sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

November 29, 2009

into the stacks: no way to treat a first lady
posted by soe 2:13 pm

No Way to Treat a First Lady, by Christopher Buckley

From the jacket: “Elizabeth Tyler MacMann, the First Lady of the United States, has been charged with killing her philandering husband, the President of the United States. In the midst of a bedroom spat, she allegedly hurled a historic Paul Revere spittoon at him, with tragic results. The attorney general has no choice but to put the First Lady on trial for assassination.”

My take: When you’re the First Lady and charged with murder, to whom do you turn? In the case of Beth MacMann, you call up your law school sparring partner, Boyce Baylor, now a sleazy but successful celebrity attorney whom you last saw when you jilted him for the man who’d become your husband. When sparks still fly as you work together to unravel the President’s death, is there any doubt that eventually you’ll find yourself fighting not just for your life but also for a second chance at love?

I picked this up at my grandmother’s suggestion earlier this year and was pleased to have done so. The story pulls you along quickly, the surroundings are peppered with my familiar D.C. scenery, and if the characters aren’t always likable, they do seem realistic. You end up rooting for Beth and Boyce to solve things quickly and to sort out their various entanglements. Plus the secondary characters, which include Babette Van Anka, the president’s paramour and a former B-grade singer/actress, are laugh-out-loud-worthy.

Want to read a book that epitomizes the ’90s, that combines the media circuses of the O.J. trial and the Monica Lewinsky scandal? This is the tale for you.

Buckley also wrote Thank You for Smoking, a hilarious parody of D.C. lobbyists, which I saw on film a few years back.

Pages: 288

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just one of those days
posted by soe 3:48 am

Yet another nice day of vacation!

When Rudi and I overslept this morning, rendering it impossible for us to head south for breakfast out, I thought the day was sunk. Instead, it turned out to be a lovely Saturday.

Not heading to Middletown meant that I could start the day with a warm shower and breakfast. Tunes cranked, I pointed the car eastward to meet Karen for lunch in Pomfret.

We spent the afternoon exploring Putnam, a mill town that offered us a nice book store and yarn shop, as well as a charity shop and comic book store. A wide footpath hugged the river, and we spent an hour walking beneath blue skies and through hat-stealing winds. Afterwards, we returned to Pomfret to the Vanilla Bean for a tasty lunch and a less blustery opportunity to chat. When the sun sat low on the horizon, we agreed that it was probably time to part ways.

Rolling hills accompanied my drive westward. The horizon offered a gorgeously changing panorama, with mauve clouds giving way to salmon. The last vestiges of sunset disappeared into twilight as I pulled into my folks’ driveway.

Mum and I spent the evening making Christmas cookies, the dough for which Mum had prepared while I was out. We make a good team, as I don’t mind the rather tedious job of decorating spritz cookies and Mum is a seasoned pro at getting the cookie shooter to give us recognizable shapes most of the time. It’s necessary to sample the wares along the way because, of course, we’d hate for anyone else to end up with inedible cookies!

The night concluded with pizza and a Christmas movie in front of the fire.

It might not have been a perfect day, but it was pretty darn close and one I’m not likely to remember forget for quite a while.

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