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!