Tuesday, July 18, 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? Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. The Bennets have five unmarried daughters: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia. Mr. Bennet tends to the family fortune and makes rueful asides. Mrs. Bennet is a social climber who is fixated on her daughters' marital status. You think you know this story? Not this version. It takes place in modern day Cincinnati. Liz is visiting from New York, where she writes fro Mascara magazine. Dr. Fitzwilliam Darcy is a sharp-tongued surgeon, as gifted as he is flinty.

I'm enjoying this book enormously. The writing is clever but also emotionally resonant and has really drawn me in.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Onassis: An Extravagant Life by Frank Brady. A very straightforward biography of a man who rose from the ashes, built an empire, achieved international fame, and died before age 70. 

Onassis' story begins with unspeakable tragedy. The Turkish military took over the Onassis hometown of Smyrna (now Izmir) and intentionally burned it to the ground, killing up to 125,000 Greeks and Armenians. His aunt, uncle and baby cousin were burned alive. Another uncle was hanged. His beloved grandmother was beaten to death in the street. His father was imprisoned. At 16, Aristotle Onassis was the head of his family.

His moral compass was way off, but after enduring all that, why wouldn't it be? As he built his fortune -- first in tobacco, then in whaling, then shipping and finally aviation -- he paid no attention to labor laws or fair employment practices. He had no allegiance to any flag. He did whatever it took to succeed.
I didn't like him, but I felt compassion for him. No matter how much he achieved, he seldom seemed happy for very long. He was fascinating, charismatic and irrevocably broken. While I admit that many of his business dealings confused me, Brady's narrative kept me involved. If you interested at all in Aristotle Onassis, I recommend this book.
3. What will read next? I don't know.