Monday, November 30, 2015

The Season's First Gift...a great chance to update on The Twins

Sadly, we were napping Saturday afternoon, trying to shake off the effects of a seasonal virus; we missed the knock at the door when the Wonderful Twins, "Micah and Molly"  tried to deliver some Christmas cookies they made. Their Grandmother brought the cookies over later.

Some may remember funny stories of these two precious kids as babies and younger children. They still do pretty funny things, but now they also play trumpet, they are well into the lower grades at school. This is the first year they are in separate classrooms. They like to visit zoos in other cities when they are on vacation. Thanks for the cookies, Kids. Sorry we missed seeing you! (Credit: the photo of the kids was pinched from their Mom's FB; probably from last summer.)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Man and Wife: 19th Century Beauties:


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

It is always personal with Detective David Robicheaux...

"Pegasus Descending" by James Lee Burke.

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

Fail


   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.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Seen So Many Better Days...



Somewhere in Kentucky, on a recent visit, I was able to pay a short visit to one of the extended, historic (19th Century) family homes. This is a classic early-to-mid 19th Century, prosperous farm home. Some of this style have been rescued and restored. Not so this one, I'm afraid. Thanks to my generous and helpful cousins for organizing the visit and being wonderful company.

A Last Novel: The Swansong of Barbara Pym, "A Few Green Leaves"...

Photo by Barbara Besler for "A Few Green Leaves" As a reminder, a theme of my reading is to catch up on the works of writer...