Books

Happy to see Jane Mayer’s book on the Koch brothers, DARK MONEY, make the NYT list as one of best books of the year. The Kochs opposed Trump, but they are positioned to benefit immensely from a governmentby oligarchy. 

For mountaineers, both armchair and real alpinists, Leif Whittaker’s MY OLD MAN AND THE MOUNTAIN, is a great read. He’s from a dynastic climbing family, but doesn’t let his royal lineage get to him. Book is funny and poignant. 


Television

I resisted it, but after do-gooder friends insisted we give it a three-episode try, I finally got won over to THIS IS US. It looks stereotypical – three 36-year-old sibs, one black, one fat, one perfect, and all the complications therein. But it comes off fresh and authentic. 

Dear HBO producers, please, please rush back on the air with fresh episodes of VEEP. Reality has made this parody of a White House run by jealous, conniving amateurs hard to update. But give it try, creative people.  


Film

I’ll watch anything by Marty Scorsese, but his latest,  SILENCE, shows the director at the top of his game. It’s that rare thing: a movie with substance, but also moving, entertaining, with a great sense of place.