Entertainment

Summer Reading!

There’s something about Summer that cries out for a supply of good books… the kind that I carry with me from room to room, the kind that I’ll take with me when I leave the house, to make use of any spare minutes in the day.  A couple of weeks ago, my mother loaned me one by an author I wasn’t familiar with; I’m smitten, and won’t stop until I’ve finished everything he’s written.

The Quiet Game, by Greg Iles, is a legal thriller in the style of John Grisham.  But, it’s also about grief, about love, about the sanctity of family and community.  Uncomfortable topics like race and the deep South interweave with Penn Cage’s effort to recover from the death of his young wife, caring for his four-year old daughter, and going home to Natchez, Mississippi.

I don’t want to spoil it, but the drama that follows in Natchez is one that kept me up reading late at night until the last page was finished.  I ordered the next one, from Amazon, within five minutes of finishing The Quiet Game.

What’s different about Greg Iles is that his books are not all of the same genre; I first read Third Degree, which is a thriller, but not at all the same as The Quiet Game.  I recently listened to The Footprints of God, with almost a science-fiction sheen on the tale.  24 Hours is in the mail, so I have a few days of productivity before the next distraction arrives.  Iles’ first two novels are historical fiction, set in WWII.

“Summer reading” sounds like an assignment, but for me, it’s a vacation in place.

The great thing about kids is…

… the things we learn from them.

Delta introduced me to the concept that one doesn’t "turn" the next year older until birthday cake is consumed.  I haven’t aged in a decade or so, having assiduously avoided birthday cake ever since.

Alpha, immersed in college culture, has tipped me off to several really good TV series this year.  I don’t usually watch much TV, so something good may come on, and I never know.  But, she called a few weeks ago to tell me that I ought to watch Fringe — sort of an updated version of X-Files, but with better acting.

And, since I’d already missed the pilot and a couple of episodes, she pointed me to Hulu, where you can watch missed episodes of almost anything online.

Over Thanksgiving break, she got me hooked on Prison Break, which has been on for a few seasons now.  Of course, only this season’s episodes are on the show’s website, so Alpha clued me in to another resource: SurfTheChannel.  There, I can go back to the very first season, and watch them online to my heart’s content.

On SurfTheChannel, the Megavideo selections are the highest quality, but they set a time limit per day on how much you can watch without joining (for a fee).   The Sina.com clips are the next best in quality, and allow unlimited daily viewing without signing up for anything.  The only downside is the Japanese subtitles, but I can live with it.

It’s Tuesday night, 8 p.m., and I’m off to watch House on realtime TV.