Flashback Friday is my own little weekly tradition, in which I pick a book from my reading past to highlight. If you’d like to join in, here are the Flashback Friday book selection guidelines:
- Has to be something you’ve read yourself
- Has to still be available, preferably still in print
- Must have been originally published 5 or more years ago
Other than that, the sky’s the limit! Join me, please, and let us all know: what are the books you’ve read that you always rave about? What books from your past do you wish EVERYONE would read? Pick something from five years ago, or go all the way back to the Canterbury Tales if you want. It’s Flashback Friday time!
My pick for this week’s Flashback Friday:
The Mind-Body Problem by Rebecca Goldstein
When Renee Feuer goes to college, one of the first lessons she tries to learn is how to liberate herself from the restrictions of her orthodox Jewish background. As she discovers the pleasures of the body, Renee also learns about the excitements of the mind.
She enrolls as a philosophy graduate student, then marries Noam Himmel, the world-renowned mathematician. But Renee discovers that being married to a genius is a less elevating experience than expected.
The story of her quest for a solution to the mind-body problem involves the prickly contemporary dilemmas of sex and love, of doubt and belief.
I read The Mind-Body Problem ages ago, but can still more or less quote one of the lines from this book which I found marvelous:
I am beautiful for a brainy woman, brainy for a beautiful woman, but objectively speaking, neither beautiful nor brainy.
That, in essence, is the heart of main character Renee’s struggle. She’s always considered herself an intellectual, but when she marries a bona fide genius, has to face some hard truths about herself, what it means to be smart, and what it means to love and be loved. Renee’s exploration of identity, success, love, and desire is both philosophical and physical, and always fascinating.
So, what’s your favorite blast from the past? Leave a tip for your fellow booklovers!
Note from your friendly Bookshelf Fantasies host: To join the Flashback Friday fun, write a blog post about a book you love and share your link below. Don’t have a blog post to share? Then share your favorite oldie-but-goodie in the comments section. Jump in!