Rich are 'at home in New England'

  For a bit of escapism, look at a book called At Home in New England: Royal Barry Wills Architects 1925 to Present, by Richard Wills with Keith Orlesky.

It's an orgy of pictures of beautiful houses in our region. The only problem -- if this is a problem -- is the houses, as often is the case of such coffee-table books, are generally only obtainable for the top richest 1 percent, in our increasingly stratified society, which is starting to remind me of pre-revolutionary France.

"Royal'' indeed!