The End of the Road, Sue Henry "Engaging Sleuth," Maxie McNabb and her "brave heart mini dachshund," Stretch, have returned to Homer, Alaska. After settling in snugly to enjoy the approaching winter at home, they go for a last walk on the beach before it snows and meet a pleasant, if a bit enigmatic, drifter who has come to see the town Alaskans call "the end of the road."
John Walker has no friends in the area and no particular plans, but the engaging drifter warms his way into Maxie's and Stretch's hearts, enough so that Maxie invites the wayward soul over for dinner with a group of her friends.
The next day, Walker seemingly moves on but a phone call informs Maxie that he never got farther than his motel room, where he's found dead. What looks like a simple suicide quickly grows more complicated when the police discover that Walker never existed. His name is false. His fingerprints are not on file anywhere, and he matches no missing person report.
The mystery deepens as, caught up in the case, Maxie follows what few clues there are as to why Walker chose to end his life where the U.S. highway system ends in the waters of Kachemak Bay, and where Maxie just might meet a dead end of her own-
Hunting Marfa Lights, James Bunnell
Mysterious lights are reported in many locations worldwide, but one of the best known of these sites is near the small West Texas town of Marfa. In fact, the Marfa Lights are so well known that the State of Texas has created a roadside park for travelers who wish to stop by and take a look. Marfa is slowly gaining worldwide recognition as the home of mischievous nocturnal lights that shine, pulse, dance and do amazing things to delight lucky observers. These nocturnal happenings are observed mostly east of town in a region known as Mitchell Flat. The question is, of course, are Marfa Lights real and mysterious, or simply folklore hyped by locals to attract dollars?
If you talk to people who have been there, you will find a wide range of answers. At one extreme are the skeptics who say they saw only car lights traveling a distant mountain road, the only mystery to these folks is why so many people stare excitedly into the night at those "car lights". In the other extreme are people who claim they only see mysterious lights, but were absolutely stunned by the experience. I'm between those extremes are the majority of people who went to the View Park, looked into the night and saw lights, but left unsure as to what they had actually seen.
So the reader my wonder, "What is actually going on? " What is the fuss all about?" That is what the book is all about. Perhaps this will contribute a small step toward an awakening. In any case, hunting Marfa Lights, as readers are about to discover, is fun, exciting and hard work.
Stones into Schools, Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Greg Mortenson, Forward by Khaled Hosseini
Three Cups of Tea (revised very recently). began with a promise to build a school in Korphe, Pakistan, so does Mortenson's new book. In 1999, Kirghiz horsemen from Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor rode into Pakistan and secured a promise from Mortenson to construct a school in an isolated pocket of the Pamir Mountains knows as Bozai Gunbaz. Mortenson could not build that school before constructing many others, and that is the story he tells in this dramatic new book.
Picking up where Three Cups of Tea left off in late 2003, Stones traces the CAI's efforts to work in a whole new country, the secluded northeast corner of Afghanistan. Mortenson describes how he and his manager, Sar Franz Khan, barnstormed around Badakshan Province and the Wakham Corridor, moving for weeks without sleep, to establish the first schools. Those efforts were diverted in October 2005 when a devastating earthquake hit the Azad Kashmir Region of Pakistan. Under Sarfraz's watch the CAI helped with relief efforts setting up temporary tent schools and eventually several earthquake proof schools.
This is such an enormous operation, the reader should find time to read other heroic efforts and triumphs going on at this time. I personally found both Mortenson books hard to put aside.
See you at Rylander