“Great House”

I didn’t get it. I read “Great House” by Nicole Krauss in a day, hoping the disparate parts would come together in the end but it didn’t happen. At least not for me. So I went to the reviews expounding on memory, solitude, loneliness. I understood those words as they connected to the novel.

“Her latest suggests her as [Philip] Roth’s most likely literary heir,” wrote Yevgeniya Traps of the New York Press. Well there, we agree, at one point with my head buried in the book, I thought, hmm, these ultra-long sentences remind me of Philip Roth. No doubt Krauss is a brilliant novelist, but please dive into “Great House” and let me know what you figure out.

What’s next on my book list? I’m reading “Too Much Happiness,” short stories by Alice Munro, for my book group. Also on my pile is “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, which I have to read because it just won the National Book Award for memoir.

“Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West” by Gregory Maguire is also sitting on my desk, ready. Don’t know if I’ll get to it before we see “Wicked” the show at UA Presents on Jan. 6 to celebrate Ethan’s 30th birthday.

You’d think that someone whose children’s bookstore was named OZ would have already read “Wicked,” but I believe it’s still on a bookshelf in Maine where I left it.

And there’s “Ill Fares The Land” by the late Tony Judt. In addition to the fantastically apropos title, his writing is so clean. I look forward to quoting him a lot. Here’s the gist of it:

“Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,

Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.”

— Oliver Goldsmith, “The Deserted Village, 1770

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