Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer reading: Feeds your soul, sparks a laugh, or maybe tears (Lisa Lutz)

From Chicago Daily Herald --

Summer reading: Feeds your soul, sparks a laugh, or maybe tears --

June 7, 2009 --

By Sarah Long --

Just the words "summer reading" take me to a relaxing other world where I am warm and comfortable with hours of unstructured time, mine for the taking. In today's world, such escape is becoming increasingly elusive. But I urge you to fit in some summer reading that feeds your soul or at least gives you a laugh, an escape or a view of another world.

The book I have most enjoyed recently is "The Spellman Files: A Novel" by Lisa Lutz. The Spellmans are a family of private investigators: father, mother, son, and two daughters. The book is written in the voice of Isabel "Izzy" Spellman, age 28, who is quite the wit. Being the middle child, Izzy has issues with her older brother, who has actually escaped the family business to become a successful attorney. He is perfect in every way - looks, manners, brains, etc. - and eschews the other family members' penchant for investigating everything, especially each other. You might say he aspires to be normal and middle class. Izzy feels protective of her younger sister, Rae, age 14. But Rae is a force to contend with because of her proclivity for "recreational tailing" or following people just for kicks. This book is laugh-out-loud funny and best of all, it's the first of four with another one on the way early in 2010. If you liked, "Harriet the Spy" as a kid, you'll love Izzy Spellman...

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