The Loft’s message remains the same; ‘Leaf on the Wind’ and I still don’t get it. If anyone out there is feeling the message, please report back. On Monday we have the Harvest Moon to look forward to. This full moon is thusly named because it is the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox and is typically bright enough to allow the finishing of harvest chores after the sun goes down. So those of you with some last minute threshing to take care of will have light from the moon to get that done. Enjoy! Of course this also means that we are in the thick of the fall season and I suppose I should do something this weekend to celebrate that fact. Perhaps an apple pie would make me feel better about this? Or a lovely savory something made with butternut squash? I did sneak in a white pants wearing last weekend because the weather was cooperating but even I have to concede defeat and declare that there will be no more white pants now until May 26, 2015. Mark the calendar. I am however still clinging stubbornly to the bare leg but honestly if the mornings continue to run cool as they have been that will be the next thing to go. This week we have some dystopia, Paris, a team of women, Italy, drinking, grey cells and bodies. A whole town full of dead bodies. Playlist? You betcha!
Let us begin!
Miss Elisabeth of the CL is doing a reversal this week. I’ll let her explain. Miss Elisabeth? “On Saturday I went to see The Maze Runner. It was great! I'd never read the book, so I went in completely blind, and I found the action-packed plot thrilling. The ending of the movie was a bit of a mess; the explanation for the Maze didn't make too much sense, but I assume that's because I didn't read the book. The cast was excellent. Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who stole everyone's hearts as the adorable Sam in Love, Actually was one of the main characters, and he looks exactly the same! The lead character was played by Dylan O'Brien, who is very, very funny as sidekick Stiles on MTV's Teen Wolf. The whole cast was really pleasantly diverse and they did a great job with the material, elevating what could have been another run-of-the-mill dystopian movie into something really fun to watch. I just checked the book out today, and I look forward to figuring out what the heck was going on in the last ten minutes of the movie!”
Barbara M. Back in Paris. As it should be. “On the advice of one of my favorite patrons I’m reading Sacré Bleu a whimsical, comedic, absurd novel by Christopher Moore. It’s about van Gogh’s death, the color blue and the art world in Paris during the late 1800s. The cast of characters includes not only well known artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Gaugin and Manet but also a mystical being called The Colorman who roams around trying to sell his special blue paint to artists. The book is a mixture of genres (historical-fiction, fantasy, satire) and is very funny. Although it is not my usual type of book I’m thoroughly enjoying it.”
Laura is surprised this week. “Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer was a satisfying surprise. Set in an everyday world, a team of four women, a biologist, a surveyor, an anthropologist and a psychiatrist set out to study Area X, a part of the world that has evolved in a different way. The scene is not necessarily post-apocolyptic and it could be taking place in the present day. The story's point of view is through the eyes and mind of the biologist as she studies and gathers data. There is very little dialog but the inquisitiveness of the biologist keeps you reading. It is a slow burn kind of read that when you pick it up to, you are rewarded with a steady and even handed drama. Annihilation is Book One of the South Reach Trilogy and I am looking forward to reading Book 2, Authority, in the future.
Babs B has finished The Secret of Raven Point by Jennifer Vanderbes. “When her adored older brother goes missing in Italy during WWII, Julie signs up to be an Army nurse. When she finds herself assigned to the front lines, her once sheltered life changes dramatically. Her only thought in the beginning was finding her brother, but as the weeks turn into months and she befriends patients, makes new friends, and her whole life opens up. While reading this story I honestly felt transported to another time and place. I had a great time with this book!”
The Always Delightful Pat S has just read A Spy Among Friends by Ben McIntyre. “If you are a 007 fan, this book is going to be a myth buster. Kim Philby, perhaps the greatest double agent of the 20th century, was working for the Soviets while he had a long and high profile position in MI6. This allowed him to infiltrate not just the center of British security but American security as well. McIntyre tells the story of his entrance into the spy world; a seamless transition from the storied world of Cambridge to MI6 where he joined a select and class-conscious few. Predicated on nothing more substantial than knowing the right people, Philby embarked on a career which was ably assisted by his charm, sociability and prodigious drinking habits. In fact, it was Philby’s very sociability which allowed him access to inner circles the world over. When the charade ultimately came to an end in 1963, and Philby defected to Moscow, neither his best friends from Cambridge, fellow spies, nor any one of his three wives had any clue as to his duplicity. This is a fascinating look at a world where the myths are less improbable than the reality.”
Steph is visiting with an old friend in a new way. “It was with some trepidation that I approached The Monogram Murders, by Sophie Hannah. You might not know that this book is by Sophie Hannah if you looked at the cover quickly, because another author’s name is MUCH bigger on it: AGATHA CHRISTIE. That’s right: this is a new Hercule Poirot story, the first since Curtain was published in 1975! It’s always a little scary when someone gets a new crack at a favorite like Poirot, but knowing that she had the full backing of the Christie estate, I tried it out. The result? Quite fun! No, it’s not the Agatha Christie you remember. But the plot is a delightfully Christie-like maze, and more importantly, Poirot sounds exactly like he should. This was very enjoyable and certainly worth the attention of your little grey cells.
I am WILD for The Undertaker’s Daughter by Kate Mayfield. Kate grew up in sleepy, segregated Jubilee Kentucky. Grief brings out the best and the worst in people and as the daughter of the town’s undertaker, Kate saw it all. I recently described it to a co-worker as To Kill a Mockingbird with dead bodies, and a soupçon of mental illness with a side of alcoholism and infidelity. Mayfield is a wonderfully evocative writer who describes her unusual upbringing and her hometown with love and tenderness even while she is conjuring up painful reminiscences. How much do I love this book? I am reading it on my Kindle for my commute and in book form the minute I get home. I am planning what will be for dinner to optimize evening reading time. This gem is due out in January and be glad of it because the Hellidays would probably be a diminished affair if you got your hands on it in December.
DJ Jazzy Patty McC is still battling a vicious something in the State Up North. Join me in wishing her recovery. It would appear we are too late to wish her the speedy part. “Last weekend my family and I wrapped up Banned Books Week by venturing out to celebrate a nighttime festival of art and light in downtown Detroit. The Exhibition DLECTRICITY featured over 35 world-renowned and emerging artists whose work lit up the city in brilliant color and movement. Art galleries, studios and cathedrals were open for art projected on their walls both inside and out creating an art display unlike any other. Kids were outside playing Minecraft and their games were successively projected on one side of the Detroit Institute of Arts. There was even a parade, a light bike parade! The Mindfield video projection on the Detroit Institute of Arts and across the street on the Detroit Public Library was mind blowing. So this week, I thought it would be worthwhile to celebrate and listen to an artist who is no stranger to the threat of censure or banning. This week listen to a musical genius and artist who just released not one but two albums! This week I bring you the MAN in PURPLE otherwise known as Prince. Enjoy the tunes.”