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New Year, New Book


The year begins with a Target Book Club selection—Defending Jacob by William Landay. It seems to be very popular with Target, Costco, and local bookstores. The fact that even the snooty, high-brow City Lights carries the book convinces me to pick it up. I’ve always had a weakness for these mystery/crime thrillers but too careful not to delve in those nickel-and-dime pedestrian ones.

I’m trying to put my finger on what makes Defending Jacob such a compulsive read. Another reason I picked it up is I want to compare it with We Need to Talk about Kevin. Landay clearly has a killer storytelling instinct. (So far) the pacing of this novel is near perfect. He drops just enough clues, teases with just enough foreshadowing to keep the reader completely engrossed at all times. This story isn’t about proving Jacob is innocent or guilty. At least I didn’t think so. For me this story was about fathers unconditional love for his son, no matter the outcome.

Starting January 6, I’ll be off to Asia—Thailand and Hong Kong—for a month. The blog will not be updated on a regular basis. I would check in where wi-fi is available and post book reviews during the trip. The reading list includes:
Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
Innocent by Scott Turow
Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes
Travel with Charley by John Steinbeck
In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner
The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont


8 Responses

  1. Have a great trip. You are in for a real treat with A Starboard Sea. Reminded me a little of A Separate Peace.

  2. Have a great trip!

  3. I think every book club in America has read Defending Jacob, because there is just so many issues at hand. It is a real nail biter down to the last page. I really want to read Travels with Charley. It is on my short list!

    • Really? So I’m late for the party again! I guess so because mine is a pocket paperback and that means he has sold millions of copies already. Every page is a nail biter yes!

  4. Enjoy Asia, sweet trip. You have some amazing reads on your list. Defending Jacob is a must read this year for me, nice choice to start the year with. I hadn’t thought about it with the Kevin book, interesting.

    • Thank you, Marce! I’m still packing, running errands, and getting my readings ready for the trip. I’m savoring every page of Defending Jacob, which I’ll finish just before leaving for Asia.

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