Library of Must Reads

Intro to Library of Must Reads

I have been an avid reader for most of my life and I love sharing a good read with fellow bibliophiles. I plan to feature one book each week that I have either read or heard good things about. My first selection is a nice heavy book (I love a big book!) with an exciting storyline and lots of big words! I don’t mean that facetiously, you may need a dictionary at times. I kept a running list so as not to interrupt my reading (ha!)


The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter is a masterfully crafted mystery.  It is smartly written, and will keep you on the edge of your seat, hanging on to each and every word. It was originally published in 2002, but it is one of my favorites and I wanted to share!

Here’s a summary:

(This summary was lifted from the Random House, Inc. website reader’s guide)

“When the brilliant and controversial black judge, Oliver Garland, is found dead in his study, not everyone believes it was a heart attack. Mystery, secrecy, and misfortune seemed to surround the judge during his life—his daughter was killed in a hit-and-run car accident and his nomination to the Supreme Court was rejected in a scandalous public hearing—and now that’s he’s dead the mysteries only deepen. He has left his son Talcott, professor of law at a prestigious New England university, a set of cryptic instructions regarding his “arrangements.” Mean-while, Talcott’s sister Mariah is certain that their father was murdered and produces one conspiracy theory after another to prove it; his wife, the beautiful, ambitious Kimmer, is up for her own Appeals Court nomination and wants Judge Garland and all his undying controversy to go away; and Jack Ziegler, the menacing underworld figure whose friendship cost the Judge a position on the highest court, demands that Talcott deliver the “arrangements” to him. Caught between a marriage that is unraveling, a university from which he feels increasingly alienated, and a family history from which it seems he cannot escape, Talcott begins the long—and quite dangerous—task of unraveling his father’s sins and secrets.

Yet, The Emperor of Ocean Park is more than a thriller, suspenseful as it undoubtedly is. Carter skillfully weaves into his story an incisive critique of American culture, the complex interactions between law, religion, politics, wealth, race, and family in contemporary society. The result is a sprawling, smart, fast-paced novel that probes not just the mystery surrounding a father’s death but also the larger puzzle of how to live a meaningful life at this particular moment in our history.”

I hope that you enjoy this book, and happy reading! Let me know what you think about it by leaving a comment!


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