Alibi V.13 No.41 • Oct 7-13, 2004 

Speed Reader

Playing with Boys

Alisa Valdez-Rodriguez
St. Martin's
hardcover
$24.95

Revolving around the tricky lives of three youngish Los Angeles Latinas, Playing with Boys seems, by most accounts, to be poised to become yet another blistering chick lit success for Valdez-Rodriguez, author of The Dirty Girls' Social Club.

Gag Rule: On the Suppression of Dissent and Stifling of Democracy

Lewis Lapham
Penguin
hardcover
$19.95

Lapham, the editor of Harper's, has written a brutal and detailed condemnation of the Bush administration's cynical attacks on our civil liberties in the wake of 9-11. He also shows how the media and our educational systems are complicit in ensuring that Americans are largely ignorant of the threats to our constitutional rights posed by the Bushites.

Good Morning, Darkness

Ruth Francisco
Mysterious Press
hardcover
$23.95

A Mexican fisherman finds a dismembered human arm washed up on a California beach at the beginning of Francisco's second mystery novel. This setup leads to a carefully plotted thriller that critics have said lives up to the promise of Francisco's debut, last year's highly praised Confessions of a Deathmaiden.

Author, Author

David Lodge
Viking
hardcover
$24.95

I loved Lodge's last novel, Thinks ... . His latest—a warts and all fictionalization of the life of Henry James—hasn't been getting many rave reviews, but this British author and literary critic is almost always provocative. Odds are Author, Author will be an entertaining literary read.