Let’s take the long way home: a memoir of friendship

From Jackie Cantwell
author: Caldwell, Gail
Let’s take the long way home: a memoir of friendship
This is an account of the author’s friendship with Caroline Knapp, the
author of Pack of two and Drinking: a love story (among others), who died
of lung cancer in 2002 at the age of 42.  I liked Ms. Knapp’s articles in
Glamour magazine.  Theirs  was a very close friendship.  They were both
single writers with dogs living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Both women
were recovering alcoholics.  Gail was a swimmer and Caroline was an avid
rower on the Charles River.  They taught each other their favorite sports,
went on vacations together, trained their dogs together and spoke every
day.  Does anyone even have friendships like this anymore?  I imagine that
Ms. Caldwell agrees with Socrates’ statement that “the unexamined life is
not worth living”.  She deftly delineates the meaning of their friendship
and how important Caroline was to her.  The grief she endures brings to
mind that of Joan Didion in The year of magical thinking.  Ms. Caldwell is
a masterful writer. This is a heartrending tale, a four-hankie memoir. 
Read it if you’re strong enough.

Chelsea Chelsea bang bang

Chelsea Chelsea bang bang

From Jackie Cantwell
author: Handler, Chelsea

Warning: contains scatological humor, sex/drug references, adult situations, cursing, etc. It is also laugh-out-loud funny.  Skip the first two chapters: she covered similar ground in previous books (including trying to get a Cabbage Patch doll). There’s a practical joke involving a supposed dead dog and her boyfriend, Ted.  There are also vacations on Martha’s Vineyard with her siblings in her father’s filthy house and on Turks/Caicos with her entourage. One story consists of e-mails amongst her siblings of their efforts to sell the dilapidated NJ home of their father (whom they nicknamed “Platypus” and who may be sleeping with his Jamaican housekeeper).  There’s also a friend’s rooftop wedding, and will Ted’s helicopter land on them as the vows are exchanged?