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The Early Word: New Books for the Week of June 24, 2007

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A wide-ranging array of offerings in love and war and all that is fair. Or not. I'm not a stickler for details…

FICTION:

New England White by Stephen L. Carter

Apparently Yale Law Professor Stephen L. Carter is not quite ready to return to nonfiction, as evidenced by this rich and witty novel that is by turns murder mystery, family drama, political intrigue, police procedural, and all dazzling delight and incisive insight into the lives of the black upper crust. When African-American movers and shakers Lemaster and Julia Carlyle are driving home one wintry night, they encounter the dead body of Kellen Zant, a brilliant economist and former lover of Julia. The discovery and subsequent and apparent cover-up has implications not only for the presidential election and the Carlyle marriage, but also for the sanity of their precocious but troubled daughter, Vanessa while, in an amazingly convoluted but fascinating series of events, nearly everything can be linked to a murder of a local teenage girl 20 years ago.

“Maybe it was better not to care,” Julia ponders about her past, and about her history of abuse at the hands of Kellen, who had been trying frantically to communicate with her right before his death cut short any full conveyance. “He had no right to drag her back into his life, even by dying and leaving a puzzle behind: he had wounded her, nearly killed her, and he had no claim on her.” But of course, that's not the way matters end…

The Sharing Knife Volume Two: Legacy by Lois McMaster Bujold

Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot

Drop Dead Beautiful by Jackie Collins

The Double Agents by W. E. B. Griffin, William E. Butterworth, William E. Butterworth IV

Spells and Sleeping Bags by Sarah Mlynowski

Peony in Love by Lisa See

Bungalow 2 by Danielle Steele

NONFICTION:

Dog Days: Dispatches from Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz

"Trying to assemble a sort-of-heavenly city in West Hebron is not a casual thing," says Jon Katz, who has written 16 books, and who cohosts Dog Talk on public radio, freelances for a variety of newspapers and magazines, and operates the Bedlam Farm in upstate New York – sometimes with his wife, but always with dogs and chickens and sheep and even a few donkeys and cows. At almost 300 pages, readers will find plenty to paw over, soon leaving Dog Days dog-eared.

The Comic World of the Marx Brothers' Movies: "Anything Further Father?" by Maurice Charney

House of Happy Endings: A Memoir by Leslie Garis

A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency by Glenn Greenwald

Coincidentally: Unserious Reflections on Trivial Connections by George Rutler

Prime: Adventures and Advice on Sex, Love, and the Sensual Years by Pepper Schwartz

Save Me from Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, and Lived to Tell My Story by Brian Welch

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