Sunday, September 24, 2023

My thoughts on the Rex Stout books many years ago

 Before blogging, there were email groups online that I belonged to that talked about books. I have kept all my emails to those groups, and just came across the following, written about Champagne For One. The words are just what I would still say, and they were written in May 2006 a few months before I began my blog. The second words are from 2003.

I am so enjoying my visits to Wolfe and Archie as I read them all again in publication order, though as I have said, they really don't have to be read that way. 

I go on and on to anyone who'll listen about the greatness of the Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin books.  Some in the series are stellar, like this one, and others not so perfect, but I don't really look at them individually.  They are all of a piece about the life.  It's like checking in to see what Wolfe and Archie are up to.  I love the old familiar words and descriptions of how many steps up to the door of the old brownstone, what Archie is having for breakfast, how the office is arranged, what Wolfe is reading, and of course the mystery he must work on to pay for his gourmet food and his thousands of orchids.  Wonderful, wonderful books.

 I love the way Archie repeats details in each book, in case the reader is on his
first Nero Wolfe story.  "I climbed the seven steps up to the old
brownstone".  "Cramer sat in the red chair".   I love the house
descriptions.  The plots are really secondary.  Each book is a portion of
the lives of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin.  I think between the Stout
books, and P.G. Wodehouse books, I really could survive without any other
reading material.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Diana Krall - Autumn In New York (Official Video)

The sun went into Libra at 2:50 am today so it is now autumn. And here is Diana Krall singing and playing piano so very beautifully to help celebrate the season. Such a great video, too.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Today's poem by WH Auden

I am currently watching The Last Detective on Britbox. A character called Mod played by the late Sean Hughes quoted the last two lines of this poem. It is the eighth of Auden's Twelve Songs - April 1936. 

At Last the Secret is Outby 

At last the secret is out, as it always must come in the end,
The delicious story is ripe to tell to tell to the intimate friend;
Over the tea-cups and in the square the tongue has its desire;
still waters run deep, my dear, there’s never smoke without fire.

Behind the corpse in the reservoir, behind the ghost on the links,
Behind the lady who dances and the man who madly drinks,
Under the look of fatigue the attack of migraine and the sigh
There is always another story, there is more than meets the eye.

For the clear voice suddenly singing, high up in the convent wall,
The scent of the elder bushes, the sporting prints in the hall,
The croquet matches in summer, the handshake, the cough, the kiss,
There is always a wicked secret, a private reason for this.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Come Monday - Jimmy Buffett

We have a radio in the barn, and it is set to an independent radio station in Montpelier, Vermont. There is a daily segment of what is called 33 1/3, when the DJ plays a cut from a record. Because it was Labor Day Weekend, the DJ played Jimmy Buffett's Come Monday. The DJ said it is the best song about traveling and missing your loved ones. It had been a while since I'd heard it, and I was so, so happy. I have been a fan for as long as he has been recording. And I have a delightful, and really unexplainable Jimmy Buffett story. In 1980, we flew to Houston to be Godparents to my childhood friend's baby daughter. We got off the plane, and my friend's husband asked what we would like to do in Houston. The words popped right out of my mouth, "see Jimmy Buffett". He said that there was a show. We got tickets, and saw the most wonderful concert. It was the first show I had been to that sold cocktails, obviously margaritas!

Why on earth would I have said that? Who knows, but it sure was amazing. 

I'm quite sure that the DJ played the song on September 1. And so very sadly, he died that night. 

Friday, September 8, 2023

Quote du jour - Shaun Bythell

 I've just finished Shaun Bythell's second book in his Diary of a Bookseller series, and I loved it so  much! 

Toward the end, the internet was down because of a storm and he started reading a book.

"This is more like the old days, before the tyranny of the Internet, and it was an enormous pleasure to spend the entire day reading, with a few interruptions."