Good Girl Genes & Literary Links

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This afternoon my good girl gene kicked in.  We visited a Very Old Relative in the hospital.

We talked about duplicate bridge (which I’d never heard of), and I reminded him/her that my mom and her best friend used to belong to a court whist club.

“She’s an idiot,” the relative said of Mom’s friend.

“She was nice,” I say.

My husband affirms that she was nice.

It’s unclear if the Relative knows the friend is dead.  We didn’t want to share Too Much Upsetting Information.

On the other hand, the Relative said so many inappropriate things in one hour that it probably didn’t matter.

Such as:  the Relative can’t stand to sleep in the same room as his/her spouse anymore;  he/she is cheating on said spouse; and he/she is expecting the cheatee to visit any minute.


“It’s part of life.”

“What?”  Maybe if you’re immoral…

We don’t want to meet the cheatee, so we get out of there.

He/she is very old and needs to get back together with his spouse.  (I can’t arrange that!)

And how have your Holidays been going?


1. There are many Best Books of the Year lists, but I especially loved this article in The Guardian, in which publishers name the book that made their year; the book that deserved to do better; and the book they wished they’d published. 

Richard Beswick, publisher of Little, Brown and Abacus Books, speaks of the brilliance of Tom Holland’s “magnificently erudite and entertaining Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar.”

I agree.  It is gossipy, witty, spicy, and as fast-paced as a novel!

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2. Tom Cunliffe’s great blog, A Common Reader, is back in business!  I enjoyed his fascinating post, “All Hail Wikipedia.”  

He writes:

wikipedia Nohat-wiki-logoI get tired of people complaining about Wikipedia and saying how inaccurate it is. If a politician or a celebrity is accused of sneaking through an edit in their favour (almost invariably to be found out later) some journalist will make some clever comment about “of course, Wikipedia is full of this sort of thing”. They ignore (or are ignorant of) how much effort Wikipedia put into monitoring edits to the pages of people in the public eye.

3 In the latest issue of the TLS (Dec. 18, 2015), Lesley Chamberlain reviews Wendy Pollard’s Pamela Hansford Johnson: Her life, works and times. Unfortunately, the TLS article is not online, but you can read my interview with Wendy here.

wendy pollard Pamela-hansford-Johnson-web4 Joyce Maynard has an article in the New York Times magazine (Dec. 16, 2015) about visiting Pablo Neruda’s three homes in ChileLa Chascona, La Sebastiana and Isla Negra.

Enjoy the links!