Monday, November 30, 2015
Sunday, November 22, 2015
During a visit to extended family in Kentucky this fall, there was a large family re-union picnic; everyone from my cousin almost 90 and some even older, to a weeks'-old infant. The annual re-union continues to draw family members from the local area and far away. You should have seen the wonderful country food everyone brought! Such wonderful people.
Of course, there were photos: the attractive young couple shown here are the ancestors of most of the people who attended; perhaps before their marriage, since every other photo of them as they aged were posed together. Evocative, they are; photos' probably made around 1880?
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Burke creates readable, moody and atmospheric detective thrillers; in the 'Robicheaux' series, the setting is the deepest US South in Louisiana, which he calls 'an open-air mental institution'. The hero, Dave, is an older police detective, working for the New Iberia Police; he's honest to a fault, though flawed by post-traumatic stress left over from Vietnam and a hard life fighting evil bad guys, along with his PI friend, Clete Purcel (who is lucky he's not in jail, with his free-lance methods). Robicheaux is also a recovering alcoholic who attends AA meetings and has a lot to say about the condition. The characters are richly imagined, with names and descriptions that are entertaining all by themselves: drug dealer Monarch Little looks harmless as a cartoon character but can be a stone killer, or Bellerophon Lujan, thug. A plentiful array of "suspects" for the reader to 'vet'. I mostly figured out "whodunit" but enjoyed the colorful and flavorful read.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
At least 3 times, over a span of several decades,I have tried to read, enjoy and complete a novel by Edna Ferber.
She was one of the most wildly popular writers of quality mass-market fiction in the middle decades of the 20th Century. Recently, I tried again with her first major hit novel, "So Big", published in 1924. I could not make the story, the writing, the characters, pass my 30-page rule. It made me think a little of books read in the past year: "A Reliable Wife" and "Devil in the White City", with the references to Chicago in the late 1800's, but without the depth and maturity.