Sunday, 30 June 2013

Books for June

Another quite busy reading month for me - nine books read and Carl's once Upon a Time challenge finished and completed with nine books under my belt. Looking forward to R.I.P. now, in September, but in the meantime I have two other challenges that I ought to crack on with, I've read half the books for one and and a third for the other. No problem really but it would pay me to get another couple read this month for those.

Anyway. I am, as usual, several books behind with reviewing. In fact it's four. So I will list my books and then do a quickie review of those four as I get to them at the end.

36. The Iron Duke - Meljean Brook

37. The Whisperers - John Connolly

38. Death Without Company - Craig Johnson

39. My Animals and Other Family - Clare Balding

40. The Bell at Sealey Head - Patricia McKillip

41. Kindness Goes Unpunished - Craig Johnson

This is book three in the author's Walt Longmire series. Walt and Henry Standing Bear go to Philadelphia, Walt to visit his daughter, Cady, for a few days and Henry to set up a photography exhibition in a famous art gallery. Cady has a new man in her life and is anxious for her father to meet him. Unfortunately Walt has hardly arrived in the city before he gets news that his daughter has been involved in an assault and is in the hospital. She's badly injured and in a coma and it's not certain if she will be brain damaged or even survive the attack. Walt sets out to find the culprit, not easy in a city the size of Philadelphia, and not easy with Walt's wild west attitude to crime solving.

Loved this to bits. It's always fun to take a main character out of their familiar setting, 'Crocodile Dundee' style, and this was no exception. It's clear Walt is a real fish out of water and struggling to cope, not only with his daughter's predicament, but the city itself and the kind of people who live there. Great stuff. I have two more of these on my tbr shelf and will definitely be getting them all.

42. A Dog Abroad - Bruce Fogle

The author of  A Dog Abroad, Bruce Fogle, is apparently a well known writer of books about pets, and also very involved in the charity, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. I thought the surname sounded familiar and realised about halfway through the book that his son is Ben Fogle, a very well known UK TV personality and maker of documentaries. I think I probably should have realised that a bit sooner...

Anyway, this is a travel book. The author decides to take a trip in his camper van, along with his dog, Macy. The route is across The Channel, through the top part of Germany, into Denmark, across to Sweden, Finland and back in huge loop through Baltic countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. Bruce Fogle is a Canadian, living in the UK, but with Eastern European, Jewish roots, and he wishes to discover more about those roots and see exactly where his people came from.

What an enjoyable book! I like a good travel yarn anyway, always have, but this is so very personal somehow. Macy, the labrador is adorable, and the author is very, very good at describing landscape and atmospheres. The 'Great Plain' of Europe came alive in this book and the feel of it is still very much with me, even though it's over a week since I finished it. I loved hearing about the forests and mountains of Scandinavia too, the characters of the inhabitants of each country, his own adventures, the dog, all of it. This book was a joy, and I'm delighted to discover that Bruce Fogle has written a similar book about America, Travels With Macy, so I'll be grabbing that as soon as I can.

43. A Point of View - Clive James

Brits and Aussies will all know who Clive James is, not sure about North Americans. Basically Clive is a journalist who has worked on newspapers and on TV, a TV personality who has done all kinds of light entertainment shows and so on. Currently he writes a TV review column for The Saturday Telegraph which I always read. But he is also a bit of a scholar, speaking many languages fluently, a poet, and a writer of essays. From 2007 to 2009 he was asked to contribute to the radio programme, A Point of View, and this book is the result - essays based on those broadcasts.

Many, many subjects are covered: Global warming... Clive is a sceptic... politicians of all countries, Prince Harry fighting in Afghanistan, Wimbledon, the film world, books, feminism, The Olympics, the list is endless. Clive is an amazing writer, absolutely amazing. Some of these subjects sound a bit dry but handled by him they never are. His observations are always razor sharp, delivered with astuteness and always, always, with humour. I laughed and laughed all the way through. Several times my husband asked me why on earth I was cracking up, unable to stop giggling... yes, the book is that funny, but it also has a lot of serious points to make and will make anyone who reads it think about things from a different angle, and just plain think to be honest. I think that achievement alone would make Clive James a happy man.

44. Dog On It - Spencer Quinn

Chet is a dog owned by Bernie, a private detective in, I *think*, Arizona, but am not certain. Bernie is down on his luck. (Are these detectives ever anything else? LOL) He's divorced from his wife and thus does not see his son as much as he would like. Finances are really bad and there isn't much work about. Then a woman contacts him to ask him to look for her missing daughter. The daughter then turns up with a story about where she's been, but Bernie does not believe her. She goes missing again and stays missing. Bernie starts looking into the family's circumstances... parents divorced, father running a company buildng a private, exclusive housing estate. It seems his finances are not as they should be, could that have something to do with the girl's disappearance?

Well, this is an unusal book in that it's written from the point of view of Chet, Bernie's dog. Quite the brilliant idea really as this means we don't get the full facts as a human would know and understand them, we get a dog's view of the world and what he makes of the things he hears. From that the reader has to deduce for themselves what is going on and why. We also get to know about Chet's world, how a dog reacts to various stimuli, his needs, and how he reacts to the people in his life and strangers. What struck me in a couple of places is how helpless dogs are at times, how reliant they are on us for their wellbeing. An obvious point, but brought over very strongly in this book. I always like it when books make me think about something I'd previously taken for granted or not given any thought to whatsoever. This is book one in the author's 'Chet and Bernie' mysteries and I already have book two on reserve at the library.

So that's my June in books. The thing I'm quite pleased about is that of the nine books three were non-fiction. That's much better than I've been doing in recent months. I do enjoy both fiction and non-fiction but tend to neglect the latter in favour of the former.  Silly really. It's just a case of finding the right non-fiction for me, but that's the case with fiction too; I've become very skilled at choosing that for myself, I just need to become as clever with picking factual books.

Happy July reading.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Once Upon a Time VII wrap-up

Goodness, that three months whizzed by! It doesn't seem five minutes since the 21st. March when I was thrilled that Once Upon a Time VII had begun.

Now here we are, three months later, and it's over again for another year. Sad, but on the other hand it's been huge fun.

Anyway, back in March I decided to do:

Which was to read five books that fit anywhere within the fantasy genre.

The books I read were:

1. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

2. The Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb

3. Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

4. Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton

5. Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch

6. Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

7. The Various by Steve Augarde

8. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

9. The Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia McKillip

A bit of a mixed bag there. There're the three Rivers of London books that Ben Aaronovitch has written so far. I had no idea I would like those so much that I would have to read them all very quickly! And at last I've made a start on Robin Hobb's Ship of Magic series, so I'm very pleased about that. There were a couple that were basically romances in the fantasy genre and none the worse for that - Casting Spells and The Iron Duke. I read one book I'd never had any intention of reading because I knew it was about football, Unseen Academicals, and was shocked at how much I liked it. And then there were two books, The Various and The Bell at Sealey Head that felt almost real enough to actually happen when I read them, that was an odd experience I have to say!

A favourite? That's a tough question as I was lucky this year and all nine books were good reads. I think it's a tie between Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett and The Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. Both of these were absolutely superb and I loved them to bits... Unseen Academicals especially so as it was such a shock that I liked it as much as I did. It's always nice when that happens.

This is the photo I posted on the 21st. March of some of the books I thought I ought to read:

Looking (rather shamefaced) at that it seems I managed two and a half. The half is because I read about half of Terry Pratchett's new book of short stories but have not yet finished it, so am not counting that. All in all I read five of my own books, which include two from that shelf and one Kindle book. Three on the list were library books and the last belongs to my eldest daughter. To be honest I'm actually quite pleased that I did in fact manage to read five books off my tbr pile!

So that's it for another year. I've really enjoyed the challenge and would like to thank Carl once again for hosting. Last week I put aside two books for R.I.P. in September. Yes... I really, really did. LOL.

Monday, 17 June 2013

The Bell at Sealey Head

My ninth, and certainly my final, book for Carl's Once Upon a Time VII challenge is The Bell at Sealey Head by Patricia McKillip.

A bell rings in Sealey Head, at sundown, every night of the year. The people all hear it but they don't know where it comes from. Some think it's a ship's bell, a ship that was lost hundreds of years ago perhaps, ringing deep under the sea. But strangely no one has ever actually tried to find out the real source of the sound.

Judd Cauley runs an inn on the cliffs, overlooking the ocean. The inn is rundown, hardly anyone ever comes to stay, so Judd and his blind father are rather down on their luck. And then a mysterious visitor arrives, one Ridley Dow. He soon makes it clear to Judd that he thinks the bell ringing is somehow magical, nothing to do with ships lost at sea.

In another part of town an old woman lies dying. Aislinn house is the 'big house' of the town and the old lady is wealthy. Her heir must be called for and thus Miranda Beryl arrives in the town with an entourage so large they can't all be accommodated at the house. Instead they will stay at Judd's inn, the inn's fortunes are on the up at last.

Aislinn house itself it a pretty odd place. Emma, a housemaid, sees things there. She opens doors and sees Ysabo, a young woman clearly from a another time, whose whole life is bound up with ritual... certain tasks which have to be performed at precise times of the day or else... But Ysabo doesn't know what 'or else' might entail: she badly wants to know, but questions are not allowed. The newcomer to the inn, Ridley Dow, is strangely interested in the goings on at Aislinn house. Again, he thinks magic is somehow involved. It's all deeply mysterious and Ridley's comings and goings and weird theories end up involving Judd, his friend, Gwyneth, and her friends the Sproule siblings. When Ridley suddenly disappears it's up to them to solve the mystery of the bell at Sealey Head.

Well, this is the first book I've read by author, Patricia McKillip. I'd heard of her of course, anyone who reads a lot of fantasy books, probably has, but her books seem to stay on the other side of the Atlantic. It's rare to see anything by her in a UK bookshop, and in the whole of Devon, no library has even one of her books: I think that's rather a shame.

A shame because this book with its mix of historical 'real life' and a magical 'other world' was quite unlike any fantasy book I've ever read. Hard to put my finger on why because really I don't think this plotline is unique. It doesn't feel unique and yet I felt I was reading something very different. Perhaps it was the writing. It was at times quite sparse, especially with the dialogue, and then at other times it wasn't. Sometimes I had to reread lines to get their correct meaning. That should have been to its detriment but in fact it felt just the opposite. The writing was actually quite lyrical and I wanted to know what the author had actually said and meant so I reread quite often. I suppose in a way this kind of writing suited the storyline to a tee. A book full of magic needs a sort of imprecise, lyrical form of writing. Almost poetic really.

This might have been my first book by Patricia McKillip but I don't think it'll be my last. I'm normally not great on this kind of thing, retold fairy stories are not really for me for instance, though this is 'not quite' that either. It's 'not quite' a lot of things but it worked for me with its coastal, 'ocean' setting, it's historical background, a bit of magic and a touch of romance thrown in. A very fitting end to this years Once Upon a Time challenge.


Thursday, 13 June 2013

Three reviews

I think the problem with me at the moment is that I just want to read and not do long reviews of said books I'm reading. I feel a bit guilty about that but can't help it, so a good compromise for me is to do these 'short review' posts. It doesn't help that I seem to be reading quite quickly at the moment - for me anyway - and literally cannot keep up with myself.

So, here's my latest 3 book post. First up, The Whisperers by John Connolly. I'm pinching Amazon's synopsis of this today:

The border between Maine and Canada is porous. Anything can be smuggled across it: drugs, cash, weapons, people. Now a group of disenchanted former soldiers has begun its own smuggling operation, and what is being moved is infinitely stranger and more terrifying than anyone can imagine. Anyone, that is, except private detective Charlie Parker, who has his own intimate knowledge of the darkness in men's hearts. But the soldiers' actions have attracted the attention of the reclusive Herod, a man with a taste for the strange. And where Herod goes, so too does the shadowy figure that he calls the Captain. To defeat them, Parker must form an uneasy alliance with a man he fears more than any other, the killer known as the Collector ...

The last Charlie Parker book I read, The Lovers, was concerned with his background and childhood. In The Whisperers we're back to crime solving and more weirdness than you can shake a stick at. I don't mind, I'll take anything when it comes to Parker, Connolly doesn't write a bad book 'ever' and this series just gets on getting better and better. There's detail about the Iraq war in this, some of it, such as details of torture methods, is hard to take, some of it deals with the way soldiers were treated when they got home. All of it I found imformative and interesting. This is one of the things I love about John Connolly's writing. It's a treat for people like me who love weird fiction but you never fail to learn all kinds of  fascinating facts and that suits someone as nerdy as me too. My only worry about this series is that The Whisperers is book 9 and I only have 2 more after that. Oh, heck. I just hope Connolly plans to write more in this series, I can't stand the thought of life without a Charlie Parker book to read.

Next up, Death Without Company by Craig Johnson:

The previous sheriff of Absaroka county, Lucian Connally, lives in the Durrant Home for Assisted Living. The suspicious death of one of his friends in the home brings the county's current sherriff, Walt Longmire, in to investigate. At first there's no certainty that Mari Baroja *was* murdered and Lucian is being tight-lipped about his past with the woman so Walt has nothing to go on. When it eventually comes to light that she was murdered, all kinds of questions need to be answered. Such as what happened to her husband fifty years ago, and how was Lucian involved? Walt has to try and keep Mari's unpleasant lawyer daughters happy but also remain sensitive to the feelings of the previous sherriff. All this while still suffering the after-shocks from his previous case (book 1) and trying to have some time with his lawyer daughter, Cady, who is visiting. Solving this complex and historical case is not going to be easy.

Oh, how much I love this new (to me) series. I read the first one several months ago, and enjoyed it very much once I got past a bit of a slow start. This one was like revisiting an old friend and I think that's because the various characters are so real with very human quirks and peculiarities. I love Henry Standing Bear, the dialogue between him and Walt is at times hilarious. But everyone in it, Vic the deputy, Ruby the secretary, Dorothy in the local café, and so on, all are very well drawn. I laughed a lot, the humour is dry and dialogue based and suits me down to the ground, (John Connolly's Charlie Parker books have the same knack). Add to that the superb descriptions of the area of Wyoming where this series is set and these books are onto a winner for me. There are loads more to read and I, happily, have 2 more on my tbr shelf.

Lastly, My Animals and Other Family by Clare Balding:

Well what a charming book this was! It was so readable and so much fun I whipped through it in a day. For those that don't know, Clare Balding is a British sports commentator, working for the BBC here in the UK. A bit of a National Treasure if the truth be known, her Olympics coverage last year, focussing mainly on the horse events and swimming was hugely popular with the British public. I think most people, like me, love the fact that she's always herself, chatty, down-to-earth, not someone much interested in being glamorous or stick thin. It's unusual in this day and age and endears her to me an awful lot.

Anyway, this is her autobiogrpahy. Clare was born into a family that trains race horses, the Queen keeps her horses with them for instance. From the start she always felt herself to be rather a disappointment to her family, her grandmother especially, mostly because she was 'just a girl'. Basically, it seemed that in the minds of her parents it was the horses that came first, followed by the dogs, and then the children. This could've been a depressing book, given that Clare was perfectly aware of this, but it's not. She had her animals, various horses and dogs that she loved, an indomitable spirit, she accepted reality for what it was, and just got on with it. Her escapades make for fun reading, she was quite a handful as a girl... (and no wonder!) And always she's honest and straightforward about what she feels are her shortcomings. For the reader it's quite obvious why she was a bit naughty as a child and why she struggled at first at her private school. It's impossible not to read this and feel sad for her, but also to have huge admiration for her spirit and determination to succeed, ignoring the comments and actions of others. This book made me love her even more to be honest. It's very horsey and I'm not, but that didn't matter in the slightest, it's just a darn good autobiographical read.


Friday, 7 June 2013

Wightwick Manor

Back in May, for my birthday in fact, we had a couple of days away in the Midlands, staying at Hagley which is west of Birmingham and not far from Kidderminster and Bridgnorth in Shropshire. The idea was to spend my birthday actually in Birmingham at the city museum as they have a good collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings which I was eager to see. In the event I went down with a rotten cold and wasn't up to facing the busy city so we had a day out in the countryside instead, visiting Bridgnorth and a National Trust property - one of those hidden gems nobody much knows about - Wightwick Manor.

The National Trust website is here and worth a quick look as it has a small slide-show of shots of the house, including a couple of the interior. No photos were allowed inside, as some of the contents do not belong to the NT apparently. Which is a shame as the interior is all arts and crafts period and full of Pre-Raphaelite paintings... so I didn't miss out on my paintings after all. The house, which used to be own by the Manders family who were paint manufacturers, is late Victorian and so beautiful from the outside that I thought I would share a few pics with anyone who is interested.

A distance shot from the garden... click on it for a bigger, better view.

Righthandside and lefthandside of the front of the house.

Beautiful stained-glass windows.

Fantastic chimneys!

Around the side of the house.

Around the back and where, as a visitor to the house, you enter the property. A guide takes you around the first bit, telling you the history of the house and about the paintings, which were stunning. You then tour the rest of the house, that which is open to the public anyway, on your own. The house has a cosy, initmate feel to it. Due in part to all the oak panelling I suspect, but also it's full of fascinating items and has a really friendly feel to it. I would also add how friendly the NT staff are there.

Another shot from by the entrance.

National Trust properties very often have posh loos but these are some of the poshest I've ever come across!

And here's me, on my 60th. birthday (trying not to think about that...) with my favourite bag and hopefully it's hard to tell how completely grotty I was feeling. LOL!

I actually felt that I may have enjoyed visiting Wightwick Manor on my birthday more than I would have going into the city. It was a lovely day, Bridgnorth was such a pretty town (pics of there in a few days) and Wightwick Manor was stunning - I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I must add that the pics are not as good as they might have been if I'd had the energy to walk around a bit more to get better shots. And we never did see much of the garden. Never mind... two good reasons to go back someday!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The Iron Duke

I've just finished my 8th. book for Carl's Once Upon a Time VII challenge so feel I am going great guns! It finishes in about 2 weeks so whether there will be a 9th. book, I'm not sure. Possibly. Anyway, my book 8 was The Iron Duke, a romantic steampunk novel by American author, Meljean Brook.

The background premise to this Victorian style steampunk fantasy is that Europe was invaded by The Horde, the *Mongol* horde... stupidly it took me a couple of chapters to realise this, I thought they were invaders from space. LOL! But that's just me being thick. Anyway, England was freed from tyranny by Rhys Trahaearn, The Iron Duke, a pirate turned merchant ship owner, and now a National Treasure. The rest of the world is still in chaos, apart from the USA where many of the British aristocracy fled from the danger. They have now returned and are known as 'bounders'. British society is made up of bounders and 'buggers' which is not some kind of derogatory, British swear-word term, but means they were infected with mechanical bugs by The Horde. (I did struggle with the term however...)

Mina Wentworth is a member of an aristocratic family that stayed, a police detective and a 'bugger', but she is also something else, her features resemble that of The Horde and although she has a good job she is reviled wherever she goes because of her Asian looks.

A dead body is dropped from an airship and lands on the doorstep of Rhys Trahaearne's mansion in London. Mina is called in to investigate and immediately attracts Rhys's romantic attentions. Which, despite the mutual attraction, is the last thing she needs. Her family are poor and the attention could rob Mina of her job, her only means of earning a wage to help keep the family afloat.

Eventually Mina finds out who the murdered man was (his face was ruined in the fall): he was the captain of one of Rhys's ships that he has given to the Royal Navy. The ship must be in trouble and an added problem is that Mina's fourteen year old brother, Andrew, is serving aboard her. Mina must do the reverse of what she wants to do and join forces with Rhys Trahaearne to find out where his ship is and what has happened to her brother. How can she do all of these things as a serving police officer and also manage to keep the enigmatic duke at bay?

Well this is a bit of a pot-boiler and no mistake. LOL. I sort of realised that when I saw the cover, but thought it might be a fun read for the OUaT VII challenge when I bought it in Waterstones a couple of months ago. I generally read 'serious' fantasy or purposely comedic authors such as Terry Pratchett for this challenge and just for once I thought it might be nice to have a complete change.

The first thing to say is that this is in no way a Young Adult book. There are many scenes of a sexual nature in the second half of the book that are not suitable for youngsters, in my view. Definitely adults only! At times I did not really like the hero, Rhys Trahaearne. He is overbearing and selfish, but then that's what this Harlequin/Mills and Boon style hero is supposed to be like. If you met someone like him in real life any sane woman would run a mile, but in a novel like this where we all know what to expect, it's fine... if you don't mind that kind of thing.

The thing that saved this book for me... (I say *saved* even though I didn't mind the romantic stuff at all) was the world building. I found this steampunk London quite fascinating with some excellent ideas worked into the plot. The idea of people infected with a 'bug' that mends them if they have an accident or fall ill is an interesting one. Many people who did not go to the US have this inside them and the book is quite intriguing on this aspect and how intolerance works within the framework of a society where some are 'normal' with no implants and some are 'buggers'. For Mina of course it's even worse as her conception came about in a certain way, her looks prove this, and she is ostracised because of it. Although this book is a certain kind of romantic novel it does also have some important things to say and I liked that about it. Truthfully, the book has a lot more in it than I have room to recount, zombies in mainland Europe, metal sharks and krakens in the sea, a mysterious 'blacksmith' who's an expert on mechanics and so on. This world really is absolutely fascinating.

The Iron Duke is book one in the author's 'Iron Seas' series. There are four or five more books but a couple are novellas... plus they're not always about the same people. One of the novellas continues Rhys and Mina's story, the rest don't as far as I can see. I popped the novella onto my Kindle for the princely sum of £2 something, the other novels I will think about as the library only has one. The Iron Duke though was a good, fun read with interesting ideas and a fascinating world: I enjoyed it. But it's not for those who have a low tolerance of Harlequin style romance books and the heroes that inevitably accompany them. You've been warned! LOL.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Books for May

This last week has been a bit crazy... painters here painting the outside of the house and likely to be here at least another week, maybe two. Also it was half-term and our lovely grand-daughter spent a few days here with us, always a pleasure to have her. But no blog posts done and I was behind before so I'm now 4 books behind and will never catch up so I will do a run-down of the books I read last month and a longer mention of those I haven't had time to review.

Books read in May:

25. Moon Over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch

26. Casting Spells - Barbara Bretton

27. Whispers Underground Ben Aaronovitch

28. Unseen Academicals - Terry Pratchett

29. Postcard Killers - James Patterson and Liza Marklund

30. Gunpowder Plot - Carola Dunn

31. The Various - Steve Augarde

32. The Lovers - John Connolly. Book 8 in the author's Charlie Parker series. This one is about Parker's background and childhood and tells us a lot more about him, explaining quite a few things. Absolutely terrific, read it in a day and a bit... couldn't put it down.

33. Miss Buncle's Book - D.E. Stevenson. A departure from my usual thing... written in the 1930s I think. This recounts how Miss Buncle is hard up for cash and decides to write a book. It's a fictional account of life in a village but based on the village where she lives. Of course when the book is published the villagers recognise themselves and the hunt is on to find out who the author is. This was an absolutely delightful read and I plan to read more of this author's work asap.

34. Cop to Corpse - Peter Lovesey. This is one of the author's Peter Diamond series and not the first... one of the latest in fact, breaking one of my usual rules about starting new series at the beginning. It didn't seem to matter, I enjoyed the book a lot as it's set in Bath, a city I love, and the crime element was excellent. I suspect though that it wouldn't harm me to go the beginning and read from there, though I did pick up another new one in the library the other day.

35. A Morning for Flamingos - James Lee Burke. Book 4 in the author's Dave Robicheaux series. Mafia bosses and hoodlums abound in this book, plus the usual beautiful descriptions of the Louisiana coastline. A good crime tale. Like this series very much indeed.

May is my birthday month and I decided to try and have a good reading month. I think 11 books pretty much achieved that aim. Enjoyed them *all* which is quite good for so many books, there wasn't a duff one amongst them. A favourite? Probably Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett but The Lovers by John Connolly was a close second and Miss Buncle's Book was also terrific and also Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London books were also superb... see... ALL good really.

And as I have no pics to illustrate this post, here're several photos of my garden in Spring:

Primroses of varying shades... over now but lovely back in April.

Lots of apple blossom, forecasters predict a good apple crop this year because of the cold Spring. It certainly looks like it but we shall see.

Bluebells under the apple tree, the photo I'm currently using on my Facebook page.