Posts tagged book review
Mistrial - book review

Good trial lawyers tell pretty good stories.

Mistrial by Mark Geragos and Pat Harris is a nonfiction book of pretty good short stories tied together with a more lofty agenda: addressing  the institutional erosion of the defense of reasonable doubt.

Here are the good things about the book:  It is written in a punchy attention grabbing style and the stories are of the sensational variety.   Both lawyers know what they're talking about.

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The Help

The first book I read on my new Kindle (thanks Laurie and Greg), is The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

Set in the 60s in racist Jackson Mississippi, it weaves the tale of a White woman writer named Skeeter.   Skeeter is a member of the White social clique, but begins to splinter off and away from her friends.  She gravitates towards the Black maids, in part because she does not know what happened to her own (her mother plays a hand in this).

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My sister Susan gave me this book last time I was in L.A.  The cover is a still from the movie of the same name starring the writer of the book - Steve Martin.  I almost never read a book that has a movie for its cover.  But Pooh (some nicknames are meant to last forever) tells me I'll like it.  Plus this is a novella - not a book - since it is only 130 pages long.

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The Girl Who Played With Fire

I am so enthralled with the first book that I immediately read the second.  Then forget to blog about it.  What sticks out in my mind months later...

This book is the revelation of the genesis of Salander.  She is such an odd, intriguing character.  I don't totally love her.  Her awkwardness and strangeness borders on the overly contrived.  I'm not sure if the author totally "gets" her.  I mean, what is the point of getting breast implants given her background of trauma and attitude of utter societal defiance. But I want to believe in her so I applaud her feistiness and fortitude.

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A Mercy

I read this book by Toni Morrison on the plane ride back and forth to Lewiston ID.   Set in the late 1600s it is told about and through the voices, thoughts and dreams of a farmer/trader, his wife, a young slave girl Florens, two other women slaves, and a free blacksmith.  Sometimes you lose track of who is narrating.  It is poetical, emotional and elemental.  Interestingly the two main male characters are perhaps in someways the most decent.  The story builds to a conclusion that encapsulates the core essence of the main characters  and and the circle that they have found themselves within.  It deserves an A-.

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Eat Pray Love

Ok, I resist reading this book because it just seems a bit too "touchy feely" even for me.  But there it is, beckoning to me on an airport store shelf.  Plus I love Julia Roberts and have every intention of seeing the  The author, Elizabeth Gilbert takes us thru the traumas of her self absorption.  From her neurotic yet intelligent viewpoint, she takes us on a journey of self enlightenment that sometimes jars my nerves so greatly that I skip a page .  She has such a restless tortured spirit for so much of the book that I feel myself becoming aggravated.  Still, she is so vulnerable in laying bare her angst, that I give her points for the sheer audacity of coming forward with it all.

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

This book got better and better so that by page 300 I couldn't wait to turn the page.    It played out in my mind like a movie - more focused on plot twists  than in depth character development.  There are two heroes - Blomkvist the polyanna reporter and Salander the social outcast rogue investigator.  I wasn't prepared for the sadism since I didn't read any reviews.  So be warned - it is gross in places. 

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The Vagrants

China in the 1970s was not a particularly joyous place.  At least not for the parents of Gu Shan who begin the day (and the novel) girding themselves for her execution.  I decide to read this book because it and the author (Yiyun Li) have been given good reviews.  There are substories within the main story - a cast of odd  characters including an unfortunate 12 year old girl who when in utero, was the  recipient of a brutal beating by Gu Shan (a political dissenter).

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