Sunday, February 21, 2016

Review of What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell

Not far from the center of Sofia is a massive conference and exhibition center known as the National Palace of Culture, abbreviated simply as NDK. It is a building I know well from the two years I lived in Bulgaria. I frequently sat on benches in the large plaza surrounding the structure enjoying the summer sun; my wife and I attended a Bob Dylan concert inside.

There is a subterranean level of NDK which I never visited, nor even knew existed. It is in the underground men’s bathrooms where the unnamed American protagonist of What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, January 2016) first meets Mitko, a young Bulgarian reeking of alcohol who shows up for illicit assignations with any man willing to pay the price. A transaction takes place after a handover of twenty lev and results in the American’s desiring “more and more privacy” with Mitko.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Sofia, let's go!

My wife and I lived in Sofia for two years. I have tried to capture the beauty of the city in my photographs, and in my writing. Sometimes, what you need to see is a video.

Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria. It is a city of nature, sports, history, culture, water and life. We have four seasons and many things to see and do. Enjoy. Filmed and edited by MaxMedia for GS1

Welcome to Sofia
Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria. It is a city of nature, sports, history, culture, water and life. We have four seasons and many things to see and do. Enjoy.Filmed and edited by MaxMedia for GS1Клип за София - град на зеленина, спорт, култура, история и живот.
Posted by MaxMedia on Monday, December 28, 2015

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Scrabble Challenge

Scrabble players, are you ready? Here’s a test. I was playing Scrabble with my wife a while ago and made a 6-letter word using my “Q” tile, yet I only received a total of 10 points. The “Q” itself is worth 10 points. The question to you is – how did I do this?

My wife and I have been playing recreational Scrabble for over 30 years. We follow the game rules, but in a very lenient manner. While we both know all the acceptable 2-letter words, and even the few word combinations that can be played using a “Q” but without the need for a “U”, in other situations we are not as skilled. The words “Can I just look this up?” are common to our games, resulting in a quick glance at the pages of the official Scrabble dictionary.

It wasn’t always so.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Murder at the Final Table

Professional poker player Tommy Jackson should be on top of the world. He just finished playing a grueling day of poker, outlasting more than 1,000 entrees to reach the final table at a WSOP tournament. First place is more than $800,000 and Jackson is the favorite to win the cash as well as the coveted World Series of Poker bracelet.

"Winning bracelets is a status thing for us pros," Jackson thinks. The only problem is that the WSOP Final Table is Jackson's final Final Table. The night before the conclusion of the event, Jackson is murdered.

In the novel Drawing Dead by Rick Fuller, Las Vegas homicide detective Ryan Tyler is called to the Rio convention center, where the World Series of Poker is being staged. For Tyler, major crimes in Las Vegas casinos "can be a true nightmare" and this murder is no exception. When he arrives at the scene, a colleague fills him in how the body was discovered.