Wednesday, May 09, 2018


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?  
Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit by Chris Matthews. I'm rather early in -- WWII just started -- but I can say this is a unique biography. There's little that's new.* But it's emotionally resonant. Chris Matthews uses emotion and sentiment to emphasize the difference between brothers Jack and Bobby. For example, Bobby was tender and solicitous to his mother, Rose, but was intimidated by his father, Joe, whose approval he craved. Jack was dismissive of the mother he found cold and judgemental, while he loved and amused his powerful father. These two had the same parents, but their experiences within the family were radically different. It explains their divergent personalities and styles, but also their bond.

This is my third Chris Matthews book and I am surprised again by what a graceful writer he is. I enjoy his MSNBC show, Hardball, but I'd never describe his TV persona as "graceful."

2. What did you recently finish reading?   
Kickback: A Spenser Novel by Ace Atkins. Spenser leaves Boston for the fictional town of Blackburn, MA. It's a once thriving but now economically depressed mill town, one that's shrunk to the point where everyone knows everyone else's business. The atmosphere is paranoid and claustrophobic as Spenser investigates why so many of the town's young people end up in a draconian juvenile detention facility. Why didn't the kids get representation in court? Why doesn't the juvenile hall allow the kids contact with their families? Who runs the place ... and who profits? Who doesn't want our hero snooping, and how far will they go to stop Spenser?

It's a good mystery. The suspense builds nicely and it's good to be in the company of the usual cast of characters (Henry, Hawk, Rita, Belson/Quirk, Pearl and Susan are all present and accounted for).

3.  What will you read next?  
Maybe another biography? Or a mystery. My TBR pile is stacked dauntingly high with both.

*I didn't know that Dave Hackett, Bobby's prep school roommate and lifelong friend, once attended Exeter for a semester. Hackett so impressed classmate John Knowles that Dave became the basis for Phineas in A Separate Peace.