Monday, September 26, 2011

My Town Monday: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Well, well, well. Guess who's coming to lunch (yes, it's lunch, not dinner, but I couldn't resist the title!) in sunny San Diego?

It's our very own President Obama! No surprise that he's smiling. We've promised him our world-famous wonderful weather AND lunch at a private home in swanky La Jolla. Yes, it's the same swanky La Jolla where Child #3, Child #4 and I spent a large portion of our summer thanks to ambitious Child #3's determination to take a high-school Spanish class.

It's kind of weird to think the president is just a hop, skip and a jump west of our little house today. Unfortunately, I won't be attending his fundraiser luncheon. $5,000 per plate is a smidgeon beyond my budget. As is the additional $10,000 to have my pic taken with the President. (Although wouldn't that have been a fun photo for the blog!!?) And there's also the small matter that my name wasn't among the 160 on the guest list!

After lunch, the President is headed up to LA. In fact, he won't be far from his old stomping grounds of Occidental College, where Child #2 is currently studying.

IF I were going to the luncheon and found myself next to the President, here's what I'd say:

-Thank you for changing the horrible health care system in this country even a little bit. Now Child #1 is insured once again under our plan and can remain there until the ripe old age of 26. I can't begin to tell you the number of his friends (people in their early 20s who are part-time students working jobs that don't offer medical) who were completely and utterly uninsured.

-Please forgo your visit to the House of Blues in West Hollywood and instead stop in at Occidental College and deliver these home-baked cookies to Child #2.

-Yes, you can have a few of the cookies.

Here's a link to the official My Town Monday blog for links to more posts about various corners of the world. Always of interest!

Wishing everyone a wonderful Monday!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Book Review Club (September 2011)

Labor Day is firmly behind us. Children are back at school. It's time to find out what everyone's up to reading-wise. Because I have the happy job of collecting the links, I'm the first to notice any little trends. Something must be in the air this month because we're reviewing mostly adult fiction books. Under my review, you'll find the links to several marvelous reviews. I always look forward to our reviews, but this month looks especially interesting!

THE SUSPECT by L.R. Wright

L.R. Wright (stands for Loreli Rose, but everyone called her Bunny) is one of my favorite mystery authors. Apparently, a lot of people feel this way; Chatelaine magazine nicknamed her Canada's Queen of Mystery. LR Wright was born in 1939 in Saskatchewan. In her early 20s, she performed with a Canadian touring company, where she met and married a fellow actor, John Wright. They divorced after 33 years, then remarried five years later. L.R. Wright was a journalist in Calgary for several years. She traveled and taught lots of writing classes. I wish I'd taken one. Sadly, she died of breast cancer in 2001.

THE SUSPECT, L.R. Wright's 4th novel, was published in 1985. It is the first mystery in the Karl Alberg series. The series has 9 books! Staff Sergeant Alberg (of the RCMP) lives in the sleepy town of Sechelt on the quiet coast of British Columbia. He falls in love with the town librarian, a woman he met through the newspaper personal ads. Karl is a great detective--persistent, zealous, intelligent, observant,curious, likeable. He also has this bewildered air about him. For example, he's still puzzling out how he ended up divorced and struggles with his long-distance relationship with his two teenage daughters.

THE SUSPECT is more of a "Why'd He Do It?", than a "Who Dunnit?" You know the identity of the murderer very early on (as in by pg. 2). In fact, the book opens with the murder. Then, over the course of the story, you watch Alberg figure out who the murderer is and why he committed the crime. The author doles out back story in perfect amounts, and this keeps the mystery interesting and fresh.

THE SUSPECT, in fact all of Wright's books that I've read, relies on amazing characterization. Even the setting is pretty much a character. This book won an Edgar. It may be have been the only Canadian mystery ever to win an Edgar. THE SUSPSECT was slated to become a movie starring Donald Sutherland, but I learned recently that this project has been dropped. Hopefully, not forever.

Great book. Great author. If you've never read anything by L.R. Wright, give her a whirl. You'll probably become a fan. Click here for her official website.

And, now, here are the links to reviews of all manner of fascinating books!


Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: TEXAS GOTHIC by Rosemary Clement-Moore


Staci of Life in the Thumb: SO NEAR by Liza Gyllenhaal (Literary)

Kaye of the Road Goes Ever Ever On: PEACE LIKE A RIVER by Leif Enger (literary)

Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: MISERY LOVES CABERNET by Kim Gruenenfelder (women's fiction)

Linda McLaughlin: THE COFFEE TRADER by David Liss (historical)

Sarah Laurence: TIGERLILY'S ORCHIDS by Ruth Rendell (mystery)

Scott Parker: THE GENTLEMEN'S HOUR by Don Winslow (crime)

Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: WICKED APPETITE by Janet Evanovich (comic/supernatural thriller)

Stacy Nyikos: THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova (thriller)

Beth Yarnall: CHARMED AND DANGEROUS by Toni McGee Causey (comic romantic suspense)


Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: LAST ACTS OF KINDNESS by Judith Redwing Keysar (health)

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!

Monday, September 5, 2011

My Town Monday: Happy Labor Day!

I do love Labor Day.


#1. I usually end up at a fun bar-b-que. (This year, I'm bringing an easy schmeasy Caesar salad where I mix two store-bought dressings together.)

2. I feel perfectly justified in trying to do as little as possible.

3. It marks the end of the summer. I cannot tell you how much I'm looking forward to my upcoming quiet Tuesday morning when my children will be back at school. I love them dearly. We've had a busy, fun-filled summer together. But it's time to move on. I have much writing to do this fall, and it's easier to be productive and thoughtful and creative in a calm, peaceful house.

In keeping with #2, here is a link to last year's Labor Day post. If you're anything like me, you've forgotten all the trivia I looked up for you last year. ;)

Please check out the links to the other My Town Monday posts on the official My Town Monday blog.

Happy Labor Day! Don't overly bestir yourselves!