Monday, December 26, 2022


Dear Great Book Guru, I am looking forward to the New Year celebrations this weekend- the Sea Cliff Civic Association’s annual Holiday Duck Hunt, the Children’s Library noon time ringing of the bells, and the Polar Bear plunge -   but I certainly would like to end the year with a good book to read. Any recommendations?  New Year’s Reveler

Dear New Year’s Reveler,  TRUST by Hernan Diaz has appeared on many best books list for 2022, so I rushed to read it before the end of the year. It truly is a winner !  TRUST is actually four stories or really versions of the same story so the reader is left “trusting” no one. The first hundred pages are a novel within a novel  “Bonds ”featuring  1920’s Wall Street mogul  Benjamin Rask and his wife Helen.  This book was supposedly a vastly successful 1937 bestseller that  mysteriously disappeared from book stores and libraries shortly after publication.  The next section appears to be notes about the story we have just finished – quickly followed by apparently a  biography commissioned by Andrew Bevel- purporting to be the trustworthy version of the “Bonds” tale.  The final piece brings us to the  1980’s where the biographer Ida Partenza discovers a memoir revealing yet another set of facts.  What is the reader to believe or trust ?  An amazing book and highly recommended!

Another book perfect for this time of year is local author Anne Dupre’s WHERE DREAMS LIVE which opens with a hauntingly beautiful description of the Nutcracker ballet and young Sarah’s fascination with the world of dance. 

Here’s to  2023 and a year filled with many  good books!

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Dear Great Book Guru, December in Sea Cliff is always great, great fun. This week is the iconic Hanukah Happening at the Fire House. And at St. Luke’s - a lively Christmas tale presentation by Fred Stroppel with musical accompaniment by Joe Stroppel. Do you have any novels set in the holiday season to get me even more in the mood for celebrating?   Enjoying the Holidays

Dear Enjoying the Holidays, There’s a great new book FLIGHT by Lynn Steger Strong that opens on December 22 as three siblings and their families gather for their first Christmas after the death of the family matriarch Helen.  They are gathering in a drafty, shabby home in upstate New York - probably for the last time.  Each of the couples faces the event with great trepidation. Martin is the eldest - a professor who has been placed on leave because of a harassment charge brought by one of his students. Henry, the younger son, and his wife Alice are struggling emotionally and financially while Kate, their sister, is desperately hoping to continue to live in the family home that is about to be put on the market. In addition, there are numerous children all with back stories that add to the richness of this tale.  The coming together of families in one place always makes for drama, tension, and reflection.  Past hurts and present jealousies make for a potent brew indeed, and these siblings experience it all. Highly recommended!