Books I skipped this week 📖

Photo of my office shelf a few weeks ago.

I had every intention of reading these books, but after reading the first some-odd pages, I became consumed in other things, and skipped….

  • A very stable genius / Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig
  • Click here to start / Denis Markell

Is it acceptable to recommend a book one hasn’t read? That’s neither here nor there in this moment. I liked what I read in the opening pages of each book. For reasons, I didn’t have the time to read them all the way through. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What I’m reading: Killers of the Flower Moon


📚😀 Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, by David Grann.

📖 Black gold. Texas tea. So goes the old “Beverly Hillbillies” sitcom rhyme. In this case, the tea is underground in Oklahoma, in the early days of American oil exploitation. Years before, the Osage native American tribe had been invaded and driven out of their ancestral lands into a remote corner of Oklahoma which was thought to be mostly barren of natural resources. When a vast reservoir of oil was discovered under their reservation, the impoverished Osage tribe became wildly, fabulously wealthy overnight. But this was during an era of profound inequity, racism, ignorance, cruelty, and apartheid across the United States. In every state, white supremacy was endemic, absolute, and brutally enforced by violence — legally or otherwise. What powerful white men wanted, they took. And they wanted the Osage people’s oil.


Read this astonishing true story to learn how and why a young J. Edgar Hoover, then-new director of the fledgling Federal Bureau of Investigation, got involved. What was revealed was a hideously evil, meticulously planned, years-long scheme to murder and steal hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of oil rights from the Osage people. A heartbreaking true story, painstakingly researched, exceptionally well-written, and vividly told. 📖

What I’m reading this week: “A Gentleman in Moscow”


What I’m reading this week: “A Gentleman in Moscow,” by Amor Towles. 😀📚 Imagine being a member of the wealthy aristocracy in a grand city in the early 20th century. Your days and nights are filled with social encounters and clever repartee in every breathing moment. Servants are all around you, never betraying any hint of resentment at their confinement to a lower station, nor anything but utter contentment and devotion to their task of tending to your every need. Even when confined to house arrest by the Bolsheviks after the revolution has wiped out the old social order and replaced it with a new one, your prison is a luxury hotel, as befits your station. And naturally, the hotel is filled with interesting characters from every slice of the social strata with whom you may engage in fascinating conversations to pass the time and reinforce your social mastery though your sterling wit and charm. This is the world of “A Gentleman in Moscow,” and like a dinner guest who is impeccably charming, cultivated and au courant, the novel is endlessly entertaining — though the endless part sometimes obscures the entertainment. A well-fashioned escape into a rose-colored fantasy of old-world high society, set against the backdrop of a people’s revolution to provide essential cover for the reader to indulge in the guilty pleasure of high society role-play. The writing, especially the dialogue, is first-class and the plot development, though predictable at times, is interesting and keeps the pages turning. A pleasant and lightly edifying read, tailor-made for a richly costumed historical fiction film adaptation.

Garden library

I never pass up the chance to push a wheelbarrow full of books.

The little free library was built by a local youth for his Eagle Scout project. He planned, designed, built, fundraised and led a team of volunteers to install it in the local community garden. 📚🌱

What I’m reading this week: “The Secret of Thunder Mountain”

Spiral aloe (Aloe polyphylla)

What I’m reading this week: The Secret of Thunder Mountain, by Fran Striker


The photos tell the story of this vintage adventure from 1952. Set in the deserts of the American Southwest, at the dawn of the nuclear era. A land of grit and desolation, where bold and wild characters search for rocks worth more than gold. Fran Striker’s journalistic writing style lends credence to the stark comic relief. Irony from another era. The descriptions and dialogue surrounding the gigantic main character, Gulliver bouncing over desert rocks in his customized jeep, are surprisingly entertaining. An unsung classic of the genre. #franstriker #bookreview



What I’m reading this week: Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng. 🔥📚

Where do we follow the rules, and where do we justify breaking them? Do our pasts determine what we deserve in the future? And is it ever possible to leave your past behind? These are some of the questions I hope the novel raises. —Celeste Ng, from the Penguin Readers Guide


#familydynamics #novel #shakerheights #ohio #suburban #privilege #motherhood #secrets #compromise #garden #autumn #books