Saturday, December 29, 2007

Close out the year with four good books

Books now read in ’07: 121
Title: The Tenth Muse
Author: Judith Jones
Genre: Food
Date Completed: 12-22
Pages: 282

Books now read in ’07: 122
Title: Every Visible Thing
Author: Lisa Carey
Genre: Fiction
Date Completed: 12-24
Pages: 306

Books now read in ’07: 123
Title: George H.W. Bush
Author: Timothy Naftali
Genre: Biography
Date Completed: 12-25
Pages: 176

Books now read in ’07: 124
Title: Sacred
Author: Dennis Lehane
Genre: Mystery
Date Completed: 12-26
Pages: 288

Something for everyone in the final days of 2007. I recommend all four books.

Don’t expect Knopf editor Judith Jones to dish on the various cookbook authors she’s worked for through the years. She’s far too polite, too mannered, for an eat-and-tell book. Instead, this is an extended riff on the food and friends she’s enjoyed through the years.

Jones, of course, deserves credit for recognizing that Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking was a work of genius and that the timing was right for American cooks to embrace Child and her masterpiece.

The Tenth Muse comes complete with recipes. It’s a tasty, full-course meal.

Lisa Carey’s Every Visible Thing is a story of profound loss, and the universal desire for connection. The Furey family has been in a tailspin since the oldest son, Hugh, vanished. The parents are indifferent to their remaining children – Lena and Owen.

Lena sets out to try and find out more about Hugh’s disappearance, but, in the process, she ceases to attend school and becomes hooked up with a small-time drug dealer. Owen is wrestling with his sexual identity and his best friend’s betrayal.

Owen believes Hugh is dead, but he also believes his older brother is still part of their lives as a guardian angel.

Carey writes with great insight as she explores the rocky dynamics of this dysfunctional family.

George H.W. Bush is part of Times Books’ American President Series, which has proved uniformly superb. Naftali’s brief biography of “41” is no exception. For many of us this book reads more like current events than history. It is an even-handed and thoughtful examination of the presidency of the first George Bush.

Sacred is an early work by Dennis Lehane. It’s not on par with Mystic River, but few books are. It is an entertaining read with a couple of memorable characters. Anyone fond of the genre is certain to enjoy this.

No comments:

Post a Comment