Friday, July 24, 2009

Two Other Books I Recommend

Speaking of books, here are two more that I've read lately that deserve a larger audience...

1. The Freedom Manifesto by Tom Hodgkinson

Tom Hodgkinson is the founder of the Idler magazine (also available online) and also wrote a book called How To Be Idle. He says that idling is not mere laziness, but a raised fist of freedom against the tyrants of the industrial world - corporations, television, credit cards, housework, and the so-called "good life" (which will make you miserable in the pursuit). Don't let the UK-centric language scare you - this book contains joyful news for people of all nations. Even though I am not quite ready to "Live Free of the Supermarket", this book came into my hands at just the right time.

2. You Or Someone Like You by Chandler Burr

This novel tells the story of Anne Rosenbaum, a highly educated and literate woman who is also the wife of a top Hollywood executive. Anne sets up several book clubs for motion picture professionals. It seems counterintuitive to have book clubs featuring heavyweights like William Faulkner, Edward Lear, and George Sand for people working in a business that has little respect for literature. Or is it?

The novel also explores the journey of Anne's husband, Howard. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family, but breaking away after falling in love with Protestant, English Anne, Howard barely thinks of religion until a family relevation shocks him into reconsidering his roots. You will see a startling - but understandable - comparison between Orthodox Judaism and one of its worst latter-day enemies. I will say no more. Just pick up this book where you can, and don't forget to write down the titles in Anne's book clubs, too.

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