Here at the Library, we are often asked to recommend “a good book.”
Suffice it to say, there are many definitions of “a good book.” Just Google “The best books of 2018” and you will marvel at the variety of those mentioned. Some books are considered good because they have won major awards. Some books we expect to be good because they are the latest by our favorite author. In this column, we will feature works by authors generally acknowledged for the quality of their work. Some will be more recent than others. We hope that you will find all of them interesting. This month, we are featuring the work of several lawyers who went from practicing law to writing legal thrillers. Non-fiction can often read like a novel and be just as spellbinding as a legal thriller. Nathaniel Philbrick fits that description.
Fiction: The lawyerEarle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970) wrote a series of legal thriller short stories featuring criminal defense lawyer Perry Mason. While the stories sold well, America’s appetite for legal thrillers was whetted by the television series based on those stories starring Raymond Burr as Perry Mason. The series ran from September, 1957, into May, 1966. The genre was born, and several lawyers quickly found an audience for their work. Richard North Patterson (1949-) published his first work “The Lasko Tangent in 1979.” Scott Turow’s “Presumed Innocent” followed in 1987. John Grisham (1955-) published “A Time to Kill” in 1989. Lisa Scottoline (1955-) published “Everywhere That Mary Went” in 1993. And, Meg Gardiner (1957-) published the first of the Evan Delaney mysteries in 2002. All these writers went on to write many more blockbuster legal thrillers, many of which became blockbuster movies.
Non-Fiction: If you have never read non-fiction, but you like American history, the work of Nathaniel Philbrick might be just for you, because Philbrick’s work really does read like a novel. He takes his subject and explores the “before, during and after” in such a way that the reader comes away with a very good understanding of the “why” of it. To mention just a few: Philbrick’s “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex,” published in 1999, won the National Book Award. Revenge of the Whale” followed in 2002, “ Mayflower” in 2006, “Why Read Moby Dick,” in 2011 and many more!.
ADULT FICTION: “Labyrinth,” Catherine Coulter
“A Dangerous Man,” Robert Crais
“Tidelands,” Philippa Gregory
“The Girl Who Lived Twice,” David Lagercrantz
“Someone We Know,” Shari Lapena
“Temptation’s Darling,” Johanna Lindsey
“Lady in the Lake,” Laura Lippman
“Killer Instinct,” James Patterson and Howard Roughan
“Old Bones,” Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
“Vendetta in Death,” J.D. Robb
“The Last Widow,” Karin Slaughter
“The Dark Side,” Danielle Steel
“The Turn of the Key,” Ruth Ware
“Life After Suicide: Finding Courage, Comfort and Community After Unthinkable Loss,” Jennifer Ashton MD
“Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know,” Malcom Gladwell
“Justice on Trial: The Kavanaugh Confirmation and the Future of the Supreme Court,” Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino
‘Unfreedom of the Press,” Mark R. Levin
“Alone at Dawn: Medal of Honor Recipient John Chapman and the Untold Story of the World’s Deadliest Special Operations Force,” Dan Schilling and Lori Chapman Longfritz
“Three Women,” Lisa Taddeo.
“What is NASA?” Sarah Fabiny
“Magic Tree House: To the Future, Ben Franklin!” Mary Pope Osborne
“Wings of Fire: The Poison Jungle,” Tui T. Sutherland
“Wilder Girls,” Rory Power
Children’s Picture Books:
“The King of Kindergarten,” Derrick Barnes
“Sorry, Grown-Ups, You Can’t Go to School!” Christina Geist
“Red: A Crayon’s Story,” Michael Hall
“Moon’s First Friends: One Giant Leap for Friendship,” Susanna Leonard Hill
“How to Catch a Dinosaur,” Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton