Monday, September 26, 2022

Monday, Monday


If I had to choose my favorite author, it would be Elizabeth Strout. I have loved following Olive Kitteridge and Lucy Barton and the Burgess Boys for the last twenty years. However, LUCY BY THE SEA may be more than I can handle since it takes Lucy from the first days of the pandemic up until the book's publication. It painfully brings back our isolation, our impotence, our mistakes in handling a pandemic and how other issues erupted to make it even more critical. And yet I can't stop reading it even though I know it is not really a good idea to relive it. Her voice is so powerful.

Also reading THINGS WE LOST IN THE WATER, Eric Nguyen for my book group. Speaking of which, Naomi Hirahara zoomed with us last week talking about CLARK AND DIVISION and was a wonderful guest speaker. Can't wait to read EVERGREEN, which comes out next summer. 

No movies to report. If GOD'S COUNTRY comes your way, it's worth seeing.

Enjoying REBOOT, BAD SISTERS, THE HANDMAID'S TALE and trying to catch up with various VERAS I have missed over the years on TV.  I need a good British mystery now and then, and especially enjoy Ann Cleeves style of mystery. I see SHETLAND is back. I might have to join whichever Brit streamer it's om.

Saturday night, I went with friends to TRINITY HOUSE, a tiny live music venue in Livonia, MI where many local musicians played songs they had written during Covid. So nice to hear live music.

What's up with you?


Steve Oerkfitz said...

Read Babysitter by Joyce Carol Oates. I read a lot of her short fiction but this is the first novel of hers I have read in a long time. I wanted to read it since it takes place mostly in the Detroit suburbs. Areas I know quite well. Placed in 1977 there is a child killer called the Babysitter who is always in the background of the characters lives. Based loosely on the Oakland County child killer. Well done, but a hard read due to featuring a lead character that I found unlikeable and unsympathetic. Also read the fine new collection of short stories by T. C. Boyle-I Walk Between the Raindrops Claw of the Concilatator by Gene Wolfe. Now reading The Killing Hills by Chris Offut.
Saw Moonage Daydream, the David Bowie documentary which was very good. Watched the Dahmer series on Netflix. Very well done. Also catching up on Handmaid's Tale. Also The Patient, John Oliver and House of the Dragons.
My bowling league started last Friday. It is a good few hours out of the apartment since the weather is getting to cool (and rainy) to sit outside anymore.

Jerry House said...

There is something special about live music. I hope to get back to it some day but for now it's not in the cards.

Ian is coming to visit later this week, perhaps as a Cat 4. Some models have it hitting my area of the Panhandle. I'll have to fight the crowds today and stock up on bottled water.

Had a CAT scan Friday to be sure all the markers were put in place. This Friday is a dry run of a radiology session to be sure everything is set, then the radiation treatments will start on the 3rd.

Amy has been sending us photos of various animals at the shelter where she is working. There are so many dogs there that she has fallen in love with. I fear she may become the "crazy dog lady" of her neighborhood. Ceili has been working insane hours and racking up overtime; hardly at home recently. Mark has three job offers for after graduation. Jessie, who runs the payroll department for the County, is bracing for the end of the Fiscal Year at the end of the week; a new (and expensive) accounting program is not doing what it was supposed to do and the company that sold the program seems reluctant to fix it, so Jessie will have to do some creative workarounds.

Read Eric Frank Russell's GREAT WORLD MYSTERIES, exploring eleven "strange" occurances and phenomena, from spontaneous combustion to flying saucers. Russell tried to keep an even hand and packed the book with facts, sadly many from dubious sources. He was a fan of Charles Fort, and his explanation for the NARIE CELESTE is nothing short of ludicrous. Still, an entertaining read. Murray Leinster's THE HOT SPOT was a tie-in to the old LAND OF THE GIANTS television show. Leinster took the banal concept and made a fast-paced suspenseful book out of it. FORGOTTEN TALES OF LOVE AND MURDERhad all the previously unpublished short stories found in Edgar Rice Burroughs' files, many with the Burroughs magic. Martin Edwards' fourth Lake District mystery, THE SERPENT POOL, tied it many thread together well. James Lee Burke's first collection, THE CONVICT AND OTHER STORIES, showed him at the top of his form. Neil Gaiman's SMOKE AND MIRRORS was a great collection, showcasing his originality. The Robert Westall anthology GHOST STORIES was aimed at a juvenile audience but had enough thrills to satisfy me.

The beach yesterday was warm, then turned hot, with little breeze and no dolphins. We tayed for about an hour. Despite the heat, the sand, sun, and ocean worked their usual miracle and helped center us for the week ahead.

Have a fantastic week, Patti!

Margot Kinberg said...

I do love live music, Patti - glad you had that opportunity. And thanks for the reminder of Elizabeth Strout. I must get familiar with her work, and just...haven't done that yet.

George said...

Diane has LUCY BY THE SEA but is busy reading her Book Club book, THE LIBRARIAN SPY, before the Book Club meeting next week. Since it's been raining here in Western NY we've both been getting a lot of reading done.

We booked our flights to NYC for Thanksgiving. Katie is busy with designing our Broadway shows schedule. We plan on having Brunch with Jeff and Jackie Meyerson.

I donated books to the North Tonawanda Library Book Sale. I'm also in negotiations with the State University of New York at Buffalo's Music Library about a donation of 2000 music CDs upon my demise. Diane, Patrick, and Katie have ZERO interest in my music CDs and I'd like to find a Good Home for them.

Diane and I got our Moderna Omicron Booster shots. My shot knocked me for a loop: I woke up the next day with a splitting headache. I was really dragging for the next couple of days. But, now I'm fine. Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

It really helps to get out although this rain has made it difficult. And they turned the closest movie theater into a haunted house who know for how long or if it will ever reopen. I guess CDs will disappear since no younger people listen to music that way. The musicians at the Trinity House were selling theirs but I think only their parents (or kids)were buying them.
How nice to lie on a beach. Can't wait until January if we actually make it.
I am also watching THE PATIENT. Didn't even know the Bowie movie was around.
Megan got to go the the Joan Didion memorial service and was so impressed with Patti Smith's voice. The whole service is online including Vanessa Redgrave reading some very memorable passage.

Jeff Meyerson said...

As you know, we go to a lot of live music in the summer especially. We have one more concert scheduled - The Mavericks next month - although we do tend to go to benefits later in the year by Steve Earle for his son's school, and Emmylou Harris for refugees.

We saw Patti Smith open for Neil Young about ten years ago and really enjoyed it.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Now I see my previous comment has vanished, yet again. Luckily I saved it this time. This is absurd. Why me?

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jeff-just email it to me. I don't know why you, given that you are registered. So strange.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Maybe Patrick Kelley has some ideas about it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jeff Meyerson

SHETLAND is on Britbox here. They are showing one new episode of series 7 each Tuesday (episode 3 tomorrow).
Here is a WARNING: to anyone considering watching the Aussie "supernatural" cop show THE GLOAMING (on Starz; available On Demand), do yourself a favor and don't. If you read reviews by real people, there is quite a range, as some seem to love it (those with taste in their hand quarters) but many more damn it for the horrible mess that it is. The Tasmanian scenery is gorgeous, but it is a dark mess, with some terrible acting and the least sympathetic main character I've seen in some time, also the worst, most irresponsible mother ever. No wonder her ex-husband has custody of their teenage daughter! I got through two episodes before I threw my hands up, but Jackie seems to like it and is continuing the series. She is also watch the Swedish GASMAMMAN on MHz, but I'm not. We started watching series 5 of GAME OF THRONES but both agreed after a few episodes that we'd had enough and don't care to see the rest of the mess it is going to become.
We finished the first series of THE OUTLAWS (Prime) and will watch the second. I can't believe after the first series that there will be another RESPONDER (Britbox), because Martin Freeman;s character is a total mess. TO me, it is ridiculous how this stoned out junkie is running rings around the cops and the drug dealers, and most of the other characters are stupid and/or unlikable, but Jackie likes it so we will finish it.
I do enjoy A PRIVATE AFFAIR(Prime), the Spanish series about a woman who can't be a cop in the late 1940s, despite being trained by her late father and running circles around the new Commissioner (her brother, who has a large stick up his butt). It's colorful and fun, with great cars and clothes, as she and her butler/sidekick (played by Jean Reno) hunt the serial killer who is carving fleur de lys into the prostitutes he kills.
THE WALL (PBS Masterpiece) is the French Canadian series set on the Quebec-Labrador border and worth a watch. And RECIPES FOR LOVE AND MURDER (Acorn) is the South African mystery incorporating the title elements, another colorful show where women lead the way.
Nothing new going on here, though we are into more Fall-like weather, which is nice.

TracyK said...

I was looking for books at the book sale by Elizabeth Strout, and I did find a copy of THE BURGESS BOYS. I have two other books by her I haven't read so that will keep me busy for a while.

Not much different in my viewing or reading so this week, I will just stick to books I found at the book sale in the last week for authors that were discussed at your blog lately. I was looking at fiction (not in the mystery area). It is divided up into so many different areas that I often get lost but I wandered over to a line of boxes that had all of these books:

I found two books by William Maxwell. TIME WILL DARKEN IT and SO LONG, SEE YOU TOMORROW.

And some books by Canadian authors...
I found one book by Brian Moore, THE COLOUR OF MONEY.
Also three books of short stories and a novel by Alice Munro.
One novel by Carol Shields.

Other Canadian authors I found: Three books Steve Burrows, who writes a series of birding mysteries. GREEN GRASS, RUNNING WATER by Thomas King and WARLIGHT by Michael Ondaatje.

pattinase (abbott) said...

What a great group of books, Tracy. I love the two Maxwells. And Carol Shields was a great writer who died too early. Munro is my favorite short story writer. I don't know Burrows or King but I have that WARLIGHT somewhere.
I just brought the BURGESS BOYS home from the library after reading a lot about Bob Burgess in Lucy by the Sea.

Jeff Meyerson said...

In case it was misleading up there, Martin Freeman is not the junkie I was referring to, but the cop tasked with finding her and getting back the drugs she stole, in THE RESPONDER.

Gerard Saylor said...

I built up a large to be read pile after going to Bouchercon. I have books I picked up at Bouchercon plus titles from the library that I placed on hold while at Bouchercon.

Our son is in the high school honor society for music. The group inducted new students last night and students can either perform or write an essay. There were 2-4 performances that were quite good.

At work this week I am facilitating recording three StoryCorps interviews. Three is not improvement over the last time I scheduled recordings and had two interviews. My library received a grant for a recording kit and to have StoryCorps trainers visit Wisconsin and train a bunch of staff.

I've been watching TV and some films. Nothing worth note.

Todd Mason said...

Things pretty much as previously at the moment here, as I continue to read old short fiction, and await the delivery of Alice's new desktop computer. (I am currently typing on a Lenovo ChromeBook, reasonably decent particularly for the slave-labor price of $150, though with an odd tendency to drop its wifi connection for no obvious reason. Perhaps spyware.)

I will be entering a cinema or other public entertainment spot for the first time in literally years tomorrow night, masked and ready, to accompany Alice on her first and probably, though I can't recall with certainty, my second but first cinematic viewing of HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE, from the same Japanese studio responsble for such favorites of Alice as PONYO and SPIRITED AWAY and PRINCESS MONONOKE. I don't know if she's seen THE WIND RISES or the Ursula Le Guin adaptation. With luck, the comfortable Regal seats and chill air will infect us with none of the currently fashionable deadlies.

The recent spread of rumors, apparently from mongers in India, that PRC president Xi had been arrested by someone or another in his current fascist state had slightly raised hopes, in a rather more nebulous way than the uprisings in Russia and Iran have (where it was clear that actual people were actually being hurt after others yet had been killed and everyone bullied too often)...having gotten rid of Boris and with the possiblities of ridding ourselves of Putin, Trump, the current Ayatollah, Xi and, of course, gaining a new round of fascists in Italy, the tick upward of all those folks Going Away and not being replaced by More of Same, as Mussed Boris was immediately, would make for a hell of 2022. And then perhaps ridding ourselves of all the other fascists and demi-fascists clustering around our halls and exchequers of power.

Good luck with all things medical, Jerry (and everyone else--I was wondering if you were feeling a bit off your feed, George).

pattinase (abbott) said...

I never knew there was an honor society for music. What a great idea. I am not familiar with StoryCorps but will google it.

TM said...

Good for you, Gerald...though sorry you're feeling underemployed thus. StoryCorps is a noble cause.

Todd Mason said...

Or, even, Gerard. I plead distraction by the most annoying other fact of the Lenovo,a keyboard that has all the letters in lower case on the keys.

Gerard Saylor said...

The music honor society is known as Tri-M for Modern Music Masters. The org has it's own theme song that all the members sang at the end of the ceremony. My son said the song lyrics make the song seem like a cult's theme song. Boy #1 never joined Tri-M or the National Honor Society and he was one of the valedictorians. Boy #1 made a negative comment about NHS and it's value and integrity because several of the members were part of a cheating event in sophomore chemistry.

StoryCorps is occasionally featured on public radio. The recording sessions are aimed at 45 minutes and sometimes edited down to two minutes. And animated. A great example:

Gerard Saylor said...

Whoops. Posted too soon. This is an excerpt that gets played at presentations by my library system about the StoryCorps program. Father being interviewed by two young sons.

Todd Mason said...

StoryCorps animations are also frequently used as fillers on PBS and World Channel broadcasts.