Tuesday, October 10, 2017


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

1. What are you currently reading? The Starter Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer.  A frothy roman a clef about The Wife of a Producer who suddenly, unexpectedly finds herself left behind. Her problems are real to her but a great escape for me. I'll never have to worry if the florist I have on retainer will change his allegiance to my ex-husband, or if the valet who parked my BMW knew about my husband's affair before I did. I suppose I understand the issues she faces, but I can be entertained by her situation rather than feeling it, and after spending a month with the Tate/LaBianca murders (see below), that's all right with me.
Plus Ms. Grazer -- ex-wife of Oscar-winner Brian Grazer -- is a good writer. The stream of consciousness passages that explain how our heroine works through her stress are clever, funny and occasionally even relateable.This shouldn't be surprising. As a scriptwriter, he wrote the Susan Sarandon/Julia Roberts hit Stepmom, so she has proven she can sympathetically portray modern women in turmoil.

2. What did you recently finish reading?Helter Skelter, The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi. Wow. Just wow. A true 20th century nightmare. An intense and scary story told with integrity by the prosecutor. It's not a perfect book; Bugliosi spends a lot of time rehashing squabbles with the LAPD that just don't seem relevant decades later. But this is one of those books where it doesn't matter that you know how it ends. You're gripped by the human tragedy, by the lives lost, and by the stakes as Bugliosi works hard to make sure that Manson never walks free.
As I write this, Leslie Van Houten as been approved for parole and the only thing between her and freedom is California Governor Jerry Brown. I hope he denies her release. The argument -- if she wasn't a member of the Manson Family, she'd be free today -- doesn't impress me. Because she was a member of the Manson Family. She was a willing, enthusiastic participant in at least two exceptionally cruel and violent murders. She snarled and giggled her way through her trial. While I don't believe in the death penalty, I am in favor of her staying right where she is for the rest of her natural life. She has found God and earned two degrees while in prison. Those adventures in spiritual exploration and self-improvement are opportunities Rosemary and Leno LaBianco didn't have.
3.  What will you read next? I've got some biographies and mysteries waiting for me.


  1. Oh, I am so hopeful that Leslie Van Houten won't get parole! I'll never forget that long hot summer of the Manson murders...and read Helter Skelter. I also saw a movie based on the book.

    I loved The Starter Wife.

    Thanks for sharing, and here's MY WWW POST

  2. Guess I'll have to pick up The Starter Wife--I'm intrigued! :)