Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What are you reading/have read?

I did not get as much out of this book as I should have. I know scads of people who loved it yet I found it too depressing. Still it had atmosphere and a truly villainous character. Now I am reading THE CHIMNEY SWEEP'S BOY by Barbara Vine and SHARP by Michelle Dean, essays on very smart and difficult women.

Phil just finished SHARP and is reading SLUMBERLAND.

How about you?

Monday, April 23, 2018

Megan's essay for the jacket of the Criterion Version of THE VIRGIN SUICIDES
Watching my grandson play in his first LL game of the year. He got a nice hit and made some good plays at first base. His friend, Grant, came along to watch and has the making of a standup comic. He said he and Kevin were the class clowns. That was new to me. No bad behavior on the part of parents either. A nice afternoon.

And good weather finally. We deserve it, don't we.

We went to a friend's house to watch RAGTIME on her DVD player. A long time since I have seen some of these actors. James Cagney, no less. Harold Rollins sure died before his time.

Enjoying KILLING EVE with Sandra Oh. What a great actress she is, especially paired with Jodie Comer.

What about you?

Friday, April 20, 2018

FFB, April 20, 2018

Stoner, JohnWilliams

Second time reading this one, and I liked it as well as the first time. It reads so easily. Every word seems especially chosen for its clarity.
Stoner comes from a poor farming family in South Dakota and is sent to college at great expense to his family to study newer agricultural methods. But he discovers literature and that becomes the love of his life. And that love blinds him to an evil wife, enemies in his academic department, causes him to give up so much to pursue his dream. For anyone interested in a character study, this is tops. You will feel very sad for Stoner but understand he made the bed he lies in. He is not a heroic figure but he has no evil in him either. Much like all of us.

Mark Baker, J IS FOR JUDGMENT, Sue Grafton
Les Blatt, THE CASE OF THE MONDAY MURDERS, Christopher Bush
Elgin Bleecker, HONEY IN HIS MOUTH, Lester Dent
Brian Busby, THE BOX GARDEN, Carol Shields
Martin Edwards, THE TIN TREE, James Quince
Richard Horton, CURRENT CONFUSION, Kitty Grey
Jerry House,SIX-GUN GORILLA, Anon
George Kelley, Three by Carter Brown
Margot Kinberg, THE FACE OF A STRANGER, Anne Perry
Rob Kitchin, SLUMBERLAND, Paul Beatty
B.V. Lawson, THE PROBLEM WITH CELL 13, Jacques Heath Futrelle
Evan Lewis, SAY IT WAS MURDER, Stephen Mertz
Steve Lewis, TROUBLE RIDES TALL, Harry Whittington
Todd Mason, WORKS IN PROGRESS, edited by Martha Saxton
Matt Paust, ROLLING STONE, Patricia Wentworth
James Reasoner, LAND OF THE EARTHQUAKES, Henry Kuttner
Gerard Saylor, FRONTIER GIRL, Marian Monsoon
Kerrie Smith, DARKTOWN, Thomas Mullen
Kevin Tipple, COFFIN CORNER, Dell Shannon
Westlake Review, DUPLICATE KEYS

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Forgotten Movies: THE CONVERSATION

Boy, does this one hold up well. Of course, Gene Hackman makes the movie. He never steps out of his role as a surveillance expert once. And the movie is so gritty-not a single shot is glamorous, not a single wardrobe choice, set. Ciindy Williams is the least glamorous femme fatale ever. Every casting choice is brilliant.
What a genius Coppola was at this point of his career. And the music just works so well. This would have to be in my top ten movies.

The plot is, of course, that Hackman hears things on his tape that makes him fearful for the lives of the people he taped. An earlier case went badly and that haunts him.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Thanks to the kind souls who posted Amazon reviews for my book.

I would really appreciate any amazon reviews you can crank up. So much depends on a red wheelbarrow and an amazon review. Or so I am told. Thanks. 

Things That Are Making Me Happy

Very much enjoying the novel TANGERINE which reminds me of Donna Tartt, Patricia Highsmith and someone else I still can't pinpoint,.(Perhaps Paul Bowles). Always amazed when a new author comes out of the batter's box this strong.
So much rain here we rewatched THE CONVERSATION and GOSFORD PARK. The first holds up much better than the second, which is too filled with English actors making a cameo. I wonder if Altman will hold up too. Gene Hackman was certainly one of the finest actors of the last 50 years.

Rain rain rain caused us to miss all of our weekend activities. Thank God for music, books and TV.

Didn't much care for ISLE OF DOGS. The animation was lovely, but the story seemed cold and there was not enough dogs. I think I am not a Wes Anderson fan except for one or two.

And from Tracy at Bitter Tea and Mystery, this makes me happy. 

What about you?