Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer Reading

I hope your summer reading is going well.  I've been immersed in the Roosevelts.  First I saw the Ken Burns series on PBS for the second time and got interested in two of the authors who have done biographies on the Roosevelts. One author on the series was Doris Kearns Goodwin who wrote "No Ordinary Time -- Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II".   She's a terrific writer of history (also wrote Team of Rivals). I just finished that one. Terrific book.  

The other writer is Blanche Wiesen Cook who wrote a two volume biography of Eleanor Roosevelt. I read the first volume from 1884 to 1933. I have the second volume on my reading table stack. That one is 1933 to 1938.  Her writing isn't as good as Goodwin's but her books are more detailed and provide interesting insight into ER's life.  What a life!  What a dysfunctional family! I just got from our local library a biography her son Elliot wrote called "Mother R".  Yet another glimpse of a truly great woman from another perspective. So I'm still reading about the Roosevelts.

What is enlightening for me is reading about about the people who have shaped our world, about World War II, and about the era between the wars.  Most startling was how blatant racism was, how one anti-Semitic official in the State Dept was able to block Jewish emigration to the US during the Nazi era, how women broke out of the mold when they went into industry during WWII.  But in reading history, one realizes how nothing much changes in regard to the bitter struggle that always goes on between interest groups when money and power are involved.  And somehow we all think we're right.

Also on my reading table this summer is The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle, a sci fi written in 1957 recommended to me by my friend, Tegin, from Oakland, CA.  Another is A History of God by Karen Armstrong which I've been reading in small doses for months.  Well-researched book but it takes time to think about.  Another is Dreams of Earth and Sky, a collection of reviews from the NYT by Freeman Dyson, "one of the world's most original minds". 

The temperatures here are up close to 100 again so afternoons I'll stay indoors and attend to my reading.  What are you reading this summer?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Books in Print

For those of you who have broken Kindles and/or still like the feel of that paper book between your hands, be it known that five of my books are now available in print.  If you happen to be in Burns, Oregon they are available at Gallery 15 at 76 Washington Street.  If not, they are also available on and  Included in print are the Deovolante Space Opera series -- A Far Out Galaxy, Hoodoo Canyon, The Next Universe Over.  The Fiona Marlowe mystery series is also in print -- Designer Detective and High Desert Detective. Sometime in the fall I may bring out the other two mysteries in print -- The Forty Column Castle, and The Hieroglyphic Staircase.  Currently, I'm working on the third Fiona book but can't figure out how to end it. John and my mystery neighbor have read it so far and like it.  First hurdle surmounted.  And I've started the fourth book in the space opera series -- Earth Rising -- where I will solve all the problems of our troubled world.  Ha! Right.

Monday, July 27, 2015

John's Latest Fire Truck

 John poses beside his newest fire truck that he keeps parked in our yard. It is a 6 x 6, 5 ton, with a Cummins Diesel engine. It has power steering which he really likes since his old one did not have it.  The old one was a 1962 Studebaker 6 x 6.  The "new" truck also has a good seat and covered top. These are old military vehicles from the US Forest Service. USFS fosters the rangeland fire protection associations around the state. These volunteer organizations are the first responders to local fires.  John's been out on two small ones so far this year. He's installed emergency vehicle flashing lights and is working on installing a switch in the cab so he can turn on the water pump from the cab. He has a 1,000 gallon water tank on this one. He wants a two thousand gallon tank.  The volunteers have to paint the trucks white. They can't have military colors. They also have to maintain the trucks. And now each truck has a big unique number on the sides and top so they can be more easily identified.  (I tried to upload one photo but all seven uploaded.  Someday I'll learn how to use IPhoto.)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Birthday Quote

Today is my birthday and my dear husband John gave me a card that had a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:  Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is not path and leave a trail. Inside it read:  Happy Birthday to an adventurous spirit. I think he understands me.