1. What are you currently reading? Frank: The Voice by James Kaplan. I read a lot of biographies, and I'm pleased to report that this time, the author and his subject are very well matched. Kaplan manages to be both admiring and clear-eyed when writing about the man and his music.
For example, I just read a passage about Frank's unfortunate infatuation with The Mob. It began, "Bugsy Siegel, the jaunty sociopath, was uncharacteristically nervous ..." So yes, Kaplan goes there when writing about Sinatra, and he does with style. This book is a most entertaining read.
And I'm getting to know Nancy Barbato (still alive and kicking), the first Mrs. Frank Sinatra. A pretty, smart, level headed Jersey girl. She didn't belong in Manhattan or Hollywood, but she went there because she loved the boy she met in Hoboken. She's not naive, she's not plain, and she's not masochistic -- all attributes commonly attributed to her as the Sinatra yarn is spun. I'm coming to admire her very much.