This may be the strangest whistle-blower case ever! No problem for John Grisham in plotting THE WHISTLER. Lawyers(of course), rogues, Indian Casinos, and Florida.
A most worthy heroine pitted against a female corrupt judge. The Florida Panhandle becomes the perfect setting for crime and corruption with a whistle-blower protected by tiers of wannabes in on the action of a big, big payout. That’s enough from me. No one tells this tale better than Grisham. Pair up with Grisham’s Camino Island ( see gordonsgoodreads.com) and you can cover half the state of Florida and be off with two great fun summer reads.
David Grann’s extraordinarily researched work of non-fiction, Killers of the Flower Moon, The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, details yet another contemptible and murderous abuse of Native Americas. The killing of many dozens of Osage Indians in Osage County, Oklahoma were conceived and carried out by the white establishment over a period of two murderous decades. The motive? A common theme of greed, in this case stealing from the Osage the mineral rights to the booming oil field discovered on their reservation in the early 1900s.
When J. Edgar Hoover was first named head of what was later to become the Federal Bureau of Investigation he prioritized the solving of the Osage Indian murders and turned to Texas Ranger Tom White to lead the investigation. The details of this tragedy are shocking. It was a conspiracy the specific purpose of which was to kill Osage and their descendants in order to steal the valuable mineral rights that had made the Osage among the wealthiest per capita people in America. Local law enforcement was major part of the conspiracy.
Grann spares no detail in uncovering the horror of this injustice. The accolades he has received from the literary community speak to the importance of this work. High praise from Jon Krakauer, Erik Larsen, John Grisham and S.C. Gwynne.
David Grann also authored The Lost City of Z and The Devil and Sherlock Holmes.
Again, John Grisham proves himself among the great storytellers in American literature. CAMINO ISLAND fits the bill for a wonderful summer read and Grisham leaves the lawyers behind and writes of authors, writers and the theft of the original F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts from their safekeeping at Princeton University. He is so compelling in his prose, of course, you believe it may have actually happened.
And so the story begins and the twists and turns roll through the pages. As is my custom, I will allow you to discover the conclusion. The good news is that the novel m,reads so well you will arrive at the finish in four sittings or less.
A refreshing good read, An enjoyable break from some heavier selections on your summer list.
Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldier and Blood and Thunder has impeccably researched and brilliantly written the saga of the ill-fated North Pole quest of the USS Jeannette. In The Kingdom of Ice is an adventure narrative that keeps the reader gripped to the pages throughout the journey. If you have read the story of Ernest Shackleton’s expedition with the ship Endurance you will be astounded by the incredible story of George De Long and his ship the Jeannette.
Within these pages, author Sides unfolds the parallel story of James Gordon Bennett Jr , owner of the New York Herald, adding historical dimension to this work of non-fiction. Publisher Bennett, always seeking ways to dramatically promote his newspaper’s circulation , stepped forward to underwrite the entire cost of De Long’s quest for the North Pole. Bennett was the same publisher who sent Stanley to find Livingstone, thought to be lost in the depths of Africa. That story, as would coverage of the fate of the Jeannette, became a sensation as it unfolded in the pages of the Herald.
I recommend this read with great enthusiasm. You will be unable to leave these pages until the fate of every man who sailed aboard the Jeannette is known.
Hillbilly Elegy, a memoir written by J.D. Vance , is a brisk read that has established itself on the New York Times Best Seller List. The book is a captivating personal story with a broad reach into class distinctions within American society. Vance extends the hillbilly narrative beyond the hollers of his Kentucky heritage.
I am reminded of two similar memoirs, Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle and Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life. I would not attempt a ranking here but the status of Wall’s book as a best seller in this genre speaks for itself. Time will tell if Hillbilly Elegy has similar staying power.
J.D Vance’s personal story is a narrative of a culture that few American’s know or understand. It’s impact is broadened because it is contemporary and opens a greater understanding of the polemic in which the country finds itself today.
Narrated with shocking honesty, Vance’s story took great courage to tell. It is deserving of your summer reading list.
J.D. Vance is a graduate of Yale Law School and is an Investment Banker in San Francisco.
Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train, has eclipsed that acclaimed novel with her latest, A Piece of the World. This marvelous work of historical fiction is a priority read adding illuminating context to the story behind America’s most famous painting , Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World.
I have been to the Olsen House in Cushing on that spit of land on the Maine Coast. However, now that I have read A Piece of the World, I will eagerly travel there again with a new perspective having met through this wonderful novel, Christina, the woman who Andrew Wyeth immortalized in his painting Christina’s World.
Once you read A Piece of the World you will be drawn into Wyeth’s painting as never before. When you visit the farmhouse in Maine the humanity that was once there will become very much among the living.
Also, visit the Wyeth family collection at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland.
Prescient is my favorite description of Mark Greaney, Jack Ryan/ Tom Clancy novels.
TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE , although written in 2016 , speaks to 2017 cyber theft, the ISIS crisis, Saudi hidden agendas and terrorism inside the United States. The book can only be described as another Greaney, Clancy page by page gripping thriller.
The entire Hendley Associates and White House cast is present and even if you have not read the majority of this series, TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE can work as a stand alone.
It is not summer yet but put this one on your reading list. It will not disappoint.
You can find overviews of the majority of the Tom Clancy series here at gordonsgoodreads.com.