The Trip to Italy

The Trip to Italy

The Trip to Italy

A sequel (somewhat) to their earlier movie,The Trip (northern England), this culinary road trip through Italy staring comedians Steve Coogan (right in photo) and Rob Brydon is  delightfully silly.  (And what’s with men of a certain age and The Godfather references?!) With mouth-watering scenery and eats, Italy looks stupendous! I can’t wait to see where the guys go next!

Vertigo 42 by Martha Grimes

Vertigo 42 by Martha Grimes

Vertigo 42

The four-legged members of Melrose Plant’s  (a/k/a Lord Ardry and Superintendent Richard Jury’s civilian sidekick) household include a  horse named Aggrieved, a goat named Aghast, and a stray dog named Aggro (a/k/a Joey.)

The fact that all Plant’s pets have names beginning with Ag has nothing to do with the plot of Grimes’ latest whodunit, Vertigo 42, but it is one of the many delightfully quirky details that characterize Grimes’ novels. But beyond the quirks, Grimes delivers another satisfyingly knotty mystery featuring Richard Jury, his law enforcement sidekick, Detective Sergeant Alfred Wiggins, and a Staffordshire terrier named Stanley (a/k/a Agape.)

The Heir Apparent, A Life of Edward VII, The Playboy Prince by Jane Ridley

The Heir Apparent by Jane Ridley

The Heir Apparent by Jane Ridley

The Heir Apparent, A Life of Edward VII, The Playboy Prince by Jane Ridley 

Royals make the worst parents. Take poor Edward VII or Bertie as he was known to familiars.  Raised by aristocratic wolves, (his parents Queen Victoria and Prince Albert) Bertie was given a lousy education, zero encouragement, and no real responsibilities until he inherited the throne in late middle age.

Historians have treated Bertie no more kindly than his parents, but in her biography The Heir Apparent author Jane Ridley persuasively argues that Bertie was a better man and monarch than his detractors claim.  Continue reading

A Spy Among Friends by Ben Macintyre

A Spy Among Friends, Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal by Ben MacintyreA Spy Among Friends

I’m a big fan of the non-fiction works of Ben Macintyre, Operation Mincemeat and Double Cross, and his latest, A Spy Among Friends, doesn’t disappoint.

Ken Philby was one of the infamous Cambridge Five, a group of young men who were recruited by the Soviets while at university during the 1930’s. Philby went on to work for the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6 where he flourished for decades and successfully sabotaged dozens of British operations.

Philby’s charm, intelligence, and genius for subterfuge were instrumental to his success as double agent, but his membership in the old boys club, who exclusively populated the British foreign, colonial, and intelligence services in the mid-20thC made him unquestionably trustworthy. Even in light of overwhelming evidence of Philby’s treachery, his colleagues stood behind him. It was just unthinkable that “one of us” could so ruthlessly betray his country.

Like Macintyre’s earlier books, A Spy Among Friends reads like fiction—colorful characters and locales and surprising plot twists.  (For a fictionalized account, read John Le Care’s novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which was inspired by the Philby case.)

Book Club Reading Suggestions

Book Club recommendations from Parnassus book club guru Kathy Schultenover.

Kathy’s Book Club Choices:Flora

  • Flora by Gail Godwin
  • Last Night at the Blue Angel by Rebecca Rotert
  • Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique
  • Under the Wide and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan
  • The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
  • Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler
  • Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement
  • And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  • Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  • Euphoria by Lily King
  • We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
  • Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips
  • The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

Nashville Home Sales September

NASHVILLE HOME SALES SEPTEMBER 

Single Family Home Sales Davidson County YTD September 2014

In Davidson County, there were 6717 home closings reported for the first nine months of the year. This figure represents an increase from the 6380 closings reported for the same period last year.

The average sales price increased to $265,534 from $241,343.

Single Family Home Sales Williamson County YTD September 2014

In Williamson County, there were 3536 home closings reported for the first nine months of the year versus 3467 closings reported for the same period last year.

The average sales price of $457,170 is 6.5% higher than last year.

Condominium Sales Davidson County YTD  September 2014

In Davidson County, there were 2014 condo closings reported for the first nine months of the year  versus 1825 closings reported for the same period last year.

The average sales price increased this month to $197,964 from $190,932 .

Home sales in Nashville still going strong!

"Stone Entry" by Dru Anderson, watercolor

“Stone Entry” by Dru Anderson, watercolor

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the BoatThe Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Everyone loves an underdog, and The Boys in the Boat has all the elements of a classic comeback story— farm boys from the wrong side of the country (Seattle) overcome a chronic lack of funds,  illness, and weather to triumph over the Eastern elite and the Germans to win the 1936 Olympic gold medal in rowing. A remarkable, feel-good tale!

If you liked Seabiscuit and Unbroken, you’ll enjoy this Depression era tale of American grit.

Unbroken

What You Get for …$459,000

What You Get for …$459,000 in Williamson County

The average sales price for a home in Williamson County is almost $459,000 (up from $428,000 in 2013.)

What can you find for that price?

Here are three choices:

A new Victorian with over 5 acres of land

5619A Pinewood Rd MLS#1555379

5619A Pinewood Rd MLS#1555379

A townhome in the ever popular Westhaven

1016 State Blvd No.156 MLS#1566426

1016 State Blvd No.156 MLS#1566426

A cottage-style home in Willowsprings, a  mere 1.5 miles from downtown Franklin

107 Tulip Lane MLS#1572853

107 Tulip Lane MLS#1572853

 

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