I came across this on Twitter twice. The first time I scrolled past it thinking it was someone doing a bad impersonation of The Onion. The second time I clicked the link. MY GOD!
WASHINGTON — The Oval Office meeting this past March began, as so many had, with President Trump fuming about migrants. But this time he had a solution. As White House advisers listened astonished, he ordered them to shut down the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico — by noon the next day.
The advisers feared the president’s edict would trap American tourists in Mexico, strand children at schools on both sides of the border and create an economic meltdown in two countries. Yet they also knew how much the president’s zeal to stop immigration had sent him lurching for solutions, one more extreme than the next.
Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That’s not allowed either, they told him.
September and October are for spooky/horror or any other autumn book you can find. So, expect a theme in my reading for the next month or two. Let’s get to it.
In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri. The only book that isn’t part of the fall theme. Jhumpa writes about her experience learning Italian. This book called out to me as someone who is learning other languages and the beginning was great. Jhumpa has an amazing way with words. Unfortunately, by the halfway mark it had grown redundant and I found the book a bit too self-indulgent. Meh.
The October Country, by Ray Bradbury. Ok, it’s September (or was when I was reading this) but close enough for me. I am fairly certain I have read this book long ago but didn’t recall. Like any short story collection, some of these are hits, others are misses. For some reason, Bradbury has never done it for me. Every single time I have sat down with one of his books, they leave me disappointed. Like I’m not getting the hype about him.
Ghost Story by Peter Straub. Another popular book which just wasn’t for me. I think the only book I have ever read by Straub was The Talisman which is coauthored by Stephen King. I’ll give him another go but I just couldn’t get into this book.
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell. A graphic novel set in a pumpkin patch between two work friends before they go off to college. There is nothing deep involved in this at all. It’s just pure brain cotton candy. But, cotton candy is delicious. And this is the perfect fall reading.
Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. I loved the first half of this book. Really loved it. And then halfway through I got bored and confused and threw in the towel. You ever have an experience like that where you’re really enjoying a book and suddenly it feels like your copy was missing a chapter and you’re suddenly deep in the dark woods without a map or light? That was Lovecraft Country for me.
The Fisherman by John Langan. This was my favorite read of the month. It grabbed me by my shirt collar from the beginning and didn’t want to let go. The story is so simple. A widower starts fishing as a way to cope with his grief. Another colleague also loses his wife and they start fishing together. The hook is that the narrator is a damn good guy and you like spending time with him. Things get strange when the colleague wants to take him to this fishing spot where some weird shit happened a century ago. There’s a story within a story that happens which goes on a bit too long and the last half of the book feels a bit sloppy which is too bad because this could have been spectacular. But still a solid fall read.