Could this be how Holmes found Watson?

I guess the both of them were, um, confirmed bachelors.



Spotted: So long, see you tomorrow

Well, I won’t, because I’m heading out of town for Memorial Day.  Considering the habitual use of the phrase, I was surprised to see this book turn up in the top results when I googled the title.  The description does sound quite interesting though.

In this magically evocative novel, William Maxwell explores the enigmatic gravity of the past, which compels us to keep explaining it even as it makes liars out of us every time we try. On a winter morning in the 1920s, a shot rings out on a farm in rural Illinois. A man named Lloyd Wilson has been killed. And the tenuous friendship between two lonely teenagers—one privileged yet neglected, the other a troubled farm boy—has been shattered.Fifty years later, one of those boys—now a grown man—tries to reconstruct the events that led up to the murder. In doing so, he is inevitably drawn back to his lost friend Cletus, who has the misfortune of being the son of Wilson’s killer and who in the months before witnessed things that Maxwell’s narrator can only guess at. Out of memory and imagination, the surmises of children and the destructive passions of their parents, Maxwell creates a luminous American classic of youth and loss.

Good read for a long weekend.  Have a great Memorial Day!

A thought for the coming year

Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there. -Henry Miller

Spotted: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

I don’t have much to say about this, other than from all accounts, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana sounds like a really well-written depiction of a woman’s struggle for survival in Afghanistan.  When her male relatives are forced to flee after the Taliban take control, Kamila Sidiqi starts a dressmaking business to earn money to raise her five siblings. 

Stories of resourcefulness and perseverance like this never fail to move me.  If you feel like helping out a nascent business in a country less fortunate than our own, a loan through Kiva is a great way to turn those feelings into action.


So as all three of our regular readers may have noticed, a larger-than-normal chunk of time has gone by since our last post.  For once, I have a pretty good excuse.  Anne of  Green Gables (who you may remember from some of her earlier posts before she started grad school) and I got hitched and promptly fled the country for our (gratuitous French alert!) lune de miel in Turkey.   

Our strolls through Istanbul reminded me of Orhan Pamuk’s novel Snow, that I read some years ago.  I’m not going to tell you that I remembered the book in any detailed fashion, but as we walked through the streets it was hard not to see the intersection of European and Middle-Eastern cultures, as well as secularism and Islam, that formed the backdrop for the book.   

Here are a couple photos in Hagia Sophia, which has served as a Christian Church, an Islamic Mosque, and a museum, during its 1,651 years on this earth.

As an only somewhat off topic aside, given Orhan Pamuk’s prosecution for “insulting Turkishness,” during our absence Banned Books Week came and went, which is second only to Shark Week in terms of popularity in our household to me.