Tuesday, October 13, 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? My Girls, by Todd Fisher. Todd's "girls" are mother Debbie Reynolds and sister Carrie Fisher. He refers to this book as "a long love letter and thank-you note to the two most pivotal, extraordinary women I've ever known." And it is. He's touchingly fond and understanding when writing about them. Which is not to say that he whitewashes anything. Forgiving is not the same as ignoring in this book. I appreciate his candor.

2. What did you recently finish reading? First Degree, by David Rosenfelt. Our hero, defense attorney Andy Carpenter, is irreverent, plays Scrabble, and loves both pets and baseball. He's also a multimillionaire. Yes, he ticks all the boxes and qualifies as my dream man. I admit I have a crush on him.

He's our narrator, and the best thing about this book. The plot is good, too. A prospective client confesses to an especially grisly murder. Andy is repulsed and refuses to take the case but, since attorney/client privilege applies, he can't alert the police. What he can do, though, is offer to defend the luckless low-level thug who is charged with the crime. After all, Andy knows this defendant is innocent. 

The story really had me for a long time. There's a lot at stake, many unexpected twists and a genuinely heartbreaking turn of events. Then, at about the 70% mark, it turns out one of the recurring characters just so happens to have an in-law who is a high-ranked government official and that magically opens doors. It felt a little too convenient for me.

But that's just a quibble. I'm sure I'll return to this mystery series (and my fictional boyfriend).

3. What will read next? I've laid hands on A Night to Remember, Walter Lord's well-respected chronicle of the last hours of the Titanic. I'm not 100% sure it's my next read, though. During the pandemic I find books have an outsized impact on my mood. If I'm feeling the least melancholy, I'll go with something else.

The deed is done


My niece is married. She wore her perfect dress: a tea length tulle from David's Bridal. She was inspired by the dress my mother wore on her wedding day in 1955. My niece saw that little b&w photo many times because my mom carried it in her wallet. My niece told me that, when she was a little girl, she fantasized about going wedding dress shopping with her grandma. 

I was thinking along the same lines. My wedding present was a Kohl's gift card, even though they were registered at Amazon and Target. Kohl's was my mom's favorite store, and she loved sharing her "Kohl's Cash" with my niece, so I told the bride and groom they should consider whatever they bought with the card a gift from Grandma.

I was also touched that she requested photos be taken with her and me, and then with the three of us: me, her and her brother. I'm not especially close to my family, and feeling like an important part of my niece's day meant a lot to me.

I really like the groom's family. They hosted the wedding at their house and were so warm and welcoming. And thoughtful! If you didn't have a mask, one was provided for you. But you were wearing one. I appreciated their wisdom and maturity during the pandemic.

We're related!

When my niece married Mark, his family's cat and I became in-laws. We hit it off instantly and he tried to run away with me by climbing into my purse. Alas, they locked him in the basement and foiled his getaway.

My cute little cabin

I was in Holland Michigan for my niece's wedding and stayed at a little coach house. I had it all to myself and was happy here. No photos of the bathroom because it was more "rustic" than I would have liked (the shower stall was a temporary fiberglass affair and the toilet was unreliable) but I would stay here again.

I binged on Batman and did the Batusi in honor of my niece

One thing I learned: just because a municipality allows Uber and Lyft doesn't mean that any of the citizens are drivers. I literally got a "NO CARS AVAILABLE" message! I had to take cabs, and I wasn't crazy about that because the drivers, while very pleasant, weren't big on masks.

Both airports (ORD and GRR) were, however, very serious about masks. I was so happy and grateful to see that. This was my first trip since the pandemic and felt better when my fellow citizens were thoughtful enough to mask up and social distance.



I flew in to GRR in Grand Rapids, which is known as Gerald R. Ford International Airport. On my way to the baggage carousel, I got my geek on and checked out exhibit devoted to its namesake. It reminded me of my first Presidential campaign, when my choices were Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter.

My choice was between two public servants, two intrinsically decent and patriotic men. How lucky I was!

I'm hoping that, when this sad chapter in our history is over, we will go back to having an intrinsically decent and patriotic career public servant at the helm. One who isn't in office to aggrandize himself or avoid prosecution from the SDNY. One who doesn't dismiss soldiers as suckers and losers. One who will denounce white supremacists.

It occurred to me that, if we really want to "make America great again," we have no choice but to vote for Joe Biden.