Friday, August 12, 2005

“You’re still here? It’s over. Go home.”

The Movie: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986 (John Hughes, screenwriter and director)
Who says it: Matthew Broderick as unconventional high school senior Ferris Bueller
The context: This is the very last line of the movie, after all the credits have rolled and reasonable audience members are already in the parking lot.
How to use it: At the end of a long day, or a long party.

Blame Tom Ehrenfeld for this post, which I'm only making because this quotation is so perfect for it.

How's everybody doing? Miss me? Yeah, I miss you, too. Really, I do, which worries me.

Greetings from Cambridge, where Kate had several authors signing last night. Yesterday was also the Feast of St. Clare --so afterwards, I walked around the corner and ate a lot of Indian food, which is hard to find in central Maine. (Brunswick has an Indian restaurant, but I haven't been there.)

Just for those of you who were checking in, here's What I've Read this Month. See how it goes when I'm not blogging?

Sandra Balzo, Uncommon Grounds. Wisconsin divorcee Maggy Thorsen opens her new coffee shop for its first day of business, and finds her business partner electrocuted on the floor in front of the espresso machine. Like so many first novels, this one needed one last rewrite; the storytelling improves dramatically from the first chapters to the end, and the book ends strongly. Fans of Diane Mott Davidson's Goldy Bear series will like this one.

Elizabeth Benedict, The Practice of Deceit. Eric Lavender is arrested on charges of child molestation during the course of a vicious divorce proceeding. His wife happens to be a divorce lawyer; as Eric tells the story of their courtship and marriage, and how he wound up in jail, the book itself changes from social drama to psychological thriller. I bought this book last night and finished it before morning, which should tell you all you need to know.

Ken Bruen, The Killing of the Tinkers. I read this book a couple of years ago, but felt the need to look at it again before voting on the Anthonys. Ex-Garda Jack Taylor returns to Galway on a major cocaine binge, and reluctantly agrees to investigate a series of murders among the Travellers. Bruen's novels hang somewhere between poetry and prose, terribly dark and terribly compassionate for all of us who do terrible things.

Edward Conlon, Blue Blood. This memoir of life in the NYPD got a lot of attention when it came out, because Conlon is a Harvard graduate -- but he makes it clear that his career choice was hardly an aberration, and barely even eccentric. Conlon comes from a long line of New York law enforcement officials and firefighters, and sees his work as a vocation. Over the course of some 600 pages, Conlon covers everything from the Irish-American experience to the intricacies of the New York legal system. It's the best book about police work I've ever read, and will stand as cultural history for decades to come.

Lee Goldberg, The Man With the Iron-On Badge. Due out in late September/early October, this is a violent, often crude, sometimes hilarious and ultimately touching homage to the Gold Medal paperbacks of the 1950s and 1960s. Harvey Mapes is a loser working a dead-end job -- security guard for a gated community in a Los Angeles suburb -- when one of the community's residents asks him to trail his wife. With all the knowledge Harvey's gained from a lifetime of "The Rockford Files" and Travis McGee novels, he uncovers a blackmailing plot, a murder, and a tragic set of family secrets. Goldberg manages to get the tone just right, never treating his characters' sorrows with less respect than they deserve.

J.A. Konrath, Whiskey Sour. Chicago police lieutenant Jack (short for Jacqueline) Daniels and her partner chase down a sadistic killer who calls himself The Gingerbread Man. The violence in this novel was too graphic for my sister Kathy, who had to put it down; I didn't think any of it felt gratuitous, and Konrath has my great respect for his ability to write a female first-person narrator so convincingly. This is a series I'll keep reading.

Roberta Isleib, Putt to Death. Professional golfer Cassie Burdette takes a job as a pro at an old and exclusive club in Connecticut. Almost immediately, she gets embroiled in a campaign to increase the rights of women in the club -- and starts finding the corpses of the club's most controversial members. The mystery side of things gets resolved a little abruptly, but the book is full of fascinating information about sports psychology and the mechanics of a golf tour.

M. J. Rose, The Halo Effect. Sex therapist Dr. Morgan Snow investigates the disappearance of one of her clients, a high-priced call girl, and consults with the NYPD on a series of brutal killings whose victims are costumed as nuns. Lurid, but well-done -- or well-done, but lurid -- not the kind of thing I usually read, so that's a benefit of working my way through the Anthony nominations list.

Happy birthday today to the ageless Mikki Ansin, and many happy returns of the day.

Now I really am gone...

3 comments:

Madley said...

Oh, such a welcome surprise to "see" you again! Come back soon...

Running from my House said...

Do you have a log of all the books you read?- i'm thinking about starting one, and wanted your opinion.

AnswerGirl said...

I kept a running list for about ten years, but it fell by the wayside a year or two ago. It's handy, especially if you read a lot of series fiction or books by the same author. I started mine after I bought the third copy (in paperback, fortunately) of an Elmore Leonard novel I'd already read twice.

I should start keeping track more closely again. The blog's been useful for that, but I've omitted a couple of books I've read that were just dreadful, to spare the guilty. Even parents of ugly children are proud...