What’s New for the 18th of November: A Tull concert, limited edition Ritter chocolate bars, Novels from Ursula le Guin and Patricia McKilillip, German style sausages, ‘Take This Waltz’ by Leonard Cohen and other later Autumn matters

Life isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all. — William Goldman, August 12, 1931 – November 16, 2018, author and screenwriter of The Princess Bride

I’m sitting in the corner nook of the Estate Kitchen with my iPad resting nearby and a large mug of cinnamon spiced hot chocolate in hand listening to the always pleasant  conversation of the crew as they go about their task of feeding the Estate residents. It being late afternoon and my Several Annies are off getting a lesson in Jewish culinary traditions from Rebbeka, a former Several Annie of mine who now works here for the Estate in this very Kitchen, I decided to ensconce myself hefre for the afternoon.

They’ve been discussing the German-style sausages that Gus, our Estate Head Gardener (and butcher as well) just made that they’re frying up. His usual seasonings include salt, white but never black pepper and mace, and then depending on his inclination, they might contain cumin, coriander, cardamom, thyme, sage, caraway, lots of garlic, and cloves. All I know is if they taste as good as they smell cooking right now, they’ll be delicious!

So now let me finish this Edition off so you can read it…

Camille says that sometimes ‘It’s quite gratifying to revisit books from one’s childhood. Actually, it can be gratifying or disastrous. I’m pleased to say it was the former for me with Patricia A. McKillip’s Moon-Flash. Originally published by Argo Books in 1984, Moon-Flash is one of a duology, though this first book is absolutely readable as a stand-alone novel.’

Chris says ‘Ursula K. LeGuin seems to be getting better as the years go by. Her newest novel, Lavinia, is a historical fantasy that is in some ways even more ambitious than her previous work. First, some background: in book VII of the Aeneid, we learn that Lavinia, daughter of the King of Latium, became Aeneas’ wife, but her role in the poem is almost an afterthought. LeGuin’s novel lets us know what was on Lavinia’s mind.’

Autumn’s often a time of passages so it’s apt that Richard has a look at this work: ‘Even before the untimely passing of author Robert Holdstock, it would have been impossible to read Avilion as anything other than a tale of partings, a resolution to many of the threads woven through the Ryhope Wood cycle. Now, it reads as a fond and graceful farewell to Ryhope and the Huxley family, an affectionate gift of endings to characters who, in their own ways, have all earned peace.’

Lars shares his comments on a man who is, to many, the embodiment of English folk rock: ‘In Off the Pegg Dave tells his story to Nigel Schofield, who has written a number of books about Fairport and past members. Basically the books consists of Dave Pegg talking to Schofield’s recording machine, with the co-author putting in comments to bridge any gaps in the narrative.’

William Goldman died yesterday so let’s have L.G. tell us about one of his films: ‘Envision a film with Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Peter Falk, and Peter Cook that is absolutely hilarious, yet none of them appear in the lead roles. “Inconceivable!,” you cry and I reply, “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” Yes, indeed, we are talking about The Princess Bride — the wildly successful movie based on the wildly successful book of the same title. Both book and screenplay were written by William Goldman which explains two things; 1) why they match up so well, and 2) why they’re both so very, very good.’

Chewy grains and sausage casserole is something offered up for a late Autumn day by Jen: ‘Well, that didn’t work. I tried adapting a recipe yesterday and it was a total frost. The right way to cook this recipe creates a great side dish for a pot luck, or a solid meal for two with leftovers. The grains are chewy and smoky and savory and salty, with just enough sausage grease mixed in to flavor them, and there’s just enough meat to make you feel virtuous about your protein intake.’

Raspberry Creme and a Buttermilk Lemon are the two flavours in chocolate bars Robert looks at this time: ‘As you will remember, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG is a major German chocolatier and candy manufacturer. I happen to have recently received two of their Limited Edition candies for review — which means, sadly, that I wasn’t allowed to just snarf them down. These are part of a series of candies made with yogurt and flavorings and covered in chocolate. Strangely enough, I wasn’t able to find information on the Ritter Sport website. I guess when they say “Limited Edition,” that’s just what they mean.’

Our Graphic Lit offering this week features more Korean manwha, courtesy of Robert: ‘Yeo and Park’s first collection of Chronicles of the Cursed Sword contains the first three volumes of the original manhwa series. Like King of Hell, it’s a Korean action/adventure story with heavy supernatural overtones, this time involving not one but two magical swords, demons, spirits, and heroes.’

Barb has a look at a rather unusual album from a rather unusual trio (plus guests): ‘ First indication of their sense of humor was the name of the group and album title: Folk Underground and Buried Things respectively. Right there I detect a smirk (a mischievous one, not a criminal one). I love musicians who smirk a bit. It’s a good indication that they don’t take themselves too seriously.’

Chris has some comments on a concert that was a bit of nostalgia and a bit of right now, which is to say Jethro Tull live at Jones Beach, NY, June 11, 2010: ‘After more than four decades of making music, Jethro Tull still has the kind of magic that defines rock ‘n roll. Ian Anderson’s wild onstage antics may have mellowed somewhat over the years, but he is still shockingly agile and energetic for a man in his sixties, even taking to his one-legged flute pose from time to time. Tull are the kind of group that inspire dogged devotion – the guys sitting near me had been to more than three hundred Jethro Tull shows (yes, you read that correctly.) And I thought I was a little obsessed.’

Chicago indie-rocker Ryley Walker just released his own version of a legendary unreleased album by the Dave Matthews Band, called The Lillywhite Sessions. Gary says, ‘There’s nothing in these Lillywhite Sessions that’s going to make me a Dave Matthews fan, but plenty to keep me singing the praises of Ryley Walker.’

Judith says that ‘Emma Bull is a science fiction and fantasy writer, having published a number of sometimes odd works including War for the Oaks, Territory, and Bone Dance: A Fantasy For Technophiles. Lorraine Garland is a “comic book assistant.” Emma and Lorraine perform together as The Flash Girls; they both sang and Lorraine fiddled. Take the Nields, Boiled In Lead (literally), Susan Voeltz, Cordelia’s Dad, and Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan, add sometimes bizarre lyrics and voila! a vague approximation of The Flash Girls.’ Now go read her review of their Maurice and I album.

And now for something completely different. Robert shares his thoughts on a recording of Terry Riley’s legendary Lisbon Concert: ‘One of the high points of my music-listening career, right up there with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Irwin Hoffman performing the perfect Brahms Symphony No, 1, was the chance to hear Terry Riley in concert. For those who haven’t had that opportunity, the recording of his Lisbon Concert is the next best thing.’

Our What Not this time is about a library that has the habit of — oh, let’s let Atlas Obscura tell the tale: ‘In the reading room of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., researchers might spend hours carefully paging through a 16th-century pamphlet or the only surviving quarto edition of Titus Andronicus. (“If one good deed in all my life I did, I do repent it from my very soul.”) But they also have access to another unusual—if more informal—collection. Behind the reading room desk there is a vault where the staff keeps a small lending library of handmade shawls.’  You can read the rest of this delightful tale here.

Hmmm… ‘Take This Waltz’ by Leonard Cohen as performed at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on the 19th of Feb 2009 seems properly Autumnal to me. Cohen took his version from Pequeño Vals Vienès  (“Little Viennese Waltz”), a poem written in Spanish by Federico Garcia Lorca and the poem itself is definitely not upbeat, but it fits my mood oft times.

About Iain Nicholas Mackenzie

I’m the Librarian for the Kinrowan Estate. I do love fresh brewed teas, curling, English mysteries and will often be playing Scandinavian or Celtic  music here in the Library.

I’m a violinist too, so you’ll me playing in various contradance band such as Chasing Fireflies and Mouse in the Cupboard as well as backing my wife Catherine up on yearly Christmas season tours in the Nordic countries.

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