Monday, June 11, 2018

Dear Great Book Guru, This Sunday June 17 is Father’s Day and I am planning a family get together. We will also be celebrating  Bloomsday- the annual tribute to James Joyce’s “Ulysses”- definitely two reasons for a great book gift for the fathers in my life.  Any suggestions?  Father’s Day Frantic
Dear Frantic,   Consider Michael Chabon’s newest book POPS: a short collection of provocative essays about fatherhood.  He opens up with advice he received from a famous albeit unidentified author: if you want to be a great writer don’t have children- too much of a distraction. Chabon went on to have four children and  has written eighteen books,  but he still wonders if he could have been a better writer or better father if only … .In the other essays he talks about moral dilemmas he has faced as a father, ranging from a racially aware  reading of Huckleberry Finn, discouraging his son from playing Little League baseball although he himself loves the game, encouraging another young son in his  fashion- based consumerism, addressing the social repression of junior high students, all culminating in the last piece: a reflection of his own father’s  very different parenting style and what he learned from him.  Definitely an interesting take on raising children from a thoughtful, talented writer…. Recommended!

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