Showing posts from February, 2012

The Icon Thief

I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. My review of it appears here and below:

This is a very well written book. It's really two books, a straight forward police procedural married to a more challenging narrative relating to a painting and its origins.

Either part alone would be a nice 3-star book, however the two combined with Nevala-Lee's skill make this a 4-star book. And when you add the wonderful ending, it's definitely 5-star.

The book begins by setting up the two parts with an art auction at Sotheby's for a recently discovered painting by Marcel Duchamp, Study for Etant donnés, and on the police procedural front a body is discovered under a boardwalk that had apparently been there for years.

The painting sells for 11 million, over 3 times the expected price, and that discrepancy fuels an investigation by art mutual fund researcher Maddy Blume that eventually turns tragic. This investigation drags Maddy through peculiar historical organizations and cults inc…

Musical References

I saw the following image on Facebook today.

Do you get the reference? I did but it took a few seconds. And today I saw a second musical reference that I also got.

The words "In every city and every nation from Lake Geneva to the Finland Station" appeared in a book I am reading, The Icon Thief. I immediately recognized the line as being from the song "West End Girls" by The Petshop Boys.

Why do I bring this up? Well, now that I'm older and no longer listening to current music---and truthfully I haven't for several decades now---I often don't get musical references anymore. Actually it's rare that I do. So when I got two pop references in one day---it struck me as quite surprising. Of course it helps that both references were to songs popular 30 years ago.

In case you're curious, the picture refers to the song "Puttin' on the Ritz" since it has Vladimir Putin's picture superimposed on a Ritz cracker.The song was written and publishe…

Lethal Valentine

I bought a dozen roses, a bottle of wine, and some ham yesterday. Since we're both sick (not sure if it's cold or flu) we didn't drink the wine yet but we'll go out to dinner tonight if our health allows. The poor snow-person below doesn't have that option. No heart = no going out.

It would be difficult to get more cynical than the person who created these snow folk... but it is an amusing picture with which to illustrate a St. Valentine's Day entry.

I wonder how the tradition of romantic love being associated with St Valentine's Day got started. I read the Wiki entry and according to it, there was a gap of over 1,000 years between the martyred saints (c. 197 AD - 267 AD) and the first known reference to Valentine's Day as a romantic time by Chaucer (Parlement of Foules) in 1382.

Maybe we'll have that wine tonight but I think a toast made with cough syrup is more likely. :-(

Parallel Universes

It seems like sometime recently I stepped from my familiar home, if you will, into a parallel universe. In this one Whitney Houston is a fulfilled person, known and beloved by all. This is a wonderful thing. Back in the universe that I spent most of my life she was an incredible talent that had an amazing debut album when she was 22, a pretty good followup album two years later and then just run of the mill stuff after that. Drug use and a poisonous marriage followed.

I'm very glad to now be in this gentler universe. I can't wait to see how other people are doing in their lives. I hope everyone is as improved as Ms Houston was. I did notice that all the tributes used songs from her first album though and not from music she created in the next 26 years of her life---so maybe things aren't as different as I might hope.