Reading the newspaper is getting more difficult every day. The political and racial tension seems to be bringing the sixties back to our front doors. There is no doubt that too many young black men are being killed by policeman who are too quick on the draw. Too many parents are burying too many children, and too many young people are more afraid of the police then they are of the criminals. On the other hand, too many police officers are being painted with the same brush of bigotry. The vast majority of these men/women in blue are out there trying to protect and defend people of all races, and battling a bigotry that ends in injuries and sometimes death. Last week a New York policeman was executed while sitting in his car. A similar thing happened earlier this year. Somehow, someway we need to stop looking at each other as enemies and start seeing each other as friends.
John Lescroart gives us his slant on some of this bigotry in his newest book, The Fall. Greg Treadway, a young, white middle school teacher devotes much of his time to mentoring young people in trouble. Anlya Grace Paulson is the sister of one of the young men that Greg mentors, and even though he doesn't mentor her, he serves as her sounding board when she needs an ear. Her death stirs up emotions in a town where no one seems to face punishment when a black person is murdered, and suddenly Greg becomes a suspect. Lescroart does a good job showing both sides of a situation that has became way too familiar in our current society.
With all of the serious issues we face, a little humor can go a long way towards keeping us sane. There are quite a few male comedians who have risen to stardom through the years, but it has only been in recent years that women are rivaling the men. Years ago, women had a difficult if not impossible time getting top billing as the comedian in any show. Joan Rivers broke quite a few barriers and proved she could stand up there with the best of them. Her humor was often biting, sometimes crude and always funny. This funny lady built a career for herself and never looked back. One of the things she prized the most, was her relationship with daughter Melissa, and the tragedy of her untimely death hurt Melissa immeasurably. Melissa decided to share some of her memories with Joan's fans and wrote a funny tribute to her mother. The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation gives us a peek into the life of this very funny lady.
Well, May is here and summer is right around the corner. This is a perfect time to make a list of great books to read while sitting on your patio, the beach or a nearby park. I will do my part by giving you ideas throughout the next month, and we can all spend the summer traveling to as many places as our books can take us.