Yesterday was not only my birthday, but also the birthday of Oprah Winfrey. Today's recommendation, While I Was Gone by Sue Miller, was one of Oprah's Book Club selections. When a man from her bohemian past returns, Jo Becker must relive the summer one of her housemates was brutally murdered. The return of Eli causes Jo to rethink her marriage and the events of her past. I liked this book for the nostalgia of Jo's earlier life and the suspense of the unfolding events, as well as the questions it raised as Jo must make a fateful decision at the end.
As an aside, in college my boss/friend Tiffany and I once had one of those 2 a.m. "what am I going to do with the rest of my life"conversations (profound, as all late night dorm, I mean residence hall, conversations ultimately are) where we decided that I should be Oprah when I grew up. But not everyday Oprah hosting Tom Cruise jumping on the couch and depressing abuse victims. No, I was going to be Oprah one day a month, on book club days (and also paydays, of course). I would have interesting discussions about books with the author and other people who loved books. Granted, I'd never seen a book club episode in its entirety, but in my version the discussions would be smart and lively and I would have lots of witty and articulate things to say beyond "I really liked it". Most of all, though, I would be able to tell other people what they should read and have them actually listen. Now, through this blog, I guess my Oprah dreams are fulfilled. Except the audience of this blog is probably about 3 people. And they are probably far less likely to read, or at least buy, the books I recommend. And no stickers (Shuttsie, can we work on getting stickers?). But hey, it's a start.