Tag Archives: this is where i leave you

Thursday Book Links

For today, a collection of interesting book-related links. Check them out…

Here is a list of the Top 10 Coolest Independent Bookstores in the U.S. Of the list, I've been to Powell's, The Tattered Cover Bookstore, The Strand, the Elliott Bay Book Company and City Lights.

Did you read about the woman who reads a book every day? According to The New York Times, Nina Sankovitch, author of the Read All Day blog, has read a book every day this year. (Wow.) Her blog has some lovely pictures of her reading, and a list of all of the books read so far in 2009, linked to her reviews. She has some great choices on the list.

A few years ago, I was in a book club with some friends. After discussing the book each meeting, we'd cast the book as if it were a Hollywood movie, suggesting actors for all the main roles. My friend Larissa did that recently with Jonathan Tropper's This is Where I Leave You (reviewed here). Take a look at her post on City Sparkle DC listing her casting choices – I think she did a great job.

And finally, do you watch Mad Men? I love this post from author Rachel Shukert offering unsolicited advice to unhappy suburban housewife Betty Draper.

THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU by Jonathan Tropper

Tropper The first of my vacation reads was Jonathan Tropper’s new novel, This Is Where I Leave You. This is my third Jonathan Tropper book, after The Book of Joe (reviewed here) and How To Talk To A Widower (reviewed here).

This Is Where I Leave Youis about Judd Foxman, a man living in the New York suburbs whose wife has just left him for his boss, and whose father has just died of stomach cancer. Judd ends up sitting shiva for a week at his childhood home, with his mother, two brothers and a sister – his father’s dying request. (Or so says his mom). The book is about that week, and Judd’s interactions with his family and his wife, with whom he is still in love.

This book is firmly in Tropper territory: a thirty-something man who has trouble expressing his emotions except through sarcasm; a dysfunctional family helmed by a gruff, uncommunicative father and a flagrantly inappropriate mother; a flawed romantic relationship; unresolved tensions and issues from high school; a couple of fistfights; and a somewhat plausible resolution at the end. But, like Tropper’s earlier works, This Is Where I Leave You is laugh-out-loud funny, snarky and well-written. The plot flows at a perfect pace. And Tropper skewers everything in his path: infertility treatments, reform Judaism, children’s psychology, and so much more.

I found the passages about Judd’s father’s death to be a little bit trite, though the depiction of the funeral was particularly well-done.

This Is Where I Leave You may be a bit predictable, but it’s a very entertaining read. Highly recommended.