1. What are you currently reading? Sisters: The Story of Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine by Charles Higham. I loved FX's Feud: Bette and Joan, and I'm not ready for it to be over. Catherine Zeta-Jones was featured in a supporting role in the mini-series as Olivia de Havilland, an actress I know little about.
I mean, she's Melly from Gone with the Wind. Of course. But she was also a major star in Hollywood in the Golden Age, winning two Oscars. She was an early feminist, too. (The de Havilland Law revolutionized California labor practices in the 1930s and is still observed today.) She recently turned 100 years old. But there. That's what I know about her.
So while this Higham book is considered a superficial study of the lady, her career and her life, I'm good with that. I'm just looking for a primer. Besides, the Bobby book (below) was a little heavy. Superficial is right up my alley.
But Joe Biden wasn't our martyred president's brother. As much affection as the Vice President has garnered, it's not the unbridled passion Bobby inspired. The way Kennedy's personal grief fused with the traumatized nation's was powerful ... and not entirely his doing. To quote the book's last line, "The Bobby Myth is our creation, not his."
An examination of how/why Bobby Kennedy remains an icon of liberal politics, In Love with Night is less a biography than a 240-page editorial. I'm glad it concentrates on Bobby's policies and behind-the-scenes maneuvers, not whether or not he shtupped Marilyn. It's on solid ground when it explores the tougher and often ugly side to RFK's emphasis on action and victory. I appreciate how it compares and contrasts emotional, angry RFK and cool, ironic JFK. But for all the attention it pays to Bobby's relationships with his mother, his father and the Catholic Church and how they shaped him, it makes scant mention of his marriage of his 11 children (Ethel was pregnant when he died). I assume his own brood had some impact on him, especially since the family of his genesis influenced him so massively.
3. What will you read next? I don't know.