Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional by Isaac Fitzgerald (Bloomsbury). This guy, with his Auld Sod last name and Old Testament first name, is clearly well known to almost everybody but me: often on …
Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional by Isaac Fitzgerald (Bloomsbury). This guy, with his Auld Sod last name and Old Testament first name, is clearly well known to almost everybody but me: often on The Today Show, widely published essayist—and now, this almost-autobiography in essays opens on the bestseller list at #2, so a lot of people were watching for it. This is story telling, but it can serve as a sort of light but by no means shallow, regular-guy philosophy. It’s a pleasure to discover him, if you haven’t already, as you’ll see if you follow my recommendation: open this book and start reading; by the time you’ve reached the bottom of page 1, you’ll be comfortable. And also likely to punch anybody who tries to take it from you. (Fitzgerald, not here on p. 1, but as he grows up and drinks quite a bit, punches people and gets punched, not constantly but not exactly rarely. He isn’t boastful about that, but he does seem to have found it educational.)
The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier (Minotaur). The fifth of her Mercy Carr series; we’ve recommended them all, and do again, here.
Peril at the Exposition by Nev March (Minotaur). The really surprising second novel in this already rich historical mystery series, just four months after the first, and nothing we were expecting. Well, except terrific; her prizewinning first, Murder in Old Bombay, pretty much guaranteed that. Our Anglo-Indian detective is in America, now (we did know he was coming), but he soon disappears from this book almost entirely, and his British bride, who has Lady in front of her name, becomes not just the central character and first-person narrator, but the principal detective (and grows some, before our eyes). They travel, separately as it happens, from their new American home in Boston to Chicago—the exposition in the title is the great World’s Fair of that year; skullduggery is in process, there.
The Pornography Wars: The Past, Present and Future of America’s Obscene Obsession by Kelsy Burke (Bloomsbury). Not a book of porn, and not exactly a book decrying porn, either, but a big, seriously intelligent and calmly considered history of everybody else’s thought about it, including those who’ve practiced it in almost every possible way, and of some of its most serious opponents.
And then—and then. . . . Black Dog, the new Stone Barrington novel by Stuart Woods (the 62nd of those), from Putnam’s, of course, must be accompanied by this announcement: the great one-man novel factory, who has clearly enjoyed writing these books as much as we’ve enjoyed reading them, has come to the end of his golden-paved road: Stuart Woods died, at 84, on July 22. So there can’t be—can there? more than a few left in the production process for us to look forward to. Meantime, try his big, generous, good-humored autobiography An Extravagant Life, which came out just a couple of months ago.
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