Death! Destruction! Pestilence! Some light summer reading.

From the publishers:

Fourteen-year-old Doug Swieteck faces…an abusive father, a brother traumatized by Vietnam, suspicious teachers, police officers and isolation.

When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee…

Ten concentration camps. Ten different places where you are starved, tortured, and worked mercilessly. …it is what Yanek Gruener has to face.

Fifteen-year-old Lina, her mother and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp.

Jack Baker…is suddenly uprooted after his mother’s death and placed in a boy’s boarding school in Maine. [Maine!]

…sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Will is one of only a few people who is able to see the growing number of corpses invading his town…[he] is suddenly in the middle of a war between the living and the dead.

In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations… [Punk-ass bitch Canadians.]

A group of fourteen-year-old boys who make a living picking garbage from the outskirts of a large city find something…that brings terrifying consequences.

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight…she is forced to work as the King’s thug.

No, these are not future episodes of The Walking Dead. Believe it or not, the preceding plot summaries were culled from my 8th grade daughter’s summer reading list. Tales of dystopian societies, death, abandonment, war and despair. Is the Board of Education out to wreck their summer? I blame The Hunger Games. It spawned a slew of imitators (as success is prone to do).

I’m a bit peeved about this. I read the one about the meteor hitting the moon and it wasn’t pleasant. Am I being a big baby?


A sprig of premium catnip is placed before a sleeping, unsuspecting Stinky. He suddenly awakens!

stinky1

Oh, rapture! Oh, joy! A narcotic-induced smile.

stiky3

The end result is always the same: the junkie nod.

stinky3


The summer outdoor art installation season got off to a creaky start with Teresita Fernández’s Fata Morgana at Madison Square Park. The six-section canopy sculpture of mirror-polished disks are mounted on supports over the winding walkways.fata5fata7There are some interesting angles when you’re underneath…

fata1

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…but upon approach, it looks about as artistically fetching as scaffolding around a construction site.

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The light and shapes can say something, but only from very specific angles.

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People are complaining that the sculptures are blocking sunlight to the walkways—which is true—but I’m willing to accept the temporary sacrifice for art’s sake.

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Here are two past Madison Square Park exhibits that dazzled from all angles:

Orly Genger constructed walls of colored rope in Red, Yellow and Blue.

My fave, Antony Gormley’s Event Horizon, was a series of life-sized statues of the artist strategically placed on roofs and ledges surrounding the park.

Do you know what I liked better? These.

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A girl was selling these on a table on 42nd Street near 6th Avenue. Her medium is spray paint.

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I asked her if I could photograph these and she told me to go right ahead. Afterwards, I noticed a donation can and I threw two bucks in. I wish I’d have asked her how much they cost.

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I think they all have merit but you know which one is the best, don’t you? That one of Harley Quinn. Look at that sharply-defined mask against the rest of the chaos. Fantastic. I’d love to see what she could do with Batman.


I know I’ve posted far too many photos of the Flatiron Building, but I was passing by late in the evening and the light was hitting it just right. If you’ll indulge me these last two, I promise not to post any more. iPhone cameras are the best. Who needs an SLR anymore?

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100 thoughts on “Death! Destruction! Pestilence! Some light summer reading.

  1. I thought you were riffing on my fake books. But, yes, this dystopian overkill, I wonder what it all leads to in a parent-fretting way. All that bleakness. But then, teens love and always have loved horror too, so maybe we have nothing to fear but unimaginative publishers. The only immediate downside I’ve seen is that kids read 1984 and go “Meh…”
    Nice shots today.

      • Do you know who Chris Burden was? The performance artist who, among other things, had someone shoot him as a work of art? Ahead of his time, as all geniuses are. Heh.

      • “One of Burden’s most reproduced and cited pieces, Trans-Fixed, took place on April 23, 1974 at Speedway Avenue in Venice, California. For this performance, Burden lay face up on a Volkswagen Beetle and had nails hammered into both of his hands, as if he were being crucified on the car. The car was pushed out of the garage and the engine revved for two minutes before being pushed back into the garage.”

  2. Interesting about the book premises. Just last night I was checking out a Young Adult book my 15-year-old had bought. After seeing its subject matter (lots of sex and violence), it definitely didn’t seem Young Adult to me. (When the word ‘horny’ is on the book cover, that’s a clue in and of itself…) But he’d bought it with his own money, and when he thought I wasn’t going to let him read it, he looked crestfallen. After researching it more, I see it is for grades 9-12. Really? Am I just getting old? Then I remember the things I read at his age, and I relinquished it to him. All his friends have read it, and he’ll hear about it anyway. He’s already half done with it. No doubt he’s a happy camper…

    Your pictures are great. I’ll never tire of seeing that building against such a perfect sky.

  3. I think Ross is right [first comment] about most kids enjoying some darker fiction at that age. Shame about the 1984 reaction, though!

    And you may post as many Flat Irons as you like if you promise a few more Chryslers. 🙂

    • Look…my 13-year old is dreary enough. I mean…she’s not dreary all the time. It’s not a problem. But she gets dreary in the way that 13-year old girls do. So I don’t need it to be exacerbated. Maybe some comic books.

  4. First, WTF kind of reading list is that? Where are the classics? Second, interesting art, LOVE the spray paint. How cool is that? Last, I am not sure you can ever have enough pictures of the Flatiron Building.

    • My Bride was reading it out loud and I thought she was joking. I thought she was honing her improvisational skills. Then she sent me the link. I agree with you 100%. They don’t call them classics for nothing. How about some Dickens? That’ll cheer ’em up.

      The girl who did those was so cheery and friendly and talented. I’m going to go back and see what these cost. I’m curious.

      • They’re sold on the street so in sure they’re not terribly expensive. Where would I hang it is the real question? I’m not the only one who decides what goes up on the walls in these might not get a passing vote. Unfortunately, I live in a democracy. I should change it to a dictatorship.

  5. Hey, love the pics and the art installation! This is all the art I get. I’m currently on a stressful vacation. I don’t know what YA is anymore. I read somewhere there is usually a hot romance. But I guess not in many of those stories. Those are definitely dark themes. Happy summer reading, I suppose? You can’t go wrong with a few classics, too. How about A Wrinkle in Time?

    • There WAS no YA when I was that age! Both of my girls read, and loved, a wrinkle in time. I reread it right after them and wasn’t as impressed as when I first read it. Sometimes re-reading is a mistake. They don’t live up to the memory.

      Can you call it a vacation if stress is involved? Isn’t that what you need a break from? Hope things get sunnier.

  6. As an adolescent, I was curious and pissed off at just about anything that came my way. Comic books, science fiction, fantasy, novels, (some biographies) were staples. The encyclopedias were also a draw (go figure). Boy, did I “travel” and “experience” stuff! I’m of the opinion that youngsters should be exploring what interests them. My job as an (almost, I think) adult is to push them a little off balance to see where they go. So, both my kids are somewhere else, right now. (Serves me right.) But both were avid readers. Wife and I did our darnedest to put good stuff in their way. Some they took. Others they avoided. But, they kept reading and exploring. They’re still reading and exploring. They’re not rich, famous or influential, yet (if ever).
    (redacted because I’ve overdone it.)
    Put good stuff in your kids’ way, so they’ll trip over it. They may take you up on it. They may not. You’ll do well at that, judging from what I’ve read of your stuff.

    • Encyclopedias? Now, you’re just dating yourself. I’m just glad they developed an appreciation for reading. God only knows how far I’d have gone if someone had taken the time to inject a little curiosity and a desire to read into my veins. I didn’t start reading until fairly late in life. I decided that someone has to break the cycle and that’s why my kids read. But, holy mother of heaven, why this stuff?! It seems like pretty bleak affairs. Or…maybe I’m just old. Those damn kids. I’ve turned into one of those.

  7. Great pics Mark. I must say that of all the art installations you’ve shared with us, I like this one the least. It seems heavy and dark to me. It overshadows an already beautiful park. Your pictures are great and i appreciate the tour – I just find the installation wanting.

    I really like the spray paint art and I admire any person who sets out to make a living with what they create with their own hands. Very cool.Really creating value in a world where that is often questionable.

    The reading list – Whew – that is brutal. I suppose when you think about it, there was a great deal of violence in the reading lists and classics of our time – even down to the fairy tales of witches eating children and such.

    Have you ever read the book that Ross mentioned – Ender’s Game? I really enjoyed it – it ranks in my top ten favs. Oh, speaking of books, have you read Harper Lee’s latest publication – Go Set a Watchman?

    Love the pics of NYC buildings, you can’t bore me with those.

    Fun post Mark. Thank You

    • Thanks, Paul. The park art is fun to walk through but overall it just doesn’t work for me. I have crazy respect for the artist for even coming up with the concept but the execution is all wrong.

      What do you think those superhero spray paintings cost? It can’t be that much. I’m going to take a walk over there next week and see what’s what. Might ask her her name, to boot.

      I haven’t read “Ender’s Game” and I suppose I’ll get around to reading “Go Set a Watchman,” but not anytime soon. I believe that book was published under less than scrupulous circumstances. Follow the money trail and you’ll find the people responsible. They weren’t exactly after Harper Lee’s best interests.

      I still love that gravitar you use. I remember you sending me the full pic early on. Great image. It really says you. Any new scribblings? I don’t recall seeing you around other than various comment sections.

  8. I was a precocious little bugger who was always sneaking off to read something wildly in appropriate like the screenplay to Godard’s “Masculin- Feminin”, which my sister was assigned to read in her junior year at an all girls Catholic high school during LBJ’s administration. Possibly there is something to “the more things change, the more they say the same”? I’m sure if my mother knew my sister was reading that at 16, she would have objected. And if she knew that I was all over it at 9, she would have freaked out. Instead, Mom did her thing and we did ours. We came out okay. Your daughter probably will, too (says the non-breeder opinionist).

    You have a great eye. I love looking at your pictures. What model iPhone are you using? I could have the Henri Cartier-Bresson edition, but it wouldn’t matter. I excel at missing the shot or finding the dullest angle. Your shots are spot on.

    • The other night I caught my 9-year old in bed reading with a flashlight. She was supposed to be sleeping but she was reading an Archie comic. I couldn’t have been happier! Success.

      Did you attend the same all-girls school? I’m the product of a parochial school and look how I turned out. That explains a lot.

      I have an iPhone 6 but I hear the next generation is going to have a bigger sensor. A bigger sensor means better pics. People get hung up on pixel count but that doesn’t have much to do with it. Photography is so easy now. You can take dozens and dozens of pics and one of them is bound to turn out. Do you remember when we had a roll of 24 or–gasp!–36 shots and we had to make them count? The margin for error is so great now. It’s like cheating.

      • That’s hilarious about your 9-year-old! I also read Archie as a youngster, but for more twisted reasons: I had a thing for Veronica.

        I also attended an all-girls Catholic school but a different one. My sister’s required a two transfer 45 minute commute. I chose one that was walking distance from our house so I could sleep later in the morning. I’ve always had my priorities straight. If I had any chance of going straight letting this little wolf-ette into that hen house was a very bad idea. I always got on well with guys, but Milton thinks that because sexually it’s a flat line for me so it was easy for me to appreciate them for their minds. With the female of the species it’s always been more complicated but all of my closest platonic female friends are A-list thinkers, even if looks is what drew me to them at first. I’m so shallow. When I look back on high school I view it as atheist training.

        Thanks for the iPhone advice. I’m due for an upgrade. I love the size of my 4. I wish they’d bring back a small one. Do you have a 6 or 6+? My boss has a 6. She shoots great pictures with it, but like you, she’s got a great eye. And yes, I do remember shooting film! My 35 mm Minolta SRT-201 was stolen within a year of my living in my apartment. One of the reasons I didn’t bother to replace it was that the cost of developing and printing was so expensive. Digital photography sure changed that!

      • Figures you’re for Veronica. I’m a Betty guy. I’m a sucker for the girl-next-door. Always have been. You’d probably take Ginger over Mary Ann!

        You DO have your priorities in order! What’s more important than sleep?! Certainly not Christian doctrine. You’re applying the old ‘appreciate their minds’ argument. Spare me. We can all see right through that ruse.

        I have a 6 and like it very much but I might step up to a 6+ next time. There’s a new generation about two months away so hold off on a new phone for now.

        Go to the Roundabout site and enter promo code RTCNEWE and you can get $25 tix to ‘Ugly Lies the Bone.’ Thru Sarurday only!

  9. That sculpture does block the sun, but not everyone wants to be baking under the sun’s rays. Maybe it creates the perfect dappled shade for sitting down and reading, I don’t see why anyone would want to stare at something that demonstrates how ugly man’s creations are compared to what Mother Nature effortlessly produces.

    • That’s a very perceptive comment. I wish the sun had been out the day I took those pics because you’re absolutely correct. They create some interesting shadow patterns on the walkway.

      I am all-for improving what Mother Nature produces. Advancements in science and art gave the world Pamela Anderson.

  10. I love the spray paint images. Thanks for passing those on! 🙂 And the pictures of Stinky – when it comes to catnip, there’s little difference among kitties.

    Your daughter’s reading list seems dire (and funny, too, with Little Women stuck in there), but teens often enjoy reading the dark stuff. 🙂

    • Isn’t she talented? I love when someone finds a new way to express an old image. I wish I’d have engaged her a bit more and asked about her process. And prices.

      Of that list, the one I really want to read is the story of the girl who could kill a man with her bare hands and was promoted to king’s thug. Can you get any darker than that?

  11. I saw 1984 mentioned above, i read it in 8th grade for fun, which in turn led me to a lifelong love of Orwell, really i don’t care what my boyos read as long as they read, to sit with a book is one of the most enjoyable things i can think of and in this age when there is so much electronic stimulation i believe it’s about more than just reading a book but that’s a whole diatribe in and of itself…

    And it seems they’re releasing a bunch of Buk books, On Writing, On Cats, i’m trying to figure out if it’s just culled from shit i’ve already read or new things unearthed, i’m guessing the former though my love of cats will most likely make me pick up the one… and Stinky is a fine feline, a bit tabby/tortoise shell it looks? Tabby’s are smart and wise animals…

    That spray paint art is fucking brilliant, how much was she selling them for?

    • I want to know what those girls are pouring into their brains. I don’t want to become the literature police but they’re impressionable. They shouldn’t be left to their own devices. You’ll probably disapprove but we even monitor our 13-year olds iPhone. Texts. Emails. Everything. She knows. We don’t do it behind her back. She’s still too young to be left to her own devices.

      I have a copy of On Writing and it’s pretty boring. A bunch of letters he wrote where he describes writing. He goes on a bit long with a single thought.

      I don’t know what those spray-paint beauties sell for but I’m going to find out. Did you click on them and blow them up? It’s nice work.

      • Hell no i don’t disapprove of keeping tabs on electronic devices, the (somewhat sad) fact is we have to know some of what’s going on, we’ll never know all of it, you were young once, i know for damn sure my parents didn’t know everything i was doing when i was a teenager, if they had i’d have never been allowed to leave the house, besides i know all the shit i got into and i didn’t have access to the gadgets they have today, so i wholeheartedly approve!!

      • Welcome to parenthood! Boy, I’ll bet you didn’t see that coming. A conservative viewpoint, that is. It sure too me by surprise. But if I’m not the thought police, who will be?

  12. We punk-ass bitch Canadians are watching, you know. We came down there once and burned your capital down, just a matter of time before we get to it again. Also, I want Bryan Adams back. If you manage that, we might let you off.

    Apoca-fiction. Started by The Hunger Games and now we have to make sure are kids are scared of every meteor that streaks across the sky… Don’t worry, the next trend is likely going to be something more uplifting, and this whole shell-game will go away. Sooner the better.

    I can’t abide cats… sorry. Nuff said. Love the superhero artwork, I love me my superheroes.

    • You can have Bryan Adams back. We’re done with him. You can take Alex Trebek while your at it. I’ll trade him for a case of authentic maple syrup to replace this corn syrup crap they feed us down here.

      I’m probably taking this a lot harder than my daughter is. Odds are, she’ll enjoy the demolition, move on and not think about it again. I don’t know why I have to make such a big deal out of it. Nothing else to write about, I suppose.

      Did you click on those superhero pics and take a close look? Lovely stuff.

      • I think Bryan Adams is done with Bryan Adams… but he’s apparently a lovely human being in real life (whatever that is), and hell – he wrote Heaven. And Summer of 69. Don’t send Trebek back here, that guy is no longer Canadian, too much of an ass.

        Just clicked the superhero pics… amazing. That is some real talent, and I agree with you about the Harley Quinn one… but I think I like Thor the best. Just something about the movement in that one, you can see him careening towards you with that big old hammer.

      • I hate to resort to base stereotypes, but I picture ALL Canadians as being lovely human beings. I grew up in lovely Cleveland and made many sojourns to Kitchner and Toronto and all the Canadians I met were very nice to me. Although my friend and I broke down in the middle of the Peace Bridge in his old, shitty VW Rabbit and neither side would help us.

        As I mentioned somewhere above, can you imagine what that girl could do to Batman?

  13. As long as they’re reading. That’s really what’s important. Most school reading curriculums kill the desire to read in kids starting around your older daughter’s age. That list actually sounds like it was built to intrigue a young mind.

    And I also like the art installation. True, when you back up it looks pretty bleak – but that’s rather like watching a Broadway play from so high up that you can see where the set ends and the theater begins. Kills the magic a little. So move closer. 🙂

    I wonder if that girl is there, selling those superheroes every day. My kid would love them.

    I love the picture of the cat smiling. And I don’t like cats! Your images transcend my feline aversion.

    • I love that they read. We don’t have to force the issue. Do you know what a joy that is to me? At least I did that right. I still want to monitor what they pour into their heads. They’re just kids!

      You’d really like the sculpture if you were walking under it. Especially if there’s a bright blue sky above. It’s a nice contrast.

      As I mentioned to Trent, click on those pics and get a detailed view. They’re beauties. I’ll walk by next week and de what they cost. Can’t be that much!

      You like cats. You ARE a cat. I’ll bet you’d respond to catnip the same way.

  14. Reading, whatever is there — that’s the objective. Now is as good a time as any to learn that some stuff is wonderful, some shit. Then again, we all like reading crap sometimes, don’t we? in 8th grade, I was gobbling Victorian romances (Bodice thumpers) — Victoria Holt and the like. Although I did read a lot of Robert Louis Stevenson at that age too. Dickens? No — especially not today’s kids — it’s too wordy until you really appreciate that a good LONG book is worth its weight in gold.

    Love the pictures. This is the only way I get to see NYC!

    • They ARE too young for Dickens. My 13-year old tried A Christmas Carol last year and I don’t think it went very well. I don’t want them discouraged, which is why I buy them crap. I buy Archie comics for my 8-year old and she loves them. My Bride is furious that I buy them but I won’t stop. That’s what dads do.

      NYC will always be here. Come when you’re good and ready.

  15. I’ll take one of each of those spray paint pictures, please. Or, Deadpool and a Spidey at the very least.

  16. The beginning of this blog sounded like a writer’s pitch to a movie studio executive. Are you saying your daughter’s school/teacher recommended this summer reading list?
    I don’t get none of these new TV shows or books. It just sounds like a way to change our basic thinking of right/wrong and our culture. Maybe calling for a new global society. Remember those banned books from the 50’s & 60’s, they were actually harmless. Judging standards have changed over the years. Some good, some bad.
    A cat lover somewhere must be offended by what you did. lol
    I took those same pics last month in Madison Square, but they are poor compared to your nice work.
    The spray paint art is worth owning one. They have to be affordable, for street sale.

    • These aren’t recommendations from one specific teacher. These are recommendations from the local Board of Education! This list went out to thousands of kids. Would it have killed them to throw in a few classics?

      What did you think of the exhibit? I liked it when I was walking underneath but thought it looked too industrial from outside.

      That cat was in heaven. Catnip is completely harmless. I think. I’m not a cat so I guess it’s just conjecture on my part.

  17. Bring back Enid Blyton I say! But really, is there any need for so much doom, gloom and destruction in those books. I can understand exploring books like that as part of a range, but not so many of them. Let’s bring a bit of sunshine and happiness into the young’uns lives.

    That building is rather magnificent, I can understand your desire to photograph it. And I too really like those spray-painted pictures, not sure why, but they really work!

    • I can only partially blame the publishers. They print what people want and that’s what’s selling right now. All I can hope is that it’s well-written and that it sparks their desire to want to read more.

      The funny thing about the Flatiron building is that the office space inside is purported to be poorly allocated. There’s a lot of unusable space. No matter. I don’t have to work there, just soak in its beauty.

  18. Ah, to be surrounded by art like that. And the Flatiron: no go on, don’t stop. I like the superhero paintings too, and this stew you serve up with the catnip photos and the poking-at-the-culture with the kids books. As always, I refuse to watch movies on planes but instead, wind up losing myself in movies other people are watching, which is addicting and maddening. Like, I’ll flip between four movies at once and try to figure out what’s happening, without the sound. And so I was subjected to Insurgent or Divergent or whatever the one is, and sort of fantasizing over the evil Debbie Harry look-alike villain, but marveling at the violence, and the fact my wife fast-forwarded over the love-making scene, if you want to call it that, and my 10-year-old is over the moon for it. Doorbell’s ringing here in Germany, got to go Mark. Thanks for another great post. – Bill

    • I have a hard time settling on one topic. I’m always afraid that I’m prattling on too long and am too windy. So I try this shotgun approach. I’ll put a few things out there and hope that one of them works. Someone once described this as more like a magazine then a book and I’m fine with that.

      Have a good trip. Interesting times ahead. FYI: if a month has two full moons in it, that second full moon is called a blue moon. Did you know?

  19. What kind of reading list is that? I would be pissed too. Hell, I’m pissed on your behalf. One or two classic dystopian novels would be acceptable (I’m thinking Brave New World, Farenheit 451), but why isn’t there ANY variety? Although my summer reading list in 8th grade was Edith Hamilton’s Mythology – not sure if that’s any better….

      • But she’s his “thug”? Not even covert spy assassin? Maybe with Jedi mind powers? I think they could have sold it better.

      • Oh, I disagree. By labeling her a thug instead of something with a sense of panache, like an assassin, they appeal to the lowest common denominator. And as we all know, there’s money to be made by aiming low. Their marketing is correct.

  20. Awesome pics! You know I was upset by “The Hunger Games” when I saw the fist one as well. I felt like kids being encouraged to kill each other is not appropriate in any way shape or form ever. Movies are powerful suggestive.
    I must be getting old. Sigh.

    • I guess I’m used to it by now but I remember being outraged when Hunger Games was first published. Children preying on children?! What fresh horror is this they dreamed up?! It sold well so there’ll be plenty more where that came from.

      • Sadly I know it’s true. As if kids need more encouragement to destroy each other. Or adults for that matter too.

  21. When I was your bright eldest’s age, if I can remember correctly, Mark, I read school-approved “The Catcher in the Rye” and “Red Sky at Morning” in the living room and public library-snagged “The Godfather” and “Catch 22” in my bedroom after my parents went upstairs. And I turned out … never mind.

    I can’t think that dystropian stuff is good for the overall outlook of our kids. I’m making the call from the movies and not the books, but I prefer the YA coming-of-age relationship slant for this generation from John Green’s novels.

    That spray paint art is wild and wonderful. Definitely go back and buy one! My fave besides your mask is the faceoff with the Green Lantern. Hey, if your bride vetoes more prominent play, do you have any personal space somewhere that needs a wall-spruce up? Stick it up at work where the food-inhaler has to look at it all the time? He can’t have the good taste to appreciate this fine touch.

    I agree with the iPhone 6 camera review. And your fascination with the Flatiron is fine. Keep any photo you choose coming, man, art installations, buildings, kitties and catnip …

    • I wouldn’t even mind if the books had literary merit but a lot of them are just junk made to ride the Hunger Games coattails. I don’t mean to disparage the authors–God knows how hard it is to write a book–but they’re not exactly original ideas. Classics are called classics for a reason!

      I don’t have a man-cave in which to hang one of those beautiful paintings. I have a very modest house and there are three women living there. Perhaps the dog will let me hang it in her overnight crate. I’ll ask her. Thanks for stopping by, as always. Hope your summer is okey-dokey.

      • The dog crate. Excellent idea. 🙂 You don’t need a man cave. A man corner, perhaps? In the Little Bitty here in Syraciuse I have my recliner in the living room and a closet in one of the two bedrooms. Not complaining. At all. Yes, okey-dokey this summer. We took a little five-day getaway for my dear wife Karen’s family reunion in Colorado, to which I’d never been. My goodness, what a beautiful state, Mark.

  22. What happened to Harry Potter? Narnia? Animal Farm?… Have you noticed the number of book titles in the top 10 with “girl” in the title since the huge success of Gone Girl. Surely soon there will be no individualism and all books will be the same plot just the names and places will change… that will soon die out and we’ll only read the same bloody book again and again!

  23. Well that’s a reading list that should harden them up! You always said yu wanted your girls to be strong.
    How does kitty get on with snappy dog? Who is boss?
    Great shot of the Flatiron. Nice.

    • I want me girls to be strong. Not filled with hopeless angst about how in the future, everything is going to fall apart.

      That it NOT my cat. I wish it were. I wish the dog were gone and Stinky lived with us. Stinky + catnip = hours of entertainment.

    • Here’s the funny coda…at the very bottom of the reading list are three classics, ‘Little Women’ being one of them. I wonder why they don’t push that stuff more front and center? I guess that’s my job.

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