Klara is transfixed by her new Beauty and the Beast book with sliding panels that reveal pictures under pictures.

“This is Beauty,” I explain. “And this is Beast.”

Suddenly, her face lights up.

“Beauty! Like Klara!” she says. “Beast not beauty. Not like Klara.”

Waiting for George

The only new releases where I actually count down the hours before I can finally see them on my Kindle are mysteries by Elizabeth George.

The fresh one will drop at 2 am tonight, which blows because tomorrow is my busiest day of the week. I get to be on the constant move from 7 am to 8 pm. Even the usually slow office hours will be populated tomorrow.

I love books.

Monsieur Bonjour

I have turned out to be a careful and responsible, if a somewhat aggressive, driver. Except for one thing. I keep parking with the front too close to the curb and end up tearing off the bumper. I keep forgetting that the car is longer than it looks from the driver seat.

I feel ridiculous coming to the mechanic, a Frenchman called Monsieur Bonjour, with the torn out bits of the bumper yet again. And it’s the only damage I ever cause but I cause it a lot.

Book Notes: Cameron Watson’s Modern Basque History

What a great book, folks!┬áCameron Watson’s Modern Basque History: Eighteenth Century to the Present is a textbook that includes reading assignments and discussion questions after each chapter, so it can be used in a classroom. The writing is beautiful, very clear, and quite free of ideology, which is not easy given the subject. I enjoyed reading it enormously. It’s fascinating to look at the history of Spain, France and Europe at large from the Basque point of view. Just as an exercise for the mind it’s a great thing. Cameron Watson is a brilliant scholar and a talented writer.

The book was published by the Center for Basque Studies at the U of Nevada in Reno. They offer a scholarship for academics who want to come and work on their research into the Basque culture. I’d love to go because the scholarship sounds like it was made for me. But you have to go for 3 weeks at least, and obviously I can’t do that while Klara is so small.

What People Care About

I am trying to work it out in my head exactly what Trump has done in the last month or so that could have improved his image even by four points.

People have seen their paychecks and have noticed the salary increase due to the lower federal withdrawals because of the new tax bill. Nobody cares about some prostitute and the ridiculous scandal surrounding how she does her business. Everybody’s individual paycheck matters more to them.