Tuesday, March 07, 2023


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

PS I can no longer participate in WWW.WEDNESDAY via that link because her blog won't accept Blogger comments. I mention this only to save you the frustration I experienced trying to link up.

1. What are you currently reading? Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter by Randy L. Schmitt. I admit I have a love-hate relationship with The Carpenters. I love Karen's voice, I hate the syrupy arrangements. I always wondered what Karen could have achieved if she'd had a solo career. Apparently I'm not alone. 

So far the author seems to agree with me. While I was thinking primarily of her recording career, he maintains Karen might have blossomed on her own personally, as well, had she escaped her family. I appreciate how sensitive and compassionate this portrait is so far.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Jackie & Me by Louis Bayard. This historic romance novel puts a new spin on an oft-told tale: the courtship between Sen. John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Bouvier. But the "me" in the title isn't JFK, it's Lemoyne Billings, Kennedy's lifelong best friend. Mr. Bayard imagines the relationship between Jackie and Lem, two outsiders welcomed into The Kennedy Clan because they were with Jack.
This book is about a lot of things: how Jackie and Lem became friends through loving the same man; about what they each gained and gave up by giving themselves over to a family literally oozing with money with power; how Lem lived as a closeted gay man in the 1950s; Jackie's evolution from quiet, lonely and unsure working girl to iconic political wife. 

While it held my interest and is very well written, it's important to remember that it's fiction. No one knows for sure what Jack said to Lem about Jackie or what Lem said to Jackie about Jack. This is Bayard's take on a fairy tale, and I enjoyed it on those terms.

3. What will read next? I don't know.