The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Mohsin Hamid

A young Pakistani fresh out of Princeton joins a cut throat NYC firm.  9/11 happens into his first year which makes him question his motives.  Told from flash back as he is being questioned by an American in Pakistani – never quite certain what his current state is.  Interesting quick read. I just read that they recently made this into a movie – doesn’t make any sense how that can be given the nature of the novel.

PJH rating: ****

Crossing to Safety; Wallace Stegner

Two academic couples meet while they are starting as Instructors at U of Wisconsin in the 1930’s and become lifelong friends.  The novel, told from the point of view of one of the husbands, apparently very autobiographical, jumps around the decades starting and ending in the 1970’s during the death of one of the four.  Such great writing and story telling.  Very emotional.  Written in 1987 this was Stegner’s last novel, written when he was in his late 1970’s.  I’ve never heard of him – I wish I remember where I read to read this.  Brilliant.

PJH Rating: **** 1/2 (and 3/4)

Our Souls at Night; Kent Haruf

A 70’s year old widow knocks on the door of her neighbor, a 70’s year old widower and asks him if he would be interesting in sleeping over a few nights a week as she is lonely.  An interesting courtship / family dynamics tale ensues.  This was Haruf’s last novel before he died last year.  I enjoy his sparse novels, the simple language, and while this is not one of his best, it’s a nice quick enjoyable read.

PJH Rating: ****

Christmas 2014

Christmas went by in the blink an eye this year. Here’s some photos.
We somehow now have four different Christmas trees.  Tree#1: we toyed with the idea of buying a fake tree for our main tree… but can’t quite do it.  Our tree looked great this year.
Tree#2: Snowman tree
Tree#3: restoration hardware one with silver balls and icicles
#4: table top metal with lots of little silver and red ornaments
I found a real birds nest in the tree when I was putting the lights on. Means 2015 is going to be an excellent year.
Christmas blooms at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens
Sophia turned 13 on 12.13.14
Claire and Sean had a Christmas Sweater Party at their house. Sean won!
Soupy had his ice sculpture party at his house
I took hardly any pictures on Christmas Eve and not a one on Christmas Day. This one about sums up our Christmas Eve at our house with 28 people. Crazy but fun and nice as usual. On to a great 2015!

Christmas 2013

Christmas 2012

Christmas 2011

Clambake 2014

better late than never…a few pics

My parents annual clambake was over a month ago on a picture perfect mid-October afternoon
Connor was home on Fall break
JP and Richy
It was homecoming night for Grace. Her date was homecoming King and picked her up at the Clambake.
Grace and her friends taking pictures in front of everyone
girl cousins
Grace’s friend Nicole was homecoming queen and Aunt Evie was Euclid homecoming queen 50 (?) years ago… so of course we had to take a picture.
My parents have perfected the Cleveland clambake and theirs is the best in town.
John checking out the bake
Lets eat! (what a backdrop)

Clambake 2013

Clambake 2012

Clambake 2011

Uncle Tom’s post of Clambake 2014

Sausagefest 2014

We had a sausagefest for Jack’s birthday this past weekend.  Italian, Sicilian, bratwurst, slovenian, polish boys, kilbasa, hot dogs… sausagepalooza
Courtney and John
Claire and Grace
Kathryn, Courtney and Kirsten
Bernie was there of course
The girls escaping from the boys and eating on the front lawn… Emily, Shea and Sophia
Happy Birthday Daniel, Jack and Mary