Monday, January 22, 2007

I just finished reading a book, The Innocent, written by this guy Harlan Coben. His books are mysteries. I have read a bunch of his books now. I read an essay he wrote in a magazine about his best friend who died two years ago in a plane crash.

Harlan Coben is my age and grew up in New Jersey and his books take place there. Aside from his books being really fun, I am sure that I like them because of my being the same age, Jewish and living in New Jersey when I was little and then with you at Hackensack. I can hear the loss of his friend in his writing. That makes me like him too.

I also like mysteries by a guy named George Pelecanos. He lives in Takoma Park or Silver Spring and all of his stories take place in Washington, DC. It is fun to read in a book all of the places that you see every day. He also likes the same kind of music I do, and also I love seeing him mention in his books the music that I like. I sent him an XM radio years ago and sure enough XM popped up in his last book. That felt great.

The first Harlan Coben book I read was called Darkest Fear. I think I bought it at an airport because I was looking at a whole row of books and chose his because I thought that his name was interesting. I figured it was some strange misspelling of "Cohen."

Naturally, the book was about a kid who needed a bone marrow transplant. I remember being in an airport reading it and just being blown away when I read that this kid had Fanconi amemia. As I read I kept saying to myself, "this isn't right," and "that's not right." I knew too much. That is a mystery title, "The Man Who Knew Too Much."

So of course I tracked down Mr. Coben's email address and wrote him. I think that I said to him that I thought it was great that he wrote about FA. Before Molly, no-one had ever heard about FA - even though it was a kid who had FA who received the first cord blood transplant ever - and it is important that more people know about it so we can get more money for research and find a cure.

I do remember asking him if he could make a contribution to the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund. I thought about that a few weeks ago when I was talking to Molly's mom who said she asked the same thing of Jodi Picoult, who wrote the book "Sister's Keeper," which is a story about a little girl who needs a transplant.

Back to the book I just finished, "The Innocent." It was a good book, and there was one part that I found personally interesting.

If you click on this you can read it.

(click to read)

I think about this myself. I think that Harlan Coben is really sensitive to it because of his friend's death.

This is what he wrote about his friend's son.

On December 10, 2005, a little more than a year after the plane crash, Jesse Miller was called to the Torah for his bar-mitzvah. Looking up at him from my seat with the congregation, I saw Steve, of course. But as his beautiful son ended the service by singing Imagine by John Lennon, I realized something simple and profound.

I love Jesse.

I have everyone's pictures that they sent us during December. I have them in a pile because I have wanted to scan them in and put them on here so you can see how everyone is growing up.

We don't send one out.

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