What happens when two thirtysomething siblings relive the summer reading programs of their youth in an all-out battle of the books? The race is on as they read by the rules and keep tally on their logs to see who will be the ultimate reader by Labor Day 2010.

July 8, 2010

Seven Year Switch, Claire Cook

All hail, the summer beach read. I raise my sunscreen and tip my SIGG of water to you.

Seven Year Switch did not disappoint me as a fun summer read. You can read any number of reviews here, here and here, so I'm going to jump straight to my favorite character: T-shirt Tom. Tom is a student at a "Lunch Around the World" class held at the community center (and led by the story's main character, Jill). His t-shirts sport messages like, "TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR A DIFFERENT SHIRT" and "I'M NOT GETTING SMALLER, I'M BACKING AWAY FROM YOU". All we know about Tom is that he wears these t-shirts and has thick glasses always smudged with fingerprints.

Although most of his classmates are senior citizens, my image of Tom is that he's a first generation gamer, now in his 40's, and works at night in his basement office testing new video games and sharing trade secrets with other RPG players in chat rooms. Tom probably rolls out of bed around 11:45 each morning, giving him plenty of time to make it to this noontime class that includes lunch (and leftovers, so dinner too). He doesn't know it yet, but a few months from now he's going to realize that his new friends, the seniors, are tired of playing Wii at the senior center but have no interest in expanding their own gaming to Mortal Kombat or Grand Theft Auto. Tom will work with this small test group and produce "Boomer Games" with the tag line, "it's not your grandchild's video game". He'll make a bundle, allowing him to make a substantial, yet anonymous, donation to the town to renovate their aging senior center and housing project. Tom's good like that.

1 comment:

  1. I have been writing my own future biography for Stuart Whitworth from "The Help." Depressed over the end of his relationship with Skeeter, he throws himself into the oil industry only to inadvertently cause the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on his seventieth birthday. Thus Stockett shows the danger of breaking up with ladies who challenge your conservative worldview: you cause natural disasters.