Dear Great Book Guru, The Friends of the Sea Cliff Library are hosting a tea party this Sunday, April 28 from 3 to 5pm in Jackie’s Secret Garden to thank all their supporters. Afterwards, I have my Sunday book group, and it’s my turn to choose next month’s selection. Any ideas? Fan of the Friends
Dear Fan of the Friends, My group just read a quirky, very funny novel: LESS by Andrew Sean Greer. The opening sentence is both puzzling and revealing: “From where I sit, the story of Arthur Less is not so bad.” Who is Arthur Less, what is his story, why such a tepid evaluation of this story and who indeed is speaking? All is answered by the end of this 250-page Pulitzer Prize winner. Less is a writer of modest fame whose lover is about to marry someone else. Rather than endure the pain and embarrassment of attending the wedding, Less decides to travel around the world. Looming over all of this is his impending fiftieth birthday. First stop, Mexico, then Italy, Germany, France, Morocco, India, ending up in Japan. In each of these countries, Less is confused, humiliated, feted, and forced to confront his sense of failure and fear of aging. The journey combines elements of Homer’s “Odyssey”, Joyce’s “Ulysses,” and Twain’s “Innocents Abroad.” This is a very funny, very poignant take on romance, aging, narcissism …and ultimately the human condition. Recommended!