Monday, November 28, 2022

Monday, Monday

Reading IDENTICAL STRANGERS (Jeff clued me) and enjoying it although THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS topped it because I saw it first and there was a third child. And both adoptions came from the same agency, which was exposed on the documentary. How many other lives did that place screw up. Infants are not able to give their consent to experiments!

Still reading THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUBS. I like the characters more than the mystery but maybe it will pick up. 

Saw A GLASS ONION after our Thanksgiving feast. I think I liked it the most of we six. Everyone else seemed to expect a different kind of ending. But I thought there was enough twists ahead of it. Also saw SHE SAID, which I thought was well done although I guess no one else is seeing it. Third, THE MENU, which was pretty good too.

Kevin is binging BREAKING BAD. I can't imagine doing that with such an intense show. He is not usually much of a TV watcher so this was a surprise. 

GO MICHIGAN. The Lions almost did it.

Watched THE HOURS on TV. A better movie than I remembered. Rewatched THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP, which was a lesser movie than I remembered. I adored John Irving for many years but maybe our time has passed. Certain authors seem to speak to you at certain times of your life. 



What about you?


Jerry House said...

Still no television. Or films. Or plays. Or whatever. I'm getting cloer, I think. At least I hope so, because there's a lot I'm missing out on.

Radiation is over. I can't say enough about the oncology radiation staff. At my last treatment I brought them each flowers as a token of my appreciation, evidently something patients don't usually do. A pity, because their work needs to be celebrated. Next up, a series of follow-up exams over the next few months and years.

It'll take a few weeks to get voer the side effects of radiation, especially the fatigue. Since I'm a lazy s.o.b. anyway, I really don't mind the constant napping. I may well miss it when it's gone.

A quiet and very enjoyable Thanksgiving at Jessamyn's; she and the girls did Turkey Day proud.

Everybody is now back where they belong and our normal routines can begin once more. Walt, though, will be traveling most of December for work; this may mean I'll be picking some of the extra slack in ferrying Jack about.

Reading? Over the past few weeks I knocked off seven books by John Creasey, leaving only three unread that I own and almost 500 unread that I do not own. I've also been on a Tom Swift kick and have read three (currently reading a fourth) of the original series. I also read a couple of F. Paul Wilson's collaboration (one with Matt Costello and one with Stephen Spruill) and finished up Lee Goldberg's Eve Ronin series thus far. Darcie Little Badger's A SNAKE FALLS TO EARTH was a fantastic read based on Native American myths with the main character being a cottonmouth snake; I'm giving a copy to Mark for Christmas because he likes to mess around with venomous reptiles (but don't tell him he's getting the book!). John Connolly's THE FURIES contains two Charlie Parker novels; Connolly has been veering from his normal style in his last three novels but the stories still work and wrok well. Lee and Andrew Child's latest Jack Reacher, NO PLAN B, maintains Reacher's fast-moving, take-no-prisoners attitude; a fast, enjoyable read. John Crowley's FLINT AND MIRROR is billed as a novel of history and fantasy, going deep into the tensions between Ireland and England in Elizabethan times. A sublimely dense read, well worth the struggle. On the graphic novel front, I read Stjepan Sejic's HARLEEN, a origin tale about Harley Quinn, the Joker's girlfriend. Also the YA GHOSTOPOLIS by Doug TenNapel about a young boy who is mistakenly sent ot the afterlife and the attempt to retreive him.

As we round the November corner and barrel toward Christmas season, I hope you have time to ignore the hype and reflect on the joys of December (snow and cold weather excluded). Stay safe. Stay sane. Enjoy your week.

Margot Kinberg said...

I would like to see Glass Onion; glad you enjoyed it. And as for The Thursday Murder Club, I thought the relationships and characters were more interesting than the actual mystery, too.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I thought it was a perfect movie to see after eating yourself comatose, Margot. That's a compliment btw.
So funny that I couldn't read, Jerry, and you can't watch TV. Maybe because watching TV was a shared experience. Glad you have done so well with the treatment.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Yes, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS was first and better, to me too. The women were 35 when they discovered each other, not 19, so more settled in their lives, perhaps. Still, how the doctors still justify what they did is appalling. They deliberately kept from the adopting families that they were separating twins, not to mention the possible mental problems that the mothers had.

During the run of Ethan Hawke's documentary about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, TCM ran PARIS BLUES, which I hadn't seen in about 50 years (and Jackie had never seen), so I recorded it. We watched it this week, and I was surprised at how much of it I remembered. Of course, the most memorable sequence was when Louis Armstrong brought his group to the cellar where Newman and Sidney Poitier play, and they played together. Also remembered the walks around Paris, the boat ride (which we took), plenty more. Diahann Carroll looked so young, but I guess she was only 25, the others in their early to mid-30s. I for one like black & white.

We finished BACKSTROM (second series), not as good as the first, as he is not only abrasive and obnoxious in this, but clearly almost criminal. There will be a third series. Also finished the last HIDDEN (Wales - on Acorn). You know who the killer must be from the first episode. No surprises. Watchable but no more, though I did enjoy the scenes in Welsh.

We like ASTRID (Walter Presents/PBS). I know it's a cliche, the brilliant autistic woman who can't relate to people, but the actors make it work. Astrid likes solving mysteries as she sees them as puzzles, and the fifth episode (which we watched last night) was a good one as it seems (it isn't) to be a genuine locked room mystery. Clearly the writer knows the form, as Astrid starts telling them about John Dickson Carr and his different categories of locked rooms. Too bad they cut her off before she finished.

We are re-watching TREME (HBO on Demand) and enjoying it the second time around, especially the music of course.

We're halfway through 1899 and still mostly enjoying it (Netflix).

I'm enjoying Dan Chaon's second story collection (AMONG THE MISSING) more than the first, and will be borrowing the third one after I finish this. Good writer. Also finished the first Marisa Silver collection (BABE IN PRADISE), which improved as it went on. Babe appears in three stories, a little older in each.

A quiet Thanksgiving here, which is fine by us. Three days of turkey and fixings.

George said...

Patti, we'd like to see GLASS ONION, too, but it will have to be on Netflix. Today we wrap up our visit to NYC with the musical version of SOME LIKE IT HOT. Diane is doing some preliminary packing while I'm doing this. We fly out of JFK tomorrow morning (hopefully) and a mountain of snail mail and Louise Penny's new mystery await us.

Enjoyed two jukebox musicals: A BEAUTIFUL NOISE (Neil Dimond) and MJ (Michael Jackson). LEOPOLDSTADT was very sad. Time Square was mobbed with people!

Patrick, Katie, and their friends had a great Thanksgiving feast waiting for us when we arrived in Brooklyn. Plus the Buffalo Bills won in a close game with the Lions. Stay safe!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think they are crazy to move it to Netflix so quickly. It's doing great business. And it was so much fun on a big screen. You will have to let me know what hotel you stayed in because I want to go in the Spring. Megan's place is too far from the action for a visitor.

Jerry House said...

Yes, television was a shared experience. Our regular morning routine was watching the late night comics and shows (Seth Meyer, Colbert, Kimmel, Maher, Amber Ruffin, Samantha Bee, SNL, John Oliver, etc.) with coffee, followed by the morning news. Then we were ready to face the day.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We watched TV together at night.
The hardest thing for me was looking across from my office to his empty one. Thus I had to sell the house or never write again. Or even go into either space.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Jeff-ASTRID is a lot like THE EXTRAORDINARY ATTORNEY WOO on Netflix. One must have been influenced by the other.

TracyK said...

We just got back from a morning of shopping and lunch out. I don't really like to shop for anything, but it wasn't too bad. I tried to check in here before we went out but I can't think of much when I just got up.

I liked all the Thursday Murder Club series for the characters more than the mystery, but I thought the mystery was fine in books 2 and 3. Maybe because Elizabeth's background was in MI5.

I recently finished a book by Barbara Pym, SOME TAME GAZELLE, originally published in 1950. I am now reading SAFE HOUSES by Dan Fesperman, a spy thriller set in Berlin in 1979 and Maryland in 2014 (so far). And I am loving it so far.

I also plan to watch GLASS ONION, but not until it is available on Netflix. When I was working there were a lot of people binging on BREAKING BAD, which surprised me, but I haven't seen one episode so not one to judge. Maybe we will go back and watch THE CROWN from the beginning someday.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Love Barbara Pym. She and Elizabeth Taylor (the writer) and Anita Brookner were my favorite reading fare in the seventies and eighties.
Kevin got interested in it at school. I am delighted because it will teach him how to follow a narrative. He is not a reader and seldom watches TV so it is a skill he needs to learn.
I would say THE CROWN is better in the early years than in the later ones. It is so depressing to watch Charles and Diana implode over so many episodes. The fact that they take over the story tells you how dull a life Elizabeth had. Just nodding, smiling, and signing documents.

TracyK said...

I am planning to read more by Barbara Pym. I found myself thinking a lot about SOME TAME GAZELLE as I was reading it, thinking maybe I would have liked it less at a younger age. And I will try some things by Elizabeth Taylor and Anita Brookner. I have HOTEL DU LAC by Brookner but nothing by Elizabeth Taylor. Let me know if you have specific recommendations for either.

It is encouraging to hear that THE CROWN is better in the early seasons. Since we have waited so long to watch it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I just spoke with a friend on Thanksgiving (a man) whose book group had just read Mrs. Palfrey at the Clairmount. They all liked it. So let me suggest that one. Both Taylor and Pym are constantly being rediscovered. Anita Brookner is not quite so long ago. Excellent Women by Pym was my favorite and I keep meaning to reread and never seem to get to it. But I will take it to CA in hopes that I do while there.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Also it was a great movie with Joan Plowright not so long ago.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Astrid was two years earlier. We tried the Korean show but despite all the praise it got, we found it ridiculous. I can see why some people found it offensive. It is a caricature.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I agree, Jeff. I watched two episodes and they were too long and too twee.

pattinase (abbott) said...

So strange if someone doesn't show up here--a regular like Steve--I get worried.

TracyK said...

Thanks for those suggestions, Patti. And thanks for that link to the New Yorker. I am already enjoying the subscription to The New Yorker. That was an interesting article about Elizabeth Taylor. I read about half of it so far.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Don't know what happened. I posted late Sunday and it's disappeared some where in the cloud.
Saw no movies at the theater. Rewatched a few films on disc. Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence a great Japanese Film starring David Bowie as a British POW during WW2. And the Seventh Seal.
On TV I watched the disappointing Wednesday on Netflix. The White lotus, The English, Magpie Murders (liking it less each week).
Read My Dirty California by Jason Mosberg and reread The Bones of the Earth by Michael Swanwick.
Now vreading The Furies by John Connelly. After that Desert Star by Michael Connelly.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yeah, I heard Wednesday wasn't great. Other than her. I know these shows are not of movie quality in terms of production especially. But some of them look darn cheap.

Gerard Saylor said...

Our Thanksgiving weekend went well with my in-laws and Boy #1 with us at home. Unfortunately my wife had to work the weekend. Holiday traffic meant I had long drives to pick-up and return Boy #1 to Minneapolis. 9.5 hours on Wednesday and 11 hours on Sunday. I griped about this to my wife because the trip should be about 8 hours drive time, plus time for gas stops and turnaround time. I'm more than willing to do these drives since they bring Boy #1 home, I do reserve the absolute right to complain.
I listened to a Nevil Shute novel, THE ORDEAL. The first one I have read or heard in a while. His work always stands up over the years. The book was published in 1939 before the war but his coverage of air attacks, submarines fears, and internal refugees fleeing the cities being bombed were prescient. Or, maybe not prescient, just awareness of what happens in war.
I read DEER SEASON by Erin Flanagan. Flanagan won an Edgar for the book. Well done book, but more a literary novel with a mystery at the core. The plot is not one of the standard mystery sub-genres. I have her follow-up at home which I got from the freebie room at Bouchercon.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I really loved DEER SEASON and am waiting her next one. The only thing I read by Shute was ON THE BEACH. Great one. We were lucky to have our kids one hour away in AA.

Todd Mason said...

(Re-)Watched too much of the RAY DONOVAN marathons over the last several days. Fried eyes on Sunday particuarly, with RD repeats, THE WHITE LOTUS (I see it's getting low Rotten Tomatoes responses this season, which is indicative of why I don't put much stock in RT), LET THE RIGHT ONE IN and ZIWE, with a bit of 60 MINUTES and YELLOWSTONE.

John Irving's self-satisfied tweeness always did put me off. George Saunders suffers simialrly, to a lesser degree. Did finally read one of Tobias Wolff's most widely-webbed short stories, not sure how I missed it over the years, due to a couple of strong recs on Rara-Avis. And a Damon Knight story I'd either overlooked or forgotten utterly.

Alice and I have realized we haven't made a point of watching anything together since our late catching-up with PERSON OF INTEREST. Videogaming is still her most likely screen-time aside from her interactive work at her psychiatric practice. She will be going into the clinic tomorrow for the first time since Covid started killing in droves to work with some clients who don't have any good means of telemedicine interaction.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have not seen my therapist in person since COVID but mostly since getting a driver there is too expensive. What is the Tobias Wolff story?

Gerard Saylor said...

Yeah, I'm wondering on the Wolff story. I read the memoir 20-some years ago and was a big fan. But, after that I only read one story collection.

Todd Mason said...

"Bullet in the Brain" by Wolff, "Mary" by Knight, originally published in GALAXY under the editorship of inveterate title-changer Frederik Pohl to "An Ancient Madness", but Knight put his title back on it for nearly all purposes.

It's pretty surprising how many times the Wolff has been posted on the web, till one realizes it's a Very Teachable (and Readable) and short short story. And online copyright flouting, except where permission was sought and not cited.

Tomorrow's SSWs, more likely than not. Also tomorrow, barring the plane hitting the house, the bivalent booster, as Alice vetures into the clinic (she got hers a week or so ago).

TM said...

Or, even, As "An Ancient Madness."

That Mason Guy said...

Managed to forget I read it, not to give too much away prematurely, the Knight.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Todd. Have read a lot by both he and Geoffrey. And saw them in tandem once. Very interesting duo given their separation at an early age.