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Archive for December, 2012

Good morning All! I hope this finds you well the Sunday before Christmas.

Thereby Hangs a Tail by Spencer Quinn was my read for this week, and it was CUTE. Like the first one in the series, it’s a light read–whimsical, fun–told in the first person by a dog named Chet. He and his owner, PI Bernie Little, find themselves involved in a caper when a hoity-toity dogshow comes to town. When a prominent owner, and her fussy little dog named Princess, both disappear, Chet and Bernie are charged with finding them and run into all kinds of characters along the way.

If you want an easy read with a few laughs (the dog’s observations of human habits are adorable), then give it a go. It won’t leave you pondering the meaning of life or exploring your inner child, but sometimes that’s way overrated. ‘Til next week, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season! 🙂

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Good morning everyone ~ I hope this finds you well. Even though it’s a festive time of year, it’s tough to be jovial when so many people in Connecticut are going through the worst tragedy of their lives. My heart and prayers go out to them.

In that spirit, I’m actually not going to write about a book this week. Rather, I want to share a happy story of people’s goodness and hope that it will combat some of the horror that we’ve seen the past few days. So here goes…

I was going through airport security the other day, waiting in line with a lot of other vacant-eyed, weary travelers. After the lady checked my ID and boarding pass, I scampered over to the front of the little luggage-assembly-line and started ditching my shoes, my coat, my scarf, and I also pulled out my laptop to place in a separate bin. Once I’d gone through the body-scan machine (which always weirds me out), I proceeded to collect my belongings.

Approaching the end of the luggage-assembly-line, I went to grab my various gray bins, and that’s when I saw the shiny silver chain in the fabric of my scarf. I quickly realized that my necklace had come undone when I’d taken off my scarf at the other end of the line. But alas, the diamond that should have been there—the gift that I’d received for my 8th wedding anniversary— was not attached. Needless to say, I was frantic. Not only was I trying to catch a flight, as well as not be a nuisance to the people behind me, I couldn’t imagine losing the diamond in such a silly way. I began pulling on the natty scarf, hoping to find the circular little diamond, to no avail. A TSA agent quickly realized that something was wrong, and I told her the story and showed her the matching earring so that she could help me look. She was very kind and told me to stay put; then she walked back through security to look around. I glanced hopelessly down at the floor, a white industrial floor with glittery speckles. Needle in a haystack, much?

As time ticked by, and my heart-rate skyrocketed, I kept combing through the scarf and patting myself down—my clothes, my hair, my ears, my everything— in vain attempts to find the little object. Other TSA agents came to talk to me and also wandered off to help in the search. When I was finally able to quit staring down at my scarf, I glanced back towards the beginning of the line, and people EVERYWHERE were helping look for my diamond. TSA agents, grownups, kids, business folks, harried travelers were all bent down, searching for my little gem that had somehow gotten away from me. My eyes immediately teared up, less from the thought of losing the diamond but more from seeing so many strangers chipping in to help me out.

Finally, the original TSA agent came over to me and said that I would need to do a lost-item report if I wanted to make my flight. My eyes watered further and I quickly nodded my head. I forced myself to step away from the waist-high line of metal roller bars that I’d been glued to, and I watched her eyes grow wide as she pointed at the floor. There amongst the speckled flecks was my little, circular jewel. I picked it up and threw my arms around the woman, and everyone celebrated like we’d all just won the Powerball.

Needless to say, I grabbed a comment card for the TSA folks, and there won’t be enough room on it for me to thank everyone involved. I was so touched by the kindness of all of the people in the airport that day. I didn’t hear a word of complaint, and there’s no doubt that I infringed on some very rushed travelers’ time. There is truly so much good out in this world, and you just never know how it will manifest itself in your life.

I titled this blog Perfect Strangers, because those helpful people that day were perfect in my mind. I’ll get back to the books next week, I promise. But this story was too compelling to keep off the pages, so I hope you’ll allow me this foray into waxing philosophic. (It doesn’t happen too much). Here’s to a safe and happy holiday season ~ til next week, happy reading my friends! 🙂

Gem Of a Story To give you an idea of the uphill battle we were fighting, here’s the little gem compared to a dime (not even half the circumference). Imagine it on a white floor w/ speckles…

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Good Sunday morning readers! I hope this finds you well.

I’m in the midst of reading/listening to two books but didn’t have the chance to finish either one of them this week, so I dug into the archives (of my brain–I wish I had a big library at home with archives) and came up with The Christmas Train by David Baldacci.

This book isn’t my typical mystery recommendation, nor is it the genre that Baldacci is known for. But it’s a perfect read for the Christmas season. It’s about a journalist named Tom Langdon who’s a little disillusioned with life. As many people do during the holidays, Tom has travel plans, and it’s a long trip–Washington DC to Los Angeles. Unfortunately (or fortunately, as it turns out) there is a mishap at airport security on the day of Tom’s scheduled flight, and he finds himself having to make the cross-country trek on a train. Initially, he is extremely unhappy about the predicament, simply dreading the time involved and the “train people” that he’s sure to meet. But a wonderful thing happens as the train chugs across the beautiful U-S-of-A, and Tom finds himself meeting some wonderful, kooky people as well as rediscovering some things about himself. While his faith in people’s goodness slowly begins to restore, a little bit of Christmas magic works its way onto the train and reunites Tom with someone he thought he’d lost.

It’s probably been six or seven years since I read The Christmas Train, and I’m smiling as I type this, remembering some of the fun-loving characters and the escapades along the way. This is a super-quick, fun read, and I highly recommend it. It will leave you with that “feel good” sense in your tummy when you’re finished, and you might even find that the hustle-bustle of the holidays isn’t so darn bad if you just stop to remember what the season is all about. ‘Til next week, happy reading! 🙂

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Welcome to December people! I hope this finds you all doing well. It’s a cold, blustery day in New England, and there’s about an inch of snow on the ground. But I’m not here to write a weather report… 🙂

This week’s read was Defending Jacob, by William Landay. At the risk of sounding dramatic, this is one of the best books I’ve ever read. The premise of the book seems basic enough–the main character is an assistant DA in a suburb of Boston, and his fourteen-year-old son is arrested for another fourteen-year-old boy’s murder. So it seems that the book would just need to answer the simple question of…did he do it? Easy, right? NO. The complexities of this story went far beyond what I would have imagined when I read what it was about. Guilty or not, Landay does a wonderful job of describing how cases like this changes lives forever. Change friendships, careers, communities, self-esteem, family bonds, change the very people involved to the core.

All I can say is ~ READ THIS BOOK. It’s thought-provoking, compelling, entertaining, even humorous in parts, and it’s tender and harsh at the same time. I applaud this author and can’t get my hands on another book of his fast enough. (High pressure on Mr. Landay, right?) ‘Til next week, happy reading!

 

 

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