Hi everyone. Thanks for stopping by to check on me. I had an excellent reading week. It makes me say – “This is why I read.”
I’ve just finished reading what is – so far – one of the best books I’ve read this year: A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles. I’m not the only one who feels this way. This was a book club choice and, for the first time in a long time, every member of our book club felt as I did. I was surprised at this because we pride ourselves on our variety of opinions on books.
What made me and members of my book club love this book so much? Its simple. Its the incredible character at the center of the novel – the gentleman in Moscow. Count Alexander Rostov has been put on House Arrest at the Metropole Hotel. The only thing he has done wrong is to be born an aristocrat. But then, its 1922 and the Bolsheviks are in charge, so what can he do?
The Metropole Hotel in Moscow is a real hotel.
The Count no longer has his luxurious suite. Instead he is given an extremely small room in the attic. But with all the insults he received, the Count makes almost an instinctively choice about his attitude and on how he will continue to live his life. Reading this novel now, for me, came at just the right time. I do pay attention to politics and I’ve been seriously worried about the character of some of our leaders. Meeting Alexander Rostov, a man with incredible integrity, kindness, and honor made the difference for me. It was terrific to spend so much time (18 hours on audio) with the Count. It reminded me that, yes, no matter where they are or their circumstances, there will always be people of good character. Thanks to the author Amor Towles for introducing the Count to us.
I also read Song Of The Lion by Anne Hillerman. This is the third novel by Anne Hillerman in her Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee series started by her late father, Tony Hillerman. I’m really enjoying this continuing series. The characters and the landscape is still the same, but there are slight changes – at least I think so. The novels seem to focus more on Manuelita, Jim Chee’s wife. We are at least seeing more of Manuelita’s interior life.
Song Of the Lion opens when Manuelito hears a bomb going off outside a school gym while she is attending a local basketball game. Mamuelito manages to get help in controlling the crowd, getting emergency help, and the F.B.I.’s bomb squad. Only one person was killed and no injuries. Who is the dead guy and was he the bomber or just an innocent bystander?
As Manuelito works on this case she finds a link to something her husband Jim is working on. Jim has been assigned to do body guard service for a man who is leading the mediation team of people who want to develop a resort at the Grand Canyon and all those who oppose it. Someone wants him dead. Along the way we get a good look at what’s happening in that special world of New Mexico/Arizona. It was an enjoyable visit.
One of the other things I’ve been doing is watching Iron Chef Gauntlet for a couple of months now. Sunday will be the final show in the current series to see if Chef Stephanie Izard can survive the “guantlet” of cooking against three of the premium Iron Chefs. She’s already beat seven other chefs to have this chance. For me it’s fun to see how and what these amazings cooks will cook and serve during a limited time slot. Stephanie’s cooking has been very creative and she seems to keep her cool. I’m pulling for her to make it.
That’s it for me this week. I hope you’ve had a good week too.