Atonement (Ian McEwan): I just finished the book, which I thought confounding at first -- because the narrative jumped decades in a couple of spots and seemed to avoid the promised confrontations or resolutions, with the reader left to fill in the missing events. But on reflection, I liked that technique because it hooked the reader into seriously considering what the characters most likely did. I haven't seen the movie and am not sure I want to. I'm almost always disappointed in the movie if I've read the book.
My assignment: I was asked by my daughter, a junior history major at Occidental, to help in her search for paid summer internships. She asked me to look up opportunities at some large PR/marketing firms. That was a revealing exercise. Most of these multi-national PR "consultancies" I'd never heard of, but their client list is impressive -- outfits like the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the World Bank, and just about every Fortune 500 company. Karin is a talented writer and sound thinker, but I'm not sure she could use those skills in the service of some company or product she didn't believe in. If you know anyone in the PR/communications/marketing business who could use a sharp PAID summer intern, let me know!
The presidential campaign: Senator Obama did extremely well in the Minnesota caucuses. My daughter is firmly in the Obama camp, mostly because of his charisma, but also because he spent his first two undergraduate years at Occidental and they still claim him as their own. I like Obama, but it's as much an anti-Clinton feeling on my part. George Will is salivating at the prospect of a Clinton nomination because he believes she is beatable. (And Mr. Will doesn't much like John McCain, either.)