A Book Set in Your Favorite Country or Region


Mary Jo:

I’m a big John Grisham fan, so I’m always eager to pick up his new book, in this case, The Rooster Bar. The primary setting for this novel in Washington D.C. (and the surrounding area), with a little bit of New York City, Barbados, and Senegal thrown in for good measure. I’ve always enjoyed spending time in that “other” Washington, and while I hesitate to designate it as my favorite, I’ll go out on a limb and put this here.

The premise of the book, as is often the case in Grisham’s writing, seems to be drawn out of the headlines. In The Rooster Bar we have threads of predatory recruiting and lending practices at for-profit law schools, the growing burden of student loan debt, the fraud occurring within the banking industry caused by employees incentivized to create fake accounts, and the fraud that occurs in massive class action suits. Whew, that’s a lot to chew on.

It was a quick read, and I found myself alternating between cheering on the protagonists and being outraged by their actions. And, like most Grisham novels, the ending is both satisfying and annoying. I was left wondering if we’ll see these characters again, either in another book or a movie.

Another from Mary Jo

This installment in James Patterson’s Alex Cross series, The People vs. Alex Cross finally came in off the hold list from my library. It’s set in the Washington D.C. area and perfectly fits this challenge category. I know I already have one for this challenge, but am adding this as a backup.

It’s a quick read, with a plotline involving the usual cast of characters. The story divides its focus between a police abuse trial and a complicated investigation. This book won’t change the world, but if you’re looking for a good police/legal thriller, it will fit the bill.


One of my favorite countries to visit is Italy.  We used to go once a year, but now it’s been nearly 10 since we’ve been there. This book by Frances Mayes, author of so many books regarding living in Italy, reminded me of all the frustrating and wonderful things about living in Italy.

At the core of the book is the relationships of a group of middle age women. But surrounding all the relationships is the food, sights, and wonder of Italy.

I’m ready to go back!