Hope you're all celebrating in style wherever you are. We celebrated a neighbor's 40th birthday yesterday and we celebrate America's birthday today. For us that means going to the circus that comes to town each year and then we're off to another party in a friend's backyard/garden. Today I recommend one of my favorite novels about summer, that I read one summer vacation at the Jersey Shore -- Richard Ford's Independence Day. I love this book, and read it and The Sportswriter in quick succession that vacation (tho you should read The Sportswriter first...).
In Independence Day, Ford tells the story of Frank Bascombe, who, in the aftermath of his divorce and the ruin of his career, has entered an "Existence Period," selling real estate in Haddam, New Jersey, and mastering the high-wire act of normalcy. But over one Fourth of July weekend, Frank is called into sudden, bewildering engagement with life.
Independence Day is a moving, peerlessly funny odyssey through America and through the layered consciousness of one of its most compelling literary incarnations, conducted by a novelist of astonishing empathy and perception.