Archive for September, 2011

REAMDE by Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson’s REAMDE, a play on words for the ReadMe file that accompanies many computer programs, is above all a wild adventure/detective story set in the present day. As one would expect from this author, current technology features prominently. The cast of characters is international, offering windows into such diverse types as Russian gangsters, Chinese hackers, American entrepreneurs, Idaho survivalists and second amendment fanatics among many others.

September 30, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, China, Scifi, Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Northwest, y Award Winning Author

THE PRICE OF ESCAPE by David Unger

Samuel Berkow, at thirty-eight, stands at the crossroads: In 1938, life in Germany is fast becoming dangerous for Jews. At the urging of his concerned uncle, he agrees to leave Hamburg and emigrate to Guatemala, where his cousin is expected to help him settle. In THE PRICE OF ESCAPTE, David Unger explores his hero’s self-conscious and stumbling efforts to put his German existence out of his mind as he prepares for a new one that carries promise but is also full of uncertainty.

September 29, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Latin American/Caribbean, South America, World Lit

CHILD WONDER by Roy Jacobsen

Navigating that shaky bridge between childhood and adulthood is never easy, particularly in 1961 – a time when “men became boys and housewives women,” a year when Yuri Gargarin is poised to conquer space and when the world is on the cusp of change.

Into this moment of time, Norwegian author Roy Jacobsen shines a laser light on young Finn and his mother Gerd, who live in the projects of Oslo. Fate has not been kind to them: Gerd’s husband, a crane operator, divorced her and then died in an accident, leaving the family in a financially precarious position. To make ends meet, she works in a shoe store and runs an ad for a lodger for extra money.

September 28, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Coming-of-Age, Facing History, Family Matters, Norway, Translated, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

HAND ME DOWN WORLD by Lloyd Jones

Who is Ines, an illegal African migrant who embarks on a hazardous sea crossing to Italy and Germany in search of her stolen son? At first, she is a total enigma; we keep wishing there was, indeed, more of her to see. Slowly and painstakingly, her inner identity is revealed in this haunting new book by Lloyd Jones, author of the acclaimed MISTER PIP.

September 28, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Germany, italy, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

LOST MEMORY OF SKIN by Russell Banks

The main character of Banks’ new novel, a twenty-two-year-old registered sex offender in South Florida known only as “the Kid,” may initially repel readers. The Kid is recently out of jail and on ten-year probation in fictional Calusa County, and is required to wear a GPS for soliciting sex from an underage girl. Ironically, he is still a virgin.

The Kid cannot leave the county, but he also cannot reside within 2,500 feet from any place children would congregate. That leaves three options—the swamplands, the airport area, or the Causeway. He chooses the Causeway and meets other sex offenders, a seriously motley crew, who consciously isolate from each other as a group. He befriends one old man, the Rabbit, but sticks to his tent, his bicycle, and his alligator-size pet iguana, Iggy. Later, he procures a Bible.

September 27, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Drift-of-Life, Florida

YOU DESERVE NOTHING by Alexander Maksik

Part school story, part existentialism primer, YOU DESERVE NOTHING, is a deftly told and absorbing debut. Ostensibly, the story of a troubled teacher who goes too far, YOU DESERVE NOTHING is also a thoughtful examination of moral education, of the ways in which we learn to navigate the minefield between duty and freedom, courage and cowardice, the self and the persona.

September 26, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Character Driven, Contemporary, Debut Novel, Literary