Bibliophilia: the reading list for book lovers
Bibliophilia is a weekly post of recommended reading for law students and lawyers. The list will comprise both fiction and non-fiction books with as much variety as possible. We’re also happy to take reader submissions from you so get reading!
Title: A Patriot’s Act
Author: Kenneth Eade
Genre: Fiction, Legal, Thriller
When a naturalized American citizen turns up missing in Iraq, Brent Marks fights the Goliath US Government’s Patriot Act. Santa Barbara accountant Ahmed Khury responds to the plea of his brother, a suspected money launderer in Iraq. Before Ahmed realizes what has happened, he is sent to Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp as a suspected terrorist, and is tortured to extract information that he doesn’t have. The courtroom drama mounts as the drama outside the courtroom explodes, and when murder, corruption, and cover-up enter the picture, nobody, including Brent, is safe. [source]
Title: Twelve Angry Men
Author: Reginald Rose
Genre: Fiction, Play, Courtroom, Drama,
A blistering character study and an examination of the American melting pot and the judicial system that keeps it in check, Twelve Angry Men holds at its core a deeply patriotic faith in the U.S. legal system. The play centers on Juror Eight, who is at first the sole holdout in an 11-1 guilty vote. Eight sets his sights not on proving the other jurors wrong but rather on getting them to look at the situation in a clear-eyed way not affected by their personal prejudices or biases. Reginald Rose deliberately and carefully peels away the layers of artifice from the men and allows a fuller picture to form of them—and of America, at its best and worst. [source]
Title: The Children Act
Author: Ian McEwan
Genre: Fiction, Drama, Family Law, Courtroom
Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law….But Fiona’s professional success belies domestic strife. Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house….She decides to throw herself into her work, especially a complex case involving a seventeen-year-old boy whose parents will not permit a lifesaving blood transfusion because it conflicts with their beliefs as Jehovah’s Witnesses. But Jack doesn’t leave her thoughts, and the pressure to resolve the case—as well as her crumbling marriage—tests Fiona in ways that will keep readers thoroughly enthralled until the last stunning page. [source]
Author: Walter Dean Myers
Genre: Fiction, Legal, Young Adult, Drama, Script
This New York Times bestselling novel and National Book Award nominee from acclaimed author Walter Dean Myers tells the story of Steve Harmon, a teenage boy in juvenile detention and on trial. Presented as a screenplay of Steve’s own imagination, and peppered with journal entries, the book shows how one single decision can change our whole lives.
Fade In: Interior: Early Morning In Cell Block D, Manhattan Detention Center.
Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I’ll call it what the lady prosecutor called me … Monster. [source]
Title: All The King’s Men
Author: Robert Penn Warren
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Classics, Politics,
All the King’s Men portrays the dramatic political rise and governorship of Willie Stark, a cynical populist in the American South during the 1930s. The novel is narrated by Jack Burden, a political reporter who comes to work as Governor Stark’s right-hand man. The trajectory of Stark’s career is interwoven with Jack Burden’s life story and philosophical reflections: “the story of Willie Stark and the story of Jack Burden are, in one sense, one story.” [source]
Author: Attica Locke
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Crime
…Fifteen years after the events of Black Water Rising, Jay Porter is struggling to cope with catastrophic changes in his personal life and the disintegration of his environmental law practice. His victory against Cole Oil is still the crown jewel of his career, even if he hasn’t yet seen a dime thanks to appeals. But time has taken its toll. Tired and restless, he’s ready to quit….The missing girl was a volunteer for one of the local mayoral candidates, and her disappearance complicates an already heated campaign. When the nephew of one of the candidates, a Pleasantville local, is arrested, Jay reluctantly finds himself serving as a defense attorney. With a man’s life and his own reputation on the line, Jay is about to try his first murder in a case that will also put an electoral process on trial, exposing the dark side of power and those determined to keep it.
Title: The Seven Minutes
Author: Irving Wallace
Genre: Fiction, Courtroom, Drama
In the stillness of the courtroom a bookseller stands accused of selling a book. Is it a work of sensitive genius or an execrable volume of pornography? Could it have driven a respectable college boy to commit brutal rape? And who is the author of the novel at the vortex of a storm of sensation and controversy? Michael Barret has been asked by a friend to join him in a small law partnership, but has also been offered a huge salary to go into big business. He’s certain of his choice, till he is given a chance to be involved with a major case involved with protecting free speech.
The case is about the explicit book “The Seven Minutes”, which some people consider pornography, while others, Barret included, feel is impressive literature. The main focus of the prosecution’s case is a teenager who bought the book, and was soon after arrested for rape. According to the prosecution, the book insinuated the boy to do what he did, so it must be banned. The novel follows the course of the trial, as both Barret and the prosecutor search for reputable witnesses to prove their side. [source]