Saturday, August 7, 2010

Books read this summer

I was going to make notes for each book so I could remember them - didn't happen. But here's what I read so at least I remember that:
The Path of Glory: Jeffrey Archer - very good - about a climber and his attempts on Everest
The Help: Kathryn Stockert - also very good - black women working for white women in 1960's Jackson Mississippi
Daughter of Fortune: Isabelle Allende - good - girl taken in my family in South America then travels to California in the gold rush
Molokai: Allen Brennert - very good - girl with leprosy sent to Molokai - her life story
The Scout: Harry Combs - good but long - written as the story narrated by a scout in Indian country - Custer and all that
Loving Frank: Nancy Horan - semi-true story of mistress of Frank Lloyd Wright - very enjoyable
Magician's Assistant: Ann Patchett - good - Magician's Assistant account of life after gay magician dies (she was married to him) - goes back to his family town and finds out about his life before he moved away
The Patron Saint of Liars: Ann Patchett - good - girl gets married, pregnant and drives away from CA to Habit Kentucky ending up in a Nun's home for pregnant women who have their babies adopted - decides not to give it up - marries caretaker and lives there for 15 or so years - then leaves
The Swan: Frances Mayes - didn't like
Provenance - How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art: Laney Salisbury - very good - fake art being sold in the art world in London - fake provenance etc. - true
Girl in Hyacinth Blue: Susan Vreeland - okay but not as good as The Passion of Artemesia
Brooklyn: Colm Tolbin - good but abrupt ending - catholic girl leaves Ireland to live in Brooklyn
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Stieg Larson - good - improbable and a bit socialist political in outlook
The Piano Teacher: Janice YK Lee - good - set in Hong Kong in war
Will Mrs Major Go To Hell: Aloise Buckley Heath - good - some very funny bits

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oliva - restaurant review

We wanted a quick dinner after an art show in Aiken and found Oliva. The menu is short, interesting items but only one pasta and one entree I would have wanted. I chose the pasta, Tagliatelle with Bolognaise Sauce, a half portion because I was told that would be sufficient, and at $15 it should be sufficient. The bolognaise was very good, but the portion was small for the price. Steve had the Cannelloni with Italian Sausage and Marinara sauce - a full size helping for $17. It would have been more appropriately priced at $12 or $13. He said it was very bland. I could understand the pricing if the place had an upscale atmosphere but at best it could be described as a bistro. It was very noisy, probably due to the fact that there were no soft furnishings. I sat on an uncovered hard wooden built in, Steve on a small, not plush chair. The tables were cheap with no table cloths. The silverware was not good quality and the faux paint job on the walls must have been done by children. Needless to say, our one and only visit.