The Books of my Childhood That I Could Not Get Enough Of! (Still Can’t)

One of the joys of having children, or nieces and nephews, friends with kids, neighbors with kids, or just knowing young kids, is that you get to introduce them to the stories you loved when you were young. I may or may not have used my kids as an excuse to go back and read all of my favorites, over and again. There were numerous trips to the library, and I have bookshelves full of stories I can pick up whenever I want a quick read to take me back to my childhood.

These stories are timeless; at least to me. I wish I could remember the first book I ever read that put me on the path of loving books. It does not matter now, but I would love to read it again.

This is certainly not like any cover I had growing up!

The first series I recall reading was “The Boxcar Children“. Gertrude Chandler Warner wrote the first 19 stories in this series, but there are now over 130 titles! I am positive I have not read any of them written beyond Mrs. Warner’s stories, and am unsure at this point if I would want to go back and read further into the series when she did not write them. The series has its own website, and you can visit it here: http://www.boxcarchildren.com/content.cfm/boxcar-children-books

Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators” by Robert Arthur is another series that I have read over-and-over again. I have not had the time to do it lately, but I would often go to the library and check out as many of these books as they would let me, and spend my weekend reading them for the umpteenth time!

From The Screaming Clock cover, courtesy of http://www.threeinvestigatorsbooks.com/
From The Screaming Clock cover, courtesy of http://www.threeinvestigatorsbooks.com/

There is a website dedicated to collectors and fans of these books, with a lot of other great information, including forums. If you enjoyed these books as well, be sure to visit the site here: http://www.threeinvestigatorsbooks.com/

If you loved The Three Investigators stories, you must have read “Encyclopedia Brown” as well. Donald J. Sobol had every young reader wanting to be the neighborhood detective. A fun series to read, for those of us who could just not figure out the solution, you could always find it in the back of the book. I know I had several “A-ha” moments reading these stories.

The covers on the books I read did not look like this!
The covers on the books I read did not look like this!

I have to admit that I never read the Narnia series of books by C.S. Lewis until I was an adult. I have no idea how that ever happened, but it is truly one of my favorite sets of books to read. I was fortunate enough to get to read Harry Potter right along with my girls, and J.K. Rowling is probably as responsible as I am for the fact that I have 4 daughters who truly love reading.

What books did you read as a child, and do you ever go back and read them now?

I was So Thrilled to Post This Book Review…and Now I Feel Like a Complete Jerk because I Did!

As some of you know, some of my best books read and reviewed (in my opinion) are the ones I stumbled upon, chose to read, and am grateful I did. I will say straight-off that I do belong to a free ebooks website, and get 5 books a month through there. I also pick up random books at Barnes and Noble in their clearance bins, and buy books through Amazon because I like the cover.

I put myself out there (and many of you did as well), when I offered to read, edit, and review your works for free. I have met some amazing authors, made some great literary friends, and am glad I could help out others in a way that means so much to me!

Last month while perusing my free ebooks, I came across a story that I had to get. It was “The Scimitar and the Glory Boxes”, by Fred Morse. I love reading religious stories, factual, fiction, and whatever else may fall between the cracks. This story was fantastic, and I was so excited to post a review and also wanted to make sure I let Mr. Morse know. This book was too good to be on a free ebook site.

The Scimitar and the Glory Boxes Cover image

For the past couple of years of doing this blog, I would often post these types of reviews; but it was as of late that I thought I really need to make sure these authors know their stories are being read, and appreciated.

So as I have been so often doing now, I posted the book review, and sent an email to the author letting them know I reviewed their book, and included the link so they did not have to search for the review.

And then I was checking my email. I will admit I was anxiously awaiting to hear from Mr. Morse, and hoping he liked my review.

It was from his wife. He had passed away in September, and she wanted to let me know she appreciated me reaching out, and was happy I enjoyed his writing.

So many things ran through my mind. I was sad I never got to communicate with this great writer about his works. I likely opened afresh the pain his wife was trying to control during the Christmas holiday season. And more than anything, was I looking for approval from someone whom I did not know because I liked their writing?

I asked in my email that he let me know of any other books he had written, because I wanted to buy and review them. His wife was gracious enough to let me know, and with her permission, I will indeed be reading and reviewing them.

I never ask favors of anyone, but I would truly like any of my followers who enjoy this same type of genre to look up this book and read it. You will not be disappointed!

And to his wife, I would like to wish a Blessed, Happy New Year full of warm memories and comfort on how her husband’s writing truly did make a difference.

You can find my original review here: https://booksandopinions.com/2014/12/24/the-scimitar-and-the-glory-boxes-frederick-morse/

You can find it on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Scimitar-Glory-Frederick-Morse-ebook/dp/B006ZB39R4

It is the best 0.99 you will ever spend.

We Interrupt Your Friday Fun Facts…For This Special Announcement

I have a list of 15 books, that I have purchased or were sent to me free, for review. I am already through one book, halfway through the next, and expect to have at least two more finished before the weekend is over. (No, I do not feed my children, I just throw them a scrap of food when they ask!)

Some of you have asked for a review and have been in contact; some of you filled out the form and disappeared. So I just wanted to put this statement out there:

I said I will never post a review of your book without you seeing it first.

I Lied.

If I have a glowing review of your book, and it is already out to the masses, I will post it. I have been randomly finding books and reading and reviewing them, and the really bad ones, I would not name the author or title. (Yeah, I will not make this a habit: some of you that I have read over the last year just really need to stop typing and go work at the local gas station!).

I am editing and reviewing books that have not yet met their publication date: I will never post a review before you tell me you are ready. I have several of these. I will be in touch with you. I am excited to be able to publicize these great stories as you are marketing it to the masses. I could not be happier than to know I have read a story before very many others have seen it, and it will change the world (Yes, I have read those stories!)

But I am also reviewing books that are available to the masses. So for you; if I have a great review, I am not going to contact you before I post it. If I did not like it, I will certainly not post it and not tell you.

I want to be a writer. I do not have that determination, drive, energy, or time. But I do have a ridiculous knowledge of the English language, dialect based on time periods or culture, and research skills that the FBI would kill for. So I can help those of you who are writers, to write.

Friday Fun Facts!

P Cornwell book cover 1Patricia Cornwell

Born: June 9, 1956

Wrote: numerous Kay Scarpetta novels, starting with Postmortem, as well as The Body Farm, Potter’s Field, and numerous others, with the latest being 2014’s Flesh and Blood. She has also written a couple other series, but no where to the extent of the Scarpetta series.

Awards: Too many to list them all, but they include the Edgar Award, Sherlock Award, and British Book Awards.

Personal: Patricia married one of her professors shortly after graduation, and divorced 9 years later. She was in a relationship with a married female FBI agent before meeting and marrying Staci Gruber in 2005.

She suffered with Anorexia Nervosa and depression, as well as bipolar disorder.

 

P cornwell book cover 2

 

Another New Character in Dead On Demand

I’ll get to that person in a minute. I didn’t get a lot read last night, I spent about 6 hours working on z-scores, t test, and null hypothesis.

So, Where was I? David Morton (police) had his technician sifting through all of the CCTV (closed circuit tvs) from the park where Eleanor was killed. He saw her going in, passing some cameras, and did notice that while she had a key around her neck while jogging, they did not find it on or near her body.

Edwin still has messages pouring in concerning his “ad” he placed, and he starts thinking that he is just going to find someone to take care of Vandi’s problem for him, he will completely screw that person, and he will technically not physically kill anyone (sounds to me like he has his hand in a whole lot of deaths though!)

And now we meet Barry Chambers. Was he mentioned already? I honestly can’t remember, and if he was I lost him somewhere in the crowd of characters in this story. So Barry is sitting in a restaurant, 3 hours alone, waiting for his girlfriend Jessica to show up. With a ring in his pocket, anxious to propose. She never does show up. By the next weekend he finds out why. She says they just aren’t working, and can they at least be friends? This is the last we hear about these two for the moment, but I have a strong suspicion that Barry is going to be looking for a way to get rid of Jessica.

Edwin finally gets called in to ID the body of Eleanor, unknowingly being videotaped by the departments top psychologist. Everything he has said on the phone has been taped as well. The psychologist is already seeing some things that do not add up. Cry and sob all he wants, I don’t think he is going to get away with this for too long.

I am only on page 58 of over 260, and I cannot even guess how many more people are going to get tangled up into this web. I got a good jump on my statistics homework, I think, so I should be able to get through a good number of pages, and likely a few more bodies, in the next day.

Have a happy Sunday, with sunshine and a great story to read!

Dead on Demand-With Some New Characters

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Of Course.

 

I think since I haven’t been a bit confused enough (no, that does not make sense, but it makes my point exactly), Mr. Campbell x 2 are going to throw in some more characters. So, into the character pool we dive, and boy is it getting crowded in here!

 

Venhi does the deed, and Eleanor is no more; just a Jane Bloggs (the British version of America’s Jane Doe) on a slab in the morgue, waiting for someone to figure out who she is. The clever assistant technician doing the autopsy catches the hole in her neck from the needle rather quickly.

 

Edwin returns home, waiting for the phone to ring; some type of news that Eleanor is eliminated.

 

Into the story comes David Morton; Detective Chief Inspector. We also meet Peter K. Sugden-Jones, so far not connected to anyone else in this story. Seems to be well-to-do, and have a bit of a snobbish attitude to go right along with it. We learn he trades in the market, but that’s about all we know about him so far.

 

And we see Chelsea, waiting for her mum to pick her up, but obviously she is going to be a bit late since she’s in the morgue, waiting for someone to ID her. Edwin eventually gets a call, and can barely contain his glee as he goes to pick up his daughter. He does everything necessary to look like the concerned husband; sends messages, leaves voicemails, calls friends. He figures he covered his bases, and once Chelsea goes to sleep, he sends Vanhi a message, asking if it is OK if he takes care of his end of the deal in a couple weeks.

 

Now we get to enter Mr. Peter Sugden’s home, where his wife is waiting for him with dinner ready. (I am not the one who made the huge typo error here, I went back and looked and a few pages ago, he was Mr. Sugden-Jones, now it is Mr. Sugden and Mrs. Sugden. hmmm). Mrs. S lets him know that she saw all 3 of the new neighbors, and he is not going to be happy. Why won’t he be happy, you ask? Because they are foreigners. And yes, he is that bigoted, racist, idiot neighbor that everyone seems to get to experience one of in their lifetime, right? (Hopefully only 1).

 

And Mr. David Morton (remember, the Detective Chief Inspector?) is over at the park where Eleanor was found, looking for anything and everything that could help him solve this case.

Friday Fun Facts

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

Born: March 6, 1805

Died: June 29, 1861

Elizabeth was a poet in England during the Victorian era. She was married to the poet Robert Browning, and her success far surpassed his. She was born into a wealthy family, her father the owner of numerous sugar plantations in Jamaica. She was obsessed with books, which she saw as a way to escape from her  siblings (8 brothers and two sisters). she was 20 years old when she presented her first collection of poetry.

Quote: Who so loves believes the impossible.