A Brief Interlude: Songs from Joizey

Writing about the PGA Show is giving me a headache, so I’m going to momentarily change the channel. First is a recommendation to buy and read a terrific book called “A Friend of the Family,” which was, indeed, written by a friend of our family. I’ve known Lauren Grodstein since she was in elementary school as her family lived just a few houses up the street from us in suburban New Jersey and her parents are now among our closest friends. The fact that “Friend” is dark and sad and occasionally shocking shouldn’t lead anyone to think that Lauren is any of those—except maybe the occasionally shocking; what she is is a fine writer with a wonderful ear for dialogue and an innate (to use that word’s truest meaning) feel for the ‘burbs. It is definitely worth reading, but not a happy book.

Parlaying her Jersey girl cred, Lauren was asked by the New York Times, which we considered our “local paper” even though we lived across the river from the big city, to put together a Garden State playlist. I can’t honestly say I know all the songs, but her reasoning is sound (even though I can’t see how, having finally decided she had to include The Boss she didn’t include “Born To Run,” the state’s unofficial anthem; okay, maybe that’s why). Anyhow, have some fun with this. And buy the book.

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