Tuesday, July 14, 2020


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? Open and Shut by David Rosenfelt. Defense attorney Andy Carpenter is my kinda guy -- he loves baseball, dogs, and lost causes. He also has a smart mouth. So even if I wasn't enjoying the mystery, I'd probably enjoy this book.

But I am enjoying the mystery. Why did Andy's father -- a legendary prosecutor -- insist Andy take on the appeal of a man he put on death row? Poor Andy will never know, because his father dies suddenly ... and more family secrets are revealed.

There's a lot at stake for Andy: emotionally, professionally and physically. His sense of humor not only makes us cheer for him, it makes the tension easier to take. So far, this is a highly entertaining read.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory. Disclosure: I hate hot, humid weather, and that's why I reached for this book. I wanted to read about Christmastime, bracing winds and the need for hot tea and fireplaces. On that level, this book really delivered. However, it let me down in other areas.

It has a fun chick-lit premise. Vivian, a 50-something Bay area social worker, is whisked away to London for Christmas week. Her adult daughter gets a dream assignment with the Royal Family and brings mom along so they won't be apart on Christmas. While her daughter is hard at work, Vivian enjoys a lovely little holiday romance. However, after Christmas, neither Vivian nor her new love interest, Malcolm, are able to just let it go.
Where this fell apart for me was in the depictions of Vivian and Malcolm. Even though they traded narration duties, chapter by chapter, I never felt I knew them. They each had fascinating occupations (she's a social worker in a hospital, helping families in crisis; he's personal secretary/advisor to the Queen herself in matters of Parliament), but all we really know of their jobs is that she loves her and he's frustrated by his. Not enough.

A smaller but equally annoying point: After New Year's, when an ocean and a continent separate them, they communicate by post cards. Nice, romantic and perfectly in keeping with people in their 50s who might feel they spend too damn much time with their email accounts. But here's the thing: I send postcards, too. No one on earth could handwrite such long messages on the back of postcards. Such sloppiness took me out of the action, over and over again, through the end of the story when I really wanted to be engaged.

In short: It's a three-star premise with a two-star execution. If you go into it with managed expectations, and take it for what it is, you may enjoy it.

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


The "truth" about Remdesivir

Is this like looking in the mirror?
Do you believe that profits from Remdesivir line Dr. Anthony Fauci's pockets? Maybe you should take off your tinfoil hat and instead put on a mask to protect your neighbors.

It isn't true that Dr. Fauci benefits.

Have you heard that Remdesivir is the product of a vast, worldwide pharmaceutical conspiracy that can be traced back to Hillary Clinton and George Soros?

It simply isn't true.

Do you believe that person you never actually met but who posted online that she knows someone who knows a doctor who "admitted" masks won't help stop the spread of the corona virus? Why don't you just call your own doctor?

Even Fox News confirms the value of wearing a mask.

There is much about the Trump Presidency that depresses me, but nothing more than this: He's contributed to the growing mistrust of doctors, the CDC and the mainstream media (now including Fox). Demographically speaking, 53% of voters over 65 voted for Trump in 2016. 51% of those between 50 and 64 also chose Trump over Clinton. This is important because those voters are now 3 1/2 years older. 3 1/2 years more vulnerable. I may disagree with my paranoid online brothers and sisters, and despise the way they parrot misinformation without checking it, but I don't want them to get sick. Or die.

Don't listen to me about Remdesivir vs. hydroxychloroquine or the importance of masks. Don't listen to anyone you only know as a screen name. Talk to your own doctor. You know, an MD or nurse practitioner who has, at some point, actually listened to your heart and taken your temperature. Don't become a Covid19 statistic.

Look at this way: if you're dead, you can't vote for Trump/Pence in 2020.