Last Week I:
Sunday, May 22, 2022
Thursday, May 19, 2022
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
We went out of town this weekend. Sometimes I schedule these posts before we leave, sometimes I have them mostly ready so that I just need to add a couple of things on Sunday evenings after we get home. This weekend, I clearly did neither of those things. And then last night I was finishing this month's book club selection. But I know how much you all live for these posts (😂), so here we go!
Enjoyed: One last trip to Decorah. BG's brother and his wife will be moving to Lincoln in a few weeks and we'll love having them close but they have a lovely home in a wonderful little town and it's always a pleasure to spend time there with them. Plus, this visit we were the beneficiaries of some things that they won't have room for in their new home, including a table that was the guy's great-grandmother, another table that their dad made in high school, and a wonderful collection of BG's brother's paintings. We are honored to be the new wards of all of these treasures.
Thursday, May 12, 2022
Monday, May 9, 2022
Sunday, May 8, 2022
Last Week I:
Thursday, May 5, 2022
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
On the idyllic coast of San Sebastian, Spain, Dublin pathologist Quirke is struggling to relax, despite the beaches, cafés and the company of his disarmingly lovely wife. When he glimpses a familiar face in the twilight at Las Acadas bar, it's hard at first to tell whether his imagination is just running away with him.
Because this young woman can't be April Latimer. She was murdered by her brother, years ago—the conclusion to an unspeakable scandal that shook one of Ireland's foremost political dynasties.
Unable to ignore his instincts, Quirke makes a call back home to Ireland and soon Detective St. John Strafford is dispatched to Spain. But he's not the only one en route. A relentless hit man is on the hunt for his latest prey, and the next victim might be Quirke himself.
"Terry Tice liked killing people. It was as simple as that. Maybe "liked" wasn't the right word. Nowadays he was paid to do it, and well paid. But money was never the motive, not really."
"The conspiracy begins the moment you arrive, as he pointed out to Evelyn, who was knitting, and wasn't listening. There's the grinning doorman who yanks open the door of your taxi and gabbles a greeting in pidgin English. There's the beaming girl in black behind the reception desk who exclaims, in her bouncy way, that it is a pleasure to welcome you back, even though you've never stayed here before. There is the porter, lean and stopped, with a melancholy eye and a mustache that might have been drawn on with an eyebrow pencil, who festoons himself with your suitcases and staggers away with them, to arrive at the door of your room a mysterious twenty minutes later - was he off in some cubbyhole in the meantime, going through your things? - and, having shown you how the light switches work anyhow to open and close the curtains, loiters expectantly on the threshold, with his fake, ingratiating smile, waiting for his tip."
"His keenest, secret enthusiasm was the lift. It ran, or joggled, rather, up and down through the very heart of the building. It was ancient and creaky, with a folding iron gate that shuddered shut with a satisfying clatter. Inside, it was lined with red plush, and attached to the back wall, below a framed mirror, was a little wooden seat hardly deeper than a bookshelf, covered with a raggedy piece of carpet held in place by round-headed nails worn to a shine over the years by the well-upholstered posteriors of countless well-heeled guests."
Sunday, May 1, 2022
Last Week I:
Thursday, April 28, 2022
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Impossible choices are made, decisions that leave the survivors tormented with grief and regret. Unable to let go, Finn keeps vigil as they struggle to reclaim their shattered lives. Jack, her father, who seeks vengeance against the one person he can blame other than himself; her best friend, Mo, who bravely searches for the truth as the story of their survival is rewritten; her sister Chloe, who knows Finn lingers and yearns to join her; and her mother, Ann, who saved them all but is haunted by her decisions. Finn needs to move on, but how can she with her family still in pieces?
Sunday, April 24, 2022
Thursday, April 21, 2022
"Written with quiet dignity that builds to a climax of tragic force, this book about the dissolution of an African tribe, its traditions, and values, represents a welcome departure from the familiar "Me, white brother" genre.
Written by a Nigerian African trained in missionary schools, this novel tells quietly the story of a brave man, Okonkwo, whose life has absolute validity in terms of his culture, and who exercises his prerogative as a warrior, father, and husband with unflinching single mindedness. But into the complex Nigerian village filters the teachings of strangers, teachings so alien to the tribe, that resistance is impossible. One must distinguish a force to be able to oppose it, and to most, the talk of Christian salvation is no more than the babbling of incoherent children. Still, with his guns and persistence, the white man, amoeba-like, gradually absorbs the native culture and in despair, Okonkwo, unable to withstand the corrosion of what he, alone, understands to be the life force of his people, hangs himself. In the formlessness of the dying culture, it is the missionary who takes note of the event, reminding himself to give Okonkwo's gesture a line or two in his work, The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.
This book sings with the terrible silence of dead civilizations in which once there was valor."
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Sunday, April 17, 2022
Last Week I:
Made: Glazed ham, hash brown casserole, lemonade salad, and raspberry pie. It felt good to cook again!
Thursday, April 14, 2022
There was the moneyFor the NAACPTo challenge AmericaThat elected the presidentWho headed the governmentThat built a systemThat rewarded the white menWho created Jim Crow,That angered the womanWho helped the peopleLynched in the prison of racismthat hate built.
Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Mailhot trusts the reader to understand that memory isn't exact, but melded to imagination, pain, and what we can bring ourselves to accept. Her unique and at times unsettling voice graphically illustrates her mental state. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story, and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people, and to her place in the world.
"This is a slim book full of raw and ragged pain, the poisonous effects of sexual abuse, of racial cruelty, of violence and self-harm and drug addiction. But it is not without a wry, deadpan humour and clever derision. Its quiet rage is directed outwards towards the intangible yet definitive (white supremacy, male supremacy), the unjust shape of the world, while a deep tenderness and empathy are shown to those who share in the author’s vulnerability – her sons, her mother, even her father: “I don’t think he was wrong for demanding love – it was the manner in which he asked, and whom he asked that was unforgivable.” Her mother, in all her dysfunction, her societal powerlessness, is portrayed as a kind of quirky triumph of parenting against the odds, serving her children badly cooked wild rice, encouraging them to beat pillows or rugs when misbehaving, “because she wanted us to release our tensions”. The result of this wise yet flailing caring is a spiritual mother-daughter bond that continues beyond the grave."
Sunday, April 10, 2022
Cases of the new Covid sub-variant are on the rise here in Nebraska so The Big Guy and I got our second boosters Friday. Each of the other shots has kind of knocked me out for about 24 hours but the only side effect I had from this booster was, strangely, a bit of a runny nose. Or that could have been allergies, what with the door open all day yesterday because that's the price to be paid for spring.
Last Week I: