Tuesday, August 09, 2022


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? Play Dead by David Rosenfelt. Defense attorney Andy Carpenter only takes cases that appeal to him, and this case touches him deeply. A dog named Yogi is going to be put to sleep for biting his owner. Andy believes it's self defense, that the owner had it coming, and he goes to court to save the dog's life.

The story is considered human interest (canine interest?) and is snapped up the media. This exposure leads Andy to discover that Yogi had an even more complicated past than he ever suspected, and it leads to murder.

I am loving this book! It has Andy where Andy is best: in court and at the dog park. It's funny, well-plotted, and reminds me why I enjoy this series so much.

2. What did you just finish reading? Beatles in 1966: The Revolutionary Year by Steve Turner. This book takes us month by month through 1966, one of the most consequential years in the lives of the Beatles, as individuals and as a group.

When our story begins, the Lads from Liverpool had a hit album with Rubber Soul and a world tour planned that would take them to the US, Germany, Japan and the Philippines. The tour was successful financially but a disaster for them as artists. First of all, the songs they were doing in the studio -- like "Michelle" and "In My Life" -- were difficult to replicate onstage with just three guitars and a drum. Besides, no one could hear them over the screaming girls anyway. Then there was the bad press. This was the tour when John was asked (ad nauseum) about his comment that "we're more popular than Jesus." There were threats of violence against him in our Bible Belt (we'd just buried our President in 1963, no wonder Europeans thought we were savages). This was the tour when, through a scheduling snafu, the Beatles ran afoul of The First Lady of the Philippines and were attacked at the airport. Not surprisingly, this was the tour when the Beatles decided to stop touring.

1966 gave us "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields." George married Pattie and John met Yoko. Paul couldn't get enough theater, film, art, or philosophy. Ringo worried about what would happen to him now that the band had quit touring. So did manager Brian Epstein, who attempted suicide. Everybody did drugs, lots of drugs.

1966 is the year the Beatles became Paul's band more than John's. It's the year they completed Revolver -- "Eleanor Rigby," "Good Day Sunshine," "Got to Get You Into My Life," and "Yellow Submarine" -- and recorded "When I'm 64" for their 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper.

I loved the chronological telling. I realize that while Sir Paul is forever my favorite Beatle, I am more like John in that I am lazy. (He even wrote "I'm Only Sleeping" this year.) Paul was like the Energizer Bunny, his output was exhausting to read about. Ringo is sweet and grounded. I didn't like George very much, perhaps because he was so contrary and independent, the least Beatle-y of the Beatles.

If you're a fan, you'll love this book. If not? Well, maybe it will encourage you to listen to Revolver and help you understand what all the fuss is about.

3. What will you read next? I don't have anything selected yet.