Nerdy Special List March 2015
Though we’ve been enjoying gorgeous weather in Southern California, my family and friends on the East Coast are soooo over all the snow and freezing temps. But they’ve had lots of snow days, which means plenty of time to read.
Here are some March releases my blogger pals and I recommend.
From Jen at Jen’s Book Thoughts:
Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted by Ian Millhiser (Nation Books, March 24)
Injustices is an engaging and frightening look at the history of the highest court in the United States. Ian Millhiser uses legal precedents and definitions, as well as anecdotes and historical evidence, to show how the vast majority of the court’s significant decisions have been in favor of conservative ideals, defending big business and further repressing those with little to no power—almost entirely without viable foundation in the Constitution.
Millhiser goes on to illustrate how this has been to the detriment of the country as a whole, while rarer decisions in favor of individuals, minorities, and those without the money to sway opinion have not only a stronger foothold in the Constitution itself, but have made significant improvement in the well-being of the United States.
Thoroughly researched and delivered with a passion for the law and the people it’s intended to protect, Injustices is an eye-opening examination of how the most powerful individuals in the American government have shaped the country.
From Rory at Fourth Street Review:
Mosquitoland by David Arnold (Viking Books for Young Readers, March 3)
Beginning in Mississippi and ending in Ohio, Mosquitoland is a brilliant young adult road trip novel featuring the memorable Mary Iris Malone, a teenager as maddening as she is charming. Suffering from a partially blind eye (solar eclipse damage) and a displaced epiglottis (that causes random, sometimes fortuitous vomiting), Mim is a collection of oddities. Because of this, you can’t help but love her and her travel companions, as they use wit, humor, and determination to deal with topics of substance and despair.
While I’d love to pretend I don’t judge young adult novels, I am guilty of this more often than not. However, I am very pleased to have been surprised by Arnold’s debut novel. Sardonic, charming, quirky, and memorable, Mosquitoland is a novel for anyone who has ever realized that getting from here to there is not as easy as it seems.
From Lauren at Malcolm Avenue Review:
Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton (William Morrow, March 3)
When Army Ranger Van Shaw receives an out-of-character request from his estranged grandfather, Donovan, to come home, he returns to Seattle for the first time since enlisting ten years ago at eighteen. What he finds at the house is an open door and Dono lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head.
Using his military smarts along with some criminal talents he learned from Dono, a career thief, Van is determined to find out who shot Dono and why before his leave is up. This debut from Glen Erik Hamilton has a lot going for it, including a cast of characters (many Dono’s interesting former criminal associates) I hope to see more of in the next installment. (For Lauren’s full review, click here.)
From Erin at In Real Life:
Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes (Harper Paperbacks, March 31)
Behind Closed Doors is Elizabeth Haynes’s second entry in her Briarstone police procedural series. She has truly hit her stride with a ripped-from-the-headlines story that would be tiresome in the hands of a less skilled author but in hers is nothing short of compelling.
DI Louisa Smith revisits a ten-year-old case, one she worked early in her career, that involved the disappearance of a teenage girl, Scarlett, while on vacation with her family in Greece. When the girl turns up in Briarstone, Lou is keen to speak with her for many reasons—not least of which is Lou’s curiosity about where Scarlett’s been for the last decade.
The “police” aspects are interesting enough on their own, but Haynes’s insight into the “procedural” aspects (she was a police intelligence analyst before becoming a full-time novelist) gives the story a level of believable detail that provides texture and depth.
It would also be fair to call this book a psychological thriller; there are enough tense scenes to make even the most languid heart race. Scarlett has secrets, and it’s unclear exactly what they are or the extent of their impact until the final pages.
Life or Death by Michael Robotham (Mulholland Books, March 10)
After serving a 10-year sentence, Audie Palmer breaks out of prison one day before his release. Why would he turn himself into a fugitive instead of walking out a free man? He has his reason, and it’s a heart-gripping one.
Psychologist Joe O’Loughlin–Robotham’s popular series character–doesn’t appear in this one, but the author has written another fine novel that’s more of a love story than any of his previous work, with all the usual suspense and mystery. (My full review and interview with Robotham will run in Shelf Awareness for Readers later this month.)
Which books are on your reading list this month?