- Honoring My Father
I collect cookbooks. Now, I’m not known for my cooking, though I do bake some wonderful cheesecakes that do very well at my church’s dessert auctions. The youth of our church decided to produce a cookbook as a fundraiser. We were all asked to provide recipes. As I’m not a person who makes up recipes, I was a bit stumped until I remembered my father’s cookbook. I’m not talking a published cookbook, but a collection of recipes in Dad’s own handwriting. Soups, stews, potpies, vegetable side dishes—to say they took me back in time is an understatement.
- Introduction to a New (to Me!) Author
I was introduced to a new writer in May—K.O. Dahl, referred to as the Norwegian Henning Mankell on the back cover of his latest book, The Man in the Window.
[amazon cover 0571230911] Discovering that this was not the first in a series, I had to order The Fourth Man, winner of Norway’s Riverton Prize for Best Crime Novel, and start at the beginning. I was so taken with this first book that I decided to review it, a wonderful pager-turner that was difficult to put down.
- Kurt Wallander Series on PBS
In May, PBS showed adaptations of three books from Henning Mankell’s series featuring Kurt Wallander: Sidetracked, Firewall, and One Step Behind. (Visit Henning Mankell’s Web site to learn more about his writing.)
I’ve been a Mankell/Wallander fan for a long time. As always, I was concerned that the shows would stay as true as possible to the books and to the character of Wallander. Fortunately, I was pleased with both.
- A Favorite Character Reappears
Author Thomas Perry won the Edgar Award for The Butcher’s Boy, and Metzer’s Dog was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, but my favorite books of his are those he wrote as a series featuring his character Jane Whitefield: Vanishing Act, The Face Changers, Shadow Woman, and Dance for the Dead.
- A Bone to Pick
I enjoy listening to books on CD or audiotape while driving, especially on long trips. Recently, I bought the audio presentation of a book I’d actually read. This may not make sense to some of you, but if I have enjoyed a book, I have no problems with it. However, there were times during the trip that I thought I’d goofed up and missed a CD.
The last CD ended as I drove up to my destination. I sat in the car wondering what happened to the parts of the story I’d read, but not heard, and then it hit me.
- Housebound and Driven Crazy by a Cat
Last month, I was at the end of a 12-day house- and cat-sitting stint for our son and daughter-in-law while they experienced London, Leeds, Canterbury, Dover, and Pars. It was raining cats and dogs on the Thursday afternoon we drove the 45-minutes to the airport to drop them off, and it kept raining all the way back to their home. Later that evening, the rain turned to snow. It continued to snow until early Sunday morning, leaving 18-24 inches on the ground. With a pile of books and much work to do, it shouldn’t have been a problem.
- What Would You Do If You Knew . . .
[amazon cover 0385663404] In The End of the Alphabet, Ambrose is told he has only a month to live. He and his wife, Zipper, have no children or extended family, so his decision to travel as much as he can before dying affects only them.
My thought is to travel as much as I can before I’m given that kind of diagnosis, but I do understand. We often put off today what, we hope, we’ll be able to do tomorrow for a variety of reasons: cost, especially in these days of economic uncertainty; personal safety; time away from home, job, family; etc.
- Would You Steal Horses with a Friend?
[amazon cover 1555974708] I was speaking with a friend at the office the other day about the book Out Stealing Horses (by Per Petterson). She asked about the title, and I explained about the two young boys talking about stealing horses, although they weren’t really going to steal the horses—they just wanted to ride them in the horses’ pasture. The horses belonged to someone else; the boys’ talk of stealing seemed to make it more adventurous for them.
- Lose a Friend, Lose a Book
[amazon cover 060961004X] This month I’m reviewing a fun travel book complete with recipes. It brought to mind a book I’ve been looking for in my own collection, Jeanne Ray’s Eat Cake.
- Death of a Bookstore Cat
In a story similar to Dewey's, the owners of A Novel Idea bookstore had Silas, a large black and white cat they rescued from an alley behind the store several years ago.