The Price of Paradise -- The Costs of Inequality and a Vision for a More Equitable America by David Dante Troutt, New York UPress '13, 273 pages, ASIN #0814760554. Index, selected bibliography, notes, unillustrated.
"Let's begin with a brazen assault on paradise," writes author David Dante Troutt at the outset of his latest book. "On June 4, 2010, 18-year-old Justin Hudson was the chosen student graduation speaker at Hunter College High School, a prestigious New York City high school for 'intellectually gifted' students. He was to deliver a celebratory speech to the assembled recipients of the American Dream at its meritorious best.
"A half-black, half-Latino young man from a low-income neighborhood, Justin began by acknowledging that he had no right to be standing there before his classmates and their families. Blacks represented only 3 per cent of Hunter's students, Latinos 1 per cent. But then, Justin went on, neither did anyone else deserve the privilege.
"'We stand on the precipice of our lives, in control of our lives, based purely and simply on luck and circumstance,' he explained. 'If you truly believe that the demographics of Hunter represent the distribution of intelligence in this city, then you must believe that the Upper West Side, Bayside and Flushing are intrinsically more intelligent than the South Bronx, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Washington Heights, and I refuse to accept that."
Author David Dante Troutt is Professor of Law at the Rutgers University-Newark Law School. He is a columnist, novelist and author of several works of nonfiction.
Strange Things Happen -- A Life with the Police by Stewart Copeland, HarperStudio '09, $19.99, 329 pages, ASIN #0061791490. Stewart Copeland's Rap Sheet, Appendix, Dozens of b&w images sprinkled through text.
From the dust cover:
"When Stewart Copeland gets dressed, he has an identity crisis. Should he put on 'leather pants, hostile shirts, and pointy shoes'? Or wear something more appropriate to the 'tax-paying, property-owning, investment-holding lotus eater' his success has allowed him to become? This dilemma is at the heart of Copeland's vastly entertaining memoir-in-stories, Strange Things Happen.
"The world knows Copeland as the drummer for The Police, one of the most successful bands in rock history. But they may not know as much about his childhood in the Middle East as the son of a CIA agent. Or be aware of his film-making adventures with the Pygmies in the deepest reaches of the Congo, and his passion for polo (Brideshead Revisited on horses).
"In Strange Things Happen we move from Copeland's remarkable childhood to the formation of The Police, their rise to stardom, and the settled-down life that followed. It ends with a behind-the-scenes view of The Police's extraordinarily successful reunion tour. It's a book of amazing anecdotes, all completely true, which take us backstage in a life that is fully lived."
Author Stewart Copeland and his trio have sold more than 60 million records during their career, winning five Grammys. He is the father of seven children and lives with his wife and three daughters.
The Cruelest Month -- A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny, Minotaur Books '07 paperback, $15.99, 311 pages, ASIN #0312573502.
From the back cover:
"Welcome to Three Pines, where the cruelest month is about to deliver on its threat. It's spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. However, not everything is meant to return to life...
"When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a seance at the old Hadley house, one of their party dies of fright. Was this a natural death, or was it murder? Brilliant, compassionate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to investigate, and the case will force him to face his own ghosts as well as those of a seemingly idyllic town where relationships are far more dangerous than they seem."
Author Louise Penny's first novel, Still Life, was named by Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine as one of the top five mystery/crime novels of the decade. She was the first author ever to win the Agatha Award three years in a row. Louise lives in a small village south of Montreal.