Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dear Great Book Guru, I have read many of the books you have recommended and have been pretty happy with your choices. Now I am looking for something to suggest to my book club. We are a group of women who meet every month or so. We prefer something under 300 pages, written by a woman, and dealing with issues that will make for a good discussion. Any thoughts? Book Club Booster

Dear Booster, I am always amazed at the number of book clubs in Sea Cliff- it truly is a book lovers' paradise. At the Children's Library alone we have six, all with cleverly alliterative names: two Pizza and Picture Books, Pizza and Paperbacks, Tacos and Tales, Novels and Nachos, and one for adults: Books and Bagels. I just finished a book I would strongly recommend for your group: SO MUCH PRETTY by a first time author Cara Hoffman and it meets all the criteria you set out. The book is told from the perspectives of twelve characters presented in short chapters, over a fifteen -year time period. The story opens with a missing twenty year old girl from a small, rural upstate New York dairy town. We learn about the many people who touched her life; the lead characters are a couple who, having turned away from their medical careers, have chosen to live a simpler, back to nature life with their young daughter. They gradually come to see the violence that underlies the community, violence particularly against women. A young investigative reporter serves as a Greek chorus as we see this unfolding story through her eyes. The characters' complex moral decisions will make for much discussion... This is not an easy book to read but one that will remain with you for a very long time.

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