Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Summer Reading

If you can’t stomach graphic violence, this trilogy by the Swedish writer Stieg Larrson is not for you, but I couldn’t put it down.




In that order.

Two Harlan Coben novels:



Any mystery by P.D. James. I read THE LIGHTHOUSE this month.

Colin Dexter’s THE REMORSEFUL DAY. This is the last of the Inspector Morse novels. Exquisitely written. I’m going to read more Colin Dexter.

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer. Enjoyable but not as good as Larrson, James or Dexter.

THE DARK TIDE by Andrew Gross and THE DAFFODIL MYSTERY by Edgar Wallace, because I got them free from Amazon Kindle. The last one is terribly old fashioned and not highly recommended, and I can’t remember anything about the other one.

PRIVATE JUSTICE by Terri Blackstock. Don’t remember. Could probably read it again.

Other books I read this summer, not mysteries:

THE LAKE SHORE LIMITED by Sue Miller (She never lets me down).

THE THREE WEISSMANNS OF WESTPORT by Cathleen Schine A contemporary comic novel. Well done.

SECOND HONEYMOON by Joanna Trollope and also by her, THE OTHER FAMILY

THE FORSYTE SAGA –complete (three books) by John Galsworthy. Loved it.

PASCAL’S PENSEES by Blaise Pascal Inspiring.

HOW TO RETIRE OVERSEAS by Kathleen Peddicord. Cuenca, Ecuador is it.

I have the same terrible reading habits that I’ve always had: once I get started, I can’t put it down. I try to space them a little, so that Tom sees the whites of my eyes occasionally.

P.S. I love love love my Kindle.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Fiat 500

I see this car everywhere and I want one. They are coming to the U.S. in early 2011. We owned a Fiat station wagon once. Picked it up at the factory in Milan, paid for it, and it wouldn't start. We called it The Citrona the four months we owned it. Our two toddlers slept in the back while Tom and I camped in a blue pup tent in gravelled campgrounds. The best camp was above Florence. At night, we walked around envying the Germans and their nifty trailers with the white bedding turned down at one corner. Then we would return to our pup tent, put on the Knorr soup, butter the brown bread and have dinner.

I read that Fiat has improved! (I'm a sucker for tiny cars.) I love the chrome line running through the logo.

I suppose it is human to want stuff. I was hoping I'd get over that. I have too much stuff as it is. Sometimes, I want to blow my stuff up.

And start with new stuff.

Pascal would say that was a distraction from having to think about our own deaths. Mostly, I've been reading mysteries, but I got Pascal's Pensees in there.

Reading mysteries is also a distraction from thinking about death. And watching The Black Adder on the BBC. And riding the tram through the second bezirk as we did today. Eating ice cream in Schwedenplatz. Dancing in your underwear.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sarah's happy place

Hallstatter See

We ask the waiter in the restaurant who owned the castle across the lake. It was Herr Handel.
"And what does Herr Handel do for a living?" Tom asked.

"He sells pork," the waiter said. "Lots of pork."


It's the first day of summer and it is raining in Vienna. After a few days of roaring heat, I like the rain better. Sam and Sarah have come and gone. I miss them.

Tom is off buying a Polaroid printer. It prints digital photos right from your camera , 2 x 3 inches. Perfect for little scrapbooks. I was going to go with him, but then just before we left, I said, "Now you know where this place is?"

"I think so, " he said.

I've been using a cane for a couple of weeks and "I think so" isn't good enough. Crippled people don't like "looking for a place" on foot. I'm not complaining. I'm just saying.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lazing around in the alps

This is my idea of a perfect vacation day: still in my pajamas late morning, reading a good novel, and glimpsing up at the alps when it suits me. Others are out earnestly hiking about. Not me. In another world I was a cat sitting in my own square of sunshine. Purrrr.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tom's yearly hat fiasco.

Tom needed a hat to cover his balding skull now that the sun is shining in all its glory. I think he meant to copy Sam's British Pub-style hat, but he missed the mark slightly and instead bought a J.Lo hat. Or a Beyonce hat. Or Thomas the Train. Or one of those boys from newsies. It's surprising what a difference a couple of inches makes.

There is no photo. He refuses to be photographed. And I think he will not wear that hat again. It will go the way of the of the Jonas Brothers cap of last summer

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wecome to Salzburg

"Hello, my name is HORST, and I will be your guide in Salzburg for two and a half hours in the pouring rain. I will lead you through puddles the size of lakes and destroy any illusions you might have had about the story from The Sound of Music. Mozart was born here and grew up here. This restaurant has been here since 803. We have the largest, coolest music festival with the most talented musicians in the world. They play in this palace and here and here. This was built to accommodate a larger audience. Salzburg is the most cultured, hippest, oldest, goldest place in the wide world, you dumb little tourist turds."