Thursday, December 22, 2016


Curling up in a comfortable chair with a good book is a lost art.  Reading, escaping, imaging a life that's not your own, learning about a different time, a place, it's becoming a thing of the past for many people.  If you don't read then you are missing a whole new world every time you read a book.

Realizing that tastes are different, I'm compiling some books that you might add to your list in 2017.  If you need some assistance in picking out a good one, refer to this list: The New York Times' Top 100 Books or Amazon's Top 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime list.  Happy reading!

 1) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius/Dave Eggers
This is on my short list to read. Here is what the review says:

But on to the true story. At the age of 22, Eggers became both an orphan and a "single mother" when his parents died within five months of one another of unrelated cancers. In the ensuing sibling division of labor, Dave is appointed unofficial guardian of his 8-year-old brother, Christopher. The two live together in semi-squalor, decaying food and sports equipment scattered about, while Eggers worries obsessively about child-welfare authorities, molesting babysitters, and his own health. His child-rearing strategy swings between making his brother's upbringing manically fun and performing bizarre developmental experiments on him. (Case in point: his idea of suitable bedtime reading is John Hersey's Hiroshima.)

2) Love in the Time of Cholera/Gabriel Garcia Marquez
If you haven't treated yourself to Marquez's magical writing then treat yourself please!  This masterpiece can be read over and over again, it's that good.  100 Years of Solitude is equally good (one of his other books). This writer is a genius.

3) The Corrections/Jonathan Franzen
This is a long book that won't appeal to everyone but Franzen is a brilliant writer and I enjoyed it immensely.  I have not read his newer books but I understand why this one made Amazon's list.  His chronicle of the most dysfunctional family on the planet riviled my own.  

4) The Goldfinch/Donna Tartt
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Tartt's masterpiece, is just that.  Over 700 pages in length I wanted this book to go on and on.  Sadly it ended.  I loved Tartt's The Secret History but this book, set in modern day New York takes you to Las Vegas and Amsterdam.  Do yourself a favor and read this one.  Don't wait for the movie to this great novel an even greater injustice.

5) Farenheit 451/Ray Bradbury
The temperature in which paper burns, Farenheit 451 was banned in the Soviet Union for years. From Amazon's review:

In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's classic, frightening vision of the future, firemen don't put out fires--they start them in order to burn books. Bradbury's vividly painted society holds up the appearance of happiness as the highest goal--a place where trivial information is good, and knowledge and ideas are bad. Fire Captain Beatty explains it this way, "Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs.... Don't give them slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy." 

Bradbury wrote this book in a matter of hours and it's chilling backdrop reminds us all of what the world can be when individual liberty is erased - sadly reminiscent of our own recent campus "thought police.".  If you haven't read this one, you should.

Please pick out a great book, not a good one, and read over the holidays! 

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