Home / The Early Word: New Books for the Week of March 9, 2009

The Early Word: New Books for the Week of March 9, 2009

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Did you remember to change your clocks? That means you have one hour less to get out, buy new books, and start reading. So get crackin'…


Life Sentences
By Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman, who has won every major mystery award from the Anthony to the Agatha, offers a standalone departure from her popular series of mysteries centered around private investigator Tess Monoghan, and explores the remarkable power and fragility of memories. In Life Sentences Cassandra Fallows, the author of two successful memoirs and a modestly received novel, is intent on nonfiction again as her memory is jogged by a reminder of her classmate, Calliope Jenkins, who served seven years in prison rather than reveal the whereabouts of her infant son. In researching her story, Fallows tracks down former classmates, who are black, to compare memories. In the course of her actions, she stumbles upon the gap — often racial — that exists between her memories of events and theirs. Life Sentences promises to be a compelling novel of self-awareness reawakened.

Hunted (House of Night Series #5)
By P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast

Corsair (Oregon Files Series #6)
By Clive Cussler, Jack Du Brul

Fault Line: A Novel
By Barry Eisler

The Birthday Present
By Barbara Vine

Dead Silence (Doc Ford Series #16)
By Randy Wayne White


Cheever: A Life
By Blake Bailey

“I was born into no true class,” John Cheever mused in his journal, “and it was my decision, early in life, to insinuate myself into the middle class, like a spy, so that I would have an advantageous position of attack, but I seem now and then to have forgotten my mission and to have taken my disguises too seriously.”

As portrayed by Blake Bailey in this definitive biography, Cheever, one of literature’s modern masters (1912-1982) was an ever-changing personality, a walking contradiction always in conflict with himself, a man who concealed his anxieties behind the mask of an amiable Westchester squire. He was a high school dropout who published his first story at 18 and earned some of the country's most prestigious literary awards; a pioneer of suburban realist fiction who persistently pushed the boundaries of realism; an alcoholic who recovered to write the celebrated novel Falconer; a bisexual who could never accept the fact. Cheever could be depressed, discourteous, pretentious, self-centered, jealous, and embarrassing. And if this "Ovid in Ossining" could not quite hold back his demons enough to fully enjoy his work, the quality and luminosity of his writing still shined through. Bailey, who had access to letters, journals, and other writings by the author — as well as cooperation from Cheever's wife, children, and close friends and colleagues — pauses throughout Cheever: A Life to examine a story or a novel, but in a seamless fashion that allow the reader to get back on track to a compelling biography.

My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up
By Russell Brand

Joker One: A Marine Platoon's Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood
By Donovan Campbell

Got the Life: My Journey of Addiction, Faith, Recovery, and Korn
By Fieldy, Fieldy's Dream

Inside the Revolution: How the Followers of Jihad, Jefferson and Jesus Are Battling to Dominate the Middle East and Transform the World
By Joel C. Rosenberg

Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World
By Michael E. Zimmerman, Sean Esbjorn-Hargens, Foreword by Marc Bekoff

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About Gordon Hauptfleisch