Kameron Hurley wrote a piece about the very real anger and fear she feels about the current Republican effort to destroy the ACA.
It's called A Open Letter to All My Bullshit Relatives Cheering on My Impending Death.
I highly recommend that you read it, especially if you're a GOP or Trump voter.
Second in Daniels' Nemesis series. Was looking forward to it after having read the first. Now looking even much more forward to #3 in the series, even if I occasionally would like to shout "oh no, you're being an idiot" at the words on the page. But, they describe plausible happenings and misconstruing of behaviour that, well, maybe is more apparent to an external observer.
We're basically continuing "super-powered capers" that the first book was quite full of. With a side-line of court cases, politics and the like.
Ought to work well as a jump-off point, but why not start one book earlier?
Been a while since I read this. It's still eminently readable. The narrative style is a little bit weird, in that it flips between first-person and third-person, depending on who our POV character is. Thankfully, only one POV character gets first-person and I don't recall any case of third person when the first person POV character is present. o it mostly works out.
We follow a gambler and thief, who hooks up with some slightly dodgy characters claiming to work for the archmage of the wizard island (town?), re-homing ancient artefacts. Our thief comes in for artefacts whose current owners are unwilling to let said re-homing proceed. And of COURSE it's never than easy.
Being the first of McKenna's Tales of Einarinn series, it's a perfect place to start.
I'm considering using chocolate balsamic vinegar the next time I make one to see what it does to the flavor profile. In discussion on my original post from two weeks ago (hard to believe it's been only two weeks!), I did some research and looked up a lot of cherry pie recipes online. The one thing that ALL of them had in common was that if they included corn starch, and not all of them did, they added it directly to the wet mix! The can of corn starch that I have, Clabber Girl brand, says specifically on the label to mix it with liquid before adding it to whatever it is that you want to thicken. I've added a note to my shopping list on my phone to look at other corn starch brands and see if they also say to mix it with a liquid before adding it to whatever is to be thickened.
So my thought is that if you just add it to whatever is to be thickened that it is overwhelmed by the volume of liquid and can't swell. If you pre-mix it with liquid, in this case an equal amount of lemon juice (and I'm so glad I bought a squeezer thingy!), then you're already starting with a very thick liquid to add to the cherry filling and it thickened beautifully.
I used a pre-made frozen pie crust, and it was wonderful. Currently I don't have cabinet surface area to roll out a pie dough or the guts to try to make one. One of these days....
Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond
Total Time: 2 hr 30 min
Prep: 25 min
Inactive: 1 hr 5 min
Cook: 1 hr
Yield: 8 servings
6 cups frozen tart cherries
⅔ cup sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (chocolate?)
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Sweet Pie Crust:
1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) salted butter, cold and cut into pieces
¾ cup vegetable shortening, cold and cut into pieces
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling the dough
2 large eggs
5 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling: Combine the cherries and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook until the juices release and are hot and bubbling, about 5 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Stir together the cornstarch and lemon juice in a small bowl until combined and add to the cherry mixture. Continue to cook until glossy and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the sweet pie crust:
In a large bowl using a pastry cutter, gradually work the butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles coarse meal, for 3 or 4 minutes. In a small bowl, beat one of the eggs with a fork and pour it into the flour mixture. Add the cold water, sugar, white vinegar and salt. Stir gently to combine.
Form the dough into 2 evenly sized balls and place each ball into a gallon resealable plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (to about 1/2 inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using them immediately, it's still a good idea to put them in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)
When you are ready to make the crust, remove the dough from the freezer and let thaw for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
On a floured surface, roll out one piece of dough starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it's a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop, use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over, then continue rolling until it's about 1/2 inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.
With a spatula, lift the dough into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the edges of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge. Fill with the cooled cherry mixture.
Roll out the second dough the same size and place it over the pie. Trim off the edges and crimp the top and bottom crusts together to seal them. Cut a few vent holes in the top. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl for the egg wash. Brush the top with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar
Put the pie onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and bake until the filling is bubbling and the crust is browned, about 50 minutes. If the crust is getting too brown before the pie is finished, cover with foil and continue baking.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond © 2016 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-
There are many Emilys in this film, as she, like Whitman, contained multitudes. The first one we meet is the schoolgirl Emily, steadfastly refusing to declare religious conversion and a born again, saved, experience. This Emily is played by Emma Bell, who, then, in a subsequent sequence of family portraits subtly ages and becomes Cynthia Nixon, who performs the star turns of acting as the adult Emily Dickinson.
|Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson and Jennifer Ehle as her sister Vinnie.|
I saw the film months ago but the thoughts it provoked about the poet and the times in which she lived, the people among whom she passed her passionate, and often painful life -- exterior and interior -- remain riverlets winding through my ongoing mental preoccupations.
A Quiet Passion is an exquisite film, with the exception of allowing Mabel Todd Loomis to actually see the poet, which she never did. But here the meeting is, in a terrible, at the pitch of highest plausible drama, a moment when Austin, Emily’s brother, is discovered by her in – not flagrante, exactly – but in a passionately incriminating intimacy -- in hers and Vinnie's home! This is so many violations simultaneously that the infuriated Emily literally spits out the words (not the first time in this family drama, in which all members can and do give as good as they get, when these terrible moments blaze up between them. This is not Austin's house, he's betraying Susan, her sister-in-law, whom Emily and the whole family love tenderly, and -- Austin has fallen from the place of perfection and moral arbiter where Emily and the family had so fondly placed him.
Emily's life is so much about family. The Dickinsons are tied and bonded as closely in affection and intelligence as a family can be. As we know, not all is smooth all the time. The fallings out are passionate and the barbs thrown are cruel and to the exact bulls eye, just because they do know and love each other so well, and are such equals in passion and self-knowledge. Yet, except for Austin's Grand Treachery, whenever the members fall out, once the poison has erupted, they are horrified, not with the person toward whom the violence was directed, but at themselves. They are horrified by themselves, and see where they are unfair, and wrong, and always apologize sincerely, at once, and are ashamed. The apologies are always accepted.
These days I miss that old puritan tradition of constant examination of soul, the authentic desire to be honest with God, to care at least as carefully for the soul as the bank account, and that death and the after life are always in mind. Abigail Adams was fully possessed by this, but like Emily, it never interfered with her sharpness of intelligence and commentary.
In this film the trajectory of the poet's mind is beautifully evoked over time. Death takes one to God, who is the beloved passionate anonymous Byronic lover eagerly awaited, but whom never quite enters the bedroom, the father, the Brontëan brother, like life, death, infinity and heaven, merging one into another. The Brontës' novels, Wuthering Heights particularly, and Jane Eyre, with whose narrator, Emily closely identifies, painfully convinced that she, like Jane, is unblessed by the beauty and charms that attract men's love, while passionately desiring it -- and equally, believing that love is death for a woman -- are deliriously invoked with delighted consciousness of committing female transgression at every turn in these women's earlier lives.
|Vryling, Emily, Vinnie, happily making fun of men who take themselves so seriously while knowing nothing.|
Some have evaluated the dialog in the earlier parts of the film as too much admiration for Jane Austen – which writer, importantly, unlike the Brontës and George Eliot -- Dickinson did not like. or admire. Thus, intelligently, throughout the film, admiration of the Brontës is expressed by many of female characters. Perhaps these critics got it wrong -- they are English after all, and there are areas of the trans-Atlantic mind that seem to remain forever veiled to their sight. All these sharp, quick quips and ripostes among Emily, her sister, Vinnie, and their friend, Vryling Buffam, are accompanied by continual happy prolonged laughter. They are happy young women, thoroughly in love with each other’s intelligence, personalities, characters and language brilliance. Their pleasure in each other is so gracefully expressed by the actors (the cast is splendid even beyond the tour de force that Cynthia Nixon achieves), that the viewer participates equally in their pleasure.
|After Buffam's marriage vows; Emily does not join the other guests outside the church congratulating the newly married couple.|
This joy begins to fade with death of friends and relatives, and particularly the marriage of her beloved friend Vryling Buffam's religious conversion, and her subsequent marriage a pastor. Thereafter the friendship, as Emily feared, disappears entirely. It may be Emily deliberately disappeared the friendship, as she was as passionately convinced that marriage had to destroy the only kind of friendship that she could sustain, that of passionate intimacy. Now too disappears the laughter, as her partner in transgressive wit enters the grave of wife and motherhood. Her terrible loneliness begins to manifest, chosen as deliberately out of anger with the world she's been given, her place in it as a woman, as an artist with a soul as large as the universe, physical maladies and pain, and -- a mind that cannot be contained within a single world, much less house and garden, and which possesses an intimate, passionate relationship with God.
I do wish the film had included the witnessed incident of Emily drowning unwanted newborn kittens in a bucket of water. I had to make due with another acclaimed incident of her father, while waiting to be served his dinner, calmly complaining his plate is not quite clean, and she calmly picking up the plate to smash it into pieces against the table. She explains, “Now it does not matter.”
Most of all though, I wish the film makers had resisted and not manufactured an event between Emily and Mabel Todd Loomis, her brother's adulterous lover, and the woman who took over Emily after her death and created out of whole cloth the phony mythology of the eternal Maid of Amherst, and herself as the only intimate of the poet. Loomis never saw Emily in the flesh, never exchanged a word with her, and never got a glimpse of her poems. She stole them from Emily's sister, Vinnie, then went on tour 'acting' Emily, and reading her poems, which bowdlerized to fit better with her phony Emily. Which is a 19th century tale in itself!
Nevertheless, in terms of Emily herself, and her family, these decades of the 19th century from the 1830's to post the War of the Rebellion, the picture of the finest and most progressive and liberal minds of New England, and thus of our nation, and just how much passion and imagination fueled such minds -- there's never been a film like this. It is joy to watch from the first scene, to the last.
Though all the actors are superb, in the end, such a film succeeds or fails according the actor who is Dickinson. Cynthia Nixon is magnificent. No one can doubt that the poet would be in heaven to see herself as Nixon has portrayed her. Poetry is anything but a quiet passion.
Said prematurely to the s-i-l that I hadn't seen any raccoons in the cherry tree this year. Turns out they're on my s-i-l's 2nd floor balcony, as I discovered about midnight last night with bumps and squeaks and two doors up shining flashlights to locate them. Family of five or six who were first holed up on two doors' up front porch, where Mrs.Prof nearly stepped on them. Next door having decided to go to the cottage, they put their garbage out early- the fools- and the first bump I heard was the raccoons going through their green bin. Is why I was scooping up coffee grounds in the rain at midnight. Also why I was splashing ammonia on next door's balcony and spraying Critter Ridder on the trellising leading down. While I dislike getting up early to unhook the necessary bungie cords and put the green bins out, it is, on balance, better than rebagging rotting garbage in the dark or inviting raccoons to feast in the first place.
Government in its wisdom has reduced my income supplement by 180 a month, which is sad. Of course last year it increased it by 280 so I'm still better off than in 2016. Still can't understand their math because the announcement said my annual income is a third of what my tax return said and half what the rebate guys said. Ah well. Gov gives and gov takes away... Wish the gov would get around to giving us the bandit-proof grren bins other neighbourhoods already have.
- Stourport Canal drained for repairs (more muddy than arid, methinks).
- Reading, books 2017: 74
61. National Poetry Competition Winners' Anthology 2015, 2016, poetry. (?/5)
But have the Ledbury Poetry Competition 2016 first prize winner in the "young person" category instead, which I have heard the author read herself through the magic of video: "Zoe Moore lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, and attends public high school, where she actively participates in the poetry club. Her interests have included art and art history, dance, theatre, singing, ceramics, Spanish, and of course poetry. Her biggest inspirations in poetry include Sylvia Plath, E E Cummings, and Andrea Gibson. She is grateful for her hometown support and this opportunity to share her thoughts to a worldwide audience."
for the birds, by Zoe Moore
her mother tells her not to eat those cherries because they are for the birds
and she reaches up to touch her hair and feels more feathers than fur
( Full text of poem. )
Chocolate Mousse Pie Recipe
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: less than an hour, plus 3+ hrs chilling time | Makes: 1 (9-inch) pie, or 8 to 10 servings
¾ cup (5 oz) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped. I use Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chips, no need to chop.
¼ cup cold heavy cream for melting the chocolate
¾ cup cold heavy cream for whipping (a single pint makes 2 pies)
2 or 3 large egg whites (no traces of yolk), at room temperature, depending on how dense a chocolate you want (2 eggs = more dense chocolate, 3 eggs = slightly less dense chocolate, 1 egg = not recommended)
1 Oreo chocolate cookie pie crust
OPTIONAL: ½ TEASPOON chili powder, I recommend Spice Islands brand, should be available at Albertsons.
OPTIONAL: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, use a good one that isn't just vanilla “flavored”.
1. Fill a medium sauce pan with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
2. Place the chocolate (and chili powder, optional) in a large heat proof bowl, add the ¼ cup of the cream and vanilla. Nest the bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until smooth and combined with the cream. Remove the bowl from the saucepan, wipe any moisture from the bottom of it, and set aside to cool slightly.
3. While the chocolate is cooling, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (make sure the bowl and whisk have no trace of oil or fat on them, or the whites won’t whip properly). Mix on high until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute; transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. It's OK if this is over-mixed. Personally I put the whites on a paper plate to reduce cleanup.
4. Clean and dry the whisk attachment and mixer bowl, chill the bowl with cold water if you just rinsed it with hot. Place the remaining ¾ cup of cream in the bowl and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. It's NOT OK to over-mix this or you get something like butter! Keep an eye on it.
5. The chocolate should be cool, or just slightly warm by this time. Using a spatula, fold half of the whipped cream in to the melted chocolate, then gently stir in the rest (try not to deflate the whipped cream). Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate-cream mixture just until there are no longer large blobs of whipped cream or egg white (do not over-mix). Pour the mousse into the cooled pie crust and smooth it into an even layer, you can do this by moving the pie tin in a large circle and it will settle itself. Refrigerate uncovered until set, at least 2-3 hours, overnight is better. Then cover it with the lid that came with the pie crust (if you bought an Oreo or Keebler crust.)
NOTES FROM WAYNE: The chili powder and vanilla are my additions. If you want more chili powder, go ahead, but be very careful. Add it in quarter, or even eighth teaspoon increments, we find the current half teaspoon to be a nice kick and just shy of too much.
If you look at this recipe online, they have you making your own pie crust. If you want to make the effort, go for it, I'm sure it'll be great. I'd rather not spend the time, and I can make this pie in half an hour from pulling the ingredients out of the fridge to putting the pie in to set by using an Oreo crust. Keebler also makes a chocolate crust, but the Oreo crust tastes better in my opinion.
The online recipe also has the suggestion of making and adding whipped cream when you serve it. Personally, I wouldn't bother because this recipe is VERY calorie-dense. It's a very nice dessert, Russet and I usually share a piece to reduce the calories and I cut it in to eight pieces to make them a little smaller.
(from CHOW http://www.chow.com/recipes/30500-
It was a tad too crowded for comfortable viewing: nothing like the terracotta warriors, but those guys were up on plinths and nobody much was trying to read the plaques on the other stuff. This crowd was elderly with canes and wheelchairs, or middle-aged with avoirdupois, so I didn't get to see as much information as I might. Not that it matters. I like houses in my art and when O'Keeffe did those they were very nearly abstract, like that famous patio door which in the paintings hangs above the ground like a black window to nowhere.
So I'm left with flowers that look sexual to me if not to her, and landscapes that relate to nothing I know. Except that her hills look like meat, or liver, or like that dead thing in Dali's Persistence of Memory. Intriguing but disquieting.
( Still Wednesday )
After I finished re-reading The Story of the Stone by Hughart, I continued on with Eight Skilled Gentlemen (also a re-read). Both books are considerably weaker than Bridge of Birds, but they're both still amusing and full of interesting little details.
Most of the other things I've read this week have been online articles that are research for the same project that got me re-reading Master Li and Number Ten Ox.After several days of that (and writing, and work being chaotic and stressful), I wanted something pleasant and easy. So I spent some time on Big South American River, looking up favorite children's authors. I discovered that not only has someone put a number of my favorite Sally Watson historicals into e-books, they also included Poor Felicity (although the author herself seems to have re-named it The Delicate Pioneer, which strikes me as a really "dead" title). I first read this at a Girl Scout summer camp, where I was a pudgy bespectacled weirdo bookworm who hated sports but was totally unafraid of snakes and bugs, and I haven't seen it since.
Felicity Dare is a sickly, rather spoiled 19th-century Southern (U.S.) girl whose parents lose all their money in bad investments and decide to go out west to settle in Oregon/Washington territory. Both parents die along the way, leaving orphaned Felicity to her good-natured but hapless uncle. They end up in what eventually becomes Seattle, where Felicity gradually becomes healthier because of being out in nature (shades of The Secret Garden!), makes friends with kids who would definitely have been considered below her social class back East (include some Native Americans), and learns to forage, cook, and shoot a rifle. There's also an ongoing feud with a rough-hewn boy who despises her for most of the book. In the end, when her snooty cousins show up at last (they went by ship instead of overland), she has to confront their faulty assumptions and her own grudges.
It's fun, slight but with lots of interesting details, and an easy, fast read (aimed at about 10-13 year-old readers).
Centaur no Nayami, Episode 3
Seems like my watchlist is established for the season. There might still be a few dropouts in the next week or two. I know that mid-August that Owarimonogatari 2 will get added, but that will be short.
My goal was to be following no more than 16 shows in a season – and preferably closer to 12. Turns out I’ve got 16 on the current list – a surprising number considering that Anime Strike has skimmed some of the better series away from Crunchyroll. I guess there’s no point in me adding Anime Strike to my subscriptions – I wouldn’t be able to keep up.
Here is the current breakdown. As always, the shows are ranked highest to lowest within each category (and consequently, the entire list is in priority order).
Watching With Enthusiasm
Top shows of the season that aren’t likely to get cut
Boku no Hero Academia
Mahoujin Guru Guru
Centaur no Nayami (a.k.a. A Centaur’s Life)
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Jigoku Shōjo Yoi no Togi (Hell Girl: The Fourth Twilight)
Shows I expect to stay on my watchlist – but if they take a wrong turn, I’ll drop them
Knight’s & Magic
Konbini Kareshi (Convenience Store Boy Friends)
Yōkoso Jitsuryoku Shijō Shugi no Kyōshitsu e (Classroom of the Elite)
Watching With Wariness
Shows that are on the fence. Wouldn’t take much to knock them off of my watchlist.
Hina Logi – from Luck and Logic
Isekai Shokudō (Restaurant to Another World)
Yōkai Apāto no Yūga na Nichijō (Elegant Yokai Apartment Life)
Tenshi no 3P!
Watching informally… not tracking/reporting
Nobunaga no Shinobi (a.k.a. Ninja Girl and Samurai Master)
Katsugeki! Touken Ranbu
Isekai wa Smartphone to Tomo ni (In Another World With My Smartphone)
Jikan no Shehaisha (Chronos Ruler)
Nana Maru San Batsu (7O3X)(Fastest Finger First)
Nora to Oujo to Noraneko Heart (Nora, Princess, and Stray Cat)
Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun (Aoyama-kun is a Clean Freak!)
Enmusubi no Youko-chan (Fox Spirit Matchmaker)
Hajimete no Gal
Musekinin Galaxy☆Tylor (The Irresponsible Galaxy Tylor)
Ikemen Sengoku: Toki wo Kakeru ga Koi wa Hajimaranai
Gamers! Episode 2
Here is the list of simulcasts I watch broken down by day. (I took this from my weekly task list.) The times in parentheses are Crunchyroll broadcast times (Pacific Time). On weekdays I don’t watch the shows at the time they are simulcast; I watch the shows after I get home from work.
Tenshi no 3P! (Mon 5:30a)
Yōkai Apāto no Yūga na Nichijō (Mon 8:30a)
Isekai Shokudō (Mon 11:05a)
New Game!! (Tue 7:00a)
Tsurezure Children (Tue 8:45a)
Mahoujin Guru Guru (Tue 11:05a)
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations (Wed 2:25a)
Yōkoso Jitsuryoku Shijō Shugi no Kyōshitsu e (Wed 9:00a)
Gamers! (Thu 8:30a)
Konbini Kareshi (Thu 12:05p)
Jigoku Shōjo Yoi no Togi (Fri 9:30a)
Nobunaga no Shinobi (Fri 11:05a)
Hina Logi – from Luck & Logic (Fri 9:00p)
Boku no Hero Academia (Sat 2:30a)
Centaur no Nanami (Sun 7:30a)
Knight’s & Magic (Sun 8:00a)
This is the most even distribution I’ve ever had. 3 shows on Monday and Tuesday – and 2 shows on all other days of the week. It’s most telling that every day – except Monday – I’m eager to see that day’s anime. That means that Monday has the weakest shows in the watchlist. I wouldn’t miss any of the shows on Monday if they went away. But other than that, the season is quite entertaining.
Tsurezure Children, Episode 3
by Victoria Silverwolf
July isn't quite over yet, and already I feel overwhelmed by all that's been going on in the world:
Two new nations, Rwanda and Burundi, have been created from the Belgian territory of Ruanda-Urundi. Similarly, France has recognized the independence of its former colony Algeria.
Despite protests, the United States continues to test atomic weapons. The USA also detonated a hydrogen bomb in outer space, hundreds of miles above a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. The explosion created a spectacular light show visible from Hawaii, more than seven hundred miles away. It also disrupted electronics in the island state. An underground nuclear explosion created a gigantic crater in the Nevada desert and may have exposed millions of people to radioactive fallout.
AT&T launched Telstar, the first commercial communications satellite (which we'll be covering in the next article!)
The world of literature suffered a major loss with the death of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner.
In Los Angeles, young artist Andy Warhol exhibited a work consisting of thirty-two paintings of cans of Campbell's Soup.
The Washington Post published an article revealing how Doctor Frances Oldham Kelsey, a medical officer for the Food and Drug Administration, kept thalidomide, a drug now known to cause severe birth defects, off the market in the United States.
Even popular music seems to be going through radical changes lately. Early in the month the charts were dominated by David Rose's raucous jazz instrumental The Stripper. It would be difficult to think of a less similar work than Bobby Vinton's sentimental ballad Roses are Red (My Love), which has replaced it as Number One.
It seems appropriate that the latest issue of Fantastic offers no less than nine stories, one long and eight short, to go along with these busy days:
(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
Brainy bunnies! Rabbits surf to safety on back of sheep as floodwaters rise
How scientists redesign DNA codes
Why Are Human Teeth So Messed Up?
9 Chilly Facts About Frozen Food Pioneer Clarence Birdseye
3, 2, 1 ... Bake Off! The Mission To Make Bread In Space
The Wool Brigades of World War I, When Knitting Was a Patriotic Duty
Adobe to pull plug on Flash, ending an era
Two days in an underwater cave running out of oxygen
Sperm counts among western men have halved in last 40 years – study
Video of teacher’s confrontation with Border Patrol agent goes viral
In drought stricken Kenya, Nairobi residents recycle polluted dam water
Growing Up As An Untouchable
'I Am a Girl Now,' Sage Smith Wrote. Then She Went Missing.
Nearly Half of All Murdered Women Are Killed by Romantic Partners
CTE Found in 99 Percent of Brains Donated by NFL Families
TSA tightens electronics screening for domestic flights, too
Booby-traps plague north Iraq as Islamic State targets returning civilians
As it loses in Syria and Iraq, ISIS establishes a new beachhead: the Philippines
Rights groups ask Duterte to retract threat to bomb schools
One hundred children a day are now crossing the border into Uganda from the war in South Sudan, without their parents – creating a ‘children’s emergency’
Checked on the sister creature and she is convinced that taking the cough syrup will slow her healing process because she needs to cough up everything in her lungs, even if it might be her liver or pancreas. I would argue with her about this, but, I would have better luck convincing a wall or a cat that I have value.
I got things to do today here in the house. I should do them.
This means novels that I started and read straight through, completing them to the last page. I pick up a lot of fiction and give up on the book by the end of the first chapters, as well as many others where I get about half or two thirds through and quit due to do not care, and also, why is this so much longer than it needed to be?
So July's fiction reading is much more than usual, that’s for sure. Staying home alone during the brutally hot, polluted and humid 8 days that el V was off to hot and humid Cuba, and feeling physically crummy is probably responsible -- that, and maybe some novels I wanted to read.
Brookmyre, Christopher. (2016) Black Widow.
Right after finishing this novel, which I'd picked off the shelves without any prior knowledge of either the book or the author, I learned Black Widow was just award the UK's Crime Writers' Association Golden Dagger award for 2016.
Nerd pop culture references all the way through, which gets wearing and doesn't wear well for readers of the future. The investigator of the mystery, and primary narrator is really too old for this stuff, so it was annoying as hell. But since many of the other characters were nerds and young and live in that culture I kept page turning / reading, until fairly close to the end I got all too familiar sensation that comes with trying read fiction, which is "Isn't this over yet?????" -- "gads, this is at least 50 pages too long!" -- so skipped to the end to find out who did it and why. Spoiler alerts!
SPOILER CONTENT HERE
( Read more... )
SPOILER CONTENT ENDS
Pop culture / nerd culture, you bet he does GOT too. Feh. He and his ending let me down, as endings so often do.
However the following books all have satisfying endings.
Cleeves, Ann (2016) Cold Earth.
The latest of her Jimmy Perez Shetland series. It was slow-going, particularly in getting going, in an almost exact replication of the first Jimmy Perez - Shetland Islands book I read. In fact, the location is where the first one took place even. This in an on going problem in almost all of her Shetland books. though not in the television adaptations.
One of the many pleasures I receive from reading Cleeves (she's the author of Yorkshire's Vera Stanhope novels too -- the first one of which, The Crow Trap, originally published in 1999, I finally got to read last month! And it was the very best of the Vera novels I've read so far), is how different the television series are from the books. Both the Vera and Shetland tv series are among my big watching pleasures. These provide good lessons in how to adapt successfully from print to screen. The first lesson, may well be the most important -- the casting makes all the difference, and when it's perfect, the visual adaptation may well be more compelling than the print, without being in the least faithful to the plots or even who the characters are -- but then television has its own rules, which may not be necessary for the page. As said, an education in writing.
French, Tana; (2008) The Likeness.
I’ve read all of Irish writer French’s novels almost as soon as they were published in the US, except this, her second one. It was involving, though the pretext, that divine, insulated group of college kids who are interested only in each other is rather more than tired. But so talented a writer as French (rather like the great talent that was Daphne Du Maurier for our age) did something fresh with it. The problem, though, is is that they really aren’t kids, and don’t even feel in the early 20’s. So how does this undercover female detective protag manage, since, even though older than the 'kids', still her experience seems too deep for her early 30’s, as she says she is, even though she supposedly looks a lot younger.
But hey, it’s hot, I read in the bed, with the a/c cranked until deep into the night. I turned the pages compulsively. This passed the hours most agreeably until I could relax enough and sleep while el V was in Cuba.
Leon, Donna (2016) The Waters of Eternal Youth: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery.
Venice is drowning in tourists and their crap, immigrants, the mob and general corruption of everything. But still, despite everything being online these days, the Commissario and his family continue to read the classics and eat the most wonderful meals at least three times a day.
Rankin, Ian. (2016) Rather Be The Devil.
Rankin's hard drinking, chain smoking, 60's rock and roller, rule breaking, ass kicking, Scott's cynic Rebus is retired from Edinburgh's police force. It's all caught up with him after many books in the Rebus series. He's not smoking, but coughing disgusting crap with a shadow on his lung, trying to cut back on drinking. But he’s still dueling with Big Ger, frustrating Siobhan Clarke and everyone who cares for him, but going to the center of what has happened in the past that has bled into the bloody present. Another change in Rebus -- the proverbial lone wolf detector, he's one of three -- and actually cooperating as much as Rebus can cooperate with them. This means the narrative provides additional povs beyond Rebus's in this convoluted case, which is about – what exactly? The disappearance of a banker, who seems to be connected to all sorts of nefarious financial deals, drugs, gambling, homicide – and, well, not Russians, but Ukrainians, laundering money in and through Scotland. But then Rankin's Rebus has never about the case, really, but about the wild ride he takes you on..
In the end, again, Rebus's nemesis, and in these later novels, now at least a frenemy, if not friend, Big Ger Cafferty’s back, old as he is -- as old as Rebus, but he's not over the hill yet, any more than is Rebus. But Rebus has learned to work with others, as much as Rebus can: Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke, and the male officer promoted and moved over her, to international crime, Malcolm Fox. They all get what they want. Further, Rebus still has his girlfriend from the previous book, Deborah Quant, who works post mortems for Edinburgh, has since the last book acquired a dog named Brillo – and he’s lost weight. Neither Big Ger nor Rebus are anywhere near down for the count yet, and they glory in it -- and that they have both proved they are both still at the top of their intersecting game.
It was good reading for a hot and humid July weekend in NYC.
Today the weather is splendid, a perfect July summer day. There's enough July left that I may be able to get in yet another novel. Tonight I begin an historical set colonial Manhattan of 1746. I've been looking forward to this one.
Spufford, Francis (2017) Golden Hill.
If I am able to finish this one (it's not long) it would make a grand total of six -- 6 -- novels, I read this month!