Sunday, July 3, 2016

May-June Books

*Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo returns to the setting and many of the characters of his most successful book, Nobody's Fool.   Sully is confronting a daunting health prognosis, which he hides from his loved ones, including a longtime mistress, an increasingly distant best friend, and an obsessive chief of police. This is classic Russo, filled with humor, heart, hard times, and characters whom you can't help but love despite, and perhaps for, all their faults.

Fool Me Once by is Harlan Corbin 8th consecutive NYT best seller. Former special ops pilot Maya, sees an unbelievable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya's husband, Joe—whom she had seen brutally murdered two weeks earlier. To regain confidence in her own senses, Maya must discover and confront deep personal and family secrets.
*The Man with No Shadow by Joyce Carol Oates is a 30-year journal of mirrored self-discovery by a   neuroscientist and the attractive, charismatic E.H. who is unable to store new experiences or to retrieve some of the old.  She becomes famous for her experiments and inadvertently falls in love with him even though she must re-introduce herself each day. Oates deftly probes the significance of memory in meaning of love, and relationships while subtlety exploring academic mores, changing gender roles along scientific ethics and objectivity,

** Seven Brief Lesson on Physics by Carlo Rovelli is a lucid, insightful, almost poetic review of the scientists, from Einstein and Niels Bohr through Werner Heisenberg and Stephen Hawking who have shaped the science of Physics. The “concise and comprehensible writing makes sense of intricate notions such as general relativity, quantum mechanics, cosmology and thermodynamics” (The Scientific American) and “artfully hints at meanings beyond its immediate scope.” (NYTimes).

  Old Age: A Beginner’s Guile by Michael Kinsley is A collection of essays on aging, Parkinson's, a culture of celebrity, and the legacy of the Baby Boomer generation as they march toward a toward a door marked “Exit.” The book is clever, personal and insightful, but, for me, it didn’t quite achieve its potential—but then so few of us do.

*A Man Call Ove by Fredrik Backman is a Swedish novel that is winning raves in 25 countries as “the most charming book of the year.”    Ove was a curmudgeon when he was young and has always seen the world in black and white.  Without his Sonja, Ove decides to join her in the next world. But a young couple, their children and a bedraggled cat move in next door and upset his plans and world view.  Curmudgeons of all ages and their partners will find much hilarity and heartbreak to enjoy in this engaging story.

**All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage is a “lyrically written, frequently shocking and immensely moving . . .literary thriller.”  At its heart of this gothic insightful story about two families entwined in their own unhappiness, is a gruesome and unsolved murder.  “A rich and complex portrait of a psychopath, marriage and community.”

* The Widow by Fiona Barton “is a taut reconstruction of a crime and a ruthless examination of marriage” in the tradition of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train.  Jean Taylor has been the perfect wife, but after her husband is suspected of a terrible crime and dies before the crime is resolved, she become a different person. Barton peels back the lies spouses tell not just to each other, but to themselves in order to provide meaning and stability for their lives.

Big Fear by Andrew Case is “a hard-punching police procedural” that draws on his experience as an investigator and policy director of New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board. Case obviously knows his City and the Police Department as he weaves a tale of extensive police misconduct and the impact that one or two honest cops can have.

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