I’m reading Amy Bloom’s astoundingly good new novel, Away. But it is taking me a while, because the story is about a mother longing for a lost daughter named Sophie. The mother in the novel is a Russian Jewish immigrant in 1920, nothing like me, but still her story hits me in the pit of the stomach. Maybe it is just the name Sophie that tugs at my heartstrings. This is motherhood. I wish I wasn’t so sentimental. I recommend the novel.
I also recommend David Mitchell. Cloud Atlas, Black Swan Green, or – my favorite – Ghostwritten. I don’t know why this man isn’t more famous. He’s like a contemporary Faulkner & Nabokov, with a little Neil Gaiman thrown in there too.
And if you haven’t yet read Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love, then you should. That is my recommendation for the day.
But if you don’t want to read about love & sorrow & Jews & cities & aging & loneliness & connection, if you just want to laugh out loud, instead, then I really want someone else to read Joshua Ferris’s Then We Came to the End, so we can talk about it. It is like the tv show “The Office,” only better.