Looking Back: Last Day in Bir

Self loved The Colonel’s Resort, she just loved it.  It is a little hard to get to, since the car trip from Kasauli was long.  But she thinks, next time she goes to India, she will land somewhere closer, perhaps Amritsar? Udaipur?

Her memories are of:  snowy mountains, deep valleys, and of course the Colonel and his beautiful wife, and the wonderful food they served.

Here are some pictures from self’s last day in Bir:

In the dining room of the Colonel's Resort, with Frisky, the Colonel's wonderful Labrador Retriever. Self developed quite an attachment to her.

It was so cold, self's last two days in Bir, that the Colonel had a fire brought into the dining room.

Frisky was the most amazing creature. When the Colonel's car was full of passengers, and she couldn't sit in the back seat, she'd be put in the trunk. Then, she'd lie there quietly until we'd reached our destination. As soon as the Colonel opened the trunk, out popped Frisky, like a wave unleashed.

And now, it is 3:28 p.m. in Redwood City, self has been perusing Kickstarter, and she has a sudden hankering for a grilled cheese sandwich.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

NYTBR 12 February 2012

It’s been a long time since self blogged about anything reviewed in The New York Times Book Review,  she might as well end the drought now.

The very first review, by Pankaj Mishra, is a fascinating look at the most highly touted book of the past several months, Behind the Beautiful Forevers:  Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo.  Self will not attempt to summarize an article that is three full pages long, in dense, small print.  Suffice it to say, self has yet to read anything negative about this book, and she is constantly trolling the web or reading magazines.  Well done, Katherine Boo!

Next, from the “Up Front” section on p. 4, are a couple of pungent quotes from Bruce Barcott, who volunteers, in an e-mail to the editors of the NYTBR, “I’m a naturally tweedy guy.”  Since that quote is unaccompanied by qualification or explanation, self must assume the expression “tweedy guy” is something everyone else in the universe (other than self) is acquainted with.  Oh, and after reading the entire piece, self thinks she would like to try reading Barcott’s The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw, “about a woman’s fight to save endangered birds in Belize.”

After reading the Crime column, self would most like to read Jan Costin Wagner’s Silence.  Oh, very strong stuff here:  murder, rape, pedophilia.  Self will not attempt to quote, for it is an exceedingly dark book, perfect for self, who is always chasing after dark subject matter.  There is also a paragraph about John Burdett’s latest Sonchai Jitpleecheep mystery, Vulture Peak.  This one, as it turns out, is also extremely dark, for it’s about the trade in “marketable body parts.”  Which means there will be a lot of elegant and gruesome dismemberment, described (no doubt) in exacting detail.

There is also a review of an interesting novel by Anthony Giardina, called Norumbega Park.  Self keeps mis-reading Norumbega as Noriega, but of course this is not a novel about Panama or even about dictators.  Reviewer Jennifer Gilmore does write a beautiful sentence.  For example:  “As Giardina’s novel sorts this out, it delves into what is hidden —  the dreams, the shame, the faith —  in the complex folds of one family’s life.”

Finally, the end-paper essay, by Christopher R. Beha, introduces self to a writer she has never heard of before:  Elizabeth Taylor.  No, not the actress.  Apparently, more than one human being bears that iconic name.  Self is so excited by the discovery of a new writer.  She thanks Mr. Beha from the bottom of her heart, and resolves to try and get her hands on Taylor’s novels Angel and A Game of Hide and Seek.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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