Suggested Reading for April, 2009
The Associate – John Grisham
PS 3557 .R5355 A95 2009
Kyle McAvoy grew up in his father’s small-town law office in York, Pennsylvania. He excelled in college, was elected editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal, and his future has limitless potential. But Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. The secret, though, falls into the hands of the wrong people, and Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn’t want—even though it’s a job most law students can only dream about.
The Cure Within – Anne Harrington
RC 49 .H333 2008
Is stress a deadly disease on the rise in modern society? Are good friends the best medicine? Can mind-body practices from the East help us become well? Many of us think so. Doctors and drugs are often not enough, we think; we must also seek the cure within. But why do so many of us believe this? From psychoanalysis to the placebo effect to meditation, this lively, sweeping history shows how our commitments to mind-body healing practices have deep cultural roots in stories: stories with histories that can be told.
Fleeced – Dick Morris & Eileen McGann
JK 2249 .M664 2008
Is it any wonder that Americans feel fleeced at every turn? As more and more critical problems develop that need national attention, the White House and Congress appear to be AWOL. Who’s calling the shots instead? Big business, big government, big labor, and big lobbyists. And their self-serving agendas are doing nothing to help the ever-increasing number of American people who are losing their homes, paying credit card interest rates higher than 25 percent, and finding their jobs increasingly outsourced to foreign countries.
A Demon of Our Own Design – Richard Bookstaber
HG 4530 .B66 2007
Drawing on his intimate knowledge of such infamous disasters as the 1987 Crash and the demise of Long-Term Capital Management, Bookstaber identifies the key areas that make markets vulnerable: liquidity that begets greater leverage; innovation that creates greater complexity; and a structure that demands a nonhuman level of rationality. The twofold solution he suggests—reducing complexity and breaking the tight coupling of transactions—goes against the prevailing winds of Wall Street, but will lead to a more robust and survivable market.
Physics of the Impossible – Michio Kaku
QC 75 .K18 2008
One hundred years ago, scientists would have said that lasers, televisions, and the atomic bomb were beyond the realm of physical possibility. In Physics of the Impossible, the renowned physicist Michio Kaku explores to what extent the technologies and devices of science fiction that are deemed equally impossible today might well become commonplace in the future. From teleportation to telekinesis, Kaku uses the world of science fiction to explore the fundamentals—and the limits—of the laws of physics as we know them today. He ranks the impossible technologies by category—Class I, II, and III—depending on when they might be achieved, within the next century, millennia, or perhaps never.
Night of Thunder – Stephen Hunter
PS 3558 .U494 N54 2008
Talk about a ride! Woe unto him who crosses Bob Lee Swagger, especially when his daughter’s life is at stake. Forced off the road and into a crash that leaves her in a coma, clinging to life, reporter Nikki Swagger had begun to peel back the onion of a Southern-fried conspiracy bubbling with all the angst, resentment, and dysfunction that Dixie gangsters can muster. An ancient, violent crime clan, a possibly corrupt law enforcement structure, gunmen of all stripes and shapes, and deranged evangelicals rear their ugly heads and will live to rue the day they targeted the wrong man’s daughter.
A Mercy – Toni Morrison
PS 3563 .O8749 M47 2008
In the 1680s the slave trade was still in its infancy. In the Americas, virulent religious and class divisions, prejudice and oppression were rife, providing the fertile soil in which slavery and race hatred were planted and took root. Jacob is an Anglo-Dutch trader and adventurer, with a small holding in the harsh north. Despite his distaste for dealing in “flesh,” he takes a small slave girl in part payment for a bad debt from a plantation owner in catholic Maryland. This is Florens, “with the hands of a slave and the feet of a Portuguese lady.” Florens looks for love, first from Lina, an older servant woman at her new master’s house, but later from a handsome blacksmith, an African, never enslaved.
Scarpetta – Patricia Cornwell
PS 3553 .O692 S26 2008
Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta takes up an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured patient on Bellevue hospital’s psychiatric prison ward. The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk—and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard.
Mounting Fears – Stuart Woods
PS 3573 .O642 M68 2009
President Will Lee is having a rough week. As he prepares for the upcoming election, the usually cool and collected President Lee has several crises going on at once, from loose nukes to a close political ally with skeletons in his closet. And as if that weren’t enough, Kate Rule Lee, his first lady and CIA director, is contending with another threat: the return of the dangerous and unusually cunning fugitive Teddy Fay.
The Ascent of Money – Niall Ferguson
HG 171 .F47 2008
The evolution of credit and debt was as important as any technological innovation in the rise of civilization, from ancient Babylon to the silver mines of Bolivia. Banks provided the material basis for the splendors of the Italian Renaissance while the bond market was the decisive factor in conflicts from the Seven Years’ War to the American Civil War. In The Ascent of Money, Niall Ferguson shows that finance is in fact the foundation of human progress. What’s more, he reveals financial history as the essential back-story behind all history.
Letter to My Daughter – Maya Angelou
PS 3551 .N464 Z468 2008
Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Told in her own inimitable style, this book transcends genres and categories: It’s part guidebook, part memoir, part poetry—and pure delight.
Very Valentine – Adriana Trigiani
PS 3570 .R459 V47 2009
Meet the Roncalli and Angelini families, a vibrant cast of colorful characters who navigate tricky family dynamics with hilarity and brio, from magical Manhattan to the picturesque hills of bella Italia. In this family saga, the Angelini Shoe Company, makers of exquisite wedding shoes since 1903, is one of the last family-owned businesses in Greenwich Village. The company is on the verge of financial collapse. It falls to thirty-three-year-old Valentine Roncalli, the talented and determined apprentice to her grandmother, the master artisan Tedora Angelini, to bring the family’s old-world craftsmanship into the twenty-first century and save the company from ruin.
Opportunity Time – Linwood Holton
F 231.3 .H65 A3 2008
When newly elected Virginia governor Linwood Holton escorted his children into an integrated Richmond public school in 1970, he delivered the coup-de-grace to the Byrd machine, a network of conservative Democrats who had flouted Brown vs. Board of Education through their policy of “Massive Resistance” for more than a decade. Opportunity Time is a disarmingly candid memoir that offers a behind-the-scenes account of his private and public life at a critical juncture in the political history of Virginia and the nation.