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Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Zero Day" by David Baldacci

Zero DayZero Day by David Baldacci

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fast-moving, page-turner, a bit like NCIS on television, I loved this book. Baldacci has created a hero worth following in the character of John Puller, tenacious investigator for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division.  I'm never sure about the difference between a mystery and a suspense book, so this one blurs the line further. But, that is a minor point here.

The plot is complex and the stakes are high for the hero who does not understand the weight of the problem until the last hours before the impending disaster. And, the problem was so believable that I could not put the story aside to make dinner!

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"True Compass: A Memoir" by Edward M. Kennedy

True Compass: A MemoirTrue Compass: A Memoir by Edward M. Kennedy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Chappaquiddick Island tragedy ended my interest in Edward M. Kennedy until after his deah. Now older and curious about his Congressional career, I picked up "True Compass: A Memoir."  In it, the Senator draws a candid picture of himself. His explanation of the Chappaquiddick accident is straightforward and believable.  He takes responsibility for his behavior that night and describes his shame and grief.

I enjoyed the book in a "fly-on-the-wall" way.  Senator Kennedy's work in Congress - described for readers with the benefit of his reasoning and core values, his descriptions of campaign trips and conversations with family members and leading politicians, and his unflinching telling of the happy as well as painful and disappointing events of his life and time - does atone for his behavior at Chappaquiddick in my view.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Great Day for Gardening

Today was a great day to finish up my flower beds.  Cool, sunny, and, it rained last night so the ground was wet for the new plants.
In the back yard, perennials flourish.  This year I added two beautiful ferns and two colorful caladium to the hostas I planted a few years ago.  I'll have to store the caladium root balls in the garage for the winter and replant in the spring.  The ferns will come inside and be returned to their hanging pots.  In the remaining open spaces, a few lavender and white impatiens peak out.  When they are bigger, it will be very pretty.
This planter at the corner of the patio was ready for Memorial Day.  Red and white New Guinea Impatiens and vinca vines make it balanced.  I forget what that spikey plant is named, but I buy one or two every year.
On the shadier side of the front door, deep pink impatiens are bordered with white impatiens.  The background hostas have been there for a few summers. Duke's turtle, well-scrubbed this year, still spends the summer under the hosta leaves. 
And, on the part-sun side of the front door the hostas are really big.  The boxwood and rose bush are doing well. The blue hydrangea was a Mother's Day gift two years ago.  It really found its legs this year.  I added white and deep pink impatiens to give it a bit of color for the season.  Duke's tree is so big now that the upstairs neighbors asked to have it trimmed away from their windows. I can't wait until the impatiens get big.  It's going to be beautiful. I will post a few pictures.

Now, if the squirrels don't dig up everything tonight, the beds are finished.  ;)