An absolutely wonderful collection of essays from the great Joan Didion. Many of the essays are simply brilliant and have a long lasting effect on you, such as the essay on Georgia O’Keeffe where she describes a visit to a museum with her daughter that is showing a display of Ms. O’Keeffe’s work which many of the visitors seem disappointed, expecting modern, 1970’s paintings, but instead exhibit a misunderstanding of true art, from the fashion of the day.

Or “Quiet Days in Malibu,” where she visits a greenhouse managed by a Mexican immigrant, Amando Vasquez, where he takes care of his orchids and flowers like newborn babies, creating different species of plants by placing seedlings into fertile plants at the optimal time where the fertilization is most likely to take place.

Or ‘In the Islands,’ where she visits a cemetery in Honolulu, where the remains of soldiers from Viet Nam are buried and how a couple comes back to the cemetery a few hours later after the ceremony to make sure their son has been buried properly as the military promised.

Ms. Didion, throughout all her works, takes us to places that 99 percent of people wouldn’t even think of going, such as to ‘Caltrans’ headquarters, where traffic on the L.A. Freeways are monitored and how their decisions affect millions of commuters every day of their lives.

She is a real treasure, and she has a style all her own.


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