Leslie's Bookcase

celebrating and recommending unforgettable books

Category: Reading List

Books people bring to jury duty – from my day as “book detective”

Jury duty…one of the few places in today’s world you will see ALMOST EVERYONE carrying a book. Why? Because electronic devices (even e-readers) are not allowed in the courtroom and potential jurists know they may have LOTS of downtime. Therefore, even people who haven’t picked a book up years may be reading.

I actually like jury duty and not just for the chance to read – ha! However, this time around I reported on Monday for a very short time and was never called back during the week (darn it!!).

During the half hour or so I was in the jury room on Monday, I was playing “book detective” trying to see what books people brought. Would it have been creepy to obviously look at the books and jot down titles? I thought so. So my list below only includes the books I could reasonably and non obviously look at and also remember until I was released and had time to make notes (this was difficult!!) Oh how I wish I could have continued this “study” throughout the day and week!

Is this a recommended reading list? NO. Although I did find a couple I may buy for myself or others.

As you probably know, in the courtroom, jurors are anonymous and only identified by a number. Therefore, the potential jurists reading these books will also remain anonymous and are only identified as Jurors 1-6. Also I need to remember to use “carrying” not “reading” as I have no evidence they were actually reading the book (as we never got to the “downtime) please let the record show these books were only carried in by the person 😉

Here are the books I spotted at jury duty:

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New books to read this fall & winter

I am excited to present my fall and winter reading list: the books I plan to cozy up with during these upcoming colder months (I meant to create this list sooner but it just got cold here!!).

I hope you’ll join me in reading the books that interest you.

What do I look for in a book, and why did these make my list? I’m still looking for my “favorite book of the year” and although I have some contenders, nothing yet has compared to my favorite book of last year.  I am looking for “epic” books that teach me something about life and myself, and they have to be entertaining as well. A lot to ask, I know!

So here are the  newly published (or soon to be published) books that I’m most  looking forward to reading soon:

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New books to read this summer!

After reading through publisher notes, sample chapters, and entire books (books that delayed me from writing this post because I couldn’t put them down!!), I am excited to present my summer reading list.

This eclectic list includes several thrillers, some environmental dystopia, a drama about love in Hollywood, new WWII fiction, long-lost stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and more. I have covered all my reading personalities and thus included something for everyone. I will update this post with links as I read these books and add my own reviews.

You can click on the titles or pictures for more information or to buy the book from Amazon. Happy summer reading!


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World War II historical fiction – a reading list

Like many other readers, I have a fascination with the WWII genre. These stories give me insight into the time period when my grandfather was fighting a war across the world and my grandma was raising children on the home front. These are the times I never asked enough about. Even so, their answers and experiences, had asked all the questions I wish I would have, would be vastly different than those of someone living in occupied France or being bombed in London or experiencing the horrors in Germany and Eastern Europe.

Soon, as this generation leaves us, all we will have left are stories. Thankfully the authors whose books I profile below and others like them have done the daunting amount of work to recreate these experiences. Yes, it may be historical “fiction” but most of these authors spent years researching and interviewing survivors. I learned more about historical events from these books than I ever did in a class.

These stories are not always enjoyable. Parts of them are horrifying. So why put myself through this and why recommend this reading to you? For me it is a way to honor everything  that was sacrificed and everyone who was lost. I also enjoy looking for the good and the helpers in the tragedies. It is also self-reflective: What would I have done? How would I have handled that experience or horror? For what it’s worth, after reading all of these books, I have a better understanding of this time period, human nature, and myself.

I will continue adding to this list because I have several other books in my queue so stay tuned.

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Fall-Winter Reading List – updated with reviews

Last Fall after reading dozens of new book titles, publisher notes, and excerpts, and of course looking at beautiful book covers, I presented my first reading list, for Fall/Winter 2016.

The books on this list caught my attention for various reasons, which are noted below along with the publishers notes.

As of March, I am updating this post with reviews from most all of these books. I was sidetracked from the list several times which is OK because I found my favorite book of the year and also spent recent weeks watching all 9 films nominated for best picture.


My Reading list for Fall/Winter 2016, updated with links to reviews


The Other Einstein: A Novel by Marie Benedict

This description had me at “Paris Wife”!

“In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein’s enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein’s wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.”

Update: Click here to read my review/reflections on The Other Einstein.

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