Norwegian Sven Magnus Carlsen retains his World Chess Championship! Go Norway!!

Magnus_Carlsen2So this week I discovered another Norwegian writer Jorgen Brekke, who I really like, and another blues artist Magnus Berg whose music will find a home in my music library! Then today I read that the reigning World Chess Champion Norwegian Magnus Carlsen retained his title by defeating challenger Viswanathan Anand. Carlsen won after the completion of the 11th game of the 12 scheduled games. The match ended on November 23rd with Carlsen winning three games, losing one and drawing seven. So who is this Magnus Carlsen….. from Wikipedia

Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen (Norwegian: [sʋɛn ˈmɑŋnʉs øːn ˈkɑːɭsn̩]; born 30 November 1990) is a Norwegian chess grandmaster, No. 1 ranked player in the world and reigning World Chess Champion in classical, rapid, and blitz. His peak rating is 2882, the highest in history. A chess prodigy, Carlsen became a Grandmaster in 2004, at the age of 13 years, 148 days, making him at that time the second youngest grandmaster in history, although he has since become the third youngest. On 1 January 2010, at the age of 19 years, 32 days, he became the youngest chess player in history to be ranked world No. 1. On the January 2013 FIDE rating list, Carlsen reached an Elo rating of 2861, at that time the highest in history. In November 2013, Carlsen defeated Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship 2013, thus becoming the new world chess champion, and subsequently defended his title during the World Chess Championship 2014 in November 2014 defeating Anand again.

read more

Where Monsters Dwell – (Odd Singsaker Book #1) – Jorgen Brekke – Hop on the Brekke Bandwagon!!

Where Monsters DwellWhen I first picked up Where Monsters Dwell by Jorgen Brekke, I knew nothing about the book, but when I read what Steve Berry wrote about the book….

“History pulses with life and excitement in this chilling and foreboding read. Jorgen Brekke delivers what thriller readers crave, or at least what this reader craves – action, history, secrets, conspiracies, and international settings. Couldn’t ask for anything more.”


and Library Journal wrote’….

“Engrossing… grissly murders investigated by likable detectives. This mystery is perfectly grim without being bleak.”


I thought that this would be a book, right up my alley, and I was right, very right! I loved this book. The main action takes in Trondheim, Norway where the mutilated body of the former head librarian at the Gunnerus Libraryis found in the locked vault that has the rarest books in the library’s collection.  While across the Atlantic the director of the Edgar Allen Poe museum is also found murdered with his body similarly mutilated!  The two likable detectives, who are assigned to the respective cases, are Norwegian Odd Singsaker and Richmond’s Felicia Stone. Both of the characters have flaws. Singsaker’s flaws come from a brain tumor that has recently been removed. The tumor cost  him his family.  Stone’s flaws come from a rape that occurred in her senior year of high school, which sent her life in a downward spiral.

read more

This Date in Music – November 22, 1941 -Jesse Colin Young was born! Happy Birthday, Jesse

Today we celebrate the birthday of the leader of The Youngbloods and solo artist Jesse Colin Young!  Who was born Perry Miller on November 22, 1941 in New York City. His mother was a violinist and his father an accountant.  From 1969 to 1972 Young recorded four albums with band mates: Jerry Corbitt(guitar), Lowell “Banana” Levinger (keyboard/guitar) ,and Joe Bauer(drums). Obviously, “Get Together ” was their biggest hit! One of my favorite songs of the Youngbloods comes from the album Rock Concert.It’s a Lovely Day”

The Youngbloods – It’s A Lovely Day

Young left the band in 1972 and started his solo career again with th album Together, which appears in my vinyl collection. His cover of “Creole Bell” on that album is a favorite! His next two albums  From Wikipedia:

read more

From the Archives: Book 33 of 2011 Lassiter by Paul Levine ….

By Paul Levine

Through the years two of my favorite mystery series are the Jake Lassiter and the Solomon and Lord series both from Paul Levine. I haven’t read a book of his since 2011, when I read Lassiter. Here’s the review I wrote about it back when I finished the book. Tonight as I was re-posting this review I went to Levine’s page at Amazon and I see that books 9 and 10 in the Jake Lassiter series are both available at Amazon for only $3.99 each!! What a steal! Now I only have to find time to read them!!!! Anyway here is the review for Lassiter!


So a couple of years ago after reading Paul Levine‘s book Illegal I sent him a message on Facebook and told him that I liked the book but sill missed Jake Lassiter! He emailed me back and told me that his next book was going to be a Lassiter novel. Well, that book, appropriately named Lassiter is Book 33 for 2011.Jake Lassiter is a “low-rent”  Miami attorney, whose clients are usually not from the upper echelon of the Miami social scene. Lassiter also previously played for the Miami Dolphins and was featured in a series of seven books that started with To Speak for the Dead in 1990 and ended with Flesh & Bones in 1997. I’ve read six out of the seven – Number 1 is the only one I haven’t read. And now thanks to reissuing of the books as e-books  for the Kindle, that can be read for only $2.99!

read more

Your Life Calling:Reimagining the Rest of Your Life – Jane Pauley

Your Life CallingWhen I saw Jane Pauley’s book.Your Life Calling in the library last week it was like, yes! This is the right book at the right time! And while it was not exactly what I anticipated, it was nevertheless a good read. See two months ago, I applied for Social Security, more out of necessity than actually wanting to retire. Throughout this past year, the work that I have done for the last 34 years,  has just not been there, and I have mostly been collecting unemployment and thinking about how I want to move forward with my life. I really don’t want to go out and find another job doing  the same thing that I have done, so when my unemployment insurance ran out, rather than just take any job, I applied for my benefits and upped my hours at Target. So far,it has been a good thing, but  I still keep wondering, is this all there really is, or is there something else out there that I would want to do!!

read more

Exploring Dan Harris’ Quest to up his happiness in 10% Happier!!

10 - HappierSo I finally finished Dan Harris’ book 10% Happier:How I Tame the Voice Inside My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge and Found Self-Help that Actually Works – A True Story  and it must say something about how  I feel about the book that it took me, probably, about a month to read a 221 page book, 237 pages if you count the appendix!! I guess if I realized that it was actually more of a biography than a self-help book it would have helped with my enjoyment of the book. However, as I wanted for the methods and things that I could do to reduce that voice inside my head, all I got really was another story about Dan’s quest to discover more about Buddhism and Mindful Meditation.

Now the stories were good mind you, mostly because Harris has through his job direct access to all the big names, so there were  stories about interviews and question sessions that Dan had with the likes of Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, and Mark Epstein along with having the money to pay for a nine-day retreat, all of which is something that I think we all wish we could have!!

read more

Amanda Kyle Williams’ The Stranger You Seek’s strong ending leads to Book 2 of the series!

The Stranger You SeekSo last week I wrote that I was struggling through The Stranger You Seek the first of the Keye Street novels from Amanda Kyle Williams. Tonight I went to the library to get book 2 in the series Stranger in the Room! It’s easy to explain the reason , stealing and editing a line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail “It Got Better!!

I guess that it took a while for the story to grab me, but once it did it didn’t let go until the last twist and turn in the plot! The protagonist of the book is Keye Street, an ex-FBI profiler who was a rising star in the agency, until her alcohol addiction brought her career crashing down. Now Keye is a working PI in Atlanta chasing down bail jumpers, catching adulterers, serving subpoenas, that is until her best friend Atlanta Police Detective Aaron Rauser calls her to help him out on a grisly murder case. The case’s profile quickly  rises soon turning into a hunt, for the “Wishbone” killer. As the killer taunts Rauser and Street, the hunt turns personal, with Keye and Rauser in the killer’s crosshairs.

read more

After a Great Read – Bad Things Happen by Harry Dolan – I can’t wait to begin Very Bad Man!

bad things happenA couple of Saturday’s ago, I was browsing through the books at Barnes & Noble and I came across The Last Dead Girl, Book # 3 in the David Loogan series written by Harry Dolan. On the dust jacket of the book I read that Stephen King called Dolan’s book Bad Things Happen   “a “great f***ing book“! When I came home, I went to my local libraries website and requested the book. I was captivated by the book from the opening sentence, the pages flew by and it quickly became Book 29 of 2014, and I agree with Mr King in is  a great f***king book!

The reader first meets the protagonist of the book, the mysterious David Loogan, while he is purchasing a shovel and some assorted gardening supplies, only David is not going to be doing any gardening,, no he is going to be digging a grave! A grave in which he and  his new employer Tom Kristoll, owner and editor of the mystery magazine Gray Streets, will bury a body. Days later, Tom Kristoll plummets from his sixth floor office window the victim of an apparent suicide. Was it really suicide or was it murder? David thinks it’s murder, as does Elizabeth Waishkey a top detective in the Ann Arbor Police Department, Soon the action in the book begins to follow the typical formula of a Gray Streets mystery “Plans go wrong, Bad Things Happen, People Die”  As more bodies pile up, David is determined to discover who killed his friend, and while Elizabeth wants to believe David is an innocent player in the mystery, ,after a detective from New York shows up and reveals that Loogan was once indicted for MURDER, that becomes a little harder!

read more

A Morning Song Playlist for a Lazy Saturday Morning!!

Misty-03-10-11-_0018I was thinking last night about things that I used to really like about listening to the radio, one of them was when the DJ would could a playlist with a central theme. Sometimes it would be a little hard to recognize but it was still fun.

This morning I woke up thinking, let’s make a morning song playlist….. The first song that popped into my head was “Get out of Bed” by Livingston Taylor. I bet that everyone thought about that one didn’t they!! Next came “I Woke Up this Morning” from Ten Years After. Followed by Joni Mitchell‘s “Morning Morgantown”  Then I thought, what about that song “one misty moisty morning” who sang that?? Spotify saved me and I found the Steeleye Span version that I was looking for! While I was searching for Steeleye Span, I came across Cat Steven’s “Morning Has Broken” why did I not think of the song we used as the recessional at our wedding?

read more

This Date in Music – November 12, 1945 Neil Young was born!

Neil YoungToday, we celebrate the birthday of a Rock music icon Neil Young, who born on November 12, 1945 in Toronto, Canada. From Wikipedia….

His father, Scott Alexander Young (1918–2005), was a journalist and sportswriter who would later rise to prominence in Canada for his work.[21] His mother, Edna Blow Ragland “Rassy” Young (1918–1990) was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.[22] His mother was an American of French ancestry.[23] They married in 1940 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and their first son, Robert ‘Bob’ Young, was born in 1942.

Shortly after Neil’s birth in 1945, the Young family moved to the rural town of Omemee, Ontario, which Neil would later fondly describe as a “sleepy little place”.[24] (Omemee would later establish the Youngtown Museum in tribute to Young.[25]) Young was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a child,[26] and also suffered from a bout of polio in 1951, in what was the last major outbreak of the disease in Ontario.[27] This was in fact the same epidemic in which singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, then aged nine, also contracted the virus. Read More.

read more