Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Carole Lombard enjoying two of my favorite things
WWW.WEDNESDAY is back! To participate, and to see how others responded, click here.

1. What are you currently reading? Mother by Linda Ann Rentschler. A novel described by Goodreads like this: "Mary Sullivan, wife and mother of two teen boys has been mourning the death of her mother for five years. When she meets Cathy, a young salesclerk at a luncheonette in town who suffers the tragic loss of her own mother, Mary befriends her and the two women help each other heal and move forward."
Just cracked this one open, so I have little to say about it. EXCEPT I can't for the life of me remember how I came to own it. My copy is a pristine hardcover, published back in 2007. Was it a gift? Did I buy it? Did I borrow it and forget to return it? (I don't think so, it looks brand new.)

2. What did you recently finish reading? Three Witnesses by Rex Stout. I really loved this anthology. Because it's a Nero Wolfe book, the stories are all murder mysteries. But more then guessing whodunnit, I enjoyed the storytelling and the setting. Manhattan of the mid-1950s. Before cellphones and voicemail, when people used phone booths and answering services. Girls came to New York to be actresses and settled for being showgirls in supper clubs (until they could get a man to marry them and take them away from all this). Stout wrote this book in 1956, so it wasn't nostalgia when he wrote it but it does have a certain timecapsule feel to it -- capturing a moment when hairspray, nylons and white gloves were standard issue. 

The main characters are familiar to regular readers of the series: Wolfe is the enormous genius who raised orchids, loved beer, and had a powerful misanthropic streak. Archie Goodwin is his assistant and our narrator. Archie is an enterprising and wisecracking bachelor with an appreciative eye for the ladies. They live in a brownstone with their own housekeeper/chef and on-site gardener. Why is a gardener required in a Manhattan brownstone? To tend to the orchids, of course. The top floor is devoted to the Wolfe's award-winning orchids, which he spends time with every day. 

Rex Stout created this quirky, funny collection of characters back in the 1930s and I've been enchanted by just about every story in the series. This is later Wolfe, but Stout maintained the quality throughout.
3.  What will you read next? I don't know.