Man Booker Prize 2013

Most booklovers have already taken a look at the newly announced long list for the prestigious award.  In case you haven’t, The Guardian has posted a great gallery of the nominees.

I have only read one of the books nominated at this point in time, and that is Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw.  I plan to post a review shortly, and suffice to say I will give it five hearts!  I am pushing this book for high school English teachers – it would make a great choice for the classroom!

Book Review: Crime of Privilege

Crime of PrivilegeThe Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The Gregorys are a political family from Massachusetts.  The family patriarch is a U.S. Senator.  Along with the power and privilege of this position they have a compound on Cape Cod, money, and good looks.  Although we learn that the family has stepped on many to get where they are, their public face presents people with a social conscience, a patriarch who is a powerful liberal, a legacy of tragedy and enemies galore.  Sound familiar?

The book opens as a young woman attending a party at the Gregory’s Palm Beach estate is allegedly raped by two of the senator’s nephews. The scandal is hushed up, and the woman later dies of a drug overdose. A few years later, George Becket, who attended the party in Palm Beach, is a prosecutor on Cape Cod and is contacted by the father of a teenager found murdered on the grounds of a country club adjacent to the Gregory’s Cape Cod compound. Her killer was never found, and the case had turned cold.  Bill Telford is intent on justice for his daughter, a local girl who worked at a store on the cape.

Becket begins to investigate Heidi Telford’s murder and to examine his own drunken recollections of the assault in Palm Beach. As the moral and political intrigue deepens, we see the cracks in a mediocre prosecutor who began life with a great deal of promise and terrific connections.  Cracks which began after that first encounter with the Gregorys many years earlier in Palm Beach.

Crime of Privilege would be my pick for a summer beach read without a doubt.  The novel is well-plotted and keeps you engaged, but is not so intricately plotted that you need to focus intently and can’t enjoy your day in the sun.  As I said, a perfect beach read!

Book Details:  Published by Ballantine Books (June 18, 2013), 432 pages, ISBN: 0345541537.

Book Review: NOS4A2


Rascal reads NOS4A2!
Rascal reads NOS4A2!

The Booklover’s Rating:

NOS4A2 is quite good. You can tell that Joe Hill has learned his craft at the hands of a master! Hill’s novel centers around three people who have special abilities and each uses these abilites for either good or evil. Victoria finds missing things, animals, or people. Maggie uses her gift to warn others and Mr. Manx uses his abilites to hurt children.

Victoria McQueen, the main character in Nos4A2 learns early in life that she can ride her bicycle through a covered bridge and find lost things or lost pets. It is through one of these finding missions that she meets Maggie, a punk-styled librarian, that warns her about Mr. Manx, a “very bad man with a very bad car.” Maggie also warns Vic that their respective gifts take a toll on them and they need to make sure that the gifts they possess are used judiciously.

Charlie Manx, the book’s 140-year-old villain, tries to lure children to a place with a particularly fun feature called the Sleigh House and where it is always Christmas. Manx’s sidekick is a really nasty character who wears a gas mask and speaks in sophmoric rhymes.  Ironically, the character is named “Bing.”

NOS4A2 is a hefty read at about 700 pages, but don’t let that stop you. It is a page turner. The story goes quickly and there is plenty of unrelenting action for those that enjoy the fantasy-horror genre. My favorite Stephen King book in recent years was Duma Key, and I couldn’t help but notice the similarites in the writing style. While I don’t read fantasy-horror often, this book WILL appeal to a wide audience, including those who venture to strange worlds rarely.

Book Details: Published by William Morrow (April 30, 2013), 704 pages, ISBN: 0062200577.