Tuesday, October 24, 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 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? The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden's White House by Franklin Foer. This book takes us from the end of 2020 campaign, through the historically fucked-up transfer of power and into the Biden White House. It's about how Biden, a politician who is proud of his profession and believes in our institutions, tried to govern after the shambolic Trump years. (I said "shambolic" because I already used the f-word once to describe The Former Guy's administration.)

I had covid in November-December 2020. I suffered and was very frightened. I was just one of thousands and thousands of Americans during that surge. It is disgusting to learn how little time our then-President spent on our plight, so obsessed was he with overturning the election. So obsessed was he with himself. With himself.

2. What did you recently finish reading? Resilience by Elizabeth Edwards. Elizabeth Edwards came to national prominence in 2004, when her husband, Sen. John Edwards, first ran for President and then accepted the VP slot with John Kerry. 

She was a successful lawyer in her own right. Her husband included her in all of his professional decisions. They were wealthy beyond their expectations. But life handed her tragedies to overcome. Her 16-year-old son was killed in a car accident. Then her father suffered a debilitating stroke. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her mother went through cognitive decline. Her husband's infidelity was exposed by the tabloids.

With breathtaking candor, she discussed how she -- and people she met on the campaign trail and knew throughout her life -- faced adversity and found strength in friends and faith to go on.

There is much about this book that resonated with me. Elizabeth and I approach our faith in the same way. I'm paraphrasing, but here goes: God gives us our lives and our souls and eternal life. What happens in between is on us. God promises Heaven but not an easy ride on earth. Don't blame Him for what happens and don't count on Him to fix it for us. Knowing this, accepting this, is key. Hearing it again from Elizabeth helped.

It also helped to see that she wasn't perfect. At the time she wrote this book, her cancer had returned and she and John were trying to repair their marriage. Now, after her death and with the details of his affair public knowledge, she was foolish and wrong to place so much blame on The Other Woman. It seems clear that he misled Rielle Hunter as well as Elizabeth.

Elizabeth's honesty and strength could be intimidating except for that foolishness. I feel in a way it's her last gift to me. If this good but imperfect and entirely human woman could make her painful life work, so can we. My favorite quote is how she said she's like to be remembered: "She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails."

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



Get Ready!

On November 4, I'm joining in Mimi's Blogblast for Peace.
Why don't you do the same? It would be lovely if we filled the blogosphere with peace signs and gentle good wishes for a better future.