Books, Documentaries, Reviews: Audio Delight: The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle

Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  December 22, 2015

Audio Delight:  The Tortilla Curtain

T. C. Boyle

Listening to T. C. Boyle read his The Tortilla Curtain was an audio delight.

I don’t know how I missed this incredible author when I was in school.

I really love the way he develops characters and lets them illustrate the complexity of the world, of our culture, of culture clashes, of life itself.

He’s entertaining, yes, but he also compels you to think deeper, to understand the differences people have and why they have them.  The complexity of people is terribly missing in much of today’s fiction.  We just get good guys and monsters, rather than people who are, as I said, complex and who act for definite reasons.

What a gift Boyle is.

Source: The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle — Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists


I also have a review of Boyle’s When the Killing’s Done on this blog.  Use the search button on the right sidebar to find that post.

Turkey Tracks: Solstice 2015

Turkey Tracks:  December 22, 2015

Solstice 2015

December 21st is Solstice–the longest night of the year.

Friends Margaret Rauenhorst and Ronald VonHeeswijk host a Solstice bonfire most years.  This event is one of my most favorite events of the year.

Solstice marks the passage from darkness into light.  Solstice is a time of reflection and quiet.

This year, the sky was filled with clouds, so no stars or moon–though the moon will be full at Christmas.

Margaret and Ronald light a HUGE bonfire that warms all who stand about it.  This year, we are experiencing very warm weather on mid-coast Maine.  It will be 60ish tomorrow.  But the fire still warmed our hearts and provided moments of contemplation and companionship.


The paths in the yard are all lined with lumanaria that guide us down the drive to the house and fire.

See the sparks?  We have to watch for those as the wind shifts because they can and do burn holes in your clothes.


When the embers die down, we throw our past and future intentions into the fire:


Holly is for a future intention we want to adopt or experience; hemlock for the past and involves something we want to release/let go/stop.  We make little packets with our intentions written down and wrapped around the greenery.


The house is lit only by candles and the fire inside the hearth.



My camera flash illuminates the room for a moment only.

The sideboard is filled with bowls of nuts and fresh and dried fruit.


And Margaret makes us her dad’s special drink–a Tom and Jerry–which has eggwhites, spices, and whiskey as ingredients.  It is delicious!

Thanks, Margaret and Ronald, for once again bringing your friends together for this celebration you make for us.