Anne Enright’s THE GREEN ROAD

If you crossed the long meadow, you came to a boreen which brought you up over a small rise to a view of the Aran Islands out in Galway Bay, and the Cliffs of Moher, which were also famous, far away to the south. This road turned into the green road that went across the Burren, high above the beach at Fanore, and this was the most beautiful road in the world, bar none, her granny said — famed in song and story — the rocks gathering briefly into walls before lapsing back into field, the little stony pastures whose flowers were sweet and rare.

The Green Road, p. 15

Quote of the Day: John Muir

Writing about Mount Shasta:

When I first caught sight of it over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley, I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.

— John Muir, Letters: 1874 – 1888

Quote of the Day: Reality vs. Fantasy

The American Dream: A sudden transformation will bring a total change in one’s fortunes . . .  from poor to rich, sickness to health, misery to ecstasy . . .

The American Dream is just that: a dream, one that nevertheless exerts a powerful hold on the imagination of millions, Americans and non-Americans alike.

  • If you want to tell lies, that will be believed. Don’t tell the truth, that won’t.

— Emperor Ieyasu Tokugawa

  • Promise a great and total change — from poor to rich, sickness to health, misery to ecstasy, and you will have followers.

— Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

As Robert Greene tells it, “Change is slow and gradual. It requires hard work, a bit of luck, a fair amount of self-sacrifice, and a lot of patience.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Jack the Ripper Meets THRONE OF GLASS

It’s like Ten Little Indians, Survivor, and The Hunger Games, with a fantasy setting.

Self likes!

In Throne of Glass, by Sara J. Maas, someone is knocking off, one by one, the 24 champions who have gathered together in Adarlan’s palace for a great tournament.

Is it one of the other champions, getting a head start on eliminating the competition?

Is it our plucky heroine, the Assassin rescued from the salt mines of Endovier at the very beginning of the book?

Is it some supernatural force that has found its way through a time portal?

Is it the salacious and loathsome Duke Perrington?

Is it one of the four stone gargoyles that guard the clock tower?

SPOILER ALERT!

The Assassin, whose name is Celaena, who is blond and beautiful, plucky like Katniss, and sort of despairing as well as depressed — though what she has to be depressed about self simply cannot imagine. Unless it’s the fact that she has to be an assassin! — is taken to the scene of the latest murder.

Celaena: Those are clean cuts around his ankles. His tendons were snapped by a knife, to keep him from running . . .  Look at his fingernails . . .  The tips are cracked and shattered.”

She used her own nail to scrape out the dirt beneath the victim’s nails, and smeared it across her palm. “See?” She held out her hand for Chaol to observe. “Dust and bits of stone.” She pulled aside the arm, revealing faint lines in the stone beneath. “Fingernail marks. He was desperate to get away . . . “

As, who can blame the victim? Self, too, would be desperate to get away, if she knew something was trying to kill her.

Anyhoo, self loves having discussions with her niece Karina over:

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Karina: self’s guide to all things YA.

What is going to happen next?

Who are these two men who love Celaena?

What makes a bad-ass female assassin?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Look Up 3: More From the Calgary Stampede

Would self have thought of taking these shots at this year’s Calgary Stampede if she hadn’t been trying to meet The Daily Post Photo Challenge this week:  LOOK UP?

Most likely, not. Yeah.

(The Calgary Stampede has some serious eats, dear blog readers. Serious, serious eats!)

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Female Protagonist, GIRL WAITS WITH GUN

Self had quite a tense period some weeks ago, when she began reading The Girl on the Train.

She was supposed to continue her summer reading with Savage Park, but decided to go for Girl Waits With Gun, by Amy Stewart.

Self is intrigued by the women characters (with a title like Girl Waits With Gun, how could she not be?). Three orphaned young women live on a farm. The eldest, Constance, takes care of her younger sisters, Fleurette and Norma. There is a brother, Francis, but he is pre-occupied and ineffectual. It is Constance who is the real “tender” of the family, and she proves it when an automobile crashes into the sisters’ buggy and she is left to deal with her brother’s panic attack and the rude men who are in the automobile.

Something would have to be done about the three of us. I was tired of hearing my brother’s ideas, but I hadn’t any of my own. I did know this: a run-in with an automobile was not to be taken as evidence of our inability to look after ourselves. It was nothing but a mundane business matter and I would manage it without any assistance from Francis.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Opposites 2: Fourth of July Parade!

  • Heavy and light, hard and soft, smooth and textured, inanimate and organic . . .

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post Photo Challenge: OPPOSITES

Saw many great opportunities for pictures today, at the annual Redwood City Fourth of July parade!

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Redwood City Cop taking a picture of the Leland Stanford, Jr. University Marching Band: 4th of July, 2016

And, in the picture below, the people on the truck are waving in opposite directions:

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Redwood City Cop taking a picture of the Leland Stanford, Jr. University Marching Band: 4th of July, 2016

Finally, the attire of the two people in the photo below are complete opposites:

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The Fourth of July: Anything Goes!

HAPPY HAPPY FOURTH, EVERYONE!

Stay tuned.

Partners 3: People

“. . .  give us subjects that are in tune with each other.”

— Michelle W., The Daily Post

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San Marco Square, Venice: November 2015

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San Francisco: October 2015

Joan McGavin, Jenny Lewis, and Jenny's Granddaughter Abigail in Oxford, UK: July 2015

Joan McGavin, Jenny Lewis, and Jenny’s Granddaughter Abigail in Oxford, UK: July 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

GIRL ON THE TRAIN Quote of the Day

This novel is pitch perfect. Absolutely pitch perfect. If Hawkins were ever to offer a master class on switching points of view, self would sign up!

Here we are in Rachel’s head:

  • It’s an odd thing to say, but I think this all the time. I don’t feel bad enough.

Oh no oh no oh no is something bad going to happen to Rachel? Worse, is she going to do something bad to herself?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Against All Odds: Really Enjoying THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

Self thinks she read somewhere that Emily Blunt is starring in the movie.

And self adores Emily Blunt.

Self has taken a peek at the end; the reviews say there’s a surprise ending. And she can’t take the suspense of spending one or two weeks with a book, identifying with this or that character, and then being blind-sided. She just can’t.

Anyhoo, there’s a missing woman. And the other woman, the one who’s been watching her on the train, has fabricated quite a story for her. Now that the woman’s life is news, the woman who made up stories can finally find out how close to the mark she was:

Megan has no family in the area. Both her parents are deceased.

Megan is unemployed. She used to run a small art gallery in Whitney, but it closed down in April last year (I knew Megan would be arty).

Scott is a self-employed IT consultant (I can’t bloody believe Scott is an IT consultant)

The story reminds self a little of the first-person piece she read in The Guardian, some years back: Sarah Hepola and her alcoholic blackouts. Self has seen drunk people, many times. But it somehow feels more raw in England. Her last experience with full-on drunkenness was riding back to London on a train from Cambridge, on a Saturday night. And holy cow, it wasn’t just the drunkenness, there was weed smoking and general loudness and belligerence. And self sat miserably in her seat for two hours and wondered why the conductor never came by to ask for tickets. (Stupid: why would a conductor put himself/herself through that on a Saturday night, on a train full of drunk people?)

After she got off the train, her nerves were rather frayed. She decided to take a cab instead of the underground. She said a little about the train to the cabbie and he shrugged: “Young people,” the cabbie said. “Saturday night.”

Anyhoo, one of the women in The Girl On the Train is an alcoholic. The kind of alcoholic who comes home with bumps on her head and bruises on her thighs and no memory of what happened (“I feel excited. I feel afraid.”)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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