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November 10, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Finding Orion. Three stars.

As long as I can find Orion, it will be OK.

Three little stars in a row.

Colorado night sky.all rights reserved. No permissions granted. copyrighted

Night steals across the mountains. Need stars to guide you. ©

Ursa Major. Little Dipper. The North Star. Venus on the horizon. All having their place, but not in my sights.

While many look westward to Hollywood for brilliance, I rather like these.

Low maintenance.

No breathless confiding personal twitter feeds.

An unsettled season ahead: winter already blustering and the holiday frenzy starting.

1937 Vintage couple. 1937 Emperor's Candlesticks.MGM employee/US PD:, no cr/

Don’t be afraid, Dahling It’s Santa, not a zombie. It’s a holiday “Ho Ho Ho”, not a demented moan. See? The outfits are different colors. (1937MGM/US PD:

Forced marches to the mall. (shiver).

Halloween clowns quick-changed into red velvet and green felt with jingles instead of blood-red fangs and snarls with oozing slime.

The frights keep coming, though, with the never-ending perky seasonal tunes.

Similar glazed eyes in the crowds.

Will the horror never end?

Maybe with a little assistance of your presence.

Mystery shopper or shopping mystery?

Escape. That’s what’s offered. A way out of herds’ gift buying treks.

Susan Toy's book. Island in the Clouds

Kick back enjoy some sunny Caribbean island time in Island in the Clouds by Susan Toy.

Nothing like finding a body in the pool early in the morning. A breezy mystery set on the Island of Bequia, this book is a perfect way to banish winter cabin fever. Hey, the main character thought that leaving the Canadian cold and his secret past for island living was a way to uncomplicate his life…and maybe avoid jail. The irony.

Written in a casual humorous style, the characters are interesting and well-developed. Dialogue as real as what comes out of your neighbor’s mouth. I couldn’t stop laughing…well, not at the bodies, but the actions/reactions to them, yes! A murder mystery tied up in a well written package.

If you’ve been to the islands, you’ll smile along. If not, you’ll be booking tickets determined to experience it for yourself. (And the palm trees at the start of each chapter is the perfect wish-I-was-there tropical touch.)

Marilyn Monroe before stardom.Postcard.Teichnor Bros, Boston (US, no cr, artist life/

Now THIS is A Winter Wonderland.(Marilyn Monroe before stardom.Postcard.Teichnor Bros/US

Roughseasinthemed wrote a terrific review of the novel. Can’t improve on perfection. Read that review here.

A perfect gift for the “Winter-outside-is-frightful” crowd. Warm scenes, warm characters, and warming laughter.

Here’s where to purchase it, read the first chapter, find more reviews, and discover more about this delightful author.

Susan Toy’s busy with a WIP, so expect another tale to set sail soon.

Can’t wait. Never enough island times.

While considering flying and airports, roll up to the gate with Jethead.

No, it has nothing to do with Airplane Headrest Hair Style Rescue.

Another get-a-way on the runway. 

You always wanted to know what the pilots actual think? Here’s your chance.

Chris Mano's Book of air travel cartoons

First, to get you jollied up before/after dealing with airport security:

Flight Crew Like You: Airline Cartoons from the Insider View (Vol.2) by Chris Manno.

An Amazon Editors’ Favorite Book of the Year, 2014. (see Amazon write-up here)

As one fan commented, “The cartoons are genuine belly-laugh humor for anyone who flies, whether row zero or the Victim of Row Twenty. Marvelous stuff.”

You can preview cartoons on Jethead’s blog.

A terrific stocking stuffer as well as a carry-on bag necessity for holiday travel.

Chris Manno's book. 25 essays about air travel and planes form a pilot's view

Once the plane’s in the air (and the grip on the armrest loosens) coast along with Mach Speed Tumbleweed

Cruise through a pilot’s reflections in 25 short essays.

Soaring thoughts. Life in general looks different from the friendly, yet sometimes dark skies.

Touch down for a Jethead essay  sample. (And while there, glide around to see what pilots think about Ebola.)

Called the Jonathan Livingston Seagull of our time, the books not just about airports, rowdy passengers, or weathering the bad . See Amazon’s thoughts.

A great travel book, it’s a gift that will make the trip more than just going from point A to point B.

And besides, you know about weather delays, right? Be prepared to settle in for the wait.

Chris Mano is a talented writer we expect to see more of with a novel and a non-fiction book in the works.

How can you not like a guy that writes poetry on Twitter?

Air traffic control isn’t the only one keeping an eye on this one.

1953. Space Patrol cast. Moser Productions Press packet/US PD

Not dreaming this. 1953 Space Patrol pilots and crew (Moser Productions/US

But you have to come down to earth sometime. And do something about it.

Cecilia Gunther never in her whole life expected to be building a sustainable organic farm. But there she is. And a very long way from home.

Stuff happens, she realized.

Being the oldest of a family whose mother died young, well, she worried.

Worry about words unsaid to her little sister.

Cecilia Gunther's book Letters to my Little Sister

An idea became a conversation which became a book: Letters for My Little Sister.

Amazon Editors’ Favorite Books of the Year, 2014, this one is a collaborative effort from almost 70 women. “Real stories, real experiences, from real women. Letters, essays, and poems about Menopause.”

Read “little sister” Gabrielle’s letter written in response after reading the book written for her.

That suddenly cranky woman who’s constantly fanning herself when everyone else is freezing? A long distance daughter?

Yeah, this is a perfect gift for her.

Read the reviews and you’ll see.

There were only 30 copies left last week. If Amazon says they’re out, contact Cecilia at . She may have a few tucked back on the shelf. (Although she’s already gathering and prodding writers for the next anthology.)

Cecilia, "Boo! Put the phone down!" Boo, "But Mom, I'm only trying to tell them to hurry and order before the books are al gone!" (

Cecilia, “Boo! Put the phone down!”
Boo, “But Mom, I’m only trying to tell them to hurry and order before the books are all gone!” (

Three stars rising.

Had the presence of mind to offer you a chance to grab the perfect present without being tense.

It’s going to be a circus out there soon. Detours not such a bad idea.

Find some good GPS  or guiding stars.

You can borrow Orion, the Hunter, if you like. He’s got star quality with his belt of bling.

Book some time away from the garish tinsel, poor plastic copy, and celebrity product hawkings.

Choose dark skies for bright stars and cool conversation.

Until then, to all, a good night.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

all rights reserved. no permissions granted copyrighted

While this is water and not sky, you can see stars here sometimes. Besides it was a nice pix. You did realize it is upside down, right? ©



  1. Paul / Nov 10 2014 1:59 pm

    Cool choices Phil. Thanks!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 10 2014 2:39 pm

      Just a few writers to wrap your thoughts around. Thanks for boxing up a gift worthy comment!


  2. shoreacres / Nov 10 2014 2:26 pm

    There won’t be much fiction reading around here, but there’s going to be plenty of avoiding. Yesterday, I thought to myself, “Ah, it’s 4 o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. Think I’ll go check out the new HEB.” Well, let me tell you. There are hundreds of Texas towns who have populations smaller than the number of cars in that parking lot, and plenty of malls that are smaller than that store.

    It was a good reminder of something I tend to forget: shopping malls and The Season belong in Dante’s 14th circle of hell, just below Houston traffic and just above tech support reps speaking unintelligible languages.

    I’ll opt for the stars. Thanks for jogging my mind. It’s time to go into defensive mode.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 10 2014 2:46 pm

      Oh, figured that parking lot would be jammed yesterday. Determined to brave the obstacles shortly.(Dinner time or when school is about out?) Nice to have a new option – would like to get groceries at one stop – Randall’s keeps limiting their brands on the shelf more and more.
      With the incoming chilly weather, the mall music will be prodding and hypnotizing shoppers. Opting for small local merchants and online this year. You said the perfect comparisons for mall shopping.
      Enjoy the last scarf of warm fall – she’s getting ready to jerk it away and pack it up for a while! Thanks for gazing along


      • shoreacres / Nov 10 2014 2:48 pm

        Important note: the new HEB has real French macaroons in their bakery. They’re WONDERFUL!


  3. easyweimaraner / Nov 10 2014 3:50 pm

    The pilot-book would be perfect for my mom. Do you think it will chase away her aerophobia?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 10 2014 5:08 pm

      If not it would make a tasty toy to chew on! Thanks for the paw wave, Easy. (See ya’ soon!)


  4. dogear6 / Nov 10 2014 4:46 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations and for giving Cecelia a shout on her book! I loved that picture of Boo – he’s such a cutie. But don’t tell Molly I said that. She’s a cutie too.



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 10 2014 5:12 pm

      Books as presents are always the right size! And choosing a title make it a much more personal gift. When looking for a farmy pix, Boo’s just fit….he’s so helpful, he’s probably been staying in touch with Amazon and calling to promote Ci’s book….those are so not crank calls, people! Boo is so dear. Molly’s a fan and wants to go visit. Thanks for wrapping up a comment to place here


  5. Spinster / Nov 10 2014 6:00 pm

    Books & reading. ❤


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 11 2014 7:55 pm

      And the weather seems to be ready to encourage that? Bundle up and settle in for a long cold winter. (What? possible freeze here? Much too early. Hauling out the flannel sheets. Gut it up plants!) Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Carrie Rubin / Nov 10 2014 6:31 pm

    Islands in the Clouds sounds like a great book. Thanks for the heads-up on it and the other books you mentioned.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 11 2014 8:00 pm

      And apparently we’re all going to be spending time inside seeking warmth in books and such. Island is a quick light read – I enjoyed it. Will get you thinking about sunny places for a winter break. (Hmmm, thinking of maybe a flu season list of suggested titles…a medical mystery like yours would fit there nicely…better work on that idea in a bit…)
      Bundle up and grab a book. Might as well get ready to settle in. Thanks for booking a comment

      Liked by 2 people

  7. EllaDee / Nov 11 2014 5:41 am

    I’m trying to think about Christmas shopping without my head exploding… Thanks for reminding me how wonderful books are, even if I probably just buy them for myself! I had no idea about “Amazon Editors’ Favorite Books of the Year, 2014” for LFMLS. Wow. I’m impressed. Celi really deserves the accolade, and I’m pleased to be along for the ride 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 11 2014 8:04 pm

      Certainly time for survival plans. On this side of the world, winter is coming early, so might be time to wrap up and settle in with a book….we’ll be envious of your sunny skies!
      How Celi manages to got so much done, I can’t figure out. Totally amazing. We do need to have a farmy fan convention, I think….when it’s warmer there!(Or we can all vote on a tropical island located in the middle of us all?)
      Thanks for checking out the book shelves here


  8. jannatwrites / Nov 12 2014 2:37 am

    I much prefer stars in the sky to the earthly kind 🙂 That first book was especially intriguing to me. This post really makes me wish I had more time to read.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 12 2014 1:42 pm

      When the clouds are out, books are a wonderful retreat…and it looks like winter is here. I know what you mean about not having time to read….but I figure sooner or later I’ll be stuck sitting and then I’ll catch up – meanwhile, up and away! Thanks for paging over to comment


  9. Littlesundog / Nov 12 2014 2:54 am

    Thank you for the recommendations! Of course I’m already a proud owner of 3 copies of Cecilia’s book. One for myself and two for gifts. Books make the loveliest gifts… 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 12 2014 1:45 pm

      My Grandmother, a librarian, always said books were the best and most personal gift you can give. Don’t out grow them, you can write a note in the front that can bring smiles for years, and it shows you took enough time to pick just the right one – one you knew they would like. All the jingle bells make me think of the old fashion book stores – that’s Christmas! Thanks for browsing through these pages


  10. jmmcdowell / Nov 13 2014 9:52 pm

    Hmm, I think I need to check out that Island in the Clouds—definitely sounds like a fun book to curl up with on a cold winter night!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 14 2014 3:56 pm

      All the warnings about this arctic front got me looking to see what books needed to be read around here. Warm ones! That book made me laugh – a light fun read. Wonder if power blackouts loom this winter. We’re not built for long periods of frozen down here – at least this house is snug and warm with plenty of insulation (memories of cutting holes in sheetrock so you can use a hair dryer to warm incoming water pipes…) Thanks for sailing by with a comment


  11. roughseasinthemed / Nov 19 2014 7:06 pm

    Hey, thanks for the mention. Pleased to see Susan’s book up there and you’ve piqued other’s interest in it. I love books. I don’t understand why no-one ever bought me books after I grew up :(They bought me books as a kid to encourage me to read and then no more fix for me. Get your own. But still, Partner has bought me the odd few for Christmas. Definition of bliss: fire, lie on sofa, read new book on Christmas Day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 19 2014 11:36 pm

      Your review is where I found Susan. It was just the read I needed at the time – (Hope she continues with at least some of those characters in the next book.) We always had tons of books growing up probably because my dad’s family was too poor to have many when he was growing up. But my mom gave most of our kid books away when I went to college. Sadly some of my collected books are in boxes since this house is so much smaller than the last one. No room for book shelves. A bunch I gave to the local library. Ebooks are great for travel and waiting in offices, but it is so nice to curl up with real books. (Recently have slowed down reading blogs in favor of reading books. Will have to try and toggle back and forth between the two. Not enough time…unless the laundry/ironing/floors get ignored – sounds OK to me, but it’s not selling well here! Hope the ankle is doing OK. Will be by shortly!) Thanks for stopping by

      Liked by 1 person


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