A piece in the Los Angeles Times yesterday reminded me of a terrific book to consider reading this long, Labor Day weekend: Black Swan Green by David Mitchell.
Mitchell, age 40, has published four novels including Black Swan Green and Cloud Atlas, which was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize. According to the LA Times' book blog, Jacket Copy, a conference on Mitchell's work is being held this week at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Don't know if four novels provide sufficient material for an academic conference, but I do know that his 2006 book, Black Swan Green, is a wonderful read.
Black Swan Green, set in 1982, is about a year in the life of a 13-year old named Jason Taylor, who is growing up in Worcestershire, England. Jason, a budding poet, navigates being a boy at 13 and coping with all that age and that time, Margaret Thatcher's England, brings. Mitchell's writing is superb and the story enjoyable. If you can't jet over to Scotland for the conference, pick-up a copy of Black Swan Green instead and have a great weekend reading an excellent novel.