Sunday, December 07, 2008


I haven't gotten any comments lately, which worried me--but then I remembered that I hadn't posted anything in ages, so what's to comment on?

So here I am, with what a lady I once worked with called "nits and lice," miscellaneous trivia dredged up from the hodgepodge in my mind.

I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving? Mine was very nice, thank you. My daughter and her husband love to take over the kitchen, so I let them. My kitchen's too small for more than one person, anyway. I made the stuffing and peeled the potatoes and disappeared. My daughter and aforementioned husband love to go to the Acme every day, so they do. They even checked on Wednesday night to make sure the Acme would be open Thanksgiving Day. (It was.)

Their life is a whirlwind of purposeful activity. This daughter is the mother of a 7-year-old who she is convinced will perish if he does not get broccoli and green beans every single day. We did have an very enjoyable time. My older daughter and her son were able to come for the holiday so we were all together, which doesn't happen often enough.

They came at dinnertime the Monday before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately there was a power outage at thee o'clock Monday afternoon so I was unable to cook anything. We all went out to dinner and then they very sensibly went to the Holiday Inn for the night.

I've been reading a book called "The Legal Limit" by Martin Clark. It's very good, particularly the small-town Virginia setting. But it could have been better if an editor like Maxwell Perkins had been on the job. I guess they don't edit anything these days, or maybe the authors are paid by the word, because this book would have been better if it had been shorter. It tells the story of two brothers, one of whom peaked as a high school football hero and has gone downhill ever since, and the other a striver who pulls himself up by his bootstraps to become the county prosecutor in his home town. The action takes place over a period of twenty years, with the younger brother--the prosecutor--as the hero.

The book covers his life from his early twenties to his forties. The parts dealing with life as a small town prosecutor and his relations with his friends and neighbors, and particularly his brother, are well handled. His courtship and subsequent marriage, not so much.

His wife sounds too good to be true: I am sure it's not outside the realm of possibility that there are women who are tall, beautiful, intelligent, honest and artistic geniuses, but it's not plausible or believable within the covers of a novel. Also--and this is a minor quibble--scenes of passionate abandon are much more fun to experience than to read about. I could have done with a little less of his gay best friend's problems as well. Still, I enjoyed the book, most of the characters are extremely well done, and I look forward to reading Clark's other books.


Two Dogs said...

It's about time for you to write something. It's good to hear that I am not the only person in the world that still reads books.

miriam said...

I love to read. Someday I plan to write about my reading.

Anonymous said...

Miriam, can you be my reading councellor? I told you about my problem with libraries: no big categories within "fiction" - and I need guidelines.
My usual method that works well with books in Russin - to look at footnotes and fish for names of "the circle" doesn't work with contemporary Am. lit-ture. "Circles" are obsolete after Dorothy Parker; every man (or, more often, a woman) for him/herself.


Oh, yeah, and my Thanksgiving was miserable: I was sick with cold for 5 days. Thanks!

airforcewife said...

Oh thank goodness! I was wondering where you were!

I've been reading Sharon Kay Penman's latest book about Henry II. If you like that kind of stuff, it's an excellent one, although I still think The Sun in Splendor about Richard III was her best.

miriam said...

Tat: I would be glad to recommend books from time to time, but the only people who agree with me on books are my daughters, usually.

There are so many good books out there--and so many rotten ones. I was quite hard on Martin Clark's book, but in my opinion writing a readable novel is a an incredible achievement. I know I couldn't do it.

Anonymous said...

May be I should write a post about the books I like - and then ask for advice; same approach that I employ with my clients - first examine their preferences, then design something that will suit them.

As far as I remember, your daughter's taste in book is close to my own. (Except Dorothy Parker, whom I like despite her politics)

miriam said...

Then try Colin Cotterill's Siri Paboun series, starting with The Coroner's Lunch. Most of them are available in paperback, and many libraries have them.

Remember--start with The Coroner's Lunch. If you don't like it, skip the rest.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Councillor!