Two “Big C’s”: Cancer and Communes. Great Summer Reading. I’m Not Kidding.

the fault in our stars
Two “Big C’s”: Cancer and Communes. Great Summer Reading. I’m Not Kidding.

I’m reading this great book. It’s so hilarious that I’m literally snorting with laughter.
What’s it about?
Cancer.
(long, uncomfortable silence)
Really.

It’s also touching, and tragic, so keep the tissues handy.
I’m talking about The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. It's about two teens dealing with various aspects of cancer. As with most of his books, I’m totally smitten. The banter between characters is very highbrow. I don’t know any teenagers who really talk like Green’s characters, but he’s a skilled writer and his characters are enchanting and well-developed. This is a must-read for adults and older teens.

The second “big C” is a novel about a hippie commune in upstate New York: Arcadia by Lauren Groff. I haven’t read a book this good in quite some time. I was stunned by her lyrical writing and description. The main character is a tiny, insightful boy, aptly named Bit. You might think that life on a commune is all peace, love, and granola. Well, the granola part might prove true, but the kids in the commune are like bitty rubber ducks adrift on a turbulent sea. Bit’s parents, thankfully, are the best of the bunch, but there’s a lot of disharmony and conflict in this well-intentioned community. As a reader of several free-people (hippie) memoirs, this novel rang true and was very touching.

Read them both and you'll be pining for more.

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