The Manor Tavern sits in the in the thick of beautiful Monkton, where the land is big but the community is tight, and folks know the names of their neighbors’ ancestors, children, horses and hunting dogs.
Change, when it comes here, comes slowly, which makes the Manor Tavern an interesting case study. The 250-year-old Baltimore County property, in the thick of world-famous horse country, was purchased last summer by two teams of experienced restaurateurs. William and John Mitcherling own Towson’s An Poitin Stil, and Patrick Russell and Bill Irvin operate businesses in Fells Point, including Kooper’s Tavern, Slainte and the Chowhound Burger Wagon.
The new operators have been making changes slowly, at more of a canter than a gallop.
Desdemona Fox is a hard-as-nails small-town cop whose military experience–she saw active duty in Afghanistan–comes in handy during a zombie apocalypse. Dez and her father-figure partner J.T. are the first on the scene at ground zero, a funeral home in Stebbins, PA, where a deadly virus claims its first victim: after an encounter with a not-quite-dead corpse, Doc Hartnup is quickly zombified and lurching around infecting others. The pathogen is 100% infectious and spreads through the transmission of body fluids, which primarily means bites. Theres a lot of cannibalistic munching in this book, yet it never becomes a simple gore-fest. One could argue its actually a love story. Will the embittered Desdemona survive the apocalypse and her own tragic personal history to finally stop rejecting her true love, Regional Satellite News reporter Billy Trout?
I have always been (semi) fluent in English, and growing up, I literally had to be dragged by the neck to Mandarin class. In Mandarin class, I’d talk and I’d laugh, I’d paint my nails with marker and memorize lyrics to Blink 182 songs Id pretty much do Everything apart from pay attention to what was going on. I wouldn’t even say my Chinese name, just because I did not want to. No real reason.
Since leaving school, however, I have watched way too many dramatic Chinese series and my iPod is filled with the melodies of Jay Chou, Fish Leong and other Mandarin stars whose names I cannot, or don’t know how to translate into the English language. I also went to China thrice last year. I had the best time ever and got around fine! I just wish my Chinese language skills were more fluent. Well whatever, I kind of ignored it.
The Texas Institute of Letters, which has been promoting the state’s best writers since 1936, just released its list of nominees for its annual awards.
The competition is limited to authors who have lived in the state for at least two years or have entries pertaining to Texas subjects. Not surprisingly. some of the best-known writers in the state — such as Stephen Harrigan, C.W. Smith and Naomi Shihab Nye — are among the nominees, which are listed after the jump (with links to our reviews when possible.)
The awards will be given in San Antonio on April 14.