I’ve always loved “The Lives They Lived,” the year-end issue of The New York Times Magazine profiling famous and not-so-famous people who made an impact on the world and died during the previous 12 months.
When she heard childhood classmate David Rakoff died last week at 47, Renee Ghert-Zand searched her inbox for his messages. ‘Keep reminding yourself you’re a grown-up,’ he wrote.
I can think of three popular ideas about what God actually looks like: the bearded man wearing a white robe who sits on a cloud deciding when to make earthquakes and who sometimes shows up in a burning bush; George Burns in “Oh God!” and, long before he actually played God in “Bruce Almighty,” many of us believed that when we left this mortal coil it would indeed be the voice of Morgan Freeman welcoming us to the afterlife. But I’m of the very tiny minority that believes that when God speaks, he sounds just like David Rakoff did.
From the looks of the Brooklyn Book Festival, you’d guess we were a far better read country than we are. But then, this borough is skewed: The one letter that prevents its name from being Booklyn is either adventitious or bashert. Brooklyn’s bookish populace loves dropping that “r,” and even as rain spat on their fun on Sunday, the literature festival seemed larger and livelier than ever before.