After a few dozen pages of Happy All the Time, it struck me that of course Spackman enjoyed it: it was his own novel Heyday brought up to date, the well-born, well-educated, and well-heeled pairing up, but in the prosperous 1970s rather than the Depression, and with the women having attended the same colleges as the men. Still, I enjoyed Heyday, and I enjoyed Happy All the Time. I have objected to novels that seemed to be about what might have happened to people the author went to college with. On reflection, I see that what matters is what the author can do with the material, and Colwin was adept. The book might have lasted the flight had I not started reading it beforehand.
Idle Time Books had a copy of The Brass Ring, a memoir of youth and military service by Bill Mauldin. Those who have not heard of Bill Mauldin should try an internet search for him. The book is readable throughout, though Up Front and Willie & Joe: The WWII Years have more of the cartoons that made him famous. Most curious perhaps is a pair of blurbs on the back cover:
A GREAT BOOK!Gavin seems to have represented the opinion among generals better than Patton. Mauldin tells of hearing at second hand of an endorsement from Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., and of passing on an autographed original to Mark Clark.
Mauldin's contribution to understanding of the war and how the G.I.s saw it is unique."
General James M. Gavin
"If that little son-of-a-bitch sets foot in Third Army I'll throw his ass in jail."
General George S. Patton