Stepping out


From the archives…. Those used to be my favorite sandals.

Kirk Varner, a friend of JCB’s, recently observed:

I’m not sure I can trust anyone who doesn’t have something they are reading next to their bed. I don’t know exactly why, but I think anyone who actually uses that part of the body that Manager Jimmy Dugan so aptly called “That lump three feet above your ass” (As played by Tom Hanks in the movie “A League of Their Own”) for anything other than a place to park some headwear, should have something…anything…they are reading next to their bed.*

Some time ago I realized that our closest friends all are registered to vote and do so (at least as far as I know). I didn’t consciously make that a requirement for friendship. The book thing is trickier: I think I have several friends who aren’t bedtime-readers. They aren’t allergic to reading, but they have a different pattern to their reading….

My bedtime reading is usually a pile rather than a single title. Usually mysteries predominate. Right now, there’re four titles in the pile, and a couple others lurking on standby (e.g., McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men—I’m waiting for the right mindset to dive into that one…).

1) Peter May’s The Critic (2007). May is a Scotsman who lives in France; his main character is a Scotsman investigating the murder of an American in the Gaillac region of southern France. May imparts plenty of wine-knowledge, a lovely extra.

2) Theodor Bestor’s Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World (2004). Recommended and loaned to me by MM. Fascinating. It’s about Tokyo’s famous fish market. Sales every morning of fish—fresh, frozen and live—from around the world.

3) Agatha Christie’s Mrs. McGinty’s Dead and They Do It with Mirrors (1954 republication from a London book club). Christie is classic; what more can I say?

4) Ferrol Sams’ Down Town: The Journal of James Aloysius Holcombe, Jr. for Ephraim Holcombe Mookinfoos (2007). On loan from father-in-law. Haven’t started it yet.

Whatchu reading?

* Kirk’s accompanying photo of his own near-bed zone is priceless.


  1. kayak woman says:

    the never-ending stack of New Yorkers.

  2. james says:


    A collection of HP Lovecraft stories.

    The Harryhausen book y’all got me.

    The “Make” magazine y’all got me.

    The Jack Chick book Rebecca got me.

    NYTimes puzzle printed out (finished).