Friday, April 14, 2006


Who uses it: Catholics (and Episcopalians, and Lutherans)
What it means: "The Way of the Cross," a prayer service that meditates on 14 events ("stations") that led to the crucifixion of Jesus.
How you can use it: On Good Friday, in particular.

It's not as if I have the world's most active social life, but I still managed to be at a dinner party in Freeport during the most exciting thing to happen in Gardiner in some time: a moose! Walking right through my neighborhood!

The moose wandered into town late Wednesday afternoon, and was in my neighborhood a little before sunset. Yesterday morning, he (I assume it was a he, but I don't know that for sure) had reportedly gotten stuck in the mud up by the high school.

What's ironic about this is that Anna, Jen, Anna's friend Martha and I had all been reassuring Anna's friend Wendy, a recent transplant from northern Virginia, that moose sightings are few and far between -- especially in suburban Portland, where Wendy lives.

Dizzy was home alone on Wednesday night, so he might well have seen or smelled the moose... but he's not telling.

What I Read This Week

Joe Keenan, My Lucky Star. A wacky caper novel about a playwright who gets his big chance at Hollywood -- in exchange for doing some dirty work for an Oscar-winning actress and her action-hero son, who happens to be a deeply closeted homosexual. Entertaining, but not as funny as I wanted it to be -- maybe because it didn't really seem that far-fetched.

Stuart MacBride, Cold Granite. I'm late to this novel, which was one of the most critically-acclaimed debuts of 2005; all the praise is well-deserved. Aberdeen Detective Sergeant Logan, back on the job after a life-threatening injury, hunts a serial killer of children while an unknown colleague leaks critical information to the press. Cold Granite is a sharp, compassionate police procedural, and MacBride manages to use many of the genre's conventions without ever falling into cliché.

Ross Macdonald, The Barbarous Coast. It's embarrassing, but I'd never read a Ross Macdonald novel until about two years ago. Now I am working my way slowly through the Lew Archer series, because there aren't that many of them, and I don't want to finish them too fast. In this book, one of the earlier entries, Archer looks for a missing wife and finds a snarl of blackmail and murder in Malibu.

Janet Evanovich, Eleven on Top. The Stephanie Plum novels started following a formula several books ago: Stephanie sleeps with her longtime beau, Joe Morelli; flirts with her colleague, Ranger; and gets several cars blown up. Her Grandma Mazur causes trouble at the funeral home, her mother makes pineapple upside-down cake, and wackiness ensues. I picked this up from the New Releases table at the library, read it in one sitting, and remembered why I stopped reading this series a while back.

Edward Wright, Red Sky Lament. This third book in Wright's John Ray Horn series is available only through Wright's UK publisher, Orion, and that's a shame, because it's terrific. Horn used to be Sierra Lane, star of B-Westerns; now he collects debts for his former sidekick, Joseph Mad Crow, and looks into problems for friends. This time, an old flame wants John Ray's help in clearing her father's name from accusations of Communist sympathies; but the father winds up dead, and John Ray finds that some people are willing to use politics to pursue their personal goals.


Tom Ehrenfeld said...

I read My Lucky Star about a month ago, while I was recovering from a fever, and really wanted to like the book but really didn't. It aspired to repartee and to wit; and failed. To wit I can't say since I don't have my book any longer.....

Also, there's so many great books set in LA...this just didn't make the grade.

AnswerGirl said...

I felt the same way, but didn't want to be as blunt about it... it reminded me of how hard it is to write comedy. Paul Rudnick and Bruce Wagner do it much better.