Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Guardians by John Grisham

<a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="The Guardians" src="" /></a><a href="">The Guardians</a> by <a href="">John Grisham</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Grisham is back.<br />In his best work since A Time to Kill. John Grisham introduces us to Cullen Post, Episcopal minister and attorney for Guardian Ministries, and Quincy Miller who is 22 years into a life sentence. The masterful narration by Michael Beck [sounding a lot like Tom Hanks' Forest Gump] moves us through a story of legal twists and turns, breathless waiting on the judicial system and mind-bending structural racism.<br /><br />In an author's note at the end of the book, Mr. Grisham cites two sources of inspiration: Centurian Ministries (Google it and send a check) and Texas inmate Joe Bryan whose case was chronicled in a two-part series by Pamela Colloff of ProPublica in the New York Times Magazine, May 23 and 31, 2018. "...finest example of investigative reporting...." -John Grisham
<a href="">View all my reviews</a>

Monday, June 1, 2020

Alone with the Stars by David R. Gillham, narrated by Hillary Huber and Emily Bauer

Alone with the Stars audiobook cover art

"In Tampa, Florida, 15-year-old Lizzie Friedlander spends her afternoons glued to her father’s radio, tapping into the enormity of a world she longs to travel. Lizzie can hardly believe her ears when she picks up a radio signal from a faraway source that sets her heart racing: 'Amelia Earhart calling SOS!' " -Audible

Exciting and endearing, this original by Audible seemed a good choice for middle school until the language deteriorated.

I loved the story, the portrayal of attitudes toward women, and the message in support of women. The encounter at the Coast Guard station might have been been just as effective without the profanity.  I am not prudish, but that scene ruined the story for me.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Defending Jacob by William Landay

It's unusual that "Jacob" is the only name that I recall as I write this review two days after finishing this story. Jacob is the character whose voice is heard least as the tale progresses.

His dad is the narrator, a respected prosecutor and a cynic. His mom is the stereotypical suburban mom. She says little until her bombshell disclosure of Jacob's behavior as a preschooler. Her doubts, dad's blind eye and Jacob's adolescent moody silence create the tension that left me unprepared for the surprise ending.


Friday, April 3, 2020

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

The Dutch HouseThe Dutch House by Ann Patchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tom Hanks narrates this story. I cannot imagine anyone [except maybe the Allstate commercial guy] lending voice to it in such a measured, almost detached way.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Know My Name: A Memoir By Chanel Miller (2019, Digital)   Know My Name by Chanel Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Chanel Miller takes readers inside her head and horror as she relates in first person eloquence the trauma of her rape by Brock Turner on the Stanford University campus. Details of the ripples that only those who have experienced a rape know are new to most readers. Miller shares the experience so well that a reader may be effortlessly absorbed into her anguish and her anger at the light sentence that Turner received, the biases she encountered and the loss of faith in the impartiality of judges.

Miller is a fighter. She speaks for all of the victims.

Recommendation: Read the text of this book. The audio, read by Miller, does not benefit from her slow pace and monotonous tone.

Highly recommended

View all my reviews