Archive for the ‘2009 Favorites’ Category


Sugawara Akitada, an eleventh-century Japanese senior secretary in the Ministry of Justice, is determined to prove the innocence of two men: one, his current retainer who has been arrested for the murder of a blind woman, and two, a convict who died in exile. As he bails out Togo, his accused employee, and searches for deceased convict Haseo’s family, Akitada also contends with a contemptuous superior, Minister Sogo, and the persistent rumors of a small pox epidemic in the city.

January 10, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Facing History, Japan, Mystery/Suspense


Therapists make fascinating fictional characters–just consider the raw material. They listen to the secrets of others all day long, but where do those secrets go? It’s assumed that therapists are rational, ethical, well-balanced individuals. But what if they’re not? This brings me to THE SEMANTICS OF MURDER, the first novel from Irish author Aifric Campbell, recently published by Serpent’s Tail Press.

January 7, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, California, Debut Novel, Facing History, Mystery/Suspense, United Kingdom


Title IX bans discrimination in schools based on gender—thus ensuring equal opportunities for girls and boys in academics and athletics. When ex-congresswoman Pat Schroeder, one of the driving forces behind Title IX once visited a high school, a coach asked his team of boys to show her what they collectively thought of the legislation—they turned their backs to Schroeder and mooned her.This shocking incident is but one of many Gail Collins uses to superb effect in her illuminating book, WHEN EVERYTHING CHANGED.

January 3, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Class - Race - Gender, Non-fiction

SUNNYSIDE by Glen David Gold

In the first chapter of Gold’s ebullient, complex, over-the-top Charlie Chaplin novel, Chaplin dies in a rowboat accident off the stormy, rocky northern California coast in 1916. At the same moment he also causes a riot in a small town in East Texas and is spotted engaging in various acts of mayhem around the country.

January 2, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Facing History, Literary, Unique Narrative

SHADES OF GREY by Jasper Fforde

Reading SHADES OF GREY requires a shift in perspective. In this fantasy world of Jasper Fforde’s one’s place in society is based on their perception of color and which colors they can perceive. People wear a small badge or “spot” to indicate their hue perceptivity.

January 1, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Humorous, Speculative (Beyond Reality), Unique Narrative

SPOONER by Pete Dexter

Pete Dexter’s latest novel tells the tale of Warren “Spooner” Whitlow, from the moment of his calamitous birth, when he arrives “feet first and the color of eggplant, an umbilical cord looped around his neck, like a little man dropped through a gallows on the way to the world” all the way through until his casually accidental death, and all the things that happen in-between. By the time Spooner slips away from life, he has “accumulated titanium rods running down the inside of both femurs, ceramic hips, a small metal plate under his scalp, fourteen implanted teeth, three screws in his bad ankle, one screw in his good ankle, and Jesus only knew how many screws holding his elbow in place.”

December 31, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: 2009 Favorites, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Drift-of-Life, Family Matters, Humorous, Literary