drivel (v.): Old English dreflian “to slaver, slobber, run at the nose,” from Proto-Germanic *drab-, perhaps from a PIE *dher– (1) “to make muddy, darken.” Transferred meaning “to speak nonsense” is mid-14th C., driveling being characteristic of children, idiots, and dotards. Related: Driveling, drivelling.
drivel (n.): early 14th C., drevel “saliva, slaver,” from drivel (v.). Meaning “senseless twaddle, idiotic speech or writing” is by 1852.
fable (n.) c. 1300, “falsehood, fictitious narrative; a lie, pretense,” from Old French fable “story, fable, tale; drama, play, fiction; lie, falsehood” (12c.), from Latin fabula “story, story with a lesson, tale, narrative, account; the common talk, news,” literally “that which is told,” from fari “speak, tell,” from PIE root *bha- (2) “to speak, tell, say.”
Restricted sense of “animal story” (early 14th C.) comes from the popularity of Aesop’s tales. In modern folklore terms, defined as “a short, comic tale making a moral point about human nature, usually through animal characters behaving in human ways” [“Oxford Dictionary of English Folklore”].
twaddle (n.): “silly talk, prosy nonsense,” 1782, probably from twattle (1550s), of obscure origin.
What We’ve Been Up To
Mia P. Manansala – Blackmail and Bibingka
The third installment in the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series finds Lila in a much better head space. Both the Brew-Ha Cafe and her personal life are starting to take off in extremely happy directions. (If you hear nerve-jangling music at the end of the sentence, there’s a reason.) On the other hand, her family life has hit a rather large speed bump — in the form of her cousin, Tita Rosie’s son, Ronnie. The teenage ne’er-do-well has returned home, still carrying all the emotional baggage he left with, to start a new business with some college chums. This powder keg of past resentment blows when Ronnie’s primary investor is poisoned, and he becomes a suspect in her murder….and Lila feels duty-bound to snoop despite Ronnie’s insistence she stays out of his affairs.
Blackmail and Bibingka is an excellent read! With just a fringe of the winter holiday season on display and a well fused food motif, neither theme ever threatens to overwhelm the book’s main plot. Blackmail and Bibingka is a thoroughly engaging mystery I enjoyed reading, as it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen poison other than arsenic, cyanide, or thallium used as a murder weapon.
A Note From The Office of Fair Warning: Our author also deftly fuses genuine family tensions and resentments in ways that push the plot forward rather than stopping it cold, which isn’t an easy feat. But they could prove a tad uncomfortable for readers who’ve dealt with similar situations.
That said, I really can’t say enough nice things about this book. Technically speaking, you don’t need to read the first two books in order to understand what’s going on in Blackmail and Bibingka — but you should just because they are both awesome reads!
What Goes Around
Back in 2020, when we were all locked down and feeling grumpy, John Connolly helped ease us through the time with a serialized story that he released weekly (if I recall properly) to keep us alert and giving us something to look forward to. He called it “The Sisters Strange”, and oh my, they certainly were.
But not everyone who loves John’s work gets his newsletter, so he decided to flesh the story out a bit and put it into a book called The Furies. Because “The Sisters Strange” was more a novella than a novel, he added another story, “The Furies”, and the two of those stories comprise the book, The Furies.
During my knee replacement recovery, I was basically locked down again, so I jumped into The Furies with wild abandon. It was good to meet up with the Sisters Strange again — well, as good as meeting them can be, what with their troubles and all — and it certainly took me away from the required exercising.
Jumping into “The Furies”, I was once again reminded why John Connolly is so good at writing creepy stuff. He picks up on our collective awareness and turns it sideways. What he writes is absolutely relatable, but also just odd enough to hold you hostage.
But it’s not just that. John has created some amazing recurring characters, and there’s a special place in my heart for the Fulci brothers, as I know is true of many of you. There’s something endearing about two bear sized men with anger issues who completely adore their mother that just makes you smile. And be glad you don’t have to repair what they break.
John knows this, so with this book, he included a little something extra, if you ordered at the right time from the right place, and I did. So I’m the proud owner of a Fulci tote bag.
Don’t look too closely at the number of fingers on the fist. *grin* Otherwise their slogan will come into play.
If you haven’t read John Connolly, what the hell are you waiting for? Start with Every Dead Thing and I promise, you’ll just keep going. If you have, but you didn’t pick up The Furies because you already read “The Sisters Strange”, it’s time to rectify that oversight because the sisters are stranger than you remember, and the furies set free in the other story will haunt you. Best get to it!
I don’t have a book to write up so I’m recommending a few of songs that I’ve fallen for this year. A couple of years ago when Mom was dying, I asked my cousin Tom to recommend a radio station I could tap into when in the car running errands. He said “The Bridge, 90.9”. It’s the same type of station as KEXP here in Seattle – independent, listener supported – but I like their music more. Why? – just good rock, maybe not so “experimental” as just joyful. I listen to it everyday on some computer-like device. (Be Warned~ it’s out of KC, so all the ads and concert announcements are from there.) Monday’s are great as, mid-day, it’s all new music, I can’t link the songs themselves but I’ll like the youtube videos. In no particular order: