Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Hey y'all!

Last night, as I mentioned, Santa and I went out on a photowalk.  I got a few good ones, only one edited so far, here it is:

This is (obviously) a carousel, shot with my iPhone 4S just as the sun was going down, at Old Town in Kissimmee - love this picture!

I'll edit and post more soon, promise!

Now to books!  Today I finished this one:

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett - This one gets 5 stars from me!  The main setting is in Brazil along the Amazon River.  The main character, Marina, is a doctor performing pharmaceutical research on cholesterol drugs.  The pharmaceutical company is also funding a project in a remote region of Brazil near the Amazon River, having to do with research for a fertility drug.  Marina's officemate has been sent to the site in Brazil to try to ascertain the state of the project, as the doctor in charge of it is not forthcoming with status information.  When a letter is received that the colleague has died and was buried at the site, Marina is sent to find out the circumstances, and learns amazing things, both about the research and about herself.  The characters are fully fleshed out, and I very much felt I was at that site along the river.  The ending is surprising, yet quite plausible, and all loose ends are tied up.  I had read Bel Canto by Patchett a while back, and this is my second one of her books to read - I will definitely be seeking out more.  I like the way she writes!

In moving stuff around on top of my messy dresser in my bedroom, I found two additional books that I've finished this month - thus the Underestimation title of this post, LOL!

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant - The main character is 10-year-old Pia, and is set in a small town in Germany.  Pia is an outcast in her school due to the unfortunate freak death of her grandmother - it is said that she "exploded" - she actually caught on fire after a liberal dousing of hairspray to tame her 'do, then shortly thereafter taking over the lighting of the family Advent candle, so it was somewhat like an explosion and certainly became gossip fodder in this small town.  At a town celebration of something like our Halloween, a young girl vanishes with no explanation whatsoever, and Pia and her only friend, Stinky Stefan, set out to find out why.  They are frequent visitors to an elderly gentleman who tells them stories of the town, which they use to try to piece together the mystery of the girl's disappearance, as well as subsequent disappearing children, and the mystery is resolved by the end of the story.  It is funny and suspenseful and a quite enjoyable read - it gets 4 stars from me.

The Sandalwood Tree by Elle Newmark - Another book whose main setting is in India, in 1947.  Martin Mitchell has won a Fulbright Fellowship to study in that country at a time of political uprising and the turnover of power from the British to Indians.  He takes his wife Evie and his son with  him to India - but the marriage is less than happy.  They move to a somewhat remote small village.  In the house that has been assigned to the family, Evie finds a packet of letters from almost 100 years back, at another time of political uprising, that appear to be parts of a correspondence between two women.  Evie latches on to research about these women, who originally came from England to India to find husbands, a practice that was very much en vogue at the time.  The letters are not in good shape and so much of their content is indecipherable, but there are enough clues that Evie is able to pursue other means of finding out  more information.  She learns more and more as time goes on, but finds her family in peril, both because of her research and the political unrest.  The book contains two stories in one, the story of the two British women from the 1850s, and the story Evie's family in 1947, and both are tied up well in the end.  It is a great study in relationships, and I was completely caught up in the story.  It gets 4 stars from me.

Well, tomorrow is housecleaning day (insert small boo here, but alas, it must be done!) so it's possible I'll run across more books I've forgotten I've read in the process, but I don't think I will.  I'm currently reading a book called Just Wanna Testify - wow, I just searched this book on Goodreads and find that it's #5 in a series - guess I'll be going back to the first four because this one has me captivated.

So, goodnight me lovlies - peace and love to everyone!


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About Me

Orlando, Florida, United States
"If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you...I came to live out loud. [Emile Zola.]
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