KINDER THAN SOLITUDE by Yiyun Li

“Perhaps there is a line in everyone’s life that, once crossed, imparts a certain truth that one has not been able to see before, transforming solitude from a choice into the only possible line of existence.” For four friends, that line was crossed during their late teenage years, when one of them was poisoned, perhaps deliberately, perhaps accidentally, lingering in a physical limbo state until she finally dies years later. The young man, Boyang, remains in China; the two young women, Ruyu and Moran, move to the United States. Each ends up living in what the author describes as a “life-long quarantine against love and life.”

March 21, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: California, Character Driven, China, Contemporary, Literary, US Midwest, World Lit

THE GREAT NIGHT by Chris Adrian

In this phantasmagorical tale, Chris Adrian reshaped “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” into a mammoth, messy, tilted, erotic, meandering reimagining of Shakespeare’s comedy into an elaborate feast of faeries and monsters, Lilliputians and giants, demons and derelicts, heart-broken humans and a group of outspoken homeless people who are staging a musical reenactment of Soylent Green. And that is just a segment of the odd and atavistic population of characters that you will meet in this multiple narrative tale of loss, love and exile. As you enter San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park during this millennial summer solstice, the moon shines eerie and luminous over creatures large and small, and a thick wall of fog sluggishly spreads its fingers during the celebration known to the faerie kingdom as the “Great Night.”

April 26, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: California, Humorous, Speculative (Beyond Reality), Unique Narrative

LOCKED IN by Marcia Muller

LOCKED IN, Marcia Muller’s 27th novel starring Sharon McCone, the owner of the San Francisco detective agency McCone Investigations, is somewhat of a departure in this enjoyable series started over 30 years ago (Edwin of the Iron Shoes). In her latest adventure, Sharon is attacked while entering her office building late at night after her car breaks down. She is shot and seriously injured by the intruder and becomes “Locked-In” where she is so paralyzed that the only thing she can move are her eyes. Her friends and family work together and separately as they look into their various cases to see who could have been responsible for Sharon’s attack while waiting and hoping to see if Sharon’s condition improves.

December 17, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: California, Sleuths Series, y Award Winning Author

THE LAST NIGHTINGALE by Anthony Flacco

It is Wednesday, April 18, 1906, 5:12 A.M. Sergeant Randall Blackburn makes his way back to the City Hall Station after a long night’s beat patrolling San Francisco’s seamy waterfront district, the “Barbary Coast.” He is dissatisfied with his job and his life. Blackburn is permanently assigned to the dangerous district, a strip of “bottom-feeder saloons and dead-end flophouses.”

July 24, 2009 · Judi Clark · 2 Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: California, Facing History, Mystery/Suspense, Reading Guide

A PLAGUE OF SECRETS by John Lescroart

In John Lescroart’s A PLAGUE OF SECRETS, San Francisco-based criminal defense attorney Dismas Hardy once again takes center stage, along with his close friend, Abe Glitsky, the head of San Francisco’s Homicide Department, and Hardy’s investigator, Wyatt Hunt. Hardy’s latest client, thirty-two year old Maya Townshend, is a wealthy woman whose husband makes millions in the real estate business. She also owns Bay Beans West, a popular coffee shop. When the shop’s manager, Dylan Vogler, who sidelines as a marijuana dealer, is found shot dead, suspicion falls on Maya.

July 11, 2009 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: California, Sleuths Series