Nope, it wasn't me. I didn’t write it but I can see why you're confused. Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a way insiderly novel about people who live in the Seattle area, some of whom work at Microsoft just around the corner from my building, and maybe travel to Antarctica. If any of that describes you too, and even if not, this book is a must read. The details are surprisingly accurate. Oh, and funny! Yes, this is a comedy. The first one I can think of to poke fun at TED talks, which have been ripe for satire for way too long. I was giggling through the very first chapter which, by the way, is a school report card. Bonus: You even get to find out the secret code for the Microsoft Executive Shuttle Service which can whisk you around campus without ever having to wait. Not that I have ever, ever abused that knowledge.
I fell in love with two women reading this book. The author Maria Semple has a sense of humor that exactly tickles my funny bone. The (fortunately!) fictional Audrey Griffin is one of my favorite characters in modern literature. Her stubborn adherence to her own skewed world-view in the face of all evidence to the contrary is enchanting. You Go Girl, as they used to say, for reasons that escape me now.
Given that I love this book, what can Amazon.com tell me I should read next? A huge part of Amazon's success is that it learns about your literary drugs of choice, and then offers complementary highs. Their famous secret recipe of 11 different algorithms and spices is magically delicious. Except when it's not.
I decided to accept the first recommendation Amazon gave me, and downloaded The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, purposely avoiding any reviews or even information about the author, one Rachel Joyce. Bingo! Amazon was right. I can't imagine what the two books might have in common or why people who bought one might enjoy the other, but I'm a person who bought one and enjoyed the other, so clearly Amazon is smarter than me. “Harold” is a gentle, very English, surprisingly affecting novel. I'll say no more so you can have a similar experience if you like.
This game is fun! Let me type "Harold Fry" into the Amazon.com search box and see what else I can find. Let's see. The first two hits are the Rachel Joyce novel in molecular and electronic forms. Then there's something about a lighthouse and some other novels that don't seem related but might be somehow. And then, … What? Oh my, Uh, forget what I said. Please Do Not attempt that experiment.
I hope no kids are reading this post!