Best BookTreks 2014

Best of what I read this year:

Us, Nicholls
Lost for Words, St. Aubyn
The Luminaries, Catton
All Our Yesterdays, Tarloff
The Unknown Bridesmaid, Forster

Many novels were good, but uneven. Best of those:

The Paying Guests, Waters
The Children Act, McEwan
Her, Lane
We Were Liars, Lockhart

Complete list 2011-2014. BookTreks.


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Worst 2014

Rape of the leaves. Construction next door.
Sochi Olympics. Return of Putin.
Crying Wolfowitz. Right-wing and media fear-mongering.
ISIS. GangWorld.
Ebola. E-bowling.
Malaysia missing airplane obsession.
Ferguson media hype.
Commencement Speech bigots.
Football violence on and off the field.
TV’s Newsroom. Veep.
“Cute cat” videos.
Construction next door.


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Best 2014

mAdBen & Neil deGrasse Tyson at CannesLions10383719_841943909179198_4846207022091497883_o-2

Television. So much.
House of Cards. Spacey.
Ray Donovan.
True Detective.
Harrelson. McConaughey.
Freeman. Thornton. Tolman.
Parts Unknown.
Bourdain in Massachusetts.
 Bobby Morse’s dancing exit.

Movies. Not much.

Of Mice and Men. O’Dowd.
Realistic Joneses. Letts. Collette. Hall. Tomei.

Restaurant Events. Manhattan.
Sushi Nakazawa
Eleven Madison Park
Del Posto

Rory rising. Stray #92.
Upper West Side. Rediscovered.
Smiarowski Farm Stand. Pioneer Valley.
Bruno Mars. Anywhere.
James Franco. Anytime.

NYTimes Pick. Several times.


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Shock at Senate Torture Report? Don’t you watch HomeLand? It’s the CIA! Covert operations. Misinformation. Rogue warriors. Plausible deniability. Enhanced interrogation techniques. Torture not spoken. Against Geneva Conventions. War crimes. Drones are no better. Just can’t see the damage they do. To innocents. Benghazi a spy outpost. Nobody will ever talk.

Don’t you people watch HomeLand? It will never stop. On the bright side. McCain v. Cheney. In the meantime. Elizabeth Warren is going Ted Cruz.

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HolidayLetter 2014

Chers Faux Amis,

Six months since exciting Spring update. And. Well. Yes. We’ve moved from Silent H to Pronounced H, Massachusetts. Our matchy cottage is finally finished. Blue-gray is the color of the day. Two houses next door can paint theirs. Ours is permanent. So. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. No? Built a fenced-in pig-pen out front. What will Zoning Board say about that? Little hogs will have to tangle with aging Mephistopheles the cat. Money’s on Meph.

The fresh outlook is wonderful. We can see right into neighbors’ windows with no trees in our way. Sunbeams galore on our PV panels. Speaking of which. Moonbeam is back from Colorado. He’s almost 30 now and training at the medical marijuana clinic here in town. Goody. He can move in with us again and resurrect Candy Crush marathons in the brand new basement!

Zelda still needs to replace Prius CoExist bumper sticker with WeExist. Bought each other matchy-matchy winter jackets, too. It’s a theme. Have to collect melted snow from the plastic barrel now. Happy Kristwaanzakah to all.

The Bidrights,

Newly of Northampton (pronounced as if 2 h’s)
Formerly of Amherst (silent h)

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Doldrums between holidays. Lip-synched Christmas carols. Regem angelorum. Glimmer of a glow. James Franco. Best SNL in years. Nicki Minaj killed it. Bieber impression surpassed the Beebs himself. Unusually funny show. Homeland’s homage to Benghazi. Really?

Will & Kate. Duke & Duchess’ first date in Manhattan with mAdBen’s top boss. WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell. Mad Men rule. Reigning American couples compete for regal photo ops. Barack & Michelle. Chelsea & Hill. Grandma-in-waiting.

NFL playoffs shaping up. Niners need spanx. Bye bye Harbaugh. Smart matters. Chargers’ Eddie Royal fell short of plucking Pats off their throne.

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Saturday Matinee

NBC’s Peter Pan Live! More like Walken Dead. Christopher’s zombie impression of Cyril Ritchard’s brilliant preening and prancing original Hook. Allison Williams’ creepy Pan surrounded by fabulously made-up rejects from Broadway chorus lines. Very gay and boring all at the same time. We could see the wires.

Tiger’s back on the course. Not Lily. A little rusty still. Spieth impressive. Florida looking good on a rainy cold day. Shrimp Fra Diavolo by the fire instead.


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