1. What are you currently reading? Profiles in Courage by John F. Kennedy. I'm using my shelter-at-home time to finally get to books I purchased but, for whatever reason, never touched. This little gem certainly qualifies. This Pulitzer Prize winner written in 1955 by the then-junior Senator from MA, and the edition I've got was copyrighted 1999.
Kennedy profiles eight Senators who took the hard stand, the position that would put them at odds with party and constituents, all because it was the right thing to do.
I just started, but so far it feels like the right book at the right time. I hope during this unprecedented crisis, all Senators will rise to the occasion.
As a lifelong Kennedy girl, I appreciate having JFK's voice in my head. His opinions and actions shaped much of my world view, and so I'm especially glad I picked this book up at a time when I could use a boost to my national pride.
2. What did you recently finish reading? Over My Dead Body by Rex Stout. The 7th book in the Nero Wolfe series was a delight! Set in 1939, on the precipice of the second World War with the first World War fresh in the national consciousness, Wolfe finds himself at the intersection of international intrigue, finance and murder.
The story starts when the lovely Carla shows up at Wolfe's brownstone. A recent immigrant who speaks with an accent and occasionally slips into Montenegrin, she tells Wolfe's right-hand man Archie that she needs help. She and her friend, Neya, also from the Balkans, have gotten into some trouble with the police and need the help of Nero Wolfe, the world-famous, well-connected and highly-successful detective. Oh yeah, and they can't pay Wolfe's fee.
Why on earth would Wolfe want to help them? She coolly responds that her friend Neya is Wolfe's long-lost daughter.
Wolfe always lived a very male-centric world and became unhappy and irascible in the presence of women. The very idea that he had a child -- a daughter! -- is preposterous. And yet, the man himself acknowledges that it's true.
From there the action escalates. Two men end up dead. The FBI and several embassies don't seem to want these murders solved. Archie and the police were confused. Wolfe, being a genius, can keep it all straight. It's exciting, complex and, at times, very funny. My favorite scenes revolved around the colorful, sexy couturier named Madame Zorca. Was she a suspect, a co-conspirator, or just an irritant who wears lingerie whenever possible? I won't give it away, but she did make me smile.
3. What will you read next? I don't know.