I’m halfway through Debra Ginsberg’s new book, The Neighbors Are Watching (Nov 2010) — loving it. god, she sure shows us those frightening micro-macrocosms so characteristic of So. CA – person, house, street, subdivision community, mall, suburb, county. Over and over and over and over. The homogeneity (sp?) has always made me kind of nauseous. But the NEIGHBORS themselves, — well, Ginsberg knows these characters well and has an amused affection for them. She might be asking us (well, me) to consider the notion that this big smush of collagen-infused, pill-loving, boob-inflated, close-minded, thoughtless, selfish, polyester-clad community (with exceptions) that some of us call home actually has a terrain worth examining. Like the character Joe. What’s his deal? Spineless? Thoughtless? Cowardly? Why does he act so helpless? Someone needs to turn him inside out and he could probably be okay. He has to be okay, because somewhere down deep, whether he knows it or not, he has at least a kernel of wisdom. Why do I think this? B/c so far he’s offered the most intelligent (and my favorite) line in the book: “And if there was one thing Joe had learned in his life, it was that you could never underestimate the power of bigotry and stupidity”. Right on, Joe. — Lisa

We’ll launch this book at The Book Works mid November. Stay tuned!