Friday, March 16, 2007

March Madness

How I love March Madness, college basketball, spring, and the newness of a season. As I continue on Jury Duty (going into the 11th week) I have had some moments to really jump into some books, revisit some hobbies and I have even found some time to picnic at the park and enjoy the weather that we love in Arizona! Now that basketball playoffs have started as well it all adds up to some perfect days!

I have discovered some pretty terrific books in the last few weeks. I have felt like I have had some great adventures as I've turned the pages. I may be prevented from real travel because of jury service but that's not to say that I can't "travel" in my mind!

Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn was a terrific first novel by the author. Set in 1800's England the author displayed a real flair for word crafting. Lady Julia Grey is widowed early when her husband dies of a chronic heart condition; the family saying goes, that the men in the family " will not make old bones." After a period of mourning Lady Julia is visited by a sullen private investigator who challenges her belief that her husband did not die a natural death. Historic detailing and first person narration were a plus as I found myself turning pages after page. Not only was the book visually beautifully crafted - the cover is probably the most beautiful that I have seen in a long time - but the imagery was beautifully crafted as well. The ending was an interesting twist. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

The Alexandria Link by Steve Berry had been passed around the table in the Jury assembly room and now it was my turn. Although I wasn't sold on the book in the first 30 pages I did continue and was glad I did. A terrific book with tremendous research to back it up. I was intrigued and then impressed with the afterward by the author where he detailed where fact and fiction parted ways. What a plus! The plot revolves around the Library of Alexandria and purported Biblical translations that may lie within the lost Library and ones that could truly change the face of the Middle East today. Action packed, covert action, and a Da Vinci Code-like tale. I am recommending it to many!

The Yellow Lighted BookShop by Lewis Buzbee is both a history and a memoir. The author worked as a bookseller and then as a publisher sales rep and having worked in the industry myself I felt a kinship to this book from the get-go. I found passages to highlight right away, commonalities that I wanted to celebrate and revisit. I especially loved a passage about "book snooping!" I am totally guilty of this sin - looking over the shoulder of someone to see what they are reading. I am always glancing at books in other's arms, in their bags, or what they are picking up to glance at. It can then be a conversation starter or even more - another book that I might want to try myself. Another little gem, "Books are digested yet never consumed." by Francis Bacon. There were slow parts and parcels in the book. Times when the author was detailing historical bits and pieces that I glossed over. That surprised me as it is usually these little details that I love. Despite these glitches I enjoyed this small book.

The case I am involved with has finally closed and we begin jury deliberation this next week. I will miss my daily bus commute when this all wraps up as it has given me a gift of an hour of reading time each day. It will be sad to finish up with everything and say goodbye to new friends as well as this reading time. Hard to believe that we have spent all of the year 2007 together.

I am enjoying a great book called Molokai by Alan Brennert. I am reading it as a part of a a read-along at Abe Books, an online used book source. The story is of a young girl and a leper colony in Hawaii during the late 1800's to the turn of the century. It is fascinating. There is a good discussion group as well. I have done some research on the internet on leprosy but really could use some help in Hawaiian language pronunciation. I will be ready for a trip to the islands soon!

Rich is off at the Mountain Man Rendezvous in the White Mountains with about 2000 scouts and leaders for the week. He and the committee have been working on this rendezvous for over 2 years. I was supposed to go with him and help out but Jury Duty prevented that. He has shouldered such a big part of this event . He has been such a support to me through all the trial so I told him that I would come up for the last day of the event and help out on Saturday. As temperatures are going off the charts here in the valley (96 - 97 degrees) it will be really nice to get away to the mountains after all. Another plus!!

March Madness - - it's a blast!


jenclair said...

The Alexandria Link sounds good, and I love this kind of mystery. Thanks for visiting my blog and good luck on jury duty...11 weeks must be some trial!

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