Sadly, I am nearing the end of a short period of time off of work. Despite my bigger summer bucket list that I shared with you all, I had a few personal goals for this stretch of vacation. Relaxation and contemplation was on the forefront and I made sure to make one of my very favourite activities a priority – reading.
I am the proclaimed “party girl” of inanutshell but true to my Gemini self, on the nights when I’m not traipsing around the market you can find me quite oppositely snuggled up with a good book perfectly content, peacefully raptured.
A true nerd at heart – I am okay with it.
So while I take my inanutshell responsibility of keeping my pulse on the social and exciting I’ve decided it’s time to introduce a “Book of the Month” feature for all my like-minded nerdy souls out there.
I have already once mentioned that my favourite Sunday of the month is when I meet with some good friends /some of the most intelligent women I know, for wine, laughs and our rowdy book club. Here’s where I’ll be getting most of the ammo for my posts as our choice read is almost always a win.
This Month’s Book: Freedom – by: Jonathan Franzen
This book got mixed reviews from the club, but I LOVED it. Forget the actual specifics of the plot this fictional novel is for anyone who finds human psychology interesting. The story primarily follows Patty Berglund, through the various stages of her life but switches views throughout the rest of her family members. It details Patty’s background prefacing the point in her life where she must decide between the safe bet or the exciting guy who will never give her what she wants, except for what the other man lacks. It tracks her different and complicated relationships with her two children, Joey and Jessica. One, an intellectual star who is in many ways far more mature than her parents, and one a rebel who does whatever he can to set himself apart from his family. The book takes you through the complication of marriage and what happens on both ends when things start to go wrong. Of course there it a lot more to it than that and Franzen weaves in some political undertones, which remain unclear to me as to if they are his own views or simply another fictional element. The ramblings do become a little long in parts which is where some of my fellow bookclubbers were lost but it’s worth getting through them for the bigger picture that Franzen paints. Where I think this novel hits a homerun is in showing human weakness and triumph in such an honest and compassionate way. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes, has secrets and endures heartbreak. This is the second best seller from Franzen who’s an American novelist and essayist. Following controversy surrounding his third novel The Corrections (also a family drama) Freedom is a fairly new book released only a year ago in August 2010. The drawback, it is a little long – 562 pages of long with type smaller than this. It took me two full months (breaking our one month book club rule) to get through it. Lugging the hardcover in my purse everywhere I went in case I had a few spare moments to read a page or two was at times a little painful, but worth every extra handbag pound and afternoon lost in Starbucks … in a nutshell.
Other suggested reads that may or may not be blogged about in the near or distant future (all courtesy of book club!):
The Bishop’s Man – Linden MacIntyre
Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
Little Bee – Chris Cleave