Monday, February 19, 2018

Things That Are Making Me Happy

Continued perfect weather. Hard to imagine what Sarasota looked like during the hurricanes.
We drove up to St. Petersburg to see the Dali Museum. The building was a beauty but I have to admit neither of us really care for his art. We probably should have done a docent tour.
We met Erin Mitchell for lunch. She is heading up the Bouchercon conference this year and she told us about the plans. Sounds like it will be a great conference and the location is terrific.
Although Dali made some sense along with the RHINOCEROS which we had seem the day before. A great production of the Ionesco play. We also saw a contemporary play, NATIVE GARDENS, which I liked more than Phil.
It certainly is nice sitting at the pool and reading every day. It will be a long time before we can do that again. We return to Detroit on Saturday.

What about you?

Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday's Forgotten Books, February 16, 2018



Todd Mason will have the links today and next Friday. HATE MACS.

Terrific piece in NYT today on Alistair MacLean by Alessandra Stanley. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

2018 Oscar-Nominated Shorts

We went to see the 2018 Oscar-Nominated shorts yesterday and what a strong bunch they are.

DeKalb gives us a twenty-minute showdown between a man armed with a gun and the school receptionist who tries to talk him down.

The Silent Child concerns a confrontation too between a sign language specialist and the mother who decides it's better for her child to read lips than become part of the sign language community.

My Nephew Emmett is an artful look at how Emmett's uncle tries to rescue him from the white racists who came for him.

The Eleventh Hour is a humorous short about a psychiatrist and his delusional patient.

Watt Wofe: All of Us is a harrowing bus trip with both Muslim and Christians onboard.

Every short was terrific. Hard to choose a winner. Worth a look if it comes your way.



Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Why I Walked Out on the Greatest Showman


Being in Sarasota, home of Ringling Bros circus, it seemed destined that we would see this story of P.T. Barnum. So ignoring the terrible reviews, we went with the high approval rating by viewers. We made it through an hour-an hour filled with little authenticity, little based on fact. But when Jenny Lind stepped onto the stage circa 1850 and sang a song straight out of AMERICAN IDOL, with no resemblance to an operatic aria such as what she sang back then, we eased our way out. The audience around us was obviously enthralled with the film, but we just couldn't overlook the historical inaccuracies. The movie was unwilling to look the sideshow characters he collected in the face. They were kept in the background so we could admire Jackman and Zac Efron instead.
It was probably us. Either you are swept away or you are not.

Monday, February 12, 2018

RIP: BILL CRIDER

so sad!

Things That Are Making Me Happy


A great visit with some old friends. We saw a terrific little play called HOW TO USE A KNIFE. Not cheerful but thought-provoking. Purchased tkts to THE RHINOCEROS for Valentine's Day.

The weather is perfect-a little warm for Michiganders but still...

Reading LAIDLAW, which I have always meant to read. Had to put aside Ruth Rendell when I realized I had already read it. I reread books but don't like being caught unaware.

Happy our friends Lainie and Arnold made it down to Delray Beach despite the snowstorms in MI.  Too far to hook up with them but we will all be back in Michigan soon.

What about you?


Friday, February 09, 2018

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Forgotten Movies: SUSPICION

Alfred Hitchcock's 1941 suspense thriller starred Grant and Fontaine in the story of a would-be spinster who marries a would-be killer. Or is he? The strength of the movie lies in this question. Lina  disregards the many hints that Johnny is a psychopathic scoundrel. Until the evidence is too great to ignore.  Grant and Fontaine are at their best in this. And it is wonderfully filmed. The ending is changed from the Frances Iles book and it's up for debate whether Selznick of Hitchcock was behind it.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Things That Are Making Me Happy

1. Fantastic weather
2. A great visit from my brother and sister-in-law
3. A forthcoming visit from old friends
4. Some terrific music and theater
5. Something new to see or do every day
6. Great review of the new book
7. Nice visit with the Florida Gulf Sisters in Crime
8. Kevin's hockey team is going to the state finals!!!
9. Eagles won the Super Bowl.
I have nothing to complain about this week.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Friday's Forgotten Books, February 2, 2018



AMERICAN WIFE by Curtis Sittenfeld is fictional account of a wife much like Laura Bush. Sittenfeld had always been interested in Mrs. Bush and she does a bang-up job of capturing her. Laura/Alice grows up in a Wisconsin town, a typical midwestern girl. You have trouble understanding what she sees in George/Charlie beyond money and charm. But love is strange and Sittenfeld is good at giving him just enough charm to persuade you a nice girl might marry him. The Bush family is even less likable. It's all here: the car accident when she was a teen, the drinking, the combination of ambition as an entitlement more than something you work for with little feeling for the people he will serve. In light of our current president, he doesn't seem that bad but like Will Ferrel reminded us on SNL, he was. And there are some striking similarities.
I am an admirer of Sittenfeld's writing and this is some of her best although the last third is far too ruminative. And no, he never comes off well.

Brian Busby, Margaret Millar
Martin Edwards, MOTIVE FOR MURDER, Charles Barling
Richard Horton, Two of Ursula Leguin's Lesser Known Novels
Jerry House, MARCIA OF THE DOORSTEP, Edgar Rice Burroughs
Kate, THE ASKING PRICE, Henry Cecil
George Kelley, STRANGE ISLAND STORIES, Jonathan E. Lewis
Margot Kinberg, SOLD, Blair Denholm
B.V. Lawson, THE NOTTINGHILL MYSTERY, ?
Evan Lewis, MANASSAS, James Reasoner
Steve Lewis, HARD CASE FOR HIRE, Clay Randall
Todd Mason, Books Drawn from Fantastic and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
J.F. Norris, MONEY ON THE BLACK, Allan McKinnon
Matt Paust, THE CROSSING PLACE, Elly Griffiths
James Reasoner, THE ODDS AGAINST CIRCLE L, Lewis B. Patten
Gerard Saylor. SWITCHElmore Leonard
Kevin Tipple/Barry Ergang, SARATOGA BACKTALK, Stephen Dobyns
TomCat, THE CLUNY PROBLEM, A.E. Fielding; THE MURDERED SCHOOLGIRL, John Russell Fearns
TracyK, THE PUZZLE OF THE PEPPER TREE, Stuart Palmer