Entries by Jay Ruud

A Children’s Bible

A Children’s Bible Lydia Millet (2020) It’s not unusual for a literary text on any level to depict parents as complete idiots whom their children are forced to save through their superior savvy and common sense, and replace those in power with a “new society.” This is almost the universal plot of comedy, from Menander […]

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom George C. Wolfe (2020) Facts for You: Where to Watch: Streaming on Netflix Length: 1 hour 34 minutes Names You Might Know: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman He Said: August Wilson’s “Pittsburgh Cycle,” sometimes called the “American Cycle,” is one of the great achievements of American theater. A series of ten plays, each set in […]

Money: A Suicide Note

Money: A Suicide Note Martin Amis (1985) Martin Amis, son of another acclaimed British novelist, Kingsley Amis (LuckyJim), is, I’m quite certain, better known in England than in the United States, having been ranked as  No. 19 on the London Times’ famous 2008 list of the “50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945” (his dad came in at […]


Borgen Adam Price, Jeppe Gjervig Gram and Tobias Lindholm (2010-2013) Facts for You: Where to Watch: Streaming on Netflix Length: 3 seasons of 10 episodes each  Names You Might Know: How well do you know Danish actors?  Language: In Danish with subtitles She Said: When Netflix serves me a foreign-language television series, I’m all ears and […]

How to Raise an Elephant

How to Raise an Elephant Alexander McCall Smith (2020) This latest installment in Smith’s enormously popular No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series—the 21st—is newly released (as of November 24), and if you are a fan of the series, you will find it a very comfortable read. Within a few paragraphs you are back in Botswana with […]


Mank David Fincher (2020)   Facts for You: Where to Watch: Streaming on Netflix Length:2 hours, 12 minutes Rated: R for language Names You Might Know: Gary Oldman,Amanda Seyfried, Charles Dance, Lily Collins   He Said: “You cannot capture a man’s entire life in two hours, you can only hope to leave the impression of one,” says Herman J. […]

The Order

The Order Daniel Silva (2020) Like several of Daniel Silva’s previous espionage thrillers featuring Israeli spy Gabriel Allon, his most recent novel (the 20th in the Allon series) premiered at No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list this past August, so I feel a bit behind the times in not having read it until […]