Sunday, July 02, 2006

Steve and I are watching a Discovery channel show on Costa Rican crocodiles. They sure are cute as babies, eating bugs, but no so cute when they get full size. People actually feed them chickens via fishline and wire, which gets caught in their jaws. A relaxing Sunday morning after Steve made breakfast for us. He cooks, I clean and I like it that way. Too many years of making everything from scratch, even bagels, when I lived in Alaska. My kids hadn't eaten a store bought birthday cake until they were in upper elementary school.

Sophie and I finished Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon this morning. This is a detective novel that could be booktalked, especially with teenage guys. Suggest this to those who read Brown's The Da Vinci Code, as the bejewelled falcon that in central to this book is a priceless statue created by the Knights of Rhodes, a very wealthy group formed during the Crusades, very similar to the Knights of the Templar from Brown's book. The characters in this book are unscrupulous in their manner of getting their hands on the statue. Sam Spade, the crusty private detective, bests them all, as he should. A fun read and a real reminder of how sexist and culturally insensitive these early detective novels are. It was originally published serially in 1929 and then as a book in 1930. Since Hammett actually worked as a private detective he certainly writes with a knowing eye as to how cool a private eye has to be, especially when he is being "charmed" by unscrupulous women. :-) Supposedly Hammett's best, but I prefer The Thin Man, which I am listening to, but I have to say I like the movie better. Mainly because of Asta the dog, that does not have the central role in the book that it has in the movies.

Next book will be a YA novels and then An Affair to Remember: The Remarkable Love Story of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy by Christopher Anderson. Even though it has a gorgeous picture of them on the front, the girl behind the counter at the used bookstore Steve bought it from had to tell him how much she loved that movie. Hmmm - I don't think Cary Grant looks anything like Spencer Tracy - much more handsome in my opinion, and oh, that voice. Okay - so I was born in the wrong generation - my idols are all from the b/w movie era. Houseboat is my favorite Grant movie - how can you not love a movie with Cary Grant and Sophie Loren in it? And, since this is when he asked her to marry him and she turned him down for Carlo Ponti you know there was a spark between them off screen as well.

On to grading for a bit before we go down to Blockbuster to see if they have a copy of the Maltese Falcon b/w movie. Steve says Sam Spade is played by Humphrey Bogart - not who I would have picked for this tall, blondish haired beefy man. William Holden would have been a much better choice.