Tuesday, November 08, 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? Murder Is Easy by Agatha Christie. Retired police officer Luke Fitzwilliam misses the train he wanted and ends up on another, finding himself completely by chance sitting next to a pleasant lady who reminds him of his aunt. When she learns that he was once a cop, this chatty old "dear" (as he thinks of her) shares that she is on her way to Scotland Yard to report a serial killer in her quiet little town. He thinks she's a little dotty and imagines how the inspectors at Scotland Yard will politely brush her off.
But then events take over and Fitzwilliam begins to suspect she wasn't crazy after all, and there may be something very evil loose in the countryside.

It's Dame Agatha. The chick was so good at this! So of course I'm enjoying Murder Is Easy.

2. What did you recently finish reading? The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy. A mommy group, organized online, starts meeting in person. In a park under a tree. They're there to support one another in this new adventure: motherhood. Sounds perfect, doesn't it?

These women all want to be perfect. They want to be the best possible mothers, and they want all the others in the group to think they have perfect babies, perfect marriages, perfect homes, and the perfect balance of family and career. Of course they don't. No woman can. But projecting perfection is important.

So when something goes horribly wrong, and one of the babies is abducted, the illusion of perfection is shattered. 

This book tries to be a lot of things: paranoid thriller, commentary on the media and motherhood, a demonstration of the toxicity of secrets. I applaud the author's ambition, but I think she attempted too much. There are so many mommies in the mommy group that the archetypes distracted from the mystery.

But that's a quibble. This was, in all, a satisfying read and one of the best books I've read this year.

3. What will read next? Time for some non-fiction.


Compasion Challenge: Day 7

We did this as a congregation in 2021 and I'm doing it myself this year. My life feels different now than it did 365 days ago, and I hope this will keep me grounded and help me live my faith.

Inspiring Compassion: The 30 Day Compassion Challenge. 30 days to explore the topic of compassion: Mindfulness, Compassion for Friends & Family, Self-Compassion, Compassion for All, Compassion for Our Planet.

I don't know how to classify this one. But I learned a lesson about how easy it is to be nice, and that it matters.

Donna joined our movie group months ago and, since she lives in Philly, has never actually met any of us in person.* Some of us have been in this group for nine years. We take occasional "field trips" to see movies in person and several of us have attended the TCM Classic Film Festival together in Hollywood. This group is how I've made friends with Will, Joanna and Elaine. Being in Philadelphia, Donna can't benefit from in-person bonding. 

So at the beginning of our online Zooms, I give her a shout out. Not every week, frankly, but when it occurs to me. I remember showing off for her by correctly pronouncing Philly locations Bala Cynwyd and Schuykill (I admit that while I pronounce them, I had to look up the spelling just now because they are so not phonetic!). When I saw her wearing a Phillies hoodie at the beginning of the playoffs, I wished her luck and talked to her about former Cub/Phillies star Kyle Schwarber.

Just a quick exchange, seldom more than a minute, over Zoom. After all, the group meets to discuss movies, not to hear me blather on other topics.

Last night, Donna reached out. Wanting to know if I'm going to the Film Festival this year (I am) and would I be willing to meet her for dinner in Hollywood. It's her first time, she's going alone, and she wants tips. She also wants to be Facebook friends. Of course!

Little things mean a lot. I notice when someone is kind to me, so I guess it should be no surprise that my acts of kindness matter to others. Yet it did surprise and please me.

*Before covid, we met once/month and watched movies together on a big screen. Now we're weekly on Zoom. We watch the movies online on our own.


Shout out to the lady from New Mexico

I read your comment and I appreciate the invite. I enjoyed your blog and hearing about your life. It's just I'm so frank about people and things here that I don't want my real name attached to it, and sending you an email would include my real name.

I don't want you to think I ignored you or that I don't care. 

I admit I may be too careful (paranoid?). 

It's me, it's not you.

Thanks for understanding.