mstrust- The Rat Pack, Neon and Comped Cocktails

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mstrust- The Rat Pack, Neon and Comped Cocktails

Editado: Dic 30, 2020, 1:04pm

Hi! I'm Jennifer and I'll be celebrating my 13th Thingaversary in March. I live in Phoenix with my husband Mike and our boxer, Coral. We spend a lot of time in Vegas. My parents starting taking me there when I was about six, so I've seen some stuff.

I read 100 books a year, minimum, which is amazing considering I'm the slowest reader.

Each of my threads this year will be inspired by a book or genre. This month is inspired by several books about Vegas, most notably, Vegas Tabloid by P Moss, so expect to see lots of stuff here related to that city. I love old Vegas, new Vegas and tacky Vegas. Hopefully you'll find it interesting too.
Other goals for 2021:
1. Don't die.
2. My "Doorstop of the Year" goal is to finish last year's Moby Dick, then go on to A Confederacy of Dunces.
3. I'm hanging out with several groups this year: The MysteryKit, HistoryCat, and I'll be hosting two months of the ScaredyKit, in April & September.
4. I'll be ROOTing for the third year and I'm shooting for 50% of my reads to be from my own shelves.
5. In this challenge, I'll do my best to come up with One New Thing each week. A cool website, a new recipe or just a bit of info, this will be an expanded version of "Friday's Whaaat?" that I've done for a few years.
6. (Oh, I love a list!) Come visit me at my Category Challenge, where this whole year is about helping out small businesses. I'm posting links to places you can check out and maybe order from, such as restaurants, retail and museums. See something you like and buy it, knowing you're helping someone who's struggling.

As always, my threads are politics-free. This one includes a Rat Pack soundtrack, comped cocktails and the scent of grilled steaks. Ring-a-ding-ding!

Editado: Feb 3, 10:42am

2021 Reads

1. Lady Windermere's Fan- 4 stars
2. The Riddle of the Third Mile- 4 stars
3. California Hotel and Casino- 3 stars
4. Ultimate Veg- 4 stars
5. Bowie's Bookshelf- 4 stars
6. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie- 5 stars
7. Britten and Brulightly- 4.2 stars
8. A Walk Around the Block- 4 stars
9. The Little Paris Kitchen- 4 stars
10. Action Park- 5 stars
11. Trick Yourself to Sleep- 2.5 stars
12. Come Home, Indio- 2.5 stars
13. Mystery, Inc.- 4 stars
14. Almost Sleighed- 4 stars
15. Vegas Tabloid- 2.5 stars

Editado: Dic 29, 2020, 4:36pm

Hope you brought your wallet.

Dic 29, 2020, 12:50pm

Am I first?? I will probably be visiting you more at the Category Challenge, but I will certainly be keeping an eye on this thread as well. Happy New Year and let's hope it's a safe and peaceful one.

Dic 29, 2020, 1:36pm

You are indeed the first! Good to see you, Judy, and I wish you a Happy New Year too!

Dic 29, 2020, 2:05pm

Now I have "Viva Las Vegas" stuck in my head! Hope you have a great reading year!

Dic 29, 2020, 2:31pm

>6 rabbitprincess: Me, too!

Your threads always make me smile. Dropping a star so I can find my way back.

Editado: Dic 29, 2020, 2:40pm

I've starred your thread as well, Jennifer. For some reason the images in >2 mstrust: and >3 mstrust: aren't showing for me. I had a very good time in Las Vegas on my one and only visit several years ago. I was there long enough to see things that aren't "classic" Vegas, like the art museum in the Bellagio, and Bauman's Rare Books. But for me, it was all about the FOOD!

Dic 29, 2020, 3:03pm

>6 rabbitprincess: Ha, proof of how deeply the Elvis connection runs! Happy reading in 2021!
>7 Crazymamie: I live to drive people crazy! Thanks so much for the nice compliment, you've earned everyone their first comped cocktail of the year:

>8 laytonwoman3rd: Oh no, thanks for telling me! Is anyone else unable to see the images?
Vegas is such a great foodie town! We're always looking for new restaurants to try, but this time we found a new-to-us old Vegas staple, Bob Taylor's Ranch House. Been there since 1955 and those are some tender steaks.

Dic 29, 2020, 4:05pm

I see >9 mstrust: just fine!

Dic 29, 2020, 4:46pm

I've switched out those images and hopefully everyone can see them.

Dic 29, 2020, 6:05pm

Welcome back! Love the theme, as usual!

Dic 29, 2020, 6:18pm

>11 mstrust: Yup....good now!

Dic 29, 2020, 7:16pm


Dic 29, 2020, 8:27pm

Hi! I've never been to Vegas, but my brother was married there, by Elvis. It was his 3rd wedding in the space of a month. My SIL is Mexican, so the family/church wedding was in Mexico, then they went to Italy (where they met) and had another ceremony there. Then they went to Vegas for their legal wedding. I was a bridesmaid in the Mexican wedding and watched livestream of the Vegas wedding from home. Which anniversary do they celebrate? All of them!

Dic 29, 2020, 9:31pm

Happy new thread!

Dic 30, 2020, 8:35am

Congrats on your shiny new thread, Jennifer.
After a 'crazy' year for all of us, I hope that in 2021 I will find more time to visit your thread.

Dic 30, 2020, 8:42am

>12 drneutron: Thanks, Jim, glad to be back! And thanks for turning on the lights for us!

>13 laytonwoman3rd: Yay!

>14 BBGirl55: Hello to you!

>15 cbl_tn: Does this make your brother double-dog married?
I was married in Vegas too, but at a chapel on 3rd St. downtown. I'm afraid we didn't go for the Elvis, just a regular ceremony with Handel. I keep saying that Mike and I should randomly show up at the chapel and declare to the amazed staff that we were married there in 2003 and it took. Maybe they'd give me the flowers I asked for back then.
My sister has been married in Vegas for two of her three weddings, and the last one was at the Excalibur with an Arthurian theme. No, neither was a fan of the story, I guess they just liked the big robes and crowns, ha.

>16 quondame: Thank you, Susan!

Dic 30, 2020, 8:44am

>17 Ameise1: Thanks for finding me! I hope you do visit often!

Dic 30, 2020, 9:33am

Welcome back, Jennifer.

Dic 30, 2020, 9:40am

>9 mstrust: Oh, most excellent! *preens a bit*

Dic 30, 2020, 12:06pm

>20 PaulCranswick: Thanks, Paul!
>21 Crazymamie: Ha! It's like you bought the first round!

Dic 30, 2020, 12:17pm

Hope you have a wonderful year in books!

Dic 30, 2020, 12:20pm

Thanks so much, Lori! Happy New Year!

Dic 31, 2020, 6:26am

Best wishes for a better 2021!

Dic 31, 2020, 8:00am

I wish you a Happy New Year. May it be better than the old one.

Dic 31, 2020, 9:08am

Have enough "supplies" to get you through the New Year?

>25 DianaNL: Thank you, Diana, and Happy New Year!
>26 Ameise1: Thank you! Happy New Year, Barbara!

Editado: Dic 31, 2020, 10:47am

Here's a cocktail recipe that may come in handy in a few hours:

The Starry Night

4 oz. Zinfandel or Rose
1/2 oz. Blue Curacao
1 oz. raspberry vodka
Shake all the ingredients in an ice-filled shaker, then pour into a martini or champagne glass and garnish with a blackberry.

Watch Dean Martin drag Frank down a flight of stairs! This is a great performance of one of my favorite seasonal songs. Of course it has candy right in the title.

Dic 31, 2020, 10:39am

>28 mstrust: That looks tasty! One of my Christmas gifts was a two-volume set of Gilmore Girls cookbooks, which include a nice selection of cocktail recipes. We're going to try The Birthday Girl this weekend (it involves vodka, champagne, grenadine, and pineapple juice).

*happy sigh at Dean and Frank*

Dic 31, 2020, 10:46am

>28 mstrust: Ooooh so pretty!

Dic 31, 2020, 10:52am

>29 scaifea: I didn't know there was a Gilmore Girls cookbook, but it makes sense. Lorelei was an enthusiastic eater! And coffee consumer. Every time she moaned about needing coffee I said ,"Yessss."
The Birthday Girl sounds very good, and I'm glad to see another Dean & Frank fan! Hits the spot, don't it?
>30 rabbitprincess: It is, but I wish I could have gotten the really beautiful Starry Night pic in a small enough size. Little golden stars along the glass.

Dic 31, 2020, 6:08pm

Happy reading in 2021, Jennifer!

Dic 31, 2020, 6:31pm

Thank you, Anita! Happy New Year!

Ene 1, 1:49am

And keep up with my friends here, Jennifer. Have a great 2021.

Ene 1, 2:12am

Happy new year!

Ene 1, 3:51am

I'm a fan of your thread--back again!!!

Ene 1, 7:49am

Happy New Reading Year, Jennifer!

Ene 1, 8:16am

Happy New Year, Jennifer!

Ene 1, 9:18am

>34 PaulCranswick: As a very greedy person, I'm always in favor of "more". Happy New Year, Paul!

>35 quondame: Happy New Year, Susan, and thanks for sending me biting books!

>36 Berly: Why, thank you, Kim! I'm glad to have you here and wish you a Happy New Year!

>37 PersephonesLibrary: What a pretty image. Thank you, Kathy, and Happy New Year!

>38 harrygbutler: Happy New Year, Harry! Good to see you!

I had marinated some salmon steaks and had planned on not one, but two, salads for dinner last night. Then around 5:30 Mike calls from work and says, "Have you started cooking? I feel like pizza." And I said, "Ooooh, pizza! The salmon will be okay for tomorrow." So we had pizza, wings, and later, a bottle of Moet.
We've had people setting off fireworks in our neighborhood for weeks, but last night the good, illegal ones came out. And at midnight all hell broke loose. Our bedroom window faces north and just from that direction there must have been eight different locations doing their own displays. And the house behind us had so much thick smoke coming from their front yard that I suspect he set the front lawn on fire. Good show though.

Editado: Ene 1, 9:53am

1. Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar Wilde. Young and deeply in love, the marriage of Lord and Lady Windermere is suddenly in peril when gossip assures the Lady that her husband has been keeping company with a notorious woman. This rumor is confirmed to be true by her husband, who then begs his wife to invite this friend of his to their society party that night, which the Lady refuses to do. Lord Windermere issues the invite on his wife's behalf, openly telling her that he does so because this woman wishes to be welcomed into society and he plans on helping her in that.
A story of deception and the intense scrutiny a person lived under, where whatever your relatives did reflected on you. Many of Wilde's best lines are here.4 stars
My interest in Wilde's plays has been revived by one of my current shows, a documentary series about the theaters of London's West End.

Ene 1, 10:05am

Happy New Year to All!

Ene 1, 10:53am

>39 mstrust: "Have you started cooking? I feel like pizza."
He's a keeper. I mean, I nearly swooned just reading that.

>40 mstrust: I do love Wilde - I need to get to this one soon.

Ene 1, 11:50am

Happy New Year, Jennifer! And congrats on getting your first book done and dusted already!

Ene 1, 12:36pm

>42 scaifea: It's hard to express how excited I was by the offer of pizza without sounding like a lunatic.
I'll be reading more from Wilde this year. I had a book of his stories as a child, and I read Dorian Gray later, but I'm reading his plays for the first time.

>43 MickyFine: Happy New Year! Thanks, I tend to become a fast reader just twice a year, Halloween and New Year's, ha.

Ene 1, 7:30pm

Happy new year, Jennifer! We had pizza for new year's eve, too :D Your reaction sounds similar to Tim's when I suggested it.

Ene 2, 5:41am

Happy New Year, Happy New Thread and a healthy life with a lot of books!

Ene 2, 8:48am

>45 curioussquared: Happy New Year, Natalie!
Poor salad, I don't think anyone has ever gotten so excited to hear it's coming for dinner.

>46 SirThomas: Happy New Year, Thomas! And I wish the same for you!

Ene 3, 9:20am

2. The Riddle of the Third Mile by Colin Dexter. The sixth of the Inspector Morse series. When a body, with all the identifiable parts missing, is pulled from the Oxford Canal, Morse and Sergeant Lewis are sent to figure out who it is and who put it there. The investigation takes them from the offices of Oxford University to the most seedy London clubs, and along the way they discover the pockets of the university where bitterness had been stewing for years.
This investigation is atmospheric, sometimes complicated, and also fun due to Morse's extreme crabbiness and arrogance. It's been too long between Morses.4 stars

I read this for the Mystery Group's water theme this month, and it's also a ROOT.

Ene 3, 9:37am

Adding this one the The List, Jennifer! I have only read the very first Morse, but I own the first three.

Ene 3, 9:50am

I've read the first, Last Bus to Woodstock, and the fifth, The Dead of Jericho before this one, which I chose because I needed a water-themed mystery. Glad I did.

Editado: Ene 3, 10:13am

Good morning and happy new year, Jennifer!!
I love the vintage clips you posted. Heck, I just love your January theme.
I found Pompsie on youtube and he live streams from different areas of Vegas and checks in to all the hotels with a review. I haven't been to Vegas in over 20 years but I loved it and it's nice to "see" it again.
Congrats on reading two books in two days! I look forward to you reading 365 books this year ;0)

Ene 3, 10:21am

Happy New Year, Lynda!
I'll be getting more Vegas stuff up this month. A little bit of research has revealed some unusual finds.
I look forward to you reading 365 books this year ;0)
Fat chance! I've noted that I go into reading hyperdrive twice a year, at New Year's and Halloween. The rest of the year I read so slowly it like I'm barely moving. But as I have a few writing projects I am determined to finish this year, it may put a little crimp in my reading numbers. We'll see.

Ene 3, 10:22am

Good luck with your writing projects!

Ene 3, 10:24am

Thanks! I'm sure I'll crow about it when I finish and want everyone to know I've accomplished something.

Editado: Ene 3, 10:34am

One New Thing About Vegas

Atomic Liquors on Fremont St., Downtown Vegas, is the oldest bar in the city. Opened as a restaurant in 1945, it was changed to a bar in 1952 while still being operated by the original owners. It's name comes from the fact that it's rooftop seating area provided a great view of the Nevada Testing Site detonating atomic bombs 65 miles away.
Yes, this is a dive bar. I've been here. It's safe now, though it used to be a really rough area. And they make a great Rose Busch, which is made with a rosewater liquor and Busch beer and I know that sounds disgusting but it turns out it isn't.

Ene 3, 10:38am

"'s rooftop seating area provided a great view of the Nevada Testing Site detonating atomic bombs 65 miles away" Ah. The ambiance.

You are right that Rose Busch sounds disgusting - I'll just take your word for it that it's not.

Ene 3, 11:00am

""'s rooftop seating area provided a great view of the Nevada Testing Site detonating atomic bombs 65 miles away" " WOW. I've read a couple books about Las Vegas history, but this tidbit has escaped me until now. Thanks for sharing. I'm with Mamie on the Rose Busch, I'm afraid. I don't care much for floral elements in my booze. Love the name, though.

Ene 3, 11:12am

hahaha, I was thinking Rose Busch might be improved upon if it were Rose Michelob Ultra. Daaa! Then it hit me, a play on words there. *off to fill up my coffee cup*

Ene 3, 3:51pm

>56 Crazymamie: I know, ha! There had to be people on dates going to watch the bombs and being so happy. And I don't blame anyone who wouldn't order a Rose Busch, but I'm someone who orders the more unusual just out of curiosity. Sometimes I gamble and lose, but most often I'm happy.
>57 laytonwoman3rd: Oh yeah, and there were people who would take picnics and lawn chairs right up to the line they were allowed by the military. Make a day of it.
I found that I couldn't pass up the chance to try rose-flavored beer, even if it was gross. To be honest, I was on the fence with the first sip or two, but then I liked it. I'd do it again! But then I really, really liked the lavender cocktail I had in Vancouver. I did not at all like the rosemary cocktail I had at a lounge here in Phoenix.

>58 Carmenere: Ha, that's okay, I need the full cup of coffee to get me thinking in the morning.

Ene 3, 3:56pm

I went to see the ingredients to a Rose Busch and, dang it!, they've taken it off the menu. What, am I suppose to mix rose liquor into my own beer?

Ene 3, 6:07pm

>48 mstrust: I love the Morse TV series, but I've only read the first of the series. I really liked it, so I'll continue it at some point.

Ene 4, 10:15am

I really like the Morse show too and I mean to catch up with the ones I didn't see via Prime. If only they'd carry The Professionals, another British crime show from the 70s-80s.

We finally had Christmas with Mike's mom last night. She had left all her decorations up waiting for this. Among my presents, I received Cocktails: A Complete Guide, which contains some I'd never heard of, and Edgar Allan Poe: The Strange Man Standing Deep in the Shadows. Quite a title, huh?
She has a very old Lab, adopted after the original owners were done treating her like a puppy machine, who used to hate the sight of Mike. For the first months she lived with Barb she was fine with Barb and me but would bark incessantly when Mike was in the room. No matter how nicely he talked, she wasn't having it. This bothered him so much, as he's never had an animal not love him at first sight, even the sheep at the zoo. It took nearly a year but now she's all over him, lying next to him on the couch and demanding belly rubs and smiling.

Ene 4, 11:40am

>62 mstrust: I completely misread that at first and thought that one of the cocktails you'd not heard of was one called The Strange Man Standing Deep in the Shadows, and honestly, I'd drink that.

Ene 4, 12:05pm

Ha! I'd drink that too, how could anyone pass that up?
Maybe *someone* should get to work on that...

Ene 4, 2:40pm

>63 scaifea: Me, too!!!

I'm so happy that Mike has won over the dog. That's so sweet.

I also love Morse. And Endeavor.

Ene 4, 6:29pm

Dropping off my star. Happy 2021!

Ene 5, 9:52am

>65 Crazymamie: :-D I guess I should have spaced my titles further apart in that paragraph, but I might mix up something that deserves that awesome title.
He certainly has won her over, she's decided he's amazing.
I haven't started on Endeavor yet but keeping meaning to. Last week I mentioned that it was about younger Morse to my mom and she got excited.
>66 figsfromthistle: Glad you're here! Happy 2021 to you!

Ene 5, 10:08am

3. California Hotel and Casino: Hawai'i's Home Away from Home by Dennis M. Ogawa and John M. Blink. This is the true story of how Vegas icon Sam Boyd turned a non-descript and failing downtown casino, one that was a block away from Fremont, so off the beaten path, into a destination for Hawaiians. Research had shown Boyd that the greatest (heaviest) gamblers where Hawaiians of Japanese descent. Using airline promotions, heavy media presence in the islands, and turning their food selections from typical Vegas fare to traditional island and Japanese, the casino and hotel was able to build a loyal clientele.
Most of this book is told in interviews, with the longest being by co-author Blink, who spent decades working for Boyd in all job titles, including "dishwasher". This is as much a biography of Boyd's career as the story of The California. But it probably wouldn't interest anyone who wasn't interested in old Vegas. 3 stars

Ene 5, 10:08am

Endeavor is SO good.

Ene 5, 10:16am

>68 mstrust: Three books already! Zipping right along.

Ene 5, 10:30am

>69 Crazymamie: I'll have to get to it soon. I hope young Morse is grumpy.
>70 harrygbutler: I'm doing my best! I'm sure I'll slow way down eventually but right now I'm sprightly.

Ene 5, 10:45am

Hi, Jennifer. Happy 2021. I especially like your first goal. Me too.

Ene 5, 1:13pm

Happy New Year, Judy! Not dying is usually job number one for me, but I felt the need to make it a resolution for 2021.

Ene 5, 1:17pm

Here's a cocktail that combines both Hawaii and Vegas:

The Tropical Martini

3 oz. gin
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz orange juice
1/2 oz. grapefruit juice
2 tsp. grenadine
Shake the gin and citrus juices in an ice-filled shaker, strain into a chilled martini glass and top with the grenadine. Garnish with a cherry or citrus pinwheel.

Ene 5, 5:34pm

>68 mstrust: That's a great story. Boyd saw a need and he filled it.
>74 mstrust: Now I know what I want for breakfast tomorrow.

Ene 5, 5:41pm

Glad to hear that Mike is adored again and now you've got me all excited about happy hour but I have to wait 2 or 3 hours! Of course, if you're my mom, she always says it's 5:00 somewhere!!

Ene 5, 6:31pm

>67 mstrust: Oooh, I hope you enjoy Endeavour! I consider him "my" Morse (as opposed to John Thaw or BookMorse). And I love Roger Allam as DI Thursday.

Ene 6, 9:13am

>75 Carmenere: It's true, the California specifically caters to and relies on Hawaiians. And this book answered a question my family had been asking for years when walking around the California, "What's with the beef jerky?" Turns out that beef jerky is a very popular item to stock up on when on the mainland and bring back to Hawaii as gifts. So shops in the casino carry beef jerky and the gift shops on Fremont do too.
And that cocktail is part of a balanced breakfast, as long as you're holding two.

>76 Berly: Glad to be the one to nudge you towards a Tropical Martini. You weren't planning on using heavy machinery today anyway, were you?

>77 rabbitprincess: You like young Morse over old Morse? When I get a chance to have a look I'll mention it.
We're going to watch the last episode of "River" probably tonight. We're on Season 3 of "Friday Night Dinners" and Season 3 of "The IT Crowd".

Ene 6, 9:18am

>77 rabbitprincess: Me, too!

"And that cocktail is part of a balanced breakfast, as long as you're holding two." This cracked me up.

Ene 6, 9:32am

Morning, Mamie!

Ene 6, 9:47am

Mmmh, that cocktail looks tempting. I was thinking about making it a cocktail/book challenge and always find the perfect drink for the reading material. Though I'd need to switch to alc-free drinks very, very soon. ;-)

But it reminds me that I have got two great literary cocktail books at home - and this is the year to try them:


Ene 6, 9:49am

>81 PersephonesLibrary: I didn't know there was a second one!! I have the first.

Editado: Ene 6, 1:44pm

>81 PersephonesLibrary: I've been to buy produce this morning and what'd ya know, I have the components for a Tropical Martini.
I was totally unaware of those books but they look right up my alley. Thanks!
>82 Crazymamie: Meant to be!

I've had two Christmas books show up this morning, The Little Paris Kitchen and Not Taco Bell Material. Fire in the Grove, a non-fiction about the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire, should have come too.
And I forgot to mention that a few days ago I posted in The Kitchen the delicious sugar cookie recipe that I used this Christmas.

Ene 7, 1:17am

>81 PersephonesLibrary: LOL!!! I need alcohol today, too. What a day in DC.

Ene 7, 5:06am

>82 Crazymamie: They are both great! We should actually make a cocktailnight here on LT with literary cocktails and snacks!

>83 mstrust: I think they are fun - even if you don't try anything. And a great gift for readers. :)

>84 Berly: I have been up late here to read about it and follow the events. Unreal!

Ene 7, 9:18am

>84 Berly: >85 PersephonesLibrary: Just a gentle reminder that, as stated in >1 mstrust:, my threads are politics-free. I think there needs to be somewhere that we can get away from it.

>85 PersephonesLibrary: I'm going to see if my library system has those two. My shelf of cocktail books has actually grown to overflowing into my Sea History section.

Editado: Ene 7, 9:31am

4. Ultimate Veg by Jamie Oliver. A big book of vegetarian main dishes, side dishes and a few desserts. I'm a fan of the tv series that went along with this and many of those dishes, which are heavily influenced by Indian, Moroccan and African flavors, are included here. I'll try some of these, with the first likely to be the oven baked Crispy Moroccan Carrots. I've used quite a few Oliver recipes in the past and some have become regulars for me. 4 stars

Here's Oliver's hummus recipe. I've made this and to me it's better than store bought.

Go-To Hummus

15 oz can of chickpeas
2 tbs tahini
1/2 clove of garlic
1/2 a lemon
extra virgin olive oil
4 sprigs of Italian parsley
smoked paprika

Drain the peas and put in a blender with the tahini. Add the peeled garlic, a squeeze of lemon and 1/4 cup of oil. Blend to the texture of your choice. Add a splash of water if needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Ene 7, 3:19pm

>87 mstrust: Mmmmm.....wish I had some tahini in the house.

Ene 7, 4:01pm

>87 mstrust: 1/2 a clove a garlic and he's calling it hummus? Bean dip, just bean dip. I add cumin and well, more garlic and prefer dried chickpeas that have soaked overnight, but the canned are easier.

Ene 7, 5:05pm

>88 laytonwoman3rd: I've made this without the tahini and it was still great. Just adjust the lemon juice and olive oil to get the creaminess.

>89 quondame: Maybe he doesn't enjoy the garlicy hummus breath as much as some of us. He does suggest adding in a spoonful of black beans to the finished hummus, or a swirl of harissa. I tend to have a heavy hand with the lemon and oil, and then I pretty much cover the top with paprika. But it tastes really good.

Which reminds me that I made a pot of black bean stew last night from dried beans. I added onions, red bell pepper, jalapenos, garlic, oregano, chicken stock and a big stem of fresh rosemary. Took about two and a half hours and turned out really well.
I'm going to try out those Moroccan carrots tonight.

Ene 7, 5:09pm

>87 mstrust: Never knew how to make hummus. This cookbook looks like it has a lot of easy and quick recipes. Sounds perfect.

Ene 7, 5:17pm

Lots of fast and easy recipes here, especially since they don't have a meat element, but there are a few, such as lasagna, that take long enough to make you feel you've really cooked. Oliver's recipes tend to be pretty easy overall with ingredients you'd probably have in the fridge already.
I've been making his Crunchy Salad and steamed lemon pudding for many years.

Ene 9, 12:32pm

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Ene 9, 3:04pm

I've recently discovered Jamie Oliver through his Instagram posts. I'll check my library for the book. Can't wait to find out how the carrots turned out.

Ene 10, 9:54am

>93 Ameise1: Thanks, and to you too. My Saturday was made all better with the addition of dinner from a mac & cheese restaurant.
>94 Carmenere: The carrots were really good. The original recipe calls for them to be boiled, then taken out of the water, seasoned and wrapped in, I think, wonton wrappers before being put in the over for a few minutes. But because Mike needs low carb, I ditched the wrappers and added fresh rosemary to the spicy seasonings. Very flavorful.

Ene 10, 10:31am

5. Bowie's Bookshelf by John O'Connell. This is a list put together for a V&A Museum exhibit of 100 books that Bowie felt were the most important or influential, not necessarily his favorites. The author of this book, O'Connell, met Bowie just once and describes his nervousness of that interview and Bowie's kindness.
Each book is given two or three pages, with background about the book and what was happening in Bowie's life when it was published or when he read it. As Bowie did many book reviews on Barnes & Noble's site and he worked on the exhibit, we have his opinions about those books. There's even information about which books may have been the inspiration for certain Bowie songs, and each book discussed has a recommendation for which Bowie song to accompany it, and one extra book to follow with. I love books that recommend other books like a bread trail.

What I didn't love was the author frequently taking license when discussing a book or experience Bowie apparently never spoke openly about, so we have phrases such as "he must have been excited" and "surely he felt..." sprinkled throughout. When discussing a certain sociology book published in 2008, he creates a jarring entry by suddenly turning it into his own pulpit on current American politics (this book was published in 2019) and claiming to know what Bowie, who passed in 2015, would have felt, then going on to list all the ways in which Americans are stupid.

There is a lot of information here about Bowie's life, his family, his marriage to Iman and his romances and personas of his career. It's unusual sizing and bright red cover with a picture of Bowie is striking. 4 stars

Ene 10, 2:21pm

I see that this is the anniversary of Bowie's death, five years ago today. I didn't plan for this review to land on the day but I'm glad I acknowledged it, even unwittingly.

Editado: Ene 10, 3:23pm

>85 PersephonesLibrary: I was trying to keep it vague on purpose, out of respect. Sorry if that was still too much. And I was enjoying the cocktail talk. : )

>96 mstrust: I miss Bowie so much. And his books. I had a group with IreadthereforIam/LovingLit way back when and we talked about Fingersmith and listed his top 100.

Ene 10, 3:21pm

>97 mstrust: Big Bowie fan here. I am currently waiting for my copy of Bowie's Books. I think I can overlook the writer taking licence...but thanks a lot for the warning. I don't like that, too.

Ene 10, 7:35pm

>98 Berly: I'm glad you came back :-)
I miss Bowie too. It's hard to believe he lived to be a senior citizen because in my mind he never aged past the "Let's Dance" stage.
Bowie was the one who directed me towards The Bird Artist by Howard Norman, which I never would have found otherwise.

>99 PersephonesLibrary: I hope you enjoy it!
I should get hold of a Bowie bio. There are lots of bits about his life, such as his schizophrenic older brother, that I was totally unaware of.

>98 Berly: >99 PersephonesLibrary: And do you two go arm in arm around LT? Is this a Mary-Kate and Ashley situation?

Ene 11, 12:57pm

One New Thing About Vegas

I don't know if this exists in other cities but it's the first business like this that I've heard of. Dig This let's you play road crew for an hour or all day. You'll work a bulldozer or other heavy equipment on their 5 acres, where you will dig a hole. Fill a hole. Pay more and get to crush a car with an excavator, something that would get a real city worker fired.

Ene 11, 1:57pm

>100 mstrust: Funny, I haven't noticed it but we are really doing our rounds, Kim and I - but completey accidentaly. ;-)
If you are interested in a musical biography you might want to check Bowie. A Biography by Marc Spitz.

>101 mstrust: This sounds like so much fun!

Editado: Ene 11, 5:23pm

Thanks for the rec. I really didn't know there were as many bios of him as there are, but the interest is deserved. Seems you can get a book about his Berlin years, or his early years, late years, or relationships...
And now you have a treat waiting for you when you get to Vegas! It was the mention of car crushing, wasn't it?

Mike has thrown himself into changing the atmosphere in his world this week. Last night at around 9pm we started rearranging the living room furniture. We were at Costco this morning first thing for the shipment of steel organization racks and got two for his business. He organized my many Christmas and Halloween tubs in the garage a few days ago, and cleaned out the fridge yesterday morning. I'm just standing back.

Ene 11, 6:36pm

>101 mstrust: That sounds awesome!

Ene 11, 9:01pm

>101 mstrust: That's neat. There's one such place in southern New Jersey as well: We've never gone to it, but I think it would be fun.

Ene 12, 12:03am

>103 mstrust: Are those steel organization racks the ones with polls and wire shelves? - Those I call adult tinker toys. I bought my first batch back in the late 80s for a 4'x8' sewing table, and used a few pieces for Becky's changing table. They make great play forts too, too bad we've outgrown that.

Ene 12, 10:20am

>104 rabbitprincess: >105 harrygbutler: It seems there are quite a few people out there who have always wanted to play construction. Oh, the things that could be done with a team who all wanted to be there.
>105 harrygbutler: Someone's got a vacation in his future!
>106 quondame: Yes, the ones you have to put together yourself, but I don't know how you'd get anything but a shelving unit out of this one. Things like that would take me hours but Mike had them both put together and had shelved everything when I talked to him a while later.

Did anyone else see "Elizabeth is Missing" on PBS, starring Glenda Jackson? She'll get a BAFTA and Emmy and anything else that can be given to her.

Ene 12, 2:20pm

6. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. Set in a small English village in 1950, this story is told by a remarkably intelligent eleven year-old, Flavia de Luce. When she overhears her father arguing in his study with a stranger and hears the phrase "We killed him", then finds a strange man dying in the cucumber patch, she puts two and two together and believes that her father must be the murderer. The police do too and the Colonel is quickly arrested. Flavia's natural detecting skills, her knowledge of chemistry and her willingness to ride her bike all over the village to snoop are more than anyone expected from a little girl.
I'm more than a decade late in discovering this book and now I'm trying to keep myself from gushing about how fun and clever it is to be in Flavia's company. I'm absolutely continuing the series. 5 stars

Ene 12, 2:23pm

>103 mstrust: You caught me. :)

Ene 12, 2:28pm

Ha! I knew it!

Ene 12, 4:08pm

>101 mstrust: Gosh, and they won't volunteer at Habitat for Humanity because they'll be kept away from the big hardware.

Ene 13, 2:18am

>108 mstrust: Thank you so much for bringing back fond memories. I really need to read the book again - after more than 10 years. And my public library has many volumes of the series - lucky times!

Ene 13, 6:26am

Hi Jennifer, just returning your visit to my thread and dropping my star here. Happy new year. :)

Editado: Ene 13, 9:38am

>111 quondame: I'm getting the feeling that a lot of people just want the chance to command a bulldozer.

>112 SirThomas: Happy to bring back good memories! I've requested the next in the series already. I can assure you that Sweetness...feels as fresh and exciting ten years on. That book actually sat on my shelf for three years.

>113 sirfurboy: Thanks for coming to see me. Happy New Year!

Just noting that Fire in the Grove arrived yesterday.

Ene 13, 6:55pm

>108 mstrust: I completly loved that book when I read it not long after publication, I shoul really get around to the rest of the serise

Editado: Ene 14, 7:54am

>108 mstrust: Dang it! I have to take note when you go with 5 stars.

Also note, I am posting without Persephone. ; )

Ene 14, 10:19am

>115 BBGirl55: I have two from the series on my shelf, but much further down the line so I can't read them yet. The library has the second so I'll go in order.
>116 Berly: I do tend to be stingy with 5 stars so they mean something, even if only that a book seemed to be written just for my specifications.
I see you're out on your own!

Ene 14, 10:32am

7. Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry. Fernandez Britten has unhappily been a private investigator for many years. He began with the expectation that he would make the world a better place with his skill, but instead, he fell into doing so many adultery cases that he became known as "The Heartbreaker".
Finally something different comes along. A woman's fiancee has died recently and it's ruled a suicide, but she believes he was murdered. Britten, accompanied by his sidekick Brulightly, a tea bag that may be self-aware and chatty, or more likely is a sign of Britten's instability, begins looking into the dead man's life and finds more twists than a corkscrew.
This is a re-read and I enjoyed it as much, if not more now. I first read it eight years ago. Now I'm much more familiar with noir tropes, and I actually came away with a different opinion of the ending. 4.2 stars

Ene 14, 11:22am

Hello, Jennifer!

>108 mstrust: I listened to that one on audio (which is truly fabulous that way), and it was back in the days of audio on CDs, so in the car. So the kids heard it, too, and we are still quoting, "What bloody cheek!" all these years later. I should do a relisten of that one.

>118 mstrust: A direct hit! That sounds full of fabulous, so I'm adding it to The List.

Ene 14, 11:31am

>116 Berly:

>118 mstrust: That's not a graphic novel, is it? It sounds interesting - I have to keep that one in mind.

Ene 14, 2:29pm

>119 Crazymamie: Hello!
Ha, that is a good phrase to go through life with! It could answer so many situations. I'm still waiting for my library to get the second one to my main branch.
I hope you like B&B as much as I did. Poor Britten.

>120 PersephonesLibrary: It's like birds calling to each other!
It is a GN, the author is also the artist.

Ene 14, 2:35pm

>121 mstrust: Awesome! I will order that tomorrow!

Ene 15, 10:07am

Oh, yay! (And now I really, really hope you like it.)

Editado: Ene 15, 10:17am

Today is my nephew Wade's 27th birthday. He's just getting over the virus so I doubt if there will be much partying, but I'm posting this cocktail recipe anyway because it's one of his favorites.

Ene 16, 10:07am

Hey Jennifer!
>96 mstrust: I've been wanting to check out this book on Bowie. Your review is really good and when I do get the chance to read it I'll keep in mind your astute comments.
Happy Birthday, Wade! Your aunt chose a scrumptious cocktail. I hope all his tastebuds have returned to normal.

Ene 16, 10:15am

>124 mstrust: Coffe and banana... sounds like a breakfast cocktail! :-)

Ene 16, 4:45pm

>125 Carmenere: Hi, Lynda! Thank you very much and I'm happy to have given you the deetz. The author can certainly do the research and tell a good story, but using a dead guy like a puppet for your own agenda is icky. It was pretty much contained to that one entry though.
I had no idea about Bowie's schizophrenic brother.
Thanks from Wade! His mom, dad, and he all had it at the same time, same house. She said it was like a cold with a bad headache and they lost taste and smell. She slept it off for a week and now they're okay.

>126 PersephonesLibrary: That and some bacon and you're good to go!

We finally got out to Casa Grande this morning. It's less than an hour from Phoenix, a smallish city past the reservation. The museum and trading post we'd planned on going to were both closed. On a Saturday. The museum for the virus and the trading post just 'cause. But I found some 50 year-old MAD paperbacks and two very nice vintage brooches at some second-hand stores, we had lunch at a little diner called The Cook-E-Jar that sells German chocolate cookies, and stopped at a ranch store and bought Coral a bunch of tendon treats, a jar of Amish beets for Mom and some seeds for me. They had baby chicks for sale, all varieties.

Ene 16, 4:57pm

8. A Walk Around the Block by Spike Carlsen. With a sly sense of humor, the author explains how and why things are the way they are in your neighborhood. He goes to the water plant, the recycling plant, and hangs out with a Parisian graffiti artist. You'll learn exactly how your mail gets from the post office to you, how your water and electricity gets to your house, what goes into paving a road or building a sidewalk and who takes care of roadkill. There's a chapter each on squirrels and pigeons, and one on snow and how your city deals with it.
Stuff I learned: Until 1920 you could mail a baby, and people did. A big reason people have heart attacks while shoveling snow is because they unconsciously hold their breath as they shovel. And in major cities, the pedestrian button isn't actually hooked up to anything, it's there mainly to give the person a sense of doing something. They lights are set according to how busy the area is.
This is informative, answers lots of questions, and even chapters you'd expect to be dry, like asphalt, are interesting.
4 stars

Ene 16, 5:14pm

>128 mstrust: Adding this one to the to-read list! Looks really interesting.

Editado: Ene 17, 11:04am

I found myself quoting facts from it to Mike as we drove around yesterday, ha!

Ene 19, 9:53am

9. The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo. Khoo, a Brit, moved to Paris to attend Le Cordon Bleu. She turned her minuscule apartment with it's half oven and two gas rings into a temporary restaurant.
This is a big heavy book of traditional French recipes, often with her twist to simplify them a bit. So there's a Winter salad with goat's cheese mousse, but the twist is that Khoo serves raw vegetables rather than roasted. Her dumplings are served in a thin chicken broth rather than a heavy sauce. There are recipes that are originals from locals, such as a cherry tomato and vanilla bean chutney to serve with goat cheese.
Many of the recipes are more complicated than I usually do, but some are easy with ingredients I keep on hand. 4 stars

Editado: Ene 19, 10:40am

You knew this had to happen at some point, didn't you?

Editado: Ene 19, 2:41pm

>132 mstrust: That's a hoot! A bit of baaaaaad lipsyncing but overall a "swingin time"

I was just thinking, isn't this the time of year for the big gem show? Maybe not this year?

Glad Wade and his family have recovered. The thing that scares me about this virus is how unpredictable it is. Everybody is affected differently. A former co-worker of mine just lost her mom and her dad and brother are also in the hospital.

Ene 19, 2:19pm

>132 mstrust: Thank you very much for the earworm... Luckily, I got Bowie's Bücher today as a treat for myself so I can switch this earworm for another. ;-)

Ene 19, 3:14pm

>133 Carmenere: Like pizza, bad Elvis is still really good.
What an amazing memory you have! Yes, it's normally right around this time, but like everything fun... the worst is that our VNSA book sale has been cancelled. It would have been Valentine weekend. I'll be buying books elsewhere for my Thingaversary that weekend, but I'll still be stamping my feet.
It seems to be harder on certain people, like older people, diabetics and the obese. I worried about Wade, even though he's young and slim, because he has colitis and I thought that could make it harder for him, but he recovered first. I thought my sister would be sick longer because she works in an airport and there were quite a few agents, like 15 or more, out with it when she finally got it, but I talked to her Sunday when she was heading for her first day back at work. She just said, "Nah, I feel fine. I just slept." That's what they did, just slept through it. I don't care how her ex is doing with it. :-)

>134 PersephonesLibrary: If there's an earworm I don't mind having, it's Elvis. He's the King, baby, and a big part of Vegas history.

I have an abundance of limes right now so I've been making Moscow Mules and I made lime ice cream yesterday. I've squeezed them into Mexican riced cauliflower and seltzer. Gotta find more uses.
A Relative Stranger by Charles Baxter came today.

Ene 20, 1:19am

I'm glad to hear the good news from your family! Best wishes!

Ene 20, 9:13am

Thanks, Thomas!

Editado: Ene 21, 7:38pm

Happy New Year!

Oh man I loves me some Viva Las Vegas! It's a party anthem. I saw Bowie at Foxwoods casino a few months before he died and had a blast, so when I heard that he'd gone I had that same 'nuh-uh' reaction I get when someone I know dies. Weird, but a fact Jack.

Twice in my life I've been completely snubbed by strangers. The first time was in Richmond when I was a kid and I asked somebody in a mall what time it was and the second was during the same trip up North but at Mystic seaport in Connecticut when I remarked to the guy standing next to me at a red light , "Well! That was really interesting!". In retrospect, that was just a very weird trip all around but I am glad that I got to see Bowie.

Editado: Ene 22, 9:06am

10. Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides and the Untold Story of America's Most Dangerous Amusement Park by Andy Mulvihill.
The author is one of the children of Gene Mulvihill, who built the infamous Action Park in Vernon, NJ. The park opened in 1976 and quickly became known as "Class Action Park" and "Traction Park". This is the insane story of a New Jersey institution that is remembered as fun in hindsight, in a "I went there and here's my scar," kind of way. But this book is also focused on the author's father and how much he was able to get away with because of the era in which he was doing it and because he knew how to make his problems go away.
From this story, it appears that the owner had his children and a crew of ski lodge employees build the majority of the rides, most of them water-themed, which gave guests a good chance of drowning, which they did. Guests were also electrocuted, thrown from rides, and fed tainted food at the concession stands. The owner firmly believed in letting people take responsibility for their own safety, and if that decision included getting hammered on the concession stand beer and driving a mini racecar that went 50 mph and had no guard rails or safety equipment, so be it. His comment was, "They don't want helmets, they want to feel the wind in their hair."
Another attraction was an arena of Battle Action Tanks, small contraptions the park mechanic had come up with that were equipped with cannons that shot 100 mph tennis balls. Guess what players did when an employee had to run out in the arena and collect the balls?
The owner would hire people who had no engineering experience to build experimental rides if he liked their idea, and of course, the danger that he demanded from a ride led to insurance problems, which he solved by making up a phony insurance company.

The book opens with sixteen year-old Andy, the author, suited up in all his hockey protective gear and taking the first ride down his father's newest creation, The Cannonball Loop, a water ride the had a complete loop in the end that would force the rider to defy gravity before being spit out into a pool. Because he couldn't bring himself to disappoint his dad by telling him how dangerous and terrifying that loop was, the kid said it was fun. Which sent two employees down without protective equipment. The first guy got his two front teeth knocked out and the guy behind him had his arm cut on those teeth, which were embedded in the wall of the loop. The loop was never officially opened to the public though it stood for twenty years as the owner tried to figure out how to make it work.
By far the most dangerous ride was The Alpine Slide, in which riders went down a cement track on a twenty pound piece of plastic. The incline was pretty drastic and the rider had to know how to lean their weight and work the brake. This ride was the first to have a fatality.

If you stuck your arm or leg out to balance yourself, it was like holding your body against a sander. The surface of the track scraped off your flesh, leaving an oozing, blistering wound. For superficial injuries, we sprayed a pink iodine liquid that bubbled up like acid and made the tender skin flare with pain...On busy days, the area around the slide could look like a leper colony. We eventually put up photos of these ghastly wounds at the top of the ride, a visual reminder of the potential for carnage.

The author is aware of how irresponsible his father was and how carelessness led to people being hurt. Yet the park was very popular precisely because there was a real element of danger. The park slogan, "Action Park: where you're the center of the action." was re-worked by visitors to "Action Park: where you're the center of the accident."
As the story and years progress, he becomes more admiring of his dad's remarkable ability to wriggle out of legal matters, even when there was a fatality involved. I found Gene Mulivill hard to like, but this story of Action Park is fascinating and often hilarious. 5 stars

Ene 22, 9:05am

>138 SomeGuyInVirginia: Well, Happy New Year to you! Did you finally sleep it off? Or is being a new homeowner got you spinning around in circles like Julie Andrews on a mountain?
I didn't know Bowie played Foxwoods. Big arena? I would love to have seen him, I'm sure it was great show.
My sister got to see Elvis for a few minutes just months before he died.

Editado: Ene 22, 12:38pm

You're right, it wasn't Foxwoods it was Mohegan Sun. I stayed at Foxwoods. It was a great show and Bowie had a knack of addressing the audience in a very personal and direct way.

Being a new homeowner is driving me up the wall. I made the mistake last night right before lights out of checking on Amazon furniture that was temporarily out of stock, seeing that it was back in stock, and then obsessing over buying a sofa for the next 4 hours. Still no sofa and according to my Halo fitness tracker I got just over 2 hours of sleep last night. Grim, I've been mainlining coffee.

ETA I've got so much of the concert wrong. I saw him on 2 June 2004 and he didn't die until 2016, so it wasn't right before he died.

Ene 22, 12:41pm

Jennifer, I am reading Bloody January, which is a gritty noir police procedural, and David Bowie just showed up in it. How funny is that?!

Ene 22, 12:49pm

Oh boy, I have to sit on a sofa before buying it. Or, to be honest, I have to lay on a sofa and imagine how it would feel after spending an hour in one place like I do when I'm reading.
But you're having fun picking out all your new stuff, right? We're still re-arranging our living room/dining room. We're going through our Vancouver pics to pick which ones to blow-up and replace the San Francisco pics that have been on the dining room wall for ten years. I know there are sites that let you put together a room but I don't have a name to give you. Anybody got one?

And funny you should mention looking at your fitness tracker to gauge your sleep, as I'm reading a book about sleep right now and the advice there is to throw it away because it just makes you less likely to get sleep. :-D But on the plus side, coffee. Drinking Peet's?

Ene 22, 12:50pm

>142 Crazymamie: For real?! That's going on my WL- thanks for letting me know!

Ene 22, 1:01pm

One New Thing

In Vegas, Dean Martin performed at the Sands, the Riviera and MGM. In 1985 Martin was appearing in Bally's 1400 seat ballroom when he performed before his one millionth audience member.

Ene 22, 1:02pm

He doesn't have any lines - a person of interest needs to be questioned and she happens to be at a soundcheck for a Bowie concert because she is a friend of hers. SO you don't need to read it, but I thought it was funny that there was all this talk about Bowie on your thread and then he shows up in my book.

Ene 22, 1:05pm

Oh, ha! Thanks for letting me know. Doesn't it seem like that happens, as soon as you become aware of something it's popping up everywhere.

Ene 22, 2:53pm

>139 mstrust: Despite the danger this sounds hilarious!! Happy reading weekend, Jennifer!

Ene 22, 4:05pm

>145 mstrust: Dean Martin is one of the performers I wish I had seen in person.

Ene 22, 5:00pm

<148 Thanks, Kathy, you too!
I went ahead and found a short trailer from a recent HBO documentary about Action Park. All the stories are true.

>149 harrygbutler: Me too! He was so cool.

Ene 23, 9:36am

>139 mstrust: Oh, that one is absolutely going on the list. Sounds amazing! And great review!

Ene 23, 9:56am

Thanks, and I hope you find it as entertaining as I did!

Ene 23, 12:07pm

>150 mstrust: That clip is crazy! No one would insure him so he created his own insurance company and insured himself. What tha?!

Ene 24, 7:58am

Yeah, and because it was before the internet, he got away with it for years as he just showed inspectors his phony insurance papers when there was an accident and they thought it was a company they hadn't heard of. When he was finally caught, his punishment was ridiculously minor. The story is crazy!

Editado: Ene 24, 10:11am

11. Trick Yourself to Sleep by Kim Jones. "222 Ways to Fall and Stay Asleep". The author has gathered research from sleep studies and methods from all over the world. While many of the tricks are suggestions of various phone apps and yoga poses, many more are suggestions that anyone who has ever struggled with insomnia has heard before, such as setting a bedtime, turning the clock away so you won't watch time pass, try a sleep mask. Funny thing is, I read this book as I was already tired, and then I was wide awake. It seems like nearly all the tricks start off with the description of the reader being unable to turn their brain off and sleep, and these descriptions were like banging a saucepan for me. 2.5 stars

Ene 24, 9:00am

Ugh, hello 3:00 a.m. my old friend. I've learned to not pick up the phone for any reason after 11:00, and I think my Amazon Halo tracker has improved my sleep, if only by assuring me that I have slept.

I completely get that 'banging a saucepan' thing. If I break down and start looking online at furniture after 11:00pm I may as well just get up and put a pot of coffee on.

Ene 24, 10:19am

Mike used to have the volume up on his phone all the time, and since it's also his work phone, he'd have customers who would call at 5am, not realizing they were waking him up. It took years but I finally got him to mute it when he comes home.
I didn't know that I could be put in a tizzy just by reading descriptions of insomnia, but there ya go.

Editado: Ene 26, 10:09am

12. Come Home, Indio by Jim Terry. An autobiographical graphic novel, this is Terry's story of the hardships of being half White and half Native American, his dysfunctional family, seeing his parent's alcoholism, and then becoming an alcoholic himself.
While the artwork is very good, I found the story to wear thin by his college years. Nearly every page features the main character having a meltdown over something, even normal teenage insecurities are amplified and overwrought. To me, a few touches of humor here and there would have been a big relief, as at 231 pages, this is the longest graphic novel I've read, and the misery is unrelenting. 2.5 stars

Ene 26, 12:46pm

>150 mstrust: Awesome, thank you!

Ene 26, 5:19pm


Ene 26, 6:59pm

Wow, 231 pages is a lot. That's like Stephen King long.

Ene 26, 8:38pm

That is pretty long for a graphic novel.

Ene 27, 9:26am

>161 SomeGuyInVirginia: >162 PaulCranswick: It is exceptionally long, and the author did another thing that I've never seen in a GN, which is pretty much abandoning the artwork for the last dozen pages or so in favor of whole pages of text. If he'd kept drawing it would have been another sixty pages or so, but the text felt tacked on. So did the political commentary that came out of the blue in the last pages of drawings, it felt like, "Let me squeeze in another reason why I'm so miserable." Frankly, the author seems clinically depressed.
So overall, not the book for me. I gave it as high a rating as I did because of the artwork. But for someone looking for a very similar topic done very well, I'd recommend Winter in the Blood by James Welch. It's excellent.

Editado: Ene 27, 9:55am

On Monday we had a big storm. Very cold and windy, and it knocked out our power for 90 minutes, though it was out for several hours in some areas. It was just luck that I'd built a fire twenty minutes before, so I was able to open the door blinds for light and read on the couch by the fire. Later, the news showed video of the strong winds blowing an AC unit off the roof of one of our nearby neighbors.
Yesterday we got dressed in our walking shoes and jackets and gloves to make laps around the park, and the second we stepped outside it started raining. Really, I walked out on the porch, Mike turned to lock the door, and the rain started, so we had to go in.
Right now it's 35. My sister works in Ontario, in SoCal and she said it snowed there a few days ago.
I'm not complaining. Anything is better than 120F and I keep that in mind.

And I received Christmas presents last night! My MIL had found some stuff she's squirreled away for me and forgotten about: a big armed pillow for sitting up in bed, and a 32 oz. jug of maple syrup from Michigan.

Ene 27, 10:00am

Okay, I love that your MIL had hidden and forgotten about such big gifts. I mean, I do that every year with the kids, but it's usually something like a manga or a lipstick. You gave me a giggle.

Sorry about your walk getting rained out- it's been raining and raining here, too, but I love it.

Ene 27, 11:25am

Geez, it's colder in Phoenix than it is in DC! Who saw that coming?

Ene 27, 2:11pm

>164 mstrust: It's never too late for Christmas gifts. :)

Ene 27, 4:36pm

>165 Crazymamie: :-D When I saw this huge pillow rest, I too wondered how she could have misplaced it. Her house is small so I'd think it would be in the way.
I enjoy a good storm, and we'll have another Friday.
>166 SomeGuyInVirginia: Really? That is strange, but I'm enjoying it. It's very rare to have a dark, cold and rainy day here. It was Vancouver weather.
>167 PersephonesLibrary: My own mother is famous for finding hidden away Christmas gifts round about April. She's done it for years and it's nice.

We were able to walk the park this morning. Coral got to wear her fur coat and we saw the damage from the storm. About 15 feet of a thick trunked palm was lying along the front of the park, and as we walked the west side, there's a huge pine tree, maybe 30 years old, completed uprooted. Lots of broken branches and a crew chainsawing them.

Editado: Ene 27, 4:49pm

One New Thing in Vegas

This is The Laundry Room, a secret speakeasy downtown. They have a dress code, house rules (no cursing, fighting, phone calls) and a two hour time limit. It's located inside The Commonwealth at 525 E. Fremont. To get in, text 702 701-1466. Don't tell them you heard it from me.

Ene 27, 5:15pm

That is gorgeous. I don't drink booze but I'd be tempted to go for just the ambiance.

Ene 27, 7:03pm

>169 mstrust: I could spend a good deal of time there. All thats missing is a little suave corner with a table and a book corner full of first edition leather bound books

Ene 28, 8:03am

>169 mstrust: Oooh, that's very cool! I love all the rules.

Ene 28, 8:33am

>170 MickyFine: Isn't it? No need to worry about not drinking, you could have a pineapple juice and blend in. Call yourself the designated driver and some places give you soda or seltzer for free.
>171 figsfromthistle: Maybe an inspiration for our own home re-do!
>172 scaifea: They do remind people about how to behave, don't they? Basically, "don't be a clot."

Ene 28, 8:57am

13. Mystery, Inc. by Joyce Carol Oates. A disguised man waits until the end of store hours to visit Mystery, Inc., a popular specialty bookstore in a New Hampshire seaside town. He knows that the owner will send the employees home while he himself helps a serious collector willing to spend a lot and ask many questions. The disguised man's purpose for the visit is as evil as can be. He is a bookstore-buying serial killer. He goes into a book store he wants to buy, but instead of making an offer to the owners, he murders them in a way that looks like a natural death, then lowballs the grieving family and acquires the store and its stock.
But Mystery, Inc. is special. Not only is it a beautiful store full of valuable first editions by Dickens, Christie and Doyle, but the owner is exactly the sort of man the killer would like to be himself, content in his work and happily married. Unaware that the customer who keeps adding books to his tab is actually planning on killing him and stealing the rare books, the friendly owner begins telling the story of his haunted bookstore.
Number 21 in The Mysterious Bookshop's Bibliomysteries. 4 stars

Ene 28, 9:50am

>169 mstrust: This looks amazing! It reminds me of an atmospheric underground bar in Dublin I have been to a few years ago!

Ene 28, 10:00am

>169 mstrust: Very cool.

>174 mstrust: This sounds good. I had not heard of this series before, but I looked and each book is written by a different author. Have you read any of the others?

Ene 28, 10:15am

Jenninfer, Mystery Inc. sounds like a good book. it is now on my tbr pile.

Editado: Ene 28, 12:39pm

>175 PersephonesLibrary: Someone is very good at making a place people want to hang around. Guess that's why they'll kick you out in two hours.

>176 Crazymamie: I have. This series is created exclusively for The Mysterious Bookshop. The stories are written for this series and the bookshop has it's own publishing press, so it's rare to find even a single copy anywhere else. If you go to order,you can select "paperback", "hardback", or the collectible.
Besides this J. C. O., I've read 12. Caxton Lending Library & Book Depository by John Connolly, 15. It's in the Book by Mickey Spillane & Max Allan Collins, 20. The Sequel by R.L. Stine, 25. The Little Men by Megan Abbott, 29. The Traveling Companion by Ian Rankin and 31. Reconciliation Day by Christopher Fowler. I've also read the free mystery they gave away with any purchase at Christmas, A Christmas Puzzle by Ragnar Jonasson.
There are 39 Bibliomysteries now. I also have 33. Hoodoo Harry by Joe R. Lansdale and 38. Bibliotheca Classica by Simon Brett but haven't read those yet. My favorites so far have been the Connolly, Fowler and the J.C.O.

>177 Whisper1: It is a good one. I'll likely order another couple of Bibliomysteries for my Thingaversary in March.

Editado: Ene 28, 2:18pm

>178 mstrust: Oh, wow! Thanks so much for that.

*back to add that it's such a cool idea

Ene 28, 6:32pm

You're welcome! The Bibliomysteries have an amazing roster of authors who have contributed.

Ene 29, 5:38am

>139 mstrust: That sounds amazing, and I chuckled at your description of it too! But really...what was he thinking?!

Ene 29, 10:27am

He was probably thinking that he'd get away with it, and he did. Some people just get away with a lot more than the average person. But a lot of what he got away with was pretty funny because it was so outrageous.

Ene 29, 10:51am

>169 mstrust: Is this the one associated with the Mob Museum? It looks lovely.

Ene 29, 11:04am

I've been to The Mob Museum, which is fantastic, but their place is called The Speakeasy. The Laundry Room is in The Commonwealth Casino. Though they are just a street or two apart so you could hit both in an evening.

Ene 29, 11:14am

>184 mstrust: Ah...thanks. We've watched Hubert Keller's "LovinLasVegas" show about restaurants in LV, and the SpeakEasy was one of the places highlighted.

Ene 29, 11:18am

Wow, sounds like you enjoyed your taste of a real winter! Good timing with the fireplace, bad timing for your walk. I'm thinking about taking a walk but at 21f it's a struggle to get through the door.

>169 mstrust: Now that's a laundry room I wouldn't mind spending some time in!

Ene 29, 2:28pm

>185 laytonwoman3rd: I haven't heard of that show. What network? I love travel shows in Vegas.
>186 Carmenere: We have, and it's been great. We've had some really mild winters that seemed like they barely occurred, but this has been a Winter with a capital W. We're expected more rain today that should go on for hours. :-D
Maybe I'll bake something.
Maybe they named it The Laundry Room was named to keep the unwashed away?

Ene 29, 3:35pm

>187 mstrust: We've been watching it on PBS's Create channel, Jennifer. Here's a link to the Vegas PBS channel's page on the show.

Ene 30, 9:50am

Thanks, Linda. I checked and my PBS doesn't carry that show, so that's why I've never heard of it. We do have a show called "Wild Nevada" that is all hiking to remote areas and visiting tiny towns.

Ene 30, 10:01am

14. Almost Sleighed by Emily James. This is the third in the Maple Syrup Mysteries series.
Nicole, a former defense lawyer at her parent's D.C. firm, is learning how to run the Michigan maple farm her uncle left to her. While checking the stables, she finds one of her employees, Noah, unconscious and bleeding. The question of whether Noah fell or was attacked is enough to make Nicole the prime suspect for Elise, the only female police officer in Fair Haven.
Realizing that she barely knows Noah, Nicole conducts her own investigation to find out if there would be anyone with a reason to put Noah in a coma.
And since deciding she was too attached to her friend Mark, the married coroner, Nicole is doing her best to live with the fact that everyone in the small town seems to hate her for breaking up with him. 4 stars

Editado: Feb 3, 10:39am

15. Vegas Tabloid by P Moss. Jimmy Dot is the dirtbag ringmaster of a weird little circus that suddenly became cool at The Fabulous Hotel and Casino. He signed a contract with the evil casino owner, Fuller, and now he's required to live in a casino penthouse, be paid more than he should ever have expected to see in his low-class lifetime, and he smiles for tourist selfies. He hates his life, mostly because his wife Jenny left him when he became a success.
Revson was a scientist who discovered that the pill to cure the common cold he was working on and got to final testing, has been shown to cause pancreatic cancer. He tracks down a famous investigative journalist at The Fabulous and pleads to have the pill and the pharma CEO investigated. That CEO, Randy Leeds, happens to be in The Fabulous too, and his opponents too often turn up dead, so Revson knows he's got a target on his back.

People with men who are cons and sociopaths, and women who are almost always prostitutes or being sexually abused. I can't say that I liked this because there were some scenes that were too graphic and perverse for my liking. 2.5 stars

Feb 4, 4:03pm

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