Cleaning house physically, emotionally, and mentally.

T is for Truman

I am participating in the A-to-Z Challenge again this year. My theme is My Favorite Books. Most of the books I will be posting about, I have read more than once. After all, they are my favorites.

T is for Truman by David McCullough.
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This biography of Harry S Truman was published in 1992. Its detail from birth through death led to the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for the author.

I love biography and McCullough is a favorite writer. I have also read his Mornings on Horseback, about the childhood of Theodore Roosevelt. His work on John Adams is exceptional and it won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize.

But I like Truman the best because he could be a neighbor. The book captured his down-home personality, mixed with his strong beliefs.

Treat yourself and read about the man who made the decision to unleash the atomic bombs on Japan to end World War II.

I am participating in the A-to-Z Challenge again this year. My theme is My Favorite Books. Most of the books I will be posting about, I have read more than once. After all, they are my favorites.

S is for the Spenser series by Robert B. Parker.
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There are 40 books in the Spenser series by the late great Robert B. Parker. The first one, The Godwulf Manuscript, was published in 1973. The last one by RBP, Sixkill, was published in 2011, after the author’s death in 2010. Three other Spenser books by other authors have also been published since RBP’s death.

Spenser is a private investigator in Boston. The series details a specific case for each book, but also provides insight into Spenser’s personal life. As the books continue, you feel as if you are a friend of Spenser and involved in his life.

I started reading these books a few years ago when a friend was going through chemo for breast cancer. We read all of the books in order. This provided not only great reading, but common ground for discussion for anything besides cancer.

I cried when I heard of RBP’s death. How I miss his incredible books. He also wrote the Jesse Stone series. These have been made into TV movies starring Tom Selleck as Jesse Stone.

I so so so recommend the Spenser series if you are into the detective genre.

R is for Roots

I am participating in the A-to-Z Challenge again this year. My theme is My Favorite Books. Most of the books I will be posting about, I have read more than once. After all, they are my favorites

R is for Roots by Alex Haley.
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This incredible novel was published in 1976. It tells the story of an African boy, Kunte Kinte, captured in Africa and sold into slavery in the United States in the late 18th century. And the book details his life and his family from then until 1976. The author, Alex Haley, alleges he is a descendent of Kunte Kinte.

After the book was published, there was some controversy regarding the author’s claims. Regardless, this is such an extraordinary read. After you have read the book, be sure to see the mini-series that was created in 1977.

How many people read this book and then became interested in their own family ancestry?

Last weekend daughter and I were in the Portland area for a half marathon. You can read about the first part of our trip here.

We had to be at the race before 7:30 so we were up early and hit the road. A few miles down the road, my TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) light went on in the car.

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Oh crap! We cannot be dealing with a low or flat tire right now. So we kept driving and made it to the race. It was crowded and I decided to take a chance and try to find parking at the Start line. Hurray, perfect parking space.

Daughter got her race packet, met up with her friend, and off they went into the sunrise. Now I could deal with low low tire.

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I called AAA and they sent out someone to put on my spare. Then they told me where I could get the flat repaired. Of course the one and only pen I had to write down the address was dead. Great — is this how the rest of the day was going to go?

By now, I had to use the bathroom. I have not used a porta-potty for years, but that was my only option. Gross beyond belief! I would rather drop trou in the woods than use another porta-potty again.

Tow truck guy comes and changes the tire. Really nice guy. Race is near end and I get to see daughter cross the finish line — 1:53, in the top 20%.
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Race is done, spare tire is on, so we visited a nearby tulip farm. Beautiful tulips!
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Now we have to get the tire fixed so we can drive some 400 miles back home. Driving 55 MPH on a 70 MPH freeway is not fun. Where is the love and understanding from my fellow drivers? Anyway, we get to the recommended tire store and am told it will take all day because they are super busy. Not an option for us, so the tire guy suggested we try Walmart, just a mile up the road.

The WM tire guy was very nice and understanding of our time issue. So we left the tire, drove back to the hotel. Daughter took a quick shower and we checked out. And then back to WM. Tire was fixed and put back on the car — all for $10.

We officially hit the road around 1:30 and headed home, later than planned, but on 4 good tires. Arrived home just as it got dark.

And that is how Walmart saved the day. Thank you to the incredibly sympathetic tire guy who helped us out.

It is impossible to just sit in the recliner without having fur company.
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And then after the changing of the guard, it was bath time.

I am participating in the A-to-Z Challenge again this year. My theme is My Favorite Books. Most of the books I will be posting about, I have read more than once. After all, they are my favorites.

Q is for QB VII by Leon Uris.

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QB VII refers to Queens Bench, courtroom 7, a specific courtroom in England, where the last part of the story takes place. This historical novel concerns a libel lawsuit, Nazi concentration camps, a Polish doctor, and details the lives of those involved.

The book, published in 1970, is broken into sections, such as the lives of the defendant and plaintiff before the lawsuit, the defendant trying to prove his assertions, and finally the courtroom drama. And such drama!

I am a huge Leon Uris fan and have read most of his books. Exodus is a favorite too.

I am participating in the A-to-Z Challenge again this year. My theme is My Favorite Books. Most of the books I will be posting about, I have read more than once. After all, they are my favorites.

P is for The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.
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This huge book (800+ pages) is a historical novel about the building of a cathedral in 12th century England. Detailed character descriptions provides a vivid picture of life at that time in history.

I found the story very interesting and even though it is quite a long read, I could not put it down. And then I had to read the sequel, World Without End.

I plan to read his current series, the Century Trilogy. The first book, Fall of Giants, was published in 2010. The second, Winter of the World, came out in 2012. And the last one, Edge of Eternity, is due out this September. I have been waiting for it because I like to read them all in order, without interruptions. I plan to start them in July or August so I will be ready for the September unveiling.

Regardless of the Century Trilogy, if you are into historical novels, I highly recommend The Pillars of the Earth.

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