This week we are featuring Jim's Playlist. Jim, a Warwick's bookseller since 2002, is an incredible reader--mixing fiction, non-fiction, and an array of children's books into his busy schedule. Here are his go-to books.
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Many readers agree that this is one of the best books on our personal top 10 lists. Warwicks has sold almost 1,500 copies, just in paperback, since 2005 and it continues to be a bestseller. Shantaram is based on a true story: a prisoner escapes and leaves Australia for Bombay of the '60s. He lives in a slum, becomes a medic, joins the mafia, and fights against Russia for the Afghans. When he describes the slum fires, the Standing Babbas, and his life-changing travels, you know it had to be the author's first-hand experience. It's described too perfectly to be otherwise. Shantaram is an incredible story.
1001 Inventions that Changed the World by Jack Challoner
Just the right amount of text and packed with incredible photos, this is perfect for anyone with a love for nonfiction and history. Every page features a different invention, everything from Cuneiform writing to cell phones. This is an amazing array of creations with each one detailing its effect on world history. This is a dynamic and entertaining collection.
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Two folk tales converge on the streets of New York at the turn of the 20th century, A clay golem, created in Europe for a man who could not find a suitable wife, is brought to life while sailing to America. Her master dies, so when she arrives a rabbi becomes her mentor. The jinni is released in a silversmith's shop while a bottle is being polished. Adapting to living with humans is an intriguing immigrant’s tale. The mystical plot twists will keep you guessing. An excellent read!
Our Dumb World by The Onion
Published by the hilarious Onion newspaper, this "atlas" pokes fun of every country in the world. Geography, world events and history are typical of the satire from its online counterpart, onion.com. This is very funny book with a look at the world you've never seen.
The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen
To get Detective Morck from continuing to irritate other police (he solves all his cases, actually) he is assigned all the cold cases in Copenhagen and throughout Denmark. His new office for Dept. Q is in the basement. An unsolved missing persons case is his first challenge. Crimes he investigate often have a current implication, ensuring he’s not forgotten.
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Reading Jasper Fforde gave me a new appreciation for the term “back story.” Thursday Next is a special operative in Literary Detection, which monitors book plots, and characters in this surreal Great Britain. Fforde has created a world in which crime occurs and a police presence is needed. In the first of this wildly fun series Jane Eyre is kidnapped. Thursday is sent into the book to find the perpetrator. In this world time travel is a normal occurrence and dodos are pets. Who would have thought that chapters were created to give characters a much needed rest?
Mission to Paris by Alan Furst
While movie star Fredric Stahl is in 1938 Paris he is asked to serve as emcee for the Reich's film festival. Little do the Nazi organizers know that Stahl is part of a secret spy service. This is a perfect place to start Alan Furst’s riveting WWII series.
Ghostman by Roger Hobbes
The anonymous "Jack" is hired by professional criminals to “clean up” a casino heist that went horribly wrong. Although the money was stolen, the ringleader never sees that cash. Jack help is needed so his boss gets the missing money and isn’t implicated in this messy crime. He has 48 hours to finish this assignment without anyone knowing who he is or what he's done, a true “ghost man.”
History of a Pleasure Seeker by Richard Mason
Piet Barol's goal is to be accepted as one of Holland's upper class, although he is born into poverty. He has practiced the manners and conventions of the rich and is prepared to be a tutor to a young man at a country estate. This first story in a planned series, Mason’s tome has been described as “Downtown Abbey with sex.” Barol fits in, almost too well, as he tries to work with a boy overwhelmed with OCD. (On YouTube the author plays the piece the boy insists on repeating.)