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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

From Baghdad, With Love

From Baghdad, With Love, by Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman with Melinda Roth, is the story of a marine who will stop at nothing to save "man's best friend" from war-torn Iraq. Lt. Col. Kopelman first met Lava, a stray puppy, in an abandoned house in Fallujah. Despite strict rules the U.S. military have against soldiers adopting pets or mascots, Lava is kept safe by Kopelman and a battalion of Marines. As his tour of duty nears an end, Kopelman attempts to transport Lava back to the U.S. A slew of accomplices are recruited to take on this challenge, including a U.S. news reporter, an Iraqi soldier and the pet food giant, Iams.
This story is both engaging and emotional. It is not only a tale of a man and his dog, but also an eye-opening account of the soldiers stationed in Iraq and the conditions under which they endure.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Aloft: A Novel

Aloft, written by Chang-rae Lee, is the story of Jerry Battle, an Italian-American, semi-retired landscaper who managed the company established by his father and now run by his son. Jerry often indulges himself by flying his small airplane above Long Island for hours at a time. This is symbolic of how the soon-to-be sixty- year old man manages his life, keeping family and friends at a distance. Then, circumstances within the family change and Jerry must modify his relationships with several family members, opening up to them before it is too late.
The serious tone of Aloft is expressed through a retelling of the tragic and comic events in Jerry's past and present, yet a satirical bent is present in the description of his money-conscious world in which his neighbors believe that their self-worth is calculated by the latest home improvement or large purchase.
This book is the "Long Island Reads" selection for 2008.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Compulsion: An Alex Delaware Novel

Compulsion, written by bestselling mystery author Jonathan Kellerman, is the latest in his "Dr. Alex Delaware" series. Alex, a psychologist, works as a consultant for the Los Angeles Police Department, often accompanying long-time friend Lt. Milo Sturgis as he investigates grisly murders. This time around, two murders being examined seem to be committed by two different individuals, except that both murderers stole luxury cars to use while committing the crimes, and then returned the vehicles in pristine condition afterwards. Delaware and Sturgis follow the trail back more than ten years and discover several more unsolved murders. The killer, who had been able to escape earlier detection through changes in identity and appearance, finally is apprehended. As in the other books in the series, the reader is left with a sense of justice being done. And this book probably will reach the top of the New York Times Bestseller List too.