We live full-time in San Francisco but it doesn’t feel like it because we spend three to four months a year in France, Paris really. As the Fifth arrondisement seems more and more like home to us, we feel less like traveling anywhere else. We’re just back from there now, just over the jet lag, getting used to our other, American life. And, no, we didn’t see any of the violence and public events that occurred around the gilets jaunes, mostly because those events took place in the more public areas of the city and we live in what is essentially a residential area. 

There’s some news about publications. Jean Peneff’s book about me, Howard S. Becker: Sociology and Music in the Chicago School,  has now been translated into English by Robert Dingwall and is available from Amazon. Which makes a nice pair with Alain Pessin’s The Sociology of Howard S. Becker: Theory with a Wide Horizon (also available from Amazon).

And, since I last updated this column, I published a new book: Evidence (University of Chicago Press, 2018), which takes a critical look at the way sociologists and others ignore the very real problems with the validity of the data they collect and a new edition of Outsiders which contains two new chapters: “Why was Outsiders a hit? Why is it still a hit?” and “Why I am not the reason marijuana is being legalized.” And I’m just now getting started on an updated version of Writing for Social Scientists

I’m also well into Exercises, a joint work with my poet friend Franck Leibovici, which collects a lot of exercises that artists and social scientists give to their students to prepare them to work in their fields, and comments on why these exercises work and what problems are they meant to avoid. No publication news as yet, but keep your eyes open for its appearance. 

Otherwise, we are now (like everyone else here) wondering what’s going to happen to this poor old country of ours. We are saved from despair by the company of our great-granddaughter, Naomi Rose Brown, who lives with her parents in nearby Novato, and lets us spend a lot of time enjoying the day-to-day changes that make the miracle of babies turning into real people.