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Brief review. Strange Shores: An Inspector Erlendur Novel by Arnaldur Indridason

Strange Shores: An Inspector Erlendur Novel (An Inspector Erlendur Series) by Arnaldur Indridason

The latest in the Inspector Erlendur series by Indridason. These setting for these books is Iceland. The previous ones primarily take place in Reykjavík. This takes place in the eastern part of Iceland, in the rural area where Erlendur grew up and lost his brother in a snowstorm. The previous books have a backdrop of Erlendur’s concern and depression related to having been lost in blizzard with his brother and father. He and his father were found, but never a trace of his brother. This may be the last book in this series as Erlendur resolves this issue.

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Interview of Oliver on The Blog That Celebrates Itself

APtBS posterA long interview of Oliver by a fan who really loves A Place to Bury Strangers. The Blog That Celebrates Itself: Exploding Heads with A Place to Bury Strangers – An Interview.

Another good, long interview of Oliver. “my first memories are actually moving to Virginia where I grew up with very loving parents and a brother that I get along with very well.”

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Selected sites from Internet Scout Report, August 7, 2015.

Thyme in garden at home, Stafford, VA The Internet Scout is an excellent, long standing publication on the Web. It has been published every Friday since 1994. Each week a number of sites are reviewed. The emphasis is often on sites that are appropriate for research. Here are a few from the August 7, 2015 report.

  • The Webby Awards

    ·http://www.webbyawards.com/winners/2015/

    The Internet is big. Really big. In fact, as of the time of this writing, there are over 900 million websites to navigate on the World Wide Web. So how do you choose the best, the most innovative, the most useful, the most beautiful? Every year, the Webby Awards does just that. Readers will find much to explore on the Webby Awards’ website. The site can be scouted by category, including Special Achievement, Websites, Online Film & Video, Advertising & Media, Mobile Sites & Apps, and Social. Within each category, awards are meted out by subcategory. For instance, within Websites, there are awards for Art, Best use of Photography, Best User Experience, and many others. For a trip down memory lane, the site can also be searched by year, all the way back to 1997. While not all winners of the Webby Awards are equally academic, there are plenty of interesting and educational website recommendations for Scout Readers on the site. [CNH]

  • Community Service Society Photographs

    ·http://css.cul.columbia.edu/

    With almost 1,400 images ranging from the 1880s to the 1950s, the Community Service Society Photographs at Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library “offer representations of urban poverty, unsafe tenement housing, inadequate hygiene in public areas, and other pressing social issues in late-19th and early-20th century New York.” Readers may like to begin with the Featured Topics tab, where they can explore the collection through categories such as Children, Girls, Boys, Women, Men, Interiors, Buildings, House Furnishings, and Streets. In addition, the Places tab offers images from over two dozen locations, with the bulk of them orbiting the Lower East Side, Red Hook, Saugerties, and Little Italy. Readers may also scout the dozens of Topics, which include everything from Abandoned Buildings to Memorials to Plumbing. [CNH]

  • The Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments

    ·http://imaginaryinstruments.org/

    In the Museum of Imaginary Musical Instruments – which exists only online, under a Creative Commons license – readers will find a panoply of imaginative inventions, from the Torturetron (from the film script of the Adventures of Baron Munchausen) to Les Paul’s Les Paulverizer. Readers may like to begin with the About section, which includes a fascinating exegesis of the site’s undergirding assumptions, before moving on to the exhibitions. These include spectacles in the general categories of Abstract Resonators, Acousmatic Instruments, Auditory Extensions, Giganticism, and others. Each instrument is accompanied by the textual or visual reference from which it was drawn and a concomitant image or explanation. This imaginative site must be seen to be believed. [CNH]

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Brief review. The Minotaur’s Head: An Inspector Mock Investigation by Marek Krajewski

The Minotaur’s Head: An Inspector Mock Investigation by Marek Krajewski

One of the cover reviews stated that this is “as noir as it gets.” No objection to that assessment. An interesting, but dark, male view of the world in Poland of the 1930s. There’s a mystery to be solved about a sordid murder. he investigators are conservative, but typical white collar operatives, men with large appetites for women, food, and drink. Some of the scenes in the story take place in Lwow, Poland and include many of the mathematicians of that famous school of mathematicians, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lw%C3%B3w_School_of_Mathematics . Names I learned in graduate school and whose work I studied tangentially – Mazur, Banach, Ulam, and Kac. I’m looking forward to reading other books by Krajewiski

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Brief review. The Last Taxi Ride: A Ranjit Singh Novel by A. X. Ahmad

The Last Taxi Ride: A Ranjit Singh Novel by A. X. Ahmad

Taking place in New York City we’er led through the lives of the emigre Indian and Pakistani population. This view of NY was unknown to me, but Ahmad makes it entirely plausible as well as presenting a story that contains suspense and danger with what I’d say is a Bollywood flair. It was an interesting read, although the mystery was solvable and knowable to the reader, but that is a certain style of story telling, isn’t it?

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Brief review. The Boy in the Snow: An Edie Kiglatuk Mystery by M. J. McGrath

The Boy in the Snow: An Edie Kiglatuk Mystery by M J McGrath

This is the 2nd in the series of three books by M. J. McGrath that I’ve read. This one has several of the same characters as the others – Edie Kiglatuk and Derek Palliser. This one takes place in Alaska – far south of Edie’s home. It nicely involves the tensions of religious freedom, property development, and politics. A nice addition to the series.

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Brief review. I Can See in the Dark by Karin Fossum

I Can See in the Dark by Karin Fossum

The character described in this book is likable, mentally ill, dangerous, and pathetic. Ms Fossum has done an excellent job of describing this person and his actions, from his point of view. In his words and through his feelings and rationalizations. Now to read more of her books!

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Brief review. The Miniaturist: A Novel by Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist: A Novel by Jessie Burton

The end of the 1600s in Amsterdam, its power beginning to wane. A very interesting view into a relatively short period of a new wife arriving into a well-established and affluent household with its rules and secrets. There are many rules and one fundamental secret! Nicely written and nice to read. I’m looking forward to reading other books by Ms. Burton when they become available.

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Brief review. The Bone Seeker: An Edie Kiglatuk Mystery (Edie Kiglatuk Mysteries) by M. J. McGrath

The Bone Seeker: An Edie Kiglatuk Mystery (Edie Kiglatuk Mysteries) by M. J. McGrath

The third in McGrath’s series of mysteries featuring Edie Kiglatuk and Derek Pallister. Edie is the primary protagonist. They both live in the Canadian Arctic. She is a private citizen who often works as a teacher or guide. He is a regional policeman and in this story she is hired as his deputy. In the background is the independence and resourcefulness of the local peoples and the disregard for their rights by the federal, Canadian authorities. This tale, as her others, has an interesting telling but it ends a little too neatly. Of course, all the bad people are punished or die and some good people die along the way, but it comes together at the end rather quickly with right and truth winning out over more powerful forces. I’ve read three of McGrath’s books and do look forward to reading another.

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Recipe for Beet & Orange salad

reflection in pond near Warsaw, VA Beets are in season now and we’ve been getting some great ones from Blenhiem Organic Gardens at the Fredericksburg Farmers Market.  Here’s a recipe for a salad of beets and oranges. It has a great marinade for the beets too.

Citrus Marinated Beet Salad : The Broken Bread Tried a variation of this tonight. Less dressing/marinade with mozzarella, fennel fronds, and pumpkin seeds. Very good.

 

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