Monday, December 30, 2013

Dear Great Book Guru,  Happy New Year to you and please, please help me keep my New Year’s resolution- I want to read one book a week. With all the wonderful things happening in Sea Cliff, I do find it hard to find the time so I need something short but worthwhile to start 2014 off right.  Resolute Reader

Dear Resolute, How admirable of you and indeed I do have a recommendation that should work very well for you:  THE APARTMENT by Greg Baxter.  This debut novel is set on a cold December day in an unnamed East European city- some reviewers suggest Prague, others Istanbul, while the author insists it’s an amalgam of many cities. The first person narrator is a forty-one year-old American who has become wealthy from profiteering during the Iraq War. We follow him as he travels around the city in search of an apartment- a new home.  He is accompanied by a young real estate agent and various friends of hers. Everything our American sees is colored by his past- with its memories of violence, camaraderie,  guilt, isolation, alienation.  We come to realize that this is a deeply political book, a study of America and its place in the 21stcentury .   Beautifully written, very provocative, and less than 200 pages, this book is definitely the way to start the new year!

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