Wednesday, November 06, 2013


To play along, just answer the following three questions ...

• What are you currently reading? The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy. It's about the relationships between each of our modern Presidents and his predecessors.

I didn't expect to enjoy reading about the Presidents before my time, like Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower, but I am. It's an easy read, and surprisingly relevant. If these men of both parties can get it together to help one another, why can't the rest of Washington? This book reinforces why it would be inadvisable to have a "my way or the highway" Tea Partier in the Oval Office. A President has to facilitate government's function, not shut it down.

• What did you recently finish reading? Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin. A compulsively readable book about dysfunctional friendship, misplaced values and a deeply flawed hero. I grew up on Carson's Tonight Show and Johnny remains the gold standard (though I prefer to watch The Daily Show and TCR, which are very different shows). It is sobering to learn how little happiness automatically comes with talent, luck, brains and money. The author was there for 18 years and he seems honest if not always objective (I admire the way Bushkin admitted his own missteps, and how easily he was seduced by the money and perks), so I believed this tale. And it leaves me sad that Johnny died alone. No service. And, since he was cremated, there isn't even a gravesite. He's just *POOF* gone.

That's part of why I'm surprised this book is near the top of the NYTimes Best Seller list. I wasn't sure anyone still remembered Johnny and the jokes he told in the monolog about "Bombastic Bushkin." I guess I was wrong.

• What do you think you’ll read next? I don't know. It should be Five Days at Memorial about the Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans and how they coped during the crisis of Katrina. But months ago I began The Last Word by Lisa Lutz and got distracted ... maybe I want to return to her wacky creation, The Spellman Family.

To see how others responded, click here.


  1. The Katrina book is way too heavy for me. But I'm interested in what you think of it.

  2. I remember reading elsewhere that Carson had a very lonely, isolated life when he was off-camera. His bio sounds interesting, but sad.

  3. Good Old Johnny Carson.

    ENJOY your reading week.

    Silver's Reviews
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