October 16th, 2006


Links and books

This Improv Everywhere mission was not as wild and crazy as their U2 prank, but still amusing.

First Michelle Pfeiffer in "The Story of Us" (which I haven't seen), and now Sandra Bullock as a puzzler. Groan. Can I be a consultant?


"A Small Town" by Shelby Hearon. Life in tiny Venice, MO is insular and dull most of the time, and so is this book. Bursts of plot in the form of family feuds, affairs, old residents returning, and even a murder didn't help, and I was relieved to finish and get this back to the library.

"Pop Culture Crosswords" by Trip Payne. I've finished lots of crossword books and haven't been noting them here, but I should. This is a good one, though people like my mother who complain they don't know the new groups, movie stars, etc. won't like it.

"Felon For Peace" by Jerry Elmer. I mentioned this earlier, and have now finished. While I was compiling health insurance statistics, and making sure crosswords and game-show questions were accurate, my fifth-grade classmate was making a real difference in the world through his antiwar activities and more recent legal work. I'm now in touch with him, as well as our teacher (who is an avid crossword solver and has even posted on the NYT crossword forum, yet was unaware of "Wordplay").

One more book

Lately, I've been alternating between 9 books and 10 magazines. Excessive, I know. I aim to read a whole book chapter or magazine article at a time, but will settle for just 2 pages if my interest wanes.

Replacing "Felon For Peace" with more nonfiction, I chose "The Last Shot" by Darcy Frey because it's due at the library Saturday. I just read the entire thing straight through, it was that good.

The author follows Coney Island's Lincoln High School (my mother's alma mater) basketball stars for several months, including then-freshman Stephon Marbury (the name was familiar even to me, a non-sports fan). The story is similar to "Hoop Dreams" which I saw in the theater and loved; I have the DVD and companion book, but haven't looked at them. This is a similarly heartbreaking and gripping story of real people and their struggles and triumphs. I just loved it.

Now I need to get some work done.