Books

My colleague Barbara was reading a book by Louise Penny for her book group. They were reading the first in the series, which makes sense. Alas, a much later volume was available at the "liberry" and I picked it up. It has been interesting to read them out of sequence, but this last one, "Glass Houses," is waiting for a fabulous director to make a movie.

Inspector Gamache has been appointed to the head of all the security in Canada. He has had all department heads turn in their appraisal of the status of the legal system. The premise of the book is that law has lost to the many drug pushers, addicts, and, most of all, organized crime. It makes for a gripping novel. And, not to give away too much, but the wonderful town of Three Pines is involved in this dreadful problem.

I respect those who read non-fiction primarily. My love of fiction is that any situation from settling a colony on Mars to considering family dynamics may be explored with impunity. It is rather like watching an animated film in which it is obvious no one will be hurt versus car crashes with real actors. Although we are told stunt doubles are crashing the vehicles, there is always the possibility of harm. In this novel a new drug arrives in nesting dolls from Russia that makes skin scaly, among other problems. Several characters have loved ones with addictions and Penny is great at describing the anguish. Three Pines is just over the Canadian border and an idyllic town but it is rumored a large fentanyl shipment will be coming through.

Her work has become much more polished. Another feature of this work is a trial of a killer. It is only in the latter of the sections in which she reveals who is being accused. As so often happens, I didn't guess right.

In the last book I read of Penny's she admits her husband, a well-known Canadian doctor, had dementia. In "Glass Houses" she thanks many people for their support. Her husband died. I am truly sorry.

In other news, others have reported having the same anxiety dream I have had: it is the end of the semester, I've forgotten to drop the math class, haven't attended, and now must take the final. In that same fashion now the proverbial clock is ticking and I must be choosing what I wish to pay a lot of money to ship across the country. Wouldn'tyaknow, books are a problem category.

Son Kirk, like Barbara, gets books from the "liberry" and said his goal is to not own any. Of course he (and many others) are right in some fashion since at this point in our society almost anything may be downloaded and read on a device. Portland has a major bookstore that is its own addiction. Powell's goes on forever and now Amazon is considering a bricks and mortar structure.

Even so, now I have more time to read...at least that's the theory. And I have all these books on hand....fodder for a new anxiety dream.

Kirk's realtor, Carol, has been sending images of real estate available. It is the inevitable conundrum. I'm supposed to be downsizing but the space to put all the books and treasures seems so important.

Years ago I didn't realize I would have a bunch of specialized doctors. I emailed Carol who sent me the name of the teaching hospital in Portland. A woman named Koi was delightful and help me get an account started so I may make appointments for

my six-month visits. When I thanked Carol she replied, "Welcome to Portland."

One of my specialists at Vanderbilt admitted he dreaded the computer upgrade the hospital is going to undertake this fall. I had hoped to get my data transferred before it disappears in the black hole.


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