I’ve Got A Few Recommendations. How About You?

During our vacation on Cape Cod in October, my wife and I poked around the cute town of Chatham one fine, sunny afternoon. While my much better half busied herself in the aisles of a store or two, I went into the Chatham Orpheum Theater to try and find out which films would grace its screens in the upcoming weeks. Thumbing through the theater’s brochures at the ticket counter, I overheard a conversation taking place between the guy behind that counter and a patron. They were discussing literature, and one of them mentioned Cacciato. Man, I’d heard of Cacciato, so I opened my trap and said so.

“Are you talking about Going After Cacciato, the novel by Tim O’Brien?” I asked them. The ticket seller gave me what I interpreted as one of those Huh, this asshole knows about Cacciato? looks, but I wasn’t offended. Anyway, it turns out that the two fellows mostly had been gushing over another of O’Brien’s works, The Things They Carried. They briefly told me about the book, which came out in 1990 and, like Going After Cacciato, was inspired by the time that O’Brien spent in 1969 and 1970 as a soldier in Vietnam. It sounded intriguing. “Do you want me to write down the name for you?” the ticket seller asked. Indeed I did, and so he did. Into my wallet the slip of paper went.

Not long after I got back from vacation I borrowed The Things They Carried from a local library. I finished it last week. And I have to say that the gents were right. A series of interconnected, semi-fictional stories about the Vietnam War (pre, during and post), the work impressed me. It doesn’t glorify war, doesn’t dwell on battles. What it mainly does is lay on the table the emotions and mindsets of people attempting to deal with potential, immediate and imaginary dangers. You’ll find the good, the bad and the ugly in this book. And also the mysterious and the truly touching. In the best of the stories, O’Brien’s words come at you like the blows of a patient, precise boxer. Clearly, I recommend The Things They Carried.

Recommendations. There are a few other new ones kicking around inside me. And there’s no way I can contain them, so desperate are they to meet and greet cyberspace. With no further ado then, here they are.

A biopic of sorts about the late Fred Rogers, host of the legendary kids’ show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, has just come out. A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood is its name, and it stars Tom Hanks as Rogers. Now, I know that Fred was a strong force for decency and love. But his nasally voice, his sloooow talking pace, and his unnervingly calm manner never appealed to me. Nevertheless, my wife and I went to see the film a handful of moons ago. And I loved it. Having read no reviews in advance, I was happy to discover that it is not a typical biopic. Instead, it’s an imagined examination of the relationship between Fred and a cynical journalist named Lloyd Vogel, who is assigned, in 1998, to interview and profile Fred for Esquire magazine (the movie is drawn from the friendship that developed between real-life journalist Tom Junod and Fred).

A Beautiful Day rings very true. Hanks is Fred. And decency and love are largely what the movie is all about. Will Lloyd Vogel come to believe in the powers of Fred? I ain’t saying. Will Fred start talking faster and become the type of guy I’d want to discuss sports, music, food and girls with? Nah, but that’s more than okay. A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood flirts with sappiness here and there, sure, but it got to me anyway. That’s because it gently aims for the heart and doesn’t miss.

Hey, it’s almost dinner time in my household, so I’ve got to wrap this up. You know what else is good? Beers from Magic Hat and New Belgium breweries, that’s what. In November I bought variety packs of their robust, soul-satisfying ales. And I’m going to apply those same adjectives (robust; soul-satisfying) to the coffees that Allegro and Green Mountain coffee companies turn out. My wife and I are hooked on several of their roasts. I’m tempted to use the adjectives also to describe myself, but I’d be lying out my ass if I did. So, I won’t.

The ball is now in your court. What’s been ringing your chimes recently? Down below is a section where you can enter your comments.

Before I go, though, I have to mention and recommend a golden oldie — Bernadette —  that has been stuck in my head for a few weeks. I’ve heard it dozens of times in my life and always dug it. But when the tune came on the radio not long ago it walloped me like never before. Bernadette, by The Four Tops, was released in 1967. And it’s never gone away. Such a great song. The desperation in lead singer Levi Stubbs’ voice sends chills up and down my ol’ spine. I don’t like having earworms. But if I’ve got to have one, this is an excellent choice. Bernadette!

103 thoughts on “I’ve Got A Few Recommendations. How About You?

  1. cindy knoke December 2, 2019 / 12:14 am

    I was impressed with ‘The Things They Carried.”
    I write reviews on goodreads. It is impossible for me to remember which book I liked the most, except right after I read it. I consider the fact that my biostatistician husband just bought, and is now reading, ‘Magic Mountain,” on his kindle, a major holiday achievement. “Glass Castle,” just popped into my mind though. I was super impressed with this author and I read it years ago. Her follow up book wasn’t as good though, but who can blame, since the first was so exceptional, oh and, ‘Angela’s Ashes,” dang, I’m starting to remember….

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 4:36 pm

      Thanks for adding your thoughts, Cindy.

      Here’s a great novel (in my opinion): Giovanni’s Room, by James Baldwin.


  2. Lynette d'Arty-Cross December 2, 2019 / 12:38 am

    I’ve always enjoyed Tim O’Brien and Green Mountain coffee. Haven’t immersed myself in either in a while now though; I remember the coffee from a visit to friends a few years ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. George December 2, 2019 / 12:55 am

    The Things They Carried sounds brilliant. I shall look that out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. leggypeggy December 2, 2019 / 2:11 am

    I’m keen to see the Mr Rogers film. Haven’t come across O’Brien before. Thanks for the introduction.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 4:40 pm

      The Rogers film took me by surprise. I liked it much more than I thought I would. Did you see the documentary about him that came out last year? It’s good, but I like the new, fictional film about him better.

      Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy December 2, 2019 / 7:47 pm

        I don’t think the documentary aired in Australia. I’ll have a look around.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Paddy Tobin December 2, 2019 / 4:33 am

    I must try to catch up on your reading recommendations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 4:43 pm

      Hi Paddy. I’ve learned that The Things They Carried has become a “classic” of sorts. Many people have read it, but I’d never heard of it till I met those people on Cape Cod in October.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. joylennick December 2, 2019 / 5:56 am

    Hi Neil, I always enjoy your posts, especially as humour creeps in. And where would we be without humour?! I am a Tom Hanks fan and must look out for A Beautiful Day. Always enjoy a good film nearly as well….as a good book. As for coffee, I ADORE the aroma and always weaken around 11, but am also a bit of a tea-pot. (similar shape too these days.. ha ha.) x..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 4:45 pm

      Evening, Joy. I think you’ll like the new Hanks movie. He’s a great actor, and the other aspects of the film are very good too.


  7. Pam Lazos December 2, 2019 / 6:16 am

    I’ve never read the Tim O’Brien books but all three of my kids did for high school English. My son loved it. The girls, not so much. Also, thanks for the recommend on the Mister Rogers movie, Neil. I was on the fence about it, but I think I need a decency check. ;0) Have a great day. pl

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Helen Devries December 2, 2019 / 8:46 am

    Thank you for the recommendations…that will get me off the beaten track usually followed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. saucysandpiper December 2, 2019 / 8:46 am

    I had to read The Things They Carried in high school, and it had quite an effect on me personally as my father fought in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne. (He was in some of the worst battles in the war, Hamburger Hill among others. Came back to the United States and threw away all his medals, including his Bronze Star for valor in combat.) I could appreciate seeing how the experience of combat fundamentally rewires your brain. He’s in his 70s now and *still* has violent nightmares about combat. He’s still carrying that war around with him, 50+ years later.

    Sadly, I can’t imagine that book will survive in public school curricula in the era of trigger warnings (accidental pun there) and woke whatnot.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 4:52 pm

      Your father went through hellish experiences. And for what? Our country’s involvement there was incredibly misguided.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Deb December 2, 2019 / 9:06 am

    The Things They Carried was assigned reading while I was finishing my Sociology degree. One of the first books that I had to analyze while never imagining myself reading it. It turned out to be a good choice.
    Let me toss out Seattle’s Best Post Alley for you. Dark, deep and smoky if you like that sort of coffee. Think French Roast only earthier and better in my opinion 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Laurie Graves December 2, 2019 / 9:22 am

    We all need sappiness from time to time. Good for the spirit. My recommendation? “Knives Out,” a movie that is in theaters right now. Go see it and let us know what you think. My husband, my daughter, and I all really liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 4:55 pm

      That movie is definitely on my list. I hope to see it this month. Does the plot ultimately make sense?


      • Laurie Graves December 2, 2019 / 5:15 pm

        Sure does! Although there is a certain amount of folderol, the movie is sharp, intelligent, and political.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Paula B December 2, 2019 / 9:44 am

    I will have to check out “The Things They Carried.” Thank you for the succinct and compelling recommendation! And thank you for reminding us of the incredible “Bernadette.” Most likely you already own the soundtrack to “Standing in the Shadows of Motown,” but if not, I’d recommend that you immediately get it. The instrumental version of “Bernadette,” with only the Funk Brothers’ glorious instrumentation punctuated by Levi Stubbs’ throaty shouts, will make your hair stand on end. In a good way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 4:57 pm

      You know, I don’t have that soundtrack. And haven’t seen that doc. I have to make it a point to find it and watch it. Maybe it’s on Netflix.


  13. Jacqui Murray December 2, 2019 / 10:39 am

    What a varied group of recommendations, Neil. I’d say something for everyone. I haven’t tried the Green Mountain coffee yet but I don’t mind spending some money on my morning brew. So far, I’m drinking Arbuckles, the coffee drunk in the old West, on the trail. It is amazing smooth (and robust).

    Have a great holiday season!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. dfolstad58 December 2, 2019 / 11:10 am

    Don’t get me started on recommendations 🙂
    1. Song – They Can’t Take That Away From Me (Ella Fitzgerald) – so nice!
    2. Movie – Harvey with Jimmy Stewart or City Slickers
    3. Book – For a light read, that makes you smile – A series called “The #1 Ladies Detective Agency” Alexander McCall Smith (in your library)
    4. Drink – it\s been years but will never forget the Macadamia Nut coffee at Greenwell Farms in Kona. (delicious – You can order it, it’s almost a sin,so good)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 5:02 pm

      Hi. Thanks a lot for adding your recommendations. I saw Harvey only once, about 12 years ago. It’s a terrific film. And Ella is one of my favorite vocalists.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. talebender December 2, 2019 / 11:44 am

    Enjoyed the reviews.
    Movie I liked – The Irishman
    Book I liked – 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 5:03 pm

      Hi there. Yes, I’m definitely going to watch The Irishman. Haven’t heard of 21 Lessons, but will look into it.


  16. andrewcferguson December 2, 2019 / 12:30 pm

    Good recommendations, Neil. As to the coffee, I see at least one of them is non-GMO, and is Whole Trade the same as we call Fair Trade this side of the Pond?

    My recommendation is wine grapes. Both Carmenere (mainly Chilean) and Primitivo (Southern Italian) are lesser-known grapes, but we’re drinking a lot of both at the moment – blog post to follow…

    Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 5:10 pm

      Hey there. I had to go to google to learn about Whole Trade. It has to do with the Whole Foods chain of supermarkets (Bezos/Amazon owns Whole Foods). Here’s what they say about Whole Trade on the Whole Foods website: “Anytime you see the Whole Trade® Guarantee on an item, it means that the product meets key criteria:
      Meet our strict product Quality Standards
      Provide more money to producers
      Ensure better wages and working conditions for workers
      Care for the environment
      Donate 1% of sales to Whole Planet Foundation®”

      Liked by 1 person

  17. joyce hamilton December 2, 2019 / 1:53 pm

    Thanks l always like your recommendations ! !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 5:11 pm

      Thanks. Joyce. If you see the Hanks movie, please let me know what you think about it.


  18. Dave Astor December 2, 2019 / 1:58 pm

    Excellent post, Neil! I just put “The Things They Carried” on my to-read list. It was meant to be, because my family vacations every year in Chatham. (At “Pilgrim Village,” which has a bunch of cabins modestly priced by Cape Cod standards. 🙂 )

    Liked by 1 person

  19. JT Twissel December 2, 2019 / 2:36 pm

    I remember that song – it’s a great one! Things have been cold and grim here and so I watched the Netflix show “The Christmas Chronicles” with Kurt Russel. Highly enjoyable – sort of in a guilty pleasure way. Last night I read Chekhov’s short stories. Not sure if everyone would enjoy them but he’s one of my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 5:15 pm

      Thanks for the info, JT. We got Netflix recently. Believe it or not, I’ve yet to watch anything on it, but my wife has watched a lot of stuff. I’ll tell her about that movie, and maybe watch it with her!


  20. Catwoods December 2, 2019 / 2:41 pm

    These are great recommendations and I will keep them in mind! And I adore The Temptations and Motown!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 5:17 pm

      Hi. In the last 5 or so years I’ve gotten into soul and Motown music pretty heavily. I listen to it a lot, especially in the car.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Robert Parker December 2, 2019 / 3:13 pm

    Magic Hat and Fat Tire??!! What about good ol’ Yuengling, just upstream from you, “You Taste the Schuylkill in every Drop”
    Just kidding, although I like Yuengling, my recommendation is Spotted Cow by New Glarus Brewing. The only hitch? You gotta come to Wisconsin to get it! So also good: anything by Bell’s, the pride of Kalamazoo. Their Best Brown Ale is the best.
    And here’s a movie recommendation, too, but not a new one, this was 2011 and now on Amazon streaming. “The Music Never Stopped” based on an Oliver Sacks story “The Last Hippie.” It’s got a nice vibe = amnesia and The Grateful Dead. My kid sister has that CD w/
    4 Tops collection, and I’ve heard it 1/2 dozen times, I love those guys.
    Always glad to read your posts, a good mellow roast

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 5:20 pm

      Evening! Yeah, I’ve had brews from Bells quite a few times over the years. A good brewery, for sure. If the breweries I write about have distribution in your state, check them out!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. swabby429 December 2, 2019 / 3:27 pm

    I’ve dialed back on my YouTube video viewing, and have narrowed it down considerably. A couple of channels are still of great interest. One is called “Old Car Alley”. The gentleman is in the process of completely restoring a 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 convertible. What he does reminds me of what my late brother loved to do, tinker with old cars.

    The other channel I love is hosted by Fraser Gartshore. He’s a musician who was born and raised in Scotland then moved to Germany. His videos are about German pipe organs. He explains how they work and how they sound. He usually plays some sort of jazzy music in each video. He has two versions of videos: English Language and German Language. He speaks German like a native born German.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 5:23 pm

      Thanks. I’m going to take a look at Fraser’s channel. You know, there’s so much product out there (regular TV, Netflix et al, YouTube, podcasts, and on and on), it’s absolutely incredible.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. sniderjerry December 2, 2019 / 7:53 pm

    Hey there Neil,
    How about the new Ringo Starr album, WHAT’S MY NAME with a song he sings that John Lennon had in mine for him. And Ringo’s photo album, ANOTHER DAY IN THE LIFE.
    Peace and Love

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 9:16 pm

      Ringo was in Philly with his band last month. By the time I found out about the show, it was sold out. Bummer!


  24. We Travel Happy December 2, 2019 / 10:12 pm

    Thanks for this post Neil. Now I have a book for Feb 2020. I just finished a reference book on WWI and hopefully will finish the biography of Maria Theresa (Austria) next month. My son tells me stories about the Vietnam War but I’ve never read anything on it. So my first would be The Things They Carried. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 2, 2019 / 10:51 pm

      Hi. I’m glad to hear from you. It’s a well-crafted and thoughtful book. I hope you’ll like it.

      Enjoy the week!

      Liked by 1 person

  25. eden baylee December 2, 2019 / 10:52 pm

    I heard Junod interviewed. He’s a terrific writer but not a good speaker, maybe it was nerves on that day, not sure. I look forward to the film though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 3, 2019 / 6:55 am

      Hi Eden. I don’t know how closely the film is based on Junod’s relationship with Rogers. In any case, the movie is a good one. See you —


  26. Anonymous December 3, 2019 / 12:29 am

    Tim O’Brien is an incredible writer, I agree! Some of the stories in The Things They Carried were horrifying, but I remember being compelled to keep on reading. And his early-1990s novel, The Lake in the Woods, is frightening–and unforgettable. I think I read it all in one sitting. On a lighter note: Bernadette! That’s a great song! I’ve sung along every time I’ve heard it on the radio, which is probably 100 times by now–but not once have I been able to hit the right timing on Stubbs’ shouted, after-the-pause, BERNADETTE! Thanks for giving me another chance to try, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Annika Perry December 3, 2019 / 9:37 am

    Anything with Tom Hanks is a must see for me and I look forward to A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. annieasksyou December 3, 2019 / 9:38 am

    Thank you for that, Neil.

    I share your feelings about the Mr Rogers film. I love all things Mr Rogers. I hope it’s not too tacky, but I’m adding the link to the post I wrote last year. It contains a link to the Esquire article that inspired the film, which is well worth reading. One caveat: I wrote this before I knew how to hyperlink, and when I tried to replace citations with links, all that appeared were annieasksyou. So the tedious links remain.


    Liked by 1 person

  29. tylerus December 3, 2019 / 12:50 pm

    My chimes are presently NON-melodious. Thanks for the recommendations – must check them out. Take care!


  30. Annie December 3, 2019 / 4:12 pm

    My hubby and I had a date for dinner and the Mister Rogers film but the snowstorm up here in New Hampshire postponed our plans. All we hear is praise for the movie. And The Four Tops have been tops for me since I saw them live back in the 60’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Isabelle December 3, 2019 / 5:02 pm

    Thanks for excellent reviews on the book, the film, the beers and coffee, especially the first two. Both the novel by Tim O’Brien and the Tom Hanks’ film sound intriguing. I’d check them out.
    The book I finished recently was Last Stories by William Trevor. The book I finished sometime ago was titled Stoner by John Edward Williams (one of the best books I’ve ever read). The book I’m reading now is titled Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami. I watched Midway a couple of days ago, a WW2 film that depicts the battles between the U.S and Japan in 1942, after Pearl Harbour had been devastatingly attacked. Overwhelmingly intense and immensely sad. Sorry about the length of the comment, Neil. Can’t make out why I’m talkative tonight. Take care, Isabelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 3, 2019 / 7:18 pm

      Thanks for all the recommendations. Much appreciated. I’m going to take a look at the books that you mention.

      Have an excellent rest of the week. See you!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. K E Garland December 3, 2019 / 5:26 pm

    I LOVE The Things They Carried. When I taught high school English, it was a fav.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 3, 2019 / 7:20 pm

      When those guys recommended the book to me, I didn’t know that it’s a very popular and respected work. I’m glad I read it.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Ann Coleman December 3, 2019 / 5:41 pm

    I’ll have to check out The Things They Carried…I’ve never read it, but it sounds so good. As for Mr. Rogers, I had your reaction to him as well the few times I saw the show, but I wasn’t a child at the time, so who knows? I’m almost embarrassed now that I realize what a decent guy he was, and how good his calming affirming messages were for children. Honestly, I think kids need that sort of thing now more than ever!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Ann Coleman December 3, 2019 / 10:25 pm

        Not that I know of, but I’m hoping that the popularity of the movie will encourage someone to do that. He really was good person….

        Liked by 1 person

  34. johnlmalone December 3, 2019 / 11:28 pm

    I loved that collection of Vietnam war stories; some were first published in the New Yorker which I subscribe to

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 4, 2019 / 6:57 am

      I see that he has a new book out.. It’s a memoir called Dad’s Maybe Book. It’s his first book in quite a few years.

      Hi, John. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Joanne Sisco December 4, 2019 / 6:54 am

    I’m looking forward to seeing the movie and thanks for the recommendation on the book. I’ll have to add it to my growing list of books!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. sloppy buddhist December 4, 2019 / 8:56 am

    Lovely read over my coffee ☺️ I was always freaked out by Casey and Finnegan…haven’t seen the film yet 🤓 I received Opening the Good Eye: A Path to True Seeing…so now some time for reading…have a joyful day Neil ~ smiles Hedy

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Alyson December 4, 2019 / 5:04 pm

    Thanks as ever for the recommendations. As for earworms I get them all the time but so much better if it’s a great song like this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. cincinnatibabyhead December 4, 2019 / 10:30 pm

    ‘Things They Carried’. ..emotions and mindsets of people attempting to deal with potentional, emmediate and imaginery dangers”. You hooked me on that. Bernadette and the Four Tops are always a good choice. I’m waiting for the big screen telling of Captain Kangaroo. See if they work in the Zappa/Greenjeans connection.

    Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead December 5, 2019 / 12:40 pm

        I will soon as I finish up with ‘The Howdy Doody Story’. Doody was a very complex and interesting guy. Philly roots.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger December 5, 2019 / 2:00 pm

          Be sure to explore the facial similarities between Doody and Alfred E. Neuman. That willo guarantee that your screenplay will be a smash success.

          Liked by 1 person

          • cincinnatibabyhead December 5, 2019 / 2:37 pm

            I’m going to stop now. This is getting way to stimulating. Alfred E? Another influential and great human being.

            Liked by 1 person

  39. tanjabrittonwriter December 4, 2019 / 11:39 pm

    Tom Hanks’s portrayal of Mr. Roberts is getting rave reviews, and visions of another Oscar must now be dancing in his head. We haven’t seen the movie yet, but plan to.

    A friend recently recommended I read Patrick Leigh Fermor–somehow, I had never heard of him, but really enjoyed “A Time of Gifts.” I plan to read more by him.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Bhagyashree December 5, 2019 / 12:30 pm

    Well now I know, how I am going to spend me weekend! Have you read Tuesdays with Morrie and The Ultimate Gift?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 5, 2019 / 2:03 pm

      Hi. I haven’t. Thanks for the recommendations. Right now I’m reading James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. viewfromoverthehill December 5, 2019 / 11:30 pm

    Thanks for recommending this one. I’ll see if I can find it after I finish Rachel Maddow’s ‘Blowout’, which at 390 pages may exceed your limit. (Chuckle)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger December 6, 2019 / 7:02 am

      Morning! Yes, with my shortened attention span, long books no longer are part of the picture. I’m reading If Beale Street Could Talk right now. It’s by James Baldwin. It’s short!


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