THE MASKS OF TIME By Robert Silverberg

the masks of time3
The Masks Of Time2
Welcome to Time Travel Week on this blog! For the next week I’ll be presenting Time Travel books and movies you might find engaging. I’m starting with a Robert Silverberg novel from 1968 where the Future comes to visit us. Vornan-19 appears in Rome on Christmas Day. He claims he’s from the year 2,999–a thousand years in the future. The U. S. Government assembles a team of scientists to study Vornan-19 to determine if he is truly from the future or if he’s just a brilliant con-man pulling off a hoax on the world. Particle physicist Leo Garfield–who has actually moved a particle two seconds into the past–joins the team in hopes of learning the secrets of time-travel from Vornan-19. But the man from the future is vague and enigmatic. The Masks of Time shows a world on the brink of the Millennium looking for direction. The Masks of Time was nominated for a Nebula Award. Time is very tricky in this book!


I'll see you in my dreams
Blythe Danner plays a widow named Carol whose life changes when two men enter her life. Lloyd, the Pool Guy, is a typical Millennial living with his mother and working a dead-end job. Sam Elliott plays Bill, a member of a nearby retirement community who is smitten by Blythe (what guy wouldn’t be?). I also enjoyed Blythe’s friends: June Squibb, Rhea Perlman, and Mary Kay Place. This is a pleasant movie with a good cast. No surprises. GRADE: B


Helen Mirren plays the Queen…again. This play was offered as part of the Fathom Event series at our local Regal Theatre. On Tuesdays at 6:30 P.M. the Queen meets with the current Prime Minister to discuss the current political situation for 20 minutes. The Audience captures these meetings with the 12 Prime Ministers over the years. The play is not chronological so watching Helen Mirren transform from the Queen in her 80s to the young Queen in her 40s–and back again–is incredible! The meetings sometime take on the flavor of therapy sessions as the Prime Ministers and the Queen have to deal with crises. The meeting with Margaret Thatcher and the Queen is particularly prickly. I liked the interaction between the Queen and Harold Wilson the best. I’m sure tickets to The Audience go for $100 or more on Broadway. But a ticket to this version of The Audience only cost $20. A bargain! I recommend these Fathom Events. GRADE: A


the golden age of murder
Martin Edwards’ marvelous The Golden Age of Murder: The Mystery of the Writers Who Invented the Modern Detective Story presents a fascinating cast of characters. Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, Anthony Berkeley, G. K. Chesterton, Gladys Mitchell, Margery Allingham, John Dickson Carr, Christianna Brand, Michael Innes, and a dozen more now obscure mystery writers were members of the Detection Club. Edwards weaves the aspects of their individual stories around the activities of the Club. I had no idea these writers were so quirky! I wanted to drop everything and read some Anthony Berkeley when I learned how snarky he was. The Golden Age of Murder will energize readers and trigger a renewed interest in Golden Age detective novels. And, The Golden Age of Murder should win every mystery award in sight! Don’t miss this extraordinary book!
Members of the Detection Club elected 1930-49
Part One: The Unusual Suspects
The Ritual in the Dark
A Bitter Sin
Conversations about a Hanged Woman
The Mystery of the Silent Pool
A Bolshevik Soul in a Fabian Muzzle
Wearing Their Criminological Spurs
The Art of Self-Tormenting
Part Two: The Rules of the Game
Setting a Good Example to the Mafia
The Fungus-Story and the Meaning of Life
Wistful Plans for Killing Off Wives
The Least Likely Person
The Best Advertisement in the World
Part Three: Looking to Escape
“Human Life’s the Cheapest Thing There Is”
Echoes of War
Murder, Transvestism and Suicide During a Trapeze Act
A Severed Head in a Fish-Bag
“Have You Heard of Sexual Perversions?”
Clearning Up the Mess
What It Means to Be Stuck for Money
Neglecting Demosthenes in Favour of Freud
Part Four: Taking on the Police
Playing Games with Scotland Yard
Why was the Shift Put in the Boiler-Hole?
Trent’s Very Last Case
A Coffin Entombed in a Crypt of Granite
Part Five: Justifying Murder
Knives Engraved with ‘Blood and Honour’
Touching with a Fingertip the Fringe of the Great Events
Collecting Murderers
No Judge or Jury but My Own Conscience
Part Six: The End Game
Playing the Grandest Game in the World
The Work of a Pestilential Creature
Frank to the Point of Indecency
Shocked by the Brethren
Part Seven: Unraveling the Mysteries
Murder Goes One Forever
Constitution and Rules of the Detectives Club
Index of Titles


Just in time to kick off their “Zip Code Tour,” The Rolling Stones released this new, remastered version of their classic album, Sticky Fingers. These songs never sounded so good! The Rolling Stones are performing in Western New York at Ralph Wilson Stadium (where the Buffalo Bills play) on July 11. Of course, the concert is completely sold out. The ticket prices ranged from $400 to $10,000. I won’t be at the concert, but I’m listening to this classic Stones album as I write this.
Disc 1
1 Brown Sugar (3:49)
2 Sway (3:53)
3 Wild Horses (5:44)
4 Can’t You Hear Me Knocking (7:15)
5 You Gotta Move (2:33)
6 Bitch (3:37)
7 I Got The Blues (3:54)
8 Sister Morphine (5:34)
9 Dead Flowers (4:05)
10 Moonlight Mile (5:57)
Disc 2
1 Brown Sugar (with Eric Clapton) (4:07)
2 Wild Horses (Acoustic) (5:47)
3 Can’t You Hear Me Knocking (Alternate version) (3:24)
4 Bitch (Extended version) (5:52)
5 Dead Flowers (Alternate version) (4:17)
6 Live With Me (Live version) (4:22)
7 Stray Cat Blues (Live version) (3:48)
8 Love In Vain (Live version) (6:41)
9 Midnight Rambler (Live version) (11:26)
10 Honky Tonk Women (Live version) (4:14)


kind granola bars
Ingredients You Can See & Pronounce” says the Kind granola packaging. And, it’s true! I’m always on the lookout for healthy snacks that are low-carb. Kind granola bars fit the bill. Each of the two bars I sampled only had 8 grams of carbohydrate. These bars are Gluten Free (isn’t almost everything) and non-GMO. The Dark Chocolate Chunk bar and the Oats & Honey were only 150 calories. Kind offers granola bars in dozens of flavors, many of them much higher in carbohydrates especially the fruit ones. But, if you’re looking for a s tasty snack, I’d reach for a Kind granola bar. Yum!


jurassic world in 3D
I rarely watch a movie twice in two weeks, but my sister from Florida was visiting and wanted to see Jurassic World in 3D. When I reviewed Jurassic World a couple weeks ago (you can check it out here) I pretty much said that it was a perfect Summer pop-corn movie. After seeing it again in 3D, I can report the 3D version of Jurassic World is Superior to the 2D version. That’s not always the case. I’m not a big fan of 3D because most 3D movies aren’t executed very well. But Jurassic World is. Check it out!

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD By Elizabeth Alexander

the light of the world
“I keep paying his cell phone bill for a year and a half afterwards, because I don’t want to lose the text messages, but I don’t have the heart to read and transfer them. The phone goes dead and gets lost somewhere in the house.” The “afterwards” is the sudden death of Elizabeth Alexander’s husband at the age of 50. The Light of the World–Alexander’s world–was her husband, Ficre. Ficre was a chef and a painter. He loved books and bookstores. He loved his two sons. But Ficre really, really loved Elizabeth Alexander. His love for her springs off the pages of this book. Alexander falls in love with Ficre at first sight. I’ve read Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking and Joyce Carol Oates’ A Widow’s Story, two moving memoirs of the loss of a spouse. The Light of the World may well be the most heart-felt of them all. Diane recommended this book to me after she read it. I’m glad she did.
“Last Night on Earth”
“The Edges of Me in the Hands of My Wife”
Ghost of All Bookstores
The Plum Blossom


The third season of Orphan Black concludes tonight. I loved the first season of Orphan Black. I was lukewarm about Season Two. I’m very dissatisfied with Season Three. The cast is terrific especially Tatiana Maslany who plays the roles of all the clones. These season the writing has declined with silly plots like Alison selling drugs and running for the School Board. Really? The killing off of a Major Character, while shocking, took one of the more intriguing plots off the board. I don’t know if I’ll watch Season Four. All I know is that the writing needs a major upgrade. And Tatiana Maslany deserves an Emmy Award.