July 27, 2010

The Girl Who Played With Fire

July 27, 2010

Unless you’ve been on a remote island during the last year, you’ve certainly read about Stieg Larsson’s Millennial trilogy, a publishing phenomenon.

The books star computer hacker extraordinaire Lisbeth Salander, who has a brain at least twice the size of her eighty-eight pound body, and investigative reporter and Lisbeth’s sometime partner in solving crimes, Mikael Blomkvist. Like Blomkvist, Larsson was a middle-aged journalist. The author succumbed to a heart attack in 2004 before any of his books hit the stores—every writer’s nightmare, to die right before a mammoth payday.

July 25, 2010

Crossing the Pond

July 25, 2010

I had lunch the other day with a close friend who is going to England next month. Cruise lines are desperate for passengers, so she and her husband are sailing on the Queen Mary 2, instead flying on an overcrowded plane. Kind of a no-brainer, since the difference in fares is minimal.

“You’re in good company,” I said. “Even as we speak, P.D. James is headed to New York on the QM2.”

July 20, 2010


July 20, 2010

This past weekend, courtesy of my DVR, I revisited a gem from 1975, the year that produced “Jaws,” “One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and a couple of my all-time favorites, “The Man Who Would Be King” and “Hester Street.”

The movie is called “Smile” and satirizes the fictional Young American Miss Beauty Pageant that blows into Santa Rosa, California each summer. The contestants, including a teenaged Melanie Griffith and an equally young Annette O’Toole, are nearly as jaded as the men who leer at them throughout.

July 18, 2010

Curling Up With a Good Book

July 17, 2010

When I taught college and my students asked me how to get a better grade on their writing assignments, I replied, “Read good books.”

Not something most people do these days. A professor friend of mine requires her students to fill out a questionnaire at the beginning of each term. She asks them to write down something about themselves other people don’t know. One student answered—big secret, don’t tell anyone—, “I read books.”

July 12, 2010

Mid-August Lunch

July 13, 2010

Here in Columbus, we manage to get some rather obscure independent and foreign films, thanks in part to the Wexner Center for the Arts that operates a theater on the Ohio State University campus, as well as the Gateway Film Center a few blocks to the south.

This past Saturday, my husband and I took a chance on “Mid-August Lunch” at the on-campus theater. Our experience there has been pretty mixed. We always sit close to the fire exit to beat a quiet but hasty retreat from what’s simply unwatchable. That happens approximately half the time. As for the rest, the offerings range from the not-intolerable to the downright wonderful.

July 11, 2010

Anne Frank Gets Graphic

July 11, 2010

Like thousands of young girls in the fifties and sixties, I worshiped Anne Frank. I can’t honestly say how many times I read her diary. Tucked away in my quiet bedroom in boring old Dayton, Ohio, I imagined myself pacing her attic, arguing with her mother, staring down the awful dentist Dussell, pining for Peter.

July 5, 2010

Fractally Speaking

July 5, 2010

This is a picture of my grandson Joshua during his recent visit to Space Center Houston. Note the muscle shirt. Apparently, a boy can be a rabid Ohio State football fan and aspire to be an astronaut.

Or maybe not. Right after this photo was taken, my daughter reported that Joshua screamed, “Get me out of this thing!”