Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Books I've Read In October 2011

1) The Confession, by John Grisham
In 2007, almost on the eve of the execution of Donté Drumm, an African-American college football star, for the 1998 murder of a white cheerleader whose body was never found, Travis Boyette, a creepy multiple sex offender, confesses that he's guilty of the crime to Kansas minister Keith Schroeder. With Drumm's legal options dwindling fast and with the threat of civil unrest in his Texas hometown if the execution proceeds, Schroeder battles to convince Boyette to go public with the truth--and to persuade the condemned man's attorney that Boyette's story needs to be taken seriously.

2) Don't Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea's Uninhibited Commentaries On Love and Life, by Tyler Perry
One could say that if the title of this book confuses you, then you probably shouldn't be reading it. But, as Madea helpfully suggests, "If you don't understand something I'm saying here and you're not black, you will have to ask somebody who is." Madea—Southern-speak for "mother dear"—is the fierce alter ego of Tyler Perry, who has paraded the marijuana-smoking, pistol-packing, trash-talking matron through a series of hit gospel plays and films. Although primarily a comic figure based on unapologetically crude behavior coming from a harmless-looking old lady, Madea is envisioned by Perry (who provides his own introduction before turning the reins over to his inner grandma) as a throwback to a time when strong matriarchs ruled the community. The result is a surprisingly fresh compilation of homespun advice—which Madea says the reader should take "at your own risk"—on love, sex, getting ahead in life and (strangely) the thousand-plus uses of Vaseline. Although veering dangerously close to serious at times, Perry litters Madea's anarchic, stage-ready monologues with hilariously bad quips along the lines of "the grass is always greener on the other side, but the water bill is higher."

3) The Snow Queen (Tales Of The Five Hundred Kingdoms, Book 4), by Mercedes Lackey
Aleksia, Queen of the Northern Lights, is mysterious, beautiful and widely known to have a heart of ice. No one would seek her wisdom except as a last resort. But when she's falsely accused of unleashing evil on nearby villages, she realizes there's an impostor out there far more heartless than she could ever be.

And when a young warrior following the Tradition disappears, leaving his sweetheart and mother to fear the worst, Aleksia's powers are needed as never before.

Now, on a journey through a realm of perpetual winter, it will take all her skills, a mother's faith and a little magic to face down an enemy more formidable than any she has ever known.…


4) The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

What perfect timing for this optimistic, uplifting debut novel set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.

5) Stolen Life, Jaycee Lee Dugard
When Jaycee Dugard was eleven years old, she was abducted from a school bus stop within sight of her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. She was missing for more than eighteen years, held captive by Phillip Craig and Nancy Garrido, and gave birth to two daughters during her imprisonment. On August 26, 2009, Garrido showed up for a meeting with his parole officer; he brought Jaycee, her daughters, and his wife Nancy with him. Their unusual behavior raised suspicions and an investigation revealed the tent behind the Garridos’ home where Jaycee had been living for nearly two decades.

A Stolen Life was written by Jaycee herself and covers the period from the time of her abduction in 1991 up until the present. In her stark, compelling narrative, she opens up about what she experienced—and offers an extraordinary account of courage and resilience.


6) Cross Fire, by James Patterson


Wedding bells ring

Detective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.'s most corrupt: a dirty congressmen and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked politicians, sparking a blaze of theories--is the marksman a hero or a vigilante?

A murderer returns

The case explodes, and the FBI assigns agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Siegel battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that they are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims' movements--information that only a Washington insider could possess.

Caught in a lethal cross fire

As Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in D.C. and will not relent until he has eliminated Cross and his family for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson's most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever.

Total Year To Date: 49

1 comment:

  1. The Confession is a legal thriller by an accomplished writer, one who became famous by writing legal thrillers. I loved Grisham's early books, reading each one eagerly, glued to the pages, and disappointed when I finished, realizing that I had to wait a long time for the next one. Somewhere along the way Grisham lost his mojo, and, unfortunately, he hasn't fully regained it.

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