Pulling that old switcheroo. Self started reading Karen Cheung’s The Impossible City when she got a notice that Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories that Make Us was due and could not be renewed: someone put a hold on it.
Today, self returned The Last Graduate to the library, having read to p. 80. It was so . . . talk-y? And she’s not that into Dark Academy fiction — there is a reason she never got into Harry Potter.
She is plowing on with The Lantern Men. The Cathbad/Judy sections are quite enjoyable. As are the Ruth-takes-Kate-swimming-and-gets-palpitations section. There was one sweet Ruth/Nelson scene (No touching, no what-ifs, just a pleasant conversation in a country pub. Oh well done, you two!)
Ruth stays late in her office in Cambridge University and hears strange sounds. These turn out to be the janitor (Pheeew!). Then she takes her 11-year-old to see the girlfriend of a serial killer because she’s imposed too much on her boyfriend already, she can’t ask him for one more babysitting favor. This creepy girlfriend has been writing threatening notes to Phil Trent (Ruth’s former boss), Phil Trent has just been attacked by an unknown assailant with a knife, and Ruth takes her daughter to see her. WHY, RUTH, WHY?
While Ruth converses with the girlfriend of the serial killer, she leaves her 11-year-old unattended outside. It’s quite safe, right? Right? What could happen? When Ruth looks for her daughter afterwards, her daughter is conversing WITH A STRANGE MAN. He says he’s the gardener but there is something really shady about him.
This is one of those moments when self thinks maybe she should have stuck with The Last Graduate a little longer. But here we are. (She’s well on her way to meeting her 2022 Goodreads Reading Challenge of 37 books — 12 of those books are the Dr. Ruth Galloway series. Who knew?)
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.
Self decided Neville Chamberlain is a very, very limp reading subject. She’s sure he was a very upstanding gentleman, but please. In hindsight, he just looks really, really . . .
She’s passing over Britain’s War in favor of a Neil Gaiman. The last Neil Gaiman she read was American Gods. Which means, it’s been a while between Neil Gaimans. And she decided to go with an early one.
Just look at the cover of this book! WOWEE! She heard it’s about a “secret London” that exists underground.
The first few pages are giving her a Philip Pullman/ Will Parry vibe.
Love the quote on the Travels and Trifles blog:
“A photographer’s eye is perpetually evaluating.”Henri Cartier-Bresson
My One Shot, Two Ways is of Avila Beach, on the Central Coast.
I liked the wide angle shot of the beach, but the rescue station had such an interesting mural. I just had to zoom in. It seems to portray a rescue craft, heading away from a ship? I tried to find out the name of the artist, but so far I haven’t been able to find any information. I’ll keep looking.
It was my first post-pandemic beach trip. And it was a gorgeous day.
Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.
The author persuades her aged parents to go into assisted living. She tells them to try it, they can always move back home if they don’t like it.
Self will never. Ever. Especially after the past year.
You set foot in a certain kind of river and you know that as soon as you do, the current will have you.— I’ll Be Seeing You, p. 30
The days will grow longer. Then the front yard will die, as it does every summer. Self has never mowed her yard, not once in three years. The grass is a bright green, and all the different things she’s planted are green and lush and it’s beginning to look like an ecosystem. Like a balanced ecosystem. Which is what she wanted to do in the first place, though a year and a half ago, she had only a vague idea.
She has briskly dispatched The Butterfly Effect. She skimmed the later chapters, which had a lot to do with industry and man’s ingenuity and how man depends on insects for manufacturing product, yada yada yada. She also skipped the chapter on eating bugs because, while surely fascinating, she doesn’t feel the slightest inclination to experiment in that direction.
She has three library books currently. Two of the books begin in high summer, and the third is about a polar bear in the Arctic. So she’s reading Ice Walker, because it’s cold here in her house. It’s probably best to read about polar bears when it is actually cold.
Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.
Self has made her selection of her next book (High as the Waters Rise is sooooo sad, now she has to write sad fiction to work it out of her system), and it’s neither This Is All I Got or Ice Walker. (Sorreeee!!!)
Sorry for being so indecisive. It seems that what self is in the mood for reading is — not about homelessness, or about the environment — a really good, fast-paced crime novel!
Thomas Perry’s Eddie’s Boy fits the bill. She hasn’t read Butcher’s Boy, but she understands from the reviews that you don’t need to have read the earlier novel to appreciate this one.
- Michael Schaeffer had not killed anyone in years, and he was enraged at the fact that he’d had to do it again tonight. He drove the big black sedan along the deserted, winding British lane toward the south under the lightless sky, keeping his speed near the limit of his ability to control the car. Strapped upright with the seat belt in the passenger seat beside him was a man with a small, neat bullet hole through the side of his head.
This is, oh my God, so GREAT.
Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.
Modest Changes in Behavior leads to “huge rises in coronavirus infections”: The Geometry of the Pandemic, p. 19
This article focuses on a model by Rajiv Rimal of Johns Hopkins University. And it’s a big, fat chunk of the article (maybe a third), longer than she usually manages to quote. But she wanted to share it. Knowledge is power!
When “American states began easing lockdowns . . . their caseloads were three or more times higher than in Europe, in part, argues Jarbas Barbosa of the Pan-American Health Organization, because most states never had full lockdowns. Texas had 1,270 new cases on the day its governor said restaurants could reopen: 44 per million. In Georgia, the rate was 95 per million. Disney World reopened the day before Florida announced a record 15,000 new cases in a day. Just as incredibly, in two-thirds of states, infections were rising when governors started to ease lockdowns. By contrast, France, Spain and Italy had 13-17 new cases per million when they began to re-open their economies and numbers were falling fast.
“On April 12th … 95% of the population was staying at home (leaving the house only for essential visits), with 5% ignoring lockdown rules. Based on those assumptions, his model predicts that Americans would have had 559,400 cases on that day — an accurate assessment (it actually had 554,849). On July 14th, Mr. Rimal assumed that 80% of the population was staying at home, i.e., only a gradual change. On this basis, his model predicts the country would have 1.6m cases, again not far off the actual number and confirming the impact of modest rises in activity. If people really altered their behaviour, the number would rise even further to 5.6m cases if the stay-at-home share drops to 60% and to 9.5m if it falls to 20%. In that worst case, America’s death toll could top 400,000. Such is the dark logic of geometric growth.”
The Economist concludes that “to drive the level of infection down to perhaps a tenth of what it is now (closer to European or Asian levels) … seems to require full lockdowns.”
Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.
p. 232 of Lady in Waiting:
Three years after their eldest child became hooked on heroin, the Glenconners decided to dis-inherit him. The boy was 19. He had to sign a contract, agreeing to relinquish all rights to the British properties (there were substantial properties also in the Caribbean, but the contract only covered Britain. Because the British properties were more important to the family name?)
Darn, even at 19 the kid had enough savvy to require two conditions: a) a bigger monthly allowance; b) an agreement that his parents “cover his future medical bills.” (Did he, self wonders, hire his own lawyer?)
The parents’ fear was that, if anything happened to them, and their ‘seat’ fell to the eldest, he would sell it for drugs. The contract protected the property for future generations. The decision must have been very painful. But — three years? They reached that decision when their son had been addicted for just three years? That was a business decision.