A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Gene Weingarten is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and feature writer for the Washington Post. His book The Fiddler in the Subway is a fascinating collection of several columns he wrote between 1993 and 2009.
The essay topics run the gamut. The title story is well known, about the day world famous violinist Joshua Bell played for tips in a Washington subway station, mostly ignored by the commuters rushing by. Another is about a trip Weingarten took, on a whim, to a remote Alaskan island in February without doing any research in preparation, and what he learned about the Eskimo tribe living there. In yet another, he tracks down a girl on whom he had a crush in the second grade.
My favorites include profiles of Bill Clinton’s father, who died in a car crash before Bill was born, and Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury. There is also a short essay about rescuing a bird trapped in a Rite-Aid display window. All of the human-interest essays in this book have great appeal. This is a perfect book to pick up when you want to read something with substance, that is also entertaining and not too much of a time commitment.
–Reviewed by Nancy