Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Who's read Greg Ile's? I just finished True Evil. I have lost some sleep over this one--both because I had to see what was going to happen next and because I had to think about it.

It's another one that made me say "Where does he get this stuff?" I certainly hope that what he is writing about is not anywhere on the radar because if it is, then there are some totally immoral people in the world. I guess that sounds very naive.

One thing that bothers me about Iles is his tendency to do these long narrations by the evil characters to show how they think. It's like he wants to show that he can think like a terrorist, or a serial killer, or whoever it happens to be. It tends to get long and showy.

Also--and this is a big thing with me--he never tells us what people are wearing! I need to imagine what people look like and it's hard to do when all we get is "She put the gun in her pocket." What pocket? The pocket of a Michael Kors linen jacket? or the back pocket of her jeans? or the pocket of her Macintosh? I'll stop there, you get the point. (I bought a Michael Kors linen jacket at Macy's yesterday. on sale, but still.)

I'm leaving on another vacation Thursday morning. I have to be careful what book to choose next because it will go with me. This is not a beach vacation, but a mountain vacation. Makes a difference, but not a lot. You still have to choose something that you can concentrate on when all about you are things to distract you. When I go on vacation I have to read the local papers, and the travel brochures and anything local I can find. It helps me feel a part of things.

We are going to spend a couple of days with my brother and his family so I have gathered up books to return to them. We have a little library going back and forth from Bentonville, AR to Senatobia, MS.

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's Been a Long Time

Sorry I have been so long. But I have been reading up a storm (cliche).

Since I finished my last Southern b ook, I have been reading different kinds of things. I told everyone about the Dorothy Sayers book, then I read 2 Martha
Grimes thrillers. Then another Southern book--A Dangerous Age by Ellen Gilchrist who lives in Fayetteville, AR, but was born and raised in MS.

The Gilchrist book was interesting because of its timeliness. It is the story of the women of an extended family who are very affected by both 9/ll and the Iraq war. It is one of the most evenly told stories I have read about this. You get both sides of the story and I'm not sure which side
Gilchrist would fall on.

After this was a week on the beach--Orange Beach, AL-- to be exact. The rest of the family had real beach reads--James Patterson, Nora Roberts--I had Louise Eldrich, one of my favorites. I read her latest The Plague of Doves, but I have to tell you this was not her best. She is certainly not a beach read, you have to concentrate and maybe some of this was my fault, but I was having a hard time remembering who was who and following the story. It was more a combination of short stories. If you have not read her before, I would recommend Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and The Master Butchers Singing Club.

After I got home, I read My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picault. I warn you. Do not read this book unless you can afford to lose a night's sleep, because you will not be able to put it down. I was fascinated by this story of a family torn by the critical illness of a daughter. It will make you even more curious about stem cell research, and other important issues of the day. What is legal, what is moral, what is ethical? I can't wait for someone else to read this so I have someone to talk to.

Another book by Jodi Picault that kept me up a couple of nights was Nineteen Minutes. If I tell you what it's about you probably won't want to read it. Just try it.

What to read next???

Saturday, July 5, 2008

I just realized I didn't say a word about what I was reading. I told you about the two Martha Grimes books. they almost made me give up bacon. But not quite.

I just finished a Dorothy Sayers book yesterday. If you have not read Sayers, I envy you. You can start at the very beginning--"Gaudy Night," I think. They are all mysteries, but they are so finely written they should not even be in that category.

Sayers studied at Oxford and sometimes taught there, she was incredibly intelligent and well-educated. Sometimes I have to get out the dictionary to read her. The work of her life was a translation of Dante's "Divine Comedy," which is still the definitive translation among scholars.

Her detective is Lord Peter Wimsey, a very well-dressed, well-read, and not well-understood, second son of the Duke of Denver. Of course, murders happen around him all the time. His anamorato is Harriet Vane, who he meets when she is accused of murdering his lover. She is one of the great female characters in literature.

I think I may have talked myself into going back and reading all of these books again. It's been so long I think I would enjoy them again.

The one I just read, "Thrones, Dominations," is one that Miss Sayers abandoned sometime between '36 and '38 to work on a stage production of "Busman's Honeymoon." It was completed in the late '90's, by Jill Paton Walsh. I really can't tell where one stops and the other starts. It is typical for Sayers, less about the murder than the lives of the characters.

The BBC did a televised Peter Wimsey series quite a while ago that was shown on PBS. Dorothy Sayers died in 1957.

If you have not read Dorothy Sayers you are in for a fabulous treat. Eat up!


...and I ain't got nobody. I got some money cause I just got paid."

I feel safe in admitting that I am home alone except for the 2 cats, because I don't think there is anyone left of the RangerReaders except Susie and Crystal and me. I need some comments. I feel like I'm talking to myself.

I cooked some rattlesnake beans (a kind of green bean) that I got at the farmer's market with some new potatoes, bacon and onion. I had this and a beefsteak tomato for supper. I think this was a better meal than anything I've had in a long time. Daddy used to grow this kind of green beans, and Mom would can them and we would have them all year. Best things in the world.

I've been eating out of the farmer's market for the past few weeks. Especially tomatoes. A good tomato sandwich will beat anything in the world--just Hellman's mayo and bread. I used to use Duke's mayo but I can't find it anymore.

Sometimes I vary my tomato sandwich. I add an onion or bacon or both. But most of the time it's just tomato. I make the slice of tomato as thick as the bread and I only use one piece of bread. I don't want anything to overwhelm the tomato.

I like the acidy tomatoes like Better Boys and Beefsteaks, not the sweet ones. I used to plant my own, but I had to quit when I messed up my back.

I'm watching TCM as usual. "3:10 to Yuma" is on, which I have seen many times, but there is always something new to notice. Van Heflin's hair look's funny. I think they have it all curled up to hide his receding hairline. I haven't seen Glenn Ford's hair, yet. He has had on a hat every minute of this movie. I didn't realize they got this story from an Elmore Leonard book. It looks like a John Ford movie, but much more dialogue than Ford.

I like dialogue in my movies. and acid in my tomatoes. Two things that I know on this Saturday night.