Scout. Jem. Dill. Atticus. Boo Radley. Even now – 52 years after the publication of Harper’s Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird – these names warm readers’ souls everywhere as they beckon us back to a tiny town in the 1930’s American South – Maycomb, Alabama. When I read the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel in junior… View more
Our founding fathers protected our free speech knowing that a healthy, strong society must have a free exchange of ideas. Banning books is a fear-based exercise which tries to block this exchange by suppressing words that might inspire or enlighten. When I come across a book that has been banned, I immediately want to read it to find out what it is that someone else thinks I shouldn’t know. That is why banning a book will never work .
“He’ll be famous – a legend… there will be books written about Harry – every child in our world will know his name!” Professor McGonagall, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
There are times when books leave you feeling heartbroken that they are over. This was the case with “Heft” by Liz Moore. In “Heft” we meet the severely obese Arthur Opp, a former professor who hasn’t left his home for over a decade. Arthur’s struggle with his weight and the shame of it keep him inside and it takes the chance phone call from an old friend to shake things up.
“If Jack’s In Love” by Stephen Wetta is a very pleasant surprise. This first novel by Wetta is set in the late 1960’s, the summer when Jack turns 13. Something terrible has happened in Jack’s small town–a popular boy has gone missing–as Jack’s older brother is the only suspect. To make matters worse, Jack is… View more
The Hunter is another great standalone thriller by John Lescroart. One of Lescroart’s dynamic, recurring characters, San Francisco private investigator Wyatt Hunt, stars in a very private story about family and identity. The Hunter begins with Hunt receiving a cryptic text about the biological parents who abandoned him: “How did ur mother die?” We quickly… View more
Jeff- Them! – A classic 1950’s horror movie involving giant mutated ants attacking the Southwest. Dixie- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, True Blood, and the Halloween movie series with Michael Myers. Renee- Rot and Ruin and Dust and Decay are fun zombie thrillers by Jonathan Maberry. Curtis- The Last Sin Eater– A dark dramatic… View more
House Rules by Jodi Picoult is, in my opinion, one of the best fiction titles around whose main character lives on the Autism spectrum. Meet Jacob, a teen with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s a forensic analysis junkie – over-focused on one area, like many other kids with AS. He has steered the local police in the… View more
Let’s assume, for a minute, there’s an afterlife. Most people already do this. However, one step past the assumption the road diverges. One person imagines this particular heaven, while another pictures that one. A third might envision being reborn as a wholly different life form, a fourth a return to some ultimate state of being,… View more