Plutarch’s fleek Romans were sleek. For today’s pop icons fleek connotes perfection. On point. As in Caitlyn Jenner? Rumer Willis? Rainy Monday. What can I say. Tyrion Lannister and Khaleesi together. Definitely.
Rand Paul has been consistent in making the right case. It’s not about whether data gathering under the Patriot Act makes us safer. The point is that it violates the Fourth Amendment. Slippery slope. Potential for abuse in the wrong hands.
Recent literary prize-winners were women. Mantel. Catton. Enright. Tartt. Why the need for a women-only prize? Edward St. Aubyn spoofs the process in his Lost for Words where the prize went to a Cookbook. What’s wrong with that?
Best of what I read this year:
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
We Were Liars, Lockhart
Complete list 2011-2014. BookTreks.
Emotional trade-offs. Ian McEwan’s The Children Act is packed full of them. An English family law judge struggles with making the best of lousy situations. She is a detached woman, necessary for her work yet it spills over into her marriage. A study of rigid religious and social constructs so easily shattered. One simple word or gesture can change everything. The novel is ultimately unsettling.
Ebola trades. Science vs. psychology. Quarantines overly constrain. Self-monitoring causes strange side effects like having a hankering to get on a cruise ship, airplane, or subway train. The major issue is resources. Hospital staff, law enforcement to track down potential contacts, proper facilities. Exponentially expensive. In the meantime, stay away from those e-bowling shoes.
Jeter’s last game at Yankee Stadium was magical. Crowd respected #2. Captain walked off with style. Literally. Consistent class. Ryder Cup camaraderie is also refreshing if not exciting this year. Rookies rule so far. My bias is Team Euro. More fun. In light of recent sports news, some things to smile about.
Summer at September’s end. Porch reading returns. Finished Kathleen Tessaro’s The Perfume Collector. An okay airplane chick read. Dan Silva’s The Heist topical page-turner. May have to re-read Gone Girl before seeing the movie. Apple picking. Last corn and barbecue. A welcome respite. Bon weekend.
ISIL action in Syria will be a proxy for going after Assad and Putin. Economic sanctions aligned. Dan Silva’s The Heist, gives a fascinating history of the Assad family and their need to amass secret wealth. Worth a read just for that.
Congress is side-tracked with Benghazi Derangement Syndrome. House Special Witch Hunt Committee. Trey Gowdy Doody a FauxNews appendage for ratings and base fundraising. As the World Burns.
Meanwhile, violence is escalating on and off the field in the NFL every week. It is at a tipping point. I hope. Tom Wolfe coined a culture in his masterpiece 2004 novel I Am Charlotte Simmons. Jocks getting away with bad behavior starts in our universities. Because of alumnae bucks. Sponsors and fans are the only ones who can quell America’s sports delirium. Show me the money.
Looking for a porch book? Check out TrekBooks page for an updated Carol’s List.
Lost for Words
Ludic satire of Man Booker literary prize’s corrupt politics.
An historical magical mystery tour. Life as astrological illusion.
The Unknown Bridesmaid
Not bridesmaids. Portrait of a woman with an intrinsic lack of empathy.
All Our Yesterdays
Berkeley 70’s to present. Enduring love and good triumphing over evil.
Artless life depicted as troubled and empty. An absurdist adolescent journey.
1970’s Berkshires arts camp friends grow up. Schadenfreudey.
Belmont Stakes’ Tonalist topples California Chrome’s run for the Triple Crown. Cowboy owner not happy. Rafa at Roland Garros wrecked Djok’s chances for a career Slam. Let’s hope leaving L.A. will resurrect Rangers from losing run.
Ended summer reading dry spell. St. Aubyn’s Lost for Words is a playful satire of the corrupt Man Booker Prize process. The ironic twist of fate takes the cake. Especially for an author of a “cookery book“.
Game of Thrones frustrating. Long lopsided battle on the Wall. What a waste of an episode. Have to wait another week to find out Tyrion’s fate. Bourdain finished this season with lots of Cachaça in Bahia Brasil. Parts you want to know. Obrigado.