Tuesday, August 22, 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? Jackie: Public, Private, Secret by J. Randy Taraborrelli. Oh, I don't know why I'm reading this. I guess it's because whenever I hear about a new Jackie book I break into a trot, like a fire horse who hears the bell. J. Randy Taraborrelli is a popular, though not terribly respected, biographer who tends to treat the Kennedy family like celebrities, not historic figures, so I don't have terribly high hopes for this one. Yet I here I am!
It has started out promisingly, though. First Taraborrelli recounts his own dealings with Doubleday book editor Jacqueline Onassis. It's ironic since they are discussing his biographies of Diana Ross and why the second one was a better seller. Easy: it's more revealing and juicier. To hear one of the 20th century's most private women admit this so casually is jaw dropping. But, since it happened to Taraborrelli personally I don't doubt it happened. Plus her Doubleday coworkers recall her as a good teammate who appreciated the business side of publishing, so it squares.

Then it segues into John Warnecke's final memory of Jackie. It's 1994 and she knows she's dying. Warnecke was her lover for a short time, and now they're saying goodbye forever. Together they burned some of her personal correspondence in her fireplace. She was aware of her place in history and wouldn't destroy anything she wrote in her role as First Lady. But she didn't want her fame posthumously encroaching on the privacy of those who wrote to her. This, too, seems similar to the story told by Jackie's lifelong friend, Nancy Tuckerman, to biographer William Kuhn. 
So maybe this won't be a tawdry, trashy waste of my time after all. But I admit I'm still a little skeptical.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. Tate Collins moves to a new city and stays with her big brother for a while until she gets settled. Pilot Miles Archer is her brother's neighbor and friend. They are instantly attracted, but neither of them is prepared for a relationship. Tate is juggling her busy schedule as an ER nurse with a heavy class load as she continues her education. Miles has a dark secret that has turned him off romance. So they settle for a purely physical relationship.

This book has more sex than I was expecting. Lots and lots of sex. In the shower and on a rug and in the cockpit of a plane and in the car and bent over the dining room table and sometimes even in a bed. At first the sex was sexy. Then it started to read clinically, like a how-to manual. Finally I just got curious about Miles, waiting for him to request a blow job as I've never known a man in real life who never, ever wanted oral sex. (I'm sorry, was that TMI? I'm just trying to emphasize that my mind wandered during the numerous sex scenes.)

It's weird because Hoover's best writing always comes after the sex. She expertly captures Tate's ache as she finds herself falling deeper in love with Miles.

I didn't hate this book. There was a plot twist I couldn't wait to reach and Tate seemed like a nice enough heroine. I just didn't like it. 
3. What will read next? I don't know.


August Happiness Challenge -- Day 22

My 2023 happiness icon
Today's Happiness: "We want you!"

So texted my friend Nancy. It was a light-hearted exchange. She wanted to know if I was busy "this weekend." I told her my Sunday was booked but on Saturday, "Nobody wants me. 😢"

I was joking while texting with Nancy but I admit I was feeling a little emotional today, too. Sometimes it feels like my oldest friend is going out of her way to make me feel unimportant. I know rationally she does this unintentionally -- she's doing everything she can to stay afloat while dealing with her very real medical/emotional issues. But still, no one wants to feel incidental.

So while Nancy doesn't realize it, she texted me about Saturday at the perfect time.


August Happiness Challenge -- Day 21

My 2023 happiness icon
Today's Happiness: Mild sauce on the side.

Today I treated myself to a carry-out chicken lunch. They forgot my cole slaw, but they gave me an extra mild sauce on the side, so I was happy. I don't like the sauce on the chicken, I use it for dipping the fries. 

I learned recently that the mild sauce I love so much is a Chicago thing. So here's a link