Sunday, April 23, 2023

Dear Great Book Guru, Sea Cliff is  beautiful every month of the year but especially in  April.  The baseball fields are ready for opening day on the 22nd with the parade set to lead off at 9am.  The parks are magnificent, the gardens are blooming and yes… I am in search of a good book to read while I enjoy all this beauty.  Any suggestions!  Loving April in Sea Cliff

Dear Loving April in Sea Cliff, I just finished a wonderful, albeit troubling, first novel, TRESPASSES by Louise Kennedy.  Set in Northern Ireland just outside of Belfast in the 1970’s, the book is told from the viewpoint of Cushla, a twenty-four-year-old who teaches at a primary school during the day and helps out at her family’s pub at night. It is a terrible time in Ireland’s history- known as “The Troubles’” when Protestant and Irish forces brutally fought, and civilians were frequently the target. While she and her family try to avoid trouble, trouble finds Cushla in the person of Michael Agnew. Agnew is a sophisticated fifty-year-old married Protestant lawyer who defends Catholic men unjustly accused of insurrection. The two fall in love and soon Cushla’s life is filled with intrigue and danger as she must decide where her loyalties lie.  This is a book filled with moral dilemmas and readers will find themselves uncertain as to what is right or wrong.  Highly recommended!

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Dear Great Book Guru,  Last night I was at a party and many of the guests were talking about a recently published book by a Sea Cliff resident.  It sounded fascinating- covering local history, the world of sports… and the healing powers of poetry!  I can’t wait to read it.  Are you familiar with this book?  Amazed and Eager

Dear Amazed and Eager,  Hank Bjorklund’s latest work HEAD HITS I REMEMBER is indeed a fascinating look at so many aspects of a world  we think we know.  Former New York Jet, Bjorklund writes about his early childhood sports adventures followed by his time here at North Shore High School as he catapulted to fame. His years at Princeton and his marriage to fellow student Victoria are all chronicled here in beautiful detail. We also learn of the toll that head hits and concussions take on the brains of young athletes and on Bjorklund himself.  The latter part of the book includes selections of his poetry and prose which grew out of coping with the pain and life-altering conditions - brought on by a sport that brought much but at a terrible price. Throughout, we bear witness to a remarkable man who has endured and chooses to share his experiences for the betterment of many. An immensely rewarding book and highly recommended! 

PS Bjorklund will be discussing and reading from HEAD HITS I REMEMBER at the Sea Cliff Library on Saturday, April 29 from 2 to 3:30 pm.