Tuesday, June 27, 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? Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O'Connor. The title pretty much tells you what's going on here. Our heroine, Siobhan O'Sullivan, is trying to keep her five siblings together after the sudden death of her parents last year. The kids work together in the family's coffee shop. As she tries to soldier on through her grief, one of her small-town neighbors tells her that her parents' fatal car crash was not as it seems, and if she gives him money he'll tell her more. Siobhan really does not need this right now! Life brings her more unwelcome complications the very next morning when the O'Sullivan siblings, racing to get ready for the breakfast crowd, find a dead man in one of their booths. 

So far I'm enjoying this, carried along by my affection for our narrator, Siobhan. She's a dreamer -- she wants to zip around on a pink scooter, she wants to be a fast and fit runner, she wants a lot of things -- but she's clear-eyed about running her bistro, about the strengths and weaknesses of her siblings, about her chances for romance in the small town. I really want good things for Siobhan and I hope that corpse in the booth isn't bad for business. The O'Sullivans need the money!

2. What did you recently finish reading? Confidence Man by Maggie Haberman. I didn't really choose to read this book right now. I had it on hold at my library and it suddenly became available. OK, Universe, I'll take the cue.

NY Times reporter Haberman began covering Donald Trump since his days in New York and he's always given her access. (The book even ends with a long post-Presidency sitdown at Mar-a-Lago.) Her reputation and experience in Trump World makes this book very credible and even though I didn't enjoy it, I recommend it. Because we can't let this reckless narcissist near the levers of power again. Really, I'd forgotten (blocked out?) exactly how chaotic and dangerous our world was with him at the helm. Now that he's a candidate again, it's more important than ever to remember.

She puts his Presidency in the context of his life story, and concludes that Trump (not a well-traveled or curious man) believes the whole world operates like New York City. That to succeed, all you need is fame -- not accomplishment nor even money, just fame and glamor -- and you can get it through alternately bullying and charming. He is not, nor was he ever, a public servant. He doesn't want to change the world for the better. He wants to be the center of attention, and is so fantastically shallow he can't comprehend what's wrong with that.

At times, though, I still felt sorry for him. After he lost everything in the early 1990s, he reached out to a young and guileless Southern belle for comfort, which seemed very human to me. His shortest marriage, it was the one I found most relatable. At the end of the book, when Haberman interviewed him in Mar-a-Lago, he kept steering the conversation back to New York and I could sense how he longs for his old home town. It's as though he didn't choose Florida, he's exiled there.

3. What will read next? I don't know.