Reporters on the Job
• Book Clubs for Men: For correspondent Mark Rice-Oxley, the story about a men-only book club in England (page 1) hits close to home. His wife belongs to an all-women book club. "There's been some discussion of getting the spouses or boyfriends to come, maybe once a year. But they're not keen on it," he says. "When it's held at my house, I can sometimes hear the discussion. I desperately wanted to pipe up at the last one."
They were discussing a bestseller here, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" by Mark Haddon. The book is written from the perspective of a 15-year-old boy diagnosed with autism.
"I could hear members of my wife's club saying that a central theme was how difficult it must be for the parents of the child," says Mark. "But for me, the book was about how this boy saw the world in a clearer, crisper light than the supposedly sane, normal people. I told my wife later that I didn't think her group was reading it in the right way. She replied, 'That's exactly why you've not been invited to participate.' "
• Greek-US Parallels: Correspondent Coral Davenport went out on the streets of Athens to ask Greeks their views of the two central female figures involved in organizing the Olympic Games (this page). More than once she was told that they were riding on the coattails of husbands or fathers. "A taxi driver said that they'd pulled off impressive feats, but 'Gianna [Angelopoulos-Daskalaki] was able to do it because she's got a billionaire for a husband. And Dora [Bakoyianni, the mayor], well, you know, her father was prime minister. She has all the political connections she needs.' He paused for a minute, and added, 'But it's the same thing in the US, with the two men running for president! Kerry has a rich wife and Bush has a father that was president. Ha! So Greece will be more advanced than the US, if those two ladies run for president!' "
David Clark Scott