Monday, February 16, 2009

Facebook Friends

I really enjoy playing Mah Jongg which is an Asian tile game similar to gin rummy. Watch this video and check out the web site World Mah Jong Tour, print the rules, then join me for a game.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Salon: Bound For Murder

A fun, light murder mystery set in New Orleans. How appropriate just hours from Mardi Gras! Laura Childs the author, has written a Scrapbooking Mystery series set in New Orleans, the Tea Shop Mysteries series which appear to be set in Charleston, SC and the Cackleberry Club Mysteries. This book was so much fun, I can't wait to check out more of her books.

Carmela, owner of a local scrap booking shop, tends to be pretty handy at helping out her friends with business issues and solving problems. As the story opens, a dinner party in honor of Wren and Jamie, about to be married, is taking place at Bon Tiempe, better known to locals as Bon Ton. Just before dinner is to be served, Ava, proprietor of Juju Voodoo, discovers the groom-to-be, murdered in the restaurant office. Since Jamie is the beloved owner of the local bookshop, a lovable and popular guy, his death could only be the result of a "robbery gone bad" according to the hasty police report. Carmela doesn't buy it and is determine to learn more about Jamie's mysterious childhood, discover why a local rare book collector is so anxious to force Wren (Jamie's fiance) to sell HIM the book store, why does Blaine Taylor, Jamie's disreputable business partner keep showing up and there's the ex-fiance that Wren never knew about! There has to be more to this than a random mishap from a robbery gone bad.

I'm a bit partial to NO, and love reading a novel which includes so many familiar places. I look forward to getting back and learning more about the city and can't wait until Jazz Fest. Mmmm... Laura, are any of your mysteries based around Jazz Festival? Must look into that! However, Laura Childs does a beautiful job incorporating local color with her characters and the settings in this book. Great characters - I'd love to meet them - they sound like loads of fun.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday Salon

Just opening a book by Harry Bernstein called The Invisible Wall. New York Times wrote an article about Mr. Bernstein, who at age 96 authored this book. This book was also featured in the International Herald Tribune. It really sounds like a book I need to read. The following review is from Random House publishers.
“There are places that I have never forgotten. A little cobbled street in a smoky mill town in the North of England has haunted me for the greater part of my life. It was inevitable that I should write about it and the people who lived on both sides of its ‘Invisible Wall.’ ”

The narrow street where Harry Bernstein grew up, in a small English mill town, was seemingly unremarkable. It was identical to countless other streets in countless other working-class neighborhoods of the early 1900s, except for the “invisible wall” that ran down its center, dividing Jewish families on one side from Christian families on the other. Only a few feet of cobblestones separated Jews from Gentiles, but socially, it they were miles apart.

On the eve of World War I, Harry’s family struggles to make ends meet. His father earns little money at the Jewish tailoring shop and brings home even less, preferring to spend his wages drinking and gambling. Harry’s mother, devoted to her children and fiercely resilient, survives on her dreams: new shoes that might secure Harry’s admission to a fancy school; that her daughter might marry the local rabbi; that the entire family might one day be whisked off to the paradise of America.

Then Harry’s older sister, Lily, does the unthinkable: She falls in love with Arthur, a Christian boy from across the street.

When Harry unwittingly discovers their secret affair, he must choose between the morals he’s been taught all his life, his loyalty to his selfless mother, and what he knows to be true in his own heart.

A wonderfully charming memoir written when the author was ninety-three, The Invisible Wall vibrantly brings to life an all-but-forgotten time and place. It is a moving tale of working-class life, and of the boundaries that can be overcome by love.