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Ari Shapiro’s Other Gig
It’s public radio fundraising week here in Indy. If I could, I’d give them half my salary. We have a few friends who suggest that the reporting in slanted. Like Fox and CNN are paragons of objectivity?

I can’t be objective about NPR hosts. If we were single, Robert Siegel and I would marry. (It’s okay. My husband knows.) I almost skipped a golf outing for the chance to see Guy Raz at a local benefit this past week. (Almost.) I nearly wept when I heard that that Melissa Block would end her 12 ½ year stint as host of All Things Considered. (It’s like losing your best gal pal.) Slightly jealous, too, that she gets a juicy new role at NPR doing long-form journalism.

Who knew that Ari Shapiro has another gig on top of his commitment as one of the four hosts of All Things Considered? He occasionally sings with Pink Martini—a relationship he formed through a college friend at Yale who introduced him to the band. He began hosting dinners for them when they were visiting Washington. That led to a friendship and an invitation to record and perform with them. Some people get all the talent.

West with the Night

Ever heard of Beryl Markham? I hadn’t until I landed upon Circling the Sun, Paula McClain’s work of historical fiction about one of the first record-setting woman pilots. I don’t love McClain’s book, but the bibliography led to one that is infinitely more fascinating—the memoir Markham wrote herself.

West with the Night was first published in 1942 with only modest acclaim, although it was on 13 bestseller lists at the time. In the early 1980s, someone discovered Ernest Hemingway’s reference to West with the Night in his personal letters. “As it is, she has written so well, and so marvelously well that I was ashamed of myself as a writer,” Hemingway wrote. That’s understandable.

Shortly afterward, the book was reissued and Markham became a sensation once again. National Geographic ranked West with the Night eighth on its list of the 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time.

This book goes to my list of top 10 favorites. I’ve never read anything quite like it. Markham sums up her daring, unconventional life in descriptions that may cause you to review them again and again. There have been allegations that her third husband was responsible for much of the book, but I can hardly imagine that. Read it and see why.

Golf cartIt’s not going to snow
It’s a rare October day in Indiana when the weather is so good you can play golf in shorts, but it’s happening. My golf league milks every chance we get to be outside, playing every Thursday night long after our league officially ends. It’s standard behavior in a climate that dips below zero during winter. People cling feverishly to summer.

Red leavesIn the beauty of autumn, it’s easy to make a vow to keep exercising outdoors on through winter. Once it arrives, I’m a total weenie. Here’s a story about a small study in Canada that showed “older women” stay more committed to fitness when they exercise outdoors. Will I? Will you?

Pink FlamingosAs a joke to our neighbors, we planted these pink flamingos in our back yard. I fail to see how it can snow in a place where pink flamingos feed.

RingsOn one of autumn’s last days, I walked the canal in downtown Indianapolis and I found a 1952 edition of The Nine Brides and Granny Hite with deckled edges. It was inside one of those Little Free Libraries filled with books that are free for the taking. It’s a quaint collection of stories about nine women who gather to make quilts with Granny Hite.

NC9910_largeIf you love old books, you might like these notecards inspired by vintage books. I bought these at the Victorian Trading Company, which has this offer through the end of November. Free standard shipping with code SHIPVTC. Expires 11/30/15.

Blog favorite of the month
When you only have a few minutes to digest your blog feeds, here is one I highly recommend: Bag and a Beret. I love Melanie’s wit, humor and her spectacular creativity with fashion. She talks about the state of reading in this post. I’ve never forgotten the supportive things she said when I wrote about losing my zeal for social media.

I’m in the home stretch on a big project (I think), so you may not hear from me for a while, but I hope winter comes gently wherever you are. Will you exercise outdoors this winter? What’s on your reading recommendation list? I’d love for you to friend me on Good Reads. You can email me an invite at carotop at att dot net. (You know the format…I’m just avoiding those rotten tools that crawl the web in search of email addresses.)

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.