I generally stick to reading one book at a time, but this week I’ve got a couple on the go.
One of them, Long Bright River by Liz Moore, is a 2020 novel exploring the ravages of addiction in a rough Philadelphia neighborhood, from the perspective of female police officer Michaela Fitzpatrick. Mickey, as she is usually called, is consumed with trying to find her younger sister Kacey, who has struggled with addiction since her early teen years and recently dropped out of sight entirely.
And for filling in the gaps during periods when I only have a short amount of time to read, I’ve been dipping into Wright Thompson’s The Cost of These Dreams: Sports Stories and Other Serious Business (2019). I was familiar with Thompson’s work from ESPN The Magazine, in particular an in-depth portrait of college and Olympic wrestling legend Dan Gable, who coached my alma mater to nine straight NCAA Championships in the 1980s and 15 overall. That profile is included in The Weight of These Dreams, as is his equally incisive look at Michael Jordan as he turned 50 a few years ago. But it’s the articles I hadn’t already read that have been hitting the hardest, including an examination of the ways football and segregation fed each other at the University of Mississippi in 1962, as the team was fighting for a national al championship and James Meredith was fighting to be allowed to enroll as the first African-American student at Ole Miss. Compelling stuff.