Michael Connelly, The Brass Verdict. Attorney Micky Haller was introduced to Connelly fans in The Lincoln Lawyer, which also became a movie. In this second book in the series, Haller defends an important murder suspect and also contends with detective Harry Bosch, from Connelly’s other detective series. It works — one of the best legal thrillers I have ever read.
Connie Willis, Passage. Is this science fiction or fantasy fiction with a big dollop of science? Two dedicated researchers try to understand the basis for near death experiences. Patients who begin to die but are revived report a dark passage and a journey toward a bright light. Is it a real place or a hallucination?
Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels. The manuscripts discovered at Nag Hammadi embody a different path early Christianity might have taken, one in which the true Christian is the person with self knowledge and direct experience of the divine, rather than the faithful adherent of the Church.
David Lodge, Thinks... We think, therefore we are. Or perhaps we are, depending on the nature of consciousness. This entertaining novel takes the question of the inner life of the mind seriously. It is studied by (mostly male) scientists and contemplated by one somewhat-displaced (female) novelist.
Michael Sheldon, Graham Greene: The Enemy Within. The enemy within Greene is Greene himself. Biographer Sheldon finds this enemy hiding in plain sight in Greene’s many successful fictions.
Ruth Suckow, The John Wood Case. In her last novel, Iowa writer Ruth Suckow explores what happens when a respectable, upright citizen is revealed to be a thief. The focus is on 17-year old Philip who is about to begin his future, and then everything changes.
Michael Connelly, The Reversal. Another legal thriller in the series with the Lincoln Lawyer and his detective brother, Harry Bosch. Why would an effective defense attorney switch to prosecution? Will he win his case? Compelling and convincing courtroom drama kept me up far too late. Connelly thrillers can be injurious to your health.
Walter Isaacson, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. Not just the funny little man with the kite, Franklin was a giant in his time: scientist, civic do-gooder, diplomat, and writer. This full-scale biography does him justice.