After missing out on an opportunity to attend a star-studded fundraiser concert featuring Willie Nelson, I decided that when opportunities arise, I should take them, however weird the circumstances might be. So, when I got a text message that someone had recommended me to be on a reality television show set to film in Juneau, I ignored my gut instinct to stay very far away and called the woman seeking a couple willing to fake-buy a home.
Congratulations to everyone who has the opportunity to get married! Maybe I'm still in the honeymoon phase, but I think marriage is great.
I was in a rental car between Seattle and Redmond, Oregon, when former State Reporter Mark Miller texted me the news. Of course, things evolved over a few days as a stay was requested and talk of fighting the decision inevitably bubbled up, but I didn't allow that to stop me from feeling very happy for my friends who now have that same right I do. I'm looking forward to the wedding invitations.
Books bring out the weirdness in people, not the subject matter. I’m referring to the actual, physical object that is a book, because everyone has their book quirks.
I have a friend who treats his books like priceless artifacts. Whenever I borrowed a book from him in high school, I was given strict admonitions against breaking the spine or dog-earing pages. That was hard for me because I was borrowing 500-plus page fantasy epics and I always loose my bookmarks.
I’ll admit it was with great excitement that I settled down to read the Man Booker Prize shortlisted “J” by Howard Jacobson. I’d heard it was a dystopia and I, along with most of America, love dystopian novels.
“A novel to be talked about in the same breath as ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ and ‘Brave New World,’” reads the front flap.
I really can’t recommend “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan. The other Man Booker Prize shortlisted books so far had their sad parts, but they always had some redeeming quality that kept you reading. Maybe it was humor, maybe family, maybe a lingering hope for humankind.
“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” is just flat-out depressing. It’s about Australian POWs building the Death Railway in Thailand. It follows their lives before, during and after World War II.
I confess this one made my teary-eyed. The Man Booker Prize shortlisted “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler is simultaneously heartbreaking and humorous.
It’s the tale of two sisters, Fern and Rosemary. They live in a big house in the country with their parents and brother.
One day, Rosemary gets sent to her grandparents. She’s terrified she’s been given away. When her parents finally come to get her, they take her to a new house. She counts the room: a kitchen, a living room, two bathrooms, her parents’ room, her brother’s room, her room.
The Juneau Police Department is having fun with their new Facebook page, posting old pictures of officers in uniform for #throwbackthursday, a video of their Ice Bucket Challenge, as well as informational items such as PSA’s for the upcoming vehicle auction and regular Crime of the Week.
“The Lives of Others” by Neel Mukherjee is exactly what I’d expect from a Man Booker Prize shortlistee. It’s deep, it’s complicated and it’s rather exuberant with the commas.
The book follows the internecine lives of the 17 members of the upper-middle-class Ghosh family and a variety of their servants, acquaintances and comrades between 1966 and 1970. It’s a beautifully crafted book toggling between timelines and characters masterfully.