Summer Reading List

July 15, 2009

Am I the only one who seems to have more time to read during the summer months, with the daylight lasting longer into the evening? Maybe my summer reading list is a habit from being in school for so many years, when summer was the time I could read for pleasure and entertainment instead of just for homework assignments.

This evening I enjoyed dinner and a walk around the Plaza with friends. I headed for the Kansas City Public Library Plaza Branch on Main Street, where lawyer and crime historian Laura James would be discussing her book, The Love Pirate and the Bandit’s Son: Murder, Sin, and Scandal in the Shadow of Jesse James (Union Square Press, 2009).

It had been a while since I’ve visited the Plaza branch library, and I had to take in the new surroundings, moving toward the Truman Forum in the downstairs section, one of the renovations. Rainy Day Books hosted a small reception and sold books for Laura James to autograph.

Included in her book discussion, Laura James gave a slide show presentation “On Gold Diggers, True Crime, Librarians, and Jesse James,” with photographs of Zeo Zoe a.k.a. the love pirate, and also those taken of Jesse James Jr. a.k.a. the bandit’s son.

Although I haven’t yet read the book, after the discussion and presentation tonight, I’m looking forward to learning more about the fate of Zeo Zoe Wilkins, who moved to Kansas City in 1921.

This book has made my summer reading list.


Last summer I joined a book discussion group in Overland Park, Kansas, which happened to meet each week at a wonderful place called Like a Day at the Beach. I also attended a visioning workshop at Like a Day at the Beach, where participants practiced visualizing goals and developing a vision board.

The décor and the mood offer an oases of relaxation at Like a Day at the Beach. Comfy chairs are in the center of the room where you can rest your feet on an electric foot massager, while sipping on tea or filtered water, and watch a virtual vacation DVD from PowerFloe. Within the private alcoves are the Silver Cloud AE and NugaBest Thermal Jade Acupressure/Massage beds. The beds provide a hands free and oil free alternative to traditional massage, and meld aspects of massage, acupressure, spinal traction and far infrared heat.

Like a Day at the Beach is located at 11032 Quivira, in College Square near the Hen House at the intersection of College and Quivira, across the street from Johnson County Community College.

The owner of Like a Day at the Beach, Joann Atchity, R.N.,  B.S.N., wrote a piece titled, “Are You Addicted to Stress?” for the July 2009 issue of Evolving magazine. (Psst . . .  Joann doesn’t know that I’m writing this blog about Like a Day at the Beach, and I’m sure she’ll be pleasantly surprised.) From the tone of her article on stress, and the atmosphere she has created at Like a Day at the Beach, it’s easy to see that Joann really cares about her clients and creates an affordable way to relieve stress through the benefits of acupressure and massage.

It’s not difficult to visualize yourself at the beach, even in Kansas, when you are comfortably lying on a thermal jade massage bed, with headset on listening to soothing ocean waves and music and wearing a lavender scented eye pillow. It’s Like a Day at the Beach. Visualize it.