Dear Great Book Guru, With this unrelenting cold weather, I find myself staying home night after night- even the lure of dinner at the Metro Bistro or K.C. Gallagher’s is not enough to get me outdoors. Do you have a good book I can read while in this self-imposed isolation? Shivering in Sea Cliff
Dear Shivering, Yes, the cold bleakness of January and early February can wear one down, but you are so right- a good book can make most things bearable. E.L. Doctorow’s ANDREW’S BRAIN might be just what you need to get your mind off the cold. Andrew is a cognitive scientist who thinks a lot about… well, thinking. Andrew and an unnamed man- probably a psychiatrist- discuss Andrew’s life past, present, and future; it soon becomes clear that Andrew has brought death and disaster to all who have come in contact with him, whether they be spouses, children, neighbors, or friends - a Typhoid Mary of the psyche. But is this true? Can we believe Andrew or as he says “ just thinking about something changes it” so can anyone be a reliable witness to one’s own life? This slim (189 pages) novel touches on many topics- the Bush presidency, post 9/11 America, the secret life of ants, and Mark Twain’s writings- to name just a few. This is a difficult but worthwhile book, containing many surprises that left this reader more puzzled than pleased.