Merry Christmas, lurkers!

We ate a mid-day Christmas dinner at Wakulla Lodge, an old Mizner-esque Spanish-Colonial resort built at Wakulla Springs by Yankee millionaire Ed Ball in 1937, now part of a State Park in the next county over.

Some Johnny Weismuller "Tarzan" movies were filmed at Wakulla Springs, as was "The Creature From The Black Lagoon".

Very Southern buffet, from which I chose lettuce salad, collard greens, oyster & corn meal dressing, mashed potatoes & gravy, fried shrimp, roast beef & horseradish sauce, sweet iced tea, and key lime pie for dessert. I have to say that nobody does fried shrimp better than the Wakulla Lodge!

Having driven there on the Crawfordville Highway, I decided to return on the Woodville Highway, connecting with it at the town of Wakulla and proceeding north through Woodville. Hard to believe it has been so long since I've passed through there. For years I took the bookmobile there every two weeks. It hasn't changed much; still the raw, piney-woods settlement it's always been, only bigger.

I noticed "Casablanca" was on TCM at 8 p.m., so we watched it to close out the day.


I finished Out of Ireland last week. I enjoyed it so much that I not only decided to keep it, rather than donate it to the library, I also ordered copies of Koch's, The Double Man, which was the first book I read by him, Highways to a War, the prequel to Out of Ireland, which I must read again now, and Koch's latest, The Memory Room.

In Out of Ireland, the transported Irish revolutionary Devereux befriends a mysterious Jewish bookseller named Lenoir in Hobart. Lenoir has lived through the French Revolution, and a partially obscured portrait of Napoleon presides over his shop. His advice to the young rebel is rueful and cautionary. His final words to Devereux are the last two verses from the book of Ecclesiastes.

I couldn't help thinking of Broderick, the flamenco guitarist and cryptic adept in The Double Man. He and Lenoir are both seers, but Broderick is dark, Lenoir is purified by ordeal.

Year of the Dog is Henry Chang's second crime novel, following his celebrated debut, Chinatown Beat. Ronda and I visited NYC's Chinatown on our visit to the Tenement Museum in 2007. Chang provides a unique and intimate entry for English-speakers into that otherwise impenetrable world.

Exit Music appears to be the last roundup for Rankin's Scottish detective, John Rebus. The story begins 10 days from Rebus's retirement. Rebus is one of several fictional British detectives, also including Peter Robinson's Alan Banks and John Harvey's Charlie Resnick, whom I have followed for years. They and their authors are getting on now, as am I.

I've also posted a new entry on the blog roll, The Age of Uncertainty. Steerforth's book blog is especially enjoyable for the interesting old paperbacks he finds and scans the covers from. My early reading life was all about paperbacks, as they were all I could buy as a teen at the Winter Park Mall.

No comments: