Friday, December 19, 2014

The "Are You an Author?" Weekly Link Round-Up

Last Friday I set out for The Poisoned Pen to attend their 25th birthday party. There was lots of food, plenty to drink, and a steady stream of authors (like Craig Johnson, Jenn McKinlay, Donis Casey, Diana Gabaldon, Dana Stabenow and many, many more) who were all more than willing to chat with all us readers who showed up. 

Author James Sallis and his band arrived early to set up their equipment, and although some of the older celebrants voiced unease at the possible type of music that would be played-- as well as its volume, I remained optimistic as I watched guitars, banjos, mandolins, violins, cellos, and other instruments being lovingly unpacked and set up.

I recognized and chatted with many fellow readers who showed up to celebrate, and I met many new faces, too. One of the things on many folks' agendas seemed to be picking everyone's brains for new authors to read. (Excellent idea since there were so many of us there!) For a little while I felt as though I'd posted a "Book Recommendations Here" sign above my head, and at one point I had a little group around me writing my suggestions down in notebooks. I noticed a second group standing outside the one that was currently picking my brain, but all I could do was smile. One person took advantage of an opening between bodies and a lull in the questions, and she stepped up to ask me, "Are you an author?"  "Oh no, I'm just a reader!" I said. That seemed to confuse everyone in that second group when she went back to make her report. 

All the people attending this party made it a roaring success. It's what happens when book lovers get together. For twenty-five years, Barbara Peters and the staff of The Poisoned Pen have given our community so much. I'm looking forward to the future with great anticipation.

And while I'm doing that (and smiling about many things that I didn't tell you about the party), I'd better share all these links. Head 'em up! Move 'em out!

Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits
  • J.K. Rowling's The Cuckoo's Calling is going to be turned into a series for BBC television.
  • HBO is inviting fans to collaborate on the Game of Thrones Compendium
  • Researchers at the University of Leeds (UK) have found what they believe to be the first travel-sized library.
  • What kind of reader are you?
  • I love this Scottish crime fiction map, and the wit who stated that some of these authors write "in a darker shade of plaid."
  • Blessings on all those who are involved in the running of these nursing homes. Nursing homes are NOT warehouses! 
  • I know the photograph was taken in Arizona, but it sold for $6.5 million
  • Summertime readers turn away from eBooks. I think the person who wrote the article missed out on an obvious reason.
  • On the other hand, the maritime industry embraces eBooks and digital newspapers.
  • This tongue-in-cheek article stating a Native American council has offered amnesty to 220 million undocumented whites made me laugh, but it also points out the reason why so many people need to get off their high horses when talking about immigration woes. We are ALL immigrants. Immigration problems are not new. They haven't been for a few centuries.
  • Why do some people avoid commercial eReaders?
  • Australians have shown the world exactly how to respond to terrorism with #IllRideWithYou.
  • The bookstore that bewitched John Lennon, Mick Jagger, and Greta Garbo.

Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones
  • Two new species of pseudoscorpions have been found in a cave on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. (And here you thought new species were only being discovered in places like the Amazon rainforest or Borneo....)
  • Archaeologists have been investigating the lost ancient city of Thonis-Heracleion, which sank under the Mediterranean Sea thousands of years ago.
  • These people discovered treasure under the farmhouse, and they had no idea it was even there.
  • The eerie underwater ballroom of a Victorian mining tycoon.
  • They've found a Revolutionary War-era time capsule in the Massachusetts state house. 
  • Just what exactly can you deduce from the art on a 2,400-year-old Egyptian coffin
  • A newly discovered dinosaur had an eagle face and was the size of a crow.
  • While doing some renovations, these Czech homeowners discovered items hidden by Jews during World War II.
  • I know I told you about the man who discovered a long-lost masterpiece when he saw it being used as a prop in the film "Stuart Little." Well, the painting has been sold in Hungary. 
  • Here's why Roman concrete has lasted for 2,000 years.
  • French archaeologists have discovered the tomb of a royal wife in Luxor, Egypt. 
  • Still in Luxor, restoration is complete, and for the first time in 3,200 years this colossal statue is standing once again.

The Happy Wanderer
  • The 15 best drone photos of 2014. 
  • Here's what the Grand Canyon looks like when it's completely filled with fog.
  • Although some of these are too over-the-top for me, some of these 25 mesmerizing outdoor Christmas lighting displays are quite nice.
  • 12 must-do experiences in Arizona. (My list is longer-- especially since most of these seem to be in the Tucson area. Tucson is great, but Arizona is a big state!)

I  ♥  Lists & Checking Them Twice

Book Candy
  • Serious Temptation #1: an I Brake for Bookstores license plate frame. 
  • Serious Temptation #2: an I Brake for Libraries license plate frame.
  • Too bad most homes are too small for one of these "book couches" (and I imagine the shipping from Italy would be pretty steep, too).

That's all for this week. Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.

Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. First, I have turned lime green with envy about the PP party with all of those authors. Glad you were giving out book suggestions, and I bet many people got some good ideas.
    And as far as Scottish crime fiction offering a "darker shade of plaid," it is "Tartan noir."
    I loved the link about why to fall in love with a Scottish person. When I was in high school, a friend's sister dated a Scottish artist with red hair and a great brogue. I was smitten, too. They married for years and then divorced.
    I liked the Women Warriors, some great stories, although I wouldn't give kudos to Confederate spies. But many of the other women I didn't know about and appreciated learning about.
    And this is just my first read. Am coming back for more later on.

    1. I love both phrases: "tartan noir" and "darker shade of plaid." Of course that doesn't have a thing to do with the Scottish blood running in my veins......

  2. Sounds like a great evening at the PP, Cathy. But there is no such thing as 'just a reader.' That's the most important role of all. And thanks as ever for the links. I love that Australian response to terrorism. Oh, and I must find out about the French archaeologists' find....

    1. It was a wonderful evening, Margot, and the Australians' response to terrorism? Brilliant!

  3. Well, I've got Irish and a bit of English blood running in my veins along with Russian/Polish/Jewish blood, too, and I must say I like Scottish mystery writers. Some of them are phenomenal. Never boring, always interesting.

    And the more I read about Glasgow, the more I feel like I must have some ancestry from that city somewhere way back in the gene pool. I would love to live there and just lap up the eccentricity.

    Meanwhile, I'll read Scottish mysteries.

    1. I've been pretty much all over Scotland, although I would love to get to the Outer Hebrides, the Shetlands, and Aberdeen. I love the entire country and don't understand the comments I read about visitors who found the Scots to be rude and unfriendly. Everywhere I've gone, I've found everyone to be warm and welcoming.

      But I always feel like I'm coming home once we've driven north and west of Glasgow. Glasgow and the Highlands are the best parts of Scotland for me-- and it's not all "ancestral memory" talking.


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