Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Locations

I just finished reading Harry Dolan's Bad Things Happen, a murder mystery set in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was fantastic - well paced, realistic, and complex.


Mostly irrelevant Ann Arbor photo
It was also set in a town I deeply love, which made it that much more fun to read. I could picture the spot on Main Street where characters met for coffee. I could pick out actual houses for the various characters' homes. I could imagine the trails in the Arboretum where they walked.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Autumn Reading List

I’ve been alerted to the start of school by the crossing guard at my street corner and the waves of tiny children with neon-bright backpacks streaming past my front door. The beginning of the academic year makes me want to branch out from my usual detective fiction set in small British villages. I love spending afternoons curled up on the couch with a book, and to that end, here are a few recommendations to read with a mug of hot cider.:




The Crimson Rooms by Katharine McMahon 

Set in London in the 1920s, this novel manages to combine mystery, family drama, and history in an effective and evocative story. Meredith and a young boy arrive on Evelyn Gifford’s doorstep one late night, claiming to be her younger brother’s fiancé and son. Evelyn’s brother was killed during WWI, and the young boy’s striking resemblance persuades her to invite them to stay with her family. Meredith's motives for seeking out the Gifford family are unclear, and possibly more damaging than they realize. Meanwhile, Evelyn has recently begun working as one of the few female lawyers in London. Her small firm takes the case of a veteran accused of killing his new wife during a picnic. The story not only gains momentum through the personal and legal mysteries Evelyn confronts, but through its thoughtful exploration of post-war England and the entire country’s sense of loss.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is the best love story I've seen in years

<Some spoilers>

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty isn't billed as a love story. It's an adventure story, a travel story, a story of leaving home. Within the first scene, I thought I could guess the rest of the movie. Walter (Ben Stiller) would set out, have adventures, become interesting, and then Cheryl (Kristin Wiig) would fall in love with him because he was no longer boring.


After watching this movie, I began researching airfare to Reykjavik.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Love That Dirty Water

The first hints of spring and autumn always make me miss New England. Since 2007 I've spent a few summers in Massachusetts, but I effectively moved away when I was eighteen. While Michigan does have beautiful landscapes and Chicago has a lakefront, these seasons make me wish I was back on the beach in Ipswich, debating between fried clams or fish and chips for lunch. It's one of the many reasons I hesitate when answering the question "Where are you from?" when it comes up overseas. "Well, I live in Chicago, but I grew up outside Boston..."

A Dunkin Donuts ad? I must be in Boston.
With that, I give you the top five reasons I will pretty much always identify as a New Englander:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Pieces

After a long hiatus from writing, I've finally gotten back on the wagon!  Main Street just published two pieces of mine about wedding planning. 

Wedding Budget Relativity
Because after two years of planning a wedding, I've stopped flinching when someone tells me that a bouquet costs upwards of $150. For this, I got to interview Elizabeth Clayton, a Bay Area wedding planner whose Get Sh*t Done articles on A Practical Wedding have contributed significantly to my sanity in planning this whole thing.

Financially Illogical Wedding Traditions That I Still Can't Avoid
I got to interview Meg Keene, the founder and editor-in-chief of my favorite wedding blog.  I'm hoping it wasn't too obvious that I was ridiculously excited.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wedding Planning vs. Backpacking

I have been planning our wedding since March 2012, so it's been a while.  In that time, I have managed to find my way through many, many wedding blogs.  Since this will be the most expensive event I've ever planned, I usually click through websites that include advice on how to save money.  Some are great - did you know you can dress up a grocery store cake into something pretty fancy?  Even though picking our bakery (maybe five months too early?) has been one of my favorite parts of planning so far, I love reading through posts like this.

Making our cake tasting even better, we got samples to take home.
Other websites quickly leave me feeling inadequate.  For every gorgeous featured wedding, there's another wedding that was just as beautiful and cost half the price.  On a post about a $10,000 wedding for 100 people, there's an internet commenter saying, "$10,000?  My 200 person wedding only cost $5,000 and we served a seven-course meal with fresh-caught lobster."  For every $5,000 lobster-filled wedding, there's an internet commenter saying, "You spent that much on one day, you idiot?  I fed my 300-guest wedding with $20 and a box of saltines!  And they all said it was the best wedding they'd ever been to!"  This race to the bottom leaves me with the constant fear that I am behind on my research.  Clearly if one vendor's prices look good, I must have missed the other guy whose prices are even better, plus he'll throw in a puppy for the day.   

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Educational TV

Watching TV with Eric has been a learning experience.  Any program or movie we watch that has anything to do with law, legal issues, or lawyers results in a seminar-length lecture for me on what the show has done right or, more likely, completely made up.  Let me give you a few examples (plot spoilers ahead):

Eric got a mocha and saw Avengers on the same night in Malaysia. 
It was a big day.