Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Great Reads – 3 from Spring 2017

In general, my reads are from used book purchases – many from the Colonie (William Sanford) library or the Book Nook (Crossings Park during the summer). In selection of books, I am attracted to books that offer something a little different and these 3 exemplify this quality.

1.  A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham:  First and foremost, this is a book about relationships and it brings a fresh examination of “what is love” and “what is family”.  I particularly enjoyed the manner that Cunningham provided the perspectives of those involved in a very respectful and validating manner. 3 major participants are involved in an unconventional and evolving relationship; secondary participants provide additional color and richness to this read.

2. Choke by Chuck Palahniuk:  As noted on the cover of the book, Palahniuk is the author of “Fight Club” and many will recognize the movie. This tale is as delightfully twisted as “Fight Club” without the violence.  In short, the main character is a sex addict who fakes “choking” in restaurants and then preys on the emotions of his rescuers for financial gain to support a mom (who is the antithesis of mother of the year) who is dying in a nursing home. A trademark of Palahniuk’s work is that it leaves you wondering who really is sane and who is not.

3.  Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut:  Vonnegut’s work encapsulates the concept of “something a little different.” In his day, Vonnegut had a dedicated following. I would not lump myself as a die-hard fan, but I enjoy his wit and social commentary and Player Piano delivers.  This book was written in the late 1950’s and looks at the evolution and emergence of machinery in a future time.  It was fun to see perceptions of the future from a 1950’s perspective and while the machines may not have evolved exactly as Vonnegut envisioned, his underlying portrayal of the decision-making relationship between man and machine (or today’s computer) remains forever relevant.

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