Adults Read Too
BAD MONKEY (2013), by Carl HiaasenEveryone who has read Hiaasen's work knows that it is witty, irreverent, and often acerbic. Like many scientists, Hiaasen has trouble with all the thoughtless, dim-witted people who trash our plant. I LOVE HIS BOOKS! Okay, now you know I am not objective. In this novel, Andrew Yancy is currently on Health Inspector patrol (roach patrol), which he hates. He also has a great clue in his freezer, a severed arm, which he hopes will help him to prove that a murder took place, NOT a mere accident. That's the good guy, and there are many bad guys, as usual. Hiaasen's portrayal of south Florida and its many eccentricities is wickedly accurate, and of course, hugely enjoyable. I'm still pushing Sick Puppy (2005), but this book is running a close second. No One Else can create wacko characters and plot twists any better than Carl Hiaasen.
THE ANATOMY OF VIOLENCE: THE BIOLOGICAL ROOTS OF CRIME (2013), by Adrian RaineAfter three decades of study and research, Raine concludes that the brain is a "key culprit" in the origins of crime. He is working to establish the field of neurocriminology by using his knowledge as a neuroscientist to guide his research. The human brain harbors so much uncharted territory that we are naturally interested in what's going on in there - and just as naturally intrigued and appalled by human-on-human violence. Why do some people careen off into criminality? Even if we learn to understand what went wrong, so to speak, is there anything we could do to prevent totally this totally Uncivilized behavior? College students will be reading this, and I plan to also! (Early reviews (see amazon.com and NYT)) are excellent, with much praise for Raine's writing. This title will appear again on the lists for parents and teachers.
THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS (2012), by M.L. StedmanWhen Isabel is tending a grave marked by a small cross, she hears a baby cry. Her reactions lead readers to conclude that the cross marks the grave of a baby born to Isabel. She hears the cry again, just as her husband, the lightkeeper Tom, calls to her that a dinghy has washed ashore on their island. They hurry down to the beach, where they find a dead man and the crying baby, wrapped in a woman's sweater. Tom wants to report the entire finding, as a proper keeper of the light on their island, but Isabel wants to hold onto the baby. She is sure its mother is dead. Ah, what would one of us do? This novel is a first for its author and a memorable debut. Reading groups have pored over her book and reviewers have raved about it, so now it must be time for you to read it!
AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED (2013), by Khaled HosseiniI haven't yet read this book, but I've read Hosseini's two prior books set in Afghanistan and find him to be a disturbingly talented writer. I know much more about Afghanistan's history and culture than I did pre-Hosseini - enough to wish that everyone in our government would read these books! They are not just stories. They reveal the hearts and souls of an entire people. The U.S. has spent vast amounts of blood and treasure in this country, and we need to know why. To date, Hosseini's books have helped me to understand why. Hosseini is not without hope for his people, he's a gifted writer, and I feel sure he has crafted another totally memorable book. Read The Kite Runner (2004) and A Thousand Splendid Suns (2009).
THE SOUND OF A WILD SNAIL EATING (2010), by Elisabeth Tova BaileyThe writer of this tale is bedridden with a mysterious, debilitating ilness during the time of this memoir. Time passes all too slowly until a friend brings her a wild snail as a companion. (As I read this part I thought, oh goodness, get real.) Bailey supervises the move of her snail to a large aquarium with an authentic forest habitat, and proceeds to document the life of her snail. One still night, she heard him (her?) munching on a leaf. Okay, this is one of those "quiet" books, but is IS fascinating, and charming. Whoda thunk it?? When people ask what you're reading, you will love the looks on their faces when you give them this title.
- HELP, THANKS, WOW: THE THREE ESSENTIAL PRAYERS, by Anne Lamott
- SKULL DUGGERY, by Aaron Elkins.
- CAROL BURNETT-ONE MORE TIME-A MEMOIR
- Lee Brothers: Simple, Fresh, Southern: Knock-Out Dishes with Down Home Flavor, by Matt Lee and Ted Lee
- THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD, by Zora Neale Hurston
- Bonobo Handshake, A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo, by Vanessa Woods.
- MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND, by Helen Simonson.
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