Sunday’s this and that, often called hash

  • I just finished Carly Shabowski’s The Watchmaker of Dachau. For my taste, the book wasn’t as strong as The Rainbow, but I wasn’t disappointed. The story differs from most concentration camp novels in that the principal characters work at the commandant’s house rather than in work details. Coming up next is her novel The Note as soon as I finish Kathy Reichs’ Cold Cold Bones (my change of pace novel and a first look at a story from the Temperance Brennan series that inspired the TV show “Bones”).
  • In my 1950s-era novel in progress, my main character, and secret agent Pollyanna Hoskins is changing her disguise from a grey-haired, elderly bag lady to a young woman with strawberry blonde hair. Back to the research biz: what kind of make-up and clothes would she wear? This takes a while to figure out, especially for a man, because Internet searches for vintage products often lead to retro sites featuring takeoffs on the originals.
  • I was intrigued by Charles Passy’s article “Why Americans should think twice about watching Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.”  The subhead reads: “Yes, it’s an occasion to mourn a respected global leader, but let’s not forget why the U.S. fought to free itself from Great Britain.” Apparently, half of the world’s population will be watching. Passy points out that Americans live in a country that doesn’t need kings and queens, even figureheads with limited power, so why do we love the Brit’s monarchy?  I wonder about this, too. Even the BBC was a bit puzzled over our fixation on the Monarchy. (I have no plans to watch it.)
  • My wife’s birthday is today. Her age is, of course, classified. She has told me to stop referring to her as my trophy wife. The photograph, with my granddaughter Freya, was taken at Disney World several years ago. We’re kind of low-key about our birthdays. We exchange cards but stopped buying birthday gifts some years ago because both of us order the stuff we need/want Online and don’t need a separate birthday list. So, we’ll have some comfort food for supper and find something interesting on TV to watch other than anything about the monarchy. Our next “road trip” is scheduled for Thanksgiving when we visit my daughter, her husband, and my two granddaughters in Maryland.
  • I’m looking forward to Stephen King’s latest novel Fairy Tale in which “King goes into the deepest well of his imagination in this spellbinding novel about a seventeen-year-old boy who inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher—for that world or ours.” His books are well written, though I usually avoid the industrial-strength horror stuff. I haven’t read a King novel for several years since I got ticked off at the third book in his “Mr. Mercedes” trilogy because he changed genres from police procedural to fantasy, something I considered out of line and probably illegal.

–Malcolm

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