Thursday, August 6, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Things Get Serious




What’s the most serious book you’ve read recently?
(I figure it’s easier than asking your most serious boook ever, because, well, it’s recent!)

The most serious book I've read recently was one that I just finished yesterday, Chandler Burr's You or Someone Like You, a very challenging novel that treads on some very delicate ground- relations between Jews and Christians, and how institutionalized religion directs human behavior. I told a friend yesterday that I need about a month with a therapist to process this book; writing the review is going to be almost as challenging as reading the book was in places. This one is definitely not for the beach!

You can read more Booking Through Thursday answers here.

15 comments:

Bluestocking said...

Sounds intense.Here is mine

anthonynorth said...

That sounds like my kind of book.

You'll find mine here.

jlshall said...

Yes, it sounds much too serious for a summer read! But sometimes it's good to stir your brain up a little in the slow months.

Amy said...

THE BLUE NOTEBOOK by James Levine....a very painful look at child prostitution in India

-Amy
(Life by Candlelight)

JoAnn said...

Now that does sound serious! I chose Cynthia Ozick's The Shawl.

Charli and me said...

I have not read that book but I would be interested in reading your review. Happy BTT!

Sandra said...

That is a serious subject. I'll be interested in what you have to say about it. My BTT post is up.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

Sounds great - can't wait for your review!

gautami tripathy said...

This is serious. Looking forward to your thoughts!

Seriously booking through it!

bermudaonion said...

Wow! I met the author and got a copy of the book at BEA - now I'm going to be a little intimidated to read it.

Susan B. Evans said...

Sounds seriously intriguing! Here's my response.

Chandler Burr said...

Hi, Marie. Chandler Burr here, and I have to say I've been waiting for your review... Some people have only read "You" for the Hollywood glow. And that's fun, sure, and it was fun to write; nice to be able to give my interpretation of that very strange, surreal world. But you have focused on the important aspect. A word, if I may: As the author, I don't see "You" as being about Christian-Jewish relations at all. "You" is only about Judaism because as a half-Jew, and the wrong half, Judaism was my experience. Yes, Judaism has a racial component that Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism don't. But ultimately I'm saying the same thing for all four of them: I do not believe one be-- define be as take seriously or truly believe-- in any organized religion and at the same time be moral and good in the sense most of us define it: believing, as I do, that all human beings are inherently morally equal regardless of our membership or identification with one of these man-made, historically-created theological ideologies. I'm a universalist. Which means I'm truly as far left as Karl Marx on religion. And so is my narrator Anne Rosenbaum. And to Anne, no one can be a serious reader of literature and still believe in these tribalist, sectarian, primitive divisions. We must transcend them or suffer the division that threatens to destroy Anne's love for her husband Howard, which is a division that is borne out on an international scale. "You" is about the simplest of observations: We need to see each other, all of us, in a better way.

Marie said...

Chandler- I am vastly oversimplifying for the sake of a quickie blog post- believe me, I know that your novel is more complex than that.:-) I actually had been planning to drop you a note once I had my thoughts together a little more and I will do that if that's okay with you. Thanks for commenting- I thought you might. :-)

Carolina Gal's Literary Cafe said...

Marie,WOW, you were very lucky to recieve this book. I saw this book out last month. I contacted the author to review but never heard back. I wanted to read this book because being a Jew, this would be a very important book to read.

His website brought up some important points about organized religion and being a Jew. This will bring up alot of controversy especially by religious Jews. I have not read a novel that touches these points. That is probably why I would have liked to read and review. I usually don't buy books like this. But I may break down because I want to feature this on my blog whether I like it or not.

Thanks for the review. I am not sure what the author was talking about on your comment page. He seems to be way over my head.

My serious book recently was Lady Elizabeth. If you are into historical fiction and Annie's Ghost, non-fiction. Families journey into family secrets.

Fibro Witch said...

Currently the best serious book I read was the one I just reviewed Barbie and Ruth

Then I went over the moon when the first comment was from the author herself. I wonder if I will be as lucky with my next book review?