Whole World Reading “The Darwin Affair” Thanks To Big Read Library (Now Through Aug. 17)

I had just finished The Last Days Of Night when I noticed a special promotion on Libby.  A digital book is being offered for instant download around the world (through August 17) in an effort to unite people at a time of pandemic when so many feel so isolated.  And the book is perfect escapism from the times we now find ourselves.


The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason is richly placed in London in 1860, with tones of Charles Dickens and layered with intrigue such as an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria.  Within the opening pages, a petty thief is gruesomely murdered moments following the shots fired at the Queen. Chief Detective Inspector Charles Field quickly surmises that these crimes are connected to an even more sinister plot. Soon, his investigation exposes a shocking conspiracy in which the publication of Charles Darwin’s controversial On the Origin of Species sets off a string of murders, arson, kidnapping, and the pursuit of a madman.  Mason has created a rousing page-turner that both Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would relish and envy.

You can read it too, and now!

Big Library Read, facilitated by OverDrive, is a global reading program that connects readers around the world with the same ebook at the same time without any waitlists or holds. This worldwide digital version of a book club is available for free through your local library or school and all you need to get started reading is a library card.

I have read the first ten chapters in about an hour, and am much enjoying the rousing adventure and like the idea that this book is being read at the same time in India and Seattle and even perhaps in my hometown!

NRA Will Need To Spend Mega-Dollars For Survival, NY AG Makes Legal Case For Dissolving Gun-Nuts Organization


It was reported earlier this week that New York Attorney General Letitia James would have a major announcement.  Many had thought it might be about the investigation and legal proceedings into Donald Trump and his shady business dealings. But the news today was far bigger and truly earthshaking.   She announced a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the National Rifle Association.  If that does not leave Americans breathless I am not sure what it would take.  The years of corruption and misspending that made headlines have now brought the organization to a place where it will need to fight for its survival.

That seems most ironic given how gun violence, which the NRA supports, forces many people to fight for their own survival from wounds inflicted by deadly weapons.

What I find most wonderful about this lawsuit, other than it is tackling one of the most insidious operations that undermine our society, creates disfunction in government, and inflicts huge medical bills on the citizenry is that the NRA has huge financial problems.  This is the worst possible time for this lawsuit to be landing on the desks of those responsible for so much carnage and dismay in the nation.   The sweetener to this whole story is that the attorney general has regulatory authority over the N.R.A. because it is chartered as a nonprofit in New York.

The suit accuses the N.R.A. and the executives of “violating numerous state and federal laws” by enriching themselves, as well as their friends, families and allies, and taking improper actions that cost the organization $64 million over three years.  And we know there will be a Russian connection to this enrichment mess.

I can see the gun-toters around the nation fuming.  Too bad.  The fact is that financial improprieties, fraud, and violation of laws that govern charities and non-profits are in need of legal solutions.  While the NRA will scream about political rights sober thinkers know this is about laws on the books and the legal ramifications when those laws are broke.

Is it not the NRA  who long touted the argument we needed to enforce the laws already on the books?   

New York Attorney General Letitia James is going to work at doing that very thing!

And so it goes.