Thursday, July 14, 2016

Another Local Author - and Another Good Book

Love Me Two Times, by Philip Michaels, is a very good combo historical fiction/literary fiction/love story.  The back of the book says "FICTION/Historical."  But I think it's much more than that.  Let's go right to the summary:

Patrick settled into his leather first-class seat, sipped coffee, and tried futilely to concentrate on the Chronicle's sports section rather than on Morgan.  What is it we must discuss?  Will I finally learn why she did it?  Outside the window, far below, Lake Tahoe was inching toward him, and it made him think back to the first time he'd seen the lake from the air.  How many flights ago was that?  Maybe a thousand flights?  Indeed, over the course of his lifetime, he had flown well over a million miles, but this flight was different.  This flight, with each elapsing second and each passing mile, was conveying him to a place and time he could neither forget nor escape.

Much of this book takes place at and around Cal Berkeley in the late 60s - exactly when I was there!  So when they go to Top Dog on Durant Avenue, so did I - a lot (I even went once with my in-laws).  And when they go to Moe's Books, I did too.  And when they talk about tear gas in Sproul Plaza right before everybody stormed People's Park, I was there - and felt the effects of that tear gas.  These are just a few of the "coincidences" that Patrick (and Philip Michaels) and I share.

Plus, there's a bunch of Boston stuff when Patrick goes to Harvard.  Since my older daughter lived there for 2 years; and my younger daughter went to BU (Boston University) for 4 years; I know lots of those references too.  How crazy is that?  But, fortunately for you, I will spare you all the landmarks from that area that I have in common with Patrick.

But enough about me (yeah, right).  This is a story about Patrick and Morgan in the late 60s and their love affair.  It's about how they ended up apart.  And it's about why Morgan wants to see Patrick when he comes to Boston for a funeral - 43 years after their break-up!  P.S. All of this is right up front.  So these are not spoiler alerts.  Onward.

Love Me Two Times grabbed me in the very 1st paragraph.  That happens occasionally, but not very often.  It's well-written, and I really liked how the author lays the story out.  There is a little bit up front about Patrick going back to Boston for a buddy's funeral.  And the end of the book talks about when he gets there.  But all the rest of the book takes place late 60s/early 70s.  You know on the 1st page that he ended up not being with Morgan.  But most of the book serves to build up their relationship from their days in Boston and Berkeley.

Do you have to know Cal Berkeley or Harvard or even Boston to enjoy Love Me Two Times?  Absolutely not.  It's a good old-fashioned love story with a bunch of history thrown in and written as literary fiction.  Read it.  You can't go wrong.

Book Signing:  This Sunday, from 9:30-12:30, Aria Glazki will be selling and signing her book, Mending Heartstrings (and maybe her other 2 books?), in front of Recycle Books in Campbell.  And as an added bonus (or a dark negative), I will be right next to her at my rec table.


  1. I love books that are set in a place that's familiar to me!

    1. As much as you try to take that out of the equation, you just can't.