Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Fearsome Doubt

A Fearsome Doubt is the 6th book in the Inspector Rutledge series by Charles Todd. I'm reading these in mostly publication order as I can. I'm quite taken with the main character. There are 21 books so far, and this writing team shows no signs of stopping. What a joy it is to find a pleasing ongoing series of such length!

from the back of the book:
In 1912 Ian Rutledge helped gather the evidence that sent Ben Shaw to the gallows. Now, seven years later, Ben Shaw's widow brings Rutledge evidence she's convinced proves her husband's innocence. Ben Shaw's past is a tangle of unsettling secrets that may or may not be true. And it grows only more twisted when a seemingly unrelated murder brings Rutledge back to Kent. There an unexpected encounter revives his painful memories of war -and the voice of Hamish MacLeod, the soldier Rutledge was forced to execute. Two elusive killers are on the loose at the same time... and to catch them before they catch him, Rutledge will be forced to question everything he believes about right, wrong -and murder.
Publishers Weekly opens with this: "This brilliant and gripping whodunit may well be the best of Todd's six Rutledge novels". Kirkus Reviews concludes, "If everyone would read just one book, any book, by Todd ..., and pay close attention to what he’s saying, there would never be another war."

I have also read the following from this series:
#1 A Test of Wills
#2 Wings of Fire
#3 Search the Dark
#4 Legacy of the Dead
#5 Watchers of Time

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Cat Soup

Cat Soup is an award-winning 2001 Japanese short film. I can't make heads or tails of it, but it made for interesting viewing.

Full Metal Narcissist calls it a "surrealist masterpiece". T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews says, "Though short, this is an interesting little surreal ride for anybody looking for vivid graphics or wanting to have their mind played with for half an hour." Rotten Tomatoes has an audience rating of 89%.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Burning Girls

Burning Girls is an award-winning novella by Veronica Schanoes. You can read it online here. It begins,
In America, they don’t let you burn. My mother told me that.

When we came to America, we brought anger and socialism and hunger. We also brought our demons. They stowed away on the ships with us, curled up in the small sacks we slung over our shoulders, crept under our skirts. When we passed the medical examinations and stepped for the first time out onto the streets of granite we would call home, they were waiting for us, as though they’d been there the whole time.

The streets were full of girls like us at every hour of day and night. We worked, took classes, organized for the unions, talked revolution at the top of our voices in the streets and in the shops. When we went out on strike, they called us the fabrente maydlakh, the burning girls, for our bravery and dedication and ardor, and the whole city ground to a halt as the society ladies who wore the clothing we stitched came downtown and walked our lines with us. I remember little Clara Lemlich, leaping to her feet at a general meeting and yelling, “What are we waiting for? Strike! Strike! Strike!” Her curly hair strained at its pins as if it might burst out in flames, the fire that burns without consuming.

I was raised in Bialystok. I was no stranger to city life, not like those girls from the shtetls who grew up surrounded by cows and chickens and dirt. Though I had my fair share of that as well, spending months at a time with my bubbe, who lived in a village too small to bother with a real name, three days’ journey from the city.

My sister, Shayna, she stayed in the city with our dressmaker mother and shoemaker father, and learned to stitch so fine it was as though spiders themselves danced and spun at her command. Not me, though. I learned how to run up a seam, of course, so that I could be a help to Mama when I was home, but my apprenticeship was not in dressmaking. Mama could see from the beginning that I was no seamstress.

Mama didn’t have the power herself, but she could find it in others. Eyes like awls, my mama had. Sharp black eyes that went right through you. When I was born she took one look at me and pronounced, “Deborah—the judge.”

When Mama saw what I was going to be, she knew that I would have to spend as much time with my grandmother as I did with her, and so when I was four years old, my father rented a horse and cart and drove me out to my bubbe’s village.

ATCs (with the inspirational prompt named before each card):

Hot Cuppa (for my T Stands for Tuesday connection. Our host Elizabeth will have a live link as soon as her electricity comes back on -those Kansas storms don't play around- and I'll add a link to the post then. edit: Here's this week's T link.):


Just One Word:

In the Sky/In the Air:






Random (not from a prompt):

Monday, May 20, 2019

Audubon Park Lake and the Patio

Coffee at Audubon Park Lake with The Husband:

There was a family of Mallard ducks, but I couldn't get a photo of them. There were several families of skittish geese, and I got a photo but not close up:

It is something I'm always thankful for that I live so close to such a pleasant park.

Back at home, my little patio has some buds:

is set up for hummingbirds:

and is ready for lemonade-drinking:

This year's chipmunk crop is a brave bunch:

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Valley of Gwangi

The Valley of Gwangi is a 1969 horror western starring James Franciscus. It features dinosaur effects by Ray Harryhausen, the last dinosaur effects he did. Harryhausen's work is not to be missed.


The New York Times has a mixed review from the time of the film's release. Moria gives it 3 out of 5 stars and says, "What makes the rehashed story worthwhile is Ray Harryhausen’s stunning animation work". Stomp Tokyo says, "In our minds this film is a Ray Harryhausen film. Just about everything in the film that isn't stop-motion animated is window dressing. And unlike most special effects today, these were really the work of one man with a recognizable style." 1000 Misspent Hours calls it "an entertaining little exercise in genre-juggling."

DVD Talk says, "The Valley of Gwangi delivers the best of several worlds." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 75%.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Temperature 42

C J Kennedy, one of my blogging friends, noticed a 42 and shared it on her blog.

Another blogger I follow found several 42s recently. You can see them here.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne

The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne is a 22-episode science fiction television series based on the idea that there was more fact than fiction in Verne's novels. The first episode features David Warner, a favorite of ours, which made it an easy choice to try this series.

I can't find DVDs for sale right now, but you can watch episodes online. It got good reviews and is great fun.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

A Nest of Vipers

A Nest of Vipers is the 21st book in Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano detective series.

from the back of the book:
Inspector montalbano enjoys simple pleasures, delicious food, walks along the water, the occasional smole -yet these are just the backdrop to his duties as a detective.

His latest case is the killing of the wealthy Cosimo Barletta. Thought to be a widower living out a quiet life by the sea, Cosimo’s sudden death, by gunshot to the neck, opens up his past to scrutiny. What Montalbano uncovers is Cosimo’s trove of salacious photographs, used to extort young women, and a history full of greed and corruption. Montalbano, though resolved to find the killer, muses on where justice lies —in his pursuit of a suspect or with one of Cosimo’s innumerable victims taking their revenge?
Kirkus Reviews has a positive review, as does Publishers Weekly. AustCrimeFiction says, "there are reasons to spend time with these books over and above the mystery elements."

I've read the earlier books in the series:
1. The Shape of Water
2. The Terra-Cotta Dog
3. The Snack Thief
4. Voice of the Violin
5. Excursion to Tindari
6. The Smell of Night
7. Rounding the Mark
8. The Patience of the Spider
9. The Paper Moon
10. August Heat
11. The Wings of the Sphinx
12. The Track of Sand
13. The Potter's Field
14. The Age of Doubt
15. Dance of the Seagull
16. Treasure Hunt
17. Angelica's Smile
18. A Game of Mirrors
19. A Beam of Light
20. A Voice in the Night

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

King Solomon's Mines (1950)

King Solomon's Mines is a 1950 adventure film, one of several adaptations of H. Rider Haggard's novel by the same name. You can read the book online here. I enjoyed this movie, and the scenery and animals are wonderful.


DVD Talk says,
the 1950 Hollywood adaptation jettisons just about everything from Haggard's book, keeping only the title, the character of Alan Quartermain, and a few bones from the skeleton of the book's plot. ... King Solomon's Mines is quite an interesting film, one that is half adventure story and half wildlife documentary.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 92%.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Peabody Afternoon Tea

photo from Trip Advisor

The Daughter treated me to The Peabody Tea at Chez Philippe in the Peabody Hotel downtown. This is an elegant restaurant in one of the region's most elegant and storied hotels. I've been to the hotel for sight-seeing, the ducks, people-watching, photo-ops on the roof, and coffee and tea in the lobby many times but had never been to this restaurant.

We had a choice of teas, and I chose the Emperor's Pu-erh tea. It was purple and fruity. The Daughter selected Earl Grey.

The tea had three courses. The appetizer course:

the scone course:

and the dessert course:

I was overwhelmed by the tasty treats. Such delights! The staff couldn't have been more helpful and welcoming.

I took this photo from our table looking past the restaurant entrance into the lobby just to give an example of the detail:

In the photo above you can see tourists on the mezzanine waiting for the Duck March.

This 3-minute video is from a Travel Channel episode:

If you're ever in Memphis, and you want an enjoyable experience, I'd highly recommend this. Because we're currently in the middle of our annual Memphis in May celebration there were tourists everywhere. I have a special place in my heart for people who like us well enough to spend their vacations here.

I'm linking to the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Elizabeth from Altered Book Lover.

ATCs (with the prompt that inspired them listed above each one):

No Focal Image:

Two (a Couple, a Pair, a Duo):





Street View:


Things with Wings:


Art lesson learned this week: Those tubes of acrylic paints at the dollar store are a dollar for a reason.