Tag Archive | Sherlock Holmes

House of Silk: book review

If you are a Sherlock Holmes fan, I highly recommend House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz. I am a little over halfway and am enjoying immensely–much, much more than his disappointing Moriarty. In fact, I am enjoying it so much that I want to go back and read all of Doyle’s original stories again, and the two Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr., as well as the fun BBC Sherlock series with Benedict Cumberbatch (still the best name ever). Holmes and Watson are simply the best detective duo ever written. Although I adore Agatha Christie’s Poirot, there’s something about these two characters. They are such men of action and really funny as well. House of Silk has a seal of approve from the Conan Doyle Estate, so Horowitz is certainly on the right track with this tale as far as they are concerned. Can’t wait to see how the story turns out.

Additional review: Kdrama Encounter (Boyfriend) is a unique Noona (older woman, younger man) romance starting out in Cuba of all places, and then, of course continuing back in Seoul. Not sure what to make of all these Noona romances they seem to be making lately. Here, Park Bo Gum’s Jin Hyeok is very sweet and naive, but is supposed to be twenty-nine or thirty, and because the actor himself is only twenty-five or so, he just comes across as very young. Add to that Jin Hyeok’s place as–shall we say not a chaebol (rich elite)–and you have a recipe for him simply bringing his older lady love (played by the beautiful Song Hye Kyo) more stress and trouble than she has already, as she will have to protect him continually. Now, the writers probably have something in store for him or the couple together to outwit the bad guys, but so far I’m skeptical. Loved the Cuba setting, though, and kinda hope they escape back there or something.

Happy reading and watching! –Pixie

Five Amusement Parks That Need to Be Built

1. The Floor Is Lava!!

openclipart.org

Most kids have played some version of this game since furniture was invented.  Basic idea: You can’t touch the floor, because it’s “lava” or “shark-infested waters” or whatever peril your kid-imagination invents.  Whoever makes it around the room or rooms without touching the floor wins.  Being that this game can torture sometimes costly furniture, it may not be too popular with moms…well, some moms.

This maybe would be an entire amusement park in itself, but one ride or challenge.  I’m imagining a huge floor area with moving lights underneath to make it look like lava, and odd-sized furniture for people to jump on.

2. The Amusement Park of Coffee.

Because everything is better with coffee.  Giant coffee bean chairs, scooters, or rafts.  An espresso machine ride that steams you at the end and dunks you in a cold pool of Frappuccino.  A haunted house made of coffee mugs called “The Ghosts of Grounds Past.”  Coffee filter lily pads that float down a river of mocha.  Okay, maybe this should just be a room in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  Moving on…

3. New Technology Park.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a skating rink made of an iPad?  You could slide around on your bare feet and draw pictures or stomp your way through minesweeper!  And what about a cell phone house of mirrors?  The phones would not only warp your image but add fangs…or something.  Include a ferris wheel where the cars look like old school computer mice.

4. Lord of the Rings land.  Tolkien land.

Harry Potter has his own park, why not J.R.R.?  The Misty Mountain roller coaster.  The Smaug/Gandalf lights and fireworks show.  The quaint souvenir shops of Hobbiton.  The river barrel ride.  Gollum’s Cave.  The Dunharrow haunted caves.  The Elves’ tree houses.  Resist the One Ring in a giant magnetic obstacle course!  Fly on the wings of The Eagles!

5.  221B Baker Street.

Yes, an entire street of Sherlock Holmes attractions.  Upon entering you receive your “mystery” to solve and have to follow the clues through the gas-lit streets of old London.  Much like a murder mystery weekend, you can choose to be a detective, a policeman, a villain, an informant, etc.  Or, try your luck at hand fighting or shooting a perfect circle into a drawing room wall.  Test your skill at “rope” climbing on the giant violin.  Go sock skating on the magnifying glass rink. Hold tight to your hats on the Baskerville Hound ride of Terror!

 

Winter Reading

winter sceneMy favorite thing about winter is burrowing down into comfy blankets and reading the dark and cold away. Cozy detective stories are best, but I’ll take a heart-pounding romance too.  Cold and snow can be easy to hate, but I like the weather for one reason:  clarity of thought.

Being cold (not too cold, mind) makes my mind awake in ways that it never can be in other climates.  Okay, maybe it’s actually that I drink more coffee than usual, but whatever the reason, winter is my best thinking time, even during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  It’s also the time I do my biggest load of reading, and often books that I wouldn’t think of touching during summer.  Here are some of my long list of winter reading for this year (I never get through them all):

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones — Been wanting to read this for awhile after seeing the imaginative Miyazaki movie a long time ago.

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol — Had to read this one in college and at the time I mostly skimmed it and would like to go back for a deeper read.  The topic seems fitting in this day and age when so many accusations fly around about citizens using dead people’s votes to make their own votes count twice.

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe — The book that inspired Jane Austen to write Northanger Abbey.  Enough said.

Gaudy Night by Dorthy L. Sayers — Mystery set at a woman’s college in Oxford in the 1930s.  Works well on its own or together with the “bookend” Lord Peter Death (yes, DEATH) Wimsey mysteries Strong Poison and Busman’s Honeymoon.

The Lutheran Confessions: A Reader’s Edition of the Book of Concord (Second Edition) — This is probably the most intimidating, as it often can be to really dig into one’s church and faith.  Also, studying matters of faith always challenges my world view, even if it’s only investigating the world view I already hold.  There’s something terrifyingly exciting about salvation.  It’s the ultimate story, the first story of the world, in my book.

Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg — This is an awesome winter read.  Smilla’s kind of hard to like at times, but it’s an enthralling mystery nonetheless.

Timber: Fire in the Pines by A.L. Sanderson — Ok, I have to put at least one romance on the list, and one about Lumberjacks set in Minnesnowta fits the bill.  Can’t say much about the story, as I haven’t read it yet, but the romantic hero’s name is Thor, yes, Thor, and Sarah, the female lead, ends up working at his lumberjack camp disguised as a boy.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dosteovsky — This is one of my all-time favorite reads.  Murderer Raskolnikov thinks of himself as a genius above the law, but the guilt of what he’s done claws at him the entire story.  Will he turn himself in or not?

What Alice Knew by Paula Marantz Cohen — This one I picked up on one of my long airport layovers a few years ago.  Haven’t seen it for sale since, but it’s a fun read even if it doesn’t really focus enough on the Alice solving the mystery.  Henry James, Jack the Ripper, Oscar Wilde — what’s not to like?

Scotland: the Autobiography by Rosemary Goring — All I have to say is this:  If you’ve never visited Scotland, especially Edinburgh and the Highlands, go the first chance you get.  The country is so atmospheric and chock full of story, it’s almost burdensome.

Tam Lin by Paula Dean — This book isn’t an easy read.  Based loosely on the Scottish ballad of the same name, the story follows college student Janet on her journey to battle the Queen of Faery to rescue her true love.  What the story really chronicles, though, is student life attending a small, Midwestern liberal arts college in the 1970s.  Though I attended college in the late 1990s-2000, many of the descriptions and moments the author describes still rang true for me.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle — Are there any better stories more suited to the fog, snow, and cold of winter?  Holmes is quirkier in the stories than he has ever been portrayed on film, and womanizer Watson cracks me up every time.

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