Lee Child's Jack Reacher--loner, perpetual traveler, hero of all fifteen of Child's novels--is the baddest of bad asses. Need an example of how much of a bad ass Reacher is? In Gone Tomorrow he's knocked out not once but twice by a megadose of large animal tranquilizer, and wakes up to kick the asses of all of his captors before escaping. When Reacher comes to town trouble inevitably finds him. Dead bodies pile up. There are explosions. And, more often than not, one lucky lady who's hotter than she or anyone else around her realizes gets to hang with Reacher before he inevitably leaves town (which will be sooner, not later). This is Lee Child's first instance of publishing two books in one year. The blogosphere is digging it. Pop Culture Nerd's verdict is that Worth Dying For is "Worth the price," while Crime and Publishing calls it "An absolutely brilliant book." On the other hand, Entertainment Weekly gave it a C and proclaimed it, "an uncharacteristic dud."
In the Company of Others is the second Father Tim novel by Jan Karon, author of the popular Mitford series of gentle Christian fiction. Niceness and Christian values are the hallmarks of Karon's work, and Christianbook.com calls this one, "a compelling page turner that readers will find deeply affecting."
I can't quote numbers, of course, but by the time I had left the store at 3 p.m. today sales of Jan Karon were outpacing Lee Child nicely. My prediction is that those numbers will be neatly reversed by the weekend.
Connie Willis' All Clear is, as she puts it, "the second half of a book. Blackout is the first half. They're not two books, or a book and a sequel, or the first two installments of an endless series. They're one book--Blackout-All Clear." I'm not sure why this is so important but hey--it's her book. Either way, over the course of her career Connie Willis has built up an interesting body of work, much of which involves time-travel out of Oxford. LibraryThing user elvisettey says about All Clear, "Rich in detail, rich in mining the questions of what weighs on a person's conscience, rich in bringing the past to life, All Clear is a captivating read that will bring both the past and the future to life for you."
Against All Things Ending by Stephen R. Donaldson is the latest of the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, a long, long series about a temporally challenged leper who has, apparently, to save the world. Those who know, know.
A couple of entries from the world of religion. Why He is a Saint make the case for canonization of Pope John Paul II, while What Good is God? examines the practical value of a belief in God.
Other titles of note: Compass Rose by John Casey, Driving on the Rim by Thomas McGuane, The Bible Code 3, and yet another entry in the litany of Obama-bashing "political biographies," Radical-in-Chief by Stanley Kurtz.
Update: Reader, friend, and fellow blogger Enrique Freeque of Enrique Freeque's Forum gives thumbs up to at least the first couple of Thomas Covenant books by Stephen R. Donaldson, as well as suggesting some meaty and thought-provoking Christian literature. You can check out the titles below.