Jonathan Lethem

Once, on my way to New York City, my father who was dropping me off at the airport, asked how much cash I was taking. Perpetually late, and perpetually putting off until tomorrow things I could and should do today, I replied, unashamedly unprepared, “None.” I planned to hit an ATM as soon as I got into the city. Simple enough. While I worried not a whit about traveling cashless, I wouldn’t dream of traveling without a good book, and more often than not, when traveling to New York City, I’d have a Jonathan Lethem book tucked into my carry-on. Lethem dabbles deftly in several genres. His novel, The Fortress of Solitude, one of my favorites, blends two styles of realism, gritty and magic, in a masterful coming of age tale of one young Brooklynite in the ’70s. His latest, You Don’t Love Me Yet, is his take on a romantic comedy set in Los Angeles among modern-day indie rockers. If you’ve been missing out on Lethem, you’ve been missing out on the last decade of American culture.