Top 5 of 2016

2016 is gone in a blur, the blink of an eye, a flurry, fast as lightning– you get the idea. 2016 was full of change, we elected a new president and a new Congress and we had a smooth leadership transition here at Ulmer. And as ever, books, books and more books. Here are my top 5 of 2016:

  1. Moonglow–Michael Chabon. If there was one book in 2016 that stood out, this was it. The novel immerses the reader into a compelling and fascinating story and Chabon writes like no other. “A dreamlike river of children coursing in and out of shadow, pooling on stoops, and out there somewhere a woman with a crack in her brain that was letting in shadows and leaking dreams.” How does he do that? I have absolutely no idea.
  1. A Gentleman in Moscow–Amor Towles. This novel is a captivating glimpse into Russian history from 1922-1954. Almost the entire story takes place in one hotel and yet you experience so much more. Great story, interesting historical perspective, well developed characters and beautifully written.
  1. Commonwealth–Ann Patchett. Commonwealth is a tale of families, bruised and broken yet always coming together. Patchett hits the trifecta with this one–great writing, great storytelling and great insight–all with a sense of humor and hopefulness.
  1. Swing Time –Zadie Smith. This is a sensibility broadening novel about race, class and culture, taking place in London, New York and Africa. Although slow developing this book is worth your patience.
  1. Underground Railroad–Colson Whitehead. A chilling story about slavery and cruelty, this novel won The National Book Award in 2016, as well as the 2017 American Library Association’s Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and is a must read.

2016 was a great year for reading and 2017 is off to a good start. Thanks for following my blog!

The Wonder – by Emma Donoghue

The Wonder“The Wonder” is a complex story about an 11 year old child, Anna, believed to be a spiritual Wonder for her seeming ability to exist without eating. The story takes place in a small town in Ireland in the late 1800s, where a committee is established to effectively authenticate the Wonder. The committee hires two nurses to observe Anna 24 hours a day for two weeks to confirm that the child in fact does not eat.

One of the nurses retained is a nun from a nearby convent, who believes in the possibility of religious miracles and more significantly believes in following instruction. The other nurse, Lib, is from England and studied nursing under Florence Nightingale. Lib is not Catholic, has no religious beliefs and follows only her own instruction. To say she is skeptical of organized religion and the idea that a person, let alone an 11 year old child, could survive without food, may be an understatement, although her skepticism is tested in many ways.

Anna is a charming sensitive child who spends much of her day quoting scripture. People come from near and far to see the Wonder, and when asked how she survives, Anna responds “I live on manna from heaven.” Anna and Lib develop a close relationship throughout the novel.

The novel is complex in that it addresses difficult issues such as religion, gender roles, science, education and poverty. The novel raises questions about the medical profession in terms of its ethics, training and the compassion of its providers. In speaking to another character in the novel, Lib explains the relationship between patient and medical professional as follows: “It seems to come naturally, to care more about the individual than the crowd. ..[t]hat’s why Miss–the lady who trained me…wouldn’t allow us to sit down beside a particular patient and read to him and so on. Said it could lead to attachment.” The novel also raises interesting issues about journalistic integrity and responsibility.

It is impossible to say much more about the story without giving away its many twists and turns. The characters, as well as the themes of the novel, are perspicacious, although the novel suffers from slow development of the story and characters, repetitiveness and the all too neat and convenient ending. I’ve read worse but I’ve definitely read better.

If you want to read this novel by the author of “Room”, you can reserve a copy at the Cuyahoga county public library by clicking on

Moonglow – by Michael Chabon

MoonglowMichael Chabon’s wonderful “Moonglow” is a fictionalized memoir of his family history, based on Chabon’s maternal grandfather’s story, portions of which his grandfather shares at the end of his life. We first meet Chabon’s grandfather in 1957, as he is attempting to strangle the president of the company he works for with the frayed end of a telephone cord. As you might expect, that activity lands him in jail for some time. Of course there is a before attempted murder and an after.

In 1941 (before the ineffective strangulation attempt) after obtaining an engineering degree and specializing in hustling pool, grandfather enlisted in the Army Corps of Engineers, where “His frugality with words got interpreted variously but to his advantage as manliness, self-possession, imperviousness.” He enlisted one day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and shortly after his enlistment he is sent to officer candidate school in Virginia.

Due to the proximity of Washington DC, and his apparent restlessness, grandfather writes up a plan to take over Washington DC and begins, with the assistance of his roommate, to plot the bombing of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. That activity gets him promoted to the Office of Strategic Services, where he is sent to Germany and spends much of the war unsuccessfully hunting Wernher Von Braun, the inventor of the V-2 rocket for Nazi Germany. Von Braun crops up throughout the book. The novel includes chilling descriptions of the Nazi war machine manufacturing facilities.

Grandfather’s brother, Ray, is an unlikely Rabbi and when grandfather returns to the US after the war, he moves in with Ray. Grandfather accompanies Ray to Ray’s synagogue’s Monte Carlo night and meets Chabon’s grandmother (who was supposed to meet and fall in love with Ray). Grandmother grew up in a convent after the rest of her family was sent to and died at Auschwitz. She ultimately became a displaced person and came to America. Grandfather immediately fell in love with her, despite her deep seated emotional issues. “She was always threatening rain; he had been born with an umbrella in his hand.”

Grandmother is in and out of mental institutions and Chabon’s mother at some point is sent to live with Uncle Ray, well after Ray has given up the ill suited rabbi thing. Grandfather goes through a variety of jobs and vocations and somehow is always able to keep things together.

There is a lot going on in this book, all of it fascinating and brilliantly described. The novel moves back and forth through time seamlessly. Chabon is a master writer, his descriptions of time, place and feeling are vivid. When grandmother goes missing on Halloween 1952, grandfather goes searching for her and describes the scene as follows: “A dreamlike river of children coursing in and out of shadow, pooling on stoops, and out there somewhere a woman with a crack in her brain that was letting in shadows and leaking dreams.” A description like no other.

This novel is a gem. Read it! You can reserve this book at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking on

Swing Time – by Zadie Smith

Swing Time“Swing Time” is an incredibly complex book that delves deeply into a variety of topics, including class, politics, race, friendships and relationships, privilege and culture. The story begins in 2008 when the narrator, whose name we are bewilderingly (at least for me) never given, has been ostracized by her famous employer and is hiding in a luxury condominium in London.

Looking back over the 30 plus years of her life that caused her to find herself in seemingly catastrophic isolation, she observes that “A truth was being revealed to me: that I had always tried to attach myself to the light of other people, that I had never had any light of my own. I experienced myself as a kind of shadow.”  We then learn, from the very beginning, how she ended up identifying herself through the accomplishments and recognition of others and how she is suddenly thrust into a life of her own.

In 1982, at the age of 7 (or maybe 10–this is not clear), our narrator, the daughter of a Jamaican mother and a white father, starts taking dance classes. Dance class is where she meets Tracey, the black daughter of an effectively single mother and an intermittently present, but usually absent, father, who turns out to be a dangerous conman. The girls are drawn together by the commonality of race and their love of dance. Tracey is the significantly more talented dancer of the two, which draws our narrator toward her. The narrator’s mother, a beautiful woman, is a student, feminist and aspiring politician, who disapproves of both Tracey and Tracey’s mother. Despite her mother’s disapproval, their friendship grows.

Tracey and our narrator bond over dance, race and their mutual admiration of a musician named Aimee. As time goes by, Tracey and our narrator grow distant although their lives continue to intersect. Tracey goes on with dance and ultimately has children and a life of struggle. Our narrator goes off to college and after a few missteps (during which she briefly reconnects with Tracey), the narrator becomes one of Aimee’s personal assistants, a job she holds for more than a decade.

Aimee is rich and spoiled, privileged and idealistic. She is also charitable and decides to fund a girl’s school in a village in Africa. Our narrator goes back and forth to Africa over a period of years, developing relationships and we learn how good intentions can subtly go awry when an idealistic person of privilege fails to understand the culture of the world which she is attempting to “improve.” Where Aimee sees poverty and deprivation, others see happiness and joy; where she attempts to effect positive change, the results are frequently unanticipated.

Our narrator’s relationship with Aimee is complex, as was her relationship with Tracey. A portion of the book is an exploration of female friendships, which are portrayed as complicated and difficult. At one point the narrator tries to explain to a male date how Tracey is a good friend even though they had not spoken in years. His response: “See in guy world we’d call that an ‘ex-friend’, or better still, a stranger.”

Our narrator’s mother divorces her father, goes through a variety of life changes and she ends up in Parliament. Another aspect of this book is the changing mother child relationship. The narrator and her mother are distant and communicate infrequently, although they generally seem to get along.  Late in her mother’s life our narrator observes that her mother did not ask her much about her life. “Maybe it didn’t even matter to her any more what I did with my life. She didn’t have to take it as a judgment upon her any longer, or on the way she raised me.”

The book goes back and forth in time and the actual time frame is frequently opaque. It is also a difficult and dense read. That said, it is thoughtful and thought provoking, perceptive in its treatment of life events and profound in its descriptions of cultures and differences in perspectives. If you are interested in a book that will get you thinking, broaden your sensibilities and make you consider the world in a different way, this is the book for you. You can reserve this book at the Cuyahoga County Public library by clicking on

Barkskins – by Annie Proulx

BarskinsAnnie Proulx’s 700 plus page epic, “Barkskins”, is the complex story of two intersecting families and the multi-level impact of one of the family’s greed driven destruction of the world’s environment. When you consider that the story begins in 1693 and ends in 2013, it is an almost masterly accomplishment that the novel runs only 713 pages.

The story starts in “New France” where Rene Sel and Charles Duquet, both from France, become servants to Monsieur Claude Trepagny. Their job was to cut down trees in the grand natural forest, where forests seemed endless. “Day after day the chopping continued and their hands swelled, blistered, hardened, the rhythm of chopping seized them…” In exchange for three years of labor, Mr. Trepagny was to apportion Rene and Charles parcels of land in the new world.  Duquet wanted no part of the indentured labor and ran off into the forest, where Trepagny went to look for him and never returned.

Sel and Duquet’s futures advance in very different directions. Sel married Mari, a Mi’kmaq Indian with 3 children. Mari and Rene had three children of their own and the Sel line of Mi’kmaq descendants became wood cutters, struggling with the loss of their environment in varying ways through the centuries. The Sel family and the Duquet family unknowingly intersect throughout the novel.

Duquet, on the other hand, became a ruthless and opportunistic entrepreneur, taking advantage of the indigenous Indian population by trading liquor for animal pelts and later trading pelts in China. While in China, Duquet becomes obsessed with the forests and the potential for timber. Ultimately, he goes to the colonies and begins acquiring tracts of timberland in Maine and changes his name to Charles Duke.  He brings his sons to the colonies to join him in the timber business and so begins the business dynasty of Duke and Sons. When Charles Duke disappears and is never found, his sons take over the business.

The Duke family runs the business through the 21st century. The company dispassionately seeks and destroys forests throughout the world. In the 1800s, James Duke has a significant role with the company and when he suddenly dies, his daughter, Lavinia, takes control of the company, a rare woman in a man’s world. Lavinia is utterly ruthless in her ambition and her desire to acquire and destroy forests throughout the world. She marries Dieter Breitsprecher, a competitor and conservationist.

Throughout the novel forests are destroyed and the Mi’kmaq and other Indian tribes ways of life are rapidly destroyed. Certain Duke family and Sel family members become engaged in conservation efforts to try to stem the damage from the cutting and burning. Through those conservation efforts Proux explains the broad impact of the destruction of the forest on plants, people, climate and the future.

Tragedy and success befall each generation of the two families, although the successes are less frequent on the Sel side. Barkskins tells a grand tale of destruction, greed, sacrifice and regeneration. The novel, which is beautifully and flawlessly written, requires a commitment from its readers, both in terms of time and complexity, and includes a detailed, and indispensable, family tree for the Sels and the Dukes. If you like a challenging and thought provoking (and perhaps slightly preachy) read, you can reserve this book at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking on

The Underground Railroad – by Colson Whitehead

The Underground RailroadColson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad” is a chilling story of slavery, focused on Cora and her escape from the Randall plantation in Georgia. The story begins with Cora’s grandmother, Ajarry, kidnapped from a village in Ouidah, and sold over and over again until she found herself in Georgia at the Randall plantation. At the Randall plantation Ajarry co-opted a small plot of land where she planted vegetables. Ajarry died in the cotton fields. Cora’s mother, Mabel, the only survivor of Ajarry’s five children, continued the plot, as did Cora later.

Mabel disappears in an escape from the Randall plantation when Cora is 11 years old and never returns to the plantation. She is hunted by slave patroller, Ridgeway, who never finds her and his failure haunts him. The slaves living on the plantation have their own politics and system and Cora is shunned and abused after her mother escapes. Cora never forgives her mother for failing to take her along.

Cora lived on the northern plot of the Randall plantation, which was run by James Randall. The south part of the plantation was run by Terrence Randall. Terrence periodically visited the northern part of the plantation where he was known to be much crueler than James. When James dies and Terrance takes over the entire plantation, Terrance meets Cora and “claims” her as his own. It is then that Cora considers an escape along with her friend Caesar, who is educated and has contacts in the Underground Railroad.

Cora and Caesar make a successful escape, taking advantage of the literal and magical Underground Railroad, hidden in barns, houses and businesses, assisted by sympathetic whites, who in some instances pay for their assistance with their lives. Ridgeway is hired to find them and accepts his assignment with relish. Along the way, Cora kills a white boy thereby increasing the importance of her recapture.

Caesar and Cora end up initially in South Carolina, each living in a dormitory, working in jobs provided for them and Cora receives reading lessons. She had a bed and food and life had never seemed so good. But things were not as they seemed. The stores where she could shop charged 2-3 times more than the stores where whites shopped and the medical care available recommended sterilization and engaged in experimentation on the former slaves. Ultimately, Cora is required to escape Ridgeway, who follows her to South Carolina, then North Carolina and  Tennessee.

Each time Cora moves, it is through the Underground Railroad. And each time, the people who help her are made to pay a price for their assistance. When Cora finds herself on a farm in Indiana with other slaves, the politics of the farm and her history create divisions and unanticipated problems. Throughout the novel she never stops running.

The story is distressing and Colson’s writing brings each act of violence and cruelty to life, where people were thought of and treated as property. Cora’s story, her relationships and her observations remind us of the horror of slavery and that phase of American history and hopefully teach us that every person, whether similar or different, is to be treated as we would wish to be treated. A copy of this must read novel can be reserved at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking on

Nutshell – by Ian McEwan

NutshellIan McEwan’s “Nutshell” is a most peculiar murder mystery (although not so mysterious) told by a most unusual narrator, the unborn child of one of the perpetrators. “So here I am, upside down in a woman…I count myself an innocent, but it seems I’m party to a plot.”

Although unborn, our narrator has certain very specific likes and dislikes and is not at all subtle about getting what he (she?–gender undetermined but I will refer to as he for the simple ease of it) wants, with kicks and motion. Observing the activity by listening, the narrator describes Trudy (the mother), John (the father) and Claude (the not so bright lover and the narrator’s uncle). Trudy and John are separated at the behest of Trudy, Trudy is living in John’s ramshackle but extremely valuable house and Claude and Trudy are plotting the murder of John so that they can cash in on the value of the house.

Trudy is a nervous and unhappy soon-to-be mother who does not seem to be all that engaged in her own pending motherhood. The narrator describes in unique detail the combination of their lives. “My mother is more than my landlord”. Her intimate relations are his intimate relations. Where she goes, he goes. What she eats, he eats. What she drinks, he drinks.  And my do they drink! “If she wasn’t drinking for two, if I wasn’t sharing the load, she’d be on the floor.” Our narrator becomes an expert on the quality and varietals of the wine they share.

This unborn narrator is an expert on virtually everything and has opinions on all things worldly, which is masterly considering that he has not even been born. He expounds on politics, war , race, religion, climate change, history, gender and politics. His pompous superiority and callow intellectualism make him almost as unlikeable as every other character in this very short novel.

Perhaps it goes without saying that the narrator is keenly focused on two things–the pending murder plot and himself. He is quick to take offense at every slight, particularly when he feels forgotten and not at the center of all things. Ultimately his narcissistic egocentrism (am I being too hard on an unborn child?) cause him to foil his mother and her lover’s best laid plans, changing all of their lives. You will have to read the novel to understand what this means.

Although the book is so strange, without a likable character, it is in it’s own weird way simply brilliant and wonderful. It is Ian McEwan after all. Nutshell would be a great book club book–short and full of things to talk about. Why don’t you read it and tell me what you think? You can check it out at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking on

The Guineveres – by Sarah Domet

The Guineveres“The Guineveres” is a first novel by Sarah Domet, about a group of girls who for a variety of reasons have been abandoned by their families and are living in a convent. Four of the girls unbelievably are named Guinevere and that commonality is enough to bring them together as best friends. The girls must live in the Convent until a family member comes to get them or until they become 18 years of age. Vere is telling the story two decades after the events she is describing and well after they have attained their independence.

There are six sets of girls living in the convent–the Sads (parents died), the Specials (still had contact with their parents), the Poor Girls (extremely poor parents), the Delinquents (big trouble), the Almost 18 (speaks for itself) and the Guineveres. Each group is a world unto itself.

When we first meet the four Guineveres (Ginny, Win, Vere and Gwen) they are trying to escape the convent by hiding in a float at a parade capping off the celebration of the Assumption of Mary. Needless to say the girls get caught and do not escape! As punishment for their attempt to escape, the girls are placed on a three month JUG in the convent’s Convalescence Ward, which houses the elderly and dying. While they are tending the old dying people, five soldiers, each in a coma, are brought in. There is a war going on and the Convent’s Convalescence Ward is needed as part of the “War Effort”. One of the soldiers regains consciousness and is sent home, along with an almost 18 year old girl who has also been assisting in the Ward. When the Guineveres see that they could leave as an aid to a convalescing soldier, they each adopt one of the soldiers as their own, referring to them as “Our Boys.”

Religion and life with the nuns is an inextricable part of daily life throughout the novel.  The girls become the first girls they know to become altar servers and enjoy a close and rewarding relationship with the Priest.  The novel includes six interludes consisting of tales of various saints.

Throughout the book the girls dream about life outside the convent.  As time goes by, each of the girls has unique experiences and attains a life separate from the others.  At various turns each leaves the convent and moves on.

Domet does not tell us the time frame for the story, the location of the convent or which war is being waged. The novel is captivating and Domet is a talent to watch. The book was released October 4 and can be reserved at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking on

The Nix – by Nathan Hill

The Nix“Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in our own story that we don’t see how we’re supporting characters in someone else’s.” Nathan Hill’s “The Nix” is a grand tale about Samuel Andresen-Anderson’s search for his own story, told through his family history and his cast of supporting characters, amidst flashbacks to the 1968 Democratic convention and riots in Chicago.

Samuel is a literature professor at a small university in suburban Chicago. His students are detached from learning in general and his class in particular. Samuel is having issues with a student, Laura Potsdam, who has plagiarized her paper on Hamlet. When we first meet him he is sitting in his office at the university playing Elfquest on his computer, a game of elves, orcs and dragons, where he is known as Dodger. The best and most prolific player is known as Pwnage. Pwnage and Laura are supporting characters with a deep impact on Samuel’s evolving story.

While Samuel is engrossed in Elfquest and teaching in the late summer of 2011, Sheldon Packer, the former governor of Wyoming and bombastic candidate for president, has been attacked by a pebble throwing 62 year old former radical, the Packer Attacker, who turns out to be Samuel’s long estranged mother. Samuel soon receives a call from his mother’s lawyer asking him to help in his mother’s case. Samuel is bitter about his mother who left when he was age 11.

When Samuel was a college student he had written a short story, based on his friends Bishop and Bethany, that drew his teacher’s attention. Ultimately, the story was published in a notable magazine and he was given a large advance to write a novel. The novel never materialized and Samuel’s publisher, Guy Periwinkle, wants his money back. He proposes that Samuel earn the money back by writing an expose memoir on his estranged and seemingly radical mother. Thus starts Samuel’s search for his mother’s (and by extension, his) story.

The story alternates between Samuel’s 11th year in 1988, the 1968 Democratic National Convention and riots and the Packer Attacker year of 2011, with a brief interlude to 2004 in New York at the Republican National Convention. We learn about Samuel’s childhood and his brief but close friendships with twins Bishop and Bethany. These relationships follow him through the entire book. We learn that his mother grew up in Iowa with a strict Norwegian father. She went off to college in Chicago in 1968, was taught by the poet Allen Ginsburg and got involved in the protests and mayhem of the times, resulting in her rapid return to Iowa and marriage to Samuel’s father. Ultimately her need for more caused her to leave the family.

The book has many plot twists and angles, too many for this short review, and in any event, disclosure would take away some of the fun. All of the seemingly disparate characters come together in surprising and enjoyable ways. Hill uses all kind of literary devices, including flash backs, letters, a short story within the story and, in one instance, one sentence that runs 11 pages (with punctuation in case you wondered).

It’s a great story, brilliantly conceived and composed, but it could have used some editing (too much Elfquest for me) and the messages it imparts are shallow and unfulfilling. For instance, Samuel’s mother tells him that “the things you love the most will one day hurt you the worst” and “Don’t trust things that are too good to be true.” Toward the end of the book when everything falls together, he offers lessons like “you cannot endure this world alone” and “if you see people as enemies or obstacles or traps, you will be at constant war with them and yourself. Whereas if you choose to see people as puzzles, and if you see yourself as a puzzle, then you will be constantly delighted…” Or, ” a crisis is not really a crisis at all–just a new beginning.” Really? The novel would have been much better if Hill had left the reader to draw her own conclusions.

So if you like to read for a grand well written and creative story, you will definitely enjoy this book. If you read for epiphany inducing insights, you will not find them here! All in all, I am glad I read it and I wish I could have written it, but I am still in search of the perfect contemporary novel.  You can reserve this book at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking on

Zero K: A Novel – by Don DeLillo

Zero KDon DeLillo’s “Zero K” is a novel about…well, I am not really sure what it is about. Maybe it’s about death, maybe it is about the one dimensional life of a grieving outsider or maybe it is a prediction of our dystopian future brought about by war and climate change and our ultimate desire for immortality. Or may it’s about the challenges of the parent child relationship or maybe it’s about mental illness. Zero K is a book of ideas and it is a challenging read.

The story begins with Jeffrey Lockhart’s mysterious trip to an unknown part of the world and a “facility” known as Convergence.  Jeffrey’s billionaire father, Russ and his second and beloved archaeologist wife, Artis, are at Convergence, preparing for Artis’s death and literal preparation for her next life. Convergence is a secretive facility in which wealthy individuals are assisted with their deaths and prepared to be brought back in better times. In some instances, as with Artis, the individuals are near death (Artis suffers from multiple sclerosis), but in some instances the individuals simply choose Convergence as a next step from this life to the next.

At Jeffrey’s first visit to Convergence he is permitted to view only certain parts of the facility. As he walks along the hallways he encounters mannequins and videos of disasters, wars, self-immolation. A speaker at the facility explained that “‘To some extent we are here in this location to design a response to whatever eventual calamity may strike the planet…At some point in the future, death will become unacceptable even as the life of the planet become more fragile.” Although no one is introduced by name at Convergence, Jeffrey feels the need to name each person he meets and place them in a different life.

While at Convergence, Jeffrey ruminates on his relationship with his father, his now deceased mother, and his father’s relationship with his mother. The one thing that is clear in the story is that Jeffrey has not stopped grieving the loss of his mother or the divorce of his father and mother. He also puzzles over the feelings and concerns parents have for their children. “A son or daughter who travels at a wayward angle must seem a penalty the parent must bear–but for what crime?”

After Artis is “contained,” Jeffrey and Russ return to New York to their lives. Russ cannot recover from his loss of Artis. Jeffrey seeks a job and spends time with his girlfriend, Emma and her adopted son, Stak. Every interaction, every thought and every emotion is one dimensional and empty.  Jeffrey’s continual efforts to create substance by naming people and giving them stories only makes the life he leads feel emptier.

Don DeLillo is a truly great writer. His language is beautiful, almost poetic, and the writing in Zero K is no exception.  Mr. DeLillo recently spoke at the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation’s William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage, where he explained that the novel took him four years to write, although it is only 275 pages long. Mr. DeLillo writes on a standard typewriter because of the physicality of the instrument and he explained the importance of language, sound and sight in his books. He was utterly charming and fascinating in his interview and his responses to questions and answers from the audience.

If you have never read any of Don DeLillo’s work, Zero K might not be the place to start.  The story and the characters are tragic and unpleasant, although the book is thoughtful and thought provoking. If you are a DeLillo fan, of course, you must read Zero K. You can reserve the book at the Cuyahoga County Public Library by clicking on