Red Chair Listens: Masquerade

I used to be able to read and knit, but I have become much less capable of multitasking as I age.  DH says that’s because humans were never meant to multitask, and he can point to many studies that show that people who claim to be good at multitasking are in fact deluding themselves.  Anyway.  These days I listen and knit:  BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra, Librivox (very uneven quality), audiobooks.  The more interesting the book, the less I knit; the multitasking rule apparently still applies.

Our local library has a decent selection of downloadable audio books  and sometimes I take a chance on someone I have never read.  The latest listen was Walter Satterthwait’s Masquerade, set in 1920s Paris and starring Pinkerton detectives Phil Beaumont and Jane Turner.  As a rule I don’t go in much for historical fiction, mainly because I tend to be fairly stringent about historical truth, so the whole idea of “historical fiction” seems an oxymoron.  But once in a while, I get sucked in when a writer does his research and knows how to write.  Masquerade was a fun romp until it started getting bogged down in its own wittiness — which fortunately did not happen until about 3/4 of the way through.  I don’t know if my impatience was because of the actual writing or because of the narration; I suspect it was both.  The name dropping (Hemingway!  Gertrude Stein!  Scott and Zelda! ), the caricatures, the knowing references — they became just a little too twee, spun on just a little too long.  So much cleverness, then deflation, and an ending that left me thinking, “Really?  Why bother?”


CSA Share Week 23:  collard greens, kale, broccoli, onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, acorn squash, butternut squash, leeks, eggs

Recipes:  Three Sisters soup (Hopi black beans, Mexican red beans, onion, leeks, butternut squash, collard greens, corn), roasted vegetables

CSA Share Week 22: white cauliflower, purple cauliflower, collard greens, broccoli, onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, turnips, butternut squash, green onions (gave away), flat leaf parsley, eggs

Recipes: steamed broccoli, roasted vegetables, cauliflower marranca (from Mollie Katzen: Moosewood Cookbook)

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