Top Ten Books Jorie Would Give To Readers Who Have Never Read Mysteries

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Top Ten Books I’d Give To Readers Who Have Never Read X (examples: New Adult novels, historical fiction, a certain author, books about a certain topic, etc)

(I’ve selected the first book in series whenever there’s more than one book.)

(Thank you,  LibraryThing for the images)

1.  Sandra Brown’s Deadline

Deadline by Sandra Brown

2. Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller/Lincoln Lawyer Series)

The Lincoln Lawyer: A Novel by Michael…

3.  Janet Evanovich’s One For the Money (Stephanie Plum Series) 

One for the Money

4. Sue Grafton’s A is for Alibi (The Alphabet Mysteries Series)

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

5.  John Grisham’s The Firm 

The Firm: A Novel by John Grisham

6. Kay Hooper’s  Stealing Shadows (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit Series ( Stealing Shadows Trilogy ))

Stealing Shadows (Shadows Trilogy) by Kay…

7. JA Jance’s Desert Heat (Joanna Brady Series) 

Desert Heat (Joanna Brady Mysteries) by J.…

8. JA Jance’s Until Proven Guilty (JP Beaumont Series) 

Until Proven Guilty by J. A. Jance

9. Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series)

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (The No.…

10. JD Robb’s Naked in Death (… in Death) 

Naked in Death (In Death, Book 1) by J. D.…

Seeing the Story – The Pelican Brief

The Pelican Brief – Theatrical release poster | Wikipedia

Pakula, A. J., Roberts, J., Washington, D., Grisham, J., Warner Bros. Pictures (1969- ), & Warner Home Video (Firm). (1994). The Pelican brief. Burbank, CA: Warner Home Video.

Reasons for Watching: I saw the movie around the time it came out . . . on VHS. When I eventually picked up the audiobook, I discovered I was comparing it to a movie I’d thought I’d forgotten. Well, this time, I requested and checked out the VHS from HCPL.

Summary :  Darby Shaw (Julia Roberts), a Tulane law student  unearths a crazy enough to be true explanation for the recent assassination of two Supreme Court justices. She writes about them in “The Pelican Brief” which, with the help of her law professor/boyfriend Thomas Callahan (Sam Shepard) reaches to the highest levels of the government. With the help of Washington Herald reporter Gray Grantham (Denzel Washington), Darby unveils an outstanding cover up by some of the biggest officials in the land.

Book to Movie Adaptation : The biggest difference would be Darby’s relationship with journalist Gray Grantham. For a spoiler difference, check out this link at Wikipedia.

Review : After I read the book, I wasn’t sure I wanted to see the movie again. I knew there would be big differences and I feared this would ruin the film for me. Yet, I did watch it again, rediscovering the great performance of Stanley Tucci (Khamel). Roberts and Washington were good but I was disappointed by the change in their relationship.

Three Out of Five Pearls 

John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief The Pelican Brief (Unabridged) by John Grisham, Read by Alexander Adams | Amazon

Grisham, J., & Adams, A. (1992). The pelican brief. Santa Ana, CA: Books on Tape. 9780736689113

Reasons for Reading:  As I enjoyed The Firm, I looked for some other books by Grisham. I saw The Pelican Brief audiobook on a shelf at HCPL.

Summary:  The deaths of two quite opposite US Supreme Court Justices rock the entire nation. These mysterious deaths leave the country wondering what the heck just happened. Tulane University Law student Darby Shaw sets out to research these odd circumstances. Afterwards, she writes a legal brief which states that assassins killed the two justices on behalf of oil tycoon Victor Mattiece. Mattiece wants to drill for oil in Louisiana marshland where an endangered species of pelican lives. Darby passes along “The Pelican Brief” to her law professor boyfriend Thomas Callahan. Quickly, more people die and Darby must run for her life.

What I Liked : I admired Darby a lot. She was smart and tried to do the right thing. I also liked Gray Grantham. I found Garcia intriguing.I appreciated the pace of the novel – mostly, Grisham got to the point. Oh, and nice Easter egg with Denton Voyles!

What I Disliked: So far, this is the third Grisham novel I’ve read. The ending seemed similar to that of The Firm. I might pick up one of Grisham’s non-legal thrillers next time.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: ‪Aretha Franklin – Chain Of Fools – YouTube

Setting : New Orleans, Louisiana, Washington DC, New York City, The Caribbean

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For more on John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief, please check out the following links:

Seeing the Story – The Firm

The Firm | Wikipedia

Cruise, T., Hackman, G., Tripplehorn, J., Davis, J., Rudin, S., Pollack, S., Paramount Pictures Corporation., … Mirage Productions. (2000). The firm. Hollywood, Calif.: Paramount.

Reasons for Watching: I saw the movie around the time it came out . . . on VHS. When I eventually picked up the audiobook, I discovered I was comparing it to a movie I’d thought I’d forgotten. Well, this time, I requested and checked it out from HCPL.

Summary : Young Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) is ready to reap what he has sown. After years of sacrifice, he will graduate from Harvard Law and work in the prosperous world of tax law. When he’s approached by Bendini, Lambert & Locke, a prestigious Memphis law firm, he cannot turn down their offer. So, he and his lovely wife, Abby (Jeanne Tripplehorn) soon move to Memphis. The Firm assigns Avery Tolar (Gene Hackman) to be his mentor.  

Things are dandy. The McDeeres receive a house, a car, and lots of dough. Then, two associates at The Firm mysteriously die and the FBI contacts Mitch. At this point, the McDeeres find themselves in a waking nightmare.  

Book to Movie Adaptation : A number of events from the book didn’t make it to the movie. For a rather exhaustive list of the differences, check out this link at Wikipedia. I don’t want to spoil the ending of either work.  

Review : After reading the book, I imagined Mitch McDeere being more like Josh Lucas than Tom Cruise. Nonetheless, I consider this one of Cruise’s best roles. It amused me to see him tower over the petite Holly Hunter. Also, interaction between Avery and Abby only took place in the movie. I could’ve done without that.   

Three Out of Five Pearls 

John Grisham’s The Firm

The Firm | WorldCat Detailed Record

Grisham, J., & Brick, S. (2002). The Firm. Santa Ana, CA: Books on Tape. 9780736688604

Reasons for Reading:  I saw blurbs an upcoming TV show based on John Grisham’s The Firm . It featured Josh Lucas as the main character. Yet, I hesitated to watch the show because I wanted to read the book first. (I’d seen the movie back around the time it came out on video.) Thus, I requested the audiobook via HCPL.

Summary:  Harvard Law student, Mitchell Y. McDeere, works hard. He and his college sweetheart wife, Abby, have next to nothing. McDeere’s brother, Ray, is imprisoned. As Mitch graduates third in his class, a small Memphis tax firm called Bendini, Lambert and Locke comes knocking. The firm offers him and Abby a life of luxury – a large salary, a low-rate mortgage on a house, a BMW, and vacations at company owned places in Colorado and the Cayman Islands. The McDeeres leap at this chance with little consideration for any possible catches. Soon, though, Mitch discovers things aren’t as wonderful as they first appeared.

What I Liked : This story about an attorney seems authentic and I think that’s due to Grisham writing what he knew. Not only did I appreciate this, I also liked that he broke things down in layman’s terms. While I’m not a law professional, I could easily follow the action. In my mind’s eye, I could see these characters and events.

What I Disliked: I only have one tiny complaint; I wished there had been dates offered for the action. Mitch’s brother Rusty died fighting in Vietnam. International flights were simple, pre-9/11. Very little takes place using cell phones or the Internet, too. Some time stamps would’ve been awesome.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: ‪Charlie Rich • No Headstone on My Grave – YouTube

Setting : Memphis, Boston, Washington D.C, The Cayman Islands

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For more on John Grisham’s The Firm, please check out the following links:

Top Ten Books I’m Excited To Read in 2012

Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists! Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists.

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1 Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot

2. Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shanara

3. Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ

4. Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote

5. Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time

6. Anna Godbersen’s The Lucky Ones

7. Stephanie Perkins’ Isla and the Happily Ever After

8. Rivers Cuomo’s The Pinkerton Diaries

6. Stephen King’s 11/22/63

7. John Grisham’s The Firm

8. Tim Tebow’s Through My Eyes

9. Tina Fey’s Bossypants

10. Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

Top Ten Book to Movie adaptations | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish


1) The Virgin Suicides (Jeffrey Eugenides/ Sofia Coppola) – Except for a slight change at the end and leaving out a few characters, Sofia Coppola was faithful to the book. The casting was spot on and the soundtrack was sublime.

2) Sense and Sensibility (Jane Austen/ Ang Lee) – I saw this movie, the one with Emma Thompson in it, before I read the book. The film was so good that I decided to read the book.

3) About a Boy (Nick Hornby/ Chris Weitz) – This movie is one of my all-time favorites. I read the book afterwards and understood, even appreciated the updates on the book. Hornby provided terrific character study and Hugh Grant nailed the role of Will. The boy was good, too.

4) The Graduate (Charles Webb/ Mike Nichols) – I just finished the book. Hoffman, Bancroft, and Ross were superb in the roles. Since I like Simon and Garfunkel, I like The Graduate.

5) Rising Sun (Michael Crichton/ Philip Kaufman) – Wesley Snipes plays a white character and he plays him well. My favorite actor in the cast was Tia Carrerre.

6) The French Lieutenant’s Woman (John Fowles/ Karel Reisz) – The book and the movie were odd. In efforts to provide the contemporary feel of Victorian events, the movie was about both the actors playing Smithson and Sarah in the 1980s.

7) The Rainmaker (John Grisham/ Francis Ford Coppola) – Matt Damon is a great actor, especially when it comes to playing characters out of books. This movie proved it to me. While I was convinced by The Talented Mr. Ripley, this movie adaptation was much better. Also, I liked Rudy Baylor much better than Tom Ripley. Claire Danes was good, too, in The Rainmaker.

8 ) The Godfather (Mario Puzo/ Francis Ford Coppola) – The Coppolas are faring well on my list! The characters are dynamic, Pacino and Keaton were perfectly suited to play Michael and Kay. There were changes in the movies but these received Puzo’s blessing.

9 ) To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee/ Robert Mulligan) – This is requisite.

10) The Green Mile (Stephen King/ Frank Darabont) – I was divided between this one and The Dead Zone. Ultimately, the actors – Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan beat out Christopher Walken.