It’s that time again. Best Books lists are out. None seem particularly compelling. My own is short. Not a stellar crop this year.
Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield
Snakes by Sadie Jones
The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones
Save Me The Plums by Ruth Reichl
New novels by Richard Russo, Elinor Lipman & Ann Patchett were surprisingly lackluster. Full reviews on Book-Treks.com
Best of the Year
Golden Hill, Francis Spufford
Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie
Autumn, Ali Smith
Shipping Out, David Foster Wallace
Read the rest of her 2018 List at BOOK-TREKS.COM
The Spotted Pig, trendy mainstay of the West Village has been the fodder for recent #MeToo due to bad behavior by restaurateur duo Mario Batali and Ken Friedman. Friedman’s chef co-owner April Bloomfield has parted ways with him after pretending to be oblivious to the debauched behavior in the venue’s after-hours-upstairs. Drugging and raping staff. Allegedly.
News today that another woman is going to partner with Friedman to revive The Spotted Pig. Gabrielle Hamilton, author of Blood, Bones & Butter and decades-acclaimed chef owner of East Village gem Prune. A renegade rebel from lobster fiascos at upscale camps in the Berkshires, to line chef at Curtis & Schwartz in Northampton while at Hampshire College, as told in Table’s Edge. This is an interesting decision. But. Hey. Go Gabrielle! You are a true survivor.
Author Tom Wolfe. His books stand the test of time. No one ever coined cultures better. Social x-rays. Limousine liberals. Radical chic. The ME generation. University athletics as centers of corruption. Astronauts as heroes of a generation. Wolfe’s white suits and literary legacy live on.
I Am Charlotte Simmons. Bonfire of the Vanities. The Right Stuff. Back to Blood. All-time favorites on the Book-Treks shelf.
It seems that Tom’s first job in journalism was as a reporter at The Springfield Union, in Springfield, Massachusetts.
It’s the first full day of Spring. Yet. Wintry all-day snow. Upper West Side got more than most. Over 8 inches. So. Read Autumn by Ali Smith for tomorrow’s book club:
Collage campus. I didn’t intend to like this book based on its subject matter. Dying old guy and young girl as friends. Yet. I did like it. More for its richness of language, word play, concision of phrasing. And. Daniel’s perspective on life as a collage alum, rather than a college one. An asymmetrically smart relationship. Historical. Topical. Not a story novel. More a literary read.
Make America laugh again. Journalists are such easy prey. They take themselves so seriously that any jab puts them into supercilious overdrive. Get a grip. Stop swinging at low hanging fruit and do some real reporting. Stormy. Really? And. Of course. Dennis Rodman would love to join the Rocket Man summit. Why not?
Speaking of light. Two out of three books so far fit the bill. The Wife Between Us, by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen. Not sure why this took two women to conjure it. Disturbed families. Vulnerable adults. Worth a few hours on a wintry Saturday. Mrs., Caitlin Macy. Upper East Side moms. Nothing more than trite. However, The Woman In the Window, by A.J. Finn is not light at all. Dr.Husband reports depressing and tedious. So nope. Won’t read that one.
Apologies to Archie Bell & the Drells. Go Tiger!
Beach reads not even worth the reviews. Chick lit lite. At best. The Heirs, Susan Rieger. A superficial soap opera with implausible scenarios. Ditto. The Arrangement, Sarah Dunn. You guessed it. A couple with an autistic boy decides to set ground rules for cheating on each other for six months. Of course. It all goes wrong. Syrupy in the end.
Ray Donovan. This season better get better. Fast. Devolved into maudlin slow episodes. Last week of GOT. No! Good thing it’s gorgeous weather. Tavern on the Green patio. Or. Bringing our own chairs to watch eclipse, read, have lunch in the park. Yes!
Game of Thrones returns. After reviewing the last two episodes of gory wars, exploding bodies, and dogs’ ravenous dinner of Ramsay, Season 7 began. It couldn’t get grosser, could it? Oh yes. How does a library become a cesspool. Literally. There are tomes and turds galore. And.
Speaking of bad reads. Leaving Lucy Pear, Solomon’s “mother load” touted by WaPo, is a dud.
The Night Ocean, by Paul La Farge. I’m not sure. It kept me rapt. Author clearly had lots of things to work through. Personally. Maybe. Literarily many unfinished stories found their way into this dense work. Sprawling disjointed tales of several complex people in different times and places. Spaces. Told from a woman’s point of view, Marina the shrink, working out her own issues. The author gave her an authentic voice. It begins as her husband Charlie disappears into Agawam Lake in the Berkshires. H.S. Lovecraftian fandom less clear. More context necessary for those not acquainted with this cult of science-fiction-horror genre. Nonetheless. Worth the meandering page-turning journey. Lots to think about. La Farge’s New Yorker view.
Speaking of mind-bending. Twin Peaks so far is a self-indulgent David Lynchian acid trip with no redeeming plot value. Vomitaceous. Literally.