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This video pretty much sums up how I felt while reading our first summer reading selection, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? I happily tore through its virtual pages as I reached for every sync-able device I had to keep up with the pace of the narrative. I was having so much fun while reading that I was finished before I realized I was thinking about things like: What does it mean to be considered a “genius”? What is the nature of creativity? And how familial love will take us to the ends of the earth.
This second novel by former television writer Maria Semple–she wrote for the hilarious and soon-to-be resurrected Arrested Development–follows 8th grader Bee Branch’s journey to find her suddenly missing-in-action (or perhaps inaction) mother. In the great epistolary tradition, Semple uses emails, faxes, bills, and magazine articles to reconstruct the days leading up to the titular Bernadette’s disappearance. Along the way she pokes fun at everything from Microsoft to MacArthur grants from private school culture to TED talks. I loved it. So did the New York Times. You can judge for yourself and read a preview here.