About Me

Ithaca, New York
MWF, now officially 42, loves long walks on the beach and laughing with friends ... oh, wait. By day, I'm a mid-level university administrator reluctant to be more specific on a public forum. Nights and weekends, though, I'm a homebody with strong nerdist leanings. I'm never happier than when I'm chatting around the fire, playing board games, cooking up some pasta, and/or road-tripping with my family and friends. I studied psychology and then labor economics in school, and I work in higher education. From time to time I get smug, obsessive, or just plain boring about some combination of these topics, especially when inequality, parenting, or consumer culture are involved. You have been warned.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

#20: Heft

Heft, by Liz Moore (New York: W.W. Norton, 2012)

"Former academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn't left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away, in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career -- if he can untangle himself from his family drama. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel's mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur's. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene's unexpected phone call to Arthur -- a plea for help -- that jostles them into action. Through Arthur and Kel's own quirky and lovable voices, Heft tells the winning story of two improbable heroes whose sudden connection transforms both their lives. Like Elizabeth McCracken's The Giant's House, Heft is a novel about love and family found in the most unexpected places."

Opening Line:
"The first thing you must know about me is that I am colossally fat."

My Take:
A fairly quick read -- think I polished it off in a day, give or take -- but with a much bigger impact than I'd expected. Very engaging characters; one Washington Post review calls them "quirky" but that almost trivializes how perfectly, painfully human Arthur, Kel, and Charlene become. Don't miss this one. So far, up there with The Namesake among my favorites of the year.

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