Monday, February 18, 2019

THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY





We got out to see a play yesterday. (The Play That Goes Wrong) It was a slapstick sort of thing-not really our sort of play--but it was nice to get out for a few hours. And I have to thank good friends for taking us to the Fisher Theater in Detroit to see it.

Got to have dinner with my son and his family Friday night in Detroit's Greektown. The streets were filled with people. The food was so-so and I am sure Detroit's idea of Greek food doesn't correspond with Athens' but it was familiar, warm, comfortable.

Watching Patrick Melrose. I admire Benedict Cumberbatch's acting but boy, is it a downer.  I will be relieved to be done with it.

Kevin got to play a scrimmage hockey game at the new Little Caesar's Hockey Arena. A thrill for his parents and him.

What about you guys?


Friday, February 15, 2019

For the Forseeable Future...

Todd will be helming Friday's Forgotten Books. Eleven years is probably long enough. I will still be here on Monday and other days. Be kind to him.


Friday's Forgotten Books, February 15, 2019



Hopefully Todd will have the links.

Monday, February 11, 2019

THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY






Saw the Oscar short docs on Saturday and whoa what a depressing bunch. First one dealt with racism among teens in a UK housing project; second end of life issues; third American Fascists meeting at Madison Square Garden in 1939, fourth about refuges trying to get to Rome on overloaded boats (many do not make it) 5th, which was my favorite about village women outside New Dehli learning how to make and sell sanitary pads. Until then they used rags and had little idea what a period was for. But it had humor and success so I give it the Oscar. Those hills of used rags outside the village was horrific though.

Enjoying RUSSIAN DOLL. Natasha Lyonne is just terrific as his her male counterpart. Clever concept that they really run with.

Reading essays by Janet Malcolm, which are weird, wonderful, overwritten. And that makes them interesting. Sometimes. The first two on a clothes designer and a pianist are fabulous.

It is so cold and so many days were icy last week. Need to get beyond this weather so I can escape more often. Oh, how I wish I was a homebody. Instead I am always itching to get out. Which are you and what have you been up to.


Friday, February 08, 2019

Friday's Forgotten Books, February 8, 2019


Mark Baker. MURDER ON LENOX HILL, Victoria Thompson
Elgin Bleecker, CRIMES IN SOUTHERN INDIANA, Frank Bill
Brian Busby, THE LISTENING WALLS, Margaret Millar
Crossexaminingcrime, THE LETHAL SEX, John D. Macdonald
Martin Edwards, THE PATON STREET CASE, John Bingham
Aubrey Hamilton, BLACKSHIRT PASSES, Roderic Jeffries
Richard Horton,  ANDROID AVENGER, by Ted White/THE ALTAR ON ASCONEL, by John Brunner
Jerry House, Two Graphic Novels 
George Kelley, GO, LOVELY ROSE and EVIL WISH, Jean Potts
Margot Kinberg, ARAB JAZZ, Karim Miske
Rob Kitchin, MOSKVA, Jack Grimwood
Kate Laity, PLOTTING AND WRITING SUSPENSE FICTION, Patricia Highsmith
B.V. Lawson, MURDER AMONG FRIENDS, Elizabeth Ferrars
Evan Lewis, CONAN OF VENANIUM, Harry Turtledove
Steve Lewis "When We Went to See the End of the World" Robert Silverberg
Todd Mason, Wilma Shore's short fiction 
J.F. Norris, DEATH ON THE OUTER SHOAL, Anne Fuller and Marcus Allen
ONLY DETECT, CLOUDS OF WITNESSES, Dorothy L Sayers
Matt Paust, ANATOMY OF A MURDER, Robert Traver
James Reasoner, LUST TYCOON, J X Williams
Richard Robinson, INTERSTELLAR PATROL, Christopher Anvil
Gerard Saylor, CURSE OF THE BANE, Joseph Delany
Kevin Tipple, ZERO COOL, John Lange
TomCat, SOMETHING WRONG AT CHILLERY, R Francis Foster
TracyK, THE MIRROR CRACK'D, Agatha Christie

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

First Wednesday Book Review, February 6, 2019

INHERITANCE, Dani Shapiro


Throughout her life, people looked at writer Dani Shapiro and told her she couldn't be Jewish. Blonde, blue-eyed as you can see here. At 54, when she sent saliva to "23 and Me", one of the testing sites for DNA , she found out her adored father was not her biological father. She finds out pretty quickly who her biological father is and attempts to forge a relationship with him. He resists; he was a medical student who donated sperm for the greater good. He was promised anonymity. The book details her attempt to get him to recognize and acknowledge her. I can say firsthand that secrets like this are extremely difficult for children.
The reason this interested me particularly is because I found out last spring that my "social' father was not my biological father. Unlike Dani, my parents did not enter into an arrangement together. They didn't go to a clinic where infertile people were helped.

I am fairly sure my father never knew I wasn't his biological daughter but still mysteries abound. Photographs with date changes; the absence of a pregnant mother. Insurance policies with name changes. All of it to be puzzled over.
So this book interested me on a personal level. I am not sure it would have it if I didn't share her situation to some extent. But maybe all of us harbor some doubts as to our ancestors.

For more First Wednesday Book Reviews, visit Barrie Summy. 

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

MONKEY JUSTICE debuts on March 18

And I am looking for some blogs to talk about it on. Or have it reviewed. Sadly when I look at the places that helped me four years ago with CONCRETE ANGEL, many of them are gone. Since this is a reprint in a way, it will be a hard sell. But I very much want to try to sell some copies for Down and Out Press' sake if not mine. They were so very kind to offer to publish it.


Monday, February 04, 2019

THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

So happy that the polar vortex is letting up on us. Today it is in the forties. I know it will not stay this warm but grateful for the break.

Really enjoyed THE COLD WAR, a Polish film about how the Cold War and the suddenness of the Soviet intervention in Eastern Europe wreaked havoc with lives. I also liked IDA by this director some years ago.

Enjoyed ESCAPE FROM DANEMORA on Showtime. We are inside so much we keep buying more and more TV. When you are ill or depressed, you lose focus and books are harder to distract.

Enjoying Paula Munier's A BORROWING OF BONES.

Love my ECHO DOT, So cool to say Alexa play Max Richter and she does. Pretty amazing. And the sound is better than on our old stereo. Alexa is very fond of Jimmy Fallon jokes. He must be an investor. 

Going to see a play now. IF/THEN. Hope it's diverting....NO! Left at intermission.

Friday, February 01, 2019

Friday's Forgotten Books, February 1, 2019


PICKUP, Charles Willeford (from the archives)

When was the last time you read a book so compelling you couldn't put it down? What was it?
For me, it was this novel. It takes a long time in Pick-Up for the reader to understand the protagonist and what he's all about. Why he's in the fix he's in. Maybe you won't understand the full story until the last line. And yet, Willeford is able to tell his story lucidly, making even the most mundane details riveting.
This is basically a story about two drunks. Why does it work so well? Better for me even than Kennedy's drunks in Albany. Because the characters are interesting, the narrative pull inescapable, the writing excellent.
Even when the plot turns a bit unlikely in the last third--the characters remain true to themselves, so you go along with it.
What turned you on this much?

Les Blatt, THE COLOUR OF MURDER, Julian Symons
Elgin Bleecker, A RAGE IN HARLEM, Chester Himes
Crossexaminingcrime, MURDER EVERY MONDAY, Pamela Branch
Martin Edwards, DREADFUL SUMMIT, Stanley Ellin
Curt Evans, Elizabeth Fenwick
Aubrey Hamilton, CURIOSITY KILLED A CAT, Anne Rowe
Richard Horton, THE TRANSLATOR, John Crowley
Jerry House, THE BOOK OF IOD, Henry Kuttner
Margot Kinberg, THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL SOCIETY, Shafer and Barrows
George Kelley, THE GREAT SCIENCE FICTION SERIES, ed. Pohl, Greenberg,Olander
Rob Kitchin, FROM DOON WITH DEATH, Ruth Rendell
B.V. Lawson, LONELY HEART 4122, Colin Watson
Evan Lewis, ONE WHO WALKED ALONE: Robert E. Howard, the Final Years, Novalyne Price Ellis
Steve Lewis/David Vineyard, "Guns of Cyrano" Raymond Chandler
Todd Mason,  WORLDS TO COME edited by Damon Knight, FOURTEEN FOR NOW edited by John Simon
J.F. Norris, JOURNEY DOWNSTAIRS,  R. Philmore
ONLY DETECT, LADY IN THE LAKE, Raymond Chandler
Matt Paust, MURDER BEGETS MURDER, Roderic Jeffries
James Reasoner, BUZ SAWYER, Vol 1,  Roy Crane
Richard Robinson, ISLANDS IN THE SKY, Arthur C. Clarke
Kevin Tipple/Barry Ergang, THE REMAKE: AS TIME GOES BY, Stephen Humphrey Bogart
TomCat, THE KUBIKIRI CYCLE, Nisio Isin
TracyK, THE CASE OF THE WEIRD SISTERS, Charlotte Armstrong