Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison was one of America’s greatest authors. I haven’t read all of her books but of the ones I have read, I would start with Sula or Jazz. Song of Solomon is great, too.

Trump only cares about books about him. Morrison won a Nobel Prize and her passing should have been noted by the president.

Elmore Leonard

I got to see Elmore Leonard several times in bookstores in Washington, DC.  One time, I barely made it there before the event finished because I had rushed from Baltimore.  I told this to Leonard and he said I should have been there at his event in Baltimore earlier that day (which I didn’t know about).  It was not well attended.  I told him Baltimore’s slogan was “The city that reads”.  He told me it must be a new slogan.  The next time I saw him at a bookstore, I gave him a “The City that reads” bookmark.

At one point, when Baltimore was #1 in teen pregnancy, some folks said our slogan should be “The city that breeds”.

Leonard wrote so many excellent books.  If you haven’t read them, I would start with Tishomingo Blues or Freaky Deaky.  He is best known for crime novels which are written with a rambling, unpredictable plot and a great sense of humor.  A three volume set of 12 crime novels is available from the Library of America.

They added a volume of his westerns in 2018.

There are several excellent films based on Leonard books:

Get Shorty

Out of Sight

Jackie Brown (based on Rum Punch – major changes from the book)

Books: Fear

I recently read Fear by Bob Woodward on the early part of the Trump administration.  Woodward is excellent at digging out information and presenting it clearly.  His prose is bland but that’s fine – the book is about the subject, the writing.   It’s news writing prose, not fiction.

There’s lots of scary stuff – Trump is sure he is right even when presented with facts that contradict his opinion.  For example, he was insistent that Iran was in violation of the nuclear deal when they weren’t.  It sounds like it’s impossible to get him to change long-held beliefs.

The administration comes across as very disorganized.  I worked in the federal government (at much lower levels) for decades and we never had this kind of infighting and chaos.