Monday, March 7, 2011


THE GIVEN DAY / Dennis Lehane **** Outstanding historical fiction, dealing with the Boston Police strike, WWI, and the Spanish flue epidemic.

THE SUMMONS / John Grisham * Awful. Poor plotting, zero character development. Avoid at all costs!

THE DUMBEST GENERATION / Mark Bauerlein *** So-so book about how modern technology is NOT making future generations most educated or informed.

THE CLINIC / Jonathon Kellerman *** Good, not great, Alex Delaware novel.

LIES THE GOVERNMENT TOLD YOU / Andrew Napolitano ** V-e-r-y dry book about ways in which the federal govt. has over reached it's authority. Nothing I didn't already know. Disappointing.

THE HUNT CLUB / John Lescroart **** Very good P.I./legal/police thriller.

EMPIRE OF ILLUSION: THE END OF LITERACY AND THE TRIUMPH OF SPECTACLE / Chris Hedges **** Often brilliant examination of how American culture has deteriorated by several colluding factors.

OLD CITY HALL / Robert Rotenberg **** Outstanding crime novel!

CHINABERRY SIDEWALKS / Rodney Crowell *** Good but overly-folksy memoir of the early life of one of America's greatest songwriters. As much as I love Crowell and his music, this book was slow-going in some sections. Here's hoping Crowell will, at some time, write a memoir of his creative life, writing and recording some of the greatest song of the past 30 years.

THE LOST GATE / Orson Scott Card *** Excellent modern day fantasy. Docked at least one star because the middle 1/3 is s-l-o-w going. Card is a writer always worth the time and effort, but here's hoping Vol. 2 of this trilogy picks up steam.

TREASURE HUNT / John Lecroart *** Decent sequel to The Hunt Club.

FAB: AN INTIMATE LIFE OF PAUL MCCARTNEY / Howard Sounes *** Pretty good bio of Sir Paul. Learned a few tidbits I didn't know. Biggest drawback: book was published in a font that made it difficult to read. The publisher should know better.

PAINTED LADIES / Robert B. Parker ** Another painful Spenser novel. And you wonder why I keep reading these books? Well, the first 15 Spenser books were brilliant, but the next 20 have been scattershot. Since Parker died last year, I decided I should go ahead and read every Spenser book, no matter how bad. Again, the scenes with Susan Silverman (the most annoying character ever invented) are painful. Reading those scenes is like being hooked up to The Machine from The Princess Bride.

HELL'S BAY / James Hall **** Excellent Florida-based crime novel featuring Thorn.

THE SUSPECT / John Lescroart *** Lescroart's crime books are fairly lightweight, but they are well-written and peopled with great characters.

THE TRILLION DOLLAR CONSPIRACY / Jim Marrs *** Another well-researched book of behind-the-scenes history by Marrs.

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