Monday, April 9, 2012

Absolutely Perfect for You!

Removing wrinkles isn't thrilling enough
I've never set you up on a disastrous blind date, have I? So trust me when I tell you I have some suggestions that are absolutely perfect for you! Susie, the sport of extreme ironing. It combines danger with the satisfaction of a perfectly pressed shirt. Believe it or not, Rowenta sponsors a team. Sister Mary, wife carrying. The world-record holder is a tax attorney, and I bet the fortitude required to deal with taxes pays off during an obstacle race like this. Kev, toe wrestling. The perfect TGIF sport, requiring a good sense of humor, especially since "it is common courtesy for each player to remove the other player's shoes and socks."

For the rest of you, some absolutely perfect suggestions for books:

Estonian-style carrying is good training for tax law
For people who've been in psychotherapy or promise themselves they never will: Ellen Ullman's 2012 book, By Blood. A professor on leave rents a room in an old office building in 1970s San Francisco so he can work alone yet feel connected to other people. He becomes obsessed with eavesdropping on the therapist next door while she talks with one of her clients, who has a "richly creamy" voice and feels dropped down like an alien into her present relationship and the world of the couple who adopted her. Themes of identity, secrets, and obsession.

Sloths are banned from toe wrestling competition
Jazz lovers who like writers Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson: John Harvey's Wasted Years. Some present-day robberies remind Nottingham cop and loner Charlie Resnick of an investigation he handled a decade earlier.

People mulling a second career after racing horses: Dick Francis's Odds Against. In the first Sid Halley book, an ex-steeplechase jockey sets himself up in the private eye business.

Fans of resourceful female protaginists, not to mention those who love Paris: Cara Black's Murder in the Bastille. The fourth Aimée Leduc book finds our heroine struggling with her vision as she investigates a murder.

Bossaball is for volleyball players who need more oomph
Golf fans who don't believe someone named Bubba Watson won the 2012 Masters Golf Tournament: Simon Brett's Situation Tragedy. When actor Charles Paris wins the golf club barman role on the BBC TV series The Strutters, you know murder is par for the course.

People into long books, who think Vikram Chandra's wonderful Sacred Games is too short at 900 pages: Gregory David Roberts's Shantaram. This 950-page book, by a great Australian storyteller, is about a man who escapes from prison and flees to Mumbai, India. There, he runs into all sorts of interesting characters.

No snow necessary and picnicking-ants friendly
Those considering a career in stealing art masterpieces and double crosses, reasons why not to: Aaron Elkins's A Glancing Light. Seattle museum curator Chris Norgren travels to Bologna, Italy, to finalize arrangements for an upcoming art show, and he runs into Trouble.

Hardboiled/traditional fans who know how to be a friend: Jeremiah Healy's The Staked Goat. Healy is a law-school grad and former military policeman who uses this knowledge in a series about John Francis Cuddy, an Army-cop-turned-private-eye in Boston. In the second book of the series, Cuddy gets a call from an old buddy and hears a code for danger. Soon, Cuddy investigates his friend's death.

Extreme croquet is not for the timid or sane
Readers who struggle with an aging mother or need a goat-kidnapping how-to––or both: D. C. Brod's Getting Sassy. Robyn Guthrie's freelance journalism doesn't pay enough to keep her mother at Dryden Manor, so Robyn starts windowshopping around for a doable crime. It just so happens her accountant, Mick Hughes, is a former jockey who knows a goat-loving horse favored to win the Plymouth Million. It also just so happens the owner of the goat-loving horse conned Robyn's mother out of a lot of money.

Lovers of swashbucklers: Arturo Pérez-Reverte's Pirates of the Levant. The last book in the series featuring freelance soldier-of-fortune Captain Alatriste and his companion, Íñigo Balboa, is narrated by a reminiscing Íñigo.

There you go. One of these books will be perfect for you. If you can think of a book perfect for someone else, don't be shy. We're all looking for the absolutely perfect book. Set us up, please!


  1. Hi Georgette,

    The things you find!

    Rowenta rocks! (No pun intended)

    I'm going to check out Ellen Ullman's By Blood, it sounds good.


  2. Your pictures made my day, what a hoot. I am going to add a few of these books to my TBR like the Aaron Elkins book and I always like rereading Harvey.

  3. Georgete, I appreciate the thought, u=but my wife says if the sloth is banned, so am I. Thanks for the laughs! Kev

  4. Susie, please let us know if you read the Ullman book.

    Kev, perhaps you could hand your opponent a pair of clippers so he (or she) is prepared when your socks come off.

    Sister, I'm sure you'll be pleased to learn that the North American wife carrying championships take place every year on Columbus Day weekend at Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine. Perhaps you and your husband could take copious notes this year and enter next year.