The defining dilemma of a bibliophile’s season. The books you carry over the winter holidays must cover a medley of circumstances. I humbly suggest the following selections for your eReader or your carry-on (they’re not heavy!).
To read en route: The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje
As you squeeze into the middle seat of your overbooked flight, let Ondaatje transport you to a more genteel time on a spectacular sea voyage. Annie Proulx puts it better than I ever could (obviously) when she writes, “The novel tells of a journey from childhood to the adult world, as well as a passage from the homeland to another country, something of a Dantean experience.”
To read with your family: Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin
A deeply moving story of a family’s search for their mother, who goes missing one afternoon in the Seoul Station subway. This novel will put your familial bickering into perspective. I was filled with a longing to hug my mom when I finished this novel, despite getting into a screaming match with her about how to clean cast iron cookware the night before.
To read on vacation: Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James
To read for the New Year: Back to Work by Bill Clinton
2012 is an election year, and this year, you’re going to get up to speed on all the issues. President Clinton’s Back to Work states plainly what’s plaguing our economy and tells us how to fix it in clear, inspiring language.