Femmes Fatales

Women. Murder. And such. The Feud had promise. Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford. Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis. But. Acting so bad. Not campy bad. Just bad. Couldn’t get through the first episode. Big Little Lies. Nicole Kidman. Reese Witherspoon. Ditto. Derived from a typically insipid Liane Moriarty book. Girls. Lena Dunham’s best season yet.

Little Deaths, a murder mystery novel by Emma Flint. A Brit who has been obsessed with crime stories since she was a girl. An okay read with with a bit of a feminist agenda. Baileys Prize Longlist. Used to be Orange Prize. Both sponsors have since ditched. Why a segregated genre for women authors? Lots of women winners of Man Booker. Good writing is good.

The New Abnormal

Global warming? Balmy February in New York. Rowboats on the Lake. rowboats-in-feb

Bannon’s economic nationalism. Dismantling administrative state. Trump golfing with Els and McIlroy. The new abnormal.

Books are still normal. Just finished a good one. The Honeymoon, Dinitia Smith. A novel about literary icon George Eliot’s life and last honeymoon. Which was a doozy. See review here. Oscars. Ho-hum. This year.

Byrning House

Burning Down the House. No. Not Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s Donald Trump dilemma.

burning down the houseA new novel by Jane Mendelsohn. Her work combines David Byrne’s classic Talking Heads songs with Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre in a new Broadway musical. Sounds cool. Right? Too bad it’s a minor aside to the main plot. What? Yup. Never a clear connection to the story of anti sex-trafficking causes. I don’t mind a political agenda. Just don’t pose it as a fictional work. Other that that. The cover attracted me to the depiction of the San Remo on the Upper West Side. Problem was. Everyone in the book lives either in the Village or on the Upper East Side. Calling all editors. Anyway. Liked the cover. Love David Byrne.

2015

GOOD

MadMen ending. The real thing.
The Affair. Ray Donovan.
Pope Francis charms the U.S.
New York weekends. Ocean Grill. Mermaid Inn.
Forked around Long Island twice. DSC_0050

Ogilvy Account Director mAdBen. Seattle star.

BAD

End of MadMen.
Emojis. Symbols that replace words.
ISIS thugs. Paris. U.S. World. Under Siege.
Guns. Guns. Guns,

Gear Switches

DSC_0034_2Steampunk is a subgenre of fiction, in a Victorian setting, using components of steam powered machinery to bend time and place. Until I read the reviews of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, I’d never heard of it. Despite a lack of context of the literary genre, I loved this novel. Clockworks attract my fascination. Mori, a former Japanese Samurai turned watchmaker in Knightsbridge, London came to life. His relationship with Thaniel, a boring clerk, was real and endearing. His world of future telling and incendiary events captivates. An Oxford physicist shakes the fantastical octopus. Well done debut by Natasha Pulley. Great read.

Teflon Don. Wrong again. Can we really have a petulant adolescent as President? Entertain on.

Photo by G. Levine: RiverCulture Sculpture. Turners Falls, Massachusetts.