LET’S TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME is, at its core, a love story. It’s a story of how a close connection with a friend can ground us and provide us with a life worth living. And it’s a story that any woman who has ever had a friend who is like a sister – I count myself among those fortunate women – will understand in a heartbeat.

August 24, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Non-fiction, Reading Guide, y Award Winning Author

VERY BAD MEN by Harry Dolan

David Loogan lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his girlfriend, Detective Elizabeth Waishkey and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Sarah. Loogan edits a mystery magazine, and he has made the mental leap from writing and critiquing stories about crime to tracking down villains in real life. In Harry Dolan’s latest novel, VERY BAD MEN, David tells us a story that will explain “the motives people have for killing one another.” As we will see, the reasons for taking someone’s life can vary from a matter of convenience to a thirst for revenge. Loogan, who is a witty first person narrator, gets embroiled in his latest adventure when someone drops an unsolicited manuscript at his office, in which the anonymous writer confesses to committing murder and even provides the name of his next victim.

August 7, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Sleuths Series, US Midwest


There is that question we asked one another in college: Who in history, if you could meet and talk to whomever you wished, would you select?… Reading Lipsky’s book, ALTHOUGH OF COURSE YOU END UP BEING YOURSELF, reads like a contemporary answer to the “who would you choose” hypothesis. Wallace is gone now, but what if you could just spend a few days with him, even a few hours? What was the man like, really? By his work, he will be remembered. But what of the man?

July 20, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Non-fiction

SEEDS by Richard Horan

There is a scene in the movie, The Social Network, where the Zuckerberg character sits down at his dorm room computer and plaintively declares, “I need an idea.” It is a sensation I suspect many can relate to: that building up of energy, the antsiness and the creative urge which begs to somehow be addressed. In the movie, of course, the idea is big, world-changing big. Facebook is born. Most of the time, surety is lacking and the energy petters out, the idea half-baked and forgotten. There is a sense of that in this book, the feeling of an author in search of an idea. And even the author doesn’t seem sure of its worth. Horan writes, early on: “My cockamamie scheme, to restate it loosely, was this: I would go around the country collecting tree seeds at the homes of famous peoples I admired, grow them into saplings, then buy a cheap parcel of land and plant them there.”

April 20, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Non-fiction, Unique Narrative


It’s been a long time since I’ve read such a light hearted crime novel. In fact Teresa Solana’s latest mystery A SHORT CUT TO PARADISEis so amusing, it is very likely to stretch its appeal beyond the usual crime aficionados. The novel, however, is not a cozy, by any means. Instead it’s a satirically funny inside look at the highly competitive world of prize-winning Catalan literature. Some of us may not automatically think of bitter, murderous rivalry between competing authors who seek a lucrative prize, but then again the Booker Prize manages to stir some controversy every year–along with the occasional highly entertaining “what-the-hell-were-they-thinking” comment from judges, authors and readers.

April 4, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Humorous, Mystery/Suspense, Sleuths Series, Spain, Translated, y Award Winning Author


In Jasper Fforde’s ONE OF OUR THURSDAYS IS MISSING, the fictional Thursday Next takes center stage. Although she and the real Thursday look alike, they differ in a number of ways. The real Thursday Next is a veteran agent of Jurisfiction, fiction’s “policing elite.” She’s tough and ruthless towards her enemies, and will do anything to protect the integrity of the BookWorld. Her fictional counterpart, on the other hand, is gentle and dignified. She would rather hug than fight.

March 8, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Humorous, Literary, Sleuths Series, Speculative (Beyond Reality), Unique Narrative