Happy June! Happy Father’s Day!
There are lots of great choices for Dad this month, and books are way more entertaining than a tie. Plus, when he is through reading his gift, you can borrow it and read it, too—talk about a win-win situation!
Freakonomics and Super-Freakonomics were two best-selling books by authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Their newest book is Think Like a Freak, a handbook on how to re-train your brain in order to solve problems more creatively. Using anecdotes and examples from their work as consultants, the authors present their rules for turning conventional wisdom upside-down. As in their earlier books, the writing style is straightforward and humorous with plenty of stories to keep the reader interested. There are fascinating facts on every page; this book provides excellent fodder for cocktail party conversations. Perfect for the omnivorous reader who is curious about everything.
Joel Dicker is a French author whose new book, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, was an international bestseller. Now available in the US, it is likely to attract the audience that enjoys books about the writing life. Our protagonist, Marcus Goldman, is a successful young author whose first book became a huge bestseller, but now he has to finish his second novel, and he is suffering from writer’s block. He heads up to New Hampshire to visit his college mentor, Harry Quebert, in the hopes that Harry will have a solution, bur Harry soon has troubles of his own. He is accused of murder, the 33-year old murder of a 15-year-old girl. Suddenly, Marcus is caught up in proving Harry’s innocence and investigating the long ago death of Nola Kellergan. The plot twists and turns keep you turning pages, and the identity of the murderer is up in the air until the very end of the book. Violence, jealousy, plagiarism, illicit love—The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair has it all. Book lovers, rejoice!
The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey is an interesting thriller. When we first meet Melanie, she is presented as a docile young girl, eager to attend class with her beloved teacher, Miss Justineau. Because she is strapped into a chair by attendants who are not gentle, the reader assumes she is in a juvenile detention facility or a poorly run home for disabled children. Gradually, the true nature of the institution is revealed—Melanie and her classmates are in a group home run by the military with a sophisticated research wing. But why? When disaster strikes the compound, Melanie, her teacher, two soldiers and the head scientist escape to try to find safety in the closest city. And soon it is obvious that the idea of safety is only an illusion. Who is Melanie? Where did she come from? And why are her companions so wary of her? The Girl with All the Gifts is a fast-moving, futuristic, dystopian novel. If you like tense, science-fiction flavored action, give M. R. Carey a try.
Susan Taylor has been in the book business since 1982.