of the Bookblog of the Bristol Public Library is back today with a deeply
personal post on the subject of donating books to the library…
When I was growing up, one of the only acceptable
ways of paying respects to the dead was to send flowers to the funeral. One
also sent food to the living, attended the wake, and of course the
funeral.The standard time between death
and the funeral was at least three days, to give enough time to notify
relatives and friends, and for them to have the chance to travel to the
Things have changed quite a bit in the past few
decades.For one thing, the wake—also
known as “sitting up with the dead” in my region, a reflection of when such
things were held in the family parlor—is now largely visitation (“The family
will receive friends..”) and since a jumble of relatives don’t usually descend
for the week, folks have cut down on the food offerings a bit.Some funerals have taken place within a day
of passing or else been held up for weeks as a memorial service has taken the
place of a traditional funeral with a body in a casket.Death notices in the newspaper have become
less of a given, now that many papers charge for such notices.
Another change is the floral tribute which, I am
sure, has been very difficult for the florists.Instead of automatically accepting flowers, many notices carry a list of
suitable places to make donations in honor of the deceased.I have to say that is a change I applaud;
while I always appreciated seeing the flowers, knowing that one can help defray
funeral expenses for the family or contribute to a charity near and dear to the
person seems a much more useful way to express one’s sympathy.
For me, that has become donating a book to the
library in memory of the person.In
fact, twice a year I make a donation to the library back in our home town in
honor of my mother, a voracious reader who would have loved having a library at
her disposal. When she was growing up,
there was no county library; when I was growing up, there was a library at the
county seat but not in our town. My mother was on the Regional Library Board
and advocated for a library for our town. We did finally get one just about
four years before we moved away.It was
in the town hall, above the jail, in a room not exactly designed to held
thousands of pounds of weight.The floor
bowed in several places. One always had the feeling one could go in for a book
and end up in a cell.
The library now has a new home on a ground floor and
has room for more books, though not the budget. With my donation, I allow the
library to do the selection based on the current needs of their readers.After all, there’s little reason to select a
book that will just gather dust on the shelves. I do give some broad guidelines.For example, my mother had a love of history
and genealogy, so books about our region are good choices. She also loved mysteries
and historical sagas, so things in that genre—especially large print, as that
was her salvation when she developed macular degeneration—are excellent
choices. When the books are selected, a
plate goes inside with her name on it.I
like to think that some reader picks the book up and takes a moment to be
grateful that Negetha G. Powers is remembered in that way.
I know that’s my reaction with the collection
here.There are any number of books with
memorial plates or “In honor of” plates.If it’s a subject I especially enjoy, I feel a bit of kinship to the
person named.A few years back, we lost
a wonderful patron who was a devoted knitter, especially of socks.With the donations we bought a number of knitting
books, adding greatly to the collection.Not long after a patron came up, looking a bit puzzled.She too is an avid knitter and had been
through most of the books in our collection.She pointed to the plate and said, “What does this mean?” I explained,
and her face lit up.“Ah, what a nice
lady!” she said.
So this is my pitch for the day. It comes about as
we have lost a long time staff member, one who was also an omnivorous
reader.My choices for her were
easy:I just chose the books she had put
on reserve but which were not yet published at the time she passed. I know she
was itching to read the next Mike Lawson and Lee Child.
At a time when books, authors, and libraries are
feeling the pinch, when many readers have had financial setbacks and are living
on limited incomes, giving a book to a library pays it forward in so many
The views expressed herein are my own and not those
of other person or instititution.
And reviews & giveaways of 4 more fun mysteries from
Penguin authors-"No Farm, No Foul": A Farmer’s Daughter Mystery by Peg Cochran, "Cancelled by Murder": A Postmistress
Mystery by Jean Flowers, "Digging Up the Dirt": Southern Ladies
Mystery by Miranda James, and "Paint the Town Dead":
Silver Six Crafting Mystery by Nancy Haddockhttp://kingsriverlife.com/09/24/september-penguins-for-your-fall-reading/
Friday means Friday’s Forgotten Books. Make sure you check out the list
over at Patti’s blog after you read Barry Ergang’s review of Blunt Darts by Jeremiah Healy. Amazon
says this is the first book in the John Cuddy series. I am pretty sure I have
never read any of the series.
BLUNT DARTS (1984) by Jeremiah Healy
Reviewed by Barry Ergang
After working as a claims
investigator for Empire Insurance Company for eight years, John Francis Cuddy
was appointed head of claims investigation in Boston. Shortly after his wife
Beth’s death after a long illness, Cuddy was approached by a colleague and
asked to sign an investigation report of a claim that was never probed by the
Boston office, and he refused. This resulted in his dismissal.
Paperback Blunt Darts
“Six years earlier the company had
required all of us to obtain and maintain private investigator licenses from
the Department of Public Safety. I knew three or four semi-reputable guys in
the trade who could tell me how to get started and maybe even refer me a few
clients. I decided it was time J.F.C. became his own man.”
When he receives a call from
Valerie Jacobs, whom he met while at Empire because at the time she was dating
a claims adjuster there, Cuddy agrees to meet her for lunch. A schoolteacher,
Valerie is concerned about a former student, Stephen Kinnington, and wants
Cuddy to meet with Eleanor Kinnington, who lives in the town of Meade and who
is the mother of Judge Willard J. Kinnington, “one of the youngest men ever to
go on the bench, and his family has sort of, well, ruled Meade since long before I arrived,” Valerie explains.
“Anyway, Stephen’s mother, Diane Kinnington, killed herself about four years
ago by driving her Mercedes off a bridge and into the river. Apparently she
boozed it up a lot, so no one knows whether it was accidental or suicidal. It
hit Stephen pretty hard, as you can imagine.” Hard because he was catatonic when he went
into and spent time recovering in the sanatorium Willow Wood.
Hardcover Blunt Darts--Import
Convinced that the young man has
run away rather than been the victim of a kidnapping, his grandmother, Eleanor
Kinnington, wants Cuddy to find Stephen and bring him home to resume a normal
life. She has a strong sense of where he might have gone, and Cuddy sets out
after him—but not without complications. Among the latter are Judge Kinnington
and his court officer and right-hand man, a brutal giant of a disgraced cop
named Gerald Blakey, neither of whom want Cuddy’s intrusions.
While dealing with personal
issues, not the least of which is his relationship to wannabe-lover Valerie
Jacobs versus loyalty to his dead wife, Cuddy’s quest to find and bring Stephen
home results in revelations about the Kinnington family, among them the judge’s
brother Telford, who died in Vietnam while leading “his company in a
counterattack from an American position against a much larger Vietcong force.” The
overall quest is not without violence and disclosures, plausible if unexpected,
by both Cuddy and the reader.
Blunt Darts is the first novel in the John Francis Cuddy mystery
series and the second one I’ve read, the other being Swan
Dive. Like the latter, Blunt
Darts is a stellar example of economical prose that conveys a powerful,
fast-moving narrative and character-delineating dialogue. I look forward to
reading still more in this exceptional series and would not dissuade other
hardboiled mystery fans—at least, those who aren’t squeamish about occasional
moments of street language—to do the same. Jeremiah Healy is an author well
worth a reader’s time.
As For The
Good Of The Clan Ulat is pursuing a
deer for his clan. He takes the deer down on an early spring day. Minutes later,
he is taken down at least two blows from behind.
For Ledeth, the
medicine man for the clan, this day has passed like others over his many years.
His name translates to “one who knows secrets” and that sums up what he does on
a daily basis. Revered and feared by his clan he is well aware that time waits
for no creature. He feels a sense of urgency to impart his knowledge to Donathan
who is his latest student. Donathan may have potential, but he is also not
anywhere near ready to take on the responsibility of being the medicine man to
the clan. For Ledeth this is a huge issue, as he knows his time for the long
sleep is coming.
It is Ledeth who the people
feel comfortable with coming to with their concerns. The oldest daughter,
Matha, of his sister comes to him that night to tell him Ulat has not returned
and she is very worried. When Ulat still has not returned the next day, Ledeth
goes to Chief Balog to ask for clan members to be sent to look for Ulat.
The search party sent
out by Chief Balog soon fins Ulat’s body. Ledeth is assigned, not only the
ceremonial funeral, but also the task of figuring out what happened to Ulat.
Was it a fearsome boar as some believe, or was a member of the clan responsible
for the death of the clan’s greatest hunter?
The death of Ulat has
far reaching implications in For The Good Of The Clan by Miles Archer. Part
of the Fingerprints Short Story Line
published by Untreed Reads Publishing,
the fast moving story takes readers back to ancient times when spirits ruled
the land and people did what they could to survive. Ledeth is on the case in a
highly entertaining short story that moves steadily forward to a satisfying
conclusion. For The Good Of The Clan by Miles Archer works quite well in
terms of characters, action, and a strong mystery. A good read and one that is
well worth it.
Writer, Reviewer, Editor, Professional Chair and Table Controller
Those interested in discussing editing and other writing projects can contact me at kevinrtipple at verizon.net
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