Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dear Great Book Guru, Sure I know the holidays are over but I can't seem to get into the spirit of the new year. I feel a bad case of the January blues coming on. Can you suggest something to keep those jingle bells jingling? Dreading 2011

Dear Dreading, I know what you mean- January can be a very rough month but I do have some ideas. First, and this might seem scandalous coming from the Book Guru- what about organizing a cinema club with some friends? There are so many great movies out just now- the week after Christmas, Eda D'Amico, Kathy Calzonetti, Nancy Gordon, Dan DiPietro and I formed a merry troupe and saw a movie a day: THE FIGHTER, THE BLACK SWAN, TRUE GRIT, THE RABBIT HOLE, and THE KING'S SPEECH. Each of these movies was great ,well worth seeing and discussing. But if you are really looking for a book to throw yourself into, I suggest giving THE CORRECTIONS by Jonathan Franzen another try. I say that because so many people have begun this book and put it down- possibly because of its length (600 pages) or perhaps because of its numerous story lines. After having read and enjoyed FREEDOM by Franzen, I decided to read this- his earlier work . Well, it was wonderful- far better actually than FREEDOM. The premise is that an elderly woman- Enid Lambert- loves Christmas for all its nostalgic rituals and desperately wants her three grown children to spend the holidays together with her and her ailing husband Alfred. These five characters each have their own stories and we go back and forth among all of them. In truth, the stories could be read as separate novellas- all with the same overriding theme: at any point we can correct or change our lives.

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