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Sunday, July 29, 2012

"Simple Genius" by David Baldacci

Simple Genius (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #3)Simple Genius by David Baldacci

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Oh, just okay. Whenever it takes a chapter at the end to explain who the bad guys/good guys/mischief were all about, that's bad. And, it wasn't even the last chapter!  This book went on to tie up loose ends.

I'm not sure that even taking notes of minor details as you read will give you enough clues to figure out what is happening here.

Michelle Maxwell and Sean King are teamed up again. Desperate for money to pay for Michelle's therapy after she flips out by attacking a muscle-bound guy in a bar, Sean takes a solo job to investigate a murder at a think tank across the river from a high-security CIA camp.  Up to his IQ in quantum physics, cryptography and geniuses, he protects the victim's autistic daughter while trying to figure out if her father committed suicide or was murdered. A second body and Michelle's flight from her therapy compound his problems. 

So many federal law enforcement agencies, plots, harrowing escapes, villains, theories...Baldacci is validated as a smart person.  Was that his intent in writing this book?  He tried so hard that his book was not entertaining.

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Quit Odyssey @ Hershey, PA, July 26, 27, 28, 2012

I love road trips.  My sister Jackie and I met at Quilt Odyssey on Thursday for a few days of fun.
The Hershey Lodge was wonderful. I can imagine family gatherings here for kids to visit Hershey Park and grandmom and great aunt to enjoy the quilt show.  We would all do what we enjoy and meet for dinners to recap the days.

 Back to the quilt show, my favorite quilt was "America, Let It Shine" by Sherry Reynolds. It won the Best of Show Award here, the Best Machine Workmanship Award at the Lancaster show, and prizes at other shows in 2011-2012.  "Masterpiece" is the best word to describe it. It was featured on the cover of "Quilter's Newsletter" in June/July 2012.

We stopped at Burkholder's Fabrics on Saturday morning before driving home.  What a great store.  Jackie is now all set to create Christmas projects and I have the fabrics for Kyle's new quilt in his swim team colors.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

GSP Weekend

My family is tied together by the Garden State Parkway. For example, let me summarize this weekend.
On Saturday Adam, Jackie and Hannah traveled the GSP to visit our dentist here in Nutley.  I met them afterward for Hannah's first visit to the Franklin Steak House.

Also on Saturday, Rob, Kathryn and CJ traveled the GSP to Cape May, possibly CJ's first day trip. Thanks for the photo Kathryn. :)

This afternoon, I traveled it to sit with CJ for the afternoon. He loves to swing as much as his father did!

I have developed an appreciation for the sights along the Parkway.  I even know how to position my car to take advantage of the best EZ-Pass lanes (6 & 7) at the Union Toll Booths!

The Garden State Parkway is a treasure. ;)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

"The Drop" by Michael Connelly

The Drop (Harry Bosch, #15)The Drop by Michael Connelly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

DROP - Deferred Retirement Optional Plan or the plummet of Councilman Irving Irving's son to the pavement outside the Chateau Marmont? Suicide or murder? Harry Bosch is working hard to find out in this latest installment. Back from a premature retirement and working in the Open Unsolved Unit, Harry is hoping for a case when two are dropped onto his desk.  And, oh yes, the second involves DNA from an unsolved rape and murder that comes back from the crime lab indicating that an eight-year-old may have been the perpetrator.

When Harry goes to work readers are treated to the best detective stories.  When he retires, I will miss him.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

"First Family" by David Baldacci

First Family (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #4)First Family by David Baldacci

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Powerful, complex, thoroughly engrossing, "First Family" by David Baldacci was a satisfying mystery about the ripples created by one bad act of a man who later became president.  The human toll begins with one victim and changes the lives of many. 

I loved it.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wonderful Day at the Met

Yesterday was a great day with Jackie and Hannah at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Jackie dubs these Mondays in the summer when the Met is closed "Meredith Mondays" in honor of Meredith who works in the photography department and extends her employee Monday visit privileges to Jackie. Jackie and Meredith met in Florence, Italy - another story.  Many thanks to Jackie for inviting me along and to Meredith for extending this perk to us. :)

It is beyond wonderful to have the run of the Museum without the crowds.  We visited the new Islamic gallery, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, and the Rubens paintings. 

The Schiaparelli and Prada exhibit was amazing, not only for the clothing exhibited but also for the work of the Met's digital photography department and curator for making the exhibit come to life.  You have to see it.  And, I see a bib in Hannah's future with an applique in the style of Prada as well as a skirt for Jackie inspired by the exhibit.

Hannah is a great little trooper. She takes in everything that she can see from her stroller. After two hours, a couple of diaper changes, and a couple of bench breaks for play and cuddling, she was ready to hit the road. We stopped for a nice lunch on the way home, chatted, laughed, and indulged in DESSERT AT LUNCH TIME :( .

A perfect day with two of my girls.  Today, I will visit my additional girl and the little prince. :)