Tuesday, January 23, 2018

WWW.WEDNESDAY

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? Conversations with Kennedy by Ben Bradlee. Have you seen The Post? Tom Hanks plays Ben Bradlee of The Washington Post. (If you saw All The President's Men, Bradlee was played by Jason Robards.) Before he was the editor of The Post, Bradlee was the Washington Bureau Chief for Newsweek. He and his wife lived next door to Senator John Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline. The twp couples became fast friends and their friendship did not end when JFK moved into the White House. This is a very personal memoir of their time together -- in Georgetown, in The White House, at Hyannis Port and Camp David and Newport.

I originally read this when I was in high school and was entranced. The Bradlees were tight with the Kennedys and saw them as few did. The President on these pages is cool and sensitive, and defensive and vain. Funny and occasionally vulgar but never cruel. 

Today, the book -- published in the 1970s about events that took place in the 1960s -- sometimes gets bogged down in minutiae about events simply not relevant today. And it brings up disturbing questions about Bradlee's relationship with his former neighbor. I was bothered by what was on the record vs. off the record, and question how a journalist could possibly be objective covering a politician he clearly loved.

Still, it's a joy to read about a President who was clever, caring and curious, even in his private moments, when he didn't think his thoughts/actions were being recorded. And he seemed to relish the job and life in the White House, an enthusiasm the current resident doesn't seem to share.

2. What did you recently finish reading? X by Sue Grafton. This is the first Alphabet Mystery I touched since hearing of Ms. Grafton's death, and as I was reading I was keenly aware my time with Santa Teresa detective Kinsey Milhone is soon coming to an end. So I wished I liked this book more.  

Kinsey is juggling three different mysteries at once: first, a woman who wants Kinsey to help her find the baby boy she put up for adoption a quarter century ago; second, tying up loose ends in a case left unfinished by a recently deceased colleague; lastly, figuring out what exactly is up with those annoying new neighbors of hers. 

Only one of these mysteries is completely solved, at least to my satisfaction. And that left me feeling vaguely irritated. But upon further reflection, I realize that this book isn't so much about what happens, but Kinsey's reaction to what happens. Life has left our girl more contemplative, less cynical. I'll be interested to see how she continues to evolve in Y is for Yesterday, which is now, sadly, the last book in the series.
 
 3.  What will you read next? Maybe another biography? Or a mystery. My TBR pile is stacked high with both.  

3 comments:

  1. The Post has completely consumed me so I must read Conversations with Kennedy. Great post! Here is my WWW https://silverbuttonbooks.com/2018/01/24/www-wednesday-1-24-18/

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  2. Anonymous10:55 AM

    I remember the Kennedy family very well from the news accounts in the papers She Grafton will be miss. I have read all of her books. The earlier one several times. My link is
    https://idahobluebird50.com

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  3. One of my reading goals this year is to enjoy the alphabet series again. It's been too long since I visited it.

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