I have not been a good blogging boy. I returned from vacation last Monday to find the Editorial Board facing its toughest week all year, with almost half of its staff away on vacation. Consequently, I have been busier than the proverbial one-armed paper hanger ever since.
I was in Westport, Mass., hard on the Rhode Island line, a beautiful seaside spot not far from Little Compton, R.I. My family has been visiting there for more than 20 years and my sister-in-law has a place on the little harbor.
What did I do on my vacation? Drank a lot of beer and ate way too much, which has now prompted me to start a diet, making life even more miserable.
I read two and half books. The first was "Neverland," the highly praised post-911 novel by Joseph O'Neill, which uses the game of cricket (of all things) to suggest social alienation by immigrants in New York City. As a cricketer myself here in Pittsburgh, I marveled at how the author was able to make this work for an American audience.
Don't be put off by this. The novel is extremely well written, and contains the best description of a failing marriage - the miscommunication between men and women - I have ever read. But don't be put off by that, either. It is sad at times but always absorbing and not ultimately depressing. My son Jim, who was reading the book at the same time, said it well: "There's not a boring line in the book."
Next I read "Faith of My Fathers," by John McCain and Mark Salter and, when I was done with that, started Barack Obama's "Dreams of My Father," which I am still reading.
More on those next week when normality hopefully returns.