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No. of Recommendations: 1
I thought this would be like a book club. You know, with assignments. Man, what an easy book club!

Two great novels I have read recently:

Andrew Klaven, Man and Wife
David Schickler, Kissing in Manhattan

Klaven's novel is about a prominent man in a small town who is deeply in love with his wife. It is a mysterious and beautiful book, and passionate. I don't want to give too much away. One of the questions the book asks: when you have to choose between standing by your loved ones, or doing the right thing, what should you do?

Schickler's book is funny in parts, and scary in parts. It's a loose collection of short stories, all based in an apartment building in Manhattan called The Preemption. Characters drift in and out of the short stories, sometimes reappearing in another story. Here's how it starts:

Donna didn't want to meet Checkers. It didn't seem right.

"Checkers?" said Donna. "What kind of name for a man is Checkers?"

"He's strange," admitted Lee.

Lee and Donna sold Manhattan real estate. They were in their early thirties. They shared an office on Bleecker Street.

"Checkers." Donna tried it on her tongue. "Checkers, Checkers."

"He's attractive," said Lee.

"Checkers is a name for a dog. Or a henchman." Donna stared at her computer screen. Listed on it were SoHo prices.

"He's strange but attractive," said Lee.

"A henchman in a movie." Donna wore a suit and important shoes. "Not a nemesis. Not suave like that. Just a henchman."

"This isn't a movie," said Lee. "This is real life."

"How do you know this Checkers?" asked Donna.

Anyway, that gives you a flavor of it. Both books are cool. Okay, that's your assignment. Either one. I'll come back in a week and we will discuss. :)

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