Saturday, September 09, 2006

Your librarian is reading..............

Sophie Kinsella
Can You Keep A Secret?
After the worst day of her life, Emma Corrigan spills her darkest secrets to a stranger on an airplane, but when he re-emerges in her life, she will have to face the things she said to him, and her growing feelings for him. If you're a fan of Kinsella's writing (or Chick Lit in general), this is definitely a must-read. It was a hit with our book club!

Tracy Kidder
Mountains Beyond Mountains

This is the biography of Dr. Philip Farmer, an amazing man who determined that the cost of treatment for diseases like tuberculosis and aids can’t be allowed to govern who receives that treatment. Through his work in Haiti, Peru, the Soviet Union and Africa he has changed how the poor were treated by the World Health Organization and other large agencies. He is a very interesting man, driven, insightful, funny and “crazy”. The book was well written, very interesting to read and never dry.

Philip Roth
The unnamed hero here is a thrice-married adman, a father and a philanderer, a 70-something who spends his last days lamenting his lost prowess (physical and sexual), envying his healthy and beloved older brother, and refusing to apologize for his many years of bad behavior, although he palpably regrets them. Everyman questions how we evaluate our life and the people we have loved. How do we reconcile ourself with the life that we have lived and the life we wanted to live? A great read!!

True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa
by Michael Finkel
In 2001, Finkel fabricated portions of an article he wrote for the New York Times Magazine. Caught and fired, he retreated to his Montana home, only to learn that a recently arrested suspected mass murderer had adopted his identity while on the run in Mexico. In this memoir, Finkel recounts his subsequent relationship with the accused, Christian Longo and recreates Longo's crimes and cover ups as well as his own. The narrative consists of three interwoven strands. One details the decision by Finkel, under severe pressure, to lie in the Times article - ironic since the piece aimed to reveal falsehoods about rampant slavery in Africa's chocolate trade - and explores the personal consequences (loss of credibility, ensuing despair) of that decision. The second, longer strand traces Longo's life, marked by incessant lying and petty cheating, and the events leading up to the slayings of his wife and children. The third narrative strand covers Finkel's increasingly involved ties to Longo, as the two share confidences via meetings, phone calls and hundreds of pages of letters, leading up to Longo's trial. There are no excuses offered, only explanations, and there's no fuzzy boundary between truth and deceit: a lie is a lie.

Julian Barnes
Arthur & George
A fictionalized account of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's involvement in George Edalji's case to clear his name after being falsely accused of killing livestock. Truth is stranger than fiction and in this book we get the truth mixed in with the author's imaginings of Doyle and Edalji's thoughts. You get a wonderful sense of Doyle, his upbringing, early career, dreams of being a chivalrous gentleman, the love for a woman not his wife, and the final acceptance that his creation (Holmes) would overshadow his own extremely interesting life. Plus we meet Edalji, who is the vicar's son that doesn't fit in with his community, wants to be a solicitor, and is a model Englishman who happens to be half Indian. Edalji can't believe prejudice has anything to do with his persecution. Great.

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