One of the most beautiful things about fiction is that the impossible can become real—at least for a few hundred pages anyway. In today's #FridayReads in the Book Lovers’ Page-A-Day® calendar, we're checking out Hope: A Tragedy by American author Shalom Auslander. The outlandish premise of this book is that a man name discovers Anne Frank living in the attic of his new home.
This strange plot fits right in with Auslander's eccentric oeuvre. He often uses stories and anecdotes from the Jewish tradition as subject matter, but then applies an absurdist spin. In Beware of God: Stories, he tells tales of a man who stocks up on supplies at Home Depot for the construction of an ark. In another story, God takes the form of a 30-foot chicken.
Auslander's upbringing no doubt provided ample material for his writing. He was raised “like a veal”—he jokes—in an Orthodox Jewish family in New York, with a Jewish education. He wrote about this upbringing in Foreskin's Lament: A Memoir, which he's shared sections of on the popular radio show "This American Life."
So suspend your disbelief for a spell as you read, and settle in this Friday with a good book, like Hope. Today's #FridayReads also coincides with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which begins at sundown this evening. It's a day of atonement that usually involves prayer, fasting and contemplation. It also happens to be an excellent day to read something profound, something that makes you think and reflect. It's just one more excuse to make today—and the whole weekend—a mini reading fest.
About The Book Lover’s 2015 Page-A-Day Calendar
The Book Lover’s Calendar offers insightful recommendations for readers of all interests. Crime fiction and history come together in A Murder on the Appian Way, Steven Saylor’s lively novel set in ancient Rome. Wordsmiths will devour The Man Who Made Lists: Love, Death, Madness, and the Creation of Roget’s Thesaurus. Plus James Boice’s dark and engrossing basketball novel MVP and Michael Burlingame’s definitive Abraham Lincoln: A Life. And new elements this year include opening lines and famous last words of great books, literary quizzes, and surprising facts about our favorite authors.