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Defending Jacob

by William Landay. You’ll also find this on my Favorites page. Read it long ago and it was a riveting account via criminal records of a family struggling with a troubled and dangerous son. A must read. Apple TV is now producing a series starring Michelle Dockery based on the book.

A Metaphor for New York Now

Gabrielle Hamilton’s poignant piece in the NYTimes is one of the best reads in months. An acclaimed James Beard-winning restaurateur for 20 years, for her East Village restaurant Prune, Hamilton is also a great writer. A New York Restaurant Story   Hamilton’s book Blood, Bones & Butter a Book-Treks favorite.

The Mirror & The Light

by Hilary Mantel. The last of Mantel’s trilogy about Thomas Cromwell. Wolf Hall, the first was the best. I’d even suggest reading it again or for the first time before reading this last. Bring Up the Bodies is the second and a disappointment, not as tightly written or compelling as Wolf Hall. They both won Booker Prize, but I didn’t agree with the second. Anyway. This one is a sturdy dense long story. It captivates at times yet meanders at others, delving into the inner thoughts and complexities of the… Read more The Mirror & The Light

Perfect Book for These Times

A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles. The perfect read for these days of sheltering in place. Although this gentleman had the run of a hotel in Moscow, he couldn’t leave it. The circumstances of today’s coronavirus seclusion. A lovely sweet and non-claustrophobic stay is filled with comings and goings, historical richness and tender relationships. It provides expanded horizons and hope from the inside out. Worth another look.

A Long Petal of the Sea

by Isabel Allende. Have read many of Allende’s novels. This one seemed closer to her own story. As it turns out, it was. Intimate raw scenes with familial context during the Spanish Civil War. A voyage from Europe to Chile on the Winnipeg spear-headed by poet Pablo Neruda well-drawn. The love stories less compelling. However, learned a lot more than I’d known about the politics and hardships of the Spanish Civil War and later Chile during Allende and Pinochet. For that historical value a very good read. Wish Neruda’s poems… Read more A Long Petal of the Sea

Purple Hibiscus

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. NYC Book Club pick. Although first published in 2003, it still holds up as a universal coming-of-age (bildungsroman) and glimpse into daily and political life at the time in Nigeria. Kambili is a fifteen year old Nigerian girl from a wealthy family. Her father is devoutly Catholic and gives generously to the Church and community where they live and worship in the city. They also have a country home where they spend Christmas and where Eugene, the father grew up. He rejects his own father as… Read more Purple Hibiscus