Wednesday, November 29, 2006

So Many Books, So Little Time ...

The reader's dilemma--how to squeeze in more time to read all those books stacked up on your nightstand! 2006 has been a good year for great new books, and 2007 promises to offer even more of our favorites. Every now and then, though, it's nice to revisit an old friend, a favorite from childhood, or perhaps take a stab at that old classic you never got around to reading. One of my "old friends" is John Irving, and every now and then it's nice to reacquaint myself with some of his many unique and fully drawn characters. Owen Meany is one of those fictional characters that seems to linger in my thoughts as if he were a real memory. A Prayer for Owen Meany is a gem of a book, and when you reach the last page you will feel as if you have said good-bye to a part of your family. Irving delves into serious social issues (the Vietnam War) and religious issues (Christian martyrdom), but he does so with great humor and sensitivity. Critical reviews have been mixed, but Owen Meany has stayed with me for years. I believe that's the sign of a great book.

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