Friday, May 18, 2018

The Gift that Keeps on Giving Weekly Link Round-Up

I'm still eyebrow deep in photos--which wasn't helped by the visit Denis and I made to the Desert Botanical Garden Wednesday where I took 283 more photos. So I'm going to chat about this and that.

Denis and I are members of the Desert Botanical Garden, and our membership is a gift that just keeps on giving. I always see something new each and every time I go there, and I'll be sharing photos of the new plants I saw in the days to come.

If we lived in Tucson, I know we'd be members of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, which is the best of both worlds as far as I'm concerned-- both zoo and garden. The photo to the left is one that I took when Daisy, Denis and I were there. Why did I take it? Because I'd never before seen flower buds on a teddy bear cholla. May not mean much to you, but it was pretty special to me. I just wish we'd been there when they were in full bloom!

And while I'm on the subject of gifts, I received a book from someone this week, the latest in a series that I once enjoyed but no longer read. I greatly appreciate the gift, and although I won't be reading the book, I have passed it along to someone who was absolutely thrilled to receive it. That's what it's all about, isn't it? Getting the right books in the right hands at the right time?

Ack! Before I begin stumbling into philosophy, I'd better head on out to the corral. Head 'em up! Mooooooooove 'em out!

►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
  • According to author Sophie Hannah, it's no mystery that crime is the biggest-selling genre in books.
  • There may be hope for eliminating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch-- scientists have accidentally produced an enzyme that devours plastic
  • How small local presses have turned Los Angeles into a publishing town.
  • Rare nineteenth-century books were found unexpectedly during a police investigation.
  • The jaw-dropping city of books at Biblioteca Vasconcelos in Mexico City.

►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
  • Skeletons from a Napoleonic battlefield shed light on the soldiers' health.
  • The wreck of a rare German U-boat has been found after 73 years.
  • A thirteen-year-old boy and an amateur archaeologist have unearthed a legendary Danish king's treasure trove in Germany. Here's another article about King Harald Bluetooth's trove. 
  • This remarkable charm bracelet chronicles life inside a concentration camp. 
  • 1,200 artworks were stuffed into a three-story Quincy, Massachusetts home. Now a collection is being unveiled.
  • Mysterious 600-year-old dodgy dice have been discovered in a medieval gambling den.

►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
  • Nearly 1,400 basking sharks were spotted in a mysterious gathering off the East Coast.
  • Python trackers find a record breeding group in Florida.
  • A very angry badger wreaked havoc in a 500-year-old Scottish castle.
  • Skull surgery was performed on this Stone Age cow.

►I ♥ Lists & Quizzes◄

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 great weekend, and read something fabulous!


  1. I know just what you mean, Cathy, about being members of the Desert Botanical Garden. My husband and I belonged to the San Diego Zoo for a time, and we always saw something different and new every time we were there. Botanical gardens are gorgeous, too. I'll have to visit our local one - as soon as I get back from looking at that Danish treasure trove.

    1. While Daisy was here, we visited two more places that we're very interested in having memberships to. Oh, to be independently wealthy!

  2. Oh, I would be member of the Desert Botanical Gardens if I lived in your part of the world too. Well, that's if I could ever bring myself to leave The Poisoned Pen. Ha! Those blooms are gorgeous. My husband is coming out your way in a couple of weeks with a men's group to play golf. I decided to not accompany him this time. Maybe next year. :-)

    1. Not enough authors to tempt you at The Pen, eh? ;-)

  3. Love the photos. Since I never see desert cacti and their blooms, I so enjoy looking at your photos.

    As per Sophie Hannah's take on why crime fiction is the most popular fiction genre in Britain, I have other views on this. Not all crime fiction results in justice. Finding the perpetrator -- usually, yes. Getting justice: not always. Donna Leon's books are a case in point.

    Leon's books are loved by millions, especially in Europe, but the perpetrators, rich, well-connected, corporate, etc., are rarely charged and punished by the state.

    And with psychological suspense, often the perpetrator isn't caught or some weird twists happen and he/she isn't caught.

    There are so many genres of crime fiction it's hard to generalize. In legal mysteries, sometimes the perpetrators get off, as in some of Michael Connelly's Mickey Haller books.

    I think, for one thing, crime fiction is riveting. One can pick up a book and if it's good, one is glued from page one. This isn't true of other types of fiction. Rarely do I read other fiction, even though good, which I can't wait to return to after I'm doing other things.

    And the whodunnit is riveting in many books? Or the why?

    The mystery component just pulls in a reader who is driven to want to know the answers.

    1. I'm glad you're enjoying my photos, and as for Hannah's take on why crime fiction is so popular, it's just that--her take-- and I think she would welcome all other points of view, as I did yours.

  4. Thank you.

    I gather from reading articles about various crime fiction readers that Europeans are OK with justice not being the conclusion of a mystery but Americans want justice, the perpetrator caught and punished.

    1. It could be that Europeans are much more world-weary (and world-wise) than we Americans. We tend to want things to work the way they should, come hell or high water.

  5. Yep. And maybe Europeans are more sophisticated, including in their reading. They do read a lot more books from other countries, including translations.

    U.S. readers delve into U.S.-English language books, far fewer reads from abroad.

    The studies are interesting. Maybe being over here "across the pond" is more isolating than for Europeans who are surrounded and within a train ride (or ferry or tunnel trip) from other countries.

    I'm amazed what European book lovers are reading. Their blogs make me dizzy.!

    Just read an excellent book about Germany by Jenny Erpenbeck, "Go, Went, Gone." It's heartbreaking, about African migrants who have nothing. I teared up every few pages, but it's so good. How many U.S. readers will see it?
    It's sad.

    Global reading is not only a pleasure, but mind-expanding and it increases empathy.

    1. Being separated from most of the rest of the world by two huge oceans hasn't done Americans a whole lot of good.The distance doesn't keep us out of any wars, but it isolates our brain cells and makes us think we don't belong with "the rest of the world."


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