I just finished the most delightful book that’s come my way in a long time, ‘City of Flickering Light’ written by Juliette Fay.  This book wasn’t on the Express Shelf, where the best sellers are waiting, but back in a stack of nondescript books waiting to be discovered. 

Juliette Fay has created a fascinating setting in the early days of Hollywood, before ‘talkies’ when moves were referred to as ‘flickers’ or simply ‘pictures’.  I fell in love with the characters and discovered a fascination for early Hollywood. The tough times and strict mores of the early 1920’s makes me all the more appreciative of today’s easier lifestyle.  

Each chapter starts with a quote from a Hollywood personality.  Although we might not have  seen these people on the big screen, the names will be familiar.  One of my favorite quotes is from Mary Astor, “The five stages in the life of an actor: Who’s Mary Astor?  Get me Mary Astor. Get me a Mary Astor type. Get me a young Mary Astor. Who’s Mary Astor?”  From Cecil B. DeMille, “Give me any two pages of the Bible and I’ll give you a picture.” One more, from Rudolph Valentino, “Women are not in love with me but with the picture of me on the screen.  I am merely the canvass upon which the women paint their dreams.” 

The frosting on this delicious treat is the Author’s Notes at the end.  I loved reading about the real-life people and events her story is based on. I’d be happy if ‘City of Flickering Light’ was the first in a series but, apparently it is a stand alone book.  Pick it up if you want an enjoyable afternoon in Tinseltown.  

I enjoy a good series, one of my favorites is the Maise Dobbs series set during WWI by Jacqueline Winspear .  I found it impossible not to love Maise,  her indomitable spirit and perseverance to prove she can succeed in a world that didn’t allow many opportunities for women. Start this six book adventure with the first in the series entitled simply, Maisie Dobbs.  

Stephanie Plumb continues to tickle me with her inept antics as a bounty hunter.  My sister and I love this light-hearted series, Marilyn admits to having the hots for Ranger, Stephanie’s ‘bad boy’,  I’m drawn  to her sexy Italian boyfriend Joe Morelli.    Lula is the perfect side kick for Stephanie and Grandma Mazur is truly one of a kind.    I was hooked at  “One for the Money” and “Twisted Twenty-Six’ is currently on my library reserve list. 

Spencer Quinn, allows his favorite dog, Chet, to tell amusing stories about his detective buddy,  Bernie.  Titles like ‘Dog on It’, ‘To Fetch a Thief’ and  ‘Paw and Order’ are a clue to the light manner of these tails.  oops, tales.  

The week we retired we walked into our neighborhood library and in awe I murmured, “So many books,  I want to read them all’  Retirement brought ample time to read and I’m so grateful.  Since the library started including a reading history associated with our library cards I’ve check out over a thousand books.  I haven’t read all of them, sometimes the book  wasn’t my cup of tea  or more often, I picked up more books than I could possible read in three weeks.  Thank goodness for the ‘Click to Renew’ button on the library site.      

Monty and I are drawn to mysteries and we have several favorite authors, it is like old home week when get to share the latest release from one of our ‘go to’ writers.   I love the continuing story lines, it’s like renewing relationships with old friends.  The mention of events in previous books sparks memories of good reads from the past.   

John Sandford, Harlan Coben, C .J. Box, J. A.Jance, John GrishamMichael Connley, Steve Martini, Lisa Scottoline, Robert Crais, T. Jefferson Parker, Joseph Finder to name a few of the detective  writers Monty and I both enjoy. Not all of these writers thrive on serial killers but if one murder is good, sometimes two or three might be better.  

 I’ve read several of Jodi Picult’s  books until Jodi and I came to a parting of the ways over ‘Handle with Care’.   At the final page, I slammed the cover and never picked up another one of her books.  After about twenty books, Stuart Woods and I also ended our relationship, when his main character started acting like a pompous buffoon.  The break-ups weren’t difficult, there are a lot of good authors and plenty of books in the library.  I’m sure Jodi never asked what happened to me and Stuart actually states on his fly leaf,  he is not interested in hearing from his readers with story ideas or comments.  I didn’t intend to write to him but his arrogance is obnoxious. 

I’ve already mentioned favorite mystery writers and series writers;  the following authors have several books on the shelves we’ve enjoyed many of them.   

Fanny Flagg – heartwarming, funny stories from the south

Sharyn McCrumb – intriguing stories about Appalachia 

Amy Bloom –   variety, some light some more serious 

Erin Hilderbrand – perfect beach reads

Bill Bryson – humor you gotta love. 

In addition, the following are some favorite books from the last year or so.  You know I’ll use too many words to describe them, so I’ll trust you to use Google or your library site for a synopsis.  Reading through these titles makes me happy, I really loved each of these books, and it so hard not to start with  “You’ll love this one because . . .”  

Last Ride to Graceland – Kim Wright

The Woman in the Window- A. J. Finn

The Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

The Wrong Side of Goodbye – Michael Connley

The Girl in the Garden – Melanie Wallace

The Nightingale – Kristin Hannah

The Alice Network – Kate Quinn

The All Girl Filling Station Reunion – Fanny Flag

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie – Mary Ann Shaffer 

The Red Tent – Anita Diemant

The Art of Racing in the Rain – Garth Stein 

A Spool of Blue Thread – Anne Tyler

Water for Elephants – Sue Gruen

The Thunderbolt Kid – Bill Bryson

The Light Will Be perfect – David Patterson 

Good Morning, Midnight – Lilly Brooks-Dalton

The Shack – William Young ( I own this one and love re-reading it)

Centennial – James Mitchner (I read this about 40 years ago and just picked up an old paper back to read it again. )


So many books, I just can’t read fast enough! 

What’s on your nightstand this week?  Tell me about it – let’s share.


4 replies
  1. Pat
    Pat says:

    I just took a screenshot of your book list. I’ve read and enjoyed some of them but always looking for a good book. I usually force myself to wait until evening to read. Otherwise my chores would never get done. I look forward to an evening when I know I’ll continue reading a really good book. On the other hand I’ll feel bad when I finish that book and don’t have another really good one to look forward to.

    really bad when I finish a really good book.

    • Carrie Bonello
      Carrie Bonello says:

      I love having time to read, it seems so personal just you and the book and you can be any character in the book you want to be. Hoe you enjoy the list, I’m sure I overlooked many good ones.

  2. Glenn Gilmore
    Glenn Gilmore says:

    I have read some of these author’s and those that can draw me in the first 15 or 20 pages
    are the ones I’m mostly drawn to finish and get the next one by that author. But your list
    make’s me wonder how many hours are in your day! Thanks for the list, now i can cut right
    right the good ones.

  3. Tricia Chiodo
    Tricia Chiodo says:

    The library should give points like an airline, frequent readers should move to the front of the waitlist. I’m sure you’d be at the front of every line


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