1. What are you currently reading? Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe. Despite its positive reviews, I wasn't sure I'd enjoy this memoir, because I've never been much of a Rob Lowe fan ... and because it starts out more than a little maudlin with his recollection of knowing JFK, Jr. ever-so slightly just before that fatal plane crash.
But here's the surprise: I am enjoying it. A lot. I appreciate how candid he is about his own career: He grew up around Sean Penn, and he knows he's not Sean Penn. He knows he'll likely never get a part as good as Leonardo di Caprio's in The Departed, or Timothy Hutton's in Ordinary People (which he couldn't even get an audition for). He's an actor who wants to work, and takes the best of what he's offered. It's an interesting glimpse into the life of someone who isn't in the highest echelon, and knows and accepts it.
He's a charming raconteur, too. I'm just about done with this book, and soon I think I'll miss hanging around with Rob and hearing his stories.
2. What did you recently finish reading? Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. I've seen Gone Girl, the hit movie based on her most famous work, but this is the first time I've read Ms. Flynn. This book is both deeply disturbing and highly addictive. There is not a character you wish you knew in real life. It's the tale of a Chicago reporter on assignment in the small Missouri town where she grew up. Young girls have been disappearing, and she's using her hometown connections to get the story. In addition to a serial killer, there's self mutilation and torture and joyless sex and damning gossip. When you guess whodunnit rather early on, you're probably right. And yet the writing is as evocative as it is provocative, and Flynn's imagination is wild and dark and hypnotic.