I saw "Marrying off Mother" by Gerald Durrell in the library and somehow confused him with James Herriot, an author I'd read and loved when I was in high school. Well, it wasn't him, but the book is quite funny all the same. It is from the early 90s (not, like Herriot, from the early 70s) but somehow, the age it evokes is still the same. Maybe it's just a British animal-loving-guy thing. The story that gives the book its title is about the author's childhood on the Greek island of Corfu and those few pages made me want to go and read his full-length book ( My Family and Other Animals) about his childhood.
The other author I read last week was New York Senator Chuck Schumer. The last political book I read was O'Reilly 's, so I figured I needed to read a Democrat's book for balance. I found O'Reilly annoying -- I hadn't heard of him when I read the book (2004?), so I was surprised at how partisan he was while claiming not to be. Schumer is quite annoying too, but in a different way. He doesn't just stop with saying that he runs campaigns and frames issues with the middle class in mind. He creates a phantom family, gives them names and then proceeds to name-drop "Joe and Eileen Bailey" all over the book. It gets old after a few pages. Other than that, the book even makes sense. But after reading the book where he says he doesn't get behind issues that normal Americans may not, I woke up today to his name on NPR -- he is leading a no-confidence motion against Gonzales.