DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Jun 11 2010

ShareReads: Beat the Reaper

by ShareReads

ShareReads appears on the DCPLive blog on Fridays. Each week, a different person will share a little about what they’re currently reading, and why they like or don’t like it.  The heart of ShareReads will be responses from blog readers, and the window of opportunity here is wide. Feel free to respond and discuss the book or author being mentioned, ask or answer a question, or even take the conversation in a different direction: mention what you are currently reading, and how you feel about it.  The point of ShareReads is to have an ongoing discussion about books and reading.  Remember posting a response also counts  as an activity for the Summer Reading for Adults program!

Yesterday I started reading Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell.  It’s a comic thriller and a quick, humorous read so far (albeit I’m only 52 pages in).  It’s a simple story of identity, medicine and the mob.  Dr. Peter Brown is an intern at a down and out hospital in Manhattan.  Pietro Brnwna, aka “Bearclaw”, is a mobster hit man.  Nicholas LoBrutto, aka Eddy Squillante, checks into the deluxe wing of the hospital after feeling not so well.  When Dr. Brown does his rounds and walks into Mr. LoBrutto’s room, both are in for some bad news.  Dr. Brown is here to deliver the news that Mr. LoBrutto has a nasty form of cancer.  Mr. LoBrutto is convinced that Dr. Brown is Mr. Brnwna.  One way or the other it looks like Mr. LoBrutto is going to die, but what will get to him first – the big C or the Bearclaw?  Is Dr. Brown really Brnwna?  These are the questions that are keeping me turning the pages, plus Bazell’s insider medical perspective is hyping up my hypochondriac side.

So, it may be totally obvious that I really am only starting the book, which may be making you wonder, “Why is she writing this post?”  Well, it came highly recommended by one of my patron friends, which automatically tickled my interest (and, why you should definitely share the books you enjoy with us on ShareReads, because we really do take your recommendations to heart and read them).  Beat the Reaper is also the June selection for Pub Fiction, DCPL’s not so traditional book discussion group.  And, since I’ve mentioned it (shamelessly inserting self serving plug), Pub Fiction is our effort to take the librarians out of the library and to share books, fellowship, drinks and perspective with other like minded folk.  If this sounds good and you would like to join us, we meet on the third Thursday of every month at 7 pm at Kavarna in Decatur.

What, dear patrons, do you think we should read next?  What books have you read that caused you to crave lively conversation?  I hope that you’ll consider reading Beat the Reaper and joining the Pub Fictioneers on June 17.  If you want to get a head start on July’s selection, we’ll be reading and noshing on The Absurdistan.  And, by all means, toot the horn of your own book discussion group too!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

R. Hughes June 11, 2010 at 1:33 PM

We won’t be around for Pub Fiction on June 17. But, you’ve got me interested in looking ahead to the next book for discussion by the Pub Fictioneers. I read a review that referred to “The Absurdistan” as a Russian version of “Confederacy of Dunces.” And “Confederacy of Dunces” is one of my all-time favorite books, so I think I’ll place a request for “Absurdistan.”

I’m also intrigued by the idea of a stage adaptation of Dunces, which is coming up at the Theatrical Outfit in August.

Greg H. June 11, 2010 at 5:02 PM

Has anyone read Bulgakov’s THE MASTER AND MARGARITA. A classmate of mine raved about the book, which is also an absurd look at Soviet society in the 20’s or 30’s. Naturally I ran right out and bought a paperback copy but I’ve yet to tackle it.

waterfall June 12, 2010 at 1:23 PM

I like your synopsis. It appears to be a interestig book. May I
suggest other books for your book
club. Left to tell by llibagiza, Immaculee. A piece of cake by Cupcake Brown. A long way gone by Beah, Ishmael. Also In the land of invisible women by Ahmed, Qanta.

Kay June 12, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Both “Beat the Reaper” and “The Absurdistan” sound interesting! Since I work on Thursday nights, I won’t be going to Pub Fiction meetings, but I can highly recommend a novella I just read. “A Short History of the Long Ball,” only 90 small pages long, is the first book by Justin Cronin, who just published “The Passage,” which is well on its way to being a best seller. Which is why I checked out his first book, to see how he writes. And he writes very, very well. In “A Short History of the Long Ball,” a short novel which won the National Novella Award, Cronin treats the reader to an unforgettable picture of a long friendship between two lovers of baseball. He draws you in with the first sentence and never lets you go. You are transported to that place and time for the hour or so that it takes to read the book. Next on my list is “The Summer Guest,” also by Cronin. How do I know “The Passage” will be a best seller? Not only is the six-year-old girl who is the heroine of the novel named for Harper Lee, my favorite author (To Kill a Mockingbird), but also Cronin transfixes the reader’s attention on the first page and does not let him (or her) go. What are you reading and why should I read it?

Ken June 14, 2010 at 10:52 AM

It’s been a little while since I’ve read it, but I really enjoyed “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. I also think just about anything by Michael Chabon would make for a lively discussion. A friend recommended “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” several years ago, and that spurred me to read a few other things as well.

K. Anderson June 14, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Lately I’ve bveen reading alot of Christian books dealing with being relationships and God’s purpose for marriage. I’m now reading a book called. “If men are like buses Then how do I catch one” by Michelle McKinney Hammond. Don’t let the title fool you, it talks about Gods plan for marriage, how Adam and Eve play a part in it, and how to focus on what God put you on earth to do so you’llbe happy signal and have something to offer when it’s time to marry. etc. I read it before years ago but just started rereading it. It’s a great read for any women trying to understand more of God’s purpose for marraige.

Doret C June 17, 2011 at 10:29 PM

I loved Beat the Reaper. I worked at the Borders in Buckhead before it closed and I used to sell it like candy. Anyone who likes Beat the Reaper, I highly recommend Lee Child.

I love the Confederacy of the Dunces. That’s one of those books that better with each reread. And now I do believe I must check out Absurdistan.

One book I’ve loved recently is Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. Its one of my favorites of 2011 . Its getting a lot of well deserved buzz.

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