How To Murder Your Mother-in-Law

March 10th. 2009

Come on, you didn’t really think I would suggest that, did you? But, I have to admit, when I saw this title on the library bookshelf, I grabbed it. Who wouldn’t, be the teensiest bit intrigued by something so incredibly outrageous. (Absolutley, no disrespect intended to my mother-in-law or the state of mother-in-law hood in general. ) And no one’s mother-in-law is harmed in this story. Tell me, do I sound PC? This book is one in a long and wonderful series of mysteries and intrigues brought on by strange communicty events by Dorothy Cannell–a British author. (And we all know how those Brits like to solve a murder by tea time, so this isn’t a slow, draggy thing.)  The series began with another well titled book, The Thin Woman, and details the  journey a full-figured gal might take on the curvy, potentially malnourished road to success. I’m not kidding, I’ve laughed out loud while reading these books and I’ll always recommend something that makes me laugh. There’s just not enough humor in the world.

On a not a so funny note, but still cool, my dad (a distinguished 70 +something, retired Army Special Forces/Ranger/Missionary to the Dominican Republic) has started a blog. Dad’s handy with tools and I think can program his VCR, I just never knew he had it in him to go all techno savvy. He’s been teaching a Bible study for a while –Read the Bible through in 365 days–and has created a daily blog to encourage those in his class (and anyone else) who is reading along in a 365 day specialty Bible. If you’d like to see his thoughts, experiences and musings on the Word check out Powell Johnson’s blog.

Maisie Dobbs

March 9th. 2009

A friend asked me yesterday to recommend a few titles to read and since this list is long and my memory short, I thought to post the suggestions here.  When I glance over my shoulder to the bookshelf here in the office its easy to find some of my favorite books. (Books are all over the house, but this is where I keep the special ones.) A few years ago, a bookseller friend from Barron’s Books in Longview,Vickie, turned me on to Jacqueline Winspear’s first Maisie Dobbs mystery. I was hooked by the page one. The writing is sparse and elegant, the characters shadowy as if not ready to step under a spotlight and the plots deliberate and well-conceived.  What’s not to love? Plus, the frosting for me, the stories are set in one of my favorite, and least appreciated times in history–that narrow alley between the first and second World Wars.

Pocketfuls of bliss

March 5th. 2009

Webster defines bliss as: rapture or ecstasy. Honestly, I never felt that strongly about the word. To me, it was always a sweet, tender blip of happiness that surprised. Kind of like serendipitous moments. I like bliss. Happiness is fleeting, joy is abiding, but bliss is like that bird’s feather that flutters down from the sky and makes you wonder about things like guardian angels. It’s that strange minute where peace, contentment and maybe a dash of color change a hectic day into something memorable. I don’t intentionally seek bliss, it seems to be harder to nail down than contentment, but I love it when it happens. I glance over my shoulder for it after I’ve exhausted the usual chores, and finally sit down for a moment of me time. No, I take that back, anything involving chores can not bring on bliss. Unless, of course, you like laundry and dish-washing. I, on the other hand, get through the chores because I prefer order to chaos, but its not because I love matching endless piles of gym socks. What I do love, and where I usually find bliss, is in nearly silent moments. I have this chair outside that tilts back so you can stare at the sky, or in my case, the leafy panorama of five, big old trees crammed into one small corner of the yard. And, if the wind is gentle and the neighbor’s dog isn’t barking, I can almost always take a book with me, crank back in the chair, and after a few moments feel the bliss slide over me like a warm, ocean tide on a May evening.  I’ve noticed bliss comes in short supply, the pocketful variety. I’ll take it, anyway I can get it.

Reading a series backwards

March 4th. 2009

I picked up Sweet Caroline to read this weekend not realizing it was book one in a series that I had already book two of. . .oh well. It was still great. And I felt a bit like I knew a secret, because having read book two and the subsequent references to this plot, I knew how things would end. Rachel Hauck set this story of a women’s adaptation to unforeseen events in the Carolina low country, an area made oh so romantic by author Pat Conroy. This story was well written and fun to read. I highly recommend, Sweet Caroline.