Childs
Ghost Gone Wild by Carolyn Hart
The Director by David Ignatius
Newman's Own Cookbook by Paul Newman
Rain Gods by James Lee Burke
Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free by Charles P Pierce
Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly Whittemore
The Paid Companion by Amanda Quick
Dark Aemilia: A Novel of Shakespeare's Dark Lady by Sally O'Reilly
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


The Summer semester has started and we may lose some readers.  Those that don't get to take the summer off are jealous of those that do.  At least I am.  LOL  Hopefully they will all come back to us with long lists of books read. 

As a district we had:     17 people reading
                                      68 books, for a total of
                                      21,365  pages read  

FV:  5 people, 19 books, 7237 pages
HP:  4 people, 11 books, 3711 pages
MC:  7 people, 33 books, 8459 pages
W:    1 person, 5 books, 1958 pages

Wanna know what your colleagues read?  Here ya go:

A Dance with Dragons by George R R Martin
Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff
Bye, Bye, Kitty! By David Elliott
Without Remorse by Tom Clancy
Heat Rises by Richard Castle
Frozen Heat by Richard Castle
Diamond Solitaire by Peter Lovesey
The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon
Deadly Heat by Richard Castle
The Everything Store by Brad Stone
Chalk Girl by Carol O’Connell
Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
Acceptable Loss by Anne Perry
Blind Justice by Anne Perry
Resurrection Row by Anne Perry
A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry
Treason at Lisson Grove by Anne Perry
The Whitechapel Conspiracy by Anne Perry
Death’s Dark Shadow by Sally Spencer
The Kill Room by Jeffrey Deaver
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Hot Six by Janet Evanovich
The Son by Jo Nesbo
The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
The Sun (Feb. 2013)
Canada by Robert Ford
Affliction by Lauren K Hamilton
Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Gone by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Seven Up by Janet Evanovich
Aunt Dimitry and the Wishing Well by Nancy Atherton
Otley Forever by Martin Waddell
Rake’s Wager by Miranda Jarrett
Embarking on Murder by Sue Wright
Here Comes the Bride by Pamela Morsi
Roy G Biv by Jude Stewart
On Looking by Alexandra Horowitz
Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover by Ann Ross
Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett
Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
Knitting Yarns by Ann Hood
Journey to Topaz by Yoshiko Uchida
Flashpoint by Suzanne Brockmann
The Director by David Ignatius
Devil You Know by Liz Carlyle
Not Quite a Wife by Mary Jo Putney
After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman
Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan
If You Were Here by Alafair Burke
Dead Water by Ann Cleeves
In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen
Laws of Our Fathers by Scott Turrow
Lutheran spirituality by Robert Baker
Living the Resurrection by Eugene Peterson
The Mill and the Cross by Francis Gibson
The Lost German East by Andrew Demshuk
Between the Flowers by Harriette Simpson Arnow
Just What Kind of Mother Are You by Paula Daly
The Secret Rooms by Catherine Bailey
Fallen by Karin Slaughter
The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West