Saturday, September 3, 2011

I LOVE JOHN HART - platonically, of course

C'mon, this guy can really write.  I already told you that the first of his books that I read (The Last Child) is actually his third book.  I also told you that I immediately put it into my "Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader" category.  I was mesmerized by it.  Well, I just finished his newest book, Iron House, and absolutely loved it.  It was as good as The Last Child and also gets the exalted position (it's exalted if I say it's exalted!) in the famous "Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader" group.  For those of you who have not seen that post, I wrote it way back in February.  The purpose of the post was to list books that I thought everybody would like, even those who typically read only non-fiction.  The inspiration came from John who always read only non-fiction - until he read the Larsson trilogy.

Here's a little reminder of which books were on that list:

Child 44 - Tom Rob Smith (there's only one person I know that didn't like it - your bad, bud)
Exile - Richard North Patterson
My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Piccoult
The Faithful Spy - Alex Berenson
The Unlikely Spy - Daniel Silva (are you sensing a pattern here?)
Charm School - Nelson DeMille
The Glass Castle - Jeanette Walls (the only non-fiction on the list - doesn't really belong but reads like fiction)
South of Broad - Pat Conroy (you can actually put just about any of his books on the list - especially his non-fiction entry, My Losing Season)
Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett (still, today, Joni's favorite book of all time)
Shogun - James Clavell
The Source - James Michener
City of Thieves - David Benioff
The Help - Kathryn Stockett
Dragon Tattoo trilogy - Stieg Larsson

If you have read some or many or all of these books, then you realize that earning a spot on this list is no small feat.  Now two of Hart's books have made it.

So let me tell you about Iron House.  Two brothers spend about ten years in a very bad orphanage in North Carolina.  They get there when one is a baby and the other is one-year old.  The younger brother is weak and gets abused by the other boys, and the older one is strong and defends his younger brother as best he can.  When they are ten and eleven, they get separated.  The younger one is adopted by a wealthy family, and the older one hits the streets.  Their paths cross over twenty years later.  The book is fantastic.  In fact, I immediately started on one of his two earlier ones.  I rarely do that.  It help that all of his books are standalones.

Just a reminder - George Pelecanos (The Turnaround, The Way Home) is coming to The Book Passage, Corte Madera, this Thursday night at 7.

Also, I will be out of the country from September 9-September 25.  I don't know if I will be able to do any posts before I leave or while I'm gone.  It may be that I won't have another new post until late September.  We'll see how it goes.  If it doesn't happen for 3-4 weeks, then I should have a bunch of new reads to review (the two plane rides are 14 hours each!).

In case you missed my sublte message - Read John Hart!