Monday, November 4, 2013


Gender Bender or Mid-Life Crisis?
"My Brother, My Sister - the Story of a Transformation" by Molly Haskell   Viking   211 pages   $26.95

The betrayal in this book is unbelievable.  Haskell writes about her brother who married and divorced, married again and seemed happy for something like 20 years when he decided he'd always wanted to be a woman.  A bit late to be finding that out, eh?  In his late 50s?  So he began the transition with hormonal help plastic facial surgery - men have longer jaws or some such and, of course, The Final Change which was quite interesting surgically.

To say his wife, ex wife and sister were shocked is understatement.  It fascinated me (who doesn't know any of them) because I'm not convinced one can change the basic fact of nature - your sexuality at birth.  This guy was definitely male.  It was his mind that wanted to be female.  Essentially, if he could have gotten his mind under control, his sexuality might have veered back to what he actually was - male.  Talk about selfish...

Trying to Spin Straw Into Gold
"Kate: The Future Queen" by Katie Nicholl   Weinstein Books   354 pages   $26

How can a writer hope to write a "biography" for a person that is 30 years old?  If it were 103, okay, that's one thing - some life has been lived!

It isn't until page 102 that Kate and William meet.  Previously, the reader was treated to a great deal of her genealogy as well as descriptions of every school she ever attended, plus all the sports she adored.  All the way through, the prose is a warm bath of praise; Kate is never wrong, never spiteful and that's boring reading. 

But I enjoy reading about "the Royals" as their lifestyle is so far out of reach.  We take a cab; they have a helicopter fly in to whisk them away to lavish vacation villas.  The happy couple's new home in Kensington Palace is three stories with 40 rooms and what is said to be a nice garden. 

The 50 Year Rehash With Much Added Speculation (at no extra charge)

"Where Were You?  America Remembers the JFK Assassination" compiled and edited by Gus Russo and Harry Moses   Lyons Press   407 pages   $29.95

Luminaries (Dan Rather, Bill Clinton, Pat Buchanan, John Glenn, Jay Leno) versus "ordinary people" a woman driving to her kid's school to pick the child up and an examination of such pressing questions as "Had he lived would we have gotten out of Vietnam sooner?  "Would Nixon have made it to President?"  I can save you time here -- no one knows!

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