Sunday, July 13, 2008

Summer Reading

I know that Jack is our resident book reviewer, but I thought I'd commend two books (that couldn't be more different) for your summer reading needs:

1. Kafka Comes To America: Fighting for Justice in the War On Terror. This book is written by Steven Wax, a Federal Public Defender charged with representing some of those who have been held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay. He also represented Brandon Mayfield, the Oregon lawyer who was falsely accused of participating in the Madrid train bombings in 2004. It's a terrific insider's account of the process of defending accused terrorists. One of the details in the books that particularly surprised me: lawyers were permitted to bring food to their clients in Gitmo.

2. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. This is the debut novel of David Wroblewski that has taken up residence on the bestsellers' list for the last several weeks. The bulk of reviews will tell you that the novel evokes Hamlet and White Fang. But I also sense (though I'm far from a literary critic) the influences of Catcher in the Rye and John Steinbeck. It's a terrific story, wonderfully told, that you won't be able to put down until you're through. The last week, I literally haven't been able to wait to finish up at the office to get back home to the book. It's a must-read for anyone who loves either dogs or good stories or both.

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