Tuesday, October 06, 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? First Degree, by David Rosenfelt. Our hero, defense attorney Andy Carpenter, is irreverent and loves dogs and baseball. He's also newly wealthy and doesn't have to take cases out of financial necessity. It's no surprise, then, that he turns down the elegant man who comes into his office and confesses to a grisly murder that no one has yet been charged with. However, since the elegant man came to Andy as a possible client, privilege applies and Andy can't report him to the police. You can understand Andy's dilemma when someone else is arrested for the murder. The suspect is one of life's losers who not only didn't do it, he can't afford a good attorney. Andy offers to take his case pro bono, and we're off.

This is the second book in the Andy Carpenter series I discovered this past summer. I'm enjoying it as continued time with the characters I met in the first book, and for how different the story and plot are.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Hank and Jim by Scott Eyman. It's about the 50-year friendship between movie stars Henry Fonda and James Stewart. They met as struggling actors in New York, shared a house in Hollywood, and were confidantes until Fonda's death in 1982.  

They were a study in contrasts: Fonda was a liberal Democrat, Stewart a conservative Republican. Fonda was agnostic, Stewart a church-going Presbyterian. Fonda was a loner, Stewart never met anyone he didn't like. But they were loyal to one another through good times and bad -- and the bad times include World War II, Vietnam, divorces, suicide, the loss of a child, old age, ill health, and death. The one thing they didn't have to overcome was jealousy. I am amazed that two men of the same age, in the same industry, managed to not compete, but everyone agrees they never did. Not even the year they were both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

If you enjoy old Hollywood dish, there are quite a few tasty morsels here. But mostly it was warm and touching. I was amused and heartened by their shared love of animals and lost track of all the dogs and especially cats that populate these pages. Toward the end of the book, Fonda gave a deeply grieving Stewart a animal-related gift that literally brought tears to my eyes.

3. What will read next? I'm not sure.