Hurricane Bookshelf – September picks

Despite the fact that everyone’s free time just significantly decreased with the start of classes, there’s always time to read for pleasure. Maybe you just want to avoid your assigned reading; maybe you are simply sick of Oprah’s Book Club selections. Here are a few of the book world’s most recent releases.

“The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest” (Stieg Larsson; Knopf) is the last entry in the author’s “Millennium Trilogy.” Released May 25, it concludes the saga of Lisbeth Salander, expert hacker and recent gunshot victim, and journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who has made it his personal crusade to prove Salander’s innocence in the face of double murder charges. Starting with Hornet’s Nest isn’t recommended, but Larsson’s world is so engrossing that the series is more than worth your time. The “Millennium Trilogy” is particularly noteworthy for its realistic view of Sweden, proving the country is not all Ikea and ABBA.

“The Rembrandt Affair(Daniel Silva; Putnam Adult) is the latest addition of Silva’s series about Gabriel Allon, Israeli spy and art restorer. This time, Allon follows the path of a Rembrandt painting stolen during the Holocaust that leads to a Nazi fugitive in Argentina all the way to a seemingly benevolent billionaire. Silva is a worthy successor to John le Carré. The novel, released July 20, is accessible and so engrossing that one does not have to read the series in sequence to have a stake in the outcome.

“Freedom” (Jonathan Franzen; Farrar, Straus & Giroux) was recently the subject of a huge publicity blitz during which President Obama accepted an early copy while vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard. The story of how a married couple’s idealism gives way to disillusionment and disappointment, Franzen’s novel, released Aug. 31, might just be the book of the year. Also notable and mildly entertaining is the author’s ongoing feud with authors Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race” (Jon Stewart; Grand Central)  follows in the same vein as “America (The Book),” Stewart’s previous entry in the satirical guide genre. This time writing for any potential extraterrestrial visitors, Earth, to be released Sept. 21, promises to be just as irreverent and hilarious as America.

Sarah B. Pilchick may be contacted at