I've had two long vacations in the last six months had a chance to do some reading, finally! Here's a quick look at the last few books I've read:
The First Excellence by Donna Carrick Despite the fact that this blog post has three fiction books on it, I rarely read fiction. The First Excellence is the first mystery I've read in quite a while and I really enjoyed it. The story has many layers, tied together very smoothly. I actually wrote a review of this one on Amazon.com. A wonderfully mysterious escape.
The Professional by Robert B. Parker Hmm... I guess this will be the 2nd last Spenser book :( I wonder how complete this (and the yet to be read Painted Ladies) were at the time of Parker's death? I love Spenser and have read every single one of them. This wasn't one of the best, but I like getting together with old friends.
This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitan Interesting, clever, edifying, down to earth. I learned a lot from this one and enjoyed the way Levitan explained things. He gave great examples to illustrate his points and spoke in plain, simple language. The subject matter was at times a tad out of my league, but that didn't seem to diminish the enjoyment index.
One of Our Thursdays is Missing by Jasper Fforde I love Fforde and the Thursday Next series. Love them, love them, love them! I also love the Nursery Crimes books and am anxiously awaiting the next one. Jasper Fforde is awesome! He is one of a handful of fiction authors that I turn to without question, without hesitation. Funny, clever, many oblique or inside jokes, brilliant literary references and send ups. Keep 'em coming!
Dead Politician Society by Robin Spano
What can I say? I've met Robin several times and our professional lives have overlapped here and there. I knew before reading this that I would enjoy it - and I did, very much so. Spano's sleuth is Clare Vengel and Clare rocks, the mystery is solid, the dialogue is snappy. I can't wait to see what she gets up to next in her coming release Death Plays Poker (Fall 2011).
Slavery By Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon
This book will wake you up and make you angry. Blackmon tells the story of how blacks were treated in the years (roughly four decades) after the end of the Civil War. The research and sources are solid, the personal strories are poignant. Blackmon aims a magnifying glass at topics that make people uncomfortable but that shouldn't be ignored. Should be required reading for any course on American History.