Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dear Great Book Guru,  As summer is  winding down,  I want to make sure I take advantage of all the wonderful events still to come.  I will certainly be at Sunset Serenade on Thursday, Music at the Beach on Friday, and the great Cinema Under the Stars on Sunday at Roslyn Park featuring the classic Disney film “Mary Poppins.”  Well, with all this going on, I  want to have a good book on hand- any suggestions? Loving the Last Days of Summer

Dear Loving the Last Days of Summer,  I recently read  THE GOOD HOUSE by Ann Leary and I think you will find it very interesting.  Hildy Good and her family  have lived for generations  in Wendover, a small town  on the rocky north shore of Massachusetts not far from Boston.  As a successful real estate agent, recovering  alcoholic, and sometime psychic , she finds herself involved in the lives of her many friends and clients. When she sells a house to a wealthy young couple from Boston, a strange new chapter begins for her as her struggles with alcohol intensify.  At first she seems  in control but gradually things begin to fall apart as she tries to explain away her blackouts and increasingly bizarre behavior . When the town rallies to find a young  missing boy, Hildy and the reader  fear she is somehow responsible for his disappearance.  Throughout, the author presents us with a compassionate, albeit terrifying, portrait of a complex, tortured woman. Highly recommended!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Dear Great Book Guru,  August is a favorite time of mine to read something I would not ordinarily tackle. It's probably a combination of warm summer days and the absence of so many of my vacationing friends that makes me want to spend time reading something meaningful.  Do you have any suggestions?
August Reader Extraordinaire

Dear August Reader Extraordinaire,  I have just the book for you especially if time is limited: TRIBE  by Sebastian Junger.  He writes that American society is at odds with our evolutionary history. While we buy bigger houses, crave separate bedrooms, relish private  backyards, and drive automobiles, the unhappier we seem to be. Is it because we were meant to live close together in shared spaces? Junger says, ”Native Americans would have practiced extremely close and involved child care, and they would have  done everything in the company of others. They would almost never have been alone.”  Junger asserts that this lack of tribalism is at the root of so much of the post-traumatic stress of returning  war veterans.  The military offered a respite from the aloneness of civilian life. A very thought- provoking book, very short (166 pages), and highly recommended!

Join me in welcoming Molly Matilda Anzalone to the world and  much love to her parents Gillian and Joseph! 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dear Great Book Guru,  I have never been a fan of the Olympics but many of my friends have been following the games in Rio with great interest. So while they are so engaged, I wonder if you have something for me to read that might explain the intense interest such sporting events engender.                                          No Fan of the Olympics

Dear No Fan of the Olympics,  Whether this was coincidental or very well planned, the release of Meg Abbot’s YOU WILL KNOW ME just a week before the start of the Olympic Games is exquisite timing.  Abbot explores the world of young gymnasts and their families as they aspire to Olympic competition. Katie and Eric Knox’s teen daughter Devon,   a gymnast of immense talent almost since birth, is  about to qualify for its highest honors when a mysterious car accident threatens to upend this trajectory.  The financial and emotional sacrifices that she and her parents  have made are chronicled in brutal detail while the reader is left to question the motives of all involved including her friends, their parents and her coach who asks “How far will you go to achieve a dream?”  For the Knoxes there appears to be no limit to what they will do….   If you were a fan of GONE GIRL, you will find this book irresistible- recommended!