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

Laura Joh Rowland, Shin-Ju, Bundori, The Way of the Traitor, The Concubine's Tatoo, The Samurai's Wife, Black Lotus, Lady Wisteria's Pillow Book
If you loved Shogun, you'll love this mystery series. Set in 17th century medieval Japan, the series follows a samurai and former tutor, now a reluctant police officer, attempting to unravel crimes of passion. The most recent in the series was Lady Wisteria's Pillow Book where Detective Sano tries to locate the pillow book of a famous seductive geisha to help solve a murder. In the first book, Shinju, what looks like a ritual double suicide, is actually a murder. Sano has to try and prove it while dealing with the rigid social caste system in Tokyo (Edo) of 1689. I read the last one first and it was so riveting, I went back to read the whole series. Great character, fascinating writing, it's historical fiction at its best.

By Lisa J. Arm, Boston University Law Library

Sybille Bedford, Legacy and Jigsaw
These autobiographical novels capture a world, which is sadly gone forever. She was born in 1911 to a beautiful but brilliant London Society woman and a Bavarian count whose first wife had been a member of a prominent and wealthy Jewish family in Berlin. After marrying the Count on the rebound from a disastrous affair with a very prominent Victorian writer, the mother bolts with a much younger Italian architect. Eventually, she collects Sybille [who had been left with the Count] and they live together in Sanary on the coast of France, with such neighbors as Aldous & Maria Huxley, Thomas Mann, and many other artists. The sun! the conversation! The food! [Sybille's father the Count was a gourmet who taught her not to overcook the vegetables!] War and mismanagement destroy their fortune and Sybille is forced to eke out a living as an interpreter while becoming an authoress. Aldous Huxley was her literary mentor and she eventually wrote the definitive biography of him. I think her novels are better than his. He could be "preachy". She also was a journalist and her accounts of famous trials are in many law school collections. I was surprised to find myself reading every one of her words-I don't usually wish to with most authors! She is 91 and has a new book coming out in 2003!

By Hilary T. Frye, Connecticut State Library

Sparkle Hayter, What's a Girl Gotta Do, Nice Girls Finish Last, Revenge of the Cootie Girls, The Last Manly Man, Chelsea Girl Murders
A friend gave me the first book in this murder mystery series. As soon as I had finished it, I went right out and purchased the next four. The heroine, Robin Hudson, is an investigative reporter at ANN, the All News Network. For a variety of reasons, she frequently finds herself in the position of having to solve a murder to save her life or clear her reputation. Despite being demoted because of an unfortunate on-air faux pas, Robin has not lost her sense of humor. She has replaced her video obituary, which ANN keeps on file for all on-air personalities, with one showing her leading a charge at the Battle of the Bulge, advising Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and climbing Mount Everest. Her self-defense arsenal includes an Epilady in her purse and window boxes of poison ivy.

By Diane Murley, Northeastern University School of Law Library

Stephen Carter, The Emperor of Ocean Park
I just finished this Yale Law Professor's first book of fiction. Though the book is slow-paced for a mystery, I like it because of the setting--a law school. The main character is a law professor who's father, a judge, has died with some mystery surrounding his final "arrangements."

By Anne Acton, New England School of Law Library

Mike Thaler, The Librarian from the Black Lagoon (pictures by Jared Lee):
This book is part of a series, including The Teacher, Principal, Gym Teacher, and School Nurse from the Black Lagoon. Before their first visit to the school library, the students are nervous. They've heard stories. The kids call the librarian "The Laminator," because they say she laminates anyone who talks in the library. To keep the books in alphabetical order, it is rumored that the librarian has bolted them together. But, of course, none of the stories are true, and the students love the library.

By Diane Murley, Northeastern University School of Law Library

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.

Next: What Are You Watching?

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