Tuesday, January 02, 2024


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? Babe: The Legend Comes to Life by Robert W. Creamer.

I've returned to The Babe. I read a biography of him last year and while I found the man's life story compelling, that ambitious tome frustrated me because the author was trying to do too much -- or at least more than I wanted. I was looking for a linear telling of a legendary life.

So now I've picked up Creamer's book. This is the one that's regarded as the gold standard. As a baseball fan and a consumer of pop culture, I know Babe Ruth is important and still matters. (As the author points out, more than 70 years after Babe's death, if someone is referred to as "the Babe Ruth" of his profession, you know it means excellence.) I'm eager to immerse myself in why.

So now, in winter, I'm dreaming about baseball and reading about the best. (Or second best, according to Joe Posnanski, a sportswriter who insists Willie Mays was better. That's the thing about baseball; if you love the game you can debate these things forever.)

2. What did you recently finish reading? Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six by Lisa Unger. As the jacket says, "A dreamy weekend is about to turn into a nightmare." It sure as shit does!


Three couples who know one another well -- a brother and sister, their spouses, a childhood friend and her beau -- go away to for a weekend in the woods. They're not expecting to rough it. The brother is a tech millionaire and he's into conspicuous consumption, so in addition to hiking there are gourmet meals, spa treatments and yoga classes scheduled, all provided onsite in their little luxury lodge.


But instead they find themselves fighting for their survival. Someone in the wilderness wishes them ill. A storm is coming. Legend has it the woods are haunted. What exactly are they battling? Evil? Nature? The supernatural? Or one another?

This is an ambitious book. It's about who we are and what makes us that way. It questions how well we know one another and the ties of family. At times it's too much. I kept thinking of that quote from Coco Chanel: "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take off one thing." I'd say similar to Unger: "Before you publish, look at your subplots and suspects and remove one."

But as messy as this book is, it's compelling. If you're in the mood for something a bit more complex than the standard mystery-thriller, I recommend it.

3. What will you read next? I don't know. It's going to take me a while to make my way through almost 500 pages with Babe.