Lee Child, Charlie Gasparino and Other Hot Reads
This week: the latest Jack Reacher thriller, a delicious journey down the mighty Mississippi, Charlie Gasparino’s indictment of Washington and Wall Street, a surprising dystopian fiction, and a hilarious memoir of a prison librarian.
Worth Dying Forby Lee Child
Jack Reacher stumbles into an international criminal conspiracy in the small-town Midwest, in this latest thriller from master Lee Child.
In Lee Child’s 15th novel, Worth Dying For his recurring hero Jack Reacher finds a thicket of intrigue and danger in a rural Nebraska town. Nagged by the unsolved years-old disappearance of an 8-year-old girl, and by a local clan of strongmen that awaits a suspicious shipment, Reacher springs into action. Worth Dying For hits the shelves just five months after the bestselling author’s last installment in the Reacher series, 61 Hours. Publisher’s Weekly called the plot in Worth Dying For “tailor-made for his blend of morality and against-the-odds heroics.”
Wicked River: The Mississippi When it Last Ran Wild by Lee Sandlin
A gripping look back at the forgotten history of the river that made America.
Before it was dredged into a shipping canal, before Mark Twain wrote it into the fabric of American lore, the Mississippi River was a wild, perilous, vibrant place. Lee Sandlin’s Wicked River describes this oft-forgotten, prelapsarian world. In an age before the steamboat, craft were impelled downriver by commerce and adventure, meeting with danger in the form of floods, pirates, and plagues along the way. An award-winning essayist, Sandlin draws on firsthand accounts on the Mississippi to turn long-passed history into a suspenseful narrative. Sandlin’s first foray into book writing, the Denver Post called Wicked River, “a thoroughly engaging, entertaining and seductively educational history.”
Bought and Paid For: The Unholy Alliance Between Barack Obama and Wall Street by Charles Gasparino
An astonishing exposé that challenges the conventional wisdom about Wall Street’s relationship with Obama and the Democrats.
Democrats denounce Wall Street excesses, while Wall Street decries increased regulation; to most observers, the financial world and the Democrats seem to have, at best, an adversarial relationship. But Fox Business Network senior correspondent and Daily Beast columnist Charles Gasparino argues in Bought and Paid For, that the truth is quite the opposite. In a quick-paced narrative propelled by his terse, smart style, the author of The New York Times bestseller The Sellout takes us into the world where “Big Finance” and “Big Government” meet. The National Review called Bought and Paid For a "wake-up call to all Americans to strike back against the people and policies that are ruining our country.”
Chalcot Crescent, by Fay Weldon
A fresh, inspired take on dystopia from one of the U.K.’s most beloved novelists.
Fay Weldon’s Chalcot Crescent is a look ahead at one possible future of capitalism, but also a look back, a reflection on an imagined life. The main character, Frances, an 80-year-old has-been writer, is Weldon’s actual sister who died at birth. In prose brimming with wit and charming cynicism, Weldon has Frances writing, pondering on her 80 years, family dramas and life under the authoritarian National Unity Government—meanwhile, her grandson in the attic plots revolt. An essayist, playwright and novelist, Weldon has published 28 previous novels. The Daily Mail calls Chalcot Crescent, “Weldon back to her best,” and The Daily Telegraph says it is “a hybrid that is at once futuristic satire, tragedy and tongue-in-cheek memoir.”
Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg
A wry memoir from a young man on finding his place in the world running the library at a Boston prison.
Avi Steinberg had quit yeshiva, finished Harvard, and was living out a decidedly unromantic existence as a struggling freelance obituary writer. In search of a paycheck and a jumpstart to his floundering existence, he goes to work at the library of Boston prison. Running the Books is the funny, eclectic, and ultimately moving result. A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically, called Running the Books one “for everybody who loves books—felons and non-felons alike.”