My Reading Glasses

I have been a grandfather for a while now, and I remember well how the need for reading glasses arrived at about the same time as my oldest grandson. Never needed any other vision correction . . . . still don’t, but I have Sam’s Club readers stashed everywhere. They’re in my pickup truck, the office, many locations around the house and studio, and finally in my camera bag. As I talk with associates, this practice is not uncommon.

So it is with this introduction that I would like to create a page about some of the stellar books I have enjoyed, and continue to re-read or listen to from time to time.  You see, at my age I can safely hide my own Easter eggs.  A favorite book left alone for a few months can be revisited almost as if it was for the first time.

EXILE – Perhaps The Best Book I Have Ever Read

Exile by Richard North PatersonI admit that I am not a “demanding” reader – not a “pick it apart” critic. But I am an avid reader who enjoys the hunt for and the discovery of fiction treasure. Exile is such a novel. My first work by RN Patterson and I was blown away. His relentless and thorough research and interview process was evident. I not only was entertained and captivated, but also experienced the bonus of some great insight into US – Middle East relations and history. In the audio edition, the narration by Dennis Boutsikaris was brilliant and absent the forced drama sometimes found in these recordings.

This book had something for everybody . . . be you male or female, academic or Joe the plumber, combat tested or homemaker tested, religious or agnostic. I hated it to end!!!

Richard North Paterson and Dennis Boutsikaris have set the bar high! Read or listen to “Exile” but do NOT ignore it!

From the Publisher

David Wolfe is a successful American lawyer being primed for a run for Congress. But when the phone rings and he hears the voice of Hana Arif–the Palestinian woman with whom he had a secret affair in law school–he begins a completely unexpected journey.

The next day, the prime minister of Israel is assassinated by a suicide bomber while visiting San Francisco. Soon, Hana is accused of being the mastermind behind the murder. Now David faces an agonizing choice: Will he, a Jew, represent her?

The most challenging case of David’s career requires that he delve deep into the lives of Hana and her militant Palestinian husband, all the way back to Israel and the West Bank. There he uncovers the couple’s dangerous connections…culminating in an explosive trial where the stakes are Hana’s life–and the future of two peoples.

The Testament, by John Grisham

The Testament by John GrishamA story that mixes legal suspense with a remarkable adventure, word pictures rich and vivid, and characters whose lives are forever altered by the startling secret of The Testament.

I have read or listened to The Testament several times, and always come away with a new kernel of insight. However, I admit that at my age I can safely hide my own Easter Eggs, so it follows that I can enjoy re-reading my favorite books. For me, the thing that makes this novel unique and so engaging is the weaving together of the law, always blind, cold and unyielding, and things of a spiritual nature . . . . things which ring true to our need for fulfillment and redemption.

Billionaire Troy Phelan is a pitiful man trapped by his money and his neglect of family. He chooses a way out that to him is the only honorable path left in a tragic, self imposed wilderness. Enter the lawyers, lots of lawyers to make everything ok for the heirs of Mr. Phelan. One litigator stands out from the rest of the pack. Nate O’Riley is the poster child for courtroom flame out . . . twice divorced, IRS barking at his heels and a quadruple veteran of substance abuse rehab. Yet it is just that boatload of human frailties that immediately connects the reader to O’Riley . . . a connection that will last until book’s end and beyond!

Rachel Lane is a missionary-physician tending Indians somewhere in Brazil’s Pantanal. She is also the illegitimate daughter of Phelan, and the glue that holds this multi-faceted storyline together. I was totally drawn in by the fascinating accounts of life in the Pantanal, brought into such sharp focus by the author’s personal visits to the region. I feel inadequate in my attempt to interest potential readers in this outstanding book. Finally there is an epic narration in the audio edition by the late Frank Muller, who elevated the genre to near unreachable levels with his skills. I am so appreciative of Grisham’s The Testament, for it has touched me in profound ways. Just a novel? Hardly – you’ll see!

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