This self-styled confession lets you know from the get go that the narrator kills an innocent bystander just to prove to himself that he can do the deed, in preparation for the murder he REALLY wants to commit: that of his life-long arch enemy. The remainder of the book fills in the background and then segues into the future to complete the tale. The story takes place in mid-19th century England and includes a dazzling array of characters, including whores, spies, lords, ladies, servants,thieves, bibliophiles, and numerous rascals and no-accounts. It is a story of love unfulfilled (you find that out in the beginning too) that will keep you guessing what happens next.
O’Reilly, controversial political pundit, and Dugard have written a riveting account of the two weeks leading up to the Lincoln assassination and Booth’s subsequent capture. Although we all know the outcome, this is a real nail biter, making the all too familiar story come to vibrant life.
At the dawn of the 20th century there existed the most famous and notorious brothel in America. Anyone who has read Erik Larson’s “Devil in the White City” or has affection for the city of Chicago will thoroughly enjoy this book. It is a concise account of the Everleigh Club and Chicago’s Levee district and the Reformers who sought to bring down prostitution by preaching upon soap boxes in the streets of the Levee. Parades and mass demonstrations were often held resulting in violence and rioting to the point that the Federal government stepped in finally closing the door on vice permanently with the enactment of the Mann Act. I read this book just before traveling to Chicago this summer and, as a fan of architecture, was amazed at how well preserved those neighborhood building are with new developments steadily going up all around this thriving metropolis.
This is a hard-boiled detective fiction that combines elements of crime, horror and the supernatural. It’s about growing up and growing old, psychic abilities and long-lasting friendships. The protagonist is a college student and an aspiring writer who gets away from New England following a heart break, and takes a job at a seaside amusement park “Joyland” in 1970s North Carolina. There he enters a new world that completely alters his life forever. The beginning of the book reads like a memoir and later develops into a murder mystery. It’s a good mash up of pulp crime dealing with different emotions, and it engrosses the reader from beginning to the end.
In this debut - and final - novel, the author explores a rocky marriage between a part-time psycho therapist and her entrepreneur building-renovator husband. As a licensed therapist she feels pretty sane and together, and her philandering husband seems basically worthless. We learn early on that she decides to do something very bad, and the story fleshes that out for us. Will she get away with it?
This is contemporary humor in the style of Erma Bombeck. Lisa explores the intricacies and follies of a mom/grown daughter relationshp. She and her daughter Francesca offer their witty ramblings and downright hysterical observations of this special relationship. Topics range from bunion surgery to movies to food to men. A laugh out loud book. Reviewed by Marsh.
A memoir by the author of Empire Falls. Although I've read a number of Russo's books, I wasn't particularly interested in this author's autobiography. Thankfully that's not what the book is - instead it is a portrait of his troubled mother, though he doesn't give his mother's troubles a name until the end - see if you can identify it before he does. The book is also a fascinating portrait of a decaying mill town and the leather glove industry that shaped it. As always, Russo's writing is the biggest star of the book.
Francophiles and American patriots alike will delight in learning just how much French cuisine and French culture in general has influenced lifestyles in the states and the world over. Jefferson discovered the simple pleasures of food and wine while abroad in France and became America’s first founding father foodie (now that’s a mouthful) and what the French call “Bon Vivant”. To ensure that his home at Monticello would always have fine meals prepared in the arts of French gastronomy he took his personal chef, James Hemings to Paris so that he could study under the finest French chefs and culinary artists. While historians may be slightly disappointed in the book’s lack of details concerning James and the Hemings family, it is first and foremost a book about food and the evolution of American dietary history.