|The Luminaries and Man’s Search for Meaning|
Fiction: The Luminaries
Yes, the Booker prize winner of 2013. How boring! How uncreative! Why don’t I just name drop whatever book Jonathan Franzen’s just written? But here’s the thing: it’s a 700 page long gripper of a novel. I took it on flight with me and couldn’t keep my hands off it. The language has a strong regional texture, and at 700 pages, it actually manages to stop your attention from wandering off into the distance. That is rare for me. I haven’t had that kind of experience since Gone Girl. I don’t expect Booker Prize winners to be gripping. I expect something more intellectual, a little lesson in structure and technique. Not that these weren’t there, it’s just so much more.
A sexist aside: I read a lot of male authors, and this is a shameful fact. So when I see a female author who has so much richness on offer, even at a slightly daunting 700 or so pages, I want to spread the word.
Non-Fiction: Man’s Search for Meaning
I read this once, a long time ago when I was feeling a little lost and looking for signs from the universe, or how to read them. I wouldn’t say this changed my life, that would be slightly dramatic and a lie. It’s more a humble read from a humble man. It resets the mind and puts matters back into perspective where they belong. This is one of a few books that I would read again, to make sure that, as the title suggests, I look over at where I am, and that there is purpose and meaning built into the process.
If you have excess time over Thanksgiving, and trust me not to mislead you, have a look at these.