My Breakfast with Tom Metzger

Tom Metzger is dead, and I am relieved.

But memories of Tom rumble through the orderly rows of avocado and citrus trees in my Southern California town, stirring up the dirt of our racist history.

When Fallbrook became my home thirty years ago, I dutifully learned its two monikers: Avocado Capital of the World and Fallbrook the Friendly Village. Both were debatable, given the persistent transformation of groves to tract housing, and Tom Metzger’s presence in town.

Back then, Tom was a Fallbrook fixture. A short and stout strutter, he was known for his TV repair skills, his toupee, and a black Stetson and cowboy boots that gave him an extra few inches. He was also known for identifying as a racial separatist, which, according to him, was not at all hateful.

“I don’t hate anyone,” he’d say.  ... Read more.

I'm reading:

By Helen DeWitt, published by New Directions, 2011.

"...funny, filthy...its true brilliance lies in DeWitt’s careful deployment of language..." - New York Times

Joe fails to sell a single set of the Encyclopedia Britannica in six months. Then fails to sell a single Electrolux and must eat 126 pieces of homemade pie, served up by his would-be customers who feel sorry for him. Holed up in his trailer, Joe finds an outlet for his frustrations in a series of ingenious sexual fantasies, and at last strikes gold. His brainstorm, Lightning Rods, Inc., will take Joe to the very top — and to the very heart of corporate insanity — with an outrageous solution to the spectre of sexual harassment in the modern office.

I've just started Why Women Read Fiction, by Helen Taylor (Oxford University Press, 2019), but it's already intriguing and validating. ...

She writes about historic attitudes toward women's reading fiction, including the fear that literature would cause "excitement, indulgence, the problem of women negelecting their duties." On top of those horrors, fiction was considered corrupting for women, "'literary opium,'" which actually sounds like a good thing.

The fourth book in T. Jefferson Parker's P.I. Roland Ford series,
Then She Vanished, was fun, fun, fun—and oh so familiar so many ways.

It's scheduled for release on 11 August, 2020, by G.P. Putnam's Sons.