For some reason I can add sidebars, but not new posts. Please check back later. I have been working on a variety of things including switching my blog soon from this one, which was set up with my now-defunct West Wisconsin Telcom account. I hope to have my new blog through Gmail up soon. I will provide a link and announcement when I've got everything straight. 7/2/11

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Inspiring Teachers

Photo from Best Colleges Online

Best Colleges has published an article titled “15 Incredibly Inspiring Women in Academia.” Given the Republicans' attack on teachers that is occurring around the country, this is a timely read to remind them of the importance of education. Find the article at

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Recently read: Donald E. Westlake’s Watch Your Back

I always enjoy Westlake’s comic crime books, especially the ones with Dortmunder and his cronies. In this one, Dortmunder’s fence, the offensive Arnie, is home from his “intervention” at Club Med with news of a billionaire’s home sitting defenseless. So Dortmuncer gathers his crew of Kelp and Stan and Stan’s mother and Tiny to battle on two fronts: the removing of the billionaire’s possessions, and saving the O.J. Bar & Grill from a Mafia takeover. A treat to read!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Recently read: Cara Black’s Murder in the Sentier

Black’s books are good contemporary detective novels set in contemporary Paris, featuring private eye Aimee Leduc. I’ve read and reviewed several of the books over the years, and all are worth reading. This one is too, although I thought Leduc’s driving motivation was too forced. In this book, a mysterious woman appears with knowledge of Leduc’s mother, who vanished when Aimee was very young. Leduc tracks down elderly terrorists from 60s and 70s Europe (remember the Red Army?), becoming more and more concerned that her mother abandoned her for political motives. As ever, lots of descriptions of the underworld of Paris.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Another birthday

Carl's birthday martini

We spent the entire weekend celebrating Carl's birthday, starting on Friday with a visit to the Denver Art Museum to see the Cities of Splendor: A Journey through renaissance Italy, with lunch at the museum's elegant restaurant, Pallettes. Yesterday we explored the northern suburbs and desolate lands between Boulder and Arvada, lunch at Bloom's, and cocktails and pizza at Abrusci's Italian restaurant. Today we are lolling, but still eating!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Recently read: Ines de la Fressange’s Parisian Chic

I love books about style and beauty and fashion, and this is a particularly fun one. Chanel icon de la Fressange still looks as chic as in her modeling days. This style guide, co-authored by Sophie Gachet, explains lightheartedly how the rest of us (all who do not live in Paris) can emulate Parisian Chic. Divided into four parts, the book discusses how to dress like a Parisian, French beauty basics, what distinguishes the Parisian home, and concludes with a guide to all of de la Fressange’s favorite stores, boutiques, neighborhoods, museums, spas and hair salons, restaurants (naturellement!), nightclubs and hotels. In addition to the beautiful photographs, the book is lavishly illustration with delightful drawings by de la Fressange herself—I was so impressed and immediately wished I was able to draw as well. A good book to add to your collection.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Recently read: Ruth Rendell's Portobello

Rendell is a long established master of the British thriller, whether writing as Barbara Vine, as herself in the Inspector Wexford series, or her dark psychological works such as this one. In this suspenseful work, a well-meaning and prosperous middle aged man discovers a cash filled envelope lying in the street near Portobello Road. He posts an ad for the owner, despite the misgivings of many of his friends as well as his fiancée. Thus a series of events are unleashed that reveals secrets, sickness and sorrow. As are all Rendell’s books, this is a must read.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recently read: Tami Hoag’s Deeper than the Dead and Secrets to the Grave

I like Hoag. Her books are easy reads with good plots and characters, much suspense, and well written. These two books are set in the mid-1980s in a prosperous California town. Deeper than the Dead is the first book. A school teacher, Anne, and an FBI investigator, Vince, team up when several of Anne’s grade school students find a dead woman in the park. More bodies show up. Vince is asked to help the community track a serial killer using a new technique: profiling. In the second book, Secrets to the Grave, a respected single mother is found brutally murdered in her home with her four year old daughter unconscious. Anne and Vince (now happily married) again work to find the killer. You really need to read these books in order, because for some reason in the second book Hoag discusses the serial killings of the previous book in great detail, including the killer’s identity. So unless you don’t mind knowing all the answers ahead of time, you’ll want to start with Deeper than the Dead.