Here are three books that look intriguing, with some snippets of reviews that caught my eye. I may consider these for future reviews.
Gods Without Men: A Novel, by Hari Kunzru
“Gods Without Men” takes its title from Balzac: “In the desert, you see, there is everything and nothing… It is God without men.” Kunzru uses this as an epigraph, but its influence, I think, is more profound. What Balzac is saying is that only in such a landscape can we strip away “this cherished fiction, the fiction of the essential comprehensibility of the world.” Only there can we confront, or even contemplate, the impassive face of God. “The face of a God,” declares Cy Bachman, talking about rhymes and echoes in the Neue Galerie. “What else would we be looking for?” Although, he acknowledges a moment later, “I think the real question is whether God believes in me.”
-David Ullin, Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2012 Review
‘Half-Blood Blues’, by Esi Edugyan
Though “Half-Blood Blues” is a jazz book, its greatest strength lies more in the rhythms of its conversations and Griffiths’ pitch-perfect voice than in any musical exchanges. A simple, one-word sentence that could be just an expletive — “Hell” — becomes so much more as Griffiths watches Nazis march into Paris under “that dancing black spider,” and his dazed account of a band of weary survivors coalescing around Hiero’s “Half-Blood Blues” is intoxicating enough to send you crate-digging through a record store’s back room for anything like it.
-Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times, March 4, 2010
Enemies: A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner
During the 1960s, the FBI illegally wiretapped and spied relentlessly on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.and other civil rights leaders, convinced they were under Moscow’sdirection, but ignored the predatory Ku Klux Klan, the most violent U.S. terrorist group of the century. Hoover balked at investigating the Mafia, but happily built voluminous files on the sex lives ofJohn F. Kennedy and others.
-Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2012
So many books, so little time!
I would appreciate comments on any books that YOU feel would be worth taking a look at.
I am currently reading The Ninth Ward, by Jewell Parker Rhodes, the story of a 12-year old girl who endures Hurricane Katrina from one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the Big Easy. It was originally released a year or so ago, and is soon to be released in paperback. A friend who has done relief work in the ninth ward recommended it.