Some Rise By Sin by Philip Caputo (Crime/Suspense Novel, 2017). This engrossing, if grim contemporary novel is set in and around an isolated desert village in the foothills of Mexico’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. Like so much of the country, San Patricio is being torn apart by a brutal drug war of a savagery on a scale that dwarfs even the […]Read more "REVIEWED: Some Rise By Sin"
The American Spirit by David McCullough (Nonfiction/Collected Speeches, 2017). The respected winner of a fistful of major history awards, David McCullough is also something of a familiar voice from his many appearances on Public television. He’s in demand as a commemorative speaker, as well, and this relatively brief (173-page) collection of speeches he has delivered over the years […]Read more "REVIEWED: The American Spirit"
Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter by Matthew Dennison (Biography, 2017). In this book, Matthew Dennison, a prize-winning author (his Vita Sackville-West bio was named a “Book of the Year” by the London Times), has produced a winning and moving portrait of another revered literary figure. Assisted by telling photographs, quoting […]Read more "REVIEWED: Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter"
Chaos by Patricia Cornwell. (Crime/Suspense Novel, 2016). Patricia Cornwell has been writing her books about crime-solving medical examiner Kay Scarpetta and those connected to her for quite a while. This recent entry features the expected levels of suspense blended as with effective human drama. It introduces an inventive new method of murderous mayhem that at first […]Read more "REVIEWED: Chaos"
The Woman on the Stairs by Bernard Schlink. (Contemporary Novel, 2014/2016/2017). This occasionally somewhat rambling, yet ultimately engrossing study of four people dealing with decades-spanning obsessions, rampant possessiveness and unresolved personal regrets was first published in the original German in 2014. Translated by Joyce Hackett and Bradley Schmid, it appeared in England in 2016. But the […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Woman on the Stairs"
Are You Anybody? by Jeffrey Tambor. (Memoir, 2017). Jeffrey Tambor has built an enviable record of success as an actor. He’s won Emmy and Golden Globe Awards, despite the deep-seated insecurities that he details in this revealing and personal memoir. Of course insecure actors are anything but a rarity. That he attributes his insecurity largely to […]Read more "REVIEWED: Are You Anybody?: A Memoir"
Crusader’s Cross by James Lee Burke. (Crime/Mystery Novel, 2005). People who’ve read my reviews know I like a wide variety of genres. And of course I have my favored authors. Many of these are very prolific, and that is certainly the case with James Lee Burke. I’m hardly alone in my enthusiasm for Burke, as he’s […]Read more "REVIEWED: Crusader’s Cross"