Saturday, May 3, 2014

Weekend Picks For Book Lovers

by Jocelyn McClurg)

What should you read this weekend? USA TODAY's picks for book lovers include a thriller about a woman being stalked, and journalist Lisa Robinson's rockin' memoir.

Watching You by Michael Robotham; Mulholland Books, 432 pp.; fiction

From the beginning, if not even from the title, readers of Michael Robotham's latest suspense novel know there is an unnamed and ominous character shadowing the heroine.

Clearly, we're going to spend much of the book wondering about the identity, actions and even the existence of this stalker, as we learn more about the one being watched: Marnie Logan, a thirtysomething mother of two, driven frantic by the disappearance of her husband, Daniel, and the gambling debt he stuck her with.

Broke and desperate, she has started working as a call girl but barely has earned the rent before her pimp is murdered.

Luckily for Marnie, her therapist (presumably paid for by the National Health Service, since the story is set in London) is Joe O'Laughlin, the criminal psychologist who has appeared in six previous Robotham novels and whose buddy Vincent Ruiz is a retired cop.

USA TODAY says *** out of four. "Tastily written and cleverly designed."

There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll by Lisa Robinson; Riverhead, 347 pp.; non-fiction

A memoir by a writer who has been interviewing rock stars for 40 years, from John Lennon to Bono to Patti Smith.

USA TODAY says ****. "Wickedly hilarious."

Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism by Ron Suskind; Kingswell, 368 pp.; non-fiction

Suskind tells the touching story of how his autistic son learned to communicate with his family through Disney movies.

USA TODAY says ****. "An amazing memoir … Eyes will tear. Hearts will cheer."

The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore; William Morrow, 326 pp.; fiction

A humorous mash-up of Othello and The Merchant of Venice whose hero is Pocket, a jester who was also the hero of Moore's novel Fool.

USA TODAY says *** out of four stars. "Serpent is a bright, quick novel. … Readers of a certain Monty Python nerdiness will rejoice in its hundreds of insults."

Updike by Adam Begley; Harper, 558 pp.; non-fiction

Five years after John Updike's death comes a biography that roots for a surge in the novelist's "posthumous reputation."

USA TODAY says ***. A "sympathetic yet thorough biography."