This book is awesome. It has such a uniquely Philly voice, that I can hear Asante's words in the voices of my neighbors and friends. I'd love it even if I lived anywhere else, but being in the city where it all happened gives the story dimension.
Philadelphia Noir by Carlin Romano (Akashic Books, $15.95)
I did not expect to love this. I am not a huge fan of mysteries, nor am I that into noir-style writing. But the voices in this anthology are extremely talented and as totally different as the neighborhoods they're writing about.
Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead by Frank Meeink (Hawthorne Books, $15.95)
I was lucky enough to see Meeink speak at the Museum of American Jewish History last year, and his talk was enlightening and touching. The author writes about how easily kids (especially kids with rough home lives) can be indoctrinated into a culture based on hate and fear.
Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (Sarah Chrichon Books, $15)
I liked this book a lot. I thought the plot was good and the characters were pretty likable. What I especially loved were all of the references to the Eagles and various parts of the Philly landscape.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (Bay Back Books, $15)
Listen - I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I think there are places that it is predictable, and overall, I prefer Lucky. BUT. The unusual point of view is huge. And the author does a really good job of capturing just how creepy the suburbs can be.
Sarah Rose, November 2014