Here's some of what I've been reading while the world of journalism is focused on collusion and conspiracy.
One of my early literary loves was Daphne du Maurier. There was a time as a teenager when I tried to read everything she had written. She occupied a pedestal in my literary pantheon, along with Arthur Conan Doyle, Tolstoy, Agatha Christie, and Zane Grey. (I was an eclectic reader even as a teenager.)
In time I fell out of love with Grey, but I've retained a fondness for my other early loves, especially du Maurier. How I loved her gothic thriller/romances! The books were wonderful and so were the movies based on the books. I devoured them all.
So, I was happy to see an appreciation of her writing in The New York Times recently. Pahrul Seghal's "In Praise of Daphne du Maurier" reminded me of all the things I loved - and still love - about her writing.
The Pew Research Center continuously conducts polls about all sorts of things. The results of those polls are often surprising, sometimes appalling, but always interesting.
For example, based on some recent polling, we learned that the sharp partisan divide in the country extends to views of various national institutions, including the news media, colleges and universities, and churches and religious organizations.
While 55% of the public say that colleges and universities have a positive effect on the life of the country, 58% of Republicans and Republican-leaning respondents see those institutions as having negative effects, and 72% of Democrats and Democratic leaners see colleges and universities as positive.
Paul Krugman ("The Conscience of a Liberal") took note of those findings and wrote a blog post called "We Don't Need No Education".
And finally, Hadley Freeman of The Guardian noticed the Republican antipathy to women's shoulders and asks "Why not just ban women? The Republican dress code is straight out of The Handmaid's Tale".