The Private Patient - P. D. James

Even though I have sworn off murder mysteries (too scary) I still read each of P.D. James’s new books. Adam Dalgliesh is a man of such calm and compassion that he reassures us that all will be well in a chaotic world. James’s glorious writing and psychological insight make her the master that she is. In her latest book, The Private Patient (Knopf, $25.95), Dalgliesh and his associates are called down to Devon to investigate the death of an investigative reporter in a private nursing home, a once-great stately house. Who among the staff and visitors had reason to wish Rhoda Gradwyn dead? A number of people at Cheverell Manor are hiding out there; who is the one who killed Ms.Gradwyn?

The Private Patient (Adam Dalgliesh #14) By P. D. James Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307455284
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - November 3rd, 2009

Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America - Jay Parini

 In Promised Land: Thirteen Books that Changed America (Doubleday, $24.95), Jay Parini, a novelist and teacher, has compiled a list of literary works that were instrumental in “shaping the nation’s idea of itself” by having “shifted consciousness in some public fashion.”  Parini’s selections include the novels Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; essays, like The Federalist Papers; and biographies, like Mary Antin’s The Promised Land. This collection will make a wonderful reading list for a class or bookgroup. Parini’s own essays weave a history of each work with his take on the author’s intentions and the effect the book had when published.

Promised Land: Thirteen Books That Changed America By Jay Parini Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307386182
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - January 12th, 2010

John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand - Richard Reeves

This readable intellectual biography of John Stuart Mill (Overlook, $40), the great political philosopher, is the first book by Richard Reeves, a British journalist. Mill was born in 1806 and received a hothouse education from his father. Although deeply influenced by the utilitarian Jeremy Bentham, who acted as a kind of uncle to the family, Mill began early to develop ideas of individual responsibility. His romantic and intellectual relationship with Harriet Taylor refined his views.  In the long chapter on Mill’s seminal work, On Liberty, Reeves describes Mill’s philosophy: individuality “is the essence of a good life…each person should be free to think and live as they wish, so long as they do no harm to others.” Reeves concludes, “his causes—for liberty, for women, for justice—have advanced and are fought for still. And his questions are our questions once again.” 

John Stuart Mill: Victorian Firebrand By Richard Reeves Cover Image
ISBN: 9781843546443
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Atlantic Books - September 1st, 2008