What Are You Reading?
Edited by Diane Murley, Northeastern University School of Law Library

Magdalen Nabb, Death of an Englishman, Death of a Dutchman, Death of a Madwoman, Blood Property:
This summer I'm working my way through a new-to-me murder mystery author, Magdalen Nabb. She has written an entire series set in Florence, Italy and featuring Marshall Salvatore Guarnaccia of the Carabinieri. I love the fascinating details about the city of Florence where the author has lived since the 1970's (she first went there as a potter). But I think she is English and she has the Italian characters speaking England English slang (such as the word sod as an expletive). To me it just adds to the charm. Salva, as his wife calls him, is a deceptively brilliant detective, dedicated family man and a great humanitarian. The descriptions of the gadflies and other cranks with which the Carabinieri must deal are unusually similar to some of our problem patrons. Guarnaccia's gentle, patient treatment of these people is a good example for us all. Death of a Madwoman has a plot that involves the famous flood of Florence.

By Hilary T. Frye, Connecticut State Library
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Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home In Italy
Spend the summer in Italy! I actually read this a few summers ago, but if you like to eat, travel or fix up your home or property - this is the book for you. Grab a cup of cappuccino, put your feet up and once you start reading this book you will feel like you have been transported to Italy (for the duration of your read anyway). It even includes recipes!

By Mary E. Rogalski, Choate, Hall & Stewart
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Norval Morris, Maconochie's Gentlemen: The Story of Norfolk Island and the Roots of Modern Prison Reform:
Norval Morris, Julius Kreeger Professor of Law and Criminology at the University of Chicago, has written an interesting account of a very early effort at prison reform--Alexander Maconochie's "Marks System" and his efforts at implementing it on Norfolk Island, Australia, in the years 1840-1844. Norfolk Island was a "worst of the worst" prison, the place where criminals already transported to Australia were sent when convicted of additional felonies in Australia, and its administration before and after Maconochie was quite brutal. Professor Morris's book combines a fact-based fictional account of Maconochie's years there as the first part of the book, with straight non-fiction discussion of his subsequent career, the effect of his efforts, why prison conditions matter, and what we can learn from the Norfolk Island experiment.

By Elisabeth Carey, Orr & Reno
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Betty Boothroyd, Betty Boothroyd: The Autobiography:
I am currently reading Betty Boothroyd's autobiography "Betty Boothroyd: The Autobiography." She was the Speaker of the British House of Commons from 1992 until her recent retirement in 2000. She had become widely recognized here in the States thanks to CSPAN's coverage of Prime Minster's Question Time. She writes of her climb up the political ladder from being a shop assistant to a secretary to MPs. It was during this last stage that she fought and lost four elections for a seat in Parliament before finally winning. She tells a few sidebars like about her time as a research assistant for Congressman Silvio O. Conte of Massachusetts during the Kennedy administration. It's an easy read and really informative about the decline of the Conservative Party from 1992 to 1997 and the growth of the New Labour Party from the mid-1990s.

By Edward T. Hart, New England School of Law
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Chris Bohjalian, The Buffalo Soldier: A Novel:
One learns.... about riding lessons, flash floods, adoptions, grief and loss, buffalo soldiers, tolerance.

By Anne McDonald, R.I. Dept of Attorney General
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Sylvia Nassar, A Beautiful Mind:
Biography of Nobel Prize winner John Nash. Very well written and exhaustingly researched. I learned more math theory than I knew existed. The reader is brought along slowly and deliberately down the path Nash's madness took, thus readily able to empathize.

By Anne McDonald, R.I. Dept of Attorney General
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Ali Asani, "On Pluralism, Tolerance and the Quran," The American Scholar, vol. 71, no. 1, pp. 52-60 (Winter 2002):
This article by AALL's 2002 Diversity Symposium speaker gives much needed perspective on Islam. Note: Dr. Asani teaches at Harvard.

By Anne McDonald, R.I. Dept of Attorney General
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Naomi Klein, No Logo:
I'm in the middle of reading this book, and so far it's that special mix of fascinating, depressing and infuriating that I find makes for an interesting read. It's about the "branding" by corporations of the space we live in and the reactions people are starting to have towards this.

By Rachel Bates, Northeastern University School of Law Library
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If you have read something that you recommend, send the author, title, and a few sentences about why you recommend it to d.murley@neu.edu. It can be a book, magazine, or article of any genre. When the editors send out the call for articles, I will compile the recommendations I have received into a column for everyone. Thanks for your help.


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