Julia Buckley (author of Madeline Mann)
I Don't Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson
My forgotten book is a relatively recent bestseller(2002),
but one that people may have forgotten about by now,
and which is worth a re-read. It’s called I Don’t Know How She Does It,
by Allison Pearson. I first read a little blurb about this book in a
magazine and thought it sounded intriguing.It was about a woman (named Kate
Reddy) with the same old problem—wanting it all
—who finds that it’s very stressful to have it all. She is a mother,
a wife, a high-powered executive. She is still young and attractive,
but always stressed out and continually exhausted.She is very funny
and often tragic. And yes, this book will make you laugh and cry,
whether or not you’ve been in Kate’s situation. But almost all
women, I think, can relate to this heroine, as you will find
when you read this wonderful, wonderful book. Pearson precedes
Chapter 1 with an epigraph: the definition of the word “juggle.”
And that is what Kate does throughout her life, starting with the first
chapter, which finds Kate in her kitchen at almost two in the morning,
hitting mince pies with a rolling pin. You see, she has to contribute
to the refreshments for her daughter’s school carol concert.
She bought the pies at the store, but she wants them to appear homemade
so that the “good mothers” who don’t have jobs don’t look at her with
their special brand of superiority.
Kate has only just returned from a business trip to the States,
but she feels obligated to be a good mother and create the false
image of homemade pies. Pearson’s diction is beautiful and
heartbreaking. Kate looks outside, after her husband sleepily tells
her to come to bed, and sees that “a crescent moon is reclining
in its deck chair over
” and then reflects that it must be London
a Man in the Moon, because “if it were a Woman in the Moon,
she’d never sit down.”
And thus begin Kate’s exhausting yet wonderful
adventures, in a tale which is a tribute to real women everywhere.
M.J.Rose (author of The Reincarnationist)
Grammercy Park by Paula Cohen
Grammercy Park by Paula Cohen, was published seven years ago and I came
across it by accident via - if you liked X, you'll like Y -
and something about the cover or the title intrigued me enough to
read the description and then order the book and then read the book.
And loved it.
This is what the Amazon review says and I agree: "Smart, tender, witty and titillating libidinous, Cohen's debut fiction is a credit to the genre of the historical novel. Set in 1894 in the eponymous
Sean Chercover, (author of Big City, Bad Blood)
For years I’ve been pimping Derek Raymond to anyone who would
listen. His four-book Factory series, narrated by an unnamed
police detective, are about as bleak and beautiful as it gets.
Those willing to look at the dark side will be richly rewarded.
There is no hope for redemption here, but Raymond’s language is
poetic, and there is sometimes humor to be found in the darkness.
(finally) back in print, thanks to the good folks at Serpent’s Tail.
So you won’t have to search used bookstores and garage sales to find
a copy. Start at the beginning, with HE DIED WITH HIS EYES OPEN.
Then read (in order) THE DEVIL’S HOME ON LEAVE, HOW THE DEAD LIVE,
and I WAS DORA SUAREZ. This last one is so bleak you might want to
lock up the razor blades before reading it. Thanks, Sean.
Lee Lofland (author Police Procedure and Investigation, A Guide For Writers)
Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell
The first autopsy I ever attended as a police officer was performed by Dr. Marcello Fierro,
Patricia Cornwell, having worked in
Cornwell’s first book Postmortem is based on a real case that took place in
In Postmortem, Scarpetta takes the reader on a grisly journey through the historic streets of
Postmortem is a convoluted tale of a stealthy serial killer who committed his deeds under the cover of darkness with an unusual level of intelligence. This story was also, for many readers, a first glimpse at forensic science—the original CSI.
This early work was Cormwell in her shining moment. A great read
Robin Agnew (proprietor of Aunt Agatha's Books in Ann Arbor, MI)