Archive for April, 2010

UNFORGIVABLE by Philippe Djian

UNFORGIVABLE is narrated by 60-year-old Francis, a famous author who’s beginning to look like a has-been. His latest novel is going nowhere and his much younger wife, real-estate agent Judith is growing increasingly distant. These troubling elements in Francis’s life are superceded, however, by the disappearance of his daughter Alice.

April 24, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, France, Translated, World Lit, y Award Winning Author


The quote above makes Americans seem certifiably insane. And perhaps this is how many Americans appeared to French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville during his now famous visit to America’s shores in the early nineteenth century. Though not wildly popular for many years, Tocqueville’s masterpiece DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA has become standard university reading and has been heralded as the greatest, most prophetic assessment of America ever produced. Scholars have poured over its pages, and multiple biographers have attempted to capture the man who penned its eloquent insightful lines. Most recently, award-winning author Peter Carey has created an imaginative historical fiction based on the life of Tocqueville and his fruitful time in the new nation.

April 23, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Facing History, Literary, National Book Award Finalist, Reading Guide, United States, y Award Winning Author

THE THIRD RAIL by Michael Harvey

The Windy City is the setting for Michael Harvey’s fast-paced thriller, THE THIRD RAIL. Private investigator Michael Kelly is part of a task force that includes a detective named Vince Rodriguez and a no-nonsense FBI agent, Katherine Lawson. Their goal is to find a sadistic sniper who shot several passengers riding Chicago’s public transit system.

April 22, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Sleuths Series, Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Midwest


Vish Puri, founder of the Most Private Investigators Ltd., and something of an Indian Hercule Poirot, supports his comfortable lifestyle with matrimonial background checks, but every once in a while something more worthy of his talents comes along. Puri is often compared to Sherlock Holmes for the acuity of his observation, but Puri disdains the comparison, preferring to cite 2,000 year-old Indian detecting principles – Holmes’ inspiration.

April 21, 2010 · Judi Clark · Comments Closed
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: India-Pakistan, Sleuths Series


It is evident that the talented Aryn Kyle still remembers what it is like to be a girl. In her superb debut, THE GOD OF ANIMALS, Kyle illuminated the life of twelve-year old Alice Winston as she grows up on a horse farm. Alice’s interactions with the people around her and the lessons she learned growing up were never forced, but came through everyday nuanced interactions—ones that emphasized the role of social class in a rapidly changing Colorado countryside.

Kyle’s latest work is a collection of short stories—Boys and Girls Like You and Me—and here too she sheds light on the many tribulations (and joys) of girlhood. What’s more she shows how the girls we read about, grow up to be the women we see around us.

April 20, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Coming-of-Age, Reading Guide, Short Stories, y Award Winning Author

PEN/O’HENRY PRIZE STORIES 2010 edited by Laura Furman

This year’s PEN/O’HENRY PRIZE STORIES2010 offers an eclectic collection of wonderful writing. The series is edited by Laura Furman and this year’s judges are Junot Diaz, Paula Fox and Yiyun Li. The stories range from narratives that describe a richness of blessings to the barrenness of empty lives. Some stories offer exhilaration that turns to bleakness, while in others the turn of events is the reverse. The stories take place around the globe and throughout the United States. What they have in common is that for a short while the reader is immersed in the intimacy of a narrative that takes us into other lives and places.

April 19, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Short Stories, y Award Winning Author