Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dear Great Book Guru, I am so excited- this is such a great Sea Cliff weekend: first, we have the Holiday House Tour on Saturday, the Artists' Crafts Fair in Village Hall, and then on Sunday, the annual Tree Lighting on the Village Green. With such a busy weekend, I am going to find it hard to find time for my reading and, as you remember, I vowed to spend part of every day with a good book. Do you have something short and easy but worthwhile? Regimented Reader

Dear Regimented, I am very impressed with your disciplined approach and I do have a wonderful book to recommend which meets all your criteria. My book group has committed to reading the four novels of Philip Roth that form what he calls his Nemeses series. It includes EVERYMAN, INDIGNATION, HUMBLING, and NEMESIS. The common theme that links these books is the belief that a single choice can define an individual's life. In each of these short novels, we meet someone whose life is inalterably changed because of one decision he has made. While I recommend all four, the one I suggest you read this weekend is INDIGNATION . In it, we meet a young college student growing up in the 1950's who leaves his family home in Newark, New Jersey to attend a small college in Ohio. He leaves to escape his father's smothering love and unrelenting scrutiny. His classmates, roommates, and teachers all reveal aspects of their personalities that profoundly impact our narrator hero. At the book's midpoint we are confronted with information that colors our entire view of the novel- what we have read and what we will read. INDIGNATION can and should be completed in one sitting which will surely leave you ample time to enjoy this special Sea Cliff weekend.

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