Also, props to my friend Marybeth as Publishers Weekly just gave her debut novel, The Mailbox, a favorable review. I read an advanced copy a couple months ago and really enjoyed it. It will make for good summer reading when it releases in June. Great for reading poolside or at the beach, and if you can’t get to the beach, the book will supply it - it's setting is a beach just a ways south of me.
I'm busy today making edits on my own book, It's No Secret, which releases in September. I'm thinking I'll lead an online Bible study with it here in October -you're invited.
Speaking of books, my to-read pile keeps growing. I have a stack of 8 books on the floor to the left of my desk awaiting my attention. I think I need to buy one of these plastic book-holders for my treadmill. But I suspect reading will slow down my pace. So much of life is a trade-off.
Had a most interesting dinner this weekend - was entertaining life-long journalist Jonathan Broder who'd come to the university to give a lecture Thursday night and then went out to eat with us on Friday evening. Broder is currently the editor for foreign policy and defense with Congressional Quarterly in D.C. But he's worked as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, South Asia, and the Far East for the Associated Press, NBC News, and the Chicago Tribune. Oh the stories this man can tell! Having been to journalism school myself, his tales of the trade thrilled me. Plus, he's got a great sense of humor.
I'll share one of the stories he told us - you may need to be over 30 to appreciate this. A couple decades ago Broder was traveling with a few other U.S. foreign correspondents (I believe he may have said Thomas Friedman was one of them) when they were stopped on the road at a military check-point. Broder explained to us how important it was to show the right ID depending on who was running the checkpoint. In other words, you didn't want to show the Palestinian guards your Jewish-favorable ID and vice versa.
They weren't sure who was running this particular checkpoint.
"What is your religion?" an armed guard asked them.
"We don't have religion; we're journalists."
"Who do you work for?" the guard demanded.
"One of us is with the New York Times, one is with the Dallas Morning News, and one is with the Chicago Tribune," one of them answered.
"Which one of you is from Dallas?"
"I am," the reporter reluctantly offered.
"Come over here."
They all felt the tension ratcheting up.
Broder watched as the guard held an AK-47 to his friend's head.
Then the guard asked, "Who shot J.R.?"
It took a moment before the belly-laughing began.