A random selection is sometimes the best
Published on December 27, 2003 By Larry Kuperman In Books
I go to my local library a lot, but usually I know what I want. I recently has some time when I was early for an appointment, visited the local branch and came out with three diverse titles that were all really enjoyable.

The first that I read was William Gibson's Pattern Recognition. I am a big Gibson fan, going back to Neuromancer. This book, while still classified as Science Fiction, is very close to today's current events. It is a wonderful commentary on today's art and culture, particuarly the cachet of brands. Much of the narrative takes place on-line. There are chat rooms and postings, even flame wars. Very recognizeable and enjoyable.

The second title that I read was December 6th by Martin Cruz Smith. Martin Cruz Smith is the author of the Gorky Park trilogy and Stallion Gate. This book deals with the life of an American, who was raised in Japan, a country about to go to war with America. Our hero is a loveable rogue, a saloon owner among other things. In today's parlance, we would call Harry Niles a hustler, the kind of man that can get you anything you want. But Harry is now trying desparately to get on the last plane out of Japan before the war starts. But Harry it seems is held back by a sense of honor that he didn't know that he had. I don't want to spoil the book, but let me tell you that it has a GREAT surprise ending.

Enough of that heavy stuff. Mike Lupica is best known as a sports writer and commentator for ESPN. He has also written several books, including his latest Wild Pitch. You have to be a baseball fan to get full enjoyment out of this, but this is a novel about fathers and sons, the Red Sox and the Yankees and about coming back one more time. It contains some strong language and mature situations, but I have to tell you that I laughed out loud sometimes. Showtime Charlie Stoddard is a wonderful character and reading about the green grass of Fenway Park (and that awful Green Monster in the outfield!) made me feel warm on a December day.

What do these three titles have in common? Not much, except that they were all well-written and good reads. I hope that anyone that reads them gets as much enjoyment out of them as I did.
on Dec 30, 2003
Thank you for the posting Kupe. GCJ