Tuesday, June 06, 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? Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This is the story of a famous yet fictional 70s band -- how they got together, how they climbed to the top of the charts, why they broke up. I love how it captures the vibe of the time. I was a teenager in the 70s and can imagine myself looking up to Daisy as a kind of Stevie Nicks rock goddess. At one point she says, "I'm not the muse. I'm the somebody." Love that!

It unfolds as an oral history, which is an interesting device. Alas, for me, it's not completely successful. When Daisy is speaking, I'm captivated. But right now, the various members of The Six are not yet distinct from one another. I'm often pausing to see "which guy is this?" 

But I'm sticking with it. When I'm done, I intend to check out the Amazon Prime series. Daisy is played by Riley Keough, who just so happens to be the granddaughter of The King himself, Elvis. I find that most intriguing!

2. What did you recently finish reading? In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I originally read this book approximately 20 years ago. I picked up a second-hand paperback in a gift shop en route to Little Rock Airport (now Clinton National). It left a big impression on me. But, since a quadruple homicide isn't exactly light and lovely reading, I never picked it up again. Until now.

For since then, Truman Capote has loomed large as a personality, not necessarily as an author. I've seen the movie Capote (with an Oscar-winning turn from Philip Seymour Hoffman) and read Deliberate Cruelty and Capote's Women. Truman is one of those people who, the more I know about him, the less I like him. He was manipulative, petulant, self-indulgent and disloyal. 

So I decided to go back to egg. I reread In Cold Blood to discover why Capote still matters. My conclusion? The dreadful little fuck wrote a masterpiece.
This is not "true crime" in the sense we know it today. It's not really about the mechanics of the murder of the Clutters. It's about us, America. It's about how we treat our children (the difference between the Clutter family and the family one of the murderers grew up in is stark). How we treat our inmates (no wonder we have habitual criminals) and the vicissitudes of the  death penalty. It's about Christian faith, forgiveness and the promise of Heaven. In short: this is so much more than any "ripped from the headlines" episode of Law & Order.

It's not a perfect book. I don't feel like enumerating the issues I had with it on the reread that I wasn't aware of 20 years ago. Because it's a beautifully written book with a powerful message. I'd rather leave it at that.

3. What will read next? Something light.



No longer in the dog house

John has been texting me this evening during the White Sox-Yankees game. He just can't look at Anthony Rizzo without thinking of me. 

I don't know what's going on with him. I don't know why he's so unhappy and why he's not taking steps to reverse his fortunes. I wish things were different.

But at least we're us again. And that's a lot.

 PS Shoutout to the ladies who commented about my struggles with my oldest friend. Your words meant a great to me. Thank you so.