Weekend Miscellany

April 26, 2008 at 10:49 pm (books, Cats, Food, Mystery fiction, Uncategorized)

What I’m reading:

Hamlet, Revenge; by Michael Innes, a Golden Age classic (written in 1937) that’s out of print and hard to find. I got my copy several years ago from a small British publisher, House of Stratus. They do not currently stock any copies! And so we beat on, boats against (contemporary publishing) currents, borne back ceaselessly in our search for (out of print) gems from the past (with apologies to F. Scott Fitzgerald).

Waterloo Sunset, crime fiction set in Liverpool and written by the dependably engaging Martin Edwards;

The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby. Well, yes, I do identify with all those irrelevant intellectuals, but so far, Jacoby is preaching to the choir (and that’s one of the problems she addresses in the very first chapter).

The Dog Man: An Uncommon Life on a Faraway Mountain, by Martha Sherrill. The story of the man who almost singlehandedly saved Akitas, referred to in Japan as “snow country dogs,” from extinction as a distinct breed.

An especially meaty issue of The New Yorker. “Uncluttered” is about the Danish/Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, whose work I recently saw at MoMa in New York. And there’s a fascinating piece by Rebecca Mead on The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in the Berkshires. It seems this venerable dwelling is at the moment threatened with foreclosure. Even the great Edith Wharton has been unable to escape the nation’s current subprime mortgage crisis! [This article is not available online.]

The Mount

Finally, there’s Daniel Mendelsohn’s meditation on Herodotus, occasioned by two new versions of The Histories. [Attention, children’s librarians: The New Yorker cover is by the late William Steig, author of one of my all time favorite children’s books, Dominic.]

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What I’m listening to: The Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman. George Guidall’s readings of these atmospheric novels of the Southwest are quite simply a joy.

[Geogre Guidall]

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What we’re watching – and that would be on our brand spanking new 32-inch Toshiba 32RV53OU : The Wire, Season Two. I have nothing to say about this astonishing, harrowing program that hasn’t already been said. We finished Season One two weeks ago; I was so wrapped up in what was happening to these characters – especially Kima – that I was going to sleep obsessing about them and then dreaming about them.

[First picture: Dominic West and Wendell Pierce as Jimmy McNulty and “Bunk” Moreland; second picture: Idris Elba and Wood Harris as “Stringer” Bell and Avon Barksdale]

How did they find these fabulous actors? (There was an interesting article about David Simon, creator of this landmark series, in a recent issue of Atlantic Monthly.)

Unscheduled event of the weekend:

My husband’s brave but ultimately futile attempt to convey a piping hot Pepperidge Farm Chicken Pot Pie from the oven to the table resulted in said pie landing with a great splat on the kitchen floor. I’ve eaten this item before – from the table, I hasten to assure you! – and it really is quite tasty. But perhaps there should be a warning on the box concerning methods of conveyance. I’d suggest a picture of the pot pie imploding as its container crumples. A second graphic would have the pie’s crust and innards liberally spread hither and yon, while one’s pet – in this case, Miss Marple, a cat ever alert to novel culinary situations – comes racing in and careens right through the middle of the mess. Don’t try this at home, folks!

The cat in question…

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