Friday, November 7, 2008

Shady green pastures...

It's been a good week. I'm just sayin...

I won't write some emotional screed on how much I wept, leapt, and hugged my fellow men when Barack Obama was elected president. I think I already had my "moment" when I went to Dominica in September and saw this huge Obama billboard in one of the remotest parts of the island -- an island, which by the way still few people on the planet know about. Oh, and all these Dominicans who've never even been to America kept asking American tourists about the election, virtually begging them to vote for Obama. When I saw that billboard I knew "that one" was going to be elected. Weeks before that I remember telling some dismayed, white-haired lady at a rally in New Hampshire that Obama was going to win. She didn't belive me because she thought Sarah Palin would clinch it for McCain. Ha ha! (To quote Nelson from The Simpsons) I hope she's smiling this week.

Anyway, I'm back on the corporate grind after my three-year sojourn through law school. It was a huge relief to finally get my bar results. Now, I'm just getting used to working really long days and having to squeeze in writing time in the one or two free hours I have before bed. As Whitney says: It's not right but it's okay.

What I'm reading now: Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I really can't stand this guy but I like what I'm reading so far.

Since I haven't blogged in a while I really don't remember much about the books I read in the last few months. I vaguely remember being inspired by Edward P. Jones's All Aunt Hagar's Children. I'd started it when it first came out but only recently finished it. He truly is genius -- great shorts, neat but deep, no fancy undecipherable B.S. sentences, just beautiful writing, achy characters and complete, well-told stories. I read stuff like that and I just want to stop trying.

Stephen Carter's The Palace Council was okay. I finished it. I liked it well enough -- the story takes place over a long period so there's a lot of history going on beneath the plot. The problem with this book and New England White is that they're so carefully written I can feel the painstaking effort he puts into every word creeping off the page and nearly strangling me with its cold, clammy OCD grip. It's highly likely that I'm just not smart enough to appreciate what he does. But I did like the characters. It was nice to see Mona Veazie and the rest of the bunch at another point in their lives. Loved the descriptions of old Harlem. All in all, the novel could have been tighter but I get the feeling the editors already trimmed four hundred pages off the original manuscript.

On my long plane ride I read Moscow Rules by Dan Silva. Oh. My. Glob. Reading this book was like eating a dozen mini-Snickers followed by a bag of Cheetos washed down with a coffee Coolata. Just plain old fast-paced, predictable, action-packed suspense and fun from page one to the end. Pretty simple plot: Russian oligarch sells weapons to terrorists, Israeli spy/master painter and art restorer will save the day -- and of course the evil oligarch's beautiful wife. I can't wait for the movie. Considering I had three stops on my flight, one with a four-hour layover, I couldn't have asked for a better way to pass the time.

The Boston Book Bazaar in October was my last event and I thank all those who stopped by -- just in case you're out there and reading. I'll probably be doing a couple more events as the weather gets colder and people warm to the idea of staying home with a good book.

Happy reading.

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